Hilton Design


November 2015

Digital & Non- Digital Illustration


In this blog I am going to look at my choices of Illustration in both digital and non- digital aspects briefly. I already know that I feel more comfortable using the digital method though sometimes creating illustration by hand can work out a hell of a lot better, but it all depends on how you want the outcome to look like. I wanted to go for a simple illustration so that it wouldn’t be too complex for someone to understand. I wanted the illustration to be simple yet extremely effective to what it links to with my chosen subculture.

So there are two ways in how I could create my illustration and these are digital and non- digital.


Computer illustration or digital illustration is the use of digital tools to produce images under the direct manipulation of the artist, usually through a pointing device such as a tablet or a mouse. Part of the reason why I am heading down the Digital route is because myself has a Tablet which will make the production a hell of alot easier. It is distinguished from computer-generated art, which is produced by a computer using mathematical models created by the artist. It is also distinct from digital manipulation of photographs, in that it is an original construction “from scratch” but not as from scratch as a Non- digital piece. Here are a few examples of some Digital pieces I want to follow.


Non- Digital

Though with Non- digital I do believe that they look a lot more realistic when hand drawn with any technique such as watercolour or sketches. Below are a few good examples.


I believe that researching into different ways on how to illustrate has helped me a little to understand which route I want to go down and I’m going to choose the digital route for this one because I think that looking back at some of the others that were featured on Creative Reviews front cover haven’t really got so much detail in them like the hand drawn illustrations that i have found during this research. Also I think that my subculture wouldn’t suit that look as that zoot suiters always wanted to look clean and sharp so I’ll be giving the illustration a nice sharp finish with a slight rough background to it.



Presentation of Choice


Zoot Suiters

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In this blog I was asked to create a short Pecha Kucha on my chosen subculture. Pretty much what a Pecha Kucha is is a short powerpoint presentation that gives out a brief idea on where you are heading towards giving your audience a bit of understanding to what you are doing. Each slide is rather short and shouldn’t really consist on a lot of text but more imagery in which you speak the information other than making the audience having to read it on screen. Each slide should last a maximum of twenty seconds per slide with a total of twenty slides. As this was our first one we didn’t have to do twenty and only got asked to do ten,

Slide 1 – Into

Right so i decided on using the Zoot suiters as my subculture to bring back, the reason being was because I’m rather interested in their fashion and the way they look a little similar to the mafia.

Slide 2 – What are Zoot suits

Zoot suiters were usually african americans and mexicans who wanted to express their types of personalities to get recognised, some were good and some were good, they liked to feel as if the ran the streets.

Slide 3 – Their look

The look they were going for were to look like musicians, writers and boxers to get recognised by others who may believe that the individual may be one from the list. They looked upper class but deep down they weren’t as that they mostly had no professions and were spending most their money on tailoring their outfits.

Slide 4 – What did they do

They wore Zoot suits as a symbol of pride of ethnicity. Riots broke out due to the fact that the U.S couldn’t supply their sailors and marines with uniform as that they believed all the material was being used to create these zoot suits. it was also rumoured that zoot suiters had beaten a few sailors while praising Hitler, though this didn’t seem a very valid excuse as that these sailors who got “beaten up” only had suffered a few minor injuries.

Slide 5 – Icons

Their iconic fashion consisted of the following. Large blazers going below knee level, gold watch chains, fat ties, shirts with big collars, hats that matched with their blazers, large puffy trousers and religious necklaces. They also always used to position theirselves very laid back.

Slide 6 – Inspiration

My inspirations include the use of news articles from the zoot suit riots with an illustration drawn on top of it or maybe ripping through the page. i could make it look like an old style magazine cover or perhaps create a graffiti style piece of work of zoot suit members at a bar. The Mario image is just a layout style id like to try.

Slide 7 – Thumbnail 1

Using the newspaper technique I tried it out and thought it would be a great way to bring across the message that they’re coming back.

Slide 8 – Thumbnail 2

Very standard shapes in these thumbnails bringing their iconic look all in to a simple square cartoon kind of look. i may be looking at doing this in my double page spread maybe.

Slide 9 – Thumbnail 3

Here on the left side I was thinking of catching an image of a local pub or bar then painting over it maybe. Though on the right hand side i wanted to have three shady figures (being the zoot suiters) descending from darkness at the bottom with their gold chains shining through the darkness.

Slide 10 – Conclusion

To conclude my presentation I’ve said a few points in which i researched for this presentation and how its going to help me and give the audience a better understanding on my subcultural group.


Paradigms & Syntagms


These are pretty easy to understand but to create them is the difficult part. Paradigms are the big groups of ideas from which you can take one item, the Syntagms being the items that you select from the paradigm. This might be one word from all the languages available to us like, one lego brick from the box of bricks, one t-shirt from the drawer of tops, one colour from the paint palette or one book from the library.

The point is that when we communicate we make choices from a selection of other choices oh which word (image, clothing etc.) to select. The words we choose each have a special value and specific, contextual meaning.

We done an exercise in changing well known sentences around with different syntagms in them from the specific paradigms.


Here I am going to identify both the Paradigms and Syntagms within this advert of MarlboroMan.

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  1. Activity
  2. Place
  3. Clothing
  4. Headwear
  5. Facial features
  6. Age
  7. Colours
  8. View point
  9. Impression
  10. Gender


  1. Smoking
  2. Western
  3. Denim jacket
  4. White cowboy hat
  5. Moustache and a few wrinkles
  6. 40’s
  7. Light colours
  8. Close up
  9. Smooth, Laid-back
  10. Male

We then went on to what would happen if you changed one of these syntagms? I thought if you changed it to a young good looking woman that may increase both genders to the target audience, men may find it more attractive when a girl also smokes and maybe women would feel the urge to smoke to attract men to them, this can work both way rounds, not being sexist! Or maybe if they changed the smoke colour to black that would change the meaning completely as if to say that smoking is incredibly bad for you, which it is!

We also looked at who this advert was aimed at, I believed that it would come a cross to people who already smoke more than non smokers as its telling people to go and smoke these cool brand of cigarettes known as Marlboro’s.

From looking into this theory I have learned that changing anything within a piece of media even if it’s the smallest thing it could completely change the meaning of the message it’s trying to give out. Therefore this will help me choose certain content for my work in the future.





What is Ideology?

Well Ideology in the Althusserian sense who proposed both spiritual and materialistic conception of ideology, is “the imaginary relation to the real conditions of existence”. It can be described as a set of conscious and unconscious ideas which make up one’s goals, expectations and motivations. An ideology is a comprehensive normative vision, meaning that it is a set of standards that are followed by people, government, or other groups that is considered the “norm”, it is how we are bought up on how to live our lives with a whole lot of boundaries,a way of looking at things, as argued in several philosophical tendencies. It can also be a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of society to all members of society, as suggested in some Marxist and critical-theory accounts. While the concept of “ideology” describes a set of ideas broad in its normative reach, an ideology is less encompassing than the ideas expressed in concepts such as worldview, imaginary and ontology.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx  was a philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist. Marx’s work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and subsequent economic thought. Marx’s theories about society, economics and politics—the collective understanding of which is known as Marxism—hold that human societies progress through class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class that controls production and a dispossessed labouring class that provides the labour for production. States, Marx believed, were run on behalf of the ruling class and in their interest while representing it as the common interest of all. –

Ideology on Terrorism

Ideology refers to the system of abstracted meaning applied to public matters, thus making this concept central to politics. People from other cultures and religions from our own will have different beliefs which may disagree to ours or maybe agree. Recently in class we had a little debate on terrorism from the tragic event that happened in France. Before i go in to detail with this performance of understanding the ideology i just want to say that i am totally against terrorism and what they do is absolute vile.

Now the activist group known as ISIS (IS) preform all these awful acts against society which causes major uproar in social media and pretty much everywhere, they are one of the most hated groups on earth. Anyway their ideological way of life is a hell of a lot different to ours, they believe that when they preform these attacks that they are doing the “right thing” and will go to a “better place” if they do so. They believe that whoever doesn’t think the way they do should be eliminated, thus doing so will please their “God”. Growing up there in their society being trained to kill is like being potty trained over here, its all in how you are brought up. Like for example with our way of life we believe it is completely frowned upon to kill someone though animals kill other animals all the time to live, kind of like a survival of the fittest and they’re doing just fine and no one gets worked up about it. Ideology is the way you think the meaning of life is, groups like ISIS help theirselves by feeding people a lot of lies which gullible and young people believe and begin to follow them in their “meaning of life” unfortunately.

Ideology on Design and Media

Ideology kind of refers to an individuals opinion on a specific object or event, Ideology links on how to understand your target audience in a way, you must think and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, this is where i went wrong in my type tour project. you’ve got to think of others opinions and judgement which is very hard as I wouldn’t really like to slate my own work but you have to look at the bad points too. I’ve been reading this article that quotes “Design magazines today have lost their critical edge and are little more than catalogues”, “This is because there are no longer any coherent design movements to write about”and “Now there is no more ideology, All the world is very confused, all the world is very violent. There are too many different possibilities.” –

I do believe that Ideology does make life a lot more harder and also it makes it feel as if we’re all robots trapped inside someones sick little mind game. Though there are more words that tell the audience about a design piece I believe that it is better to show more design in which opens up the viewers creative mind and gives them their own opinion on what they believe it is. I find that Ideology is an extremely deep theory in which to explore and does result into arguments most of the time.

Connotation & Denotation


Within semiotics there are two things called Connotations and Denotations.

Denotation means the simplest description of an event or an object. These are a lot harder than you think as that you have to crack right down to the simplest way to describe something, as if you are describing it to a baby.

Connotations on the other hand is what the object or event means to you personally, like what comes to your mind when you see what you see or hear or even feel, these are ever so similar to signifier and signified, bellow is a diagram of semiotics and how they are split up.


Today we went on a trip to London to check out the photographer of the year exhibition. Our task we had were to pick a few photo’s there and to be able to identify the connotations and denotations within the photo’s.

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Juan van den Heever, South Africa
Battle of the bee-eaters

Connotations – Two birds fighting in the clear blue sky, with clear beautiful colours.

Denotations – Two animals flying in the sky.

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Don Gutoski, Canada
A tale of two foxes

Connotations – Cute, lonely baby fox in dire need of food in the frozen wasteland in the antarctic, resulting in to hunting for a similar kind. Though maybe the white fox was his friend and he just can’t take it to let him go.

Denotations – An animal holding another dead animal alone outside.


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Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa
The shark surfer

Connotations – A surfer paddling next to a terrifying shark in the clear blue ocean.

Denotations – A person and animal floating in water.

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Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain
Beetle beauty and the spiral of love

Connotations – Two beetles making love on a stringy green stem, looking like a green turkey twizzler (If you can remember them!).

Denotations – Two bugs on a plant.

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Britta Jaschinski, Germany/UK
Broken cats

Connotations – Awful animal cruelty to such magnificent cats who should be out in their pride lands instead of in a dark horrid room getting abused and forced to perform certain shows. This photo truly disgusts me personally as I am completely against any type of animal cruelty.

Denotations – Animals standing on objects with humans around them.

I found this great practise on how to review my own and others work, again this helps you understand your target audience and how they’ll view your piece of graphical work. Next I will be researching in to Paradigms and Syntagms.


Creative Review front cover examples


Here i found it essential to look at a few of Creative Reviews past front covers to get a rough idea on how mine should come across like. I decided to search the web for some of their new layout front covers which they updated back in 2010 (I know long time ago, but i didn’t want to find an old one and use that as inspiration). I wanted to find only illustration ones but i bumped in to a few photographer ones as well. Bellow is a collage of the ones which i found interested and which may help me out with ideas.

Looking at these examples has given me a view as to it doesn’t really matter how simple it is, along as the message is there and comes across effectively, i would particularly like to just have illustration on the front without any typography though I’m a little worried that the message won’t come across clear enough to the target audience. I do believe that this little bit of research has helped my views on how the cover should look and next i shall be looking into double page spread inspiration.

Cultural Capitalism


The term cultural capital refers to non-financial social assets that promote social mobility beyond economic means. Examples can include education, intellect, style of speech, dress, or physical appearance. Cultural capital  is a sociological concept that has gained widespread popularity since it was first articulated by Pierre Bourdieu. Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron first used the term in “Cultural Reproduction and Social Reproduction” (1977).

Cultural capital has three subtypes: embodied, objectified and institutionalised. Bourdieu distinguishes between these three types of capital:

Embodied-  cultural capital consists of both the consciously acquired and the passively “inherited” properties of one’s self. Cultural capital is not transmissible instantaneously like a gift or bequest, rather, it is acquired over time as it impresses itself upon one’s character and way of thinking, which in turn becomes more attentive to or primed to receive similar influences. Linguistic capital, defined as the mastery of and relation to language, can be understood as a form of embodied cultural capital in that it represents a means of communication and self-presentation acquired from one’s surrounding culture.

Objectified- cultural capital consists of physical objects that are owned, such as scientific instruments or works of art. These cultural goods can be transmitted both for economic profit and for the purpose of “symbolically” conveying the cultural capital whose acquisition they facilitate. However, while one can possess objectified cultural capital by owning a painting, one can “consume” the painting only if one has the proper foundation of conceptually and/or historically prior cultural capital, whose transmission does not accompany the sale of the painting.

Institutionalized- cultural capital consists of institutional recognition, most often in the form of academic credentials or qualifications, of the cultural capital held by an individual. This concept plays its most prominent role in the labor market, in which it allows a wide array of cultural capital to be expressed in a single qualitative and quantitative measurement (and compared against others’ cultural capital similarly measured). The institutional recognition process thereby eases the conversion of cultural capital to economic capital by serving as a heuristic that sellers can use to describe their capital and buyers can use to describe their needs for that capital.

Analysed from –

Scrapped imagery for future inspiration


Before I made my decision for using Zoot suiters as my subculture i was hooked on doing Ravers, I even went to the effort on doing a little research on them to then find out that they wouldn’t so much meet the brief due to the fact that they are not a dying trend but intact they’re building up to a main culture.

I also gathered up some images off the web to give me some inspiration on how to do my front cover. I loved this subculture because they used a wild selection of colours in a hippie kind of way and they kind of follow the same path as them but just a little more hardcore and different tastes in music in some occasions.

Bellow are the images I found which really gave me a feel for them and really influenced me to use the subculture.

Creative Review


So what is this magazine we are creating a front cover and double page spread for? Well Creative Review is  a monthly magazine targeted on the commercial arts and design scene. In general it focuses content on media originating in United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. It also showcases contemporary advertising, design, illustration, new media, photography, and typography. In my opinion i find it fairly boring though some imagery is fantastic but it all depends on what issue you get as most of them are rather bland. On their website they say that they only use absolute high resolution imagery onto the highest quality of print which is why the cost of the magazines themselves are at £6.50 each, you’re simply buying for the quality of the issues. They also mention that the magazine is designed to stimulate your senses and inspire your creativity. Creative Review launched in 1980, is published by Centaur Media, and has been edited by Patrick Burgoyne since 1999.

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The magazine runs several awards and competitions throughout the year. Creative Review also publishes an annual double issue titled Creative Review – The Annual which showcases the best work of the year in visual communication from the fields of advertising, graphic design, digital media, packaging, music videos and related media. A separate Creative Review – The Photography Annual specializes in the best photography of the year.

Key information for this brief is that the cover art typically features typography, photography, graphics and illustration. Rarely do covers feature the actual artists for obvious reasons.


I have decided to purchase the most recent copy of of it which is the travel & transport issue, though the front cover is not intact an illustration it still will give me a slight idea on how good the quality of my piece should be like. I will be doing further research into other front covers which will relate more to my brief and the dimensions of Creative Reviews issues.

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