Monday, 30 March 2009

Guggenheim New York

Our recent brief was to create an end sting for a company with the idea to
re-enforce the their brand/image. An end sting is an identity/logotype/symbol or trademark that appears at the end of a television commercial and is nearly always animated. The brief was to create an end sting, which aims to leave the visual impression in the consumers’ minds eye. Individually, we were randomly given a company each, which we then had to have the logo as a vector. The reason for the logo to be a vector was because the end sting had to be created in the software Flash. I was given the Guggenheim Gallery in New York City. My first act was to research the Guggenheim and get an idea of what the venue looked like, what work they exhibit and most importantly, what the logo was.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Type Factory

Just before the Christmas time, a brief was set requiring a new identity for a typographic museum. The brief set out some guidelines, which included the style of the museum, different applications for the identity and also features in the museum to interest children, students and tourists. The time scale on the brief was very short towards other briefs we had around this time so quick decision making was a high factor. I decided to use a graffiti style theme for the piece as I felt it answered the brief towards the target audience.
With the time we had towards this brief, i feel happy with the outcome.

Ping Pong Competition Brief YCN (Butterfly)

As the YCN ping-pong brief is finally reaching the deadline, I have applied my idea to some billboards to see what it would like in a concept. I very much like this application than my original idea of a newspaper or magazine. I feel it shows a genuine likeness to what the campaign would look like. This will be the finished outcome, which I am very proud of. The idea behind the work is for this to be a teaser campaign. You see the first design of the dots one week and the next you would see the completed puzzle. The lines represent the pace of the game with the journey of the ball.

While researching on the Internet, I came across a website called This site covers almost everything in relation to graphic design. The amount of work that is published is phenomenal and I have been using the site for inspiration and ideas for some time. is very similar to a blog but very more researched based. The one thing, which I found the most interesting, was the advertising they had posted. The use of space and content in applications is very clever. For example, the bench ads show the use of space in the surroundings but also the actual bench it’s self. I have collected some my favourite ideas for you to see.

Billboard Advertising

Recently, I have mainly been focusing on the YCN ping-pong brief. My previous idea was maybe using a strobe light effect on the movement of the ball but after some advice, the idea of having bright lighting with ping-pong has very little relation. My other idea was to still use the concept of the movement of the ball, but to apply it differently. My idea now is to someway use a dot-to-dot advertisement, which would also be a teaser campaign. I have tried various press methods including magazines and newspapers where the ads would come in a serious of three, where you find the first ad with around eight dots numbered from one to eight, the next the same but with more numbers then the final ad to have the lines joined up to show the journey of a ping-pong game. This would imply that ping-pong isn’t boring but also very competitive.

I felt that the idea wasn’t fulfilling its true potential in the application of a newspaper or magazine. My tutors advised me to possibly think about a billboard campaign as the space to work on would be a larger scale and the idea of this being a teaser campaign may possibly work better. For some research I have looked into some billboard advertisements and I came across some clever ideas.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Red Owl Design

Recently, I had a phone call from a former fellow classmate from the HND. After the obvious catch up, he asked what my feelings would be towards working part time for a new design agency, which supplied work for a construction company starting in April. I was slightly caught off guard when asked, as I did not expect this opportunity. I was more than happy to show my interest in the position and asked for further details. Around a week later, we discussed the circumstances over a coffee and I was explained the details. The agency at this time was already registered and fully furnished offices with phone lines and Apple Mac systems already in place. A number of things prevented the agency to start straight away but my first task was to think of some possible ideas for a logo. Here is my first logo applied on some stationary. More will follow.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Cube Photography Show

Around January, the photography degree department announced they would be holding an exhibition called Cube and would show all the photography students work. They wanted second year students from the graphics degree to volunteer on creating the identity for the project. They wanted a flyer, website, poster, invites, a booklet and a banner all displaying the identity of Cube. As this was a paid brief, none of the work would contribute to my degree mark but I felt this was a great opportunity to do something, which involved a real life client. The brief didn’t really explain much. It had the requirement of applications, the name of the brief and very little details on what you ad to the design. For example, the dates, location, time and general information regarding the event were left out. This was challenging for myself as when approaching the booklet, I felt lost in what content I could put in there. I decided to play around with some ideas and finally used fine photography with Helvetica bold for my type.

The deadline was originally two weeks after receiving the brief but was pushed a week further for time to organize a presentation to the degree students. Around seven students volunteered for the brief and we had fifteen-minute time slots to present our ideas. My first impression of how it may turn out was myself talking through my work in front of around five people in all. I arrived a couple of minutes before my slot and was welcomed in the room. To my surprise, around twenty people, some students and some tutors, was in attendance. This was in some way a shock as my preparation was nothing towards that number. I sat down and introduced myself explaining my idea. After the pitch, I asked for any questions. One person questioned the print costs, which was hard to answer due to the brief being so minimal.

After the presentation, I felt relieved but slightly disappointed. I felt in them small fifteen minutes, I learnt something about myself a great deal. My feelings towards my performance throughout the brief were minimal. I questioned my abilities and also the work I had done. Was it good enough, did I do a good pitch, did the idea work. I was slightly disappointed within myself but overall, I was happy to volunteer due to the amount I learnt. Being prepared, having organization and presenting correctly are vital towards a client.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Truth Agency Contact

Another agency I made contact with was Truth. As well as Glorious, Truth held a lecture about their designs, the industry and how they work some months ago. I made contact via e-mail with Jane from Truth about advice regarding starting out in the industry. Jane was happy to e-mail me back advising me to possibly look for a summer placement. She explained that experience is vital in getting a good start to the industry. I plan to organise further contact with all the agencies in the next few months.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Glorious Design Agency Contact

Another agency I was able to contact was Glorious, which I previously had a useful lecture on not to long ago. While researching some local agency’s, I noticed Glorious had an e-mail function on there website, which I decided to use. The amount of words while sending them a message was limited so I was not able to send a similar message I sent to Mark Studio. I narrowed my words down to asking for some useful advice on the industry. Tom from Glorious sent me a reply quite quickly. He was very blunt by saying I should be more specific in what I am looking for. What do I really want to know, what is it I am after regarding information and advice. I then replied with a more in depth message regarding some questions on the way a portfolio should be structured, what order the work should be in and advice on how to start out in the business. The next day, Tom sent me some really good advice. He explained the work I should put in my portfolio should be well known by myself. I should know what the brief was in relation to the piece of work which would then make it easy for me to explain it and I then can then explain my solution and how you went about it.

Tom also described the order of my portfolio should be thought of using pace. He explained ‘’When someone is going through your book, you want them to see good stuff at intervals all the way through.’’. Tom also advised talking confidently through my work in interviews and having a spell checked CV can be a good starting point in the industry. He also advised me to be patient regarding call backs and purchasing the book, How to be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul, would be practical advice on starting out. Further more, Tom sent yet another e-mail with a link on design assembly which had a more in depth information on portfolio structure and starting points for graduates. I felt greatly privileged for Tom’s time and advice which I will use fully.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Mark Studio Agency Contact

As the course is getting closer to the third year, our group was advised to contact some of the different agencies located around the area. We were told to seek any advice from them, which we felt was useful. We were able to contact them via e-mail, telephone or letter. We were also advised to maybe try to look at a possible visit to the studio down the line. My first contact has come from an agency called Mark Studio located in Manchester. After looking through their website, i noticed some good stuff. I decided to e-mail them regarding any useful tips on starting out in the industry but also any general advice which i would possibly benefit regarding starting out in the business.

I was happy to find a reply quite quickly from their head designer Mark asking to be more specific with what i wanted to know. I replied asking what he thought the best methods would be on constructing a portfolio and contacting agencies for placements and jobs. Again, Mark replied very quickly with some good advice, which I was very grateful for. He explained I should always research the agency-involved with things like looking up their background history, portfolio work and their recent briefs they have been working on. In addition, Mark explained spell checking is vital before making contact with an agency. Having around five to ten pieces of work in a portfolio was advised as he wrote ‘’it’s better to have one brilliantly clever job, than 20 average ones‘’.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Cranbrook Art School

Around three months ago, I was browsing through the internet looking for some inspirational websites for everyday referencing and I was lucky to come across the Cranbrook Academy of Art. I myself had never heard about any of their work or history so I wanted to find out more. After looking through the website in detail, I found out the they were an art and design school located in America. I glanced at some of their work and I was intrigued to find more about them. I was lucky to find some contact details so I e-mailed them for some further information on their work and carried on my day to day routine. To be honest, I completely forgot about it. Suddenly, three months later, I received a very ripped, battered parcel. It was delivered all the way from Detroit, Michigan. I was shocked with the arrival as besides forgetting about it, it also featured the postage cost on the front. The total cost came to $13.40 (around £6.00) which I obviously didn’t contribute to. Cranbrook supplied around 15 illustrated A1 posters plus a letter (that size!!!!) thanking me personally for taking an interest in their work.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Thoughtful Design Agency

Since the beginning of the second year of the B.A Degree, a Manchester based graphics company called Thoughtful has been working with us and attending our lessons helping our process in design work, idea’s generation and helping us figure out what works and what doesn’t in our own creative pieces. They announced in September that they planned to move into the campus and have their studio based on the floor above our classroom. They explained they wanted to be involved with us as much as they can which meant moving out of their original studio in the city centre. I have to admit, my first impression was why would a well-established graphic agency move from the city centre, to the classroom? I then started to think how good this opportunity was. Three experienced designers at our right hand side for advice and help on our work was mouth watering to say the least.

When the editorial design brief started, Thoughtful started to attend every Thursday to help the process of our ideas. They would sit down and advise what worked and what didn’t. They explained the strengths and weakness within our designs which was a real help. Chris, James and Stuart, the three and only members of Thoughtful could not be more helpful towards the work I produced. I felt inspired just speaking to them. Getting their feedback was so useful and I would advise anyone with a sillier opportunity to grab it with both hands.

Thoughtful also announced their plans for 2009. They announced that six members from our class was going to work with them and be involved in real live briefs. Other jobs included speaking to clients, pitching work and playing a vital part in the creative process of their designs. The idea was for James, Chris and Stuart to select the six students they felt were the most talented after assessing everyone from their visits and take them to the fourth floor for the rest of the year. This meant the six would not be part of the lessons besides critical studies (essays etc) and the work they contribute to would fall in the marking criteria for the degree. As the six were announced in the new year, I was unfortunate to miss out. I did feel slightly disappointed on missing out on the opportunity but I felt the six which were chosen, were the right ones to have this great chance. I feel really happy for them and wish them well throughout this great experience.

Tal Rosner

Tal Rosner held one of the first lecturers I attended this academic year. He is a Multimedia designer but more known for his marvellous creation of the intro to the channel four series Skins. Besides talking us through the process of this feature, he also described his journey on how he found himself to be a BAFTA award winner. I was impressed with the journey Tal Rosner had made but more interestingly, his career started just like myself studying the B.A Graphic Design course which I am currently part of. My honest opinion on the lecture was that I felt I did not get much use out of it in relation to the future lectures held. Myself as a designer, I do not find multimedia as interesting as press based work. I would like to say that Tal Rosner was very talented at what he shown but I feel its an area I would not like to familiarise myself with.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

2012 Olympics Logo

Recently, I was in discussion with a classmate regarding the 2012 Olympics logo. We talked about how it does and does not work and discussed the bad press behind it. The obvious answer on most peoples lips is to slate the logo and declare their discussed in the design. I have to disagree. I have researched into how much attention over the past year this logo has had and the results were a surprise. Everyone from a graphic designer to a shelf stacker all had an opinion on look and features of the design. More or less 80% was a negative response but the main thing that I noticed was this logo was in everyone’s mind. I feel this is a good thing as the event, all though negative, gets attention which in someway, has a promotional aspect to it. I do like the logo after looking at it more closely. During my discussion, we talked about how functional the logo actually was. The shape may not be pretty but all advertisers can just drop their identity in the logo. In someway it is like a template for each advertiser to use and this is why I like this design.

Truth Design Agency

In November, I was lucky to have the chance to attend a lecture held by a local graphic design agency called Truth. In relation to my previous lectures, Truth also displayed their work for us all to see and gave us an insight into how an agency works. On display was some interesting stuff. From logos to branding, all the designs were very much an inspirational experience. One subject, which Truth explained, was how the agency got started. To my surprise, the two members (Darren Scott and Jane Kaye) before hand worked together at an agency called McCann Erickson until after a couple of years they put their heads together to form Truth. The role they play contributes to what standard their work is. I noticed most of Truth’s work was creations of fonts and typography design.

Some of the fonts on show were DST Bad Angel 1999 (used in Playboy Magazine) and DST Amplifier 2006 (used on the David Potts "I'm the greatest" album sleeve). One piece of work that stood out for me was the All:Sports logo (designed while at McCann Erickson). The history and idea’s explained behind this brief was astounding. I understood that working on ideas and refreshing them, countless efforts of going back to the drawing bored, would eventually show in your work.

Fudge Design Agency

Just before the winter break, Fudge, a graphic design agency located in Manchester came along for a lecture and to discuss the process of presenting and preparing for responses to your ideas, which we may put forward in the future. During this time, I was currently starting my Ping Pong brief and to my surprise, Fudge had a similar brief regarding the sport squash. They discussed how they reinvented the identity of squash and shown us how to reinforce the sport with different approaches of sports wear and advertising idea’s. This particular lecture was very useful for me as the work on show was very much in common with what I was working on at the time.

They also displayed some of their research and sketchbook work. This was also a similar approach to my work and how the build up to a final design is documented but at a larger, more in-detail scale. Fudge also explained how your best idea might be the clients worst when presenting it to them. Their description regarding your personal feelings towards your ideas will sometimes not relate to the client the same way. They warned us that we should prepare for knock backs, which I found quite useful.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Glorious Design Agency

Recently I attended a lecture held by a local graphic design agency called Glorious. The work they had on show was fantastic and I was not surprised when they mentioned some of it as award winning material. Such awards for their work varied from National Graphics, Design Week and DNAD to name a few. Some of their work stood out than others and I was very much impressed with the Red Dog identity project. The use of the logo in the different sections was satisfying to see. As the designs were for a communications company, the use of letters, invoices, receipts etc had the logo in slightly different positions, which separated each stationery item. As the logo was an illustrated dog, it became very functional. I can understand how Glorious would enjoy this brief and when presenting us the designs, they seemed to be an upbeat-motivated feel to it. ‘’We couldn't wait to sink our teeth into this project. We created 'RED dog' who performed various tasks. On stationery items it included him 'begging' on the invoice and 'fetching' on the address label. Fun and memorable’’.

Another piece of work which I also liked was the Hat Project. This was for the Manchester Metropolitan University. They was hosting an Australian-UK exchange between product designer/makers and wanted an exhibition catalogue and promotional material to show the craft skills of the participating individuals. I feel the idea is very strong and the usage works really well.