Category: Real Jobs

The Epilogue: RSA Degree Show 2023

Real Job: Lydia Hall designed the branding for the Reading School of Art Degree Show, which included an art catalogue and website.

The brief for this project was to design the branding for the Reading School of Art Degree Show, which included an art catalogue and website. This project was completed through the Real Job’s scheme at the Typography and Graphic Communication department.

Background:

Each year the Reading School of Art host a degree show to showcase the final year’s artwork; to go alongside this they asked for a publication and a website. This project was later extended to more of an event branding project and included a poster, postcard and email banner. A committee of art students oversaw the organising of the degree show, along with the assistance of the art tutors.

Deliverables:

Following the initial meeting with the student committee and art tutors, these were the deliverables that were decided upon

  • Publication: A large editorial catalogue that would showcase the artwork produced by the students
  • Website: A digital place where all the artists and their work are displayed
  • Promotional material: Posters and digital media to advertise the degree show itself

Audience

The brochure would be given to everyone attending the degree show. It may also be handed out at open events to prospective students. It is something that will likely be kept long-term by the students and could be used as part of their professional portfolios. The website will be geared to visitors of the event, these may be people who know the students personally or industry professionals who are looking for talent in the art community.

Responsibilities:

In our team we splitout the responsibilities, I was to design the publication, another team member was to design the website, and the other team member was to be the project manager. I had expressed an interest in designing the publication, since I have dreams of working as an editorial designer.

Brief and timeplan:

Following the initial meeting, we drafted the brief, including the time plan, which the client signed off. The time plan was especially helpful since it helped me to organise my time, and meant that the client was on the same page as me. I was especially glad that I built in plenty of time around sending the publication to print, since this took a lot longer than I had hoped it would.

Figure 1: The time plan for the project allowed the client to be on the same page as me

At this stage in the project the project manager unfortunately had to take a step down, due to an injury, as so I took on their responsibility as client liaison and project manager. From this point onward I began to attend the meeting which happened weekly with the student committee, and occasionally the tutors. These weekly meetings helped me to keep on top of the project, and to set weekly tasks.

Research:

Figure 2: Client’s mood board

The student committee had a range of ideas about this project. They had found an old photo album found in the department with images of the art students from the 1980s. They want this degree show to pay homage the department over the years, since the art building is being torn down this summer. Some key themes included, archival, retro, vintage and nostalgic.

At this stage they voiced some issues with previous publications from other degree shows. In one such catalogue ‘designerly elements’ which were overlapping with the art work, creating confusion about what was an image of a student’s art and what was decoration. The students expressed a desire for the images to really sing, and take entre stage with no distractions from the work itself.

I worked alongside a committee of art students to brainstorm their ideas around the branding of their degree show. The title ‘The Epilogue’ was decided to reflect the end of an era.

Figure 3: Initial ideas

Content:

The art students were to upload up to five images of their art work to a Padlet, along with the caption of their work. Due to the scale of the content, I set up a spreadsheet for the captions and a naming system for the art work, which made it easier to keep track of all the images.

Figure 4: Padlet where the students uploaded their work

Design:

The size of the art catalogue was to be the same as last year’s (an American narrow) so that there is some constancy across the catalogues.

 The students didn’t want each to have their own double-page spread, nor to be grouped by media (paintings, sculptures, or drawings) and so I have grouped by colour and mood. There were over 60 students, with other 170 pieces of art, so this was a huge undertaking!

Figure 5: Organising the pieces of art by colour
Figure 6: A spread for the publication, showing ‘blue’ pieces of art
Figure 7: A spread from the publication showing ‘pink’ pieces of art

The MA students chose to to have a dedicated double page spread for each student, and since there were only seven students they had their own section. They expressed a preference not to just be stuck on the end, and so I have created a middle section on black paper to differentiate from the BA students.

Figure 8: Spread from the MA section

Since the publication was to reflect on the student’s experience, the art students took a whole range of photos of themselves and the studios. The photo pages are placed throughout the publication, and are designed to look like photos spread out on a table.

Figure 9: Spread showing group photos

Captions:

The publication is mostly images, the main text challenge was the captions due to the levels of information. The artist’s full name in bold comes first, followed by the title (in italics) and the year of creation, the media follows this, and lastly the dimensions. The caption would either go below the art work, or adjacent to it, occasionally the captions for the page would come together in a block and arrows would be used to indicate which piece of art. This was a lot more user friendly than using phrases like going ‘clockwise from the top’ or ‘bottom left’.

Figure 10: How the captions are ordered

Grid:

The publication’s aim was to really showcase the art work and so each student’s first ranked piece had a full page (sometimes full bleed). The grid was spilt into two horizontally, and then into halves, thirds, and quarters. Since each piece of art had different dimensions (and art work should have the same ratio when printed) I made sure that each image hit at least one alignment point (e.g. taking up half the horizontal page).

Figure 11: Showing the underlying grid

Cover:

The art committee were keen to have an image of the art department on the cover, to pay homage the department over the years. I really enjoyed working with other creatives and brainstorming cover ideas. One student who was a keen photographer took servals angles of their studio roof which I then took into Photoshop and  played around with the two tone colour effect. From the initial ideas, Figure 3, the orange and pink were a favourite colour combination so I used them. I kept the same typeface of Letter Gothic for the front cover, to tie the inside pages and the cover together.

Figure 12: A photgraph of the art studio roof

Feedback:

Along with the weekly meetings with the committee and the Real Jobs team, towards the end of the project there was a large proof read. The student committee and art tutors read the entire publication and checked that all the captions matched, that everyone’s art work was included. This really helped in the final stages, and having serval more sets of eyes checking that all the information was correct.

Figure 13: Feedback notes from the student committee

Production:

After the client had approved the publication I created the press ready pdfs, which took a bit longer than than anticipated. Geoff, our in house print technician, was incredibly helpful in this. It was amazing to see the accumulation of months of hard work come together in the printed publication.

Figure 14: Boxes stacked up with the 500 publcaitions
Figure 15: Printed cover
Figure 16: A printed spread

Website:

The Epilogue Degree Show Website

Last minute, I was asked by the Real Jobs team to oversee the website design, which wasn’t making as much progress as it should have been. l oversaw the design of the website, which was created using WordPress, it was a lot easier than I anticipated and I quickly learnt how to use it. Rather than trying to do the whole website myself, I implemented a system for one art student and then showed the other team member how to do the other 50 pages.

Figure 17: Website displayed on a laptop
Figure 18: Website displayed on a mobile device

Promotion:

The student committee asked for a adaptions of the front cover to be used as promotional material. This included an Instagram post (Figure 14), a poster (Figure 15), a postcard and email signature. I was able to reuse elements to best suit that media and purpose.

Figure 19: Instagram post promoting the opening evening
Figure 20: Poster promoting the degree show

The degree show:

I was invited along to the degree show open evening, and it was amazing to see everything come together to create a coherent brand, such as the posters round the department, the publications being handed out, and even the the captions using Roboto Mono!

Figure 21: The degree show opening evening showing some of the art work displayed in the studios
Figure 22: I was delighted to see the captions using Roboto Mono!

Reflection:

I thoroughly enjoyed this project, not only was it amazing design experience, but I learnt about who I am as a designer and how to work alongside other people.

In this project I discovered that I enjoyed going to the weekly meeting with the client and the group of students. Having these regular meetings helped to keep the project going, and motivated me to prepare work to show each week. I developed my communication skills especially when collaborating with my client, I was able to empathise and understand things for a different perspective.

This by far has been the largest project I have worked on so far, in terms of page numbers (100) and copies that were produced (500). I create systems for myself that helped me to manage the scale of the project. This included a thorough image and file naming method, order for the captions, style sheets, and parent pages.

This experience has highlighted to me that book design is where my passions lie. While the process of creating a website is similar in some ways to creating a book; I much preferred the satisfaction of designing a physical object.

“Thank you so much for your hard work Lydia! You’re an absolute star, can’t thank you enough for all of your help with this”

– Maddy Chelmis, student committee

Figure 23: Close up of the printed publication

Floreat UK branding

Background

Floreat UK is a new workplace wellness consultancy, dedicated to promoting holistic health and well-being in workplaces and workforces. Floreat means ‘let it grow, blossom, bloom, thrive, flourish”. The business’s services encompass areas including nature, mindfulness, breathwork, and biophilia that aim to improve people’s wellness and performance. Our client, Lois Cliff, was the founder of BeeLoudWords, and a teacher of English, with decades of teaching experience, inspiring students in the best version of themselves, which led her to transform her previous experiences and passion into business in the wellness and fitness industry. The objectives of this project were to create a brand identity for Floreat UK that reflects its brand values in commitment to businesses and individuals, as well as emphasizes Lois’s personality and her high energy and engaging coaching style.

Restated brief

The client needs a logo design, tagline, and email footer, which will be adapted to her business websites and future promotions. Our first client meeting allowed me and my teammate to understand her vision and personality properly. After discussing the aspiration of goals, services, target audiences, and visual identity of the brand, we accomplished the restated brief immediately.

Major missions of the company:

  • Showcase Floreat UK’s commitment to helping businesses and individuals improve wellness through consultancy services.
  • Target all kinds of businesses, including small local businesses and anyone who wants to achieve better wellness in their workplace.
  • Help everybody and 10% of all earnings go towards helping women and girls have a better life.

Initial thoughts on the visual identity of Floreat UK:

  • Emphasis on the productive, sustainable, eco-friendly, and responsible aspects of the brand.
  • Create a strong visual identity that is recognizable and memorable, which represents the playful and high energy level characteristic.
  • Incorporate distinctive typography and could use color schemes of green, pink, and blue.
  • Reflect Floreat UK’s biophilic design that incorporates nature into the workspace, which could use natural elements such as flowers, leaves, and bees as graphic representations.

 

Researches and ideations

A crucial starting point was the research of target audiences and competitors. In the Floreat branding initial research, we identified the potential target audiences ranging from female individuals of all ages, HR managers, educational institutions such as schools and universities (both students and staff), business proprietors, social enterprises, non-profit organizations, sustainable businesses, to healthcare institutions.

As Floreat UK aspired to remain inclusive and welcome anyone who sought their services, this inclusivity provides the opportunity to develop a diverse audience that includes businesses, individuals, and organizations committed to enhancing wellbeing in the workplace and advocating for social and environmental changes.

User persona (Business Owner)
User persona (HR Manager)

The personas highlight the two essential audience categories of Floreat UK, business owners and HR managers. Analyzing their core objectives and motivations ensures that our logo design effectively caters to the needs and preferences of these target users. For example, the first persona showcases a business owner, David, who owns a sustainable clothing company and would like to promote employees with sustainable and positive environmental values. A promising and biophilic iconic representation would be suitable and attractive to him.

Furthermore, the brand mainly focuses on female individuals in workplaces including HR managers shown in the second persona. In this case, an energetic and playful logo could fit Sophia’s needs in maintaining a productive and engaging atmosphere in the workplace.

Competitor’s logos in the wellness and fitness industry

Moving to the competitive landscape, we find businesses operating within the holistic wellness sector prevalent in using visual elements including organic shapes, earthy color palettes, peoples, and nature-inspired motifs to represent their values of wellbeing. These design choices evoke a harmonious connection with nature and people, while also communicating a commitment to sustainability and growth. These competitors’ logos have embraced contemporary and vector design styles, which promote a recognizable and distinctive brand identity, aligned with the modern branding strategies adopted by companies such as Apple, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Adidas. Our client also preferred a recognizable and modernist logo, that is distinct and simple and aligned with the contemporary logo trend.

Client choices from the Floreat Inspiration Board

We then created a Floreat Logo inspiration mood board, which gathered logo designs with several potential ideations and styles that resonate with Floreat’s core values. It included ideations such as line art, illustrative designs, typeface logos, elements featuring animals and leaves, therapy and growth, and people logos. After presenting to our client the rationale behind each logo concept, we boosted our insight into the client’s preferences for logo style and ideation. Typeface design that exuded a vibrant personality, as well as logos that featured leaves and people, particularly stimulate our client and effectively communicate Floreat UK’s dedication to fostering people’s growth and well-being. The logos in style of a combination of two ideas, including leaves and people logos, as well as bees and flowers logos, created a distinctive and unmistakable visual identity.

Additionally, the visual representation of bees was especially significant to the client, not only because it has been her previous company’s logo, BeeLoudWords, but also due to its profound representation in harmony with Floreat’s biophilic values. Our client also conveyed her preference for a specific shade of green, providing our team with useful guidance to begin with the design.

Design development 

Logo design

With the client’s preferences now clearly defined and armed with a profound understanding of Floreat UK’s identity and a shared vision with the client, our design team eagerly began the next phase. Our goal was to create a recognizable and unique logo that captured Floreat UK’s core values and characteristics.

Initial logo sketches (combining bees, leaves, and the initial letter F of Floreat UK)

The initial sketches intricately blended various design elements to craft a compelling logo. We have chosen bees to symbolize Floreat’s strong commitment to environmental awareness. Additionally, we combined leaves as powerful symbols of growth and well-being. The incorporation of the initial letter ‘F’ of Floreat also added a signature to the brand. However, our supervisor provided critical opinions on our initial logo sketches and pointed out that some of the concepts, especially the bees ones contained too many ideas into one logo. These could be overwhelming to our client or viewer to understand the message. This prompted us to rethink our approaches to be less intricate and keep it strong and simple.

Logo sketch for client feedback

By further developing and redesigning ideations and variations among the logos, which were thoughtfully organized and categorized based on their underlying themes and ideas, it ensured our communication remained straightforward and concise for the client to review.

Our client prefers logos that blend the elements of a bee and a flower, which captures the essence of growth, sustainability, and environmental consciousness that Floreat UK stands for. Furthermore, our client is also delighted with the leaves and growth logo. These logos appealed to her as they symbolized the growth and well-being aspects of the brand and also conveyed a sense of groundedness and harmony with nature. While the client had not made a decision on the logo at that stage, and ultimately made their choice after we combined these options conducted with typography experiments.

Typeface experiment

In terms of typography, we initially presented three distinct typeface options to our client: script typefaces that promote playfulness and vivid movement, friendly typefaces that exuded approachability, and decorative typefaces that added an ornate touch to the brand’s identity. As the client would like to emphasize movement and playfulness within the typography, we have attempted to incorporate the handwritten style of the word ‘Floreat’ from the client. It seems to be a potential approach to emphasize movement with designated calligraphy typefaces incorporating wavy lines and a flourishing style.

Typography choices
Experiment with logos, typefaces, and colours

It became clear among the options after our supervisor raised a critical point of consideration regarding the script typefaces. It could be inappropriate to convey a brand image that is heavily towards playfulness, which undermines the impression of reliability and professionalism that Floreat UK sought to establish. After experimenting with colors and typefaces combined with logos, we found that a better way to communicate the brand was the use of solid color, clean lines, and friendly typefaces, which established both the promising and welcoming attitude of the brand’s identity.

Revised logos combined with typefaces (for client feedback)

After renewing our typography choices with friendly typefaces and combining them with logos, our client immediately decided on the font, Gelica, which maintains a balance between the playfulness and seriousness of the brand. For the logo, the client has chosen undecided between No.4 and No.11. However, we found that No.11 could be less resonant for the audience. Our client ultimately selected the logo design that featured a delicate balance between a flower and a bee-like iconic representation. This choice resonated deeply, as it carried profound symbolic meanings while also remaining remarkably easy to remember. This design perfectly promoted Floreat UK’s mission of nurturing growth and well-being, as well as emphasizing the importance of sustainability and environmental consciousness. With the taglines, we all agreed to keep it simple by placing it under the brand name.

‘We both really like the bee flower. He’s done some playing with it, and it sizes down really well, and looks much more like a bee, which is cool.’

– Lois Cliff, Floreat UK

 

Final delivered logo design for the client

 

Final logo of Floreat UK (modified by the client)

Nevertheless, the decision on the color palette brought about an interesting twist. During the color selection phase, the client expressed a preference for both the gradient and solid green color options. While both options had their unique appeal, we have decided on a solid darker green color to maintain brand consistency and ensure a unified brand image.

Upon the final logo’s delivery, however, the client made a subtle yet impactful adjustment to the color. Fortunately, our final deliverables provided flexibility and adaptable iteration to the client.  This shift in color transitioned to a lighter shade of green that exuded a more vivid, vibrant, and natural feeling, which allowed the logo to breathe a renewed sense of energy and freshness into the logo, aligning even more closely with Floreat UK’s identity and values.

‘I really like the one you gave me originally but I’m the end I felt a lighter shade was a bit more nature-y! 🌿’

– Lois Cliff, Floreat UK

 

Email footer
Floreat email footer options (for client feedback)

Although contemporary email footers typically added the plain text of contact details and links to the end of an email, our client desired a more visually engaging and customized email footer for the brand. While experimenting with five compositions with various placement and layout of the email footer, a key consideration was the interactive function of contact details which would be prominently displayed with clickable links. This required attention to layout with accessibility and ensuring that the information was readable and easily clicked.

Final email footer for Floreat UK

We lastly settled on a simple yet effective design choice for the email footer and incorporated a clean divider to separate the contact details from the brand logo, enhancing visual clarity. Additionally, we enlarged the contact icons to make them more accessible and user-friendly. After settling on the design, the final stage was to ensure that the email footer was not only visually appealing but also fully functional with clickable links. Although we realized that our client’s partner could handle the technical assets, we further pushed our team to create the clickable template for the email footer. We explored several tools and methods to create the clickable email footer, including signature generator tools like Wise Stamp and HubSpot, and by building the design in Google Documents.

As one particular challenge we faced was adapting our design to fit within the confines of email signature settings and these settings often constraints in capacity and formatting, we finally decided to turn the Photoshop design into HTML coding and build it further with Bracket, which was built into a template webpage and shows how the client could copy and paste to the email signature in the email setting.

Brand guidelines
Floreat brand guidelines

In the Floreat Brand Guidelines, we govern the design rules of composition, visual elements, style, typography, and color treatment of the logo design and email footer. These guidelines ensure the consistency of brand identity across all communication channels and allow stakeholder to effortlessly adapt our email footer to their communications.

Reflection

Overall, the design meets all of the brand’s values and the client’s vision. We successfully navigated through each stage of the process within the tight two-month timeline and received positive feedback from our client on the final result. Critical feedback received from our supervisor and peers from real job meetings has given us invaluable help toward the final design. Throughout this project, I found the experience of working as a team to be particularly enjoyable and productive. By strategically allocating tasks based on our individual strengths with logo ideation and email footer design focused by me, and typography focused by my teammate. Our team effectively reduced workload and ultimately delivered results that satisfied our clients. I also gained versatile skills as a designer, including project management and communication skills in both written and online meetings. In the technical aspects, it provided practical experience in designing logos professionally by paying careful attention to details and striking the best result. For example, using grids to maintain accurate proportions and ratios. Also, pushing boundaries by creating email footers with HTML coding, to provide a mock-up solution for the client.

To reflect on the aspects to improve during the project, there are areas where we could have done better. One aspect was our communication and discussion during client meetings, being more confident in asking questions and defending our design choices would have facilitated more efficient and constructive discussions. These are beneficial in helping the client make decisions and ensuring the solutions are precisely tailored to their needs, especially regarding color choices of the logo that are revised after our final delivery.

This project has been a meaningful learning experience and equipped me with a valuable skill set for future endeavors in the field of design and branding. I have increased my confidence in managing branding projects. My initial reservations about branding design were dispelled once delved into researching and analyzing the market trends, as well as deeply understanding Floreat UK’s brand values. I realized that branding design is not just about aesthetics but also about telling a compelling story and effectively communicating a brand’s essence. I also learned that simplicity in ideation can be more impactful and communicate effectively than complexity.

‘The logo she and her colleague designed for me had real flair and creativity; I was quickly able to make my selection from their first range of suggested images, and then the detailed, focused tweaking of that image began, so that we could all be proud of the result. The font this team found for my branding was a perfect fit for me, with just the tiniest bit of ‘non-standard’ going on, which very much fits the brief. I enjoyed working with Natalie and am really happy with my new logo and email footer!’

– Lois Cliff, Floreat UK


RJ00603 | Floreat Logo and branding
Natalie Tang

Monsters exhibition catalogue

Background

Andrew Mangham and Emma Aston from the Classics department at the University of Reading anranged for an exhibition presented in the Madjeski Gallery at the Reading Museum, showcasing works of painter Paul Reid and sculptor Eleanor Crook. This exhibition looks at the ‘the biological and artistic meaning of diversity and difference, and the vital role that history plays in our understandings of the dynamic working of natural history’.

Restated brief

The brief was to design a catalogue entitled In the Company of Monsters: New Visions, Ancient Myths for the exhibition presented in the Madjeski Gallery at the Reading Museum and to design and send this to print in time for their exhibition by the 25th August 2023 (dated decided on towards the end of the project). The catalogue will showcase feature short essays from experts in ancient history, literature, fine art, and gaming  as well as images of paintings and sculptures by artists, Paul Reid and Eleanor Crook.

deliverables
  • Design of front/spine/back cover
    • Identify images by Paul Reid to create a front cover with presence.
  • Design of front matter including:
      • Title page
      • Table of contents
      • Acknowledgements
      • Foreword
      • Layout of 6 x 1000 word essays including provided
        illustrations

      • Illustrations for decoration and for essays as
        requested/suggested by client

      • Layout of catalogue of artworks on display, exact
        number of artworks and images thereof to be

        provided. Details are: title/date/medium

Design process

Research

In our initial meeting with the client we found that the aim of the catalogue was to create a catalogue that will effectively showcase the the paintings and short essays. The layout should assist the reader in way-finding in the exhibition.We began by looking at Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing,  a previous exhibition book as our client said they would like the catalogue to have a similar design and format. 

Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing Exhibition Catalogue
Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing Cover art
Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing Exhibition Catalogue
Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing Inside page
Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing Exhibition Catalogue
Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing Catalogue pages

Ideation

inside pages

We began by researching what similar catalogue books had done for their page composition. After looking at  ‘Rubens to Sickert: The Study of Drawing’ we kept our book in a square format as well and kept some of the same composition like keeping all text on the left with a wide margin for references. 

Basic catalogue layout
Cover

After meeting with our client we learnt that would like to have the painintg ‘The Cyclops’ by artist Paul Reid who is an artist featured in the catalogue and the exhibition.

The Cyclops, 2021
Digital Painting

We designed two possible cover ideas, proposal 1 following the themes of the inside pages where it used the same typefaces and alignment and proposal two was a little more experimental using a a more gothic typeface to link more with the topic of the catalogue. After the meeting the feedback was:

  • Proposal 1:
    Likes the serif typeface as it gives a professional quality to catalogue
Proposal 1
  • Proposal 2:
    Likes that the original image wasn’t edited and kept to the correct brightness
Proposal 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Overall:
    Wants the cover to match the seriousness of the pages inside the catalogue.

We decided to continue with proposal one as it was the most liked by the client as it still kept elements from the inside of the book and seemed like it was all part of the same catalogue.

Design development

Typography

Meta Pro
Arno Pro

Cover

At this stage, Richard had graduated and left and I worked on continuing with this project. I had continued with proposal one but following feedback, the typography and alignment of the inside pages had changed and so I changed the text on the cover to match the inside pages.

Developed cover

Inside pages – Essay

Following feedback, I worked on  two different page compositions for the essay portion of the catalogue. Layout one still continued with the long text block on the right side of the page with a wide margin and with the facing page image left aligned. This layout  had a lot of white space and made the pages look asymmetrical and a little empty.  Layout two used the margin space for the essay author’s biography which helped to fill the space and had a reduced line length for the body copy. The facing page image was now smaller and aligned with the author name on the following page. This layout had better flow and so I chose to continue working on this design.

Layout one
Layout two

Inside pages – Catalogue images

I received the images towards the end of the project but as I had a basic page layout plan, I placed the imaged according to it. I quickly realised my planned layout wouldn’t work as my layout had squared images. I changed my layout so that bigger images would have their own page and grouped smaller images where I could so that the images weren’t too spread out.  I felt that layout two had better flow to the pages and continued with designing this version.

Layout one
Layout two

Final stages

I received an unexpected and sudden deadline of a week left to complete the catalogue. During this week, I had to work on completing the catalogue images section. This was a little difficult as I didn’t have all the images till halfway through the week but once receiving them I was able to place them into my planned layout. Through this week I also worked on finalised the cover of the catalogue and carried the decisions I made on the cover through to the title page.

Final cover

Final essay pages

Final catalogue pages

Reflection

We regularly communicated with a clients through teams calls once every fortnight and  received relatively quick responses which was helpful during the designing stage as we weren’t waiting on the clients response. However, we had been brought into the project long before we were needed as when we had joined in March, the client didn’t have finalised copy until September and the images for the catalogue images till towards the end of the project.  We received a lot of positive feedback after the catalogue was printed and it was well received.

Locus Lodi Exhibition

Background

The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology in the University of Reading had held the exhibition Locus Ludi: Anyone can play! from 5th September – 30th November, showcasing the games played in the ancient world and understanding the educational, societal, and integrative role of play in the past, which is important to understand the present and widen the debate on high tech toys and new forms of sociability. The exhibition’s aim was to show everyone that people of all demographics can engage in playing games and this will be showcased through the exhibition of objects related to various games, ranging from childhood to adulthood. The exhibition aimed to teach the audience about the different games played during the Ludic culture and engage in the interactive activities included in the exhibition and send out the message that everyone enjoys engaging in various games, no matter what age. The exhibition was targeted towards everyone of all demographics as the objects on display range from childbirth to adulthood, as well as including objects related to after death.

Restated Brief

The brief was to design the physical materials for the Locus Ludi: Anyone can play! Exhibition. This included display panels, promotional banner, an online exhibition booklet and educational outreach materials, all of which would be displayed during the exhibition, with the booklet being available online. Most of the details of the deliverables were undecided at this point of the brief and was subject to change during the process of this project, however, having visited the exhibition space in person, it was ready to go forward with drafting ideas.

Deliverables

After discussion with the client on what would work best for each of the deliverables, this is what was decided on:

  • Display panels:
    • To be placed in each display space to inform audience of the collections, an overall summary of the exhibition space.
  • 2 promotional banners promoting the exhibition:
    • First one would be a roll up banner, which would be placed in the corridor of the building for promotion.
    • The second one would be at the front entrance of the exhibition room.
  • Information booklet:
    • An interactive PDF file in A4 format.
  • Educational outreach materials:
    • Including information about the games on display

All of the deliverables mentioned above would be submitted to the client in PDF format but was subject to change if needed.

Research

As there was a lack of resources provided during the research stages, there was little research conducted. However, the client had kindly provided us with their house style in terms of typefaces and brand colour, which helped with developing initial ideas for the deliverables. Furthermore, having also paid a visit to the exhibition space to find out the measurements for the display cases, helped with designing the display panels, which would work as supporting materials for the exhibition display items. Research was also limited due to not gaining enough information from the client and poor communication from both sides, leading to months of no work being done from both ends.

display case for where the museum items were to be displayed
display case for where the second half of museum items were to be displayed

Colour palette

Brand colour chosen for the exhibition

To match the museum’s branding, the client had decided on the colour Purpurrot as the brand colour of the exhibition, as it complimented well with the museum’s branding. Both the HEX code (#691B23) and Pantone code (491 C) was provided, which then helped with developing the deliverables and implementing the branding onto them.

Typefaces

Typefaces used for body text, headings and logo

According to the Museum’s house style, Parisine was chosen as the typeface for body text within the family, the regular, italic, bold and bold italic weights were to be used for body and label texts. The bold weight was also to be used for titles and subtitles.

 

 

 

For listings and item numbers on labels, the client had requested that Parisine Clair was to be used and had also provided an example how all of the styles combined would look like when used in designing the panels and banners.

Example of the house style for text copy
The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology logo

The museum logo was already provided; therefore, it wasn’t needed to create anything new for that, but nonetheless, the client had provided us with the typeface name used in their logo, in case it was needed.

Other important things to consider was that the terms BC and AD when mentioning years were to be used in small caps and that hanging numbers were to be used in body text but lining numbers to be used in object numbers and case numbers. Their house style also indicated that they preferred Italics over quotes for use-mention distinction and use open punctuation for label text.

Design process

Starting off with designing the display panels first, there was three concepts in total. For the first concept, to keep it simple, the brand colour was used for the headings of each section with lines both on top and bottom of the heading. For the text, the house style’s typeface Parisine was applied. Furthermore, images were added on the display panels to support the body copy within them, with added captions to assist readers in understanding the references used throughout, as well as when they walk around in the exhibition space.

For the second concept, the same layout was kept, except for changing the background to black to try and make the display panels fit into the aesthetics of the display items. The third concept reflected more of the brand colour of the museum with a gradient background of dark red fading into black. All three of these concepts were also applied onto the introductory panels that were to be used in the exhibition space.

Concept 1
Concept 2

 

Concept 3
Introductory panel concept 1
Introductory panel concept 2
Introductory panel concept 3

The design for the banner was kept similar to the banner that was on display during the duration of the existing exhibition and therefore the same layout was used. Modifications for the banner were made based on feedback from my supervisor, including a layout idea suggested by my supervisor himself. The main focus of the banner was information about the exhibition itself, so I tried to emphasise that by using different typesizes and weights to create hierarchy between the sets of information on the banner and balance it out with images related to the exhibition.

Version 1
Version 2
Version 3
Version 4
Layout suggestion by supervisor
Banner of the exhibition that was open during the process of this Real Job

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The design suggested by my supervisor focused on using one image to bring impact to the banner. He suggested making the Ure Museum of Greek Archaelogy logo smaller to avoid attention to it. The aim of this layout was to make the title more. As mentioned in one of his feedbacks: “In general the design lacks impact. Partly because nothing is really big, and partly because there isn’t a lot of space. You can achieve this by making more of the good image and dropping the other one. If not and it has to be small, you could try making Locus Ludi bigger – it could be across two lines in caps.”

For the educational outreach materials, nothing much was done for it as the client had requested it to be a typical A4 sheet of paper of game rules and instructions and therefore, I only designed A4 sheets containing the game rules and added illustrations, which were provided and then refined by me, onto the document, using different typesizes, weights and spacing to make it presentable

Duodecim Scripta game rules sheet
Ludus Latrunculorum game rules sheet
Pente Grammai game rules sheet

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Final product

During the final stage, due to poor communication, most of the deliverables were not delivered to the clients on time and as a result, the design ideas for each deliverable did not progress further. However, the client was still willing for me to work on the educational outreach materials and therefore over the next week, progress was made on the materials.

In the mid process of refining the materials, the client had requested to submit the educational outreach materials as it was and after making quick adjustments to the files, thet were all submitted to the client.

Duodecim Scripta Game Rules

Ludus Latrunculorum Game Rules

Pente Grammai Game Rules

Self-reflection

As this was my first real job, it was a challenge to tackle, with communication being one of the biggest challenges during the whole process. However, the support from the Real Jobs tutors and my supervisor helped me with progressing further with this, despite the final results not being what was expected or desired. Having started off this Real Job as a two person job meant that the responsibilities would have essentially been divided between me and my partner, however, by the end of this Real Job, things had changed and it became a one person job, however, I took this as an opportunity to challenge myself and get as much done as possible. Overall, this was an interesting project to work on as it allowed me to look at the behind the scenes of setting up an exhibition and the thoughts and efforts that go into the whole process. All the skills I had developed and learnt during this project are valuable and I hope to implement them in my future works as well.

Connectedness reports

What are the Connectedness reports?

A set of three reports summarising past conferences taking place at Manchester University that will be given out at the June 2023 conference, Connectivity and Inclusivity in HEIs – A solution-based approach. The first report focuses on creativity and inclusivity in higher education and women in environmental science, followed by a smaller booklet that summarises key outcomes from the Women in Science report.

The Creativity and Inclusivity in Higher Education report showcases engaging and accessible resources which convey the methods, processes, and outcomes to key audiences and stakeholders. While also addressing the need for equality, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) initiatives to recognise lived experiences as essential to knowledge sharing and to directly inform practice.

The Women in Environmental Science report focuses on the way that the climate crisis will impact women, how we can bring women together with diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, ethnicities, and disciplines, to promote inclusiveness, widen participation and foster discussion, help to inspire women to engage with their environment and environmental sciences. Focusing on the key themes of Women’s rights and issues that comes with this, climate change, sustainability, leadership, community, relationships, and communication.

Brief

The brief was to create three reports that would be printed and handed out at the next conference, we also had to create interactive PDFs for each report that would be showcased on the website. While also combining elements from the different stakeholders, Manchester University, and the co-brand Engaging Environments.

Our goal was to create an interactive and engaging set of reports containing a strong super-graphic and illustrations throughout to capture the reader’s attention as the content was very text-heavy. The super-graphic we created needed to represent ‘connectedness’ as it was used throughout the documents, tying them together visually.

Deliverables:
Design x3 documents that will be hosted as PDFs with a limited print run.
Deliverables:
PDFs and limited print runs of:
• Women in Environmental Science report (A4)
• Women in Environmental Science Toolkit (A5 Booklet)
• Creativity and Inclusive in Higher Education report (A4)
• Super-graphic

Branding

For the branding of the reports, we needed to use both Manchester University and Engaging Sciences branding. We were given guidelines from both brands which showed us the appropriate usage of logos and typography.

Audience

Looking into the audience and stakeholders was an important part of the process of coming up with a visual identity. Looking at past events from Manchester University which was provided by a video from our client allowed us to create a list of potential users for each report:

Women in Environmental Science

  • Women working in or with an interest in environmental sciences.
  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity & Accessibility (EDIA) practitioners
  • Higher education professionals
  • Policymakers in environmental science
  • Students
  • Early career researchers

Creativity and Inclusivity in Higher Education

  • EDIA practitioners
  • Academics staff
  • Students
  • Researchers from the UoM comprising diverse ages, ethnicities, and career stages.
  • Friends and community partners of UoM
  • Communities and participants from all parts of the UK

After researching and speaking with our client we came up with a list to cater our work to the specific audience. The client was very open with what he wanted the design to be but put emphasis on using bright colours whilst avoiding gender stereotypes. The client also wanted bold and assertive graphics throughout as opposed to illustrations that could be seen as passive. Our main goal was to create a design is visually appealing, assessable, clear headings, navigation and easily understood data.

Finding a creative direction

After understanding the content of the reports and the target audience we began creating some mood boards and investigated some existing reports. Showing our client our mood boards allowed us to make sure we were heading in the right direction while also being able to ensure the client was on board with our aesthetic approach before designing.

Mood board
Mood board

Design development

As we had a lot of creative control over this project, we began with some initial sketches based on the mood boards. Overall, the client was excited about these initial ideas but commented how they wanted the front covers to focus less on science and more on hearing different people’s voices while showcasing diversity.

Initial sketches
Initial sketches
Front cover sketches

We then went on to develop some front cover sketches based on the client’s feedback by incorporating different women and avoiding science or gender stereotypes.

Developed sketches
Developed sketches

Feedback from our supervisor, we decided it would be better for the pages to be landscape as the content was text-heavy and contained multiple graphs and tables. After further feedback, our client liked concept three as it included a vibrant colour palette and the text in four columns made it legible.

Concept 1
Concept 2
Concept 3

Super-graphic

Our client wanted a logo/super-graphic that would be used to tie all three reports together. The three examples shown were given to us for inspiration, and we then began to create some sketches focusing on “connectiveness and community linking to the natural world element. Nature and ecology”. After speaking to both our client and supervisor, we decided to take a different approach and create something a bit simpler that could be spread across each of the pages as well as shown on the front covers.

Super-graphic sketches

The final super-graphic shows connectedness through two circles overlapping each other, this also helps add visual interest and break up the text-heavy pages.

Final supergraphic
Supergraphic in use

Women in Environmental Science Report (WIES)

For the WiES report, we wanted to use bright colours and powerful illustrations that would be relevant and helpful alongside the text. Finding an illustration style was something we found quite difficult at first due to the content being very text-heavy there would therefore be lots of illustrations throughout. To help with this we came up with another mood board to help with some visual directions.

These two images show two different illustration styles that we experimented with showing the use of block colours and female empowerment.

Illustration style 1
Illustration style 2

Here are the illustration styles that we implemented throughout the reports. Showcasing women in different relevant elements of the report. We decided on this style as it is simplistic and easy to replicate in many forms while still being visually interesting.

The inside pages consisted of us using different colours for each of the different sections. This worked well in separating each section and carries through in the titles and super-graphics of each page. Through making this report we worked hard in creating visual interest in each page through different illustrations and images. We aimed to keep the pages different and not too text-heavy as this would bore the reader. This visual interest was upheld using speech bubbles are boxes to emphasise the standout information in the report.

A challenge that we faced was coming up with a way to show clear information in a table.  Below shows an initial table where we used different shades and lines to separate the information. However, this wasn’t a viable option as it is difficult to read with the line width being too small and not engaging for the reader. In the end, we had to think of a new way to display this information and decided to scrap the table idea and take the information out into its own sections. As you can see this way of displaying information works a lot better as the reader can take a glance and understand the text through the strong visual hierarchy that has been used.

Table development
Final table layout

Creativity and Inclusivity in Higher Education Report (C&I)

The client wanted us to focus this report more on nature and humans connecting with the environment. To do so we used blue, green and earth tones for the different sections as well as incorporating illustrations of trees, water, and rivers throughout. Although the two reports have different themes and content, we kept the same structure and illustration style as the WIES report.

C&I page examples

Lessons from Women in Environmental Science (The WiES toolkit)

This report is a summary of the main WiES report but follows a different structure of an A5 landscape booklet. As this report is a summary it has a lot less text but still contains elements of visual interest with a clear structure.

WiES toolkit page examples

Front covers

For the front covers we wanted them to reflect the content inside while also appealing to the reader. We began experimenting with different front covers the first being using an image that spread across the whole page and the other being more of an illustrative approach.

Front cover experiments
Front cover experiments

However, we decided that both of these didn’t fit and also didn’t give the reader an insight into what the report was about. The final cover designs that we came up with use typography and illustrations in a fun and engaging way that makes it clear what each report is about and follows the design inside.

Reflection

Feedback from are client was very positive. “Both of you worked extremely well on the Real Jobs project for Engaging Environments and our partner University of Manchester earlier in 2023. You absorbed a lot of complex information contained within the reports and on our calls regarding the project to produce designed outputs that were of a really high standard and reflected the themes of the work. Our partner was extremely happy with the reports, to the extent that they would like to produce a final report on Pt 3 of the C&I workshop in the same style, and the materials were also very well-received by the intended audiences at the event where these were shared.

You also worked to very tight deadlines, which was impressive given the size and scale of the reports that needed to be produced, and the commitment you showed to the projects throughout was very much appreciated.

I wouldn’t have any negative comments, I thought you both did a great job.”

Overall, this project has taught us many things with the main thing being time management and prioritisation. As it was such a big project with just over two months to complete three printed reports and three interactive PDF’s we needed to be realistic with what we could achieve in this time frame and didn’t have months of planning and sketching time like other projects would traditionally have. We were able to split the project up well to showcase both of our strengths while also allowing us to stay efficient in work production.

After this project we can both say that we have gained a lot more experience in editorial design as well as interacting with a client. We worked on our project management skills making sure the reports were ready for the event. We learnt to take on board feedback from both our clients and supervisors and create different revisions based on our feedback. Worked with branding guidelines, making sure that all the logos were placed correctly and maintained brand consistency. We learnt to address design challenges creatively and find solutions that met our client’s objectives.

Where to find the reports

All three reports can be found on Manchester University’s website under the WiES sections.

Reports used at confrence

https://www.meri.manchester.ac.uk/wies/research/resources/

 

Student-led guides to university

Student-led guides to university is a collaboration of guides with Reading Student Union (RSU) containing personalised advice and guidance to underrepresented and marginalised new students. This is so all students regardless of background or circumstance can feel supported, represented, and empowered during welcome week. Each guide is written by students and designed by students. This ensures the provided insights, diverse viewpoints, and understanding of campus life is more accessible to new students as they feel like they have been understood, creating a sense of community and connection.

Brief

We were tasked with creating two guides: Commuter Students’ Guide to University and First-Generation Guide to University. The goal was to create a coherent visual design across the two deliverables that also had the ability to expand for future editions. The guides need to provide an engaging way to relay key tips and contact information to students. We were provided with the copy, images, QR code and RSU branding but our clients gave us to have lots of freedom with the design of the booklets.

Deliverables 

  • 2 print-ready, a5 multi-page guides for commuter and first-generation students
  • 2 interactive PDF, a5 multi-page guides for commuter and first-generation students

Branding

In terms of aligning our design with current branding, we had a relative amount of freedom as the clients wanted to push the idea that the guide was made by students, and therefore steering the design away from the University’s branding helped us achieve this. We were directed away from using the University branding, colours, and recognisable climate stripes. However, we did have to include the Reading Student Union logo.

Audience

We identified our target audience to be new undergraduate and postgraduate students. This meant we had an advantage when designing as we were once the intended audience. We kept in mind that these guides were specifically aimed towards commuting and first-generation students, however we decided that it would be appropriate to design for all types of students so everyone could consume it easily. Understanding our audience was important in portraying an appropriate visual route so we carried out a range of document research aimed at students.

Research and ideation

When approaching this project, we decided it would be beneficial to research existing university guides. Although there were no existing ones that explicitly pushed the idea of being created by students, this process was still useful to recognise the norms of student guides, as well as highlighting areas of improvement so we could compete in the current market successfully. The main things we found out that we wanted to take forward were that coloured backgrounds are a useful tool in visually dividing sections, images can help to make the guide engaging, and icons are helpful in giving a quick overview of what is to come. We also researched varying forms of editorial design so we could understand how different layouts work for portraying different types of content.

University guides examples
University guides examples
Editorial layout mood board

Creative direction

After understanding the content of the guides, the target audience and investigating some existing guides, we began creating mood boards. We discussed ideas and showed the mood boards to our clients to make sure we were heading in the right direction whilst also ensuring the clients were on board with our visual approach. From this, we learnt they were not keen on the corporate style and wanted a more fun and approachable feel with lots of bright colours. The images we were provided with by the clients gave a corporate feel which we needed to steer away from. Therefore, we decided upon an illustration route to ensure our guide would stand out and was known that it was made by students, demonstrated in the fun illustration style.

Visual treatment mood board

Design development

After understanding the visual route, we needed to take, we created some initial sketches for the inside pages and front covers. Our clients gave us the feedback that they wanted a more fun and approachable design.

Initial sketches

We then moved on to develop more sketches which took a more fun and colourful approach. The ideas that were liked the most by our clients and supervisor were concept two but with the line drawing style of concept one. These designs showcase university in a fun and inviting light making new students feel welcomed and accepted by the different communities.

Developed sketches
Developed sketches

These are the further developed sketches for both the commuter and first-generation guides. We developed them further by looking into different illustration styles and deciding which ones worked best for these guides. One comment from our clients was that the green could span across the whole page so that the speech bubbles weren’t cut in half. This meant we changed our half colour approach throughout. An element that we struggled with was coming up with a way to make the university services page more exciting and less text heavy. A solution to this was to include icons as well as relevant illustrations to the different points talked about.

Developed sketches for first generation guide
Developed sketches for first commuter guide

Colour and typography

We experimented with typography looking at clear typefaces that would work well with the style of guides. We decided on using the typeface that the university use, Effra. This typeface works as it is very legible, versatile, and most importantly is accessible with clear letterforms and balanced spacing, making it easy for all students to read.

Colour and typeface exploration

Picking the colour pallet was difficult as we wanted to have a different colour for each of the sections. We decided that a bright colour pallet worked best and found 6 colours that both contrasted and complimented each other.

Final colour pallet

Content page

We did lots of experiments in order to come up with an interesting and easy way to use the contents page. We ended up using the colours from each of the sections to make navigating the document easier. This content page works well as it gives the reader an insight of what is to come whilst sticking to the theme of our guides.

Content page development
Content page development
Final Content page layout

 

Our tips

This section’s main goal was to clearly differentiate the five tips. Using big numbers and highlighting the topics of each tip was a successful way in doing this. Changing the colour of the text halfway through proved to be distracting and broke up the flow of reading so we removed the colour from behind the writing. We decided the short introduction provided by the clients would work better as an additional tip so we changed this, which once again enhanced the reading experience as it gave the spread a better flow. A general change we applied to the whole guide was making the section titles sentence case so they were less harsh. Another change that was made throughout was the illustration style. This developed into a more interesting style that had varying line weights and the highlights were less prominent.

Our tips development
Final out tips layout

Frequently asked questions

For this section we wanted to separate each question with speech bubbles. We at first kept it simple by having the question and answer inside the speech bubble. Then we were asked to include some images that related to each question. However, after showing this to our client and supervisor we decided that pictures were not appropriate in this guide as we were limited to the student union’s image bank which weren’t relevant to these guides and looked too much like stock images. To ensure we had some visual interest for each question, we continued down the illustration route, creating a relevant illustration for each question. This broke the section up nicely, gives context to each question and tied in with the theme of illustrations throughout the rest of the guide.

FAQ development
FAQ development
Final FAQ layout

University services

This section brought some challenges as it included a lot of important copy which did not allow for experimental design as it needed to be quickly and easily understood by the reader. Some tools we used as a way of bringing visual interest to the pages were colour, illustrations, icons and typographic hierarchy. We created icons to represent “website”, “email” and “phone” as this emphasises the information rather than the descriptive words. Once we moved away from the half colour spreads, we drew this landscape illustration to break up the text so it did not look so heavy. We knew this orientation of illustration would work because the guides were being bound by staples so it could open out flat.

University services development
Final university services layout

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Once again, this section is very text heavy so we had to ensure we created a design that would make it easy to read and highlight that there is loads of help available, avoiding creating an overwhelming scenario for the new students. We started off by using a rule to divide each definition, but this was deemed as too harsh. We then adapted our design to reflect a dictionary which was effective as it helped with navigation of the section, but it created too much white space and made the glossary too long. To develop it further, we stripped it back to just typography but used space and typographic differentiation to create an interesting but accessible design.

Glossary development
Glossary development
Final Glossary layout

Union

The union page was a page that was introduced later in the project. We created and illustration of a band playing at the student union as well as the outside of the union building. As each guide had different amounts of copy for this section, we adjusted to this by moving the band illustration down to allow for some more room.

Final union layout
Final union layout

Cover

Our approach to the covers was to reflect what could be seen on the inside, illustrations and coloured pages. We went through many iterations in order to find a suitable combination of elements that sat nicely together on the page, as well as act as a tool in attracting people to pick up and read the guide. We introduced this blue colour as it is bright, fresh and positive which is a nice message to put across to new students. The illustrations had to represent the overall theme of each guide, first-generation students being relatively difficult to sum up but we decided that an image of students together and supporting each other was the appropriate message to put across.

We experimented with the placement of the blue block with the illustration on top and were advised to ensure there was a white section on the cover where the text could sit as we have kept typography on white backgrounds as a general rule. There was a stage in the process of designing the covers where we proposed the tagline of ‘for students, by students’. We thought this would be a useful way of emphasising the fact that these new students will be getting first-hand advice from current students. Our clients and supervisor were very fond of this tagline and we were suggested to create a sticker motif. However, after experimentation this did not work with our design as apart from the illustrations, we do not have any rounded graphic elements within the guides. The last major change we made was changing the text from all caps to sentence case. This made a huge difference in how approachable the guide felt as before it could have been portrayed as harsh, especially as the title was seen in a heavy weight of the typeface.

The RSU was requested to be added to the covers much later on in the project. This further solidified our choice of where to have the blue section as generally, logos are found in the top right corner of documents.

As for the back covers, we chose to reflect the design from the front cover, just with illustrations that appeared as those you were looking at the ones used on the front covers from the back.

Cover development
Cover development
Final cover layout

 

Interactive pdf

As part of our brief, we needed to make interactive pdfs for each guide that will be hosted on the university website. To adapt our design to this function, we made buttons for the top right corners taking you back to the content, enhancing navigation throughout the document. We also made sure that all the links were clickable making it easier for our users to get the help they need.

Final Interactive pdf layout

Our own reflection

Overall, this project has taught me many things, number one being how to interact and communicate with our clients on a weekly basis. We learnt to address design challenges creatively and find solutions that met our client’s objectives. To meet our deadlines, we needed to have good time management skills sticking to our schedules. After completing this project, I feel more confident working on real briefs and look forward to working on more. – Daisy

I have learnt and improved on lots of skills throughout this project which I will be able to take forward and build on in future projects. We learnt to collaborate effectively by identifying each other’s strengths ad using them to our advantage to efficiently create these guides. This job brought about my first experience dealing with clients, but it was a very positive one as we worked well with them due to frequent contact and honesty from both clients and designers. Another skill I have had the opportunity to improve is file management and how to present work in a professional manner to the clients. We did this by creating annotated documents of our work so when we couldn’t show them a printed prototype of the guides and verbally go through the reasonings behind design decisions, the clients could understand the justification and edits we made in order to give us relevant feedback. Additionally, regarding file management, we had a shared folder that contained everything we created and needed for the project which ensured for a coherent experience when designing collaboratively. It helped that us as designers were often communicating with one another as well. One thing we could have improved on was proofreading the copy. Although we were assured that this had been done, we ultimately should have read through it thoroughly ourselves to ensure no mistakes were made. – Jasmine

The feedback we received was positive from both our clients. “We quickly built a friendly working relationship with you that enabled us all to synergise well as a team. I was very satisfied with the level of communication and the quality of the product. You were always both highly professional. Jasmine, you impressed us with your client management skills and struck a diplomatic balance between incorporating our suggestions and pushing back on them where necessary – I appreciated that. Daisy, you impressed us with your illustration and design talent, lending a unique hand-drawn style that enhanced the aesthetic and appeal of the design.”- Matt

Universal Voices: Singing Communities eBook

Background

Universal Voices is a free community choir for children aged 7-12 at the Institute of Education (IoE), run by Dr Rebecca Berkley and a volunteer student team. Singing Communities is a project funded by the UoR Communities fund. It is an inter-generational song sharing project, where the children in Universal Voices ask an elder member of their family (grandma, granddad, aunt, uncle, friend) to teach them a chant, singing game or song that they knew when they were children. Through this community, Rebecca aims to highlight the different cultural backgrounds of the students. Through the eBook, she aims to also disseminate it  to the local primary schools, to allow them to teach their students and also spread multicultural values to the students. Therefore, our aim as desginers, were to create an eBook that would allow users to both learn and engage in various cultures through the joy of music.

Restated Brief

As mentioned previously, based on the client’s goals, our brief was to create an eBook that celebrated the different cultures through songs collected by the children through their family members, with both front and back covers. This meant creating an identity that was playful and innocent, to reflect the contribution of the children, but at the same time informational, to reflect the educational value of the songs. All three of these elements needed to be balanced as Rebecca had mentioned that she aimed to distribute and use the eBook as an educational material for teachers to use, therefore, we had to make sure that it would be accessible and easy to navigate and understand.

The client had also requested us to design the eBook on Canva, with them also kindly providing us with the Pro version of this website to use during the designing of the eBook. This was so that it would allow them to make changes or add more songs in the eBook in the future. This was a new challenge for both me and my partner, Zainab, as we have never used this app before for editorial design, but nonetheless, was excited to start on this, as this meant that it will allow us with new skills and experience.

Furthermore, after further discussion, we had also agreed to refine their existing logo to allow them to have better formats of the logo for their future use as well as improve the clarity and quality of the logo.

Deliverables

After the initial meeting with Rebecca, and going over multiple options, we opted for an eBook that would be interactive, where each song will contain:

  • Supporting music score
  • Embedded video and audio links
  • Lyrics, along with phonetic pronunciation and translation (if applicable)
  • Description about the origin of the song.

For the book covers, the client’s vision was to make an inclusive and interesting cover but was open to discussion with us and therefore we were given the creative freedom to work on this.

For the logos, we agreed that we will provide the client with two sets of files, containing the appropriate file format, depending on whether it would be used in printing or on screens. The formats decided were:

  • EPS, PDF, and TIFF files for print use
  • SVG, PNG, and JPEG files for screen use

Research

When discussing the work with the client, she had mentioned that she was inspired by Nordic Sounds, an online e-book containing ‘pedagogical collection of traditional music, dance, songs, games, rhymes and lullabies from the Nordic countries: Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden’ (taken from the description used in the website) and although the website uses illustrations to support the songs, for this project, the client had decided not to include any illustrations as all the songs are from different cultures and would have no correlation between each other.

Moodboard

To help with developing our ideas and visualising the theme we aimed to design, we also collated a series of moodboard to help with this. Each moodboard contained ideas and pictures of a singular theme and using each of them helped us during the design process.

Moodbooard to visual the general ‘feeling’ of the eBook
Moodboard for typefaces, colour and shapes
Moodboard for cover design

 

 

Colour palette

The client requested that we somehow incorporate the colour palette used by the Nordic Sounds website onto the eBook and therefore we tried doing that through taking the colours from their wordmark logo in the home page. However, she wanted them in pastel tones as they believed that the colours used in the Nordic Sounds website are quite bright. The choir consisted of children who are really young so therefore she wanted pastel colours to be used to make it soft and easy to read, instead of it being distracting with the bright, bold colours. They had also asked us to use a light beige colour for the background as this was what they use for their backgrounds in presentations.

Colour palette derived from the Nordic Sounds wordmark logo

Typefaces

For typefaces, we mainly went for the theme of childness and innocence, and therefore, focused on typefaces that resembled children’s writing or overall appeared handwritten. At the same time, we tried choosing typefaces that were legible and had a range of different weights for flexibility, however this was limited, as we had to choose from the list of typefaces available at Canva only and most typefaces had limited weights or had none at all.

List of typefaces explored

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After going through a range of typefaces and showing it both our supervisor and our client, we decided on Children One for the headings, and Childos Arabic for the body text. The different weights within Childos Arabic allowed us to create hierarchy within the body copy and also separate the song lyrics from the translation and phonetics. As some of the songs had lyrics in its native language, we had to find typefaces similar to Childos Arabic to accommodate. The combination of Children One and Childos Arabic worked well, as Children One highlighted the childlike appearance of the book and also reflected the contents of the book with its uneven letters, and it was well balanced by Childos Arabic, a Sans Serif, with its roundedness and flaired descenders.

Chosen typefaces

Kids’ drawings

Since the children of Universal Voices were involved in the collecting and recording of the songs, we also wanted to reflect that on the eBook visually, and therefore we decided to do this on the front and back covers of the eBook. In order to do this, we paid a visit to the children during one of their rehearsals, where we got to talk to them about what they love and think about Universal Voices.

First time visiting Universal Voices
Example of one of the slides presented during the visit to the Universal Voices rehearsal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After gaining some insight from the children themselves, we had also prepared an activity for them which involved them drawing out what they had told us regarding Universal Voices. This proved to be very productive, both for us and the kids, as this kept them engaged and also allowed us to have a good collection of drawings to select from when making the covers.

Example 1 of some of the children’s drawing
Example 2 of some of the children’s drawing

 

 

 

Design process

Sketches

To start off, with the advice of our supervisor, we sketched out layout ideas, focusing on clear and concise layout, as the goal was to make the pages be as much easy to navigate as possible and some of the layouts, we considered were having text on one side with all the images based elements to be the other side and vice versa. We also sketched out layouts where we made use of separating the content into top and bottom halves.

Layout sketch 1
Layout sketch 2
Layout sketch 3
Layout sketch 4
Layout sketch 5
Layout sketch 6

Initial layout

In our initial layouts, we wireframed some quick layouts to show to our supervisor and after getting feedback on how to create better layouts, as we had initially lacked the creativity in our design ideas, we went back on track and started using colour and different combinations of typefaces to create layouts, allowing us to better understand what worked well.

Some of the layout ideas we tried out involved colour coding each section of the spread, or by blocking each section in colours, as well as having a coloured background and playing around with placements of the score sheets and the video and audio links.

Layout idea 1
Layout idea 2
Layout idea 3
Layout idea 4
Layout idea 5

Reflecting the song’s origins

To make the eBook more educational and make it engaging for the readers, we brought up to implement another way kids can learn more about the origin of the song with a more visual approach, instead of only having a written section at the bottom of each page. Therefore, we suggested to add the flag of the country that the specific song originated for. In one of our suggested layout designs, the client had really loved the idea of the pages having a coloured border, which reflected the colours of the representative flag and therefore, to keep them consistent, we added those borders onto the prelim pages of the eBook as well, but instead used a combination of two colours from the main colour palette.

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

Refining logo

Since the logo only required refinement, the only thing done was redrawing the main element of the logo and vectorise it in illustrator. The original logo was used as a reference to redraw and for the typeface used on the logo, Futura was used as it resembled the closed to the original. The logo was drawn in three different colours: black, white, and red, with red being the brand colour, as the children in Universal voices wear a red t-shirt while performing in events and we wanted to reflect that on their logo as well.

Original logo
Refined logo (in black)
Refined logo (in white with red background)
Refined logo (in red)

Covers

As previously mentioned, we wanted to reflect the kid’s contribution to the making of the eBook and decided to do so through the covers. Having collected their drawings during the visit to one of their rehearsals, all of them were scanned and using both Canva and photoshop, the covers were made. Using Canva, I added in the selected drawings and created a collage. I specifically chose drawings that reflected very clearly what Universal Voices meant to the kids, as well as using hand drawn lettering done by one of the children as the title of the eBook, to highlight the innocence and enjoyment of the children and also reflect what the eBook was about. A crumpled paper texture effect was added onto the background of the covers to once again, reflect the childish nature of the eBook.

Front cover
Back cover

Final product

Combining different elements from each layout idea, we made our final design where each section was colour coded, and it was specifically emphasised for the video and audio links where the colour coding stayed consistent throughout the pages and this was useful as it allowed users to know which link referred to the audio or video as some songs only contained either one of them.

It was a great success, as we managed to deliver the eBook to the client on time. we also had the opportunity to present our work on the launch day of the eBook in front of all the kids and their families.

“At the launch of the e-book in November 2023, Jaf and Zainab came and presented to the audience explaining the work that they had done. Their presentation was clear and interesting, and they both spoke very well.”

– Rebecca Berkley, Artistic Director of Universal Voices

Attending the launch event of the Universal Voices eBook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furthermore, the client was very impressed with our work and loved the use of borders in the book and keeping a clear layout as mentioned below:

“They communicated regularly with me presenting draught ideas for the layouts for each page and the overall design of the book. They were very good at taking my ideas and turning them into reality. I was particularly impressed at how careful they were to make sure that their rendering of my ideas matched my vision. They were always cheerful, helpful, accurate and delivered on time. They made several suggestions about the layout which also improved the content of the book. Their communications were always professional and they delivered the product to the agreed timeframes. When we had to make an adaptation to the deadlines or the content, they were always very helpful in accommodating that. The overall design of the book was delightful. They created a visual style for the book which had a primary school feel to it, using bright colours and a clear layout. They matched the borders of each page to the colours of the national flag of the language of each song, which was a lovely detail in the design.”

– Rebecca Berkley, Artistic Director of Universal Voices

Self-reflection

Having the children involved within the designing of the book was a very lovely experience, as I got to see their creativity and apply that onto my own as well, and seeing their lovely work really inspired me to work on this eBook more efficiently. Knowing that the children liked the cover of the eBook was very heart-warming to me and made my experience working on this eBook very valuable.

“Jaflenur and Zainab came and worked with the children in Universal Voices to create artwork for the front and back covers of the book. They asked the children to draw pictures and write sentences about what the choir meant to them, and then copied the children’s art work and made a collage for the front and back covers. The children really loved seeing their art work in the e-Book. It was particularly popular with the children, because every child could see their artwork in the book and it made the book very special to the children. I have found working with both of them fantastic. Their credit to their department, and a really good example of what a great programme Real Jobs is.”

– Rebecca Berkley, Artistic Director of Universal Voices

Nuroosa – The Gathering Place

Context

Nuroosa is a new small business based in Derbyshire, aiming to open in the summer of 2025. Nuroosa will be a venue hiring business, with one building which shall accommodate weddings, wakes, corporate get aways, and well being visits. The building is currently under construction; however, it will be modern design, and have multiple rooms including a kitchen and a main hall. Surrounding the building is lots of green space, with flowers, trees and grass.

Nuroosa also aims to be as sustainable as possible, with the use of composting toilets, and other measures. In the future Nuroosa hopes to hold wedding ceremonies on site, which would take place under a tree. They also hope to build accommodation on site to allow visitors to stay overnight.

Modern building
A building which inspired Nuroosa’s venue design. Nuroosa’s venue will be a similar shape.

Brief

Ahead of their opening in the summer of 2025, Nuroosa would like to start promoting themselves, as well as take bookings months in advance. In order to achieve this Nuroosa needed a coherent brand which reflects their values, as well as business cards. They also thought a sign outside the property could help promote the opening of their business to locals, and in the future, would be used to clearly mark what is quite a hidden entrance to the property.

Logo Design

Research

After both parties agreeing we should work together on this project I visited the sight in Derbyshire, which allowed me to best visualise the space, and what the business will look like once opened. To help the later ideation process I ensured to conduct thorough research, building on top of the research already done by the client.

The client helpfully provided me with:

  • Context to the business
  • Images documenting the progress of Nuroosa so far
  • A list of words describing Nuroosa
  • A list of words that don’t describe Nuroosa
  • Images representative of the vision they have for Nuroosa
  • Colours they like
  • Businesses they like

With the supplied material, I:

  • Sorted the images into mood boards
  • Identified some of the shared elements to the supplied images
  • Created an initial colour palette
  • Identified and analysed the visual identity of competitors
  • identified and analysed the visual identity of other companies which had branding which reflected the brand values of Nuroosa
  • Created a condensed list of brand values
  • Word mapped this condensed list of brand values, beginning to work out how to reflect these visually

Initial Logo Concept

Based on my initial research I sketched many concepts, all aiming to reflect Nuroosa’s services, values, or both. I presented my three most successful ideas to the client, of which they picked the following:

Initial Concept Sketch

The idea behind this concept was an abstract representation of the venue shape, made in the negative space of flowing lines which aimed to reflect community, togetherness, and caring.

Logo Concept Development

Following the client approval of the initial concept sketch, I began to digitally develop the logo.

Set of 11 initial digital logo developments
Nuroosa Initial logo development

My supervisor suggested that I should consider other methods of adding typography to the logo, pointing out the slightly awkward effects that stem from curving text around a circle.

After presenting this initial development to the clients, I received feedback that it all felt far too perfect, and had massively changed from the original design; they had liked the imperfection in the original sketch, particularly how the bounding shape wasn’t completely circular. Through discussion it was also suggested that incorporating vertical lines into the design could reflect trees.

dozens of sketches depicting a logo with vertical and horizontal lines creating the abstract shape of a building
Development sketches incorporating vertical lines aiming to reflect trees.

 

Lino cut of logo with digital version of print
Lino cut logo experiment with digital version of print

In an attempt to make the design feel more natural, I explored creating a lino cut of the design. This resulted in inspiring a whole new visual direction for the brand.

 

Digital development of design inspired by lino print

My supervisor was pleased with the visual style of this logo, feeling that it was very unique, and that the vertical lines were successfully reflecting trees. It was also advised that I should try to get the representation of the building closer to the true shape of the building.

Digital Developments exploring how typography could be paired with the design

With this logo development the clients felt that the heavy shapes, while unique, were not reflecting them nor Nuroosa’s brand values. They also felt that the lines on top of the building looked like they should spell something out, particularly as it starts with what looks like an ‘N’ then a ‘U’ – (NUroosa). They still felt that the original sketch was a much more successful direction.

Development sketches exploring how to create an ‘imperfect’ design while maintaining a professional and effective visual style

After having received feedback two meetings in a row that the logo should return to the visual style of the original sketch, I decided that the best way of recreating this visual style was to through a more refined sketch. I also explored with the use of oil pastels to create a rough effect which would reflect sustainability, and the idea of a bespoke service. Upon reflection I was too hesitant to explore creating the logo directly from a sketch; listening to the clients wishes earlier would’ve saved time for both parties.

Agreed final logo artwork

 

Typographic layout exploration

 

Typeface and colour exploration

 

Final presented font and colour choices

Final Assets

Branding

 

Final primary logo design

 

Final secondary logo design

 

Final logo mark design

Business Cards

Business card design and suggested finish. Mockup from Pixeden.com

Street Sign

Proposed street sign design for Nuroosa

The solution to the street sign was very simple, this was due to two main reasons:

  • It would be located on the side of a 60mph country road, meaning it would have a very short view time
  • The purpose of the sign is mark the hidden entrance to the property for guests

Because of these two reasons, I suggested that the sign should only contain the primary logo, and that the inclusion of a website, or description of the business would likely be illegible, and only lead to visual confusion.

Conclusion

This project was a great success. The clients were very happy with the results, and so am I. We both feel the branding reflects Nuroosa’s values, but also reflect them – which is important with such a personal business.

While I’m very happy with the result of the branding, business cards, and proposed sign design, there were areas for improvement throughout the design process. After getting the approval of the initial sketch, I immediately stretched the possibilities of that concept, ultimately drifting away from the initial style and feel. While I think it was a good thing to explore different visual styles, I should’ve also supplied the client what they had suggested they wanted as well, which would’ve led to fairer comparisons of the different options, and saved time for both parties.

The main takeaway from this project is a better understanding and developed skills relating to client communication. At the start of the project I had underestimated the importance of client communication, but I know realise that without the clients own input, the branding could’ve never truly reflected themselves, nor their vision for Nuroosa. By the end of this project I gained confident in our meetings, and feel I’ve learnt how to better effectively steer the clients towards certain decisions, and away from others.

Looking to the future, I hope to maintain a relationship with Nuroosa, and support them with other required material.

I’ve also discovered my enjoyment in branding projects, and hope to explore this pathway within graphic design further.

Bethan Miskell Artist Logo and Branding

Background

The client Bethan Miskell does press flower artwork and wants to sell her artwork online. Bethan had not started the business and she wanted to set up a brand to promote her artwork and her message. As her business was in the beginning stage, she did not have ideas for a particular style yet, but she mentioned some preferences she would like us to follow on the design in our first meeting.

The client’s press flower artwork

Restated brief

Bethan wanted to use her artwork to emphasise and celebrate the importance of plants or weeds that may be overlooked or not seen as typically ‘pretty’ but were increasingly considered to be ‘hero’ plants and essential for biodiversity. We needed to create a unique brand to convey Bethan’s intended message.

The three deliverables are a logo, a business card, and a ‘thank you for your purchasing’ card. The brand logo will be used across all platforms like Bethan’s website and social media. Also, it will be applied to the cards. Our client also mentioned she did not need a physical mock-up of the cards, so we only need to create them digitally.

The target audience for Bethan’s business is people who are interested in floral decoration and the preservation of nature. These people tend to be women around the age of 50 and above. The effectiveness of the deliverables was measured by receiving customer feedback from a set of questions, and by frequently reviewing the brief to ensure the items meet the client’s requirements.

Research and ideation

Example of wordmarks
Example of logo sets

First, we explored different kinds of logo designs like monograms, wordmarks, symbols and lettermarks and explained to Bethan about their characteristics. Bethan did not like the lettermark. We thought wordmark could work best for introducing Bethan’s business as she wants to use her full name as the brand name. It is simple and recognisable to combine words with images.

We found that businesses usually have some logo variations so that they can fit on different platforms more flexibly. For example, logos with a longer width can be used on website banners. However, it is not suitable for an Instagram circle icon, so they need a more abstract one. We therefore decided to create a primary logo, a secondary logo, and one for social media.

The client’s moodboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Competitor Jam Jar Edit’s logo for website
Competitor Press Floral’s logo for website

We also did research based on the keywords that Bethan used to describe her business which were ‘biodiversity’, ‘botanical’, ‘organic’, and ‘wildlife’. She created a moodboard with mainly plants and a layout of logos she liked and wanted us to get inspiration from. Besides her moodboard, we studied other competitor websites and their social media which are related to botanic for inspiration like Jam Jar Edits, Pressed Floral, and Refined Studio.

Heidi Clover’s logo
Initial sketches

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethan especially mentioned that she liked the style of Heidi Clover’s logo, so we knew that she wanted simpler illustrations and typefaces. It helped us to develop some suitable initial sketches for her.

Design development

Logos

Typeface options

 

 

 

 

 

Fern illustration ideas

Bethan did not like the handwriting style or rounded and curvy fonts, but she wanted bolder spaced-out typography. Based on her requirements, we found a range of simple and neat san serifs for her to choose from for example, Josefin sans, Articulat CF, Serenity, and Quasimoda. We also experimented with different weights of the same fonts, but we could not make a decision before combining them with the illustration to see how they balance. I personally did not like Josefin with the sharp ascenders as it did not look friendly and Serenity because the bold soft strokes looked weird on Bethan’s business. We suggested she choose Quasimoda which looked fresh with a thinner width and a normal x-height.

For the illustration, at the beginning, we tried to combine illustrations of plants into Bethan’s name and showed them to her. Bethan liked fern more because she thought fern could represent the ‘hero’ plant. Therefore, we carried on designing different styles of ferns for the symbol. For example, the line illustration, without or with strokes and details, and the shape of leaves. Bethan and my team chose the thinner fern between her name for the primary logo because the other looked more decorative and heavier.

Secondary logo options with filled symbols
Secondary logo options with not filled symbols

 

 

 

Other secondary logo illustration options

 

 

 

 

 

 

The secondary logo is based on the primary logo but just changed the layout to make it narrower and could be used on other suitable platforms. Our supervisor suggested we show three options to Bethan for both with and without filling. They were with or without dots surrounding the fern, the horizontal ferns between Bethan’s name, and the vertical fern next to her name. We all liked the filled option and the vertical fern placed next to Bethan’s name. It incorporates the primary logo better as both of the ferns are vertical. The fern with dots option was not suitable because it was too complex for Bethan’s style.

Social logo options

For the social one, we provided four plant options and two different layouts for Bethan to choose from. Because she chose the primary logo with the fern, we suggested using the same plant across all the logos to make them consistent and the brand identity could stand out more. She liked the idea of placing the plant in between the two letters to make the logo look balanced. In the end, we created the logo sets in both white and black so Bethan could use them according to her needs more easily.

Final version of the logo set

Business card

The business card is 85mm in width and 55mm in height. For the front, we considered two concepts mainly. One was used illustration that was connected to the logo. Another one was to use Bethan’s artwork. We asked Bethan if we could borrow one of her artworks and scan it for the press flower elements. She liked the idea of including her artwork’s elements on the card as a mini version of her artwork. It can promote her business more effectively because people can immediately understand her style instead of spending more time to search her artwork.

Experiments on colours and layouts of the business card

We explored different layouts with the press flower elements placed partly on the bottom, in the centre or close to the edges. At the same time, we changed the black background that Bethan usually uses to some natural colours based on the keywords Bethan mentioned like, beige, brown, mint, teal, and dark blue. We found that dark blue worked the best because it balanced the style of Bethan’s original artwork with a formal business card style.

Further developed business card idea

Our supervisor thought the idea which had a dark blue block in the middle with a press flower could be further developed. Rather than the one with flowers surrounding the block, she commented that keeping the format from Bethan’s artwork would be better. To make it look more interesting and livelier, our supervisor also suggested we extend the flower outside of the block.

Final version of the business card (front)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final version of the business card (back)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We tried to use illustrations to decorate the card at the back, but we were given feedback from our supervisor that it was not consistent with the front design. So, we continued the press flower block. The icons that represent different contact methods look minimal, so it does not make Bethan’s artwork ‘overshadowed’. We used the ‘Lexend deca’ light typeface which is balanced with the icon’s weights and Bethan’s requirements on typefaces.

‘Thank you for your purchasing’ card

Example of ‘Thank you for your purchase’ card ideas

For the ‘Thank you for your purchasing card, we decided to continue a similar style and layout with the business card. It was the same size as Bethan’s business card. We kept the continuity by using the press flower from Bethan’s artwork instead of creating a new illustration. We showed a range of options to our supervisor for feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further developed ‘Thank you for your purchase’ card ideas

In the beginning, we experimented with a block in the centre surrounded with flowers, it just looked like the business card with another format. Therefore, we did not keep the idea. To show the consistency of the two cards while making them distinguishable, we chose another geometric shape, a circle. We placed a similar group of press flowers from the business card into the circle, so they looked similar in style. We chose the typeface ‘Montserrat’ for the text from a range of San serifs because we liked the clean and elegant strokes. The size contrast of ‘Thank you’ with ‘for your purchase’ emphasised the sincerity.

Final version of the ‘Thank you for your purchase’ card

For the final version, we wanted to show the consistency of the two cards while making them distinguishable with different geometric shapes. We placed a similar group of press flowers from the business card into the circle. We used the social logo for Bethan’s brand instead of the other two because the card is sent with the customer-purchased items. The customers must already know about Bethan’s brand so this logo is used like a sign so we did not want it to look too extra.

Reflection

We expected that the project would be completed in December, but our deadline was extended until January. Even though it was agreed by the client, I think we could manage the time better. We spent too much time exploring the logo design at the beginning which made us not have enough time for the cards by the end of the expected deadline. We can show more variations to the client at the same time so she can pick one that she liked earlier.

The thing I learnt from this project was to always ask for more details to ensure what you are making is what the client likes. The client may not have an idea of how they want the design to be presented sometimes because they are not professional designers, but they have their preferences and thoughts. We should not be afraid to contact the clients often to check if they have any updates or further requirements during the design process.

Also, this project improved my confidence in communication. I feared expressing my concepts and showing opposite thoughts to others, but I feel comfortable communicating with my teammate as we respect each other’s ideas, and the client is supportive of our work.

 

 

Manuel Bravo Project  

Overview   

The client for this project was the Manuel Bravo Project, a free legal representation for asylum seekers and refugees based in Leeds. The organisation recently had a rebrand of their logos and letterheads, causing them to look for new physical outputs to help enhance the new branding. There are two different branches of the Manuel Bravo Project – In-house and Outreach. They are aiming to look for ways to appeal directly to these different target audiences.  

Restated brief 
The client originally requested two leaflets to appeal to their separate target audience; In-house and Outreach. However, we suggested to help raise further brand awareness, therefore by having a physical banner, it would be a useful output for the organisation can use at charity events to help draw in new support and clients.   

Due to the organisation’s two branches, our client wanted us to incorporate the different brand colours within the leaflets, to ensure the correct information is being received. With their green colour symbolising the Outreach audience, and red for the In-house casework audience. Our client has distinct target audiences – clients who are often new to the country with limited English, corporate/funder audiences who need to know a bit more about our background, and volunteers/partners who we recruit to help them with their work.  

Final deliverables:  

  • 2 A5 2pp leaflets   
  • 2m portrait banner for physical use   

  

Research  

The first stage of the project began with research to understand the Manuel Bravo Project. We used information provided by the client as well as their website to gain a thorough understanding of the charity’s background and its mission, vision and core values. We identified that our main target audience was those who spoke minimal English and therefore knew our designs needed to cater to this. However, we also recognised a secondary audience such as volunteers and donators, so we wanted to make sure our design resonated with both demographics.  

During the research process, we analysed various charity leaflets for inspiration. We noted that many of them tended to be overcrowded with information, potentially overwhelming for the readers. This was something we needed to avoid especially with our primary target audience. We aimed to structure the leaflets in a way that prioritised clarity and ease of understanding, by focusing on hierarchy and simple messaging.  

Designing 
We commenced the design process by experimenting with various leaflet styles through sketches, considering different layouts. After visualising each exploration, we opted for a simple double-sided A5 leaflet design. We felt this choice was best suited for its intended target audience, as there was no complexity of what pages of the leaflet were to be read first. Our client agreed with this decision and during a feedback meeting with him, we further discussed his favoured options for text and image placement.  

On the front of both leaflets, we highlighted the charity’s mission, vision, and approach as well as a concise overview description. For the back of the leaflets, we tailored the content more specifically to each branch of the organisation – In-house representation and Outreach services.   

Furthermore, to address the main target audience, we thought it would be useful to enhance the accessibility of the leaflets for those whose first language isn’t English. We proposed the idea of a scannable QR code translator on both leaflets for users to access relevant information and resources in their chosen language.  

Figure 1: Leaflet sketch 1

 

Figure 2: Leaflet sketch 2

 

Figure 3: Banner sketch 1 & 2

The banner was designed after the leaflets were finalised. Initially, we struggled with how to represent Manuel Bravo in a banner format. The real jobs meeting was extra helpful during this stage of the design process as tutors and peers helped us refine our banner design. We focused on maintaining consistency with the leaflet designs by carrying over key design elements such as typography and illustration style. One of our illustrations was adjusted to sit perfectly on the banner and it was able to fill in white space that we initially struggled with.   

Meetings with the client and the real jobs team helped us guide our design decisions to create the most effective designs. The client was helpful in providing minor tweaks for us to change throughout the project.  

Imagery 
We created engaging and unique illustrations to present on the front and back of the leaflets. The illustrations allowed us to depict diverse characters. The characters on each leaflet wear the corresponding colour attire to reinforce the differentiation between the different branches of the organisation and to maintain brand consistency.   

We opted for illustrations over photography, as the organisation wanted to move away from the photography direction. Having previously used images of Manuel Bravo himself in promotional materials, it felt inappropriate to them to plaster his image all over their outputs and social media. Our illustrations provided a more respectful alternative and maintained privacy and sensitivity.   

Figure 4: Initial line drawing illustration

 

Figure 5: In-house front page illustration

 

Figure 6: Back illustration for both leaflets in the In-house colour palette

 

Figure 7: Outreach front page illustration

 

Copy
While specific body copy was not provided to us by the client, we took the initiative to select words that we felt best represented the Manuel Bravo Project’s ethos. Drawing from our research and understanding of the organisation, we chose messaging that we felt was most important to display and we are confident that our banner design will help Manuel Bravo Project raise awareness and gain additional support.

Figure 8: Leaflet version 1

 

Figure 9: Leaflet version 2

 

Figure 10: Leaflet version 3

 

Final outputs

Due to the client being based in Leeds, we weren’t able to see the deliverables go to print. To reduce printing costs we, sent our client print-ready PDFs of each of our deliverables. To help the client we also provided them with rough estimates of the print production costs from CPS. To help the client visualise our leaflets and banner designs, we provided him with mock-ups to showcase the final deliverables in their potential environment.   

Figure 11: Mock up of finalised leaflets (front)

 

Figure 12: Mock up of finalised Outreach leaflet

 

Figure 13: Mock up of finalised leaflets (back)

 

Figure 14: Mock up of final banner

  

Reflection  

Although the designs of this real job are simple, we wanted to ensure each of the deliverables were easily accessible and understandable for the client’s target audience. Therefore, by providing the client with the option of having a QR translation code, it gave the client’s target audience a quick and efficient understanding of what their organisation does.  

 The job did come with its challenges, with the client’s recent rebrand, and no printed documents prior to our deliverables, the client had only been provided with RGB-coloured logos. This meant that when the documents were to be printed the colours would come out slightly different. To prevent this, we decided to create a CMYK colour conversion for the client to use in future output designs to ensure all future printed materials match our deliverables. This will ensure their branding remains consistent.   

Additionally, due to the client’s excitement about their rebranding and utilising their new logos, it caused a delay when providing us with other materials that we needed such as the body copy. They initially weren’t sure on the copy for these deliverables, which created some delays as we struggled to format the leaflets with the missing text. 

Another problem faced was incorporating their new logos. The client sent us versions of the logo that weren’t useable in our outputs as they hadn’t been sent in a high enough quality. Eventually, the main In-house logo was sent to us in a high-quality format, but the client couldn’t seem to provide the same with for the Outreach logo. This meant we had to use the In-house logo he sent to recreate the Outreach logo. At the end of the project, we sent this new logo for them to use in all future designs.  

Figure 15: Initial Outreach logo provided by client

 

Figure 16: Final Outreach logo created by us

Creating leaflets and banners was a new experience for both of us. This real job was invaluable and helped us develop new skills that we can take forward in similar future projects. We also got to experience real challenges that we may face in the industry.