Subculture – Evaluation

Now that the project is finally over, I believe that it is about time that I gave my evaluation about what I think of the designs I created, with what I thought went well, as well what I didn’t think went so well.

First of all is the main illustration:


P – I am quite happy with how the final result of the illustration turned out, and how the sketches of which it was created from meshed so well. I believe that the designer of the steampunker, as well as the piping and manchinery around him help give at least some sort of impression towards viewers about what the steampunk culture would mostly look like.




Final Presentation

Today we have finally done the end of project presentation to show our fellow classmates and teachers the designs we have created and the notable stages of development that occurred to create them. As mentioned within the practice presentation post, this presentation is composed of 20 (second) slides instead of the previous 10.

The final presentation include several slides from my previous presentation (as asked by teachers), each with only a few modifications with the slide style and image sources (as some failed to pass over correctly.Among those slides were the thumbnail slides, which I done over by taking new and improved pictures of the thumbnails, give each of them bolder outlines and clearer photos, as some of the class noted that the images for the thumbnails were somewhat unclear on the projector screen.

The the presentation included the following slides:

  • Introduction to project
  • What is a subculture?
  • Skater-punk
  • Steampunk
  • What is steampunk?
  • Minor History
  • Reason for choice
  • Issues surrounding the culture
  • Creative Review
  • Page layout
  • Science Museum
  • Typeface
  • Views from within the subculture
  • Practice presentation
  • Thumbnails
  • Sketches
  • Design Style
  • Images
  • Prototype designs
  • Final designs

Despite yet another few technical issues, the presentation went decently well, with me being able to properly explain a few more points that I was unable to do during the practice presentation (skater punk, design style, etc.). A few classmates even mentioned that presentation was effective and informative to the class.



Final Designs

Today I have finally completed the designs for the subculture project, with both the chosen illustration and the two spread pages finished and ready for printing.

After completing the illustration using the help and advice I gain from the class presentation of the prototype, I managed to insert the illustration  into InDesign, where I added the final touch of the Creative Review logo and placed the image onto the center of the front page. After that, I took the two designs and put them into a ready made (PowerPoint) presentation for the final presentation of the project. I, along with everyone else, then show our presentations to the class, displaying the two pieces of work, along with the journey we made to create them.

The final result is shown bellow:

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.10.00

Also using assistance from the presentation, I managed to complete the double page spread using InDesign (shown bellow).

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.25.45

The presentation went generally well (despite some technical issues) with me being able to a  larger, more professional presentation that allowed the class to understand the process that I took to create the two designs, as well as any other information I collected along the way.

Despite the technical problems, the class enjoyed the presentation and I am glad that it did not fail to inform them in my work process.

Magazine Images

Since we are required to have images for our final designs (and since I have already included said images on my sketches), I need to search for suitable pictures, drawings or other related media to include into my final work.

Out of the two layout designs (the double spread with information on both sides or just one page with an image on the other) of the second page of my spread, I think that I will settle on using the whole image page idea my selected choice as the amount of text I need is not very important, as well as it giving me a little less stress on having to create two whole text layouts when I can create just one and do an almost advert-like image on the other side.

Here is a group of possibly suitable images that I found the internet that could be usable for my spread pages:


(created by Thomas Willeford and worn by G. D. Falksen










(models Liza James and Jared Axelrod)

(“Kyle-cassidy-steampunk” by KyleCassidy (identity confirmed) – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

I have mostly decided to choose fashion related images for my final spread design due to a couple of small reasons. First is that I wanted images that could link up to the main illustration idea that I currently have, which in itself is a simplistic-style portrait of a steampunker. The second reason is that I believe that the appearance of the of members of the subculture is very important for people to get a firm understanding of what it is like within real-life.

As of the moment, I believe that I may use the last image (directly above) as the photo for my second page of the spread. I have chosen it over the overs as I feel like it is very suitable looking for a magazine style page, and that it looks almost like an actual fashion page. It also seems like an easier fit for the squarer pages due to being wider than the other images.

Prototype Presentation

Today we had a class presentation of each of our most recent or developed designs for our subculture illustrations and and spreads. Each of us took it in turns to show our prototype designs to the class to receive any useful criticism about their appearances and quality towards the project goal.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.57.25

For my illustration, everyone seemed to like the design of my original idea of having a simplistic-styled steampunker with a pipe boarder, compared to the close-up version without the boarder. they did mention to maybe try to move the title to the bottom of the page so that it is not in the way of the Creative Review logo/title when it is put onto the page.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 12.58.33

The spread, while not fully created into InDesign, received generally good views such as how they liked the idea of it sharing the same boarder style and background, preventing it from drifting off the illustrations design.

Thanks to this little presentation, I have gained a bit more knowledge on what people like from the designs, and what areas need the most improvement. This will help me know which parts of the illustration and spread to edit for the upcoming final presentation.


Prototype Designs

Today I was able to create and finish a few prototype designs for the final design for the magazine. I was able to create two prototype designs for the main illustration and one larger prototype design for the double page-spread.

I created two illustrations based off of the sketches I did within my book that focused around a portrait style of a simplistic styled steampunker in a dark, steamy setting. I tried doing two version of the sketch, with one being fully based around the original sketch, and the other one being a close up of the steampunker without the piping boarders.

The page spread is mostly based around the dark and steamy background of the illustrations, as well as having various parts of pipes around its edge in random places (in order to make room for text and to not look plain and repetitive). The first page will have the title, subtext and information, while the second page will be made to to show an image relating to steampunk culture (art, DIY, fashion, etc.).

Views from Within the Subculture

In order to further understand the steampunk culture more than just an outsider looking at it with my own views. So, in order to get any sort of idea of what it is actually like within the subculture, I decided to look up an old interview between an interviewer from a website site (known as, with a steampunk craftsmen from Japan.

The crafter’s name was Haruo Suekichi, a man who specialises in hand-crafted, steampunk style timepieces all the way in Tokyo. Suekichi makes all sorts of watches and nifty wrist devices using various rustic and authentic designs to put them into the steampunk era style.

(Examples of Suekichi’s works)

The interview between them went as such:

(Interviewer) Your watches have an antique, yet very futuristic form and design. Where do they come from? What inspires you?

(Suekichi) – When I make watches, it doesn’t usually start with design but with “fun”: fun gimmicks, fun looking, unique way of wearing them. They need to be fun, because they are more gadgets than watches to me. So the inspiration comes from everything that I find fun or interesting. My latest watch is based on my latest experience of watching the birth of cicada nymphs.

So there are no Japanese anime or historic events that influenced your Steampunk style?

– I had actually never known the word Steampunk before some magazine introduced my work as one. Now I know that brass and leather are significant materials for Steampunk, but I started using them because they are easy to use. Brass is the best material to make these watches, easy to melt, bent and make shapes. As a child, I liked this sci-fi comic book called Galaxy Express 999 by Reiji Matsumoto, and I’d say it must have some influence on my work, but I don’t know how or where. Other than that, I never watched any sci-fi anime. I never was into making those plastic models of ships and stuff either.

Do you make everything from scratch? 

– Everything but the movement. That’s the only thing I actually buy. Everything else I make from scratch. Heat the brass with my blowtorch, bent it, make shapes into all the parts from the frames to dial faces. The hardest part is carving the numbers on dial faces. I have my handmade protractor table. I put a plate on it and carve numbers, so that they are accurate. It takes a lot of time and concentration.

Why do you make watches? And for whom?

– All my life, I have always loved to make things on my own, and I have made a lot of things – I still do make lots of other stuff besides watches. But my passion for watches started when I was working in a wholesale store for toys and gadgets. I often visited this watchmaker that was a client of the store. It looked very interesting and I watched and learned how to make watches. I’d say I started making them for myself, like other gadgets and toys I make. I create them to make my fun imagination happen in reality. Luckily, a lot of people started liking them, so now I make them for those people now, too.

What are your plans with these watches? 

– The plan is to not have a plan. I’m a pretty impulsive person and when I make a a watch, I need to want to make that watch, you know. I’ve been this way for like 15 years and look how far I have come? So why should I change now?

Will you ever sell them overseas?
– I would love to, if you tell me how to do it. (laugh)

If you could live in any era, which one would it be?

Probably the 1960s, in Japan. I would love to have experienced the Japanese “post-war economic miracle.” Just the idea of growing and changing so much in such short time is exciting. It must have been a lot of energy in creative world too, varieties of opportunities and inspiration… I’d love to be there and just create whatever comes to my mind!

My opinion 

Having seen this interview with an actual member of the culture has actually supported my views on the subculture more than I originally thought, as I believed that members were more interested in the concept of the style rather than the DIY area creativity, however, I found that this was actually the opposite of what it really is like for them.

I found from what Suekichi said during his interview that he was more interested in the almost endless creativity of the style more than its actual concept and that he loves to make his steampunk inventions before even designing them just to see how fun they look in the end, and constantly says that he creates them in creative ways to make each one fun look at.

Source and information credit:


Type for the Project

Before making any big decisions in terms of my final design, I must first figure out what form/s of type I am going for the typeface within both illustration’s title and that of the inner pages. The type must be fitting for the subculture theme and be acceptable for for used within a magazine, as it has to be easily readable for viewers to understand it quickly.

I am currently thinking of course using an old fashion sort of type in order to fit in with the Victorian era of the steampunk setting. Currently, I am mostly considering to use the same sort of type that I used for the newspaper title within the previous project, which I made with some inspiration from Roman type. I may use it once again as it nicely fits in with the old fashioned typeface that is often used within the steampunk setting.


I cannot really think of any other suitable types other than a very fancy handwriting typeface, although, it may make it harder to read for some viewers who are not as good at reading that kind of handwriting or may the type may end up being too complex looking to look readable.

I will likely place the type either over a rustic looking plaque/flat machine in order to make it readable for viewers, or, simply place it within an empty spaces on the center of the page.

Steampunk Sketches

Today I have completed a series of sketches for the final designs based off of the thumbnail sketches that I did during the practice presentation for class. Some sketches were made using separate ideas from the thumbnails, while most were made inspired directly from them.

As I mention during the end of my presentation, I tried creating a combination piece using both the piping illustration design with the steampunk fashion illustration (portrait image), using the piping in a boarder-like fashion around the steam-punker. I quite enjoy the resulting image that was created by combining the previous two.

There were also one or two other sketches that were mostly inspired by the ideas I created for the other thumbnails. Each one however are all inspired by various aspects of steampunk design, such as fantasy ideas like airships and mechanical inventions.

Having done these sketches has sprung up a few new design ideas from the drawing I have done, namely from the new sketches (ones not from the thumbnail sketches). The idea I had before about combining both the piping boarder and portrait image have both fused seemingly well together, and I like the resulting image I created within the sketch. As of so far, this idea may be the one I will keep for the final designs.

Semiotics -Icon, Symbol & Index

Today we learnt of yet another three new meanings within the subject of semiotics. The three new meanings (as you can see above) are called icon, symbol and index. The three terms are actually sub-terms that come from signifiers, each of which help make up its functions.

The three terms were created by an American man by the name of Charles S. Peirce, who created them within the 19th century when studying and developing the meanings of semiotics.

The three terms mean the following:

Icon: Icons are the simplest of the three terms to understand. Icons refers to things that have physical resemblance to the signified item. In other words, things that physically/mentally remind you of other things. Rivers and roads could be a very good example of this, as despite not actually looking like real rivers or roads, we mentally recognise them as them. This is because they are iconic to us, and thus it becomes easy for us to understand its meaning since it is simply made to remind us of what it represent.

Symbol: Symbols are (as it’s name suggests) refers to various symbols, such as letters, numbers or actually symbols and signs that can be easily recognised even within different cultures. An example of this could be a public toilet sign (mens and ladies toilets), even if the viewer comes from another country with a different language and culture, the can still understand the meanings of the signs.

Index: Index sign are the most complex out of the three terms (by a little). Index sign are objects or other things that will always make you thinks of something else that links to it the signified. For example, if you think/see smoke it will often make you think of fire. This is because we will always make mental links from one thing.

Having learned these terms has been interesting in how we mental recognise objects in different ways and what factors about that object effect how we do. While I am unsure what I can use these terms for at the current time, they should still be useful if I ever need them within the future.