Sunday, 28 February 2010

Germany Adidas Logo - One Minute Brief

I had recently set myself another one minute brief to incorporate the german flag in the Adidas logo. As the time of the task was so short, my thinking was pressurised greatly. I feel the result was a positive one and look forward to more one minute briefs in the future.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Manchester United

Today I made a visit to Manchester United's design team for a portfolio visit. The experience of having my work evaluated by an in house agency such as Manchester United was an honer and I felt proud when walking through the entrance. As I waited in the reception, the head of design and brand management arrived.I was anticipating his opinion on not just my portfolio, but some ideas I had brought along from my FMP. As he greeted me, I was taken to an executive suite to show my work. As I looked to my left, the view of the pitch made me feel slightly nevus due to the structure and size of the stadium.

As I began to talk about my work, it was explained that another designer called will be attending for his input. I felt this was a great opportunity to get two designers opinions on my work and current ideas. As I began to explain my first piece, both was greatly interested in my methods of how I put together the Ringo Starr poster. I had explained about how I was thinking of placing images next to the art work to show my journey of creating the piece and they fully agreed. They had suggested I should think about placing the text in a different position so the information is more clearer. As we approached the Guggenheim project, it was a chance for me to see their reaction on the flip book I had produced to see if the idea communicated better. As they both played about with it, they enjoyed the physical format of the piece and agreed with me the flip book was a better way of showing the idea.

The English tea box project for Harvey Nichols raised some good areas of discussion as we talked about how the presentation could be better. As the original mock up was destroyed and now the font not accessible, I explained producing another version was tricky. They pointed out that using a similar font will work as the photography would sell the idea, not the fine detailed information. The Metro work was interesting to discuss as the three ideas I presented, I felt emotionally attached to the ideas but understood they still need working on.

The BBC work was fun to discuss as I had some mock ups made. They felt the small stick illustrations worked well and suggested they would function better if they were scaled down and combining them to one. As we reached to the end of the portfolio, I had some FMP rough designs for the logo I am currently developing. As I talked them through my ideas, both made some positive comments regarding how I could change certain areas and adapt them in a campaign. The use of colour and objects within football can be adapted within each team or country with the design of the strip and badge. This generated a great deal of ideas while discussing the project and it felt great getting feedback from designers who deal with football as a concept everyday.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Feedback From Edinburgh

After my recent visit to Edinburgh, I was happy to receive e-mail from
Caroline Elder who I had showed my work to at Pinpoint. As I left the studio, I had said I would e-mail some FMP work and my Guggenheim video clip. As I read her reply, Caroline seemed happy with my work and her response was all positive. I was also happy to see my chances of working away greater as she has passed my details on to other design agencies.

The Creative Process

What is the Creative Process?

Ever since I became familiar with graphic design, I have always been intrigued to know the process on how a creative thought was changed to an advertising campaign or a poster display. I find myself questioning the creative process with a number of ideas I research on a daily basis, and sometimes get over confident with myself indicating I could easily match or better that standard of response to a brief with little effort. My first steps on a project is to gather a good understanding of what is being asked for then after some research, focus on a number of ideas and turn them to solutions relating the briefs requirements. As I recently discovered, generating ideas is much harder than I first thought as thinking of a clever solution within a logo or a typographical element requires a high level finding a creative answer. After conducting a number of interviews with designers within the industry, it had come to my attention that there are different stages towards thinking and finding a solution towards a brief.

As I investigated the creative process deeper and evaluated the interviews, my overall response was the most important element within the basis of answering a brief was the idea. Craig Oldham and I discussed the elements of the creative journey and the emotions you go through as a designer. Craig explained that moving on from a failed idea can be hard for a designer as your emotionally attached with that concept. When a solution may not be working to levels of how you wished it would, it then becomes a matter of time before you as a designer decides to let the idea go and start again. The creative process involves making that failed idea work but sometimes, their my not be any positive outcome and it’s your decision as a designer to let go and move on. I began to understand what the elements of an idea are. Thinking of a great answer to a brief is a key part within the creative process as without a solid idea, the project will not be successful. This is how an idea can evolve, as the design is a fortress around it for the concept to work.

Another topic Craig and I discussed was how the creative process can be affected when working with clients. Craig explained that the course of the brief can be interrupted by the client editing the content and changing the deadlines and final requirements for the artwork. I decided to contact Rebecca Low from the Chase in London to discuss her motivation and what first steps to take when starting a new project. She explained reading through the brief thoroughly gives you a better understanding what the client is asking for. Highlighting certain elements, which are important is helpful as you can refer back to these areas later on in the project if you need to. Rebecca also explained that graphic design is growing everyday. Wanting to better ideas or producing work that people engage in and talk about is all part of being a designer.

After gathering more research, it was becoming clear that the creative process was different for each individual and as designers, our decision making and how we react to certain mistakes or findings determines our experience. A design studio in Canada called Sage Media had an interesting blog referring to their working methods as they explain the steps they take when working with a client and progressing a brief. Altogether, Sage discussed seven elements within their creative process, from defining the project goals of the client, to developing further ideas after the project is completed. As I rationalise my research, I have become more aware of how hard the thinking process of generating an idea can be. I myself have experienced the challenging process of finding a solution for a brief as I sketched over a hundred ideas before being confident of pursuing the right one.

Samuel Beckett stated ‘‘Fail, fail again, fail better’’ which I believe is the creative process as exploring an idea and learning whether the outcome will be successful or not will determine the answer to the brief. Being attached to your work, as a designer is normal as the emotions you go through shows in your attitude, as the passionate belief you have when answering a brief will show in your ideas. I believe the creative process consists of learning from the mistakes you make. That is the beauty of design and how we are all different. We answer each brief individually, which also highlights the lessons we learn along the way. 

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

No Newspapers in the Bins

As I was walking through the bus station recently, I had noticed a small poster reminding the passengers not to throw their copy away in the bins. As I cant post any ideas regarding my Metro work, I did however felt this was important towards the direction I wish to take the brief with this information.

Boston Museum

This week I have been designing my logo the FMP. In some stages, I have had some slightly negative feelings regarding my ideas. I felt a small ideas block and every idea I did have was not pleasing. After talking to my tutor Ian, we discussed that the process of clever thinking is not easy but when your idea comes, it will be rewarding. I decided to do some research on logo’s and felt the Boston Museum identity was unique and creative with a strong idea within the design. 

Football T-Shirts

I noticed these t–shirt designs in a shop while visiting Edinburgh and felt the colour and choice of words was very clever. I plan to design some posters for my advertising campaign with the choice of words and these ideas have helped me greatly towards my thinking progress.

National Football Museum Memory Wall

As I reflected my visit at the National Football Museum, I was focusing on the move and how it felt to the community of Preston and the museums visitors. It seemed the issue was greatly negative with the comments left by previous visitors on the memory wall. I was thinking of playing around with the idea of the concept of the museum being located to Manchester but this issue is clear to see it being a negative one.

Manchester United Advertisement

As my visit to see the museum at Old Trafford football ground was great research, as I arrived outside the stadium, I noticed some constructers laying some vinyl on the glass plated front. I was more surprised with the size of the print as it covered I massive amount of space. It was interesting to see the print put together as smaller, separate prints were put together similar to a jigsaw. 

PB Typeface

As my FMP is progressing in all areas, my research is becoming a great help when thinking of ideas. As I plan my logo design and typography, I was looking at typefaces and was lucky to find this font on the Internet. The artist who created the font, João, describes ‘’The objective as the combination of logical geometry with round and elegant shapes and still get that extra readability in small sizes’’.

Pinpoint - Caroline Elder

While in Edinburgh, I also managed to get a visit with design studio Pinpoint. As I arrived, I was unsure what to expect, as the location was very small. As I introduced myself, Caroline Elder who greeted me was slightly confused who I was. I gathered I was unexpected as the visit was arranged with another designer who was on holiday. As I prepared to thank Caroline for her time, she was happy to talk with me about my work and advise me on whatever she felt I needed to know within the industry. As I began to open my portfolio, Caroline asked what type of designer I was. Looking back, I had never been asked such a question but I felt it was important to know what field of design you enjoy or wish to discover more of. I explained that I feel passionate about all areas of graphic design and fully appreciate typography and editorial layouts. I also explained that I was still discovering what type of designer I was.

As I discussed my work, I could see Caroline was impressed with my exploration of ideas and what methods I had explored. As I discussed my Ringo Starr piece, I explained the methods and journey I had made regarding the piece being an oil print. She agreed when I suggested if it might communicate better if I had some images of me making the piece physically. As I talked about the Guggenheim end sting, I felt the idea was not being communicated to the best capabilities. Caroline advised that having the work applied only on a story bored might be the reason for this. Similar to what Stephen Owen had suggested, having a flipbook and video clip on a memory stick will always help the communication and understanding of the idea.

As we reached the editorial spread for the Drink Local, Think Global design, I was looking forward to her opinion as the agency focused on designing magazines and spreads with very tight deadlines. She felt the first spread worked better as the information was clear and the illustrations indicated what the article was about. She felt the second spread with the drips was well executed but didn’t have much relation to the first. As we discussed each piece of work with great detail, similar to Simon from my earlier visit, Caroline was able to understand my ideas and appreciated my thinking.

As I explained the BBC work, once again I was looking forward to her feedback due to it being an editorial piece. She explained that reducing the two handouts to one and taking the size down to a pocket sized booklet may be better as the consumer would then be able to take it with them on their travels. As we reached the end of my portfolio, Caroline asked for my details and explained she will be forwarding them to other agencies. She also asked my plans after graduation and I explained I was open to suggestions. I have been invited back for another visit and a possible job/placement, which is very rewarding.

Simon Shaw - Navyblue

As I gather more portfolio visits, I had recently reflected my London trip in May when I went to see the FBH Incite and the Chase. I felt getting some more opinions outside Manchester was vital as showing work to local agencies can have a similar response. I thought about making another visit to London but it was announced by my tutors that as a group, we’d be travelling there in March. I decided to contact a number of agencies in Edinburgh and was successful to arrange a talk with Design Director Simon Shaw from Navyblue through my tutor Guy Lawrence, as they were friends. As I arrived, I was surprised to see the structure and design of the building.  I introduced myself to the receptionist and was welcomed. As I sat on the first floor waiting for Simon to finish his meeting, I was fascinated with the amount of awards Navyblue had achieved.

As I introduced myself to Simon, we began by talking about the building. He explained that the bottom floor is a gallery exhibiting fine artists every two to three months. He said that feature gained some publicity for the agency, which was interesting.  As I began to discuss my portfolio, Simon was greatly interested in my creative journey from my diploma of Fine Art to my current stage of the degree. I began to talk through my work very slowly and explained the process of each piece.  I felt explaining my work with an upbeat attitude and less negativity (like Stephen Owen had advised from my visit with Love Creative) was important and Simon was happy to see my positive character. He enjoyed the Ringo Starr print and made some great comments on all my work.

We discussed some ideas regarding the Metro work as I described the brief as an ongoing project. Simon understood my three ideas I presented and he explained the areas I could improve on and take further. I noticed a difference in myself when talking about my work, as I felt more confident in the meaning of my ideas and Simon could clearly see that I was proud of my portfolio. He explained that having a positive attitude and a good portfolio is important in the industry as your response to criticism determines how good of a designer you are.  As we reached the end of my work, we talked about how to get a job with an agency as big as Navyblue. Once again, Simon explained that being positive and having determination was vital.

As Simon shown me around the studio, I was surprised to see how the agency worked. Artwork and ideas are discussed within a group of six designers and one creative director. As I looked around the very large office space, I noticed around four to five meeting areas and I gathered having a number of opinions generated the progression of work. As I thanked Simon for his time, he asked me to stay in touch and make another visit for when I graduate. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Old Tolerance Work

As I was reflecting my past work, I came across some old ideas for the Tolerance brief. I remember myself and Kat feeling great regarding this piece as we both felt we had answered the brief correctly. We both felt motivated as we decided to use numbers and colour to support our concept. As we presented our work to our tutors, we were advised that homosexuality was to much of a strong issue and we should step away from this area. After looking back on my work and past ideas, I have thought more about their opinions and I disagree. I believe tolerance is a massive issue and focusing on all different levels was key when answering the brief. I plan to discuss further ideas with Kat and investigate some more effective ways to show the awareness of tolerance.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Adidas Tape

As my research gets stronger with my FMP, I am beginning to get a good understanding of how football can interact with people emotionally and physically. This past week I had received my Adidas tape sent by Craig Oldham. Fellow classmate Nick Entwistle also requested a sample, as his final major project is similar to mine regarding the concept of sport. We decided to try this out in class and we had some great fun.

Greeting Cards

I decided to explore the design of greeting cards after some clever typography capturing my eye this past week. As it was my sister’s birthday coming up, I decided to use that as my concept. I didn’t spend much time on the design but I enjoyed expressing comical sayings within typography. Unfortunately, as the printer I was working from had broken down, I was unable to give her the card but having the chance to explore type in this way was a fun experience.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Altelier Interiors Logo

This past week, my tutor Ian had asked myself and some classmates if we may want to design a logo for an interior company which was needed within a few days. Although I have a plenty of work at the moment, I felt this was a good opportunity to explore a brief like this as the deadline was very short. I decided I wasn't going to devote a great deal time on the project so seeing my results would be interesting. I decided to explore colour and typography and with about an hour of design and exploring different positioning with letterforms, my results for a short length of time was rewarding. I have sent my work to Ian for a review from the client. Although the work may not be pushed further, the experience working on briefs like these are challenging to a designer but also improves your skills and speed.


As I explore different methods of design and print, I decided to play with the features on my digital camera and see what results I would get. The trial was enjoyable as I discovered many different results. I was surprised with the outcomes but was more pleased with the possible design projects I could apply these features to in the future.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

National Football Museum - Preston

Today I decided to visit the National Football Museum in Preston for a better understanding of what my FMP will be focused on. As I arrived outside the museum, I was overwhelmed with the statue of former footballer Sir Tom Finney called The Splash. It was based on a photograph of Finney performing a sliding tackle on a waterlogged pitch in the early 50's. I was beginning to understand the historical content football had and was understanding my brief more. As I viewed the exhibition of world football on the bottom floor, I was fascinated with the memorabilia of the past events which makes the sport the most popular attraction in the world today. I noticed the passion and emotions the sport brings and capturing the history of the World Cup, the career of George Best and the dominance of Liverpool in the 80's made me think of how different the game is today which sparked off yet more ideas.

The visit has opened my thinking towards the brief and viewing the historical elements of world football has given me a great understanding of the subject matter. I also noticed how important the identity will be as applying the logo on the descriptive information, the stationary and the merchandise is key. As the museum is part of Preston North End's stadium Deep Dale, it seemed their was an affiliation with both parties as on the second floor, an exhibition called Local Hero, celebrated Sir Tom FInney's footballing carrier. I also noticed a wall with written requests from past visitors pleading for the museum to stay in Preston. I got the impression this subject is not to be taken lightly.

Manchester United Museum

As I began my research for the FMP, I decided to visit Manchester United's football stadium for an understanding of how the museum interacts with the consumer and analyse how they attract their audience. As I viewed their exhibitions, I began to fully appreciate the historical content within the museum. I was greatly surprised on how far sporting memorabilia goes back to and after touring the ground and engaging the past sporting memories, I felt I had a better understanding of where I wish to take my final major project. As I walked past each section of the ground on the tour, I noticed the posters advertising the museum. I appreciated how the images shown a historical footballing moment as I was easily engaged with the advertisements as Manchester United fan myself.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Greeting Cards

As I was looking for a birthday card for my sister, I noticed these greeting cards in WH Smiths. I felt the typography is applied greatly. I rarely see inspirational design in shops and bars I visit as they are very hard to notice within mass of different products around them but these cards had a strong effect on attention. I mostly appreciated the simplicity in the type, which I believe is currently the most important rule in design today. Besides the funny quotes being the main context of the idea, the use of colour on the white background dominates a strong appliance. I felt encouraged to design some cards myself and look forward to exploring this method.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Goodbye Exhibition

As my visit to the Urbis helped me greatly with my research for the FMP, I noticed a display called Goodbye, which highlighted the posters of all the exhibitions they had within the last six years. Some of the elements within the posters included some fine typography which I fully appreciated. Besides gaining some vital research, I also had the pleasure of viewing some fantastic poster art. I also noticed notes on a memory wall left by the Urbis visitors regarding the National Football Museum moving from Manchester to Preston, and it seemed many were against it. It seems a negative subject and I will be focusing on this more within the next few weeks.

Monday, 8 February 2010

The Urbis Museum

As I begin my FMP, I decided to make a visit to the Urbis Museum in Manchester for a better understanding of what platform I will be working on. As I arrived outside the building, I began to have ideas of gorilla advertising and what elements of historical football elements I could include within the seating and grass patched areas. As I entered, I was overwhelmed with the structure of the museum. I began by asking some questions at the reception desk regarding their exhibitions and on the second floor was a display of posters within the last six years of what the Urbis had exhibited. I gained a good knowledge of how the museum works and feel the platform i'll be working on is excellent.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Final Major Project Brief

As the FMP is moving along, my plans to create an identity for a five a side football complex was discussed with my tutors and we decided that this was not a strong concept to work from. I analysed my ideas and it was clear I wanted to involve football within my FMP. My tutor Ian suggested that I should look into working on a new identity and advertising campaign for the Nation Football Museum currently in Preston. After some research, the museum is moving to Manchester where the Urbis is currently located. I began to feel more motivated by using a historical element to my ideas as well as the change in location. I began to write an in-depth brief of what I intend to do. I look forward to my journey within the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Adobe Illustrator - Pen Tool

As I have recently purchased a new iMac, I unfortunately do not have full access to the Adobe software like Illustrator and Photoshop. I decided to take full use of the software’s in university by familiarising myself with the pen tool once more. I decided to draw cartoon characters from South Park similar to my Homer Simpson drawings I did last year. As I focused on the body and structure, I decided to involve a friend’s look for a comical style. I do agree, they are far from anything of portfolio standard but I find keeping up to date with software is vital.

Love Creative - Stephen Owen

Today I took along my portfolio to Love Creative. I am beginning to understand a great deal of how a design agency operates, as this was my ninth visit so far. As I approached to studio, I was surprised to notice a number of different companies located in the same building. Besides Love, Flame Digital, The Neighbourhood and McCann Erickson also appeared under the same roof. As I entered, I noticed a number of designers arriving to the studio ready for a working day. As I located the correct floor, the receptionist, who made me welcome, greeted me in and sat me down in the waiting area while Stephen Owen, the designer whom id be talking to, was preparing for the crit. As I looked around the studio, I was amazed to see the scale and size of the workspace. I was bar far in the biggest studio within my visits and was looking forward to meeting Ste for the first time.

As we introduced ourselves, he explained he was in the middle of some work and will be with me in ten minutes. I took the opportunity to engage in all the awards and mistakenly questioned if a Chip award was a D&AD Pencil. As Stephen sat down, I explained my journey from graduating the HND to furthering my studies on the B.A degree. He understood the difference within the two courses, as Ste is a past graduate at the same university completing the same degree. He new my tutors James Corazzo and Iain Parkin and was enjoying my story’s as I explained my experience with them so far. As we went through my portfolio, Stephen made some very positive comments regarding the different outcomes my work could possibly look like. Regarding the Ringo Starr Tate poster, he advised showing some images of myself making the print indicating the process could benefit the piece greatly.

Stephen made some great points on how I communicate my work better. He explained that the Guggenheim end sting looked very dull as a storyboard. He said there was little to get excited about and I should think of producing a flip like story book so whom ever goes through my work can hold a physical object and see my idea evolve without it being flat on a page. I felt this was a great piece of advice as the Guggenheim was beginning to be a negative response within my past visits and I didn’t understand how to improve it. I began to explain my creative process on the Metro project and furthering the ideas I have already was a long topic we discussed. As I explained my Word Festival work, he advised this project brings my portfolio down slightly as it’s an obvious project I had completed sometime ago. I understood his advice as I see the improvement in my design since completing that brief.

As he evaluated of my work, Stephen seemed impressed with the variety of projects I had. He advised that when explaining the briefs, selling yourself should always come first. Talking about how I worked in groups or finding the solution a lengthy task is not what people want to hear. Explaining how you answered the brief greatly and showing a motivational attitude sits well within an interview or visit. Stephen walked me around the studio and shown me all the areas within the Love Creative team. He asked for me to contact him on a regular basis with up to date work from my FMP. I look forward to hearing from him soon.

Monday, 1 February 2010

James Sheridan - Daily Mirror

As the Metro brief is progressing greatly, I had contacted James Sheridan from the Daily Mirror for some advice regarding advertising within the newspaper industry. I was pleasantly surprised to hear back from James a number of times. Besides advising the design of my work, he also explained some useful methods of using the paper within the campaign. As I cannot show my stages of the Metro work, I am unfortunately unable to disclose all of the e-mail content as it describes my ideas and his advice regarding where my next steps could be. I have asked James for further advice when I produce more ideas and he is happy to do so.

Take it to the Streets

As the FMP is two weeks underway, today, I was told the deadline was pushed forward six weeks for time to improve what we have for the end of year show. I decided to look at Craig Oldham’s Take it to the Streets campaign for Adidas. I found the concept of playing football on the streets and also playing at five a side pitches have a small similarity regarding space, rules and skill. I feel Craig’s ideas of using a piece of tape works well in regards to influencing people to play more football, as is my intention for my FMP. I have contacted Craig a sample and look forward to gathering some good research together.