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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.


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.

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’.

        When it got to the point in my poster development when I had a lot of type I needed to work with, I took a little break and just browsed through some examples on deviantart to give me some ideas….

        After the extra research, and the absolutely STAGGERING statistics I found, I decided to go with the military spending vs. education spending and see how far I can get with it. So this is the first design I came up with. Much more simplified and just tried to focus on the world of money and the few falling coins.

        With this one I went back to one of my older versions, the green&red one that I had signed off on account that the colour scheme was too military….and basically brought that back since now it was much more appropriate. But, I just got the idea of really blowing up the coin world image and have that off the page on the top and the few falling coins at the bottom and type inbetween.

        Here’s one approach to my experiment…

        Doesn’t quite work I think….though the individual falling coins are better then the grouped ones….they provide a better visual arrow towards the education spending stat. Maybe try having the coin globe a little smaller so exactly half is cut off of the page.

        In the next version of the piece above, I added more text, because the way it is now it isn’t strong enough, it’s just stating a fact….it needs to campaign change! So due to the extra text the layout didn’t work anymore so I decided to work around the image of an exclamation mark + the coin earth….

        Further development on this….I didn’t think the font was working anymore….wanted to try something more serious and perhaps bring back the black background.



        and lastly…

        Finishing up the project, whilst taking into consideration feedback from Sally.

        Military spending research….

        “year 2005: worldwide military spending of 1200 BILLION”

        Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

        “World military expenditure is estimated to have been $1339 billion in 2007—a real-terms increase of 6 per cent over 2006 and of 45 per cent since 1998.”

        Worldometers – world statistics updated in real time

        “Govt. Education spending worldwide this year
        (in millions of US Dollars):


        “Military spending worldwide this year
        (in millions of US Dollars):


        This site is really amazing…just went to the homepage and they have a huge list of global statistics updating themselves in real time!

        Deaths, Births, military spending, education spending, hectares of forest lost etc.

        Gap Between Rich and Poor: World Income Inequality in 2002

        Percentage share of income (poorest and richest 20% of population)

        Countries with
        greatest inequality
        1. Sierra Leone 62.9 1.1% 63.4%
        2. Central African Republic 61.3 2.0 65.0
        3. Swaziland 60.9 2.7 64.4
        4. Brazil 60.7 2.2 64.1
        5. Nicaragua 60.3 2.3 63.6
        6. South Africa 59.3 2.9 64.8
        7. Paraguay 57.7 1.9 60.7
        8. Colombia 57.1 3.0 60.9
        9. Chile 56.7 3.3 61.0
        10. Honduras 56.3 2.2 59.4
        11. Guinea-Bissau 56.2 2.1 58.9
        12. Lesotho 56.0 2.8 60.1
        13. Guatemala 55.8 3.8 60.6
        14. Burkina Faso 55.1 4.6 60.4
        15. Mexico 53.1 3.5 57.4
        16. Zambia 52.6 3.3 56.6
        17. Hong Kong, China 52.2 4.4 57.1
        17. El Salvador 52.2 3.3 56.4
        19. Papua New Guinea 50.9 4.5 56.5
        20. Nigeria 50.6 4.4 55.7
        21. Mali 50.5 4.6 56.2
        21. Niger 50.5 2.6 53.3
        23. Gambia 50.2 4.0 55.3
        24. Zimbabwe 50.1 4.7 55.7
        25. Venezuela 49.5 3.0 53.2
        26. Malaysia 49.2 4.4 54.3
        27. Russia 48.7 4.4 53.7
        28. Panama 48.5 3.6 52.8
        29. Cameroon 47.7 4.6 53.1
        30. Dominican Republic 47.4 5.1 53.3
        Countries with
        greatest equality
        1. Slovakia 19.5 11.9% 31.4%
        2. Belarus 21.7 11.4 33.3
        3. Hungary 24.4 10.0 34.4
        4. Denmark 24.7 9.6 34.5
        5. Japan 24.9 10.6 35.7
        6. Sweden 25.0 9.6 34.5
        7. Czech Republic 25.4 10.3 35.9
        8. Finland 25.6 10.0 35.8
        9. Norway 25.8 9.7 35.8
        10. Bulgaria 26.4 10.1 36.8
        11. Luxembourg 26.9 9.4 36.5
        12. Italy 27.3 8.7 36.3
        13. Slovenia 28.4 9.1 37.7
        14. Belgium 28.7 8.3 37.3
        15. Egypt 28.9 9.8 39.0
        15. Rwanda 28.9 9.7 39.1
        17. Croatia 29.0 8.8 38.0
        17. Ukraine 29.0 8.8 37.8
        19. Germany 30.0 8.2 38.5
        20. Austria 31.0 6.9 38.0
        21. Romania 31.1 8.0 39.5
        22. Pakistan 31.2 9.5 41.1
        23. Canada 31.5 7.5 39.3
        24. Korea, South 31.6 7.5 39.3
        25. Poland 31.6 7.8 39.7
        26. Indonesia 31.7 9.0 41.1
        27. Latvia 32.4 7.6 40.3
        27. Lithuania 32.4 7.8 40.3
        29. Spain 32.5 7.5 40.3
        30. Netherlands 32.6 7.3 40.1

        Week 4

        20th October – 26th October

        • · Monday 20th: continued developing my ideas and sketches so that I would have something decent to shoe Neil, ideally all 6 cards!
        • · Tuesday 22nd : went in to see Neil to check in that I am on the right track…I had managed to do 5 instead of six but nonetheless considering the whole week I had missed I think I covered a lot of ground in three days.
        • · I came in very happy with what I had done and really loving my idea, but, didn’t leave in quite the same high spirits. I hadn’t considered the target audience as I should have straight off to begin with, which is an error on my part. So, when it came down to deciding the target audience it put a damper on my things.

        Thursday , October 23rd 2008

        Morning : blog catch up work from what I missed whilst in Prague, talked to Claire about the greetings card project

        Claire talk:

        I was deliberating over whether to just discard what I had done and do something more commercial

        Claire though really loved the designs and the fact that they were done in Photoshop despite having a painterly quality to them, she really encouraged me to stick with them, that it’s ok that they are different

        Being different is what is nice about them, the fact that they are not mainstream

        Calming/healing properties to them…something you might see in a yoga studio


        Greeting card mini crit.

        § The 6 cards were practically done at this point and no big changes or concerns were brought up in the mini crit.

        Talked to Sally about poster project

        Saw Neil about how I missed the first session of Dreamweaver by accident

        Talked to Sally and Neil about Christmas holiday dates

        Sally’s feedback:

        Do I want the government to give money or rich people to give money?

        Clarify target audience and purpose of the add

        Sharpen the message, make it clear

        Research more

        West vs. East issue?

        Have only the coin globe (it’s a powerful image, the other images detract from it) and a catchy phrase

        Gandhi quotes

        Compare Christmas spending vs. Charity spending

        Military spending vs. education

        If we spend ‘x’ everyone could have an education

        She thought it was about a planet issue NOT wealth issue as was intended

        too many literal symbols

        • 24th – final critique (ill)

        Week 2

        6th October – 12th October
        • · Monday 6th: I came in because I thought we had class, it turned out we didn’t but I stayed in nonetheless to make use of it and work. Did a lot of blogging to document the progress over the weekend.
        • · left for Prague on Thursday the 9th and therefore missed the crit. for this part of the project

        Week 3

        13th October – 19th October
        • came back from Prague on the 17th so I spent all the time I could get to work on the greeting card project since there just wasn’t the time to do much whilst I was in Prague.

        I went to bed last night with a mental list of what I still had to do on this project. This morning, seeing things with fresh eyes, I decided to try out the two potential improvements I mentioned in my notes (adding blue to the sea of hands at the bottom, and seeing how the main hand at the top looks with a green-brown-grey colour scheme). Here are the results…

        The first one has a glow effect to it, which sort of went along with the idea of the hands being quite ghost-like. The result is too distracting because it completely shifts the focus from the planet and the text to the glowing hands at the bottom, which is not what I wanted. The second one employs the same blue gradient as the circle around the planet and works better then the first. But with the second one I found that it had too much blue and again that slightly threw the piece off balance. So finally, the third one is a compromise, where the blue is only on the ends of the fingers. this gives the impression of the text radiating a blue glow onto the planet and the hands as well. At this point I decided to give the design an ‘ok’ and focus on choosing the right font and moving the text down. The final result, which I will just go out in a few minutes to print and hand in, is the following….

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