BEYOND THE BRAND
TWNTY : Fashion Mar-Comms, is an original publication by Studio 204 at Kingsway, which has been curated as a way to visually communicate the creative study of fashion education. For the first edition of twnty, Studio 204 are celebrating both the emerging and the established, with the magazine being fully comprised of the workings from both the past and the present students from the newly established Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester, as well as offering a number of insightful conversations with professionals who are already working within in the fashion industry. Throughout the pages of twnty, Alicia Jones has depicted the narrative of not only the Studio 204 brand, but also the individual students who represent the brand. She presents the community of the course, shows the possibilities of where fashion studies could lead you to, celebrates the visionary work from talented fledgling students and tells the untold story of a rising new brand.
volume two. To accompany twnty, Alicia has also produced a three-part collection of informative exhibition books, to document the entire process of creating the magazine and the brand from start to finish. Zero to Twnty, is volume two of the collection. In this volume, Alicia focuses on capturing the story of how the concept of twnty initially began. This book is intended to take the reader on a 360 journey, unravelling sections of the narrative every step of the way. The journey starts at Brand Me, where Alicia discovered her interests and skills within the industry and it concludes with the innovative vision of the magazine, twnty.
16. 28. 66. 74. 86. 114. 136. 148.
brand alicia. Introducing Brand Alicia by giving insight into the process of self-branding and describing its importance.
the narrative. Thoroughly explaining the narrative behind Brand Alicia, including how and why it attains its specific aesthetic.
visual story-telling. Two innovate forms of visual storytelling; Styling and Gaming, as a way to creatively market Brand Alicia.
the 360 campaign. A strategic marketing plan which fully outlines the process of going from Brand Alicia to the proposal of twnty.
creating twnty. An in-depth overview of creating twnty, including information on the branding, the name and the target audience.
inside twnty. An explanation on what can be found within the zine pages of twnty: the visuals and the interviews included.
promoting twnty. The plans for how twnty is going to be promoted and progressed after it has launched into the industry.
reflecting on twnty. Reflecting on the journey of twnty from start to finish and responding to the entire process.
CONTROL . VULNERABLE . SENSITIVE . HIDING . BLACK . MASK . FRAGILE . STRUCTURED . GUARDED . PROFESSIONAL . BUSINESS . CONTR BLE . SENSITIVE . HIDING . BLACK . MASK . FRAGILE . STRUCTURED . GUARDED . PROFESSIONAL . BUSINESS . CONTROL . VULNERABLE . S
The story of twnty initiates with, Brand Alicia . Brand Alicia started with doing intensive self-research in the aim to get a real understanding of exactly who I am as an individual, what I like and dislike and what my strengths and weaknesses are, all of which were carefully considered and thoroughly thought out to help direct me in the relevant direction to Final Major Project and possible career choices and progression too. Whilst reflecting on yourself can be an extremely difficult task, it is also one of the most rewarding tasks that you can do if you want to establish who you are and what you stand for; both as an individual and as a personal brand. Your personal brand is made up of a combination of both your unique skills and your life experiences which make you, you. Creating your brand is a journey towards self-discovery. For me personally, developing the narrative of my personal brand based on my past life experiences has bought up a lot of raw emotion which I now realise I have tried to hide away from for many years. However, even though it has been hard to face those emotions, I do believe that it has truly helped me in discovering who I am and how I would portray myself as brand in the professional industry.
The first steps which I had to take in learning about who I was, was to think about my entire life up until this point; What has happened that has had a direct impact on making me the person that I am today? In order to answer this, I had to think about my family, my upbringing, my friends, my childhood and all of the experiences, both good and bad, that I have been through during my lifetime. This included me having to be brave enough to talk about certain events which I have never voiced much about in the past. But, all of these aspects of my life are what have shaped me, in to me, and so it was imperative that they were finally spoken about. Now that I have bought them to light and opened up the conversation, I understand more than ever how these particular experiences have had a huge impact on me and who I am today in terms of my personality, my thought processes and my personal characteristics. Brand Alicia has been an integral part of Concept, Direction and Development for me, as it has given me the confidence to be vulnerable and the courage to come to terms with things which I have tried to ignore for so long, both of which resulted in giving me the basis for my own personal branding.
WELL , ARENâ€™T YOU A LITTLE RAY OF PITCH BLACK
One of the most significant tasks which I incorporated into the process of Brand Alicia, was the 20x20 strategy. This is a marketing technique which is all about researching the brand or person in question and associating 20 relevant words with them. The finalised words should be very specific, and they should also be diverse enough in variety that they cover every single angle of the brand or person. Together, the words need to tell the entire narrative; almost like a descriptive introduction, in just 20 distinctive words. The idea of this is that you can gain in-depth knowledge of the brand or person, and an unknowing audience should be able to look at the words and straight away have the ability to have some form of understanding on them and their message. 20x20 is an extremely helpful technique to utilise for tasks which include branding. For my self-research, I knew I wanted to apply this technique from the very beginning in order to give myself an accurate profile on who I am. This process actually took me a lot longer than I originally anticipated it would, as it really got me thinking about who I truly believe I am as a person and what personality traits I have. I did not want it to be broad and generic; I wanted to discover comprehensive words that really define me in a raw and completely open way. On the surface, most people do not get the opportunity to see the full me, so this was a chance for me to be completely vulnerable and show people the side of me which I keep hidden.
It has quickly become recognisable that control is one of the underpinning words which is used to describe my work aesthetic. Control is an element which has always been familiar to me throughout my life, and therefore it is something that I will typically gravitate towards. It is human nature that we attract towards what we are used to, and if control has been enforced into what I am used to, it will always be an element which I hold on to.
The feeling of vulnerability stems from the fearing possibility of being harmed in some way, whether it be emotionally or physically. Unfortunately, I have experienced both in my lifetime, and because of that, I have become a very vulnerable and closed-off individual. I have a constant fear that I am always in danger of getting hurt, which has resulted in me struggling to trust in people. My outlook on life now tends to be â€œthe less people I let in, the less that have the opportunity to hurt meâ€?. Keeping people at a distance is my form of protection for myself.
I feel each and every one of my emotions in great depth, which is what makes me a highly sensitive individual. It is a side of me that sometimes I am reluctant to share because we live in a society where it is deemed negative to be a sensitive being; all of a sudden it makes you weak. However, the truth is, being sensitive means you notice things, it means you care about peopleâ€™s feelings and it means you think deeply before you speak.
I have been hiding behind a mask, a persona, an alter ego for so long now that I think I almost started to believe that the Alicia I was portraying to everyone else, was in fact the real Alicia. It was not until I started this self research that I realised who the real me actually was, and I started to recognise the mask that I have been holding up for all these years. The mask was a way to hide myself and reflecting on this now and making connections, I can see how this links back to me being scared of being vulnerable. I thought that without having a mask to hide behind, I was opening myself up to being hurt; because if I covered up the real Alicia, how could the real Alicia ever be hurt again? It is all a part of the psychological thoughts of what I could do to protect myself.
Black is a colour that holds a number of different meanings which can send both positive and negative messages of communication, depending on how each individual perceives it. For me personally, black is my safety net. It is my protection. It is my place of hiding. Black, is my colour. Looking into the psychology of black, it has been interesting for me to see the multiple characteristics that are associated with the colour which also resonate with myself and my personality. Black is symbolic of control, power, authority, sophistication, professionalism and protection. Accepting this darkness of my branding, has been a fundamental part of this process.
In my approach to work, I have discovered that I am more businessminded than I am a creative. I think in a very professional way as a fairly safe communicator, to try and draw results which are guaranteed to work well, rather than taking risks and being overly experimental with ideas. At first I thought this would hinder me in terms of progression, but I have since learnt to look at this is a positive light and think about how I can use it to my advantage for a career that I want to pursue. Being business minded, it means that I am able to analyse work and think of strategies which will work best for a business in order to achieve good return on investment, meaning I have a transactional understanding of how profits can be made.
A characteristic which goes hand-in-hand with being business focused is also being a professional individual. I always make sure that when I am in a work-based environment or when I am around other people, that I come across as being as professional as possible. Whether that be through the way I dress, the way I talk, the way I act; with all of my mannerisms, I do the upmost I can to ensure people meet me and understand that I am professional, as this is something that makes you a real asset to a team. Over the years, I have gained an understanding of what it means to be professional at all times, and the importance behind that. In business in particular, being unprofessional gets noticed quickly, and it can soon have a negative impact on your name, your brand and your business. Having any form of negative association around professionalism will make it less likely for people in the industry to want to work with you.
Being structured typically relates to everything being well-defined, carefully arranged and highly organised. In the way that I approach my work, it is recognisable that I am very structured. Every bit of content I produce is presented through minimalistic, clean layouts, without any unnecessary chaos. To me, this is how things appear most organised and in form. Upon initially realising that I am structured, I thought I was limiting myself and my ability to be creative, and I really saw it as a negative. However, I need to look at it as a positive characteristic and use it as a strength to progress into a marketing career.
Journalism is a specific field in the fashion industry that I have been interested in for a number of years, as I have always been a passionate writer. After University, I would like to explore the career of journalism further; particularly broadcast journalism though. As much as I enjoy writing, being in a digital era, I truly believe that this format is the future of journalism. Specifically, it is podcast journalism that I would like to have the opportunity to explore more as it is something which really fascinates me.
As well as journalism, branding is another part of the industry which really excites me. Since completing the Brand Development module in first year, where I had to build the concept of my own hypothetical hybrid brand and create the entire branding to launch and market it, this is something which I have enjoyed doing. I love the idea of taking an outlined concept and bringing it to life through colours, displays, fonts, aesthetic and everything else related. Branding is arguably the most integral part to any brand as it is what a consumer first resonates with. Make a memorable branding, and youâ€™ll be a memorable brand.
These final ten words are effectively the sole axis on what my personal branding and both my 360 campaign and final major project are all based around. Every part of my branding, including the colour palette, the design aesthetic and the style that I portray have all be influenced from these words, which were determined from me and my life.
BLACK & WHITE . BLACK AND WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLACK AND WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLACK AND WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLAC ND BLACK. WHITE & BLACK . WHITE AND BLACK . WHITE & BLACK . WHITE AND BLACK . WHITE & BLACK . WHITE AND BLACK . WHITE & BL
colour palette. The most recognisable part of my branding is the colour palette of black and white. As seen already, black is one of the ten words which my brand is built upon, and it is one word which also links to some of the others as well, such as, hiding, control and professional. This colour aesthetic generated from the beginning of my self-research, when I realised I had two sides of me, but one was hidden and one was visable. The black and white is like yin and yang. It is a symbol of light and dark. A symbol of the two halves that make up the whole of me; the white half is what I choose to show, and the black half is what I choose to hide. For the longest time, I have only ever wanted to portray the white half of myself; the light and happy aspect of my personality that appears to not have a care in the world. I have been scared to show anything else out of the fear of judgement. So, I always showed my one-sided persona; my alter ego. The side that I do not show, the black side is where my personal sadness hides away for just me to see and experience. This side is made up of a combination of my vulnerability, my sensitiveness, my anxiety and a general sense of unhappiness. This concept that I have discovered of black and white, light and dark, happy and sad will always be a major part of who I am, and that is why they are a major part of my branding too.
ONTROL . STRUCTURED . PROFESSIONAL . CONTROL . STRUCTURED . PROFESSIONAL . CONTROL . STRUCTURED . PROFESSIONAL . CONTR D . PROFESSIONAL . CONTROL . STRUCTURED . PROFESSIONAL . CONTROL . STRUCTURED . PROFESSIONAL . CONTROL . STRUCTURED . PR
the aesthetic. Amongst these ten words, there are also another three which I recognise as being very dominating in terms of shaping the overall design aesthetic and style of my personal branding. These words are control, structured and professional. The way in which I represent these personality traits within my work and my branding is through continuously adopting a minimalistic and clean presentation in everything that I produce. I like my work to have a clear structure so that everything remains organised with no unnecessary clutter, making it appear consistent and cohesive. I believe that it is this stripped-back aesthetic which makes my work come across as professional and business like rather than being considered as creative or artistic, which is the exact look that I am aiming to curate, as I feel this is a true reflection of myself and the market level which I would like to enter into. These three words together are what create and portray the overall design style of Brand Alicia. Undeniably, control is the foundational element of my branding aesthetic and I envisage it as being the segment that acts as the umbrella, which influences everything else in terms of my brand look.
BRANDING . BUSINESS . JOURNALISM . BRANDING . BUSINESS . JOURNALISM . BRANDING . BUSINESS . JOURNALISM . BRANDING . BUSINE LISM. BRANDING . BUSINESS . JOURNALISM . BRANDING . BUSINESS . JOURNALISM . BRANDING . BUSINESS . JOURNALISM . BRANDING. B
future profession. Whilst most of my ten branded words made up the appearance of my branding, there are three in particular which I was able to use as a starting point to direct me in the way of what career is best suited to myself, my skills and my ambitions. Taking the words business, branding and journalism, I was able to see that I definitely work in a more marketing-minded way than I do a creative way. It is these three words in particular which have influenced my Final Major Project for University the most, as my project concept incorporates all of them together equally. These aspects of the fashion industry are three which I am most fascinated by and eager to consider pursuing a career within after University. In terms of business related roles, it is specifically Project Management that intrigues me most. With my highly organised nature and my need to be in control to complete tasks to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time, it is undeniable that this is a role which is suitable for me. The outcome of this is that I plan to take on a project management task as part of my Final Major Project in the aim to advance my skills and gain some experience in this kind of position.
Moving forward into the 360 campaign work and for the planning of my final major project, I wanted to be positive that I was creating something that fits with every element of my branding, which can then be used to promote me and my work to the industry field I aspire to work within. Before moving onto my 360 campaign, I wanted to undertake a couple of projects to be incorporated within my branding. These two projects were styling and gaming, and I chose to use them both as an innovate way to communicate the narrative behind Brand Alicia. Through the use of these two mediums, I aimed to give my audience a strong understanding of exactly what my branding is, where it has come from, and how it will lead into my 360 campaign and final major project. A lot of thought has gone in to creating the concept for each of these aspects as I wanted to ensure they were uniquely tailored to my personal branding. I used the styling project as a creative way of storytelling and the gaming was used as a new and exciting form of fashion communication for the future.
styling. This project was more than just styling items of clothing together which would represent my exterior and the way that I dress. For me, it was an opportunity to express my personal branding through signs and semiotics. With this in mind, I wanted to totally strip back my imagery and keep it simple and understated. I still wanted the overall result to attain a certain level of avant-garde creativity to ensure it was eye-catching, but ultimately, I wanted the styling to send a clear message which everyone was able to hear and understand. Because of this thought process, I decided to do my styling on a plain dress stand and shoot the images against a blank backdrop. This way, the styling is able to tell the narrative behind the images, rather than a location or a model. My overall aim was to create something which was about the message and not necessarily just the styling. For me it is a metaphor. A collection of signs and symbols which have been used to tell a story to an audience who can then interpret it in their own way. These final images really do capture the vulnerability aesthetic that I wanted to create. And as well as this, they also express the feeling of being controlled, the feeling of being trapped and the feeling of being fragile.
Concept and Creative Direction by Alicia Jones. Photography and editing by Alicia Jones.
gaming. Gamification in fashion presents an enormous opportunity to communicate with and deeply engage an audience. This is why, in recent times, a number of major fashion brands have started to enter into the gaming market. Gaming culture is more recognisable than ever before, with development into areas such as digital avatars and digital clothing. Many brands have now started to apply gamification aspects into their marketing and communication strategies, as the distinctions between reality and virtual become ever more fluid. Unsurprisingly, the merging together of fashion and gaming appears to have generated really positive results thus far. Due to the similarities in both creative worlds, this is a collaboration which was guaranteed to succeed. Fashion and gaming are both about escapism, about fantasy and about using different mixed medias to express particular characteristics about yourself. Combining the two of these together, it is an exciting and innovative form of story telling and is a completely new outlook on the future of fashion communication. The future of the industry is predicted to be based around immersive and virtual reality spaces, so I wanted to use gaming as a way to push my boundaries as a digital communicator.
With the fundamental basis of my personal branding stemming from the feeling of being trapped and needing to escape from situations in order to re-gain control of my surroundings, I decided this was something that I could successfully express through gamification. To link these three elements together to bring a form of gaming into my branding, I come up with the concept of creating a virtual reality escape room, to be played within a digitalised online space. This was a collaborative project where I was able to give creative direction on what I envisaged for the final outcome of the game, and the team that I worked with created it all using the relevant software. The brief I set was that I wanted the escape room to have a dark aesthetic, with mood music and a vulnerable atmosphere, to ensure it was keeping fully in line with my branding and my brand message.
Produced by Matt Hodges, Phoebe Ainsworth and George Stevens from West Cheshire College.
Concept and Creative Direction by Alicia Jones.
DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM . DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM . DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM . DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM . DIGITAL ESCAPE ROOM . DIGITAL ESCA RTUAL REALITY . VIRTUAL REALITY . VIRTUAL REALITY . VIRTUAL REALITY . VIRTUAL REALITY . VIRTUAL REALITY . VIRTUAL REALITY . VI
ESCAPE BEFORE YOU FADE TO BLACK . TIME STARTS NOW . ESCAPE BEFORE YOU FADE TO BLACK . TIME STARTS NOW . ESCAPE BEFORE Y STARTS NOW . ESCAPE BEFORE YOU FADE TO BLACK . TIME STARTS NOW . ESCAPE BEFORE YOU FADE TO BLACK . TIME STARTS NOW . ESC
Produced by Matt Hodges, Phoebe Ainsworth and George Stevens from West Cheshire College.
Concept and Creative Direction by Alicia Jones.
Taking into consideration everything that I had learnt during the process of my selfresearch, I then had to think about how I could develop my findings further to come up with a plan for my Final Major Project which fully reflected myself and my strengths. Throughout the initial stages of this Concept Direction and Development module, one of the most pivotal moments for me was when I started to understand that I am more of a marketer than I am a creative. This realisation really helped to guide me in the right direction of what skills of mine I can take forward to create a successful piece of work which represents me.
Analysing my skills, my personal characteristics, my way of working and my future career aspirations all of which I have clarified during this process, I needed to come up with a concept which was based around all of my principle qualities. Firstly, some of the skills which I have refined over the years that I wanted to incorporate into my Final Major Project include; Brand Development, Product and Project Marketing, Digital Content Creation, Copywriting, Communication, Website Building and Social Media Content Production. My personal characteristics which I believed would be advantageous for me to display include; my organisation skillfulness, my effective interpersonal expertise and my keenness to take lead in situations to ensure the best results. My way of working which I mainly want to showcase is my ability to take charge and manage a project. With this, I want to prove that I can be in control of a brief and deliver high-quality end results! Lastly, I wanted to think about my career aspirations and decide how I could produce a piece of work which reflects the avenue which I see myself working within in the future. These career options would include; Journalism, Project Management, Marketing and Content Creation, as these are all areas of the industry which I have a passion for most and see myself progressing towards to pursue my career path.
All of these attributes put together are what have combined and fully shaped the fundamental basis of the idea of my Final Major Project. My concept is focused around Project Management, as well as incorporating Marketing and Branding, to really exhibit my extensive abilities for these more Business-like disciplines in the fashion industry. With this in mind, for my Final Major Project, I have taken on the role of assisting in the new re-branding of the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester, where I will also have the opportunity to market the course and the students to our target audience, in the aim to increase brand awareness and show what we offer over the three years of studying this specific course.
At the end of 2019, The University of Chester held a meeting where the course representative council and the vice presidents from each department in every year group were asked to attend and discuss any issues they believed there are within their area of study which needs to be evaluated. The feedback given from this meeting indicated that students from the Fashion Marketing and Communication course thought that the course was not being marketed in a way which represented it to its full potential. The general consensus received from more recently enrolled students was that upon starting the course, they have quickly come to notice that it is actually a lot better and provides a lot more than they maybe originally expected. They believe that by outreaching and having a marketing strategy, we could change the view of future students and encourage them to want to come and study at The University of Chester, above the other surrounding Universities. This is an opportunity for us to show that even though we are a smaller, newer course, we are still just as good as the more well-know Universities in terms of what we learn and produce. With this coming to light, it seemed the perfect time for me to put my Project Management, Branding and Marketing skills to use, and take on this amazing opportunity to promote the course to its full potential for my Final Major Project.
EDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FEEDBACK . FE OPPORTUNITY . OPPORTUNITY . OPPORTUNITY . OPPORTUNITY . OPPORTUNITY . OPPORTUNITY . OPPORTUNITY . OPPORTUNITY . OPPORT
Brand Logo Designed and Created by Ellie Preston
Once I had established the initial outline of what my Final Major Project was going to be focused on, I started to take the time to analyse and consider exactly how I wanted the branding and marketing project to come together as a whole. This mainly consisted of me having to make a number of decisions about what format of documentation I would like to present my work in. In order to decide on this, I had to do a broad amount of research and brain-storming to really help gage who my target market is and who the consumer is that I am trying to â€œsellâ€? this course to. By doing this, I have been able to contemplate all mediums of media and narrow down the places where I believe this project needs to be present to be certain that it reaches the intended target market. After deliberating over ideas, it was agreed that my Final Major Project was to consist of a number of different media elements including; a promotional zine (which will be available both as both print and digital versions), a YouTube channel, a Podcast, a Website and also Social Media channels set up across every platform too. Each of these elements are to be completely branded to cohere with the Fashion Marketing and Communication course.
ZERO TO TWNTY . ZERO TO TWNTY . ZERO TO TWNTY . ZERO TO TWNTY . ZERO TO TWNTY . ZERO TO TWNTY . ZERO TO TWNTY . ZERO TO T UME ONE . VOLUME ONE . VOLUME ONE . VOLUME ONE . VOLUME ONE . VOLUME ONE . VOLUME ONE . VOLUME ONE . VOLUME ONE . VOLUM
In this volume of the ‘Beyond the Brand’ collection of books, I am going to be focusing primarily on the printed version of the promotional zine which I have designed and created. I will be discussing how it has all come together, what it includes, what its purpose is and who the target market is. To have an in-depth insight into the production of the Social Media Content, the YouTube footage, the Podcast audios and everything else which was essential in the process of making the new brand, then you are able to read all about this part of my Final Major Project in Volume One. This is where I outline more about how I have collaborated with the team to create the digital footprint and the online re-brand for this project.
After confirming that a printed zine was going to be the key product produced for my Final Major Project, I had to create a plan which outlined exactly how it would all piece together to produce the final outcome. This plan included me having to take the time to research in-depth about everything that was going to be included. These topics consisted of Print Media of both Zines and Magazines, Interview techniques, Editing, Design Layout, Printing, Competition and Consumers. By researching these topics and expanding my knowledge, I was able to gage more of an understanding of the importance of zines and magazines are, get inspiration for layout and design ideas to support my visual branding, know who the competition are, understand how to communicate with the consumer and be confident in how to conduct an interview. Collecting all of this research was a big section of the initial stages of creating twnty, and I believe that it has really benefited me moving forward with the project. Over the following pages, I am going to take you on the journey of twnty and offer a firsthand look into the creation from start to finish.
Self-published work from Alicia Jones. see the zine for more examples.
A zine is a small-circulation of independant self-published work, and it is the perfect way to promote the original work of a small group of people. For me, the course zine is arguable going to be the most crucial part of my outcome for my Final Major Project, as it will be the main tangible product which is going to be used as the marketing tool for both the course and the students. Whilst the media outlets will be used to build brand awareness, this zine will show what past and present students have been able to produce from what they have learnt and gained from being on the course. The zine will be beautifully presented as a visual book, and through the use of both imagery and text, it tells the reader a story of the Fashion Marketing and Communication course. It is not going to appear to be a conventional zine that people may be used to seeing, which is handcrafted, photocopied and quite informal, but instead it will be more of a zine-magazine hybrid product. To create this, I have worked on blurring the lines between these two forms of print media, in order to try and produce something which is new and interesting for this course.
Self-published work from Alicia Jones. see the zine for more examples.
“BRANDING IS ULTIMATELY NOT WHAT YOU SAY BUT WHO YOU CHOOSE TO BE. CHOOSE WISELY.”
One of the initial starting points for me when creating the Zine was to consider the name and the overall branding that I wanted to be achieved. The aesthetic and the overall look of how a brand presents themselves in industry is key feature to future success. Branding is essentially how you are recognised by others, so getting your branding right is absolutely crucial. It is one of the first things that people are introduced to when they come across a new brand, and ultimately, they will decide almost instantly on whether it is something they feel which resonates with them or not. The process of finalising the overall branding for Twnty and Studio 204 involved a number of meeting between myself (Executive Editor), Tracey Hall (Editor-in-Chief) and Ellie Preston (Digital Creator), where we would put our branding concepts forward, share our thoughts and eventually, together confirm a branding which we all thought would successfully represent the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester. The general outline for the branding we created was that it was to be predominately black and white, very visual and expressive and also something future-proofed. The colour scheme was something that was taken from Brand Alicia, at the beginning of this journey to Twnty, as because this zine is my Final Major Project, it had to have a form of representation for me and how I visually communicate my work; which is typically through dark colours.The reason we decided this was suitable for the branding is because black is a colour which is associated with power, strength, strong-will and determination; all of which you need for this course. Even though black is the overall branding colour and will be prominent throughout the zine, in each
personâ€™s individual sections, their pages will be fully branded to them and their unique aesthetic. It will appear as though they are the smaller brands which all fall under the umbrella of the bigger brand, Studio 204.This is so everyone is represented in the zine how they want to be represented in industry, and to show the diversity and the differentiation between every 2020 Graduate. Getting the Studio 204 branding perfect was vital to us, as re-branding can often be considered as a difficult thing to do successfully. So, we wanted to ensure that we would not loose any of our current audience, whilst providing something more impactful and memorable for the future of our brand. We want to ensure that the branding leaves an impression on our audience and also distinguish us in a competitive industry.
When it came to curating a name for the zine, I wanted it to be something short, catchy and memorable, whilst also be relevant to what the zine and the content inside are capturing. Originally, it was going to be called Studio 204 as this is what our course brand is called. However, I had the idea to change it as I wanted the zine to be considered as a by-product, created by our brand, rather than just being named after the brand itself. A compelling magazine name has the ability to draw in a new person before they even start flipping through the pages. Whether you want it to be funny, literal or figurative; it must be captivating. I did some research around magazines, by both looking online and by visiting independent magazine stores around the Country. This was a great way for me to gain some inspiration and to also see which kind of names stood out most and had a strong effect. I quickly come to the conclusion that I wanted the name to just be one word which strongly described the entire concept of the zine. This first edition of the Zine by Studio 204 focuses mainly on the Graduating Class of 2020, celebrating three years of consistent dedication, hard-work and persistence.
Being the class of 2020, I think is something quite special, so that is the aspect which I homed in on to create the final name for the zine. There were two names which I narrowed it between in the end that I loved, and thought were extremely enthralling; Decade or Twnty. After researching, I discovered that there is actually already a published magazine called Decade, so for obvious copywrite reasons, this name was no longer an option. I progressed forward with the name Twnty, created a front cover for the zine and instantly knew that it was right. It is short and to the point, it sounds fascinating and it describes the content of the magazine with-out being too obvious. Hopefully, it is one people will remember.
As mentioned previously, the zine is to be a visual form of communication, where it focuses primarily on beautiful imagery rather than lots of writing. Of course, with the nature of the interviews being included, there will be a number of pages of text in the zine. However, this will be arranged in a way which is not too over-powering. I believe that the text pages are essential to giving context to people and work, so it is important that they are included. Also, some of the audience may not have access to our online Social Media Channels where the interviews will be available to watch, so in order to cater for everybody, they must be included in the zine. For inspiration of zine layouts, I mainly searched on online magazine stores such as Magma, Ditto, Magalleria and Colours May Vary. These stores specialise in fine, independent print publications, making them the perfect places to gain insight and vision into what it takes to create a powerful magazine. As well as this, I also created digital inspiration boards on both Instagram and Pinterest, where I saved any images of magazine layouts I liked, so I was always able to refer back to them if I needed some help with creative image or text placement on the pages. Although I used these online sites for a lot of inspiration, it was actually the Central Saint Martins Fashion Magazine, 1Granary which I would say helped inspire me most. Similarly to Twnty, this magazine is used to show development work from the designers who are a part of the Fashion course at the University, so it was really useful for me to see a layout from a magazine which holds such a similar concept to Twnty.
1Granary is set into sections just like Twnty, where each person has their own personalised pages to showcase their work; the one main noticeable difference is that 1Granary is a lot more artistic and hand-sketched, whereas the aim with Twnty was to shine a light on the digital skills and strengths that we have learnt over the years on the course. Looking through the pages of 1Granary really helped to stimulate my vision for Twnty and understand how I can incorporate specific layouts to make work stand out and make an impact. Although the layout does have a general theme throughout where there will be a mixture of different sized images and placements, each personâ€™s pages in their sections are to differ slightly depending on the work they create and how they typically present it. For example, the Content Creators will have their layouts focused on full page imagery, whereas the Journalists will have their layouts focused more on the writing alongside smaller images. This is done in the aim to capture the different specialisms through relevant layouts.
Due to nature of this zine, the course re-brand, and how all of the elements pieced together are going to be used, it has the potential to be of interest to a wide range of people, which really broadens the scope of the audience being reached. To fully understand the extent of the possible target audience, I did an abundance of consumer research, which is available to read more in-depth in volume one, â€œThe Making of Studio 204â€?. Each platform that is being used as part of the rebrand is being utilised in a tactical way to reach the different audiences who are predominantly present on them. For the zine in particular, I see it as being created in a way which is engaging for every consumer classification. It is the main tangible product being created, so I want it to cater to everyone and encompass the entire audience needs and desires. The main target audience classifications will consist of Generation Z, Millennials, Studentsâ€™ Parents, Professionals working in the industry, other Universities offering the same course, and to really future-proof it, maybe some Generation Alpha as well. It is a very large audience to cater for, but if the work is all done in the right way, then this form of advertising has the potential to be highly advantageous for the Fashion Marketing and Communications course at The University of Chester.
It might initially seem like too large of an audience to reach, but once it is broken down, it is easier to understand why this zine and course re-brand are of interest to so many different people. First, it is essential to appeal to Generation Z because these are the people who are currently in Education. They will be thinking about their career aspirations and also making the choice of going to University, what they want to study and where they want to study at. This will also be the case for Generation Alpha. Even though my target market is vast, I believe that Generation Z will account for the largest classification of audience. They are definitely the ones that I need to prioritise and aim to reach out to the most. Millennials are also a part of the audience because nowadays, it is not unusual for people to choose to go to University later in life. These mature students
will take a lot of time researching and deciding on which University they want to attend as they will want to know it is un-doubtedly the best fit for them. They will be at an age where they want to attend University to work hard and succeed with their studies, rather than just wanting to experience the University lifestyle. When younger students are looking to go to university, it is only natural that their parents take an interest in not only the course their child wants to study, but also the University they want to go to as well. More often than not, they will take a lot of time research the University and the course, in order to find out all of the information they possibly can. They want to know that they will be sending their children off somewhere which is going to give them the best education for money, where the course is of high relevance and will be substantial for future job prospects, which will benefit their childrenâ€™s needs and ultimately make them happy to live and to study. Arguably, parents will be one of the hardest to promote to. We have to prove to them the reasons behind why Fashion Marketing and Communications at Chester is the most worthwhile course above anywhere else. Lastly, professionals within the industry. This classification is probably the lowest audience count, but I still feel it is of importance to cater for them, as there is relevance behind trying to capture
their attention. The plan is for the zine to be able to be sent out to professionals nationally, to share the work of what the graduates have produced. It will be a way of showing what each individual is capable of creating, which may then open up job opportunities to all current and past students. It is an innovative form of networking. It is undeniable that even though this is a vast target market to try and provide for, it is essential to include all of them as they all have relevance and reasoning to back them up. This zine is going to be about capturing an audience and bringing people together who have a common interest in fashion and a love for education. I believe that the zine should be set out in a way where the visuals impact the younger audience, and the rigorous write-ups and interview conversations capture the attention of the parents. It will be like a small prospectus for this course and the students specifically, which is used as a way of forming a community.
For me, this zine is going to be a space where I am able to bring all of my skills together in one place and create a hybrid product which incorporates all of them. Analysing what I have learnt about myself and the type of work I enjoy doing, I have been able to fully create a brief for myself which covers each aspect that I would consider progressing in within my future career. The first and most fundamental discipline which the zine focuses on is marketing and branding. I am using this as an outlet to use my marketing communication skills to promote the brand to its full potential and to the correct audience. To do this, I will be talking about the course, what it includes, what skills it teaches you, what modules you learn about and how all of these things build you up and get you ready to delve into industry work after your studies. As well as the course, I am also using this as an opportunity to market the students. For this, I need to ensure that I fully know and understand everyone elseâ€™s unique branding, so I am able to market their brand within the larger brand. Another discipline it includes for me is art direction for print media. Being the assistant creator, it means that I am able to put pages together and create a zine which looks visually pleasing. I will be able to put forward my own designs and layouts to hopefully produce something which is really engaging and exciting!
The last two disciplines covered are Journalism and Copywriting, which both go hand-inhand with one another in some aspects. The Journalism side comes in the form of holding the interviews and the Copywriting aspect is noticeable throughout the zine pages which will include informational write-ups. Although the zine is to be mainly visual, it was important for me to utilise this opportunity to bring in as many different elements and skills as I can. Having sections of writing will be good to not only inform readers, but also capture their attention as well. With all of these together, inside the zine pages, you can expect to see; visual work examples, interview questions and answers, an overview of the course and what it entails, a letter from the lecturer and much more as well.
CREATIVE . BUSINESS . CREATIVE . BUSINESS . CREATIVE . BUSINESS . CREATIVE . BUSINESS . CREATIVE . BUSINESS . CREATIVE . BUSINES NT . MARKETING . DEVELOPMENT . MARKETING . DEVELOPMENT . MARKETING . DEVELOPMENT . MARKETING . DEVELOPMENT . MARKETIN
The intent behind creating this zine is so that it is able to be used as a marketing tool for the students who have been enrolled on the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester, throughout the years of 2016-2020; Although, it will be heavily focused on the 2020 graduating students. To do this successfully, the zine will predominantly be made up of images of the work pieces that have been produced over the years. Each student is to have their own section within the zine, where their development work from the last three years will be displayed to show their University journey and what the have learnt. The pages will be visual and impactful, really showcasing what the students can offer in terms of communicative styling, creative design effective marketing and other desirable skills for the industry. The zine will support the course and re-define what it is that the students have been creating, as well as exploring what previous students have achieved and where they are now.
Digital Creation by Courtney Glover
More work from the students available in the zine, both physical and digital copies.
Creative Direction by Becky Mann
Visionary Concepts by Natalie Osgood
Amongst the talented students are a variety of different specialisms, such a Project Management, Journalism, Content Creation, Creative Direction, Styling, Public Relations and Merchandising, just to name a few. Throughout the zine, this variation needs to strongly be captured in order to show the readers the diversity which this course consists of and how one person will take on a brief completely different to how another will, depending on their strengths and their unique style of work. Each student and their individual pages within the zine, will be carefully managed and their layout will be tailored to suit their own original identity and how they want to be represented in the professional industry. Their own pages will be completely in line with their personal branding which they have created and developed for themselves. I believe that the range of students on this Fashion Marketing and Communication course is something to be celebrated, as it really highlights the fact that this course gives you the opportunity to experiment and explore exactly who you are as a professional, and that we arenâ€™t all taught to work in the same way. We are encouraged to push our own boundaries to create work which is memorable and fully represents us as individuals.
Over the next two chapters in the zine, the readers will then get to hear from 2019 Graduates, one year on, as well as fashion professionals who have been working in the industry for a number of years now. These pages will be a lot more concise than what the 2020 Graduates pages are, but they will still offer a written up question and answers interview, along with examples of work as well. For the 2019 graduates, this is a chance to have their images from their Final Major Projects selfpublished and nationally distributed within the industry. By including these pages, I hope to shine a light on where you can end up if you take on this course and you work hard to succeed. The graduates produced some amazing pieces of work, and sharing that in the zine with their thoughts, opinions and experiences will be invaluable for potential future students to read about and see.
The pages for the industry professionals are going to be slightly different from the course students and graduates, as rather than focusing on their work, they will be primarily concentrating on the interview. Having the opportunity to speak to these individuals is something to not take for granted, and by being able to include them in the zine, it is an amazing chance to share their insight to a wider audience. Images of their work will still be included to visually show what they do, but it will not be the forefront of their inclusion.
Creative Direction & Styling by Ellie Preston
INTERVIEWS . INTERVIEWS . INTERVIEWS . INTERVIEWS . INTERVIEWS . INTERVIEWS . INTERVIEWS . INTERVIEWS . INTERVIEWS . INTERVIE UDENTS . GRADUATES . INDUSTRY . STUDENTS . GRADUATES . INDUSTRY . STUDENTS . GRADUATES . INDUSTRY . STUDENTS . GRADUATES
One of the key features of the zine is going to be that it is set to include a number of different interviews, from both past and present students and industry professionals as well. In preparation for these interviews, I have chosen a concise list of questions to ask each individual which relate to them and their work. The aim of these interviews is to find out more about each person, what they do and their experiences so far within the realm of fashion. I wanted to take this opportunity to really make this magazine a celebration of both the already established and the fledgling students and graduates, and I feel by doing this it will bring all three together and offer a variety of different perspectives.
Alicia asks Lucy Cartwright
The current third year students who are set to be graduating from Fashion Marketing and Communication are undeniably going to be the main focus in this magazine. It is a celebration of the work they have created over the last three years and will almost be like a little snippet into the personal journey that each of them have had. Each third year has taken part in an interview, which will be documented in the magazine and also by either video or audio mediums as well. These student interviews consist of fairly generic questions which were suitable to ask each person, rather than them being individually tailored. The reason I wanted to do this was to be able to hear the different thought processes and opinions from everyone, on the same topics. Even though they are mainly being asked the same questions, everybodyâ€™s answers are different from one another, and I believe that to be a really interesting way to view something. It shows that although the course students are a community and a cohesive group, they are all different and have had their unique experiences.
In total, each student will be asked seven questions, mainly about the course, the modules and their experiences. All seven answers will be available for the audience to listen to on the videos or the podcasts, or to read in the zine, depending on personal preference. This decision has been made to ensure that every target market group that we are aiming to reach has been catered for and has the option of whether they would rather read or listen to the interviews. By offering the interviews on each platform, I hope that it will encourage the audience to want to engage on more channels, which will then spread brand awareness even further.
CIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA AS SKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . ALICIA ASKS . A
To go alongside the current student interviews, I have also chosen to include interviews with previous student from the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester. These past students are the first set of graduates from the course, so I feel it is important to get their opinions and advice. They will be able to talk about the course and the University as well sharing their experiences since graduating. I believe that speaking to recent graduates and hearing their views, particularly on life after University, is going to be so beneficial for readers who are currently in University, getting ready to Graduate or even those considering to apply for University. Each Graduate is going to have a different experience to share and a different outlook on how life is after finishing education, in regards to trying to build a portfolio and gain a role within the fashion industry. In the magazine, you have the opportunity to read about these experiences first-hand and gain an understanding of what you should be prepared for and what to expect. They will also be able to share insight on how to get noticed, when to start applying for jobs and what skills are most relevant for employers. All of this is vital information for any one who is wanting to pursue a career within this industry.
Similarly to the current student interviews, the graduate interviews will take shape in the same format, where they are all asked the same generic questions. Again, I wanted to do this to be able to get different views on the same topics. The graduates being interviewed include Ellie, Emma, Beth, Jen and Zoe, all of who have gone into very different disciplines within the fashion industry, so there will definitely be a varied response in answers. Each of these interviews will be available to read in the magazine, along with examples of their work. I see this as being an amazing opportunity to promote previous students, as it all comes together with the current students to show the amazing outcomes that Fashion Marketing and Communication at Chester has the ability to produce. Showing everyone adds to the overall branding and will help to create a strong brand image.
Alicia asks Sorcha Oâ€™Raghallaigh
There will be a section within the zine which is solely dedicated to a variety of talented people who have already established their career paths within the fashion industry. In here you can read about people like Fashion Illustrator Tony Green, Designer and Illustrator Sorcha Oâ€™raghallaigh, Creative Director and Designer Eden Loweth and Brand Founder Tala Surace. Each of these individuals come from different backgrounds and have embarked upon complete different avenues in the industry, so I believe this is a really amazing group of people to have the opportunity to talk to. After speaking to them, I hope to gain an array of in-depth knowledge about their careers and the fashion industry from their view, as well as hearing any advice they would have to offer to others who are aspiring to work in the industry. Prior to holding these interviews, I have ensured that I have done extensive research to find out a bit more about each person, what their roles are, what successes they have achieved, up coming projects they have and any everything else that I feel is relevant for me to have knowledge on. By doing this and finding out as much as I can, I am giving myself the advantage of being able to put together a selection of pertinent questions. Not only will this offer the reader a vast range of topics to enjoy, but it also means that each interview will be personal and adapted to the individual.
From these interviews, I am aiming to find out a great deal of information on all of the necessary topics. These topics include; their upbringing, where they received their education, what they studied, if they always had a love for fashion, their career journey, their day-to-day challenges, what inspires their work, what they enjoy most about their work, previous and current projects and also any advice that they have to offer. These topics are to be spoke about in a strategic manner, which will take the reader on a journey from start to finish with each individual interview. I wanted to create a minimum of five and a maximum of ten questions for each person I am interviewing; this should be enough to find out all of the information I need, whilst not being too overwhelming. By only asking relevant questions and really engaging a personal interest with each individual, I am ensured to get the best possible results from each interview.
The reasoning behind the interviews for me personally is not only to gain a broad insight into other people and their career paths and work, but it is more about giving myself the opportunity to experiment with an aspect of journalism. As mentioned in the beginning, throughout Brand Alicia, I discovered that I have a real enjoyment for this discipline within the industry, and I thought that it would be a really good chance for me to broaden both my knowledge and skills and also gain more experience in this line of work as well. By conducting all of these interviews, it means that I have been able to expand on my research skills, my interview etiquette, interviewing strategies, communication skills and also some copywriting skills from when I am typing the answers up for the magazine. All of these skills are essential for me if I want to pursue a job within the journalism, and they will be highly desired by many employers.
PROMOTION . PROMOTION . PROMOTION . PROMOTION . PROMOTION . PROMOTION . PROMOTION . PROMOTION . PROMOTION . PROMOTION MOVING FORWARD . MOVING FORWARD . MOVING FORWARD . MOVING FORWARD . MOVING FORWARD . MOVING FORWARD . MOVING FORWA
Once I have completed my Final Major Project, it is going to play a big part in my final portfolio which I will be using to put forward to brands and companies as an application when applying for graduate jobs. Thinking to the future, I have created a strategy for how I am going to move forward and be able to not only promote my work, but also promote myself and my skills within marketing and branding, for new career prospects.
When it comes to this form of self-promotion and marketing myself and my brand, I believe that there are a number of different paths that I could take which would enable me to showcase the importance of effective branding and marketing in a social media and digital era. Firstly, as I have given both parts of my Final Major Project; Twnty and Alicia Asks (My Interview docuseries), an online presence through websites, YouTube and IGTV, I could continue to progress with these channels and turn them into playlists where the audience are able to subscribe and I am able to continue sharing content with them as a part of this series that I have created. For this, I could use my entrepreneurial skills and build a broadcast journalistic brand for myself, where I reach out to different people within the fashion industry (whether that be students or industry professionals) and ask them to participate in a talk with me, where they answer a selection of questions and have a talk with me about their experiences, their thoughts and advice and in general just give the opportunity to get to know them a little better. This would be a great way for me to continue working on my series of Alicia Asks, and I would also be able to turn the interviews into a zine, like twnty, where I could share visual work from the interviewees and also write up the discussion that I have had with each person too.
As one day I would love to have my own brand and run my own business, this option would be a stepping-stone for me in working towards the direction which I eventually see myself heading in. Taking this option would give me the opportunity to build experience within broadcast journalism, marketing and branding; which are three aspects of the industry that highly motivate me. Documentary industry professionals who I truly admire include Stacey Dooley, Louis Theroux and Steven Bartlett and I believe that progressing with Alicia Asks is a good way for me move forward and work towards this form of career. In order to promote Alicia Asks, I would curate an Omnichannel strategy, where I can utilize my knowledge on Social Media and Digital Marketing to share previews of the interviews, visual imagery and to communicate the development of my brand. Using this strategy will help to improve consumer experience as well as encourage a wider audience to build my brand to its highest potential.
Secondly, after undertaking conversations with industry workers Eden Loweth and Garry Butterfield, I have been advised to consider reaching out to different Colleges, Universities and even start-up businesses, to show them my work and to pitch my concepts of what I could potentially do for them. As part of this, I would create a visual package, full of everything that I have created for my Final Major Project, to display a new look on ideas that they may not have considered themselves. I would shine a new light on current branding and marketing trends as a way of successfully promoting the kind of work in which I create. This will involve showing these different brands and companiesâ€™ ways in which I can help them to capture compelling content to share with their online audiences which would aid them in telling their story and visually sharing their brand narrative. To move forward with this option, I have done some research and created a list of different places which I could possibly reach out to after Graduating University. This list includes local magazine publications, exhibition and gallery spaces and educational institutes as well.
Cheshire Living Magazine The Cheshire Magazine Cheshire Life Living Edge Magazine So Cheshire In Cheshire Cheshire Today VIVA Magazine (Cheshire and Manchester) Shropshire Magazine (Shrewsbury) Shropshire Live (Shrewsbury) Bido lito Magazine (Liverpool)
BMET Birmingham Cheshire College South and West The City of Liverpool College The University of Chester Contemporary Art Space Chester AGENCIES
The Curious Agency The Fashion Network The Goat Agency
Overall, as my collaborative project of Alicia Asks and Twnty are so multifaceted, there are many options for me and my work moving forward. Thinking about these options and considering how I am going to progress has made me realise that I am definitely prepared for a career within the fashion industry; whether it be the in the realms of branding, marketing, journalism or businessâ€ŚFreelance, self-employed or employed, I am ready to continue moving forward and to carry on working hard to ensure I get to where I want to eventually be.
an example email...
Welcome, it is a pleasure to introduce to you, the very first edition of TWNTY, a magazine launching in the Summer of 2020 to showcase the work produced by Studio 204, on the BA Hons Fashion Marketing and Communication programme at The University of Chester. This edition of twnty focuses mainly on the Graduating Class of 2020, celebrating three years of consistent dedication, hard-work and persistence. The Class of 2020 are an amazing group of talented and driven students, who have shown resilience and flexibility adapting to new ways of working and now leave their own strong legacy. Over the years, they have had the opportuni-ty to experiment creatively and have been encouraged to push their boundaries to discover who they are and how they want to be represented in the industry. Amongst these talented individuals are a variety of different specialisms, such as journalists, stylists, digital creators, creative directors and fashion marketers. Throughout the magazine, we have strongly captured this diversity, ready for you to be immersed into each individual graduatesâ€™ unique identity. In addition to this, twnty also includes work and interviews from the Graduating Class of 2019, as well as industry professionals who have worked closely with the course, offering up their time to support our students throughout their journey. This introductory edition of tnwty is packed full of beautiful imagery, produced by Studio 204, and insightful conversations, and I hope that you thoroughly enjoy looking through it.
Upon graduating from University, I would love to continue with the progression of twnty and have the opportunity to share and advertise the zine nationally, with the intention to raise more brand awareness for the Fashion Marketing and Communication course and to market the recent graduates on a larger scale. If this is of interest to you, or you would be able to help with this then please get in touch with me. You can email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for taking the time to read this email and look through twnty, I hope to hear back from you in due course.
Reflecting back on the process of the past few months to get from zero to twnty, has been a really good way for me to analyse what went well, what could have gone better, what problem solving I have had to do and also what skills and strengths I have advanced on throughout. Prior to starting this latest project, I did consider what struggles and challenges I may encounter along the way, because I was then prepared for them happening in advance, and I could already have a replacement plan in place for if the worst scenarios did occur. Being at the end of my project now and looking back, I am glad that I took this step in the previous stage as it has really helped to think strategically and be analytical when I have faced issues.
Starting from the initial stages of Brand Alicia, I really struggled. Not necessarily with specific aspects of the work, but with myself and letting my guard down. It was a very personal part of this process, and me being someone who is typically quite closed-off to others, I had a challenging time being vulnerable enough to speak out to others. I had to willingly and openly talk about my entire life and things that I have been through, which I was definitely not comfortable with at first, and I had to fully open myself up to the possibility of judgement. It was hard. However, reflecting on it now, I realise exactly why I had to do it to help me move forward and it was definitely one of the biggest turning points for me during this process. After I had finally built up the courage to express my thoughts and feelings from previous life events to other people, the next challenge I faced was that I then had to accept the darkness of my branding. I have always tried to work in a way which is light and airy as this is the side of me which I usually present to the world; as if life is perfect and happy and that nothing is weighing me down. However, for this project I had to be fully true to myself and represent the real me. Initially, I was worried that other people would not like or understand my branding and the almost sinister side to how dark it is, but now, I can confidently say that this work is some of my favourite that I have produced over
the last three years, because it is one hundred percent me. The only thing stopping me was myself and my fear of judgement, so for me to be encouraged to have the fortitude to open up, it was a really comforting moment for me in a time of feeling vulnerable. Brand Alicia was definitely the stage which was most beneficial for me in terms of learning about myself and learning to let go of the negative thoughts that were holding me back. Prior to this, one of the biggest struggles I was dealing with was that I really had no idea what career direction I wanted to go in or where I belonged, which was making it difficult to decide on a concept for my Final Major Project. But by unpicking my characteristics, I was able to find my path and figure out what suited me and my skills best. This stage was undoubtedly one of the hardest and most challenging of the entire process, but when you reflect back on it, you soon realise that it is also the most valuable and rewarding stage as well. It really helps you to gage an understanding of yourself and who you are as a person and as a brand.
Progressing on from Brand Alicia and working towards creating a strategy for how my Final Major Project was going to go from a concept to a piece of developed work, I again had to consider possible challenges which I was potentially going to face throughout the duration of this next phase. One of the things I learnt about myself in Brand Alicia was that I like to be in control. So, the one aspect of my Final Major Project that I was concerned about was the fact that I had to rely on other people respecting and adhering to my requests that I set to get their work off of them by. This was a big challenge for me as I had to try and accept that I was somewhat out of control in this situation. To help me with this, I had to ensure that I stayed in constant communication with everyone and set them strict, yet attainable, deadlines to make sure that they knew exactly what I wanted from them and when I needed it by. For the most part, everyone worked extremely well with me and got their work to me as and when I needed it to be able to place it within the zine in their individual section and finalise the zine. Unfortunately, for anyone who failed to meet the deadlines, it was decided that they would forfeit their position in the zine. I was apprehensive about this at first, but everyone was made aware of this warning in the very beginning stages, and so it was up to them of whether they wanted to be compliant for their presence or not.
Another challenge I ran into throughout the creation of twnty was that I needed to produce something that was fair for everyone involved. Our course of Fashion Marketing and Communication is a very diverse group which is separated into creative and business focused individuals. With the zine being planned to be highly visual, I was faced with some people voicing concerns on who would have a more prominent presence within the zine. I made a conscious effort to ensure that there was no “favouritism” and that everybody had the same presence. This was challenging for me as there are some people who have more visual work than others, but I had to try my best to make sure the layout made everyone’s work stand out equally and look just as strong as each other’s. Something else that I found challenging which fits in line with this is that I had to do in-depth analysis of everyone’s individual branding to ensure that I gaged exactly how they wanted to be represented in the industry and shown publicly. This was difficult for me because I wanted to be certain that
everyone was happy with how they were being presented. For me to do this successfully, I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and research fully into everyone’s specific and unique branding. I had to almost put my personal branding aside and completely disregard my own typical way of working, to start with a blank canvas for each person. Working on this really helped me to realise that I am able to adapt and switch up my personal way of working in order to achieve different brand aesthetics. This is a really good skill to have as it shows that I can customise the way that I work, meaning I could confidently take on different projects for different brands and be able to adapt to their personal styles to create something which markets them accurately. In addition to this, another challenge that I had to face was based around the choice of software I wanted to use. In the past, I have always used Adobe Photoshop and Keynote to create by books as I have a higher understanding on how these two programmes work. However, for creating this zine, I decided that I wanted to teach myself a new software skill and produce the zine in Adobe InDesign instead. I mainly chose to do this because typically this is the software which would be used by industry professionals to make any form of book, magazine or brochures. From looking at job applications recently, a lot of places seem to require InDesign knowledge, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to learn and add it to my CV. At first, learning the different tools and understanding how the software worked was challenging for me, but once I had learnt the basics off it, I found that I picked it up pretty quickly and I now feel confident in my abilities with using InDesign. To teach myself, I used a programme called Skill Share and took part in some online-learning tutorials.
Lastly, with this stage of my Final Major Project, I have also had to face the cost of printing as well as the time frame for printing the zine too. It has been decided that 50 copies of the zine need to be printed so that they are able to be sent out to industry as a form of nation-wide promotion. For this, I had been set an original budget of about £700. Upon doing some research, I found that most quotes I was getting from printing companies for 50 copies of a document with roughly 300 pages was typically over £1000. To overcome this, it was decided that we would choose to print 25 copies in economy quality and 25 in premium quality. I found that this cut the cost down to about £600 with most printers, which was then within my budget. I did also get in touch with a couple of printing companies about the possibility of sponsorships, but unfortunately, I heard nothing back from these. With the cost of printing, I also had to consider the time frame of printing as well.With needing to print in bulk, it naturally takes longer to do, so I had to make sure that I was following a timeline and putting deadlines in place which would not only give me enough time to put the zine together, but also enough time to print too. If it was left until the last minute, the cost would have increased again, and it would not have been feasible to do, so I wanted to be fully prepared and allow at least 3-4 weeks for printing. This was challenging for me as it meant I essentially had to knock that amount of time off of my final deadline, but it was good for me to be able to push my time-management and organisation skills.
PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SO VING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROBLEM SOLVING . PROB
Throughout facing all of these challenges, I have had to do some form of problem solving. I am quite fortunate that for the majority of going from zero to twnty, my process has thankfully run fairly smoothly, and most parts have gone exactly to plan and exactly how I envisioned. However, it is only natural to face some problems along the way which leaves you having to engage in some form of quick initiative. As much as it would be easier if everything went exactly to plan and I did not have to have a back-up plan prepared to solve any problems, I am fully aware that having this ability as a skill is something that is considered as an essential. Any project that I get given in the future to work on will more than likely involve problem-solving at some stage as it is only natural to suffer with setbacks from time-to-time. To solve the problems that I have faced between zero to twenty, I have really been able to develop my Critical Thinking skills and work on analysing situations and making quick decisions when I face obstacles, in order to drive the project forward. Problem-solving and Decisionmaking are considered as being two of the most highly sought-after soft skills (especially for Project Management) , so for me to be able to say I have had experience with dealing with these kinds of situations is extremely useful for myself and my future career aspirations.
One of my favourite things about reflecting back on this module has been to see where I started, compared to where I am now and to analyse the skills and strengths that I have built upon throughout the entire process. When starting out, I chose this concept for my Final Major Project because I really wanted to push my boundaries to prepare me for a career within Project Management, Brand Marketing or Broadcast Journalism. During the process of completing Twnty, I have had the opportunity to build on all of the skills which are transferable to these industry disciplines, as well as many others too. I already had basic knowledge and understanding of some of these skills, but it has been really great for me to be able to advance that further. In terms of Project Management of the Zine and the Re-Branding and Marketing of the course, I have been able to refine my skills in Team Work, Collaboration, Communication, Organisation, Leadership and Time Management. All of which are essential skills needed for a number of different career paths in the industry, so they are highly advantageous for me to be able to offer. I have also been able to work on my interview techniques, my branding and marketing knowledge and copywriting to communicate effectively through rigorous text. As well as this, by creating the zine I have been given the opportunity to push myself
creatively with visual communication and design concepts. This has really helped to expand my skills set with creative work and more digital based learning, which I feel is a much-desired skills for the future of the professional fashion industry as it proves that I am able to work independently and remotely through the use of digital platforms and online software to create work that is still to a high standard. With this I have been able to learn about Adobe software, Creative Art Direction and also Magazine Editing skills too. Although these are skills which were not classified as high priority to me in the beginning, they are skills which I am extremely happy to have gained over the duration of this project, and I believe them to be of great importance for any future career progression I may embark on.
Creating twnty and seeing it all come together successfully over the past few months has been a process which I have thoroughly enjoyed, and I am so glad that I decided to take on the role of the Editor for it as my Final Major Project. Magazine creation is something which I have always been interested in. Whenever I have had module hand-ins during the years at University, I’ve always created and displayed my work professionally in some form of book, so being able to do a zine creation was something that excited me and inspired me to push my creative boundaries. Being a project based around team-work and having the opportunity to collaborate with Tracey Hall, Ellie Preston and work closely with The Class of 2020, The Graduating Class of 2019 and the Industry workers has been amazing for helping to boost my confidence and improve my Time-Management, Leadership and Communication Skills considerable amounts. I feel really honoured that I was asked to be a part of something which is so close and personal to the brand of Fashion Marketing and Communication at The University of Chester, by creating a visual presence of how the course and the new Graduates will be represented in the market. Taking on this degree, it has been a tough and emotional three years, yet the most rewarding three years I have had, and I am thrilled to be leaving behind a part of my “legacy” through the work that I have produced. Studio 204 are such a strong brand and I’m looking forward to seeing them continuing to grow and progress over the coming years.
“YOUR BRAND IS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE ROOM”
BEYOND THE BRAND
Following on from the Concept Direction and Development module, I have had to produce a final piece of work which incorporates the skills th...
Published on May 21, 2020
Following on from the Concept Direction and Development module, I have had to produce a final piece of work which incorporates the skills th...