Introduction To Digital Me

Today Neil gave us an introduction to the Digital Me project where we collaborated with first years. He started by discussing that ‘Graphic Design is the last thing the world needs’. At first I didn’t quite understand what this statement was suggesting as I thought it was slightly controversial. Although, throughout the day I soon began to understand how the importance of design is understanding and forming your own point of view before doing the ‘graphic design’. This is because the design profession is changing and more people are beginning to realise the power of design and how it can be used to make a difference.

What do you want to do in graphic design and why?

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As a group we began to discuss our own personal opinions on, what we want to do in graphic design and why? It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between members in the group. Whilst I think that all of the points we discussed are important, there are a few which stand out to me more. The most important point for me is the way that graphic design can be used to make a difference and communicate issues. This is because I think it shows how powerful graphic design is, as a tool to try and provoke change. Some issues which I feel strongly about is equality, poverty, abuse and health. And the way that graphic design can be used to try and raise awareness and educate is very important. I also think that it is critical to create design which has a purpose rather than just making something look nice. This is because not only does it give design more meaning, but it can also provoke change in society to help make a difference. I think that this backs up Neils discussion of the way that the design world growing is moving away from the industrial revolution.

What are good characteristics to graphic design and why?

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In our groups, we then began to discuss what we collectively thought good characteristics to graphic design were and why. I think it is very important to be passionate and have strong opinions, as these can help to form a coherent message within design. I also think that by believing in the message you are communicating, gives you more motivation to work hard on it as you want to make difference. Another important point is understanding who your audience is, this is because you could be communicating the same issue, but the target audience will engage and respond differently to the design approach that you take.

Portfolio and CV

It is important that when critically thinking about other design work, you are able to do this within your own work to create the best portfolio and CV possible. I struggle when doing work for myself as I find its more difficulty to critique my own work than someone else’s. I think that this is because when critiquing someone else’s work you are looking from an outside perspective. Whereas, with your own work, you have created the work and understand the message being communicated so may find it more difficult to see what is successful and unsuccessful about the design. Although, I think that within the digital me project this is something which I am forced to do, so will hopefully improve. I think that it is very important to make the portfolio and CV very personal. This is because you are communicating to the audience who you are as a designer and your best abilities. Therefore, it is important to show your best work rather than a large amount which lacks in concept and design skills. Another essential part is creating consistency throughout, this is so it shows a strong visual system throughout.

Whilst researching into some existing portfolios and CV’s, there were a few which I felt were good and bad. The Pollen London digital portfolio is one of my favourite which I have come across. I love the use of moving image and the way that when you hover over the images they begin to move. By doing this I think that it creates an exciting experience for the audience to explore the portfolio which suggests that they do exciting design work. The use of a black and white colour scheme throughout creates a strong consistency, but it also looks visually striking and modern. By creating a house style in the portfolio begins to suggest what type of designer they are. I also think that by having  a black and white colour scheme makes the colour in the work stand out more. This is something which I would like to explore within my work.

As I liked the use of the black and white colour scheme and would potentially use this as inspiration for my portfolio and CV. I thought that I would compare it with a portfolio which uses the same concept but I think is unsuccessful. I think that Paul Politis Photography portfolio is very disengaging and has a poor use of hierarchy. I think that this is down to the large amount of text and the long line lengths. This makes it difficult for me find the focal point in the page, which causes me to flick through the page and not engage with anything. I think this is also because there is such a large amount of content with the same layout throughout, that the pace doesn’t vary which makes it quite boring. I don’t think that the black and white colour scheme is as effective because the majority of photos are in black and white so the whole portfolio looks very flat and under designed. This has shown how if I am going to explore a black and white colour scheme within the portfolio and CV, the design systems have to be very well thought out to still show personality, as this portfolio lacks hugely in personality.

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When looking at creative CV’s I think that it is important to create a visual consistency throughout your portfolio and CV. The example I have used I like how they have taken the time to design it and think about layout and hierarchy. This suggests that the person is a typographer and creates a personal aspect. By doing this is suggests to future employees what type of designer you are.

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Throughout my research into creative CV’s, something which a lot of them use is    visual representation of their skills. For example 1 to 5 stars on how confident they are on adobe software. Whilst this does show that you can use them, I also think that this shows where your skills lack. Because of this I know that I do not want to use this. The example I have used of a bad CV, whilst it does have a clear layout. I also think that this design is very similar to all the other CV’s that I have researched online. Therefore, it shows how it lacks in personality. By noticing this through my research, I want to try and stay away from this way of designing a CV, as I expect employers see a million of these sent to them so would not stand out that well against the rest.

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Presentation

Reflecting on how the presentation to our client went, I think it was very successful. The way that the presentation was put together and transitioned from each individual went very smoothly. We collectively agreed that one person would put the presentation together, as this would help with consistency. Lily nominated herself to put together the presentation and gave us a date and time that we had to send her our slides by. As a group I think that we all found this worked well as we individually worked towards a deadline, this also made it easier for Lily to have enough time to put the presentation together. I was happy with the way that I displayed each slide as I think the layout was clear and the different outcomes were grouped together well so I was able to verbally explain the design decisions.

Throughout the presentation I was trying to make connections with previous conversations I have had with the client to back up the designs choices and concepts. By doing this it reminds the clients of what she has asked of me, and how I have responded to this. When presenting next time I think it would help if I went over points to discuss in more detail. Whilst I did plan what I was going to talk about prior to the presentation, I think if I spent more time practicing this I would be able to deliver it in a more professional way. I found that when I was presenting, points which I had planned to talk about I forgot to mention, I think that this was down to nerves. To try and reduce this happening again I would need to do greater preparation and I think the more I present my confidence will become stronger. As a group I also think that we could have collectively had more of an involvement with recapping on the brief. There were only two slides and only two people spoke about it. Where as, if we met up to go through the presentation before we could have decided who was going to discuss different points. If I was going to present again I would have definitely printed out my pieces of design to give the client or show how they would work in context. Ian did suggest that this may be a useful thing to do, although I completely forgot and regretted it at the presentation as I think it would have benefited my presentation to engage the client further.

When receiving feedback from the client after the presentation it was extremely positive which I am very happy about. The main aspect of my design which she really liked and would love to pursue with, is the adaptable logo. This is something which I thought myself was the strength in the design, so for the client to also feel the same I am very pleased with. Whilst the client wanted a vibrant colour scheme, this was proving to be difficult with legibility so I decreased the opacity. Although, afterwards the client commented on how my colour palette may not be as vibrant as she wanted. I think that this is a clear point that reflects on ‘who is the designer?’ The client did not like the decreased opacity as much as the vibrancy, although as a designer this seemed to work better with legibility. I think that this is something difficult about design as you want to please the client, but you also want to be happy with the final design.

The client also mentioned how impressed she was with myself and some other team members, with the quick responses and developments in design outcomes. We met on the Monday and she gave us a lot of feedback, by the Thursday we had responded to this and developed it significantly. I think that this shows how well myself and the group responded to the clients wants and needs. As the client had no previous visual identity and didn’t really know what she wanted this made it very difficult to come up with designs which she was happy with. Although, the interim feedback that we received throughout the project helped as the client was seeing different aspects of peoples work which she liked so we began to bring these together. From the final outcomes the client liked something about each of the team members designs and would like to collaborate all of the strength together. If this is possible, I am looking forward to collaborating further with the client and team members to develop a strong visual brand identity.

Final Outcomes

Visual Identity & Adaptable Logo

The main focus of that our client requested was a visual identity, this is because they currently didn’t have one. This was the aspect which took the longest to create, the reasons for this is because the client didn’t really know what she wanted. Throughout the project we kept in contact with the client receiving feedback on current design and developments. This was extremely helpful, as showing her progression in design idea’s, she was able to pin point what visuals she liked and what she didn’t. By having this feedback we were able to go away and develop our idea’s to fit the clients needs. I think that this shows the importance of having close contact with the client throughout the design process.

Choosing a name was extremely difficult, and whilst I think that the word fellowship has connotations with friendliness and togetherness. I still do not think that this works that well for the brand. This is the particular part which I struggled with is deciding on a name because it delayed my design developments as I found it hard to create visuals without having a brand name. Although, I think that the strap-line works well because empowering is such a positive word which sums up what the brand does well. To overcome this I had to think more about the visuals and how I can represent the brand values. Rather than trying to think of visuals which communicate the brand name. Whilst this was difficult and a different way that I’m used to working, I also think that this has pushed my design thinking.

I think that the adaptability of the logo is the strongest aspect of this project. The ability to make every communities visual identity unique works well as it creates a personal touch. This adaptability doesn’t have many limitation on the size of the community, as it can be personalised to the shape of each community. I think that this concept can be developed and applied across a number of different context which shows the strength of an adaptable logo. This is an aspect which my client really liked and would be keen to take this further to see how it could work.

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Business Stationary

The client requested a visuals of how the visual identity could be applied to a letter head and email footer. But whilst designing these I also thought that I would create a business card to add to the range of business stationary. The way that I have positioned the logo at the top of the letter head and the individual shapes at the bottom shows a visually balanced design. I have decided to keep the shapes in a vector style rather than the scribble effect. This is because I think it looks graphically stronger as I think that a large amount of the scribble effect could look to busy. For the email footer I decided to use social media icons rather than a large amount of writing. These would provide links to the pages which becomes more user friendly and the option to easily learn more about the brand. The email footers and business cards would all be unique to a member of the brand with there name and contact details on. This is because there are a number of collectives which all have trans-disciplinary skills so some may work closer with different communities. The way I have positioned the Fellowship Focus logo on the front of the business card and then put the contact details and the collaboration of shapes on the back shows how the visual system can be used across a number of outcomes

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Brochure

The client wanted us to design a brochure which could be given to their different audiences to raise awareness of the brand and explain what they do. I used one of the documents which the client sent through as an example of how the layout could work. I was finding it difficult to use the shapes in the background because it was becoming slightly messy and making the body copy difficult to read. Although, through experimenting with layout I have decided to use the shapes to divide the sections up. Not only do I think this looks visually aesthetic, I also think that the combination of layering text and shapes brings the pieces together well. I have used the hand rendered typeface as the titles and then Myriad Pro for the rest of the text as this is a more suitable typeface for body copy. Although, reflecting on the outcome I think that I should have expanded the hand rendered typeface to include numbers. As I think that the large 1-4 numbers would work better in the hand rendered typeface.

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Website

The way the website would work is the the user scrolls down the page and the shapes would alternate depending on the different sections of the website. This keeps in consistency with the visual system, and by the shapes moving makes it more interesting for the user rather than having a static design. If the user clicked on the different community logo it would then direct them to the example of projects working with the communities. And the social media icons would be able to be clicked and directed you to the different pages showing their current work through social media. By having these links is more user friendly as it is a direct link. But it is also more visually aesthetic than a large amount of text, this allows you to click on the objects to find out more. I think that the website could be developed greatly by including tabs to look more professional. This is something which would think further into if I had more time.

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Animation

Even though the client did not specifically ask for an animation, I think that being able to see a design move brings it to life. This also represents the fun and exciting projects which Fellowship Focus work on. By making the shapes move and seeing how they alternate to form the logo highlights the ability for the logo to become adaptable for each community. It would be interesting to see how I could develop this animation by making the shapes transition into each individual community logo, to show the relationship between shapes and the diverse communities.

Logo Developments

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Reflecting on the comments from the client, I have developed previous ideas and visuals further. I felt that I was finding the project hard to develop as I didn’t completely love the name Fellowship Focus. Because of this I decided to try and push on with the visuals whilst experimenting with a few other names. By doing this it allowed me to keep progressing with the designs and still able to come back and change the name. Although, after experimenting with a few different compositions and names, I decided to stick with Fellowship Focus as I felt that it communicates the idea of togetherness well. I have used a vibrant colour pallet as this is something which the client felt very strongly about. By using these colours represents the fun and exciting work which the hub is involved in. The shapes in the logo represent the different communities and the way the shapes come together suggests the collaborative work which the hub does. The scribble effect on the logo creates a hand rendered effect rather than a flat vector style. This creates movement in the logo and also adds more personality. By combining this with the hand rendered typefaces enhances the humanist aspect of the brand.

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After formative feedback with Wendy and Ian, we discussed that whilst the client wanted a vibrant colour scheme, this can cause some ineligibility within the logo. Therefore, I have lowered the opacity of colour to 60%, by doing this it allows the text to stand out more. The way I have created a 3D effect using the hand rendered typeface, it make it stand out more and created depth of field in the logo. I have also changed the strapline from the hand rendered typeface to Myriad Pro. Because of the size of the text against the colour and scribbled effect, the humanist typeface makes it more legible.

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The benefits of having an adaptable logo is so the brands visual identity can be altered to become personal and unique for each community. This is possible by forming a strong visual identity which can be altered but still follows the same visual system. The shapes in the logo represent the diverse communities which Fellowship Focus work with and the way that they are connected suggests the collaborative work that they do. There is a consistent use of triangle, rectangles and circles alongside the colour scheme of Magenta, Cyan and Yellow. This allows the colours and shapes to be interchangeable throughout the brand. To individualise each communities identity the shapes can be altered to represent the shape of the community on a map. This system allows every community to be unique.

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Typeface

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Myriad Pro

When meeting the client she said that they wanted something human with personality rather than a corporate and professional visual. Therefore, I have created a hand rendered typeface and digitalised it. This typeface could be incorporated into the logo and could also work well as large titles. As this style would not work in body copy as it would be ineligible, another typeface I would use alongside is Myriad Pro. The reason for this is it’s a san serif humanist typeface which is taken from handwriting. This creates a modern design style whilst in keeping with the humanist and personal brand values of RREEH.

Fellowship Focus

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After the client meeting, she discussed how she doesn’t like the words, community, hub and space. Although, she did like the word empowering, collective and fellowship. Her favourite which she made clear was fellowship, and she also liked the idea of an alliteration, therefore I then began to think of alternative words for fellowship. Although, I felt like fellowship was the strongest out of these. I then began to think of different words beginning with F to stick with the alteration. My favourite name is Fellowship Focus, I think that this suggests how as a group of people their central focal point are these brand valued of fellowship. Whilst fellowship may have not of been my choice in wording as I think of religious connotations. Yet it also means togetherness and has friendly associations, which is communicates RREEH’s brand values. This has show me how important it is to understand the client, because whilst this may not be my favourite name choice, the client may be happy with it. For the secondary strapline I have decided on Empowering Local Communities. Not only does this provide more context into what Fellowship Focus do, it also highlights this idea of collaboration.

Client Meeting

The client meeting was very beneficial at the stage we had it. This is because we all have started working on individual ideas, so it was helpful to get some feedback from the client before the deadline date. We each had individual feedback which was useful to see what does work and what doesn’t work with all of the outcomes. By understanding this it has made it more clear what aspects the client liked so we can collaborate on ideas to create something the client wants.

The client didn’t like my name of Community Connect as she thought that it sounded like a bus service. Therefore, she made it very clear that this is not a name which she wanted to go forward with. She also felt like the vector style logo wasn’t the look that she was going for. Although, she really liked my idea of creating an adaptable logo. By doing this it creates a personality for the individual communities, yet still following a visual system of RREEH which forms a strong brand identity. The client liked the word ‘fellowship’ in Laura’s name but didn’t like the word ‘fix up’. Because of this she advised that the rest of us think more on the lines for ‘fellowship’. She also liked Laura’s style of hand rendered as it has more personality than a vector style logo, therefore this is another approach that she would like in all of the visual identities. The client liked the vibrant colour scheme of Lily and Ellie’s as this represented the exciting work which RREEH do. She also liked her use of shapes that Ellie used but similar to mine, felt the vector style didn’t work as well. The way that David visualised how different communities are involved in RREEH is something which she liked. Therefore, seeing everyones individual feedback it has given more clarity on how to develop our own pieces.

  • Develop my idea of an adaptable logo to create a personal feel for the communities.
  • A hand rendered visual style rather than a vector approach.
  • Bright and vibrant colours.
  • Think of a name focusing on fellowship and empowering.