This is my Final outcome for the “Modern Icons” project. I based it on Freddie Mercury and the Graphic Design part of the Constructivist art movement which was originated in Russia 1919.
For this project we were given the opportunity to work within our specialties to create an imaginative piece of work that will be exhibited within Kendal Museum and the Kendal College of learning Resource Center. We were given six weeks to work on this project and we were working towards unit 12 “Engaging with an audience in Art and Design”.
During this project I worked on my graphic design skills, so mostly involving Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I also learned and developed my understanding on screen printing which I used for my final piece. During the project I also researched and based a few designs off of artists that I researched. I looked at various different artists that were part of the Constructivism Art Movement that originated in Soviet Russia such as Alexander Rodchenko and the Stenberg brothers (Georgii and Vladimi Stenberg). It was these posters from the movement that I based my initial ideas off, such as the colors, shapes and layout. For my modern day icon I chose to do Freddie Mercury because out of all the people that were selected through the survey he was one of the people that was voted significantly and he was may favorite person out of the group of people that were voted.
I was involved in a few workshops, in these workshops I learned about screen printing, a new style based on the artists called Craig and Karl and a workshop where we designed logos, posters and social media content. The screen printing workshop was good because I had never screen printed before so it was good to learn how to create work using this media. The Craig and Karl workshop was useful because it helped me understand how to use illustrator and Photoshop significantly. The latest workshop was important because it gave me a rough idea of how to work as a team within graphic design which wasn’t useful for this project but could become useful in the future.
The initial Idea developed into my final piece which was interesting. I came up with the initial idea during a time trial activity that we did. For this specific trial we were given 20 minutes to create a piece and I made the piece that is the image below. The image was based off the image which is below it which was a piece of work that was created as part of the Constructivism art movement. As I developed my ideas I asked for feedback about minor and major parts of the pieces, whether that was if a certain object should be a certain color or whether they prefer one piece of work from a completely different piece of work. In the end though, all the feedback was useful as i made key adjustments which completely changed pieces. The third image below is the initial design after I spent a small amount of time on it to see whether my idea could become something good. Another design which I considered was the design that can be seen in the fourth image below but i scrapped the idea as I liked my initial design the most.
To create all the work I made during this project I used, paints and the screen prints, I also used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I created a few test pieces which experimented different styles of Constructivism. With these test pieces I experimented with different colors, shapes, different density’s when i came to the sun burst effect and other things. I From doing this I learned which color palates looked better then the others and which shapes and lines looked better with different thicknesses and composition. I had a few problems when it came to creating my second test piece which is the image above because nothing seemed to look good including the text, composition, and colors. After trying various different compositions I decided to revert back to my original design and work on that instead.
My final piece is the image below and I’m really happy with the outcome. I like the way the colors work and compliment each other, the composition of all the layers, the texture that I used and the text. The colors look good to me because the red and light orange color are two colors that tend to work very well together and the black sections make the colored sections look bolder and vise versa. The composition of the layers is one of the things that I like the most because there isn’t a section that isn’t too busy and all the layers by themselves are pretty simplistic but they come together to make an interesting piece.
I represented Freddie Mercury as who he is by creating a scene where he’s performing and the crowd is dancing, cheering, raving etc, but I was basing my design around the style of Constructivism and some of the artists work within that movement. At first I though it’d be hard to mix the two together but it was actually relatively easy. I simple used a color palate which was common in the movement and a blocky style similar to some of the work that I had seen by Alexander Rodchenko and Kazimir Malevich. Overall I’m happy with the final outcome but there is an improvement that I’d like too make which I wanted to make at the time but there wasn’t enough time to do it. I wanted to redo the screen print with more detail but with the black ink by using a bigger image when creating stencils so I can the detail that I want.
By the end of the project I had learned a lot more then I’d thought I would. I learned how to use Photoshop and Illustrator more effectively and how to screen print but there is a lot more room for improvement when it comes to screen printing. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this project.
These pieces are part of my second idea for a final piece. I wanted to create something with a similar style to the poster below which was made in a Constructivism art movement way. I took the concept of the cat with the white outline and applied it to the Freddie Mercury screen print that I made. I also wanted to make something similar as he the way the artist displayed his text, especially the “RAWr” part. I made to white sections which were made to look like they were being emitted from the Freddie Mercury print, and filled in the space with a text of one of his quotes. I took a normal block text from “DaFont” and edited it in illustrator to make it fit in the space that I had made. I do like the concept of the idea but I didn’t execute it very well. I tried experimenting with different colors for the text and its outline, also with the sunburst effect that I placed in the background but I didn’t like any of the outcomes. I don’t like the outcome of any of designs for a few reasons; sometimes the colors didn’t look great together, the text didn’t turn out very well as it was just too random and distorted, there also wasn’t a whole lot going on in the design, basically it wasn’t interesting enough. After finishing these test pieces and coming to the conclusion that they weren’t good enough I decided to go back to the first design and develop that which is what I did.
These are my developments from the previous test piece, which is the first picture below. Two things that I changed straight away, which I think definitely improved the poster, are the color change from yellow to an orange and I added another layer of silhouetted hands in front of Freddie Mercury. After these changes I made a few other changes which I wasn’t so sure about, so for two of the changes I kept and for one of the changes I didn’t bother keeping.
The first alteration I made was in the sun burst area. I changed where the epicentre of the burst was to the horizon of the silhouetted hands. Personally I couldn’t decide which one had the best effects, but after getting feedback from classmates and my tutor that the horizon design looked better I chose to stick with that design.
For the next minor experiment I implemented more layers of the silhouetted hands, one more red layer and a black layer but I really didn’t like how it looked once I had put the new layers. It looked too crowded for a design that is supposed to be a more simplistic design and not have big and complicated elements to it so I went back to just what I had before which was three layers.
For the next bit of experimenting I got rid of the white that filled in some of the gaps on Freddie Mercury and I instantly prefered it without the white but I asked a few people for their opinions and they agreed with me so I kept the changes.
These three images below are the test results from testing out different paper textures. I applied by applying the overlay option and then changing the the Levels option to make it darker, brighter or to make the texture more faded or bold. Out of the three designs I prefered the second one the most so i’m using that one as my final piece. I’m not choosing the first design because the texture is no way clear enough and it was impossible to make it stand out without ruining the whole thing. The third design does look better than the first design but it’s a little too bright and I think that the texture that I used for the second design looks far better. This is because the texture in the second design stands out just enough to make the piece look more interesting, it also made the design a fair bit darker but not dark enough to ruin anything. Although I might try making the whole thing a bit brighter too try and optimize the piece as much as possible.
For my first test pieces, I took the Constructivism poster that is the first picture below and created a poster in a similar style and format. Instead of having the fist as the focus point of the poster, I had Freddie Mercury, air punching instead which kind of represents the fist from the original poster. I replaced the black cityscape that’s in the background with a silhouette of a crowd of hands in the air. I also used the foreground concept but replaced the date with Freddie Mercury’s birth to death dates, I also put in one of his famous quotes and his name.
For these test pieces I used photoshop to get some certain elements and images perfect and I used Illustrator to bring all those elements together into one poster. The first layer is the sun burst effect that is behind everything else and its epicenter is Freddie Mercury’s hand which I made using the eclipse tool with strokes turned on. The second set of layers is the hands that are in the background. I simply took the image and deleted the area that was unwanted using the magic wand and eraser tool, and then exported it to use in illustrator.
For the text I used a font that I downloaded off of “DaFonts”, which was called Once I had the main poster I played around with some of the layers to see what would look better. First I made the sun burst effect more dense and that made it look more interesting in my opinion. I also tried changing up the colors within the text from the yellow to black, and again, I think black text looked better than the red and yellow text as it made it stand out more.
The image that is above is the end product of these test pieces. I really like the foreground where the text is as the shapes and the text all fit together and the text is quite a blocky text so it fits in well with the surrounding area. I do like the silhouetted hands but they have an outline which ruins it so I need to go back and redo that section without the outline. I don’t like how low down the hands are, so when I edit this piece I’m going to move the hands up so they at least reach past his head and i’m then going to implement another layer of silhouetted hands that’ll be in front of Freddie Mercury but still be behind the foreground of text. I also think that it’ll look better without the white areas that are in and around Freddie Mercury so I’m going to get rid of those to test whether it’ll look better without them or not. Another thing that I want to change is the color of the yellow to a more orange color and maybe do the same with the red but instead make it a little bit darker. The last thing I want to do is add a texture to the whole thing to hopefully give it a much older look.