What kind of designer do you want to be?

Leading on from our own personal reflections of the First Tings First Manifesto we had a lecture on the subject discussing the concept further. Neil began to suggest how Graphic Design and Communication is not just rectangular anymore. It’s not just about a screen or a piece of paper, it’s a visual means on communication. We should start thinking more broadly on who we are and the effect we will have on the world. Ken Garland suggests that we need to be much more thoughtful and aware of our power and the effects we have on the wider world. And how we should start thinking about our power and how we can influence people. We started to think about sustainability and how it is living constantly in the way the world actually works. Sustainable design brings the world back to the way it works. We should start to think of not just printing and manufacturing a thing, you need to make it useful, so it is never wasted. That is the kind of design that we want to promote today and the rest of our lives. At the end of use it can be disassembled and used in another way.

Moving on from the manifesto discussion we got given a brief to develop a piece of design work that promotes and provokes the design community. In groups we had to digitalise our idea and present it at 3pm that day. Neil suggested that we should begin our project by beginning at the end! Starting to decide on our target audience and what message we want to communicate. The question we wanted to ask was What kind of designer do you want to be? Our target audience is young designers as it is important to consider what you do early on in your career as it can stick with you throughout your life in the design industry. By asking younger designers this question it can make them think more about how they can change the design world. We wanted our idea to be memorable, not just an advert that you draws you in but when walking past it, it is soon forgotten. Therefore wanted our idea to become interactive so the target audience can engage with the piece and is something that they take in and remember.

Our first idea was looking into guerrilla marketing as we felt that this method causes such impact so it is memorable, but wanted to think of a concept behind this technique. So we began to think of  having a coffee cup each from two competitive coffee companies for example Starbucks vs Cafe Nero and questioning the audience which company they would rather work for. They may both look perfect from the branded cup but when you click the coffee cup and find out more about the business. For example how Starbucks claim to be fair trade but only 30% of their beans are fair trade, in contrast to cafe nero which is fair trade and appreciate their farmers and teams more for the work they do. We then expanded onto this looking into Coca Cola and how it marketed very well, although in places like India it is drinking communities dry by the way it is destroying local agriculture.

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This is making the audience try to think and decide whether they want to design for big companies that may not consider to be as ethical. Our idea isn’t saying that advertising for big brands are wrong and you shouldn’t work for them it’s more of the idea on whether it is in your ethics to design for them and to research into the jobs that you may be going into and having an impact on. We felt that this could come across very well having images of the instantly recognisable brands and beneath having the fact of the brands. As a group we decided that by having an interactive billboard that you can touch would be more sustainable for example, in a bus stop as it is eye catching which would engage the audience. Our aim is to open young designers eyes to reflect upon the question they are being asked and hopefully have an impact on them.

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