Always Learning – Copyright for Designers

A week or so without any assignments and I’m still trying to get used to it, lol πŸ™‚ At the same time, my head is swimming with about a thousand ideas on what I should do next – what do I want to do with my new skills? Where do I want them to take me? So many ideas! I definitely think I’m going to create some sort of business in the design/art area, but I’m not sure exactly what though… still some sorting out to do there.

One thing that did come to mind while I’ve been thinking about all of this, was an assignment I did last year around Copyright. Copyright should be a really straight-forward thing, i.e. don’t copy other people’s stuff, but sometimes things aren’t quite so simple.

This assignment was the first time I usedΒ InDesign, so it was ah, interesting… I can’t say I’m a huge fan of that program now though either… Anyway, for the assignment we had to write a one-page magazine article on ‘Copyright for Designers’. For the presentation of the article we had to find an article in a design magazine and duplicate their grid layout.

I chose an article from No Cure – one of my favourite art/design magazines πŸ™‚

Thankfully I worked out how to set up the grid without too much hassle. We had to include photos too – I used my own photos of my own drawings – easy way to avoid copyright issues πŸ™‚

Anyway, here is my article:

An Honest Post on Where I’m at…


Not where I’m at… but where I would mind being πŸ™‚

I almost quit last week. My course, this blog, trying so hard with my new ‘healthy’ way of living, and a few other things too. I’d had enough, I was tired, I didn’t want any more expectations on me. I just wanted to be left alone to maybe sleep for a week or so. I was thiiiiiis close to just giving up.

But then I saw a life coach… Now before you go rolling your eyes, yes yes, I’ve been pretty sceptical about them in the past, but someone close to me was seeing this particular coach and was finding it beneficial, and I was at a point where something needed to change I’d try just about anything. So I went along for my first catch-up and, what can I say, I haven’t quit any of the things I was on the verge of giving up. I have a new game plan and I’m working on a new way of looking at things.

The life coach asked questions and listened to me and helped me narrow down a few key actions I could take right now to make some changes that would help me out. They weren’t huge or complicated and I’ve started working through them and seeing changes already. The biggest one was putting my early morning study sessions back in my calendar. I was at a real blockage in my course, not making a lot of progress and panicking that I have to finish it this year, but the life coach turned me on to a method that Elizabeth Gilbert talks about where you don’t wait for the inspiration to do the work, you do the work and the inspiration will come. So, now, six days a week, I committed to sitting down and studying for 1 hr (I chose in the morning because that’s when my head is the most clear and can focus). Sometimes this’ll be a chore and I’ll struggle through the hour, but other times, it’ll fly by and I’ll want to stay at my desk for even longer. Either way, I’m at least now making progress. This alone has made me feel a bit better.

Sounds simple hey, and it is definitely something I could have done on my own, the same as the other actions on my new list. But I think what I got out of the life coach session the most was the validation from a complete stranger that what I’ve got going on in my life right now is a lot and no, not everyone could just ‘handle’ it all, and I shouldn’t be frustrated or disappointed that I can’t do everything. She helped me see this and narrow things down to what absolute priorities are at the moment. This is something that was difficult to see on my own, and also difficult to talk through with friends and family. The non-biased thoughts of a stranger can be quite helpful.

So, I’m not quitting this blog because I really like writing and sharing what I’m up to, but I wouldn’t be expecting multiple updates each week for awhile, and there may be weeks when I don’t post at all. I won’t have forgotten about the blog, but I’ll just have other priorities that week… and that is okay.


Texture in Photography

An example of texture in my own photography…

In a Learning Activity I had to do a little while ago I had to choose one design element and discuss how it could be used to engage an audience and create meaning… and give two examples.

In the readings leading up to the activity I came across Ted Forbes and started following him on Pinterest… and discovered the photography of Ansel Adams!

After checking out his work, I picked texture as my design element…

Texture as a design element is often used to engage a viewer through dramatic effect. In a medium such as photography where a 3D scene or environment is turned into a 2D image, clever use of texture allows the viewer to imagine the 3D scene.

Two examples of great uses of texture are two photos centered on sand, by Ansel Adams. In β€œSurf Sequence #2” the texture of the sand stands out and allows the viewer to sense the graininess of it, whereas in β€œSand Dunes, Oceano, California”, Adams is conveying the texture of the ripples – peaks and valleys – of the sand on the dunes. Adams uses sharp focus and high contrast to help convey the textures within his images.


Getting Paid

Flying Notes

Made with the Patternator iPhone app πŸ™‚

Hi All πŸ™‚ Just a quick little check in before today’s post… you’ll notice it’s been over a week since my last post and that’s because I’ve been sick – again! It’s a bit of a repetitive thing nowadays but I’m off to see a specialist next week so hopefully it all gets sorted out soon, anyway, just wanted to let you all know I’m still here and I haven’t forgotten about the blog πŸ™‚ So here’s what I’ve been up to with my study lately…

Yay I got to read a section in my textbook that I hadn’t read before! Lol πŸ™‚ It’s a bit sad when that makes me happy haha.

It was a pretty interesting section too, it was all about setting up some business documents and how to get paid for the design work you do when you have your own business and/or are working as a free-lancer. Interesting stuff, especially considering that this is more than likely what I’ll end up doing.

Here are some notes from thisΒ section of Graphic Design: Australian Style Guide

  • “Before you get paid you need to work out how much to charge. This is determined by your experience, what other designers are getting and the prevailing economic conditions. It should increase over time, but may need to dip now and then.” (Barnum et al, p326)
  • “The base rate is the rate for actual design work (conceptualisation or layout). It is used to calculate the charge-out rate and need not be disclosed to the client.” (Barnum et al, p326)
  • “The charge-out rate is (the) rate that includes designing, overheads, profit, etc. It is 3 1/2 times the base rate and is used to calculate the cost of design to the client.” (Barnum et al, p326)
  • “Contracts are legally binding for both parties. If a designer promises to have something completed by a certain date, in a certain form, and then does not fulfil that agreement, they could be breaking a contract and therefore be liable for damages.” (Barnum et al, p326)
  • “The three main documents that form the basis of the contract between client and designer are the initial proposal, the quote an d the invoice.” (Barnum et al, p327)
  • “Under Australia law, any piece of written communication that involves money and/or contractual arrangement must display an Australian Business Number (ABN).” (Barnum et al, p327)
  • “Terms and Conditions of Trade (T&Cs) are the conditions under which a designer trades, including payment terms and any confidentiality, copyright or contract issues.” (Barnum et al, p328)



Barnum, A., Haddock, S., Hicks, S. and Oppen, F. (2012)Β Graphic Design: Australian Style Guide. Sydney: McGraw-Hill Publishers Australia

Colour Theory – Study Notes

Colour wheel

It’s a grey day today, drizzling with rain and cold. And why is it that Winter clothes all seem to be so dark and dreary… I might have to go an get myself a bright pink coat or something to add a bit of colour to my Winter days… For now though I thought I’d post a few notes on colour theory for a little escape from the grey…

  • One of the main elements of graphic design.
  • Use of colour influenced by popular culture and trends.
  • Hue – Another word for colour.
  • Tone – Brightness, tint or shade of colour.
  • Additive Primary Colours – Red, green and blue – together form white.
  • Subtractive Primary Colours – Cyan, magenta and yellow – together form black.
  • RGB – Additive primary colour model. Used for digital and electronic displays.
  • CMYK – Subtractive primary colour model. Used for print.
  • Tints – Colours with white added.
  • Shades – Colours with black added.
  • Neutral Colours – Greys, blacks and whites.
  • Warm Colours – Reds, oranges and yellows.
  • Cool Colours – Blues, greens and purples.
  • Saturation – Purity of a colour with an absence of black, white or grey.

 Stay warm πŸ™‚

Typography – Study Notes


What are you up to on this sunny Saturday? It looks like a really nice day outside – freezing, but nice. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to get outside later on today, but for now it is study time!

This morning was all about typography…

  • Mid 15th Century – Johannes Gutenberg – moveable type.
  • “Graphic design is about communication… text is vitally important in the communication process…” (p116)
  • Type/Typeface – “…particular design of the letter forms of a character set.” (p116)
  • Font – “…character set of a typeface at a particular point size.” (p116)
  • “These days ‘font’ is often also used to mean ‘typeface’.” (p116)
  • Type weight – “The weight of a typeface refers to how light or dark (how heavy) each member of the family is.” (p126)
  • Typeface family – “…(also known as a font family) is made up of a number of variants of the typeface.” (p126)
  • Character set – “..all the members of a typeface… includes upper and lower case letters, numerals… punctuation…” (p126)
  • Point size – “…the measure of the size of type.” (p127)
  • Baseline – “…an invisible line on which all the letters in a line of type sit.” (p127)
  • Leading – “…the space between lines of text.” (p127)
  • Kerning – “…a method used to add space between letters to give a visually equal space between them.” (p127)
  • Gutter – “…the space between columns of text or images.” (p127)
  • Margin – “…the space with no text around an image, a column of text or the edge of a page.” (p127)
  • Serif face – “…a typeface with serifs, which are small extensions to the sides of the letterforms.” (p128)
  • Sans serif face – “…a typeface without serifs.” (p128)


And now, back to the books… πŸ™‚




Barnum, A., Haddock, S., Hicks, S. and Oppen, F. (2012)Β Graphic Design: Australian Style Guide. Sydney: McGraw-Hill Publishers Australia

The Role of the Designer


Course textbook

I mentioned in an earlier post about the repetition in my course and it doesn’t just apply to the subjects covered in the theory, it also happens with the readings we are supposed to do from the textbook.

The textbook for this course is “Graphic Design: Australian Style Manual” and I just went to pages 14-20 to do the reading for this section of study, and I’ve already read it – I’ve already highlighted the bits and pieces I thought were important. This is kind of frustrating, getting ready to get into reading and I’ve already done it.

Anyway, I thought this might be a good a time as any to make share some notes from this section of the textbook which is all about the role of the designer…

  • “The role of the designer is to work within a design process to fully understand the scope of the client’s communication problem and to clearly identify the target audience they’re speaking to. This means understanding the audience’s age, gender, media preferences, culture, lifestyle habits and ethnicity.” (Barnum et al, p14)
  • “… it is important to recognise the distinction between art and design. The clear difference between the process of design and the making of art lies in the objective.” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • “Designers are not artists in the pure discipline sense. Designers might simultaneously engage in both art and design practices, but designing involves both the analysis and the validation of ideas…” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • Graphic designers are after “…a communication solution that contains aesthetic harmony, inspirational graphic techniques and a voice that’s appropriate to the objective within the brief – something looks good, sounds good and generates the right reaction.” (Barnum et al, p15)
  • “The mission of the designer (is) to identify and isolate the most fundamental objectives that (the client is) trying to communicate.” (Barnum et al, p19)
  • “…(the) first step on the path to understanding what makes a successful designer: fully understanding and digesting what the brief requires… reducing all the data provided to the most potent points.” (Barnum et al, p19)



Barnum, A., Haddock, S., Hicks, S. and Oppen, F. (2012)Β Graphic Design: Australian Style Guide. Sydney: McGraw-Hill Publishers Australia