In the subject of Typography taught by Nikita Bashmakov –and also, partially, by Enric Jardí and Albert Corbeto– the students learn about the history of typography and the semantic traits of the letter in order to exploit its visual potential, taking into account the choice of typography, composition and format to be able to create complex typographical systems.
We started by learning and practicing the beginnings of calligraphy, in order to learn firsthand why letters have the shape they do.
Once we had understood all the typographic variables and what to take into account when choosing a letter and not another, we did an experimental typography exercise to put everything into practice. Thus, using only typography, the assignment was to freely illustrate the show that Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury starred in Montjuïc in 1988 singing “Barcelona”. These are some of the resulting projects:
The final project of the subject consisted in conceptualizing and designing a magazine from scratch, taking into account all the typographical choices, the hierarchy of information, organization, legibility, composition, sequence and format of the publication. Here are some of the resulting projects:
The students of Graphic Identity Projects –a subject run by Xavier Alamany– are working individually in the conceptualization of an event that would take place in Montbau –a neighbourhood of Barcelona– and the design of its graphic identity.
A few days ago the students had the opportunity to show their projects to Carles Murillo and Lluís Serra, both professional graphic designers. They tutored them individually and gave them some tips, advices and references that could be useful to make the projects grow.
In the subject of Graphic Production taught by Lluc Massaguer the students learn about the supports, the processes and printing techniques in graphic arts, as well as the correct preparation of final arts in order to be reproduced. They work with the basic techniques to be able to self-manage the design and printing process. Some of the final works of the subject are presented below.
Natural Screen Print Stencils – Cecelia Wood
The objective of this project was to explore the graphic possibilities of natural stencils in screen printing, to discover what effects can be created using non-paper stencils: leaves, plants and natural fabrics such as cotton and jute, and to investigate the different effects created when these same stencils are used both with and without emulsion, in order to multiply the number of graphic possibilities. This theme was chosen because outside of creating designs in Photoshop or Illustrator to be reproduced in screen printing, there is a wealth of manual image-creation possibilities. Almost anything flat can be exposed or used as a stencil, and these more manual methods allow for more unexpected outcomes, which is one of the principal strengths of screen printing.
Zer dio suak? – Ander Zanguitu
This project was based on the production of inks from burned materials and the experimentation with these inks through screen printing. The reason why the burned materials were chosen was the situation that was lived in Barcelona the days after the judgment of catalan political prisoners (“El Procés”). ¿What does the fire mean? ¿What is the message implied behind it? ¿Is it possible to talk about the metaphoric, social or historical strength of fire through the resulting ink from the ashes? The title of the project, “Zer dio suak?” (“¿What does the fire say?”) aims to throw into the air all these questions, implying the critical aspects of fire through graphic design.
Eco-publishing – Nele Kempenaers
How can the decisions made by graphic designers influence the environmental impact of their design? That was the question behind this final work about eco-publishing. The work explains what graphic designers should know about eco-publishing and how they can find the right printer and paper to work with. It also contains an analysis of the ecological practices of the printers Cevagraf and Vanguard Grafic. Although sustainability can be very complex, it is the responsibility of the designer to overcome the challenges and to always remain critical.
Núria Saban visited us the 28th of May. Ex-student of Eina, “Web developer, Frontendpadawan, html, css, js”, as she defines herself at his web. she explained us his steps until attaining what she had dreamed: being member at Llos&. At the end her studies, she entered an architecture studio during five years, working on modelling. After, she spend two years freelance for several customers, like the Mies van der Rohe Foundation in Barcelona. Tired of little multitasking, she decided to launch to the programming and the world wide web. That was what she liked more and this is how she entered at Llos&.
Her talk begins with the troubles that arise with graphic designers. She tells us a list of the basic aspects a designer would have to detail from his work to programmers could start correctly without generating a lot of changes after. For the development of a website, the format thr ptoject arrives to the programmer is very important.
She shows us the advantages of the Sketch app for her work. Also she comments that designers never think about the different measures of screen for each device (the media queries, the height and width of screens, very different in each device). “If you know what you can have with media queries and start to play with, you’ll have a very cool website”, says Núria. She explains also that she designs according to the criterion “mobile first”, that is to say, the design is based on the version for mobile. From this point, media queries has to append meanwhile the width of the screen grows.
She explains us that accessibility is very important, no only for those who need it, but for everybody: navigating the web would be much more comfortable for all. She also talks us about typography and she advises that we cannot use typography less of 16 px on a website. If we, it has to be for very secondary things. Also she comments another thing that designers never take into account: there is a lot of units of measure on the web to define the size of the typography: ems, rems, pixels, and point view-port (% of the screen). This one enables typography grow concurrently with the screen width in a much more fluid way. So the design will be much finer.
She reviews mistakes that we have to eschew when designing a web. She talks about contrast, when the links cannot be distinguished, gives us tools to check if our web would pass a test of contrast, like: https://colorable.jxnblk.com. She insists that the outline focus, although we would’t like it, is very important to not be deleted: the navigation with tab or screen readers must be available always. If not, it will be a navigation problem for persons that need these systems. This page explains its importance: http://www.outlinenone.com
Before ending, she talks of colour on the web. she recommends a page: https://www.colorhexa.com. She comments also the interactions and his sense: when a button is active, deactivated, what about the hover function, and she complaints that many of these are never defined by the designer.
We have now a few lessons to learn and take into account to carry out a website design and which are the needs for a programmer
Today, we finished the module called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with Rubén Alcaraz. Throughout the module, we learned how to improve the positioning of a web page on the search engine results pages. In addition, we learned the importance of elaborating a good SEO, where these techniques can be applied, how search engines work. Moreover, we learned the structure and architecture of SEO in order to understand better and improve our web positioning. Finally, we also tackled the different strategies that we can use and also understand how users search us in order to choose the right keywords in order to be competitive.
Furthermore, in order to implement all the theoretical knowledge received, we realized a practical exercise. The latter consisted in trying to position an image on Google from the website we created before for the module Content Management System.
In order to do this exercise, we have used a WordPress plugin called Yoast, which has to guide us in order to position our image on Google. During the exercise, we have learned the importance of the SEO-on page, and how to make a good optimization of our page. We learned the SEO-off page as well with the aim to increase the authority of our site through internal and external links.
As a final exercise, we learned how to audit a web page, analyzing its content, the density of keywords, how are the information of its architecture, its technical aspects, and efficiency. As a result, we have been able to analyze and detect the weaknesses and points of improvement of the abovementioned website.
We have already finished the course of Analysis and Management of Digital Publications taught by Professor Diego Fernández. In it we have made an infographics that has allowed us to learn about the architecture of the information in charge of the study, analysis, organization, disposition and structuring of the information. We have also been able to work on information design, in which we have had to graphically represent the information and structure it efficiently and effectively so that it could be very visual and quickly understood.
The results have been very diverse. They have worked on reports related to the rise of cybercrime or piracy, a comparative of online media sales in black friday, about fake news, the use of apps to find a partner, even wondered if print is dying.
In this course taught by Professor Enric Mor, we have learned to have a global vision of all aspects involved in user-centred design (UCD). This can be conceived as “the discipline of person-computer interaction (IPO), usability and user experience”. Through different activities, both theoretical and practical, we have been discovering which processes are key in the UCD. We have placed emphasis on the value of knowing the users to whom our product will be destined, the stages and techniques that configure it, knowing how to apply the DCU in the definition of our projects, how to make a correct analysis of what we want to design, and finally how to implement and evaluate interactive digital products. In our case, the redisseny of a website.
The Ideal Wallet
This activity was the letter of introduction of the subject. Through a practical exercise of design thinking by couples, we designed a wallet from a small briefing that we did to our partner. In this way we stressed the importance of knowing the user for whom our product is intended. Therefore to be able to design to measure and look for real solutions in the problems posed by the user.
Lost & Found
During this activity carried out by groups, we learned to use flowcharts for the design of an app. The objective of this practice was to work collectively on the most logical path to report, search, or find a lost pet.
Spaghetti Marshmallow Challange
This activity was the last we did. Its purpose was to work the design thinking to practice the prototing in collective being able to test what we build through trial and error in a collective way. The goal of this activity was to create a structure that could withstand with 20 raw spaghetti, 1 meter of tape, 1 meter of string and a Marshmellow at the top. Quite a challenge!
In the course of Graphic Identity Projects taught by Xavier Alamany, the students of the Master in Graphic Design have developed a series of tools and resources to generate an identity that connects with the district of Montbau and the festival of reference for it.
Starting with the basics, the definition and analysis of the neighbourhood, its attributes, its strong points and its shortcomings. Discovering what you need and what we can contribute as designers. Subsequently, through dynamic classes, group corrections and small connected commissions, it has been defined what type of festival is appropriate in the neighbourhood, what graphic image is applied and what identity it has, maintaining the very essence of the Montbau neighbourhood.
Some of the final works of the subject are presented below. An identity on a specific festival applied in Montbau.
Fontbau. Montbau Typographic Festival
A typographic festival where through various activities appropriate to different audiences will work the field of typography, the festival has been conceptualized through a special element, with importance to Montbau, its water source, where neighbors come for its purity.
Set 7th Art
A film festival in the Montbau neighborhood that seeks to capture the attention of the neighborhood and its participation through contests and short films. It takes advantage of the tranquility of the neighborhood’s nightlife and combines the concept of the seventh art of cinema itself to give identity to the festival. The cube is used as the main image. A three-dimensional cube formed by squares, that synthesizes and unifies in a graphic way the concepts of geometry, unevenness, architecture, cinema, projection and focus, concepts typical of the festival and of Montbau.
-isme. Montbau cubism festival
An annual festival aimed at celebrating art in all its manifestations through the union between artistic expression itself and the geometric and rectilinear forms that make up the landscape of the Montbau neighbourhood. This edition is presented with the cubist movement. The festival seeks to encourage civic participation among citizens through recreational activities adapted to all ages.
Retrospectiva. Festival of architecture and digital arts in Montbau
Retrospectiva is Montbau’s festival of architecture and digital arts. The aim of the festival is to promote and foster the exchange and relationship established between architecture and digital arts as forms of creation and conceptualization. The aim of the festival is to unite these two concepts (architecture + digital arts) to represent the essence of the neighbourhood and the original constructions through architectural representations recreated with digital art, such as mapping or virtual reality.
Efímera. Art on ground
A festival of floor muralism, where neighbors and visitors can come and see live several artists painting the floors of the neighborhood as well as participate in activities and contributions to the mural. The element put it by its geometry is used, an element of surface, transportable and combinable that refers to the tiles of Montbau.
Recordart. People of Montbau Photographic Exhibition
Conceptualizes the graphic identity for a photographic exhibition where the authors are the neighborhood’s own neighbors. Empowering the historical values, the memories and the life of the neighborhood of Montbau. It seeks to create memory of Montbau, a series of memories through photographs exposed to the streets of the neighborhood, all in a direct, sensitive design that shows the photograph of the people.
es[ ] es[ ] Festival of Scenic Arts of Montbau
This is to organize a Festival of Performing Arts in the neighborhood of Montbau. The choice of the type of festival, the naming and its design is not a septum; it refers to the identity of the neighbourhood, to the lack of knowledge of many neighbours and people of Barcelona, to its green spaces and pedestrians, to its architecture and to the name of its streets. The name of the festival therefore refers to its identity and to all that can be Montbau: esmusica esmontbau | esteatre esmontbau | esdansa esmontbau | escirc esmontbau
In the subject of Graphic Production taught by Lluc Massaguer of the Master’s degree, the supports, processes and printing techniques in graphic arts are studied, as well as the preparation of final and original arts to be able to be reproduced. It shows each of the parts that make up the graphic process from conceptualization and ideation to final delivery. These are some of the resulting final projects:
Four-Color — Leo Kulisevsky
The aim of the work is to experiment with different serigraphic techniques, the main one being four-colour. In this work, the original black and white image was converted to colour and the result obtained from the division of invented channels (CMYK) was seen. Will the superimposition of these four inks turn the photograph originally in black and white to color?
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Pantone Organic — RosaMaria de los Heros
Pantone Organic is a research project in which it is proposed to use domestic fruit and vegetable waste generated at home to check whether it is feasible to produce inks for screen printing. He uses the “pantonera” system as a record of the different colours he manages to produce. In this way, it remains as an archive of the possibilities that exist and perhaps as a tool to convince or share the results with others.
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Graphic design with fluid paint — Monica Sacot
The project is based on the deepening of the work with acrylic paint used with the acrylic pouring technique. It consists of preparing a mixture of acrylic paint and medium acrylic to achieve a texture that flows easily through the canvas. The main objective of the project is to create visually attractive images and then use the image generated to apply it in the production of graphic design in the form of background, texture, pattern, and so on.
We’ve just started a new project with Xavier Alamany, professor of Graphic Identity Projects. The project is focused on identity design in one of the neighborhoods of Barcelona, in Montbau.
We started it with the masterclass by Albert Crispi, architect with a long professional career, founder of architecture and rehabilitation AC architecture and rehabilitation, and professor of EINA since 2004. During the session he showed us the functioning of the neighborhood since its beginnings til nowadays. How it was raised urbanistically and how people interact with the elements that form it. At the same time within the architectural field, Albert carried out the rehabilitation of one of his buildings in the Montbau plan. Projected in 1960 by the architects Xavier Subias, Guillermo Giráldez and Lopez Íñigo for the Habitatge Municipal Patronat, it is one of the best examples of rationalist concrete architecture in Barcelona. Through the experience of this rehabilitation we were able to understand both the architectural intention and the will of the neighborhood association towards the neighborhood and its connection with it.
To complement the information about Montbau, we wen on tour with Xavier Alamany. We were able to see the distribution of the neighborhood, the functioning of the main squares and the most hidden ones, the existing stores, the architecture and its relationship with the character of Montbau. We went through the most characteristic buildings, we understood their unity despite having been designed by different architects, the green areas that complements the neighborhood and we got an idea about the daily life of the people who live in it.
Understanding the essence of the neighborhood was essential to focus realistically on the identity project.