Sunday, 15 December 2013

Evaluation - Alternative Christmas.

During this brief I definitely improved being able to work towards a very small timescale, due to it being a very quick turnaround I had to think on an idea and execute it very quickly. Initially it was slightly stressful but as I got into the swing of it I became more comfortable with the situation.

I have learnt that being involved in projects that are for a good cause like this is very rewarding and it is nice to be able to put my skills towards something that can help others. This is definitely something I would like to continue doing in the future. Even if it was organising the whole project like Lizzie and it was great that she took time out to do something so positive.

To gain some inspiration I looked at current Christmas designs on the market and as initially I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to work with type or image I gathered research of both examples. Some took a more traditional kitsch approach whereas some were a lot more contemporary using geometric shapes. I also read up on the lyrics of the song. Before this project I had limited knowledge or riso printing but from my research I learnt that it is very affordable which therefore makes it favourable for experimentation and popular with young designers.  

A strength I can draw from this project is the strong link with the outcome to the original song. I feel that even without words it would be clear to an audience what the illustration is depicting. The design also fits with the rest of the collection.

In order to develop the brief further I could have extended the range from the postcard to a selection of gift material like cards and wrapping.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Evaluation - M&S Picnic.

During the process of this brief I feel I have improved my collaboration skills by working with another individual. I found that I really had to focus my organisation so that what I was doing was in sync with Beth. I also had to learn to compromise because even though we agreed on nearly everything there was the odd decision that we had differing views on. Because we relied on each other to get certain jobs to done it was very important that it was done on time. I also developed my skills in Illustration as this was a big aspect of the aesthetics. To help this progression a lot of research was done for reference material. Initial hand drawn experiments definitely helped.

The initial research that took place was gathering primary images of current products within the Marks and Spencer’s store so that we could have a strong idea of the aesthetic they are known for. I found this really helpful and we found that the illustrative approach really appealed to us and would link with our chosen theme. In regards to the theme we also had to investigate into food and design aspects associated with Scotland. We also looked into current picnic designs and general food packaging this was helpful in terms of thinking of interesting and relevant formats. Finally was illustrative research, this was extremely beneficial as our final style was strongly inspired by the examples we had found.

I think a strength for this brief would be the illustrative scene and how all the products fit together to create a composition. The logistics was quite hard to arrange but I am glad we persevered as I feel it really paid off and created and exciting and interactive format for the audience. I am pleased how the packaging works as a stand alone design as well as a whole scene. Another strength would be the overall style of the design. I am glad we didn’t go down the route of traditional Scottish aesthetics such as tartan and blue and white as the bright tones and contemporary illustration gives an up to date appearance.

I think some weaknesses within this brief was that the we could have incorporated more M&S branding such as a logo or specific copy, however I don’t feel this is a major problem as these could be added.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Evaluation - Galina London.

Through this brief I have improved my skills in working for a real life client, even though I didn’t have actual interaction with the brand I was still creating something that was for a company that I hadn’t specifically created for the brief. Because of this I really had to think about what the brand stood for and their current collection of products. Thinking of this influenced a lot of the decisions I made especially in regards to the designing of the logo. I also developed my laser cutting skills by using it for different tasks such as the cutting out of packaging and also experimenting with new materials like the velvet.

My research for this brief circulated around getting to know the brand so that I could produce the most relevant outcomes, as I wanted something that could instantly be recognised. I also looked at general shop paraphernalia to get an idea of what gift options I would need to create and also more innovative ways of doing it that would be more interactive and memorable for the audience. After my initial designs I felt the aesthetics could be developed further so my research flowed on to looking at more luxury brands and what techniques they use to have that association.

I think a strength for this brief would be development and experimentation. The logo went through quite a few options before I was happy with the end outcome and I really enjoyed the development process. I think I did this more than normal due to the fact it was for a real company. I also enjoyed experimenting with new materials such as the velvet, in regards to the laser cutting and how I could incorporate it into the product format. Such as the layered labels etc.

I think some weaknesses within this brief could be that I could have extended it slightly further by producing mock-ups of the shop itself. I also feel the photography could have been improved by taking shots of the products in context so that it was easier to understand.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Interim Crit - Elmwood.

Recently, Steph from Elmwood visited the studio to do an interim crit for this brief to discuss peoples initial ideas and progress. Here was my feedback:
  • Funfare idea is strong and quirky, definitely something that people will remember
  • The idea of bumper cars could be associated with dangerous driving
  • Pair with  a slogan that cancels this out
  • Funfare - without the bumps?
  • Theme of the funfair could be pushed a lot further
  • Look at more products associated with the fair
  • Use of language
  • Design aspects like typography and colour

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Evaluation - Brabantia.

Through this brief I have improved my skills in pattern design and more specifically designing something that is suitable for a specific brand and it's products. After researching into Brabantia and analysing the style of the current look I believe I managed to create something that fits with their current collection but also develops it into something new and desirable for the customers. I have also developed my skills in extending briefs and going further than what has been asked initially, I feel that this is beneficial as it has pushed me as a designer and is a good work ethic to develop for the future. In addition I have developed my knowledge of creating a collection and designing products that follow a theme and work aesthetically together to create a set.

Through this brief I have undertaken various research themes. Initially I looked at Brabantia themselves which as I have already mentioned guided me to the style of retro design I looked at. This then led me to look prints in this style that were already around to help get a better understanding of colour a shape and how they interact together, through this I developed a range of pattern that helped get the cogs turning. In addition I also looked at retro style homes and how the pattern have been applied to tangible products, this really helped when applying my print to items in terms of composition, scale and also extending the range.

I feel that a strength within this brief has been the considered approach to audience, I think this became more apparent when I looked at other submissions for the competition aspect of this brief. I found that the other entries did not follow the Brabantia brand and the focus of the designer were not suitable for a kitchen/home environment. Another strength is how I have extended the brief and pushed the amount of work that was needed and within this created a strong group of products that I believe would be successful in a real environment.

I think some weaknesses within this brief could be that I could have extended it slightly further by producing packing for the products and maybe additional promotional items. In addition I could have created a larger range by producing a selection of colour schemes that would have given the target audience more choice.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Events - Design Manchester.

I recently went to an event in Manchester called 'Design Manchester'. I found it to be a really great experience and I got to hear a selection of talks from some great designers. Here are some notes I made:

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Presentation - Level 6 Introduction.

Direction for Level 6

During this year the main focus of the briefs I have picked is retail as it is something that really interests me and I feel that previous projects I have undertaken like Kubu homewear have been my most successful. I also feel that within this sector there are a lot of routes that I can also explore like branding, packaging, editorial and web which will give my portfolio variety.

Collaborative Briefs

I have planned to take part in a selection of collaborative briefs with other students on the course but also with outside individuals. I am really excited about this as I have really enjoyed collaborative projects in the past and feel that they are successful because of the increased skill set and ideas. One project is with a graduated millinery designer who is looking to start to brand herself with business cards and a look book, I am looking forward to the editorial side of this. With Beth we plan to do a past YCN brief, M&S Perfect Picnic that will lead us to improve our packaging design skills. Lastly with Emily we had the idea of creating a stationary brand that uses practical techniques like laser cut for the products.

Individual Briefs

My briefs I will undertake individually I am also excited about and cover a variety of my interests. For example Brabantia that is primarily about pattern design that is something that I really enjoy, this is a brief I would like to extend as it is a competition brief and the main aim is to just create a print although I would like to push this create a new product range and promotional material. The next brief is Graze that focusses on the practical side of packaging which will be interesting to learn about. I also plan to design a new cosmetics brand that will focus on luxury, I think this is one of the projects I am most looking forward too. Another brief is some work linking with fashion brand Motel, whilst researching I noticed that their promotion is predominantly digital so I plan to make a print magazine that would aim to target new customers. Lastly is a competition brief from Talenthouse, where accessories company Galina London has asked for a new logo, although similarly with Brabantia I want to extend this and create related objects that the branding can be applied to.

CoP Research

I also briefly talked about the current research I have done for my CoP work. At the moment I plan it to be about the relation between propaganda and advertising and explore the similarities and differences between them. Although as this develops it may change to something else if I feel it is more suitable and relevant to me.

Studio Visit

Finally I spoke about my visit to Studio Baum in Bristol over summer and the possibility of a placement there. I also plan to visit some larger studios in order to get a comparison.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Studio Visit - Studio Baum.

During the summer I went to visit Sam Baum at his studio in Bristol and I found it really beneficial. This was the first studio I had visited on my own and initially I was quite apprehensive about it as I hadn't shown my work to anyone out of the studio environment before. When I arrived the space was part of a large building filled with other creatives that I thought was great. The studio itself was small but this was due to it being a one person work place. After introductions we went to a near by cafe to go through my portfolio. I found this to be a big confidence boost as Sam was impressed with my work. We then went through a few of his projects and I was able to ask questions. I am really glad that I took the time to do this as I found it to be very helpful and I would definitely do it again.


"Essentially, Studio Baum is a family business – we value each other and the people we work with. Established in 2005 by husband and wife team, Sam and Jess Baum, we are an independent studio specialising in multidisciplinary design and art direction. Studio Baum flourishes on the variety of creative projects we work on: from brand development to letterpress printing to moving image, and digital design to annual reports to education outreach. We collaborate with clients internationally, across both the profit and not-for-profit sectors."

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Looking into Studios - Numiko.

After Numiko coming for a talk and visiting their studio I have decided to do some further research into them and their work.

"We are an award-winning digital agency, solving problems for our clients through user research, design and technology. 

We have a team of 28 talented people working across a variety of disciplines.

Research: knowing who your users are, what they think and what they do is incredibly useful. Never skip; do not pass go.

Strategy: how best to engage with your users to persuade them to do something. User Experience: understanding how users move through systems and services. Digital Design and Brand 

Development: brands can and should be developed to take advantage of interaction. So often they are not.

Bulletproof tech: we prefer and therefore only use open source, largely Drupal. We can make it go very fast without falling over. We can make it do what we and our clients want, rather than us working for the machines."

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Studio Visit - Numiko.

After Numiko did a talk in college me, Beth and Imogen went down to their studio to have a look around. During their talk they mentioned how web isn't just coding but is also a lot about design and how you incorporate the two together. This interested me as I enjoy constructing the look of a website but don't always have the knowledge to put it together.

Turning up initially I was quite nervous as this was the first studio visit I had done and I didn't know what to expect, however going with friends made it easier as they were there as support. It made me more confident as we could all ask questions and turn up together and I think next time I have the confidence to do it individually. The visit mainly consisted of a tour around the building and being introduced to different members of the company, it was interesting to see how many people there was as this was something I didn't expect. There were a lot more job roles than I initially anticipated as well, for examples researches and finance departments that seems obvious now but I hadn't considered them beforehand. It was interesting to see how the design team worked as well from the front end that determined what the user would see and the coding team that would put the ideas of the previous group into something usable.

Overall this experience made me think differently about web and the opportunities within it. It also made me a lot more confident in visiting studios in the future.

Friday, 31 May 2013

OUGD502 Final Evaluation.

What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

I think I have definitely improved my professional knowledge and understanding throughout this module. This has definitely been assisted by the selection of lectures addressing this subject, informing me on things like swot analysis and the 4 p's, concepts that were totally alien to me before this year. After learning this information I found it helpful that we then had to put this knowledge into practice and create our own design studio during 'life's a pitch'. Putting the information into context like this was really beneficial as it made it a lot easier to understand. Another skill I have developed is branding, that I have applied to our company juice and myself. This is something I found really enjoyable and I was quite surprised about this as it has never really appealed to me a great deal before. I found that it was a lot more creative and a lot less corporate than I was expecting.

What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?

I think the talks that have taken place from different speakers has been really beneficial for my design development. It was interesting listening to them all as they all had something very different to say and had had a lot of varied experience. I felt it was helpful listening to these people as it gave a great insight into the industry and topics were brought up that I hadn't really considered before. 

What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

I think a strength I have had through this module has to be my documentation of the lectures and similar seminars. I have found these really useful to refer back to and they have informed a lot of the more recent things that I have done. Because of the complexity of what was said and my unfamiliarity with it I would have never remembered what was said, but due to the documentation this wasn't a problem. I also feel that my branding work has been a success and this comes as quite a surprise to me as it something I haven't really dealt with before. I am really happy with what I have created relating to this as I think they communicate the brand very well and have a professional look.

What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?

I think a weakness has definitely been time management in relation to this module. It has definitely been something that has been but on the back burner due to it having the latest deadline. Because of this I had been focussing mainly on other projects because they were in the forefront. In hindsight I definitely should have dedicated more time to this and set myself more goals in relation to it. I think this would have improved the standard of work and would have also increased my knowledge as I would have been dealing with it more.

Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to change from doing these?

  1. I would definitely organise my time better this would allow me to make more out of the year and module.
  2. I would look into a lot more studios, this would improve my knowledge and spur on networking opportunities.
  3. I would email studios further in advance as by now I could have already organised a placement.
  4. I would expand further on the tasks as this would expand my knowledge.
  5. I would produce my branding to a higher quality to get a better finish.

How would you grade yourself in the following areas (5 - excellent to 1 - poor):

  • Attendance: 5
  • Punctuality: 5
  • Motivation: 3
  • Commitment: 4
  • Quantity of work: 3
  • Quality of work: 4
  • Commitment to the group: 4

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Study Task Eight - What is a CV?

Identify a minimum of 10 designer's, studios or practitioners that you intend to contact with a view to organising a range of studio visits. In doing this you will need a full set of contact details for direct mailing. You will also need to familiarise yourself with their work their clients and the set up of their studio/practice.

  1. Design Bridge
    • +44 (0)20 7814 9922
    • 18 Clerkenwell CloseLondonEC1R 0QN
  2. Analogue
  3. The Pink Group
    • +44 (0)20 8870 6968
    • 2 Apsley House
      176 Upper Richmond Road
      London SW15 2SH
  4. Pearlfisher
    • +44 (0)20 7603 8666
    • 50 Brook Green
      W6 7BJ
  5. Turner Duckworth
    • +44 (0)20 8994 7190
    • Voysey House
      Barley Mow Passage
      London W4 4PH
  6. This is Colt
    • 020 3008 4375
    • 24 Greville Street, London EC1N 8SS
  7. Here Design
    • +44 (0)20 8986 1850
    • The Ink Works
      32 Fortescue Avenue
      London E8 3QB
  8. 3 fish in a tree
    • +44 20 7922 1200
    • 1.18 Oxo Tower Wharf
      London SE1 9PH
  9. Studio Baum
    • (+44) 0117 910 5216 
    • The Wool Hall
      12 St Thomas Street
      Bristol BS1 6JJ
  10. Workbrands
    • 0117 966 9189
    • Ferodo House
      Willway Street
      BS3 4BG

A Design Presence Email Responses.

After a short space of time since emailing I have already received some feedback. Some not so helpful but others with the plan to organise meetings to talk through my work etc. I am really happy with this progress and am surprised that it has been slightly easier than I thought it would be. I think the thought of it was more daunting than it actually is. This has spurred me on to contact more places in the future.

The Pink Group


Studio Baum

Hato Press

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A Design Presence Web Animation.

I have created this animation to show how my personal website would work, it takes you step by step through the pages. I feel I have been very thorough regarding this as it shows every single page that would be available to the audience, rather than a select few.

A Design Presence Promotional Pack.

Here is my promotional pack that contains a business card, cv and cd. I have kept the design simple and the aspects slot cleanly inside the slits to hold them in place. I think it works successfully and demonstrates how the branding works well together as a set of consistent items.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

A Design Presence Foiling Experiments.

As I decided I wanted my business card to be foiled I tried some experiments to see how it would look in real life. Unfortunately this didn't go quite to plan as the laser printer technique didn't produce the desired results. Because the coloured paper was slightly textured the foil didn't take to it as well as I hoped it would and the end result was definitely not what I was after. The sample on the white card was a lot more successful because of the smoother surface, but it wasn't the background colour I initially had in mind.

I then tried another method using my foiling glue, this was very time consuming and I had to be very precise with the application. After applying the foil the quality was a lot better but still didn't have the perfect look I had envisioned, even though it did get the idea across.