I started, as usual, by doing a brainstorm of ideas for what to do for this project. I couldn’t come up with good ideas for a while, so I was seeing what other people were doing to get some inspiration. I then read through the brief again and saw the park bench idea. At first, it didn’t seem like a good idea, but the more I thought about it the more I thought the park bench could deserve it’s 15 minutes of fame. Once I had an idea of what I needed to produce, I tried to think of other ideas, but I couldn’t elaborate on the ideas I had.
I am going to go with the park bench idea. I thought about why a park bench would deserve 15 minutes of fame, and I came up with either; (1) the lots of different people that use this one park bench, and how it cam bring people together. (2) The other idea was find or make up a life story of an old man and how a certain park bench was consistent throughout his life.
I did know that the brief didn’t have to be a story/timeline, but I think it would be best for this idea if it was. I was thinking that I would ‘interview’ people using a park bench and get the reason to why their using the park bench, and what type of person they are. I thought that would be better than just making it up. On the face of it, it was an interesting idea, but as I thought more about it, I realized the bad sides of the idea. More than likely, the majority of people will just be sitting down while walking their dog or something. Also, they might get annoyed with me asking them questions etc.
I decided to go with the life story of an old man/woman. To get the story, I will research articles or just find a story on the internet to see if I can find a good story to use. If not, I could make one up, which would probably work better because I already have a vague idea of the stages in the persons life I would like to include.
I think that this idea would work well for the WALLPAPER MAGAZINE because benches can be seen as works of art/public art and instead of all these fancy, intricate designs, people might want to see the simpler things and taking them for granted. Which is what the reasoning is behind this idea (The guy appreciating the smaller things in life, and trying to show people to do the same). Also, I was looking through the Wallpaper website and saw that there has been an article on a ‘pews and perches’ design competition (http://www.wallpaper.com/design/pews-perches-design-competition-london/5909#65751), so my idea is a relevant subject, not just a random idea as it seems when you first hear it. Also the idea of showing the persons life in stages can be related to the ‘All the worlds a stage’ monologue from the Shakespeare play, As You Like It (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_world’s_a_stage). The people who read Wallpaper might also get that reference.
Young adult (in the war?)
I did a quick sketch of the booklet idea I had in mind. I thought it would be a good idea to have a booklet, and each stage of the persons’ life would be on a separate page. The booklet would be in the shape of a park bench (or an image of a park bench would take up the whole page) and the back of their head/body would be die cut out of the page, so when the booklet is closed, it looks like all the people sat on one bench.
I made a quick mock up of both ideas. I preferred the top idea because I thought it looked more appealing and was a more interesting idea. There is a number of ways I can go around doing the images (illustration, photography, silhouettes).
The problem with photography is that it would be quite hard to stage. I’m not that good at Illustration but i’ll give it a go. I had an idea of taking photos or finding them on the Internet and then tracing over them, so I don’t have to draw the people from scratch, which is what I would say I struggle with. Once I have the shapes, I can just add detail.
I came up with a vague timeline for when the guy would be born and die. I figured out that for him to be 18 when WW2 started, he would have to be born in 1921, and die in 2013 when he is 92. I then research things/events that happened in the 60’s/70’s so he would in his 40’s. I decided on 1966 when England won the world cup.
I decided because I am included England winning the world cup, I thought I would have the bench in a park/field/woodland close to Wembeley Arena. The 2 suitable places were called Horsenden Wood or Paradise Field.
I then jotted down a quick sentence on what each section would be about.
I researched the clothes people a certain age would wear in those time periods I decided on earlier.
1920’s boy: I found out the generic outfit would be some shorts and a short sleeve shirt. I also saw a lot of them wearing a scarf/neckerchief thing.
1930’s teenager: I noticed there wasn’t really “teenagers” as there are today, they usually wore suits or just shirts.
1940’s soldier: WW2 army uniform.
1960’s adult: I didn’t want the guy to be a hippy, but because this time period was during England winning the world cup, he could just have a football shirt on.
2000 old man: I noticed they usually wear slacks, jeans or trousers, shirt and jacket. I wanted him to wear a hat, either a trilby or a flatcap.
I drew the person representing the stages in his life. I used existing picture to get the position he is sat in because that is what I struggle at when drawing people. I then added the details in the clothes.
I was going to leave the faces till last (because I’m not that good at drawing faces as well), but when I finished the drawings, I think they looked good without the face. I think that if I tried to add the faces it would ruin it. It would give him an identity and the feature would have to resemble each other because it is the same person. Also, the main topic is the park bench, not the person. So I think that not having the faces kind of shows that it’s not all about him.
I scanned the sketches into Illustrator to add colour. I haven’t used Illustrator a lot so I didn’t really know how to colour and shade properly. It looked okay but it had no detail, and I wanted it to look more detailed, this looked to computer generated.
Last year I did an illustration for my project, and I used Photoshop which worked just as well. So I placed the image into Photoshop. I could add detail easier because I am more comfortable on Photoshop than Illustrator at the moment. This looks more like the style I was going for.
I also did them in coloured pencil. The texture was nice and I think it added character to the image.
I decided to go with the Photoshop images. I know that the sketched images give it more character and texture, I don’t think they are that good quality compared to the Photoshop images.
I traced the images in pen so that when I scanned it in, the outlines would be clearer.
I put them into Illustrator and live traced them, then into Photoshop it colour (I know Illustrator is the ideal program to use, but my skills at doing this are better at Photoshop at the moment.
I used the fill tool to add the colours, then a soft brush tool of slightly darker colour to add shading. I then used a thin brush, darker again to add wrinkles, hair detail and creases in the clothes. I then added a sketchy texture so it the images weren’t flat.
I showed the images in chronological order to a few people and they couldn’t work out why it went from a soldier to a seemingly younger person, so to make him look older, I added a mustache and grey highlights in his hair.
I had to add the images and text content and figure out how big I would have to make it.
I was making a mock up, and realized that the pages will overlap each other so they wont look like they are on the bench at the same time. I knew this before but thought that I could work around it later. On the other hand, it will be fine because every time you turn the page, the previous pages get left further behind, which is I nice tough, even though I didn’t plan for it to happen like that.
I figured out which sides each page had to be on. I printed off a mock up to get a basic idea on what it looked like.
The mock up below was printed on A4. I think my actual print off will be twice the size on A3.
Below is the layout on InDesign.
I was looking through fonts and had the idea of using different fonts on each page. The fonts would relate to the date of that section. I found some fonts to use, but as I started to look at it, it didn’t look as good as I thought it would.
I decided to use the same font throughout. I looked through handwritten fonts. Because the contents was first person, I thought using a handwritten font made it more personal.
Layout wise, it is very simplistic. I used handwritten font so I didn’t split the text into columns, because people don’t tend to write in columns so I set it out as someone had just written it. I think I had a good balance on text and imagery.
It took me a few attempts to print it off. The printer was a bit offline so I had to manually adjust it so it printed off right. It still printed off slightly off. I ended up using a black marker to colour in the white bits on the silhouette. I thought it would look bad, but it ended up looking like shading which looked quite good.
Overall I think it turned out good. I had to brighten the image because at first it came out a bit darker. I am pleased with the colour and shading on the images and the style of the illustrations are good.
What I would have done differently was put a bleed on the silhouettes so when I die cut the people out, there wasn’t a white bit, however, I think I worked around it well.