Category:Uncategorized

Oxford House Chapel

Oxford House Chapel

Oxford House, situated in Bethnal Green and founded in 1884 has been at the heart of the community since its foundation. Though the use of the house has changed over the last century, it remains as welcoming as ever. After a recent refurbishment, it now hosts a coffeeshop, a theatre, several offices and is home to many community focused groups

Garden Court

Garden Court, London

Garden Courts, London, is a very secluded spot that I just happened across on one of many evening walks exploring the city. It’s near to the river and is surrounded by power and history. The chambers around here belong to some of the most high profile barristers and judges in the country and the grandeur of the buildings reflect that.

I particularly like this shot for the different lights that have come out superbly well, you can even see the constellation Orion. The warm light coming through the windows makes it seem as though the buildings are twinkling.

Bethnal Green Skyline

Bethnal Green Skyline

Bethnal Green has been my London home since I moved here and I love it. With a diverse mix of people, a huge creative scene and being so close to the centre of London, it’s hard not to fall in love.

I was granted access to this rooftop which belongs to Oxford House, just off of Weaver’s Field. Oxford House, opened in 1884 as a place where the ills of Bethnal Green could be worked out. It has a rich and fascinating history and Ghandi even visited, giving a speech out of the first floor window to the packed streets below.

The tallest building in Bethnal Green when it was built, Oxford House still commands fantastic views across the city. You can see the city proper, the financial district, the skeletal gas tower, the hospital and many more buildings that dominate the skyline.

QR Codes

What times we live in. QR codes have gone from being something pretty fiddly that is a nuisance to use to becoming something that we see and need to scan every time we walk into somewhere new (track and trace anyone?)

Now the world is moving towards a new digital age, ushered in faster than we thought due to covid, QR codes are something we’ve all had to get used to.

As it turns out, QR codes are a fantastic way to allow people to view your content quickly. They don’t have to copy a webpage down, type anything out, photograph your card for later etc… All they have to do is to point their camera on their phone at the QR code and click the link that appears. Simple!

QR codes are so great because of their versatility. As mentioned before, we use them to check into locations, we can use them instead of physical menus, have our profiles linked to them or, as I saw the other day, just have a picture of a dog with a moustache linked to a QR code.

When designing my business card, I’ve decided that it was simpler and, in my eyes, more impressive, to have a QR code on the back with a small slogan, instead of trying to cramp everything onto the back of the card. The fact that QR codes work in any colour (provided the background has a high contrast) means that, for a designer, the options are limitless.

Some websites even provide you with different styles of QR codes to choose from. Ones with rounder edges, ones with logos in the middle and more ‘traditionally’ looking ones. There is a great deal of many websites that provide you with QR codes, but InDesign also has an inbuilt feature that you can use to link to your published work.

All you have to do to access the QR maker on InDesign is navigate to the menu then click object. On the submenu, click ‘Generate QR code’. From there, pick what type you want and then insert it into your document. You can choose colours, choose to update your code and many other things from within InDesign.

My favourite thing about InDesign is that if it links to a website, you can update and change the website and providing the URL doesn’t change, the code will always link to the most updated version of the site. A clear advantage over having anything in print.

Infographics

Infographics are a great way to present information and can be used in nearly all aspects of society, from school to business meetings. It helps breaks up the monotomy of date in a fun and visual way.

To make my infographic, I first decided on what it was that I wanted to talk about which was easy enough. I have a big thing for space and had been learning about a star called Betleguise recently so decided to make it about that.

I then decided what kind of layout I wanted, portrait or landscape, square, thin and long or fat and short. I opted for a long and thin layout as my vision was to have a rocket ship heading towards the star, with the star at the top and the rocket at the bottom.

For the background, I used the gradient tool in PaintShop to graduate from a. lighter colour to a darker colour (like when you leave earth to go to space), and then used a scatter painter brush to add effects to it.

The line that goes from the rocket to the star is modelled on what a light sabre looks like because of space.

My Font

Desigining a Font is much easier than I expected, although a good font takes time and hardwork and many follow specific mathmatical structures.

For my font, I used indesign, a tool that I’m still getting used too. This powerful application is great though and as I’ve got more comfortable using it, I’ve found making my font easier.

I decided that my font was going to be kina abstract as well as being relatively simple in that I chose to only use straight lines.

The font is based on an equalitrial triangle, as I think this is the best shape for reasons unknown. Each letter began life as a series of triangles. I slowly changed their size, added more triangles as needed, and eventually subtracted lines from the sides of the triangles that I didn’t need. The end result is something that I’m pretty happy with. Here is some of what I’ve been working on…

The Cost of Fashion: More Than Money

The 2020’s are proving  to be one of the most environmentally decisive decades that humanity has ever faced. The reality of climate change can no longer be ignored, and its impact is  felt across the globe, from stronger hurricanes in America, biblical rainfall in Europe, long-lasting dry spells for much of Africa and Asia and raging forest fires in Australia. Nobody is immune from these effects, but it is only a small part of the world that is responsible for the majority of the damage.

At the same time, the impact of documentaries such as 2014’s  Cowspiracy and it’s sister documentary Seaspiracy (2021) , have successfully focused the public’s attention on the environmental impact of the food industry. These documentaries are brilliant at bringing attention to the fact that our individual choices have a real impact on the environment. We can help the combined effort to reduce carbon emissions and destruction of natural resources by simply choosing different things to eat. 

The Facts – Environment 

Most people know that fashion is ‘bad’ for the environment, but how many people know the true cost of their fashion choices? The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on the planet, second only to oil manufacturing, and accounts for 10% of all global emissions. That’s more than all planes and ship emissions combined. On average, a single European consumer will contribute 645kg of Co2 per year in their clothes purchases alone. 

Many clothes are manufactured in developing nations where clean water is often a scarce resource.  Yet manufacturing a cotton t-shirt, t takes 2,700 litres of water,  the equivalent of what one person would consume in two and half years. Much of this water will be used in the cotton-growing process, combined with fertilisers and other chemicals that reduce pests; the rest will be used to wash and dye the fabric. These chemical compounds run off the cotton fields and find their way into the drinking water and ecosystem. These developing nations lack the political power and economic resilience to put hard regulations on industries that many people depend on for their livelihoods. Even more shocking is that of all the clothes imported to Europe, only around 1% of those thrown away end up being recycled. The rest are either sent to landfill or burnt at a rate of 1 truckload per second. 

Fast Fashion – Human Cost

In the ‘70s and  ‘80s, clothing brands used to release two seasonal lines per year;  in 2021 brands are releasing lines and sublines at an average rate of just under one per week. This constant churning out of textiles and clothes means that consumers have ever more choice whilst cheap overseas production costs keep prices low. . Industrial disasters  such as the 2013 Dkaka garment factory collapse, where 1,134 lost their lives due to poor working conditions, are not uncommon, but rarely make headlines in western countries. The cheap cost of clothing is paid for by poor working conditions, cheap labour, and a reduction in the quality of clothing people buy. This lack of quality creates a feedback loop, whereby after several washes, clothing loses its shape or colour, and people are forced to buy even more. In the UK, there are laws to protect workers:maximum hours, minimum wage, a right to safe working conditions – rights that more often than not are not enjoyed by the people producing the clothes on our backs. 

A Generation Apart

Susan Squire, 43 from Lichfield who works in Higher Education  grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s before fast fashion took off. She recalls being a teenager, window shopping for clothes that she knew she wouldn’t be able to afford without some serious saving. “Levis were the thing to be seen in. But it wasn’t something that you could pop into a shop and get, especially when you lived off pocket money! I saved up for around 2 months for a pair when I was 16 and then lived in them.” 

She compares her experience to shopping to what she sees today: “You go into shops like H&M, and some of the clothes look really good for the price, but the material is second class…” “What really shocks me is how cheap everything is – clothes cost so much less now. 30 years ago a top from a high street chain was usually around $30. The same item today would cost the same or less – someone, somewhere is paying the price for that  I try to only buy things I really like and will get wear out of and I don’t mind paying more for quality, but the high street is geared towards cheap and disposable. Things aren’t made with a view to lasting more than one season and people don’t care because it’s cheap and easily replaced.  Since 1980, yearly global emissions have nearly doubled, going from 19.7billion tonnes to 36.4 billion tonnes, and 350,000 tonnes of clothing gets sent to landfill each year in the UK alone. (Source: https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions)

NHS Nurse Poppy Taylor, 26 from Bloxwich is concerned about the environmental impact of fast fashion:  “I know things are bad, I eat less meat and try to  be more conscious with my shopping choices.” However, sometimes cheap and convenient wins out: “If it’s a big night out, then I’ll go into somewhere like Topshop and find a nice black dress. It’s cheap and looks nice, so I don’t mind that I’ll only get one use out of it.  I don’t throw things away very often. I always advertise the clothes online or if they don’t sell, I donate them to charity and it goes on to have another life”. Yet 25% of clothes donated to charity in the UK get sent to landfill.  A further 40% – 50% are  exported to developing nations and their thriving second-hand clothing markets. Ghana is one such country that receives Britain’s second-hand clothes, but the poor quality of clothing not made to last means that 40% is unsellable and sent straight to landfill.

What Can You Do?

There are a number of things consumers can do to reduce the environmental impact of your fashion choices. Charity shops have peaked in recent years, with 11,000 outlets  on the highstreets of Britain. The benefits of shopping in charity shops are enormous. Discounted designer garments are often found and are usually of great quality. This means that somebody could potentially cherish a charity shop find for years to come whilst helping support charities focusing on  causes such as homelessness, poverty and domestic violence. They also break the cycle of fast fashion by taking a step away from it. Accountant Jack O’Grady, 27, Cannock, says that he can’t remember the last time he bought new clothes and yet he’s constantly told he dresses really well, “Charity shops are great because you get to choose your own style. There’s only one of each item, so you know the chances of seeing someone wearing the same shirt as you in a club are pretty low. That actually used to happen a lot when I shopped at Topman and Primark.” 

Another great way to reduce the impact clothing choices have on the environment is to upcycle and mend clothes. With so many tutorials online for free, information has never been easier to access. Whilst some people may throw clothes that have been torn into the rubbish, it’s becoming more fashionable to make them into something new and unique. Instagram page @recycle_store_prague has over 10,000 followers. They take worn and tarnished clothes and make them into something wearable again.

Other ways include buying locally made clothes or even making your own clothes – an investment in a sewing machine and some youtube videos are all you need to get started.  Commit to buying fewer clothes and to wearing them more. The phrase “Buy cheap, buy twice” comes to mind.

As  individuals, the environmental challenges we face as a planet can feel overwhelming  and the actions we take may feel like they have little consequence. But it is important to remember that every purchase you make is a vote for that company. Shop ethically, vote with your wallet where you can, and you will already be contributing to the change you want to see in the world. 

“Be the change you want to see” Ghandi

Sources:

https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissionshttps://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2019/633143/EPRS_BRI(2019)633143_EN.pdf

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-02-14/how-the-uk-s-fast-fashion-habits-are-polluting-a-country-halfway-around-the-world

Digital Typography

Typography says everything you need to know about a brand. Next to the logo, it’s perhaps one of the most important decisions a brand can take as it will be one of the main ways a brand communicates with its customers.

A strong brand identity relies on careful thought and practice. A brand will usually have different fonts for different things, one for headers, another for text, another for quotes and maybe another for subheadings etc…

Sans Serif vs Serif


Fonts fall into two distinct categories with many other subcategories. These are serif and sans-serif.
Serifs are the little additional bits you get on the letters, such as The Times Headline. Those tine bits that decorate the letter, they’re serifs.
Sans is Latin for without, so naturally, sans serif, is a type without serif.

The use cases for these types of font vary. When reading font on a screen, it’s clearer to see letters without the serifs, allowing for better readability is key when using small screens.

Serifs are used to convey weight and grandeur, especially when used in big titles. If you look at brands that want to convey a sense of traditionalism, they’ll often use serifs as sans serif are relatively new to the scene. Conversely, more modern brands who want a cleaner look will often vouch for the sans serif.

Font Weight

Another thing to consider is the font-weight. Not all fonts have all weights, but most will have some. Something we’re all familiar with is the bold type, used by many to highlight certain words in a text and easy to use when in a word document. Weight can also go the other way though, making something lighter means to thin words out rather than have them heavy

Short Film – Specs

The first time I’ve ever tried to film and edit anything, and I was pretty happy with my result, although there are some takeaways that I’ll use to build upon in the future.

My film was slightly comical, based in my London Flat. It followed me waking up, crossing things off my to-do list and trying to avoid an existential crisis (something that I fight off every day!). There was only one character, myself, but my internal monologue made it as if I were having a conversation with two people.

I used final cut pro as I find the software more streamlined and easier to use than adobe premiere pro. Plus, I had just bought my first ever Mac so wanted to try everything apple, obviously! (The free trial of final cut also helped persuade me)

Things I’d change about this movie would be the lighting. I need more of it! It was kind of difficult though as I was limited to what lights I had available in my flat. I turned up the exposure on final cut but the resulting image was grainy. Another workaround would be to open the aperture on my camera, although this would add to the depth of field, something I wanted to avoid. Also, my camera is a very entry-level Nikon. It’s great for photography but isn’t well known for its filming capabilities.

The sound is another thing I will have to consider for future projects. The final result was muffled slightly and you couldn’t always tell what I was saying. However, the university has provided us with microphones, and although they aren’t exactly professional spec, it works much better than my camera microphone.

Find the video here