LDN MIX (Process Work)

This project was in response to a D&AD brief from this year. As i’m only a second year, we weren’t expected to enter our work into the competition so I was able to approach it without worrying too much about whether I was sticking completely to the brief. In total I spent 3-4 weeks from start to finish on it.

“Put Arjowiggins Creative Papers at the heart of a campaign, initiative, product or service for Sony Music and remind digital customers of the power of paper”. Continue reading

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‘A Word in Your Eye: type’ Development

I finally got around to writing about some projects from Semester 1. This one was completed just before Christmas.

The brief for this project, A Word in Your Eye: type, was to take the answers from an anonymous questionnaire and design a typeface based on an aspect of the person’s personality.

Base Pair (Colour)
My typeface: Base Pair

I used the answers from my questionnaire to sum up my person in six words, I went for sentimental, proud, comic, erudite, articulate and quick-witted. I researched as much as I could about these words and personality traits and I made a pinterest board to gather some visual language. Continue reading

Private View

Last night was the private view of our final show. It was a really great evening and it was wonderful to see all the hard work over the last six weeks pay off and see so many proud faces.

I put my banana bread and cupcakes in place just before the show and it went down very well. I used this banana bread recipe and my lovely flatmate Hannah helped me to do the baking so some credit must go to her. I thought it turned out well and several people said it tasted good. I topped up the plate halfway through the show and on both occasions it was eaten very quickly. I just had to hope that people were actually looking at my work and not just eating cake and ignoring it- perhaps putting out cake was not such a good idea in that respect. 18332331208_d783d867e5_oUnfortunately, apart from the few my parents took, I didn’t take any photos of my display when it was complete. This was a huge mistake and I really regret not taking better photos of the display in it’s entirety because it will gradually deteriorate as the week goes on. I think the reason that I didn’t take any pictures was because I only put in the cakes and bread half an hour before the opening so it was all a bit of a rush and I just completely forgot. I also suddenly got really nervous for some reason so it slipped my mind. I think that if I had been more organised and had put everything in place a little earlier, I would have been able to be more relaxed and might have taken some photos before the cake was eaten. I will ask around and see if anyone else took any photos of my work and get them to send them to me.

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Me and my display ^
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At one point it did just look like i’d put a plate of crumbs in my display ^

18498376275_92a01515c3_oThe lowest point in the evening was when I went back to my display towards the end of the show and found that two of the four cup sleeves had gone missing, along with lots of the business cards. I can understand that people may have thought that the business cards were to be taken but the cup sleeves I am quite upset about, which seems petty I know but I don’t have any more of the the banana paper so I can’t print any more. I also wasn’t expecting people to eat the cupcakes, which perhaps was silly of me to assume because the banana bread had a sign by it saying ‘sample ~ try me’. This may have been confusing, and on reflection, I should have made it clearer what was and wasn’t to be eaten. The cupcakes had the logo on so they were part of the design work that I had done, unlike the banana bread which was just to enhance the display.

So to solve this, I went in today and put a sign by the display saying ‘please do not touch’ which I hope will make it clearer that nothing on the display is to be taken away.

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^ My sister Ella and I outside the show

The best and most surprising moment of the evening was winning the award for the Visual Communication student with best overall performance throughout the year. I was very flattered and proud. I have to say though, I have really enjoyed foundation and particularly my FMP so apart from the odd stressful day, it hasn’t felt much like work. I think that ultimately, this is the best I could have hoped for from Foundation. It really has been the best year and I will be so sad to leave next week.

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Photoshoot

Yesterday, I cleared a space in our kitchen and put all of my pieces out so that I could take good photos of them. I tried to set the stuff up in a way that might be similar to how the exhibition display will be but I was limited with space, and I couldn’t hang my posters on the wall etc. This wasn’t a huge problem because I was able to get a good sense of how the pieces will look as a collection. I think that some of the photos were good (I will post some below), but several of them came out blurred and badly lit. I think this is because I forgot that I had the camera on manual focus and also I didn’t consider lighting at all. I also do not have much confidence with photography and I don’t know much about cameras. I can learn from this and next time I have to take high quality photos, I will make sure that I check the settings on the camera before I shoot and I will make sure there is good lighting as well as get some advice with composition etc.

One thing I have noticed from this shoot is that the pieces look particularly good displayed against a dark background. It would be nice to try to recreate this for the show. I feel like if the pieces were against white, they may not have the same impact. I don’t know if it is possible to display them in the final show against black, but I will ask Karl once I know whether I will be allowed a plinth or not and I will test black and white and see what my peers think.2121313 4 6 7 8 9 10 11Looking at all the final pieces together in a display is very satisfying and I am really pleased with the way the whole project went. I was able to draw on skills i’d learned during the exploratory and pathway stages (eg. Adobe Illustrator) and I continued the style of working that I developed through pathway. For example, I found during pathway that I didn’t work well on sheets, I was much more comfortable working in a small sketchbook where I was less intimidated by blank space. I continued working like this and I have presented almost all of my research, besides the initial research sheets, in my sketchbooks, of which I produced 2 and a bit. I will write more in the self evaluation but for now I will just say that I think that I have been successful in producing a brand identity that combines a simple, organic, natural aesthetic with some colour and a contemporary style. I have also learned new skills as a result of the project, for example, screen printing. I can definitely take the things i’ve learned through FMP and apply them in future projects for my degree. Perhaps surprisingly, the project went fairly smoothly with few problems besides printer issues so it has been really fun to work on and it has been a really enjoyable process that has helped me to confirm that Graphic Design is definitely the discipline that I enjoy the most and that I should be pursuing.

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Stamping the backs of the cards

During the week, I used the stamps that i’d ordered to print the backs of the loyalty cards and the business cards. It went quite well once i’d worked out the right angle to hold the banana outline stamp at in order to get it to line up with the yellow. The only problem I came across was that the small text in the logo was sometimes a little bit splodgy and sometimes it got over inked. The way I tried to overcome this was to apply less pressure but then the main text would come out too faint – I couldn’t really win. The best policy turned out to be pressing slightly harder on the top part of the stamp in the hope that I could strike a balance. For the most part, it worked.

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For the loyalty cards, I wanted to add the words ‘loyalty card’ on the bottom but I couldn’t use the printer because it would jam so I used letterpress. This was slightly limiting because I didn’t have a huge choice of fonts. I went for Univers Bold because it was sans serif and I thought it might look more contemporary than some of the other options. I think in the end however that it detracts from the design because it doesn’t fit with the brand identity and I wish I had taken more care to experiment or do some tests with different fonts.

letterpress collage

The actual letterpressing however was successful and the elephant poo paper printed very well which i was pleased about.

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T Shirt Designs and Screen Printing

As part of the brand identity for the cafe I wanted to design and produce some t-shirts that the staff would wear. I did a bit of research and decided that something simple would be best. I also decided that black was a good option for the shirt colour because it would be more practical and would show less dirt. I looked into getting the t-shirts printed in Oxford but for such a small quantity (I would only need 2 really) they were too expensive. I also thought about using iron on transfers which I think would work ok but might look a little unprofessional. In the end I decided to screen print the t-shirts in the print room with Elaine.

I had said at the beginning of the project that I wanted to do some screen printing and possibly screen print some t-shirts and bags but after talking to Elaine I decided it would be too expensive. However, after thinking about it more, I decided that it would be a really worthwhile thing to learn to do since I had never done it before. I spoke to Elaine again and it turned out that the budget would cover one screen and as long as I didn’t open any new ink, all I would have to pay for was the acetate. I had already done some designs by this point so I had to go bag and review them for the limitations of only being able to produce one screen. The obvious limitation would be that one screen would only allow me to do one colour and since I wanted text, the illustrations wouldn’t really be able to be in the design because they would require several screens. I am disappointed about this because I would have liked to have incorporated some colour into the t-shirts.

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I was very keen to try to incorporate some more sustainability into the project because that was something that I had wanted to be a big part of the project but I had lost sight of slightly. To try to do this I looked up relatively affordable high street clothes shops that sold organic t-shirts. I found that Gap, H&M and Zara all did so I went to compare them. I bought two H&M black t-shirts. The man’s one is 50% organic cotton and the woman’s one is 100% organic cotton. I am really glad that I did this because I could have quite easily bought shirts from Primark but that would have completely gone against the socially responsible aims of the project.screen printing collage tshirtcollageThe screen printing went very well and I was able to print two t shirts and several bags. I found that the fabric ink needed several coats to become opaque but the final t shirts look good because they are not too bright white. If I did it again, I might have used yellow ink because that would have gone better with the colour scheme.

I really enjoyed doing the screen printing and I was very excited when I was making the screen. I am really glad that I managed to do some screen printing as part of the project and that I was able to learn a new skill. It really was much more straight forward than I had thought so I would definitely like to do more of it in the future.

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Wall Menu

I have designed and printed a wall menu that would hang behind the counter in the cafe. I found the process quite hard because I struggled to find a balance between being practical and readable and looking sleek. I tried out many different options and eventually came up with a design that I am happy with. I think that doing lots of development and print tests for this was important because it allowed me to see areas for improvements etc. and I think that the final menu is much better as a result.

Here is the process:

I used some of the research that I had done when I was designing the table menu and I looked back at the designs I had done for that as well so that I could create something that had a similar, cohesive feel to it. (I think that ultimately, I was successful in doing this.)

Wall menu collage
^ Some of my sketchbook pages experimenting with layouts, trying to work out what worked best and was easiest to read.

I thought about having the menu be very simple with the drinks on one side and the prices on the other (see top right) but I thought this actually made it quite difficult to read the corresponding prices and drinks. Because of this I out the prices right next to the drink so that it was clear which was which. This, I think, was a good idea because in the final design, it is easy to read the prices. I read online that if you are designing a menu, leave off the £ sign because it makes people less aware of the notion of spending money (I think this is a bit sneaky but I also think it’s a clever technique to increase a customer’s spending and it is interesting to learn about those kinds of things as part of this project).

I decided to put a black background because I thought it would make it look like it was written onto a blackboard which I think looks more handmade and also because black will create a nice contrast when hung next to the other posters that I have designed that have a pale background.

I printed the menu A2 on Ruth’s large matt printer. I thought that this would give a nice finish.

IMG_7974I thought briefly about putting the menu on the A board that I bought and tried it out but I think that although it looks ok, I think it would be more appropriate hanging on the wall (as it would be if it was really in the cafe).

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Poster Design Development

PICTURES TO COME

Over the weekend, I designed a series of posters that would be displayed in the cafe. I was mostly inspired by the beautiful, simple screen printed posters that were designed by Ed Harrison for the ‘The Creperie’ brand identity project that I found on Behance. I liked the way that they promoted the establishment but also were great pieces of design that could be displayed on the walls without looking like adverts. I tried designing a poster that featured some witty copy or an appropriate quote but I struggled to come up with something that seemed relevant to the organic/Fairtrade-ness of the cafe. To get around this I thought I would simply do a poster for each of a few of the cakes that the cafe would serve. I chose Banana Bread, Carrot Cake and Lemon Drizzle because I had the idea to illustrate a banana, carrot and lemon all in the same style as the bunch of bananas that was already part of the brand identity. I really liked this idea because I thought it would be a nice extension of the project and it would add some more illustration to the brand. I wondered about making the carrot orange but then after l looked at the orange next to all of the other things I had designed, I thought it looked really out of place and it didn’t look right with the colour scheme at all so I revised the colours and made the carrot pink, the banana green and the lemon yellow. I thought this might look really wrong but after asking a few people, I decided that it looked fine because it went with the colour scheme and the shapes and names of the fruits were communicative enough.

I drew the illustrations on Illustrator using the paintbrush tool, which I found quite difficult because I was using a touch pad, (I have learned that it would definitely be easier to use my drawing tablet for this in future),  and I added copy explaining where the ingredients came from. I also added a logo and the slogan, ‘feel good about your food’ because I felt like that would make them a little bit more commercial and would allow them to be used as adverts as well as decorative posters.

I know that I want to print these at at least A3 size and possibly frame them so I would like to print them using Ruth’s large matt printer. Because of this, I won’t be able to print onto the banana  or elephant paper so I decided to scan a sheet of it in and use it as a background. It looks quite good on the screen (although it makes it a huge file size) but when I printed a sample this afternoon it came out slightly green. I will do some more adjusting and reprint some more later and see if I can improve it because it would look so much better if it comes out the same as the sheet of elephant paper.

Here are the final posters:

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