Flying Circus – Initial Sketches

Below are some of my initial sketches for my first plane which will feature the koi.

The top of the plane shows a top-down view of the fish, and I’ve experimented with a few different body positions. The bottom of the plane shows a Chinese garden scene, and in each version, there’s something hidden in the fold. They are intended to work like a Mad Magazine fold in, where the image looks complete when both unfolded and folded.

Image source:–mad-magazine-art-designs.jpg


I think that my favourite of the four options is the second one on the first image, but I’m not 100% convinced that the fish’s body is going to look okay. When unfolded to reveal the skeleton, the body becomes super wide, and it looks a little weird.


For the underside, I really like the second or the third ones, and I think I will pursue the second one and see how it goes.


Flying Circus – Plane Design Part 2

I’ve been playing around with the Lift Off plane design, and have made a few modifications. I really want the top surface of the plane to be a single sheet of paper with no folds, so I have made a few test planes and have discovered that if the nose tip is folded after the wings (instead of before), the plane can be flipped before the wings are folded and then the original top becomes the bottom, and the top surface of the plane becomes flat.

I’ve put together a set of folding instructions which will eventually go with my completed plane design. Hopefully I will get time to add the design onto the instructions.

Folding Instructions.jpg

Flying Circus – Plane Design

Wow. Who knew that there were so many different ways that you could fold a paper plane?!

I have learned that the method that I’ve always used has a proper name, it’s called the┬áNakamura Lock. However I have always folded it so that the “lock” is on the inside of the top, not on the underside… so maybe that version has a different name?

Now that I have locked in a theme – fish – I need to figure out what kind of plane body would suit my plan. The Fold N Fly website has been a useful resource for this… it shows a top down view of different folding options and then you can click through and get step by step instructions.

From looking at this page, I really like the “Lift Off” plane (link). It has a long tapered body which will look great with the long fish body on it. The folding method is pretty straight forward and it results in a nice clear surface on both the top and the bottom for my design to go.

Flying Circus – Theme

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my theme for my paper planes, and I wasn’t 100% happy with the ideas I’d come up with. I drew up a mind map to see if I could think of something better, and I’ve now decided that my theme will be fish. Each plane will feature a different fish, and at this stage I am thinking that it’ll be a flying fish, a koi fish, and maybe a fighting fish? Or a clownfish?

The top of the plane will show the fish from above, and the fish that I’ve chosen all have a unique look from above. The area between that wings that is hidden when the plane is folded will contain the fish’s skeleton, and I’d like to somehow join it up to the outer drawing, but we’ll see. The underside will show the fish in it’s natural habitat, or it’ll be a pattern which features and complements the fish, depending on how much time I have and how the prototypes look.

Visual Communication – Week 1 Thoughts

Welcome to my little blog for my Visual Communication work. I’ve got to admit, I’m kind of terrified of this subject. I’ve been told that there’s lot of making stuff involved, and the assignments say that the work isn’t supposed to be digital.

I’m not artistically gifted at all, I can’t draw or paint, and I haven’t done art for over 20 years. I don’t own art supplies beyond a set of fineliner pens that I bought for Concepts and Narratives, and a box of coloured pencils I bought for my husband. I feel that this will be the make-or-break subject for me. And if I can do it, then surely I can do anything!

Our first assignment is to produce a set of four postcards with a common theme. They gave us seven or so very broad themes to choose from, and I think I will go with “from the kitchen”. That means I get to pick from pretty much anything found in a kitchen! I want my theme to be a little more specific, so I am considering either Christmas baking or maybe herbs and spices?

Digital Design – Week 1 Thoughts

It’s been a nice long break from study, as last TP I managed to get my last assignments in a little early, but now it’s time to get back into it. This TP I am doing Digital Design, Visual Communication, and an elective called Digital Communities.

I’ve been told that Digital Design is all about Illustrator and Photoshop, which is great because I need to improve my skills with both programs. If I can get faster and more efficient with the software, then I can do my future assignments faster and I’ll have a better idea of what’s achievable.

Our first assignment for Digital Design is to create three paper aeroplanes, which will be delivered as flat pieces of paper with assembly instructions. The three planes should be decorated with a common theme and they haven’t placed any restrictions on themes, which just makes it harder to choose something!

Some initial thoughts on themes:

  • Reflections of above and below (sky scenes for the top of the plane, land scenes for the bottom)
  • Evolution of flight technology (not an entirely original idea as I saw something similar projected onto Questacon at the Enlighten Festival this year or last
  • Something environmental (carbon emissions, global warming, etc)
  • Recycling (because, paper)

I’m leaning towards the first idea, but have been puzzling over what to do for the underside of the plane, because all the examples that I’ve seen, the bottom has just been a pattern which means it doesn’t matter if the plane is folded badly. I think it would be smarter to put the main design on the top surface and have the bottom just be something complementary.

Discussion Response 6 – Reflections

Looking back on this unit, I have enjoyed the variety of subjects covered, but I wish I had had more time to spend on the activities. Of the weekly topics, my favourite was data visualisation, and I am glad that I chose this topic for my final essay as I still found it interesting even after reading a bunch of texts on it! I would have liked the opportunity to create more of my own visualisations, and have plans to do so over the upcoming break. This topic could almost be its own unit and I hope that it comes up again later in my degree.

I also enjoyed the week we spent on Michel Gondry and film. This is a medium which I know little about and it was interesting to read about it and watch the videos. Also, when the set reading is a movie, it’s a welcome relief!

I appreciated the two tasks which focussed on the final essay, the first which got me to start my reading early and the second which got me to see that I had more reading to do! I find academic reading a hard task to stick to, so it was great to have those reminders along the way so I wasn’t stuck reading when I was supposed to be up to the writing part.

The continued use of referencing was a pain to begin with, but now I feel quite confident with the APA style.

As someone who is completely new to Design, this was a great introduction to the different kinds of works available to design professionals, and it gave me hope that I, someone who is truly not gifted with artistic ability, will be able find my special niche in this world.

Thanks for an interesting unit Anna, and thanks for your excellent turnaround times for marking and always helpful feedback!