Category Archives: ISTD

Rationale – Down to Earth



Development and Final Book – Down to Earth

ISTD Beauty Shots


Originally, I produced a long, narrow poster as the final outcome for this project.

The feedback that I received from my tutors was that the design was fresh and surprising, yet there was elements missing from the design that I should explore further.

At the time, I felt that I rushed this project and didn’t produce a suitable design outcome that answered the brief to its best and I felt it didn’t show my unsung heroes effectively. In my creative idea process, I looked into creating a book, I felt that this would be more appropriate as it would relate to the training books that students learn the syllabus from, it would be much easier to display and read and also, I would be able to give my instructors a copy of the book.

I am going to develop my project further, I am still going to use most of the elements from my poster as they are strong, relevant and the hand produced aspect is a design feature that I don’t very often used, therefore I feel this will strengthen my portfolio and possibly inspire me to use similar techniques for future projects.

The hand printed type was originally inspired by the company ‘The Bright Side’ their designs are simple, fresh, modern and very popular with the public. They are easy to replicate and I felt that the hand crafted approach related to Tae Kwon Do due to the fact that it is a physical sport,and you have to contribute a lot of thought, time and care.

I strongly believe that a book format will be the best outcome for this design and project. I want a professional printed book, therefore I am going to use online book maker ‘blurb’ to produce and print my book. I have chosen to give my book a hardback cover as I feel this will protect the book further but it will also represent the Ying and the Yang in Tae Kwon Do, the hard and soft.

The paper I have chosen to use is going to be a standard semi-matte finish paper stock, the white paper will be more suitable against the black printed text and support the ‘innocence’ of Tae Kwon Do and the fact you start from white belt and work your way up to black belt.

The format of the book will be a square, size 18cm x 18cm. I feel a smaller book will be easier to hold and read and it will relate to the training books. The square is also of importance as the pattern diagrams used for Tae Kwon Do could follow very square and angular lines of direction.

The page layouts will be very structured and disciplined, the belts and tenets pages will follow the same layout and format as these are very important to the sport and are followed and lived by.

Images will give the book colour and break up the quantity of text. I will put emphasis on words that I feel are important to the sport and use the text in the most creative way to tell the story of my unsung heroes.



Down to Earth – Poster

TKD Poster


This is the poster that I produced for this brief.

I produced it in this style as researched shoed that posters in TKD halls are thin and ling, I decided to use a hand produced stamp type as I felt the time and effort put into printing each letter reflects the time and effort that every student and the unsung heroes put into their training it also relates to having a hands on approach

I wanted to keep images simple and in the same style as the poster, therefore I created the images out of my previous chalked experiments.

In my review feedback, I was told that the piece was strong and an unexpected outcome because of the style it has been produced in, yet they felt ‘something was missing’ from the piece.

I intend to work on the piece to make it stronger, I have noticed a few spelling errors and I feel that some letters need to be moved around.

Rubber Type – Stamped Text

Rubber Type Rubber Type Rubber Type Rubber Type


Instead of using digital type for the body copy, I felt having a rubber stamped typeface would work stronger with the type of message I want to get across and the style of art.

Originally, I stamped each letter both lowercase and uppercase around 10 times each, just so that I got a varied stamp printed effect, however, towards the end of the project, I felt that maybe printing out each word would work better, it was very time consuming but I do feel this will help create a better finished piece.

Down to Earth

Type Experiments


I used the digital title and played around with the positioning and sizing of it and altered some of the letter forms for different typefaces. I wanted to include the different coloured belts with the title, just to add colour and to show what you can achieve in Tae Kwon Do. I used the chalk experiments that I did previously and made them into rough belt lengths and widths, I really like the rough and raw feel that they have, they help to make the text stand out. I do feel however, that maybe the title would work better if I hand produced this like I want to hand produce the body copy.



Type Experiments


From my paste ups, I really liked the use of a range of letters, therefore I digitally created the strongest one that I felt worked best.

Initial Ideas


Idea – belts with the meanings of the belts and tenets running within them.




Idea – hand drawn trees to show the spiritual and earthly side to TKD.


Idea – use crayons to show the coloured belts and use size to show progression. (Photography or hand illustrated)


Idea – book, create wrap arounds – paper, card, string, belt?


Idea – blend the colours of the belt together to show achievements and targets to aim for.

Cut Out

Idea – Cut into the card and place appropriate coloured card behind page.

Word Tree

Idea – use the text to create imagery.


Idea – use letterforms to create imagery.

Book Layouts Book Layouts

Down to Earth Experiments



Paste ups, experimenting how type looks and works, different letterforms.


Mock Ups

Mock ups of how my design could look, using the belt to hold the concertina together and coloured card cut outs for belts.


QBook Layouys Book Layouys

These are rough visuals for how my book pages could be laid out.

Poster Layouts Poster Layouts Poster Layouts

Rough sketches for how the poster could look and an idea for layout.

Texture / Colour Texture / Colour Texture / Colour Texture / Colour Texture / Colour

Idea – chalk markings to use for imagery and to add texture.

Texture / Colour Texture / Colour Texture / Colour


Idea – paint markings to use for imagery and to add texture.

Image Inspiration

Inspiration Imagery Inspiration Imagery Inspiration Imagery Inspiration Imagery Inspiration Imagery


These are a selection of images that I find interesting and inspiring. I like the creativeness of the text and the simple use of colour.

My Unsung Heroes – Text

Down to Earth

What is Tae Kwon Do?

Tae Kwon Do is an ancient form of unarmed combat practiced for many centuries in Korea. It became perfected in its many forms by Major General Choi Hong Hi and has been scientifically developed and modernized since its introduction to the world on 11th April 1955.

Translated from Korean Tae means to jump, kick or smash with the foot, Kwon means to punch, strike or destroy with the hand and Do is art, method or way.

It is proven to be the most powerful system of self-defence ever devised.

To the Korean people Tae Kwon Do is more than a mere use of skilled movements. It also promotes a way of life with a strong sway towards the more philosophical side, particularly instilling a concept and spirit of self imposed discipline and an ideal of noble moral re-armament.

In these days of violence and intimidation which seems to plague our modern societies, Tae Kwon Do enables the weak to possess a fine weapon to defend themselves and when strongly applied it can be very dangerous.

Tae Kwon Do Oath

‘As a student of Tae Kwon Do, I do solemnly pledge to abide by the rules and regulations of the Tae Kwon Do Association, to strive to always be modest, courteous and respectful to all members, in particular my seniors, to put the art into use for only self-defence, or defence of the weak and to never abuse my knowledge of the art’

Tae Kwon Do Tenets


– to be polite to your instructors, seniors and fellow students


– to be honest with yourself, you must be able to define right from wrong


– to achieve a goal, whether it is a higher grade or any technique, you must not stop trying; you must persevere

Self Control

– to lose your temper when performing techniques against an opponent can be very dangerous and shows lack of control.

– to be able to live, work and train within your capability shows good self control

Indomitable Spirit

– to show courage; when you and your principles are pitted against overwhelming odds

Colour Belt Meanings

White Belt

– signifies innocence, having no previous knowledge of Tae Kwon Do

Yellow Belt

– signifies the earth from which the plant sprouts and takes root as the foundations of Tae Kwon Do are being laid

Green Belt

– signifies the plants growth as the Tae Kwon Do skills begin to develop

Blue Belt

– signifies the heaven, towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Tae Kwon Do progresses

Red Belt

– signifies danger, cautioning the student to exercise contol and warning the opponent to be aware

Black Belt

– opposite of white, therefore signifying maturity and proficiency, also indicates the wearers imperviousness to darkness and fear

As with the majority of Eastern martial arts, there is a Ying and Yang, contrasting sides to each pattern. Each pattern represents both a hard, warrior, aggressive aspect contrasting with a soft, mindfulness which portrays the spiritual side of the art. There are 24 patterns in Tae Kwon Do because the founder, Major General Choi Hong Hi, compared the life of a man with a day of the earth and believed that some people should strive to leave a good spiritual legacy to coming generations and in doing so gain immortality. Therefore, if we can leave something behind for the welfare of mankind, maybe it will be the most important thing to happen in our lives, as the founder says:

‘Here I leave Tae Kwon Do for Mankind. As a trace of a man of the late 20th Century, the 24 patterns, one day or all of my life,

Gez and Tina Earth are my unsung heroes.

Gez is a 4th Dan and Tina is a 3rd Dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Gez and Tina were the people that introduced me to Tae Kwon Do at my first lesson. They have inspired me from the beginning to achieve my own black belt – 2nd Dan.

They first opened the club with the help of TAGB’s first female 6th Degree Master Annabel Murcott back in June 2009 and since then they have gone on to help students achieve numerous awards at gradings and competitions.

They tirelessly gives their time twice a week to help people achieve their Tae Kwon Do goals.

Their determination and dedication shine through as every time our club grades, we are always the top ‘jeja’ (students) across the whole of this Tae Kwon Do school.

They are very tough ‘sabum’ (instructor) as they demand ultimate dedication from all their students, whatever their age and stretches them to achieve their best.

True to the roots of Tae Kwon Do, Korean terminology is often an aspect that does not get ingrained in students. Gez and Tina however, ensures that their students, from a very early age, are grounded in the use of all the Korean phrases and terminology so it becomes something that grows with the student over time, rather than a chore that has to be learned by rote as a grading approaches.

They teach us skills that are useful in life, as the Tae Kwon Do tenets are truly something to be proud of and a model for people to live by.

In all my experience, I have never come across anybody who cares so passionately about their students, their achievements, their wellbeing and who is so genuinely proud and touched when they achieve their next grade.











Why Tae Kwon Do?

I have chosen TKD because not only is it about self-defence it also has a very spiritual side to it.

I created a spider diagram about what TKD is, what you can gain and learn from TKD, below is a list of these things –

  • Achieve
  • Respect
  • Perseverance
  • Belts
  • Fitness
  • Skills
  • Self-defence
  • Knowledge
  • Friends
  • Mature
  • Global
  • Help
  • Ref / Umpire
  • Competitive
  • Teach
  • Strength
  • Confidence


  • Perseverance
  • Self – Control
  • Indomitable Spirit
  • Courtesy
  • Integrity


  • White
  • Yellow Tag
  • Yellow
  • Green Tag
  • Green
  • Blue Tag
  • Blue
  • Red Tag
  • Red
  • Black Tag
  • Black – Dan Grades

My Unsung Heroes

I chose this brief because I wanted to base my project around my Tae Kwon Do instructors as over the years they have helped me to achieve my second Dan black belt and always help to push me with my training. I felt by dedicating this project to them it would give something back to them and show my appreciation, I also feel that having a strong and great knowledge and understanding of Tae Kwon Do will help with my design and research.

My unsung heroes are Gez and Tina Earth.

They have been there for me from day one when I started Tae Kwon Do back in 2002, they have helped train me from a white belt to a 2nd Dan black belt. They recently opened their own club with the help of Annabel Murcott 6th Degree black belt master, here they dedicate their time to teach TKD to their students, helping them to achieve what they have, they are both very passionate and supportive and they definitely have the qualities of unsung heroes.