Studio 2 – Sarah Beetson

Design, Drawing, Graphic Design

A few weeks ago we had a special guest come talk at SAE Brisbane – Sarah Beetson. Here’s just a little bit of info about her:

Sarah Beetson is a British Fashion Illustrator and Artist who is based in Australia. She graduated in 2002 and spent a year gaining experience in London, working for Mary Portas, POP Magazine and Stella McCartney, before establishing a career as a freelance illustrator, and as a talent scout for Global Agency Illustrationweb. Sarah’s extensive client list has included The Telegraph and The Times, Penguin Books, The British Fashion Council, MACCosmetics, Delta Airlines, The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian Mag, Ford Germany, and Perth Fashion Week. Her accolades include Creative Review’s Best in Book for Illustration 2011, and The Metro Award 2012 (shortlisted). Sarah has exhibited her art in London, Paris, New York, Portland, Ottawa, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Brisbane. She creates her illustrations by hand, using a wide variety of mixed media. She spends time annually in Europe and North America; a suitcase of art materials and A4 scanner in her luggage so that she is able to work as she travels. Sarah’s art explores contemporary politics, celebrity and the perversities of popular culture.

Check out her website here

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There were a few things that I found interesting from her talk. Firstly, I was pretty amazed at the amount of work she has accomplished. I can’t remember if she talked much about how long each piece takes but she had such a large amount of work that she showed us and she didn’t even get through it all. And even though she has a very specific style, it has been used by such a large range of clients. Ikea, Wall Street Journal, Trader Joes, lots of magazines and even a few airlines, just to name a few.

Something else she said really stood out:

“You never know the full value of your images”

She may have done some work on an image, not knowing that it’s exactly the kind of image some big company is looking for to use in their global marketing campaign and next minute it’s plastered all around the country on bus ad and billboards or something. I think it’s really good to know and it kinda motivates me to keep developing ideas and images.

She also talked about having an agent. I think it worked for her because she was freelancing, but also because she had a very specific style throughout all of her artwork. But I guess, as long as you have a portfolio that demonstrates what you’re capable of, having an agent would be a good idea. Something to keep in mind if I ever want to just be a freelance graphic designer. I’d probably have to work at expanding my portfolio and focusing my style.

One more thing, she talked about the turnaround she would have for some projects. For one client, I think it was Wall Street Journal, they would call her up in the evening and she would have one full day to finish the piece…Ahh, yeah sure, I can get that done, I just won’t be sleeping for the next day and can someone please go and get me some coffee… That is one quick turnaround. I think she mentioned that time difference worked in her favour for some of these instances so I would hate to think of what that turnaround would be like if it didn’t. That’s one way to be motivated to do the work I guess. And I guess experience would be a big help. No way I would be able to do that at the moment. Time management is becoming more and more important and figuring out the best methods that will work for me.

There was other stuff she talked about but that’s enough for now. It’s always cool to hear from people who are working in the industry and the things they have found helpful to them.

– KH

Studio 2 – Posters

Adobe, Design, Graphic Design

Bit out of order now but this post is for my second project – I’m playing catch up.

So this was an interesting project (see Studio 2 – Project 2) because we had two weeks to complete it and due to unlucky timing on my part the second week I had plans to be in Melbourne, having a little mini holiday with my sisters. I had to make sure I had everything I needed to work on them and a solid plan for my designs because I didn’t know if I’d have much internet access or time to work on them while in Melbourne. This meant I really needed to get in touch with the audio students ASAP so I had emailed them (all 7 of them) by Thursday as well as emailing the audio lecturer. It was also challenging as there was also the Easter weekend smack bang in the middle of our project. It was because of this that I think I didn’t get much response as only 2 of the student representatives replied to my email and I got very little response from the survey I created.

But it’s ok, I worked with what I had. Some info I gathered about the audio students:

  • Majority are male
  • Aged between 18-20yrs
  • They like very different styles of music – hip hop to heavy metal to indie rock to EDM to punk. Some even like a broad range just on their own.
  • What they like about audio engineering:
    • Learning new ways to produce music
    • Manipulating sound
    • Working in the studios
    • Doing live sound
    • Getting hands on experience
    • Working with expensive gear
  • Motivates them:
    • Mostly, it was music
    • A worthy cause
    • The end product

In the survey I also included some possible quotes and got them to choose the ones that motivated them best.

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 8.45.04 AM

I picked the top 3 quotes from their responses and went from there (I did actually have a fourth poster started but it didn’t fit with the colour scheme – might keep working on that a bit later).

The next step was what style of poster. I did a bit of research of poster style on Pinterest and I asked the students if they had a favourite art style or what their favourite album covers were so I could get an idea of something they’d like. The two styles that stood out to me as something I could work with were minimalistic and photographic. So with that in mind, I found some images I could work with and an idea in mind.

Colour scheme: I thought I’d use red, blue and yellow – primary colours, they work well together, they’re bright, and there’s three colours and three posters so it worked out well.

Imagery: music photos, specifically relating to audio students (more behind the scenes stuff). Geometric shapes to add another element to the posters.

I’ll upload images of the poster soon – they weren’t uploading right.

– KH

Studio 2 – Project 3

Culture, Design, Graphic Design

Two weeks ago we started our third (and final project) for this trimester. With a real client. It’s been an interesting experience so far. Now because I’m a bit behind I’ll try and cover everything that’s happened so far.

Firstly, we got the brief. We were tasked with the marketing (both promotional and operational) material for the West End Festival (WEF). Just a brief summary of what the WEF is all about.

  • WEF is a curated community event which celebrates and promotes the vibrant and diverse West End community across a range of platforms.
  • There will be an action packed program of cultural and community events held in a variety of publicly activated spaces around West End.
  • Aims to showcase artists, organisations and businesses who are located in West End or have historic links to the community.
  • 22-29th October 2016
  • Events of note:
    • Kurilpa Derby
    • Festiva Latina (Day of the Dead festival)
    • Beggars Banquet

After getting the brief we were split up in groups (with 2 groups working on the festival) and sent away to develop a pitch for the branding of the festival. For my group, our concept was:

  • Designs that will resonate with the residents, families and friends of West End, a style that represents the overall culture of the West End precinct.
  • The theme should be bright, fun, exciting and overall vibrant.
  • We want to capture the city’s welcoming nature towards everything; people, new stores, art, music, culture, etc.
  • Bright colour scheme & geometric shapes that will help signify the connections that people make with the surroundings and the city itself.
  • Some of the ideas we pitched:



From here it got really confusing. A good example of how it actually is with real clients (not all the time, but sometimes). Our understanding was that one style would be chosen from the two ideas that were pitched. What really happened was that the client liked some ideas from Group 1 and some ideas from Group 2. Now we had a problem. The two styles (kinda three styles) didn’t really go well together. We had bright and colourful illustrative images, flat design and black & white line icons. Now there’s a challenge…

We also had some pretty tight deadlines with this project so it was straight to work, trying to figure out how we could mesh these design styles together. One group was tasked with designing the logo (with help from the other group too) while the other group works on the poster. My group was working on the poster first up, along with some of the operational forms (letterhead, with comps, media release forms, etc.).

I was finding it pretty hard to make two styles work (this is also the final logo):




But because this is what the client wanted, we worked on a few possible rough drafts of the poster to show them. We have since showed the poster and logo to the client and have agreed that the two styles weren’t meshing and have come up with some new poster designs to put forward.

Last week I developed a spreadsheet that outlined each task we have to complete, who will be working on it, when it’s due, if it’s finished, and if we’ve sent it to the client for review.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 6.55.20 PM

As you can see, at this stage we have sent a majority of the collateral to the client for review and only have a few left to work on. We are working on brainstorming if there is any more pieces of collateral (desirables) that we could work on and deliver to the client. These are the ones I’ve worked on. We decided to keep the operational collateral in a corporate style, sticking with the dark grey colour and really simple and neat.

I’ll upload images of the poster later but with it and the other promotional collateral, we have added more colour to make it bright and vibrant and be reflective of the West End community.

I’ll keep you updated over the next few weeks with what we are working on.

Thanks for reading. Remember, if you have questions, ask them.

– KH


Studio 2 – Pre Press Workshop

Design, Graphic Design, Photography

In class a few weeks ago we went through the process of getting an image/document ready to print.

Here’s a few blogs that have a few good tips and guidelines to read first and then I’m going to go through the steps our teacher showed us for getting an image ready for printing.

Prepress tips for graphic designers by David Airey

Prepress by Prepressure

Printing & Prepress Basics by TutsPlus

Getting an image ready for print:

  • Open image in Adobe Photoshop
  • Duplicate layer

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 4.56.51 PM

  • Use the threshold adjustment layer

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 4.57.10 PM

  • Find the lightest and darkest areas
  • Open another adjustment layer – curves

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 4.57.51 PM

  • Use the pointing hand icon (up the top near RGB) – hold shift – select darkest area
  • Use the pointing hand icon – hold shift – select lightest area

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 4.57.29 PM

  • Hide threshold layer
  • Go back to curves and reduce the top spot down so the output is 240-245 and increase black to 12ish

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 6.42.06 PM

  • Increase the contrast (2 points on the curves graph)

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 6.44.24 PM

  • Flatten the image
  • Convert to CYMK

Hopefully this all makes sense and the screenshots help you out but feel free to ask questions if you have any.

Thanks for reading.

– KH

Studio 2 – Project 2

Design, Graphic Design

Finished one project, onto the next straight away. This project is a short one – 2 weeks! We had to create three motivational posters for a specific target audience. The poster had to have a consistent art style and be suited to the target audience. My target audience is audio students at SAE Brisbane. In order to ensure the audio students like the posters I had to do some market research, find out about them, what they like, what motivates them, etc.

The specific deliverables for this project include the following:

  • 3 x A2 poster print ready PDF files
  • Project Plan
  • Style Guide

To find out about the audio students I had three ways to do it:

  1. Market research survey
  2. Email the student representatives
  3. Email an audio lecturer (who could give me some insight and forward the survey on t more students)

So I did all three. I didn’t get too much response from any of these avenues but I got enough that I could make a start and work from there.

Next step: research of other poster designs. So, I started a new Pinterest board for this project. As always.

Thanks again for reading.

– KH

Studio 2 – Digital Portfolio

Design, Graphic Design, Photography

I just wanted to post up all of my final images. If you’ve only just started reading my blog I’m a graphic design student from Brisbane. This trimester we have been working on building up our digital portfolio by experimenting with different art styles and techniques. We did the by producing 5 analogue, 5 photographic and 5 digital images all of the same everyday object. Mine was hats.

For my portfolio, I decided to narrow down my choices (because there are a LOT of hats out there) to just 5 different styles and then produce an analogue, photographic and digital image of each one. My 5 hat choices were:

  1. Top Hat
  2. Newsboy Cap
  3. Felt Wide-Brim Hat
  4. Snapback Cap
  5. Beanie

1. Cover Page

PHO1 - Top Hat

Product photography

DIG1 - Repeatable Pattern

Repeatable pattern

ANA1 - Charcoal

Charcoal drawing

DIG2 - Newsboy Watercolour Collage

Vintage watercolour style

ANA2 - Collage


PHO2 - Newsboy

Simple black & white photography

ANA3 - Pencil

Pencil sketch

PHO2 - Newsboy

Simple black & white photography

DIG3 - Felt Hat DE w Quote

Double exposure + typography

PHO4 - Snapback

Street photography

DIG4 - Snapback Low Poly Final - 120316

Low-poly portrait

ANA4 - Pen

Pen drawing

ANA5 - Watercolour

Watercolour painting

DIG5 - Beanie Bear Illustration

Digital illustration

PHO5 - Beanie

Object photography

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think 🙂

– Kim


Studio 2 – Beanie Photo

Design, Graphic Design, Photography

I’m catching up on my blog posts so this one was for my digital portfolio I finished a few weeks ago. It was my final photography one. I wanted it to be a little different from the standard types of photography – landscapes, portraits or studio shots. So I decided to focus on the object a bit more. I looked at what you wear/use when you’re wearing a beanie. I have glasses, I like to listen to music and I drink coffee (quite a bit) so I included all of these elements in the photo too.

I had a got some inspiration from a few people I follow on Instagram (make sure you check them out):

  • TOMS
  • Sevenly
  • Krochet Kids
  • Cubby Graham

The settings I used were:

  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter Speed: 1/13
  • Aperture: f/2.5

PHO5 - Beanie

So this is just a short post as I have a few more to write up.

Let me know if you have any feedback/questions.

Thanks for reading.

– KH