Screen Based Communication 2 - Briefing

Today we received our second brief of the year; Screen based Communication 2. I am really looking forward to getting underway with this brief as I enjoy web development and am seriously considering it as one potential route my studies could take me down (especially seeing as web design is one of the easier graphic design fields to get into).

So far, not surprisingly I don't have any ideas but hey, what do I expect... My first thoughts of how to get the ball moving on this project are as follows; look at my own work and look for common ground from brief to brief, try and develop an identity or image for myself from my work which will then give the design of my website some direction. I will also look at as many existing websites as possible to get some inspiration and ideas about how I wish to promote myself and the work that I do. One thing which I am already concerned about is the lack of material I have or have that I am willing to put up to portray my working and methods, however I briefly discussed this with Neil who informed me that this is not a problem and that space can be included on the site for future work and additions which may have a place within my online portfolio of work.

So far I have just been looking at different websites to immerse myself in the field of screen based design and communication. As far as technical workings and development is concerned I am currently unsure of how I will construct my site but am keeping my options open. The sites I like the most are quick and easily accessible with no difficulty finding the content of the sites at hand. I plan to either CSS or Flash to create a slick and minimalist site, but this is just first ideas and could all change.

While looking at various websites which are showcased on http://www.minimalsites.com/
I have posted a few screenshots of websites which I found really nice to navigate and look at due to their simplicity. At this early stage of the brief this is the sort of website design and style which I feel best suits my work. Simplistic, straight to the point and no messing!





The Year So Far!

So far this year I really haven’t been working to my full potential..., not by a long shot. This is annoying to say the least. I am extremely pleased that the first brief is done and out of the way to allow me to concentrate on really getting on with the screen based communication 2 brief which requires me to develop an identity and put it forward by developing a website which can act as an on screen portfolio.
I am also looking forward to concentrating on at least one competition or live brief but hopefully more.

All in all, I really think I need to develop better time management and work ethic for these next two pieces of work because otherwise I’m selling myself short. I will begin looking at existing websites and identity’s to help me decide how I wish to style my own website and will also begin reading through the live competition briefs in order to decide which one (or more) best suits me, whether it be D&AD, ISTD or other.

So overall it just comes down to (as it always does) better organisational and time management skill’s improved confidence and more focus and concentration.


Evaluations - Visual Communication in Context 2

Well nearly a week after handing in the Visual Communication in Context 2 brief, it’s about time I evaluated my work (processes, ideas and concepts, and final hand in work).

Look Again/Think Again
This first brief took me a while to get into and that would have been fine apart from there wasn’t a while to waste. I think my development and final design was relatively good considering that I did not really get into the brief straight away as my ideas and concepts changed multiple times before I arrived at my final idea which I decided to pursue.

I felt my final design worked really well actually, but that is purely my opinion, however I felt it fit the brief well and I also feel that my final poster design did what it was intended to do which was raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. I think the image and the message work well with each other, in the critique I received some feedback which I didn’t really agree with so I didn’t change my poster a huge amount although I did make the type more legible. I also experimented with different images but decided what I had was what I would stick with due to the other parts of the brief pending.

I also think that I was lucky to get a reasonable design as I failed to use my time particularly well. I’m hoping I can put that down to the first brief back and not really being back in the swing of things.

Greetings Cards
At the beginning of this brief I was a bit puzzled as to what was expected but after discussing ideas with Neil and Claire it became clear that the brief was extremely open and was pretty much anything goes. I was pleased to have focused my idea a lot quicker in comparison to the first section of the brief. I feel that all my research and development is relevant but I also think I may have got too bogged down in one aspect of the target audience and lifestyle I was trying to appear to.

That said I think I managed to develop a good looking and working set of greetings cards for the final critique complete with envelopes. After the critique I concentrated a lot of effort into finalising my final greetings cards as I had a lot of necessary elements which I was required to add to them such as space for a note inside the cards and an address on the envelopes. After completing this and altering the colour of the materials used for my cards I was extremely pleased with my final designs. I also feel that the six greetings cards are probably the best piece of work I completed while working through this first brief.

Animal Watch Packaging
Similarly to the first part of the brief I failed to get started on this brief immediately as I was still pursuing perfection with my greetings cards (something im still to aquire). I also got bogged down on a lot of the research we should have done within our groups.

Once I got an idea and direction I really enjoyed this part of the brief as it was more of a life brief and we had logos and an existing company style to work with. I feel my research into existing packaging helped me to direct my ideas towards something a lot more appropriate to appeal to the target audience. I think I managed to create a decent piece of packaging design which with some slight refinements to fixing of the package could be an extremely cheap, sustainable peice of packaging to put into production.

I think the piece of this brief that lets me down somewhat is the design that features upon the package. The reason I say this is not because I dislike the design, I actually really like it, however I wish I had looked into more ways of capturing the portrayed lifetstyle which Animal sells with their products eg. illustration, surf graphics, pattern.

That said I still feel the designs I came up with are quite strong, I plan to develop the project abit further to bring it to a more final state so as to have a piece of work which presents idea through to final design for my portfolio.


The week ahead...

Ok after the final critique for this brief, I first plan to relax for the weekend... phew, and then throughout the week work to develop my final ideas and sketchbook work, annotate what needs annotating etc, and just build on what I have already done, following the feedback from the lecturers and my classmates since the beginning of the second year.

It’s going to be a long week but I’m looking forward to getting a huge amount of work finished and completed for the final hand in! Then on to the live/competition briefs and the screen based project!

Visual Comm. In Context 2 - Animal Packaging - Final Critique 14th

For the final critique of the Animal watch packaging assignment I was relatively pleased with what I had achieved in terms of the ideas and development of my packaging as a construct and housing for a product. However I felt allot of my work would need refinement and additional thought to bring them up to a decent standard.

I was pleased with the feedback and the majority of the work I need to do seems to be reworking allot of my research and making it more detailed and developing my ideas in terms of focusing more on the materials used and back up work. On future projects I must ensure I work the right way round completing all research and achieving a time balance between research and ideas development through to final graphics. When I have time I will post pictures of my final prototypes.


Design for Packaging

Since the interim critique I have been developing my box further and further, concentrating on materials, fixtures, and the equally important graphics which will appear on the packaging’s surface. I have begun to concentrate almost exclusively on the design as I am running out of time due to the final deadline growing ever closer.

I have decided that the designs for the watch packaging should be simple, bold and eye catching (while still giving a subtle but noticeable nod to Animal as a surfers and extreme sports enthusiast aimed company). I have presented the inner and outer sides of my packaging design as well as a closing sleeve design for each sex, male and female, which I intend to submit for the final critique this coming Friday.
Blank Net

Packaging Design - Male Ver.
Packaging Design - Male Ver.
Packaging Design - Female Ver.
Packaging Design - Female Ver.
Packaging Sleeve Design - Male and Female Ver.

The design may seem almost too simple but when printed on a recycled material which has some texture and inconsistency as well as colour other than plain white, (not necessarily bright dyed colour but grey board or the consistency of corrugated card), I think the design will be brought to life. Before the final hand-in I plan to run some test prints on some materials to ensure the packaging graphics comes across as I intend.


Idea Generation and Interim Critique

I have been working hard on my Animal watch packaging brief over the week and have developed various prototypes of the packaging I hope to have completed by the end of the brief. I built the prototypes this early on to allow me understand how my package ideas could be developed, as well as the materials used.

The prototypes are all similar in design but have different tabs or closure methods (or just more lids or flaps for information). I have also decided on dimensions for the package (after finding a print cartridge box in the bin...) which consist of 11 cm wide, 19 cm long and 1.5 cm deep. A nice size package which is easily held in ones hand, these dimensions allow for the watch to sit snug in die cut or walled out area of the package without the use of fixings or additional pieces of the packaging.

The interim critique today went quite well with my ideas being given good feedback I just need to develop and push my ideas further, considering the materials I use and the design I choose to place on the design. I am also not satisfied with the closing of my packaging. It is a shame we can’t have the box professionally/industrially made to ensure it is as we intend instead of separate prototypes and graphics or amateurly made prototypes, especially when we intend to use material which we are unable to feed through the printers we have at our disposal.


Dreamweaver Sessions

Over the last few weeks I have been taking part in the additional ABC Dreamweaver qualification which is being taught to us by Neil. Over the span of the short qualification we have been required to produce a number of simple websites using Adobe Dreamweaver to develop an understanding of the program so as to aid us in our next assignment which consists of an online portfolio using any means of web generation we see fit be it Flash or Dreamweaver.

Although I have used Dreamweaver previously it has been extremely useful to have some basic skills clarified by having the various information explained to us. Anyways... I thought it was worth mentioning...

Inspiriration, Change of Direction, Settling with an Idea!

I have been looking through various packaging specific books and websites over the last few days and have gained a large amount of inspiration from looking at existing examples of packaging. It is interesting that until looking through these documents, packaging to me meant box, and more specifically a normal cube or rectangular package... Innovative huh?... Please...

After realising that I don’t want to design yet another square box (its been done), I have scrapped my original idea of the cube with a lid and watch retainer all from the same net, but have decided to keep developing ideas along a sustainable route of design and manufacture.

One element of sustainable design which should not be overlooked is not only the type of material used but also the amount of material required to safely display, transport and house the product at hand. If this can be kept at a low then the more sustainable and protective of the environment the package will be.

I have posted an image of the kind of things I have decided to aim for, althougth this particular piece of packaging houses shower gel (which is packaged very innovatively it's self).

I plan to develop a piece of packaging not dissimilar in size and shape to a video cassette box or DVD packaging, however that is as far as I have considered this idea. The packaging will still be made from a single net and will use no glue no construct or fix the design, thus being even more sustainable due to the lack of process.

As far as design which will be present on the package I have not much considered this aspect yet but I think that the use of company logos should suffice in terms of a realistic design which could potentially be used to house the product, in this case, an Animal watch.

I will post again when the idea has moved along somewhat...


Packaging Progression!

I havent really got much further with the packagaing project so I decided it was time to build something... Anything... So I have constructed a cube net complete with lid which has fold in corners and requires no glue. A couple pictures below...

Animal Watch Packaging Brief...

Over the weekend I have considered the ideas (or lack of ideas) which my group and I came up with last Thursday. I have decided to dive straight in with considering the actually packaging with little thought as of yet to the design which will feature on the box. I have decided from our group work that I may go down the route of the development of sustainable packaging made of recycled substrate, made, constructed and produced with sustainable processes and materials. How I will go about doing this is yet to be seen, but currently I am thinking the development of packaging which doesn’t use any glue and is all made from one net with no extra pieces.

I also manage to get to the Animal shop in Poole over the weekend and was able to take a few photographs of the shop, the clothing styles and of course the existing watch packages. I thought they were nice pieces of packaging but didnt suit the brand as they looked far too clinical in my opinion.

I have done some packaging development on my previous course and I really enjoyed it, so here’s hoping I enjoy this packaging assignment as well.