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Stephen Maher


2 - 3_ Leeds Brewery, Creative Networks, Hellfire.

Date; Monday 25th November 2012 Brief: To design a CN beer label to appear on the Leeds Brewery supplied beer for our upcoming 2013 events. Leeds brewery has agreed to print front beer labels for our events. The branding and appearance of these labels will complement the CN events. Mandatory Inclusions; The design must have the Creative Networks branding included (either logo or typeface). Near the beginning of the Responsive Module we were presented with a brief from ‘LEEDS BREWERY’, at the time it was quite unexpected because it was one of the first briefs we’d handled with a live target audience, and one of the first where we’d interacted with the client themself. From a personal point of view, that’s what made it more prominent than the work we were currently doing. There was a chance our designs would be showcased in a public environment, and with this a sense that we had to do well. It was definately this ideal of thinking that made the responsive module such an engaging and challenging module. Due to the timing of this brief I remember debating whether to do it sooner or later, but realised I had to start it when I could. Afterall it was giving us an insight into the industrious side of Graphic Design.

After reading over the Brief, I got the impression that it was suggesting to advertise Creative Networks as a brand. My final design uses Creative Networks as the focul point of the label and ‘Leeds Brewery’ as the creator to the beer, I’ve tried to achieve this by ‘differently’ including a large and little label on the beer, the bigger label pays attention to the type of ale it is & creative networks, whereas the little label uses ‘Leeds Brewery’ on its own. I feel like I’ve achieved what I set out to do despite their being changes along the way to the actual concept of my design. It still holds the structure and detail that I wanted to achieve. The overall time I spent on this brief was approximately 3 days, mainly because I’d hand-sketched the design on grid paper, I think next time I deal with similar briefs, I’ll quickly plan sketches and work on-screen to produce a quicker outcome. The images below demonstrate how I changed my concept, from initially focusing on communicating the spicey and hellfire aspect of the beer to promoting Creative Networks & communicating the contents of the bottle.


4 - 5_ YCN, Feel Good Drinks Co, Brief 1/2.

Brief #2 - Make the nation Feel Good

The Challenge

Creative Requirements Brief #1 please focus on the label designs rather than the bottle shapes. We’d like the ideas to focus on our still and sparkling juice ranges but ideally you’d also demonstrate how your idea could be translated to our other ranges. We’ve supplied the current brand typeface and logo, but please feel free to change, challenge and be creative.

Brief #1 is focused on pack design. Brief #2 has a broader scope with the challenge of raising brand awareness. So let your creative taste buds be tickled and take your pick (if you’re feeling very industrious, we won’t stop you doing both!)

Brief #2 we have a completely open mind as to which communication channels we use for the national campaign. We like outdoor advertising because it can be confident and impactful,TV has also worked well for us in the past. We’re big fans of digital, our Facebook andTwitter family is growing quickly and provides the opportunity to spread our message virally. Whether an idea works across a number of media channels will be one of the judgement criteria, so get stretching!

Brief #1 - A new look for Feel Good The designs are simple, colourful and impactful on shelf, the brand name is clear and most people get the fact that we are offering tasty, healthy drinks. We want to ensure that we strike the right balance between the communication that our drinks are healthy and having label designs which makes people smile and feel good. We’re big fans of simple, uncluttered pack design, we like what we’ve got but recognise that the best designs are constantly evolving. The supporting information included in our project pack shows how our designs have evolved over the last 10 years, we’re up for change and would love to see some fresh ideas.

In terms of all the briefs I’ve done, I’d have to say this was one of the more funner ones. I had the scope to change the brand image, making it more impactful through ‘smiles and feeling good’. At first I decided to concentrate on brief 1 but as my designs began to develop I thought of ways I could promote the new identity, through outdoor methods and online, answering briefs 2 requirements. The main thinking behind the design was to use something ‘tongue and cheek’... something that would look attractive but at the same time make people appreciate and take something positive from the experience. I felt the outdoor promotions tied in well with the bottle designs because they permeate their message of ‘feeling good’ and being happy in very different ways, I think the promotions would make people appreciate the brand more because they’d be moving away from just telling audiences how good they are, instead they’d be doing it in a more fun and appealing manner. The wall crack displays the obvious message that Feel Good is bursting with flavour while the bus stop shelter provides an attraction and important message that drinking ‘Feel Good’ makes you feel good! hence the floating characters facial expressions.

I also released the Aluminium Can version because they support bio-degradability and also provide a very attractive difference to most cans out there, they’re packaging fruit juice in a well presented and ‘cool’ way, which in my opinion would sell alot during summer. Skills I’ve learned... To appropriately apply gradients in an effective manner Laser cutting Perspex/ Effects of Perspex To think further away from the norm, creative and different concepts. Time management; This brief came pretty much inbetween all of my other briefs which meant I had to plan my time so I could keep coming back to it and developing areas, it was being submitted to YCN which made this brief one of my concentrations To do something different, usually I never really develop illustrations straight onto screen, I usually draw the whole thing out first but in this instance its worked quite well, complementing the brief ‘We’re a big fan of simplicity’.


6 - 7_ YCN, Fedrigoni.

INSPIRE PRINTERS ACROSS THE UK TO WORK WITh THE WIDE VARIETY OF FEDRIGONI PAPERS ON OFFER Target Audience Printers have a big influence over paper decisions and can in some instances change their client’s specifications. We want to crush any misconceptions printers may have about Italian luxury paper. Your idea should clearly communicate that Fedrigoni not only produce high-end papers, but inform them of the diverse range and price offering we provide. Printers are known for their suits and formal approach, we want you to turn this on its head and create a fun, tongue and cheek way to target them which is memorable and maybe even makes them laugh! Ultimately we want to raise our profile with printers and make us their favoured supplier. Creative Requirements Your idea must use and or showcase paper in a creative way.Your idea should show how you would promote our papers using various channels to reach our target audience. For this brief, I wasn’t working alone, I was working alongside one of my peers, Luke Rossiter. In terms of skills and workload, this brief definately ranks near the top. Over the course of our development we were determined to try and create a finished product that looked professional, was binded properly, had the right stock & was also photographed in the right settings. For a large part of this brief our communication and planning of the design was crucial, measurements had to be consistent and the image had to fit together perfectly otherwise we’d lose the appeal of our product. I really enjoyed the process because I always felt like we were challenging eachother which resulted in a much more effective output. The experience has certainly opened my eyes in terms of how two different people/ ideas can merge together to create something different. The concept; The publications demonstrate how Fedrigoni Papers can bring your designs to life. At the same time as showcasing paper in a creative and fun way, we are also keeping ahold of Fedrigoni’s professional and rich heritage. The publications could be released to printers, with a familiar scene corresponding to their location. This would create a campaign for Fedrigoni as oppose to just a single idea. For the final publications we developed a scene that paid tribute to the Papermakers at Fedrigoni, designing a landscape that showcased italian culture aswell as an 18th century Italian Paper Mill (The beginning of Fedrigoni). The communication between myself and Luke always stayed consistent, we both knew what we had to do and when to do it by thanks to our 3 week plan, proving to myself that when you plan time, you can effectively tackle all the work you’ve set out to do. We both didn’t take offence when the other suggested if an idea wasn’t going to work which definately made it easier to just talk through ideas and use both of our inputs to influence our direction.


8 - 9_ YCN, Douwe Egberts, Brief 1/2.

GENERATE EXCITEMENT ABOUT DOUWE EGBERTS COFFEE, AND CREATE A DESIRE FOR BETTER COFFEE AT HOME The Brief Develop a creative campaign, new product, new packaging or communications idea for Douwe Egberts in the UK to appeal to younger consumers, to increase their awareness of Douwe Egberts and ideally have a theme that can extend across different media. It needs to present Douwe Egberts as a brand that is contemporary, without losing its heritage and expertise.We know that people in the 18-30 age bracket will happily spend their money in a Starbucks or a Costa, but not drink coffee at home.The challenge in this brief is to find a way of making coffee drunk at home as appealing as coffee drunk in a coffee shop. Creative Requirements To get younger people to re-appraise or discover the Douwe Egberts brand. Generate excitement about Douwe Egberts coffee, and create a desire for better coffee at home using any form of communication you feel appropriate. Get younger people talking about Douwe Egberts Coffee in a positive way, and try to shake the ‘old-fashioned’ image, without losing the heritage and expertise.

For the most part of this brief I focused on designing packaging that I thought; Sat well in the home environment, stood out among other packaging, appealed to the younger consumers and most importantly made coffee more affordable for the younger consumers which is what the brief was mainly stating. I took influence from youth culture and incorporated aztec styled patterns in a dynamic package, I really think the colours of the design were my main aim, I wanted the titles to permeate their meanings through the colours and I only wanted to use a maximum of 4. The idea behind the proportion of the packages was that I wanted to appeal to the younger consumers by making the ‘Instant Range’ more affordable, using less content, means you could lower prices and make them more affordable on a weekly basis for the younger people. When it came to pushing the larger briefs across a wider range of deliverables, I’d noticed that my workflow was being quite effective, I’d managed to start the larger briefs and if one of these got abit tedious, I’d take a step back and let my mind gather ides, and in the mean time I’d start smaller briefs and give myself the time to perfect the larger briefs.


10 - 11_ Mark Webster, Photographer, Branding.

Brief I’m a lifestyle-advertising photographer specialising in capturing real moments with a natural feel for use in design to promote products or services. I need a logo for my photography business ‘Mark Webster Photography’. My website is here www.markwebsterphotography.com Purpose I will use it on my website, business cards, letterheads and on my portfolio so the logo needs be clear and recognisable when small for use on my business cards or when being viewed on a smart phone. I’ll also be getting it embossed onto a leather portfolio so it needs to bold and simple enough to do that. Tone/style The logo needs to reflect my type of work, so fonts that are used regularly in fashion magazines may not work and nothing that looks wedding’y’ or old fashioned, like calligraphy or certain serif fonts. If it helps, the things I like are simplicity, functionality and quality and I like things that stand the test of time, no fads. A strong core of the responsive briefs I’ve undertook included branding & identity, I was keen to see its perceptual effect take shape among other stationary and documents. Although it wasn’t exactly what the photographer was looking for, I was pleased with his response that it looked corporate and the way the branding worked as a set & across different platforms. For myself it was a first attempt, I’d never tried my hand at branding for a singular person before and through this module I now feel confident to approach other people/ companies and suggest re-branding their identity and feel confident enough to produce something of value to them. The Concept; Use the initials of Mark Webster, ‘MW’ to create something simplistic but at the same time creating a logo that has some relevance to photography. I took this direction and created a perceptual ‘MW’ which is also in the shape of two 3D Squares, which look similar to a pair of camera lenses or

photographic lights. Although the communication of the MW could of been better, I really think the logo provided him with something unique and conceptual rather than just a simple typeface.


12 - 13_ Holistic Therapist, Federation of Holistic Therapists member.

As a self initiated brief I was approached to design a whole set of branding for a Holistic therapist. I had various briefings with the client, who was ultimately the client because she was paying me £150, we talked over what colours we thought best represented her businesses atmosphere, what the logo could be signifying, what the other competition were offering in terms of their services, leaflets etc. I learnt to control my input when the client was suggesting various things to change because at the end of the day, they were paying for a design they wanted. At the beginning of this brief I was struggling to generate anything new that hadn’t been done before, in the market of holistic therapists the same symbols were saturated so I put it to myself to try and create a logo that was more personalised as oppose to industrious.

The scribbled effect represents smoothness and the idea of loosening muscles. Fading the edges of the logo made it look impactful and added a sense of calmness to the logo, My choice of colours for the background gradient was based on the colours of the clients towels and interior. The exterior patterns showing on the leaflet & promotional card pays suggestion to the ornaments and attitude around the whole setting of the room and contents. The logo initially started off simply as a person folding their legs with her arms spread holding a set of 3 stones (a symbol strongly related to this subject) in one hand, and in the other a small plant, symbolising the idea of growth. The person is perched on 3 stones, showcasing the idea of natural balance.


14 - 15_ Penguin Design Award, Puffin Books, The Wind in the Willows.

What the judges are looking for: We are looking for a striking cover design that is well executed, has an imaginative concept and clearly places the book for its market of both children (to pick up and buy for themselves) and adults (to buy for children). While all elements of the jacket need to work together as a cohesive whole, remember that the front cover needs to be able to work on its own and be eye-catching within a crowded bookshop setting. It also needs to be able to work on screen for digital retailers such as Amazon. The winning design will need to: have an imaginative concept and original interpretation of the brief be competently executed with strong use of typography appeal to the broadest possible audience for the book show a good understanding of the marketplace have a point of difference from the many other book covers it is competing against be able to sit on the shelves of a supermarket or ebook store as easily as it sits on those of more traditional bookshops such as Waterstones The main point to this brief was that the design had to be well executed for both children and for adults, mainly because they’d be the ones buying the book. With this in mind I thought a hand-drawn approach would be best suitable, this way the children would relate to the cartoon nature of the drawings while the adults would appreciate the hand-drawn side of the design. I used the 3 main characters and tried to depict them looking up to Mr Toad (based on the narrative of the book), Since I can remember I’ve always been familiar with ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and I think that’d be the case for most people, this in itself suggests the book is a classic, Which explains why I’ve chosen the colours and setting to my design. I really enjoyed this brief because it gave me chance to get away from the computer & develop a drawing in a more relaxed manner. I had the chance to think about what I could improve while I spent time developing the design. The incentive to do the design was also more appealing than other briefs; £1000 and possible future work. This made it alot easier to complete the design, when I first started my drawing, I nearly gave up. What I was drawing just wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it, but because I continued, I managed to style the rest of the drawings around my direction.


16 - 17_ Threadless, Design a Monster tee.

YOUR CHALLENGE Create a tee design with your original monster. Who doesn’t like Monsters and the chaos they wreck on humanity? Forget Godzilla, King Ghidorah or that huge creepy thing from Cloverfield. Your challenge is to design an original monster (No, not Charlize Theron kinda stuff). Create a monster from your own imagination. Make it scary, make it lovable, make it funny. It’s your choice. It’s your Monster. Thanks to Abby Philips aka ourgraphicfaith for submitting this awesome challenge idea! If your design is printed, you’ll get:

I set this brief to be a quick turnaround because I’d already had an idea in the past that I wanted to execute, I wanted to create a monster that would be reffered to as a ‘knucklehead’ which would be complimented by its appearance. However as most things, they end up developing and changing, which is exactly what happened with this brief, I got sucked into the drawing of the design and the detail I wanted to include that I didn’t judge how long I’d been spending on the brief, it became a sort of personal project that I wouldn’t be happy with , untill I was wearing the t-shirt. If I could take anything from this brief, it would be too remember how long I’ve spent on that design, because in the industry I’ll have numerous deadlines and I won’t be able too put one design above another.

$2,000 500 Threadless gift code Your monster on 50 patches

The bad thing about this type of competition is that the results are often bias, because the voting was turned toward the public audience, it becomes a competition of whoever knows

I came across this brief through one of my peers, I was instantly attracted to its broad guidelines and subject matter. During my foundation I’d based my final project developing t-shirt designs so it struck me as a chance to improve what I was doing 2 years ago and see how much I’d improved. It also gave me a chance to experiment with screenprinting again and broaden my knowledge of its process along with heatpressing designs.

the most people to vote etc, turning it into a mild popularity contest instead of judging the t-shirts based solely on their design. In the future I’ll be steering clear of such competitions unless I was just doing them for fun.


18 - 19_ Ko/Za, Design Crowd, Branding.

Job Type; Logo Design Client; Ko/Za Law Group LLP. We need a logo for our new law firm. The firm practices in the fields of: estate planning, contract law, corporate law, bankruptcy law, and i mmigration law. The design should be subtle (not too obvious), but should convey FORWARD THINKING, PROBLEM-SOLVING & RELIABILITY. The logo will be used on all stationary, including business cards, letterhead, and envelopes, as well as a website. All of these will be designed subsequent to getting the logo designed. Thus, we might need someone for those projects, as well. Requirements; The design must be professional and convey at least one of the following: 1) forward-thinking 2) problem solving 3) reliability The logo must bee usable on all firm stationary and the firm’s eventual website.

Using such a public website had its advantages and disadvantages, it can act as a resource so your able to check what’s already being put out there in a certain market, and also provides you with a benchmark to see how well your designs are developed compared to the ideas of others. Overall I’d probably say this was the best function of the website because it wasn’t in my opinion good for trying to generate work, you never met your clientele let alone face to face contact, you didn’t know if they had any appreciation of design, you didn’t know the business’s s ethos, and you didn’t know how much work you’d need to put in to get results. I was trying for ages to try and combine the ideas of; Forward-thinking, problem solving and reliability. And once I’d finally done that, I thought I’d cracked it, but as with the other ‘Designcrowd’ competitions, all of the winners were some designer with a reputation and ranking, but little appreciation of design. Combining the logo into a pattern paid suggestion to high quality brands such as ‘Louis Vuitton’ and also worked well with the serious, professional side of a company such as law. It was prestigous and traditional which I tried to permeate through the rest of the deliverables, incorporating a wax seal stamp on their envelopes and creating a folder that contained all the necessary documents. I really thought the aesthetics of the folder would fit in well with a court of law or similar setting. In terms of design the positioning of text and effect of rope were the hardest things to complete. I was never happy with the way the text looked underneath, above, arched. It took alot of time and development until I was happy with the format, it looked more of a badge in the end which I thought would work best for the firm because they could then use it across a larger range of objects.


20 - 21_ ZoomRadar, Interactive Wheather, Branding.

Task: Create a Logo Design Task description; Our company name is ZoomRadar, We have been in business for 5 years. The logo needs to be updated. ZoomRadar is a business that provides interactive weather content to media websites. We’d like the logo to be sharp, we are essentially a weather tech company and want to convey that message. But we want to make sure it is professional looking. The logo can convey speed (zoom) and/or weather (tornado, rain, lightning, etc...) I’ll leave the creativity to you. This is our website...http://zoomradar.com/homepage/ Logo Text; ZoomRadar Deadline; Friday, February 22, 2012 I came across this brief alongside the Ko/Za Law Group Firm. These types of briefs were essentially a good chance to better my skills as a designer and also see how a market would react to my designs. Using this type of website to earn money from your work seemed a legitamate process but was frustrating because the majority of most the winners seemed to be picked from their earnings and ranking on the website as oppose to the quality of design, and because it was such a public website (with advertisements on youtube) many of the clients did not have any design appreciation which explains why they’d choose their winners in such a way. The concept; Use a ‘pinpoint’, these are strongly related to interactive maps for pointing out destinations etc. Play on the idea of ‘zoom’, using the pinpoint as a magnifying glass. Include a subtle use of weather that would complete the logo. I really wanted to push my range of deliverables for this brief and give the whole business a re-brand, their website was old, tacky and just didn’t look very well designed. They had a really good concept to their business but the only thing letting them down was the way it looked. The business needed to adapt to a more contemporary audience. As promotion for the company I thought it would of been a good idea to use my own personal photography of landscapes and the idea of QR code scanners to intrique an audience and let them find out more about this beautiful scenic image mixed with the idea of interactivity.


Evaluation... Throughout this module I’ve learned to see myself as a designer rather than someone who uses their skills to just produce things that look good. The responsive module has taught me to control my design decisions. Instead of thinking of what would look better, I think ‘would it suit the client or contextual purpose?’, After assessing my outcomes it was clear that there had been a big shift in the way I was designing, I wanted to create outcomes that were solving problems, paying attention to their cultural and social contexts. For eample; ZoomRadar was an interactive weather website which I’d re-branded and brought up-to date to fit in with a contemporary culture. But I also looked at how I could do something different for the company, and that’s when I thought about introducing the QR Code scanner. I designed some advertisements that were subtle in their message but also eye-catching and mixed with interactivity would hopefully cause interest among consumers. I made it my mission to use personal photography that really captured the beauty of weather. For Douwe Egberts & Feel Good, along with similar briefs, there was a real feeling that I wanted to prove myself as a designer, this module has definately taught me to appreciate what I’m doing, the reasons I was doing these types of briefs were because I wanted them to get somewhere, I wasn’t doing them for sake or to fill briefs as you may say. There could be succession following innovative ideas which I thought I was capable of. For most part of the other Modules we were doing briefs for appreciation, but we were choosing these briefs to potentially get our names out there and put our skills into action to solve the problems of clients. Douwe Egberts were trying to appeal to younger consumers and encourage them to drink coffee at home so the design had to be home friendly. I took into consideration the saturated packaging you seen on a daily basis and the issue of younger people having budgets and produced a smaller packaging that was affordable and attractive. Hyped by fun and interesting campaign concepts. The brief proposed by ‘Feel Good’ was probably one of the most enjoyable briefs I’d done, I thought I’d effectively answered the brief and took advantage of their appreciation of outdoor campaigns, creating innovative bus stop displays and urban environment promotions. I really thought promoting this way would win over different types of audiences as oppose to just people interested in being healthy. One of the most difficult briefs to answer was suprisingly the first, ‘Hellfire’, the drinks market was already bombarded with concepts and label designs that were short of amazing. With this in mind I didn’t want to create a label that solely promoted the beer (as all do) But a label that promoted the Creative Networks event. Designing a label that acted as an introduction to both the beer and CN events was difficult. I had to constantly make sure I wasn’t forgetting about the beer, while still making sure it was communicating the fact it was a beer. In terms of technical competence and problem analysis, I’d say the group collaboration definately disciplined myself and Luke. It emphasised the fact that we’d have to comprimise ideas just as we had to do with our own. There came times when one of us would have afew ideas, and one would have one good idea, which meant that person had to put aside how much work they’d done and accept the better route despite their emotional input. Working alongside someone else definately benefits, not only did I learn various activities through Lukes design process but I also learned to manage my time and be present when I needed to be, being around one another certainly improved our workflow, it was almost a casual competition between myself and Luke, we were working to prove ourselves to eachother and taking advantage of all the proccesses we could. Designing this way has helped me; Emboss/ Deboss, Bind documents together using professional techniques, photograph in a suitable environment among many other things. All in all the Responsive module has ignited my ambition to get my work out there in the public domain, its taught me how to value your market and also highlighted the importance of time management and workflow. Deadlines didn’t really become a big issue for me simply because I’d planned my time and knew what work I had to do first, but also because I knew what work I could afford to do at the time. However my management could of been better, If I hadn’t spent time screenprinting certain projects, I could of turned my hand to actually coding a website instead of proposing digital scamps, Or even made sure all of my deliverables were photographed appropriately. But due to circumstances some of these things just weren’t possible but are certainly factors I still need to account for. Earlier rather than Later. The responsive module has also lead to further investigation and promoted another self initiated brief, which involves ‘website branding’ for a company based in the Lake District.


project report  

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