Thursday, 22 May 2014

OUGD603 // Module Evaluation

1. What skills have you developed thought this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

Throughout the year I have worked on many briefs which have all encounted different skill sets. The main areas that I have developed throughout the year are my craft and print skills. These have been the ones which I have worked on the most within all my briefs. Developing these skills have influenced my practice and made me think more about using them after the course has finished. Looking into screen - print studios is something that is a definite.

Aside to print and craft skills, my digitals skills have also been improved, working throughout the year on my illustration skills has brought this area of design on par with the rest of my practice.

Within all my briefs the skill set has been applied in different ways, this has been due to different formats, paper sizes, and media types. I have mainly worked within the print medium all year round, but trying out different techniques and methods within these areas has created an effective practice of applying design.

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

Printing methods have become the main part of my practice, throughout the briefs I have undertaken I have tried to vary the methods I have used to create a range within my practice. I have worked on a lot of print work, which has used screen-printing heavily. This use of print within my practice has informed me about a subject area that I really enjoy and it has changed my opinion on what could be a career route once leaving uni.

Other methods such as book binding and printing techniques have been used throughout the projects, theses have all been built upon from what I have previously learnt and informed my practice in a positive way.

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

The strengths this year within my work are publishing and editorial and print. I feel that these two have been the main focus of all my briefs and the main things that I have produced within each of the briefs. I have worked on the skill level of both of these areas to produce a high standard of work and towards the end of the year I think this is clearly evident within what I have produced and shown. There have been other areas such as packaging and branding which I have worked on, I think these are still strengths of mine, but the other two are the most dominant and the ones in which you see mostly within my work.

I have also built upon concept and idea generation this year, I think the concept of each of my briefs are strong and show a good understanding of the subject area and the brief I am working on. This in turn has developed the idea generation and made this process a lot better than it previously has been.

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

I think my weakness with year has been knowing when to stop working on a brief. There has been quite a few briefs which have gone on for a lot longer than they needed to and no more work was produced to show for this. Whereas some of the shorter briefs I created a much larger product range and the brief as whole was much more considered.

The second thing I could of worked on more was probably my drawing skills and design sheets. I found myself working in notebooks and bits of paper, to drawn down ideas when they came into my head. Now there is nothing wrong with this as the idea is still there and can be developed, but by having the design sheets it makes it easier to see the route of the design and what I can work on to develop it further into a better product / design.

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

- I would of liked to have a clear knowledge of what I wanted to work on from the beginning of the year, but in not knowing the year has panned out as a good experience and ended with me knowing what to do.

- Focus more on print. Even though print didnt really come into my practice until the end of the dissertation and dialigue exhibition. I felt that I could have incorporated it more into my future brief within the year and spend more time in the print room.

- Collaborate more. From the collaborations that I have done this year, I have felt they have gone really well and the work produced is probably some of the best within the year. Knowing this I wish I had of collaborated more and worked with other people to get a better understanding of how people work and how to work with them effectively.

- Commercial work. I feel that alot of my briefs this year are very much design led. I think I would gone back and chosen some other briefs that had more of a commercial element to show that they could work / be produced as a real physical thing.

Attendance - 5
Punctuality - 5
Motivation - 5
Commitment - 5
Quantity of work produced - 5
Quality of work produced - 5
Contribution of the group - 5

OUGD603 // OUGD603 Summary

I feel that this year has been a great success. I have defiantly been more engage with the year as a whole and I feel that I took control of it and produced some great work. At the beginning of the year, I set out the brie which I thought would be best for me, soon after starting to work on certain briefs, I realised that the idea of being hands on and physically making things was becoming more apparent within my work. I tailored my brief from here onwards to accomodate for this.

It wasn't until completing the dissertation and working on the practical element, that I really started to know what I wanted to do. I have always been interested in print and this has been the main medium in which I work in, but researching into the subject further within my dissertation gave me a greater understanding and appreciation for the subject. I put everything I learnt through the research into practice by producing the COP practical element and it was this that made a sudden change to my practice.

After working on COP module and having this idea of print in my head, alot of my briefs changed either on the outcomes or I worked on completely different briefs. I really got into the idea of print and focussing on creating beautifully crafted products for every brief that I undertook.

The main brief from throughout the year was Dialogue exhibition, this brief went on for the majority of the year as it was a huge project that consisted of a lot of smaller elements to create the final exhibition. As a project that the final outcomes was based on print, this again was within my area of design and working on the project, especially the print and curation side of it, really opened my eyes yet again to the design area. I found that I was enjoying being down in the print room, much more than being sat at my computer in studio. Working on print gave me something to focus on and engaged me all the time, whereas I found that I got bored really easily sat at my computer working. After working on dialogue, this again pushed the idea of print for me and I brought the physical print back into some more of my other briefs.

The year has presented its ups and downs, I feel that the briefs and times before christmas weren't that great, the briefs I completed then are of a good standard and ones which I don't think I wouldn't do again, but they weren't in the right direction for me and my practice. Although it was doing them briefs that proved to me what I did actually want to work within. After christmas I felt that I found my feet and started to work on the briefs that really engaged me and I started to produce much better work which I was proud of and confident to show. From then onwards I think I have developed as a designer further and further.

I have found the self-directed approach of the year good and bad. I have liked the fact that it was self-directed and all the briefs were down to us to choose and work on, but in some instances I did miss the structure of having the different modules and set deadlines. The latter end of the year, I did start to set myself clear deadlines and made myself stick to them as I found some of the briefs went on for much longer than they needed to. With this year being structured how it was, it has felt more relaxed, but I still feel as though I have produced as much work if not more than last year. One thing I did miss from the previous years was the crits. I always used to find these useful and often changed projects etc from the feedback of the crits, not having as many of these this year was a shame as I do think they are valuable to the brief and for feedback.

Overall this final year has been a great experience, I feel that as a designers it helped me massively realise what I want to do when I leave the course and my time here has been great. The year has gone really fast and I am going to miss the atmosphere of the studio and everyone involved with the course. I wouldn't change anything that I have done this year and I don't think I would do anything different if I was to do it again, because everything that has happened throughout the year has had some effect on my practice - in a positive or negative way, but either way it helped develop and define the type of designer I want to be and the designer I am that is leaving the course. The past three years have been very valuable to me and have been blast, I am very proud of being apart of Leeds College of Art.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

OUGD603 // Statement of Intent

At the beginning of the year we had to fill out a statement of intent, so state what we were going to do throughout the year and the briefs we were going to undertake. Looking back at this document it has changed a lot over the year and I think I have only done a couple of the briefs I set out on this document, due to changes within my practice, I swapped around brief and found other things that I was interested in.

To show what I have done this year and how the year has been as a whole, I have re-written the form so that it is up to date.

Brief 16 // Typocircle // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 15 // DFGA // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 14 // Design Context Book // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 13 // Luke Beevers Photography // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 12 // 21st Whisky // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 11 // Manifesto // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 10 // LCA Studio Window // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 9 // Fedrigoni // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 8 // DR. Me Flag // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 7 // Elmwood // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 6 // Life with Energy // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 5 // Notebooks // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 4 // A very alternate christmas // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 3 // Iconic Cities // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 2 // Yoke // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 1 // imprint // Presentation Boards

Final presentation / submission boards to evidence the full project from the start to end. The presentation boards show the research, development, concept and final outcomes of the brief.

Brief 16 // Typocircle // Evaluation

Brief 16: Typocircle
The Typocircle brief was taken from a previous D&AD brief, within the brief I answered the D&AD brief but also extended it to create a proposal for a three-day event which included live talks and an exhibition.

From the beginning of the brief I set out to create a campaign with the strong concept, this was kept simple but bold through the use of imagery and colour. I feel that this was a strong point of the brief and an element that I executed well as the concept provided a focal point to all the branded material.

Throughout the brief I focused on produced products of a high quality, through the use of good quality stock and using printing and binding techniques, all the products were designed to a high standard and when printed with the professional stocks, they carried a ‘limited edition’ aesthetic.

Printing processes and binding methods were a big part of this brief, I purposely decided to use screen print on the relevant products because it was a process that was becoming more relevant to me and my practice, it also fit with the idea of making the products carry a high quality aesthetic.

The brief entailed a large product range, as creating promotional material and a promo pack for the event needed a lot of different products creating to show how the branding and campaign concept can be spread across all the products. Within creating the large product range I experimented with formats, sizes and stocks. This again was a highlight of the project and something that is visible within the outcomes of the brief.

This project has been a great mixture of graphic design and print. I have had the advantage of creating a large product range and being able to showcase how I can design over print and web keeping a consistent design and aesthetic to create a strong campaign with a underlining concept. The use of print processes and other craft methods within the brief is strongly evident and has made it a much stronger and more interesting project; I believe that this is the best result within the outcomes and it is a visible aesthetic that is constant across all the products.

I love to print and physically make products, this brief has enabled me to do this and to improve and perfect my skills because of the high quality standard that needed to be achieved within each product. I feel that this is the strongest element of the brief as it is the area I am most comfortable with. On a slightly negative note, I do think there are some improvements that could be made, the photography of the project is acceptable, but compared to some of the other briefs, its not as strong and doesn’t show the brief to its full potential, this was mainly because of the large product range and not physically being able to get everything working together to take good shots.

On the whole I do think that this brief is one of the better ones within my portfolio and I believe that because it uses both the graphic designer and print maker within myself, I got the advantages from both worlds and created a project that had elements from both sides which were my strongest, resulting in the brief being one that has a clear understanding, aesthetical style and communication to the target audience. Possibly if I was to do it again, I would look at creating the whole project through screen-printing and maybe focus on less products but making them more interesting through the format and interaction with the user.  

Brief 15 // DFGA // Evaluation

Brief 15: DFGA Yearbook
From the beginning of this brief I was skeptical about taking it on and what would actually be involved within it. I didn’t really know much about the course, which didn’t help when I first started out working on the brief. To get around this I had to find out information about the course and investigate into the students work to get a better understanding of DFGA. After doing this I felt much more confident about working on the yearbook and started to create some visuals.

The reason that I chose to take on this brief was because a lot of my work throughout the year was print based, with this being digital it provided a different media and project type within my portfolio, I also wanted to show that I could work on something other than print.

The interactive element of the document was a learning curve within Indesign, I had to research into this online and find out how to create the interactive button and links. I found that exporting PDF for interactive media was a lot challenging than I first thought, this did bring up complications within the production of the PDF document, but by working with the DFGA course tutor we managed to create a solution.

The most challenging part of this brief was working with the students on the course; it is a very diverse course and has a lot of different personalities within it. This caused some problems with the content I was given from them, in particular the descriptions within their biography. It took a long time for me to receive the content from students and tutors which was frustrating, as it hinder the production of the yearbook.

I feel that the design of the PDF answers the brief and showcases the work of the students in a well considered manor, providing ample space for them to display their work and show the user there own practice. This I feel is the most important part of the brief and the most successful, as I have managed to create a consistent design throughout that works for all students and all types of work given to me to fit within the yearbook.

I feel that within the brief time management has been a key focus, I think that on my part I have kept the brief running smoothly and kept up with the designing of the yearbook and the schedule to which it had to be done by. I think that the disadvantage was working with the DFGA course, as they didn’t have good time management skills and kept the brief from moving on at the pace I would of liked it to.

Overall, even though this was quite a stressful and frustrating brief due to the constant wait to receive content for the yearbook, it has actually been quite enjoyable. I have liked working outside of my comfort zone and working on a purely digital brief. This has shown myself that there is more you can do than just print and still have interest within it. As a designer working for the DFGA course, I believe I have designed and created a great document that showcase all the students’ work and highlights the DFGA course in the best way possible.
Design Context Publication

The design context publication was a great brief to work on, as it was designing about myself and creating a product that communicated and contextualised my own practice.

From the start of the brief, I had my idea for the publication that was to show the two sides of my practice. I think this publication was great way to inform people what I really was interested in within one product.

As a designer that loved editorial design and books in general this was right up my street and getting stuck into the publication was inevitable for me. I wanted to create a visual guide to my practice showing the influences and inspiration I had looked at throughout the year. I feel that this was the most important element of the publication and it was the focal point of the whole brief, looking back at the printed product now, I do believe that I have achieved this.

Creating a layout which worked throughout the whole publication wasn’t what I wanted to do, thinking back to this, I was glad that I chose to create bespoke layouts for each of the pages, as the product now has a great combination of layouts, making it more interesting to read and look it, but the fundamental part of it is that it still all look consistent throughout and creates a visual style throughout the publication.

I chose to use the colours of my branding within the publication, as it was about me, it made it relevant to both my practice and to communicate me as a designer. If I was to change anything it would possibly be this element, I like the fact that is it relevant to my branding, but it is too much of the same throughout the publication, I would of liked to introduce more colours or a colour for each of the sections, to make it more visual and interesting when reading through it.

I feel that the strongest element within the brief and publication is the content, I have selected the content around each of the categories within the publication, but also within each page, the content is chosen on similar colours / themes. I think that this makes the layout and pages of the publication much stronger in the design and in the communication of the product. Also adding the body copy that is research from my dissertation, gives the publication some depth and understanding, this mixed with the images and layout of the two combined creates a publication that communicates me as a designer, but backs this up with the information and informs the reader of that. The combination has truly worked well in my opinion and makes the reader understand my practice.

The final element to the brief, which is another strong point and something that may not be seen at first, is the use of the letterpress letters on the front cover. These were done within the print room and were a great way to get hands on within the brief. I like to bring in printed elements within all my briefs, as it is something I enjoy to do, along with improving my skills, but it also adds to the products as it gives them the physical feeling of print and adds to the value of the product. The process was a fairly easy one and didn’t take much time, meaning I was still on track and kept up with my time management within the brief itself.

Overall I feel that this has been a very successful brief, I am confident with the publication I have created and believe that this is probably one of the best publication is terms on the understanding through the content of it. I think the execution of the design process and layouts within the publication are to a high standard and work well for the both the content and to communicate the ideas within it. When looking through the publication myself, I can see the relation of the imagery and articles within my own practice.

Brief 14 // Design Context Book // Evaluation

Brief 14: Design Context Publication
The design context publication was a self-indulgence brief, this was to create a publication to inform and contextualise your own practice. For this I decided to create a visual publication that displayed my influences and inspiration from throughout the year and mix in research from various things that was relevant to the content to show a clear understanding of my own practice.

The main element of the brief was the concept, throughout this year I feel as though I have two sides to my practice, one side being graphic design and the other being a print maker, there are overlaps within this and each side if effected by the other and vice versa, but it made sense to split the publication into these two sections and display content under these two categories. I think in doing this I have shown an understanding of my practice and through the choice of the content that again shows how I have been researching around the right areas of design to keep my whole practice consistent.

For the publication I wanted it to be very visual, hence a heavy use of imagery within it, as a creative I feel that I best explain myself through image, so creating an image based publication is relevant and does this in the best way. Using different sized images and formats, I was able to build up a composition within the pages of the publication and make each one slightly different, giving it a bespoke / hand crafted feel. This reflects practice as hand crafted and high quality design has been a focus of it, especially within the publishing and editorial.

The final bit to the publication was the information that was used for the body copy. I wanted to include specific information for each of the sections; this would include articles, facts, stats and anything else I could find. The idea of this is to show that there is an understanding behind all the visual elements and that there is a theory based practice underlining all of my work. Mixing the information within the imagery creates an interesting layout in the publication and makes a better read for the user. It is also shows how the visual elements and theory are directly related to each other.

I think the strongest element of this brief was looking at the concept and creating a layout which clearly shows what I wanted to inform the user about. Reading through the publication, you can see clear evidence that the content is directly related to my practice and it all things that I have looked at for inspiration and development of my practice. The layout of the publication is also a strong point as I feel this displays the information in a interesting manor and builds a unique composition on each spread, yet the publication carries a consistent identity all the way through. The layouts take into consideration the imagery, and I have displayed similar images together by looking at the content of the image and colours involved. This makes the understanding of each page clearer and with the information, which again is directly related to the imagery, it creates a strong editorial design that evidences everything in relation to who I am.

Not necessarily a weak point as this does work well for the publication and gives it an identity, but looking back at the publication the colours used makes the publication quite monotone throughout. Even there is the use of two colours, it feels slightly too similar for the whole publication. The reason of doing it like this was because I wanted to identify the publication as being about me as a designer and the colours used are of my personal branding, so there is a relationship there and it works to contextualise the whole publication, but maybe more colours could have been better.

This is the only one thing I would change if I were to do it again. I would probably look at a larger document, as I feel that the content included and what the publication is made up from is just the beginning of my practice and I could probably expand it further working on the concept created as I think it is very strong and on point for the purpose of the publication.

Overall I have enjoyed working on this brief and believe that the outcome is very positive and delivers on the concept and purpose I set out to achieve. Looking through the publication, it is very visual which works great for the purpose and showcases all the required content to inform the user of my practice, which I think is clearly evident from the content of the publication. I got the publication printed professionally online, as I felt having it properly bound and made would create a much more professional product, which looking at the publication, it was defiantly a good move as the print quality is really high and sets off the design of the layouts within the publication. This is defiantly one of the best publishing and editorial design briefs because there is a clear concept, contexualisation within the product and the design clearly evidences the purpose of it, which is to display the inspiration and influences that have been apart of the development of my practice and made it what it is today.    

Brief 13 // Luke Beevers Photography // Evaluation

Brief 13: Luke Beevers Photography
I wanted the chance to work on another branding project, so when my friend asked me if I would design his brand & identity I took the offer up and started to work on it straight away.

Photography is always something I have been interested in as a hobby and it was a great opportunity to work alongside a photographer and create the branding for him. This was a good mix of my interests and design, which instantly made the brief more interesting for me and more enjoyable to work.

It was also good to use the photographer as a client and set up meetings and emails discussing the branding and making amendments when feedback was received from him. Treating the brief in this instance is felt more like a client-based brief and one that would happen outside of Uni, within the industry. It was a great experience and it improved my skills within being able to talk about the work and explain where it all came from – something I will need to be good at within the industry.

Working on the actual branding of this brief was different to any other because it was very personal to the photographer and I made it heavily based on him and his aspirations within the photography industry. The photographer works within live music and lifestyle & clothing, he works both in set and on location. With a large emphasis on an urban style and edging towards an American feel, the branding was created to communicate this idea and sense of showing him for who he is as a photographer. I feel that this is one of the strongest points within the brief and the fact that I have been able to create this concept and carry it through within the design of the identity.

The colour scheme and print of the branding was the second focal point within the designing of the identity. As a photographer the standard needed to be high and focus on the quality. Using the black and white colour scheme exposes this element, but also means that the branding can be easily used within any of his work. This was a main factor that the photographer spoke about in the beginning, which I believe the branding delivers on and takes this element to the point that it cant be explored or applied in a better way.

If I had more time to work on this brief, then I would of looked at developing the branding and identity further, I feel that the identity is designed well and has a considered approach to answer what the photographer needs, but within the time frame given to complete the brief, there wasn’t much development as he was happy with what I had created. I feel that with maybe some more development within the logo or the application, this could have been really special. The same with the product outcomes, if I ha longer I would of liked to expand upon these and look into creating a portfolio / lookbook for the photographer and maybe even extend it to a website. This would of challenged me further and given me a greater experience with working with a client on such products like that.

That said I am still happy with the brief and feel that with the time and scale that I had been given from the photographer, the branding and identity was executed well, conformed to the photographers needs and most of all it reflects who he is as a creative and gives him a professional brand to go into the industry with. On my part it has taught me about working with / for a client and gave me the opportunity to work on a subject area that I wouldn’t normally undertake. Also the idea of being able to think of a concept that is so close to the client, when I’m not them, was quite impressive for myself. I feel as a branding project I have learnt a lot and understand the meaning of creating a consistent brand that can be applied to many different products, formats and work over print and web in a suitable and professional manor.

Brief 12 // 21st Whisky // Evaluation

Brief 12: 21st Century Whisky
Taking an old D&AD brief and changing it slightly, resulted in this brief that I have conducted. I was interesting in involving a packaging brief within the year, as it is something that wasn’t my strongest point. I like the craft side of the design area and physically making different packaging, but I do find myself struggling with designing for packaging. I wanted to get over this idea within my head and prove to myself that I could create a great brief and project within the design area and it enable me to show some variation within my portfolio.

From reading this brief I was interested in doing it because of the subject area. Not knowing a lot about whisky I was intrigued to work on a brief that wasn’t something I knew much about, hence meaning a lot of research needed to be carried out. I also felt that this is quite a subjective brief and due to the demand of the product, it is hard to get it right and on point with the other most famous brands.  This was the exact challenge I set myself and I wanted to achieve it well.

Surprisingly the research within this brief was one of the most enjoyable parts to it. As I previously said I didn’t have much knowledge about whisky products, so the research was essential to get a better understanding. This was evident within one particular area of whisky – the making process. I found this really fascinating how all these different types of whisky were made. This turned into the concept of the brief, I had managed to take the understanding of the element and apply it within a design – when developing the design I thought back to this and realised that doing this in this particular way was a great improve to how I would normally work - it was developing my skills and introducing me to knew things which I found great as a designer to experience.

I think from taking so much time on researching into the subject and the concept this is one of the strongest elements within the brief. The branding and identity have a real meaning behind them and it was all contextualised and back up with the research – showing the design had true meaning. Carrying this through to the simple but very effective bottle labels, shows the understanding of the concept and that I was able to visualise the information and communicate it through the design to the audience. For me the bottle labels are the best part of the project, sourcing the bottles and creating the labels together makes a great combination and one which both compliment each other on.

The weakest part to the brief is the box packaging. The packaging does have its place within the brief and works alongside the bottle label design, but if it was to go to market and be put on the shelves, I don’t think it would be that successful. It’s a little too design led and not commercial enough, for this particular project it is fine and shows a consistent design between the packaging and bottle label, but as real packaging for a whisky product it lacks within the design. It feels out of place and doesn’t really communicate whisky product through the design, I think this is due to the white stock used and the minimal design which gives it no correlation to the whisky industry. With some improvements to the box packaging, it could turn this brief into being excellent and not just good.

In comparison I think that the bottle labels have been a great success, these clearly communicate the idea and concept of the brief through the design of the labels, but also provide a new and different aesthetical style to such a traditional product. With the photography of the products being one of the main focal points and an element that I took a lot of time over, I am really pleased with the outcome of it. As product photography it places the different products together and showcases them well to create an understanding of the product within the image itself. Using different angles and depths of field, the photography shots give a varied view of the product. I believe that the photography has enhanced the project and made it stronger as it focuses on the most prominent elements within the brand and showcases them fully within the shots. The photographs highlight the true meaning behind the concept and design of the whisky product, showing a greater understanding of the subject area. I am proud of the photography of this brief and feel really comfortable with showing it to people, as I believe I have done a good job.

The project overall has been a good experience; setting out this brief was in order to improve my packaging skills. I think this is evident with certain elements of the brief, but the most successful parts are the ones that you wouldn’t necessarily class as packaging. So in terms of improving my packaging skills, I’m not one hundred percent sure it did this, but it defiantly did make me understand the power of research and the outcome of fully getting behind this part of a brief to create a well considered design that has a context behind it. Also improving my photography skills has been a big asset to me and is something that I can take away and use within other briefs. Things I would improve if I was to do it again would include the box packaging, thinking about the format and the use of the design space would probably create a better design and one that relates to the whisky product further, instead of being a little disconnected with the products and brief. But generally I have enjoyed the challenge the brief set me and it was good to work in a design area that pushed me out of my comfort zone, I do think it shows the capabilities of my design skills and proves I can apply design to many areas and create a design approach that produces high quality outcomes.

Brief 11 // Manifesto // Evaluation

Brief 11: Manifesto
The manifesto project wasn’t a planned brief and came from the result of having to create a personal manifesto within the PPP module. When doing that element, I found myself really connecting with the idea of a manifesto and personally my manifesto. It did voice my opinions and attitudes within the design industry and in particular my own practice. I think creating such a personal product is always good for self evaluation and being able to take a step back and see yourself for who you really are. Doing this part of the brief was the first time that I really thought about who I am as a designer and what makes me tick. I wanted to this to come across within the manifesto and be a product that introduces myself.

Writing the manifesto itself was the hardest part of the brief, as I am not the greatest of writers, this pushed my abilities, but by taking time and rewriting a lot of the statements, I have managed to create a well written 10-point manifesto in the style of positive and persuasive writing. This was the first success within the brief and one that was a great improvement to my writing skills.

The manifesto brief opened up the interpretation of each of the manifesto points. Using an illustrative style I planned out the design of each of the points in order to create a simple but bold illustration. I wanted these to be fun and imaginative to show a different side of my personality that you may not recognize straight away. The use of colour within the manifesto was important to showcase this element and the palette I created was a bright, vibrant colour range, which made the manifesto product very visual and interesting to look at.

The illustrative approach made me thing about the manifesto further as I had to interpret each one into a design, this initial idea generation was difficult to start with as not all the manifesto points had clear design aspects that I could pick from. This again improved my idea generation and creative thinking. The illustration worked on my illustration skills and helped showcase them within my portfolio.

Towards the end of the brief I was self evaluating what I had created and realised that this would be a great product for my own branding, as it very personal to myself and is a great introduction to who I am. Changing the brief slightly enabled me to turn the manifesto product into a personal branding piece. To do this I applied my branding to the packaging and created an envelope that also carried my branding. Realising this proved to myself that I was thinking about my own practice and where / how I could take this, sub consciously it is probably something that is always on mind, but this brief has brought it to light and made me think about what I could try and achieve once the course is finished.

As a full brief this has mainly improved a lot of my skills and ones that aren’t just design based. My writing skills an creative thinking skills have all been improved through the development stages of this brief, along with my illustration skills being the main focus point and the ones which have been developed the furthest. The brief was a quick turnaround, which was done on purpose to see what I could create in the timescale given, I am happy with the product and believe that it does inform the user about me. The mix of illustration, packaging and the written element within this brief has brought many elements together into one accomplished project which stands out as a product and has real personal meaning behind it. To do this brief again, I would maybe create a larger set, or look at a different design approach to extend the brief and make the product into something larger or another product alongside to enhance the meaning and understanding of it further. Overall as a product which is now part of my personal branding, it aesthetically fits in with my branding and further explores the idea of what my branding and how it showcases me as a designer, I think many creative within the industry would like to see this product and fine it interesting as the personal approach always creates an interested and intriguing reaction that gives the true result and success of the brief.

Brief 10 // LCA Studio Window // Evaluation

Brief 10: LCA Studio Window
The studio window display was a fun and enjoyable brief. This was a quick turnaround brief that only lasted a couple of days. I was asked to create a window displayed based on typography and using a quote from my manifesto.

With the brief being a quick turn around, it meant that I had to create the design on a much quicker scale than before. This was good for me as the previous brief had been quite long, so having to work quicker and to more of a deadline helped me change the pace within my work and produce a good quality design, but within a much smaller time. I enjoyed the fact that it was shorter and that within a day I had the design there ready to be vinyl cut.

Working with a different material was a good experience, vinyl cutting the design meant that the design had to be thought about when actually designing it, as the vinyl cutter only recognizes outlined shapes. Any sort of intricate design had to be converted to a outline and the design had to be thought about to make sure the right bits were cut out. I had previously used the vinyl cutter before this brief, but not to the extent of cutting a full design. In the end it wasn’t that difficult, as the chosen design was a typographic display, this was easily converted to an outline and cut out.

The use of typography was heavily influences within this brief, researching into typographic window displays, showed me a lot of inspiration and I found that large type is the way to create a good display. Taking this on board, I designed my using a interesting type which would look good when vinyl cut.

I feel that the strongest element of this brief was adapting the display when it was vinyl cut. I cam across a problem when the vinyl was cut, one of the letterforms when cut into the vinyl looked like a something else and made the quote bot very legible. I had to use the quote but adapt it to make it make sense, cutting out words and using a letterform to create an equals sign solved this. I was quite impressed with the intuition to change this and still make the quote work as a display. Applying the design to window was a great success, being a hand on person and one not to shy away from things like that, I took it on myself and got stuck in to apply the design to the window, it went on fine and looked great once up.

If I was to do the display again, I would of liked to change the design and make it much bigger within the window, but constraints were in place by the size of the vinyl cutter. I also would of liked to create more of design led display, other than just a typed out quote.

I was happy with the outcome of the brief, the quick turnaround was great for my practice and kept me on my toes by changing the pace of which I had to work within. The display up on the window works really well, the colour of the vinyl fits within the aesthetic of the studio and it creates a bright and nicer place to work, once all the other windows are done, they should all create a better visual aesthetic within the studio space.

Brief 9 // Fedrigoni // Evaluation

Brief 09: Fedrigoni
As a live brief, I was looking forward to working on a brief that was live and had a real meaning behind it. This brief was for the YCN awards, I had previously completed one last year and really enjoyed the brief, so this time around I have done the same again.

Choosing the brief was easy for me, I chose the Fedrigoni brief as it fits into my ethos and practice the best. As a hand on and craft based brief, this really did suit me as it meant that I could physically create a product, using stock as the main component.

I think the concept of this brief really pushed the whole product, it was based around the idea of matching a colour to each month of the year and creating a rainbow effect with the stock. This emphasised the focus of the brief that was to showcase the full paper range, using each stock within the paper range the calendar answered this and did it in a creative way.

Another strong point was the application of the calendar. I wanted to make something more of the calendar and push the adaption and production of the calendar. I think in these terms – being a physical product I can apply my skills much better as they are more focused to these areas. With the calendar I created two secondary uses for the product, making it very practical for the user and more reason for them to save the calendar and actually use it.

As a brief that was heavily influenced by craft skills, this was a main focus within the brief and something that had to be applied to a high standard. The craft element was within the use of stock and cutting down all the daily sheets to then create the calendar and the packaging. I feel that the standard of the calendar is high and that I have applied my craft skills well to the brief to create the product. The designing of the calendar was kept simple so that it didn’t hinder the view of the stock, the use of black is was in order to print over the top of each of the stock colours.

On a whole, I really enjoyed doing this brief, the craft element made this great for me work on and get me away from purely designing on the computer – it was good to make a physical object. If I was to do the brief again, I don’t think there would be anything I would change, I believe that the products answer the brief in the best possible way and I have created an interesting product that will engage the users.

Brief 8 // DR. ME Flag // Evaluation (new)

Brief 08: DR Me Flag
This brief was a day long brief. We had DR Me in for the day who presented us with a brief that focused on the idea of a concept and how to produce a product within a short period of time and have a design ready within one day.

This was a collaborative brief, which I worked with Greg. We had previously worked together on other briefs, so I was looking forward to doing it again, as it was a good experience last time. I enjoy doing collaborations as I feel that the outcomes are always much better because of the fact you have two people working on the products but you have a constant generation of idea and critique within the work because there are two of you.

The brief focused in the early stages on research, idea generation and development. This was great for me as I always find working on brief in this way produced a more considered product with a better understanding behind it. Its also good practice for me to do development on paper as I tend to jump onto the computer and do my development digitally. So this was an improvement for me, as it showed me that spending a couple of hours on the research / initial ideas, really does help with the idea generation and scoping out the product for the brief.

At first Greg and I struggled with the idea behind our flag, but we soon realised it was because we were trying to create something too complicated and something that wasn’t actually possible for us to do. After realising this, we went for a simpler approach and the flag started to develop.  I think going through this process was a good experience, the first idea isn’t always the best and as much as you think about it and try to develop it into a usable idea, its not always possible. Doing this it made our final idea a much stronger concept and the production of the design was a lot better. This was defiantly a good lesson learnt and something to take with me to future briefs.

A new process I learnt within this brief was using a digital fabric printer. Instead of getting the flag printed online, we decided to do it within the university facilities. The process was no different to designing for print, but it was sent to a fabric printer instead, this was really interesting to watch being printed and the result of the print on the fabric was really impressive. The colours were really vibrant and it worked well for our particular design. Learning new process is always a good thing within a brief and now I know for future that this is a option I could always use for relevant products.

The brief was a fun one, the collaboration was a great success and me and Greg were both happy with the final result of the flag. Whilst DR Me were in with us doing the brief it was a great experience to see previous university students setting up and working for themselves. I do think that they lacked time management and a little experience within the industry as after they had spent the day with us working on the brief, we heard nothing from them afterwards, which was a shame as they were really good guys and created a great atmosphere within the studio for the day. I think this brief has taught me some good lessons within the design process and proved evident to me that spending longer on the initial stages of the brief is very valuable and helps further on in the brief.

Brief 7 // Elmwood // Evaluation

Brief 07: Elmwood
This brief started off well, I was looking forward to getting started on it after Chris had briefed us on what he waned us to produce for the brief. I had ideas for it right from the beginning of receiving my given job title, which I spend time drawing out some initial ideas and developing these on paper first.

When it came to idea generation for the actual branding I found this quite difficult to start off with. After going back to doing more research and looking further into the subject, I came up with an idea and concept for the branding, which I started to produce in for the crit with Elmwood.

The crit was good, as this informed me what people thought about the branding at the beginning stages of the brief, I received positive feedback but I was also given some improvements to make the branding stronger and what application to apply it to. I took on the ideas from the crit and completed the branding. This was a quick turnaround brief for me; I completed the full brief in a couple of days. I think the process of having the brief with the design studio was a great idea to have been put in place, we are so used to talking about our work with each other, that it makes it better when other come in to do the same process. It was a valuable session with the designers and it gave a great insight into their thinking and how they would work in the industry.

I am fairly happy with the branding, I do like the design that I created and think it communicates the idea of the company, but if I had more time then I think I could of pushed the branding further and made it more interesting, and to communicate the idea of the company in better by using more of the research.

The application of the branding was interesting as it was a tree surgeon. To emphasis on this element I used wood as stock for some of the products. To produce this I used the laser cutter to engrave into the wood and created a range of business cards and clipboards displaying the branding of the company. This was great to involve within the brief as it was something different and I was able to work away from the computer. It was a good challenge to work to the format of the business card, but I also had to think about how the laser cut would affect the design within the wood. I think these products worked out best with the branding and made it communicate the idea of the company further.

Overall I feel that this brief was very short as I had a lot of other work on at the same time, but I happy with what I produced within the time spent on it. Within this brief I have taken on board the idea of developing the branding from the beginning which I think is one of the stronger points of the brief as this was well executed.

However, I am aware that the brief isn’t the strongest within the work I have produced so far, I think this was because it was a brief on the side of other things I didn’t give it my full attention. Also I think I lost interest within the idea and I just wanted to get it finished in time, using the laser cutter and different wood, made this brief better for me and more exciting to work on. The application of the brand was okay, but again I’m not a huge fan of the design of this.  I think being hard on myself within this brief has taught me not to work on so many briefs at the same time, as I aren’t the best at splitting my time across many briefs, I tend to work on the one I enjoy the most and leave the rest behind. The products and design of this brief evidence that and have shown me the result of doing too much at once. If I was to do this brief again, I would allocate more time towards the brief and research further into the subject to get a better understanding of the job and therefor produce and more considered branding project.

Brief 6 // Life with Energy // Evaluation

Brief 06: Life With Energy
Life with energy was a brief I created from previously working on a similar subject area. I liked the aesthetics and info graphic / illustrative style that energy design has, this is why I was interested in doing the brief.

The brief was a challenge as the subject is seen as one that is boring and the target audience aren’t that interested within it, but the challenge was to change this and make an engaging product that will inform the target audience about energy efficiency. I believe through the design aesthetics and products that I have created within this brief it does just this and creates an engaging product for the user to find out information about energy within the home.

The key emphasis of this brief was to create a product which communicates energy efficiency. In order to achieve this, I have used stocks and material that have the aesthetics of sustainability and energy efficiency. Using recycled paper and sugar paper, gave this aesthetic and was different stock to work with than the usual. It was interesting to see the results of using it, as it gives the prints a completely different feel when they are printed. Experimenting with these stocks was good development and practice for my own work, it shows that I can think about the context of the product and use relevant materials to communicate this to the audience.

The brief entailed a lot of illustration and icon design, which as an area I wouldn’t always work on, but isn’t that far away from how I would usually work it was good to get involved with creating a set of icons and illustrations to be displayed throughout all the products. I think the more type of illustration work I do the better I am getting at it, this brief has entailed the most illustration work so far and it has developed those skills the most, I feel much more confident working on illustrations now after practicing and developing the skills further.

Processes and methods were used within this brief. I bound the publication with a wir-o spiral bind, this was the first time I had used such a binding method and not knowing how to do it, I had to research into the method. When it came to doing the bind, it was actually really easy, as the pages just slid over the wire ends. Producing this publication with the binding method was further knowledge I could add to by book binding skills and improving them is very important to me, as it is a large focus within my practice. I also experimented with the use of vinyl within the information package design. To create a contrast against the recycled stock, I used a green gloss vinyl; this stands out against the packaging and creates an engaging and attractive packaging for the information pack. It makes it the pack look more professional and as though it is a real pack within the market. This is what I wanted to achieve and taking time over the production of the pack has resulted in a professional feel within the products.

Creating an engaging pack was the outset to this brief, using an illustrative style along with the use of iconography, I feel as though this has been achieved throughout the products and that the target audience would take time to look through the pack as it involves different products with different formats and sizes. I think that this is the strongest element of the brief and it stands out when looking at the products as a whole.

Overall I have found the brief interesting to work on, both researching and designing the products of the information pack it has kept me engaging within the brief and I think this shows through what I have created. The illustration work has been the best I have designed so far and it has defiantly improved my illustration skills. I think I have managed the brief well and kept within the time scales I set out for it, if I did have longer on the brief I would of liked to further expand the brief to create further relevant products and maybe of pushed it into digital application such as a website and app as I think these would have been very relevant to the subject area and the audience. I think the brief has been a success and what I have produced answer the brief and presents and interactive and engaging product to inform the target audience with the relevant information.

Brief 5 // Notebooks // Evaluation

Brief 05: Notebooks
Notebooks set out to be research project in which I would further my knowledge on book binding methods and techniques. As a design area that is becoming more relevant to my practice I wanted to research further into the subject and get a better understanding of the methods and techniques.

As a research project I was looking forward into taking time out to do a full body of research. I found this really interesting and as a subject that I am interested in, it kept me engaged throughout the research process. It was great to learn more about the subject and actually get an understanding of the techniques and methods. Reading about the history of bookbinding made me realise that it is a very traditional technique and one that it nowadays being taken over my machinery, unless you want the more hand crafted style and therefor use a traditional bookbinder. It is evident that bookbinding is still relevant within today’s industry and you see a lot of bespoke publishing houses and independent magazines and publications making use of these.

Collating the research and designing a fact file which visually displayed the research was a good way to learn the actual facts and read through the information as it was placed within the document. This is very useful for the target audience and I designed it to a simple layout, so that the user could easily read it and understand the information. I think that having a product like this is always great when learning a new subject, which I believe this will help.

The project came into its own when I used the research and put it into practice. This was the main idea of the project, to research and teach myself about different methods and then put these into practice, showing that I have understood the research that I carried out. It was evident through doing this that the research had made an effect on me, as it was easy to produce the 10 notebooks, which all used a different binding technique. This was the strongest element of the brief and showed my craftsmanship skills, which were also improved upon during the project.

Overall I feel as though the research element of this brief has give me a greater understand of bookbinding, which I will be able to use in future brief and within my practice in general. The knowledge I have learnt is invaluable and I did actually enjoy doing the research for this brief. The strongest element is by far the series of notebooks, I am really pleased with the results of each one of them, they are all produced to a high standard and can all be used as a physical notebook. This has shown how to effectively put theory into practice and it is a great talking point when explaining the brief. If I had more time and more resources I would of liked to expand the range of notebooks and use different stocks and materials to create more bespoke notebooks that show the qualities of the binding methods and print in general.

Brief 4 // A very Alternate Christmas // Evaluation

Brief 04: A Very Alternate Christmas
This was a very quick turn around brief, which was to design a Christmas postcard on a given song or film. I was given the film Die Hard, which at first I didn’t class as a Christmas film, but from researching into it and watching the film, it turns out it is, as the film is based on Christmas Eve.

To communicate the film within a design, I choose to take a illustrative approach to the postcard as I thought this was best fitting to represent a section or iconic part of the film. Doing the design as an illustration also helped me develop my illustration skills and get them up to scratch with the rest of my design skills.

From researching and watching the film, I found that the most iconic thing / object within the film is the building it is set in, which is a real building. So taking that as the main imagery for the postcard, I started to develop an illustration. Using the visuals of the building this allowed me to create an initial outline, in doing so I could add detail to the building to make it more realistic. I feel that maybe I could of experimented with the composition of the artwork or developed the design further to create a range of options for the postcard. Maybe even looking into different elements of the film would have brought out a different section to focus on that could have fitted the brief better.

The postcards artworks are all going to be printed through the printing process of risograph. To get the best results of this it is best to use one colour and create a simple bold image within the artwork. This will display the artwork clearer when printed. I think that this process is interesting and researching into it myself as part of the brief was good to look at and learn about, as print is something I am interested in and this process could come in use for a future project. I find that we are always learning things from each other within the studio and a full group brief like this enables everyone to work together and create a project that has a high impact. It also shows introduces you into new ways of working, processes and methods. Just like this brief has introduced me to risograph printing.

This short brief provided me a break for a day from the other briefs I was doing. As the brief was so specific, it was good to just be able to get straight on with creating the ideas and designing the artwork. This was great for me as it was all about the design and communicating the given film, which I believe my design clearly does. The colours for the artwork were specified, so again it as one less thing to worry about. I think the strongest part to the brief was the concept and idea that was briefed to us, as an actual product there was only one element to the design as it was single colour, so that was pretty straight forward and it was just your own interpretation. But the brief worked so well between everyone because the concept and idea as very clear and it had a great objective behind it all.  If I were to revisit the brief I would choose a more Christmas themed song or film, even though Die Hard is classed as a Christmas film, it didn’t have a Christmas identity, so my design and postcard didn’t really feel that Christmassy even though it did answer the brief.

A great little brief that enabled a solution to static designing within my other briefs, I tested my illustration skills within the artwork and designed a creative interpretation of a film within a Christmas theme.

Brief 3 // Iconic Cities // Evaluation

Brief 03: Iconic Cities
Iconic Cities was a brief about travel, for this I created a travel guide and website and first brief in which I have done both print and web within a project and brought them together to create one fully synthesised brief.

At the start I found this hard to get going, the initial design of the travel guide was dragged out a little as I wasn't that happy with the design and concept of it. When I came up with the idea of using the travel tags and tickets, the project turned around and started to make a lot more sense. I was really engaged with the new concept and started to enjoy the brief.

From starting the brief to the end, I feel that this has been one in which I have designed from the start to right to the end, taking time in thinking about the concept and drawing out ideas has made the brief better as the designs have been developed along the way and have more meaning behind them now.

The design of the travel guide is the main element that I enjoyed, creating the title and master pages was great for me to do, I loved creating the small details and icons within the pages which were taking inspiration from the travel tags and incorporating them into the printed publication. The binding technique of the travel guide was a test for me, as the publication was so thick, I had to create a binding technique that would work so the book could read throughout and so the full-page design could be seen all the way through. It took a long time to develop and realise how to create the binding technique and also keep it in a consistent aesthetic with the overall publication. Eventually I came up with the method that has been put into use, using elastic bands to create the bind it makes the publication spin moveable because of the elastic nature of the bands, this means the pages can be fully opened to view the page. Doing this put the user first and made the product unique to the travel company.

I wanted to create a bespoke publication and concentrate on the production of the travel guide to make it the best quality as I could; I think that I have achieved this. Focussing on the production of the guide has defiantly helped this process and shown myself that firstly I can create products like this, but also it is something that I am good at and enjoy doing. This has been clear within this brief that the creation and production of the products has been the most enjoyable part for me and something that I can take through to future briefs within the year.

The second element of the brief was to create a website for the company. For this I have just mocked up a website as I didn't think it was necessary for it to be coded and built,  as it wasn't the main deliverable for the brief. The website extends the printed publication and makes the travel guide more accessible to the audience. The main use of the website is that the user can create there own personalised and tailored travel guide by selecting certain information they want including.

The website design was good to do, this has been the first website I have created for the year and it enabled me to refresh my memory in web design. I thought that I would have forgot about everything we had learnt in 2nd year about web design because it has been that long since I have done it, but surprisingly I hadn’t and it all came back when I started the web element.  The design of the website is quite simple but carries the aesthetic of a travel information website. I feel the web product worked better for the project as nowadays it is more relevant to have things online because of the digital nature we live in, the web is more accessible and easy to use in the terms of shopping online.  Aside to that it was still great to design the publication and have a physical copy that entailed more craftwork.

Overall I preferred working on the printed element of the brief, because this is where my own practice lies and I think I am a stringer print designer. Although it was still great having created the digital element and it was an opportunity where the brief suited both print and web products, which could be branding and shown as one whole underlining product. If I was go back and change / re do any part of the brief, I think I would expand the brief and produce more printed and web products. In terms of web, this would lend itself well to an app, users of todays society are very digital based and on the go, this would provide all the information of the travel guide and the website, in a more suited product for the phone.  In terms of print, I really like the iconography and brand mark within the travel guide, I think this could make some really nice printed ephemera or other products using it.

Even though this brief was completed towards the beginning of the year, I still feel that it is one of the better ones, as it has a lot going on within it. It can be seen as a commercial brief and something that could turn into an actual product. There are lots of elements within the design of the products that are all backed by a focussed concept that can be seen within all the products.

Brief 2 // Yoke // Evaluation

Brief 02: Yoke
Yoke has been the longest and strongest brief throughout the whole year for me personally. This was a collaborative brief with Eve Warren. We decided to create an exhibition because we are both ambitious designers, the idea of the exhibition was to base it around screen-printed artwork as we both had a passion for this.

Creating a concept and theme for the exhibition was done fairly easily and quickly between the two of us. We decided that the theme should be dialogue, because we wanted to create an exhibition space that spur dialogue between creative like-minded people. The concept was to have the exhibition submission based and once all the submission had come in we would match two prints through a match making process and the two prints would be joined and printed together to create a two layer, two colour screen-print. We both contributed to the concept and agreed that this should be the way forward, which I was definatly behind, as I liked the idea of bringing other into the exhibition. As we were being ambitious with the exhibition we wanted to showcase this and make it more than just a student exhibition, opening it to submissions achieves this and would make it international wide if people saw it.

At the beginning of the brief I felt that it was dragging on a little and that we weren’t actually producing anything for it, each time we took the brief to a crit it seemed that people wanted to see more than what we had done, but this was because there was a lot of organisation and admin things to start with, which I never really thought about before doing this brief.  We wanted to get a venue sorted and preliminary dates so we had a deadline to aim for. We both felt that doing this would give us something to aim for and we would have to have things in place and sorted for that date as it would need to be there an up for the week of the rent of the space.

A massive part of this brief was time management and teamwork. I feel that we challenged this at times, but the majority of the project went really smoothly and we both worked really well together. The best example of this was when we were printing all the prints for the artwork. We had two weeks to produce around 80 two-colour screen-prints which varied in format from A6 to A3. For the whole two weeks we lived down in the print studios from 9 till 6 everyday, this was a test for us and pushed us to meet the deadline. Throughout the two weeks it was up and down, with some days producing lots of prints and other not so many, but through working together and keeping each other positive we managed to get everything printed with some to spare. This should what team work could do and if Eve wasn’t there it wouldn’t have been possible, this is the advantage of working as a collaboration.

As said the exhibition was based on screen-printing, this was something that I was comfortable with anyway, but spending so time in the print studio was great for me as I love being down there and getting hands on with the process. After doing the two-week stint, it taught me a lot about printing and screen-printing technique, it felt as though we were doing a crash course in it because by the end I was really confident with producing the prints. This was defiantly a great advantage for me and improved my knowledge and skill basis of the printing technique. I enjoyed it so much, that since the exhibition and spending time down in the print room it has had a massive affect on my practice and made me think about taking it more serious and working within screen-print after uni has finished. I never thought about this when starting the project, but I guess spending time on something you really enjoy and find engaging you want to keep at it. I was glad that this happened as it put more of a positive on the success of the project.

The brand and identity was an important factor to design within the brief, for this we wanted to create a logo and name for both our collaboration and for the exhibition. The reasoning for naming and branding the collaboration was to make us seem more than just two students putting on a exhibition, it made it seem as though it was a real company that was doing it and we hoped we would be taken more serious because of this. As with the majority of the brief we worked on the branding together and came up with several variations, in the end we opted for a simple logo for the collaboration that represented the idea of spaces and walls and a logo type for the exhibition, which we named after the theme dialogue. Creating the two identities and making them work together was crucial for the visual aesthetics of the event.  I think the branding that we did create was very relevant to the exhibition and within the design of todays industry, they were both bold logo’s that would stand out and be recognisable, which is just what we needed for the advertising of the event .

Finally the last major factor of the project was the curation of the event. Neither me or Eve had ever curated an exhibition before, so this part of the brief was a big learning curve. We did a lot of research into the curation side of the exhibition and looked for inspiration and interesting ways to hand work, as we felt that exhibition recently had taken the same aesthetic and all use bull dog clips, we wanted to move away from this and create a better way of showcasing the work. With the help from family we managed to create three wooden frames in which the A3 prints would hang from and be suspended on metal wire. This was to be the focal point of the exhibition and thus take up the majority of the space. When it came to actually putting up the prints, we defiantly underestimated the time and effort this would take. We had help from family and friends, which was much appreciated and very much needed. Time management was a big part within the day of the hanging, we found that it took a lot longer than we anticipated, but we did eventually get it all up in time for the opening night. I really enjoyed the process of curating the event; we painted the floors, put up fake walls and frames and installed lights, to create a better exhibition space to showcase all the prints. I feel that this element of the brief was again playing to the hands on side of me and I naturally got stuck in and made sure everything was going right and smoothly on the hanging day.

We both had strengths within the briefs, but I felt that the printing of the artwork and curating of the exhibition was defiantly the areas that best suited me and were probably the ones which I took lead in.  I think that Eve took control of the social media / advertising and the videoing and documentation of the project. We both worked on the design elements of the event and project together so this was an equal element and the one part, which we did need to agree and work on together to make sure we were both happy with what we created. I think we did work well together and when it came down to it we both made decisions and got on with the work to make it was done in time.

As a whole the brief entailed a lot of different design areas, the one described and analysed above are the key areas to the brief, but we learnt so much about the management of an event, contacting and dealing with management and other designers / studios, the outsourcing of certain elements within the brief and also other design areas. I learnt lots about screen-printing and furthered my knowledge in the design area, along with learning things off Eve within generally designing for print and web.

I think this brief for me encapsulated so many elements of graphic design and print making that it suited me so well and that’s the reason that I enjoyed it so much. The printing of the artwork and curating of the exhibition were defiantly the highlights for myself and the areas, which I was surprised, are now the ones, which I feel I could work within the most after university. This project has put a massive twist on my practice, the amount of print we undertook and produced was phenomenal, but I enjoyed every second of printing it, which when we went back to designing on computers after, I felt lost and couldn’t get engaged with anything else, I think this shows and proves to myself where I stand within the design industry.

Aside to the improvements within my design skills, I have learnt a lot bout myself. I didn’t think I would work as well with somebody else, but this proved wrong and actually it was a really good experience working with Eve, with us both being passionate about print, we urged each other on all the time and created a great team. Other things I learnt about myself was I am good at time management, socially I have a good way of speaking and meeting new people and I think I can deal with clients / management quite well in tough situations.

Overall this brief has been the biggest challenge I have undertaken throughout the year and it was a massive risk we took in doing it, but as students I feel that we have worked really hard on creating an event that didn’t have the student stigma hanging over it. This is because we approach the brief right from the start in a professional manor and carried that through right till the very last day of the exhibition. It has been great working with Eve on this collaboration and possibly one of the best collaborations to date, I think we surprised everyone with what we produced and I surprised myself when I saw it finished, although as being so close to the project and knowing everything about it and how we wanted to create it, I don’t think we could appreciate it for how good and well put together it actually was, because we had done it. Seeing the amount of people turn up on the opening night and having other blogs and designers interested in the whole project did prove that we had created a brilliant project and event. I hope that we will work together in the future and carry on our new adventure as curators.

Brief 1 // Imprint // Final Evaluation

Brief 01: Imprint
This was the very first brief of the year; I found that this brief got me back into the flow of designing and thinking creatively. It was a good introduction into getting back into the flow of working properly.

The idea of the brief was to create a brand that I can use in appropriate briefs throughout the year for anything that consists of publication & editorial design. This design area is a big proportion of my practice and having a sub brand I can us for this makes it look more professional.

I enjoyed doing working on this brief, as it was pure branding. Branding is something that I am interested in and feel as though I have a good grasp of it, but it can always be improved, hence why I chose to do this brief. It was a good brief because I was designing a brand, which was for myself, this made it easier for me to do because I knew what I wanted it to be designed like.

The hardest part of the brief was creating the brand guidelines, this was the first time I have designed a brand guidelines and I did find it quite hard to produce. Designing the brand & identity was fine, along with each of the component that made up the brand, it was the information and body copy that needed to be displayed to describe the individual components and inform the user how they should be used that was the tricky part. I think because I’m not the best writer I struggle with this side of the brief, but through researching into existing brand guidelines and looking at how they have written the content, I did manage to write it all myself, which I am pretty proud of.  Looking back at the guidelines, I think there are pages within it that could be changed and some that could be added in to explain the company better and describe the brand story and values further.

Aside to the brand guidelines, I used the identity to create business stationery, this part was very enjoyable, I like creating branded stationery because it challenges you to create a consistent design over products which all have a different purpose and different formats. I think using the imprint identity created visually pleasing stationery that all fits together as a set and communicates the identity of the company.

I do feel that this brief has gone on for longer than I wanted to, but I think that was because there was a lot of other course related things going on at the beginning of the year and I couldn't get into a constant flow to work on the project and finish it quicker. Looking back at the project, if I had the chance to revisit it, I would approach it in a different way. As a bespoke company that produces bespoke publications, this would have been more of a focus for me and using emboss / deboss and quality stocks may have changed the appearance and perspective of the brief.

That said I am still happy with the outcomes of this brief. The brand guideline foe me is the strongest product created within the project, but I think overall the best part of it, is the logo mark as it is quite innovative and creates a pencil or binding tool within the white space of the letters. Along with these the accent colours of the branding are bright and visually engaging they both work together well and have created a contemporary style to the company branding. I feel this is what the publishing sector needs as many identities for them are quite old fashioned. The brand guidelines is created to a high quality and uses a different type of binding method, this again puts into practice the type of publication design that the company would create in real life. Finally the brand works across all the material / products produced and creates a consistent design that communicates what the company is and the style of it.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Brief 2 // Yoke // The state of the arts article

Again on the opening night we were contacted by someone from a local arts & culture website which was soon be launched. They asked if they could feature the exhibition and interview us to put up on the website when it launches. We were both more than happy to do this, as it again would give us more promotion for the event and for Yoke in future projects.

Article Wording:
The exhibition space for ‘Dialogue’ is nestled in one of the Corn Exchange’s sadly otherwise redundant alcoves. The project, curated entirely by final year students Eve Warren and Nathan Bell of Leeds College of Art, glows from within. The space crammed with coloured screen prints, offers an Aladdin’s cave-like allure. The opening night of the exhibition was buzzing with- presumably- art students but the accessible placement of ‘Dialogue’ within the historical space will  ensure a healthy amount of foot traffic, encouraging public exposure and inclusivity to the world of design. The duo’s ethos is sophisticated and well executed, playing on their own experiences of the design world in a 21st century context.

The work itself is a unique array of layered screen prints, produced entirely by Warren and Bolton’s own fair hands, super imposing text pieces and images onto A3 or A5 posters. The meshing of separate elements from two or more designers who may never have met, construct a ‘blind collaboration’ allowing for the actual work to dictate the way it is then grouped by Warren and Bolton.  The designs featured are by students, local Leeds creative groups and international designers alike, placing work which would otherwise perhaps be more insular, within a much wider creative dialogue. The vibrant pieces both clash and complement, swathed in a lush and diverse palette of very ‘now’ neons and softer hues and are really a culmination of a much wider project.  Eve talks about the struggle to secure internships because of the frustrating breakdown of communication within the industry. Here Dialogue expresses the pair’s own ideas of an antidote to this, the whole process reflecting the constant and consistent process of communication between Creatives, eventually allowing two individual works to channel this message into a visual piece. The special emphasis on physical contact is also literalised in the tangible process of screen printing, an art slightly overshadowed of late by the precedence of digitalisation. I interview the pair to understand the ethos behind their project and the hopes they have for the exhibition.

EC: So you said that the exhibition is part of one of your third year projects (at Leeds College of Art where both are in their final year) but where did the actual idea for ‘Dialogue’ spark from?

EW: Every year, third years are told to write a list of briefs and I guess me and Nathan are quite ambitious people and we really like print as well, the course really encourages you to do a lot of these processes and kind of experiment a little. Initially in the summer I was trying to secure internships but it was really difficult because no one would email you back. So we came up with this concept of dialogue, contacting people, getting them to collaborate so it would hopefully open up some more opportunities.

EC: So if you want something doing, do it yourself? So what does ‘Dialogue’ mean here, what was it you wanted to achieve?

NB: The idea kind of stemmed from us wanting to create a space where people could come down and spend time. Because it’s not just all student work; there’s work from other studios, designers throughout Leeds and the local area. So we wanted to create a space where people could come and look at the work, and it’s just an environment where people can talk to each other and be around like minded people. It’s a place talk about stuff, having the print there helps to spark that conversation really.

EC: So, in a way the print is another medium of this wider interaction?

NB:Yeah, definitely.

EW: It’s quite clever really because first we contacted people so there was a dialogue there, the printing process between two people, that was another form and then the event encourages dialogue so the whole thing is about communication.

NB: Yeah, even the way that we send stuff out, everything was hand written and it was all focused around the idea of dialogue and actually speaking to people.

EC: So do you think that it’s a case of ‘not what you know but who you know’?

NB: Yeah, the idea what really that it’s better to see someone face to face and speak to them than just being hidden behind words in an email. Even with the prints, it’s a manual thing; all the prints in the exhibition were done by me and Eve in two weeks. It’s the fact that they weren’t just send from a computer to a printer, we’ve really created that work.

EC: A lot of tender love and care there. How much of the idea stemmed from your studies at LCA, would you say they influenced your work or was it quite independent?

EW: Well third year, it’s very much down to you what you want to do. In the second year there was a modules on print processes which also gave you the option to learn about web design, so two separate mediums meshed together. I guess I wanted to get my hands dirty rather than stare at a computer screen all day. I have got digital projects on the go but this gives us a bit of a break from that.

NB: But since we started, the tutors have always been behind it, encouraging us.

EW: And we’ve had funding from the college as well.

EC: So are you also planning to sell the works too?

EW: It’s quite up in the air about how the prints will be sold…

NB: But we are looking at selling them once the exhibition has finished running, we’re just still figuring out the best way to do that.

EC: So has this project sparked something or is it more of a onetime pop-up kind of experience?

EW: We definitely do want to do something in the future like we have had offers for collaboration with other people but it’s very much up in the air. I think it’s quite exciting to not know what’s going to happen next.

NB: It’s something that we’ve both said we want to carry on doing.

EW: We’ve just got to think about the situation regarding facilities because at the minute, at uni we have these resources at our finger tips so when you graduate it you realise how much you take advantage of that.

EC: So will you stay around Leeds? How has the city shaped your experiences as designers?

EW: Since first year so much has changed, even in the last 18 months with places like Belgrave (Music Hall and Canteen) popping up…

NB: There’s been a lot more arts and culture introduced and I think just the idea of design in Leeds is becoming a lot bigger; there’s a lot more things happening around here. Even quirky little spaces like in the Corn Exchange, I don’t think a lot of people know about it and it needs to be seen that you can do it, hopefully we’re proving what can be done in such a small space.

EW: And the Corn Exchange is so beautiful.

NB: I live quite locally and I knew it a long time ago when it was full of Goth culture so it’s so much better than what it used to be before. It needs to take advantage of the arts.

EW: It’s just a shame that a lot of the units are empty so I think we’ve taken advantage of. Though recently there’s been a lot more pop up events, that culture has started to take off and it doesn’t run the same risk of losing money either, people can just do what they love.

EC: Yeah, before it gets stale. So is there anywhere in Leeds you’d really like to promote?

EW: People should definitely go for a beverage at Belgrave! And also The Social too, opened up by Brudenell Social Club (and Sela Bar).

NB: For arts definitely the Leeds Print Festival, it’s on every January and it’s in its third year now. It’s getting bigger and bigger each year.

EW: Yorkshire Sculpture Park as well, that’s always worth checking out.

EC: Thanks very much guys, good luck with the project!

The pair communicate an acute understanding of the prevalence of pop-up culture in the contemporary arts scene, experiencing its creative potential first hand; it’s clear that they have a strong idea of what this can mean for both developing designers and the more established community as a whole. Their event at the Corn Exchange is another encouraging example of the burgeoning creative explosion in the city, paving the way for some very positive things.

Brief 2 // Yoke // Creative Review Article

As previously stated in a post before, Creative Review contacted us on the day of the opening night, to say that they wanted to feature the event on the website. We were over the moon receiving the email from them. It was a great success for us and proved that the project was worth doing and that designers in the industry recognise this too.

We provided information about the exhibition and the process of curating, printing and branding the event. We sent some images along with the information to include within the Article.

The article can be viewed here:

Article wording:
Creative duo Yoke bring a week-long, non-profit screen-print exhibition to the Corn Exchange in Leeds from tonight, with an aim to create an exhibition space that spurs a dialogue between creatives through a blind collaboration...

Yoke, made up of designers Eve Warren and Nathan Bolton, asked a variety of creatives and studios to submit work that would be used in a collaborative way, to be showcased in a final exhibition called Dialogue. Each designer consented to this, with the understanding they would not be able to choose their creative partners. "The contributors had to be open to their submissions being manipulated through the use of print and the matchmaking process that paired two submissions together, in order to make a series of screen-printed artworks," says Warren.

Although they had originally planned to keep it local, they decided to through the net wider and ended up with over 150 submissions from creatives and studios around the world. "We're excited to collaborate with studios and agencies ranging from locals The Beautiful Meme, to Two Points studio from Barcelona who will be speaking in Manchester over the next couple of days," Warren says. (Two Points talk as part of graphics event BCNMCR, see more in the April issue of CR and on the CR blog here).

As soon-to-be graphic design graduates from Leeds College of Art, the duo decided to do something ambitious to help foster future opportunities, but the initial idea developed from their mutual love for print. "When it comes down to being emerging print artists, we are thankful for being on a course that takes print seriously, as there is the argument that print is dead. Print is not dead. For example, we have seen Leeds Print Festival grow every year as well as see local passionate printers like The Print Project produce so many new and innovative ways to interact with print. There is something so nice about getting your hands dirty in comparison to sitting staring at a computer screen all day," says Warren. "The North is an exciting place to be right now, especially Leeds as in the past 18 months so many things have started to pop up and we wanted to be a part of that."

We were really pleased with the article as it had a lot of the content we had sent them in, also quoting us within the article was great. After the article went live on the website, we got a lot more attention though social media, especially twitter. The article was also tweeted by Creative Review, which helped us out even more. A great start to the day of the opening night.