Week One: Introduction

Updated: Dec 12, 2020


It was great to see a varied group of designers explaining who they are, where they are, what they do and why. Adrian mentioned how much technology has changed in the last 20 years or so. One thing I'm worried about entering onto this course is getting to grips with Adobe software, however, before starting the course I emailed my Susanna about my concerns and she reassured me that graphic design isn't just about Adobe software. It was also reassuring to hear that Adrian prefers more traditional approaches to graphic design which I hope to explore too.


Our first brief was to create a quadriptych that best reflects us. I was slightly worried when I hear the word quadriptych as I’d never heard this word before now, however, Kristoffer explained it as simply being four panels of artwork put together to make one picture, whether that be a painting, drawing, illustration, or photography. Further research into quadriptychs made me feel a lot more comfortable as I have encountered a few, whether it be in a museum or gallery.

Quadriptychs, like the one below, can be found in many places of worship. The images tell a story in four stages.

Image: https://libwww.freelibrary.org/digital/item/3057

I love this one of Andy Warhol taken in a Photo Booth. There's a subtle change in facial expression to differentiate each photo. I love the contrast between black and white. This is a black and white photo with colour added over but the dark sunglasses and tie emphasise the contrast. I like the pastel tones that have been added over each image. Each colour slightly different yet blend really well.

Image: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/68891069276534487/

One thing that immediately came to mind when researching quadriptychs was room dividers. The history of portable room dividers dates back many centuries. Folding room dividers first originated in China around the 4th century BC. These early Chinese folding screens functioned both as a furnishing as well as a decoration. They were heavy, ornate works of art, which made them expensive. Their size and weight made these room dividers difficult to move and often remained in place.

The one below isn't divided into four but felt it too beautiful not to share.

Image: https://www.drewpritchard.co.uk/collections/decorative/products/screen-4

Image: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/431290101786270664/

Image: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/510314201532770203/


I'm Charles/Charlie, 30 years old. I'm originally from Cornwall, England and spent most of my 20's living in London and am currently living in Taiwan. I have worked in film, live comedy, and teaching. All of which have influenced me in some way into becoming a designer. I'm fairly new to graphic design and have been self-teaching as well as creating self-initiated projects over the past couple of years in preparation for further study. As well as this, I enjoy comedy, hiking, wild swimming, analogue photography, coffee, and rainy days.


I'm currently teaching English and Science in Taiwan, and have been since January 2019, after I felt the need to broaden my mind and experiences. Through teaching, I've been able to design various resources to help myself, and other teachers, engage students. Problem-solving is one of the reasons I love graphic design.


I'm living in Yilan, Taiwan. As mentioned, I moved here in 2019. Taiwan is full of natural beauty and vibrant colours. Being close to nature is important to me. Being able to take time out to go hiking or swimming allows me to put my thoughts in order and think clearly.


I'm relatively new to design/designing and I love it! I'm constantly learning, thinking, and creating. The photo below is of me as a child as from then to now there have been numerous influences that have lead me to now pursue a career in design.

Chiu Ya-Tsai (1949-2013)

Photos taken by (me) Charles Howe at the Yilan, Taiwan Art Museum

Chiu Ya-Tsai was a Taiwanese contemporary artist known for painting portraits, where he’s not so much concerned with the facial expressions of his models, but rather with their minds. I love Chiu Ya-Tsai's paintings. They remind me of Picasso, another favorite artist of mine. I was heavily inspired by Picasso when creating my first Painting (below). I love the bright colours, shapes, and almost child like liberation. I'm going to take Chiu Ya-Tsai's approach of not being to concerned with facial expressions in my quadriptych. Firstly, I'm not yet that advanced on illustrator, but secondly, Like Chiu Ya-Tsai, I want my mind to be on show.

Painting below by (me) Charles Howe

Image (Picasso): https://www.dw.com/en/picasso-a-master-of-reinvention-and-his-muse/a-47851117

Taiwan Flag (1894)

The Taiwan flag was designed by Lu Haodong and Sun Yat-sen. The flag represents, "Blue Sky, White Sun, and a Wholly Red Earth""Blue Sky, White Sun, and a Wholly Red Earth."

Image: (Taiwan Flag, above): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_the_Republic_of_China

My Quadriptych

I used icons to keep the design simple; this also made it easy to incorporate the Taiwan flag into my design. I used the same colours throughout to bind them together, allowing the eye to move freely over each image. Pink and blue are my favourite colours so through using them is a further reflection of my identity. I also used pink and blue in my logo, which is on my Instagram and website, making this image even more personal to me. I created a slightly different take on the Taiwan flag (bottom left) as I didn't want any white space but kept red and blue from the flag within the design as I wanted to have it recognisable.

First Draft

The feedback I received was positive. It was good to see that my intention of binding everything together with my colour palette was noticeable.

Second Draft

As my previous design was a little rushed as I had been entered onto the course a little late I wanted to return to my original idea and tweak it slightly. I made the faces look more like faces other than shapes (adding a nose too) I used eyedropper to extract the actual pink and blue colours from my logo design which aren't as bright and spread the colours from each panel out so they became more fluid.

Image (above): My website logo

The feedback I received was accepting of the majority of my alterations except from adding colour to the ABC. I accept that the previous design did make the pink and blue appear stronger, however, I feel with the new changes the image has more warmth and character and feels more tied together and complete.

Final Draft

For my final draft I simply altered the noses as the previous nose designs didn't really fit in with the overall design of the quadriptych.


I felt extremely nervous about this first challenge as I had entered the course a little late and felt slightly panicked, however, this allowed me to think quickly which is something I appreciate about this course. I'm extremely happy with my final draft and feel it has evolved a lot from my first draft and understand that it's okay to step back from a project and take time out and revisit and refine.


Screenflex Portable Room Dividers. (2011). The History Of Portable Room Dividers - Screenflex. [online] Available at: https://www.screenflex.com/the-history-of-portable-room-dividers/ [Accessed 6 Dec. 2020].

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