Before GCSEs, I had never studied graphic design. Three years later, and I am slightly in love with it. I spend a lot of my time messing around with Photoshop and have a whole shelf next to my desk filled with graphic design and font books. I quite often look at signs when out and about and start rambling on to my family, “oh yes, that’s my favourite font. Remember – the one I was telling you about…?”
I am just about to start my final year of sixth form, taking the ‘A’ levels; graphics, photography, and law (spot the odd one out). I’ve dropped business at AS level because there was only so many ‘trade offs’ and ‘market structures’ I could stomach. I am also attending uni open days (I know, me fending for myself without parents – terrifying thought) looking into design courses.
We had lots of mini projects throughout my graphics course and one big one at the end. The kind of things I have produced in the past during my course were a double-page spread from a children’s book involving the theme of flight, and food/drink packaging based around the theme of flight. I think my school had an obsession with flight-related things, and by the end, I never wanted to draw a paper aeroplane ever, ever, ever again. I have also created a double-page spread from a food magazine and a travel poster, which I felt turned out really well.
I like to take the task at hand and make it as creative as possible. For example, my drink themed around flight was a drink to calm those who feel nervous when flying, containing valerian and passionflower (plants known to be calming). I take my inspiration from everyday life. For example, this drink was inspired by my personal anxiety. My travel poster was advertising a trip to Neptune. This was inspired by NASA posters and vintage British Railway posters (look them up, they are stunning).
I recently sat my graphic design exam for the first year of A Levels (I don’t think it counts towards anything which is slightly frustrating considering how hard I worked) and produced an augmented reality map for a festival I invented called ‘Enfest’. The project was, ‘create an advertisement for a real or fictitious festival’. Now; how and why did I come up with the idea of creating an augmented reality map for the festival? Answer, because I am crazy and like to cause myself as much stress as humanly possible.
I chose augmented reality because my teacher told me that I should try to challenge myself. So what did I do? I self-taught myself how to use a game developing programme made for professionals, to produce a map for a festival that became 3D when scanned with a mobile phone. This meant illustrating and digitally creating each 3D element individually, and assembling it all together into a map that would virtually appear/pop out of a brochure. Challenge accepted! *gulps*
I used the programme Unity which, despite being very confusing, worked well. I had to combine another programme called Vuforia together with Unity to be able to create anything in augmented reality. If you don’t know what augmented reality is, I’ve kindly provided a link for you which explains it far better than I ever could.
But if you can’t be bothered to click on the link, augmented reality is used to scan an image to make 3D objects appear. This is done by inputting the image you want to be detected into Unity, so when the camera detects that image, whatever you have programmed in will appear to emerge from the screen. I created a flyer for a festival, and on Unity, I made a virtual map of the festival appear on the flyer when you scan it with your phone (I know, right?).
I received an A* for my augmented reality project, which I was initially thrilled about, but now I am concerned I’ve set the bar too high for myself next time. Hey-ho. Anyway, I hope you liked the examples of some of my work. Let’s hope I can make a career out of this…