At the beginning of the FdA Advertising course, I was very much a novice in the world of InDesign and Illustrator, and frankly not much more adept in the world of Photoshop: I did not know my tracking from my kerning, nor my spot-healing tool from my magic eraser.
That was eight months ago. Having been taught at college and patiently self-teaching in my spare time, I feel I have gained a very good grasp on the possibilities that exist thanks to the Adobe Suite. Don’t get me wrong – I have made MANY errors and there have been moments where it seems the only rational thing left to do would be to abandon my .psd in favour of MS Paint. But I persevered and as a result I have somewhat magically managed to complete my Digital Skills module for submission on the 16th May 2012.
Firstly, I collaborated with a photography student in order to get a professional image that had been taken with the correct lighting. We liaised to discuss what my aim was, what I was trying to communicate and what props etc. I would like included. I created a mood-board using images that I had sourced for inspiration and examples of portraits similar to that which I desired. The photo-shoot was successful in providing me with more than 50 raw images to work with. I was able to select 8 images that I felt were a good base with which to begin.
Taking the raw image and using Photoshop, I first set about using the healing brush tool to remove imperfections on my skin, clothing and background. There were also a few white footprints on the floor so I removed these too. I worked on separate layers for separate areas such as ‘face’, ‘body’ and ‘background’.
I sourced an image to overlay my portrait to give it some texture and set the opacity at 10% with the blend mode ‘luminosity’. I also removed the red channel from the RGB settings, which gave the image a distinct green hue.
I added a subtle Gaussian blur set at 1.0 pixel and added some noise to the image set at 12.5% uniform.
To finish the image, I adjusted the levels so as to show a little definition between the floor and the backdrop.
To create my logo I have used both the InDesign and Illustrator applications. I knew from the outset that I wanted to design a logo that gave an impression of creativity and individuality. I toyed with the idea of using a fingerprint but felt that had been done before. I also played around with the use of circles and “bubbles” in a variety of opacities and shades but I felt this was too simple and did not best represent me. I came to the conclusion that I should physically represent myself and so I decided to incorporate the silhouette of a man as part of my logo.
The font I used was sourced from DaFont and called ‘Travel Diary’. I chose it because it had a sketchy feel and looked as though it had been hand drawn – this brings the touch of creativity I wanted.
By creating outlines and using layers, I was able to copy and paste the sketchy feel from the font over to the silhouette. Now, instead of being a solid block of colour, it became more incorporated into the design.
Overall, I am very happy with the outcome of the self-branding exercise, the photo-shoot and the subsequent use of Adobe applications to create the final product. I feel I have surpassed my own expectations in producing a poster that not only represents me well but also displays my proficiency in the use of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Aside from using Adobe software, I have also shown skills accomplished through the digital skills workshops, such as digital research and sourcing.
I am more than happy with my progress and anticipate advancing my knowledge of digital skills further in the second year.