After numerous colour tests, conducted with the help of the game artist in my group, the colours we settled for to use in all aspects of the game were a medium-dark purple, a light blue, and an orange. We studied many pictures of space, focusing on the colourful images of nebulae, to see which colours work well with one another in the context of outer space.
We chose a relatively deep purple for the main background colour, for almost every aspect of the game and its branding. We did so because it is a very “space-orientated” colour, and also because it acts a great counter for the other colours in our designs, which are much lighter.
The light shade of blue we chose is meant to be a reference to the stars. In the numerous photographs we studied, the stars were either a white-yellow, or a very light blue. After many tests we decided blue would be best. It also works surprisingly well with our purple and orange colour choices.
For the orange, we thought we’d include a direct reference to Mars, which plays a key part in the back story of our game. We chose a lighter shade, so it wouldn’t overpower the purple and blue. We had numerous different tones of orange to experiment with, but this was the best one by quite some way.
For this project, I have been assigned the role of Graphic Designer for my team. I’m fairly pleased with this as Graphic Design is the pathway I wish to go down later in the course. As the graphic designer, I have the job of creating the branding and styling for the game, including a logo and promotional material, as well as a style guide – the set of rules I must follow whilst designing aspects of the branding. As well as this, I will also create social media accounts for the game, a very modern and effective way of promoting new content. During the process of producing all of these things, I will maintain constant communication with my teammates, taking their opinions and ideas into consideration before finalising any work.
Our game, entitled Space Shoes, will be a 2D platform-based game set in outer space. The game itself is set many hundreds of years in the future, although the exact year hasn’t been specified as of yet.
The main character, an anonymous female astronaut, is travelling from Pluto to Mars, in search of a pair of “space shoes” she left there on her last visit. On her way to Mars, her ship crashes into an Asteroid field, damaging the ship. The aim of the game is to collect pieces of the ship scattered around the Asteroid field, so she can repair it and continue on her journey.
The premise of the game is an uncomplicated one, one which is meant to be as light-hearted as possible, meaning it can be played by people of all ages. When designing the game, we wanted to make it as stripped back and basic as possible, to give it a really retro feel.
Eric Hill (OBE) was an English author and illustrator of children’s books, best known for his Spot the Dog series. He first worked as an errand boy in an illustration studio, where he was encouraged by his peers to draw cartoons and comic strips in his spare time.
After completing his National Service, Hill worked as a freelance illustrator and designer in advertising, before he started writing short stories for his son in 1976. In 1980, his first book, Where’s Spot? was published, the initial story in a series which sold over 60,000,000 copies worldwide, was translated in 60 languages, and adapted into a children’s television show.
The use of minimal outlines, block colours and basic shapes means Hill’s illustrations are easy to recognise, giving Spot an identity, which in any aspect of design is important in my opinion. The pure simplicity of the books (and accompanying illustrations) is what makes them so popular, from a very young age. Personally speaking, the Spot the Dog series is one of the first memories I have of reading, and these books are still sold to this day, proving the books and their illustrations have a lasting effect on children.
The Black Square
Kazimir Malevich was the founder of the artistic and philosophical school of suprematism, and his ideas about forms and their meaning in art would eventually represent the underlying values of non-objective, or abstract, art.
He worked in a number of styles, but his most important and well-known works focused on the exploration of pure geometric forms (squares, triangles and circles) and their relationships to one another, and the pictorial space they occupy. He conceived the idea if Suprematism prior to the Russian Revolution in October 1917, but its influence was already significant amongst the Russian avant-garde. His use of non-representational imagery and interest in dynamic geometrical form in pictorial space influenced the art of Lyubov Popova, Alexander Rodchenko and EL Lissitzky.
The main reason Kazimir Malevich is my favourite artist is because he is the first artist I really looked at in real detail, and the first artist who captivated me and made me want to learn more about his work. His revolutionary way of working and his huge influence on modern art is staggering, and incredibly inspirational. The simple use of shape to create work is something I definitely try to include in my own designs, and I owe this mainly to Malevich.
Firstly, I found an old picture on my memory stick that I thought I could work with. This is the back of the Elizabethan House in Plymouth. Then I zoomed in a bit to see if there were any specific areas of pattern I could work with – I think it’s worth noting that I took inspiration from the brickwork behind Noel Gallagher on the Chasing Yesterday sleeve design.
Then I did a few sketches trying to link the work of Cannon, Cooper and Kazimir Malevich, my other chosen visual artist. I aim to combine their ideas as artists and designers with the photographic style of Jill Furmanovsky.
The sleeve design for Chasing Yesterday by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, designed by Matthew Cooper
Matthew Cooper studied Illustration at Harrow College of Higher Education in London, and works as a freelance designer. He is particularly interested in the use of typographic and strong graphic elements in his work. He works primarily for the independent music sector.Projects he works on range from sleeve design, through to the design of adverts and promotional material.
Among his more well known clients are Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, Noel Gallagher and Paul McCartney, to name but a few. Inspirations of Cooper’s include CY Twombly, Robert Rauschenburg, Kurt Schwitters and Constructivist/Suprematist artists such as Kazimir Malevich and EL Lissitzky.
The above images are sleeve designs for three of Gallagher’s singles from the Chasing Yesterday album – Riverman, In The Heat Of The Moment, and Ballad Of The Mighty I. The thing that I like most about these is that it is pretty much the same image of Noel Gallagher used in all three singles – and the original album sleeve – keeping the identity of the music and the band as being Noel’s.