Tuesday, 30 December 2014

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design Making Files Commercially Printable

Although I missed the last workshop on making our work files commercially printable, I looked through a couple of friends notes and collected together the relevant information. I have done some extra research into commercial printers and the file specs they want and they vary greatly and often do not detail all the information until you actually order a print so I am having to create conglomerate specs for each file from the workshops we did and the information I have found. Because I am not using swatches or spot colour of any type it is the image preparation and bleed.
I went through the image links in each file and changes the original file to CMYK and 300dpi.

I then also created a vector grid with the lines of the die and perforation over the design. I named this layer and named the three colours that are used in it in the swatches tab. I have also embedded the images into the file so no links are broken in the translation of the file to the printer.

With the two files that were photoshop documents I once again ensured the CMYK colour mode and the image resolution at 300dpi. For the coaster, I put the back and front on different layers and had a bleed of five mm.

With the table sticker I did the same but allowed a slightly larger bleed.

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design Time Frame for Campaign and Print and Distribution Costs

Time Frame

Although I have designed all the different print outcomes for tis bier I thought it would be useful to consider the time frame for this advertising campaign. Because there are there different parts of the campaign I did consider a staggered approach, ordering the different pieces as they come into contact with the audience. However, the difficulty with this is that pieces such as the coasters and the stickers, would stay in use for a prolonged period of time so there is no way to really control the order in which people encounter the designs. So, instead of staggering the type of add tat the audience receives I would stagger the number. I don't want to swamp my target audience with everything all at once, rather slowly but consistently distribute the pieces over a long period of time. The message I am communicating is one that cannot be shouted but rather, slowly gleaned by the audience. I would want my campaign to stretch over a period of 4 months and because of the long-lasting nature of some of my outcomes my audience would very likely be still interacting with the pieces after the campaign has stopped distribution. With outcomes such as the coasters I would give three or four per bar or restaurant each two weeks, tis would be dependent, each time, of how many they had remaining; I have always found my eyes drawn to the odd ones out with coasters. With the sticks I would want only three or four stickers per bar or restaurant but again taking into consideration the total umber of tables they have and never going over half. These would also be gradually built on over the course of the campaign. The magazine inserts need a slightly different approach. I would go for a blanket approach in a staggered way; the first and last week of the campaign I would put them in the magazines discussed in previous posts. This is because this piece would be the most expensive of the three to produce and distribute so would need to be in shorter more conduced bursts.

Distribution Costs

I have researched the cost of an insert adding magazines already so I will get around to the slightly more knotty task of costing the coasters and the stickers. Because the website would be run with no profit, it would undoubtedly be possibly to walk into the independent bars and cafes that are so prevalent in Norwich and ask if I could give them these coasters to use. The added bonus of which would be the entertainment they provide with the augmented reality design. The stickers might be slightly more of a problem but not, i suspect, at such low numbers. The only trouble might be in the type of establishment I tried to place them. I know quite a few independent places that would be more than happy to allow such a positive message to be connected to them. Franks bar is one that has the exactly image and placement tat fits with the salt of the dart brand.

Stock Choices

 I knew that I needed a coated almost photographic paper that could deal with digital print (because the small numbers that I would be printing would be most economical digitally) but I also wanted a soft earthy feel that fitted with the nature of the website. When we had the visit from G.F. Smith one of their coated papers caught my eye. It is called heaven 42 in soft matt. It is coated and has the option of a practical but tactile 135gsm which would be perfect for folding. The only problem is that this paper is not double sided. However, I remembered that they can provide all of their paper in duplex form (sandwiched together back to back. In which case I would go for the lowest gsm of 115 so that when doubled it would still be foldable. Because I am unable to get samples in tie for submission this would clearly be open to change once experimentation for commercial print had been undertaken.

Printing Costs and Numbers

perforation, digital printing and die cutting are the three production methods that I need to cost.

For the coasters I found a website that would produce 100 in full colour for approximately £120, this is because the smaller numbers are less economic when taking in colour separations and litho printing. 
The dimensions are approximately right and I cam amend my commercial print file to this size. Plus a 5mm bleed which seems to be the trend of printing such items.

This quote could double since I would need the coasters to be printed double sided.

When it comes to the digital printing of the leaflet, leaving out the die cutting and perforation for now, I found a quote for 100 prints of about A4 scale. I think I would need about 100 to get the two releases in the magazines at the times stipulated above.

I got in contact with a print studio in Illinois because the specialise in die cutting and perforation. They gave me a break down of how they cost these processes.

Monday, 29 December 2014

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design Developing and Designing the Table Sticker

The fist problem I encountered was the separating of the lettering from its background. No matter which tool I used the edges of the lettering were crude and unsatisfying. 
I then changed the levels of the original photo and played around with the brightness and contrast. Then by using the magic wand tool I managed to select the salt while maintaining the complex edging. 

However, the next problem was the legibility of the text, something I knew would be a problem.

I possibly went to extremes trying to solve this by using the original vector of the logo and an image of a flat area of salt I simply created a clipping mask. This didn't have the depth I was looking for in the mounds of salt, but was definitely more legible.

I then looked at a more compromising approach. I took the images of the lettering I did by hand in the sugar grains and then put each individual letter of the vector graphic over each of the image creating a great mix of defined edges and spilled sugar grain texture. This also had  the shadows and depth I was looking for.

For the font based and smaller parts of the design I used the flat salt texture to create clipping masks around the vectors. I felt comfortable doing this with the text that needed to be clear and crisp. This created a good mix of interesting visual texture and the practicality of what the piece needed to communicate.

Through the process of creating this sticker I have realised that printing this on a transparent surface would not work. The dominance of white in this design means that it would have to be white stock. So, I tried out a wood surface like it is sitting on a table and the landscape photograph that I used in the magazine insert. This creates a great link to the white text on image look that the website established.

Because it was an approach I used in both the insert and coaster designs I tried out the salt lettering on top of the rough wood texture I have used at various stages. I really liked the way this looked and the continuity it created between the print outcomes of this brief but felt that the loss of context that the landscape image provides is important in the message begin conveyed.

To ensure that the sticker would be the right size I double checked the website I found for printing vinyl stickers.

To achieve a strong sense of context (coastal) I layer the logo over a cross section of the landscape image. However, in retrospect I feel that this inter fears with the legibility of the letter slightly and I want to go back and try the wood texture background again.

So, I went back and put together one with a wood background. I am now uncertain whether I like this one better but perhaps it is something to look at once they are printed.

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmente Design Coaster Design

Putting together the coaster was very simple. Simply a matter of using layers in photoshop and choosing the area of the photo that I wanted to show.
I did hit a snag with the first landscape I chose. I found that it just looked very edited and artificial. I tried unifying the layers with adjustment layers but it didn't seem to work. I then switched to a lighter bleached image that seemed to fit better with the light on the wood. This works much better and fits with the walk detailed in the insert design. 

I included the tag line for the campaign as I did for the insert design and also the layer symbol, to ensure that there would be space for it. I spent some time trying to get the tone of voice of the design right; brusque yet playful, and I feel I have achieved this. I also thought it useful to have a small note about the layer interactivity, just so people don't miss it.

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design Amendments to Magazine Insert

I did a very rudimental print out of the leaflet so that I could check the angles of the content and whether it functioned reasonably. All the content was in the right place but there are a few changes I want to enact. The slot for the closing tab needs to be on the very back page because otherwise a cut goes through the main content page. Also I need to extent the print of the wood texture on the back of the front cover.  want to look into reducing the size of the tab as well, at the moment it seems unnecessarily big. 

So, I have applied these changes and am happy with the result.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design Magazine Insert Design

From the small mock up I did and the various sketches I have digitally created the magazine insert portion of my advertising campaign. Getting all the angles right was a bit of a nightmare but the mock up helped.
I have created continuity between the advertising campaign and the website by maintaining the white over image ooh that I established in my website design.

I used the wood texture from the photos I took for the coaster designs so that the different pieces of the campaign connect visually as well as in content.

The design includes the perforation around the logo on the front of the insert that would have a tab die cut out of the surrounding paper. Tis would mean that when the perforated circle is pulled away you would sea the landscape photo and walk logo for the walk that the leaflet tells you about.

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design, Photo shoot

I have just managed to select the images I will be working with for the majority of this project, along with the material from the previous brief. I will need to put together the salt lettering to increase its legibility and make it work as a vinyl sticker.

I didn't produce the 'of the ' part of the design. I am going to use the flat texture above and the digital letters to produce something far more legible than I could by hand.
The image below is for the coaster and I love the way the light coming through the hole is as bright as day light so it will really seem like a portal through to the landscape.

I did some research into transparent sticker production and found the perfect website that would produce what I needed. I would need to use the screen printed production method so as to achieve a solidity of colour on a transparent surface.

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design Research into Magazine Advertising.

 Because i am looking at creating a magazine leaflet/insert as one of my three print outcomes for this brief I started looking at the kind of magazines that would reach my young professional and very location specific demographic. I Found one regional magazine that would fit the bill not only because it has the specific location but it is free. These are the magazines that tend to end up in cafes in the mornings, the perfect time and place to hook my audience. I also looked at the kind of magazines that people who wouldn't normally walk or go out of their way to do so. This got me thinking about couples and the way tat it is usually the woman that instigates this kind of 'group activity' and the possibility of only regionally specific advertising but in a national publication, such as elle. This is a fashion magazine but I think this could really allow me to reach the demographic I require. 

 However, some research into the cost of advertising in such a large publication soon dashed this idea.
I then went on to look at newspapers and the possibility of an insert there. The demographic is promising and the wide use of mobiles to access the website is testament to this. as well as suggesting that my target audience would have the kind of smart phones to really interact with augmented reality design.

I also found some contradictory information about the independent demographic as found above. However, I think that this doesn't take into consideration the people reading these newspapers in cafes and the likes.

Iceni magazine is a publication that I feel is the most likely I would be able to advertise in because it is small local and has a feel similar to that of my own work so far in this project. I couldn't find any costs for advertising but i think they would be much more achievable than anything else I have found so far.


Saturday, 27 December 2014

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design Insert Design Development

After talking to a few people about the magazine add idea I developed it into a sort of insert or leaflet design. I want to create the impression of something worth keeping and of value so, I ad the idea if giving away a walk card with the route and information from the website, everything they would need to do the walk. I am looking at using a square format because it is different in a tangible way to the portrait orientation of most magazine inserts. I am also looking at transferring over the perforation idea from the earlier development of the magazine add. I now not only need to research the kinds of magazines this would be inserted into but leo how much this would cost.
I also did a very basic mock up at a small scale to see if the pagination I sketched out would function and it seems to do so. After looking at it at such a small scale I decided on a scale of about 9cm square this is because it needs to be bog enough to work in the hands but also small enough to fit in ones pocket when on the walk.

OUGD504 Studio Brief 04 Augmented Design Photographing Salt lettering

After the experimentation documented in the last post I set up some proper lighting and looked at the best way to photograph and light the salt so it could transfer into ether a transparent table sticker or any other format required in the development of this brief. I wanted to create the effect of natural light because the whole concept of my website centres around the outdoors. So we set up near a large window and added to the lighting with a single flash diffused using bubble wrap. This was to achieve the scattered light over the different angles of the crystals to make the salt look as much like salt as possible.

To start with we did some tests on black paper because I thought that the differentiation in colour would allow the easy selection of the background to help create the transparent background I want to achieve on the sticker. We ask played around with using sugar in stead of salt because the larger granolas created a more deffinite outline and in the photograph actually looked more like salt.

However, we actually found that the neutral gee background of this photographic paper created the best compromise because there was enough colour difference for easy selection but it also allowed the shadows of the letter forms to be cast slightly and the camera could pick this up beautifully, adding the the effect of salt being spilled on the table.

I then drew out the logo by hand and used this as a guide for the sugar. Although the accuracy of line could not be achieved with the larger granolas of sugar I am confident that I can smooth this out in photoshop. I did the photos in stages and aim to create a composite image of each word put together to create the best and most legible finished product.