Good Form – Viewpoints of the 3D object

Here’s a good compositional design exercise with only one pictorial element to consider.

This was a quick exercise in creating the composition of a form within a frame. Here the frame is used as a visual device to create different interpretations of the form, acting as a reference to the subject, allowing aspects such as size and position to be brought to the design.

I first mapped out the general structure/form of a 3d object, a large plastic bottle, by drawing loosely in pencil, from different viewpoints. Then. positioned the form within the frame to:

1.Make it look small/insignificant

2.Create an abstract design

3.Create a dynamic interplay between positive & negative space

4.Give a feeling of immense size/weight

This thinking plays a part in most design projects whether it is image or type.



“Sidewalks of major cities throughout the world have become kinetic exhibitions of graphic art. Everywhere you look you see a parade of art of every imaginable subject and style adorning bags carried by shoppers” (Ref. unknown)

The Brief was to design and construct shopping bags for a cosmetic brand BLISS – a prototype construction project where I chose to develop ideas using both a computer template method & illustration by hand.

I used primary red gauche, in watercolour fashion, on heavy cartridge, to paint the large pink bag, scanned the finished painting, took it into Photoshop to change the white to black, added a filter to soften the pink, and printed the result on A4 paper for the construction of the small pink & black prototype.



The word ‘Bliss’, and the variety of consumers of cosmetics today, opened the field to many design ideas. I used photography, collage and Photoshop for the other two design ideas below.










This post by Kelly Morr ‘The ultimate guide to product packaging design’ contains helpful information for designers & package design solutions.


The Picasso of Graphic Design

“Typography is an art. Good typography is art”  Paul Rand 1914-96

The image below is from a series of exercises early in my Design studies, using 2D imagery to portray one of the heros of graphic design. In this case, I used a photograph of the typographer Paul Rand over a collage of colour and type.

The Picasso of Graphic Design, Paul Rand placed high value on proficiency in the basic principles of lettering. In his hands typography is the vehicle for communication, both ‘verbal’ and expressive. Font is the image. Rather than being given a supporting role to the image, typography is the star in Paul Rand’s work. Typography is an art, according to Rand, a rich, practical skill and an expressive aesthetic element invaluable to design. 

With the knowledge that you only have a split second to capture someone’s attention, Rand’s concern was with creating images that snared people’s eyes, penetrated their minds, warmed their hearts and made them act (George Lois). Rand viewed type as the irresistibly compelling basic building block of design.

Typography as graphic expression is an active and emotional element going beyond the purely aesthetic and informative. In Rand’s vocabulary based graphic design the choice of typeface could direct the meaning itself. It has been said that typography can shout or whisper. The letters themselves speak. In this way typography is both the image and the message, both content and form, art and entertainment. Good typography is art.

A Fold-Up Zoo

Not all  design projects revolve around the computer. It was great to get my paints out for this design, creating an illustrated, three dimensional fold-over card for a zoo, to be utilised as an invitation or merchandising for an exhibition.

I used gauche, because of the colour intensity it provided, but applied it as watercolour. For this prototype I painted on watercolour paper, which was easy to fold without the paint cracking.

(Size: 10.5cm x 15cm x 75cm)

Follow The Sign

Information signage should ideally be clear, informative and unified. This design exercise was to develop text and image based information signage for  a Wildlife Park. The design requirements included the use of both the animal’s name and scientific name, a symbolic representation of the animal, within a consistent series of designs. Basically transforming realistic imagery to the bare bones of a symbol.