Drawing VS Photography

I stumbled upon a website showing artwork by Ben Hein. I was transfixed by these photos/drawings and the inspiring creativity that was so clear throughout.By merging these two techniques you can gain a extended sense of fun.

I really enjoy these pieces because each picture I look at shows a different aspect of how to combine these techniques. At the same time, each image I look at I am already thinking of the next and what else could be done in the same way.

Here is a link to the site:


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The project has finally been handed in, it was a lot of hard work and effort to gain the stunning result I had in mind when I first started the project. I cannot believe it is now finished, it does not seem that long ago that I started it. 

Due to the nature of the project and target audience, the project and outcomes were defined as non-visual but still has a beauty that sighted people can admire. Despite this fact, a high level of design was still required to complete the project, although it was necessary to design using alternate methods and practices than more mainstream design. In order to create an informed and suitable design, I needed to adopt co-design and co-creation, researching in depth the practicalities of what I was trying to produce. Learning to adapt design skill and knowledge was a key factor within this project, enabling me to focus on different parameters of the project to develop concepts and design in different ways, but at the same time still exercising the design process. The project’s target audience was implied within the set brief and therefore in order to ensure I understood the target audience as best I could throughout the project, I visited a centre for blind people in Headingley. Talking to blind adults as research helped me to focus my project and question existing products and communication methods for blind people.

An illustrated book for blind children was an appropriate outcome when designing to expand experience for people without sight. A book is simple, but has many underlying factors that affect people, for instance a book gives people independence, it encourages imagination, and it has an educational value. In general books for the blind consist only of Braille, therefore with written information only, or are very gimmicky and over loaded with textures. Many books for blind children were originally designed for sighted children, then at a later date have had Braille added to make the design more inclusive. While this demonstrates a recognition of the need for inclusive design, perhaps the inclusivity needs to play a part in the beginning of the design process, rather than as an after thought. As well as producing an illustrated book specifically designed for blind children, I also produced a set of direct mails that are jointly focused towards blind children as well as adults. The book is designed to be opened until completely flat (concertina), creating a sense of journey and interaction for several blind children to read it together.

The project overall was successful, the outcomes are professional and of a high standard. The manner in which the project was produced was precise and professional, showing my ability to time manage and reach a quality result, both in design and finished piece. The project has a lot of undertones in terms of message and focus and this could have been a downfall within the project as it may have distracted my attention away from the importance of creating innovative non-visual design. A strength of this project was time management. All the practical details of this project were micro-organised, from the way files for cutting out the illustrations were named, to the way in which each illustration was packed into their separate bag to make construction easier. The organisation of the project enabled me to plan enough time to successfully finish the book and direct mails to a high standard, allowing for potential mistakes, which I would then have time to rectify. Other strengths within the project was my ability to design a non-visual end result, effectively designing without using my eyes and instead concentrating on what the piece feels like when you hold it, touch it, the weight of it and the size of it. All the design decisions within this project were based on the user being blind, therefore the weight of the book itself, or the weight of the envelope that the direct mail arrives in, was all designed with the overall experience of the product in mind.

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Blind_Final Project

There is just a few weeks left of my final year at University and my focus is on my Disability project.

The project is a designed and illustrated story book for blind children. The reason you might ask? Well, sighted children have the ability to extend their imagination through sight,  memories, and using image references. But the majoirty of blind children(if born blind) have no perception of light and with that no image references.

Thus the point of this book is to extend the experience of a story or book for blind children, creating new experiences, new thoughts and references that are  not based on gimmicky tricks such as fur and fabric.

I have chosen the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, why? Because after visiting a few blind adults at cohearant vision in Headingley Leeds (which is due to shut down in June – But that is another story)http://www.cohearentvision.org.uk/, I was inspired by some of the comments made by individuals about certain books, experiences and textures. The excitement  became about sounds and smells and so this set me off on a journey to create a real multidimensional and multi-sensual experience for blind children.

This project has had many strengths, but there have been obstacles to overcome, for instance, convincing other designers that blind people deserve to be designed for was a breathtaking experience for me and has driven this project right from the start. Sourcing the paper, binding materials, finding the right techniques to produce such a book as a one off or as a commercial project, realising the time constraints and developing a sense of double message towards blind people and children, as well as targeting designers to think more about the way in which they look at design and the act of designing.

The book has about 25 pages and within that about half is braille and half is illustration. I am very excited at the prospect of the finished book, as I have worked very hard to get this project to a point where it has an established design, structure and commercial standing.

The project hand in is the 13th May 2011, more about the project development and finishings soon.

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Lose this child_animation


I found this on cartoonbrew.com and was instantly transfixed, it has a certain creative beauty. I have always admired sand art, but this is a new level. It shows animation skill at the same time as introducing a level of attractiveness that appeals to many.

Great little video from  Yuval & Merav NathanLose This Child was animated on an actual beach with real sand, by four animators including musician Guy Ben Shetrit.(cartoonbrew.com)

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Fanastic Mr Fox_review

It has been a while since its release but I have only just got round to seeing it. It was definitely worth the wait, it is a fantastic film(no pun intended). I am a big fan of stop motion, but this took it to another level, it was established it upheld the romantic nature of stop motion at the same time as creating its very own style and attitude. The film itself is perhaps a little slow, but is easily forgiven due to the nature of the style and production.

Fantastic Mr Fox was released in 2009 and  it achieved £1,517,312 in its opening weekend in the UK (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432283/business)

The film clearly was a must watch for any body who read the book, or anyone interested in stop motion and animation. The film was based on the book  written by Roald Dahl.

The film features the likes of   George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray performing the voiceover.

Watch the trailer here:

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The role of a Designer

I am calling all designers everywhere to help me to have a greater understanding of how we think of ourselves as Designers. How we define ourselves and how important we think we are to society. Please comment at the bottom with your thoughts and perhaps your questions on this subject.

How would you define the role of a designer?

What are the important issues we must not forget as Designers?

And how can we improve ourselves to benefit society?

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The first question is how we get young designers to step out of their comfort zone to experience what their audience experiences. It might sound simple, but it is not.  The idea of changing the attitudes of egotistical designers to look beyond themselves to the world to help improve people’s lives through using their skills.

Co-design is  where the designer talks directly with the audience, or the sets a certain amount of time to spend experiencing the things that their audience would. To help designers sympathize to make social improvements. This particular website talks about co-design with regards to making an elderly persons life better.


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Ethical issues_culture jamming

Culture jamming is described as taking an established brand and using its corporate identity to promote a different message, for instance a McDonald’s sign – changing what is says – it could be over the top of an existing piece of advertising or it be in place of that advertising. The point of culture jamming is to use the big brands to get the world and its people to think about the mess that the world is in.I am unsure as to how ethical the design industry actually is, how far people are willing to go and whether the current economic crisis has resulted in designers loosing that last piece of their soul to capitalist consumerism?

But culture jamming is different it is part of the big wide world of design activism, it embraces the established brands, knowing that they are held in high esteem across the globe, but they use this influential brand to create opinions and questions in the minds of people that would not usually think twice about purchasing a product.

Here are some examples of culture jamming:

Fantastic book on culture jamming find it here on amazon:

Called Culture Jam – How to reverse Americas suicidal consumer binge – and why we must by Kalle Lasn


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Two very influential pieces of animation

These two animations to me are groundbreaking. Tim Burton, sinister as ever produced this stop motion in 1982 – over 25 years ago and it still resonates with me, it is completely timeless. The stop motion and voice work great together, the style of the animation is rich and cleverly portrayed through the characters facial expressions. Pure Genius.


This particular animation is fantastic, it on first glance is visually not up to scratch, but please if you have not heard of this guy then you should have. These animations are based on comic timing and accuracy in animation. I studied these animations for quite some time learning about timing and ensuring that the character you create gets the timing they deserve.

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