Category: Real Jobs

Jamal Harewood: Project Freedom


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

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

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

Restated brief


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

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


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

Research and ideation

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

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

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

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

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

Design Development

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

Front cover

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

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

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

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

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


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

Inside Pages

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

Book Illustration


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

Theme Page

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

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

Photo Gallery

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

Body Text

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

What is Freedom?

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

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

Maze Collage

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

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


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

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

Final stages

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

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

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


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

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

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

Quieter Lifestyle logo


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

The brief

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

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

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


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

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


Quieter Halls logo by my student halls

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

Research into ‘be quiet’ symbols and logos

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

The board includes themes of:

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


Mood board



Some of our initial sketches

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

Design development 

Developed ideas favoured by client 

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

Developed combination logo 

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

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

Exploring different stroke styles

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

Developed logo variations with colour 

Final deliverable

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

Final logo sent to the client 

Final logo application 


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

‘Fresh Out’ Film Posters (RJ00543)


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


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

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


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

Primary deliverables

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

Secondary deliverables

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



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

Three personas representing potential audiences


Genre and colour

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

Mood board for each genre

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

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


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

12 concept sketches
Concept sketches

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

Design Development

Image sourcing

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

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

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

Diagram showing images utilised to create the poster design

Photoshop and editing

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

Development of shadow treatment (car’s shadow)


Final poster designs


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

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

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

– The client, Afnan Linjawi



Fresh Out poster mock-up (action)


Fresh Out poster mock-up (thriller)


Fresh Out poster mock-up (adventure)


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

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

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

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

– The client, Afnan Linjawi