Personal Research one

These 3d flowers have been created using map paper and a folding process. The combination of using map paper, which has imagery and vibrant colours on, with the process of holding the paper into flowers creates emotions of excitement. The use of map paper conveys the meaning of traveling, which with the use of flowers, together creates the message of feeling free. I feel that this piece never had an intended meaning, but if it were to convey traveling it does it successfully through materials and processes. Looking at this work gives me ideas about creating 3 dimensional elements within my greeting cards

Comparisons of artists use of visual language

In the four paintings there are multiple similarities in why they use the media, and how they convey emotions. Colour is always used to evoke emotions and mood as it is a powerful element. The paintings also all tend to use a singular subject matter that is central to the canvas, besides in the paintings that are evoking love and youth as they are typically of two subjects. The paintings that are evoking powerful emotions such as happiness and sadness tend to use stronger, textural marks – this to convey the strongest of emotions.

Thomas Lawrence “The Calmady Children” 1823


This painting has been created using oil on canvas. The use of oil has meant that the artists has been able to create a light, loving atmosphere. The use of media evokes emotions as it able to be applied at various thickness, this creating textures that can be used to convey emotions and feeling. The use of whites and bright orange pinks conveys emotions of innocence and youth, this is down to the connotations around the colour white and how young children are seen as pure. I feel that this piece is effective in its communicate of its message. This piece will influence my experimental work due to how they have used colour to convey emotions.

Claudio Parentela “Painting1064” 2013 (emotions of excitement, celebration, chaos)


This mixed media painting uses collage, felt tips and highlighters. The use of mixed media creates a free and exciting atmosphere as it connotes feelings of being a child, and not having any confinements of what art should be. The media and materials evoke emotions by using contrasting colours and compositions, that together create the feeling of chaos. Colour has been used to convey the message that there is a celebration to be had. This would be essential to convey within my Birthday cards. I feel that this piece isn’t effective in communicating most of its intended meanings as it it quite abstract, though in conveying chaos this piece is highly effective.

Gustav Klimt, “The kiss” 1907 (emotions of love, passion, ecstasy)


This painting is created using oil on a square canvas to correlate with the liner structure. The oil has been used with gold pigment, meaning a sparkly, glowing image is left. The use of gold oil paint creates an emotion of passion and expressiveness.  In this painting there is a large amount of space on both sides of the subject matter this conveys meanings of the subjects are the only two that matter, which is commonly found between people in love. This piece is effective in its use of materials and techniques in communicating its intended meaning. This piece gives me ideas of using abstract shapes to convey mood.

Pablo Picasso, “Woman with Folded Arms” 1901


Pablo Picasso has created this painting using oil on canvas. The use of oil means that this painting has a wet feel to it as the medium is shiny, and extremely malleable. The oil paint creates the emotion of sadness as the wet material feels as if it is sliding and not solid. This painting uses various hues and tones of blue and green to make a cold, and empty atmosphere. This painting is extremely effective in communicating the emotions of sadness and loneliness through the colours and composition of the subject. The use of a singular subject and various shades of blue will help me create an effective sympathy card.

Comparisons of visual language across card types

In all the four card types I looked at there were key differences and similarities, through the use of media and techniques to the composition and processes applied.

The cards all used a similar handwritten typeface, this I believe has been done to get across a quirky, fun feel. In the sympathy cards they tend to use more calligraphy as this is associated with formality.

Colour is used within all the card types sometimes as decoration such as in the birthday cards, or for evoking emotion within the valentines and sympathy cards. The new born cards tend to use colour for both decorative and meaning as sometimes the colour associates with the gender of the baby and other times it is for making the card look nice.

The cards all tend to use texture and depth, with embossing, making 3d elements and overlaying card and paper.  The new born cards and sympathy cards tend to use softer, subtle textures this to convey the idea of hugging, and togetherness. Where as the valentines and birthday cards and more experimental with their textures and use a wider selection.

Card Research


Sympathy cards Research


In this sympathy card ink, embossing and print making have been used. The use of white card conveys the feeling of being something personal. This is due to how it can be cut out and made 3D. The print method of bugs behind the card create the feeling of something or someone disappearing, fading away. Embossing onto the card creates also a personal mood as it makes you want to touch and feel the card. The media and materials evoke emotions of sympathy due to how soft they are and this lets the receiver know that they are cared about. Colour has been used to convey messages of balance and harmony. The use of green relates to the idea of rebirth and moving forward, this is key to a sympathy card as the sender will want to convey the message of that they will be okay, but they understand and are there for them. The composition of the card creates a calming mood as everything feels correct. In this card the use of materials, techniques and processes communicates its intended message and meaning effectively as the card uses colours, soft materials that create a mood of peace. This card has given me ideas about using quite simple designs with blocks of colour to convey warm feelings.


In this card rose gold beads, string and ink have been used. The use of the string made to look tied around the flowers suggests an idea of giving a promise, a promise of being there for someone, a promise that it will become okay. Ripped white card on top of the brown card suggests the feeling of being ripped apart, but that there is someone there to help. The materials and media evokes emotions of warmth due to the colour palette used and the composition. The natural colour palette is common within sympathy cards as it connotes ideas and feelings of life will carry on and it will become better. The use of beads convey meanings of there is light. The textures used in this card convey emotions of feeling run down. The piece uses ink and cut outs to communicate meanings of that this is all a process that they will get through. The use of adding textures to create emotions will help me within my own use of greeting cards.

This card uses stencil cut outs, tissue paper and pen drawings. This is to create a soft, relaxing mood. The tissue paper has been used to represent sadness as the semi-transparent paper texture relates to tissue that you’d use to dry your eyes. Midnight and bright blues have been used in this card to suggest quite sad, and dark feelings. These blues then contrast from the white card which is used to suggest that goodness and purity. The colour combination with the bird like cut out and the cloud imagery suggests that something or someone has gone to a peacefully place and our sleeping peacefully. The materials used are effective in communicating meanings of being at rest as the colours, style and texture are all calming. This card gives me ideas of using similar colours together with small textural details to allow quite a soft emotion within my greeting cards.

Valentines Day cards Research 


Felt, card and plastic have been used to create this card. The felt which has been cut up into pink and red hearts has been encased into a plastic wallet which has been made up into a Polaroid. The use of felt conveys feelings of being soft, and warm which is what love is about. The cutting of materials to make the card have a 3d Polaroid effect creates the feeling of capturing moments with someone. The media and materials used evoke emotions love and happiness. This card uses a shade of red and a shade of pink within the hearts, this could be done to suggest that their love is passionate but also caring and compassionate. This piece uses snow globe style process to communicate how ecstatic the sender’s love is to the receiver. This card has given my ideas of using more process’ that are personal and textural, such as the ability to move elements around in the card.


In these cards, brown card and typography with toy plastic bugs have been used. This creates a playful atmosphere. The use of the toy bugs relates to the words Love Bug in the card. The toy bugs evoke emotions of happiness as the cards are light hearted, and cute, which would make the receiver smile. The cards have been cut out and drawn onto to look like glass jam jars this conveys emotions of that the receiver has caught their heart, like a child would catch a bug. This idea mixed with the use of toy bugs suggests a more innocent approach to love. I feel that this piece uses materials and techniques to communicate its intended meaning effectively. This card gives me ideas for my own greetings cards, of having quite a textural focal point that relates to everything.


This card uses: felt, ribbon, buttons, lace and patterned card. The ribbon tied into a bow creates a mood of promises in love, as the shimmery fabric can convey to the feeling of love. The felt has been cut into petals and then glued together to look like roses, the roses come in different shades of pink which are quite soft and warm instead of bright, this is to suggest different emotions of love. The various textures within this card make the card personal, as you wish to touch it. I feel that this piece is effective in communicating its intended meaning of loving someone forever. This card has shown me how I can use materials to create 3d elements, which I’ll use in my own greeting cards.

Birthday cards Research


This card uses various card types and string to create an exciting atmosphere. The use of string coming from the card cutouts of balloons makes this card feel fun, making it perfect for a birthday card. The card cutouts have been stuck at different depths meaning some of the balloons are further in front than the others, I would like to use the idea of depth in my own greeting cards to suggest mood. This card uses quite pastel, light colours from the balloons, to the string and the card background – the use of these colours means that this card is easy to view and isn’t messy. I feel that this piece is extremely effective in communicating that a birthday is a celebration.


This card is very simple within its overall finish as it uses only a few colours, and quite simple imagery. This card has uses embroidery to create a more peaceful and relaxing birthday card, this is due to it being for a grandma. The use of fabric flowers creates a natural, relaxing mood as the flowers relate to nature. In this piece I like how the flowers have been compositioned to go round the typography in a circle, this conveys a message feeling whole, I would like to use this idea of combining geometric shapes of objects in my own greeting cards. I feel that this card has been able to communicate its intended meaning successfully through processes, techniques and materials.


In this birthday card watercolour and fine liner have been used to create small dancing people with buttons for faces. The use of vibrant watercolour has created a fun mood, which is important in a birthday card to convey that this a celebration. Buttons have been used to create texture to the card. The materials used evoke happy emotions. The use of colour in this card means it is able to successfully convey its intended meaning. This is something I would like to explore in my own greeting cards, using colour within materials and media to convey emotions.

New Baby cards Research


In this card origami patterned paper has been used to create elephants, with 3d ears. String, thicker card and beads. The use of the dimension in this card creates the mood in which the imagery would be associated with, a childs nursery. The string and beads give the card more texture meaning for a baby it looks fun and something they want to touch. The use of blue evokes emotions that this card is for a boy as blue is associated with boys. This card is effective in communicating its intended meaning through the materials and the process as it suggests that this card is for a baby boy. The use of colour to convey a message is something I wish to explore in my own greeting cards.


This card uses various materials and techniques with cutting out, embossing and depth through thickness. Materials in this card are lace, ribbon, and various thickness and shades of card. The use of pink card embossed to look like socks relates to how babies are very soft and need to be wrapped in soft clothing, fabrics. The use of whites and pinks relates to how this card is for a baby girl as pink is associated with girls. The white represents how babies are innocent and pure, which is key to get across in new born cards. The combination of different cards evoke emotions of change as their is a constant change in shades, shapes and texture within the card. This card I believe to be effective in communicating this through the materials, techniques and processes used. In my own greeting cards I will experiment with embossing details into cards to create textures that relate to the message.


This simple card uses brown card, fine liner, type and a small coloured in bird. This simple card uses the brown to create a settling, warm and natural atmosphere. The small cut out a flying bird with a baby carrier suggests the feeling of birth being a beautiful thing. The media and materials used evokes emotions of joy and new beginnings, as brown can be seen as a beginning due to its connotations of nature and dirt, this is good in a new birth card as it suggests a new chapter in the receiver’s life – this is something I wish to convey in my own greeting cards. I find this piece effective in conveying this message.

Unit 2 and Unit 4 – Greeting Card Designs

As a freelance designer, you have been invited to exhibit a range of greeting card designs at the NECs Spring Fair in Birmingham. As an exhibitor you are aiming to show a collection of your cards in order to entice potential buyers and publishers, and obtain sales leads for your designs.

For this event you must produce a set of cards that explore a wide range of ways to manipulate materials, techniques and processes. The cards must be hand rendered, with digital refinement.

You must produce outcomes for the following 4 card types.

  • Valentines Day
  • Birthday
  • Sympathy
  • New Baby

The final outcomes must be presented as 3D cards that successfully convey the emotions/feelings/messages of your chosen card types.


When I first looked at the brief I thought that creating an interesting poster and logo that combined words and images would be quite straight forward, and due to this I gathered many initial ideas, one of these then became developed through out my work into my final logo. For the poster I had ideas about combing mathematical symbols into the structure of buildings with visit Cambridge being the support at the bottom of the buildings. I attempted to develop this idea further but I found that it wasn’t as effective as how I had envisioned it. Through this brief I looked at’s current visual identity to create a basis of what my work should be similar to. I then created visual identity sheets and mood boards which were a basis of my idea process, from doing that I was able to thumbnail ideas. The ideas I had created had influences from the research I did into words and image combination within art, graphic design and tourist branding. This research allowed me to think outside of the box and create exciting and original ideas with links to graphic movements. I took what I felt were my most successful thumbnails forward, and digitally created rough copies of them, I then criticised them from what hasn’t been successful, to what was working and how I could improve them. I carried on doing this taking what I felt to be my most successful and developing the idea further until I came to a final outcome.

I found looking at typography and typefaces the most interesting part of this brief to work through as it taught me many new things and helped me develop my ideas in more of a graphical way. Looking at typography taught me that, it isn’t just there for what has been written but for what the typeface, the positioning, the stylisation conveys. Through my research I found out that within words and image combination it pays off to stay simple within the combination to create an effective, yet interesting design. This was shown to me through Abraham Games Jersey poster.

My research into other designers, artists and illustrators helped me find successful examples of words and image combination that helped me through this process. These are; The Studio (David Delgado, Joby Harris, Delgado & Lois Kim), Visions of the FutureLucy Loves This, New YorkEnrico Prampolini, Broom, vol.3 no.3Chip Kidd, The BoomerAbraham Games, Jersey and AkaCorleone, Find Yourself in Chaos!

I decided to be influenced by Abraham Games as the way Abraham Games has combined words and images together was highly clever even though the combination is slight, it is effective, creative and interesting, in his Jersey poster. This was an element I wanted to replicate within my own work as not all of my word and image combinations have to be large and stand out as that may take away from the message. I also took great influence from Chip Kidd and Penguin Books: Travel with words, London. I was influenced by the two piece’s of work as their designs were minimalist but extremely effective within words and image combination, they both were heavy in typography which was something that I wanted to do throughout my works as I felt that this would attract my target market of 35-60’s more effectively.

I feel that in this project my exploration of words and images were vastly quite different at the beginning stages, as you could see that each idea had been influenced from different artists and designers but also were trying to convey different messages. You can see the most differences within my Logo Ideas as each logo had quite different approaches to combining imagery together, with my bus shelter/mathematical logo to the use of decorating the typefaces to become buildings.

Throughout the project I feel that these were the most successful combinations of words and images, due to their innovative, creative, and originality. I have chose these 5 examples as they all use different approaches on the brief, and all influenced my final outcomes in a way. The two logo ideas I felt have been the most successful due to the simplicity that the images have been combined into the type, the use of a cyclist to create the I in Cambridge pushes what has been asked of me, as not only does it combine words and images together but it also has deeper connotations and helps brand Cambridge in a way that is known to the public. The other logo used the idea of turning the M into a building, in this case Kings College. Even though this logo was not taking forward to be developed I used the idea of turning type face into buildings throughout to my final outcome, with every M becoming a simplified line drawing of Kings College. These three poster ideas I felt were highly successful in their combination of words and images. The birds eye shot of Cambridge’s river, with the blue and green colour palette hadn’t turned out successful but the idea and what I would have done in the developmental process meant that the words and image combination idea was innovative. If I had taken that idea forward I would have removed the river imagery and warped the text better to fill exactly where the river is, I also would have used my research into Lucy Loves This more, with adding illustrations of Cambridge’s iconic landmarks. The periodic table developments I felt were the most successful, due to the originality of idea, combination and general aesthetic.

In this project these logo and poster ideas I felt were the least successful in words and image combination. With the poster, that was influenced by the postmodern movement, I felt that the words and image combination was messy, hard to understand, and wouldn’t attract my market of 35-60 year olds, looking for a historical day out as they colours suggested more of an art, lively, chaotic atmosphere. Within the poster development, that used imagery of a periodic table, with a drawing of Kings College behind, I felt wasn’t successful as the overall combination was boring, and quite simple and basic – which I doesn’t work when advertising a place as it has the wrong message conveyed. The bus shelter logo idea with people underneath creating the word visit creates fun imagery that would have worked for the brief, but the combination of words and images doesn’t showcase Cambridge successfully, and to someone who doesn’t understand the deeper meaning of the “bus shelter” division method wouldn’t understand the logo.


I decided to take this rough logo idea forward as the subtly of the combination felt that it would be the most effective as a logo design. I also chose this idea as I could see many ways to develop and experiment with this idea to push it forward in terms of words and image combination. From my other rough logo ideas I felt that this one was the most innovative and exciting idea to take forward, as the others would be too hard to understand or they wouldn’t have been original.

I went and refined this idea in many different ways; from quite subtle colour changes, to turning the typography into road imagery. In my refinement stages I wanted to see how I could push the idea to make it be the most successful in words and image combination, but I found out from doing this I have to be selective, as with some of the developments there was too much going on, distracting from the simplicity of the idea and the fact that it is a logo.


I felt that the poster that used imagery of Kings College and the periodic table would be the most exciting idea to take forward, due to messages conveyed, and how original the combination of words and images were in tourist branding. In my developmental process I took the basis of this poster which was the periodic table and the typography that looked like elements and played around with adding a road map of Cambridge in the squares, drawings and stronger imagery. My developed posters mainly looked at composition and colour as I felt that the words and image combination couldn’t be improved much further due to how well it works. I did though look at turning the typography into buildings this way adding a further layer in my words and image combination.


This is my final logo. I have used influences from my research, used my own critical comments and added my own personal style to create this outcome. I feel that the logo is innovative, exciting and interesting in terms of words and image combination. The use of the simple cyclist illustration, filling most of the height in the logo, used as the I has set a stylish, yet understandable brand image that could be used and repeated through out Visit Cambridge’s visual identity. The process of creating this logo fully exploited the use of words and images, but I decided that aesthetically this wouldn’t work well as it meant that the text was heard to distinguish and also drew away from the fact that this is a logo, and not a poster. If I were able to improve my logo in terms of words and images I would look at adding a bike wheel and foot print pattern to the type, this just adding another creative depth to the outcome and also re-conveying this idea about traveling and visiting Cambridge.


My final poster combines many different words and image combinations, and meanings from: turning letters into simple building drawings, using scientific imagery and basing the typography layout to work within and to convey the rich science history at Cambridge, to quite simply using colour within the type to reflect the highlights and shadows within the imagery. I think with using these different elements my poster is highly innovative and impressive in words and image combinations. For the website I took Cambridge’s skyline and removed the text, I also turned the O into a bike wheel, though this is hard to see as it is quite small.

I think that my final poster does fully exploit the use of words and images in a way that is appealing and easy to understand. This being said, I could have drawn more buildings into the typography to combine further, but I feel like this would have over complicated the overall look and feel to the piece. If I were to improve my final poster, where I have used the negative space of the squares to darken the photo, I would on an extremely low opacity remove the words visit Cambridge, which would be made out of buildings, across the whole of the canvas, and this way making a subtle combination.

From this project I have learnt that not every idea that you produce will work, look a certain way or even been successful – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it or vital to the process as it shows you what not to do in your work and allows you to make improvements and choices that you may have not thought about previous to the piece, the experiment.