Monday, 14 December 2009
As the Metro work is moving on, the brief asks for a strap line to be used on all types of media. As my ideas are developing, I was interested to see how other newspapers sell the product. I contacted the Daily Mirrors design and advertising team to see what thoughts they had on strap lines, methods of advertising and different audiences to engage into. I was lucky to hear back from designer David Emin who replied with some positive ideas. He explained that the Metro is a paper for the audience to relax to and have the ''me time'' in the morning when traveling to work. He advised me to think about this area and work my ideas around this.
As the deadline for the Tolerance brief arrived, Kat and myself pushed our ideas to the limit these past few weeks. As our original idea of playing with typography didn't seem to work, we asked ourselves why and tried to come up with a solution without using type. Overall, we felt the typographic elements were not hard hitting enough for the audience to engage in the subject and understand the true meaning of tolerance. This meant we had to go back to our research and find a good meaning of tolerance and come up with an idea what sells the subject greatly. As every Monday was now a small presentation of our work to a small group, we started to use the count to ten idea and see what we could do with numbers. Our feedback was positive as we were told to push this idea as much as we can but most importantly, keep it as simple as possible.
Kat and myself felt this was a challenge in itself but we were motivated to crack the brief. As ideas came back and fourth between us, we suddenly developed an idea, which would then go on to our final outcome. We decided to focus on the number nine in the count to ten theories and make it the main subject matter throughout the campaign. Our first idea was queue jumping and then we used a clock type layout with the numbers from one to twelve showing but missing the nine. This seemed slightly confusing, as the numbers were not showing a consistency sequence as well as the other ideas we had.
We decided to scrap the idea of being late and focus on the ones which we could only use one to ten at its best ability’s. After a few crits with our tutors, we set a goal to keep our ideas simple and communicate them as clear as possible. As we applied the finishing touches, we were happy with the results. I myself was convinced we could not move on from our typography idea but I have learnt that pushing an idea to its fullest can lead to greater and more positive results.
This past week, I was lucky to get some feedback from the BBC. As I was unfortunate not to win the pitch, I was expecting some heavy criticism regarding my work but was pleasantly surprised with what there thoughts were. Guy Bradshaw explained that he loved the idea of the stick men carrying the sub headers and also the use of colour within the layout. All though I was not successful, I was pleased with there thoughts.
Last week I once again made a portfolio visit to Reform Creative, the agency in Manchester where I had my placement last June. As I have been in contact with Paul on a regular basis, I have been sending work, asking his thoughts on my ideas and talking about the quality’s you need as a designer within the industry. Paul had a good idea of my portfolio when it was formatted in a book/brochure and I was eager to hear his thoughts on my progression and layout of work and what he could advise regarding my next steps.
As Paul arrived, he was happy to see my work take so many steps since the last time he saw me. He was positive about the black box, as my presentation seemed better than last time I saw him. He explained that the positives of having a brochure is being different but, as a box presents your work and ideas in a more professional way, these may be the elements when getting a job in an interview. Paul also pointed out that having a box makes it easier for the person going through your work as they get a better understanding of what the ideas are. Communication seemed to be easier in relation to the previous visit as the A3 plus sized sleeves helped me feel more focused on what I was trying to say.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
As I try to keep a fresh acknowledgement of clever ideas, I am also motivated to gain a better understanding of how to apply an idea for it to work. I am feeling very motivated with the Tolerance work as Kat and I feel we are close on answering the brief but we still find ourselves in a tricky patch of a applying our ideas effectively. I had noticed this Penguin advertising campaign in the 2006 D&AD Annual and the typographic idea of using quotations and focusing on the different shapes letter forms have, I feel the idea works perfectly.
Thursday, 3 December 2009
As I logged on to a Mac today, I found some images on my desktop, I assume from the previous user who had logged off. As I curiously looked through them very quickly, I noticed some billboard displays from America. I found the advertisements very funny as one ad displays one message, where the next billboard is advertising another. I do agree, child obesity is a major issue but for the fact that a major food chain has advertised something so appealing next to this issue baffles me. This shows that some people do not take it in all the different possibilities when advertising or sending out the right message.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
During the past few months, I have been gathering research of the creative process from my inspirations and have also documented my own creative journey. The creative process will be my main theme throughout my journal (the academical, writing side of the degree) and I wanted to involve some historical content. As I was reading about Vince Frost, it was explained Paul Rand was his inspiration and I was motivated to get a better understanding of his work and the creative process Rand went through. I gathered some great information and was instantly impressed with the Westinghouse branding project. Besides the logo, Rand also designed a number of Annual Reports for over ten years and these show a different use of creativity within the design itself.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Today, Mike Rigby came along for a talk to discuss his experience with design, his work and some general advice when leaving university and getting a good start within the industry. After finishing his degree at Preston, Mike began his career at the Chase and left after four years to travel around Vietnam and Australia. He was successful on getting a job at a design agency in Sydney called Landor and then arriving back home to work for Pentagram. After a shot period, he moved on to Manchester based agency True North where he recently given in his notice to work in Australia once again. Mike seemed very motivated on the subject of design and talked about some useful subjects within the design industry.
A topic I was mostly interested in was why do people work in the design community. He explained no job is the same and you become a temporary expert in different type of subjects. The competitions are also an added bonus as achieving awards for your ideas can be motivational (plus a free night out with your work mates). Like Michael Wolf explained at the Liverpool symposium, Mike said that all though we are in a recession, the opportunity of work is greater than ever due to the ease of setting up your own studio by only needing a computer, mobile phone and a desk. The positive impact you can have on a business is fulfilling as advising them on branding and improving there identity can improve revenue, which was incorporated by you as a designer.
Mike also pointed some negative areas within the job as long hours, unpaid overtime, the pressure and lost pitches can sometimes make you feel low as a designer but getting over that and doing what you love will get you through it. Mike encouraged to all that a placement was key when looking for experience. The areas of improvement within a placement will speed you up on the thinking process, working on real projects with real deadlines and also meeting important people within the industry. Taking professional pride in all your work is vital. Mike explained ‘’ there is only one letter what comes between mock up and cock up’’. Asking questions, being motivated and always offering to make a brew are key elements within a placement.
Mike finalised his talk by telling us to expect rejection. Many agencies will refuse your application for a job but that doesn’t mean to stop asking. Working away to another county is something not to rule out. Working in Australia opened up many doors for Mike and insisted on everyone to try it. His work for True North and the Chase was interesting to see. His Chase work was ironically the branding designs myself, Nick and James worked on with the Chase and the work shop at the symposium a couple of weeks ago. The True North designs was interesting as working for the Bristol Museum and the Gustav Klimt exhibition at the Tate seemed to be his best work.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
I recently walked past a paper shop and noticed a colourful illustration on the front cover of Computer Arts. I do not normally buy design magazines purely because I tend to find the information on the Internet or television but I had to make the purchase purely because how intrigued I was with the front cover. The design/illustration was done by Jon burgerman who has recently made some artwork for Pepsi and applied his illustration on the bottle labels and cans. I have come across his work before but have never focused on his pieces ever before. I plan to follow in Jon burgerman’s footsteps and illustrate some designs for labels in the near future. I already have made some sketches and I look forward to placing them in illustrator and see what I can do.
Monday, 23 November 2009
A few weeks ago, the BBC announced that they will be moving offices from London and Some parts of Manchester to Salford Quays. One morning, my tutor James gathered all the class round to explain that the BBC needed information packs designing to inform the staff about the details on the move. The details of the brief were simple as the requirement was to design two booklets, one to be handed out a few weeks before the move and the other to be given a few days before the change. This was a voluntary brief and was being treated as a real life piece of work. If you are successful to have your work printed, you have the opportunity to do a two-week placement at the BBC.
I myself felt this was a fantastic opportunity as getting experience, dealing with a client such as the BBC, dealing with deadlines, pitching your ideas but most importantly having a strong piece of work in your portfolio was to good to turn down. Our first pitch was earlier this week and travelling to the studios and presenting my ideas was great fun. They were eager for me to carry on the idea and shown a great interest into what they will see on the deadline (6th December). Like the Metro brief, I cannot put the work up at this moment in time but i look forward to the challenge ahead.
We decided to push it a little more to present to our tutors and get our idea on the computer. We managed to take what we had and design it in InDesign. The idea of the direct male is for the word tolerance highlighted within a see through column on the envolope and the letter pulling out to show the original idea. Also on the back would be the information about the event. As we shown this to out tutors, we were advised to think a little more and go back to the drawing bored.
I made a visit to the Mad (Museum of Art and Design) while in New York. One of the exhibitions on show was called Slash: Florio Design, the studio I made my portfolio visit to, ironically designed Paper under the Knife and the identity artwork for the show. The work on show was draw dropping and I was amazed at the time and craftsmanship in all the pieces. The work from Slash was use of paper designed in different art forms handcrafted to perfection.
Another exhibition at Mad was Ghost Stories: New Designs from Nendo. The work on show was fantastic and very different to what I was normally use tom seeing. After forty-five design awards, I could clearly understand the creativity and abstract thinking behind the pieces. Overall, I was hugely impressed with Mad. New York was a fantastic place to visit and when I plan my next journey. I will definitely be visiting Mad.
The museum was very modern and looked great from the outside and inside. All over the building, you were always a step away from an artistic piece of brilliance. From sculptors on the piece of grace on the back area of the ground floor to the work of the Bauhaus on the top floor, visiting the MoMa was an experience I will never forget.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Advertising is getting larger with print as companies go a further step to stand out in the crowed. The bigger the ad, the more noticeable it is. Another area, which seems to be expanding is less print based products and more digital layouts. Linda advised that as a young designer, it’s vital to know as much as you can with web design and moving image, as that is where the future lies within graphic design. As I presented my work, Linda and Sol seemed very positive. As every design piece was slowly talked through and shown, their reactions made me feel very proud. In the past, I have not impressed someone so much until my visit with Linda and when she congratulated me having a strong portfolio, I was motivated to work harder on future designs.
As we came to the end of our visit, Linda said it was a pleasure for myself and Andy calling to the studio. I myself was grateful for her time and advice and I plan to use the visit as research within what to expect when I graduate. As we thanked Linda, we left the studio with smiles on our faces, which would last the whole day. I would love to work for an agency such as Florio Design and living in New York would be a pleasure for anyone, especially myself. I had never thought about the prospect of working overseas before now and I feel it would be interesting looking into this as another option.
As my research for the creative process gets more deeper, I managed to get in contact with Rebecca Low from the Chase in London who I previously had a portfolio visit with back in May this year. I put together a series of questions and kindly asked her if she could possibly help. Less than two hours later Rebecca e- mailed me with some great answers. This has helped me greatly and I plan to use this piece of information not just in my journal, but also in my design practice.
I recently arrived back from New York, which was an amazing trip. I was lucky to visit the Guggenheim, the Museum of Art and Design and Moma. The exhibitions were outstanding as well as the design aspect of the city. Its architecture is fantastic and I encourage you all to visit the city sometime in your life. I was also luck to see the attractions we all see on television and in the movie's like Central Park, the Rockefeller and Empire State building to name a few. I have put together a small slide show done in iMovie to record my pictures. I hope you enjoy.
Monday, 16 November 2009
You may have recently noticed I have removed some recent work I did for an advertising campaign for the Metro newspaper. Unfortunately I was forced to remove the post as the brief for this project is set by D&AD. As this is a competition brief, the final entry dates are mid March so the chances of someone seeing my work, but mainly my idea before the deadline could weaken my chances in the competition. I am very frustrated by this as I am extremely proud of this piece of work but I look forward to improving the idea and see where my improvements will be.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
This past week, a talk was held by Illustrator Louise Vormitting regarding working in a team. A lot of the lecture reminded me of my time on the identity brief for the New York City bowling project. I am starting to see working in a team will be a vital part when working in the industry and Louise touched on some interesting stuff. The elements of working in a team is not having an ego. This can cause problems in communication and breakdown relationships within the team as others will feel a level of quality is different from themselves. Louise also explained showing each others portfolios with your design friends can be a good thing as your getting an opinion on a regular basis.
Last week, I was lucky to attend a lecture held by Dave Sedgwick. Dave currently works for design agency 999 in Manchester. I have to confess, I had never heard of 999 before the talk but was pleasantly surprised with the interesting advice Dave had presented. A brief history of Dave began by attending a D&AD course at Manchester Metropolitan University while successfully completing two placements at Flux Magazine (Derbyshire) and Splinter (Liverpool). While in his degree show, design agency Dinosaur gave him two-week placements, which then lead to a placement with TCW Creative (now Love Creative). From their, Dave managed to get a job at TCW but was unfortunately made redundant in 2003. After freelancing and working for some other design agencies for a short period, he joined 999 in 2006.
Dave touched on what methods you would do on getting a job in the design industry and the small things were surprisingly the areas that may be the difference in getting a job or not. Besides having a strong portfolio, asking for placements and contacting in a different way besides e mail, researching agencies what are winning awards and offering help on projects from home in your free time can get promote yourself as a designer and improve your art work. Dave also spoke about the content of different areas a designer has. Dealing with clients, speaking to the printers, financially working the books and having meetings with the design team are all things what stop the actual designing.
Friday, 6 November 2009
The major event of the symposium was the Michael Wolf lecture. I had paid £8 for a ticket and I feel it was well worth it. As I entered the lecture theatre, I briskly walked past Michael as he sat in anticipation to be called up on the stage to start his talk. As I quickly found my seat, I was amazed how many people attended the talk. The room was full and people at the top of the room was standing or kneeling down. As Michael began to talk, I instantly got the impression this man was not just your normal, everyday designer. With his pink scarf wrapped around his neck, he spoke with a pronunciation so fine, listening was to him was an easy sound. He began by explaining his background and how he quickly gave up arc texture in the early 20's (or in his words ''got chucked out") and then began to design magazine covers for various publishers. He spoke about how he was sacked twelve times in his carrier and how you feel excited about being a designer.
Being motivated is a key element for a designer in any space of time as it brings the best qualities in to your work. He was very motivational as ''I don’t like it'' or ''I can’t do it'' should be ignored and aim your focus to do everything possible to get it right. Michael looked up greatly to Paul Rand and explained ‘‘if my work looked like my hero's, I thought I done a good job''. I myself feel proud when my work is to a standard to the high-class designers but very concerned if an idea is similar. Michael also made reference to how designers think. He touched on why and how a bear ended up on the Fox's Glair logo. He explained that we challenge the formula of thinking about design. Being honest and speaking from the heart will get you the best responses. Michael talked about how beneficial being you and being real towards getting a job not just in the design community, but also in all aspects of life. Regarding portfolio's, he said we should all think about them as presentations/illustration of who you are as a designer, but also as a person.
A few areas Michael spoke about was understanding what turns you on as a designer and implying it to your work so others can be turned on to. Using your interests and using your imagination to solve a brief will help the viewer indulge in your idea. Not taking no for an answer being confident within yourself and your work will guide you through the design world and steady your carrier. Overall, I felt the talk was fantastic. I was lucky to ask personally ask Michael a question at the end of his talk. I asked what he felt the difference in opportunities of graduates getting a job today in comparison to twenty years ago. He believes the industry has more choices and open doors than ever before even in the recession. He explained that most people could freelance or start a small agency from home, as the technology today is amazing. I enjoyed the talk greatly and will always remember the lecture with Michal Wolf.
While waiting for the rest of the portfolio surgeries to end, I was lucky to be given an extra slot with Stephen Woowat from Leeds based agencies Elmwood Design. All though the talk was for a brief fifteen minutes, Stephen managed to fit in some useful tips and advice on what to consider when presenting my work. Stephen liked my work and complemented me on the standard of my artwork. He did however encourage me to strongly think about the order in to what work should be in. He advised that the best piece of work should be presented first and the second best piece last. I always thought this was the other way round but Stephen said there is no rule is structure and order but having an organised piece of work or portfolio is key in an interview or dealing with a client. He also advised me to think about loosing a piece as he felt I had just a little bit to much work which could end up boring whoever is looking through it.
While at the design symposium, D&AD held portfolio surgeries where you could take your work and have it looked at by top professionals. As you had to register in advance, I was given my slot for the afternoon ironically with Craig Oldham who I had previously interviewed a couple of weeks ago regarding the creative process. I felt this was a great opportunity as I new Craig better than the other designers, which made me, feel comfortable discussing my work. Craig made some useful pointers regarding the work I have now and what I could do with it.
He advised on pushing the brief so far it exceeds expectation. Delivering more than what the brief is asking for can only work in your favour and make a nice piece of work fit nicely in my portfolio. He also said my work was at a good standard and would prefer to touch on the issues where I can learn to improve on. He said that the level of advice he was giving me was far from what he was giving to the other students because my level of work was higher than normal. This obviously made feel great, especially coming from someone I look up to like Craig.
He also pointed out my presentation within my portfolio when I asked what he liked and disliked about my design layout and content. He advised that having just one project with a lot of work could be an option but every designer should use what feels right. If you have done a great piece of work but feel unmotivated by it or dislike it, then don’t have it in your portfolio. He explained talking about your work is vital on interviews as it shows a motivational expression and true feeling towards your work.
Another lecture I was lucky to catch at the symposium was the talk with Ian Thompson. The lecture was mainly focused on branding and the different elements it can bring within a company regarding gaining more customers, profit and expenditure. Ian’s history began in 1984 when was a freelance designer then moved on to starting his own design agency Thompson. He explained why companies should invest in branding, as the identity would bring in more money in the long run so they should see it as an investment. Ian also touched on why people should pay for the work we do as designers. Besides pretty artwork, the main product the customer is investing in is the idea. The thinking process will be overshadowed by the business plan the company has and the pressure of your idea working is dependent on this.
Ian also explained clients have a primary objective which is to make money. They all seem to be more interested in this than how there product or identity looks but as a designer, you know your thinking plays a big part in making money for the company which is one of the reasons branding is so effective. When working on a brief, Ian said that quality is the best business plan. This can cover your thinking, art work, presentation or engaging with the client and understanding what they want.
When presenting your final ideas to a client, Ian touched on what to think about when preparing your pitch. He said ‘’Ask yourself if you can afford to take the weakest piece of work out’’. This was useful to know as I myself in the past, when presenting work, have small regrets about using work when I didn’t need to. Ian presented some nice work he did for Durex and how he re-branded there packaging. He explained the sale figures went up 290% after his work was completed. This has made me realize that being a designer covers more than I thought. I plan to do more branding working over the Christmas period.