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Craig Fleisch • Jennifer Sarkar • Hanna Stefan

NEON VANCOUVER

UGLY VANCOUVER WALKING TOUR

A Process Book

DESN310 - F001 • Jonathan Aitken • September 7 - October 5, 2011

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Table of Contents: Project Outline

5

Client Brief

8

Defining the Problem

11

On-Site Photography

12

Museum Tour

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Brainstorming

15

Neon at Night

18

Archive Research

19

The Interview

20

Competitors & Inspiration

d 22

User Profiles

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Type Exploration

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Colour Palette

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Design Prototypes

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Final Design

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Reflection

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Bibliography

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Project Outline: Project 1: Research Project: MoV Course Title

2D Core Design Studio IV

Course mnemonic Section number

DESN 310

Instructors

Jonathan Aitken

F001

Project Context A key component of communication design is considering a narrative. Simply put, how do we, as designers, shape a story? What do we bring to the table that informs not just how a story is presented, but in how it is formed? Using readings posted on the class website, or other sources, consider how design contributes to storytelling. Project Description Working in groups of 3, and following the client brief for specifics, design a smart phone interface for viewing a specific site in Vancouver. The neon sign associated with this site is to be used as a “jumping off point” for a “story” or “narrative” about that location. It should incorporate: both English and French, or the ability to toggle between the two; use of photocopied articles and photos supplied by the client; some form of social interaction where users can add their own personal stories. Ideas from the UBC project can inform your own ideas. Final Presentations to client: Oct 5.. Project Learning Outcomes As a result of successfully completing this project, students will: • Solve communication problems by practicing a comprehensive design process that includes research, analysis, concept development, formal explorations and synthesis of concepts in visual form; • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the issues involved in designing for a variety of media; • Show competence in digital literacy, understanding specific issues and challenges in shaping communication models for emerging technologies. • Respond to audiences, contexts and communication needs in shaping design decisions; • Assess their own and others work realistically, contribute to discussions and respond constructively to feedback; • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues involved in research, particularly as they apply to human subjects; • Work with honesty and integrity.

Project Requirements Projects must include the following: Weekly progress Students will be expected to show their weekly progress in research and design, and participate in workshops and critiques as per the course outline. Design Process Book (as indicated in the outline) This is to be completed as a group! Documentation of the project process including: Summary of research (document summarizing your research and providing the context for your proposed solution.) Visual research (the visual context for your work) Exploration (sketches/drafts/layouts/ideation); Refinement and conceptual development (show the evolution of the idea)

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Emily Carr University Course Outline page 2 of 3

Final proposed solution (images of work with textual rationale) Documentation of any testing/survey Self-assessment: reflections on processes, methods, ideas, solutions and management strategies. (what worked, what didn’t, what you might do differently next time) Final Design This is to be completed as a group! Final work may be presented to the class and an industry representative. All spec’s as per client brief to be followed. Due Date: (note, projects are due at beginning of class on scheduled due dates) Final presentation, Process book: October 5 Evaluation Professionalism Process Realization Total

10% 40% 50% 100%

Evaluation Criteria Projects submitted late for the major deadlines listed in this Course Outline will not be presented to the class at a later date, and will receive one grade increment deduction per day, until an F is the only possible grade remaining. Incomplete or late weekly progress reports will receive a reduced grade for Professionalism. “Incomplete grades may be granted by the instructor in cases where the student has been unable to complete the course work because of circumstances beyond their control.” (Emily’s A to Z) The ECUAD grading system, as outlined in the Student Policies and Regulations section of the website (http://www.ecuad.ca/studentservices/policies) will be followed. Here is a detailed and more specific breakdown of evaluation criteria that will be used for this project. Grade

Grade Requirements/Description

A+ 95 – 100%

Final project is conceived with a high level of originality and creativity, yet

A

90 – 94% Outstanding

Distinguished

supported clearly and plausibly with research from a variety of scholarly sources and from different perspectives. Presentation of the process work is professional, clear and interesting, leading a viewer logically from a concise design brief to final outcome, with appropriate depiction of idea development. Typography and layout have been considered carefully, imaginatively, yet it is easy to understand the concepts explored and follow the reasoning behind the design. Presentation design does not eclipse nor mask content.

A-

85 – 89% Excellent

B+ 80 – 84% Very Good

Final project is conceived with originality and creativity, yet supported with research from a variety of scholarly sources and from different perspectives. Presentation of the process work is very good, but is fairly straightforward. Viewer is able to easily understand design brief and its relation to final outcome, but some steps may be hard to follow, or are not as well supported as others. Typography and layout have been considered and it is easy to understand the concepts explored and follow the reasoning behind the design, but process presentation may not be as interesting as content.

B 75 – 79% Commendable

Final project is conceived with some originality and creativity. Research from a

B-

variety of sources and from a few perspectives is given, but not as thorough as it

70 – 74% Good

might have been. Viewer is able to understand design brief and its relation to final outcome with some difficulty. Many design steps are hard to follow, or are not as

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Emily Carr University Course Outline page 3 of 3

well supported as others. Typography and layout have been considered to some extent, but harder to follow the development of ideas. Presentation of the process work is good, but is straighforward. C+ 65 – 69% Competent

Final project is conceived with adequate originality and creativity, but clearly

C

more ideas and solutions should have been explored and considered. Research

60 – 64% Satisfactory

from a few sources and from one or two perspectives is given, but not as thorough nor as scholarly as it might have been. Many references are to web sites. Viewer is able to understand design brief and its relation to final outcome with some difficulty. Many design steps are hard to follow, or are not as well supported as others. Typography and layout have been considered to some extent, but harder to follow the development of ideas. Process presentation adequate, but is not well considered, uninteresting. It may appear rushed. C-

55 – 59% Pass

Final project is conceived with no real originality or creativity. Only one or two

D

50 – 54% Marginal Pass

ideas and solutions seem to have been have been explored and considered. Research is poor overall—most design decisions seem to be arbitrary and intuitive without reasons given. Viewer is not able to understand design brief and its relation to final outcome without verbal explanation. Large gaps in design steps. Typography and layout are poor. Process presentation poor, uninteresting. It may simply be presented as a scrapbook/sketchbook. It may appear rushed.

F

0 – 49% Fail

Final project done quickly or at the last minute. Professor not shown progress of ideas each week. Little to no research.

Other reasons for an F grade include: -

Projects that depart significantly from approved proposal.

-

Lacks a thesis, or ideas comes from another designer without proper documentation.

-

Sub-claims and evidence are irrelevant to stated thesis.

-

Ideas are unclear or disorganized.

-

Project is off-topic, in part or in whole.

-

Ideas are difficult, even impossible, to understand.

-

Serious and persistent errors in grammar, usage, punctuation, and/or spelling.

-

Citations are incomplete or absent.

-

Design work is plagiarized, in whole or in part, or student collusion has occurred.

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Client Brief: Core Design Studio – Emily Carr University of Art & Design The Visible City: Illuminating Vancouver’s Neon draft proposal for course module collaboration with MOV Background/Context Just 50 years ago, Vancouver was a riot of colour that exploded along the downtown streets by way of one of the largest displays of neon in the world. Vancouver was known nationally as a city of neon. Today, these seemingly indelible fixtures in Vancouver’s visual landscape have all but disappeared from the collective public memory -- faint phantoms that appear only in vintage postcards or historical texts. MoV holds a 53-piece collection of the city’s neon heritage and our curatorial team hold deep knowledge about its provenance and cultural and historical significance. As Vancouver’s downtown core undergoes rapid transformation, there is a desire to bring back the inviting atmosphere of the city’s heyday lighting, as well as its stories. While it is unlikely that these signs will ever be re-installed in their original built environments, their images and stories can be re-illuminated through (an) interactive virtual exhibit production. In this way, the production will offer a way to engage not just with the visual memory of these neon landmarks, but also a way to delve into the complex explanations behind their architectural, historical, and socio-cultural situation; gentrification, the rise of capitalism, and preservation of the natural city. Not only will audiences gain an appreciation for this aspect of Vancouver’s development, but they will be given a chance to comment on, share impressions about, and contribute narratives through participatory spaces for exchange and discussion. These opportunities will be built into the production. The Virtual Exhibit and Mobile Production The primary focus of “The Visible City” will be (an) online virtual exhibit (Website Asset). This website will feature digitized multimedia content - photographs, videos, texts, oral histories - connecting to a particular neon sign/landmark. On this website, visitors will be able to explore the full range of stories, data records, and links to videos and images comparing “then and now” scenarios highlighting the significance of that particular artifact. Overall, this exhibit will be organized in a manner that leverages mapping technology. It will offer participants the option to contribute narratives, information, and use of images from MoV’s physical neon collection, via a geographic representation of the city. Simply put, students will be asked to explore a specific sign in a particular location in the city. Taking a multi-sense approach, there is particular emphasis on the holistic examination of the social, political and economic impacts of each particular sign on the city and its residents. ECUAD students’ objective will be to create a sequential visual story with an associated auditory component.

Prepared by Hanna Cho, September 1, 2011

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This can be understood around four primary phases of work: ANALYSIS - This important phase will be the starting point for developing our understanding of our sign, its site, its unique urban condition and its present/past relationship to the city. This documentation might involve photography, sketches, mapping, measuring, recording (visual and audio) and collecting artifacts. Each group is free to identify other means of documenting their site. Think creatively. Remember that you are also required to introduce an audio component to your presentation. This can take many forms. Some suggestions include an audio artifacts, providing historical context through sound, collecting oral narrative (firsthand or otherwise), or simulating effects. INVESTIGATE - Each group will consider the signs placement as it relates to building (architecture), street edge, block, and neighborhood (urban fabric and community). We know that each of these neon signs was part of a larger identity for the City of Vancouver. Can we begin to speculate on the sign’s other relationships to city and community? Was the sign a singular moment on its block? Did it have a relationship to other famous or infamous signs? At what scales did these relationships occur? What was the physical effect of the sign (light quality, focal point, shelter, landmark, etc.)? Did this effect change during the day? Was the sign identified with a specific cultural phenomenon or event? Was the sign designed by a significant provider or artist? What issues led to its transformation or removal (planning policies, etc.)? The questions are many and should be expanded to include ideas of the group. PROPOSE - We must move beyond simply documenting the site. To that end, we must speculate and propose an integrated visual and auditory narrative. Time is very short for this workshop, so efficiency, organization, and the ability to control the scope of your narrative proposal is important. There is much to do, but it is exciting work. PRESENT -

Overall, the following two key items make up the final presentation for this workshop: 1. To design and develop a sequential visual narrative about their sign and its site. This piece of the project can take on many forms, including but not limited to a short film, slide presentation, and animation. The content can include a diversity of materials such as information graphics, montages, collages, annotated drawings, and historical photography. 2. To design and develop an auditory narrative component that will integrate with its visual counterpart. The sound used can come from a variety of sources - i.e. directly from the site - and/or can be used for various effects - i.e. to simulate an experience, set a historical context, or introduce a spoken narrative.

Prepared by Hanna Cho, September 1, 2011

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Formating Consistency of formatting is necessary in order for the information we generate to be useful for our future collaborators. The following requirements must be followed: Delivery At the end of the project all source material should be provided in a single folder with files clearly labeled Text Files (.doc or .txt) Provide all information as raw text with clear links to any sourced material Image Files (.jpg or .tiff) All images should be a mininum of 1024 pixels x 760 pixels Please do not embed images into a Word, Excel, or Powerpoint Video Files (.mov or .mp4) All videos should be exported as either 720p or 1080p quality movies in either MOV or MP4 format Do not provide raw footage, only final videos will be accepted Audio Files (.mp3 or .aiff) Export highest quality possible Presentation Files (.ppt or .keynote and PDF version) If final presentations are created as a slidedeck please export the entire slidedeck as a multi-page PDF file

Prepared by Hanna Cho, September 1, 2011

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Defining the Problem: After reading over the Project Outline and the Design Brief, as well as meeting with a representative from the Museum of Vancouver, Hannah Cho, we broke off into groups of three to tackle the design problem at hand. Craig Fleisch, Jennifer Sarkar, and Hanna Stefan excitedly joined together. Our goal was to create a user-friendly mobile app which would give both visitors to the city and current residents the opportunity to explore the range of stories, information and links to images about the neon signage and sites in Vancouver. Each group was given a particular neon sign/landmark. Our group is working with Dunn’s Tailors, a neon canopy still located downtown at Granville and Pender. We were provided with some archival information that previous students’ had dug up. However, it was up to us find out more and apply our research to a final app for the MOV’s virtual tour. This is the process of where we started, where we went, where we went wrong, and where we ended up:

Dunn’s Tailors

480 Granville Street (previously located at 390 West Hastings) Made in 1946 by Wallace Neon This imposing sign marks a store that sells men’s furnishings to well-heeled, well-dressed downtown businessmen. The rounded projecting canopy topped with a neon crest creates an imposing entranceway. The store name is repeated in neon that wraps along its Pender Street side, defining a strong downtown street corner. The sign had been grandfathered in under the 1974 sign by-law. Then Dunn’s decided to move in 1995 and wanted to re-install the landmark sign at the new location. The sign contravened the bylaw in several ways: It projected over the sidewalk, the neon letters comprised more than 40% of the face of the sign, and it was a roof top sign (the letters sit atop a canopy, which is considered a roof under the by-law). After appeals and variances, the re-installation was permitted and the sign has now received heritage designation.

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On-Site Photography:

One of our first thoughts was that we needed to

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Museum Tour: We were given the opporunity to give a sneak peak of the exhibit. It was still in it’s working stages, but it gave us the chance to see some of the famous neon signs we had heard about. It also showed us how different the signs look during the day and when they’re lit up at night. Look, for example, at S. Bowell & Son’s Funeral Directions. You can see how dull and boring the colours appear when the sign isn’t lit up opposed to how vibrant it is with the neon.

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Brainstorming: It was after the museum tour that we really started brainstorming ideas. We all created separate mind maps

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Neon at Night: After seeing the neon signs glow during the museum tour, we new we had to go back downtown and view the neon signs when they were meant to be seen: at night.

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Archive Research:

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The Interview: During our first trip to Dunn’s Tailors we stopped inside to ask some questions and we were given the business card for the President and Owner of the company, Bob Smith. We gave him a written letter explaining what we ____, but he was more than happy to answer our questions.

1399 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6H 3R9

September 27th, 2011

March 23, 2011 1399 Johnston Street 1399 Johnston BC, Street Vancouver, Canada Vancouver, BC Canada V6H 3R9

V6H 3R9

Mr.ItSmith, ToDear Whom May Concern,

WeI am are Emily University Design students who are looking for support in of anVancouver in-kind donation of We writingCarr to you on behalf of Emily Carr University & the Museum (MOV). food, andstudents prizes towards our Hour Campaign Design event forprogram. this coming Emily Carr erolled in Earth the Communication WeSaturday, have been are snacks, 3rd yearbeverages March 26th, 2011. asked by the MOV to help facilitate more traffic for their upcoming exhibit “Neon Vancouver

Vancouver” which will showcase Neon prevalent throughout the that 50’s, We/ Ugly have been spreading awareness about Earth Hoursignage at Emilythat Carrwas University through a campaign 60’s,designed & 70’s as well as now. at our school. Our group won a design challenge that was put forth by the we’ve and developed design faculty. I have provided a link below to their site / Upcoming Exhibition:

We have an exciting event planned this Saturday, March 26th at Emily Carr University during Earth Hour http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/exhibitions/exhibit/neon-vancouver-ugly-vancouver (8:30pm), where everyone is encouraged to turn out the lights to save power for at least 60 minutes. The evening will consist of a series of videos, speeches to promote public awareness. We will also encourage Our role is to design a potential mobile app that will showcase Neon signage within Vancouver. people to join in creating a large mural representing both Emily Carr and Earth Hour. The event will We have been provided some archival information. we would like to know more continue with an Earth Hourwith Hootenanny. The Hootenanny is aHowever, large acoustic Jam session where people about your its history and your business. Any information you may only be seen bring their ownsign, acoustic instruments and play and sing songs all together in provide a large group! by Emily Carr Students & Faculty, but it could potentially be used by MOV. We will be presenting You arefinal invited! our app to the MOV and they will consider our design and our findings for their virtual tour.

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011 Thank you for your time & consideration. Location: Emily Carr Cafeteria Time: 7:30pm Yours Truly, to 9:30pm-ish (To be confirmed) Cause: Earth Hour - Lights out at 8:30pm Craig Fleisch, Jennifer Sarkar, Hanna Stefan

Thank forDesign your time and consideration. Emilyyou Carr Students

20 Yours Truly,


Questions & Answers Craig: When was the sign created? Bob: In 1943 Bob: The sign was restored in 1995 and placed at the entrance of our NEW location Bob: At the time it was the only heritage sign within the city. Not sure if this is still true today. Bob: Wallace Neon designed our sign, he played an influential part in most the neon signs throughout Vancouver. He later then left Vancouver and went to Las Vegas where he designed and created most of the backdrop that is Vegas. Bob: In 1995, it cost $50,000 to restore. Today, it may be worth about $30,000. Craig: When the city changed its policy on neon signage did that affect your sign? Bob: Took months to get approval. However, any signs that were up already were allowed to remain up. Our lettering is different to most as it sits on top of the rounded canopy. Craig: Can you tell me more about the insignia on the sign? Bob: The insignia crest is the original logo of the company. We decided to keep it in the restoration of the NEW sign, but it is not used in our current Company logo. Craig: Can you tell me more about the colours on sign? Bob: The banding is in green and beige as well as maroon and yellow. The Dunn’s name is designed in ruby red neon, which is more expensive and rare. Bob:: Another side story to our sign, the neon underneath the Dunn’s wording got broken in the riots, and some of letters got smashed. Craig:: Can you tell me more about your location? Bob: We moved to the Rogers Building in 1910. We sold our original space to the Vancouver Film School; you can still see the original canopy at that location. We moved as the area started decay. It used to be the main drag of the city. Woodward’s & Eaton’s were just a block away and when Woodward’s went bankrupt. The Hudson’s Bay Company bought Eaton’s, but eventually moved and traffic in the area slowly started to dwindle and the decision was made to move further west. We are now located in the Old financial district. I made sure that we bought another corner location. Bob: Our company is more contemporary now, but we are trying to keep the nostalgia of old days.

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Competitors & Inspiration: With our iPhones, we used the App Store to search ‘Walking Tours.� We wanted to look at similar mobile apps to help give us inspiration for the layout of our own desig, as well as to check out the competition.

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User Profiles: We broke our target demographic into two main catagories: 1

Occupation: • SEO Specialist

Education: • Diploma of Technology • Bachelor of Political Science

Computing/Mobile App Experience: • iPhone user, Computer Literate

About: • Enjoys swimming, karaoke & keeping it real Name:

Benjamin Goldberg

Reside:

Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC

Age:

29

• Owns / drives a car, works downtown • Bachelor with expendable income • Up-to-date with the latest trends • Into local arts, Van culture and food

Occupation: • Real Estate Agent (Mom) • IT Specialist (Dad)

Education: • College Diploma (Mom) • Bachelor of Science (Dad)

Computing/Mobile App Experience: • Blackberry user, Computer illeterate (Mom), • Smartphone user, Computer literate (Dad) About: Name:

Johnson Family

Reside:

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Ages:

35, 11, 8, 37

• Performing activities as a family • Travelling is their favourite past time • They are into food, entertainment, and outdoor activities • Both kids are adventurous and playful

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Type Exploration: After a lot of research, we had finally reached the design stage of our project. We started with looking at different types. We had to consider the readibility of these types on the small screen of a smartphone, as well as these types would look like if they were neon and lit up. In the end, we decided on Gotham Medium, a clear sans serif. Gotham letterforms are inspired by architectual signage, making it a perfect choice for this project. Its letterforms are clear and geometric, allowing elidgability

when used at a smaller point size, a key feature for the mobile app.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0123456789 NEON VANCOUVER

BAUHAUS 93 Regular

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0123456789 NEON VANCOUVER

VAG Rounded Bold

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0123456789 NEON VANCOUVER

Bell Gothic Std

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0123456789 NEON VANCOUVER

Rockwell Bold

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0123456789 Neon Vancouver

Print Clearly Regular

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0123456789 Neon Vancouver

Avenir LT Std 35 Light

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0123456789 Neon Vancouver

Gotham Medium

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Colour Palette: To define our colour palette we looked at the Museum of Vancouver’s logo. MOV’s logo already uses nine bright colours. so it was an easy choice for the inspiration behind our neon colour choices. After choosing the

colours, we had to make sure these colours still remained bright when applied with a neon glow and viewed on a black background, as this reflects the true nature of neon.

OA9C4A

OA9C4A

OA9C4A

00AEEF

F15A29

F7931E

BED73B

ED1C29

662D91

NEON NEON NEON NEON NEON NEON NEON

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Design Prototypes:

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Final Design: TEXTY TEXT TEXTER

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Reflection: When reflecting on our Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver project, all of our group members agree that we worked very well together. We were lucky enough to have had similar schedules, allowing us to meet and work together on a regular basis. Meeting so frequently also meant that each member would come prepared. Everyone did a good job at keeping up with his or her responsibilities. We did the research for this project separately. This allowed us a broader range of materials and sources, as well as different design ides. However, this also slowed us down at times. We were overwhelmed with the amount of research and ideas and couldn’t narrow down what sources to use or what ideas to pursue further. If we had an opportunity to re-do this project, a key point would be to narrow down our ideas earlier. We found we were pressed for time during the second half of the project. However, we were only introduced to the project at the beginning of September. The Museum of Vancouver was set to have their Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver exhibition open during the second week of October, meaning there wasn’t much time to begin with. We were all able to help with the research and the design of this project. But each group member also had an individual set of skills. Hanna was able to keep everything organized, such as keeping track of our process or staying on top of everything needed. Jen was the only one of us who knew how to use Adobe After Effects, allowing us to put motion into our project. And Craig was very detail oriented, which helped finalize the final design. At times, because we were working on different aspects of the project separately, we would find inconsistencies with the work. Making everything unison showed us how picky our individual design tastes were and sometime we would get caught in the details. But this is expected when working with other people. Overall, we feel that we were a successful team. The three of us would be happy to work on a project together again in the future.

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Bibliography:

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3rd Year CORE MOV Process Book  

This process book, from Communication Design students Craig Fleisch, Jennifer Sarkar and Hanna Stefan, reflects the collaboration between Em...

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