Generating content was a key aspect of this project as this is what determined the overall design of my project. Gathering content early on within this process allowed me to discover how online users responded to my initial question and demonstrated the manner in which they replied through the internet. Initially I was unsure of what kind of responses I would receive but found that the manner of response was quite similar across different countries. There were both serious responses as well as joking responses which is expected as the anonymity of Reddit allows users to respond anyway they like without serious repercussions. The most surprising aspect of the responses were the amount of detail and length commenters went into about not only the ingredients they use but why they use them and why they are important. Responses ranged from a few words up to approximately 350 words as well as further discussion between the commenters.
The generation of content was a significant aspect of this project as it was a crucial aspect of this publication and was highly successful in representing both food culture as well as internet culture. This project demonstrated that content does not always need to come from professional sources but can come from online users which could also be considered more reliable in some ways as these users are not influenced or pressured to produce the content.
Pushing the boundaries of publication design
Throughout this project, I have also discovered that publication design can be explored further than just traditional forms such as magazines and books. Zines are an interesting form of publication that allow for all kinds topics to be explored in a creative way that is not limited by structures. The zine I have created through this design project represents an aspect of the internet that is not one that is usually seen in traditional publication. By bring together the internet and print media, I have gained a new perspective of both of these forms of communicating information as it demonstrates how language and tone differs across platforms.
Exploring a new visual style
This design project allowed me to explore a new visual style that I had previously had not experimented with. Discovering vaporwave, cyberpunk and seapunk styles has diversified my knowledge as a graphic designer. As these are a fairly new style that have only been around since the early 2010’s, it is still being explored through the online community. Applying this style through my design has allowed me to see design from a different perspective in which mess is viewed positively through embracing the look of the early internet while still incorporating modern internet culture. The remixing and modification aspect of this visual style has also allowed me to incorporate new ways of working in InDesign to create new work by including both existing work as well as my own original work.
This project has challenged me throughout the entire process as my design concept developed into a more abstract form than I had originally intended. Embracing the mess of the internet through a publication was a challenging task as this went against the traditional forms of publication but allowed me to push the boundaries of grids and structures. This project has been a great foundation for me to delve further into publication design in the future as it has challenged me creatively to be experimental with publication design, especially through the form of a zine. This design concept has also enabled me to discover user generated content through online platforms and the significance of the internet which is an ever-growing form of content with the increasing rise of social media.
This week I am continuing to work on my spreads which I have organised by having a country to a spread. I am using the subreddits of the country in which I posted, to help with the aesthetic of the country. As the aesthetic is dependent on reusing and remixing existing content, my imagery is coming from public online sources such as Tumblr, as well as using the images I took earlier of different ingredients to help with this process. This is an important aspect as internet culture is about the constant reiteration of content that is generated by its users and is put into a different contexts and modified to make it into something new. This is the process I am using through my spreads by changing already existing imagery to create something new within these spreads.
I have found that I cannot incorporate all the content I have due to the volume of it. This means that I am therefore pulling out the key parts that I have found interesting to use within the spreads. However I am making sure not to edit or change these response in any way to keep it authentic as possible.
Whilst I am still using a grid structure throughout my spreads, I am using these quite loosely to maintain a messy look. I have found that layering images is key when trying to achieve a busy layout and this is a method I am consistently using throughout all of my spreads.
The font I am using throughout this zine is Lucida Console. This font is one that has a more digital aesthetic while still being easy to read as a body text as well as for headings.
The internet of things is ever growing and in recent years the Fitbit has become the new and exciting smart watch that tells you all of the information you want to know about your new healthy lifestyle. They record information such as your heart rate, steps, sleep patterns all in the name of health and fitness. However, as the internet of things grows, it calls into question the real necessity of all the products we feel we should be using. Let’s be real, we wouldn’t wear our Fitbit on a night out of drinking and record the stats onto your Fitbit with how many drinks you’ve had. So why do we fall for the false sense of living healthy when for the most part a lot of us are not very consistent.
Products such as Fitbits fall into a pretty niche market when considering those who would use it consistently. Therefore, what makes these devices so popular that we are all running out to buy one?
This week I’ve been making progress on the spreads by incorporating an internet scrapbook style to it. In order to achieve this I have incorporated a vaporwave style to represent internet culture. Vaporwave is an aesthetic which incorporates elements such as glitch art, 90’s web design as well as cyberpunk. This visual style is one that is unique to the internet culture. It also resonates with Reddit, the platform in which my content is being generated, as its forum format is still representative of the early internet. Looking into this aesthetic I have noticed that it is quite messy and uses bright neon colours that tend to clash. Structure in this style is minimal and I want to incorporate these elements in my design as I believe this is the best visual style to represent my content.
The predominance of hackers on the internet is present more so than ever as more and more people are in possession of smartphones and other smart devices. While hacking is usually associated with government organisations and huge enterprises in films, the reality is, anyone can be a victim. In recent years celebrities have been hit with their photos being leaked. The astonishing part is, it has been done through iCloud.
It’s the work of AnonIB that created a ring of hackers that would break into iCloud accounts and obtain these photographs. These photos were then leaked, creating a devastating affect on the victims.
The interconnected world of the internet is clearly demonstrated through these hacking incidents. It highlights that once its online, it can be accessed by those who are not authorized even through tech giants like Apple.
This week’s interim presentation was a really critical one for me. After the feedback I received, I had the moment of realization that I needed to take a totally different direction to the one I had been aiming towards. Due to the vastly different content I’ve been receiving through my content generation, I have found that it is continually getting more and more obscure as conversations begin to branch out into different topics and debates appear among commenters. The internet culture is heavily prominent in my content and the visual styles I have been working with up until this point were not representing the content in the right way.
Instead of creating a magazine publication which was my original intention, I have decided to create a zine instead, making the entire aesthetic of the zine low tech and embracing the mess of the content I was receiving. After speaking with Jo and Travis, I decided to take more of a scrapbook aesthetic and began by doing a rough physical prototype of what this could look like.
The next step I wish to take is to create a digital version of this spread as this would be a more depth and layers to this visual style.
I have also been researching into zines and the different ways these can be made. This zine in particular is definitely one that has a similar visual style to what I would like to achieve.
Found at http://www.jenniferwu.com.au/work/zines/
Since the launch of Wikileaks back in 2006, it has had a consistent dedication to releasing highly classified information surrounding governments and and major events that Wikileaks believes, should be public knowledge.
It is hard to determine the ethics behind Wikileaks simply due to the fact that basically all the information they obtain and publish has been done so illegally. This aside, the impact of the information released creates a huge dilemma especially surrounding the impact that it will have on the public and whether the release of this information will be against public interest and only cause panic and harm to communities.
Another dilemma surround the content published and the contextual basis of it. Wikileaks aims to provide the information that we are missing from our mainstream media, however, when information is taken out of context, the intent and situation surrounding information is also compromised, meaning there are still key elements we are missing.
It is difficult to determine whether the information released by Wikileaks directly benefits the wider global community at the end of the day. This article also delves into this issue with Wikileaks and the kind of information they release from the perspective of an Army Intelligence Officer in the US.