Digital Image Creation


The task for this second project is to create six digital images to accompany a National Geographic series titled “Water – The Source of Life”. The subcategories within the project is

Ocean pollution and the food chain

Water in the home

Weather cycles/weather phenomena

Drought and distribution of water

Health and fitness and leisure

Once I have chosen my subject I must create three header images and three other graphics.

Moodboard Creation

I began by looking at the affects colour can have on the viewer. By placing a mixture of images together you can sometimes create a particular effects or mood for the viewer.


blue moodboard

I created this first moodboard using just the colour blue. The images, alone, may not be evocative but taken as a whole it can create a deeper meaning for the viewer.


Green moodboard

This moodboard is the same concept as the one above ,only using green instead of blue. The colour green here for me gives a clean natural feel of open space and health and vitality.


rain moodboard

This moodboard was uses the theme of rain, when taken as a collective you soon get a feeling of a bleak dreary atmosphere. The main colours/tones that I found to be associated with rain were Grays and blacks.


autumn moodboard

The final moodboard I created used autumn as its theme. The colours of autumn tend to be reds, yellows and oranges. This, for me, gives a feeling of warmth and tree’s and it leaves seem to be one of the most striking autumnal images.

Image Manipulation

The purpose of this project is to learn how to effectively manipulate images together to use on the web. below is my first attempt at creating an image using different photographs together.

Brighton image

tanker spill

oil spill

Image Merge

This image is made up of 3 different photos showing an oil tanker leaking on Brighton seafront. I began by finding images of oil tanker spills and Brighton seafront. Once I found images that appeared to work together in terms of angle and perspective I began to merge them together on Photoshop. I then added another image showing an oil spill and added it around the base of the tanker. I’m pleased with the final outcome.

Water theme moodboard

Ocean moodboard

Here I have created a moodboard of images that relate to this project “Water – The source of life” in someway. By collecting a mixture of images I was able to get a better idea of what theme I would like to go with. The theme that most appeals to me is Ocean pollution and the food chain. I like the theme because it offers me the chance to look at environmental issues and how it affects wildlife, this holds great personal interest for me.

Research Ideas

Here I have started to collect images and ideas that people have created relating to the theme of ocean pollution and food chain.

Fish Oil

The image shows a fish that’s ready to eat but instead of a sauce it is covered in crude oil. This image works brilliantly and forces the viewer to think of the impact our modern world has on nature. By forcing it into our present, it no longer seems a vague concept that is easily ignored.

Oil and greed

This is a simple image that relates to the link with pollution and greed. An element that may be worth including in the theme at some stage.

Modern take on classic painting

I really like this image, it takes a classic painting that everyone knows. It plays on this familiarity by adding a dark side to an otherwise peaceful image.

earth and oil

This image shows the plant drowning in oil, another effective use of symbolism.

Ocean pollution

This Greenpeace ad campaign shows how the chemicals in the sea are making it hard for sea life to breath. Using oxygen masks you see on planes to help the fish breath in a polluted sea.

oil atlas

Here the world is shown in a refection of cruel oil, all of these images use symbolism very effectively and I hope to take the ideas onboard for my project.

A major part of recent news has been about the BP oil spill off the gulf of Mexico, this has brought the devastating effects of oil spills into the spot light once again.

Gulf of Mexico, Oil spill

As oil continues gushing from the ocean floor into the Gulf of Mexico, with no sign of stopping until a new well is finished this August, scientists, environmentalists and local residents are beginning to reckon with the reality of a massive annihilation of sea creatures and wildlife.

Dead animals are already washing up on shores. Birds have been found dying in pools of oil and dispersant, which have taken over their marshland habitats.

Several species in the Gulf of Mexico are already endangered, including the Kemp’s Ridley and Leatherback sea turtles, the Sperm Whale, and birds such as the Piping Plover and the Gulf Sturgeon, according to the Arizona-based Centre for Biological Diversity.

Assistant Professor Michael Blum of Tulane University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology warns that some species may be at risk of extinction.

“There are… hundreds of shorebirds and marine mammals that are acutely sensitive to oil. You could potentially lose whole species, have extinction events. Brown pelicans were just taken off the endangered species list. On this threshold, a big dieback and mortality event, they would be pushed back into a situation where they could be endangered,” Blum said in an interview.

“A lot of the species of most concern – sea turtles and dolphins – migrate, use our breeding grounds or they’re a very important feeding ground,” he explained.

While there are no dolphin species whose populations exclusively migrate through the Gulf, Blum said those dolphins not impacted by the Gulf would be in such low numbers that they may not be able to reproduce at an adequate rate to avoid extinction.

The EPA admits the impact of the oil spill – and the unprecedented use of toxic dispersants to break up the oil – on wildlife is unknown. “We’re still deeply concerned about the things we don’t know. The long-term effect on aquatic life is unknown,” EPA Secretary Lisa Jackson said in a conference call with reporters this week.

The agency says will require rigorous autopsies and necropsies to determine whether the animals are in fact dying because of the oil and no other reason. It says soil and air sampling do not show dangerous levels of contaminants so far.

“They’re saying it’s really not clear – it’s a safe thing to say. As a scientist, one doesn’t want to overreach and reach erroneous conclusions,” Blum said. However, he added, “from a real world perspective, going down, seeing what’s happening and understanding the ecology of the system, we’re facing immediate effects of exposure.”

“Certainly when oil washes up against the shoreline you have immediate toxic effects on almost anything. If you’re a fish, you get oil on your gills and can’t breathe. If you’re a crab, same story. If you’re a plant, you get suffocated, it reduces photosynthesis,” he said.

Jackson, who has toured the Gulf Coast twice since the disaster began, told reporters, “It’s clear oil is piling up in marshes. It’s quite a bit.” She referred to the oil slick that has been reaching some shores and marshlands as “the goop”.

“We’re sampling the goop. There’s lots of speculation of what could be in this goop, we’ll look for dispersant chemicals as well as what else might be in there,” Jackson said. “BP has thrust upon us one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time.”

The Gulf marshlands are a breeding ground for many animals. Young shrimp, for example, mature in the marshlands, and then migrate to the ocean where they become food for fish. In three or four years, if there are no adult shrimp to migrate out, the entire food chain could be affected.

“Really, there are cumulative effects over time. There’s immediate shock to system, immediate toxicity and immediate mortality – birds, dolphins, marine mammals oiled. The mortality is relatively small in comparison to the potential effect that may accumulate over time. Things are not as bad now as they likely will become,” Blum said.


This oil spill is once again going to cause a massive impact on the wildlife in and around the gulf of mexico. However, I think placing a campaign against the oil industry doesn’t really hit home to the general public. It’s the sort of thing that is out of the control of the everyday person so an advert in this area seems slighty flakey. I think that a much stronger campaign would be to show the effects of everyday wastes effect on the wildlife and environment. Things such as plastic bags and rubbish that ends in the sea has a equally devastating effect on its inhabitants. I have actually seen a documentary before on National Geographic about the effects of waste in the Sea and this is a subject that is much closer to home for most people and something we can all do  our bit to prevent.

Chick, rubbish on beach

Things such as plastic bottles and carrier bags have a massive impact on wildlife and due to the fact that they don’t break down properly this often causes animals to eat them when they mistake them for jelly fish or other prey. This is not limited just to sea creatures, huge number of bird colonies are also suffering as a direct result fo all this rubbish.

Belly full of waste plastic

Waste diagram

This diagram show the shocking example of the waste that litters the sea, “twice the size of texas” this is a massive problem that is caused from everyday waste that could be prevented if people understood the effects. This for me is a very strong point to use in a campaign against the massive waste products humans produce. Finding an effective way to display this message in a billboard/poster campaign will need to show this problem simplified for a quick and lasting impact.

Anti plastic add

Campaigns such as this one are affective in getting the message across by using strong symbolism to demonstrate a deeper meaning. Here the message is that plastic bags are suffocating the planet and all its inhabitants.

Sea turtle

Two of the biggest victims of plastic bags are Sea turtles and sea birds. However, this problem affects the whole sea down to the smallest creature, when you include the chemicals and oil that are dumped.

Here are some of the statistics

  1. Each year, 10% of the 200 billion pounds of plastic produced globally ends up in our oceans and now, roughly 46,000 pieces of plastic litter are floating on every square mile of the ocean.
  2. A 1,700 mile mass of plastic garbage sits in the middle of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a slowly moving, clockwise spiral of ocean currents.
  3. The gyre actually consists of two large masses of ever-accumulating trash, the Western Pacific patch (located east of Japan and west of Hawaii) and the Eastern Pacific patch (floating between Hawaii and California).
  4. Both zones form what is referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and they are connected by a thin 6,000-mile long current called the Subtropical Convergence Zone.
  5. The mass moves seasonally as much as a thousand miles North and South in the Pacific while in warmer El Nino periods, it drifts even further South.
  6. Approximately 3.5 million tons of plastic waste can be found in this water-bound waste zone.
  7. 90 percent of all trash floating in the world’s oceans is plastic-based and some of the most common items found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch include toothbrushes, wrappers, bottle caps, plastic shopping bags, pacifiers, old toys, fishing floats, soda bottles, Styrofoam chunks, tangled nets and even patio chairs.
  8. The plastic pieces in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch contain toxic elements able to absorb other chemicals such as DDT and PCBs, and these components can persist in the environment for decades.
  9. 100,000 marine mammals each year — such as sea turtles, seals and birds — are the victims of plastic trash-related deaths because they consume or become entangled in the waste.
  10. There are up to six pounds of marine litter for every pound of plankton in the ocean.

The video also explains more of the problems that the plastic is causing in humans, who eat the fish from the sea.

plastic beach

I think this theme is a very strong subject to look at as it really is a problem that is going to affect everyone and everything on earth if it isn’t tackled. Producing six images about the problems that the waste is causing will need to be simple but clear in its message.

Campaign Images

Looking online I found that the company WWF have produced lots of really strong images concentrating on pollution and wildlife. The images are manipulated slightly but all deliver their message very well.


This advert shows how these sort of campaigns are moving with modern technology that people use day-to-day.


This image effectively uses Photoshop to show how waste is being dumped into our rivers, a simple but effective idea foR any viewer.


water pollutionThis for me is one of the strongest campaign images I have seen, at first I didn’t understand why the text was upside down this made me turn my head round to read it which explained the advert. I think whats important tho is that it was able to grab my attention enough for me to actually do that.

oil in can

This advert is obviously to do with oil within the sea and how it covers everything and effects what we eat. I think this works well as you would not want to eat fish knowing that they are covered in chemicals or oil.


Not a massive fan of this idea But think the photoshopped image is quiet interesting idea, showing people how problems relate to them is always more effective.


This advert is quiet shocking to read as it explains the damage fishing nets for tuna cause to other animals such as dolphins and turtle that people generally like a lot. I guess the aim is to try to get people to only buy line caught tuna in the future.

forest lungs

Simple concept about the effects of oxygen reduction due to deforestation around the world, the forest being the lungs of the earth.

Web Banner research

I have begun looking at banners on the web to get an idea of styles and layouts that are used in general. Below are a few that I think have a nice feel or design to them, I would like to ensure that my image delivers the message with its image as much as possible. I think trying to fit a lot of text into a tiny space can make people not want to read it, having a strong image or an eye-catching idea will allow you to grab the viewer who will the usually read a small amount of text as long as its clear.

web banner 1

This banner is for a financial company and therefore doesn’t use images instead it is just purely text-based. I don’t think this type of banner is appealing and I don’t usually look at text banners. However I think the fact that it uses clean designs and simple colour combinations makes this banner much stronger visually.

web banner 2

The banner is to do with fitness and sport, its uses silhouettes which work well with the nice graphic that is in the centre of the image. I think this sort of banner is much more effective in getting its point across then one that is purely text.

web banner 3

The most important part of these images seems to be the images, they tend to pull your eye in you then read the text.

web banner 4

The colours within this advert are the key focal point, it uses strong and bold colours to grab your attention. Again you only read its to do with healthcare after.

we banner 5

A simple image using photographs with a silhouetted figure in the foreground finally followed by the company name in a black background to make it stand out.

web banner 6

This advert uses nice graphics and interesting colours to appeal to younger people interested in music. It’s also uses images of Jimi Hendrix and Elvis, these images are very common and people instantly associate the images with music.

web banner 7

I think the colour used on this advert is effective in getting it across to people either interested in surfing or looking to holiday somewhere exotic. They are simple but effective at getting an idea cross to the viewer without any text.

Banner Mock up

Here I have created a mock-up banner for the theme of blue planet. It’s difficult fitting a lot of text into a small space, making sure that the message is clear to the viewer must be the priority. Knowing how to make sure that certain text’s stand out more is also difficult. By making it larger and in the top right I think I was able to do that.

Banner Mock up


Font is a key part of any good design and web design is no different. Type and Font must be selected carefully in order to keep the viewers interested. This means simple and effective Font that relates to the subject and viewer. Below are a few mock-up designs I have created just as examples of how the same text can be laid out in different ways.

Example of how Typography can effect layout

Here I have taken a poem from the internet and shown how the layout and typography can make a great difference to how the viewer read the document.

Font example 1

This first design is simple and easy to read, this keeps it in context with the theme.

font example 2

Again I have tried to keep it simple but this time I have stacked the logo up, I think this works quiet well but it could easily look bad if it isn’t laid out well.

Font example 3

Keeping the layout simple I have given the background a subtle colour which gives an otherwise plain design more of a kick.

Font example 4

The second theme is a more casual company and doesn’t require such formal text. I have given the design a freehand feel so that it is appealing to a younger more relaxed audience.

Font example 5

I like this design I think it works well with the bold font type against the black background. Text such as this can work well in the right situation.

font example 6

My final design uses strong colour on the text to catch the viewer’s eye. I’m happy with my designs and think its good practice to try out different texts.

Principles of Design Layout

Below are a collection of key design elements that I have looked into this week. The idea is to get a better understand of Golden Ratio, Proximity, symmetry, asymmetry, white space and proportion.

Golden ratio




White Space


My project theme

I have researched the theme of Ocean pollution and the food chain in great detai and I feel I have enough ideas and images to put my six images together. My aim is to show the damage of plastic waste on the environment, this is due to the fact that plastic is actually more harmful to the ocean each year than oil spills. I have an idea in my head of taking a normal sea landscape and placing plastic sea creatures onto the background. The idea is that the plastic that gets into the environment is harming all the wildlife that consumes or becomes trapped within it. So my idea is that our plastic acts in place of the wildlife in these images. I have begun compiling a collecting of plastic sea creatures that I have found on the internet. The first stage before I cut them out in Photoshop will be to sketch out a few ideas and layouts.

design ideas 1

These sketches were my first ideas, the idea was more focused around the theme of oil. Its shows the sea life disappearing behind a wall of oil. Although this is a good idea I don’t think it will affect most people in the way plastic waste would.

an early Photoshop idea

design ideas 2

These are a few of my first sketch ideas they show the layout and types of fish and elements I would like to try to create centered around the theme of plastic waste.


I have found an image of the National Geographic logo that I would like to place on the image to make it appear more professional. I began by cutting the image away from its black background so I would be able to add it onto my backgrounds without it looking too flat. I next looked into different forms of text to match the logo, I found that National Geographic use a variation on a font called “stone sans” I tried to find the closest text to this on I did this so that the viewer wasnt too overwhelmed by lots of font types in a small space. I always find this frustrating to try to read especially as I have dyslexia so I wanted to try to ensure that I kept this simple.

Design Stages

Now I have a strong theme and ideas to work with, I can begin designing my final images. Below are the stages of my designs step by step.

1 stage 1

1 stage 2

I began by placing the National Geographic logo in the bottom left-hand corner on all my images. I placed it there because I think it works well not to dominating the image but giving the viewer a familiar logo that they recognise.

1 stage 3

Next I added my plastic/man made fish, I found all of my fish and sea creatures on the internet and I think the idea is in keeping with the effects of plastic ruining the oceans.

1 stage 4

1 stage 5

final 1

My final stage was to add text, I did some research online to find what font the National Geographic magazine uses. I found it was called “stone sans” I then went onto and found a font as similar as possible. I think it works well as having too many fonts in one place can be hard to read.

2 stage 1

In this second design I began by placing a few plastic fish around the image. I decided that these fish images were much stronger used on their own.

2 stage 2

Next I placed another layer over the background. I think that this helps to give the image a more grimy, dirty feel to it.

2 stage 3

I placed the fish to look like a shole moving through a reef, I then took the black area around the National Geographic away to help it flow better. I then played around with shadows and opacity on the fish to make them look more realistic against the background.

2 stage 4

final 2

Last stage of the design was to place text that explains the what the theme of the advert is.

3 stage 1


3 stage 2

I decided to use plastic bags for this next image as they are another great contributor to the deaths of wildlife in the oceans.

3 stage 3

3 stage 4

The idea for this design was to make plastic bags look like jellyfish. This hopefully conveys to the viewer the impact we are having on wildlife, who mistake the bags for jellyfish and consume them.

plastic bag final

Lastly I added the text to show the viewer the damage that the plastic bags are causing the marine life.

4 stage 1

I decided to create an extra image as I felt I had a lot of backgrounds and plastic fish left over that I had not yet used.

4 stage 2

The theme again for this image was to replace the fish and beauty of the coral reef with plastic fish and pollution.

4 stage 3

I began playing around with a few fish in different area to try to replicate a real coral reef.

4 stage 4

I decided to add a layer of dirt on top of the background to show how much the sea was being polluted with human waste.

4 stage 5

final shark

This is my final design and I decided to add the shark at the last-minute. I think that this really finishes the image up well, and with the text gives the viewer a whole story about the problems within our oceans.

header 1 stage 1

header 1 stage 2

I placed the plastic bag fish in this image again as I feel they are a very strong element in relation to the plastic waste theme.

header 1 stage 3

I then found a sea turtle created from plastic waste. I added the turtle because they are one of the creatures that suffer the most due to consumption of plastic bags.

header 1 stage 4

header 2 stage 5

I tried adding another fish in the background but didn’t feel that it really worked as a whole. Instead I added another layer to replicate pollution in the water in the final image.

header 1 stage 6

header 1 final

Once I added the text I felt the image was much more balanced on the eye.

header 2 stage 1

header 2 stage 2

header 2 stage 3

I liked the backgrounds of open ocean in the previous designs and decided to try to add a header with the same style and feel to it.

header 2 stage 4

swordfish final

I found this image of a marlin made of plastic hub caps of old cars, once I added shadows and manipulated it I felt it worked very well as a final image.

header 3 stage 1

header 3 stage 2

My final header design was again an image of the seafloor. I added the same logo and text again to keep in the same style as the previous images.

header 3 stage 3

header 3 stage 4

header final 3

In my final stage I added more plastic fish. I also added another plastic bag as a jellyfish to give the feeling of biodiversity to the ocean floor and to show that the problem affects every area of sea life.

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