Brand Flip project

image imageThis project is about engaging with the theory of branding and showing that I understand some of the key issues by expressing them in a visual piece of work based on the book by Marty Neumeier Brand Flip.  What I found interesting was the concept behind branding and that it was really the customers that made the brand, how today its not necessarily on needing to consume but needing to experience. This idea about ‘tribes’ came up in the studio pitch day and I soon began to see how I have friends who are loyal to Starbucks whereas another friend of mine will only buy her coffee from Costa Coffee. When sitting back and viewing both groups purchasing there morning ‘cup of joe’ I noticed how their portable cups were carried like trophies as they charged through the streets on a mission, like a theatrical prop that distinguished them amongst the crowds. Where you buy your coffee today is a statement about yourself as bizarre as it sounds, but everyone chooses their tribe to join. This fascinated me.

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The presentation by our studio leader covering the basic theory behin the Brand Flip
The presentation by our studio leader covering the basic theory behin the Brand Flip.

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I took excerpts from the book that resonated with my beginners intrigue onto the topic of branding. For the brief I am to visually illustrate a 300 word extract from the book in a typographic or illustrative piece.

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Look Mum No Hands!!

image image imageOur first project! To go to the café Look Mum No Hands and document and experience how the customer interacts and encounters the branding of the café. From this I am then to illustrate the brand touch points- where the branding of the establishment is engaged with. The task essentially was to document a day in the life of a customer attending this café and to document how we experienced the branding of the place. I first off attended the café on two occasions, purchasing a hot chocolate one time as a customer, the other just sat there like weirdo staring at everything I saw and retracing my steps of where I went. When considering the project brief I listed the touch points of branding within the café, starting with the signage on the display window, the bicycle in the window, outside wooden tables, another large signage, outside courtyard, inside wooden tables, cabinet of drawers, bibs, apparel, a bike shop in the left hand corner, a ladder, metal, suspended bike wheels, suspended old bike, bicycles in the window, comments box, printed napkins etc.  The exact touch points that I experienced would be different to my fellow creators as it was a journey I took myself as a customer but I also looked chronologically at what I came into contact with first that gave me my first taste of the brand before I even entered the establishment itself.

Overall the experience of the place was laid back and friendly. The people attending the café were not in suits and ties or particularly corporate, I guess I’d distinguish the customers by the environment they were in, or within branding it is actually the customers that make the brand. The customers leaned more towards a free and quirky sense of dress, they engaged in conversations that I unconsciously listened to as I sketched, varying from art and music, the best sandwich from Tesco to a friend who got shit faced the previous night. So the casual vibe of the environment was supplemented by the people inside it. The environment was built for interaction and energy as the tables themselves were tightly packed together, it bred conversation as opposed to a pristine layout with spacious set out tables you could find in more corporate café that promotes silent contemplation. After absorbing the space and vibe of Look Mum No Hands I began creating my visual journey of brand touch points.

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suits and ties or particlaurly coporate in their style, the customers leaned towards a more quirky free sense of dress. I GUESS ID DISTIMGUIDH THESE PEOPLE AS

IT’S NICE THAT

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Its nice that

Hothouse talk by It’s nice that. Founded in 2007 Its nice that promotes and celebrates the most inspirational creative work online reaching over half a million readers and viewers monthly through their updated website, magazine pages and talks.

What I found wonderful about It’s Nice That is the graduate scheme in which they involve undergraduate students to have their work promoted on their website and create possible connections within the industrial, any publicity is good publicity when your starting out.  It works as a platform to find current working practitioners and gives them the opportunity to be seen and heard. The bread and butter to a striving creative!

It’s Nice That is quite like Who Killed Bambi website, one of my favourite artist websites,  that hosts various styles of art filled with work of many creatives who are referenced and again this works as a platform for creatives to be discovered and viewed.

I enjoyed the talk and the opportunity to be spoken to by a current company in design. I loved there little notice board which I photographed from the presentation. I didn’t discovers anything new but that isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the talk and find it beneficial as I find my creativity is always pumped after a talk with creatives actually out there in the big world of design. Makes me very anxious and raring to go!

Portfolio surgery workshop

Portfolio surgery with Cecile focused on teaching us the basics of our portfolio layout and to consider how we will present pour portfolio to industry employers. I found that using plastic shiny pockets detract quality away form the work and have already decided to have my work raw and loose to be viewed. I have also begun to consider to have my actual portfolio to be made of a Perspex box with my name ‘Ginge’ printed on top in my own handwritten typography. I have also considered the idea of having my cv to be made into a paper chatterbox game for the employer to interact with, an idea to really try and grab the attention of whoever I’m reaching towards.

During the workshop we had to layout our current portfolio work in the centre of the room and go around viewing each others work and critique them. I did not bring my work unfortunately but have already asked for critique from fellow students who have mainly said that some of my sketch designs should be made into finalised pieces as I have a consistent style within my work, it would therefore add to my collective set of portrait work. Upon viewing other students work I became aware of how competitive the industry will be for this small class room was filled with work that was nothing less than superb. Although I didn’t have my work critiqued during the workshop I got the opportunity to see other critiques and reflect it back on myself and consider the same possibilities for improvement. I have since focused on the physical portfolio and how I would transport my work as Cecile made an obvious point as to how boring and aggravating a simple black portfolio is, something I hadn’t really considered before. Now I have I am determined to build my own portfolio or to source so,thing different to carry all my work.

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Looking at spaces

Since visiting two professional working studios, I’ve been interested in spaces and layout of shops and just indoor spaces in general. I live in Southend on Sea and in one of the shopping malls in the town centre a new bakery store has opened and I was instantly drawn towards this store when I saw the inside. upon entering the lights were a natural white as well as the plain white walls. What I liked was the simplicity in the design theme and the way in which the products were displayed. Also the large vinyl sticker of the brand behind the counter is an idea I have always wanted for my own studio I intend to have one day.

I also photographed my favourite old American sweet shop store Nelly’s which has unfortunately closed down. What I loved about this store, other than the candy, was the wide front door which reminded me of the doors from The Hobbit movie, and also the just the architecture of the outside. The front window was wide in width and small in length and usually shop windows are the  opposite. Details that aren’t that extravagant but caught my attention.

Vinyl sticker behind the counter was a lovely design touch
Vinyl sticker behind the counter was a lovely design touch
As my studio is about branding, I photographed these products as I liked the way in which they were displayed and the labels and design of the products themselves
As my studio is about branding, I photographed these products as I liked the way in which they were displayed and the labels and design of the products themselves
the layout seemed new and quite raw and natural. the large open space between each shelf bearing products was visually pleasing.
the layout seemed new and quite raw and natural. the large open space between each shelf bearing products was visually pleasing.
what was once Nellys, I walk by this empty store everyday and I always look in. I have a 'thing' for windows and I simply love these windows and the wood that frames the window.
what was once Nellys, I walk by this empty store everyday and I always look in. I have a ‘thing’ for windows and I simply love these windows and the wood that frames the window.

Studio Culture Week. Interiorising Empathy & Enterprise studio

Our aim for the day was to create a studio that is both functional and inspirational to work in through collaborating together as a group in designing the layout inside of our given space. We wanted to set up a studio as close as possible to a working commercial studio. We had to consider the overall mood of the space as the theme of our studio is ‘Enterprise’ – we had to consider any visitors to the studio as customers and how we could make people feel welcome within our studio. perhaps making items to sell that our ‘customers’ could purchase such as badges, pencils, sweets, little bags or something made out of paper.  Empathy & Enterprise is about branding so we have to show our attuned eye and feel within branding and with this we decided as a collective group that we should brand ourselves with a colour. We collectively chose the colour blue as the coloured chairs in our studio were also blue, and as a consensus we all preferred the colour blue.

Studio basics

  •  Individual workspace
  •  Noticeboard
  •  Brand wall
  •  Crafting/cutting area
  •  Work in progress area
  •  Studio sign
  •  Studio philosophy

Empathy & Enterprise: our philosophy

  1. Know the problem you’re trying to solve
  2. Design for people. Understand people
  3. Ask questions. Notice details
  4. Make lots. Edit lots
  5. Discovery can be found in the accidental
  6. Work with people who are different to you
  7. Conversations lead to better ideas
  8. Words are pictures. Pictures are messages
  9. Simple isn’t easy
  10. Make it meaningful

First thing we did as a collective studio was take out the furniture we didn’t want in the room and also scavenge for the furniture we did want. To make out studio have the welcoming feel we have taken a couch and have placed it into our space. We also have a kettle for a tea and snack area in which we will also all have our own cups and food. This helps in creating a comfortable environment for ‘customers’ to visit the studio and also for us to work in the space too. We arranged the tables into four separate squares initially and angled them towards each other. Initially we realised that we focused mostly on just the furniture but not the contextual thinking behind why we placed the furniture where we did which our tutor quickly picked up on. whoops! So back tot eh drawing board we then started to take a part our studio physically and contextually. Deciding upon the areas of the wall for a notice board, a work in progress and a brand wall wasn’t easy when we had to consider the layout of the tables and to consider the tables we had to decide whether we wanted hot desking or permanent spaces for each creative. The desk factor was left at a sit where ever you want idea, but with a few desks kept aside for permanent work for whoever wanted them. We painted one of the pillars blue as our studio brand colour. We also came to a collective agreement to have our critique wall on the wall outside the studio, this way our studio ethos and mechanics of how we work as a collective will be broadcast for the other studios and ‘customers’ to see, quite like a display window in a shop our critique wall functions to entice the viewers inside.

Arranging the room was more complex than I had anticipated as the dynamics of the studio had to be considered before we removed the furniture but we couldn’t decide without doing, so we spent hours moving furniture out, bringing furniture in then taking it out again. This became very similar to a team building exercise as I had spoken and held conversations with every fellow creative in my studio, no one was a stranger after this studio move around day. I was extremely happy about this as I feel the future work of the studio will be strong as we are in essence becoming a uniquely different community of creatives. Our own tribe. 

As of yet the studio has been re arranged with a strategy to make the studio more functional and commercial. The layout is not set in  stone as it was suggested that our studio could go on monthly layout rotations.

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The Art of Ping Pong. Finished designs

Upon deciding what the finalised design would be and taking my paddle home I began prep on the paddle and the finishing of the design. I began by applying a ova glue solution to set the paddle which took a day to complete as to allow the solution to properly soak into the paddle. Using the spare piece of plywood I experimented with drawing my design straight onto it and discovered that the finalisers bled slightly into the grains of the wood, not drastically but noticeable opposed to the crisper lines on the paper design. The pro markers too bled into the wood more so than the fine liners with also the texture of the wood being visible through the marker pens. I decided from this experiment piece that the design would look a lot crisper and impactful done on paper. But I knew the handle would have to match the white paper design as I didn’t want it the original wood colour, so I used white spray can enamel to spray all of the bat and allowed this to dry for a day. I then tackled the design..

I began by tracing out the exact outline of my paddle and drawing my design inside it. I spent hours doing so and smudged the ink of the fine liner so I started again hoping not to ruin the next try after hours I had just lost.  After completing the design with no hitches I then drew the second set of lips to be applied on the back of the paddle.  I cut both of these designs out using a craft knife and used spray mouth to apply them to the paddle. Application was easy as I had used spray out before and I took great pleasure in sticking down the drip down the paddle handle. Overall I was pleased with how my paddle turned out as I had not envisioned the process going as well as it did despite the few hiccups along the way. I was greatly honoured to have my design chosen for the Art of Ping Pong competition, and although my paddle was not chosen in the end, I enjoyed the experience as I created a series of designs I never anticipated I would make so well.

The final moments before my paddle was taken away to FiveFootSix
The final moments before my paddle was taken away to FiveFootSix

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More playing around with the paddle in my home
More playing around with the paddle in my home
Playing around with the separate lips for the back of the paddle.
Playing around with the separate lips for the back of the paddle.
The process
The process

Studio Culture Week- Visit two, Aboud Creative

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Books, books and more books!!
Books, books and more books!!

Luxury. Fashion. Photography.

Upon walking into Aboud creative studio I was instantly excited upon the incredible amount of books assembled on bookcases that acted as walls separating three areas of the room. The lead creator of this studio was named Alan with whom we spoke with towards the end of the visit. First thing I did was photograph the collection of colourful spines and accumulated pieces of art. This studio immediately appealed to me with its instant character and energy, it was what I call ‘Old school’ . Instead of relying on the internet, Alan likes to encourage the use of using books as reference, his collection goes well into the thousands, accumulated over twenty years. Alan commented on how he doesn’t like to look at the contemporary design world for inspiration as designs will become just iterations and copies, he utilises the sources within the studio that are almost all dated backwards to the seventies and fifties in design. I adored this idea of looking to the old to create the new and I instantly knew I wanted to build a source archive of books within our studio. it made the studio self sufficient in my eyes, as they had all the things they needed inside the labyrinth of books.

The Aboud’s work for Paul smith was brilliant, in particular the no crease suit campaign they took on in which they used an Olympic gymnast to promote the durability and ability of the suit to remain non creased even after strenuous activity is applied on the suit. The video footage of a gymnast wearing the suit during a routine on the pummel horse was simply stunning and as an idea, I thought was so well thought out and choreographed. The majority of Abouds work boasted luxurious brands, and the studio itself was not immensely high tech, it was quite the opposite other than the mac products, but this contradiction in tones was incredibly interesting to me and worked well. My initial ideas of the studio was this clean white, extremely sharp and modern studio space that deals with high fashion clients, and the Aboud studio was much less imposing in a positive way,  immensely inviting and laid back.

From the Aboud Creative studio I took away this sense that the design industry is so digitally steered with emphasis on pristine and high tech creating, but there are still studios functioning as what could be considered ‘lo-fi’ in its interior and environment. But this is what interest me as a designer, I strive to want a studio of my own day that is a juxtaposition of technology and pen on paper creating. Although the fashion emphasis of the Aboud studio did not intrigue me visually, I enjoyed the ethos and the feel of the studio more than the first visit. To take away from this studio for me would be for my group studio to consider that digital means of sourcing imagery and information should not be used as first option, it should be used after combing through artist books and such for that real hands on research which I feel has become a forgotten process of making. An enjoyable one at that.

Studio Culture Week! Studio Visit to Sainsbury’s Digital Lab

Studios. We have to see as many creative studios as possible during our final year and splitting up into our own studio groups,we ventured into the London jungle in search of these prominent studios and their pioneering creatives!

Sainsbury’s Digital Lab

“A USER INTERFACE IS LIKE A JOKE, IF YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT, IT’S NOT THAT GOOD”

Nestled in the basement of a gigantic building sits the Sainsbury’s Digital Lab. I ventured down into the mezzanine of the lab which had standing desks in the landing leading from each separate ‘glass island’, as I named them. The environment was modern, pristine and sterile and this was only down to the fact that the space itself was new, only recently built and the designers were just settling into their new digs. The mezzanine looked over a lower level filled with separate desks, all loaded with mac computers and post it notes everywhere. Immediately I felt the creative buzz of ideas and conversations happening all around, it was a clean working space and that to me was key in helping breed good work. The User Experience team leaders lead my studio group into a meeting room where the walls were made of glass. I loved that! Being able to see everyone creates this open community of workers, nothing is kept away, it was very collaborative in its interior design and that to me is very effective for creating an effective studio space. We spoke to creatives who worked with creating the digital app for Sainsburys grocery shopping, just an example of one of their projects, and they agreed that having works of inspiration and sketches on a wall was great for inspiring new ideas and thinking. This is an aspect that I want to implement in my studio Empathy & Enterprise. The talk was interesting but was very much based on digital design and creating interfaces, websites and apps. Although this did not interest me as much for I am not crazy about digital work, I was amazed at how much design thinking, research, prototyping, refining and making was involved in creating interfaces. The sheer size of research they do when coming to an idea is phenomenal. One of the creatives, Steve, gave a talk about creating a website and the components that make a good website or design, specifically digitally aimed but also can be applied to all design in my opinion.

Visual language – consistency in your design will build familiarity.

Grids– When working on screen grids are essential for layout and structure

Type– Goof typography can completely tip the tone of voice of your work-website, it can gives character and clarity in reading

Colour– Colour aids in continuity of elements while maintaining the personality of the brand, Steve remarked how having a limited palette is an advantage as sometimes having every colour at your finger tips can be bewildering. Looking at some of the most iconic brands they use a small selection of colours such as Facebook is blue and white, McDonald’s is red and yellow. Sometimes less is more.

Hierarchy– highlights what elements a user should be using-but in design it directs the line of sight as to where the user or viewer should look first.

I asked the team creatives if they had a studio philosophy, a mantra specific to their studio and they are yet to finish there ethos which they did say would be a bullet point list of ideals they want the studio to stand for. But personally they all said that their own personal ideals were that every idea is a good idea and that collaboration and having everyone involved was important to the creative process.

Overall I enjoyed the talk and particularly the space they were working in because of how the clean interiors seemed perfect for breeding creativity with so many blank walls that were to be filled up as they settled into their space. Also a vinyl sticker and mural that was adorned on the first wall you see entering the basement lab was great, and already spoke a volume about the community hidden underneath a mountain of suits upstairs. I felt the studio was a good working studio but not to my personal taste in work as I am not too infused with the digital world of website and interface creating, that part was not to my taste, but as a collective studio I feel the Digital Lab is going to create some amazing things for the entire Sainbry’s chain.

The mezzanine of Sainsburys Digital Lab was wonderfully designed, and the interconnecting balcony work areas boasted a community of collaborative designers which is a fundamental key to good design.
The mezzanine of Sainsburys Digital Lab was wonderfully designed, and the interconnecting balcony work areas boasted a community of collaborative designers which is a fundamental key to good design.

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Glass walls added a modern and very communal vibe to the studio, everything was seen.
Glass walls added a modern and very communal vibe to the studio, everything was seen.
interior wall design for one of the many the meeting rooms.
Interior wall design for one of the many the meeting rooms.

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The User Experience Team talk
The User Experience Team talk We have to see as many creative studios as possible during our final year and splitting up into our own studio groups,we ventured into the London jungle in search of these prominent studios and their pioneering creatives!

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