Let me tell you where im at

In Dragons Den style, ha.

It was my dad’s birthday recently and I took a whole bunch of photos of him playing golf on the beautiful course we basically lived on in Portugal for two weeks at Boa Vista. I always struggle to buy him presents, as like me, he buys everything he wants before his birthday or christmas! So I decided to get a canvas printed of the best photo I took of him on holiday, I’m really pleased with the quality! If your a Costco member it’s well worth using them.

Essay – 500 words of my 5-6000 word thesis are complete. I have a lot of great sources and I have outlined the next part im going to write.

Practical – A couple of posts back I made a post about all the inspiration I had printed out. I took this book away with me to Portugal and filled in each and every page with annotation. Annotation is usually a weak point of mine as I try and fill everything in at the last minute and it doesn’t work. I thought id get ahead of myself. Also on the left hand side page below, Scott Pilgrim, I have now seen the film and played the game and I’m obsessed with it! It just so happens that it’s perfect inspiration for my chosen project.

Self Brief –
My topic is going to be gaming. Gaming was probably my first major hobby when I was very young, starting on the Amiga, which was basically just a keyboard with a floppy disc drive, to present day with the ps3 and xbox 360. There is so much history/progression/subject matter to play with on this subject that coupled with my love of it I think it would make a perfect last major project.

The title idea I thought of first was – ‘What we can learn from games to make a better future‘. Although I think this title narrowed the subject down too far and as such think this is better suited – ‘The Relationship between computer games and people’. How am I going to go about doing this? Well I have done quite a bit of animation lately, taking risks and learning new skills is what I want to do to push myself this year. I have looked into book publishing websites and the best one seems to be ‘Blurb‘ . However I have thrown a quick book together in a day from some of the best bits from my old work to test the quality, and am awaiting delivery (should arrive Monday).

So what is so risky about a book? I have never produced one for a start, I haven’t had much experience with InDesign and by the end of this project I should be very adapted to it. Also I think my typography use is weak so this project will also boost that skill. Through producing a book a lot of research, planning and actual producing is necessary under constant deadlines, I also like the idea of it all being in a tangible professional looking product at the end. An advantage here is I can also take double page spreads il be producing and have them printed out as big posters if needed (for exhibition use and what not).

What is the book going to contain? I am going to do a lot of inital research, find and set out what I want to cover, pick thought provoking articles or find facts related to gaming and then transfer these into book form and obviously work it all out graphically. For example this article about why ‘death’ has always been a punishment in games – Article . I could take whole articles or take the best bits and produce a book that is not only interesting to read but is very visually stimulating too. Having gone to London yesterday to look at graphical books to help inspire me with this year I found a book along the same lines of what I want to do, I am going to order it after I publish this post, il make another entry when I receive it!

Games are obviously very visual by nature and cover many graphical styles, as such I want each segment or article in the book to have it’s own individual look. This way I can be creative and experimental to make it graphically interesting and not samey. I am well aware that books and magazines strive to be consistent but in my opinion from a graphics stand point this isn’t all that stimulating. Also since the book is about games and like I have said it’s a very visual medium I think this is a good creative choice. My audience is obviously to cater to gamers but also hopefully to surprise people about the depth of gaming, who think it’s just a 12 year old kid’s obsession.

Stay tuned for more. Also if you have any cool gaming merch, like I have shown in the photos or old gaming systems please comment or email me – chillcleal@hotmail.co.uk. This would be hugely appreciated! Thank you.


Filed under Graphic Design Practice, Photography, Theory

10 responses to “Let me tell you where im at

  1. Very nice post, it’s about time someone made a new long one that’s interesting to read. Love the canvas picture, it would be a really nice picture of it too if you could squeeze yourself behind it more with no hands!

    Project sounds like it is coming along nicely and I’m loving the annotation, i need to forget the essay for a week and get on with that before Thursday, I do so think!!

    One last note, if you want some really good inspiration I can offer a few words of advice.
    Firstly; listen to Tom, he always comes out with good quality wordage!
    Secondly; TED TED and more TED, love that site!
    Thirdly; lets play some Left 4 Dead and complete that achievement ASAP!!!

  2. scottwcoleman

    nice long post, the canvas looks good,ive always wanted to print my final work on a canvas. The annotation looks very in depth.

    But anyway I think the project has scope but I’m not sure picking articles and illustrating them is completely the way to go – not sure. I also don’t think you have to completely distance yourself from animation. You can take risks within animation, just because you haven’t done a book before doesn’t necessary mean its very risky.

    • Cheers, I want to focus on making a book this year and not spreading myself thin over a book and an animation… id rather one thing be good than do wo and them both be weaker.

      Also what you said here – ‘But anyway I think the project has scope but I’m not sure picking articles and illustrating them is completely the way to go – not sure.’ –

      Im not sure what else you are suggesting…. I write my own whole book… which isn’t going to happen, I want to actually do some designing. Or no words at all? Then its just a picture book? Get back to me ^_^

      • Tom Barden

        I hope I’m not intruding on the comment tree, but I also have a thought on this. I sort of agree with Scott, but I’d like to say this; although I think that taking other people’s words and putting them in the book might not be a brilliant thing to do, it is all you can really do, because after all, your own words is only a one sided opinion no matter how balanced you try to be.
        Also, if you keep the words limited on some pages and more design based imagery to illustrate what they say. Other pages could be the occasional large extract of something that doesn’t directly relate to the gaming, but can be brought back, so that in itself it illustrates your books overall aim.
        Some nice typographic compositions pirely type based would be nice with small quotes i believe.
        I can see the book comign out really nice with some clean pages and some more textured not so clean ones

        I still think it should be hand made, because that adds your “human” touch to it and takes it a little bit more towards their relationship with people. – just a few things to think about!

      • Yer, thats pretty much what I want to do like in the book I showed you in Magma….. sort of.

        In my opinion computer games which are electronic and polished is better suited to a professionally printed book and not a handmade feel book. I get what your saying about the people bit, it would be cool to somehow have it half slick and half hand made but…. I don’t know… something to think about I suppose, thanks!

  3. lem

    sounds interesting…can’t wait to see what you come up with and take a gander at your final exhibition! 😀 x

  4. Finally a meaty post from Reiss 🙂

    You know how I feel about gaming so we won’t go there again, but I can see the benefit from you basing your final year on something you are really passionate about – not only will it make your last year even more enjoyable but will hopefully ensure you get the best results possible too!

    I think what scott was trying to say was just make sure that you have enough of ‘you’ in the book, your own opinions backed up with the articles you choose, and obvs. lots of visuals to experiment with.

    It sounds daunting but we still have quite a bit of time to concentrate on our final piece – when you get back into the swing of layout, you will be surprised how quickly things happen !

    Look forward to seeing more – oh, and just because you are basing your work on gaming, doesn’t mean you have an excuse to spend all your time playing ok ! 🙂

    • I think this is the most comments ive ever got!

      My ideas are going to come from the creative side and not the writing as im a designer not a writer. With work experience at Arup you know that, and I hate this saying but ‘in the real world’ you get given text from the writer and its up to you to illustrate around it and make the text look good, im not sure where the me writing bit comes into it? The ‘Me’ bit comes from the editing and basically everything you lay your eyes on, im taking it further than ‘real world situations’ as with magazines they usually have a standard font and size to always use, I can put the text in anyway I want….even to the extreme style like in the book ‘A Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish’.

      Haha, and of course il have to play quite a few games for….erm… research….. ^_^

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