The responsive module has been an eye opening experience for understanding who I am as a designer, through both conscious and unconscious choices of the briefs I selected to work on throughout this module I have a gained a clearer understanding of the type of designer I want to be moving forward. The module has been both hit and miss in terms of the briefs I have selected, some have been perfectly suited to me, my skill set and have pushed me in new ways whereas other briefs have been less beneficial to my practice but equally I have learnt from these decisions and these experiences will inform decisions I make for the remainder of the second year and on, into my third year of study.
Freelance: David Jones Pure Personal Training
LCA Creative Networks: Hellfire
D&AD/Collaborative: Lâ€™Artisan Parfumeur
RSA: Postage Stamps
LCA Live Brief: Alumni Branding
Always read the brief: Learning a lot from my first brief At the start of the module I was asked to selected a substantial brief from either the YCN or D&AD competitions to be as a brief that could be used within studio works. I felt at this point I wasnâ€™t ready to tackle a D&AD brief, therefore opted for a YCN brief. After reading through the briefs available I didnâ€™t feel particularly enthused towards any brief as most of them wear geared towards advertising rather than design based problems and solutions. However I decided to run with the Goji brief which cam split into three parts, I chosen to tackle part C, which at the time of selecting the brief I thought was concerned with packaging design - this is why I chose the brief as packaging design is area of graphic design that interests and I have also developed a relevant skill set for this area of design through past briefs. However through de-constructing the brief within a studio workshop I soon understood that the brief was actually specifically asking for packaging, that was only a small part of what they wanted. They actually wanted a marketing campaign, which was no problem accept I have developed a body of work around the packaging of the products, where actually a concept for needed to market the products. I reworked and redeveloped some of my work and ideas to be more fitting to the brief and pulled the work together under one concept. However this was a lesson learnt early on that I need to read the brief fully and completely understand what the brief is asking for before I begin to design, respond or answer the brief. My Christmas break was tainted with the fact that the Goji brief had a much sooner deadline than the other YCN briefs, this
meant that my work had to be submitted by the 7th of January. I have solidly over the Christmas break to get all of the work done in time and get the work put on a series of boards. This did however put me at a slight disadvantage as putting boards together was a new process to me and little had been explained to be about putting them together. I can see now through looking back and after the many studio sessions we’ve had since, as well greater amount of practice I’ve had since, that the boards I submitted simply weren’t up to scratch and didn’t communicate my idea that well. There is no killer concept board which draws in attention of judges, there is a lot of unneeded text through the boards and they don’t have a specific follow or structure and the image placed on a white background make for a fairly boring read through the boards.
The boards I produced or Goji offer a demonstration of just how far I have come in terms of my skills when it comes to compiling boards together.
DAVID JONES PURE PERSONAL TRAINING
Back to my roots as a web designer: Freelance work within responsive
Towards the end of the 2012, I was approached by a friend, who owns his own personal training business, he was looking to expand his client base and being to brand himself and the services he offers. Initially he only required a website but I suggested that I could produce a set of branded stationary that he could use. Building website was something I used to do before coming university and this was my first project I had undertaken since being at University, the timing of the brief came just after completing the design for web brief in the studio. Using the skills I had learnt within Design for Web I applied them to the process of designing for my client. I produced an initial set of three scamps which I presented to the client. The client then chose the best design. I made some small modification through discussion and changes he wanted made. I gave myself a week to complete the design and building of the website as I was busy with other briefs and modules, I managed to stick within the time limit for the majority of the website, however hosting and uploaded issues meant the project dragged on for a little longer highlighting the need to always plan some contingency time for issues beyond my control. The branded stationary was not something the client needed straight away so I gave myself a little more flexibility in producing this work around my other commitments. I worked on this section of the brief within spare time I could find on the weekend. Once the work was complete and finalized by myself and the client and no more changes needed to be made. I sent all the files over to the client and gave him full access to the website giving him ownership of this work I had produced. This brief taught me a lot about being a professional real world Graphic Designer. It allowed me to develop and understand how to work with a professional dialogue between client and designer and how gave me a greater understanding of the
role of the client in giving them what they want, but also suggesting new ideas and new ways in which things can be done as well as developing a comprise through times of disagreement within the brief.
DAVID JONES PURE PERSONAL TRAINING
LCA CREATIVE NETWORKS
LCA CREATIVE NETWORKS
Hell to the Fire The two previous briefs which I had undertaken where both bigger briefs which Iâ€™ve spent over two weeks completing therefore I decided to respond to the Hellfire brief, which I gave myself just one day to complete and submit the requirements by the deadline the Thursday of that week. Again this was a brief that was fitting to my skill set as it was packaging relating after it was also a rebrand of existing packaging as well as working with existing branding for Creative Networks. With just a day to complete the brief I had to compress my normal design process into a much smaller scale. I gave myself the morning to research and brainstorm a selection of ideas using the internet and sketching ideas on paper. In the afternoon I took some of the more solid ideas and translated these into a digital environment these decisions were made based a mini crit I held with my peers by asking for their input on the selection of ideas I have based so far. Working in this way felt more like how I would in a professional studio as I was able to develop a range of ideas and constantly get the opinions of others around as I moved forward which is dissimilar to how I normally work by only getting feedback through formal crit environments. This flow of feedback also meant the feedback I was receiving was more raw and opinionated rather than considered which is both a good and bad thing. When working on the brief I wanted to focus on the goal presented in the brief that the label should modern, simple and innovative and I chose to focus on the aspect of the design being simple and memorable which I also felt worked well with the existing branding of the Creative Networks which was both simple, clever and memorable.
I managed to stick to this day limit I gave myself to complete the label itself with the one day and send it off for submission however, This was as a result of studio sessions suggesting that you can push briefs beyond what they are asking for, which I have realized is a good way of working I went back to this brief at a later date to rework and push the brief a little further as I felt I had more to give to the brief
as the client doesnâ€™t always know what they want until you show it to them. To push the brief further I considered what other printing techniques could be used, I felt the design could be better applied to the bottle as a vinyl as it allowed the beer bottle itself to act as the background which was more fitting to the simple aesthetic I had created for the label. Additionally I also created a range of beer mats to push the possible product range a little further as well as mocking up the labels onto to beer bottle this helped to better communicate how the label would look in context - again another skills I have developed a learnt the value of is the importance of showing designs in context as they can really help to sell any idea rather than trying to explain a concept in words, doing it with an image is far more beneficial way of communicating to the audience.
D&AD / COLLABORATIVE
D&AD / COLLABORATIVE
A collaboration so crazy that it just might work Immediately I was corned by Greta Medelyte to work on this collaboration as part of this module, with little thought I agreed, not knowing what I was getting myself into at the time but I knew that working together could yield some good results as we are both so different and work in very different ways this meant we could work on some crazy idea. Previous to this me and Greta had discussed that we would be working together as we both have a varied set of skills and my focused approach to design allows me to tame Greta’s numerous and crazy ideas into something, brilliant yet still achievable. Selecting the brief was a fairly easy process, I had two briefs in my mind that I wanted to work on both D&AD as it was at this point I felt I had learnt enough to finally tackle a D&AD brief, from the selection available I preferred the BBC online brief and the L’artisan Perfumer briefs. However I knew online design was not a interest of Greta’s we both therefore suggest our skills would be best put to use working on the L’Artisan brief which I was still happy about as again it was another packaging based brief. In the being we both knew we wanted to push the brief as far as it could go and this exactly what we did during the brain storming sessions however as the brief progressed it became apparent that we just didn’t have enough time to commit and justice to some of the ideas we had. Both me and Greta decided to brain storm ideas separately before coming together to share, discuss and move forward with possible concepts, in the beginning this was a good way of working as it allowed to contribute our own individual ideas and bring them to table however as the brief progressed this way of working eventually became redundant
in how we worked as a collaboration as most of the time we found ourselves working together or closer to each other and making decisions as we both worked through the work together and this turned out to be a good way of working for us. There were times we both went away and produced work on our own but after weâ€™d solidified exactly what we were going to be doing together, for example I went away and produced the exterior of the packaging which was primarily type driven whereas Greta worked on the interior patterns of the packaging which was more illustration based thus demonstrating how we exploited each others skills sets to make sure the best work was being produced. Throughout the brief we had to push forward our own ideas and agree on compromises but I felt we dealt with this quite well and ultimately we always made the right decision for the benefit of the brief. For example the patterns that Greta had initially created for the packaging some were up to scratch where as other felt rushed and of a lesser standard, finding way of telling this to Greta was hard but was understanding and agreed with me and she reworked some of the pattern ultimately for the good of the brief. For me personally I produced some of the best work I have created as part of this degree program and I would defiantly look at working with Greta again in the future as I think because we are both so different and bring such different perspectives to the table we can create something brilliant.
A brilliant idea concept is sometimes all it takes At this point in the module I had kind of written off all of the YCN briefs as I felt they didnâ€™t really appeal to me as they were heavily advertising based which is not something I wanted to focus on within developing my skill set however after Re-looking through the briefs I read through the Yahoo which is one I hadnâ€™t really looked at before but it was actually very suiting to my skill set in terms of design for a digital environment. I decided to give myself a week to complete the brief as I wanted to not only do what the brief required but also push the brief further and create a website or app to go with the concept I created for the ads required by the brief. After reading the brief and beginning to brainstorm an idea came to me which developed into a strong solid concept and the brief ended up creating itself which is testament to the idea that a strong, solid concept is all you need to successfully fulfil a brief. The audience for the ads was 14-18 years olds and it is this age group that are still at school and from here developed the concept of students having lockers at school which is a personal space for them that only they have access to and this what Yahoo is trying to do with there homepage, create a page for youth to start there internet journey. From this initial concept the ideas began to flow, fit and work together and the concept was versatile enough to be applied across also aspects of the yahoo brand from the ads to how the application will work and function. This brief has taught me the value of conceptual thinking and the value of having a good concept
but also a concept that is easily translated across a number of formats and ideas. Working within a week limit to get the brief complete was something I was confident about as I worked the way I learnt to work within first year. I condensed my design process into 5 days, developing the initial concept on day one, visualizing and developing ideas both on paper and digitally on day two, days three and four for producing the concept and mocking up the concept and the final day for finalizing designs and putting the boards ready for submission to YCN. As working with digital design and designing for the web and mobile apps was something I wanted to focus on in the future I wanted to push this brief and translate the concept developed for a range of ads into a full website/app that would be marketed for use by the target audience as alternate to using yahoo are there homepage. As I didnâ€™t have to code the website I was able to purely focus on user interface design and user experience of the website skills I felt I developed within this brief and want to develop on into the future.
History repeats itself Within my first year one of the briefs I felt I ‘nailed’ and most successfully answered was an RSA stamp brief, I wanted to take this opportunity within this module to tackle another stamp brief to gage how I’d grown as a designer but also use some skills I have as designer but that I don’t often use which mainly illustration which is something I tend to stray away from. Furthermore I think that stamp briefs are good at getting you back to thinking about pure visual communication which is a skills I use everyday as a designer but something that can always be built upon and made better. Additionally the briefs are also very research heavy into a specific theme and researching in detail into a given theme is something I enjoy. This was also a shorter brief, again I gave myself just under a week to complete the brief from concept to final production of the stamps. I theme from the brief I chose to answer was ‘UK firsts’ which required the set of stamps to promote British pride through communicating ‘firsts’ that the UK is responsible. This was an extremely broad theme however after some initial research I decided to focus on British food and this due to the current hype around good British food such as Jamie’s 15 minute meals, the great British bake off and master chefs all of which are shows that are growing in popularity furthermore the audience for the stamps is extremely broad and food is something that everyone can relate to where as other themes main alienate some members of the audience. As I wanted to develop
my illustration skills further and it was appropriate for the stamps themselves I digital illustrated my concept as I had worked with this format before it meant after developing the concept producing the stamps themselves was a fairly quick process. Something I have considered within my design was printing techniques, something I had begin to develop within the first studio module of the second year but is something I hadnâ€™t considered when I made my first set of stamps last year. I decided to incorporate a foil block for the queens head and 1st typography, although I didnâ€™t print the stamps I mocked this up on the computer. This way of working is something I have developed throughout this module and is very important in preparing my for being a professional graphic designer as often mock ups are what will be presented to clients before they enter the production process, therefore getting these mock ups to the best standard possible as well as making sure the demonstrate the concept well can make or break the idea you are trying to sell.
LCA LIVE BRIEF
LCA LIVE BRIEF
One Final Challenge to end the module To end the module I thought I’ve give myself one last challenge to do something completely out of my comfort zone, I decided to respond to brief sent out to Leeds College of Art students asking them to brand the Leeds College of Art Alumni. Branding is an aspect of Graphic Design design that interests me immensely however I hadn’t really worked within branding within briefs I’d undertaken on the course, my only previous experience was branding David Jones with my other responsive brief, however this was a brief specifically relating to branding. This was perhaps my shortest brief of the module as I gave myself just three days to complete the brief. My first point of focus was to research a range of brands and branding of relevant subjects and companies in the same of similar field as an education establish, this enabled me to develop a basis for the ways of working and types of design with this sector. As I hadn’t previously worked with logo design before either, I needed to develop a way of idea generation I decided I take words from the brief and use the thesaurus to create a list of more words and from these words then develop a series of visual logos that communicate the core values of
the Alumni as the key words had been taken from the brief. After developing a range of logos I again used the process of setting up a small crit to ask for peopleâ€™s feedback, I did this online through sending to designs via email and asking for feedback. From the feedback I made the choice on the final logo I was going to use, from here I moved onto looking at a possible colour scheme for the branding, I researched a range of palettes within the colours of red, yellow and grey and through experimenting with a range of different tints and shades I settled on a tone of red, however I also wanted to see how this would work on different types of stock, in particular a recycled stock, so I mocked this up using Photoshop. The brief also required that the logo be applied to a range of products, most importantly a hard copy publication however I also applied the logo to a range of relevant promotional material that could be used at Alumni events such as tote bags and coffee cups. This brief resulted in an amalgamation of everything I had learnt with this module, it enabled me to put to use all of the skills I had developed within each of the other brief, each brief had taught me new skills and new ways of ways, in particular working with different times scales for different briefs. For example I managed my time effectively within this short as from previous briefs I had learnt what is possible to get completed in certain amounts of time. I have also put use the principle that concept is key and communicating this within boards through layout, text and images is crucial, I feel these final set of boards communicate both the concept and the application of the concept to a range of idea, formats and products.
The module as a whole This module has been perhaps the most eye opening module in terms of me beginning to think and work like a professional graphic designer. Each brief I have undertaken has tested and challenged me in new ways and the briefs I have chosen have helped me better understand who I am as a designer and what areas of design that I want to go into.
The main skill I have learnt within this module is putting together concepts boards, which is something I wasn’t very strong at before engaging with this module. I now understand the key features of successful boards, how to structure them, the amount of content both images and text to include as well as not repeating content and keeping to a maximum of 5-7 boards. I also have a deeper understanding of what types of design I’m effective at producing and what areas I want to continue to work, these are packaging design, which most of the briefs I chose came under as well as production for digital media such as websites and applications. Conceptual development and my skills in generating new, flexible and versatile concepts is a key skills that I have used and developed extensively throughout the module and I have found that with a solid concept the rest of the project and work tends to write itself and just happen with the concept being at the core of everything you do. Overall I think I struggled most with the Goji brief and I didn’t enjoy working on that brief, I think that it was a mistake on my part, partly due to not reading the brief properly. I felt unenthused by the brief and I’m not happy with the work I produced for it at all, there is no strong concept within the work and quality and production of the work seems rushed and incomplete and in parts unnecessary. If I were doing this brief again I think I would develop a solid concept for a marketing campaign rather than focusing on packaging which was not a key element of the brief. Furthermore better time management would also have meant I could have produced better quality work
for the brief, although it had a shorter deadline better time management would have given me ample time to complete work to a high standard in the time allotted. Conversely to this my most successful brief is the Yahoo! Brief, Iâ€™m completely happy with the aspects of the brief from the boards, the requirements and the added work I did as part of the brief and most of all the solid concept that underpins all the work. This brief defiantly taught me how vital a concept is and through research and mind mapping I developed a concept that I felt was right on brief and on target audience and could be produced in a real world context.
The brief also allowed me to develop my skills when designing user interfaces and user experience for apps and websites. The brief also showed testament to how one concept can be translated across a range of ideas. The collaborative brief was also one of my favourite briefs purely because I have found someone who I can work really well with and the results of this are that it means myself and Greta have created some of the best work we have produced as part of this course. Itâ€™s works that Iâ€™m finally happy to consider including in my portfolio which up until now has not been the case for the work I have been producing. Overall the module has been one of the best of far and I will continue to value the skills I have learnt so far and I feel they have placed me in good stead to tackle the content of the third year of the course and the many number of live briefs, freelance and collaborative briefs I will have the opportunity to work on.