Drawing from Reference

For this exercise we had to collect reference material from different sources and catalogue the images under given categories. I combined some Google searching with 2 books, Retro Graphics: A Visual Sourcebook to 100 Years of Graphic Design and The Fifties Source Book, and a visit to the North Wales 1950s museum. Some of my reference from the museum are below:{br]

The 1950s was a period of reecovery after the second World war. People were proud of their houses and there was great interest in making them beautiful. Blocks of colour were complimented by strong, space agey patterns on soft furnishings. Most furniture had rounded corners and Bakerlite, a precursor of plastic, was promoted and in common use. Images of the royal family were popular and peculiarities of the era included:
  1. lady head vases
  2. television lamps
  3. analogue telephones
  4. record players
  5. black and white tvs
  6. starburst clocks
  7. Lucite handbags

Elements of 1950s design are often seen today because of retro styling. With regard to graphic design in the 1950’s there was abundant use of text which tended to consist of bold, curvy typefaes and italicised fonts. Images tended to be grainy.

I started the exercise by sketching out some thumbnails for a layout and chose 2 of these to work on further. I started colouring the lady in the chair with alcohol markers but decided that, as I would be creating imagery that could be used in both of my designs, I would colour the image in Photoshop. I included some collage in the form of a downloadable pattern for the curtain and carpet and woodgrain textures for the furniture. I added noise to both images to create the grainy effect that was common on 1950s posters.

Looking back I think the illustration may have had more of an authentic look if worked in gouache. The finished piece is slightly awkward and my illustration of a tv lamp is somewhat unconvincing. The items I chose were mostly personal and household items but having shared with other students I had missed things like the nuclear bomb and moon landings.

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