Real Job: Angie Bacallan explains how our graduates designed and managed the promotion of their degree show this year: https://www.instagram.com/greaterthanatoz/ https://greater-than-a-to-z.co.uk
Reading School of Art Degree Show Publicity
The purpose of this Real Job was to create a visual brand for the degree show for the Undergraduate students of the Art Department at the University of Reading. The School of Art hosts a private degree show at the end of each year to display the work of the graduating art students. Our job was to work closely with the art students to produce a visual identity that they were happy with and believe reflected the vision they had.
- To create a visual brand for the degree show which reflects the chosen theme
- To create promotional material for the degree show for both people within the university and visitors
- To showcase a selection of works by the final year students to attendees through a publication
- To provide a directory of final art pieces for each graduating student to be shown online to the public
Our team comprised of three members: Beth, Angie and Ali, and within the team we allocated roles. Beth was project manager, which involved being the main communication with the client, organising the jobs within the design team as well as being in charge of designing the publication. Angie took charge of designing the brand identity and the printed materials, as well as being in charge of sending the deliverables off to print. Ali took charge of coding the website and other online aspects.
Deliverables & Schedule
Our first meeting with the clients was really informative and we were given clear direction to what they wanted from our design team. They set out a clear set of deliverables:
- Printed publication: showcasing a selection of students’ works that attendees of the event will receive upon arrival. The publication size was A5 consisting of 64 pages, printing 500 copies in black and white.
- Website: showcasing every graduating student’s final art piece that can be easily shared around the web on social media, as well as serving as a public showcase of the degree show for those who could not attend in-person.
- Other promotional materials: including printed posters, invitations and digital media advertising.
The degree show dates were as follows: 7 June 2019 (Private View), 10–16 June 2019 (Public View). Setting key deadlines was key throughout the project, as it meant that we were able to produce the designs for them quickly. An initial deadline was set on the 1st March 2019, for the BA and MA Art students to finalise the content they wanted to be included in the website and publication. The team also encouraged the Art students to finalise a clear theme and title for their degree show. However, deciding a name took time and not everyone provided the content for the team, forwarding the deadline to three weeks later. Nevertheless, this minor setback did not affect our schedule majorly, as we had clear understanding as to what was expected of us at the beginning of the Real Job, which proved incredibly useful and aided the design process for specified deliverables. The final deadline for the completion of the publication and website was set on the 28 April 2019, in order for the website to be live and publication to be set to print a month before the day of the degree show.
The Art Degree Show Committee had come up with a title ‘Error 404‘. We encouraged them to create Pinterest boards and collages for the next meeting so we could understand the visual identity they were expecting from us. During our second meeting, we looked over their inspiration and highlighted images, consistent colours and themes that stood out to us. From there, we began to ideate and design posters to what we believe reflected what they wanted.
Initial poster variations we produced for the clients.
The committee found that the pink and blue poster stood out to them the most and best suited the ‘Error 404’ theme. Using the colour scheme and typeface as a basis, we further developed and built the visual identity and applied it to the publication and the website.
One of the main challenges that we faced in this project was coming up with a title for the degree show. With having strong ideas from a range of different students that where all passionate about their vision, it was became difficult to settle on a single idea as the final title of the show. We also had to make sure this idea was strong enough to create a visual identity to for the show, that would entice people to visit. In addition to this, the degree show included a variety of student work, which created difficulty with getting all of the students to comply with the deadline of sending in work for the website and publication. Also due to the large number of students, when meeting with the committee board, who relayed the ideas of all the students, we found there was conflicting feedback which become difficult to come to coherent conclusions, bested suited for the future of the project, due to the feedback being sub bar.
This project has a lot of different aspects to the progress which came with own set of challenges. The main challenge we ran into several times throughout the project was the communication from the whole group of students through the committee to us. We felt like the ideas from the students often just canceled each other out and got over ruled by the ideas for the individual students that were on the committee. This did however bread creativity allowing all aspects of the project to be looked at in different ways that allowed the final solution to be the most applicable one for this project. Another problem that we ran into was the students changing their minds on what they wanted in the publication and on the website. With them being students at the University they were still creating work throughout this process, meaning they kept wanting their most recent work to be the displayed on publication and site. This meant that even though deadlines where set to have work in on certain days, this didn’t play out in the same way as they kept trying to add new work and update their section, after the deadline for the submitted. After finishing the job, all of the deliverables were approved by the clients, the deliverables met all of the original aspects of the design that we were trying to achieve all of the original aspects of the design that we intended. We also created a unique brand for the show that is coherent throughout all of the deliverables that was made for the clients.