App Icon Development

In this project I will have to display a knowledge and skills in various digital techniques, one of those will be illustrator for the App Icon. I decided to watch a YouTube tutorial on how to shade using the mesh tool as this is an area I need to know and be able to do to create a high-quality app icon.

This is my experiment in using the mesh tool and shading a sphere. To use the mesh tool you have to create a filled shape of any colour. I then had to use the black arrow selection tool to click on the object and then in pressing U on the keypad and selecting okay for a 4×4 guide. This curves to the shape of the object and allows you to click on intersection points and create a gradient shade or hue on the flat vector. I played around with creating highlights and shadows to make the sphere feel round. In my research into app icons, I noticed that the higher quality looking app icons used shading and highlights within the imagery, this gave the impression that the company have spent more time, effort and money into making the app which would then lead to consumers feeling it be a more worthwhile download. The use of shading also makes imagery stand out as it becomes more three dimensional over a flat symbol.

While creating this experimental study I found that getting to terms with illustrator and its functions are rather different to photoshop and take time adjusting from the two programmes. As well as finding the general controls difficult to use I found using the mesh tool and creating shading rather annoying as elements weren’t going the way I wanted them to go; take for example in the second screenshot – in the shading it appears rather bumpy than a smooth gradually fade, this I felt to be a failure within the experiment. I am currently still experimenting with the mesh tool to overcome this failure so when it comes to my illustration for the app icon I won’t have to figure out and potentially waste time figuring out how to create the perfect shade.

I then watched another YouTube tutorial on how to shade more complex objects which have multiple areas of shading. This is important to what I am creating as I will need to know how to create realistic looking fruit, and vegetables within this brief and within the app icon.

I first began by creating the outlines of my photography of a french cooking pan by using the oval shape tool. I started off with an oval which I then added anchor points to so I could change the path shape to fit in with where the pan bends. I decided that I needed to cut the shape in half using the scissor tool so I could create a perfectly symmetrical outline. I decided to use the oval shape tool as I felt that when it comes to colour and adding highlights and shades having the object as one shape will be easier to work with rather than having various objects of colours together from the pen tool. I am producing the illustration for the app icon on illustrator as it will allow me to create a high-quality app icon which could be used in the real world, as illustrator works in vectors which mean when enlarged imagery and line work won’t become pixelated.

Currently creating a symmetrical image is working successfully, this is due to me cutting the shapes in half and using the transform mirror tool to flip it vertically. Doing this will allow my illustration to look a lot more professional. At this stage, I don’t feel as I am experiencing any failures, though one area which I am finding it annoying is that I have to do a lot of steps to create a perfectly symmetrical image, which is rather time-consuming. I’ve decided to overcome this issue I will change the image I am working from as I feel that in the process of this app icon, that it will hold me back and my quality of illustration won’t be as successful as it could be with a different image. I think that this has been an important practical, and creative decision and will lead me to have a higher-quality illustration.

So far I have been using my research into app icons BBQ Recipes – FutureBrains and Vegetarian Recipes Riafy Technologies for line work style, and composition. For the illustration, I was basing the subject matter and the composition style from BBQ Recipes as I felt that the use of an open fire bbq worked well for the first impression. My research into Vegetarian Recipes was influencing how I was going to use line work within my app icon. I decided that from all my app icon research that these two together wouldn’t influence me enough to create the best quality app icon I could deliver as both of their app icons are rather simplistic. I am going to aim to be more influenced by the use of texture within The Curry Guy – Indian Recipes Resort Marketing’s app icon and detail within Veggie Weekend – Healthy Vegan Vegetarian Recipes Filibaba AB app icon. These two app icons will guide me and give me ideas on how to composite my own app icon.

At this moment in time, this current illustration doesn’t fulfil the brief due to it not being a full illustration. As well as this it also doesn’t look and feel crazy enough, which is an aspect I need to make sure I fulfil to create a high-quality, successful app icon illustration.

I produced this illustration by using the circle shape tool on illustrator. I create an orange sphere to be the base of my illustration which I then began to shade and highlight using the gradient mesh tool. Using this tool I was able to add various shades of oranges and reds to one side of the sphere to create dimension. I used the mesh and anchor points to place the different colours and used the additional mesh and anchor points which were based on the mesh and anchor lines to change the direction and gradient of the colours. I am using illustrator to create this illustration as it is the most suitable software to create a realistic, three-dimensional vector image which can be used and applied to my app icon. The use of the gradient mesh tool was to be able to create dimension within my illustration. This tool isn’t available within Photoshop, so using illustrator means the process of shading and highlighting is easier.

I think that so far my understanding of how shadows work to create dimension is working successful, and knowing where something feels out of place and incorrect in terms of shadow is also successful. At the moment I don’t feel that I have experienced any failures within this current illustration, as I am only putting to practice what I have taught myself, and experimented with.

I feel that my practical and creative decision to change the angle of my subject matter was a good choice, as I feel more confident that I can produce a high-quality illustration which will meet the brief.

I am using the colour orange for my pan as this colour not only is iconic with cooking utensils but also evokes emotions of excitement which can be affiliated with ‘craziness’ which is what I need to convey within all of my illustrations. I am also using the terracotta orange as I visually like working with this colour and feel it will be a good colour to incorporate throughout this brief to create a brand identity.

My research into The Curry Guy – Indian Recipes Resort Marketing’s app icon has influenced the use of creating dimension within simple shapes, take for example the two black circles which have been carefully positioned together to create this effect that the pan lid is curving out and down, through the use of highlights. I am taking this and using it in effect the opposite where I want to create the effect that the pan lid is curving around the sides and not in the middle. I will take into consideration how he has used a central composition within the pan illustration, and added layers of shapes above one another to create dimension. My research into WHY NOT JAMES’ Death of A Scenester Magazine Illustration has influenced my use of bold colour, as I feel this was a successful element within his digital magazine illustration. The use of bold colour makes imagery and objects stand out – which is exactly what you want to make an app icon look like as it will be placed against hundreds and thousands of other apps which are rather similar, so a bold but interesting colour palette is essential.

In Natalya Zahn’s Assorted food and recipe illustrations for online and print publishing, she has used texture to create added interest within her illustrations, the use of texture also conveys a sense of an atmosphere which I aim to do within my app icon illustration. I want to take this influence into my own illustration as I don’t want my app icon to feel manufactured which I’ve noticed in my research that a lack of texture and interest can have this effective.

At this point I think that the quality of my illustration is rather good, it can be improved though. I think the quality is good due to the processes and software I am using, as illustrator is allowing me to create precise gradients, this though could be where I am lacking quality due to it being rather mathematical over what I would perceive as common sense, as the gradients are rather bumpy as they are going through each of the mesh points and lines. To improve this quality I would need to add a larger gradient mesh tool which has a lot more lines going through, this way giving me more control and accuracy in where I want my gradients to sit.

I produced this illustration on illustrator. I used the colour picker tool to collect the highlight colour within my photograph, this I then made the stroke and fill with my circle, created using the oval shape tool. I did this so I could create the bumps within the pan lid. I positioned the light orange shade in the centre of the original circle, I began repeating this process using command-c and command-v on the Mac keypad, every-time I began decreasing the size by at the most 20%. I then made a black a circle which fit in the centre of the shape to represent the handle of the lid. Within the second to middle light orange circle, I added anchor points on the curve so I could use the white arrow tool to pull that section away, this allowed me to create interest within the design as I have only done this to one area. When they next orange sphere was added on top it meant that the end of the circle outline was smooth. I am using illustrator and the shape tools, with the addition of using the anchor points as I want to create an illustration made out of vectors and illustrator allows me to do this, using the shape tool meant I could create perfectly symmetrical and even images.

Currently, I am finding the use of anchor points and the pen tool rather tricky to use as in cases it is not moving the points and lines in a way that I want it to do. I am overcoming this issue by just practising and watching tutorials on how other people use the tool, I am finding this to be helpful and is improving my skills within illustrator.

At this point, I feel that my illustration is of a good quality, as the highlights and the shadows work well in the shape, and create a stylised illustration that feels believable. The quality could still be improved by adding more details into the pan.

To create the added details within the pan illustration I repeated the overlay process of small circle shapes in different shades within the pan lid. On the sides of the pan I used the oval shape tool, with a non-fill shade, and made the stroke 6 to give me a thick outline, I create one oval shape, which I then cut using the scissors tool. Using this tool it allowed me to cut the oval outline into equal parts. I used the transform reflect tool to have the panhandles facing the correct way onto the pan lid. I have also added a dark orange ring around the bottom of the pan, this is to help enhance the dimensions created with the shadows.

The use of the gradient mesh tool is working successfully in allowing me to create an illustration that has depth and dimension. Also, my use of the shape tool in creating a symmetrical and balanced illustration is working successfully.

Practically I have decided that using the circle based pan imagery was an important decision as it has worked well with the tools illustrator provides and will allow me to create a visually interesting and high-quality app icon.

Currently, this illustration doesn’t fulfil the brief due to it not coming across as crazy, this will be improved with the addition of a background, and more illustrations being added around the pan.

To create the wooden chopping board which will make the background of my app icon illustration I have used my own high-quality photography of wood, which I took into illustrator and used the image trace tool and the 16 colours preset which turned it into a vector image. I then also used the rectangle shape tool, to create a brown square which I overlayed onto the image traced wood. I put the colour overlay onto a multiply layer effect. This meant the shapes and tones within the image traced wood would come through the colour. I used the image trace tool to vectorize the wood photograph as in app icon illustrations they work with vectors as these can be used as any size and not become pixelated. Throughout this project, I will use illustrator to create vector images and shapes.

Image tracing the wood photograph has been successful, because not only does it suit the illustration and its function but also adds interest, and more visually appealing elements, as texture, has been created.

I decided to use a colour overlay as I felt that the natural browns from the photograph were too light, and wouldn’t contrast from the orange of the pans. I have used a dark, red-brown to also feel natural to the pan and the illustration. This I may change as it doesn’t convey the emotions around ‘crazy’ which means it doesn’t fulfil the brief. To make it fulfil the brief I would use more vibrant colours such as a purple overlay.

I choose a central composition as within my app icon research they all use a central composition, as this draws attention to the focal point. The composition also looks visually balanced. This is another element I may change and experiment with near the end of completing the illustration, due to seeing how the other elements work together and if it evokes an atmosphere of craziness.

Looking at the app icon ‘The Curry Guy – Indian Recipes Resort Marketing’ they have used a wood texture within their background of their illustration. This makes it feel and look of higher quality which I believe helps promote the app and make it more desirable. Within their app icon illustration, it looks as if they have also used the image trace tool to allow there to be high details within the app. This influenced my choice in using the 16 colours preset.

I aim to use influences from the app icon ‘Veggie Weekend – Healthy Vegan Vegetarian Recipes Filibaba AB’ as they have created a high-quality illustration of a lemon. I want to use illustrations of different food within my app icon as I feel this will help with the composition but also help fulfil the brief.

The quality of my illustration at this point is of high quality, due to the software and tools used. Also the different elements such as the wood vector within the background. Using this has meant that the stylised pan illustration is enhanced in its quality. To improve this illustration I need to look at making the colours pop against each other. This will be done by changing the colour of the wood and adding illustrations of vibrant food.

Currently, this illustration fulfils the brief in the area that it has to be suitable for an app icon, but I am still lacking in creating the idea that it is crazy. I will improve on this by adding more elements and adjusting colours.

I found a picture of an open chilli online as I wasn’t able to take my own photograph of a chilli, I am using this photograph purely to draw from and use the colour picker tool to collect the colours I need to create my chilli illustration.

To create my chilli illustration I began with the oval shape tool to create an oval around the chilli. I then added various anchor points around the oval so I could use the white arrow tool to move the around the outline of the chilli. I then used the scissor tool to cut the access lines. I then converted the lines into a shape, which meant I can use the shape fill function to give it an orange fill and a red outline. I then began using the paintbrush tool to draw in the details of the chilli. I decided to do this as I wanted to give myself a block colour shape to build up the depth within the chilli.

I managed to move the lines in shape with the chilli by using the anchor points and manipulating their angles and curves, this has worked successfully in creating a block shape. What hasn’t worked as successfully is how the chilli is coming along, the details within the chilli feel too precise which isn’t allowing me to create an atmosphere of crazy. To overcome this I have decided that I am going to restart the chilli drawing by using the paintbrush tool to draw expressive lines.

Julie Notarianni’s magazine spread illustration will influence my chilli drawing style as she has managed to create a vibrant, exciting illustration of chills through her use of line work and colour.

I produced this illustration of a chilli by using a combination of the colour picker tool and the paintbrush tool to draw in the details of the chilli. I used the paintbrush tool as I wanted to make the illustration contrast in style from everything else within the app icon. The use of the paintbrush tool also allowed me to create an expressive illustration which conveys the atmosphere of crazy meaning it begins to fulfil the brief.

The style of line work has worked successfully while producing this illustration. What perhaps hasn’t worked is being able to create an illustration that is realistic in terms of using shadows to create depth. To overcome this I will add shadows to the background on the wooden image trace, this way making the illustration have depth and dimension.

Currently, the colours I have been using are true to the objects, this is because I want to create an app icon that draws people in, and not repulse them which could happen if I were to change the colours of food as certain colours will evoke negative associations such as blues and purples within the food.

At this point, I feel that the quality of my illustration is good and is working well with the other elements. I think this due to the software I am using and the effort I am putting into creating the illustrations. To improve the quality of this illustration I need to focus on creating more shadows within the work to create three dimensionalities.

Deciding how to compose my app icon is a task which I have found rather struggling as all the illustrations for app icons I have looked at have used a central composition, which visually looks good but for me to fulfil the brief I need to think of an out of the box composition which evokes the idea of crazy.To do this I decided to put my pan illustration in the top left corner. I then moved around the chilli to figure out if it works better on top of the pan lid, or beside the lid. I decided that having the chilli illustration coming off the app icon is the best way forward, as it makes the illustration feel as if it’s a snapshot of a moment in time. I also decided to duplicate the chilli illustration and reflect it to create two halves of the chilli. I have also changed the colour of the wood background by going into edit, and then edit colours and then changed the brown to a purple shade into the colour balance function. I did this as the purple would contrast, but also compliment the reds and oranges within the illustration but also begin to create the idea of craziness. I used the colour balance function as it was the most suitable and the easiest way to preview how my wood background would look in different shades before finalising my colour choice. This was an important creative decision that I have made so far as it has improved the quality of my illustration tremendously.

To do this I decided to put my pan illustration in the top left corner, I did this becuase in my research the more expressive illustrations that felt more exciting used a messier composition, with elements not fully aligning to each other. I will carry this on with how I include the food illustrations further.

I then moved around the chilli to figure out if it works better on top of the pan lid, or beside the lid. I decided that having the chilli illustration coming off the app icon is the best way forward, as it makes the illustration feel as if it’s a snapshot of a moment in time. I also decided to duplicate the chilli illustration and reflect it to create two halves of the chilli. I have also changed the colour of the wood background by going into edit, and then edit colours and then changed the brown to a purple shade into the colour balance function. I did this as the purple would contrast, but also compliment the reds and oranges within the illustration but also begin to create the idea of craziness. I used the colour balance function as it was the most suitable and the easiest way to preview how my wood background would look in different shades before finalising my colour choice. This was an important creative decision that I have made so far as it has improved the quality of my illustration tremendously.

the illustrations on the home screen has influenced my ideas about composition within the production of this illustration. They have used illustrations surrounding the main focus point. I took the idea of having secondary elements around the focus point to create an interesting design. I will carry on using this influence further into my illustration.

The illustrations within my app icon are of high-quality. This is down to the effort I have put in, in learning how to use illustrator and it’s tools and how I have applied them to create realistic but also visually appealing illustrations. To improve the quality of this illustration I will add more elements which incorporate dimension, this to fit in with the pan illustration, but to also help enhance the sense that the app icon is a real situation.

Currently, the app icon illustration would fulfil the brief as it would function as an app icon, is of high-quality and is beginning to incorporate the idea of craziness. To help improve the illustration to make it fully fulfil the brief I will add more elements of food, which are vibrant in contrasting colours, like greens. The addition of more colour will in theory help make the illustration evoke a crazy atmosphere.


I found a photograph online which represents a messy food scene, so the imagery I used in my illustrations fit in well with my current app icon. I am going to use this photograph to draw my illustrations from. I wasn’t able to take a photograph like this as when the idea of including ingredients like avocados and limes came to me, I wasn’t in a position to be able to create the scene for the photograph.

To create my avocado half I took the same steps that I used to create the base of my original chilli illustration, by using the shape tool and then anchor points to move lines around to fit the photograph. I then used the gradient mesh tool to create the dark areas within the avocado half. To make the oval indent within the avocado I had to pay close attention to how I shade it as I don’t want to make the dimensions be standing out of the avocado. I found this rather tricky but managed to figure out how to create this effect with a lot of effort and patience being put in. I used layer styles with overlays to adjust the colours within my avocado. To finalise the avocado illustration I copied the original shape of the avocado and used the shape fill and outline colour picker tool to change it to one shade of brown.

I decided to go for a gradual gradient effect within this illustration as I wanted it to compliment the pan illustration, but also felt it was a suitable process in creating a semi-realistic illustration. I think this worked successfully and put into my app icon will help elevate its quality.

Looking at Jing Zhang Recipe (5 classic dishes) illustration of high-quality shading to create realistic illustrations influenced the production of the avocado illustration. I decided to go for a realistic style illustration over the expressive style within my chilli illustration as the differences in textures and styles in my app icon will look visually interesting. Jing Zhang has also used different textures within their illustration, which I felt worked extremely successfully.

Currently, my illustration’s quality is good with elements looking realistic, like photographs, from an app icon size. on a large scale my illustrations aren’t of as high quality but in this case, this isn’t an area I am worried about as this illustration is an app and not something like a billboard where the quality can be easily picked up on a judged. I can still improve the quality of my illustration by when I select the gradient mesh tool function making the number of grids and cross points high will give me more control over how the colours blend into each other.

I have created the avocado seed by using the oval shape tool and creating a small oval shape which I then used the gradient mesh tool to add highlights and shadows. The seed didn’t need much work to create as it is a simple part of the illustration. I am now focusing in on how to compose my illustration. I am finding the use of having the food illustrations coming off the app icon rather successful and will carry on using this composition. Currently, the illustration feels as if it’s lacking another element so I will do one more illustration which helps convey the ideas of crazy cooking, this will be done through colour and line work.

I decided to use the limes from the photograph to draw. I used the paintbrush tool and create expressive illustrations of the lime segments. They used various shades and vibrancy of greens and yellows this helping contrast from the purples and oranges within my illustration. The style of the limes as well helps evoke the idea of crazy cooking. I used the paintbrush tool to create the illustration as it is the most suitable tool to create the line work I needed.

The style of the limes and the chillis are working successfully together, within my illustration but also to contrast from the clean edge illustration of the pan and avocados. I decided that a difference in styles will help make my illustration more successful, and allow it to fulfil the brief successfully.

The only issue I am facing in this illustration currently is how to compose the elements together, in a way that looks good, is visually interesting and fulfils the brief. I am overcoming these issues by seeing how the illustration looks in various compositions.

The colours I have used within my illustration are working successfully in evoking craziness. This is due to the use of various colour combinations of; bold and bright, clashing colours, and colours that compliment each other.

I have created all the illustrations I need to compose my app icon. I have duplicated the illustrations so I can create this random assortment of food. I then manipulated the colour balance within some of my illustrations to make them either more vibrant or hue a different tone. This was done to make the illustrations not feel like copies of each other. I also resized some of the illustrations using the shift tool on the keypad to keep their proportions.

I am going to separate some of the illustrations from each other and put them around the pan lid illustration. This has been done to randomise the layout of the app icon and allowing me to evoke this crazy atmosphere.

I also changed the opacity of the purple overlay to have areas of the wood come through more, this was done to make more interest within the app icon. But to also add depth, as the areas which aren’t as purple come across as shadows.

The quality of my illustration is extremely successful. This has been created through the effort I have put into my illustrations to make them as visually appealing as possible, but to also compliment each other.

This illustration fulfils the brief as it works as an app icon, uses only illustartor meaning the quality is good, and evokes craziness.


Unit 41 – Specialist Illustration using computer applications

Experimental celebrity chef ‘Dan Lovell-Bray’ is releasing a new cookbook entitled ‘Crazy in the Kitchen.’ Along with the launch of the new book, he is also launching a cooking app, a range of ready meals and is giving an interview to BBC Good Food magazine.

Lovell- Bray is looking to commission an illustrator/graphic designer to design many aspects of these projects.

As that Designer you will need to design and illustrate the following:

  • An instructional illustration, illustrating the steps of one of his recipes from the cookbook.
  • A double page spread for BBC Good Food magazine that uses illustration to suggest his experimental ‘crazy’ style of cooking.
  • Either an illustrated app icon for his app ‘Crazy Cooking’ or a piece of illustrated packaging for his ready meal line entitled ‘Dan Lovell-Bray’s Crazy at Home’

Lovell-Bray insists that the designer use a mixture of techniques within each illustration to suggest his mixed and hap hazard style of cooking. Each design should include elements of:

  • Photoshop Wacom drawing
  • Scanned traditional drawing media (e.g. fine liner, pencil)
  • Scanned textures
  • Illustrator shapes and pen tool

Each illustration must evoke the ‘crazy’ style of his cooking and must fit its purpose and context

(e.g. be suitable for a magazine spread)

Final Evaluation

For this unit, we were tasked with a brief of creating 4 different types of greeting cards, using as many different materials, processes and techniques. Immediately I had lots of ideas for the valentines cards, as it had just been valentines day so was seeing on Instagram various videos on arts and craft accounts how to make cute little things for valentines day. I felt that the brief would be exciting due to the range of possibilities I could come up with. My first ideas were creating objects like sequins and glitter to move around inside of a card, this idea I tried out in one of my birthday experiments but found it to not be as successful as I had hoped.

I found just using a range of materials the most exciting part of the brief as normally in our projects the materials we use tend to be for style reasons and also practicality, such as doing a fine liner drawing to be scanned in – so it’d be drawn on white paper. I also found using various processes quite interesting, such as using a laser cutter, as this was something I have never used before.

I did initial research into the four card types; Valentines, Sympathy, New Born and Birthday. The research I did allow me to see how other designers have used materials to convey emotions or at least enhance the emotions from the typography, imagery or colour. I looked at various valentines cards, some very minimal and some with a lot of materials and processes being used. This taught me that in some cases less is more for a certain message such as passion or lust, but with softer emotions of fondness and caring you will want to use more materials, and various textures. In my sympathy research, I noticed that they mainly use imagery that is of nature – this was to convey emotions of being outside as that tends to be associated with feeling free, and being balanced.

I used a wide range of materials in my greeting cards from the basics of fine liner and inks to more experimental and untried processes (for me) such as using a laser cutter and using textile materials, like satin and thread. I also used paints, different types of pens, wood, plastic, lipstick for printing, glitter, wool, flowers and nail varnish. Using all of these materials I tried to make myself be as safe as possible and to be safe around others. I did this by writing health and safety notes for every new process or material that could be harmful, such as bleach, I would write what are the risks, how I would prevent them so for bleach; wearing an apron, gloves and protective eyewear, I would then add what to do if any of the issues happened.

During this project, I most enjoyed using thread, buttons, ribbon and glitter. I think this was down to the way I could use them how they looked and made a piece look and down to the fact that I don’t normally get to use these types of materials as they are not applicable. The materials I found hardest to use were paper/card that I had to manipulate into shapes, such as flowers in my digital hand rendered experiment for valentines day. I also found using tissue paper as another hard material to use, down to the fact that it is extremely messy in visuals, which I personally don’t like.

I used materials and techniques in individual, creative, experimental and effective ways in many of my greeting card experiments but my three most successful in these areas are; the new born card with the three wooden sticks and colourful hearts on the top, with senses of humour typography, the spinning glittery heart valentines card, and the caluigraph flower presses cotton hearts for valentines day. These were the most successful in the areas above as in the new born baby card I decided to go away from the stereotypes of a normal new born baby card and go for something which the parents could appreciate, so I decided to take a well-known phrase and but a twist on it to say the gender of the baby. In the valentines spinning heart, I decided to use a cutting out technique but instead of leaving a space in the card or adding another layer to it, that I will create two elements which will spin against each other – creating a hypnotic card. In the flower pressed card I took the printing process which is normally used to create an image with various natural objects on the printing block, to leave interesting textures of an image, I decided that I was going to take what would be the printing block and what would create the print and use that as the materials on my card.

My most successful experiments were the valentines spinning heart card, new born rattle made out of buttons card,  valentines flower pressed hearts experiment, digital sympathy hand rendered experiment and the birthday pop up card. They were all extremely successful as the materials I had used worked together to convey the desired emotions. The use of card in the birthday card meant that I was able to create an exciting card as the material is sturdy and can be bent and folded to create shapes, using card in various colours then worked together to make the birthday card one of my must successful experiments. In the valentines spinning heart card the use of red card with then thick glitter card worked well together as they were easy to cut, thread into, and worked well aesthetically. In the new born rattle card the use of recycled craft card with the buttons meant that the two materials complimented each other as the card has a rough look but is smooth to touch, and the buttons are smooth and soft to touch but are also hard. In the valentines flower pressed heart experiment the use of natural flower petals against the cream colour cotton worked successfully together. The texture of the flower petals worked well with the cotton as their textures are similar. The cotton had a more rough feel to it than the flower petals, but as the petals are dried and pressed into the cotton they feel as part of it. The digital hand rendered sympathy card experiment worked successfully in terms of materials as the use of thread complimented the printed image.

My least successful experiments were; the scratch heart valentines experiment, the satin bunny rabbit new born experiment, and the happy birthday balloon with moving circles experiment. They were the least successful as the materials used didn’t work together in the way in which I had hoped. The scratch heart valentines experiment didn’t work well as the use of fairy liquid and metallic paint ended up scratching the surface of the red card, meaning that the experiment and it’s desired effect wasn’t achieved. The use of satin on top of tissue paper in the new born experiment didn’t work well together as the satin enhanced the rough texture of the tissue paper which was behind. The birthday experiment’s material choices also weren’t successful as the use of paper inside the acotate sheets resulted in the paper staying still and not moving.

In my four final outcomes, I decided to use the certain materials because they best suited the audience for the cards, the emotions I was aiming to convey, and also visually. I wanted to make sure that not only my material choices conveyed the correct emotions and worked for the target audience, but wanted them to work together with the imagery, typography and colour palette so I could make the cards as successful as they could be.

The materials used in my final outcomes were the correct materials due to their visuals and aesthetics together, but also what they connoted and conveyed message and emotion wise. Such as within the Valentines Card, I decided that red glitter for the middle heart would be the best material for emotions conveying lust, passion and love, the use of glitter which was red on heart imagery allowed me to successfully convey this.

In my final new born card, I used a range of baby blue and pink buttons in various sizes and styles to create the head of a rattle. I felt that this was extremely successful in the way it looked, worked together, and the meaning conveyed due to how the materials relate to the object that is showcasing. The use of a laser cutter for the typography, in the recycled card, also worked extremely well in the way it complemented the material and the colour palette, whereas printed digital type wouldn’t have been as successful. To improve this card I would think about adding more details into the background, such as faint spirals coming out from the rattle, this I would have created as well with the laser cutter but instead of burning the top layer I’d cut through the card and have behind it some patterned card that would relate, such as a repeated print of typography that could say congratulations, in various typefaces but very lightly.

In the Valentines day card the use of coating the two sides of the red card in various layers of red metallic paint, glitter paint and then glitter meant that the card came across as a heart of glitter. I decided to have two heart shapes, with the thread inside them both as stitching into the card in my valentines experiment, made the card feel less professional and didn’t allow me to convey emotions as effectively. To improve this card I would choice even stronger red card to support the piece, as on one side the card has warped due to the weight of the heart.

In the Sympathy card the composition of the butterfly in relation to the typography worked well in creating a balanced card that helped me convey emotions surrounding sympathy. The use of cutting the front side shorter that the back and having the black ribbon come through also allowed me to balance the card. To improve this card I would perhaps use a more interesting support card as the white a black combination, with the quink ink-stained butterfly feels contrasting. I would instead use a more natural fibered card so there would be other shades inside it.

The Birthday card worked extremely well in conveying emotions of celebration. The use of glitter in the top pop up present created a focal point which was then balanced by the central composition, and the hanging typography. The colour palette worked successfully in complementing each other and being aimed towards my target audience. To improve this birthday card I would make sure that the quality of the card and work put into it was higher.

Throughout the project, I feel that in most examples the materials and processes used successfully conveyed the correct emotions. The use of visual language from colour palette, typography, style and imagery were also successfully in conveying desired emotions in my experiments and cards.

The three most successful experiments and cards in conveying the correct emotions are; the birthday lino print, spinning valentines heart card, and the pop-up birthday card. The are my most successful examples in conveying their desired emotions as the colour palette, imagery, and materials worked together to help enhance the emotions conveyed from each element, for example, the use of coloured card in the pop-up birthday card enhanced the birthday imagery which then enhanced the emotions of celebration.

These three different pieces helped influence my choice in visual language. The Pablo Picasso ‘Women with folded arms’ 1901 painting meant that I decided to use blues within the sympathy card experiments, and an off centre composition. The new born card meant that I decided to use more natural fibre materials such as recycled craft card in my new born cards. The balloon and bunting birthday card inspired me to draw attention the inside of the card, and have that the area of excitement within my birthday cards.

I planned for my final outcomes by deciding what materials, imagery, colours and typography I was going to use, and why I was going to use it. I then gathered samples of the materials and put them together to make sure they were suited. I made sure that my final outcomes were improved by my experiments so I took on board the annotations and the areas that I found successful, and areas that needed to be improved so my final outcomes didn’t repeat any mistakes and took on the most successful elements.

My four final greeting card outcomes were successful in attracting and being for the intended audience. They used their visual language, materials and processes to be suitable for each audience. Such as, within my sympathy card I used a minimal colour palette, with a simple composition so it would be suitable for an older audience.

In my final valentines card, the central composition, glittered heart and handwritten style typography was the most successful use of visual language. What could have been improved is the quality of the card which was supporting this, as it warped with the weight of the glittered heart. In the new born card the use of burning in the two styles of typography worked successfully. To improve this card I would make the rattle head slightly smaller and more round, this would require smaller buttons rather than big and middle sized buttons. In the birthday card, the use of three coloured threads, the dark turquoise bunting, and purple and black card/glitter combination worked successfully together. To improve this card I would improve my quality of work, from cutting out the shapes and folding the card. In the sympathy card the use of layered card which was stained by quink ink worked successfully. To improve this card I would perhaps use a different quality of white card, one which showed the fibres more.


From this project I have learnt that planning what you are going to do, will make a more successful sample/experiment as you can gather and collect the materials you will need and make sure you have them before you begin doing the experiment.