As a team we think that social media is a very important part of getting our brand known. By posting on social media it will help to increase our sale and also will be able to capture our journey through the process of making. We have set up a Facebook and Instagram page which we will use to document the making of the ceramic coasters. We all have the log in details so will all be able to contribute as we wish.
Sherlock is focusing on the website design which so far I think looks really good. He has started to combine some photography which he has captured in the ceramic studio of the early making of our coasters. I think that the images are very strong and will work well to reinforce the hand made value of brew. At this early on stages of the website I think that it is very strong and has lots of scope to be explored. The ‘shop’ feature will help when it comes to pre sales, and the ‘about’ shows an inside to the brand.
Today’s activity we had a few hours to create an advert for a quarter page spread in a magazine. Our first idea was to create a scene of spilt mugs next to our coasterswith stains on a wooden table focusing on our strap line ‘no mess, no stress’. Although we haven’t finished our coasters and with limited time we would struggle to photograph this. Therefore we then began brainstorming again to see what would be effective in the time which we had.
Richard began to suggest that we may be missing a trick in our brand and we should design christmas themed coasters. This could become a seasonal offering to the brand to increase our point of sale. Although this is not something which we wanted to include within our brand as we thought that this would cheapen our brand identity and go against our brand ethos. Therefore we decided not to develop this idea as this was not an element we wanted to focus, but as a group we thought whether we could visualise how the advert could be explored at Christmas.
Leading on from this thought process we used a photo off pinterest of a cold winters window scene. We have used an existing image found online because of the limited time we had. I then edited the colours of the photo and created a frosty steam on the window. This added to the Christmas scene and also allowed me to double expose the logo onto the window. I think that as a group this was a very clever idea as it subtly communicates our brand identity. The clutter in the window suggests a ‘mess’ which creates this idea of ‘no mess, no stress’ although I think that if we had finished some of our coasters this could add to the advert. We have included ‘follow our story’ and our Facebook and instagram name. This is because it engages the audience if they want to find out more about our brand. On our instagram and Facebook we will be capturing images of our journey through the process of making the ceramic coasters. By doing this it shows the hand made and personal touch which our brand offers.
I think that this design works well as a teaser advert on a bus stop etc. but I do not think that it would work that well for a magazine advert. This is because of the lack of information. Therefore to improve this I would include more information about our brand identity and products which we offer. But over all I am happy with the outcome we have created in the limited time as it has engaging visuals which set the scene of a Christmas advert whilst not adding the tacky Christmas elements to devalue our brand.
By researching into existing business cards I noticed that there was a common theme within all of them. The front of the logo is very simple with all of the information on the background. Therefore this is something that I would like to experiment with whilst communicating our brand identity in an interesting way.
From designing the logo I then decided to take this and develop the brand identity. To create consistency I wanted to include the brand logo within the business card. I have experiments with just using the marque on it’s own, combining the brand name and also the strap line. When thinking about the strap lines we wanted something which was short and snappy. After brain storming a variety of ideas we came up with the strap line ‘a simple solution’. We thought that this would work well as coasters are a simple way to prevent stains on a surface and a brew can be a simple way of relaxing. Although we didn’t think that this was very catchy and didn’t represent us as a brand. Therefore we decided on the strapline ‘no mess, no stress.’ Not only is this more catchy but we also felt that this communicated our brand well. The coaster prevents mess of brew stains which then reduces stress and also by having a brew creates an ideology of reducing stress.
For the business card I wanted the front to focus solely on the logo and strap line, then have the information on the back. This is because the marques are visually interesting and are quite striking on their own which communicates our brand identity well. I do not think the business card needs too much information as I have provided links to find out more about the brand. This isn’t giving too much away about the brand and will hopefully entice the audience to want to find out more.
From by developments of layout the two designs are our favourite of the front and back of the business cards. I think that by having contrasting marque on each side makes it more interesting rather than having the same. The consistent style stays within the systems of the brand and the tea stain colour anchors the brand name and product. I think that the amount out negative space creates a clear and contemporary look.
As a group we began to fill in the work sheets of our ideas, concepts and target audience. We selected there of our idea’s for products and highlighted the positive and negative’s of each idea. This then helped us to show how we narrowed it down to choosing the idea of the coasters. Some of the pro’s and con’s to the coaster which we thought of were;
- simple to make & cheap – this will help when paying back our seed fund and making a profit.
- can be all the same style but doesn’t have to be exactly the same – this is a unique selling point as it highlights an organic aspect to the product.
- could be sold as a set – this highlights a gift element
- used for different things which can widen our target audience e.g. used for tea, coffee, beer, wine etc.
- could be sold all year round – not just as christmas
- can experiment with packing e.g. a tea bag, coffee sack etc. this would be a USP and would work well in a gift
- sustainable – natural dyes, handmade, less waster (reused clay)
- protect your surface from marks – whilst creating a stylish and clean
- offering the target audience an alternative to mass consumerism
- could be fragile – although ceramics is one of the best materials for the look we want to create, even though glass would look nice it would be more expensive and break easier.
- time consuming
- could loose authenticity
- if demand grows it could be difficult to keep up with demand as it is handmade
After looking at the pro’s and con’s it is clear that there are more positive elements about the coaster product. Therefore we felt that the coasters were a good product to go forward with. I put a presentation together of all elements which we felt were important to visualise so far. We began to look at inital competitors and influences ranging from Zara home and John Lewis. We will look into the competitors into more detail although some of the images which we have gathered show the styles which we like. We like the organic texture of the bowl as it looks like to created that it could be un predictable and perhaps not all of the products produced were identical. Another idea which we really liked was the letters pressed into the coasters, this could be explored with the word brew which highlights our brand identity. The presentation then developed to showing my design process through creating the logo and spoke about how this logo could be used across a number of contexts to create consistency throughout.
From this presentation we had very positive feedback regarding our ideas, concepts, presentation and how far we have come. This was very reassuring to hear that our project is heading towards the right direction and receiving a positive response. As a group I think that we really need to focus on the USP of the brand as this will make our product and brand stand out well. I think that this could be very successful if we execute it well, and from early stages of working with the group I have confidence that we will be able to do this if it all goes to plan.
I have began to research into logo idea’s which I would like to influence my design. As I would like to use marks from the bottom of a coffee cup I then began to look at a range of different logo ideas. These logo ranged from coffee inspired logo’s to mark making style logo’s. I would like to explore using mark making as I think that this could create interesting visuals.
Leading on from thinking about what product we want to create and thinking about our brand identity we then began to think of brand names. As a group we decided on the brand name brew, which we all really liked. There are two meanings for the word brew which could be interpreted as tea/coffee and also beer which is quite interesting. Therefore I wanted combine the word brew with a marque of a tea stain.
I began to start experimenting with coffee and tea to see how I could create textures using this media. By using the bottom of a mug I have began to print which makes interesting marks. It is interesting how each time the mug is placed down the mark is never the same, this is an aspect which we want to highlight within out product. By all the coasters following the same style but each one could be slightly different due to the firing technique.
From these prints which I created using a mug, I scanned them into the computer and created a flat black and white style. I have done this as I find it easier working in black and white when creating a logo, as I think for it to be a successful logo it must be able to work in black and white. Colours and patterns can be distracting and take away from design elements, so I prefer to add these once the logo has been designed. I have decided to use the mark from the bottom of a mug as the marque. This is because the reasons for coasters are so these marks do not stain surfaces, yet I think that the mark making technique can create a visually aesthetic look.
Looking at my prints, I have decided to combine some of these together and also using the original print on it’s own. I have done this to see the possibilities which could be formed using this technique. Beginning to add type to these marques starts to show the relationship between language and visuals. I have experimented with upper and lower case and a variety of sans serif and serif fonts. Some of the group preferred the Serif typefaces as they liked the look of the type faces although a serif typeface has luxurious connotations. Our brand is not aiming to be high end or luxurious, we want to focus more on an organic look so I did not think this worked as well. Myself and some of the other group preferred the Sans-Serif fonts as that they look more contemporary which is an element that we want to portray in the brand.
By further discussion we decided to go with a Sans-Serif font Helvetica Neue as the modern and contemporary style works well with our target audience. Even though our target audience is home owners/gifts for home owners or people who live on their own. These will be sold in the university, so the majority of our buyers will be students, therefore a contemporary feel is essential. We also decided that lower case works best as it sits alongside the marque well but also the shapes are soft and creates an organic feel.
Once we had decided on a logo I began to experiment with how it would look inverted and also using the tea/coffee stain effect. We all like the tea/coffee texture as this highlights the purpose of the product and would be reinforced by the tea/coffee style packaging. As a group we are happy with the logo as I think that it captures our brand identity well and could also be used within a number of context. I also think that the simplicity of the design allows us to be able to experiment further with it.
To start the Mind Your Own Business project we were put into groups and introduced to our brief which we will complete in 5 weeks. Each group would be given a seed fund of £100 and would have to create a project which could be sold at Christmas and all year round. I was put with Sherlock another student from Graphics, Lizzie and Lydia from textiles and Annie from Artist Design Maker. We began to think what values are important to ourselves and which were recurring values in the group. The 5 top brand values which we want to focus on are professionalism, passion, focus, creativity and sustainability. After introducing ourselves to each other and deciding on our brand values we began to discuss what area’s are our strongest and what we enjoy most. This helped to allocate job roles and also think of a product which we would be able to create to our strengths.
My job role was Graphics/Branding and Sherlocks was Website/Social media, as we thought that both coming from a Graphic Communication discipline we would be best at these. Although we will work on both of these together, I think that by combining these roles it will help to create consistency throughout the branding and website etc. Lizzie put herself forward for the finance manager and manufacturing and purchasing manager roles as she has some knowledge in business studies and is organised. Sales manager was allocated to Lydia which will be researching into the best way we will be able to sell our products as well as various other aspects. Finally Annie put herself forward to be team leader, not only did she want to be team leader but also thought she would be a good candidate for the role. Even though we have our own specific roles, we all felt that we will be a more successful team if we all contribute and help each other throughout.
We began brainstorming different ideas which we could create for our product. Candles/holders, socks, wrapping paper, mugs, cards etc were some of the idea’s we which initially thought about creating. Although when we were thinking of time and cost we began to try and think of a product which would be more effective. We came up with the idea of creating ceramic coasters. Annie specialises in ceramics and told us that this would be time and cost effective which we thought would play to our strength when thinking about paying back the seed fun. This would also give an interesting aesthetic look, as ceramics can be unpredictable and not always turn out as planned. We could celebrate this aspect so each individual coaster is unique.
To make this product desirable to buy, not only do we want to focus on the design of the coasters but also how this could be packaged. We want to sell them as a set as this would work well with table settings as well as working well as a gift. Another idea that we had was to package the coasters in a teabag inspired bag which would highlight the purpose for the coasters. Lizzie thought of a way this could be achieved and by the use of a netted material experimented with dying the material which tea colour. This could be an interesting way of packaging the product and could be explored further.
The point of a coaster is to stop coffee and tea stains, these tea stain patterns are always different. I thought that for the logo this could be an interesting aspect to include, a tea stain could make interesting marks and shapes. This marque could be explored throughout the brand identity and work across a number of outcomes. I will start to experiment with this idea to see what I can create. I felt that for our first day in the project we worked well as a team and had some interesting ideas. I am excited to see how this project will be developed and how we will all work as a team.
Logo / Marque
I have found this project both exciting and challenging. I have enjoyed exploring brand and how creating a strong brand identity is important to communicate their values to an audience. At first I chose the theme etymology because I am comfortable working with type and I thought that this would be the approach I would take. Although I wanted to push myself further and I felt that by exploring visual communication could do this. I thought this was challenging at first and found it difficult to focus solely on the visuals rather than type. Although by doing this I did not think that I was creating a strong link between language and visual communication. Therefore when I then began to merge the two I found that my project began to come together well and started to create strong visuals and a clear idea that I wanted to communicate.
At the beginning of the project I found that my idea of whether language is evolving or not was such a wide topic that it was difficult to communicate through the designs. But through the developments of research and my designs, I felt that it was starting to communicate my idea whether language is progressing or regressing more clearly. I found that by simplifying the language used within the designs engaged more with my target audience. I think that my developments regarding design came a long way throughout the project. The marque and visuals were focusing more on the historical influences which had a very dated look to them. As I began to develop the marque, type and visuals they started to become more contemporary, I felt like this graphic style was more striking and engaging. The marque which I created was simple and versatile which allowed me to use it across a number of contexts for example my logo, way finding etc. I stuck with a strong colour system throughout which created consistency. This warm colour scheme connotes excitement and represents the cave painting influence.
An aspect which I found interesting about this project is not only creating a brand identity but also considering how it would work in a space. This is something which I am not as familiar with as usually I focus more on the design and how it would communicate to an audience. Where as designing for an exhibition has a lot of new factors which I have not considered before such as how the space will be arranged. I felt that having a linear narrative of how the audience would make their way through the exhibition would show a journey through language. By doing this they would be able to see how language has evolved and whether we are progressing or regressing. This is important as the way which the audience would take in the information could help to inform their response to a space. By using projection, interactive screens and an app highlights a modern approach of communicating a historical influence. An interactive exhibition is a good way of engaging the audience so they can reflect on the visuals and question what is being communicated to them. This allow them to have their own view rather than giving them the answer.
I am happy with how I have communicated my idea of whether language is evolving through the brand identity by focusing on consistency throughout and strong visuals. I think that the way I have decided to communicate this through the exhibition would work well if I were to create this in real life. I am glad I pushed myself by working with visuals rather than just type even if I did find this a challenge as the start. Although, if I had more time I would have liked to develop my app as I think that this is my poorest design throughout the project. I like the idea of the app and think that it works well with the exhibition and the emoji’s, although I do not think the design is a strong as it could be. I think that to improve this I would need to do a lot more research into app designs. Another thing which I could improve on is the emoji’s, I like the design and style which I have created although I think that this could be explored further by thinking about how to communicate different emotions and objects. This would be achieved if I had a longer time frame to create these designs as I found it very time consuming digitally drawing these. Besides the app and emoji set which I would develop further, overall I am pleased with my final outcomes.