Thursday, 25 February 2010

Don't Panic Posters - 'Vogue' (OUGD103)

This live brief had the simple requirement of presenting an interpretation of the word, 'vogue' to create a poster that people would buy to put on their bedroom walls. I designed four potential posters after some visual development to cook some ideas up in my head.

Visual brainstorming the possibilities of how the notion of 'vogue' could be represented visually:

Here are a couple of draft sketches I threw out which my ideas sprung from:

The 4 poster ideas that came as a result. The concept of 'Vague' tying in with 'Vogue' came from optical illusions. Particularly circular ones which can be found on my DC blog:

The concept is that what can be defined as vogue is interpreted subjectively which can make the term vague in itself. Each poster looks to push the readability of the word(s) within it through the use of a large amount of concentric circles to distort the type. On all the ideas, the letter 'A' fights with the letter 'O' in the word which further alters the readability but not too much so it can be left open to interpretation just like the latest fads and trends that some people choose to describe as vogue.

After printing the posters, I do feel that the type could still be distorted more through a greater degree of transparency and more concentric circles so that it becomes more illusionary to tie with the concept of the posters. However, I do feel that the posters work well aesthetically in consideration of the fact that they had to be designed to be put on bedroom walls. The concentric circles work visually to produce a strong, geometric image.

The reason I have chosen circles is that they have always represented the idea of perfection and infinity. By sticking to the latest fashions and what is 'vogue' people are striving to look good. The notion of 'looking good' strongly relates to the human desire for perfection which people falsely believe can be found through what is 'vogue'. For example, the perfect body, size zero, and the latest trend. Vogue is vague as its always changing and therefore has nothing to do with the perfect form/image.

Here's the final poster hanging up:


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Visual Language - Book Reconstruction (OUGD104)

This session was a response to the research into 5 different examples of book reconstruction that we had to find over the Christmas break. The fact that we had to base the reconstruction of our own book around the title and contents made it an interesting visually communicative exercise. Especially in using the unusual medium of a book. It was nice to see the book being moulded into a physical representation of what it is about itself.

The book I had was entitled, "Short answers to very large questions." It was a free book I picked up and essentially outlined arguments as responses to questions that would usually require quite some debate such as, "Can life have meaning without God?" Here is my resolution:

I essentially turned the book into a giant question mark as I felt that this was the most appropriate way of visually representing the book. All in all, an interesting and creative task whilst still maintaining the point of communication within Graphic Design.


Visual Language - The English Language (OUGD104)

In this exercise we were reminded of the terminology and functions of the various lexical features of the English language. Here is the sheet produced:

This exercise was a good reminder of the essential components of the English language that can effect the way in which something is communicated. This extremely valuable when it comes to using text in Graphic Design as things need to be clear and concise - not to mention grammatically correct!

Condensing Text

The next task was to condense some text. This was the first piece of text about seeing gigs in Leeds:

I worked with Sam and Maya in the task. This is how we condensed the piece of text that is circled. It was done in 160 word exactly:

"Leeds is a very busy with a thriving music scene. It is easy to organise your own gig. This is the perfect way to watch the bands you like. Here are some tips."

This was the second piece of text we had to condense to 160 words. It is about cocktail bars and cocktail mixing in Leeds:

Here is how we condensed the text:

"Leeds is a very busy with a thriving music scene. It is easy to organise your own gig. This is the perfect way to watch the bands you like. Here are some tips."

And lastly, Amber told a story of a snake who was going to eat its owner. Here is the condensed version:

"58 first year students were told about a pet snake that wouldn't eat but kept growing & slept stretched out next to its owner. It was measuring her up to eat her."

All in all this was a worthwhile session. As Graphic Designers we are expected to be able to effectively condense information and display it in interesting, effective ways. Condensing and simplifying induces clarity in a piece of designer and as we will be being paid in our careers to be effective communicators it is something that is very necessary to be learning as a developing designer in my own practice.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

End Of Module Self Evaluation (OUGD102)

Here is my end of module self evaluation. I filled it out on Microsoft Word then saved it as a Pdf. then as a Jpg. so I could put it on here:


Photoshop Postcards (OUGD102)

After the photoshop workshops with Simon, I produced the following 10 postcards as a response to the brief set:

'Postcard 1 Front'

'Postcard 1 Back'

'Postcard 2 Front'

'Postcard 2 Back'

'Postcard 3 Front'

'Postcard 3 Back'

'Postcard 4 Front'

'Postcard 4 Back'

'Postcard 5 Front'

'Postcard 5 Back'

'Postcard 6 Front'

'Postcard 6 Back

'Postcard 7 Front'

'Postcard 7 Back'

'Postcard 8 Front'

'Postcard 8 Back'

'Postcard 9 Front'

'Postcard 9 Back'

'Postcard 10 Front'

'Postcard 10 Back'

Creating these postcards was a great beginner Photoshop exercise for me as I'm not particularly familiar with the program. The way the postcards work are that on the front is a photo of the object and the background it sits on is the Pantone colour that my group and I decided the object was in the visual language session from which the photographs came visual language. The back simply states the Pantone colour itself.

A generally pretty worthwhile task for me personally and I feel that the result is relevant and easy to understand.


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Collection 100 (OUGD102)

Week 1

After presenting my Part 1 research in a crit, it was concluded that although my research was very thorough I needed to narrow down on something in order to progress. I decided to focus more in the area of airlines and nationality. This decision was made through my research as I felt that the nature of airline tail fin designs had a big potential in terms of classification and categorisation as the next part of the brief instructed to come up with 100 categories. Bearing this in mind I set about my 100 categories which can be found in my project folder.

Along with this I decided to collect 100 airlines to work with to categorise. After completing the list of 100 categories, I categorised all 100 airlines in different ways from the 100 categories list using their tail designs which I cut out individually from photos in Illustrator:




I thought this was good for visually expressing how this collection could work together in a future stage of the project.


Issues Raised - The feedback I gained from this crit with Amber and a few peers was generally positive. It was noted that my direction had clearly been established and that my research over Christmas was thorough and relevant.

Constructive points included that I had to make sure to approach the topic appropriately.

Action to be taken - Suggested action was to begin to think about the product to be produced and how it will work within to concept of 100. This would involve further methods of categorisation and research to aid my problem and hopefully for a concept to work with.

The crit was very helpful in furthering a direction to my promotional product.

Week 2

After being instantly being presented with the choice of working towards to options of 'Product & Promotion, Product & Packaging and Product & Distribution' on the day of the week 1 crit, I chose Product & Promotion. My reason for this was that with airlines, it seemed logical to be able to promote 100 of them in some way. I also saw a potential target audience of aviation enthusiasts and plane spotters in relation to this.

For the majority of the week I vectorised all 100 airline tails I had collected the previous week in order to work with them more fluently. Once this tedious task had been completed, I produced a 'colour wheel' poster as a visual form of research following on from the week previous:

'Vectored 'Colour Wheel' Research'

As a concept for working with 100 I liked how this works visually. Although the problem here was connecting this in some sort of way with a product to promote each airline in an effective way.

I also researched each airlines year that they were established and their fleet sizes as potential forms of categorisation. This research can be found in textual form in the project ring binder. As a result I collected all 100 airline logos and produced a timeline as a visual form of research:

And the timeline:

With no crit at the end of the week, I was constantly gaining feedback from peers and tutors when I asked for it. The general consensus was that I needed to begin thinking about product more and link it to a concept although what I had been producing was of good quality and was relevant.

Week 3

In deciding a product, I decided to think back to my collected objects in the Christmas research and what could be developed into a product for promoting 100 airlines. The two ideas are explained on the following A2 sheet which was produced for the week 3 end of week crit:

'Week 3 Crit Presentation Sheet'

The project was basically forming two paths which began to develop in week 3:

Idea 1 - Paper Planes

This idea has been formed around the statistics that I gained from the opinions on boredom in airports that I collected over Christmas which can be seen on the design sheet above.

Concept - The concept was that boredom in airports could be resolved with paper aeroplanes for passengers to be amused by. Or at least their children. And the cunning part was that the airlines graphics on the paper planes also helped to advertise the airlines themselves to travelers.

So as a result, people are amused by the product which helps airlines companies promote their airlines.

Product - In order to preliminarily develop this product I decided to experiment with different paper plane designs in order to see what flew the best so it could be developed into a design. I tested 14 designs in total. The best one was actually the classic paper plane design that I generally know how to make myself. So I formed a net for it on Illustrator:

'Paper Plane Template'

In order for the design to work on the plane, it would have to be printed double sided. Here are what the flat templates look like (using British Airways):

'British Airways Template Top'

'British Airways Template Bottom'

And when printed out correctly and put together, this is what it looks like:

The general idea was to produce 100 paper planes with 100 different airline designs on them following the concept mentioned above. The tail fin design fits on the back of the plane and the logo helps to advertise the airline itself.

Idea 2 - Luggage Tags

I discovered luggage tags when collecting my objects in initial research which is what fueled my progression of this idea.

Concept - The concept was that the luggage tags could be handed out at check in by the relevant airlines on the luggage tags to be used. They formed a much more practical and useful way of promoting each airline, as well as having the potential to develop into a form of collection for aviation enthusiasts and plane spotters or even children.

Product - In terms of the product, I tried to keep with the idea of function dictating form. The function of the luggage tag is to be written on and to advertise an airline. With this in mind, the form is dictated by an effective way of communicating what is needed to be said. I decided that three elements were needed in the tag for effective communication. These were, the tail fin, the logo and the flag to discern nationality. This was my first idea:

'Luggage Tag Idea 1'

In this instance, the form is dictated by the shape of the tail fin which is an effective way off communicating the airline which, as a result, promotes it through the function of the tag.

And this was my second idea:

'Luggage Tag Idea 2'

In this case, the fin and flag combine to dictate form through having the purpose of advertising the airlines with the back clarifying the airline itself.

So the general idea would be to produce 100 luggage tags advertising 100 airlines as well as displaying their nationality.

The inclusion of the flag on the paper planes and the tags to communicate nationality offers a potential method of categorisation when producing the product.


Sign up crit with Amber

In this crit, there was much more of a positive discussion about the direction in which the luggage tags were heading. It was mentioned that they were much more practical and easier to produce. There was talk between myself, peers and Amber of combining the paper plane idea with the luggage tags to form some sort of product although resolving this problem was noted to be slightly problematic due to varying target audiences as the planes are more easily aimed at children whereas the tags relate more to travelers and aviation enthusiasts.

End of Week Interim Crit with Fred

Issues Raised - Contrary to the crit with Amber, this crit was more positive about the direction of the paper planes due to their originality and the fact that they offered to solve a problem that I had discovered through my research. Again, the idea of combining the planes and the tags came up with the same problems implied.

Action to be taken - I raised the issue of cost for printing 100 A4 paper plane templates double sided as it would have cost me £100. As a possible solution to this, it was suggested that I could produce a CD with the paper plane templates as pdf. files on it to form a product. It was noted that I need to begin developing a product of some sort.

Week 4

Paper Planes

As a reaction to the crit in the previous week, I instantly began producing pdf. paper plane templates for 100 airlines. As I had to do tops and bottoms this was 200 pdf. files so it was quite laborious. Here are a couple of examples of other airlines:

American Airlines Top

American Airlines Bottom

Ryanair Top

Ryanair Bottom

I had to design a CD Sleeve for the product. Here were my design ideas:

Idea 1
Idea 2
Idea 3
Idea 4
Idea 5
Idea 6
Idea 7
Idea 8
Idea 9

And this is the CD Design:

CD Design

The logic behind these designs are that they are synonymous with commonly used airport signage. They are intentionally uncomplicated due to this being the general nature or airport signs. The concept is that by simply replacing the plane icon in the recognised airport symbols for 'Departures' and 'Arrivals' with a paper plane icon, then it communicates that the product is about paper planes.

I also created a set of instructions to go on the CD to inform the user how to put the plane together:

'Paper Plane Instructions'

The instructions are made to fit in with the theme of the packaging. They are made to work synonymously with the simplicity of airport signage so that they are clear and easily understandable. Especially as children are very likely to use them. The instructions are intentionally image led as an added factor to the simplicity of the design to enhance the clarity of the communication within the design.

And here is the product put together:

I chose Idea 2 after asking several people what they thought was the most effective design and also considering my own opinion in the matter. It seems to work most naturally as an airport symbol and can be easily distinguished to determine what the product is about.

Luggage Tags

Having made the time for it, I decided to attempt the luggage tag designs also in this week. I sided with luggage tag Idea 2 as the general form taken is a commonly associated luggage tag form with its own twist due to the shape of the tail fin. I was also keen on the flag combining with the tail fin design with a lower opacity. I felt this worked well in making the tail design stand out which highlights the purpose more, that is, to promote the airline. I had to collect all the relevant flags before I began designing:

The original tag design was double sided like the following:

However, this posed quite a lot of printing complications when it came to it. The mistakes can be found at the back of my project ring binder. The tags were very difficult to line up for double sided printing. And not only that. When the printing was correct, the logos on the back were very poor quality. This was due to the fact that they were not vector files as I simply did not have the time to vectorise all 100 airline logos.

Although all was not lost. I had to make the quick design decision to simply drop the logos from the back of the designs. I still believe that clarity in the design is kept. The logos were not entirely necessary. So here are my 100 luggage tags:

'All 100 Luggage Tags'

Week 5

Week 5 began with our 'final' crit. ('Final' is in inverted commas as we were allowed to make adjustments after the crit.) It was led by both Amber and Fred.

Week 5 Final Crit

This was a silent crit. Students were not allowed to talk back to the tutors at all when being given feedback. These are the general comments I received about my work:

Issues Raised - My work was very well organised and categorised. However, there were several issues to consider. The products (Paper Plane pdf. CD and the 100 promotional luggage tags) did not link together very well at all and did not work as a product together. The audience was very unclear as paper planes seemed to relate to children and the tags more to general travelers. I had to be careful not to make the project too plane spotter-like unless this was my intended audience. Furthermore, there was too much clicking through files to get to the desired files on the pdf. CD. But nevertheless, in terms of the work, it was there. It just hadn't come together as well as it could have done.

Action to be taken - I needed to either connect the luggage tags and the planes in some way to form an appropriate promotional product with a unified audience, or choose either the planes or the tags and work with them to form them into a more legible product.


Having come away from the crit determined to correct my work I set about making decisions straight away. The following point is important for my work:


However, it is still highly notable as a a product idea and product research.

Having made this decision, I set about creating packaging for the luggage tags so they could begin to form a legible product. Here is my design:

'Luggage Tag Box Lid'

'Luggage Tag Box'

The design keeps to the theme of the paper plane CD case. Although I dropped the design from my final product, I liked the concept behind the use of airport imagery and simplicity in to determine the products contents.

In order to create this into a product, I decided to create a poster to accompany the luggage tags in a certain way. The poster is categorised through colour for visual effect. This is the poster:

'Airline Collection 100 Poster/Chart'

The Concept

The concept behind this, is that each airline involved in the 100 luggage tags hands out their own luggage tag on check in. Once the luggage tag is collected, it is checked off on the poster and placed in the box which can both be bought in shops. This aims the product very heavily at plane spotters and aviation enthusiasts.

As well as having this entertainment factor of collection for aviation enthusiasts with the product as a whole, airlines still have the bonus of being able to promote themselves through the luggage tags to the general public and travelers when handing them out. In this sense, I like to see it as a flexible product. Just to clarity:
  1. As a whole - Box, Poster and Tags - the product is aimed at plane spotters.
  2. As airlines are able to hand the tags out to anyone, the tags solely target regular air travelers as a form of promotion.

The Final Product

All that was left was to obtain a poster tube for the poster and make it a fitting piece of product packaging. I did this by simply adding a luggage tag to it with a relevant double sided design. Here it is:

'Poster Tube Luggage Tag Side 1'

'Poster Tube Luggage Tag Side 2'

Side 1

Side 1 has the same design as the box to ensure unity in the design apart from the small check box. This makes the phrase 'check in' a play on words as the contents of the tube is a poster on which you 'check in' boxes for airline luggage tags you collect when you 'check in' at the airport.

Side 2

Side 2 brings in a product name that also unifies the tag with the poster as they share this same aspect of design.

So here is my final product photographed:

And that is the conclusion of my Collection 100 project.