I think that this project was my most all-round one, with the most balanced combination of idea generation, development, research and final outcome. Despite this though, I wasn’t able to complete everything I had set out to do. I was well on the way to creating a series of 3-5 different shaped pebbles, each with a different design, when one again time clamped in and I had to prioritize. I was able to fully complete a design worksheet for only one new pebble, I had a second design sheet half done and another sheet with my other shape sketches waiting and ready to go. As I already mentioned I did carry this idea through into my point of sale though (for it I used one of my original pebble designs, the half done one and the completely done one).

In terms of time constraints this project is a bit of an odd one. The limited time I had left to create something as my point of sale at the last minute worked really well actually, and I come up with designs quickly and developed them effectively. At the same time though, I think that if I had enough time to finish the other ‘new pebble shape’ designs it would have only further added to the project, wouldn’t have taken anything away since upon completing the design worksheet for one of them I had the formula down and knew how to approach the rest.

About the POS….a excerpt that sums it up nicely, from an earlier post:

The final design is a cross-roads between multiple concepts: pebbles being churned up by the surf, pebbles being ‘poured’ like water (as in version 4), and lastly an Andy Goldsworthy inspired tower of pebbles and watches (similar to his balanced, zen-like sculptures except in this case they are in motion and off balance but the link is definitely there).

I did lots of idea brainstorming, developed my visuals, developed my stylized animal logo, and developed the shapes. And I also managed to do the research in the right order, not backwards or in pieces. As you can see in my blog one of the first things I did was the research which created a nice big stock of ideas and images that padded the way for the rest of the project.

What made this project especially successful I think what the One-Day Project right on the first day. We got so much done, nailed all the key points in a single day and put it together cohesively as if presenting to a client. I wish that we did this more often, I felt like I had a bit of a head start to the project compared to the starting points of the others in this unit.

I think that the final critique for this brief wasn’t all that good, I think that smaller groups make for much more effective  tutorials and crits.

Throughout all the briefs, the entire unit, I really appreciated all the great support and feedback I got from the tutors…it really made me push myself, my ideas and my designs. At one point Claire pointed out that for these three briefs my final outcomes have a similar textured feel running through them, my style leaking into the designs. I didn’t notice the similarity at all until she pointed it out, I think it’s very neat, and quite nice that I am sticking to a definite style. I think that things like adding the textures come almost automatically to me, it’s something I like to do so I’m not surprised that I failed to notice the link when it seemed so natural to begin with.

This project was a welcome break from the usual, more graphic-y or program specific briefs, and therefore had plenty of wiggle room to just go wild and indulge in whichever style or media you wanted. I took the opportunity gladly to pursue a fledgling idea I really liked and saw potential in, and also to further develop my digital painting skills in Photoshop. I’m very happy with my final outcomes though I really wish I had enough of the cream and gold Indian handmade paper left so I could have printed out all the cards on it and not only three. In my own time I will definitely continue developing the images I made for this project and maybe even turn them into traditional paintings eventually.

This project was the one I had the least time on because I missed a week when I was away in Prague sorting out visa issues, came back ill, and then used all the time I had to develop the actual visuals so I would have something to show. This is one case where the visuals and final outcomes were successful despite a lack of research…the same can’t be said for the A3 poster brief. Because of time constraints I had to leap ahead and just work on the actual visuals and therefore had to just skim over the preliminary work.

I did end up going back and trying to fill in the gaps but it just seemed a little pointless since the final outcome was done and I had loads more work to finish off on the A3 poster brief as well as the packaging brief. So, I admit the research is still lacking a bit, but it was a matter of prioritizing whether I wanted to add stuffing to this project or actually try and finish the final outcomes for the other two.

My ideas and idea generation were successful, though a bit more concise then usual which may be because this was a rare case when the right ideas decided to come my way (the direct opposite of the A3 poster brief). I had lots of rough work but it’s hidden in the layers of each image (I did post a step by step layering process of  one of the images on the blog to show my trial and error process of how I built up the image).

All in all I am satisfied with how effectively and quickly I was able to come up with good final solutions to the brief despite all the time I missed.

Out of the three briefs this one gave me the most trouble. It took heaps of work and development before I got it to where it is now. Throughout the project I’ve been wracked by uncertainty about my design decisions, which is probably evident in the extensive amount of revisions as shown on my blog.  Overall things just didn’t go as planned. I started out wanting to focus on an object and a day or two later switched to social issues. Then once I received feedback from the Final Crit. I once again took it in a new direction and focused on a different issue (pre crit. I was dealing with the wealth divide, and post crit. I did military spending vs. education spending). Though the poster has undergone so many changes I think that I did succeed in creating and developing designs, which were consistent together and fed off of one another.

For example once I maintained a certain color scheme (grey, black, red, green, blue and white) it threaded through all the designs. Early on I also defined my key images: world, hands, money and. Visually the design I turned in for the final crit. was good and I was very satisfied with it, but all the images together in one design overcomplicated the poster and made it confusing. The tagline wasn’t great either and was generally unreadable, I find it really difficult to come up with good taglines…perhaps something to look into in the future, and work on.

When I was re-doing the poster, post-crit, I didn’t need to start from scratch. I just edited certain parts away (ex. removing the hands) or developed them more (ex. making the coin planet into a dollar bill planet).  I looked back over my idea and design development and quite a few times found myself bring back certain bits and pieces that I had discarded or discontinued the first time around (such as the red background which I had discarded in for my wealth divide topic because it had too many militaristic connotations, which fitted perfectly with my new topic.

Though I could keep going on and on in trying to reach an even better final design, I think that this project was a good experience all in all, despite all the frustration. In the industry you are bound to come across this sort of project where things just don’t click and when a brilliant idea/design is being illusive. But, as in the industry, deadlines and time constraints play their role and I think they actually helped make me more decisive in which ideas and designs to pursue. Sometimes too much time can be as negative as too little, if you get caught in a never-ending cycle of revising everything (especially when through revision things start to get progressively worse).

I think that for this project I didn’t do enough research, especially when I compare it in hindsight to the packaging project. I did go back after the final crit. feedback and gathered more specific research, especially statistics, which is something I wish I had done the first time around instead of as an afterthought. My wealth divide idea focused more on ideals then statistics but I think that the final design, supported by statistics answers the brief much more appropriately.

The final design immediately presents a contrast even in the background colours: the block of red vs. the small sliver of black. Next, there is the whole interplay between white and black text, used alternatingly for to emphasis. I ended up choosing this design because of its simplicity, clarity and clear heirarchy….which were the main issues I was trying to solve from the unsuccessful first design. I quite liked the designs I developed around the exclamation mark, but the new layout brought back all those issues which I was trying so hard to avoid. In the end it would just be too time consuming to push this design into a finalized state, so I just left is, evidenced it in the blog, and went for the simpler final design.

The heirarchy is clear, it starts right at the top and works down step by step, no jumping around. You start with the white text at the very top, followed by the first image…the white text is then contrasted right away by the black text of the military spending statistics, while the globe of coins image is contrasted (through the size difference) by the few falling coins. Lastly you see the education statistic, purposefully aligned towards the right to emphasize the mammoth difference between the two statistics…alignment to the right makes it seem less important then the rest which is exaclty what I want to get at. The white education statistic contrasts against the black military statistic while a the same time popping up even more by the black text and black strip all around it. The globe of coins is meant to represent the military spending statistic while the few falling coins represent the education statistic….this sets up a visual comparison which echoes the actual written stats.

Point of Sale

This show the development from start to finish of my point of sale designs. The initial designs start at the top and develop downwards. I cheated a bit and used 3 pebbles even though I only have the central one properly planned out through worksheets. But, the whole point behind my point of sale was to show the that the cases come in different sizes, colours and designs! So technically the Point of Sale designs fit in perfectly with my good intentions, though I wasn’t able to realize them all due to time constraints.

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Version 4

Version 5

Version 6

Version 7

(The Final Design)

Print Specs:

Chromo paper (coated on only one side – front)

full colour page print

A3

3 mm bleed

150 gsm

Just showed all the POS designs to Neil real quick to get some input, I’ve just been staring at them so long that it’s a bit hard to decide. I do like this design especially though I wasn’t sure why. My main dilemma was which angle for the ‘animal, the pebble collection’ works the best. Neil pointed out that this design works the best because of the ‘S’ shape that’s created. I also agree with him that the white wave is better then the dark.

The final design is a cross-roads between multiple concepts: pebbles being churned up by the surf, pebbles being ‘poured’ like water (as in version 4), and lastly an Andy Goldsworthy inspired tower of pebbles and watches (similar to his balanced, zen-like sculptures except in this case they are in motion and off balance but the link is definitely there).

Version 8

Version 9

Version 10


Getting Pebblier….

scanned in hand-drawn sketches from references…

a narrowed down selection of new pebble shapes to explore

This is the first pebble I made from one of the new shapes.

I wanted to have at least 3 pebble shapes, so I started another one, also picked from the sketches. I specifically used the creamand brown color scheme since it seems to be the most popular with everyone…also, the colours are taken directly from Animal’s site so it most definitely fits their look. For this shape I decided to try go all the way and cover all the necessary view points. This ended up taking much longer then I excpected, there was a lot of trial and error, so I had to end my package development here. Nonetheless I think that the first pebble I tried re-doing also turned out well and if I had more time I could get a few more designs in.  BUT, I still had to do Point of Sale!

Pebble Measurements!!!

length: 14 cm

width: 11 cm

height: 9 cm

Got feedback from Neil and Claire about my further developed A3 poster designs so I’ve gone back, hopefully for the last time, to make some changes and come up with the final designs once and for all (fingers crossed).

This is an updated version of the second design I posted before…it is combined with the bottom bit of the third design (the bottom bit where the text is balck and white and sits on the black bit). I also took the falling coins from the later designs to replace the grouped together falling coins I originally had in this version. The falling separate coins work much better as a visual way of leading the eye.

I like the font I used in the later designs so I decided to try it out and see how it would workd with this specific design. I think the original font works better with it.

This version just has the black bit at the bottom smaller and the education statistic moved down, and also less falling coins. Hmmm now looking at this a few minutes later I think that the first version where the bottom bit is higher actually works better.

This is the new version of the other final design I chose. I got rid of the few things and altered the text properties a bit. Supposedly the coins look like buttons so I had one more potential change in store…to change the coins into dollar bills instead….

Here are two versions I came up with of a ‘dollar bill planet’ which I ended up using in the image below but maybe it could really help the image above if I replaced it with the ‘button like planet’.

Ok…so I don’t know when to stop. This is just something completely different that popped into my head.

Right, so, back to what I was supposed to be doing in the first place….trying to solve the ‘button planet’ crisis. Here I replaced the button planet with my new and improved dollar bill planet. I thought that when it directly replaced the button planet it looked too abstract so I shrunk it down to see if it was any better. Here is the other version which shows the direct replacement, no shrinking…

I think that the text is still a bit troublesome…I’m still not quite happy with it. It’s reached the point again where I could just keep going, keep altering and trying to improve everything endlessly…but I gotta know when to quit and I think I have spent enough time on this already. If I am still undecided I can always get a second opinion on Monday before I print the poster off. But all in all I’m going to draw the line here because I have to focus on other things.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/84265607@N00/476817773/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/86608926@N00/2335158153/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbmaui/378504205/

Yesterday (Thursday 20th Nov. 2008) –

  • saw Sally first thing in the morning to ask about a potential deadline extension since I realized that I had underestimated how much I had left and it just wasn’t going to work. I had tried talking to her twice before about it but she wasn’t available, so I just decided to give it a go and try finish it because I really wanted to get the project over with so that it wouldn’t overlap with the next project. I have been ill on and off multiple times which created gaps here and there and put me behind on some parts of the project. In the end I did manage to get it pushed forward to next Tuesday 12:00. Thank you so much Sally!!!
  • Neil announced that we get the new brief next Thursday and should maybe start doing some research and thinking about the site design (I’ve actually been collecting research already for this project, so it’s nice that I have a bit of a head start on the next unit, esp. since the current one has a belated end).
  • Aaaah! Need to email Neil which D&AD brief I’m doing!
  • and also email Neil the exact dates when I’m leaving for x-mas break.
  • Got feedback from Neil on the new A3 poster designs and pebbler pebble designs….
  • after lunch: got feedback from Claire as well…

Today (Friday 21st Nov. 2008)

  • not a good start…missed the blackboard thing Neil showed everyone because I slept through 2 alarm close and was brutally woken by fire alarms going off since some technicians came around to test them…came in asap to make the most of the rest of the day.
  • cut and cropped the greeting card print outs! Yay! Another thing to tick off my to-do list!
  • took the measurements of  the card
  • Somethings I can still do for the greeting card project:
  1. make a neutral interiro for the existing colourful envelope designs
  2. make a full neutral colored envelope
  3. make a mixed color envelope, exterior being one color, interior being another color.
  4. try printing one of the cards onto the handmade paper the envelopes are out of just to see what they would look like…it might be nice if the card and envelope paper types match…let’s see if it works…
  5. or also try printing the card onto the high quality A5 hp photo paper I have at home!
    • Aim for today: finish up the two final A3 poster versions and get them printed!

    • and another aim: get a good night’s sleep for a change! Being so tired that you sleep through alarm clocks is NOT good!

        As I was reworking my A3 poster design an Oxfam ad I had seen on tv suddenly clicked into my mind…it’s practically perfect in relation to the subject matter I am dealing with!!! I can’t believe I didn’t remember it earllier!

        Their approach in this ad is interesting, since there are so many ads on tv nowadays from charities etc. which take a very blatant approach in their advertising. There are so many I have seen where from the first second you hear a serious voice annoucing they want money for ‘x’ cause….or you are bombarded by images of starving children, injured animals and so on. I think that this sort of approach, unless it is done smartly and doesn’t fall into the generic mainstream of such things, is a bit outdated. I can see why it’s used, but we have reached a point in time when we see such images everyday on the news, on the web, in the papers….so to see a few more such images in a tv ad isn’t a surprise anymore. We have just become desensitized, information is so widespread (through tv, internet etc.) that those sorts of ads just do not have the impact that they were intended to have.

        So, what I really liked right away about the Oxfam ad is that it’s completely different. For one thing it’s animation, and no one is narrating the ad, telling you what it is…which I think is a good thing actually. You as a viewer are placed into an existing world where the characters are going about their business, the world they show striked you as continuous, real, not just made up for the sake of the ad. It’s very much like being drawn into a novel, where you’re thrown into the action without introductions or directions and you simply have to piece things together….I particularly like this writing technique and I think it works well in film (and ads in this case) as well since naturally you are drawn in through trying to understand the story and the characterse and what is happening in the given moment when  you enter.

        The ad is like a mini story….straight off you understand through the dark colour sheme and the manner of the characters that the scene is rather depressing. I like how they ad in typographic elements as well when certain keywords from the media (news paper, tv etc.) come alive and the type itself takes on the character of the word it stands for. At the end the transition from dark and gloomy to bright, vivid, and colourful is very effective since you immediately set up a contrast between the first version of the world and then the second. I think it’s particularly endearing that the main character is an elderly lady, and she starts the ‘change’ process. The message it sends out is that everyone can take a stand against the wrongs of the world, and as their lovely tagline says, ‘be humankind’.

        http://dekku.blogspot.com/2008/05/oxfam-roar.html

        New designs based on the feedback from the final critique that the shape wasn’t pebbley enough…

        The first pebble is the original version, which I showed at the crit. The next is more pebbley and  then the last is a compromise between the two. Just showed them to Neil and to my chagrin he actually thinks that the original is more of a pebble then the others (he thought the newer ones looked more like glasses cases)! He showed me some pebble pictures on flickr so I went back to them and just did a few rough sketches of the various shapes. When he was showing me the pictures we came across a few with a lovely almost fractal-esque texture to them and he suggested that it may be nice to try overlay that sort of texture onto my packaging….and also to look at some nice fractals for research. Lastly he reiterrated that I should make the pebbles come in 3-5 different shapes.

        It’s finally gotten through to me, I guess I was just stuck on trying to keep the pebble shapes symmetrical rather then be inspired by the lovely array of nature-created shapes they come in.

        Here is a new design sheet I made based on my chosen pebble (the third one)…

        So….now I’m off to try come up with 3-5 new shapes for pebblier pebbles 🙂

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