Sketchbook Development and Evaluation – HUD Assignment

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For my logos and HUD designs, I started off creating sketches in my sketchbook. I attempted to create three distinct yet connected design directions for the three different logos and teams, evolving the designs through multiple iterations. I experimented heavily with alterations and variations, trying out symmetrical and non-symmetrical layouts.

The designs evolved as I iterated, with the three different directions becoming clearer the more I worked. I not only experimented with the shapes, but also the values, testing out value hierarchies and making sure that the logos read well. For the Red Angels logo, I focused more on the contrast between round and angular, making use of values to further this juxtaposition. The arrangement of the circles and ‘wings’ were initially inspired by the position of a pilot or driver in the cockpit or seat of a vehicle. As I drew I realised that it resembled a radiation symbol, I then made use of that to help inform the designs, pushing the arrangements and proportions of the angular ‘wings’.

In regards to The Architects’ logo, I wanted to include an angular diamond shape that is reinforced by strong, structural verticals and horizontals. The diagonals helped create an overlapping division, allowing the two other elements to exist on a similar plane without interfering with one another. The use of angles and measurements helped greatly with accuracy in the drawings, allowing me to achieve symmetry in the designs.

The Battery Conservationists’ logo is visually similar to the Red Angles when it comes to the angled ‘wing’ designs bordering the centrepiece. The curves in this design, however, are reserved for the battery symbol in the centre. This simplified shape, representing a battery, provides clues as to the nature of the team. Experimentation was done regarding the overall design of this logo, with changes to the background rectangle, the placement and size of the battery and the nature of the ‘wings’. In some designs, they leaned more towards a battle-axe look, while others were more geometrical and triangular. The curved ones were experimented with extensively, negative and positive space being pushed and pulled throughout the iterations. Positive and negative symbols, and value separation regarding them, were experimented with for the battery part of the designs. However, I decided not to include any other symbols on it, to avoid clutter.

Once I was happy with the sketched options, I moved into Photoshop in order to create the finished logos. Research into colour combinations and harmonies was also done to ensure a visually pleasing final result.

After I was happy with the design of the logos, I moved onto the HUD designs. Continuing the theme of angular shapes, creating rough layouts of the overall HUD as well as the various elements within. The main shape language stemmed from a modified trapezium shape. To help create a border between the information within the HUD and the game world, I created thin borders around the main space of the shapes. Past that, I experimented with bevels and other borders of different values, ensuring that the HUD was visible while against a variety of backgrounds.

I planned for the top bar to display health or electrical charge, whilst the bottom displays would contain speedometers and track maps/mini-maps, as well as other information. For the electrical charge bar and speedometer, I was going in the direction of digital display with a bar that fills up, changing colour as it reaches a different amount of charge or speed. Multiple iterations were created of these various elements, as well as the overall shape language.

Experimentation was also conducted to find other ways to display the electrical charge, such as an overlay. This overlay, visually similar to that of a fighter pilots, would serve to display information that was not built into the car, but rather added as modifications for racing and are able to be updated for various situations. Instead of using it to display electrical charge, which I decided the top bar would do, I instead used it as a targeting overlay. I also used it as a way to show the player their lap number and position. To make sure that this stood out from the rest of the HUD, I flipped and altered the orientation of the shapes that housed the elements in the HUD, arranging them onto the sides of the top bar. To tie the targeting overlay in with the theme of electric concept cars, I researched the electrical symbol used for batteries and create multiple iterations of the targeting overlay based on that. I settled on a design direction that incorporated a series of lines of varying lengths, bordered by strong verticals with a diamond shape in the centre, contrasted by a circle within.

I needed to add more visual interest to the HUD, so I decided to make use of the thin borders around the various elements that I had designed to incorporate LED-like lights, neon in nature and broken up by thin lines to create a series of segments. With the direction leaning towards high contrast and futuristic digital displays, I re-worked the speedometer to include a more traditional approach, edited to create a more futuristic look. I used the visual language of the modified trapezium as a basis to create a speedometer, adding in repeating lines to represent the different speeds and placement of numbers. To further mimic real life speedometers, I included a needle. However, this needle exists separate from its elongated base, it is a digital representation that moves independently from it.

I experimented with different iterations for the needle, trying out thick and thin variations with different proportions. Alongside these iterations, I tried out different value combinations for the speedometer, seeing how the digital representations of the needle and lines would create patterns of light and dark. The digital shapes would cast off a slight glow, illuminating themselves on the dark background.

Design Sheets:

design-sheet-1design-sheet-2design-sheet-3

 

Sketchbook Evaluation

Evaluation can be found below sketchbook images:

 

Sketchbook Evaluation:

My initial direction when I started involved the contrast between verticals, horizontals, diagonals and curves/rounds (circles). My idea for the circle came from the sun or moon combined with the London Eye. With it stemming from the London Eye, I played around with including the carriages/carts from that but it seemed quite busy and distracted from my graphical approach. The sun and moon motif helped to communicate the time of day that the festival is going to take place on and also communicates a sense of mood and atmosphere. Multiple thumbnails of the silhouettes, the layout and composition as well as combinations and experimentation of silhouettes and media allowed for quick ideation. I made notes regarding the directions I wanted to take, changes, ideas, techniques, processes and plans for the various layouts and much more.

I experimented with font for a while, trying to decide on something that would compliment my graphical poster designs without detracting from them. The font also needed to reflect the subject matter, architecture, and perhaps even evoke a sense of nostalgia when combined with the colour palette to create a captivating and emotional mood. I leaned more towards a tall and thin font, a nod towards art deco poster designs and font types. I also tested out different combinations of thickness, value combinations and placement.

Layout and composition were quite a big focus in my thumbnails, with multiple iterations the elements changed and were placed in different ways with different text, silhouette and logo locations. Adding to the thumbnails are notes, more sketches, general and multi-media experimentation.

In my sketchbook, after spending a large amount of time on the development of the graphical poster designs, I moved towards a more architectural and perspective heavy layout and design approach with the Elizabeth Tower/Big Ben being my main subject matter and the focal point, with the logo projecting from it. I wanted to make use of line weight, perspective grids, lines and value/colour contrast to make both the building and logo focal points have a clear visual hierarchy. The use of lighter, thinner grid lines and thicker lines on the building allowed for interesting experimentation in regards to visual weight and composition. The creation of depth helps draw the viewer in and the splash of colour from the logo creates a strong focal point and hook to keep the viewer captivated.

I tried to place another building into the poster, such as the Gherkin, but it made it too cluttered, busy and distracted from the focal point. The perspective, for the most part, is 2-point. However, I decided to create another vanishing point inside one of the clock faces. This vanishing point projects out the logo and conforms to the other vanishing points as well, creating a dynamic and interesting perspective grid and arrangement. One large challenge here is controlling the clutter, line weight, visual weight/importance, hierarchy and amount of lines present in the image without detracting from one of the selling points of this image; the raw architectural feeling communicated from the grid and line drawing.

I did multiple practice grids and forms/constructions to warm up for and experiment with the layout and design as well as the elements within it.

In regards to multi-media experimentation, I made use of pencil, various pens, fine liners, markers and colour pencils.

Designs making use of abstracted patterns and textures were also explored and provided interesting results. Both 2D and 3D emulating layouts were experimented with. The more 3D abstract designs proved to be more dynamic and interesting than their 2D counterparts.

I decided to go for a graphical approach with my digital development, and later worked on the perspective poster design I mentioned earlier. I also needed to find out the type of font and colours that I would be using, so after I had settled on the final layouts for the graphical posters I moved onto colour experimentation. I used Adobe Color (https://color.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/) to help find different colour schemes for my posters. I used the pink of the logo as a grounding point and reached out from there, trying out triad, complementary and a few other colour schemes. Once I had found a few I liked I printed out screenshots, stuck them into my book, and drew up the layouts of my posters. I then used gouache paint and colour pencils to implement these colour schemes, first mixing the colours and finding the right balance and mixture of hues, tints and shades to create the right colours combinations that I needed.

Using gouache, fine liner, marker and colour pencils allowed me to creatively explore the colour schemes within my designs. I pushed a slightly more painterly style with the brushstrokes on some parts of the layouts, not trying to get a clean flat colour but rather dynamically change the colours and textures throughout as a way of rapid ideation, instead of re-creating the layout and painting it again each time.

Afterwards, I did similar work with the font, printing out images (that I found online as inspiration) and analysing them, deconstructing them and picking the parts I liked to inform my font choices during the digital development stage. After experimenting with various types of font, from thick to thin, art deco to bold and chunky, I settled on thin, structural and elegant text. I also included a re-created example of the anatomy of typography from an image I found online, highlighting the key elements of font and text.

Dark on light and light on dark text experiments were attempted as well,similarly to earlier in the sketchbook, trying to find the right balance between contrast of value and size of font. This font development expands upon the earlier text and font work in the sketchbook, allowing for a more polished end result.

After the font and colour development in my sketchbook, I drew out my final graphical designs, with my final perspective design being slightly  earlier in the book.