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Unit 14 - Graphic Design Practices James Cowan

Introduction Graphic design has become the forefront of most, if not all advertising campaigns. When you see a poster or brochure advertising something, 90% of the time, it’s been created by a graphic designer on a programme like Photoshop, Illustrator etc. The role that graphic designers play in advertising has developed a long way, and so has the messages they convey. Long ago, posters and adverts used to look like this: Development has obviously come a long way since these 1950s adverts. For such a strong issue both culturally and socially, war time adverts have changed drastically. In this poster we can clearly see the “Ideal” man, a young, white, strong man advertising the joys of being in the army, there’s no social or cultural diversity.

If we compare it to this modern poster however, we can clearly see a difference. There is a range of races and genders on this poster, all together to promote the ideology of “belonging” and the poster highlights this specifically with the title. This poster appeals a lot more to the general public as opposed to the 1%ers with the poster listed above.

The history of Brochures Over the years, brochures have changed drastically. The main causes for this is photography, printing and design software. Obviously computers were not at the forefront of designing brochures up until the 1980s due to their limitations, and only really started becoming popular in the 1990s due to the software advances made by companies like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe etc. Although photography and print can be traced back to the very first brochures, they’ve still had to adapt to modern cultural and social advancements, changing the way we as consumers perceive and view advertising:


As you can see from both images, designers didn’t really have much room for creativity, they were constricted to a certain set of fonts. Colour was quite a key point however, and although very basic, imagery was prevalent throughout early leaflet design.


Once the 1950s rolled in, photography techniques and technology had greatly developed. As you can see from these examples, imagery was emphasised a lot more. Most brochures still heavily relied on hand drawn designs and styles, the same with fonts as well.


With the singing 60s changing the landscape, we can see a lot more colour in brochures. Printing services and capabilities developed while costs were reduced drastically. This meant a lot of designers were free to experiment with colour and photos a lot more than previous decades. The Billboard poster is a great example of this, the amount of colour and imagery on this brochure is incredible, especially if we compare it to the Streamline copper pipe and fittings brochure from twenty years before. The reason it was so much cheaper was Kodaks introduction of instant colour film which was brought out in 1963 which was a lot more convenient and affordable.


As the 1970s rolled over, there was even more support and usage of full-colour photography within design. Illustrations were still heavily relied upon however, but as the years developed as well as the technology, photography and printing slowly started becoming prevalent.

Modern era:

After the 1970s, brochure design became almost completely reliant on computers. Mock ups and concepts however were still developed and created through pen and paper, but as soon as computers had the ability to improve and aid in the design process, designers could do so much more, in less time, and it would cost far less, creating multiple, realistic versions of their designs.

The future: As we look to the future, a lot of millennials tend to reach for their phone when they want information about something, as opposed to a brochure. This is essential when designing something that you want to advertise, because if you don’t appeal to your demographic, you’re not going to make a successful campaign. The main benefits and cons of a brochure and say an app can be listed below: Brochure pros: - Classic feel to them - Versatile - Cost effective (When ordered in bulk) Brochure cons: - Outdated almost the second they’re printed - Can’t be updated - Awkward to carry - Not waterproof - Doesn’t appeal to millennials App pros: - Instantly and easily accessible - Ability to be viewed in various languages - Refreshable information - Geolocation

App cons: - Apps are very expensive to develop - Internet connection is required

Bournemouth Borough Councils relationship with their audience Bournemouth often gets regarded as a seaside town for older audiences. Because there isn’t much of an online presence, it’s hard to try and appeal to the modern demographic, that’s why I feel it is essential to create an app as well as a brochure. The Council will want to draw in a new audience as well as retain their current audience. A brochure will definitely appeal to the older generations as well as casual tourists that might want to see the sights. The app however will be very important to long stayers in Bournemouth as well as a younger audience.

Consideration (Brochure)

When creating a brochure, it’s essential to consider the paper type, the size and binding. Some of the most common terms to refer to when delivering an invoice to a client includes: DPI – Dots Per Inch, a measurement of resolution for various devices. So when there is a resolution of 1920 x 1080, the DPI will indicate that there are 1920 dots per inch horizontally and 1080 dots per inch vertically. Coated Paper & Uncoated Paper – Coated paper stops ink from soaking into the paper which gives a sharper finish to make the design pop. These are more commonly made for newspapers, letterheads and envelopes. Uncoated paper however soaks the ink, leaving a much warmer finish, these are more commonly made for magazines, book covers and glossy art prints. Print finishing – How you’re going to print the designs (what type of paper are you going to use? Folds – How many times the design is going to be folded, this only really needs to be taken into consideration for brochures as opposed to books or magazines. Bindings – A simple and strong covering that holds the pages of a book together (Most commonly used with books and content heavy magazines) As a designer, it is absolutely essential these terms are considered so the client knows exactly what they’re getting with their designs. Print pricing – Once the client and the designer have a final design, they need to either print the copies themselves or consult a printer.

I’ve collaborated several local printing companies with regards to their costs and quantity to give me a better idea of how to structure my invoice. I’ve also collaborated a few printing companies in more prevalent locations like London to compare costs based on location.

Brochure/Booklets (Local) Hobs Bournemouth – Plain A5 flyer brochure x500 £31.50 (!/Storefront) - Plain A5 flyer brochure (16 pages) x500 £291.60 ( Copy Plus UK - 300 gsm silk card flyers A5 x100 £22.00 ( Brochure/Booklets (London) StuPrint - Plain A5 brochure, 32 pages (Matt finish) x500 £1,026.50 ( HelloPrint - Half Fold leaflet, 105 x 148mm Uncoated 300gsm x2,500 £160.95 ( Mixam - A5 brochure (148 x 210mm), 32 sides, 170gsm x1,000 £450.50 (

Creating a brief: As social and cultural borders slowly start to become less of a problem, we still need to take these considerations into account when creating final pieces, many aspects including language barriers as well as mental and physical barriers which might stop a student or user utilising the product to its full potential. Because of these limitations, I feel an app would be much more beneficial to my demographic in terms of appealing to them as well as displaying relevant and current information.

I’ve researched a few of Bournemouth Borough Councils advertising materials, specifically their brochures and digital presence.

As you can see from these photos, they tend to use a lot of blues and yellows incorporated with the beach aesthetic, they also use bold and easy to read fonts.

Bournemouth Borough Council doesn’t actually have an app, but they do have a website. It has a basic box gallery design with lots of blues and greys, imagery is also quite prevalent in their layout, this will be especially important to take into consideration when creating my final designs.

Initial designs I’ve created several initial ideas for both the booklet/brochure based on the designs and research I’ve found from Bournemouth Borough Councils marketing:

I wanted to incorporate some of the colours that Bournemouth Borough Council commonly use.

Bold fonts and non-aggressive colours will create a relaxed and easy to use feel for users.

The cost of an app (Features x time) x Hourly rate = Cost There are four main factors to consider when pricing an app, these include: - Features (Design, testing, management, servers) - Complexity (Type of app, integration, geolocation, registration) - Platform (iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry) - Team (Freelance, agency, internal app team)

Because there is such a variety in cost and location, it’s almost impossible to work out a single cost for an app. If we look at one of the most popular apps of all time “Whatsapp” there is a lot of features that need to be included when calculating the cost.

This is a great breakdown of the cost for building an app like Whatsapp, it includes essential features like chat, video calling, notifications, registration. It doesn’t however include other costs like UX design/Project Management, Quality Assurance, Creative Directors, Admin etc. (Roughly worked out at 400/500 hours) If we take all of these hours and use the United Kingdom costs (£60 an hour), it would have a total cost of £89,340.00. Obviously, these prices will vary and it’s impossible to find a one definitive cost, this is why it’s important to create estimates. When creating the final costs for both the app and brochure, it’s important to consider the following: Estimates Invoices Receipts Estimates Estimates are a great way of getting an initial idea out to clients of how much you’re roughly going to charge for your work. Unlike invoices that break down the costs in terms of hours and job descriptions, a rough estimate will let clients have an understanding of what they will be paying for in a ballpark sense.

Invoices Once a company has an idea of what the client wants, they can set about managing time effectively and costs. Time allocation usually falls under project management, which in itself often gets added to the invoice, more so for bigger agencies. A Commercial team will then write up a quote that will give a brief introduction about the agency as well as the team working on the project. They will then create a nicely laid out table that showcases the prices and times in detail. It will usually include the job description as well as the name of the person working on it, how many hours it will take, and the hourly rate. Once the job specifications have been included, there will be a total tab at the bottom that will have all the hours added up as well as the final cost. Finally, they will sometimes include notes below, these can vary from the inclusion of VAT, as well as any specific notes about the job (Making the app specifically for iOS, inclusion of geolocations, number of revisions etc.)

This is a very simple invoice, simply because the client only asked for a logo. Obviously this is only an example, but it includes a graphic designer and a project manager. They’ve clearly labelled the hours it would take to finish this project, as well as the hourly rate. Then in bold at the bottom of the table is the totals so the client can either choose to skim to the total of the project or go further into detail to find out more. This invoice also includes a notes section that mentions things geared to this project specifically (File specification and revisions.)

Receipts Once the work has been completed and the client has paid, an agency will send a receipt. This is a simple design that lists the work done as well as the costs, paid by and paid to. It will also include payment dates as well as brief description of the job. This is very important not only to have a paper trail, but it makes your agency a lot more professional, and is essential when worrying about VAT.

This is a simple example of a receipt I created that clearly labels a description, the amount, when it was paid, the total, who it was paid by and who it was paid to. It also describes the revisions, three being free and the fourth costing an additional ÂŁ15.00.

Feedback One of the most important things to consider when creating my final piece however is user feedback. I wanted to get people of my ideal demographic to voice their opinion on what they would want to see in a brochure and an app. The results can be seen below:

As you can see from the graphs, the most popular features that uesrs would expect to see is maps and profiles, therefore I will make sure these features are more prevelent.

Setting up the document (Brochure) I’m planning on creating brochure on InDesign, and the app on Sketch. These are great applications for their respective uses. InDesign is a print based layout software that’s great for brochures and books. Sketch on the other hand is made for app based graphic designers. Below is the document setup for how the final designs will be laid out:

I’ve clearly labelled the dimensions of the document and appropriately titled it. I’ve also set the orientation appropriately, I’ve also clearly set the margins and bleeding so that my designs can be printed easily.

Uploading to Issuu Now that I have the document specifications set up to my preference, I’ve been working on creating the final information and designs for my brochure. I’ve now uploaded these to Issuu, ensuring they’re the right size and none of the information or graphics get cut off.

Feedback and Issuu experience Overall, I found the process of uploading to Issuu to be fun and professional. I especially like the layout, giving the impression that it’s a real brochure.

The final brochure can be found here:

One of the most important aspects of this project however is user feedback, I wanted to create a brochure that would intrege a younger demographic as well as offer information to them There are just a handful of responses and reviews I recieved after creating my final brochure:

It was very interesting to get this feedback. It would seem that money aspects are very common amongst students, more so then the traditional focus points of a brochure like areas/events and maps. This will be especially important when creating my final designs for my app in terms of priority.

Setting up the document (App) As well as Indesign, I wanted to use a programme called Sketch. It’s a great piece of software that specialises in app design. The document and artboards have been set up accordingly:

Here we can clearly see the layout of all the different screens as well as all of the individual layers and folders to properly sort my information as well as my graphics. I loved the way Issuu laid out my final designs, creating a professional and simple view for my audience.

The final app can be found below:

Feedback and Issuu experience (App) I feel making the app was a greater challenege than an app. The main reason being that it was much more difficult to portray how it would be publised. I decided to export all of my artboards onto a Powerpoint presentation and then upload them to Issuu, I then went for a similar booklet layout like I did for my brochure. I feel the final piece looks professional, even if it’s in a brochure looking style.

Summary Overall, I feel my designs and approach would definitely appeal to a younger demographic. I feel sticking with the standard brochure simply isn’t enough now, especially when appealing to a younger audience. Information is updated and changed on such a regular basis, so much so that you need to keep on top of it, otherwise people won’t be able to find out whats availble in the local area. I feel if I were to go back and re do my designs, the biggest things I would change are: Colours I feel the blues worked well, but were quite dominating in my designs, not giving much room for creative freedom. Imagery The images I used in both my brochure and app were very basic, I feel using higher quality images and making them more prevelent would increase user attention. Fonts Although I was happy with my final font, I would have liked to experiment with a variety of different fonts to make the designs pop more. More content Especially with the app, I feel like it was a little bit empty, I would have liked to go back to my designs and tweak them to display more information as well include more images and more customisation Reviews I would have loved to incorporate reviews in the app, even if these were just mockups, I would have loved to see my app reviewed on the App Store. Prototyping The main thing I wanted my app to do is to become alive. With Issuu this was a problem, it would only display static images of my designs and I feel like that hindered my potential, there are several prototyping plugins on Sketch that allow you to create a fully responsive app/website and I would have loved to take that further.

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Unit 14 graphic design practices (james cowan)  
Unit 14 graphic design practices (james cowan)