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Rebranding

Romania UNIT 2.4/ MAJOR PROJECT PROPOSAL

Mihaela Ana Comsa MA Graphic Design London College of Communication


Rebranding

Romania UNIT 2.4/ MAJOR PROJECT PROPOSAL

Mihaela Ana Comsa MA Graphic Design London College of Communication


MAGD PT1 MAJOR PROJECT PROPOSAL

Date September 2011 Project title Rebranding Romania Tutor Paul McNeil


Content 07 Research Question/ Aims and Objectives Audience Context

17 Action Plan/ Schedule of Work Evaluation Output

25 Bibliography/ Books Online Resources Resources I intend to use


Assessment Requirements 2000 word designed written and illustrated Major Project Proposal document

Word count: 2158


0 Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

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Chapter Zero

Ana Mihaela Comsa


Research Question

MAGD PT1

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Research Question The statement of my basic question that is trying to identify the problem I want to address in my project

Chapter Zero


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

08

Chapter Zero

Ana Mihaela Comsa


Research Question

How can I, as a Graphic Designer, capture and visually communicate a better representation of the Romanian Identity by challenging stereotypes and misconceptions?

Chapter Zero

MAGD PT1

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Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

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Chapter Zero

Ana Mihaela Comsa


Research Question

MAGD PT1

‘'National image is like starlight which by the time it has reached us on Earth is only a distant echo of an event that started and finished long before.'' 11

(Anholt, 2007, p. 27 )

Chapter Zero


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Ana Mihaela Comsa

Aims and Objectives Ever since I started to travel abroad, at the age of 21, I considered myself an ambassador for my country because no matter how far I went, I have never forgotten my Romanian identity. Proud of my nationality, I always felt the need to tell people why for me there was no place like �HOME�. Unfortunately, the more I travelled, the more I found out about the negative stereotypes associated with my homeland and its people. A good reason for this cruel reality could be Romania's past membership in the Soviet Bloc. As a result many people started to hold stereotyped images and misconceptions stemming from a poor knowledge about the economical and political evolution of this EasternEuropean country. My project comes in response to this experience and is about showing true facts and communicating a positive image of the Romanian culture, about collective identity and strong visuals. 12

It is also an attempt to give general data about this developing country, with an enormous touristic potential which sadly enough is still unknown to many people. Therefore I started to explore the notion of Romanian identity by finding the most common stereotypes about this Eastern-European country and trying to identifying real aspects of the Romanian culture that are very particular and memorable. My main objective is to create a strong brand identity for Romania by exploring different techniques and visual languages, challenging misconceptions, getting in contact with people of different nationalities and trying to find out what is wrong about Romania's image around the world. Surely I do not expect to fix a big problem like a country's reputation, but what I do intend to achieve is to raise awareness regarding this issue, give an opportunity to Romanian nationals to express their opinion about this situation and maybe look for a solution together. A great way to do this is through questionnaires. Therefore I intend to create a second questionnaire which this time is aiming to identify the awareness level of Romanians regarding the general opinion of foreigners about their country.

Chapter Zero


Research Question

MAGD PT1

An even better idea which I am already working on for this purpose is to organise a photography competition aimed at Romanian citizens. The group age will be 12 to 25. I have intentionally chosen young people as my target group because this competition will be advertised in schools and universities and it will represent a great opportunity for Romanian student to express their personal opinion about their country in a very visual way, by sending original photographs with their best suggestions of what is worth seeing in Romania. In parallel with this subproject I will carry on with my search in finding a new way to illustrate the concept of Romanian Identity, using design techniques, the result of old and new questionnaires and by skimming through a different range of National Branding examples. I plan to develop an effective design strategy in order to achieve my goal. An exploration into the ways in which this concept has been treated historically in fine arts, literature or even song lyrics will also be conducted, with the purpose of obtaining a deeper perspective for the research and highlight new directions for my project.

Audience The people that could benefit from my project's results are tourists interested in travelling to less popular destinations, people intrigued by the Eastern European Cultures, the citizens of this land themselves or anyone who can relate to this identity.

Chapter Zero

13


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Ana Mihaela Comsa

Context Country reputation: Every inhabited place on the Planet Earth holds a reputation, whether good or bad, just as products and companies have a brand image. The phenomenon of country reputation is very complex and it is mainly the result of three major cognitive processes: Categorization, Abstraction and Generalization, as Eugene D. Jaffe and Israel D. Nebenzahl try to explain in their book, ''National Image & Competitive Advantage'' (2006). As the two describe it, categorization, abstraction and generalization are mental processes that come of great help for the nowadays individual, constantly bombarded by an enormous amount of signals from the environment.

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Because of these cognitive processes the individual can attend and responds to only a small amount of the information he has received. This is definitely very useful for our very busy life-style. Unfortunately when it comes to complex phenomenon like country or place reputation data simplification often can lead to discrimination, stereotypes, xenophobia and even racism. Misconceptions of country Image: There are many false conceptions about different countries of the world, and Romania is just one of those countries. The concept of country image is not uni-dimensional and according to Eugene Jaffe and Israel Nebenzahl in the past this subject was treated in a very simplistic way. This lead to serious misconceptions. For example some researchers have treated country image as a single variable measured on a semantic differential scale. However there is no such country that can be excellent in all its attributes, or the opposite of this. Countries can excel in some aspects, and in others not. The same mistake occurs when labelling countries as underdeveloped, developing and undeveloped because, according to Jaffe and Nebenzahl a country's development level is a complex phenomenon, meaning that while a country might be industrially underdeveloped, it might be a great agricultural exporter. As stated in Jaffe's and Nebenzahl's book, a good example of this type of misconception is Israel, which until recently has been considered a developing country, nevertheless, when compared with other countries so classified, Israel is a world hi-tech leader. According to the above mentioned authors, the most serious misconception probably is to consider that a country's condition is a static phenomenon. In many cases the situation is right the opposite. The same idea is continued by Simon Anholt, the leading authority on managing national identity and reputation. In his book ''Competitive identity'' (2007) he says that countries or places may be changing rapidly but their image can often lag behind them for a very long time. ''National image is like starlight which by the time it has reached us on Earth is only a distant echo of an event that started and finished long before'' (Anholt, 2007, p. 27 ). Chapter Zero


Research Question

MAGD PT1

According to Anholt (2007) there are six natural channels countries' image or reputation comes from: their tourism promotion, their export brands, the policy decisions of the country's government, through cultural exchange, cultural activities and export, and finally the sixth channel is the people of the country themselves. In order to understand the phenomenon of country reputation I conducted various quantitative and qualitative research, starting to investigate what is Branding Identity. This was followed by a detailed search into the meaning of National Branding, Destination Branding and Competitive Identity, three very closely related fields of theory and practice. The main findings of this research were various examples of National image campaigns for countries like the UK, New Zealand, Scotland, Lithuania, and Germany. In my Visual Summary I illustrated only two examples, the national image campaigns of David Cameron and Tony Blair for the UK. Other graphic influences on my project encompass a range of successful country and city logos like Spain, New York and Melbourne, all very colourful and inviting. The initial stages of my project focused as well of exploring the notion of Romanian identity by identifying a number of stereotypes associated to Romania and its people. The methodology I used to get this specific data was the questionnaire consisting in a set of four questions and two tasks for a specific target group. On the 6th of December a group of 30 people of nine different nationalities, none of them Romanian, completed the questionnaire. My research encompasses also other aspect of the Romanian Identity such as religious beliefs, rituals and holy places, religious and traditional arts, location and geography, demography and ethnical minorities. This contextual background provides the basis for my approach to the project.

Chapter Zero

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Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

16

Chapter One

Ana Mihaela Comsa


Action Plan

MAGD PT1

17

Action Plan A detailed description of the Brief, the Methodology used, and the Planned Programme of my project

Chapter One


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Ana Mihaela Comsa

Action Plan Preliminary research: In order to continue the investigation for my project, I will start by designing the second questionnaire, apply it and examine the resulting data. Next step will consist in organizing the photo competition which will develop in parallel with my project and it will run under the title ''Discover Romania''. The competition itself will stretch over a period of three months, starting with March and ending with May. Why so long? Because the main purpose of this subproject is to collect as many images as possible and publish them in a little book. A poster will be designed and send to all the educational institutions taking part in the competition.

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Details about this competition will be published on a new blog, specially designed for it. Starting with March every Saturday here will be posted the photo of the week, representing the new entry in the finals. Mediums used to document my work process will consist of: notebooks, photo cameras, scanners, and a Diary Blog.

Intermediate research: After analysing new and old data gather in my research I will develop a design strategy and define my approach to the project. Further explorations of the techniques in which Romania has promoted its international image will be undertaken. I also intend to analyze touristic Romanian brochures and websites, and develop more visual audits. At the end of May I will announce the winner and design the book dedicated to this competition. Next I will gathering my research data, and build the website which is intent to facilitate an easier access to a larger audience.

Final research: The design of my Visual Summary and Major Project Report will be developed subsequently. The rest of my Output, which is the book, will be created mainly in the letterpress studio. At the end of October I will bind the work.

Chapter One


Action Plan

MAGD PT1

Schedule of Work

Week 3 Contact schools and universities targeted for photo competition Research ways of organizing a photo competition.

Week 4 Design poster and blog for photo competition Explore techniques in which Romania has promoted its image after the fall of Soviet Block.

Week 12 Post new data on Diary Blog Post photo of the Week

Week 2

Week 11

Analyze new data of the questionnaire.

MARCH

Week 1 Design second Questionnaire Apply Questionnaire

Week 10

Week 5

FEBRUARY

Do more reading regarding National Branding Concept Post photo of the week 19

Launch photo competition; Post new data on Diary Blog

Week 6 Post photo of the week on photo competition blog.

Research into Romanian history, fine arts, literature and song lyrics for a general definition of the country's Identity Post photo of the week.

Week 9 Conduct more visual experiments Post photo of the week. Examine results

Week 7 Define my approach to this project Post photo of the week.

Week 8 Work on a design strategy Post photo of the week.

Chapter One

APRIL


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Ana Mihaela Comsa

JULY

MAY

Week 19 Have a break

Week 20 Buy domain for website Gather all data

Week 18

20

Week 13 Do visual audits on touristic Romania brochures Post photo of the week

Do research to find most appropriate format for my output.

Week 21 Start designing website for my project

Week 17 Week 14 Post new data on Diary Blog Post photo of the week

Draw a conclusion for the project.

Week 22 Week 16

Week 15 Develop further Visual Audits Post photo of the week

Continue working on this design

Design a book with the photo collection resulted from the competition.

Week 23 Finish website

Week 15 Announce winner for photo competition Post winning photo

Chapter One

JUNE


Action Plan

MAGD PT1

SEPTEMBER Week 27 Organise data for Outcome.

Week 26 Work further on VS

Week 28

Week 35

Start designing Major Project Report

Do final presentation retouches

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Week 25

Week 29

Start designing Visual Summary

Use letter press studio to built the Output

Week 34 Print and bind material.

Week 30 Week 24 Write new notes on Diary Blog

Write last notes on Diary Blog

Week 33 Work on last details of design

Week 31 Try to finalize design for book, MPR and VS.

Find great places for printing and binding

AUGUST OCTOBER

Chapter One

Week 32


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Ana Mihaela Comsa

Evaluation Brand is what people think of something. Branding is the process of managing the brand and it is very much about sociology, anthropology and psychology. Through my explorations I started to realize how complex and profound the process of Branding is, and that when it comes to National Branding things go even further than that, because the result of a National Branding Campaign must reflect the identity and common goals of an entire nation.

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According to Anholt and his book, ''Places, Identity, Image and Reputation'', (2010) brand management in the commercial sphere only works because the company that owns the brand has a high degree of control over the product itself and more important over its channels of communications. This way the company can influence both consumers' experience of the product and the product's presentation through the media. Unlike products, no body, not even governments can exercise nearly that much control over the behaviour of a whole nation or the way that its people communicate with the outside world. Therefore according to the above mentioned author the most realistic approach to a national rebranding project is to simply ''reflect a real positive change that has taken place in the conditions, the people, the policies and the opportunities of the country, and perhaps help the world to realize and to understand those changes a little faster and a little more fully that they would otherwise have done.'' (Anholt, 2010, p. 61). So far in my investigation I have made little but safe steps towards such a big goal as the rebranding of a whole nation. I have managed to get general information about what Romanian Identity is and I have identified a series of misconceptions related to this nation. The entire process has been extremely challenging and rewarding for me because in a way it became a search for my own identity. In order to come up with a final output for my project I need to clearly define what my identity is. In other words Rebranding Romania became a journey of self discovery and self redefining.

Chapter One


Action Plan

MAGD PT1

Output

BOOKS

An informative and engaging publication made for an audience above the age of fourteen.

The printing techniques I will employ for my project are the following: Embossing, laser print and letterpress . I will bind the book using the Lay flat technique or lose selection sewn with a hard cover.

WEBSITE

A shorter and digitalized version of the book created to facilitate an easier access to a larger audience.

PHOTO COLLECTION

A small book containing all the images collected during the photo competition launched for young Romanian students

Chapter One

23


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

24

Chapter Two

Ana Mihaela Comsa


Bibliography

MAGD PT1

25

Bibliography A list of Books, Newspapers, Online resources that shaped my project, plus other readings I intend to develop my work on.

Chapter Two


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Newspapers The Independent/

The Times/

The Guardian/

The Sun/

Diaspora Romana/

26

Chapter Two

Ana Mihaela Comsa


Bibliography

MAGD PT1

Books Competitive Identity/ by Simon Anholt

Data Flow 2/ R. Klanten, S.Ehmann, N. Bourquin, & T. Tissot

Anholt, S. (2007) Competitive Identity. 1st ed. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Klanten, R., Ehmann, S., Bourquin, N. & Tissot, T. (2010) Data Flow 2. 1st ed. Germany: Gestalten

Chapter Two

27


Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Destination Branding/ by N. Morgan, A. Pritchard & R. Pride

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Doing your own research/ by Eileen Kane & Mary O'Reilly - de Brun

Morgan, N., Pritchard, A. & Pride, R. (2005) Destination Branding. 3rd ed. UK: Biddles Ltd.

Kane, E. & O’Reilly-de Brun, M. (2001) Doing your own research. 1st ed. Ireland: ColourBooks

Chapter Two

Ana Mihaela Comsa


Bibliography

MAGD PT1

Identity/ by Jonathan Rutherford

Information is beautiful/ by David McCandless

Rutherford, J. (1990) Identity. 1st ed. UK: Lawrence & Wishart Limited

McCandless, D. (2009) Information is beautiful. 1st ed. UK: Collins

Chapter Two

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Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Lovemarks/ by Kevin Roberson

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National Image & Competitive Advantage/ by Roger Fawcett - Tang

Roberts, K., CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi (2004) Lovemarks – The future beyond brands. 1st ed. Italy: powerHouse Books Jaffe, E.D. & Nebenzahl, I.D. (2006) National Image & Competitive Advantage. 1st ed. Denmark: Narayana Press

Chapter Two

Ana Mihaela Comsa


Bibliography

MAGD PT1

Place- Identity, Image and Reputation/ by Simon Anholt

Visual Research/ by Ian Nobel and Russell Bestley

Anholt, S. (2010) Places - Identity, Image and Reputation. 1st ed. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Nobel, I. and Bestley, R. (2005) Visual Research. 1st ed. Switzerland: AVA Publishing SA.

Chapter Two

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Major Project Proposal - Rebranding Romania

Ana Mihaela Comsa

Online resources BBC News (2006) Europe diary: Romanian emigration. [Internet]. Available from <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5385958.stm> [ Accessed 08 December 2011] Ciao Romania (2009) Romanian Traditions. [Internet]. Available from <http://www.ciaoromania.co.uk/traditions-romania.html> [ Accessed 08 December 2011] Florin, F.(2009) Arhaic Romanesc Ornamental. [Internet]. Available from <http://florinf.wordpress.com/2009/07/10/ arhaic-romanesc-ornamental/> [ Accessed 30 October 2011] Gardner, B. (2002) Current Logo trends. [Internet]. Available from <http://www.logolounge.com/article.asp?aid=ogR> [ Accessed 7 October 2011] Goodlogo (2012) Trivia. [Internet]. Available from - <http://www.goodlogo.com/extended. info/3045> [ Accessed 08 October 2011]

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Jardine, N. (2011) This Is The Advertising Campaign The UK Hopes Will Make Everyone Forget About The Riots. [Internet]. Available from <http://www.businessinsider.com/great-britain-uk-advertising-campaign-visit-britain2011-9> [ Accessed 30 October 2011] Romania Mare (2010) Minoritati etnice in Romania. [Internet]. Available from <http://moldova.go.ro/pagini/minoritati.htm> [ Accessed 30 October 2011] Shabbir, N. (2010) Branding Romania's scandal: next step, brand Roma? [Internet]. Available from - <http://www.cafebabel.co.uk/article/34644/brand-romania-scandaltourism-london-reputation.html >[ Accessed 30 October 2011] The Corporation for Travel Promotion (2011) Discover America. Available from <http://www.discoveramerica.com/uk/>[ Accessed 06 January 2012] Wikipedia (2011) Cool Britannia campaign. [Internet]. Available from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_Britannia> [ Accessed 08 December 2011] Wikipedia (2011) National Branding . [Internet]. Available from - <http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/National_branding> [ Accessed 12 November 2011] Young, T. (2011) Is the Prime Minister's 'Great Britain' campaign doomed to failure? [Internet]. Available from - <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyyoung/ 100106577/is-the-prime-ministers-great-britain-campaign-doomed-to-failure/ >[ Accessed 30 October 2011]

Chapter Two


Bibliography

MAGD PT1

Resources I intend to use Anholt, S. (2001) Brand New Justice. London: Palgrave Macmillan Anholt, S. and Hildreth, J. (2003) Brand America: The Mother of All Brands, London: Cyan Books Commonwealth Department of Tourism (1992) Tourism Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Passport to Growth : A National Tourism Strategy. Camberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. Heslop, L.A.,Liefeld and M. Wall (1987) An Experimental Study of the Impact of Country-of-Origin Information, In R. Turner, ed. Marketing, Administrative Science Association of Canada. http://www.citybrandsindex.com http://blog.inpolis.com/2011/10/13/nation-brands-index-2011-u-s-a/ Nobel, I. and Bestley, R. (2011) Visual Research. 2nd ed. Switzerland: AVA Publishing SA. Van der Berg, L. Braun, E. and Otgaar, A. H. J. (2000) Sport and City Marketing in European Cities. Rotterdam : Euricur. Ward, J. (1987) Search strategies in mass communication 2nd ed. UK: Longman

Chapter Two

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The typefaces used for the cover are ‘’Helvetica’’ and ‘’Arhaic Romanesc’’. I have chosen the later as I consider it to be one of the most representative typefaces for Romania. Its design has been inspired by old Romanian manuscripts and therefore by a handwritten type. It is very popular and easy to recognize . ‘’Arhaic Romanesc’’ typeface is a serif font and has very strong characteristics but also very low legibility level due to its decorative shape.

Source: Florin, F. (2009)


Project Proposal - Mihaela Ana Comsa  

This flip book presents the proposal of a self initiated project which I am working on for over five months. The aims and objectives of this...

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