Hannah Galbraith

Part 1

Hannah Galbraith is a senior graphic design major, graduating with the class of 2020. She is from Hillsboro, Oregon, and is planning on remaining in Spokane after her time at Whitworth.

Light 1, 2020, digital photography, size variable

Through this series of photographs, I have developed the practice of the removal of unnecessary distractions. By focusing solely on the symmetry of a composition and abstracting the subject matter past the point of recognition, I am able to claim that my anxieties have no hold on me. I can tune them out through this process of total abstraction, as I am swallowed up by the image. This series was a breakthrough in my artmaking because I realized through abstraction, I can create a composition that is straightforward and to the point while also being ambiguous, giving the viewer something intriguing to look at, while still leaving them guessing as to what it actually is. This way of representing the subject matter at such a close viewpoint works as an escape from my anxieties as much as it is an expression of my methods of calming myself. When taking these photographs, as well as looking at them as a finished product, I am engulfed with a feeling of complete calm, like nothing else exists. These photographs have opened a new world of possibilities in my artwork, both in photography and in graphic design. This practice seeps into my design work in two ways: 1) it has shown me the importance of details in a composition, and 2) it has helped me to determine with greater clarity what elements of a design should stay, and which are unnecessary. I have grown as an artist and a person since the beginning of this project, and I am excited to continue exploring this concept of abstraction as a way of calming the mind.

Light 3, 2020, digital photography, size variable
Light 2, 2020, digital photography, size variable
Light 4, 2020, digital photography, size variable

Part 2

I love words. I love how they sound, how they come together, but most of all I love how words and letters look. My goal as a designer is to always have attractive, balanced and effective layouts of typography that will cause a viewer to stop and read what is presented. I aim to create eye-catching compositions, full of contrast and color, showing some of my personality as well as the story behind the words from a visual standpoint. As with my photography, I focus on the details, but more importantly on the process. I give each letter my full attention, one by one, until a full image, or word, starts to appear. Hand-lettering and typography are also ways of calming my mind and escaping from the world, only here it’s through writing out my thoughts and influences in a way that is appealing and wonderful. 

Portland City Line, 2019, inkjet on paper, 11×8.5 inches

This piece is close to my heart. Portland is where I grew up, and through this expression of typography I attempted to put all of my memories and good feelings about the city into one place. I used a solely typographical approach, creating illustrations from letters and words arranged in different ways. Each letter of the word “Portland” is made up of graphics based off of a building from the city’s skyline, giving that sense of personality and story. This piece to me says “home,” and I believe that nothing more than words were needed, thus the beauty of typography. 

Handmade Font Poster, 2019, inkjet on paper, 11×17 inches

For this poster I took my own handwriting and I generalized it into a letterform font. This is a presentation of each letter, both capital and lowercase, to show what the whole of the alphabet looks like in my handwriting. The goal with this was to understand my own way of forming letters naturally, and to turn it into something that other people could use. My fascination with typography shows here in that I take specific care to make each letter look both unique and unified with the whole. 

American Typewriter Poster, 2019, inkjet on paper, 11×17 inches

This poster is a representation of the typeface American Typewriter. I did research on its origin, the history of the typeface, its impact and influence on society, and its common use in today’s culture. Through this information, I created a visual representation, with the culmination of my research in short-essay format, as if it were a page being written on a typewriter. I added in parts that were blacked out, because when I think of typewriters, I think of either how much people had to cover up their mistakes with whiteout, or hide certain details, as they did at NASA with confidential documents, by blacking out certain passages. I wanted to give the reader a sense of mystery by adding this element to the design, causing them to wonder what is missing, and hopefully convey just how interesting the legacy this typeface represents. 

Found Type, 2019, inkjet on paper, 11×17 inches

This was a really fun project. Through this I was able to take my knowledge of typography into my everyday world. The basis of it was to pick a theme, and find every single letter of the alphabet within that theme. I chose to focus on the kitchen and the utensils and appliances used in that setting. I love to cook, and combining my love of cooking with my love of typography made this project extremely enjoyable, and somewhat surprising. It surprised me how complex our world is, and how in the most mundane things you can find something wonderful. This was a study in looking beyond my conditional view of seeing the world, and finding the potential for art and beauty, and words, where their presumably is none. 

Heart Beating (still), 2019, digital animation

This was my first attempt at animating type. The process of this piece was difficult, learning a new program and working through the complexities of it. The designing of the word “heart” was not difficult, but rather second-nature to me at this point, it was the animation that really pushed me to take this design to the next level. The animation brought my design to life. Please click on the image above to go to my website where you can see it in action.

Part 3

Horizontal 2, 2020, photography, size variable

These photographs are a continuation of the series that included the images Light 1-4 from my first post. The idea of focusing on the process is still important, as is the emphasis on light and shadows. However, I added a specific attention to texture for this set that I was not as concerned with in the first. I searched for mundane surfaces around me that had an intriguing texture and feel to them, showing the grittiness of the world. I also decided to focus on horizontal lines for this portion of the series, hence the names Horizontal 1-4. This set is darker than the first, but I have continued to simplify the subject matter in an attempt to remove the necessity of constantly knowing from the equation, whether that be in life or in art making. Once again my aim with these photographs is to create a method of calming the mind, both in creating and looking at them. I have found this ongoing series to be helpful in both my artistic discipline and my overall wellbeing, and I plan to continue working on it for a long time. 

Horizontal 4, 2020, photography, size variable
Horizontal 3, 2020, photography, size variable
Horizontal 1, 2020, photography, size variable

Part 4

PlumCrazy Photography Logo, 2019, digital design – Adobe Illustrator, size variable

I created this logo for PlumCrazy Photography last summer, and it was the first full project I had done with branding, from conceptualization to completion. It was a great process of discussing with the client what was needed, and then taking the thoughts and ideas that they had envisioned for their company and representing them in a visual way. 

Century Theatre Production CD Design, 2020, print on CD, 120mm diameter

This was a project I designed for my old high school’s recording of their spring production of The Little Mermaid. Due to COVID-19 regulations and closures, they were only able to perform on opening night before the rest of their season was shut down. They were, however, given permission to do one last performance of the play without an audience in order to record it. I had the privilege of designing the artwork for the cover of the CD. My brother is a senior this year and it was his last performance in the pit orchestra with the school. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this experience with him, and creating the cover design was a lot of fun. The shape of the CD definitely posed some challenges initially, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone as an artist, and I believe that is important. I partnered with PlumCrazy Photography, the company that produced the video, to finish the design. 

The Green Machine Podcast YouTube Banner and Logo, 2020, visual format design – Illustrator, 2560×1440 pixels

This was commissioned by a family friend and his Podcast team in Utah. The hand design and inner circle of the logo was already established by the time I got to the project, but I created all other aspects of the design. I set the text in the arc of the logo and added the outer rings, and I created the YouTube banner from scratch. This freelance job was a great exercise in communication with a client and how to complete work in a professional and timely manner. 

Freshly Squeezed, 2020, digital art – Procreate, size variable

I was recently gifted an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil as a graduation gift, and I have been creating illustrative designs like crazy. I find this method to be a great way to combine my interest in illustration with my love for typography in fun and engaging artworks. I hope to use this new tool in the future to aid in my branding and logo creations, possibly transferring designs I create on my iPad to Illustrator and turning them into vectors to add more of a hand-drawn feel to some of my designs. 

Grow Where You Are Planted, 2020, digital art – Procreate, size variable

This was another product of my new iPad and is another example of the combination of illustrative images with text to present a message to the viewer. Being able to focus on the details of a design through the hands-on approach of using the iPad has been extremely helpful in my design work. 

Find me on the web at https://hgalbraith20.wixsite.com/mysite

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