Friday, 21 December 2012

Personal Development III//Website Developments.

Over the festive break I've been fortunate enough that I've been able to dedicated some time to finally re-designing and organising my website, something I've been meaning to do for around 6-12 months now. Along with working on a re-designed branding (although small changes, something that I feel is a little more "me" and the clean, minimal direction that I feel my work is taking, and hope to take it in), I have worked on custom CSS edits for a more unique and personalised browsing experience, as well as transferring my domain name to my Cargo account. This way, I can ensure that updates can be made quickly and easily, and, perhaps most importantly, cost effectively.

I feel really happy that I now finally have a site that I will feel proud to have on my business card and show to prospective employees as I seek more industry placements and employment upon graduation throughout the year.

Along with this, I have also gone on to develop a personalised email address, again, adding to the overall consistency and professionalism of my personal branding.

Definitely looking forward to completing more briefs that I can be proud of to add to my current working design portfolio. For design developments throughout this year, see my Final Major Project blog.

PPD//Brief Tutorial 09/10 & Tasks.

Notes and completed tasks from today's PPD briefing with tutor John Watters, looking at the creative industries and our role within them/it.



"What are the 'Creative Industries' that are relevant to Graphic Designers?"


- Publications/Editorial
- Publicity and promotional items
- Retail materials and displays
- Point of sale, etc
- Corporate identity materials

- Magazines and zines are currently very popular and progressing as an industry in Holland and Europe.


- Web sites/emarketing/internet
- eBooks and digital publishing
- Apps
- Digital networking
- Blogging
- Social & Professional Networking

- Check out Snask's blog (Sweden), great example.
- Research into snap tags and QR codes.


- Retail material 'Singing cardboard'
- Packaging
- Exhibitions/Shows and 'environments'
- Signage and info graphics
- Corporate/Retail interiors


- New technology in application
- 4D
- Creative environment experiences
- Interactive experience
- Projection
- Holography
- "Imagineering" suggestions


1. Identify 5 companies (minimum) which you think have a synergy with you, and why.

* Glad, Gateshead

Having spent a week with Glad (Creative) in Newcastle over the summer break on an industry placement, and having booked another week with them at the end of October (dissertation week), I feel I have a real affinity for both the design team and the work produced and showcased in their design portfolio.

The personality and brand philosophy of the studio was perhaps what drew me in most about them, 

"Glad is a graphic design consultancy with a simple mission statement; that anyone who has chosen to work with us will be Glad™ that they did."

With a really optimistic and upbeat attitude to their design practice, along with a really strong, conceptual branding style and vector- influence from designers such as Noma Bar and Malika Fare, which are personal favourites of mine too.
I feel, and was commented by the Creative Director whilst I was there, was that we have a really similar style of work in our portfolios, and I know I would feel really comfortable and happy there if I were to go on to seek employment after graduation.

* Founded, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Again, being fortunate enough to spend a week with the design team at Founded over the summer, I've gained a lot of insight and experience into a successful and professional brand design studio, having designed work for the likes of Yoko Ono and The Baltic, Gateshead.
The one thing that I took away from working at Founded, above all, was my motivation and passion for design, and the fact that, despite previous reservations, I can fit into a design studio environment and can match the ambition of the other design professionals around me.

* Sumo, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Whilst working in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne over the summer, I was introduced to the studio, Sumo, and their wonderfully versatile and creative design studio. Aside from being situated in a creative studio space named 'Toffee Factory' (they already had me sold...), from Sumo's design portfolio, what particularly appealed to me was their involvement within the creative and culture sector, something that I myself want to particularly focus upon after graduation, as well as having a very friendly and approachable tone-of-voice and manner, which I believe is a necessity in regards to working with clients and building a strong and abiding working relationship, as well as being generally high-regarded within the industry, and, above all to be as altruistic and approachable as possible.

* Pearlfisher, Hammersmith

Having been lucky enough to have been invited down for a studio visit/portfolio review at Pearlfisher's Hammersmith-based London office, I was able to gain more of an insight into the practice and client base of the studio. Although I feel, at the time, (coming towards the end of my second year) I wasn't quite prepared enough in terms of my design experience, for the prospect of an industry placement, it was great to be able to study a studio in such detail, and has inspired me to focus a great deal more throughout my final year on branding and packaging design, which I would particularly regard to be specialisms within the Pearlfisher studio, working for multi-national clients such as Cadbury's, Innocent, and so on.

The client base and work produced by Pearlfisher, always to an incredibly professional and well-finished standard, as one might expect, often uses humour and a playful tone of voice as a marketing or promotional device in their packaging design, which is something I really hope to explore throughout my own work by giving brands a far more approachable and humanistic brand aesthetic and identity to help add character and distinguish products and companies in the marketplace and specific industries, where necessary and appropriate.

* Taxi, Bristol

Whilst at college, and in the period of transition where upon I was deciding which route of design to go down (a combination of considering the history of art, surface pattern and printed textiles, illustration and graphic design), I remember becoming particularly interested in graphic design and print production thanks to Taxi Studio, and seeing their packaging work and branding design presented on a television show, of all places. From the design team making the professional print outcome look so seamless and yet considered, I was really fascinated by the design process, and have been encouraged ever since, and particularly hope to explore a range of packaging design briefs and outcomes throughout the New Year.

In my opinion, Taxi effortlessly combine a sense of fun and experimentation with professionalism, which has earnt them an enviable client base and acclaim that I aspire to myself in my professional career later on in life, whether it be from working as part of a design studio, or setting up my own studio myself.

* Heydays, Oslo

From my perspective, reflecting both on my own, personal portfolio, and the professional portfolio from Heydays, an Oslo-based design studio, Heydays produce the work that I aspire to go on to create myself.

With a clean, minimalistic, and typographic style and method of visual communication, combined with a seamlessly innovative and professional use of print production outcomes and materials/stocks/substrates, Heydays work never looks anything less than perfectly finished, considered and presented- something particularly important to me and my own design practice, and something that I aspire to in the future.


2. Write why you think they suit your practice/future practice.

* Glad, Gateshead
Glad's conceptual branding and conceptual thinking has really inspired me for the development of my personal and professional design practice this year. Now, I see branding as so much more than it used to appear to me on the surface, and I look forward to a future of client meetings, discussions and brand analysis  as well as the developmental design stages.

* Founded, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
When arriving back to University after the summer break in September, and presenting my overview of the summer, I described my time at Founded, and noted one design studio where I had worked as "the type of work I am doing now", and Founded as "the type of work I aspire to be doing now", and still feel very much the same.
Despite their specialism and focus within branding, the range of design outcomes and practices is considerably varied within Founded, thanks to a strong and variable client base and ten years experience within the industry. I feel, at Founded, professionally, I would never find myself bored of feel as though my work was becoming repetitive with such a mix of methods of productions, from brand and brand identity development, to editorial design, to photography, to illustration, and more.

* Sumo, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

What initially really attracted me to Sumo as a design practice and studio was their tone of voice, and the client base they boast in their portfolio, largely working within the culture and arts industry, which is something I am particularly passionate about pursuing myself. 
If I were to return to Newcastle in the New Year, as I hope to do, for more industry experience, then I'd certainly like to try to arrange a portfolio review/studio visit with Sumo, and hopefully find out a little more about the design team and their current design portfolio.

* Pearlfisher, Hammersmith

Having been fortunate enough to visit the Hammersmith-based Pearlfisher studio on a portfolio review/studio visit, I feel lucky in having had the opportunity to talking to some of the studio's designers, and being able to find out more about the studio as a working practice within their day-to-day routine.
In reflection of their portfolio, one thing I feel that Pearlfisher really excel with is their packaging design portfolio, something, admittedly, I have not worked very closely with in the past, and hope to explore and work upon for the future, developing my practical production skills, as well as being able to diversify my design portfolio further (hopefully giving me a wider range of design outcomes and benefitting my employability in a working studio upon graduation), combining this with my existing passion for branding and promotional media.

* Taxi, Bristol

Having been a great fan of the Taxi design studio for several years, I am still in awe of their consistently conceptual and incredibly professional outcomes for a wide and diverse range of clients throughout their design portfolio.
Although, like many people, I have key interests and particular clients I may want to work with within particular industries, fundamentally, my main passion is still with design and hope to challenge myself every day with new, potential outcomes and working with a diverse range of clients.
I hope throughout my final major project, and, of course, continuing through to my professional practice upon graduation, I can continue to work with a diverse range of clients. Being fortunate enough to have experience working with art and design industry clients in the past, including a Photographer and Interior Architect, I look forward to working with a more diverse range of industries in the New Year, having planned to work, so far, with an Animator, a Property Developer, and a Wedding Planner to date.

* Heydays, Oslo
In my opinion, and at this current stage within my personal and professional design practice, I feel that Heydays' design portfolio is really aspirational, producing work that I really hope to set out to achieve throughout my final major project briefs, in particular, with an ever-polished and professional design outcome and aesthetic with a range of contemporary and very desirable companies, all, of course, remarkably well considered and branded by Heydays themselves.

Throughout the next six months I hope to have a real focus on brand outcomes and brand development in my work, something that I aspire to go on to do professionally within my own practice, but also continuing to explore editorial and packaging design in the hopes of going on to expand upon my existing design portfolio and my knowledge of various aspects and disciplines within the graphic design industry.


3. Is your choice based on- location, direction of practice, the brand philosophy, the client base?

* Glad, Gateshead
Brand Philosophy

Ever since first discovering the Glad Creative studio, quite by coincidence, on Twitter, I have been enamoured with the studio's outlook and brand philosophy which has influenced their day-to-day practice, and the impressive testimonials and client relationships they share.

The positive and charming outlook and brand mission statement of the studio 'Anyone who has chosen to work with us will be Glad that they did", rings true in all of their projects, with great success and national acclaim, and have proven, once and for all, that nice guys don't finish last.

* Founded, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Direction of Practice/Client Base

In my opinion, Founded are currently producing the style and variation of work that I personally hope to achieve in my own future professional design practice, with a  focus on branding for both freelancers as well as national and multi-national companies, ensuring that their portfolio is kept varied and diverse.

With a focus on the culture, arts, and entertainment industry, having worked in the past, on branding for companies such as the Theatre Royal and Baltic Museum in Newcastle/Gateshead, their client base is an enviable and well-established one, in the sectors that I, myself am particularly interested in working with and pursuing in my own design portfolio upon graduation.

* Sumo, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Direction of Practice

Although I haven't been fortunate to gain as much insight into Sumo as a design practice, comparative to some of my other choices, along with good word spread about them through word-of-mouth in terms of the studio's friendly personality and strong work ethic, their portfolio, fortunately, also does a lot of the talking. Again, with a strong focus on the arts and culture sector, something, as aforementioned, I am particularly interested in myself exploring, with a real passion for the performing arts and design industries, and collaborating within them.

* Pearlfisher, Hammersmith
Location/Client Base

Pearlfisher's long-established and sterling reputation undoubtedly ensures they have one of the most enviable client bases on my list of potential design studio contacts.

My initial attraction to the Hammersmith-based design studio was their work with Innocent drinks, a company which I have been long enamoured with, to the extent upon which I have gone on to write about the company as a focus within my dissertation, feeling reasonably well- associated and knowledgable of the brand and company values. As well as their client list and working relationships, Pearlfisher, of course, are based in a very desirable location for a young design professional, also boasting a studio in New York, potentially leading onto more personal and professional industry contacts, which, by any junior designer's standards would be very attractive indeed.

* Taxi, Bristol
Location/Direction of Practice

What initially attracted me to Bristol, having first discovered their design studio whilst in my second year of college was their direction of practice, and undoubtedly strong bond and contact within client relationships, as documented on a television programme of the time, where they developed the product packaging and branding for an independent chocolate company/confectioner, with a clear focus and passion for design, delivering fantastic, yet prompt ideas to the clients that really appealed to me, and something that I always try to maintain within my own personal and professional practice.

As I have moved into my final year of my degree, and considered what I want to do, and where I want to be upon graduation, considering a location to base myself in has been of fundamental importance. For my family situation, Bristol would be a fantastic location. With family in Shropshire, and in-laws in both Clifton and South Wales, it would be a perfect location for an existing design industry, as well as being able to have close contacts to London, as well as easily accessible transport links in and around the UK, therefore remaining both practical and personal, living close by to family and relatives.

* Heydays, Oslo
Location/Direction of Practice/Client Base

In terms of their diverse range of achievements and contacts with the design industry and clients, from all of my selected studio choices, Heydays, by far, have the most desirable range of design/industry factors, including the location, direction of practice and their client base.

Being the only overseas studio chosen, based in Oslo, the capital city of Norway, I would love the opportunity to work in a new country, at least in one point of my life, within Europe, taking in the cultural influences in regards to design, as well as gaining a new perspective for the working life and other industries that influence the client base and work produced with the city/country. Norway, in particular, is a country I have been passionate about visiting for some time, with the Scandinavian countries boasting such a rich and diverse skill in many design professions, particularly with Architectural Design, an industry I feel holds a great deal of influence within my work, having worked in the past with Architects, developing brand identity and promotional media for.


4. If it's none of the reasons for choosing, what is it specifically?

N/A- All fit into the qualities, specifically, as stated above.


5. When studios are identified, list 8 methods you could utilise to contact them.

* Glad, Gateshead
* Founded, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
* Sumo, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
* Pearlfisher, Hammersmith
* Taxi, Bristol
* Heydays, Oslo

1. Specific to Heydays, Oslo
In the spirit of my motto for Level 06, in "doing something that scares you every day" (be it ambitious, or new, or something in the past I thought unachievable), I could potentially look into arranging a studio visit and portfolio review with the acclaimed Norwegian studio by flying over to Oslo independently, discovering more about the capital's design industry and the portfolio and practice of the design team at Heydays.

2. Telephone call interview and discussion about the design industry and my personal and professional design practice for potential industry experience/employment upon graduation.

3. Skype interview and conversation about the design portfolio of the specific studio as well as my personal and professional design practice for potential industry experience/employment upon graduation.

4. Send printed portfolio to studios for review from design teams (Art/Creative Director), Senior/Junior designers.

5. Send a motion graphics showreel of my work, digitally produced, via email (or link sent from showreel on my website) to illustrate and showcase my personality through design, as well as example(s) of work from my portfolio and my personal and professional design practice.

6. Send the studio(s) a professionally bound and printed portfolio of my work at the current stage of my personal and professional design practice.

7. Send the studio(s) a professional, high-standard document of a digital portfolio of my work at the current stage of my personal and professional design practice with either an attachment within an email, or a link to the portfolio through my website and/or online presence. 

8. Send the studio(s) a mail out print pack with examples of my work on various stocks and with a variety of design outcomes to show my understanding for the print process with my focus on ethical and sustainable design production.



Thursday, 20 December 2012

Personal Development III//Re-designed Branding.

Over the Festive break I've been fortunate enough to have been able to dedicate some time to working on re-branding design for more personal branding and brand stationary, which is something I have been wanting to do for a little while.
Whilst I believed my existing branding to be fine, I wasn't entirely enamoured with it, and didn't feel as though it very effectively reflected me and my design practice, and with Helvetica type, didn't feel as though it looked very original, and could be easily lost in a crowd of brand design. 

I decided to work on something, again, quite simple,  in a monochromatic type- driven design which reflects my more clean and minimal design direction, using hyphens to define syllables in my name, and conveying the importance of speech, language and communication within my design and, specifically, branding design practice.
I have translated this brand design over a range of print and web- based deliverables, including branding for social networking, receipts, letterheads, compliment slips and other branded stationary, all of which has been sent to professional print through both and Genie Print in Brighton, of whom I had previously worked with for the Jessie Leong Photography branding outcomes.