For our third rotation project we focussed on graphic design involving the use of number sequences. We needed to create an innovative and exciting outcome that involved the numbers 1-5 in sequence. To get things started, we drew 25 5cmx5cm boxes and filled them with ideas, but were advised to not create our own fonts but use those found online and in sources like Microsoft Word. We began only using black and white. I experimented with filling only some of the box, and having harsh contrasts between areas of deep black ink and bright white. It some ways it comes across as bold pop art, and pays homage to the Bauhaus era that we discussed at the beginning of the project; having the focus on the shapes the numbers can create rather than the numbers themselves.
For the next stage, I drew out another 25 boxes and tried out different materials and colours, as well as new designs. I wanted to see what worked well in making the work a bit more exciting and fun. I like how the felt looks as if it is jumping off the page. I like the muted tones compared to the bolder and brighter colours. Sometimes over the top colours aren’t needed for something to make an impact.
For the next stage, we took our favourite of the designs we created so far and developed them further in boxes of 10cmx10cm. My favourite of my original designs were the numbers that had shapes cut out around them. It reminded me of a grid marks or buildings drawn onto a map. As I was already incorporating maps into my digital collage project after studying the work of Alex Daw, I thought it would be interesting to tie that into this project too. Therefore, I produced the sequence below using a map of the Isle of Wight. The text in the newspaper had an interesting effect too, with the shapes and numbers drawn over it; it makes the work busy but it isn’t too crowded.
Through my experimentation, the features I thought worked best were the maps and newspaper. Furthermore, when discussing my ideas with a group in my course during a peer crit session, they thought that the more muted and natural coloured fabrics worked best; I was fully on board with this. Therefore, I tried some larger pieces, like the one below, mixing different calm tones to form the shapes around the numbers in the ‘cut out’ style of my preferred original designs. I liked the crafty and delicate nature of these pieces, and decided for my final piece I would create a patchwork of about 40cmx40cm.
For the final outcome, I scanned images of a newspaper page and an area of a map onto the computer. I then printed these images onto special paper that transfers images onto fabric. I used an iron to put these images onto fabric so that I could easily cut them out and sew them onto the final piece. I sketched out my final design and began preparing the different elements, using a variety of fabric of different textures and colours. I’m happy with how it came out; I particularly like the map sections as they stand out as well as are complimented by the earthy tones surrounding them. In the future I think it would be really fun to make something even bigger, that may even tell a story like a comic strip.