Thursday, 26 March 2015

OUGD503 Responsive Module Evaluation

OUGD503 Responsive Module Evaluation

Overall this module has been one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. This could predominantly be down to the fact that I have been very lucky with the live briefs that I was able to get. Specifically the work I have done for the Leeds Arts Party. These briefs have been some of the most enlightening, scary and tricky work that I have done to date. I struggled to start with in getting to grips with their image and what they wanted to communicate with their promotional material. But through talking with them and working closely with them with each brief I got closer to the right tone of voice and representation. In this sense I feel this Module has been the right mix of trying briefs that made me work for the right image and those which were more self indulgent and just form me. The two competition briefs were this to me, although the feathr repeat tested my patients. I did really enjoy doing more illustration this module though and I can see a tangible improvement. As well as having outcomes that were completely hand made, I also had outcomes that were submitted completely digitally. This was a strangle new experience for me with the arts party poster and the D and AD brief boards. These outcomes made me consider the viewing limitations of a screen and these restrictions helped me make some of my most creative decisions.
More than anything this module I have really enjoyed working more with other people. The collaborative brief was great and Roz and myself managed to get so much done in such a short amount of time> I have always loved working collaboratively and this experience just re affirmed this. I also got to work closely with the members of the arts party, such as their illustrator, which was also a new experience. Seeing as my role would normally be to do everything, relinquishing control over such a major aspect of the design was difficult. However, through good communication and working in close proximity we produced something that we both liked and had a great experience.
Another skill that has tangibly improved during this module is layout and composition. I normally avoid this as much as possible but these live briefs have pushed me to do it more and I am starting to develop the eye to tell whether text and image are balanced on the page and how to use a grid more effectively to achieve this more balanced look and to create effective communication hierarchies.

One thing that I would very much like to improve if I had the chance to do this module again would be the research. I know that there is a lot less of this than in previous modules. However, there are reasons for each of these. Most of all it would be time. All of the live briefs I was asked to do were last minuet and rushed, so research seemed to get in the way. I would also say that live briefs are more conducive to the kind of research that is simply talking to the client and figuring out what exactly they want. Throughout this brief however I feel I have gained confidence and experience that will aid me in doing more live briefs in the future.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

OUGD503 Responsive Brief 02 Collaborative Practice Evaluation

Working collaboratively has always been something that I have enjoyed and this project was no exception. Roz and myself are very compatible working partners and this has meant that we managed a lot in a very short amount of time. There was full communication between us which meant that the balance of work that each of use did was fairly balanced. I also love the energy that working with someone else provides, the positives are  amplified, the highs are higher and the lows are less disparaging. All in all a great experience. The idea generation was a stage that was tricky, having a third member at that stage in the brief was incredibly useful and provided the insight that we needed. However, loosing one of our members was a bit difficult. It meant that by the time Fran left we had already set out to do a large amount of work, it was pretty much impossible to reduce this without compromising the quality of out submission. This meant that we had a lot to do in a short amount of time. More than anything I am surprised that we managed to do all of this and incredibly proud that we did. One aspect of the design that took a lot of thought and time was creating a cohesive blend of Roz and I's illustration styles and creating depth in the game, I think we have managed to achieve this simply through a willingness to compromise. This took a lot of work with colours which I had not really gone into much depth with before. I struggled a lot with this because it is something that normally builds up with experience. However, this is one thing that I really feel I have gained through this brief; the confidence to experiment with colour more in the further and trust my instincts. Although not all the colour is great or perfect, it is definitely well considered and learning form the experience is really all I can ask for.

OUGD503 Responsive brief 02 Collaborative Practice Submitted Design Boards

It took a while to condense all of the information into design boards and make it make consecutive sense but we managed it and these are the boards that we submitted to D and AD.

 Roz also put together the supporting material boards that go into a little more detail with our process and design decisions.

OUGD503 Responsive Brief 02 Collaborative Practice Brining The Visuals of The Game Together

After all of the consideration of the visuals of the game and how they would interact with one another and the player it was a relief to see how these plans would actualy come into fruition.

The soft outlines of the plants work really well as the middle ground between the landscape and the animals, bright enough to stand out but soft enough to fall back when needed.

We also mocked up further interaction design with the alert symbols that would extend form organisms that have the possibility of an action. We also thought it worth adding a sell symbol to items such as seeds, because this is the one type of item that this is possible with. the colours we chose for the two ecosystems are from the background colour pallet that I created using the most striking colours. In the desert this was one of the mountain colours and in the rainforest we used the soft blue of the water. This works on a conceptual level as well because the interactions are tied to the ecosystem in a way that the other actions are not.

The forest was quite a challenge because of the amount of organisms that needed to be on one screen. However, this still seems to work: it has the lush vibrancy of the ecosystem whilst still allowing simple interaction on the part of the player. The plants that also have smaller habitats such as the bromiliad, are outlined in black to signify the greater amount of interaction.

OUGD503 Responsive Brief 02 Collaborative Practice Vectorising the Plants

Following the simple theme of clean vectorisation begun by Roz the plants for both mocked up ecosystem started to take shape. Selecting the most relevant cross section of the complete plants of the eco system seemed the most prudent thing to do because we would only need a game in play example at most for the pitch.

The desert plants proved a very similar process but at a smaller scale because there are simply fewer plants in this eco system. The colours were another stopping point, achieving an outline that set the plant forward from its background but allowed animals to come to the fore was tricky and took a lot of experimentation.

OUGD503 Responsive Brief 03 Collaborative Practice Animal Vecotorisation

Roz and I agreed to split the illustration for the game but work together so that we could make the aesthetic cohesive. Because I was doing plants and backdrops Roz went on to do the animals for each ecosystem.
We agreed on a simplistic form that still allowed the animals to be recognisable and easy to vectorise. 

As previously mentioned , in an effort to create depth on screen, a hierarch of outline was decided on with the animals having the largest black outline and the plants having soft colour related outlines and the backgrounds having not outline.

Because some of the animals are smaller than others the outline weight naturally increased. This works well to balance the eye catching quality of the animals, so that the smaller ones can be seen just as easily as the larger.

For more in depth information about the animal development please visit Roz's blog.

Monday, 23 March 2015

OUGD503 Responsive Studio Brief 02 Collaborative Practice Iconography and Menu Design

Roz put together the iconography for the menus from the sketches that we made together. Using the circular theme to unite the symbols with a playful manner seemed to work in our favour, creating a link between the functionality of the game and the idea of the world that is being nurtured. 

Once Roz had vectorised the icons I went on to look at colouring. This once again proved very difficult and went through many iterations. What really brought these designs together was the use of Fran's hand writing as the font. this is something that we agreed on earlier in the brief but since Fran has said that she will be unable to continue on this brief because her course workload has recently increased. However, she agreed that we could use her hand writing for this project.

Eventually, after much help from Billie we chose the two tone colours for the desert menus and then altered the hue of these for the other ecosystems. This creates a strong visual connection between them. These designs will be a great way to pitch all of the possible ecosystems but only go into detailed design decisions for two.

I also wrangled with the colour of the menu on the normal play screen. Originally I thought that it should match in with the landscape but this made it difficult to see. I then tried a slightly altered version of the green we took from the WWF website, this would be a universal menu display for every eco system.

Using the colours from each of the pitched ecosystems I created the home screen visuals. For the main colour in this design i used a green taken from the highlights of the wwf website. This led me to think about how the user would enter into the eco system because originally we were going to have the home screen as a portal to each of the eco systems. So I mocked up what you can see below. taking random island shapes which had the suggestion of three dimensions and playful ripples as if they are moving around.

In the end the two menus we mocked up fully were the desert menu and the rainforest menu.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

OUGD503 Responsive Studio Brief 01 Individual Practice Leeds Arts Party Complete Evaluation of all Briefs and Interaction.

Although I am treating each piece of work I have done for the Arts party as separate, because I had to design something new for each one and it was not simply a matter of applying the same aesthetic throughout, I felt it might be useful to do an evaluation for the entirety of the work I have done for them so far. Overall I am rally happy that I was lucky enough to get the chance to design for them. What they are doing is great and there is nothing better than designing for something you believe in. They are also very open to new ideas and fantastic at giving constructive criticism. So, for a early step into real life design I hit the jackpot. However, in hind sight there are a lot of things that I would have done differently. For example, I would have liked to draw up some brand outlines that would have from the out set helped to constrain the briefs and therefore induce me to be more inventive. I find that limitations in a brief in fact help me to try and be more inventive. I also think that I should have made more of an effort to finish all of the material I am going to do for the arts party before submission. However, there are problems with this because the information for things like the program simply doesn't exist yet but it would have given my submission more weight and been a lot neater. It took me a while to figure out the aesthetic that the arts party needed. to start with I leaned towards the hand drawn because they are the arts party. It seemed obvious. That is where the problem was. They are 'arts' but the are also 'arts education', in other words, arts organised and planned. This is why I feel I have finally cracked it with the digital poster brief. The trick it to use digital edges and hand rendered textures to create a meeting of the two ideas. If nothing else this is something I will take forward into the rest of the work I will do for them. Overall, I feel that it has been a difficult set of briefs that I don't feel I have done my best work for. I have learn a lot however and this whole process has made me realise that my confidence levels are, for me, what get in the way of doing my best work. As soon as I realise it is a live brief I instantly panic and start thinking about what I could do that would be the safest and most reliable route to take, so that I come out as unscathed as possible. This is not a healthy way to treat live briefs and now I am aware of this I will attempt to remedy it.

OUGD503 Responsive Studio Brief 01 Individual PracticeLeeds Arts Party Digital Posters Evaluation

I learnt a lot from creating this digital poster. because the illustration was 'outsourced' the majority of my thought went into the composition of the piece and the visual balance of all the different components. I am well aware that layout in general is a huge weakness of mine and as such, I tend to keep my distance. This forced me to give it another try. It was hard and it took a lot of criticism before it got to what you can see above but in the end I really learned a lot and have gained the confidence to say that this is something that can be learned and doesn't need to be entirely instinct as it seems to be for everyone else in the class. Scale was an issue that I wrangled with quite a lot with this design. getting the type to be fully legible at this size and the hand held distance form the reader was tricky but enlightening. 

This is one piece of design for the arts party that I feel totally fulfils the brief and did exactly what Fran wanted while still being surprising. It was a very quick, practically no research brief that was fairly rushed. However, it seems the speed at which I did it meant tat I didn't have time to second guess myself which has paid off. I feel that the colour coding of events, as brought across from the website works perfectly in this situation as does the font decided on for all of the arts party material. The hierarchy created through the collective use of scaling orientation and colour intensity ensure that the important information is communicated as quickly as possible. I also think that this kind of finish (hand rendered textures with digitally sharp edges) captures essence of the arts party in a way tat my earlier work has not. I has all the connotations of creativity but somehow the vector edges of the shapes free these connotations from a purely visual arts restraint and open the floor to the concept of creativity in general, which is exactly what was required. The only slightly problem I have with this design is the tracking on the contact information at the bottom of the poster, It is a little too wide to aid legibility. I thought I was making it more legible but after some time away from the design I can see that this is not the case. Or rather it is more legible but not more readable.
It did and is still doing its job well, intact it seems to have become the new banner texture for all our social media, so Fran obviously liked it!

Friday, 20 March 2015

OUGD505 Design Practice 02 Magazine Workshop Study Task 1

Today we had a workshop from the creator of intern magazine Alec. We were asked to get into groups and come up with a concept for a magazine and then execute the front cover of the first issue.

As a group we started to think about existing magazines and where there might be a gap in the market. An obvious gap was the lack of a sustainability magazine that focussed on a more green life. We filled out the sheet above to help define the specific areas of our idea.

We then split up all of the information into sections for the presentation and created a simple presentation that would act as a backdrop to our elaboration.
We came up with the name and brand with an aim of visual irony. The idea being that we use the word junk to play on the fact that the magazine would be about helping you to use junk to do great things and to celebrate initiatives that are doing the same. We used F37 bella (an overtly glamorous font) to juxtapose with the concept of the word junk. Making the message that junk can be beautiful.

I really loved this workshop and a lot of the magazines that the class came up with were great ideas that could legitimately work. I think this magazine could also work an I know that a few of our group would be open to attempting it perhaps sometime in the future, which would be wonderful!