Hilton Design


December 2015

Evaluation and Final thoughts


Evaluation and Reflection:

1) Visual Communication:

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

Well as it says in the brief, we must try and revive a selected subculture. I believe that my front cover done well to represent who my subculture was and showed that they were emerging back from their so called ‘bad’ history.

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?

I’m not too sure really apart from again which will always be a problem with any piece you make is the Intentional fallacy, are people going to see what you see? I think I worked on that well though by testing it seeing if others did see what i saw.

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

The news article in the background made it very safe to say that the viewers would have an idea on what the issue is about because it is an article of the zoot suit riots, which was the latest article ever published about them. Also the silhouette gives away zoot suiters sharp and dapper fashion sense which does infact look like its getting popular again in a way with the whole suits thing.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

Not so sure really apart from the Intentional fallacy which I have explained why previously.

In what ways could the piece be mis-read or mis-understood by the audience? Be specific about who the audience is.

Right so again maybe the audience who is pretty much anyone in this case as it’s a magazine which is bought by people aged at least 17 and over may not realise what the black shape actually is, or they might not realise what the article is all about.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

A little more research into the subculture may have been essential to the final piece and also a bit more training and experimenting with Illustration.

2) Reflection of own working practices:

Be very honest with yourself in this section. Please feel free to approach a member of staff for help finding ways to develop skills.

How was my time keeping?

Fairly well, though at the beginning it was hard to juggle work with this so i decided to cut down on my hours.

How was my analysis of the brief?

I thought I struggled a little to understand the brief at the beginning though the more I learnt and asked my lecturer for directions on the brief I was well away.

How was my research?

To be honest I don’t particularly like researching though it was essential for this project, I thought I researched well though I do think further research may have been necessary.

How did I draw conclusions from my research?

I thought I had found enough when I simply ran out of resources to gather up information on my subculture.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas?

I used research to look for my subcultures icon, what they wear, what they did and why they did it. I then just thought of some ideas to merge some of them together which led to my final version.

How did I use experimentation during the project? How can I make this more effective?

I took ideas and kept experimenting with them, saving pretty much every slight tweak to then go through them to see which one is better.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?

I kept on top of my blogs and only done posts which were only completely relevant to the brief.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

I enjoyed creating and experimenting with the front cover and DPS because I love doing the more practical work and really enjoy experimenting with ideas.

What parts of the project did I enjoy least? Why was this the case?

Researching the subculture and semiotics, I seem to drift off when doing so as I did know what semiotics were before.

At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?

When I was working on the actual project because I like creating pieces that are unique, I would like researching if it were something extremely interesting through my eyes.

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case? How could I follow these up?

Looking at CR inspired me on how certain things should look to meet certain standards. I think I should always look at my competition.

What areas were challenging or difficult? Why was this the case?

Researching was difficult as that resources were rather limited.

How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?

By finding more time and spending a little more time researching than creating the design for the project.

Do I need to develop certain skills? Do I need these now? Or later?

I still need to develop skills within the Adobe suit.

Any other points?



My final Choice



Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.12.49

Front Cover

Final cover 1v3

  • Based on outside view
  • Processed a few surveys
  • Kept it simple
  • Easy to understand

Idea’s for DPS (brief Development)


With my double page I didn’t feel the the need to make so many versions but I would make little tweaks to them then look at them and see which one looks better.

So I started by getting a couple of large images from the web to place within my DPS. Below are the images and where i got them from.

Taken from
Taken from

I wanted to keep the colours the same variety as the front cover, but I only wanted there to be little red areas in the DPS as possible. This is because I didn’t want the colour to distract people from reading the actual article. In CR they like to place straight slightly visible lines to kind of organise the content I would assume. So I did so and also include important quotes from the article and made them bold and also experimented with the colour of the text as that I wanted it to stand out from the other text.

With CR’s page number layout and format I noticed that they make the page number bold in the bottom outer corner of the page and include their title ‘CREATIVE REVIEW’ then a space divider followed by the issue date looking a little like this.


On the other page though I noticed they kind of mirror it so that the page number is still closest to the edge like so.


So I created a few DPS’s which were slightly similar, below I will show my mock ups and why I chose to do them.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.16.50Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.15.49

Above I thought it would be a good idea to keep the image nice and sharply placed within one page spread, this gives of the feel that they were clean and very sharp with what they wore. The title ‘ZOOTS ARE BACK!’ screams revival but I don’t think the image placement helps it look like a revival. I also experimented with the title seeing if it either work better with no fill but an outline or just fill and no outline, the outlined look makes it feel slightly unfinished and doesn’t really push out to attention.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.12.11Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.12.49

Here I tried changing the title to something a little stronger which tells the audience to help bring them back, I named the title ‘BRING ‘EM BACK’. This helps let out their rough edges by not showing “them” but instead using a bit of slang and using “em” instead, though due to intentional fallacy it may not come across that clear to other people. With the image though I made it so it fades in from one page to another, which kind of resembles in my eyes a ghost of some sort coming back to life. again I experimented with the title and colours on the text.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.09.17

With this one I just wanted to experiment with how the picture would look if it was spread across both pages. I believed it worked well but it made the DPS look a little cluttered and therefore was rejected from my choices. Though this may have worked if the pages I was working with were larger.

Right so there are my choices for my final piece, I will be choosing and explaining why I chose a certain one in a separate blog soon.


Idea 2 Development (Front Cover)


Here I am going to go into detail on how I created my second front cover. On this version I wanted to create a pattern on the Illustration and to show more colour on the front page unlike my first attempt.

Screenshot 2015-11-27 15.49.30
Firstly I created with my pen tool a very basic illustration of a man in a suit and hat.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.01.08
I then shrunk the illustration and started to duplicate them.

Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.05.18

Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.22.16
I decided to change the background colour to a slight grey and also applied it to every other illustration background.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.58.56
With the others I used the colour red for their background, this was to represent their so called “Bad image” and also they did wear wacky coloured shirts with their suits.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.20.05
I then tested out to see if the whole background would work better in red, but I believed it came across as a little too over the top.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 17.24.47
I then moved the whole lot within  the front cover guidelines. I grouped all the red shapes and tried nudging them a little up and to the right which slightly pushed them over the border guides. I thought this looked pretty good and worked well due to the fact that subcultures are different and don’t always follow the rules, they create their own way of life.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 17.01.26
I finally thought to scrible in the red colours roughly to give it a more edgy look.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 17.12.40
Though it didn’t think it worked out that well because it made it look unfinished.

With the creative review subheadings I had to experiment with how the price and date will show, I had to put the numbers in lower case within the type settings apart from the ‘6’ as that shows larger on their covers.


Below is the final look at what I created for my final piece.

Final cover 2v3

Idea 1 Development (Front Cover)


Right so now I was on my way to develop what I have in mind for my final piece. It took a while to get there as again I wanted it to fit well with the brief thus making me have to get a lot of feedback and make a few changes from the first version, I also think that I’ve experimented a lot on this project for my front cover. The development will cover over two blogs as that I made two different versions.

Screenshot 2015-11-27 13.53.45
Here I grabbed an image online of an old article on the zoot suit riots.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 15.49.30
I then created with my pen tool a very basic illustration of a man in a suit and hat.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 13.41.30
I then went on to smudging the shapes to give a fading in style to it which kind of says that they’re coming back.

Screenshot 2015-11-27 13.49.02

Screenshot 2015-11-27 13.51.36
Here I cut out a clipping mask to see what it looked like with the news article within the black areas.

Screenshot 2015-11-27 13.54.01

Screenshot 2015-11-27 13.54.43
I didn’t really like the looks of it in this style because you couldn’t really see the article very clearly.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 14.12.53
I then thought to put the article behind and doing so did actually make it a little easier to see and also the figure was a lot more noticeable.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 13.57.38
I then experimented with the blending options to see if i could make it look even more mysterious.

Screenshot 2015-11-27 13.59.15

Screenshot 2015-11-27 14.04.06
I thought to maybe add a bit of colour due to the fact it would look a little too black and white, but felt it came on too hard and would distract the audience from reading the article to find out who it was actually about.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 15.51.28
I then chose to change the filter affect on the newspaper making it look a little older and worn out again to give a revival feel to it.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.33.31
I also made the background for where the title is going to be placed the same colour.
Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.26.54
Making the words Zoot and Suit stand out in the news article I thickened up the font.

Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.28.27

Screenshot 2015-11-27 16.33.46
Then I decided to add the colour here instead as it would come across more gentle.

Doing what i did in all my other assignments i decided to get some feedback from a few people on how it looked. I mostly got good feedback though some people could not see what the illustration was, saying that the smudging did not help. So then I took it back to the drawing boards and decided not to smudge the illustration at all and make the shadow less noticeable which I found it worked out perfectly.

I used the old article to reassure that people will know the subculture i’ll be reviving, I also used it as a sense of looking back at history and getting people to remember who they are and what they did wasn’t so bad. The reason why I done the smearing effect is because zoot suiters had rough edges under all that luxurious clothing. Though I thought it would work pretty well others unfortunately did not agree so therefore i changed it. I will be putting the smudge and non smudged version in my portfolio for future references.

Below is the finished version.

Final cover 1v3


Icons, Symbols & Index


Here I am going to be going into detail in the final understanding of my research into semiotics, I learnt about three parts of semiotics that are just as important as the other parts. These 3 parts are Icons, Symbols and Index’. These link to what type of sign something is is giving to people.

Icons- In iconic signs, the signifier is connected to the signified through the principle of resemblance.  A given signifier can make you think of something else signified inasmuch as it resembles that something else, looks like it, sounds like it, feels like it, tastes like it, smells like it, or, more generally, possesses some similar quality to it (as in spreading your arms out to signify huge). Iconic signs are obviously important for images, since many images resemble what they refer to. For instance a female and male public toilet, the signs for these make it clear as to which door is for which gender.


Index-  Here the signifier makes you think of the signified because the two are frequently physically connected in the real world.  Cause-and-effect links are good examples of indexical signs, for example  smoke is caused by fire and contiguous with it, and therefore the smell of smoke that is the signifier, makes you think of fire that is processed as signified. Similarly, footprints are an indexical sign that someone walked here and certain automatic gestures and facial expressions are indexical signs of feelings, like tears equal sadness.  In addition to these “natural” indexes, things that are only customarily or conventionally connected can also be used as indexical signs.  A very good example of this is a picture of the White House in a news broadcast as it is often used as an indexical sign for the American president because the White House is the home and office of the president.


Symbol- Both iconic and indexical signs are at least partially what could be called natural signs:  that is, in using them, we humans are profiting from an already-existing link between signifier and signified.  Symbolic signs, by contrast, are purely artificial on the other hand,  the signifier is linked to the signified only by an arbitrary, human-imposed convention.  Except for a few quasi-iconic words like the onomatopoeias “woof” and “creak,” most signs in verbal languages are symbolic.  There is no physical connection or natural resemblance between the English word “dog” and the concept dog.


Any other signifier could just as plausibly be used to convey that concept, provided a group of people agree to do so, and indeed in different languages. English speakers could just as plausibly have employed the sound “gimble” to signify dog, a purple traffic light to signify “stop,” or # rather than $ for a dollar sign. Consequently, symbolic signs tend not to travel as well as iconic or indexical signs.  They do not operate at all outside of a limited region and time period, and when you come across a historical or foreign symbol you can’t tease out its meanings by inference.  Symbolic signs are also very important for images such as a piece of clothing in a portrait symbolizes profession (a business suit), social status (a king’s crown), gender (a dress), and so on.

Analysed from –,%20index,%20symbol.html

This research has been useful as I have now got a better understanding of the whole semiotic theory. I plan now to merge this into further research into my subculture (Zoot Suits).

Creative Review Formats and Fonts


I thought it would be essential to gather up all the specs that I need to start creating my front cover and DPS (Double Page Spread) from my copy of Creative Review, I went into looking at how they layout their pages and the measurements of the front cover.

I got a ruler and started measuring the front cover, then started to dot down the specs on a rough sketch of the layout shown below.


I felt the need to be able to get the majority of their official font spot on, I found out that the font family known as Minion Pro was very similar to what they use, but it wouldn’t be this easy to implement it as that Minion Pro has a lot of customisation to it like and other font. So anyway the aim is to make the font look similar to these bits of text below.


Doing PMI tests on things that inspire you is great to crack down on what you think will look good for the current project and maybe ones in the future. I’m going to go on to doing a few on a couple of pages I liked within the magazine.


P- The picture quality and where it is placed is fantastic, The white space works well in this and they’ve managed to balance it pretty well. I may like to use a big image for my spread and a little bit of white space too.

M- The space dividers in the title kind of distract me, maybe it would have been a better idea just to have a couple in there.

I- Drop caps work very well in some articles though i’m still not sure whether or not to use them in my piece or not. also the indenture in the paragraphs make the article look a little messy but could work in another scenario.


P- Again a nice big image which spreads across both pages bringing it to the centre of attention. I also like the fact they have a bit of red text to bring it forward for attention.

M- I don’t really like the really narrow columns and the use of pointless white space in this one unfortunately and it doesn’t so much work in its favour.

I-The use of a different coloured column background on the far right looks ok but seems pointless in this kind of situation.

I finally picked at a few things here which i may also would like to consider using for my DPS.






This has improved my understanding again on how my pieces should look in the final version. It has prepared me on what fonts, colours and imagery I should be using.



Constructivism is a theory of knowledge that argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. It has influenced a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, education and the history of science. During its infancy, constructivism examined the interaction between human experiences and their reflexes or behavior-patterns. Piaget’s theory of constructivist learning has had wide ranging impact on learning theories and teaching methods in education and is an underlying theme of many education reform movements. Research support for constructivist teaching techniques has been mixed, with some research supporting these techniques and other research contradicting those results. –


I use constructivism on a day to day basis and I’m certain most others do without even realising they are. I learn from my mistakes and learn new things about life each day. This is not only literally learning in a class but I am also starting to notice things especially in design now wherever I go. I stop and look at these designs and they sometimes inspire me however sometimes show me what not to do when designing, this also makes me think of pattern recognition, i’m recognising more designs now than I ever used to and I am noticing a lot more also, #Noticing.


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