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Design Investigation Tom Bryant GDNM Y2 tombryant.gdnm.org

RESEARCH I started my investigation not knowing exactly what area I was going to investigate, I had several areas that I knew I enjoyed working in. It was a case of narrowing down the areas and working out from this what area of design to investigate. I like coporate design, magazine layout (this covers typography as a subject area in itself), photography and some 3D work but won’t say I specialise in 3D work but have some skills and knowledge of how to use 3DS Max for basic 3D work. I started looking at work that I had done previously for a design company who I would later attempt to contact.


Design Investigation Tom Bryant GDNM Y2 tombryant.gdnm.org

RESEARCH The next stage was to start reseaching the areas of interest to me. I decided not to research into photography as I felt this was less design based than the other areas, which cover photo manipulation, a large part of modern photography with digital images on all sorts of design solutions and products. Typography Typography can first be seen on the first punches and dies used to make seals and currency in ancient times. Typography is the creation of a complete text by reusing identical characters. It was first realized in the Phaistos Disc, an enigmatic Minoan print item from Crete, Greece, which dates around 1850 and 1600 BC. What is corporate Design? A corporate design is the official graphical design of the logo and name of a company or institution used on letterheads, envelopes, forms, folders, brochures, etc. The house style is created in such a way that all the elements are arranged in a distintictive design and pattern. Corporations do have special design needs based on their behaviors. They communicate their mission, objectives, needs, and product information — with users, clients, or members; with suppliers, distributors, service providers; with the surrounding community and the media; with financial institutions and other corporations, and with the state. They create, acquire, modify, organize and distribute large amounts of information and raw data, as well as goods and services. A designer whose client is a corporation will include the logo and other elements of the corporate brand as a way to standardize and unify all communication between company and audience, whether in print or online.

What is corporate identity? “In marketing, a corporate identity is the “persona” of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives. It is usually visibly manifested by way of branding and the use of trademarks. Corporate identity comes into being when there is a common ownership of an organizational philosophy that is manifest in a distinct corporate culture — the corporate personality. At its most profound, the public feel that they have ownership of the philosophy. Often referred to as organizational identity, corporate identity helps organizations to answer questions like “who are we?” and “where are we going?” Corporate identity also allows consumers to denote their sense of belonging with particular human aggregates or groups. In general, this amounts to a corporate title, logo (logotype and/or logogram), and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved colour palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand. These guidelines are usually formulated into a package of tools called corporate identity manuals. Many companies, such as McDonald’s and Electronic Arts, have their own identity that runs through all of their products and merchandise. The trademark “M” logo and the yellow and red appears consistently throughout the McDonald’s packaging and advertisements. Many companies pay large amounts of money for the research, design and execution involved in creating an identity that is extremely distinguishable and appealing to the company’s target audience”. (Wikipedia). Corporate identity is often viewed as being composed of three parts: Corporate design (logos, uniforms, corporate colours etc.) Corporate communication (advertising, public relations, information, etc.) Corporate behavior (internal values, norms, etc.)


Design Investigation Tom Bryant GDNM Y2 tombryant.gdnm.org

RESEARCH Publishing “Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning: originators and developers of content also provide media to deliver and display the content”. (Wikipedia). Traditionally publishing was referring to books and newspapers but today we can see it used in digital forms such as, websites, blogs and magazine editorials. Publishing has several stages of development. acquisition, copyediting, graphic design, production. Wether the production is in the form of printing or online. It includes the distribution of newspapers, magazines, books, literary works, musical works, software and other works dealing with information, including the electronic media.


Design Investigation Tom Bryant GDNM Y2 tombryant.gdnm.org

RESEARCH I began cpnducting research into existing and past Graphic designers relating to my field. I wanted general information on them and the type of works that they produc/produced and also for my own inspiration as a designer. I looked at David Carson, Paul Rand and Saul Bass and Chermayeff & Geismar.


Design Investigation Tom Bryant GDNM Y2 tombryant.gdnm.org

RESEARCH At this stage I began putting together a list of designers, studios, companies that I were to contact with a questionnaire, the questionnaire would be 10 questions. Contacts North Design David Carson Salon Business Magazine Jones Creative A recap on the various areas that typography itself covers. Typographic logos Labels Kinetic Type Industrial design Apparel (clothing) Vehicle Instrument panels Brochures Magazines Business cards Other coporate documentation Posters Book covers Packaging and labeling Business communications and promotional collateral Other Design Principles to consider Consistancy – magazines, newspapers, advertising campaign. Colour Photography Text and photograph relationship – sometimes we see type arranged around the side of an image, other times it is layered over the top set in a contrasting colour so that it is easily readable. The use of Black & White – this can have a strong visual impact of its own, sometimes it can be used on an image that is secondary(not as visual at first glance or not the first thing that your eyes are supposed to see) to the main text or image. The Rule of Thirds The Golden Ratio Face-ism Ratio (with regards to photography) Symmetry Mnemonic Device Hierachy


Design Investigation Tom Bryant GDNM Y2 tombryant.gdnm.org

Questions & Answers Unfortunately I only had a reply from only one of my initial contacts, however the answers to my questions were very thorough and helped me with my investigation and my own design discovery. I obtained two copies of the magazine from issues May and April. Contact Jaqui Palmer Art Director Salon Business Question 1 How did Salon Business Magazine start? It began 11 years ago in the form of a newsletter. Our parent company Salon Gold wanted to keep its policy holders up to date with industry news and events and offer them something that they didn’t get anywhere else. As the Newsletter progressed, it became apparent that it could be funded by sponsorship as the word spread in the hairdressing industry, so now, it wasn’t just aimed at policy holders, but a more comprehensive audience. Due to sponsorship, it developed into a brochure, and now, in it’s 11th successful year, Salon Business is the hair industry’s leading monthly trade magazine, aimed at meeting the needs of every professional, from salon owner to budding stylist – in short, everyone who is passionate about hair. Presenting quality editorial and on-trend style, more than 65,000 UK hairdressers benefit from its blend of invaluable business insight and attention to cutting-edge hair fashion. Question 2 What are the corporate areas of design that you deal with? What type of works? Question 3 Are you interested in typography and layout as a particular aspect of Design? Yes. As Art Director for Salon Business magazine, this is may particular forte. Throughout my career, I’ve created characters for a computer game, dabbled in sound, background editing and story boarding, designed promotional material, print-based and animated banner ads, media packs, town and city guides, directories and maps. In the end, it has always come back to layout. I love to read magazines, so it makes perfect sense to be part of that process. Through layout, and the power of typography, you have the ability influence a reader. The copy may be flawless, but without an engaging design, what is going to entice a reader NOT to turn the page? Question 4 Where do you look for inspiration? I look primarily to consumer magazines, mainly women’s titles, such as Grazia, Elle and Vogue, but also more stylish or off the wall publications, such as Wallpaper, Wonderland and Pop. I also have a collection of design books, which are full of inspirational concepts and finished work.They push the boundaries and show you what CAN be achieved, by thinking (Forgive the business speak) ‘outside of the box’.

Question 5 What do you think is the most important part of the process, planning, design or implementation? Why? As I work in publishing, planning for sure. We work a month in advance, so if, we’re working on the June issue, this will be written and designed in May. In order for the publication to go out on a specific date, I have to create a flatplan, which details how much space we have for features and advertising. This in turn is broken down into sections of 8 or 16, which determines where bind-ins can be placed. Without this, there would be chaos. My role also involves ordering specific paper grammage for the magazine, which may involve special finishes or pantone colours, and getting the issue booked in with the printers, so it’s crucial to get this planned well in advance. Obviously design isn’t far behind in terms of importance, but planning is the key. Question 6 When and how did you start in the industry? Do you work for any other clients as a freelance designer? A friend from college was working as an airbrush artist, creating backgrounds for a Peperami computer game. I had a passion for sketching my own cartoon characters, which I must admit, I thought would never amount to anything. The software company, needed a character designer, so after graduation, I began freelancing for them from home. After a few months was lucky enough to be offered a full time position within the company, which meant relocating from Cornwall to Kent. As is so often the case, it’s who you know, not what you know. I wanted to diversify into design for print, after all, what’s the point of having a design degree if you don’t utilise it? So, from there I progressed to catalogue design for Micro Warehouse in Bracknell, Berkshire where I learnt the fundamentals of page layout and design. As I’m lucky enough to have a full time position, I don’t freelance, but for anyone looking to get into the industry, freelancing gives you the opportunity to work on a variety of projects within different companies, and get a feel for the working environment, without committing yourself. Question 7 What do you do if you have a creative block? Besides blind panic? But seriously, it happens to the best of us! I generally try and work on something else, and then come back to it. Sometimes you just need a break away from what you’re doing. As I’m primarily a layout designer, I tend to look to other magazines I like for inspiration, even if they have nothing to do with the subject matter I’m dealing with, or take a few minutes and browse online. Working with another designer is a great help, as you can bounce ideas off each other.

Question 8 What drives you to continue designing? The need to create. It may sound pretentious, but while the dimensions of a page create physical boundaries, there are no creative ones. It gives me such satisfaction to be able to capture a readers attention through my design. If I wasn’t doing this, then I’d really love to teach, passing on the knowledge I’ve gained over the last 15 years. I’m a very visual person, and it’s definitely a form of self expression. Question 9 What skills are required in the creative industry? What type of software do you use? It’s preferable to have a design degree, or similar qualification. It makes you more employable for sure, although saying that, I’ve worked with designers who have gone into the industry straight from school. Above all else, you need a love for design be a good team player and not take yourself too seriously. It’s advantageous to be aware of the latest software and up and coming technology. There is also a good deal of problem solving, so you have to be able to think on your feet. Clients often have an idea in their head, but they can’t visualise it. That’s where you come in. On a daily basis, I use CS4, including Indesign, photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and on occasions, Word. Employers are asking so much more from designers these days, so is beneficial to be web savvy too. I also use a bespoke web-based system for checking PDF proofs. Question 10 Where do you think design is going? From an editorial design perspective, the trend seems to be heading towards online as apposed to print based. With the credit crunch hitting hard, it makes sense to produce web based design as there is no “production” cost involved, such as printing, paper and delivery charges. This would come as a huge blow to me, as editorial design is my passion, but I guess you have to move with the times.


Design Investigation Tom Bryant GDNM Y2 tombryant.gdnm.org

Report At the start of my investigation I was unsure on exactly what field in graphic design to investigate. This lead me to thinking about the areas that I enjoy most, not just for visual pleasure but what I enjoy working with and creating with my skills and knowledge. My first thoughts were corporate design as I feel I have a natural idea of what looks good within this type of design, also being a bit of a perfectionist at times I like things to have order and usually within this type of design there is some logical grid behind the layout. Other areas that came to mind from this brainstorm were, magazines, advertisement, photography and some elements of 3D work. My field of study were to be more focused on magazines and corporate design identity, two separate areas of design, however they both use typography and layout. My research began by thinking about experience that I had already had in the design industry within these areas. Previously I had worked for a design company called Jones Creative who have a studio based in Leatherhead. I initially had work experience there and later that same year I enquired about further experience and paid work, both of which I ended up doing in the same week. I had been working on several pieces including a CD cover, a corporate brochure and logo development. I enjoyed my time working there so decided to get in contact with some of my design questions for the design investigation but unfortunately did not get any reply this time. After contacting several other design studios/companies I ended up with a very thorough reply from the Art Director at Salon Business Magazine, “the hair industries leading monthly trade magazine.” The content of the magazine was not my key interest, I was however keen to know more about the design side of the magazine. I was very great-full that I received such thorough answers to all my questions that I had asked relating to typography and layout and design in general. “Through layout, and the the power of typography, you have the ability to influence a reader. The copy may be flawless, but without an engaging design, what is going to entice a reader NOT to turn the page.” This was an important answer to my questionnaire and how my design investigation would develop. I have always has the knowledge that design in this type of form has to be something which is to “entice” and be “engaging”. I was interested to know where they got their inspiration as for myself as a designer I struggle for ideas at times. The answer was obvious, to look at similar consumer products to what you are designing, knowing what is already out there, and secondly reading design books which are “full of inspirational concepts”, “They push the boundaries and show you what CAN be achieved, by thinking (Forgive the business speak) outside of the box”. Part of inspiration, or lack of it, can be called a design block. I wanted to know how they got over this when it happens. “It happens to the best of us!” It would seem that allot of designers can have a creative block. When this next happens to me I will either work on something else, look at similar work for inspiration, maybe browse online. “Working with another designer is a great help, as you can bounce ideas off each other.” “Planning is the key”, another point I wanted to ask about was relating to the design process or the Rationale Model developed by Simon and Pahl and Beitz. By contacting someone in the industry who is employed in an area of design that interests be I have now go an insight into what it is like. Also with some of the questions I asked relating to more personal points when it comes to design this has given me some confidence. “Clients often have an idea in their head, but can’t visualise it. That’s where you come in.” From an editorial perspective it would seem that design is moving towards online as opposed to print based which would make sense in a modern and competitive world, there is little or no production cost involved.


Design Investigation Tom Bryant GDNM Y2 tombryant.gdnm.org

Artefact As this brief has been one of discovering what area of design I am most interested in I had the idea of creating a logo/identity for myself as a designer. As I am discovering more about my field I felt that creating a logo would relate to my research and as the logo is more me it relates to my field. The idea of having my own logo that I can use online, for projects and as a contact/business card. It is still just a concept and something which I would like to develop further and use professionally in the future. What have I learnt? From my research I have found out more information about my field, therefor I have more knwoledge and confidence with my own designs. I’ve learnt that design is moving gradually more online from an editorial and publishing perspective. I have learnt how important a brand or companies identity is and how important it is that their logo is recognisble. The questionnaire has helped me gain knowledge of what it is like working in the industry and given me some inspiration to develop further as a designer.


Design Investigation  

University 2nd Year Project

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