Tag Archives: how to

New Website Have A Look

So basically when I was doing my HND we had a brief to create a website for ourselves, overall I wasn’t happy with this at all so I have taken it upon myself to create myself a more professional site, in which possible clients etc. can contact me on and look into myself abit more.

I will be updating this site all the time and it isn’t 100% yet, I have a lot more planned.

So if you get a chance have a look on: http://alexrichardson93.wix.com/alexrichardsondesign

Any questions or know how contact me on either the new site or via here!


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Si Scott

‘Welcome to the new Si Scott Studio site, we are a creative Design & Illustration studio that prides itself on finely crafted work with an obsessive attention to detail in everything we do.’

Quote from “Si Scott Studios” which I came across while looking for different illustration styles to try and find what I had in my head and these guys have beaten me to it haha, but they are a fantastic studio and the quality of there design work is mind blowing.

Link to there site: http://siscottstudio.com

Below are some screenshots from Si Scott Studios website and these are from several animal projects but my mind has been blown! these design/ illustrations have really opened my eyes and something has finally brought back my passion for design and this just shows me that I really do like Illustration and this is what I want to do, I would love to work or even do work experience at a studio like this, thee just fantastic, but now my job is to see if i Still have it in me to sketch and illustrate like I used to 4 years ago during my art A levels.

After looking at these I really just want to get sketching and have my final piece done already I can’t wait to see  how the final outcome will look, I sort of have a vision in my head but its blurry at the moment.


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The level and detail and perfection in Illustration is amazing and Si Scott and the team are next level!


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In class this week we all had to create a presentation in the PECHA KUCHA style, 20 slides with 20 seconds on each, I found it really hard, simply because I hate talking in front of crowd to a couple of people I would be fine but not no more, but it was eye opening because in the industry this is needed, we are often needed to present out idea’s and thoughts.

But below is mine, not very good and inspiring but hey It worked.

Presentation Alex R

Sorry that its in a PDF format couldn’t get it to be a movie no here.

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Illstration and Gold Leaf Part 2

After my first initial gold leaf test I decided to have a bit more of an experiment with the process, I went back to my local hobby shop and bought so card craft glue which came in some little bottle with a very fine tip applicator which made it very easy to apply on the pre-printed type.


Even though the glue was so much easier to apply the initial results looked like it was working well but after once I removed all of the excess gold leaf it became apparent that the glue was suitable, where I had to apply pressure on the gold leaf to make sure that It stuck down properly the glue had spread even though I was very careful about how much I put on the type, this was very annoying because it was so much fast and easier to do than using a pencil and the proper adhesive for the gold leaf.



The end result was bad to say the least.

After my fail with the gold leaf I decide to have a quick break from it and have a look at the illustration side of the design and the front cover of the CD case, I used my two favorite and most suitable type faces from my original print out and layed them out using grids to get them 100% perfect and equal, on this page I also added a quick rendition of a Lion that I did, I was really happy with this design and thought if it was done in gold leaf it would look so good so this is what I was going to do next.


I test printed the design first to see how it would come out on a normal piece of paper before printing it on a decent piece of card.


Test print came out good so I went ahead and printed it on the brown stock card.0


The designs came out looking good on the card so I went ahead and carefully cut them out using a straight edge and a ruler, In the design on the computer I added a 0.25pt line box around each section which was carefully sized using grids.


I began thinking about what card stocks I will be using and how the final CD case could look with the 2 tone contrast using collage techniques and processes.


Below is a shot of the final gold leaf lion illustration and it came out looking shit to be honest, I can barely see what It is so this was a complete failure and I will have to go back to the drawing boards to see how I could get over this, I think it is because the gold leaf isn’t perfect yet it looked like this, maybe I should only cover part in gold leaf? worth a try, I also have some black stock card which I will try to print onto to experiment with aswell.


The black printed version and the gold leafed one, it’s hard to tell that they are the same illustration.


When I came to the type I had already gold leaf the “American Captain” typeface before so I decided to do the “Georgia” one, and to be honest I really like the style of the this type, It looks a bit of an older style than the other option, I went back to the process of how I did the gold leaf the first time around with the pencil and adhesive liquid.


I found the small type very hard to gold leaf because of the size of type, I am really happy with the final result of this gold leafing, it looks old but valuable which It something I sort of wanted to portray in my CD packaging.


Below is a shot of the final gold leaf test with the failed like print and over all the colours look really good but I still want to see how they look on black stock first…


Overall a very successful day experimenting and testing the processes to find what works for me, next steps is to test the black stock card with the gold leaf, have a look at he CD pattern which I will do next and then it onto the final illustration of the lion.

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Gold leaf and Card Experiments

With this project I really wanted to experiment with some gold leaf and see what effects I could get with it and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Basically to start off with I went to my local hobby shop “Hobby Craft” and In there I managed to find the Gold Leaf that I was after and the adhesive liquid that is needed to apply it, while I was in there I began looking at some of the card making card they had and I decided to buy some of this aswell, it was for me to see how the gold leaf worked and how it looked on certain paper finishes and colours.


I decided to go ahead and first print onto a piece of brown quality card that I got, this was A4 in size – I went ahead and really quickly did a little mock-up of the album’s title in several different fonts including Times New Roman, Georgia and my favorite type face American Captain. I printed this out mainly because it will make it easier for me to apply the adhesive liquid over the pre-printed type than free-handing it.


I started to use a really little paint brush but it was really difficult so I decided to use a blunt pencil which was 10x easier to apply, so I had to apply the liquid where I wanted the gold leaf to stick and then I had to leave it for 15 minutes for it to dry I guess…

After it was dry I got the sheet of gold leaf out which was so flimsy and fragile and I placed it gently on the section, using a sheet of tracing paper which I placed onto I gently pressed down the gold leaf trying to get a decent amount to stick and I then began to brush away the excess.

On thing that I noticed was that it didn’t stick aswell as I first thought it would but I had a feeling it would because certain little bits had very little adhesive on it, but once I removed all of the excess I was left with some really cool old and worn looking gold effect, like the type was lost treasure?, even thought I was hopping this was going to come out really clean and strong I grow very fond of this straight away, but I will still need to test and practice more possibly trying different ways of applying the liquid? to get better and cleaner results.


Above I a photo of the Gold leaf I was using by Pebeo, a French brand I believe and the Effect adhesive by them aswell.


Just a photo of the stuff I got and what I am planning to experiment on today, I bought a couple of different card stocks to se what the Gold leaf will work on best and to see how it comes out on different coloured paper/card.


Here’s a mid process shot of me applying the adhesive liquid using a pencil! ha, I decided to apply a little more on this top section of type to see how it came out.


It really didn’t make much of a difference putting more on in fact it made it not stick aswell? strange, anyways I will keep experimenting and taking pictures documenting this, I plan on trying it out on some different card stocks and techniques of doing it.

After I have got pretty comfortable with it I will begin looking at how I am going to go about creating my matt black on glass black CD, this will be tricky but It is a must for this packaging design.

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Semiotics Research Part 2?

After our decision to create our own back-up poster I need to do some research into effective informational posters, this is important for us to do because our poster is an informational poster, I want to see how other companies have created easy to follow/read poster, I want to see the typefaces and the quantities of images used as well as the colour schemes used.

My goal is just to analysis these few poster to say what works and what doesn’t and what aspects could work well for my own poster:

Burning Fuel: The Average Car vs. The Average HumanAs for the information I’m not really bothered I’m looking more on the ascetics of the design and this design is really easy on the eyes making it appealing at least to me, the colour scheme is nice for a poster because a heavy colour for a background will in my opinion make the poster to harsh on the eyes.  Using bright section of colour really brings the viewers eyes to them sections, this is something I could possibly use? The simple images is the way we need to go I think, this will save time and effort without making the poster to simple, semiotics is the basics of a design so I see no need to over complicate the design.

Our Favorite DrugsWith-out looking at the hideous dark background colour the overall design works really well, the information contrasts very nicely so contrast between every aspect is something that I really need to think about, the images on this design are really good and they have used the space given so well, I could possibly try to see how I could incorporate this is my semiotics poster?

Periodic Table of TypefacesAlthough this poster is very simple on the eyes the concept works really well and this is something our poster could look like, the text stands out a lot because of the contrast between it and the background, the background features a very subtle colour gradient which is something that I could really use on my poster but this will depend on the overall styling which will be decided after this post in the design development stage.

Breakdown of Average Student Budgetlooking at the colour scheme has given me the idea to possible play around with the background possible by having horizontal colour bars going across to break up the solid white?, these would be really subtle anything to strong would make the design look a bit weird and like a present, But after looking at this design I have decide also to go with a blur toned colour scheme this is easy on the eyes while creating a calm looking poster, I could possible use different shades of blue for different aspects of the design, like the titles?, underlines and block text?

Where we liveHaving a single large image that is easily recognizable and simple could really help with the overall composition of the design, this one image would have to be though put and suitable enough to describe and aid in the understanding of semiotics, having the poster this unusual shape as well could look really nice for this poster design, this is something that will need to be developed in my sketching phase which will be next.

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Website Design Test.

So basically for this project I can either create an HTML or CSS based web-based portfolio or my design work or I can just use one of these existing ones that are already on the web like WordPress, Tumblr, etc.

As for my decision I haven’t yet thought about it yet but hopefully after some design testing and research I will have made my decision, My teacher went through this process to create a very basic linked table based design.

Picture 1First off we had to download an already created Photoshop file that our teacher made to save time and to se us off on the right track.

Picture 2So first off after the file has been opened in Photoshop I had to slice some of the components that I want to be buttons, links, etc.

Picture 3To keep my designs and files nice and clean it’s always good to save the sliced sections to the correct name, e.g. the title section I saved a “Title”.

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Picture 5After the sliced sections have been saved to the correct name I can then save the new document under file, save for web and devices, which will bring up this new page, by clicking save at the bottom in the right hand corner of the new page brings up the saving options.

Picture 6I first created suitable files for the new pages, one called website and in this another called Web Artwork and another called Web Files HTML and in this I saved the first sliced page as page one.

Picture 7Now that this first page has been saved as a Web Based page, meaning all of the visual information has been converted to code, I can now open it up in other web-based designing programs, which we used DreamWeaver In the case. Once opened the page looked like this screenshot above, one half is the code and the other is the visual page that will be displayed on the browser.

Picture 8Right so the way DreamWeaver works is that I need to locate all of the required information and components that are beginning used, to do this I have to go on Site, New Site, once open I need to locate the correct folder were the information is.

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Picture 10Once the file source has been located it should pop up in the bottom right hand sub menu, all files that are in this folder will be shown here, on thing to remember is that for each new page I need to create a new folder otherwise each time I save the previous files and folders will be over written every time, deleting all of my previous work.

Picture 11Once back on Photoshop we began to create the basic second page, using the first page as a template we just need to change something on this page to make it different to the first, so I turned off the image layer and put in some basic text.

Picture 12As I was saying before When saving I went onto file, save for web and devices, after creating a second folder called page 2 in the master folder used on DreamWeaver I saved this new page in here.

Picture 13Going back onto DreamWeaver my new pages and files are now visible in the menu at the bottom.

Picture 14Now it was time to link the pages together, first off I needed to select a sliced selection on either page, in this case the first page and the portfolio section at the top, while this is selected we went onto the bottom menu to this section shown in the screenshot above.

Picture 15By clicking the target like button next the link box and holding a path tool appeared with this all I had to do was to bring it over and place it on the page I wanted it to go to, in this case Page 2.

Picture 18Once repeated on the other page the reverse way I then went onto file, preview in browser and safari, this opened up the pages in safari, which then allowed me to test the buttons/links to see if they worked.

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Picture 17Learning this was a big help to give me a brief and slight insight into the basics of table based web design, I have previously used Dreamweaver to create a website but this was like over 5 years ago on an early version of Dreamweaver, this was a very basic tutorial but it has giving me the basics to possibly try to create my own?

My next steps in the project is for me to look at other portfolio based websites and applications, for me to research and look into portfolio designs and colour schemes, etc and for me to possibly create my own basic web-based design like this using my own images and work?


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Final App Icon Design’s

After all of my altercations with my app background designs I decide to keep them simple and unique to each app but close enough that they worked as a set. I decided to colour each app background to the colour that I chose in my design development in my sketchbook, doing this I also decided to keep my app images really simple and I decided to just keep them as silhouettes rather than coloured images.

Picture 1I decided to start with the Speedometer app icon image second because I knew this app image would be hard to design and create, I keep it really simple and just made it just as an semiotics “Icon”. so it still has a physical resemblance to what it is. I at first struggled to create the lines even around the circle but then my teacher showed me a pretty cool and easy tool to do this all evenly and perfect, I first had to use the pen tool first to draw a line that I wanted copied around, I had to position it to the correct spot and then keeping it selected I used the rotate tool to position a centre point, while doing this I keep my finger on the “ALT” key, this brings up the option menu that is in the screenshot, This is the tricky bit. You need to figure out how many lines you want around the circle or the degrees, for mine I put n “360/40” but for the larger lines they were done at “360/8”, this tool is useful and a definite assets for me in future designs.

Below are my final 7 App icon designs:

Picture 2Now that I have the ability to take decent screenshot you can see my top shadow addition, this is something that I have seen on a lot of other app designs on my IPhone and this I think adds so much to my designs, it breaks up the nearly solid colour which is the background and it adds another layer and an almost 3D effect to the design.

Picture 6The colours that I decided to use for each app was purely just me, as a designer and an artist I feel that I has decent knowledge in what different colours can mean for certain objects or positions this is why the app icons background are how they are and they all needed to be different to one another! ha.

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Picture 8This Image design was a bit more complicated than I original wanted it to be, so I needed to add in another grid to help me line up the measurement lines, I keep all of the lines at 1pt originally but the design didn’t look right so I changed the back lines which went through the measurement bar thing to 0.25pt which looked right to me.

Picture 3My first app icon which helped me decide everything for all of the others.

 Picture 9I found this app image for the app icon harder than I thought I would, This is mainly because I have no idea what these things are called so I designed one instead of looking at images of them for inspiration, I used the rotate tool again like I did with the Speedometer design, but because I needed this part to be filled I had to manually brush the white in because I can’t remember how to combine all of the lines to create a smart object.

Picture 11This app design was always going to look like this, there was no need for me to change or edit this icon simply because it works so well, I would just be wasting time which could be sent doing more important things for the project.

Picture 4Although this design doesn’t have much to it, I think this one works as one of the best, it’s a really simple “Icons” which is easily recognisable to nearly everyone so this app icon was hugely successful and very easy to create.

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Ethical Design

To meet my projects learning outcomes I need to do a bit of research and though on Ethical Design, ethical design basically would be a design that has been made in mind with the designers/ products/ companies morals in mind, this would make the design morally correct.

Imagine that you are going to take part in a debate about ethical design in which you will need to prepare notes for a speech about these things. Research as well as giving your own opinions. And you can include anything else about ethical design (esp in advertising) too. If you can bring in any of the audience theory too that is even better.

1. Ethical design in charity and issue based advertising.

Should you charge to design for a charity? In my opinion I believe that Yes, you should charge for your design unless it is something that you are 100% behind and don’t mind doing work for free. At the end of the day it is up to the design, no one else, it’s their creative work and vision.

Should you design for a charity that you do not agree with? This question is a bit harder to answer because in one hand its work, and it will get your name known, but in the other if you don’t believe in something you should endorse it because it could shed a bad light on your designs and yourself, which could be pointless if you don’t agree with the morals or beliefs of the company.

Should charities spend their money on design at all? Yes I think that they should!, if there asking a designer to design for them they should pay them unless the designer wants to work for free.

2.Ethics in design in general.

Are designers  part of the process of selling inappropriate goods or of promoting “bad” companies? Yes they are, it may not be 100% intentional but they are still making a design which is aimed at selling and advertising a product, whether it moral or not, if they don’t want to be apart of it they should turn down the job.

What should a designer refuse to do?  As a designer myself I would refuse to do anything that would affect my own morals, for me this would be designer for things that I don’t believe in, but as a designer we all need to think about ourselves because it is our career and lively hood on the line!, so we a need to do what is in the best interest for ourself, a bit selfish but true I belive!.

What issue would you refuse to be involved with? Personally I would refuse to be involved with a company that is false! and believes in something that don’t, can’t think of any at the moment but im sure there’s some thing out there.

How can you square this with making a living for yourself? If you’re a good, world known designer you can afford to choose designs but being a smaller design I personally would take any business, “Any business is good business!”


What role should the designer take in promoting sustainability? Sustainability Is something that is getting more and more important so It’s worth making it promote.

What are the aspects of sustainability? The aspects of Sustainability for a design could be what the design is made out of?, how much it has cost to produce?, what the Sustainability of the product is?, the Sustainability of the actual design?

Should a client be expected to pay more for this? Yes, a sustainable design will last longer so it should cost more to produce, but this can be decided between the client and the designer.

4.Unpaid internships?

Pros. There are a lot of good things that could happen from an internship and as most of them are unpaid here are some pros that I know of that could happen because of the internship, free knowledge of the trade, a possible job from the intern company or other companies, valuable learning experiences, real life work and getting your name out there, there are properly more but these are the main that I can think of at the moment.

Cons. You are working for free, you might be underreported, might not get the correct experience that was expected or intended, but to be honest whether your being paid or not an internship is a good thing to have, in my personal past experiences.


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