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William Heath Robinson

Heath Robinson is famous for illustrations of machines that could probably work but are over the top and complicated ways of doing a simple job.  He drew illustrations for books and cartoons.

The pictures above show some of his machines and inventions.  The mouse trap looks a waste of time - it might work but probably doesn’t.  It is advertising nipper mouse traps as an easier way to do the job.  The tunnel cleaning machine is another example and the bayonet curler takes about 10 men to bend one enemy bayonet.

Heath Robinson’s work is full of detail and is very cleverly thought out with small details such as magnets and weights.  He seems to have liked the idea of recycling old bits and pieces for his machines. Every little bit is there for the machine to work but it is just illustrated for entertainment.  

Tim Burton

Tim Burton is a well known film and cartoon director and producer.  His illustrations are used in many films, such as the Edward Scissorhands and Willy Wonka ones above. 

It is interesting to compare the Quentin Blake Willy Wonka with Tim Burton’s, who is more scary.  Burton’s work is similar to Blake’s as it looks a bit childish and simple - he is more creative when it comes to drawing things like eyes and does not use real life proportions but makes the characters look more weird. 

Burton’s images are not for young children though as they are a bit frightening and gruesome - they remind me of the Trapdoor cartoon because they are a mix of frightening and funny.

The dog, Frankenweenie, is a good example as he has been stitched together and had its head fixed back on then brought back to life.  It should be scary but if somehow funny and cute looking.

The different characters in the last picture show different thinking and are really creative.

Quentin Blake

A children’s book illustrator and cartoonist.  He is best known for Roald Dahl’s books like the BFG and Willy Wonka.  He uses a childish style and it is easy to recognise his work.  Because it is mostly aimed at children it looks fun and bright: the Enormous Crocodile that hides as part of the funfair ride is meant to be a scary character but is not too scary for children. 

His style is very simple and he seems to draw mainly with ink then fill in the areas of colour.  A video on his work can be seen here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20684202

This shows how he almost scribbles the first part of the image, making it look like a children’s drawing.  This makes it appeal to children more.

Victor Ambrus

Best known for historical illustrations and reconstructions of things such as Roman cities, Viking villages and castles. 

His illustrations are detailed but sometimes seem unfinished.  He seems to draw outlines and detail in pencil then colour in areas with watercolour.  In the images above, he seems to have used a focus point - for example the hands in the wedding scene or the pirate’s face below -  and the rest of the images are less detailed. 

In the wedding scene, the faces of the knights at the back are faded out and the armour of the one at front right is effective.  The colour is blended in darker in places so you can’t see the detail.  Other places are lighter which is like looking at a real figure how the light and dark falls on the armour.  It looks like it could be a scene from King Arthur.

Both of these Guinness posters use a really strong typeface.  The first poster is especially strong and there seems to be an attachment between the typeface and the person carrying the steel girder.  This draws your eye and leads you back to the other workman and the bottle or Guinness which makes you think it has given him strength.

The second poster plays on the idea of opening time and the image and message go well together with the type - it shows opening time by the bird’s beak being open and opening the bottle. 

This typeface made me think of the TV detective series Poirot.  The typeface looks French and could be used for headings or logos but would not look as good if it was used too much.  The swirl on the letter E reminded me of the Nespresso coffee logo.  There seem to be no rules for it - most letters are narrow but some are more rounded and use more space between the letters which makes it look more creative and artistic.  The more you look at it the more it looks like there are mistakes - there are Cs and Os which are both large and small.

Compared to this, the font on the Poirot image is more regular.  It seems to have a harder edge on the left and a smoother right side.  Somehow the top font looks more effective because it is more creative.

This poster makes me think of the Gateway to India.  The figures are strong and stand out and I like the way they have used the red - the red is darker to make it look like the person is going in and the figure in the blue is lighter to look like they are walking out.  The shadow effect on the door is good as it looks like a real open door and leads you into the world behind the door.  The white buildings and blue sky seem faded and give a feeling of distance.  The frame is good as it gives more depth so the whole poster is more three dimensional.
The typeface is really good.  It shows a bit of Eastern influence in the shape of the S and other letters which remind me of Indian buildings even though it is quite a plain font. The D is quite ordered and not too curved.   

This poster makes me think of the Gateway to India.  The figures are strong and stand out and I like the way they have used the red - the red is darker to make it look like the person is going in and the figure in the blue is lighter to look like they are walking out.  The shadow effect on the door is good as it looks like a real open door and leads you into the world behind the door.  The white buildings and blue sky seem faded and give a feeling of distance.  The frame is good as it gives more depth so the whole poster is more three dimensional.

The typeface is really good.  It shows a bit of Eastern influence in the shape of the S and other letters which remind me of Indian buildings even though it is quite a plain font. The D is quite ordered and not too curved.   

The first typeface is vintage style and reminds me of Victorian pub or circus posters. The font is clear and easy to read and the patterns break the text without getting in the way. 

The second image shows monograms that are difficult to read - it is hard to tell what the letters are.  These are the kind of letters people would use on personal stamps.       

The third image uses a number of different typefaces - each one is different.  The third line - Walker and Son - has a bit of movement to it; it looks as though the letters are walking almost.  The whole image looks as though it could be a French champagne label although it is for a doctor.

The last one is my favourite.  The typeface looks like the snakes and crocodiles with pointed tails on the letter M.  The figure is a strong brave woman and looks almost religious, or perhaps like Medusa in the old Clash of the Titans film. The snakes and crocodiles form what look like letters - the woman holds a snake that makes her look like the P above her and the crocodile on her right forms an old fashioned D shape.

This is not a real vintage poster but a modern template to make something retro.  The colours make it look old - 1950s or 60s like in Back to the Future.  The pattern looks like the kind of pattern you would see on a beer bottle or food packaging, or maybe as the background to a poster.  The sunset or sunrise effect pulls your eye in to the type and the plain bottom softens the poster.

This is not a real vintage poster but a modern template to make something retro.  The colours make it look old - 1950s or 60s like in Back to the Future.  The pattern looks like the kind of pattern you would see on a beer bottle or food packaging, or maybe as the background to a poster.  The sunset or sunrise effect pulls your eye in to the type and the plain bottom softens the poster.

The first layout is too crowded.  The most of your focus goes on the car which is red and grabs your attention.  The zigzag of coloured posters also takes your eye down the page to the car.  The second page does not seem very imaginative and the top photo is a bit dull - it could have been made a bit more interesting by maybe having the road in the middle.  They have used four columns which makes the text seem crowded, but the heading is clear and the subheadings break the text up.  The white space also breaks the text up more.

In the second layout there is less text and more images which makes it easier to read, but the red on the graphs draws too much attention.

In the third layout the main picture grabs the attention most.  The square pictures are effective as it gives a calmer layout than the other ones.  In the other ones there is too much going on.  The main picture could have been trimmed to have the soldiers seem to run in to the next page, a bit more like the gun photo.