Wednesday, 21 May 2014

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.

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