It’s nearly the end of my first year, and I can’t imagine how quickly the year has gone by! For me, the year didn’t start off very smoothly as I was having great difficultly following the structure of the course. This is because it was completely different from the ABC Diploma that I had just finished back then! During our ABC diploma course, we would go in almost every day from 10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and work on our ongoing projects in the studios. The tutors provided us with a lot of support, including softwares assistance. Back then, I found that kind of teaching rather useful as I was a beginner in the field of design. However, the FdA turned out to be quite different. On this course here, the focus is more on self initiated work and we go in only for a few hours during the week to get feedback from our peers and tutors. This structure has made me push myself further with design thinking and exploration which I would not be doing otherwise. Thus enabling me to grow as a designer.
I am always lagging behind when it comes to technical competence, but another year in this field has helped me pick up certain software skills which I didn’t think I would have been able to operate initially.
My world of design has opened up, and I am more aware of what is happening around me now. This is because, besides looking at portfolios and websites of various design agencies/ illustrators/ typographers, attending exhibitions, art events and design conferences, we have also been provided with a huge amount of resource on blackboard on the various areas of the graphic communication industry such as branding, infographics, publication design, interactive design and so on.
Well, I had spent most of my time doing research for this project and suddenly realized it was time for submission, so I actually spent very little time on idea generation. I was not used to presenting everything in a pdf format so I had a bit of trouble with time management. I liked my final design, but looking back I feel the format does not quite fit the design. Maybe during the summer break I’ll work and produce a more interesting and fitting outcome.
Graphic Design Applications Project:
Mapping Project - This is when I came across the book Information Is Beautiful and understood what information design really is. Prior to this I hardly had any knowledge about it. For this project, I wanted to do something very conceptual and hence came up with the idea of the concertina. I designed the concertina in a way that the person holding it first experiences a hint of suspense, and is only able to solve the mental mystery as it unfolds in his/her hands.
Industry Set Project – This is the project in which I feel I have learnt the most this year. Steve and Viv from Ico design visited us and shared in detail their experience of creating the identity for Snog, which turned out to be incredibly useful. It helped me get a very thorough understanding on how to approach a branding project. I am very satisfied with the final design for the identity whichtook me several weeks to come up with. I realized the importance of choosing the correct typeface to make an identity work which can take forever in some cases.
I also had a look at ‘The Packaging Design Book’ which helped me take my identity forward and apply it to other formats. This project also brought about my renewed interest in typography. I have discovered how, by playing around with letterforms, the meaning of a word can be brought out.
Since the Graphic Design Applications Project was a 50 page pdf, I made it interactive by hyperlinking the contents page to the different projects, using them to explore my research on websites and also embedded videos.
The design conference held in Dublin, called Offset was a real inspiration for me this year. It was the perfect way to get rid of the creative block I was undergoing at that point. I loved the illustration work that Steve Simpson shared in his presentation even though I’m not big on drawing. Droga 5 and their very clever advertising, beautiful heartfelt animations by John Kelly, Michael Beirut sharing some of his case studies, Paula Scher going through the history of her life and of course Stefan Sagmeister giving us a sneek peek into the happy film project he is currently working on.
This last term has been quite different as the brief is very open ended and we can do pretty much anything we like as long as we stick to the theme of ‘looking at the city from designers point of view’. It’s nice to not design a pdf for a change and do more hands on work which I prefer any day to a computer. Since I have been drawn towards type off late, I have designed a set of postcards which has received positive feedback already! I have also ventured into line art and drawn out St. Paul’s Cathedral, the red bus, Wicked the musical,Big Ben with either their history, conversations around the place or a political view from journalists/activists.
I am currently doing a typeface inspired by make-up brushes as everywhere I look I see girls dolled up.
It has been a productive year and I have definitely matured as a designer. I feel more confident to talk about design as well as about my work. I have found my calling, at least for now, which is definitely branding. I am going to explore and dig deep into the subject this summer.
Anyway, being 10 days away from a massive submission of 100 design outcomes along with a designed catalogue I better get going before it get too late. So for now all I need is a best of luck to me!
London is a city brimming with glitz and glamour.You see it everywhere and on every girl! In this city, make-up forms an essential part of a girl’s daily routine. Why is it so essential? Are we so afraid to show who we truly are? Inspired by this world of make up, I created a typeface made up of make-up brushes.
A city’s hallmark is its buildings, architecture and other things that we associate with it. In the case of London they are the Big Ben,The Tower Bridge, St Pauls Cathedral, the Red Bus, the ongoing musicals amongst others.
I have attempted to look at these landmarks from a different perpective. I have drawn out each one of them using the medium of type as their outline.The type is inspired by the history of the place, ordinary conversations or simply the political stance of journalists and social activists.
The initial workshop held by Katy was about giving a voice to the common people. However, I didnot follow the brief word by word.Instead, did something which I thought would be more interesting.
I walked around London recording various conversations of couples squabbling, kids being told off by their parents for being mischievious, a friend ranting to the other, colleagues having a friendly chat etc. When putting together this set of 10 postcards, I took bits out of their conversations and emphasised on a particular word to bring out the meaning of the phrase / sentence paying careful consideration to not distorting the type and keeping the original letterform as it is.
As part of our current assignment, my group chose to explore into ‘new spaces and processes of production’ as it is a topic of interest for the new generation of aspiring graphic designers. We are living in a technology driven world where the simplest manual task can be replaced by a machine. Given that technology has become such an integral part of our lives, the question ‘how does technology influence design skills and creativity?’ formed the basis of our debate.
I have a clear stance in regards to this question; technology limits the scope of our creative process. Ironically technology is an offspring of human creation that is taking a life of its own and almost ready to take control. While some may feel I am simply conjuring up a fatalistic scenario from Terminator: Judgment Day – it is a scenario that we are moving closer to every day as we rely increasingly on external ‘applications’ to initiate, generate as well as define our creative expression.
Before we know it, technology could potentially dull the thought process and set boundaries within which one may experiment, eventually conceptualising outcomes that he/she is able to digitally produce. Creativity is seamless and not a technologically bound phenomenon, in fact a moment of inspiration can spark an idea transcending the technology of that period. A perfect example of this can be seen in Leonardo Da Vinci’s design of the first helicopter in 1493, which he has been credited for. Back then; it was only a theory, which was never taken forward as it was way ahead of its time. Never the less, it was still an ingenious idea and became a reality in the early 1900’s. Steven Heller (2010), in his book Inside the Sketchbooks of the World’s Greatest Graphic Designers, gives us an insight of how sketchbooks act as repositories for both grand and mundane creations. It is where an artist/designer makes his mark on paper, to explore, analyse and refine designs and notions.
Contrary to breaking my perception of technology’s adverse influence on creativity, it was further strengthened at Kyle Cooper’s presentation at Offset (11th March, 2012), Dublin’s premier design conference. Kyle, a renowned title designer in motion graphics, shared his experimentations with materials such as acetate, paint etc. to create similar visual effects that animators and interactive designers virtually produce on the computer screen. Strangely enough, in today’s day and age, the fact that he still uses his bare hands to mould his creations into life – is what made his art stand out as original and unique. It also reminded me that in the end the source of creativity still lies within oneself.
In this digital age, communication design has undergone a drastic change with gadgets such as Amazon Kindle, which makes reading accessible and easy for everyone. Yet, most book lovers today still prefer the excitement of physically picking out his/her favourite paperback from the local library or a bookshop. In my opinion, the Amazon Kindle represents the pointless race to invent and innovate simply for the sake of keeping alive the notion of ‘human progress’.
As a designer in 2012, it is taken for granted that I should be able to work through most design applications that exist. And yes, technology offers, to an extent, convenience and ease during the process of creation. Yet we should be careful about embracing technology as the sole medium of defining our creations, designs and ideas. Although many may disagree or even argue that as a graphic designer it is too late to take such a stance, perhaps it is worth trying to step away from technology to expand our creative horizons into other unexplored directions.
The Olympic Torch, the Royal Wedding Dress and a wind-propelled Landmine Detonator. The 2012 Designs of the Year are announced.
Designs of the Year 2012 exhibition runs 8 February – 15 July, Design Museum, London.
The Design Museum announces the longlist for the fifth annual Designs of the Year Awards. Showcasing a year in design, the 2012 longlist is a celebration of the best in global designs. Industry experts have nominated innovative and engaging designs across seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport.
The longlist covers an eclectic mix of designs including the Olympic Torch 2012 for London, designed by Barber Osgerby, the Duchess of Cambridge’s Wedding Dress, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and a wind-propelled Landmine Detonator which cost $40 to produce. Nominations also include the Kinect for Xbox 360, the first ever Virtual Tesco Store, the Olympic 2012 Velodrome and a pop-up cinema (Folly for a Flyover) in Hackney, East London.
Looking at the city of London from a designers point of view, I am supposed to produce a portfolio of 100 different graphic outcomes (10 x 10 outcomes) and a designed 16 page catalogue (in A5 portrait format) that showcases, what I consider to be, the best examples from each of my series of 10 outcomes – 1 from each series of 10.
All this to be done in a matter of 5 weeks is no joke!
Applied the concept of ‘Offbeat’ into packaging, to make one side of the box asymmetrical.This asymetrical sides idea would be applied into other boxes of various shapes just to uphold the concept of ‘something different’ and bring in the element of a pleasant surprise.
Similar to the idea of asymmetrical packaging boxes are the menu cards. The design shows a certain amount of movement between the two menu cards. ‘Offbeat’ defies anything that is rigid, allowing room for fluidity and difference.
Naming can take forever! There always seems to be a better fit to whatever name you decide upon. So after spending several hours trying to jot down names, I finally went with ‘Offbeat’. This is because the most common reaction of people to this word were unexpected, different, outside the box, something that you don’t notice immediately, directly upholding the concept of the chosen name. Breaking the norm, being underrated, one that is off the beaten track is all that ‘Offbeat’ exemplifies.
To create a name and identity for a new food concept due to launch in London, Summer 2012.
I have chosen to do my industry set project with Ico Design because I am keen to know more about branding. Since this is a work based learning project, I would benefit the most from a company whose expertise lie in this field.
During our group tutorial today I was asked to narrow down the question. Hence I started looking at the 2 most important genres of photography to have more focused research. Besides, we had only 2 weeks before hand in which did not leave me with much time for extensive research. I started digging deeper and thought of looking at one way in which these photographers brand themselves. The most obvious was the website! Hence my refined question became - How do documentary photographers use website as a branding mechanism as opposed to fashion photographers ?