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Type and imagery in context.

VCD UNIT 2 AOS 2

USE TYPE AND
IMAGE LIKE A PRO

This task is from the field of communication design. It is a large task with heaps of knowledge about design with type and images and how they are combined to communicate ideas to a target audience.

You will learn about type, its history, styles, ways it communicates and how designers arrange type on a page. Then learn about different types of digital images for visual communications. We will also touch on techniques for layout of communication design. You will demonstrate your knowledge in a graded assessment task.

outcome

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ON COMPLETION OF THIS UNIT THE STUDENT SHOULD BE ABLE TO
  • manipulate type and images to create visual communications suitable for print and screen-based presentations, taking into account copyright.

(VCE VCD Study Design, p. 18)

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learning intentions

Learning intentions should be set at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals during the task. Read through the content on this page. Discuss what you think the topics are and form them into three ‘Learning Intentions’. Use noun sentences like, ‘I will learn about making 3d drawings, or I will learn about media codes. Write your three learning intentions.

For advanced learning intentions, go with 3 different levels.

  1. What you will learn. (For example, the media code of camera describes the techniques camera operators use to record a scene)
  2. How what you will learn can be used to create meaning or communicate information. (For example, camera techniques are combined with sound and/ or editing to create suspense).
  3. How could your understanding of the learning be extended or related to other learnings. (For example, the use of camera has changed over the years and the invention of digital formats have allowed anyone to become cinema photographers)
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success criteria

Success criteria can be negotiated between students and their teacher. The class group can agree on how a skill can best be demonstrated. Identification of success criteria is done at the commencement of each unit, then at regular intervals. Now that you are familiar with what you will learn in this task (Learning Intentions), it's time to lock in how you will be able to show that you know it or can do it. Write three success criteria, using verb sentences like in the examples below:

I will demonstrate that I have mastered the learning by;

  1. I Can identify all of the camera techniques used in the selected clip.
  2. I can use a camera to film clips in the ways I have identified.
  3. I can explain how camera is combined with other codes to create meaning in a narrative.
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Knowing type

Before we get into this task, before we even start to research alphabet posters and apps, we are going to get into exploring type. We will look at type styles and history and find out everything we need to understand for VCE VCD. In addition, we will do a series of exercises aimed at developing our love and understanding of type. Let's get started.

key knowledge

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key knowledge points for this outcome

features of key historical and contemporary typography

terminology to describe family types and faces, and characteristics of the typeface

(VCE VCD Study Design, p. 18)

WHO DO YOU FOLLOW?

There are heaps of type resources around. I follow these three on Instagram. The provide an endless selection of creative ways to approach type in the post Helvetica, digital age. There are heaps of resources containing new and innovative ways to approach type in this post Helvetica digital age. Many of them explore hand formed type recalling the age of 'letterpress' printing. Click on the images below to visit the sites.

Some type sites

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Jump to
For further information on Type history click the link at right.
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Type

task

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1.1 Type experiements
Do tasks 1.1 and 1.2 in my Type tasks page.

Thinking routine

GENERATE – SORT – CONNECT – ELABORATE

In this exercise, we are going to view some material from the documentary 'Helvetica' (Huswit, 2007) the type face, then determine the main ideas expressed by the graphic designers interviewed. In finding these main ideas and making them visible you will be able to understand how type needs to be both legible and expressive.
TWO OPPOSING VIEWS ON HELVETICA

Stimulus:
Click here to see 'Helvetica' on Youtube

Two opposing views on Helvetica:

  1. An explanation of how Helvetica changed the face of design entirely. Through comment by Michael Beirut and the design of the 60s. (Watch: 24:24 – 28:03)
  2. The post-modern response to such a uniform typeface. Through Stephan Sagmeister, David Carson and deconstructed design. (Watch : Stephan Sagmeister 49:46 – 54:00), (54:00 – 55:25) David Carson watch: 55:25 – 1:00:00.

PROCESS FOR THE THINKING ROUTINE

You will view the clips. (Your teacher will choose the best sections. I put the first one (24:24 – 28:03) in to background the post-modern response). After watching you are going to create ‘concept maps’ (like a mind map) in groups of 3 or 4.

Then we are going to use this thinking routine to get inside the ideas expressed by the designers in the film.

1 GENERATE
Create a list of words or ideas you have gleaned from the video. Write them on a list or on separate post its. Think of at least 4 or 5 each. Your teacher may want to show the video in stages to allow you to record words or ideas as you go.
2 SORT
Take a larger piece of paper (A2) then  write their words or ideas onto the sheet. Before you start, put the word “Type” in the middle of the sheet then  record your ideas. Put the most important concepts toward the centre of the sheet, and least or tangential ones toward the outside. This may cause some debate.
3 CONNECT
Now draw lines to connect related ideas together. Give each line a title to explain the connection by writing it on the line. Connect related ideas, connect lines. One idea might lead to another, etc.
4 ELABORATE
Next pick a few central ideas and elaborate them with a small paragraph of text. This breaks the ideas into smaller parts.
5 SHARE
Each group will come out to the front of the class room to discuss their understanding of the ideas expressed by the designers – and ultimately state their opinion: Do you agree Helvetica is the best, because of its simplicity, clarity or do they agree with Carson that it is sterile and communicates nothing?!

task

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2.1 Thinking routine

Do the thinking routine as shown above.

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Type and image

Wherever type and image are used together in a visual communication, there exists a relationship between the two. Part of this outcome is to identify, describe and explain relationships between type and image.

key knowledge

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key knowledge points for this outcome

techniques for analysing the relationship between type and imagery in visual communications

(VCE VCD Study Design, p. 18)

What is a relationship?

A relationship between two, or more visual components means the way in which they share or contrast in visual quality.

Visual qualities that type and image may share or contrast in include design elements colour, line and outline, form, tone, shape and texture and design principles figure-ground, contrast, scale (size), proportion and pattern. Through these elements and principles of design balance will also be created.

Type is used with images to communicate ideas and information to an audience. Once type and image are side by side on a field, a relationship between them will form. It is the job of the student to identify and describe this relationship.

model analysis

visual communication design

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Coffin Road, Peter May, 2016
Photo by Ian Cowe, design by www.headdesign.co.uk
sample question
Describe the relationship between type and image in the cover of 'Coffin Road'.
sample question

The author's name and title of the book is set in a large, capitalised, sans-serif font that floats above a full page picture of a stormy coastal scene.

The photo is a black and white image that has had its tone enhanced to create a strong contrast between the top, bottom and the centre. At the focal point of the picture is a light house. The glass of the tower has been coloured yellow in post production.

The type is also set in corresponding black, white and yellow. The white text contrasts with the black areas of the photo. The black contrasts with the lighter areas.  The yellow type echos the focal point of the light at the centre of the photo. The text of the title 'Coffin Road' is enhanced with a natural texture reminiscent of the ground at the base of the photo.

Although the image is full page and bigger in scale than the text, it does not dominate because it is largely monochrome with constantly modulating tone. By contrast the type, occupying a space smaller in scale is seen first as the yellow words contrast strongly and stand forward from the picture, much larger in scale than the yellow of the light. The book's title set in a textured black also contrasts strongly with the gently flowing light sky of the image.

There is a both aesthetic and functional relationship between type and image that has been created. This is one where an image creates a stormy emotion yet through its monochrome palette supports the main text of the cover. This creates an effective functional hierarchy.

How do you identify the relationship?

What ever the visual communication you are trying to describe the relationship between type and image - make a decision which elements or principles of design you think the type and image both share or contrast strongly in.

Once you decide to which elements or principles you will refer, simply compare them. Then the relationship will become apparent and be described.

task

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3.1 Identify relationships between type and image

Look around for a bookshelf. Find a group of book covers. Try to locate covers where;

  • type dominates over image
  • image dominates over type
  • type contrasts with image
  • type blends in with image

Take a photo of each of them and identify the photos in your visual diary.

3.2 Describe relationships between type and image

Take one of the covers you found in task 1.1 and nominate the elements and principles you will refer to in making an analysis.

Describe the relationship between type and image referring to the elements and principles you nominated in the step above.

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Images and file types

Designers have a breadth of technical knowledge about digital images. There are different ways images are made and recorded. There are different image, size, mode,  resolution and file types. Each has a specific purpose and application. Students of VCD need an awareness of this as they both analyse and produce visual communications.

key knowledge

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key knowledge points for this outcome
  • image size and file formats suitable for print and screen-based presentations
  • a range of digital design technologies and their capabilities such as a digital camera capturing images with a specified pixel resolution (and software that tracks and adjusts kerning of type - covered in type section)

(VCE VCD Study Design, p. 18)

Digital images

Digital images are known as bitmap or raster images and vector images. Raster images are for photos and include file types; jpeg, png, gif, tiff, psd and pdf. These file types are resolution dependent. Vector images are for logos, solid graphics and type. They are made and stored as mathematical equations and are not resolution dependent. Vector file types include ai and svg.

Designers have a strong working knowledge of image file type, image size, resolution, mode and how to work with images for print and screen-based presentations.

The learning for this Key Knowledge point is in a page on images and file types is accessed by clicking the link below.

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Learn what digital images are made from and how to used them in designs correctly.
Jump to

For further information on Images and file types click the link at right.

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Image & file types

task

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4.1 Image types
Do tasks 1 and 3 in my Images and file types page.
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Presentations and presentation formats

A presentation is the communication of ideas or information to an audience. The format for a presentation means the method of delivery of the presentation. Presentation formats differ depending on the field of design, the audience, purpose and context. This stage examines a range of presentation formats that can be used in Visual Communication Design.

key knowledge

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key knowledge points for this outcome
  • print and screen-based final presentation formats such as web pages, posters, packaging , magazines and banners for meeting different communication purposes

(VCE VCD Study Design, p. 18)

presentation formats

Presentation formats may be print or screen-based designs. They may be two or three-dimensional. Presentation formats for communication design include posters, packaging, magazine layouts, maps, info-graphics, web pages, logos, menus, branding, typography. Those for industrial and environmental design include isometric and planometric drawings, 3rd angle orthogonal drawings and plans and elevations, perspective drawings and models.

The learning for this Key Knowledge point is in a page on presentation formats is accessed by clicking the link below.

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Learn about the correct format to present your ideas with.
Jump to

For further information on Presentations click the link at right.

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Presentations
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Typography and layout

The use of type and formal layout techniques are two of the most significant pillars of Communication Design. This section explores how typography and layout contributes to the communication of ideas in visual communications.

key knowledge

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key knowledge points for this outcome
  • typographic and layout conventions that assist with readability and legibility
  • a range of digital design technologies and their capabilities (such as a digital camera capturing images with a specified pixel resolution - covered in image section) and software that tracks and adjusts kerning of type
  • techniques for digitally manipulating type and images to convey particular moods or emotions

(VCE VCD Study Design, p. 18,19)

Getting started on typography

The art of writing with type in visual communication is called typography. You will be familiar with type settings in Microsoft Word like font size, bold font, alignment and colour. However, these features are only scratching the surface on the control professional designers have over type.

In this section you will learn about how to 'set' type, how to control its tone and voice and do a range of tasks to ensure you are proficient in typography when you reach your assessment task.

The learning for this Key Knowledge point is in a page on type is accessed by clicking the link below.

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Learn how to adjust the spaces between letters.
Jump to

For further information on Type adjustment click the link at right.

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Type

task

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5.1 adjust type
Do tasks 3 and 4 in my Type tasks page.

Processing images expressively

Type and images are used together to convey particular moods and emotions.  This is an important part of communicating visually. You will have learnt how to control how type speaks by adjusting type face weight, size, tracking and leading in the previous activity, so now we should learn how to make photos speak in the same ways.

In this section you will find a range of tasks to ensure you are proficient in colour grading images when you reach your assessment task.

The learning for this Key Knowledge point is in a page on images is accessed by clicking the link below.

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This image has been processed with a photo filter to make it express mood and emotion.
Jump to
For further information on Image and file types click the link at right.
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Image & file types

task

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6.1 expressive images
Do tasks 2 in my Image and file types page.

Layout for Communication

How do designers use principles of design and layout to arrange type and images on a field? Are there any rules and conventions that are used to organise space? Did you know that the ways components are arranged on paper is just as expressive as the components themselves?

Layout, the art of arranging type and image in space is as old as type. Beginning in the Renaissance in the 1400s, artists have been searching for the ideal perfect proportions to guide compositions. Thanks to their hard work we now have the modular grid. Even this website employs this system.

The conventions of layout are extremely important to Communication Design. Once students learn them, they will see design differently. They will carry these skills with them right to the end of year 12.

In this section you will find a range of tasks to ensure you are proficient in composition and layout when you reach your assessment task.

The learning for this Key Knowledge point is in a page on images is accessed by clicking the link below.

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The components of a modular grid for page layout.
Jump to
For further information on Layout click the link at right.
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Layout

task

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7.1 Layout
Do tasks 3 in my Layout tasks page.
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Legal Obligations

Type faces and images are not free. Each are professional design products that have costs in their design and manufacture. In addition, type and image are works of art and therefore covered in Australia and overseas, by copyright laws. In order to use type and image legally we need to understand that they are products too. This section will cover a brief description of how professional designers use them and how we as students can.

This information on this page is not intended as a full resume of the legal and ethical obligations designers must follow but rather a simple outline of the correct legal use of type and image as they relate to this area of study.

key knowledge

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key knowledge points for this outcome
  • copyright obligations when using typeface designs and images created by others.

(VCE VCD Study Design, p. 19)

Type

For working designers

Typefaces are original artistic designs. There is a whole field of design for type called typography. People can spend their entire professional life designing type as a typographer. Several large firms own the licence to reproduce and sell ranges of typefaces.

Before we go any further we need to distinguish between professional or commercial and student, hobby or personal use of type.

As students we need to understand that professional designers make money from their designs. Their designs carry words in various styles of type. Professional designers need to purchase licensed copies of every font they use. Often fonts are purchased exclusively for a client. Professional designers cannot use free for personal use type faces. Fonts are expensive, if you click on the image at right you will see that each weight in Helvetica Neue is about AUD$50. This makes the entire font of 109 weights and widths well over $5000!

FOR STUDENTS

Students need to be aware that the programs they use have 'education licences' and cannot be used for commercial work. We can usually use free for non commercial use fonts. These fonts, from sites like "dafont.com" are often starter sets that don't contain all the characters or ligatures. We need to read the 'read me' file carefully and understand the terms of use. The type faces may need to be acknowledged.
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Click on the image above to visit the Linotype site.

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FOR working DESIGNERS

Photos are works of art. Yet designers need photos continually. Professional designers generally have three choices when they need an image;

  • First, they can shoot the image. This is often impractical as time spent away from the studio is money lost. Plus they may not have the latest equipment, know how or access to locations and models.
  • Secondly, they can commission a professional photographer. Costly, but designers will expect them to have the latest professional equipment, studios, know how and access to locations and models.
  • Thirdly, designers can use stock images. These are images owned an image bank company and sold to designers for use in web and print. They may seem expensive at first but considering the time it would take to shoot them, they are far cheaper for designers than commissioning their own photography.

FOR STUDENTS

Students are faced with similar choices.

  • By far the best option is to shoot their own images. Remember professional quality is not required in student work.
  • Secondly, they may be able to buy licensed stock images for individual projects. Subscriptions to applications or your school may have access to certain stock libraries.
  • Never, use an image from an internet site in an original design. Even with acknowledgement it cannot become part of another design.

For student research, you may copy text or image with proper, consistent acknowledgement. Cite the actual site from where you found the content, the author, photographer, studio and/or art director (where possible), the date the resource was made and the date it was accessed.

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Click on the image above to visit the Shutterstock site.

task

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8.1 APPLY PRACTICES THAT FULFIL LEGAL OBLIGATIONS WHEN USING EXISTING
TYPEFACES AND IMAGERY

There are no specific tasks for this section. However, students' work will be graded on how consistently they acknowledge copyright owners of any image you use in their work.

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Designing a presentation

The final two pieces of knowledge for this outcome are developing an understanding of how designers generate ideas and reflect on these options and the components of design used for visualisation different ideas and concepts. These components include materials, manual and digital methods and media and the Elements and Principles of Design. This section will briefly explore them and provide links to pages for detailed reference.

key knowledge

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key knowledge points for this outcome
  • design thinking techniques for generating ideas and reflecting on options
  • materials, media, design elements, design principles, and manual and digital methods such as drawing, painting, printing, digital photography, photography, collage, and three-dimensional process for visualising different ideas and concepts

(VCE VCD Study Design, p. 18)

Design thinking for
generating ideas and reflecting

The assessment task for this Outcome will include work within the Design Process. Students must familiarise themselves with the stages of the Design Process including Brief, Research, Generation of Ideas and Development. Students will refer to Creative Thinking routines that help with the Generation of Ideas. In addition, students will also learn how to use Critical Thinking to evaluate and reflect on ideas.

Before students head into the assessment task they should head over to my pages on the Design Process, Creative and Critical and Reflective Thinking by clicking the links below.

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A mind-map done to generate ideas for drink flavours done in an assessment task for this outcome. Tiea Sacco, 2018.
Jump to
For further information on Design Process, Creative, Critical and Reflective Thinking click the links at right.
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Design Process
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Creative Thinking
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Critical Thinking
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Reflective Thinking

task

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9.1 Understand design process

Flick over to my page on the Design Process. Read through it and consider the role of each stage. You will refer to the Design Process in your assessment task.

9.2 Understand Design Thinking

Flick over to my pages on Creative, Critical and Reflective Thinking. These make up Design Thinking for VCD. Consider the role of each kind of Design Thinking in the Design Process. You will refer to these during your assessment task.

Components of design

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The manual method of drawing with the media of markers in warm colours was done to resemble paintings of the 1950s for this drink label. These components were used for their aesthetic qualities. Alana Lacy, 2018.
Students will be directed to the components of design during the assessment task. These components include the Elements and Principles of Design, Materials, Methods and Media. Students will explore the aesthetic qualities and functions of these components. Before students head into the assessment task they should head over to my pages on these components shown below.
Jump to
For further information on Elements and Principles of Design and Materials, methods and media click on the links at right.
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Design Elements

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Design Principles

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Materials

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Methods

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Media

task

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10.1 Understand components of design

Flick over to the pages linked above. Define each term in your own words.

10.2 identify components
Find one piece of communication design from the 1950s or 1960s. Identify two Elements and Principles of Design, a method and media the designer has used.
10.3 describe components
Choose one of the components you identified in 10.2 and describe it in detail.