Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Illustrated Class Poster

As the Easter holidays arrive, I have decided the time off university would be great opportunity to try and explore all different methods I see in work throughout my book collection and the web sources I use for inspiration on a daily basis. As the end of year show is fast approaching,I wanted to do something involving the group at university. I decided to explore psychedelic typography and use the names of my class mates. I have drawn each name in a strange unique way and also added some illustrated drawings of the things that represent us. I had this idea from a project in class at the moment regarding what personal object describes us best. I do feel the art work needs improving but I feel the concept works well.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Finding Nemo Packaging

While researching some more advertising blogs, I came across some packaging for sushi. The idea of using the actual product as a concept works greatly. The Finding Nemo cartoon drawing indicates you can apply your subject on the most relative product and this method is a great way to advertise. I did however notice that in this particular ad, having Nemo branded as something you eat is negative towards the product as the audience could well easily be misinformed.

Eye Donation

While progressing with the Metro project and the FMP, I still find it vital to keep looking at blogs, books and websites of other work to get a good understanding of what other people are doing. A fellow class mate has decided to design some posters to encourage people to be an organ donor. I myself feel this subject is difficult to advertise but similar to the tolerance project, if executed correctly, it would be a fantastic piece of work to have in your portfolio. While looking at some advertising blogs, I came across this magazine ad to influence people to donate eyes. I feel the concept of making your audience physically involved with the idea works greatly and this ad is well thought through.

Friday, 26 March 2010

James Sheridan - Daily Mirror

While progressing with the Metro brief and my FMP, I always try to show my ideas to as many designers as I can as getting their feedback I find is vital. It always helps me greatly regarding what they would change, how they would breakdown the brief and what research to gather. I had recently sent some work to James from the Daily Mirror once again and he gave me some great advice. I have a number of contacts now and I find getting feedback, negative or positive helps greatly.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Comparision Report - Dave Sedgwick and Lauren Moriarty

As I mature as a designer, I feel my understanding of the industry is becoming more advanced. As I reflect the areas I have gained experienced in and improved on, I notice how different my portfolio is in reflection to my classmates. I try to explore print based materials such as editorial and poster design as well as undertaking physical routes like guerrilla advertising but others seem to choose different directions which may be the reason why our work is so varied. I decided to analyse this theory towards two design guest speakers, which I have reported on within the past few months. I also decided to investigate how different they work and how they deal with clients. The designers I decided to explore were Dave Sedgwick and Lauren Moriarty. The reason behind choosing these practitioners was the difference in how they dealt with clients, approaching a new project and finalising a brief.

While attending Lauren's talk, she explained that exhibiting your designs was a great way for other people in the industry to see your work. Shows such as Pulse and Top Draw helped Lauren gain a good start in the design world. I felt this was an interesting area to explore as when Dave made a visit to explain his experiences when graduating, he described placements and gaining work experience was vitally important for anyone looking for their first job. Dave advised that making contacts while still studying and sending PDF's of your work helps promote yourself as a designer. Being known in the design industry seemed a key element within Lauren and Dave's talks and both greatly stressed that up and coming graduates should think about this area.

Dave advised that contacting high standard agencies and offering your services (for free) was a great way to advertise yourself and improve your portfolio. Researching their work and getting a good understanding of what type of agency they are helps greatly as when discussing this in an interview shows you as a person taking the time out to look at their portfolio and history as a company. Lauren suggested that setting up your own website was a useful pathway to take as your designs can be sold by simply adding a Pay Pal account system for the browsers. By doing this, you suddenly have an opportunity for people to view your designs and decide if they wish to purchase them however you choose to format them. For example, a poster design could be published on the website and if someone wishes to purchase it, you as the designer can print the design and charge however much you think is necessary.

Dealing with time and money seemed an important issue with both designers. As Dave questioned the decision making of how you use the last few pounds you may have, it would determine how passionate you are as a designer. I felt the decision of spending money on a creative magazine than a couple of drinks shown how you felt about achieving and progressing in the industry. Lauren however explained that investing in materials was one of the most important decisions a graduate should make as if freelancing while studying or producing a large scaled print, determining what to buy and how much of it was key to understand as to little or to much would reflect on the outcome of the finished piece.

Both Lauren and Dave discussed seeking advice from the people around you was a vital element to still try and have when leaving university. Lauren explained that one area she felt was most helpful and misses was the advice from her fellow classmates and tutors. Being in an environment with other people familiar with design can help your progression when you feel run down or frustrated with a project. Dave described his creative process of occasionally seeking his fellow designers opinions on his ideas, as sometimes you may need your work evaluated other than yourself.

Having an idea and communicating the concept seemed the most important area within the design industry from both practitioners. Dave advised that the finished outcome is important but communicating a message and knowing your target audience was key. Dave advised that researching who your message is being communicated to will better you're understanding of the project and guide you through the brief. Lauren also felt this way but in a more personal aspect. As she works independently, she deals closer with clients, which leads to her building a friendly relationship with the consumer. She explained that understanding their interests and who they are as a person helps greatly when working on a project. It seemed that both Dave and Lauren try to engage and understand who their target audience is when starting a project, but very differently.

An area I was greatly interested in was the use of materials Lauren and Dave had used within there work. As they explained the creative process with each brief, I was more intrigued to understand what encouraged them to choose that particular method with a certain material like plastic or wood besides creating something digitally. Dave had explained that when studying a brief, you instantly start thinking of different ideas and a direction where you want to take the project, but exploring different methods as original first thoughts are unsuccessful, you will gradually find the answer to a project. Lauren however explained that when a client asks for a certain product or invention, she already has an idea of what she feels will be the right material to use and how she would create it.

As I compare both Lauren and Dave’s work methods, I believe the pathway you choose as a designer and the decisions you make and most importantly, the mistakes you learn from and how you respond from them determines you as a designer. Having the determination of repeatedly trying to find a solution to a brief with past failed attempts will show in your final answer as the areas you felt didn't work, you would of avoided.

Metro Moving Image

As the Metro brief has now passed, I have posted some early ideas. The brief requiring three advertising posters, it also suggested a possible moving image so I decided to once again use the software Flash, like I did for the Guggenheim end sting project, and see what I could put together. The brief states that the audience we should be focusing on is Urbanites. These are people aged between 18 and 44 who have a higher than average income, are in full-time employment and work in an urban area. I decided to look into who these people are and noticed they all travel differently. By car, train or bus, the audience are travelling in a busy environment.

I decided to use this as part of my idea for the moving image piece. My idea was to change the letters T, R and O in Metro to different ways to travel. The words would change like a train timetable in the station and the end of the sequence would be Metro. After a few goes, I was happy with the result. After uploading the QuickTime video on here, unfortunately, it does not play correctly. It’s slow and misses a few things out. I would like to work on the posters with this idea but it may not work. I plan to explore this and look forward to seeing my results.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Perwoll Advertising

When I place my work in situ for my portfolio, I notice that many of my class mates have the same shot of a bus stop or advertising billboard. This concerns me greatly as standing out in the crowd is vital in the design industry. I decided to do browse the Internet for some bus stops and see if I could possibly use them instead of the ones I already have in my portfolio. While doing this, I came across this ad for some fabric conditioner which I felt was very clever. Instead of using print based or digital design, this ad actually shows real cotton in different colours indicating the shape of the product.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

D&AD Deadline

Back in November, the long awaited D&AD
competition briefs was finally launched. The wide range of projects was great and as I decided to choose the Metro brief, which was to advertise three posters to promote the newspaper. A six month deadline seemed a great amount of time to work, but it soon arrived. After a number of ideas and sleepless nights, it was the deadline today. Many people found it a struggle (including myself) to upload design work on to the D&AD website. I felt that these miss-haps could be easily avoided if you bring the actual deadline forward a week as this will leave you with a relaxed few days to organise these small areas. As our work was mounted to be sent of to the judges, I was pleased to finally see one of my ideas printed and put together as a display. I look forward to the results but most importantly, feel pleased with yet more projects in my portfolio.

Didsbury Magazine

I was recently in a bar across the road from an editorial agency for a local magazine and decided to note down their details and contact them for a possible portfolio visit or maybe some feedback on my work. As I spoke to the receptionist, she had explained that no one was available to speak to me. I was however given an e mail address to send some work over and my details. As I sent a message asking for a possible visit, I was told the studio was rather small and they didn't seem to have the time to see me in person due to the on going deadlines they have on a daily basis. I did however receive some great feedback and plan to do this more often.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Condom Advertising

While developing my FMP and the Metro project, Myself and Kat still wish to push the tolerance brief more. We both feel the count to ten idea has great potential but using two other directions and then possibly turning the project into a campaign would be better. While doing some research, I had come across this advert for the awareness of using condoms. Many males aged between 16 to 21 have priorities of the things they do and enjoy, and money is definitely one of them. I feel using this concept of indicating what the expenses would be when not using a condom and possibly becoming a farther works greatly.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The V & A Museum

While in London, I made a visit to the V & A Museum. I was lucky to capture the Decode exhibition and was surprised to see such great animation and moving image. One particular piece of work I found interesting was a Video Grid by Ross Phillips. I always feel interaction with design is important and with this project. The idea behind this was to film yourself for three seconds doing any pose or funny movement and then, after the clip is recorded, its then added to past recordings placed on a big screen. Another piece which had caught my eye was Digital Zoetrope by Troika. Wave Mirror by Daniel Rozin was such a strange but clever idea. The self descriptive ''digital interactive art'', Rozin has created small panels to move within the direction of your shadow. I felt the work was very advanced and greatly interactive.

Lauren Moriarty

This past week, I was lucky to attend a talk by textile and product designer Lauren Moriarty. Although my pathway is graphic design, I feel it's important to get an understanding of all aspects of design as it can give you ideas and more directions within your work. Lauren runs her own business and experiments designing in all different products with new and old materials. Using craft and industrial marking, Lauren combines the two to create textile concepts for products and interiors. One method of Lauren's creativity was to bond layers of rubber together to create cushions and lights. I felt the work stood out greatly and as she advised, getting your work assessed by designers and people within the industry is a must. As the talk began, Lauren explained that it's useful to have a theme within your portfolio as it creates an identity for the designer you are.

Being clear to people and having your ideas work effectively is important as Lauren advised that designs and concepts without a good aim to the viewer will have a negative response. I was surprised to realise what directions your work can go. I had never thought of producing my designs in other aspects than a digital or printed format, but after listening to Lauren's ideas and advice, I began to think what other areas my designs could be executed. One piece of work I was greatly fond of was The Cloud. As the design was originally made in a cushion and light, car manufacture Renoult had asked Lauren to produce a parcel shelf for the new Zoe car range with a similar style and look. Lauren explained that her designs became very popular when she created her own website and offered a service for people to buy her designs with Pay Pal. She advised that having Pay Pal is a great way of selling your work as it covers all the financial problems you may come across if you dealt with the issues yourself.

Similar to D&AD's New Blood, Lauren exhibited her work at a number of shows like Pulse and Top Draw which targeted the surface design area and she suggested similar directions when starting in any design industry would help. When graduating, the first steps are always important and as a designer, you explore all areas in design. She explained that it's the beginning of a long journey. Lauren advised that reading books and seeking the advice from the people around you should always be a key element within your surroundings. Never feel your to big to ask for advice as sometimes you will never crack an idea without someone's opinion or input. I plan to take Lauren's advice within my work and refer to her methods when graduating.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Gymnasium Park

While in London, myself and fellow class mates Jack Fowler and Jordan Harrison had come across a park with some gymnasium equipment in place of a normal slide and see saw you would normally see. As we took a closer look, I was more impressed with how the equipment worked. Requiring no electricity, the use of the appliance is designed to lift your own body weight. It was bizarre to come across this in a park but also rewarding as a positive idea towards reducing obesity and giving a park another concept for adults is clever.

Nike ID - Five Minute Brief

I decided to once again do a five minute brief with a concept of a sportswear highlighting a new range of clothing. I feel the concept works well but some areas may need working on regarding communicating the idea. I feel the five and one minute briefs help your creative thinking within a pressured time limit and improve your computer skills greatly.

Shellsuit Zombie

This past week, as a group we made a visit to London for a better understanding of what a different city is like for a job in the design industry and evaluating our options on the possibility of working in other areas besides Manchester. We all travelled down separately but met together in a local bar for a fun presentation by Shellsuit Zombie. Shellsuit Zombie are a group of designers who talk about the next steps when graduating and getting a job in the industry. The talk was fun and included quizzes, speakers corners, creative face-offs, live speed-briefing plus a few more activities. The talkers also explained the different routes when graduating and getting a job. One particular talker, James Fletcher, laughed along that it took six months to get a job. He said that he was offered a number of roles by a number of design agencies but turned them down due to himself feeling uncomfortable within the workspace, location and atmosphere.

Jonny Birch and Rob Butcher talked about studying a certain area in design when and when leaving university, don't count the possibilities of getting a job in another field like advertising. Elle Offord had worked in France for six months after graduating and I thought this was interesting as I still think about moving to New York or Scotland. After the event, we all had the chance to have a drink and ask a few questions we felt were important regarding the next few months. Besides fellow class mates, my tutors Ian and James also made the trip and it was great to talk with them outside the class room.

The Daily Mirror - James Sheridan

Over the past few months, I have been in contact with designer James Sheridan from the Daily Mirror for advice on some ideas regarding the Metro project. James had become a great help and while explaining my plans to visit London, he was happy to arrange a visit for me to show my portfolio and get his thoughts of my ideas. As I arrived at the huge One Canada Square offices located very close the the O2 Arena, I was surprised to see how busy London actually was. While waiting for James in the reception area, I could not help but stare at the coming and goings of all the workers passing through. As James arrived, fellow designer Chase decided to come along for his input. James felt it was a better idea for us to go in a bar across the road as the office was not in a great state.

As we talked about James and Chases job description, it seemed they explored in all different areas of design as campaigns to clients, producing supplements in the newspaper and pitching ideas to other design agencies was just some of the tasks James and Chase took on every day. As we talked about the industry, James said that the first few years after graduating is not financially rewarding as the pay is low but if you have the passion and hunger to do well, you will find something within the industry and be happy no matter what salary you receive. As we talked through my work, Chase felt the Ringo Starr poster was different and rewarding to see as most projects are produced on screen. The Guggenheim flip book was once again a quick way from the story bored on how the idea was communicated in my portfolio. They both felt the idea was clever and the flip book helped greatly.

As I passed through each slide of work, both James and Chase made some great suggestions on what areas to improve on. As I asked what direction to take the Harvey Nichols tea box regarding rebuilding the item for better photography, James explained that their is little point as the idea is quickly communicated already. We talked about the Metro work for a while and I felt positive with both James and Chases input. As I left some work with them while getting some drinks at the bar, I was unable to talk through the rest of my work as they looked through each slide slowly. As I arrived back, James explained that he felt my portfolio was very strong and was by far one of the best they had seen for sometime. Chase said he was surprised to see work for the BBC, Manchester City Council and Metro etc and it was different than most portfolios.

As we had around ten minutes left, I decide to show some FMP logo work and ideas I had been working on that weekend after Brian Finche's feedback from Manchester United. They both felt my ideas was going in the right direction and felt exploring the difference of how football is now and what it use to represent was important. After discussing some ideas, I have some more positive directions to take with my FMP project. As I thanked them both for their time, James said I was welcome to have a weeks placement when it suited me. It felt great to have this opportunity and I plan to arrange some dates before my graduation.

Studio Special Design - David Lovelock

While in London, I was lucky to arrange a portfolio visit with a design agency called Studio Special Design. I had previously e - mailed a number of agencies in London but similar to my class mates, I was finding it hard to get a positive response. After some more research, I decided to call creative director of Studio Special David Lovelock, who created the company in 2006. After a number of conversations arranging a time, David was happy to see my work. I was unsure what to expect when arriving at the location as the office was on the 3rd floor of a small building. As I arrived, David welcomed me in the studio and we began to talk about the industry and what type of design ethic Studio Special represented. I began to talk through my work positively with a calm manner. I was concerned once again my Ringo Starr piece maybe looking like a Photoshop project, I asked David if he felt it would be a good idea to show the communication of how the print was produced to place some images presented similar to a small story bored. He agreed and said the idea is unique and creative.

As I explained my Guggenheim end sting, he felt the flip book was a great way from taking the idea from the story bored to a physical format for people to enjoy. He explained that having small things what people can touch, play with or feel within a designers work is a key element when standing out in the crowed. David felt the tea box work was well executed but better photography would be a small area to improve. We talked a great deal about the Metro brief and what areas to think of regarding my current ideas. As I moved on the magazine spread, he quietly laughed and commented on the presentation of my work. He had previously seen some portfolios from three fellow class mates the previous evening and recognised the life service images in my work. I felt slightly frustrated about this and David explained being different is key. He felt the use of life service was a good idea but think about how it effects your work with positioning and quality. He pointed out the small difference in each spread regarding the position of each article and I noticed the difference myself.

We began to talk about the tolerance project and what areas to improve on regarding communication as I felt was still not fully corrected. As David had a good idea about the project after going through Kat's work the night before, he explained that maybe concentrating on other areas within tolerance but within the same idea may work better. We discussed various ideas for sometime and I felt motivated some great directions to take toe project with Kat. The BBC booklets was fun to talk through as David enjoyed the illustrated layouts and colour. He agreed when I explained my plans of changing the scale to an A6 format may work better for the consumer.

As we came to the Contact work, I asked what direction he would take to improving the poster and logo. He advised that using the small symbols to a more expanded area like a larger scale would be positive. David felt the poster represented a musical theme more than a theatre identity so taking a few objects out and replacing them with more drawings from a varied background of what Contact represented would work. After a good two hours of talking about my work, he asked what my plans are in the future and I should stay in touch. I plan to keep him up to date with current work for my FMP and look forward to his feedback on the different ideas I have.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Hat Trick Group Visit

Our tutors arranged a number of small group visits with design agencies in London and I was lucky to see Hat Trick. Myself, Jack Fowler and Jordan Harrison arrived at the studio with our portfolios in anticipation on their feedback on our work and for us to explore the studio after some research on their recent projects and completed work. As we walked up to the fourth floor, I remember questioning who all the other design firms were also located in the same building. As we sat down in a large office, We were greeted by designer Alexandra Jurva. She was slightly rushed as the day was very busy in the studio and explained that a major deadline was due.

As we sat down, myself, Jordan and Jack asked some questions regarding the first steps when leaving university. Alexandra explained during your study time, it is vital to gain extra experience within the industry and to do this, getting placements is a perfect way of getting a better understanding of the working studio. I asked what her situation was when looking for a job and she explained that she was very lucky when getting a job. I was beginning to get slightly frustrated with this answer as everyone I seemed to ask recently, the answer I was getting was they were lucky. As I said this to Alexandra, she did explain that determination and passion will definitely get you a job. Sometimes, she said that luck is something everyone needs but if the efforts and willing to do well is still inside you after six months, you will definitely land a role within an agency.

I understood Alexandra's comments but felt having an impression of a guaranteed job when graduating was slightly wrong. I do believe I will find a job within the industry but I also understand it will not come when I want it to. We began to discuss Hat Tricks work and some of the major clients they had worked for. I was overwhelmed with the delicacy and precise typography of the designs that Hat Trick had done. Some of the clients involved The History Museum, The British Heart Foundation and Royal Mail. I was aware the work was incredibly strong but being able to physically touch and feel the printed versions was a real treat.