Thursday, 29 March 2012

Design Practice II//YCN/Graze//End of project self evaluation.



Written response and self evaluation for the YCN/Graze collaborative brief, undertaken with design partner Charlie Crosby.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

PPD//Contacts & Industrial Placements//LOVE Manchester.




Today, whilst tweeting away on Twitter, I noticed 'LOVE' in my recommended follows- and was really happy to go on their website to discover how (brilliant) they looked. A conceptual branding design company, LOVE is a Manchester-based studio that really looks full of fun, life and energy. Definitely one to add to my "hit list" of contacts over Easter.


  • LOVE. 65 High StreetManchesterEnglandM4 1FS 
  • How to find us | 
  • +44(0)161 907 3150 | 
  • For new business ask for Chris Conlan 




  • CREATIVE DIRECTOR: CRAIG PALMER
  • Friday, 23 March 2012

    Submission to Sh Awards.



    This afternoon I sent a submission of my work (through Behance online portfolio link) to the team at the Sh Awards, after being directed an email by tutor, Fred.
    The Sh Awards are seeking a young designer (in second/third year) to gain work experience in the North's creative industries with a six months paid placement. Definitely worth a shot! Would be great to hear feedback on my portfolio, whatever the outcome.

    Thursday, 22 March 2012

    PPD//Task III//Samples of Work.



    10 DESIGNERS SAMPLES OF WORK AND THEIR APPROACH TO SELF PROMOTION
    & SWOT ANALYSIS OF EACH


    Task response to the previous PPD session, looking at ways in which we can successfully promote ourselves, network with professionals, and raise our profiles.




    LISA MARTIN ILLUSTRATION

    Lisa Martin is an Illustrator and Surface pattern designer, currently studying in her third year at Leeds College of Art on the BA (Hons) Surface pattern design degree programme. Lisa's wonderfully electric, tactile and children's illustration-oriented design has a great market and fan base, on both an informal and formal level- so far as her work recently being commissioned by the Zizzi's Italian restaurant chain.

    Lisa's primary networking media is FACEBOOK. Here, she regularly updates her page with status updates and images, and ensures that she can keep a friendly narrative running through her working day, and career in general.

    FACEBOOK SWOT ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS// 

    * Very easy to update
    * Create a narrative with "fans"
    * Easy networking platform (who DOESN'T have Facebook?)
    * Can be found through both Facebook search and Google search engines
    * Designer has a chosen control over the page- whether comments are published or not, who can access the content of the page, etc.
    * Free to designer to publish images, information etc.

    WEAKNESSES//

    * Not very formal- may put off potential employees
    * Not a lot of flexibility in terms of the layout/design of the page
    * Unusual copyright, Facebook shares the right to the pictures once published on their site- need to look into this more closely. 

    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Facebook advertising- which can potentially reach millions of people around the world.
    * Visible in Facebook & Google searches- not too difficult to find URL links if looking for the specific art/design practice. 
    * Employees will look through Facebook as a method of finding out more about the personality of a potential employee- can easily "stumble upon" the work of the designer in this process, if not previously directed to it beforehand.
    * Global reach.
    * Wide range of audience and ages are Facebook active- can potentially appeal to a very wide market.

    THREATS//

    * Easy access to images (potentially without watermarks) to a global audience could easily lead to copyright infringement.
    * Page can, relatively easily, be hacked.
    * Page can be reported and closed down/frozen/blocked by Facebook staff if requested by users.





    CLARE OWEN ILLUSTRATION//

    Clare Owen is a young illustrator currently based in Bristol (also working at the gallery space/screenprint design studio 'SNAP' in the city) who is well known and admired in the industry for her delicate, feminine images and skill in screenprinted design- having work published in magazines such as popular Australian publication, 'Frankie'.

    BLOGSPOT SWOT ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Able to edit the layout of the page, to a degree, to be more suited to your wanted visual outcome, necessary links, information, etc.
    * Can create a really strong narrative, almost acting as an online diary.
    * Can track "followers" of the page- directly link to potential client and custom base.
    * Can add images and videos as well as URL links to work outside of Blogspot.
    * The designer/page owner has control over the comments- whether or not they are directly published, or have to be reviewed beforehand.

    WEAKNESSES//

    * Follows can choose to be anonymus- this does not show up in your page count (perceived popularity by other users) and cannot be traced for potential retail/networking benefit.
    * Can often be quite messy if not well tagged- can be difficult to "plough through" information on the page.
    * Can be very wordy- not as direct and high-impact as other creative networks and platforms. 
    * Not the most popular form of blogging by younger audiences (18-30), Tumblr is far more commonly used by this age bracket- cutting out a large section of the potential market (Blogspot is usually reserved for the creative industries and practitioners). 

    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Available for view in Google search engines, good visibility and promotion online.
    * Can be followed through mutual "followers" and linked with relative ease within the design industry. 
    * Design process, and well as outcomes, can be documented- potential employees can have a closer look at your ways of working, concept development, etc.

    THREATS//

    * Easy access to work= potential copyright infringement, uncredited/linked sources.




    JULIA POTT//

    Julia Pott is a globally-succesful Illustrator and animator, originally from the UK, and now living in New York City, USA. Julia's unique and distinctive illustrative style and heartfelt narrative through her designs have captivated people all over the world to reach great success with her design outcomes and, in particular, her video shorts- creating animated work for clients such as Toyota and popular band, The Decemberists.

    TUMBLR SWOT ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Easy to upload images, videos, URL links, etc.
    * Easy "follow" option on the page- quick and easy way for users to follow your work through their "dashboard".
    * URL can be found through Google search engines.
    * A real home of creativity with a bias for photography.

    WEAKNESSES//

    * Not a great opportunity for narrative- largely image based, people will often find themselves getting bored easily with large paragraphs of text.
    * Can be very informal, not necessarily a very professional work platform.

    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Thousands of users online from all different walks of life, age ranges, career backgrounds- lots of opportunities for work to appeal to large and varied audiences. 
    * URL can be found through Google search engines- can be contacted by a global audience for potential career opportunities.

    THREATS//

    * Can easily be blogged without credit or sources back to the original design/work- copyright infringement, as well as loosing out on potential custom and revenue.




    MR. BINGO//

    Mr. Bingo is a hugely popular Illustrator based in London. His distinctively witty and visually engaging designs have been commissioned by a vast selection of companies such as Architecture Magazine and Money Magazine.

    TWITTER SWOT ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Used by millions of people all over the world- a great networking platform for a very varied audience.
    * Can pinpoint specific audiences through following, as well as direct messaging.
    * Free to use.
    * Semi- freedom of customising profile (in terms of background, icons, etc) to make the profile more fitting to your design practice/visual outcomes.

    WEAKNESSES//

    * Only 140 characters in a tweet! Keeps it short and sweet, but also directly affects any idea of a clear narrative that other blogging sites may provide.
    * As well as being a strength, the ultimate vastness of Twitter can also be a negative factor- tweets and links can easily get lost amongst the other millions of tweets being posted each day.

    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Can create great networks from chatting to people on Twitter in an informal, as well as formal manner- can build up a good trust and rapport.
    * Easy to showcase and link people to portfolios and samples of work through URLs- great potential for collaborations, retail interest, etc.

    THREATS//

    * Potential slurring/offence from other Twitter users that can be directly monitored by you through either private/public messaging.




    DEVON MIKOLAJCZAK//

    Devon is a young Graphic Designer (working in both a studio environment and freelance), currently based in Indiana, USA, specialising in branding with both print and web-based design.

    PRINTED BRANDING ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Have complete control over the design, branding, stocks, colours, etc, used- you have complete design responsibility and can affectively communicate your design "style".
    * Can control over the distribution of the printed design- have relative control over who receives the materials/contact information, etc.
    * Can direct to online media and more examples of design work with ease (QR codes and URL links).

    WEAKNESSES//

    * Potentially costly (in terms of printed media).
    * Can easily be binned/thrown away/forgotten- very disposable form of branding and identity/contact.
    * Not very reflective of your complete portfolio and design capabilities.


    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Potential clients can access cards and have quick, direct contact information for potential work experience, employment, etc.
    * Can be easily shared and distributed amongst friends, family, business people, clients, etc- can create a network of contacts through business card/printed branded media sharing.
    * Usually pocket-sized, business cards, in particular, are able to be carried around and produced spontaneously if you meet potential contacts by chance/at networking events, etc.


    THREATS//

    * Can easily be copied or plagiarised by other designers- your branding design, therefore, looses some of it's originality due to others. 





    UN.TITLED//

    Un.titled is a Leicester-based contemporary Graphic Design studio that specialise in web, digital and e-commerce, working for a wide range of customers and clients such as Clarks (footwear), and Wallpaper* magazine, to name but a few.

    BEHANCE ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Creative platform divided into separate categories- people (employers, designers, etc) are actively searching for your work.
    * Can link the URL to Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc to increase the level of traffic bought to your portfolio.
    * Have a good level of control over the design outcomes, layout, type etc, chosen on your profile and portfolio pages- make the overall design aesthetic more appropriate to your portfolio and the visual outcome that you want to relate, and communicate, of your work.


    WEAKNESSES//

    * A very widely used networking platform. As well as this being an advantage, work/portfolios can be easily lost among other more experienced or "popular" designers.
    * Not as direct (in terms of URL address) as a personal website would be. 
    * Restrictions on image uploads- uploads of up to 5MB, may restrict resolution quality of images (that may of otherwise have been able to post on a website/blog).


    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Great networking platform where designers and studios alike can source your work and create a narrative with you through personal comments, messages, etc.
    * Can link through URL sources
    * Editable profile information also allows for your personality to come across- more of a three dimensional, "rounded" character and human qualities- employees and studios can generate a more realistic view of what you are like, your interests, etc. 

    THREATS//

    * Worked can be reblogged without the necessity for source links- therefore uncredited, and not able to benefit from potential client/retail potential.



    JAMIE REED//

    Jamie Reed is a Graphic Designer who, in his online store, goes by the pseudonym of "human shaped robot" ("Graphic Design robot by day, Screen printing robot by night"), has a strong, conceptual imagination, which is showcased perfectly in his unique and playful printed design.

    CONCEPTUAL PRINTED SELF PROMOTION//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Original, unique and memorable- each piece of promotional material is specifically designed by, and catered for the designer- a true reflection of personality and design practice/skills set. 
    * A professional approach in terms of project management, reflecting time management and general design skills.
    * Provides further insight into design and printing process, showcases knowledge and skills within this area.


    WEAKNESSES//

    * Can potentially be costly to the designer to produce bulk numbers of high-end, professional printed design.
    * The turn around for product of print work (if sent away to be printed) can be time-consuming, and not as instantaneous as online creative networks/social media.

    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Can deliver directly to the employer/designer/etc that you intend/hope to contact, whether it be through Royal Mail delivery or in person- personalised service which will help ensure direct contact is made.
    * The tactile, physical print can help the employer/contact engage more with the design, as well as having a physical reminder of you and your design practice- more of a reminder to contact RE business opportunities, and more incentive.

    THREATS//

    * Can be easily disregarded/binned by the person contacted- potentially never even opened or delivered with little knowledge of the delivery (and receiving) process. 



    LITTLE PRINTER//

    Little printer is a smartphone enabled device which allows the owner to print off subscriptions in a receipt-like fashion to form a complete mini newspaper. Although the "little printer" is currently in the conceptual stages, it is due to be released in 2012.

    Although it has not yet been noted, the Little Printer, potentially, could be used for artist's and designers newsletters (an idea which I, myself, considered) as a networking platform for both web and print.

    MOBILE APP DEVICE ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Small, portable device- can be carried around and print items as if they were business cards quite spontaneously.
    * Can be used for printing other material, not just promtional design work- appropriate for both the designer and the wider market to own.

    WEAKNESSES//

    * Not yet an existing model/item- and when released, only a select number of people will own one, not an easily accesible or owned product.
    * Potentially expensive when produced, again, adding to the limited number of owners and people that would access the information.
    * Owners of the product would not necessarily be specific to your audience/designers/employers that you are trying to reach and promote your work to.
    * Not yet specified whether selected data that can be printed will be expanded/can be modified (such as designers newsletters).

    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Work can be seen by a wide and varied target audience, mix of ages, cultures, etc- potential for a wider retail market/online traffic generating.

    THREATS//

    * Not seen by a wide audience in terms of product ownership/numbers.
    * Work/contacts not being seen by the specific target audience that you are aiming for- if time/advertising costs have been paid for, as a designer, this will put you at a financial loss.




    KRISTYNA BACZYNSKI//

    Kristyna is a Leeds-based Graphic Designer who has been working freelance for several years since graduating. Her works are incredibly popular for their imaginative narrative and hand-rendered, refined style, with her designs being showcased at the Reetsweet craft fair and TestSpace pop up shops, but to name a few events/venues.

    ETSY ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Global audience, can be contacted by thousands of online users for potential work contacts, networking or potential employment opportunities.
    * Great way to showcase what you perceive to be your best/most retail able works- a "real world" situation in a professional environment.
    * Developing experience with business and marketing as you showcase your work.
    * Shows a level of knowledge in the industry and the incentive to promote yourself.

    WEAKNESSES//

    * Can be very time consuming- could potentially affect the outcomes with University study/commitments in other design practice(s).
    * Can often appear to be over/under valuing yourself (dependent on shop prices, etc)- could be reflected in your employability dependent on how much, as a designer, you value yourself.
    * Potential negative feedback from customers could reflect badly on your practice and employment potential- may not be perceived to be trustworthy, dependable, etc.

    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * Global audience, can be contacted by thousands of online users for potential work contacts, networking or potential employment opportunities.
    * Making money whilst you promote yourself and your work!

    THREATS//

    * Potential plagiarism risks (from other designers, as well as from yourself- as you are claiming financial benefit from the designs).




    STAN CHOW//

    Stan Chow is an incredibly talented and distinctive Illustrator/Graphic Designer, currently based in Manchester. His printed works have gathered global interest, working for clients such as BT and Vodafone. 

    BIGCARTEL ANALYSIS//

    STRENGTHS//

    * Within a few restrictive limits (in terms of page navigation/layout, etc) BigCartel pages can be personalised and styled to visually reflect the work of the designer and the products that are being sold.
    * Can showcase a professional body of work suitable for a retail environment- shows a level of professionalism and confidence within your work and abilities to be able to sell to a global audience.

    WEAKNESSES//

    * Limited number of uploads in terms of items- potentially limiting the amount of work you can showcase to potential networks, clients, business employees, and customers on a retail level. 
    * Direct URL, not linked to an associated creative network (such as Behance/Student Designers, etc) means that potential designers and employers have to search more directly to find your work, consequently resulting in less traffic on the site.

    OPPORTUNITIES//

    * With a professional body of work suitable for retail showcased through the BigCartel gallery, commissions by design agencies, companies and potential clients are more common place whether it be for bulk orders or being led to work on new projects.
    * Retail opportunities as well as the potential to create business links through sourcing to social media/contact details etc- making money whilst you promote yourself and your work. 

    THREATS//

    * Potential copyright infringement/lack of sourcing when images are either used by, or blogged by others- as with any work/designs published online. Potentially loosing out on retail customer and employer/designer interest.

    Online Press//Etcetera.




    Some of my photography from college, featured in the current issue of online magazine, Etcetera :)
    I applied to the magazine to be feature around six months ago, and, if I'm honest, I completely forgot about it (don't tell them, mind...) a lovely surprise email to come home to today after Uni.

    Wednesday, 21 March 2012

    Design Practice II//YCN/Graze/Final Crit Feedback.




    Final Crit Feedback and information from today's session. Working in groups of three (with the two members of each group- Charlie and I, Simon and Will, Oli and James), we each went around viewing the final design boards that we had created to present, writing on the feedback sheets about our initial thoughts and opinions before then openly discussing our design intentions and plans for the future of the project before Tuesday's final submission. 

    Before the crits began, Charlie and I wrote a list of five specific questions that we felt would be important to address in the crit and get feedback from:

    1/ Is our colour scheme appropriate for the brand and/or product?
    2/ Is the branding suitable for our target audience?
    3/ What do you think about the idea of a miniature box for mailshot deliverables?
    4/ Aesthetically and physically, is there enough balance between print and digital design outcomes?
    5/ Is the box and branding eye catching and engaging enough?

    The crit, as ever, was really useful, and I can speak for both Charlie and myself when I say it was really useful to get the opinions of our peers, and maybe to realise that we were doing okay for the moment (and not to be too worried about getting it finished on time!). 

    One particular topic that was bought up by James and Oli was the notion that the knife and fork logo wasn't very appropriate because of the "nibble" nature of Graze. This is something that I had worried about when creating the design, but without being overly conceptual (and therefore not very visually communicative) I found it quite difficult to come up with any other ideas that were contemporary and suited our campaign.

    After discussing the integration of the spork/spoons to the Graze box to suit the more formal working environment, as a group, we came to a mutual agreement that, although not ideal in terms of visual communication, we would keep the logo (for now at very least) as it is- a good lesson in branding for me!