Wednesday, 28 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 03 Botanical Collaboration Meeting and Wildflower Book Analysis

Collaboration Partner: Jess Wood
As we had decided to focus on botany and the identification of plats Jess and myself decided to look at one of the other ways that people can get the information that we are looking to provide and how we can provide it differently and prefferably better.

We choose to start with wild flower identification book and I brought in a few of my own to look at. The function mostly as a type of field guide. When you spot a flower or plant that you don't know you look it up. We choose a few of the most stereotypical pages to pick apart.

One of the spreads I got was the one shown above on the figwort family of plants. Instantly, the major trend we founf=d was the shear amount of information that you have to deal with all in one go. No matter which page you open the book at you are assulted with it in dense inpenitrable text and overcrowded pages of images. We can avoid this simply by limiting content. We also looked at the information that displays next to each plant and talked about how we could display this clearly and basically more effectively. For example, hieght is something that comes into play a lot and we talked about the option of having a meassuring guide down the side of each page.

With the other book I brought in, again the density of the information prooved problematic. However, this example gave us hope that we could really change this in our work. Because of the photographic format of the plant images fitting them on the pages clearly caused a lot of problems and ensuring that the important identification aspects are visable meant more photographic aspects had to be added to the page. We talked about the fact that illustration allowed a greater degree of flexability and how we could work by creating a typographic layout first and then Jess could illustrate over it making sure the relivent aspects of the plant are next to the relivent text. This will inherently make bettwr use of the text and use the subject matter as a way to create more plant like a beautiful layouts.
Jess's Analysis

Jess also analysed two extracts from the two books. we talked about the iconograhy used in places to conote things like habitat in a concise way. we could see the merrit in this but almost felt that this could be done in words just as effectively in words. Perhaps setting asside one area of the page layouts for this information so it is consistant throughout.
We agreed that we wanted to have an anatomical break down in the front of the publication and as part of the app. So, we looked at how one of the books does this. Again we talked about how illustration could provide a clearer form of the information possibly as an exploded diagram which is not set to squares like photos are allowing a more fluid approach to layout.

Actions for nect meeting:
Both: continue pinteresting and researching possible plants for content.
Beth: create basic layout for wysteria in transitional font (Baskerville).
Jess: Illustrate on to of layout to test this approach to design.

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 03 Botanical Collaboration EarlyResearch, Discussion and Writing the Brief

Collaboration Partner: Jess Wood

Throughout the last week and since Jess and myself talked about collaborating on this brief we have been adding gradually to a joint pinterest board, with visuls of the botanical subject matter and designs that focus on a mix of type and images of plants. This was intended to allow ideas to mull and to ensure that we were both on the same page visualy.

We talked about a distinct merger of botanical illustrations and clever typography. WE talked about how we could make the type and illustration style compliment one another on the page.

We agreed that the most effective designs had a destinct contrast between the style of illustration and the feel of the typography. Jess showed me a few of her illustrations so I could get a sense of her style. She predominantly uses soft watercolours and gentle lines to allow the colour and texture of the plant to come to the foreground. We talked about a high contrast font that borrows heavily from the transitional typographic style to create something with clean edges. However, we also want the type to nod towards the content of the book with perhaps softer, very subtle calligraphic flourishes that make a connection to the soft curves and flourishes and plants in question.

We wrote up a Brief that provides parametres for the work we will do. One of our major concerns was how we will decide the content of the book, because it is impossible to document all plants. We decided that we would create a publication that would look to introduce people to the discipline of botany in a beautiful and easy way. This would allow us to limit the plants in the first issue (the one that we would be creating for this brief) to the most prolific plants. We decided we would choose perhaps 5 of the most common plants in the UK for each season and the publication would progress through the seasons.

The brief is detailed below.

3- Wildflower identification Publication in Collaboration With Jess Wood

Create the first in a series of editorial publications to introduce an amature target audience to the discipline of botany.  Use visuals created collaboratively. Make the most of both designers strengths; Jess illustration and Beth Typography. 

Background Considerations: 

-Establish an ongoing dialogue throughout design process. 
-The content should direct the design decisions but the content should also be carefully considered and limited as suits the target audience.
-Research the functional aspects of botanical identification and consider how these can be communicated clearly and effectively.
-It is impossible to cover all the the plants that are out there, consider practical ways to limit the content in a way that aids communication and fulfills the informative purpose of the design outcomes.
-Consider the production processes and ensure an aesthetic synthesis is achieved in print outcomes.
-The practical uses of the publication must be considered imperative, ensure the illustrations work in terms of identification and the type functions in terms of usability and legibility.

Mandatory Requirements:
Documentation of development individually and collaboratively, so that it is clear what what is done individually relates to the brief in a collaborative sense.
Be aware of the different styles of each designer and play to these as strengths when synthesised in the design.

A printed publication (size to be determined by content).
-Possible extension into promotional print pieces. 

Monday, 26 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Workshop Notes: Understanding Feedback

This workshop centred arund defining the most useful and effective forms and types of research. We started by indevidualy writting out our own idea about the best types of formative and summative feedback. For me these centred around a disscussion feed back and solution based criticism that allowed for progresss.

When it came to collecting together the whole tables thoughts, these remained a strong theme, with a few expansions on ideas of context and research direction.

We were perhaps too thorough because we only had time for e few summative points but focused on the idea that summative feedbck should be formative feedback in terms of the big picture of you practice as a designer. 

When it came to choosing our most important two the ideas of dialogue and generall design approach were dominant.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brie 01 SU Work Part 02 Adding the Societies Symbol and Positive Space Logo Options

Collaboration Partner: Billie Meredith

We had one more change to make to the logo since the last development and this was the addition of the societies symbol, which we had been told may or may not be a role in the SU next year. Once the decision had been made to make it a proper role we added it to our logo.

Both Billie and myself both looked at how we would do this individually. I looked at creating a planetary mass that would communicate the way that the societies role is a managerial role that oversees a lot of smaller bodies. I added a planet with small craters on the surface to communicate coming onto contact with smaller bodies.

I looked at how this could work in the logo in sticker format which was an outcome that the SU said they wanted. I showed this to Billie and she felt that perhaps the placement of the planet on the lower right hand side of the logo made the logo over balance.


Billie took the concept that I had tried to communicate and came up with the design below. I agree that this seems a lot more balanced and open when at smaller scales. We talked about the different colours that we could use for this part of the logo and how it would sit with the others in the logo and against the warn intense blue of the risograph texture.

We also talked about the interior of the guide and the fact that we felt the blue risograph background works but might be far too intense were it to be on every page inside the guide. So we created a version of the logo that could sit on a white/stock background. Using the riso texture and a clipping mask to make a softly textured orbital path outline.

This is what we will look to use on the individual icons for the pages for each role, as well as possibly on any promotional pieces that we cannot create the risograph background on. However, we will need to control this variation of the logo and make sure that on every first point of contact with the elections branding we use the negative space version first (to mimic the experience of reading the guide) and to maintain continuity as much as possible throughout the campaign.

Friday, 23 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 01 SU Work Part 02 Elections Planningand Development of Outcome Formats

Collaboration Partner: Billie Meredith

Although we have been aware f the many formats that we will need to apply our branding too for the elections campaign propper, Billie and I felt that we just needed to go through the cohesive approach of all the outcomes. We talked about the manifesto booklet that will be publiished digitally and how this is a piece that comes out after the main part of the campaign to detail those who are running fo roles. We thought about the possibility of making this manifesto fit with the interior of the guide, using blue texture on white positive space to show how these roles are being filled, rather than vacant spaces.

We talked about how the floor vynls could work as half of the logo sitting against the wall underneath the poster on the noticeboards. This will draw the eye up to the relivant information in a more active and effective way, rather than simply a poster. We also talked about the alternation between the portrait  posters and print material and the landscape outcomes such as the mesh banners that the SU want made. We decided the best way was to include specific justification information in the brand guidelines, so that even in landscape everything will be centrally aligned an arranged as similarly as possible.

We also agreed that it would be really nice to have a sligtly thinner custome stock size if we could afford to do it because of the positive connotations f upward movement it creates aas well as allowing the posters to really stand out amung a load of A format posters on the notice boards. However, this may well not be possible. From multiple talks with the SU and printers (precision) we might have to print in house with a few of the outcomes in order to save money. so regula paper formts mwy well be a necessity. We talked about enclosing some of the print material in a pak as previsusl mentioned by the SU. However, the elongated belly band solution we really wanted would need all sorts of custom hand finishing which I know from experience sky rockets the price. So as a cheaper alternative we went back to envelopes but rather than full colour printing on each we thought about the possibility of creating a stamp of the simple line version of the logo and stamping each envelope with blue ink. This is far more achievable, but we did say that we wanted either white envelopes to fit with the white stock of the other print outcomes, or even blue evelopes onto which we would stamp with white ink.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 01 SU Work Part 2 Elections Developing Logo and Iconography

Collaboration Partner: Billie Meredith

After our meeting with the SU about th project so far the main take aways were about the colours that we ca use now we have to rely on digital print outcomes. However, Billie and myself talked about the clour scheme utlined as 'muted brights' by the SU and took a few of the images we had collected in ou pinterest board stage and took colours from these as a starting point, tweeking them so that they worked cohesively together.

This seemed to work really well but we also found that the colour of the orbitl path was causing problems, not flattering the colours of the planets and dominating the image a bit too much.

We tried a few different options, bringing the rsograph texture into play seemed to create a really nice contrast between the planets and their background allowing them to come to the fore of the design. However, we had our doubts about the line weight of the whole design. So, we tried it out on a deep blue risograph texture because we felt it gave the design greater context and helped communicate the solar system concept. This deep blue also gave a solid identity colur to fall back n in the brand guidelines, which was smethng I was becoming concerned about as the colour scheme became more complex.

When put in this context on this texture, the clear front runner was the thinner lined logo design that Billie mocked up.
It just has better decernable visuals that ae more identifiable and definite. Also, the edited text works really well with the thinner line weight because the circle modifications are a consistant lighter line wieght.

Billie and myself talked about the fact that the logo lacked depth especially when on the risgraph texture, because the texture tlooks so tangible, the vectors look lifeless in comparison. So, I came up with a way of creating soft vector shaddows to each planet to just suggest deth in the gentlest way and to draw attention first to the planets (a.k.a. the roles) which are the focus of the campaign.

We felt this worked really well but also tried out adding thr risograph texture to the planets as well. Just to see if the textural contnuity helped matters much. 

I think this looks really great. However, we had a brief chat with the SU and the majority vote was for the vectr planets and risograph background. THe argument was that the vector planets come to the foreground in a more decisive way, which is more beneficial for the communication of the design and he later establishment of the separate symbols for each role from this logo.

Billie also tried out numerous different backgrounds, to make sure that we had the best solution. 

Although each of these have their aesthetic merrits, it was cear that emma and Kaitlyn from the SU wanted to context of space that the dark blue risograph provides and the other cannot.

As mentioned in the privious post, the SU wanted icons to put with the planet symbols to help communicate what the roles involve.


Billie and myself talked about what each rle involved and how we could simplify down each concet to create a straight to the point depiction of the role. Billie sketched these out and got to creating the vectors of each symbol.

Student Govenor was a role we wrangled with for a while because it is basically a kind of head student representative that has to go to a lot of meetings and do a lot of administrative work. A clip board was the only way we could think to represent this, and when we talked to the SU about this they seemed to think that this was great and represented the role perfectly, so rethinking seems to be unecessary in this case.

(the blue colour of these is simply a working colour and nothing more because I was working n the colur scheme while Billie was doing these.)

Campaigns is all about shouting about the issues that the student body care about. We when through a lot of itterations with this one. The angle and curve of the lines making a surprisingly large difference to the way the icon read. Eventually we settled on the one you can see above which is just off a fully even circular curve.

Editrial, events, rais and give, president and communictions came fairly easily as Billie and myself ha talked about how they could work already. However, we think the president icon needs a bit of stripping back becasue it appears much more dense than the other roles. Below you an see the different stages of development that Billie went through for each of the icon designs. Although we still need welfare and societies icons, we will get to those in our next design session.

We find that working togethter, in the same space, but not necessarily on the same aspets of he design work is best for us. That way we can talk about what we are doing a gauge feedback immediately without having to wait arround. This project is working out really well. Wen twe do have dissagreements about something we just talk through ou reasons and a solution is always found. A great collaboration all round so far!

Monday, 19 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 01 SU Work Part 02 Elections and Meeting and Specific Notes

Collaborator: Billie Meredith
After our failed meeting with Footprint, we had another meeting with Emma and Kaitlyn from the SU. They talked through a couple of thoughts they had had since the last meeting and have also volunteered to get in contact with Awesome Merchandise about printing and binding options. The notes from this meeting are shown below. The main change comes with the change in printing methods, now we are not limited to risograph colours emma and kaitlyn want to see some careful addition of bright colours to communicate more excitement 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 01 SU Work Part 2 Elections Campaign,Visiting Footprint

Collaboration Partner: Billie Meredith
After talking with the SU about the possibility of using Risograph printing for the elections campaign Billie and I looked into fotprint printers in Leeds as one of the main Risograph printers we were aware of. When we loked at their website we had our concerns about the scale of the job we would have for them, but thught it worth getting in touch to talk through the project and pssible pricing.

I emailed James who it turns out used to be a students at LCA and we aranged for Billie and myself to visit them to talk everything through on Friday the 16th of October.

However, after a lengthy walk to their location out in chapeltown we arrived to find that James was ill and no one could talk through our project with us. I offered to leave my number so we could be contacted mor directly than email but they said that email would be enough.

After looking at their set up and how unprofessional they seem to be I really think that this owuld be the  wrong job for them. We have too much of a tight deadline and to much to print for the small scale set up they have. I think we will go on to research some other options for printers but pssibly maintain the risograph texure because it is smething the SU and myself were so set on.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 01 SU Work Part 02 Elections Campaign: First Design Pitch

Collaboration Partner : Billie

Today we had a meeting with the SU where me and Billie talked through the designs we had so far and the direction we are going in. We got some update such as the full list of deadlines for each output. Also bear in mind that we are looking at doing an animation between the design deadline and the print deadline.

Design Deadline: 30th October 2015
Print Deliverables Deadline: 16th November 2015
Elections Finish: 4th February 2016
Voting Dates: 14/15/16th February 2016

We also had a full update of the deliverables

-Election Guide
-Packs of Envelope
-Nomination forms
-Sabbatical Flyer 
-December Heads Up Flyer
-Floor Stickers (Voting stations)
-Brand Guidelines
-Banners (2 2M x 1M Mesh)
-Animated Logo
-Manifesto Booklets
-Brand Guidelines

We got some very positive feedback and some great guidance to help develop the designs further. These include:
- Experiment with lighter line weight 
- Change the title to Student Elections
- When it comes to the packs think about the time constraints of finishing any complex folding.
-They will look into finding an animation third year that might be interested in helping us to achieve the animation and learn from someone who knows.
- They will have a think about tag lines as well.
- We will also create a selection of slides to be used in the lecture drop ins to explain to students the roles of the SU and execs.

OUGD603 Extended Practice Brief 01 SU Work Part 02 Elections FurtherCollaborations and Digital Mock Ups

I have been talking to Billie about this project for a while and just recently she suggested she get involved, mostly to lower my work load. So we got together to talk through the project so far and make some digital mock ups to pitch at the next SU meeting.

I used the very basic sketches that I produced when trying to allocate roles to planets (detailed in the last post) to make up some vectors for each of the roles in the SU.

Billie and I talked through the symbolism of each icon and the role it related to. For example, the way that the campaigns symbol has a comet flying across it, suggesting positive upward movement that fits with the fact that the role is all about positive political change and making it happen. Also the editorial role has rings and a moon, this is intended to suggest the way the role means work and contacts outside of the college and gaining experience outside of normal college life.

Becasue of our researchh into the risograph printing prcess and the Footprint printers we knew we wanted to make use of negative space, or rather the colour of the stock. So we chose a basic filler colour that we know is possible with the inks that footprint have. I looked at putting the logo slightly off the edge of the page to play with 'activating' the negative space as a clour in the design. I think this looks great but Billie questioned the purpose of this in terms of message, so perhaps this should be brought u at the next SU meeting.

I tried out the separate icons for the roles as if they were being used in a booklet on each page of which the roles are explained much like the guide will be. I referenced the 60s design that I found during my research by implementing vertical type. This is something that I think looks great here but possibly dissrupts the continuity of the brand if vertical type is not used there too. Possibly another thing to raise with the SU.

Originally Billie and I were thnking that all the seperate icons could go in the same top corner to suggest the way the interlock and relate to one another. However, upn actualy doing this I found that some of the icons would have important parts cut off or have to fully be on the page. The only solutions to this were twisting the icons so that they became fully visable (which effected the ease with which the icons could be identified, because they change slightly in each location) or to change where the icons were placed on the page.

This seemed to work a lot better and again add in that feeling of flexability and playfullness which such a simple design can risk loosing.

When it came to the typography for this campaign I went through a number of different fonts each creating destinctly different tones of voice. I revisited the 'watch words' that I had chosen earlier in the brief and started to look at creating this in terms of the combination of the font and the image aspect of the brand. Excitement, enthusiasm and scale. I looked at matching the sillhouette of the vectors with soft rounded fonts such as BP Replay and and penultimate and contrasting it with more angular punchy fonts like Lemon/milk. In the end I felt that that a slight contrast was better because we needed the addition of some scale (the idea that something big is happening). I looked back at the space age design and how they achieved this tone of voice. This lead me to the 60s font Futura. Not only did this sit next to the vectors beautifully but also it has such strong structural forms tht if we choose to customise the letterforms at all they can take it. An example of this is shown above where I took thesimple  shape of the planets in orbit an applied it to the letterforms. This can work on its own as a type only logo where the space availible is limited.
The original layout of the system was quirkily wonky as is shown above. However, Billie questioned this and looked at regulating it.

This made that planets in the system really stand out, which looks great. We alos looked at reducing the line weight just to see how it looks, but I still feel that we gain a friendly and approachable tone of voice with the heavier line weight.

Billie also loked at some type experimentations, going on from my finding that contrasting the soft shapes seemed to work best to create a sense of scale and importance. Billie mocked up some different ways to justify the type. after some discusion we felt that the right justified type worked best because it balanced out the slightly left weightled logo image. Also it creates a visual hook to achieve easy continuity with title text later in the booklet and othe applications for the campaign.

We then talked about the risograph process and how it would be possible to use different intensities of the same inks and how we wuld want to draw attention to the planets in the logo if we could.

Billie mocked up some optional guide covers and different colours just to see how it might look.

We also looked at combining the edited type that I created and the new regulated logo image just with one colour, to back t basics. This shows how the logo could be used on slides for presentations, which is a consideration for the SU.

I went back to the earlier interior designs that I made and applied our favurite colour combination just to see if two colours coud work for this project. 

There are a lot of questions that we have got from this mock up session but also we have found that we work together really well! The next step is to take most of these visuals to the next SU meeting tomorrow and get some answers and direction. Also it would be useful to go and talk to footprint about this prjct specifically and find out if we can achieve what we want. Even get some visual textures to work with digitally to get a clearer idea of the finished designs.