Response to the Brief (Marble Run)

The marble run project is where we work in a groups to create a marble run that will allow us to run a marble for 20-30 seconds continuously, it has to be creative, use as many different materials as possible and of course have the wow factor.

In my group we had few initial theme ideas; history of weaponry, theme park, different landmarks around the world, a fair ground and a crazy golf course, shown below is the spider diagram Sabine drew out to document our different ideas.


Sabine came up with the idea of a fair ground theme, we decided this was the best theme as we felt that it would allow us to give the marble an interesting route and everyone could contribute to the design as we all had a similar knowledge of fairgrounds, whereas themes such as the history of weaponry was a theme that Sam had specific knowledge on but the rest of us we’re as clued up on. Early on, we made the decision that our marble run would have four parts, there are four in our team so it was an easy way of making sure every member of the group was making an equal contribution to the project. Therefore we chose four iconic parts of a fairground; ferris wheel, Helter Skelter, dodgems and a carousel.


I drew out a rough diagram (left) to show roughly the order of the different attractions, Sam then created a more detailed scaled drawing (right). We further developed the fair ground theme by putting our own twist on a traditional fair ground; we chose to create it in a Gothic style, inspired by Tim Burton. I’m not used to creating things in a gothic style so I needed to do a LOT of research before I started making my part of the fair ground…a creepy carousel.


Most of the carousels I looked at had similar things in common, for example that they tended to have a lot of lights on them, the majority of them used horses although some had different creatures such as lions, mystic creatures and sledges, all of the carousels had the same structure in that they all have a banner across the top of the carousel, they’re all circular and have poles holding the animal statues in place. I like the idea of having lights on my carousel, although practically I don’t think I’d be able to have the time or skills to attach small LEDs  I thought I could use gems in order to give the impression of lights on the carousel.


I found these two images, they gave me inspiration on how I could make my carousel look scarier, I think I’m going to use foil to decorate parts of the carousel in order to give it a similar effect to the one in the second picture and I thought I could use the skeleton of a horse as the artist has in the first picture.

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I researched some Tim Burton style work to get an idea of how I could reflect this on the carousel, I can use the curly style of he  uses on the corners of the carousel, I could also incorporate bats and skeletons into the design and I thought about using twigs for the carousel poles, however when it came to making my carousel I decided to use plastic poles because they were all the same size and structure.

I thought about how I could make the carousel work practically and drew a sketch of what I wanted my carousel to look like.


When it came to making the carousel I had to make a few alterations…

I had to change the material I used for the creatures from play dough to clay, this is because the play dough wouldn’t stay in the shape that I sculpted it to so it made sense to use clay instead. I made the play dough myself and another fault with it was that it was grey instead of black, the colour I wanted it to be.


This is my play dough bat.

Another thing I had to change was the type of creatures I created, the skeleton horse wouldn’t work because I couldn’t put it through the pole and it weighed too much so drooped down, instead I changed that design to a spider. I also added a ghost design as the broom was difficult because it was a horizontal shape as opposed to a vertical shape so I only made one broom. I then painted them all black so they would match the gothic theme and mounted them on a plastic stick that I’d covered with silver foil.

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Originally I had wanted to write a title across the top of the carousel however the plates that I used for the top and bottom of the carousel were a bit too small so I couldn’t fit the title ‘creepy carousel’ on, I didn’t think this was too bad because I didn’t want to crowd the design.

I added a centre tube to the carousel to make it sturdier and put less pressure on the plastic poles.

The final change I made was to the placing of the marble tube, at first I was going to have the tube going around the side of the carousel and put the whole carousel at an angle but my Mum suggested instead to put the marble tube at an angle, before deciding on this I thought through other ways I could make the marble run through the carousel…I had the idea of using the centre tube and making the marble drop through, the problem with this was that it would be difficult to connect the run at the beginning and the end of the carousel to the centre tube. Therefore I decided to raise the run as my Mum had suggested, I also had to change the materials I used for the run, I was going to use cardboard but this proved difficult to get into a circular shape and when I did get it in the shape I wanted it had a lot of ridges which I thought might stop the marble from running. In answer to this problem I used hair curlers! Crazy I know but I managed to get them into the shape I wanted, they were the right size for the marble and were strong, I taped them together and then covered them with tin foil to make it fit in with the design of the rest of the carousel.

IMG_0631 IMG_0633 IMG_0634 IMG_0635I’m really happy with my finished design and I feel it gave me the opportunity to try design methods I would never have thought of using, such as clay models…fingers crossed it works for the filmed run!

The other members in my group made the other areas of the fairground…

Sabine designed the Helter Skelter:

Sam designed the Ferris Wheel:

Jake designed  the Dodgems:

Unfortunately on the day we presented the marble run, Sam didn’t turn up and he hadn’t left his part of the marble run for us to connect up so we had to connect Sabine’s Helter Skelter to my Carousel on the day of the run! Obviously that wasn’t as we’d planned because it should’ve been Sabine’s, then Sam’s, then mine, the Jake’s so it didn’t look quite as good as we’d wanted it too. Another problem we had was that when we filmed the marble run it stopped on the dodgems a few times, which was odd because it hadn’t done that when we tried it a few days before, so we didn’t get a complete run through when it was filmed.

Here’s a photo of our finished run:



Response to the Brief (Flights of Fancy)

First project…let’s give this blogging a go! For the Flights of Fancy project we were asked to research different types of paper airplanes, one of which we would choose as our final project and produce a poster with theme we had to decide on. There was also I competition as to who could get their plane to fly for the longest amount of time. I looked on several different sites to give me some ideas…

It was loads of fun looking through and making these different planes but I didn’t really have any ideas of what theme to do until I started messing around with a plane and thought it looked like a crocodile! This sparked the idea of a jungle theme. I created a spider diagram and thought of a few different themes that may work including a super heroes theme where I would create a spaceship for various different superheroes such as Batman and Thunderbirds, this idea would have the potential to either be used as the obvious, a toy for children to pretend they were flying around in their favourite superheroes’ spaceship or it could be marketed as a collectors item, possibly where I could design the spaceship in an older fashion as depicted in comics. I also had the idea of using paper planes as decorations, they could be used at weddings as decoration for tables, the white paper could have different shapes cut out of it. Another decoration idea was taking the route of origami and making more decorative planes out of handmade paper, these could decorate cafes or houses, a cheap but original way of decorating!


I decided to focus on the jungle theme as I thought this was the strongest out of all the themes and had a lot of potential in terms of the designing the plane, as I would have to make it resemble an animal. My target market was to be 7 year olds as I felt they would be capable of creating the planes with a small amount of guidance but that the Jungle design would also appeal to them. I looked at a few cartoons of jungle animals to get a feel for other animals I could produce designs for.


I thought through different animals, for example a tiger, a lion, a zebra, butterfly and dragonfly. However I decided to focus on the butterfly, lion, crocodile and dragonfly as I felt these would be the easiest animals to make out of a paper plane, I drew up a rough design below of how I wanted them to look. I further developed this theme by thinking of a few appropriate names, I came up with Jungle Jumpers, although this name might have been a bit misleading as to what the product was, and King of the Jungle, I preferred this name as ‘King of the Jungle’ is associated with the lion, however I could market my product as making the different planes in order to see which airplane was the ‘King of the Jungle’.


Further Development

I decided to drop the dragonfly idea and just stick to 3 designs due to time constraints. The crocodile design didn’t need much altering, I adapted my original design by cutting it to make it look more like a crocodile. However for the lion I had to change the size of the paper, instead of using A4 paper I decided to use A3 in order to make it fly for longer. The butterfly took a lot of adapting, the initial design I choose to use was a lot more complicated than I had initially expected and so the finished product didn’t turn out as I wanted it to, this meant I had to search for a different butterfly design, I looked at both of these youtube clips for inspiration:

Here are the different butterfly designs I tried…


The final design I chose for the butterfly is this:


I decided that although this design isn’t great at flying it would be really useful and easy to impose my pattern onto it.

My final crocodile design is below:


On the left is my initial idea, on the right is my improved design that looks more like a crocodile.

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This is my lion design.

See you in a while crocodile…

For my crocodile I had to decide how realistic I wanted it to look. My target market is children aged 7 years and above, as they need to be able to make the planes with a minimal amount of supervision or help. If my target market is this young I don’t want the animals to look too scary. In terms of my crocodile I think I’ll use a realistic pattern for the skin however I’ll use brighter colours that would be more appealing to children, I’ll also make the other features of the crocodile, such as the eyes and nose in a cartoon fashion.


I need to try and recreate this scale pattern however use brighter colours there are a few ways I can do this, I can copy a crocodile scale pattern from the internet and then use a colour overlay, another idea is to actually draw the pattern onto some paper and then scan that in or I could draw the pattern on Illustrator and then colour it in on the computer.

Before I try any of these methods I first need to look for some ideas so I can decide exactly what I want this crocodile to look like…


I like the colours and the eyes on this first image but I like the way the scales are shown on the nose of this other image. On this third image I really like the print on the crocodile’s skin, it shows the crocodile’s scales but in a friendly way that wouldn’t be scary for young children.

For my crocodile design I’m going to use similar colours to the first crocodile image but use the print idea from the third image.

I created my crocodile design (shown below) in Adobe Illustrator by using the pen tool first to trace the outline of the plane and the individual panels, then for all the features on it, such as the print, eyes, nose etc.

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To make this design look even more like a crocodile I copied it into photoshop and added a crocodile skin texture. To do this I had to copy the skin texture off the internet, use the select and inverse tools in order to make the skin the same size as my design, I then added it as an overlay and made a few adjustments in terms of hue/saturation. Following this I added a shadow to the wings to imitate the shadow when I originally took the photo of the plane, and a slight gradient again to reflect that shadow on the original photo.

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Now onto the lion…

Obviously I wanted a friendly looking lion that would compliment the croc I’d just designed so now for the research…


I like the mane on the first too images as it has different shades of colour in it which I think make the image a bit more interesting. I also like the faces on the first and last image as I think they have nice friendly faces, which is something I need to have for my target market, these will be the inspiration for creating the face of the lion on Illustrator.

I did look at some photos of lions however if I’m honest I got most of my ideas from the cartoons purely because I wanted the lion to look more cartoony so it didn’t appear to scary.

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I particularly like the last photo as the lion’s mane had a lot of different colours to it. After looking at these photos I felt more comfortable about using a range of colours for my lion as obviously the second and last images are quite different in colour so I had the option to use yellows and golds, or to use browns and oranges, I chose the latter. I liked the fact that the first image shows the natural environment of the lion which would give me ideas in the next stage when it came to designing the background.

First I traced the outline of the plane photo I’d taken on Illustrator and coloured it in an orange.

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I used Illustrator to create the lion, this was because I wanted to use a technique that Mike had taught us, this was the blend tool. I drew a line in a brown and then another one a few centimetres away in a maroon and used the blend tool, which would then add loads of other lines in between. I used this technique several times around the head of the lion to give the impression of the lion’s mane. I tried this in two different colours but decided to go with this brown/maroon one. Then I added a orange rectangle over the top to make the lion’s face. I had to use a clipping mask to made sure all the lines I’d blended were inside the boundary I wanted them to be in. Finally I added all the facial features I wanted and the ears, then I brought the line down the centre of the face to the font in order to make the fold of the paper airplane. I also had to add a triangle at the bottom of the face to make the paper fold that the airplane would use.

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And there we go, my finished lion!

Fly like a butterfly…

The cheesy titles are just getting worse and worse!

I looked at both cartoon and real butterfly images in my research in order to combine the realism with the friendly cartoon style although to be fair it would be hard to make a butterfly that didn’t look friendly!

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The main thing that I picked out from the pattern on a butterfly’s wings in the how detailed the are, the wings are made up of lots of different panels, most are surrounded with back around the edges contrasted with the bright colours in the centre. I particularly like the second image as the butterfly’s wings have a gradient of colour on them. In order to recreate a butterfly image like this I need to create vectors in order to give the impression of the detailed panels on the butterfly.

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When I searched cartoon butterflies there was a real contrast, some of the cartoons looked realistic like the last image, others just put looks of bright colours on like the third image and some of the butterflies had faces like the first two. I think I prefer the realistic butterfly the most, butterflies aren’t scary so children wouldn’t have a problem with making a butterfly that looked realistic as opposed to a seven year old girl who might be terrified of a realistic looking crocodile…I also felt I could make the butterfly in a similar style to the other planes I’d already created. In my opinion the butterfly with a face would appeal more to a younger target market, possibly 3 year olds so therefore I think the design is a little too young for my target market. I also prefer the wing pattern on the realistic cartoon and I think that would challenge my graphic designing skills more than the other designs.

I created my butterfly in Illustrator by tracing a photo of my paper plane, I then added different vector segments using the pen tool, I wanted a gradient effect similar to the wings on one of the butterfly photos shown above so I used the gradient tool to create this effect. As you can see below I experiment with two different types of wing pattern before deciding to go with the wing pattern shown in the last image. I went with this pattern because I felt I could cover more of the wing with colour which would be more suitable to my target market as children like things that are colourful. The colours I used for the wings are bright and vibrant so they are attractive to 7 year olds.

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My finished butterfly!

Putting it all together

I’ve finished my 3 animal planes now and so I have to figure out how to get them to work together on a page. My main idea is to draw a background using Illustrator that would match the style of the animals, for inspiration I looked at a few images of a Safari:


The Safari landscape has a distinct shape of tree that I’d have to use if I were to pick that landscape. Safari’s don’t look to have that much going on which is good because it would make my background simple.

I also researched jungles because the name I wanted to use for my product is ‘King of the Jungle’, if I was to go for this name obviously I’d have to use a Jungle background instead of Safari.

Jungle WallpaperimagesLakes_wallpapers_457

Although the vegetation for the Jungle is a lot more complex I would like to go with the name ‘King of the Jungle’ so I’m going to have to choose the Jungle background. I think the third image would be able to accommodate all my different animals so this might be a good one to base my background on.

I’ll have to simplify the background a lot more to in keep with my cartoon theme so I researched cartoon jungle backgrounds:

Jungle-illustration-fnl-390x220depositphotos_5548097-Animal-cartoon-in-the-jungleJungle Book 2

I really like how the second image has just used leaves in the background to give the impression of trees. I think the third image from the Jungle Book is my favourite because it allows space for the 3 character.. eg. crocodile in the river, lion on the bank or in the bushes and butterfly in the tree or in the sky… it also leaves me with space for the logo, text and name of my product.

First, I put all the animals in the rough place I wanted them and then drew out a rough layout of how I wanted everything to look.

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I then created all of the illustrations I used on Illustrator and then transferred them over to Photoshop, I used the layout from the Jungle Book photo shown above as a rough guide of where I wanted things to go. I then drew out the different plants I wanted to create, took photos of them and then traced them on Illustrator. However for the tree and rock I got an image of the internet and traced that instead.

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After creating all the separate parts of the background I then had to put them together, this was fairly tricky because I wanted everything to flow well, so I had to change the positioning of the grass and add a rock to replace it, I also decided to add a few more plants around the flowers giving it a bit more variety and colour. I used the paint brush on Photoshop to add the green glow around the lion, to make the background behind the lion seem a bit fuller.

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I changed the position of the grass because I felt the area under the tree wasn’t as busy as it should be, I also felt it was detracting a little from the crocodile and felt a rock would also have more possibilities for including typography.

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I also decided to add some clouds, the main reason for this was so I could put the price inside a cloud.

I finished creating the cartoony background, so now I had to focus on typography…the tough bit!

It was a bit of a struggle to fit all the text of especially as products aimed at children tend to minimise the amount of text as the kids don’t normally read it, they’re mainly focused on the pictures but obviously because it was clear in the brief all the text had to be used I didn’t have much choice!

First I placed all my text in the place I wanted it to go around the page; I placed the logo and the information to do with Klutz in the rock in the corner, I had left room in the top right hand corner for the main body of text (also where the name of my plane would go) and I also created some clouds so I could put the price in it.

Before I chose fonts I wanted to look at some children’s products to get an idea of the style of font that would be appropriate and the placement or sizing of the textfairyadv-in-bob-the-builderwi08-adverts-largeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In these 3 adverts I noticed that actually they’ve used the same font throughout but used different colours, sizes or adjusted the boldness of the text. All the fonts used have a childish theme to them, by this I mean that I’d never use any of them in a stylish poster aimed at an older target market.

I took what I had learned from my research and decided to se as few fonts as possible so the text appeared simple and didn’t take anything away from my cartoons.

To start with I typed out the majority of the text I needed so I could get in the position I wanted before I thought about colours and fonts. Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 11.24.34

After doing this I decided to find a font for my logo, I used a font called ‘GROBOLD’ I messed around with the layout of the logo before I decided to go  for the last image shown below because I felt that linked all the words well together.

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I decided not to use GROBOLD for the bulk of my text, I felt that because it was quite a heavy font it wouldn’t compliment the rest of the poster and wouldn’t be easy for the customer to read, therefore I chose another font called ‘Biko’ for the rest of the text. As you can see, I experimented with where the text and logo would fit in best.

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I also had to place the ‘An original design by Siobhan Baxter’ somewhere, so I tried to fit that in with the logo.

Eventually I came up with my final design…

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However when Matt took a look at what I’d done he suggested rethinking the text so that it was a little bit more structured…

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I liked what he suggested however I didn’t completely agree with everything so I made a few more tweaks and came up with this!

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I like how the structure means there is more emphasis on the illustrations, it also feels less messy and disorganised so looks like a more carefully designed poster. I preferred lining everything up of the right hand side so it doesn’t detract too much from the tree and butterfly.

I made a few final adjustments, such as making the text underneath the title a bit smaller so it didn’t infringe on the lion illustration,I also edited a bit of the grass to make it look like it was in the water, added a few more flowers to add a bit more colour to the vegetation surrounding the lion and I rotated the ‘Only £4.50’ so that it was the same angle as the top of the J in Jungle. I added a little bit more text, such as the name of the animal next to the model number and ‘Paperflight’ next to the KLUTZ logo.

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