Explorative Design

Explorative Design - student project

I have found this class so helpful so far! I have the same problem - I am a serial hobbiyst and like to try every style possible, which means that I don't have one of my own. I've felt self-conscious about it in the past, but this class has proven to me that it doesn't matter, that I can try any style that I want and make it mine! 

I've learnt a lot about my own visual instincts (such as - I do not like ellipsis either... I dont like the composition to be symmetrical and I only like working with a maximum of three colours! ...also, I hate brown). It's been as much of a self-awareness process as an exploration process. 

Below you can see my artboards for each exercise (so that you can see what came from what). When I finish the class I will compile my favourite posters and post them at the bottom of this project.




Exercise 1: 1 rectangle, can't go outside the page. 

- I don't like things being central

- I use the rule of thirds a lot without thinking about it (I guess the photography degree did teach me something!)

- I like creating tension through "unfinished" or "suspended" compositions

Explorative Design - image 1 - student project 



Exercise 2: 1 rectangle, has to go outside the page

- Again, I liked making things look like they're in process of coming onto the page or leaving it

- I found using the weird long thin rectangle super satisfying - no idea why

 Explorative Design - image 2 - student project




Exercise 3: 2 rectangles, can't touch, have to be the same colour

- I liked making the squares play off of each other, like imitating a falling stack or lego that was put in space with no gravity

- I enjoyed playing with negative space and seeing how dark/light colour combinations change the feel of the poster

 Explorative Design - image 3 - student project




Exercise 4: one rectangle and as many ellipsis as I want. All ellipsis have to be the same colour

- I seriously dislike elipsis

- The compositions that were "in order" did not interest me until I messed about with them

- I really like contrast, whether it's the colours, sizes, or just something really standing out and not seeming "in place"


Explorative Design - image 4 - student project




Exercise 5: max of 5 ellipsis, have to be the same hue but can be different saturation or brightness

- I didn't like playing around with the colours - it was too much for me, I came to a conclusion that I like up to 3 colours

- contrary to that, I really liked how the green ellipsis came out, but only the overlapping ones which were not adhering to the rules!


Explorative Design - image 5 - student project




Exercise 6: rectangles and ellipsis. All ellipsis/rectangles have to be the same ratio and colour. Can't touch each other 

 - By this point I was pretty sure not only did I like working with fewer colours, but also fewer shapes. I found it hard to work with a composition of many shapes

- I think this was my least favourite exercise so far - I struggled to find anything that I liked. That could have been down to my mood at the time so I might go back to it and re-do it.

 Explorative Design - image 6 - student project



Exercise 7: Use 12 rectangles. They can't be rotated, and can't overlap

- I did this exercise (as all the others) before watching Rich do it. In hindsight having Illustrator on "snap to grid" would have helped a ton! Might re-do this later with that setting. 

- Again, even though there was no restriction on colours I ended up working with a max. of three colours - seems to be a theme! I certainly don't like chaos and overcomplicating things when working with a geometrical style. This makes me reflect on what I think about myself as an illustrator - I always thought I liked meticulous detail, but all my designs always ended up pretty simple. Maybe it's time to change that idea about myself? Or better! Test it with another exploration :)

- I only really liked the final few pieces at the bottom.

Explorative Design - image 7 - student project 

 Exercise 8: Overlapping shapes. Only use two colours (for negative and positive space), rectangles and ellipsis.

- Once I got a hang of this I quite enjoyed it - I liked the effects it had with a dark background, kind of like images of the night sky. 

- I will definitely come back to this as a skill - using geometrical shapes instead of the pen tool creates much more harmonious and clean designs, which is something that I like (but always shied away from).


Explorative Design - image 8 - student project

Anita Kwiecien
Designer, Letterer, Maker