Category: Real Jobs

True Food Organics Logo

Overview

True Food Organics, originally named True Food Co-operative, is a zero-waste, organic food and grocery store based in Emmer Green, Reading. It is run by volunteers from the local community and they have been encouraging others to choose a more sustainable lifestyle since 1999. With their decision to rename their store they decided it was time for a complete rebrand to bring their store more up to date. 

Deliverables

A logo that is scalable so that it can be used in numerous places including:

  • A storefront
  • Tote bags
  • Website
  • Receipts

Design Process

Client meeting:

To start our process, we met with our clients to introduce ourselves and get to know them better so we could figure out what they were looking for.
The clients wanted a logo that was:

  • Circular as they felt this represented the sense of community in their store
  • A 70s/80s themed colour pallet 
  • Illustrative
  • Sense of homegrown food

Research:

We began our research by searching for existing organic branding, particularly in a circular shape as requested by the client. This was to help guide our ideation and ensure we were creating a logo that stood out. Most of the existing branding contains a leaf which is very typical in representing organic brands and is also what was in the client’s existing branding. Because of this, we wanted to ensure that we came up with concepts that did not include a leaf as we wanted to find a new and memorable way to represent organic brands. However, we also understood that it is a very recognisable symbol, so it should still be explored. We put a small mood board together that also included a potential colour pallet for their brand. We sent this over to the client when we sent our restated brief to make sure we understood exactly what they were looking for. Once the mood board and restated brief had been approved by the client, we started the design process.

Initial sketches:

To start, we created some simple designs by hand and on illustrator that incorporated the brand name and some imagery. We split this so that Yasmin was looking at trying to find a new and inventive way to use leaves in the logo and Hannah experimented with other elements such as hands and other fresh produce. After feedback from the other teams who attend the Real Jobs meetings and our supervisor for this project, we were advised to experiment more and develop our ideas to a near-finished stage before sending our ideas over to the client.

Developments:

First, we developed the ideas we initially came up with so that colours had been applied and text had been set. The feedback from our supervisor was that some of the ideas were more like illustrations than a logo so we went back and simplified them so they were more like icons. We also ensured each illustration had text along with it. We experimented with the layout and hierarchy of the text and how they could work in relation to the illustrations. We were initially unsure if the ‘organics’ part of the company name was on the same hierarchy or lower on the hierarchy as ‘True Food’ as you can see from our experiments below. It was later decided that it was best to keep them on the same level in the typographic hierarchy. Our supervisor liked the carrot design and the leaf design but we were advised to experiment with simplifying them. She also asked us to experiment with a couple of new ideas as she felt we were not quite there yet with a solution. These experiments can be seen below. The carrot again was a strong contender and we liked the bold serif typeface that we had found but it was decided that the illustration style and typeface did not match. So we were now tasked with finding a way to of making them have the same aesthetic. The collection of hand-drawn illustrations in an ‘o’ shape was also well-liked since the sketchy style helped get across the idea of organic and homegrown that the store represented. It also had the circular shape the client was looking for.

Further exploration:

There were 3 concepts we decided could be suitable logos for our clients from the previous experiments. The first was a bold, 2D carrot illustration. [fig.  We thought this would be a great option for clients to see that was a little bit different to what the other logos look like and shows the client another direction they could go in. We were undecided on whether the carrot should be leaning against the text or sitting upright. Since both worked well, we thought it would be best to present both to our supervisor and client. The 2 circular concepts we went with were a solid ‘o’ shape made up of illustrations of vegetables and an ‘o’ shape made up of fresh produce but also symbols that represented the store sold such as shampoo, toothpaste and the classic recycle symbol. For the solid ‘o’ shape we experimented with a range of illustration styles including simple outlines and solid 2D shapes.

Final logo concept:

After developing our designs and with feedback from our supervisor, we decided on the hand-drawn vegetable logo with the typeface Giulia. We settled on this font as we felt the handwritten style it had, fit well with all of the hand-drawn illustration styles we had produced.  To send to the client, we produced a large colour pallet as many colours were used in the vegetables and this gave the client a wide range of choices. As well as the 2 illustration styles, we showed the client the logo in black and white as well as colour so they could get a sense of what a single colour could look like as well as multicoloured.

Reflection:

As this was the first time either of us had been tasked with creating a logo and completing a Real Job, we felt that our outcome was effective and fitted the brief the client gave us. However, once we sent it to the client, their feedback was that, although it did fit their brief, they were unhappy with it and did not feel involved in the design process enough. This was unfortunate for both sides. Miscommunication between ourselves and our supervisor on what was appropriate to share with the client is what lead to this outcome. Although we did try to keep in contact with the client to reassure them that we were working on the project and that we were waiting on approvals but it is clear we should have done this much more often. We apologised to the client and then put together a PDF showing our whole design process to see if they were interested in picking up an earlier concept. We also tried to reassure them that this was not intended to be the final design and changes and feedback were expected to be made. There was unfortunately no response. While this was not the outcome we wanted as we both felt we worked very hard on this project, it has taught us a lot about working with clients. Next time we will ensure we have a range of ideas to send to a client and keep them involved in all design stages. Although there was a real sense of disappointment, it has created a motivation for us to learn from this experience and try again.

Harris Garden interpretation boards

Brief

Summary
The Harris Garden is a botanical garden, located on the University of Reading’s Whiteknights campus. It was established in 1972 and has since been enjoyed by students, staff and the public.

The aim of this project was to create a range of deliverables that sit cohesively together within the garden. Our client initially requested a leaflet, map and signage, but after a discussion, we were able to settle on the following deliverables, which we felt would allow us to more successfully achieve both function and aesthetics:

  1. Brand Identity Design
  2. 10 x Signage
  3. Garden Map

Team Roles
As we were working as a fairly large team of four students, we decided that we would share responsibility for each deliverable, working collaboratively and ensuring we each were all held accountable throughout the project process.

Schedule
Our client made it clear that this project was flexible, however we felt it would be better for us to decide on an end-date. Having received this project over the summer holidays, we felt early April was a sensible deadline to keep to. Unfortunately, due to several delays, we had to push our deadline back. As a team, we decided to aim to finalise all the deliverables by the start of the following September, but due to lack of communication with our client, our deadline was once again delayed.

Our Vision
With this project we wanted to provide the Harris Garden with an all-new, refreshed signage system to make the gardens more inviting for a broad, but predominantly family orientated, target audience. We wanted our designs to encapsulate both the life of the garden itself and the history of its friends and regular visitors. A key aim for us was to make the garden more accessible and encourage educational learning in an engaging manner. Staying environmentally friendly was important for us to promote sustainability whilst still being durable. 

 

Research & Ideation

Personas
In our client briefing session multiple types of target users began to emerge. The client made it clear that the aim of the project was to attract more young families with children, but he was keen that the signage and map also be accessible for their existing audience. In response to these conversations, we identified four main user types. We developed these into user personas and confirmed in a subsequent meeting with the client that they align with both current and desired garden audiences. The client was satisfied with our personas and so we were able to refer to them throughout the project when making design decisions and considerations.

Materiality
As the location of the signage and maps is to be in a garden that celebrates nature, we discussed with the client environmentally friendly and sustainable options for materials and production. Concerns about vandalism and ongoing garden updates as well as natural weathering meant we had to be mindful of expense as well as the robustness of the materials.

The client wanted materials that would be easy to clean but that stood up to harsh outdoor conditions. In addition, the materials needed to be sturdy and unlikely to break, but easy to remove and replace should the garden layout change or the damage be too extreme. With this in mind we researched existing signage in a range of environments such as gardens and tourist locations as well as those around campus. We researched more traditional approaches to signage as well as unique sustainable responses.

Having Creative Print Services (CPS) located in the same building as the department enabled us to meet members of the team throughout the project in the department and on site in the garden. These conversations around materiality and function guided our design decisions as we considered colour scheme, layout, scale, and typographic treatment. 

Design Styles
When considering the direction for the unifying style of the deliverables we drew upon findings from our research that we considered to be successful, and continued to keep in mind the target audience. We knew that the design had to be accessible and attractive to children and young families, whilst also respecting the academic and mature audience. The design style also needed to reflect the natural environment of the garden. As such, we developed ideas with natural colour palettes and organic illustrations. We focused on implementing a consistent layout with clear hierarchy for the signage and considered ways in which we could make clear the link between the map and the signs so that the overall design throughout the garden was cohesive.     

 

Design & Process

Branding Design
Branding was not a deliverable our client initially requested, however we felt the creation of an identity would allow us to tie the signage and map together resulting in a cohesive set of designs.


We began by gathering inspiration of existing garden logos which had a focus on icon-like elements. We decided to go down the route of a visual but fairly minimal icon design which we felt could easily be applied to different formats and would scale easily. Using our inspiration as a foundation, we began sketching out some ideas. One of the concepts that immediately stood out to us, was the incorporation of the leaf-like shapes with the initials of the garden. We also were drawn to our sketches of interlocking leaf shapes, and so we started to take these ideas into Adobe Illustrator, exploring typefaces and logo layouts to sit alongside this icon.

 

Unfortunately this logo did not stand out to our client, and so we went back to the drawing board, to explore some new ideas, while still keeping to the leaf-shape theme. As a team, we felt the typography from the initial concept was successful, and so we kept this fairly consistent through the next rounds of designs. We were pleased to hear that our client really liked the 3rd brand identity seen in the image below, and so this is the route that we took for the garden’s brand identity. 


In terms of colour palette, we wanted to take inspiration from the plants seen within the Harris Garden, while avoiding the ‘expected’ route of an all green scheme. We developed four options, before settling on the bottom left palette. We knew this combination of colours would be taken across onto the map illustration and so we decided to keep the branding palette fairly limited while adding in more variety for the map.

 

We were really pleased that our client immediately fell in love with our chosen palette, and so we implemented this into our logo variations, testing the different combinations of colour. We found some worked better than others, but overall felt our palette was successful.

Map Design
Due to the map being at the forefront of the garden and the first thing visitors would see, we undertook extensive research into appropriate styles of maps designed for use in Garden contexts. We decided on an approach which was colourful and appealing to children and families which had a slightly 3D perspective, enhancing the shape, orientation and location of the garden in relation to the surroundings. 

After gathering inspiration for the style of illustration we would use, a colour palette was developed based on the colours selected for the brand identity. We made sure these shades were representative of the four seasons that worked well together as a set. This palette was tweaked and changed slightly as the project went on to create a coherent and appealing appearance with enough contrast to work effectively.

 

To begin the designing process, we developed the base of the map in illustrator, mapping out the different paths and sections of the garden given to us by the client. Next, we designed a variety of different tree icons that could easily be placed around the map in appropriate places in order to represent denser areas of woodland, or more prominent trees and plants. 


We added the icons and illustrations that represented the plants and trees within the Garden to the base of the map and added additional information such as the entrance gate and a key around the map. We tried many different variations and made many changes along the way to perfect the positioning of tree icons and ensuring the paths were visible for navigation purposes. 


  

We felt that the pure-white background would look too prominent and out of place in a Garden setting so opted for an off-white colour which would also prevent dirt showing up as easily. The beige background felt much more subtle and suitable for the context we were designing for, and our client also said he felt that some users would find it more difficult to read black text on a bright white background. 

We created two different versions of the near finished design which both use a more 3D effect at the edge of the map which we agreed on with the client at the beginning of the project. Differences in these versions include how specific areas of the Harris Garden are labelled, either within the illustrations of the map or around the outside. The road was omitted from the design in the end due to the decision that it was too distracting from the garden and somewhat irrelevant. In addition, the client wanted to detract any attention from the walled garden in the right hand corner as this was a section not maintained by the university, hence why we left the design of this alone. 


Although we felt we could develop our map design further, this was the stage that we got to when our client unfortunately decided to remove the map from the project’s deliverables. We decided it would be best for us to move our focus to the signage, and further refine them, rather than working on the map any further. If things had gone differently we would have developed the map further, testing different shades of an off-white background to maximise legibility as well as finding the most appropriate solution to include the garden labels around the map. 

Signage Design
In advance of designing the interpretation panels, we did some visual research and analysis on existing signs used in similar settings and contexts. This research ensured that we were considering the physicality and context of the interpretation panels throughout the entire design process, which has been beneficial for our final outcomes. 

Before taking our ideas to the computer, we sketched out some simple layouts on paper to start thinking about how we could use our format as a canvas and how to present the different kinds of information on the interpretation boards.

Once we had developed some concepts with mock illustrations and copy, we showed these to our supervisor and client to gather feedback. At this stage, the feedback that we received from our supervisor was that the interpretation boards that we had developed were too ‘book’ like, and weren’t visually appealing enough. Our supervisor also critiqued the illustration style we had chosen, and suggested we might want to experiment with a style that was more appropriate for the target audience, and perhaps something that looked a bit more abstract.

At this point  in the project, we focused on how we could transform the signs into something that looked more like information design, or a poster, rather than a page in a book. We categorised the different types of information that was present on the signs and thought about how we could differentiate between the hierarchy of information, and visually represent the content to a reader looking from afar, or only looking for a few seconds. We used colour, type size, icons and shading to achieve this. We also created new versions of the illustrative elements, choosing a style that had less detail than the first, and is more appropriate than the ones we initially presented. 

 

After exploring a more visual approach to the signage, we felt the overall layout had too much white space and did not work successfully. We decided to experiment with alternative sizes to see whether these worked better. We were all drawn to the square format as we felt this worked best for our content and was the most space efficient.

 

After discussing with our client, we decided to change the background colour to a shade of off white, to make the typography more accessible. This change will be particularly beneficial  for people with dyslexia or other needs that make reading more difficult. After a few final copy editing changes, the signs were signed off by our client. 

 

Project Conclusion

Schedule
One of the challenges we faced throughout our project, was sticking to our initial timeline. When designing the signs we had to wait for the content from our client, who struggled to gather the stories from regular visitors.  As the client was struggling to collect enough of these stories in the timeframe of our schedule, we offered him multiple extensions and moved our schedule around to accommodate this. So as not to waste time whilst waiting we decided to pause working on the signage until we had real content to work with and started working on the map. The client was happy with this compromise and it enabled the project to keep moving forward despite the delays. 

Implementation
Throughout the duration of the project, we faced some barriers that we had to overcome. Tackling these challenges as a team have taught us valuable client facing and time management skills that have not only made us better designers, but better communicators and team members. 

Our project deadline of April 2022 was initially extended due to delays in receiving the copy for the interpretation boards from our client, and we struggled to stick to a schedule throughout the project due to delays in client communication. This has taught us that in future, we should set out clearer expectations between ourselves and the client in the initial stages of a project to avoid similar challenges. 

Toward the final weeks of our project, we were informed by our client that he needed to use the University branding and that the branding we designed would not be taken forwards in the deliverables. At this point we were advised by our supervisor to let the client handle this directly with the University branding team, as this is something beyond our remit. In addition to this, the client decided to take an alternative approach in regards to the map as it would continue to develop in the coming months. While these changes to the brief were frustrating at the time, we still see the project as a success and are proud to present a full set of deliverables as outlined in our initial brief. Although they might not be implemented in the Harris Garden itself, we are happy with the solutions we arrived at. 

 

Project Summary
Overall, this was a successful and enjoyable project. We set out as a team to create a brand identity, a set of signage and a map that worked cohesively together, and this we achieved. Each member of the team brought different strengths that we were able to identify early in the project. This enabled us to harness each other’s strengths and support one another in areas where we wanted to grow and learn. As challenges arose, such as client communication, scheduling delays, or software issues we were able to create and implement effective solutions that kept us motivated and the client updated. 

We attended Real Jobs sessions regularly and benefitted from the feedback, allowing us to push the development of our ideas. Having a logical and clear structure to our process (1:branding, 2 signage, 3: map) made it easy for those providing feedback to follow our process and decisions. Towards the end of the project we acknowledged that more supervisor meetings would have been beneficial, but we were able to make the most of the meetings that we did have, especially as our supervisor was changed half-way through our project. 

Lessons on physicality were reinforced as we were reminded of the importance of printing out to-scale drafts of our designs when working on deliverables that will be physical and printed. Each of us developed our communication skills, both with the client and within our design team. Assigning and embracing individual areas of responsibility really helped with this. 

Whilst we were disappointed that the client chose to move forward in a different direction, as a team and as individual designers this was still a very beneficial project that taught us many important lessons about the reality of designing for live projects and we are pleased with what we achieved.

By: Emily Collard, Hannah Smith, Megan Hancox, Rio Ware

Student-Lead Department Instagram 2022

Introduction

After joining the instagram team in our first year of University, we (Emily and Rio) began to co-lead the Instagram at the beginning of 2022. Our experience of being on the team previously gave us a good prior understanding and ideas of what to post and we already had a structure. Once the Instagram was officially handed over to us, we began to make our own decisions about how to lead the team, what content to post and set ourselves goals to improve our online presence. 

Our Goal
As soon as we were handed full control of the instrgram, we felt we should focus all our efforts to making the account feel more like a welcoming community for current students, gradates, lecturers and friends of the department. We also felt it was crucial that we captured the department in a way that was appealing for prospective students, showcasing the vast range of projects, techniques and classes available on our course. To do this, we wanted to share a larger variety of posts, creating a more engaging feed. We also wanted to aim to post much more frequently than the previous years team, and engage more with other accounts.

 

Updating the Account

We immediately noticed that the account had a very unprofessional bio. It did not accurately portray our department as it had a chaotic and haphazard appearance. The first noticeable change to the account was updating this bio, making it feel much more considered and designed. Emily had the idea of adding a link tree to our bio, adding level of functionality as it would provide viewers easy access to the department website, UoR website, open day bookings, baseline shift talks and much more.

 

Planning and posting
In order to achieve our goal of posting more frequently, we implemented a new strategy for planning posts. We used an excel spreadsheet to plan our each month of posts, and allocated each post to a member of the team. The idea behind this was to get more organsied and allow each member to have a clearer idea of what to post, and when to post it. 

Unfortunately, in practise this did not work as well as we had initially intended. Often, team members would forget to post on their allocated day, or other content would come up that wouldnt follow the structure and disturbed the plan. In practice, this strategy was too rigid and. Once we realised this wasn’t successful, we met with the team to discuss their thoughts on how well this was working. We all agreed that a more forgiving and less strict structure would work better for the nature of the content that we post. We also discussed with the team that frequent reminders on our group chat would be helpful to remind team members to post content. 

 

New Content

Typography Posts

Emily had the idea of using our account to better celebrate the typographic side to our departments course. To do this, we contacted Gerry, and requested links to typefaces designed by past MA Typeface Design Programme students. From here, Emily designed a carousel post template and began showcasing these typefaces regularly on the account. We felt having these posts helped us achieve a more considered and balanced feed, providing us with an element of consistency within our posts.

These posts did well in terms of engagement, and we were pleased to see type foundaries sharing us on their stories!

Inside the Department
As we have previously mentioned, we wanted to create a more welcoming and community feel to the account. One of the main ways we strived to achieve this, was by sharing both feed posts and reels, capturing the department itself, as well as classes such as feedback sessions. 

We found these posts did really well, not only with the current students, but also past graduates, providing them with a sense of nostalgia! This was especially the case with the video content and the photography of the outside of the building.

Tips and Advice

Over the summer holidays, Rio thought that it would be a nice idea to welcome the new Part One’s with an advice post to help motivate them and inspire them at the start of this new term. IIn order to achieve this, we implemented carousel posts that shared wisdom from graduates of the department as well as current students. We found this post was welcomed warmly by our followers and would love this concept to be adopted by the new team and continue to share tips and advice!

Introduction of Guides

Guides are a feature on Instagram that allow you to collate posts into one space within your account. We felt this would be the perfect opportunity for us to help current students find the work of previous year groups, to take inspiration from examples of work and to get a better understanding of what will be expected from projects. With this being said, we made a guide for each ‘part’ as well as a guide of Real Job projects, MATD typeface posts, posts within the department, and baseline shift content.

Having implemented this into the departments account, we spoke to a few students who all agree that it was a ‘useful’ addition allowing easy access to content, especially when you are looking for a particular type of post.

Creating these guides have also been useful to help us grasp a better understanding of what we need to post more or less on the Instagram. For example, at one particular point in the year, Emily and I found ourselves posting a lot of Part 2 content, as it was the most accessible to us at the time. Therefore, we decided to recruit new students in the year below to hellpus out with posting, and got in touch with students in the year above to ask permission to post their work. 

 

Engagement & Following

One of the main goals of posting on social media is to promote our department to new students, as well as create an online community of students, staff and alumni. Therefore, engagement and following is important to consider when posting. We have realised that certain posts ie: pictures of the department, or posts that follow trends increase engagement, and often, we have aimed to focus our content based on which

Looking at out insights on our professional dashboard, we can see that in the past 90 days of running the instagram account, we have reached 61% more accounts compared to 1 Jun–29 Aug, engagement has increased by 29% and our follower count has increased by 3.4%. 

Looking back on our posts since we have lead the team, there are certain posts that have stood out to us as being more successful than others, and these are backed up by interactions and reach.  To measure the success of a post, we take into account the number of interactions with the post such as likes, comments and shares, as well as how many accounts the post has reached. Using our professional dashboard insights, we can see what our following found the most engaging, as well as features of posts which drew in non-followers.

 

Little miss post 

With 203 interactions with this post, the little miss post that we illustrated and designed ourselves was our most successful post. This post was designed in response to a popular trend on social media based on the well-known Mr Men book series.

Joby Caters Workshop
With 199 interactions, our post about our recent visit to Joby Carters sign writing workshop has been another hit amongst our followers. Photos of lettering and typography are something that would be enjoyed by the majority of our following, so it is no wonder that this post did well. Posts such as these are important to keep other members of the department up to date on what everyone gets up to.

Photographs and reels of the department
Our posts showing photographs of the outside and inside of the department, frequently received comments such as ‘love that place!’,  ‘missing the yellow doors’ and ‘brings back memories’. We found that sharing these photos have been particularly successful amongst alumni, bringing back memories for former staff and students reminiscing their time at the department. These kind of posts are also useful or prospective students to grasp a vision of what life in our department looks like.

 

Preparing the New Team

During the autumn term, we decided to speak to the years below us, and gather new members to join our team. Having run the instagram as just a pair for several months, we felt it was key that we grew our team both for our benefit, to take the pressure as we were now part three students, but to also set up the new team to take over from us. We planned to take a step back from running the instagram towards the end of the autumn term, and did our best to guide our new team members towards new leadership and help make them comfortable posting and sharing content. We held several meetings throughout the term to share the idea we had for new content, as well as encouraging the new members to share any thoughts they had. We hoped to ease the new team into taking over the account rather than what we experienced, and leaving them to fend for themselves without prior warning!

We are delighted to say that we were able to recruit four new members to our team and we hope we have provided all the support and encouragement they need to allow the instagram to continue to grow not only as a social media account, but also as a community for students, staff and friends of the department.

 

Our Thoughts

As soon as we were handed the account at the start of 2022, we came up with a huge range of ideas. Unfortunately we were unable to design all these posts and implement them into our feed, however we definitely feel we have made a hugely positive impact on the Instagram, improving the content, engagement levels and community feel to the account.

We believe we have successfully maintained a consistent posting schedule, posting throughout the week. Previously, when we were under the leadership of the year above, we found that we lacked content especially at the start of each term, with the majority of posts being shared after from end of term submissions. We also found the content was mainly final mockups of work. We feel we have used our prior experience regarding this, and made a series of changes to improve not only the feed’s variety, but also the engagement with our content.

It was an absolute pleasure running the Instagram and we both feel we have gained valuable experience throughout the process. We feel our success lies with our ability to work collaboratively to run the account, gaining key skills in team leadership and time management. On top of this, we were able to harness our creativity to bring new and engaging content to the account in a variety of ways.

On top of this, we hope we have successfully prepared the next team, helping ready them for the creation of new content as well as maintaining new ideas that we have implemented ourselves.

 

RJ00455: Student-lead Department Instagram 2022
Emily Collard & Rio Ware



Joby Carter Fairground Contest: Redesigning Odeon

Redesigning Odeon

Brief

Joby Carter is a signwriter and fairground artist who owns Carter’s steam fair and he set up a competition whereby as the contestants we had to each present a brand that we had reimagined in a fairground font using signwriting techniques and show the idea as a square PNG file, 2000 x2000px. The format / medium could be whatever we chose. The aim of the project was to move away from typographic uniformity and create our own letterforms in eccentric fairground styles.

 

Schedule

The deadline for this project was 6th December, when Joby would work with our tutors to decide on winners, so this gave me only a few weeks to complete the project from the beginning. I decided to use the first week to research and then to come up with a more developed design each week until the deadline, before which I would create my final design by hand.

 

My idea

I researched into lots of different logos that I thought were uninteresting and boring, and eventually came across the Odeon cinema logo. Cinemas are supposed to be exciting places to go with friends and family for entertainment purposes, much like fairgrounds and circuses, the main purpose is entertainment and fun. Cinema logos should persuade someone to go and watch a film and evoke the kind of fun that fairground typography gives off, however the Odeon logo doesn’t really do this. It uses a sans serif typeface with rigid angles, creating quite a serious look for the brand that doesn’t scream fun for anyone.

I wanted to rebrand Odeon using fairground inspired typography due to its purpose for advertising a sector of the entertainment industry which should theoretically be the most fun and expressive with its logo typography. With this project, my aim was to bring back the fun and excitement into Odeon’s logo.

 

Research

After deciding on Odeon, I did a bit of background research into the logo. Odeon was founded in 1930 by Oscar Deutsch. The first logo they used was designed by Deutsch himself around this time. Cinemas during this time period were given a commonplace art deco red and gold design on the inside, which was designed by architect Harry Weedon.

1930–1997

Wolff Olins created a new look for Odeon in August 1997. Camden Parkway was the first cinema to receive the new look. Instead of a red and gold livery, the cinemas were repainted blue, black and silver. By 2002, all cinemas had been given the new look.

 1997–present

I felt that this new logo didn’t give Odeon the exciting connotations that it deserves as a cinema, and the blue certainly didn’t feel appropriate, I felt like I could make it much more exciting.

I also looked at a lot of examples of fairground art and signwriting so that I could adopt the correct style for my own rebrand. Here are some of the examples I found for inspiration. Some things I noticed were the common colours of red and yellow, the extra swirls and flourishes on letter forms, 3D effects, often heavy weighted letters, and that they used all capital letters.

Visit to Joby Carter’s workshop

As part of the contest, we got the opportunity to go and visit Joby’s workshop and he showed us round while we were able to look at lots of pieces of his work which I found really inspiring.

Joby even did some demonstrations of sketching out letterforms for us, and he also picked out one name to do a quick painted sign for, and he picked mine! He painted my name is swift, smooth motions onto dibond material which I had never seen been used before. I liked how he painted my name on a slight curve and the scroll beneath the letters gave it a lot more personality.

Design process

My design process consisted of weekly sketches and paintings which eventually developed into my final sign lettering.

Week 1:

I sketched out three ways to present Odeon in fairground inspired fonts using different angles and curves to create different effects. I liked having a 3D shadow on the letterforms as it really made the word pop out more.

Week 2:

I did another two sketches and turned one of them into a painting. The first sketch I based off the Tuscan alphabet as I liked the fishtail flourishes. The second sketch I chose to draw on a perspective line with a vanishing point so that the letters appear to be getting further away. I liked the yellow on red as it really contrasted and made the letters stand out quite well. For this one I used the Playbill alphabet as inspiration which I thought was very appropriate due to its historic use in the 19th century for advertising theatrical shows on printed posters. This links very well to the concept of a cinema, so I chose to use this style going forward. I also tested a small painted sketch of an O using blue for the background and a Tuscan O, but this didn’t feel the right vibe for a cinema.

Week 3:

This week I painted a developed version of the previous style, trying to refine the letterforms more, and I tried adding a scroll which was inspired by the scroll that Joby added to his painting of my name, however I concluded that this style of scroll didn’t fit the same energy of the letters. I also painted an E with fancy flourishes and tails, but didn’t feel like the colours and style gave as much impact as my previous style, although I wanted shadows on the letters to be thicker so they overlapped more.

Week 4:

For my developments this week I bought some gold paint to replace the yellow that I had been using, because I noticed that gold featured a lot in fairground art and I thought this could be quite impactful, I loved the shine that it gave to the letters under the light. After having feedback last week, I changed the shadows around so that the letters were sitting flat, and you could see the top and the sides instead of the bottom of the letters. I also added some small circles to each letter after seeing this in lots of sign writing. I tested a different style of scroll that I thought contrasted but fit much better with the letterforms, and a dark purple red that I used for the darkest shadows of the letters. Finally, I tested a black outline on the O but didn’t like this as much.

Final submission

My final submission for the competition was based off my last practice but with more accuracy and refinery. I used more accurate vanishing points to make the letters more coherent in their 3D states, and created my own scroll, which was based off one of Joby’s examples, but with some extra flourishes. I used some dibond which James helped me source from the department because when painting on paper, it often created ripples in the painting. This was a material I had never painted on before, and as I was using acrylic paint I had to do many layers of paint each time but it created a shiny finish and I was really pleased with the finished sign.

Evaluation

Overall, I think I did a good job of rebranding the Odeon logo using fairground typography to make a more impactful and exciting logo that actually represents the company a lot better. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to go back to physical drawing and painting instead of working digitally and found the art of signwriting challenging yet enjoyable. It has made me really appreciate fairground art much more, having previously been unaware that it was all done by hand. I wanted to stay away from doing anything digitally throughout this project so as to stay true to the art of hand-lettering, as I felt like doing anything on my laptop would feel like cheating when people like Joby Carter do absolutely everything by hand themselves. Due to doing everything on physical paper, I realise my design may not be the most crisp and have a perfect finish, but when I visited Joby’s workshop I admired the small mistakes and discrepancies that you could sometimes notice when looking closely because they reveal the work of the artists hand and show just how difficult it really is and I felt like these inconsistencies had a certain beauty to them. I learnt that hand-lettering is not about trying to make every letter the same, what makes it special  is that every letter is different and you don’t have to stick to any rules of typography, it creates a unique opportunity to be experimental and expressive with letters.

Project Freedom – Real Time text for a theatre performance

Overview & Goals

The supplied brief was to document a live theatre performance by Jamal Harewood, an artist who creates audience-led participatory events that focus on ideas of identity and race. Our client outlined how important it is to him, to hold performances that are playful yet allow for a unique experience that promotes discussion from each individual. Jamal communicated that he wanted our documentation of his upcoming workshop to be translated into a piece of design that encapsulated the entirety of the experience. 

Goals

In our initial meeting, we supported our client in selecting an appropriate media for the documentation. Ajoke and myself, suggested an a5 booklet that would be designed using a design service accessible to Jamal. This was an important element as the client wished to be able to document each workshop commencing over the course of the year.

  • Offer attendees an opportunity to revisit their experience at a later date and remember their pledge made at the end of the workshop
  • Create a way for the client to document future workshops independently which in turn creates a source of revenue

Objectives 

To document the upcoming workshop and gather a diverse range of audience definitions of the term ‘Freedom’ which will be relative to each of their personal experiences (e.g: Education, Secuality, Religion)

Deliverables

  1. An A5 Booklet. Submitted to client as a PRESS READY PDF documenting 27th January workshop 
  2. Booklet Template. Amendable Canva template for upcoming workshops
  3. Blog Prototype. Designed in cohesion with booklet layout for client to implement onto their website  

Research and Ideation

Prior to the documentation or ideation process, thorough research on our client was completed in order to understand his ideologies and background. This would allow us to understand Harewood to the best of our ability which in turn, allowed for us to showcase his identity within the deliverables. After conducting the necessary research, we attended the workshop and created a manuscript based on all verbal communications and physical activities witnessed in the room. Due to the fast paced nature of the workshop, we had to collate and organise your notes ready to share with our client for approval. This text would then be ready to be translated into body text for the booklet. 

After the approval stage, we began ideation of the booklet aesthetics. It was important to acknowledge the overall ambience the booklet provided to the reader as it was necessary to represent both the workshop as well as the clients identity. Together, we brainstormed various ideas that considered the cover as well as the contents pages. Due to the complexity of the workshop which included different themes for various amounts of time, we decided to visually represent the experience by dividing the booklet up by theme.  This would allow attendees to relive the experience and non-attendees to gather an understanding of the ambience. To create a clear, mutual understanding between ourselves and the client, a sketch of the booklet layout was created and proposed to the client.

Figure 01: Booklet Layout Proposal

 

Development 

Colour

This colour palette was provided to be used for the upcoming booklets documenting future workshops. As discussed with our supervisor, using a colour palette allows for a cohesive set of booklets. Additionally, these colours will be used on the corresponding blogpost as demonstrated in the prototype.

Figure 02: Colour Palette

Typography

Figure 03: Typography (Headings)

 

Figure 04: Typography (Body Text)

 

 

 

Booklet

Cover – Collectively working on the cover, we derived a range of concepts which we narrowed down to two contenders with the feedback provided by our supervisor. Selecting the covers that obtained the best elements allowed us to pinpoint elements we both believe compliment the cover well and combine them to create a single cover proposal. In order to present the client with multiple options, from the single cover, we experimented with a variety of compositions which handled the typography and visual elements in differing manners. In presenting this to the client, we used the feedback to further combine compositional choices from each proposal and solidify this into one. Over the course of several weeks, we perfected the cover to the clients desire which hosted the colour palette and typography that would be implemented within the core of the booklet.

Figure 05: Booklet Cover Concept
Figure 06: Booklet Cover Concept

Theme Introductory Pages – As previously discussed, the seven themes from the workshop were a key element to be used to create clear narrative within the booklet. Therefore, the idea of pictograms to introduce and represent each theme was implemented and created using Adobe Illustrator. Sketching ideas for the pictograms allowed us to ensure we had a cohesive set before illustrating them digitally. The cohesiveness was further ensured by using the same point size for the lines. To enhance the clear introduction of each theme, we derived concept for theme introductory pages. The recto page hosts the theme name, number and decorative element using the approved colour palette.

Figure 07: Theme Introductory Concept

 

Figure 08: Theme Introductory Concept

 

Figure 09: Final Theme Introductory Page

 

Body Text – In designing the body text pages, the main goal was to link the decorative elements plotted throughout the booklet into these particular pages. An additional goal was to use immersive language in order to engage the reader in order to further reflect the ambience of the workshop. Using advice from our supervisor, experimentation of placement allowed us to consider various layouts that compliment each theme. Within each theme, the placement of the body text differed in order to separate an create an experience for each theme.

Figure 10: Typography (Body Text Pages)
Figure 11: Typography (Body Text Pages)

 

Theme Design Pages – To conclude yet compliment the experience of each theme, visual representations of each activity of the workshop were created either in an illustrative or photographic manner. During our ideation phase, brainstorming multiple ideas for each theme allowed us to select the best concept for example:

Theme 1: The sun shines down on anyone who? – the activity required attendees to use the aforementioned line followed by an item of clothing, feeling or ideology, therefore, illustrations of these three areas were used to conclude this theme.

Figure 12: Theme Page – The Sun Shines Down on anyone who (Illustrative)

 

Figure 13: Theme Page – Agree or Disagree (Illustrative)

 

Figure 14: Theme Page – Personal Definitions (Typographic)

Conclusive Page – During our time spent working with the client, we were able to learn a lot about his personality and the passion he had for this project. Therefore, we wished to implement an ending page to the booklet with a quote directly from Jamal Harewood. This allowed the reinforcement of the sense of identity relevant throughout this book which was further enhanced through the background brand pattern derived from Jamal’s logo.

Figure 15: Maze pattern derived from clients logo
Figure 16: Conclusive Page

Cover Finalisation – In discussing the finalisation of the booklet, our supervisor advised us to bring the element of Jamal’s logo, onto the front cover as it had become a consistent element located throughout the booklet. This gave the opportunity for the cover to communicate the duality of the workshop as well as the clients identity. We found in the finalisation of the booklet that Canva was difficult to navigate in terms of saving a PDF with crop and bleed. When we did succeed in exporting the PDF with the print set up, we found the bleed was inconsistent which meant we had to quite a bit of refinement. This was something that we could have avoided by making sure we had a full understanding of how Canva works in the print aspect and having to use certain settings to control the bleed.

Figure 17: Final Booklet Cover
Figure 18: Final Booklet Back Cover

Web Prototype

Our client outlined to us that he would like a digitised version of the booklet that will be accessible via his website. With this understanding, we had a conversation with our supervisor who recommended we create a prototype rather than working directly with his website. This was due to a variety of factors; the site was in maintenance and the logistics of us going into the back end of the website. With this advice and once the booklet was finalised, I created the web prototype using Adobe XD. This stage was a simple process in terms of directly referencing the booklet using all of the now made illustrations, photography and confirmed typography, however a challenging area was the formation. During the booklet design process, we were constantly considerate of the layout and construction as this influenced the tone and perception of the booklet. We wanted to ensure the same tone was presented by the prototype despite having a very different user experience. I began by creating components to ensure consistency in the implementation of the typography due to the various areas of text such as the theme numbers and headings. We created a sense of rhythm and flow in the booklet therefore, I constructed the prototype to use the same attribute by having a pattern to connect one theme to the next.

Prior to sharing the development with the client, we discussed various areas with our supervisor who recommended the adjustment of certain areas to ensure a cleaner presentation of the blog for easier consumption by the reader. Once completed, we were able to present the progress to our client who was very content with the final blog and felt it truly reflected the booklet.

Figure 19: Web Prototype
Figure 20: Web Prototype
Figure 21: Web Prototype

 

Visual Guidelines

Throughout the process of creating the deliverables, we were mindful of our client being a non-designer who wishes to be able to amend the booklet for the documentation of future workshops. The consideration of this began right at the beginning when we decided to use Canva as it was the most non-designer friendly software available to our client. Our supervisor suggested we further the support we were giving the client in this area by supplying him with a visual guidelines document. This would allow the client to gain a full understand of the deliverables and how to use them. In the document, I discussed the branding side of the booklet and prototype by providing HEX values of the colour palette alongside the fonts we used and how they were implemented (for example, Garet was used for for headings, open sans for body text). Furthermore, the guidelines document provides instruction on how to amend the Canva template for future workshops including changing the design pages, colours and text.

Figure 22: Visual Guidelines. Page 2
Figure 23: Visual Guidelines. Page 5
Figure 24: Visual Guidelines. Page 7

Conclusion

This Real Job has been a great opportunity to develop skills in a wide variety of softwares and applications including; Canva, Adobe XD, Illustrator and Procreate. There were many areas of design to be explored which made the experience fun and an introduction to a lot of new areas of design. Throughout our experience and communications with our client, he shared how we were able to bring all of his ideas to life and go above his expectations. He further explained, despite having vague ideas in certain areas, we were able to capture what he was trying to communicate and produce visuals for ideas he had no visual ideas for.  Due to the nature of Canva, the print exporting tools did not allow us to create a PDF with the ideal colour settings. Canva unfortunately did not let me export the booklet using Forga colour and could not be converted using Adobe Acrobat tools so I have relayed this to the client to be mindful of during the print process. In future situations where I may be positioned in a similar circumstance, I will consider other softwares.

In reflection, this job took longer than expected which I believe was due to the knowledge we had on the client not having a deadline for the deliverables. We take full responsibility for the long time period to solidify the deliverables and despite creating our own schedule, we sometimes took longer to finish certain roles and responsibilities. This would be due to many factors such as underestimating the longevity of a design or an increase of workload. For the future, I would ensure a stricter approach to the schedule is adhered to and to be considerate of how long some designs take compared to others. I look forward to potentially being able to work with the client in the future on his upcoming endeavours in performing thought-provoking, audience-led workshops.

 

Oyster Outcomes

Background
Oyster outcomes LTD is a consultancy business which offers several different services. These include multi-disciplinary management, governance and assurance, coaching, mentoring and coach supervision, mental health and wellbeing consulting. The idea behind the brochure, was to advertise digitally and through print, the services that Oyster outcomes can provide. Embedded in the brochure are recommendations from previous clients and key characteristics of the business that promotes engagement from clients. The brochure will be both a digital and printed, advertising on the website, through emails and as handouts to future clients.

Restated brief
Oyster outcome is a relatively new business and will be reaching its third year in the beginning of April. Oyster is looking for a way to format and promote their specialities in the form of a brochure/ leaflet, to cater to their possible future clients to promote what Oyster outcomes has to offer with their services. The broad aims of the project were to communicate what the business has to offer. Further, to promote Oyster outcomes in a way that targets their audience in the public sector, commercial and charities, and any prospective clients. As for production, the objectives include producing a square size brochure, ideally with a high-quality thick paper. Alongside this, will be a digital format of the brochure, to be exported and used for the website and website distribution. Initial research involved looking at the website provided, understanding their previous design approach to their website and branding for insight to a possible similar approach to leaflet. It was later decided, through the development on this project, that a printed version of this brochure would not be printed through the university, but rather externally after submission. Included in the submission, would be a PDF of the full brochure for email and website, and a PDF ready to print for both the covers and interior pages for the brochures to be printed after artwork handover was sent over.

Research and ideation
Audience

As I began the project, I used several sources as a way of inspiration to begin our design process. I use several previous existing brochures to do this, looking at brochures that are similar to the topic of consultancy. Through research many businesses, similar to Oyster outcomes, don’t over complicate the design, and prioritises the information over images. This allows for a professional approach that was necessary to the audience I was catering towards. Though observing the way of the production of print was necessary, these decisions weren’t necessarily in my control as later in the production it was later decided that my submission was strictly digital. Alot of my ideation was determined by what appearances the business used in their advertising thus far. Alot of my inspiration for the brochure was from the Oyster Outcomes website.

Colours and type
During our first meeting, we were introduced to the branding guideline. This included the colours, fonts including type settings, images to and any logo variations. This set my approach to the project early on. This was helpful in order to satisfy the client and ensure that the brochure is consistent with their website as well. The colours were different shades of blue and a serif typeface throughout the branding guidelines.

Square brochure inspiration

Content transformation
Through analysis, its noticeable that many of the brochures used very limited text, however the provided text copy from clients was extensive. Later agreed with the client, many texts were minimised to enable an easy read and allow the brochure to appear less intimidating. It was easy to discuss with the clients to change this part of the brochure, explaining that in order for the brochure to become more appealing, change in text was necessary. Mutual understanding was essential in order for the design process to be easier to manage with this change, and for it to be beneficial for their brochure.  This was changed through trial and error, overall vastly improved the look and feel of the brochure.

Design development
Oyster Outcomes has a heavy ocean theme throughout their website. They wanted this to be included in the design of the brochure as well. This was slight issue in the design process, though they have used this theme in the website, once the design process began, my supervisor highlighted the problem of it complicating the topic of consultancy, and would be confusing to future readers as the images they were interested in using gave connotations of a holiday feel to the brochure, instead of the topic of consultancy. In my mind, I wanted to approach the design in a more mature, sophisticated, and timeless approach. Though elements of the ocean theme could be incorporated, it was necessary to find the right balance of both themes in order to not confuse readers and clients.

Oyster outcomes branding guidelines
Oyster outcomes branding guidelines 2
Oyster outcomes branding guidelines 3

A lot of the design process was somewhat restricted with the branding guidelines that they had requested. This included colour choices, branding logos, picture inspiration, fonts, and brochure sizing. This very much helped guide me in the right direction in order for my clients to be satisfied with the final product and match the website visuals. However, this limited my experimental abilities in the design process.

brochure version 1
brochure version 1
brochure version 1

This was one of the final completed versions of the brochures. At this stage, it was sent to the clients and they were very satisfied with the design. However, many changes were made to the design after my partner in the project could no longer continue working with me for the project. There were many flaws in the design, the design did included in the design were a little too overbearing for the text and was lacking consistency. The next developments would need to be able to highlight the text correctly and promote the good recommendations from previous clients well.

Mockup brochure development 2
Mockup brochure development 2
brochure development 2

In the next stages of the design most of the elements were changed. I focused on categorising the text and colour better to highlight the separate sectors of the business. The type size and grid was changed in order to promote legibility. I limited the use of the ocean aesthetic photos to help promote the correct topic of consultancy. In replacement of this, and with the consent of the clients, I implemented the use of different imagery including work spaces and welcoming employees to help encourage a welcoming feel to the consultancy business.

Final stages
During the development stages, there were issues regarding communication between me and the clients. This set me back in terms of meeting for the final stages of the design which slowed down the process over. Included in this was the deadline of this real jobs was to be extended due to the work load I had to take on independently after my partner could no longer participate in this real jobs.

During my final stages, small changes were made to my design from my supervisor to ensure everything was correct in my brochure. This included small tweaks to leading, alterations of navigational devices, and finally, ensuring all my documents were print ready for the client to continue with. I had help during the final stages of my process, when it came to preparing the print ready documents including bleed marks for the correct documents etc.

As we will not be printing this off through the University, the brochure is still intended to be printed independently, therefore I printed the brochure off to ensure the sizings are correct and legible and the colours print correctly too.

brochure final development
Brochure final development
Brochure final development
Brochure final development
Brochure final development

Reflection
As this was my first real job, there were many first-time experiences in this process. Unfortunately, there were problems with communication via email. Though I did continue the work as far as I could during these responses I received, it was still a reoccurring issue. I feel as though a lesson on my first real job, is that often you are on a different schedule as your client, they may be far more relaxed when it comes to estimates deadlines than you are yourself especially as a student with very limited free time. When continuing in the future, to avoid this from reoccurring, a simple follow up email and/or calling the client may be a better approach in some circumstances in order to find a better way to communicate with them.

Another reflection I would say, that was a particular problem in this project would be to ensure all participants in this project keep an up-to-date shared folder of all content to ensure both parties have all the same contents. This was a particular problem after my partner left the project and attempting to gain required documents wasn’t possible at times. Regarding future real jobs, it’s extremely important for all participants to have a shared folder to include any progress in the work. In this case, unfortunately some of the documents I could not acquire, and many documents were recreated.

A final reflection for my project would be the importance of balance between designer and client. Many for their ideas they may be firm on, however at times their ideas may not be what’s best for the success of the project. As a designer there is a better understanding on what makes a successful design, and to have a mutual agreement and level of understanding in order to continue the design for both designer and client.

In summary I am pleased with the final look of my brochure. Though there were some issues during the process, I am happy with how it turned out, and I am sure it will reflect well on the business. The clients are happy with the brochure turnout aswell and are happy to recommend me in the future as well as potential work opportunities after university.

Jamal Harewood: Project Freedom

Background

Jamal Harewood is an activist who sets out to share his vision of race and identity through workshops around England. He is currently undergoing a freedom workshop that seeks to redefine the term ‘freedom’ by discussing each individual in the workshop—participants brought in different perspectives and Fresh insight onto specific topics free from any judgement and authenticity.

On the 27th of January, Jamal Harewood led an audience-based workshop, ‘Project Freedom’, in Minghella Studios theatre Reading university. It comprises a diverse number of students that seek to redefine freedom on their terms. The workshop was a playful experience where participants were encouraged to discuss and share their views and opposition to different themes and activities. Each individual created a new definition of freedom and a pledge to follow through. Overall, the workshop brought a collective of ideas together.

The premise of this real job is to document the workshop and create deliverables that would suit Jamal’s brand and idea. He wanted to write about the unique experience of this temporary community and show the discussions and interpretations of each individual.

Restated brief

GOALS

After we document our client’s workshop ‘Project freedom’ and his interactions with the audience, we are tasked to create a booklet and UX blog post that include the wide range of diverse experiences and definitions of freedom from the participants. The audience is the focal point of the workshop, so it is important to make the deliverables as personal as possible, not only showing their ideas but their performances and behaviour.

Our Brief main goal is to offer attendees an opportunity to revisit their experiences in Jamal’s workshop. They would be able to look through the deliverables and find quotes and thought that they said at the workshop. Although we would only be able to document one workshop, Jamal would like to carry out this project in other workshops, thereby using this deliverable as a template for future workshops and making a profit from the booklet independently.

 DELIVERABLES

  1. Booklet.
  2. Booklet template. Amendable Canva template for client’s upcoming workshops
  3. Blog post prototype.

Research and ideation

One of the primary branding guidelines Jamal gave us was to involve the colour black. Initially, he wanted the book page to be black but having an all-black book would not be legible with some research and inspiration, we were able to find what works for Jamals.

For inspiration, Jannah and I started looking at different design idea platforms such as Pinterest and Behance. We looked at different layouts and formats of presenting texts and theme pages. We found some booklets that integrated box shapes into the body text while acting as a filler; This helped because the body text of the booklet isn’t heavy, so it was important to find a way to show the text without the book looking empty.

We understood that for this deliverable to be genuinely successful, we needed to have colours that would resonate with Jamal and his brand. When researching, the colour yellow with black caught our eyes the most. The cheerful and eye-catching hues of yellows are balanced by the more sober and sophisticated shades of black. Black and yellow branding worked well as these two colours were balanced and contrasted.

We set out to not only look for design inspirations but a colour scheme for Jamal to use across the different workshops. The colours you use in your branding and design are more than just a matter of aesthetics. Is your brand exclusive, accessible, friendly, cheerful, or mysterious? Your choice of colours reflects what your brand stands for and what customers associate with it. Understanding Jamal and the type of brand he wants to represent was one of the primary key points noted when choosing inspirations online.

Due to the nature of this project, we had to find a way for Jamal to distinguish his booklets across different workshops. We thought of the idea of using colours to differentiate but keeping the layout and the design of the booklet the same would be helpful for Jamal to design his booklet without the need for designers. So when users see the different branding colours, they would be able to associate the colour with the various workshops.

Design Development

Jamal Harewood gave us complete creative control however, he wanted the primary colour for his deliverables to be black. This was because his brand identity is black with a maze and fist logo showing his connection to the BLM movement. He wanted his brand identity to be applied to his printed booklet and blog post for a consistent brand identity. We explored different colour palettes that will complement the key colours (black and white) the client has requested to be used throughout each deliverable.

Front cover

This was my first draft for the book cover. The layout was nice and exciting, but it had a stern look and did not fit Jamal’s brand. However, the design had a sophisticated look similar to a journal, which contrasted Jamal’sbrand for the booklet is meant to be playful and inviting. The structures are shown in different colours to give Jamal an idea of how we would represent his various workshops. The coloured box represents a door revealing the theme; it helps viewers know what to expect when coming to the workshop.

For the second book cover design, I played around with making the cover as friendly and as inviting as possible. However, it was typographically right. The title of the book, being vertical, was not legible, and there were too many different text formats that did not complement each other. This resulted in a lack of proper hierarchy in the text and could confuse users.

Jannah’sdesigns were interesting as they also played around with the vertical and diagonal layout for the text, but the background felt like something was missing. Jannah’ssecond draft also had the issue of being sophisticated and not fitting Jamal’spersonality or the playfulness of the workshop.

To move further, we decided to combine the best elements of our designs into one to create Jamal’s book cover. However, nothing on the book cover represented Jamal or his brand apart from his name. I suggested using the maze design and adding it to the book cover’s background, which worked well to show Jamal’s brand. I explored different layouts and formats for the maze design.

As we move further into the book cover development, Jamal told us he preferred the white background with the black maze line. we agreed with him because it was neater and more visually appealing when combined with the other book cover element

 

We took out the theme title from the front page because we did not want to give much away to viewers when looking at the cover. The final book page works because there is a clear visual hierarchy. Jamal likes the book cover format because it is clear and playful while complementing his brand.

Inside Pages

Jamal did not want to include photos of the participants, so we had to find a way to represent the theme or show the activities in the workshop. This part of the project was split into two, with Jannah designing the booklet’s illustrations and Theme page and I handling the Book text layout and photomontage. This idea was because we wanted each design element to have a consistent design style.

Book Illustration

 

The illustrations represent the themes; they have a youthful look as the target audience is young adults. They have the same line length as the maze design because we wanted to follow through with consistency. Adding this illustration gives the book more volume and makes the book pages more attractive. The illustration has a symbolic meaning as it represents the different activities in the workshop.

Theme Page

When designing the theme page, we added time and text however, this element did not work because it made the theme page complicated and was not necessary. Separating each piece on the theme page made the book bulky and showed each element on its own.

We used the image above as the final design because of the apparent visual hierarchy. The use of yellow and white shows visual hierarchy and highlights the critical word in the text. The illustration represents the theme and is connected to the next page with a yellow box. We found the connecting shape helpful in linking the two pages together.

Photo Gallery

The photo montage gave the book a personal touch and helped viewers understand what happened in the workshop. Participants can see their writing and help push further the idea that this workshop was audience led.

Body Text

The body text wasn’t heavy, so it was essential not to make each body text page look empty or isolated. With this idea, each booklet element is highlighted, and the text stands out on its own, with the text box adding vibrance and giving the book format a consistent look to the theme and number page.

What is Freedom?

Eric Garner "I Can't Breathe" Tribute Typography Poster - Greg Bunbury Graphic Designer for Social Impact
I cant Breath Poster by Eric Garner

Jamal Harewood is an activist and supports the BLM. This idealogy was implemented in the Freedom posters designed on the last page of the booklet.  The freedom poster is designed similarly to the BLM ‘I can’t breathe’ poster by Eric Garner. This would help viewers identify Jamal’s support and appreciation for design in BLM.

Maze Collage

During our first meeting with Jamal, he stated he wanted to develop a brand mark from the client’s logo and translate this onto the opening and closing pages of the booklet. The maze design is a collage of Jamal logo design; there are two different maze designs, one that is used on the front cover and the other that is used on the inside pages. The front cover maze design lets the viewer know that this booklet is under Jamal’s brand.

The maze collage acts as a filler, for the booklet introduction and ending. it also helps us go further in the branding technique than just the front book cover. it is presented diagonally with five logo designs in a row. Jamal liked this layout because the logo design was not big and the layout was much more dynamic compared to the other maze designs.

 Website

Participants who are not able to visit the workshop would be able to look at the blog post. The blog post is designed in cohesion with a booklet layout for clients to implement onto their website. It was designed on Adobe XD with Jannah overseeing the design. The blog post design has the same design elements as the booklet, so few developments or changes were made. We did look at the consistency of spacing and how viewers would navigate through the blog post.

One of my favourite design elements on the blog is the maze background with the black box. it follows the format and layout of the front cover, which is helpful in consistent branding.

Final stages

The main goal of this project was for Jamal to be able to print and redesign this booklet on his own. We informed him about printing in the department and the process of printing at home. Informing him of the cons and Pros, Jamal decided to print at home after much analysis as it is more cost-effective and personal.

Since we were designing on canvas, we learned how to create and show bleed and crop marks on the canvas. Though it was slightly more straightforward, it was not as customizable as doing it on InDesign.

The printing aspect of this project allowed us to look at flaws that we overlooked while designing on canvas, such as alignment issues, spacing issues, etc. however, such cases were few. The printing of the project was successful because the booklet looked relatively similar on the screen to the print, with the colours complementing each other, the font size being readable, and the illustrations looking presentable.

Reflection

As this project progressed, I understood how vital group work is when both partners play through their strengths. As time went on, it became clear to me that working with a partner who has a different design style yet similar mindset as you is helpful. We explored different styles and illustrations while barely having conflicts because we communicated effectively and ensured that everyone’s opinions were valid as we went through the project.

Overall, the design process of this booklet was enjoyable as we made sure to include Jamal at every step after our supervisor had approved it. Each design element was explained to Jamal and why such detail works with his booklet, and if he wanted any changes, it was noted and implemented immediately. However, such changes were few because he trusted our designs and believed we understood him as a person and knew what kind of designs he wanted.

Mock up of Project Freedom Booklet
Mock Up of Jamal Harewood Project Freedom booklet

Quieter Lifestyle logo

Background

Around 20% of the University of Reading halls are now labelled as quieter lifestyle. The scheme aims to group together students who identify with living a quieter lifestyle so that students can have a more comfortable halls experience.

The brief

The brief for this project was to create a singular brand logo to be displayed on signage outside halls residences that fall under the quieter lifestyle category. We also created guidelines for the logo to ensure the client felt comfortable in using the logo on future applications that we may not be involved in as designers.

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION: The logo will be used on signage placed on lampposts outside the corresponding quieter lifestyle halls to inform people that they have entered a quieter lifestyle area and should behave accordingly and be respectful of the residents. The audience will mainly be students living in these halls or other students walking by, for that reason it was crucial that we made the logo relatable to students. The logo needs to be legible and has to accurately represent the goals of the quieter lifestyle halls without being patronising. 

REQUIREMENTS: The client was eager for the logo to be designed from a student perspective so they left the brief quite open for us to explore different design ideas which we would present to them so they could choose an appropriate logo.

Research

Due to the fast paced nature of this job there was not sufficient time to do the full scale of research we would have liked to do including user personas and audience research however we did manage to carry out what we felt was a sufficient amount of research in order to enhance our performance on the job as best we could.

When researching similar schemes within student accommodation we only found one example named ‘Quieter halls’ which is created by mystudenthalls. The scheme accredits certain buildings with the quieter halls status if it fits under certain criteria. It was interesting to look at the approach used for a logo with the same function as the one we were designing. We felt it did a good job in conveying a quiet atmosphere but we felt it was missing a human touch that would relate to students.

 

Quieter Halls logo by my student halls

Because there isn’t many examples of logos used for this particular reason, we wanted to carry out further research into existing symbols and signs used to signify that people should be quiet. We found that the ‘shushing’ symbol is represented a lot in these kinds of signs and although it is clearly legible it also has patronising connotations. As students we felt this symbology would remind our generation of being at school and being told off so steered clear of this in our designs. 

Research into ‘be quiet’ symbols and logos

Our final step of the research process was to create a moodboard of imagery that related to the themes of quiet and stillness. We also considered themes that would tie into these that students would relate to.

The board includes themes of:

  • sleeping 
  • Peaceful nature
  • Having a warm drink 
  • Reading 
  • Listening to music with headphones  

 

Mood board

 

Ideation 

Some of our initial sketches

Between the two of us we began to create initial sketches inspired by the research we had undertaken. After meeting with the client we narrowed down these sketches to two logo designs which we could develop further.  The client didn’t have any other feedback than this at this stage so we went onto develop these in illustrator

Design development 

Developed ideas favoured by client 

Along with developing the designs which the client favoured we also developed some of the other sketches into vectors in illustrator to keep the options open at this stage. They were still happy with the designs initially chosen and their only feedback was asking to see the face logo in the same blue colour so that they could see which colour it would be most effective in.

Developed combination logo 

After feedback from our supervisor we were advised that the face used for one of the logo designs wasn’t developed enough. We were advised that the illustration was too basic and was giving off more of a childlike impression than would be intended. I decided to develop this so that the face looked more mature, I also put the face facing at an angle which makes the whole logo much less flat. This feedback was really useful because it reminded me of who we were aiming the design at and I felt that it became much more personal and human at this stage. We also received valuable feedback after a real jobs meeting from peers who had previously lived in quieter lifestyle who said that the design was well suited.

Upon further feedback from our supervisor we were advised to explore the logo further still by trying out different stroke styles. It felt counter-intuitive to go back and explore different styles at this stage as the client was happy with the design but after doing so it allowed me to understand simple ways in which logos can be improved.

Exploring different stroke styles

We realised that the brush like strokes added a nice effect to the logo, making it appear less harsh and helping it to reflect better the theme of peacefulness. We decided it would also be interesting to have different versions of the logo using colour to indicate diversity of the person. As a pair we thought that it would make sense to have variety amongst the logos as they would be displayed quite repetitively on signs and doors in close proximity. We also came up with different layouts as the client was unaware of what format they would be placing the logo on.

Developed logo variations with colour 

Final deliverable

Although as a team we were very pleased with the outcome of the developed logos, as well as these being approved by the supervisor, the client decided that they preferred the original design. This was quite challenging because as designers we preferred the more developed versions but we had to provide what the client wanted. The client also ended up only using the logo we provided and not the type to go along with it.  

Final logo sent to the client 

Final logo application 

Overall

Overall this was a really fulfilling project. Although it was fast paced, we learnt a lot of valuable skills a long the way. Having not worked on logo designs before we both learnt how important it is to come up with a wide array of designs and to think outside of the box as well as really focusing on who the logo is for. This project has allowed us to build our confidence in logo design and I believe we have picked up skills that would help us not only in future logo design work but also in any branding work as a whole.

‘Fresh Out’ Film Posters (RJ00543)

Overview

This real job entailed designing three film posters for the independent film Fresh Out. The client is part of an independent distribution team at the National Film and Television School that is working on a marketing plan for Fresh Out which highlights three different genres and showcases various themes.

Brief

The client has explained that their goal for marketing the film is to explore various strategies and promote different genres. The film tells the story of Caz, who got out of jail and  wants to begin a fresh start. However, his best friend, Luke, drags him on a tragic adventure that forces him to commit a crime and witness murder. The plot of the film revolves around a countdown of one hour and a half that reaches the end in the final scene. Tension, action and thrill drive the story, but other themes also play a vital role. Thus, the client wanted a poster that captured these main elements to communicate different genres.

Initially, the genres were; action, thriller and comedy, however upon learning the plot of the film and considering the sample of images supplied I have pitched for the third genre to be adventure instead of comedy. The client agreed that this would be more suitable and representative of the film as a whole and would not seem too distinct from the other two. For me, this has highlighted the importance of reflecting and suggesting alternative solutions. I researched different genres and looked into films that epitomize them to identify the appropriate genre and to present a well structured argument and a solution.

Deliverables

At the beginning, the client has asked for three film posters at one-sheet size and for one of the poster designs to be developed into a quad sized poster. However, after reflection upon the use of the posters and the fact that it will be displayed digitally, we agreed to create a mock-up as well since the posters will not be printed.

Primary deliverables

  • One-sheet size (27 in x 40 in) poster highlighting action genre
  • One-sheet size (27 in x 40 in) poster highlighting thriller genre
  • One-sheet size (27 in x 40 in) poster highlighting adventure genre
  • Quad size (30 in x 40 in) poster highlighting action genre

Secondary deliverables

  • Mock-up of posters
  • Branding of the film title
Mock-up of posters

Research

Audience

The target audience is primarily limited to students and staff at NFT School. The client’s plan was to display the poster concepts as part of a pitch for marketing strategies. They will also share these designs with the director of the film who was enthusiastic to see their idea advertised. Nevertheless, it was important to create the posters to actual size to test typesize, image quality and impact. Additionally, I have taken into consideration the possibility for the director, cast and other people working on the film to want to print the posters in the future.

Three personas representing potential audiences

 

Genre and colour

An essential aspect that informs a film’s genre is colour. Since the images supplied were all similar and I had no control over them, I have worked to emphasize the genre through colour and texture. Before presenting the mood boards for each genre, I felt it was important to explain to the client the connection between colour and genres in film posters which led to an explanation of colour psychology or colour association. I achieved that through presenting sets of posters for each genre and immediately the similarity in colour came through. Establishing this connection between colour and genre impacted the client’s understanding of the mood board as they explained their understanding before I had a chance to speak.

Mood board for each genre

As this is not my first real job, I learned that it is important to consider the client’s investment in the project and that could be initially determined by the amount of time they allocate for the meeting. This client was very interested to learn about film posters and the rationale behind the design. Hence, I took the opportunity to show my understanding and explain concepts which later contributed to the client’s satisfaction with the final design. It also made them feel involved in the design process.

Sample of posters presented to client to explain the relationship between colour and genre

Concept

Through the questions asked during the initial meeting about expectations, vision and inspirational examples, I was able to  understand the client’s needs and overall style preference. The client has also expressed their interest in posters for films like The Italian Job, Bad Boys for Life, Baby Driver, and Death Proof. This made creating the sketches a much easier task, thus the important aspect at this stage was presenting concepts. The sketches showcase a range of concepts that each highlight one genre but still address the different themes in the film. Part of brainstorming these concepts was acknowledging that I had limited resources to work with as the client has provided the imagery. Hence, I have worked to present designs which would be possible to create. My supervisor has also encouraged me to communicate to the client how and which images I would be using to rationalise my decisions.

12 concept sketches
Concept sketches

The main elements of the film were utilised to communicate different genres. The two main characters, the car and  time; represented with the clock, have been scaled for emphasis, arranged and included in different combinations to either highlight the action, thriller or adventure aspect of the film.

Design Development

Image sourcing

The main challenge in this real job has been utilising the supplied stills. The collection of images were taken during filming. It included shots from scenes where the actors were in their characters, others where they were getting ready for the scenes or joking around and only a few  with them posing for the shot. Nevertheless, my approach was to view and rate the images before developing the sketches.

I discussed with the client the potential of using royalty-free stock images from sites such as Pexels and Pixabay. It was also important to search for useful images on these sites before committing to a design. Despite the great number of images available, I had to ensure that it represented the setting of the film; season, colours, nature, etc, and most importantly the correct model of car. I established an organization system that allowed me to save files (stock images from online and images provided by the client) for each idea so that I could easily find it when we decide on a concept. The organisation was very beneficial and helped save time, and thus I plan to employ this system in my future projects especially ones that require sourcing and referencing from multiple platforms.

As the client and I envisioned the poster with the characters in specific poses, facial expressions and positions, I had to combine many of the images of the character to obtain the desired expression and position. For instance, the image of ‘Caz’ in the car is a combination of two images, as I wanted the shoulder and body to be against the chair while his head faces the audience. This real job had many limitations in resources and thus taught me how to utilise images effectively and come up with innovative solutions.

Diagram showing images utilised to create the poster design

Photoshop and editing

Creating the posters though required basic Photoshop skills like assembling several images, editing, balancing colours and adding effects, yet I had to learn and improve many of my skills in order to create a professional-looking poster. One of the core skills I had to learn was managing ‘smart objects’ and ‘masks’. These two features were used excessively in the creation of all three posters as they included many large image in one single file. Additionally, due to the size of the poster, I had to pay extra attention to details especially when masking objects; ensuring the edges are clean and look realistic. This project helped me improve my Photoshop skills and learn many techniques useful for creating images on a larger scale. I also learned the importance of determining light sources and utilised my knowledge of shadow and light to create the posters. Tutorials online were very useful and often suggested different ways to create the same effect. Trying multiple ways and making a judgment on the most effective one contributed to creating these poster designs.

Development of shadow treatment (car’s shadow)

 

Final poster designs

Typography

It was important for the client that the title, especially for the thriller genre poster, appears as a brand as they have plans to create merchandise. I worked to develop a title treatment that would be visually appealing on its own and layered on top of the image. This was an interesting challenge that forced me to examine the title treatment in different situations while ensuring it suits the concept and design of the poster.

Exploration of typefaces for title and treatment of tagline
Film title branding

“The fact that you used a font like the one printed on prison uniforms was brilliant!”

– The client, Afnan Linjawi

 

Mock-ups

Fresh Out poster mock-up (action)

 

Fresh Out poster mock-up (thriller)

 

Fresh Out poster mock-up (adventure)

Reflection

This real job was completed in one month, and the client was on sick leave for 5 days. The short turnaround time meant that I had to commit to ideas and begin designing immediately. Thus, I believe the final designs could be improved. Nevertheless, problem-solving was the core of this project and I learned many skills. My Photoshop skills have significantly improved, and I hope to showcase them in future projects. Moreover, the communication with the client made me more aware of the importance of sharing my own ideas and suggesting alternatives.

The final outcomes have shown positive feedback, however, further improvement in typeface treatment, such as the addition of effects onto the title, and a personalised typeface for the tagline, could have resulted in a more impactful film poster. Additionally, details which communicated a second level of meaning such as the time instead of a car plate number and the clock in the background could have been implemented more often. However, I believe I was able to achieve the main goal of creating three film posters highlighting different genres for the same film and from a limited set of images.

Mock-up of Fresh Out, three poster designs on display
Mock-up of final poster designs

“It was a pleasure working with you. Thank you for being very attentive and cooperative. I was impressed with the various concepts you came up with for a poster of a film you haven’t watched and how you made use of the stills we provided to produce a theatrical poster fit for a theatrical release.”

– The client, Afnan Linjawi