Saturday, 30 July 2011

No26 - Further creative development using Moo...

Reflective Journal Entry No26 30/07/11

Latest posting, to update on how I have been getting on, using the Moo cards and stickers set up and the additional print items I want to have in place within the next few weeks, so that I have the time to focus on the writing on the dissertation. 

So far I have created the following items for print:

1. Mini cards (100) these are split into 3 items. 1.1 20 card colour palette identifiers. 1.2 20 cards Places of interest. 1.3 60 cards general selection of images, part of a larger grouping, called Investigate.

2. Postcards set (90) random images and also part of the greater collective set, called Investigate.

3. 2 sticker books (52) images in each, connected to the above work.

4. 1 round sticker collection pack, again as above connected and part of the group, called Investigate.

The Mini cards have been delivered, the postcards are on the way, and the stickers have been ordered today and are expected next week. This items are no forming the base of the resource kit, and there will be more items to be added in the coming weeks.

I have also started to rework online (Blurb) the book MB96, I originally created as part of Semester 1, which rolled into Semester 2 with the exploration of colour, this has now been broken down into 3 smaller more defined volumes of images and story all under the heading of 'Investigate', this will conclude with the investigation for the current historical handwriting direction I'm currently undertaking. I also have another series of postcards which images will be taken from the Rylands work video/filming visuals and this will link to the the direction on handwriting.

More field work will be undertaken at the Rylands next week, in advance of actual filming set for the Monday 08/08/11, I also have another meeting planned with Julianne Simpson in that week.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

No25 - Further creative developments using iMovie software...

Reflective Journal Entry No25 27/07/11

Latest posting, but the first since the last posting on the 18/07/11. A little overdue, as I wanted to keep posting on a regular basis every 2 days, well this has been blown and it's a week and a half. Well after a good focused meet with Tash this afternoon, I have maintained a good progress on where I would like to go with this project. Still very much exploring the hand type route and how this can be tied into the Rylands?

I have undertaken another series of walk throughs and on the 8th August will go back to shoot the final projected footage. In the meantime there are 2 other areas of work, which have to be pushed forward.

1. The Dissertation.

2. The Resource kit.

The kit is actually coming together better than expected, and I have already put in for order from Moo, the print for the mini cards, the postcards, sticker book, and soon the 3 mini books with relevant background materials, showing how to use the resource. I have sourced a box, to act as a case for these items.

Further details to follow tomorrow...

Progress in iMovie, new development...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Craig Oldham - Hand written Letter Project...

The link for this came from Natalie (thanks again and very much appreciated)

It's an intriguing concept and one of those where I wished I had thought of. Works well though with the examples moving across a widescreen format to show how has posted. I will explore this in more detail later...

Monday, 18 July 2011

No24 Primary research - Those were the days. Airmail paper and stationery...

Reflective Journal Entry No24 18/07/11

The second of today's journal entries focuses on the time when we used to write letters, and airmail in particular. I do remember growing up, and using Basildon Bonds Airmail pads and envelopes for a good many years. At one time my parents and I used to write to our family in Ireland and South Africa, I seem to remember at least 3 or 4 letters a month going overseas. For me it was also not only just keeping in touch with family, but the sense of excitement at receiving a letter with a 'Foreign Postmark'

Especially with South Africa which to me was so far away, well in those days it was and felt like it was in another galaxy, many years later in the the first half of the 90's I went to live and work near Johannesburg, and this was just before e-mail really started to be used as extensively as it is today, it was either letters by airmail on the famous blue paper or by fax if it was more urgent. It's not the same these days and the planet seems to have become increasingly smaller by the year to where now it all feels a lot more immediate and it is.

Basildon Bond and Airmail...

Examples for the handwriting exercise...

No23 Primary research - Handwriting exercise...

Reflective Journal Entry No23 18/07/11

Today's session and meeting at the Rylands did not go ahead as planned, due to personal and technical reasons, however the visual experiments and the meeting with Julianne Simpson are now rescheduled for next Monday the 25th July, an it is hoped that they will yield the requisite level of information to move the latest stage of the project forward?

Over the weekend I was having a discussion with Ness my Wife, as to a certain level of fear I have that the current developments will not turn out as well as I hope they will? This all comes back to the original aims and objectives I set out with back in September 2010, at the beginning of the course and this journey of exploration. A personal journey which has taken me back to through a personal archive of materials, connecting me with my home city, the influence and guidance of my Father Peter Snr, and my Professional Practice and career. All of which is now feeding into this latest work. I originally wanted to build a 'resource kit of materials' and this is where in some ways I'm still heading, though on the MA we have to be seen to be exploring outside of a final chosen path, which is fine for my group colleagues and in a way I admire their ability to take in a greater level of study, but I need to keep it tighter to keep my focus, I guess I still have not completely let go the Graphic Designer in me?

My chosen route of 'Handwritten Typography' is a more specific area of exploration, and something which is starting to develop nicely. The more I delve into this subject, the more it is becoming increasingly obvious that it is very likely in another generation the use of handwriting may well be seriously under threat? In fact as it stands now there are large numbers of people under the age of 25 how do not know how to compose a letter by hand! It is is this area I'm looking at the beginning of a series of handwriting experiments, where I will ask the people I know and the general public to write out in their own handwriting, from a selected poem. This goes to Primary research and will offer some evidence to begin to support the background analysis, and also compare and contrast styles, generations of those taking the exercise.

I have to confess to being somewhat hesitant on the next steps which need to be taken, I guess this journey has brought a large number of memories to the surface, mostly good memories of the time I spent with my Father, the places the sites and experiences from the city he shared with me and from which I now draw upon. It is very likely that the earlier directions are going to have some bearing on the direction of my latest work and a common thread is being continued in the background of this multi-layered project.

We'll see...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Screengrabs of today's development work at the Rylands...

No22 Rylands recky today to undertake a video walk through...

Reflective Journal Entry No22 14/07/11

Today I completed another session filming and photography, but this time at the Rylands to walk the building, to see about good areas to undertake my visual experiments. It proved to be a good session, as with the weather being sunny this morning if offered the chance to see some of the stained glass lit up and change the look of some of the areas completely, I just hope that Monday will yield the same (however having seen the 5 day forecast online, maybe not?)

I will post on screengrabs later to give a sense of today's development work, and I do think that some of these rough cuts will possibly make it into a final combined multimedia piece? The exterior photographs are also to show how the Rylands sits on the cusp of the old and new Manchester's, and is also I believe a perfect example how 'Contemporary Architectural Design' can combine very will with the 'Classical Styles'. My current tasks then are the preparation for the half a day shooting on Monday morning through to lunchtime, and then later the meeting with Julianne Simpson to delve into the 'Pioneers of Print'.

Tomorrow morning I shall be picking up the equipment from Uni, both Video Camera and Projector, and over the weekend will work through the rough footage to identify where to Project and Video. I will update early next week with the first results of this latest work.

Monday, 11 July 2011

No21 Filming handwriting experiments...

Reflective Journal Entry No21 11/07/11

Just completed a session over an hour of filming my own handwriting. Main purpose of this to show not only how I compose but also from the layout of the written words and how over a few minutes subtle changes do take place when writing, notable tiredness, but also wanting to keep a good flow in front of a camera. I'm thinking that this could also be used inside the Rylands as part of the experiment with the filming, though I must look at having pre-prepped items to write about or at least notes to work from, or maybe not?  If it's too prepared then it may lose it's spontaneity?

So I have shot 3 sequences of handwriting around 4 minutes each which show how I compose and write, what also has come out of this is how I set out a line of text, when there is no line to follow, this goes back very much to my college training days when we had to draw out type without the aid of a line, now those were the days...

Aside from this the main aim tomorrow to undertake more photography and filming in the city and the Rylands as part of a recky to see where certain ares will fit in with the visuals I want to complete. Monday 18th, I have a green light to undertake my visual experiments (just received as I'm typing this journal entry) so lots to organise with Uni to get equipment and later that day I have a meeting with Julianne Simpson who's responsible for the Special Collections of print and manuscripts (Pioneers of Print)

So lots to do over the next week, details to follow later...

Handwritten item which appeared on the BBC - The first ever football rulebook...

Friday, 8 July 2011

No20 It's back to the Rylands and research links...

Reflective Journal Entry No20 08/07/11

Following on from the previous post, today I have had another positive link established with the Rylands and this time with Julianne Simpson Collection and Research Support Manager (Printed Books) Special Collections The John Rylands University Library. A meeting has been arranged for the week after next to discuss. Julianne has also very kindly sent me these links for background as part of the research for my dissertation report...

Rylands Incunabula
Aldus Manutius
Martin Davies, Aldus Manutius (1995)
Martin Lowry, The World of Aldus Manutius (1979)
Early printing in England
Lotte Hellinga, William Caxton and Early Printing in England (2010)
E. Gordon Duff, Printing in England in the 15th century (1917, rev. by Lotte Hellinga 2009)
Catalogue of books printed in the XVth century now in the British Library : BMC. Part XI, England (ed. by Lotte Hellinga, 2007)
The Cambridge history of the book in Britain. Vol.3, 1400-1557 (1999)
Early printed books as material objects: proceedings of the conference organized by the IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Munich, 19-21 August 2009

I will be looking through these over the course of the next few days, but they will certainly form part of the biblio in a large way...

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

No19 Further exploration of the handwritten concept...

Reflective Journal Entry No19 06/07/11

Following on from the previous post showing the screengrabs from the latest iMovie development work, I finally managed to get twin images sequences to work together, and by then taking this out of iMovie and re-importing back in, I have experimented with some of the rough 109 footage and added this to the mix, not sure where this will lead, but I'm now thinking that this 3rd addition can have rough footage shot throughout the library and outside running though? need to storyboard this and this will follow in the next week.

In the meantime I have 'green light to go' to run the experiments at the Rylands, I just need to get the equipment.

Following on alongside this is my new area of interest the handwritten script, and I have started to put together a rough cut sequence of my handwritten quotes and random thoughts from own journals written over the last 6 years, and which have once again proven their value as my 'historical archive' for the information to draw on. I'm still waiting to hear back from the curator of the 'Pioneers of Print' area but this will happen it's just a case of pushing it along in the next 2 weeks. I am hopeful of getting the work underway before the end of this month, well at least the 1st part of the experiments in the Rylands.

Latest screengrabs from iMovie 3rd Semester development work...