Sounds of the City: Ideas Mindmap

Ideas mind map I got down for the Sounds of the City brief which is also this competition that has had its deadline extended until our actual brief deadline. Convinient. The ideas that appeal to me from the map are pretty much any that involve buildings or archictecture but that was always going to be a common subject in a brief centered around cities anyway. I did mention in my first sounds of the city post that I liked the idea of picking up on an event within a city so things on the mind map like pubs, clubs, bands and concerts may be a good place to start looking for a way to develop further.
For something local to me, my town centre is currently being rebuilt so road works would be fitting but might put the sounds of the cities idea in too much of a negative light wheras I get the impression from the brief and competition that isn’t what they want.


Personal obsessions: list of characters to illustrate 

I’ve put together a list of characters/situations for the personal obsessions book. The list is the first one I did so may be subject in the former of modifications and additions. I have also began to sketch rough ideas in my sketchbook of scenes.

Examples of faces I may develop into style for characters

List of ideas that need developing 

  1. Demanding exact change for everything 
  2. Rufusing to do anything social that costs money 
  3. Being so deep in debt you are pretending it doesn’t exist
  4. Being able to afford accommodation or food but not both
  5. living from paycheck to paycheck never buying or doing anything exciting because you have a very dull job
  6. obsessing over not becoming poor so weighing up every tiny purchase 
  7. Being inexplicably rich and spending money for the sake of it

Zeitgeist: Format and Layout Options

After settling for the more focused theme of Consumer Zeitgeist I’ve had discussions with people about the pop-up idea as a layout option and how for the subject matter I am doing it may not be the most suitable for a ‘serious’ theme like Consumerism. With this in mind I don’t really want to just create my image as a single drawing but rather practice working in a format that could have a purpose outside of just being a standalone illustration. Still following from the book theme I originally went with I have decided to make an informative leaflet on what our current consumer zeitgeist is. I’m thinking having it titled something along the lines of “Everything you need to know about Consumer Zeitgeist” coming from an angle of telling someone who has never experienced it before what it is in a satirical manner.

Research into artists and leaflet layouts

Leaflet Design by Claire Munday for Booth Museum of Natural History

I started looking for examples of leaflet designs which were a little more illustratively laid out. A lot of leaflets you see giving information tend to be made of two or three thin, rectangular pages which wouldn’t leave me with much room for imagery. The folds in the above piece have been done in such a way that each page of the leaflet allows more room for imagery whilst, as the designer says ‘has a grid to ensure the design is ordered’. The style itself is influenced by a swiss art style  full of bold shapes and bright colours that work well to make the leaflet stand out, useful for something which has the purpose of sharing information.

Swissted Example work – influential in graphic design

Link to Claire Munday Website 

Link to Swissted Website

Personal Obsessions: Brief Proposal

Chosen Obsession: Money- specifically how people worry over how much they are spending and how little they are saving.

Intentions- Show how obsessing over money can change how people act and interact in certain life situations and the lengths that people may go to in order to ensure financial security.

How to show the obsession: A series of character designs each one showing where a person has been driven by their obsessions relating to money. The character designs will heavily emphasis how the person has changed and what they will and won’t do because of how often they think of money or how much money they do or don’t have.
Example characters may be:

  • Demanding exact change for everything person
  • Refuses to ever do anything that requires money person
  • So much in the debt that they ignore the debt and keep spending money person
  • Got a lot of money so spend it for the sake of it person
  • Can afford accomodation or food but not both person
  • and so on

Format of the work: Character designs to each get their own double page (so final piece may be a short book or leaflet). One page features a labelled image of the character whilst the other side is a descriptive title of the character. Each character design would be heavily stylised to overly emphasise the point they have been driven to by their obsessive relationship with money.


Personal Obsessions: Other Obsessions

I expanded my search of obsessions to ones outside my own and landed on what I wanted I think I will do my piece on. Before then here is a list of the other ideas I considered.

  • Cats
  • Guns
  • Going to the gym/fitness
  • Collection of knowledge/knowing things/stuff
  • Organisation/being tidy
  • Worrying about the future

I thought about some of those more than others, particularly the worrying about the future one I thought was a cool, open ended idea that a lot could be done with. In the end however I went with an obsession that I think everyone is a little guilty of but some people worry about more than others. The idea of obsessing over not having enough money or that you’re not saving enough money. Being a student this is an obsession that is fairly common around me and whilst I wouldn’t say I obsess over it daily when it comes to the end of a student loan payment period times occasionally look pretty bleak.


Image taken from, specifically an article that discusses a survey taken from students on their financial situation, whether they thought university was worth the financial stress it put them through and the overall financial state they were in.

My next post on the Personal Obsessions brief will likely be looking over my proposal of what the actual content of my piece will be.

Zeitgeist: Focusing the idea

As mentioned in the last couple of Zeitgeist research posts I have been wanting to focus the subject of my study the Zeitgeist of our time to one particular area of our time. 

After doing a little research I settled on the idea of consumer zeitgeist; the products that are popular or becoming big, new and successful creating processes and ways it is improving lives and/or changing how people behave. 

I started by listing some ideas down of topics I could illustrate for consumer zeitgeist, just off the top of my head so it can be added to and refined later. Main points are:

  • Online shopping 
  • Mobile phones
  • Ordering takeaway online/just-eat
  • Online gaming
  • Data mining 
  • Piracy 
  • ‘Affordable, good, cheap’
  • Gaming 

I’ve also been considering a way of presenting the final piece. Inspired by the ‘zeitgeist apocalypse’ book I am considering a book of my own to present the different ideas, maybe a pop-up book to emphasise the different points.

This should help

Hype Machine- Music Zeitgeist 2012

Following on from my look into focusing the Zeitgeist more focused I managed to stumble across a top 50 list on the site Hype Machine. Hype Machine is a site that follows 682 music blogs and shares the best up and coming independent artists. They looked 2012’s most popular and asked their favourite illustrators and artist to create pieces to represent them, making a zeitgeist list of 2012’s music.

No.47 School of Seven Bells
No.34 Trails of Ways
No.12 Tame Impala

The article is an example of Zeitgeist being made to a more focused topic within a time period, an idea I was looking up in my previous post. I will continue to look into topics I am interested in and that I could focus my work on. I do need to consider that my briefs wording is the current zeitgeist of our time which may mean that focusing the topic isn’t an option but I’m pretty sure it should be fine.