Friday, 17 January 2014



What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them? 
I think the most valuable skill set I have learnt throughout this module is my researching techniques.  This is something that has been hugely improved throughout and as the project progressed it became easier to understand what particular areas of research I needed to undertake in order to get the best results.  I found this module valuable in enabling me to gain an appropriate amount of primary and secondary research in order to feed into my arguments within my essay, this was something I would of found quite intimidating at first, the idea of conducting an interview or carrying out a survey, yet I found it engaging and invaluable to supporting my points.  I also found this module helped to improve the regular activity of blogging and documentation, this was something I felt was improved and I recorded my research in an effective way, reflecting on the work and developing my ideas through evaluative blog posts.  I feel the development stages of my practical were successful and allowed me to progress and form new ideas and concepts which helped to further the final outcomes.  Another skill I feel has been improved is the planning and organising throughout this project.  There was a lot to consider in terms of planning research, considering theory and trying to synthesis the two elements and I felt down to planning and organising this helped to approach the task.

What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
I feel I have developed my design skills in terms of designing something that will be put into practice in terms of being used to promote the exhibition that will be displayed during the summer.  This is something I had to consider when designing and needed to apply the relevant information in order to inform my audience.  I also thought my research into modernist design really helped to inform my designs for my own work and I paid more attention to detail whilst designing in order to apply the modernist theory into my practice.  I have also improved on my mock up skills and visually displaying my digital work in a more professional style. 

What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these? 
I felt elements of the practical work were strong in terms of type and visuals and using my own photography for the designs.  Another strength I capitalised on was the understanding of theory into practice, I thought the concept of proposing an exhibition was a suitable format that synthesised successfully with my essay as I was looking at the success of the London Undergrounds design and an exhibition is the perfect way to showcase these successes.  In terms of actually applying theory to my design I took a modernist approach to the visual elements as this was a theory applied in my essay.  I also tried to display, in the best possible way, the design principles and theories that I investigated whilst researching for my essay.  I thought my final presentation boards were displayed well and concisely explained the general outline of the project and how I intend to push it further.  I feel the ongoing reflection of the project and the development were the most successful parts of this module for me.

What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?
There were periods of this module, especially at the start, where I felt quite lost and was unsure of certain directions to take within both the written and practical element.  This is something that would of benefitted my final results hugely and feel I should of been more clinical and decisive when being faced with problems to avoid time limitations and to get the best final results out of my work.  I feel the product range should of been developed further but struggled with generating ideas and how I could push it further as it was a proposed exhibition which I will be putting together in the summer, so found the preparation work to be harder than anticipated.  I feel although my essay was written quite eloquently and I had a wide range of both primary and secondary research, post feedback I realised I should of been more analytical but due to the time scale, when considering printing and binding for the essay, I could not amend it as much as I would of liked to.

Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these? 
  • Time management - I feel this is something I am constantly trying to improve, however I feel there were considerable improvements from the previous module.  I felt as the module progressed my time management skills started to decline and towards the end felt myself running out of time to get the most out of my practical elements
  • Writing skills - Although I felt my essay was structured well and I explored my subject matter in depth I felt there were areas of it that needed to be improved.
  • Range of products/outcome - This should of been pushed further, to give the final design outcomes more depth
  • On reflection, I needed to have a clearer understanding of what I was trying to achieve from the very start, this was something I was slightly unclear with at first and so some time was squandered, this would of been useful towards the end of the module when I felt slightly pressed for time.
  • I would of liked to explored more design processes when creating my final products, this is something I will look to heavily improve in extended practice.
  • photographing my final work - this does not do the final designs justice if I have not taken out the time to photograph my work in a professional manner
  • mock ups in context - this would put my final designs in context and show the designs working in an environment that could communicate my design successfully 
Attendance = 5
Punctuality = 5
Motivation = 4
Commitment = 4
Quantity of work produced = 3
Quality of work produced = 3








Wednesday, 15 January 2014


The brief was to propose an exhibition that will eventually be put on at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Building in Kings Cross.  Due to my essay question I thought an exhibition showcasing London Undergrounds classic designs would be a fitting format and could also be linked to the 150 year anniversary the tube celebrated in 2013.

Design principles of Frank Pick, the pioneer of the London Underground design movement, as these theories and design concepts are visibly linked when the design of the Underground was taking shape.  It will also focus on the design principles of the DIA (Design and Industries Association) and Pick being a leading member championed these ideas of 'form follows function' which is displayed most successfully through his design work on the Underground.

Putting theory into practice I have tried to keep the theme of the work mainly focused on these aspects.  Throughout my essay the theory that was applied was 'medieval modernism' a concept by Michael T. Saler, who believes due to Picks traditionalist beliefs inspired by William Morris, combined with the contradicting progressive ideas (accepting the machine) was an appropriate title for the man behind the modernist styling of the city through the Underground.

Bearing this in mind I have designed the work in a modernist style incorporating the design philosophies of Pick and the DIA.

In order to successfully display the theory behind the design of the Underground I looked at the DIA's principles and Picks personal design philosophies.  I also looked at examples of modernist work in order to apply Picks beliefs to my own designs.

I visited the London Transport museum as I thought this would be a good source of inspiration in terms of exhibiting work, and also attended an exhibition showcasing the London Undergrounds collection of posters to get ideas for my own proposed exhibition.

For potential visuals for my designs I visited various Underground stations to capture signage, station tiling, architecture etc.

I contacted various venues to enquire about putting the exhibition on in the summer, resulting in success with a space in Kings Cross:

After exchanging emails I made an appointment and a room has been booked during the summer for me to put on the proposed exhibition.

This is a design manifesto compiled of theories relating to modernism and William Morris, which also directly relates to the constructing and design of the tube and the impact it can have on society.  The three images are Pick and two members of the DIA, as these principles were compiled by the Design and Industries Association.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


I thought for the exhibition it would be appropriate to design a manifesto of the DIAs design beliefs and values, Medieval Modernism and the London Underground helped to compile a list of quotes that were very specific to design and the making of the underground and shaping the city and the community.

In terms of layout, I tried to look at a very simple, modernist style of design.  I titled it the design for everyday life because that makes reference to William Morris and also because when Pick talks about his design philosophies he feels it should be applied in other aspects and not solely for design as he wanted to impact on the community.

I thought in terms of modernist style I wanted to incorporate the bold numbers for each point of the manifesto

that the city which we build must be fit for trade, for government, for traffic, for social intercourse; 

second that soundness in workmanship and materials will compel beauty out of a craftsmen, that a city of good bricks or good stone well laid and well dressed will be a shell which will attract the graces of ornament; 

third, that ornament shall cost effort and money, and so shall be of value; that a city shall not be covered in cheap ornament, anymore than a person with cheap jewellery; that the ornament shall be employed sparingly to emphasise that which is worth emphasis, and not to set up a competition of building with building which eventually destroys all emphasis and with it all meaning; 

fourth, that the material should be respected and should be rightly treated, that the city should choose an architecture of brick or stone or steel and concrete which will announce itself, which will allow of the right handling of the material; 

fifth, thats there shall be orderliness and proportion in all things, that the parts of the city shall fit together, that one part shall not conflict with another part.  It is useless to seek for beauty, but if you seek after these principles, we believe beauty will be added onto you, the beauty that is truly yours, and not the beauty that is borrowed or copied from another.
In terms of images I wanted to use Pick as he obviously is the key figure and is not recognised as he should be when people think of the London underground and its design, in fact smaller figures in the design of the London Underground are noted more such as Charles Holden.
I thought it worked better when selecting a range of images from various members of the DIA or people that agreed and championed the same rules as Pick.  These three figures are Pick, central, Charles Holden and Nikolaus Pevsner.
I thought it would be appropriate for the ticket design to show Pick as the leading figure of the Underground design, keeping consistent with the exhibition style the same text is applied and colour scheme.
Things that need to be included on the ticket:
  • price
  • date
  • ticket number
  • quote
  • exhibition logo


As well as using the main poster with the image of Pick I wanted to incorporate some images of the tube, photographs that I had taken of various stations.  To keep the branding consistent for the exhibition the logo is placement stays at the bottom right hand corner, these posters are A3 as opposed to the Pick one, being A2.

These images don't focus massively on a particularly nice bit of design for the tube but I quite like the grittiness of the second one and I think even though they look a little rough I think once edited and combined with a modernist type layout.
The typeface follows through to the smaller promotional posters to show consistency of branding for the event.  I have changed the images to black and white to allow more consistency for the posters and also because I think the general design looks better with the images in black and white.
Looking at exhibition logo colour scheme, I think it looks more legible in white, however to keep consistent with previous Pick poster it should consist of the same colours.  The colours taken from the 'journey of design' title on the Pick poster are the colours taken from the exhibition logo which was an imitated version of one of the original first bits of signage from the blue bar of the roundel.
 It was important to show the theory of modernism in the design, by using a grid I feel this will come across more so, the text on the posters need to give some insight into what the exhibitions about and the theory behind what Pick believed in and the relevant information about the exhibition.  Ive also incorporated the basic symbolism of the roundel to show the nearest tube station.  Eventually the exhibition is intended to travel across the UK to show and celebrate the designs, but has started in London because this is the place I have agreed to use for the venue.
These are the posters developing in terms of layout, however the colour of the word 'a journey' needs to be changed, the exhibition logo is placed in the same corner as the Pick poster.  The layouts of both poster are exactly the same apart from the image changing, however the information on these posters differ from the last, with the previous ones being more about Pick.
photographs of patterned seats on the tube
I thought these could be interesting patterns to use and quite recognisable to Londoners.  Again this isn't something that is a really impressive bit of design in terms of the tubes history but I think for the poster design it works well and the use of the old posters commissioned have already been used in various campaigns to celebrate the 150 years.
central line
At first I thought about leaving the image by itself and using the most important passages of information to display theory and show the most important details.  However I thought using a quote from various lectures Pick has given or beliefs from the DIA would be fitting as the all relate to the building and design principles embedded in the tube.

When first starting to design the brand for the exhibition I started off using the tubes original font, in keeping with the company's branding, however I think this looked too much like the design of the tube and I wanted to bring a different style to the event, so looked at some obvious modernist typefaces, Helvetica Neue, working the best

This is the colour taken from the first Pick poster which I thought could work in terms of consistency, however because of the similarity with the pattern in the seat it made some of the last words slightly eligible.


My initial designs were to use the photographs I had taken of various bits of station tiling and architecture as some of them visually would make nice images for designs, however I found that it didn't work well when being but all together as the colour scheme seemed to clash and it didn't seem to represent the London Underground in the way I wanted it to.  The individual images were nice in depicting some well crafter designs but together it looked messy and didn't work for exhibition branding.

To try to make it work I tried using the London tube typeface and Helvetica Neue to take a modernist design approach, also laying them out in a grid style, yet it still didn't work.  I initially thought about changing the images so that they were all black and white to make the design look more consistent but I felt this took away from some of the design which is important not to do as its promoting an exhibition celebrating the design.

I decided to take a completely different approach and the leave the photographs for another area of design within the exhibition.  This is the design for an A2 poster promoting the exhibition, I wanted to have Pick as the focus point as the exhibition is displaying his thoughts and design views.  Although the exhibition will focus on contemporary designs from 'Art on the underground' which has nothing to do with Pick, the majority focuses on the era that Pick was in charge.

The exhibition is called a journey through design as it is looking at the past 150 years of the Underground design.  The poster will show all the relevant information such as the dates of the exhibition, time, a short passage about what the exhibition actually displays and various quotes.  It was important to give the design some context which is why a lot of the text addresses the theories of Pick and the DIA.

An important quote that should feature on various designs will be 
'Fitness for purpose is at the root of enduring beauty.'
To put theory into practice I have used a modernist grid to display the information. 
Looking at the best way to display the exhibition name in terms of being consistent with the exhibition logo.  These are the three colours from the exhibition logo which are taken from a copy of an original design when one of the first versions of the roundel and signage was introduced.  Although it incorporates all three colours to keep the style consistent its fairly eligible, especially the word design .
Using the roundel in its simplest form within the design.  I think it could depend on where its placed, however I don't know if it works with the simple design and layout and could look too distracting.  Information that is essential for the promotional poster:

  • venue
  • dates
  • times
  • nearest tube stops
  • website for more information on the exhibition
  • passage telling the viewer what the exhibition is about 
  • theory, Pick and the DIAs design values, showing the theory and thought behind the design and identity of the London Underground

Left hand side, information about the exhibition, right hand corner: quote from Pick about design principles.  Roundel, opacity faded, central to the image, however seems too distracting, works better without, shouldn't cut across Picks face.


modernism - form follows function 

An exhibition that explores the history of some of the most iconic graphic design to come out of the twentieth century, from Mr. Beck's influential tube map to the modernist architecture of Charles Holden. 

The Design and Industries Association (The DIA) with Frank Pick being a key member, set out to reconcile the ideas of Ruskin and Morris to the machine age by integrating art with industry, commerce and education.  The DIA principles:

'It is necessary first to convince the public that art is an integral part of life, and not a mere ornamental excrescence upon its surface, and secondly to remind artists their own responsibilities to the public.  The artist must be disabused of the notion that great works of art are produced by the aesthetic emotion alone.  This has never happened in the past, and it is not likely to happen now...The best are of our day is certainly what used to be called 'applied' art.'

Picks environmental determinism and his desire for a new spiritual communality, he felt the transport system could provide a foundation for 'a higher corporate life.'

'I see quite clearly transport, the foundation of success in its realisation...I see quite clearly too that a religion must be another of the foundations...It is a new religion, however, or a fresh blossoming, at any rate, of the old.  It is a religion for city dwellers.  There are still other foundations which must be laid, if we are to build a habitable city: habitable both for the body and the mind of man.  Our most grievous drawback is that we lack the prophetic fervour of John thinking in London.'

that the city which we build must be fit for trade, for government, for traffic, for social intercourse; second that soundness in workmanship and materials will compel beauty out of a craftsmen, that a city of good bricks or good stone well laid and well dressed will be a shell which will attract the graces of ornament; third, that ornament shall cost effort and money, and so shall be of value; that a city shall not be covered in cheap ornament, anymore than a person with cheap jewellery; that the ornament shall be employed sparingly to emphasise that which is worth emphasis, and not to set up a competition of building with building which eventually destroys all emphasis and with it all meaning; fourth, that the material should be respected and should be rightly treated, that the city should choose an architecture of brick or stone or steel and concrete which will announce itself, which will allow of the right handling of the material; fifth, thats there shall be orderliness and proportion in all things, that the parts of the city shall fit together, that one part shall not conflict with another part.  It is useless to seek for beauty, but if you seek after these principles, we believe beauty will be added onto you, the beauty that is truly yours, and not the beauty that is borrowed or copied from another.

I have researched some modernist style designs to apply to my own designs for the exhibition, at first I wanted to design all the material for the exhibition in the London underground style, however I feel that would of looked too much like a product of the London Undergrounds branding - with not much of my own style input.  Because part of the theory is an area of modernism I have decided to base the designs on a modernist style but still representative of the London Underground.  I also feel this kind of style will depict the design values and principles Pick believed in.

I like this simple style of design, I think something like this could work for promotional poster designs for the exhibition.  Originally I was thinking about using the Johnston typeface that is used on the tube, however, I think that will look too similar to the Undergrounds branding and the exhibition needs to have its individual modernist style, supporting Picks design values and theories .  I think an appropriate typeface to use would be something like Helvetic Neue Bold, striking, simple and very modernist.

I will still use the Johnston typeface for the exhibition logo as I think that needs to be in keeping with the branding.

A similar design, type heavy which I think is something that could work for designs inside the exhibition.  I think a colour scheme similar to this would work well for the branding of the exhibition as some of those colours, slightly altered, resemble similar ones from the first design of the roundel and imagery.  For the logo it will be a design from the original time period of when the branding was still coming together because I think this will show a progression/journey of design whilst still maintaining the proof of the design being successful, through the timeless design lasting (bar a few amendments and alterations.)
This is very fitting for a simplistic design idea as this was a value that was very important to the Design and Industries Association, something that Pick swore by.  It is a big part of the modernist movement and so including this quote within the designs will not only be relevant to Pick and the design but also to the movement of modernism which is an aspect of design that influenced the London Underground in quite a big way.
Interesting yet simple type and image lay out, I think using images of Frank Pick and other members of the DIA could be a nice aesthetic for the branding of the exhibition.  I also think Pick is a very important, key figure in the whole development of the London Undergrounds design and marketing and is not actually recognised enough.  This would be a way of paying tribute to Pick as it celebrates the London Underground's classic designs,  there is no face better to represent the success of the London Undergrounds design than Frank Pick.
This is the kind of style I would like to imitate when designing the DIA's manifesto for the exhibition.  This is an exhibition focusing on the designs of the Underground but looking at the beliefs and theory behind it and so I think it is a vital part of the exhibition to know the values and thoughts of the man and the group that helped shape the London Underground and contributed to the style of London as a city.

Monday, 13 January 2014


For the exhibition logo I needed to think of something that obviously represented the London Underground and was in keeping with the company's branding but something that was redesigned to show it was representing the exhibition.  The name of the exhibition is 'a journey through design,'  I think this is appropriate as the exhibition covers various stages of design from posters to architecture.  It also looks at the background of Pick and the values he had and how these are shown through the design of the London Underground.

ideas for exhibition logo:

  • roundel in its simplest form
  • coloured tube lines 
  • old fashioned roundel and exhibition title
One of my initial ideas was to have the logo design in black and white, its simplest form, in 0.25 stroke as though it was the first sketches, mapped out designs of the roundel to signify the beginning of the design, I thought this could work for the logo of the exhibition as it'll show the starting point of London Underground design.
I thought this would be a suitable design as it could be easily placed on poster designs and look simple and clean, especially if photographs of London Underground tiling and designs are used on posters.  This is the design developed further.  I wanted to use the old fashioned design of the signage because I think it now looks better as a design piece in the modern day but also because I think this can show the starting point of the exhibition, as its a journey.
My original idea was to have it in its simplest form but I think the signage works better when colour has been added.

After looking at these initial designs I thought it would be more recognisable to have the logo or the colour red as part of the design as I think this shows in a more obvious way the London Underground.  The idea to the left was taken from a London Underground poster that shows the development of the logo, I thought this would be fitting as the idea of the exhibition is to show the journey of design and so the exhibition logo could symbolise this progression and development of the early designs.  The second design incorporates the name of the exhibition, which I thought should use the recognisable London tube type face, however I do not like the positioning of the type in the second image and I think the first design looks unfinished.

This was a different approach, something that looks less like the symbolic design of the underground but is still very obviously to do with the company as it used the original branding.  I think taking the red out makes it less obvious.
I feel this image shows more design on my part and the black thick outline looks like it could represent some kind of exhibition/gallery, I think having the original signage from the London underground works well, the signage shows past classic design mixed with a more simplistic, contemporary design with the exhibition logo.  I think the less colour will make it easier to place over a range of designs such as posters and leaflets as this gives me more freedom with colour and pattern when designing promotional material.
This is the same design with a red circle added to the right hand corner, the roundel shape is placed in a more abstract way but I think it adds a more recognised look to the logo.  I don't know if it looks as though theres too much white space inside the black outlined box and whether the typeface should be made bigger and the use of cap locks should be taken off.
This was a new approach using the roundel as more of a recognised symbol, however iI think the placement of type works less successfully and it feels a bit unsettled in the layout.
The three designs below are the ones that I so far think work the best and look the strongest.  The first one on the left shows the simple, classic signage of the Underground with the more modern, simplified and recognised logo included in the design.  That shows the original designs of the Underground with the modern thick lined box surrounding the exhibition title in the typeface of the tube.  Even though there are four colours used in this design I feel the colours seem dull enough to not distract from any designs that could take place on the promotional material.

The last design, placed at the bottom has an appropriate shape to be placed on the footer of posters/leaflets etc. It fits together in an even lay out and takes the original design with a slight edit, I think all three of these could be used as potential designs for the exhibition logo.
With these designs I thought the simplistic compact shape would make it easier to place the logo on a range of designs.  The one on the left seems like a more versatile design for various promotional material, however the one on the right shows the heritage of the London Underground design and the timeless design including the slight progression into a more modern look.
This was a completely new approach to the previous designs I had been trying, even though the idea of using the tube line colours has already been done I thought it could work as an eye catching design for the exhibition logo.
This was the design in its most basic form, the only thought with this style is the boldness of the colours when placed on a design that could already have various colours/patterns etc. which could make the designs clash and look inconsistent.
I thought the silhouette of the roundel placed in the middle of the display of coloured tube lines worked better than the exhibition type placed over the colours.  However I think because of the roundel being white the coloured lines need to have no white space between each on like the original idea shown above (and possibly without the black boarder, the intention was to keep the logo enclosed into one clean space.)