Wednesday, 18 December 2013

OUGD502 - PPP2: Studio Brief 1: A Design Strategy (Studio Visit)

After we had had our visit from Numiko, I felt inspired to contact the list of studios I have made at home. As I will be in Leeds for a period of time at the start of the Summer holidays, I thought it would be worthwhile to contact a few studios here first. I have sent out an email and I am waiting for a response, it has only been a week and I was unable to contact the creative director directly, so if I haven't heard back by the time I am back at college after Christmas I am going to follow this email up with a phone call or even a visit.  

OUGD502 - PPP2: Studio Brief 1: A Design Strategy (LGP Visit)

As part of my design for print brief I took it upon myself to try and visit as many printers in Leeds as possible. I came across LGP print in Leeds and was fortunate enough to be shown around on arrival. I hadn't contacted them beforehand, but just went along with my friend to see whether they would mind giving us a bit of a tour on the day. We were very pleasantly greeted and then shown around for an hour or so. It was really useful being able to gather first hand information from professionals and it was great being able to see the printing equipment which we are not usually exposed to. I felt as though this was a much more successful and refreshing use of my time as opposed to sitting at home and doing all of my research online. 

Whilst I was there I was able to ask a few questions about my brief, and was fortunate enough to be able to ask whether they would be interested in me creating some of their promotional materials for them, which I could base my design for print brief on. I am therefore currently still in the process of finishing this work for them, but I am hoping that once it is finished, if they like the leaflet I have created, then they may well use it to distribute to all of their clients.

OUGD502 - PPP2: Studio Brief 1: A Design Strategy (Louis Vuitton Collaboration)

On the 6th November I worked with a third year fashion student, modelling her dress she had made for a live brief for Louis Vuitton. The brief was to create something which resembled 'I Am Luxury' and so Gabrielle who I worked with, came up with a really unique idea and played on the fact that she perceives Louis Vuitton as being quite a materialistic brand, and therefore wanted to create something to represent this. Gabrielle created a dress which was made out of a clear plastic material and was sprayed gold from the inside. This was to portray the idea that what is on the inside matters the most. I really loved this concept when I initially went to meet up with her about working with her, as it is quite deep and thoughtful, and I feel as though I work in a very similar way.

On the day, we took all of the equipment to the Louis Vuitton store in Leeds and set everything up in a room upstairs. We then had a half hour slot to take as many photos as possible. The work was then handed in and judged and Gabrielle's work was chosen to be exhibited in the Louis Vuitton store for a week. I went along with one of my friends to the opening night and it was great to see what everyone had produced.

When I visited the LCA end of year exhibition, I absolutely loved all of the garments and all of the branding, and knew straight away that this is something I would be interested in getting involved with. 
I am therefore really pleased I was given this opportunity, as I will now have another connection in the future, if Gabrielle or anyone else involved needs any Graphic Design work doing for them. Below is the video which was played as a part of the exhibition.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

OUGD502 - PPP2: Videos From John's Presentation

'Hi all,
These are some of the presentation videos I showed you over the last two sessions. The reason I have shown them, is to illustrate that being a creative is  'more' of everything in creative thought. Imagination and application can manifest the creative outcome in any way you can dream of. These people seem special, only because they expand the realms of possibility and create their own 'fields of dreams'


OUGD502 - PPP2: Studio Brief 1: A Design Strategy (CV Research)

For some added research and perhaps visual aid for me in the future, I have decided to create this blog post illustrating different ways in which designers present themselves through using creative CV's. I think there is an overall varied opinion on creative CV's, because the most important thing is that the message is portrayed successfully within the content as opposed to concentrating on making a complicated design. I am therefore unsure whether I would over complicate my CV in the future as I am not sure whether it is necessary. Another way I can show my creativity is giving the studios a link to my work or even sending them a sample of my work instead. I do think it is important to have an open mind with things like this however, and I do intend on experimenting with this in the near future.

This example below isn't particularly striking, however the folds/origami aren't too complicated, which could therefore suggest it would be a successful way to portray yourself.


Comparing yourself to a completely different object in this way is creative, however I am really not sure it is necessary. I therefore wouldn't take inspiration from design like this as I don't think there is much point or reasoning behind it.

This is by far the most impressive example I have come across so far, although at the same time the fact that the designer has printed their faces off at such a large scale could imply that they are maybe over confident or could even be perceived as being a bit arrogant? This is debatable but something we should consider.

This is another example which I am very fond of. The only issue with it is the length of it, I started to switch off about half way through and think it would have been more successful if it had been shortened slightly. I do think it has a very personal touch though being able to actually watch the designer write the letter themselves.

If someone is particularly interested in bottle packaging design and was approaching a studio that specialised in this area, then this would be ideal to send off. However unless this was the case I am not sure whether the bottle would be necessary. Another thing to consider is the fact that this wouldn't be easy to reproduce and wouldn't be cheap to reproduce if it was being sent out to a selection of different studios.

Self promotion by Olesya Kurulyuk, via Behance  packaging cv - very memorable.. but isn't it too much?

This is quite a unique way of presenting one's self, although I am not sure it is necessary really. To some studios this would perhaps be ideal and quirky and this may fit their signature really well, however I think the majority would have their doubts.

This is quite a clever idea, providing studios with the 'golden ticket'. However I am not sure how practical it is as an idea, because once the chocolate has gone, then a lot of the packaging has to be thrown away which isn't very sustainable, and the sleeve alone wouldn't stay in very good condition. It would be a stronger concept if the sleeve had a second use once the chocolate is eaten.


OUGD504 - Design Production: Design For Print and Web Crit (With Industry Professional)

Today I ended up having a discussion with my boyfriend who currently works for Sony as a Character Artist, and therefore the feedback I received from him was extremely valid as he works in a creative environment working alongside graphic designers with experience in what I am currently doing. 

Firstly, I explained my concept for print. I brought the following ideas up in the discussion:

  • Using leaves to create ink
  • Making the pack reusable
  • The possibility of using leaves as a way of illustrating some processes (laser cut)
  • The concept of 'take a leaf out of my book' or 'turn over a new leaf'
  • My initial idea of having an information pack for students, which has progressed in to the idea of the audience being children and their parents (families) since the crit with Phil
  • The purpose of the pack to create something which would encourage designers to be more eco-friendly, which then changed in to a pack which would engage youngsters and their families in the different print processes (after the crit with Phil)
  • The idea of including seeds to plant in the pack so that the recipient could grow their own ink essentially 
Once I had explained all of these ideas out loud it became apparent to me that I wasn't completely satisfied myself with how the idea has progressed since my crit. I hadn't found the previous crit as useful as it could have been which is perhaps what has led me to this confusion.

The questions I was asked as a result:

Why it is necessary to use leaves for your brief? Why not use vegetables as well? 

This is something I had considered, but at the same time I hadn't really put it in to practice because I am still at the stage where I am trying to thicken my ink using binder. This also made me consider whether people would actually want to make their own ink themselves and whether they would actually bother with it or not. Perhaps it is all getting a bit too fiddly.

The feedback if this was aimed at designers:

Designers may not necessarily be interested in actually making their own ink, they would perhaps just rather be made aware of the print possibilities which printing places have to offer.

The feedback if this was aimed at families:

The children wouldn't understand the concept of being more eco-friendly necessarily at their age, and as a result it would remove the quality of the concept 'turn over a new leaf'. Another issue would be that vegetable ink is only one small area within printing and by providing them with the seeds would perhaps limit the content I could include. I also feel as though a lot of the emphasis and energy has been going in to the concept a bit too much, when I should really be considering the content a bit more, as this will inform my decisions more successfully.

Why would you use laser cut leaves in your pack? Isn't this unnecessary and hard to reproduce? Consider this brief as if it was a live brief.

The reasoning I had to answer this question wasn't really as strong as it should have been. This is something I simply wanted to experiment with initially, and something I may not actually use for my final resolution to this brief.

When I was told to consider this brief as a live brief, it seemed much more professional instantly. This would mean that I couldn't use things such as leaves to laser cut, unless I was going to photograph them, because the info pack itself is becoming too crafty, especially when the underlying concept it to simply make people aware and open their eyes to environmentally friendly processes where print is concerned.

Why not create something which is compact to encourage small businesses to use the greener option when contacting printing places to produce their work for them?

This was a suggestion which really gave me a positive feeling. I think this could definitely work and is very applicable to my idea. Rather than it being so hand crafted and perhaps a bit hand made looking, it would be better for it to have more of a corporate feel with a serious underlying message.

I feel as though receiving this feedback has given me an incentive to really nail down my idea and make sure that I know exactly what I need to produce and include. I am really pleased with the outcome of this crit though because I know that it is much more suited to the real world and producing it in a different format, perhaps by creating a mailshot, it is instantly much easier to reproduce and distribute this way, as opposed to it being a box with books inside. To save the environment as well, I would reuse the envelope in some way and I would also present the information inside on a concertina format.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

OUGD502 - PPP2: Studio Brief 1: A Design Strategy (Contact Task and Good/Bad List)

Write a list of as many different methods you can employ to contact creatives, studios or agencies.
  • Send a voice recording along side a CV to add a more personal touch
  • Write a letter using quality paper
  • Package a letter in a unique way so they can unfold the package to reveal more information about me
  • Create a twitter account which showcases my work alone and give the studio a link to my account
  • Send the recipient a video of me speaking so that they can hear my voice - a more personal and interactive way of speaking, better than a telephone call
  • A QR code which could link the recipient to Skype so that you could speak to each other in person
  • Send them a package in the shape of a light bulb and say 'inside contains a bright new spark' the package could then be reused as a lamp shade (eco friendly)

What 'floats your boat'?

I have decided to answer this question as well to give myself a chance to reflect on all of the other things I need to make sure that I am making time for.
  • Travelling
  • Meeting new people
  • Philosophy
  • Interactive design (start looking further than packaging design for more inspiration)
  • Fashion
Get someone to write a list of your good and bad qualities.

Feedback from Ellen:

  • Attracted to using cream and black and neutral tones a lot (this colour palette could be extended)
  • I gravitate towards high end brands who are ethically driven (one day I may have to work for a brand without a strong ethical production line)
  • Could do with carrying out more primary research in terms of talking to people
  • Think very deeply in to a brief and therefore very specifically focused on a target audience
  • Consistent level of work no matter what the brief entails
  • Choose to work not just 2D but 3D as well (balance of the two)
  • Starting to use a mixture of processes giving versatility
  • Sustainable and reuse within design
I found this exercise was really helpful to me because it made a few things apparent to me where my design development is concerned. I am going to make sure that during my print and web briefs as well as my responsive briefs that I try and experiment further with using colour and continue to carry out more varied primary research. 

OUGD502 - PPP2: Networking and Contacting Professionals

This morning we had a introductory chat with John about networking mainly. I wrote down a couple of key notes which I feel will be important to me now and in the future.
  • Sort LinkedIn account this weekend
  • Get to know people now
  • Main thing that companies look for now is people who love what they are doing
  • What makes you you? Include this on your CV and explain who you are to make you stand out from the rest
  • Hand written letters are probably the most appropriate form of communication as they attract people's attention

We then had a talk about contacting professionals. I also wrote down a few of the main key points that I picked up on during this session.

  • Build a dialogue with these people, it isn't about having a degree it is about who you are and what you have to offer
  • Treat contacting professionals like having a brief to complete
  • Always have the correct questions to ask people (have them ready in your mind)
  • Email, Twitter, post, other?
  • Consider why you are asking the questions? A visit would be good? Think about Skype and FaceTime (during one of the chats I had with John he mentioned that he was hoping to get us involved in more opportunities where we could speak to professionals via skype in one of the studios, I think this would be extremely beneficial to us!)
  • Think off the wall to stand out
  • Don't just be a person with a degree and no experience
  • Do not ask for a placement
  • The advice you get from people you will know forever and you can then keep in touch with these people
  • What will they want to know about you? What kind of creative are you? What kind of work do you see as synergetic to you?
  • Invite people to college
  • What can you show them? Take work with you
  • Don't worry about having a portfolio at this stage
  • What should you aim to take away from a meeting? Experience and practice run, an insight in to how a professional studio operates


  • What is a creative CV?
  • It's all about you and what is great about you up to now. A shop window in essence
  • Package my CV
  • It is not just a CV but is a reference they may keep on file if it is good enough
Below are some of the examples which John showed us during his presentation. The ones that caught my attention the most are the first two, as I feel they relate closely to me and my practice. I would love to create a CV which could be sent out to studios specifically in the format of packaging. I think this would certainly capture someone's attention more than a 2D CV printed out. I could create it so that it would be easy for me to reproduce at a low cost, and as sustainable as possible. This is something I am going to start thinking about as an extra project on the side. I am going to start a new post on PPP to illustrate any relevant and inspiring research I find which will help me to create my own unique CV.

In the afternoon we had another session with John where he showed us a variety of different videos. We spent most of the time watching a Snask video, this was bizarre and certainly unique. They are a very successful studio though and are very clever to have done as well as they have done. Some of the key things I noted down when watching the video are as follows:

  • Say yes to everything
  • If you believe in yourself you can do anything

The Lille 2012 video also inspired me to create whatever I like and think big. It also made me think about my current design for print brief, and has made me consider how I could think even bigger and propose a seeded box as opposed to a box which would just have seeds attached to it. This is something I don't think I could physically make so I am going to propose how it could be produced commercially for the use of a large population.

John also mentioned how a lot of the third years now are currently revisited old briefs they completed in first and second year and redesigning them to see what they can come up with and how they can improve upon their original idea. I thought that I would love to do this with my Pooch Pouch Brief which I completed last year. This is something I could consider doing this year or next.

Below are some of the videos John told us to have a look at, some of which we watched during the presentation. I thought it would be worthwhile posting them on my blog so that I can always have them here to refer back to in the future.




Networking as a tool for Creatives

Establishing a personal practice as a Graphic Designer, starts early. Mid way through ones degree or College course we identify (hopefully) the most attractive direction that our practice
can offer us as an individual.

However throughout ones development, we meet many people from not only our own sphere
of work, but from many others. Photographers, film producers or creatives from many other
disciplines. This adds to the experiences that can interplay within your own professional framework. As a student, we do this automatically within the College, course and year groups as a day to day thing. Therefore we slip into the networking mode virtually automatically through ‘crits’ and by collaborative tasks.

Near to, or after graduating, we come away from College with a degree (hopefully) which illustrates/indicates to our profession and others that we have achieved a certain level of skill, and an academic understanding of our industry and other areas that we may have contact with, now or in the future.

It would be amazing if that was the ‘magic ticket’ to a long and lucrative career within the business...sadly not true. This is merely a springboard that has lifted your foot onto the initial rung of our live’s/career’s ladder.

We can survive in a bubble now we have the technology, sitting alone in a room somewhere
completing and distributing work to whomever and wherever. Becoming a ‘creative hermit’ has a few downsides however. No one being aware of your existence, your ability, your brilliance. Remember there are over 7 billion of us clinging to our planet.

Networking in all of it’s forms will introduce and engage you within the wider areas of our
profession, gain you friends (some that can last a lifetime) colleagues and even clients from near and far (sounds a bit like either a fairy story or a recruitment ad?).

How can we effectively network with others?

We can establish a network in quite a few ways, and I will identify a few, but you will
more than likely add a few more yourself.

1.JOIN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS allied to your discipline. ie the
Graphic Artists Guild, AIGA and many others.

2.Specific NETWORKING SITES where one can upload a portfolio and
obtain feedback from fellow professionals such ad Behance, Cargo,
Coroflot and many others.

3.Join CREATIVE CIRCLES and become active amongst your peers.

4.ATTEND CONFERENCES and symposiums to meet others that may be
attending or presenting there, this is a ricky one if one is of a reserved
disposition (shy).
But, remember the phrase I always use as a displaced ‘Geordie’
Shy bairns get nowt!’

  1. TRAVEL, work abroad or work with other designers/studios outside the UK. This is something I made a specific point of within my own career. It ‘globalizes’ your network and is so much easier today with the internet.

  1. BLOG AND FOLLOW BLOGS. You can amaze yourself when someone from thousands of miles away comments on your work, thoughts and ideas. Check who is following you and why.

7.VISIT other creatives and socialize. ‘Most’ are more than pleased to meet
other creatives. Establish a dialogue and it can go on for many years
if you maintain the contact (not as a stalker though!).


When I say that of course I mean there is no one in the world you can not attempt to contact.
However, have a reason to contact them.Even if it is simply to say WOW. Years ago, I had always enjoyed the work of Milton Glaser in New York (I LOVE NY) and took a punt and
contacted him simply to say how over the years I really enjoyed his work. I still email and get
replies today...he and I are getting long in the tooth, but both enjoy creative work.
Do not wait...start today...but have a reason and identify why you want to talk.

Networking has been around since the beginning of the artist/creative days. The PreRaphaelites, the Impressionists all networked and discussed their work...I am not suggesting you drink, fight and cut your own ears off, but networking is a helpful and rewarding

Some of my own tips for networking to expand your own network.

1.When you do contact/ meet other creatives you have identified as having some
synergy with you and your practice, ask who else they would suggest you talk

Keep in touch on a regular basis (even if it is a postcard from your vacation), pass on other creative practices projects you have seen, they may appreciate it as much as you do.

This is a simple diagram of how it should work.

Why would anyone want to let me into their network
or interested at all?

Initially as a new Graduate or a final year student, you are ‘new blood’ and fresh. You have had a number of years where you have been encouraged to look at the profession in a new
light and can bring fresh thinking and ‘untainted’ views.

When wanting to make contacts and seeking advice, you should understand that professionals
will want to give’s really nice to be asked and to be seen as an ‘expert’
This may sound like ‘schmoozing’ (look it up) or ego tripping, but what the heck, if it works,
use it.

Remember, recently it has been reported that networking has achieved between 60-80%
of potential job offers?

Networking can induct you into important information ‘loops’ and make you aware of opportunities and projects that a ‘creative hermit’ may miss out on.

For those who have seen the movie ‘Meet the Fokkers’ you are inside the circle of friends.

The ‘FOKKER’ effect

This you may think is common sense. It actually is. BUT it is surprising how effective it can be
to network. The biggest reason people do not network is poor time management (but that is another story). Not being bothered to take or make time is something we really should address, it is so easy to say ‘I’m too busy’...or ‘I haven’t has a spare minute’

Think about that next time you miss out on something you really wanted to be part of...a few
minutes every week can be advantageous. Like Facebook and Tweeting.

There are over 7 Billion people on our planet...why not speak to a few?


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

OUGD504 - Design Production: Design For Print and Web Crit

This morning we had a crit with either Phil or Lorraine in small groups. I was in a group with Phil as well as Adam, Lizzy, Abi, Amy and Anna. We were at the start of the day and had one hour to get through everyone and give everyone some constructive feedback. I went first and discussed both my ideas for web as well as print.

I started off explaining my concept for web and how I am going to base it around the concept of sugar cane. Using my three scamps I explained which had stood out to be the most successful in Simon's web design session. I would have liked some feedback on the content of my website at this point but nobody really responded to what I had to say. Phil said I should decide on my content myself and narrow it down so that I didn't have too much to work with, I felt as though this was a fair point and I am going to strongly consider my content now that I have had this crit. 

The feedback I was given for my web ideas are as follows:
  •  Phil liked the idea of creating a sustainable future and involved the audience by asking them to create something out of recycled material and sharing it with the world essentially.
  • Phil also mentioned that when he was listening to my idea he instantly thought that it could be an educational resource and said that I should consider whether it could maybe be for schools, businesses or commercial use.
  • The idea of looking at current brands who have used sugar cane within their packaging also seemed to appear to be a strong idea, this is something I need to consider.
  • Overall I was therefore told to really look at my audience and focus it down, when doing this it will help me to decide on my content as well.
I have therefore decided to carry out some primary research and get some feedback from people in my year group to see which they think would be the most beneficial website to produce. I think this will help me immensely and it is important that I gather this primary research to know that I am creating something worthwhile that would be used.

I then spoke about my print brief. I had spent quite a lot of time explaining it yesterday to the group I was in and so I didn't want to take up too much time today concentrating on it. I therefore tried to summarise all of my ideas, however this was hard as I have currently got so many. My main concern at the moment is my target audience, as I really need to nail this down before continuing any further with design ideas as such. 

The feedback I was given for my print ideas are as follows:
  • As soon as I had explained how I would be creating this pack based on the idea of 'turning over a new leaf' or even 'take a leaf out of my book', as well as mentioning about how I would have seeds at the end of the book and things to push out and create bookmarks, Phil came back to me and responded by saying that he instantly thought it would be perfect for the use of families. This is something I hadn't previously considered because obviously my underlying concept it all about being eco friendly with design. Beth then asked Phil about the content of my print information pack and suggested that children wouldn't be able to necessarily fulfill the process. Phil then said it would therefore be more of a challenge for me, something I would greatly benefit from, because I would have to consider how to approach it in terms of tone of voice. I could write it so that the adults could understand it and teach their children, and at the same time would be encouraged to consider what materials to use when playing with their children or even teaching them. I also think this gives me more scope to include a wider variety of things in my pack. I had already considered including the wooden stamps that I use to create the pack, so that the children could then use the ink they make with their seeds, and then use the wood blocks to print. This could easily be extended by creating more 'props' for them to use for a variety of processes.
  • Due to not having to include everything within my pack (as long as it is shown on my blog that I have researched it) it allows me to be more selective about the information. Phil suggested that I could perhaps provide the parents/adults with a separate glossary with all of the other processes if I felt it was necessary.
  • Last night I carried out some further research after my crit, and I found some resusable white boards as well as clear sticky boards. This would most certainly appeal more to children. I do however think that I need to aim it at children who have already been in education for a good amount of time, because they will need to be able to read and respect the pack in terms of keeping it in good quality.
I felt as though this crit was beneficial in terms of the feedback that I received, however I also felt as though I was slightly rushed and was unable to get across all of the points that I was hoping to make. This is because I was aware that we only had one hour to get through everyone. I do think however, that next week's crit with Lorraine and Phil will help me a lot more and put me in the right direction, and at the moment I can concentrate on responding to the feedback I have been given over the past two days.