My very first ideas for this project used word play and short statements surrounding the theme of photography in general. I brain stormed a number of ideas. In my research I found that a number of designs that inspire me directly use type to attract the attention of customers. This brief is all about shape, so I wanted to incorporate type with image to create designs which play around with the notion of shape.
Typography was definitely the focus within my early designs. I experimented with creating various shapes but layering and testing out various compositions. Some nice effects were achieved but I wasn't really 100% satisfied with them. I was limited with time so I tried to generate a number of individual concepts rather than pushing the primary ideas further. In my first designs, the concept was centered around memories associated with printed photography and the wider connotations of physical forms of imagery. I learnt through the early stages of this brief that idea generation is very important, and in future studio briefs I must experiment and generate wider ranges of ideas.
The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly. In this initial design, I took inspiration from the adage. I played on the phrase in an attempt to make the design witty and I think it is quite successful. I chose to use a serif font in this design as the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words" is believed to have first appeared in the early 20th century. The expression "Use a picture. It's worth a thousand words." appeared in a 1911 newspaper article quoting newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane discussing journalism and publicity. The serif typeface contextually links to the expression. I used my own photography within this design, the image in the background was taken at night time in Central London. I used a long exposure to capture the cars driving past me in Leicester Square. The image is so abstract that it could be of anything. Unless you took the image yourself you wouldn't necessarily know what or where it is. For me this image has the potential to say 1000 words and that is why I chose to use it in this design.
The next idea I pushed around looked at the concept of a frame being the home of a memory. Printed photographs are physical memories. Photographs drag forward moments in time that otherwise would have been forgotten. Memories stack up, overlay and can sometimes blend into one. I chose to overlay type in these experiments to represent memory in quite a basic way. Overlapping the type created interesting shapes and pattern. I tried to keep it simple to make the designs effective. I restricted myself to using two colours and stock which I think was fairly effective. I also attempted to make these first designs as gender neutral as possible. In my research I noticed a lot of backing paper designs tended to have quit e a feminine vibe to them. Here I wanted to get away from that and produce something that would perhaps appeal to both men and women. This may change as time goes on but for the time being I want my designs to appeal to as wide a range of customers as possible, and this means I can't make the designs sway more to women or men. Making a design gender neutral is challenging, but through appropriate use of type, colour, imagery and composition I feel I have achieved this in my experimentation so far.
Continuing with my idea development I brainstormed again to see if I could categorise the types of things that may appear behind the glass of a frame. I also decided to shift target audience slightly, In my earlier designs, the audience was definitely 30+. In these designs, I aimed to target a younger audience say from 16/18 - 30.. I still had the concept of gender neutrality in mind, I wanted that to remain a central theme.
I thought about what people of my age group, and a bit older, would put in a photo frame. Through brainstorming I came up with three words: Mates, Parties and Trips. All three words are of similar length character wise, and all three end in the letter 's' which from a design perspective came in handy. These three words sum up the most likely things to appear in a photo frame for me, and hopefully many other people of a similar age to myself. I feel my word choice is fairly gender neutral. Girls and boys say mates in today's society, both say party and both would call a holiday, festival, weekend away etc a trip, so that is why I chose the words that I did.
In these designs I used typography to create shape. The Sans Serif font that I chose created nice curved shapes. I chose the font due to its geometric characteristics. I didn't want to use a Serif font, because I felt that people of a similar age to myself or within the 18-30 bracket wouldn't respond well to a serif font. A serif font produced quite different shapes as well, shapes that weren't as slick or desirable to look at. I experimented with a number of serifs but they just didn't look right. I am pleased with my final typeface choice.