After receiving the brief we decided to go our separate ways and generate some ideas. It was arranged that on Wednesday we would regroup, discuss the strongest ideas and finalize a idea.
Below are the initial ideas sheets I presented to my group.
When we met on Wednesday the group gathered round a table and each person individually presented their ideas generation sheets.
When presenting the ideas we discussed as a group the practicality of each one, looking at what we would communicate, the target audience, the tone of voice, how we would disseminate the information and where and how we would know if people were interacting with the outcome.
Discussing each idea in this way enabled us to select the strongest concepts, we chose five which are listed below.
After discussing each concept in more detail, we agreed upon our final idea. We chose to produce the 'stay creative' concept because it was a strong idea with a specific target audience. When discussing the concept everyone was coming up with exciting ideas that could be used, bouncing ideas off each other enabled us to develop the ideas concept further. Additonally, the idea has multiple outcomes, meaning that there is enough design work for all six members of the group. I created a proposal sheet with the basic concept of the idea.
After finalizing our idea the group decided to split once again to collect a visual body of research for Thursday, we will then present our research and start to discuss the content and design decisions in more detail.
- We will produce a zine & calendar that will set daily tasks to help students stay creative. Additionally, it will also include artist interviews and information on exhibitions and creative events.
- The target audience will be creative students from the Yorkshire area. However, the magazine will also be placed in a selection of bars, so that members of the public also have a chance to interact with it.
- The magazine will have a formal tone of voice as we want the magazine to come across as professional.
- The magazine will be just slightly smaller than A5, to cut down printing costs we will print as big as we can on A4 sheets of paper.
- The magazine will be distributed around the three universities, and various bars, as this is where our target audience are most likely to see, and interact with it.
- Moreover, we will create a range of social media pages for the magazine so we can see how knowledge of the publication spreads. Additionally, the blogs will also enable the audience to interact directly with the magazine, posting feedback and their own personal ways to stay creative.
On Friday we presented our proposed idea to Amber and Simon. Upon finishing we discussed problems regarding the target audience and production costs that needed to be addressed. I listed the considerations and made responses to each problem, as a group we then went through these and created tasks for people to complete for monday.
Firstly, we decided it was important create a survey to send around college enquiring about different ways people stay creative. We want to collect a broad range of techniques to help us create the tasks for the magazine. By collecting data from a range of creatives there will be a variety of tasks that evoke creativity numerous ways. Leo created the survey and disseminated it around the classroom.
Moreover, in the magazine we also wanted to include professional artist/designer interviews, so I started emailing artists and designers. First, I emailed 'Drew Millward' an illustrator who has been a source of personal inspiration for over a year, enquiring if he would be interested in conducting an emailed interview. His response can be seen below.
It was arranged to meet at 1.30pm at a pub called 'Friends of Ham' I was unsure where this was so researched into how to get there.
After getting the postcode from their website, I discovered that the pub is only a 10 minute walk from my accommodation.
However, just before I set off to meet him I received a last minute email from Drew, saying that the venue was closed. We decided to change the location to a different pub called 'Whitelocks' which was just round the corner from the original location.
I took my mobile phone with a recording app to document Drews replies.
This is the first situation I have been in where I will be directly interviewing someone. So to ensure that I come across as a professional I have prepared a selection of questions to ask. I researched into some past artist interviews to get an idea of the tone of voice I should take. After reviewing the interviews I created a short set of questions, some are general questions about design practice, and others are relevant to the content of the book.
- What would you like to drink?
- How did you get started in the illustration field?
- Can you share with the readers a bit about your creative process?
- Your characters are really unique, where did you find inspiration for them?
- Are there any specific things you do to stay creative?
- Do you ever get creative block? How do you overcome this?
- What are you up too at the moment? Any interesting projects?
After hours of transcribing the interview I had a typed up version ready for placing into a magazine layout, I will create thumbnails that explore a range of different layouts before creating it in InDesign.
We personalised a version of the brief so that it was specific to what we are producing.
After creating the Brief we sat down as a group generated a name and divided the workload up. At this point we need to focus on the collecting information that will form the content of the publication. Therefore, the tasks we set predominately focused on collecting and arranging information for the magazine. On Wednesday we plan to re-group and present the collected information and any work created.
Issy: Logo variations, Research into ways to stay creative.
ME: Logo variations, Research into ways to stay creative, Start organising events information.
Abbi: Logo variations, Research into ways to stay creative, Create interview questions.
Jamie: Logo variations, Research into ways to stay creative, Create interview questions.
J'nae: Logo variations, Research into ways to stay creative, Get people to submit ways to stay creative on social networking sites.
Leo: Logo variations, Research into ways to stay creative, Analyse data collected from survey, Create interview questions.
My personal tasks for the next two days include creating some logo designs, collecting a body of research into how to stay creative, and to organise some of the events research I collected so that it is ready for the publication.
Moreover, we also made spider diagrams exploring different names. We tried to capture the essence of the magazine through the name, however this was easier said than done, as a lot of the names were unsuitable or taken.
After reviewing the choices we narrowed it down to five possible choices.
After conversing as a group we decided to use 5 as the name of our magazine. we chose this name as it is relevant to the '5 a day' brief theme, and to the tasks that the magazine will set. Moreover, as we have decided to use this as the name of the publication we decided to try and theme the magazine around the number 5. I then thought of possible ways we could adapt the magazines content to further reiterate names relevance.
- 5 tasks a day/task a day - 5 outcomes.
- 5 artist interviews.
- 5 pieces of non-professional work exhibited
- 5 tips and tricks
- 5 events and exhibitions
When dividing the workload up we decided that everyone was going to design a range of logo concepts. This means that we will have a variety of different logo designs to choose from. The strongest will be used on the cover and throughout the publication.
The logo needs to be aesthetically engaging as it will be used on the cover of the magazine, as well as being featured on the blog. I created design sheets exploring my different logo ideas.
After refining my logo designs I developed them digitally, making different variations of each. I will present these to the group on Thursday.
After printing out the logo sheets to present to the group, it was suggested that one of the designs should be slightly adapted as it looked similar to the letter 'S'.
After reviewing the design I changed its form by simply rounding two of the corners. This made the design look less like a letter 'S' and more like the number 5 I wanted to portray. After changing the basic design I made more logo variations to present to the group.
After creating a range of logos we regrouped and reviewed the possible logo designs. It was collectively decided to use the hand-drawn type logo, that replicated the old methods used to accurately draw typefaces and letters.
The logo was chosen as it is a strong visual representation of the magazines creative content. Moreover, we plan to pull elements from the design to use on the pages of the magazine, such as the linear lines and diagonal line texture.
Finally, after the logo had been selected, I tided up the design so it was ready for use on the blog and in the magazine.
On Friday we had a progress criticism to check how our projects are developing. At this stage in the project we are still making design decisions and collecting content for the magazine, so we didn't have a lot of visual evidence to present. However, we did not let this affect our presentation, and explained our concept and considerations in detail. Moreover, we also discussed the content of the magazine and how the audience will interact it.
- Divide up the work load - each person needs a job.
- Create time management sheets to help keep the project organised.
- Consider stock costs and printing options.
The first thing I did after the criticism was print off time management sheets for everyone. We then divided up the work load and added the appropriate tasks to our sheets.
- Create the illustrations for the '5-a-day Tasks'.
- Create thumbnail layouts for the Drew Millward interview spread.
We will then regroup on monday, bring all the separate elements together, and design the magazine.
Below is the list of creative tasks that the illustrations are being created for.
I started the design process by making thumbnail sketches of symbols I could use to represent each task.
Next, I used Illustrator to digitize the logos that best communicated the task.
- Listen to 5 new songs
- Make 5 changes to your workspace.
- Look at 5 optical illusions.
- Write I am creative 5 times with your left hand.
- Look for 5 shapes in the clouds and draw them.
- Draw 5 people that you know.
- Find 5 new ways of making a mark.
- Free write for 50 seconds.
- Communicate 50 things about Leeds that you like. - Sketch or photograph
- Draw 5 Random words in the dictionary.
- Find 5 new blogs.
- Draw your breakfast for the next 5 days.
- Write down your dreams for the next 5 days.
- Draw 5 Buildings. - In leeds? Sketch or photograph.
- Find 5 images in the night sky. - Take 5 photos of the night sky?
- Make up 5 new words.
- Set 5 goals.
- Watch 5 new videos. - We'll blog these.
- Take 5 photographs.
- Draw 5 things with your eyes closed. - From memory?
- Go to 5 exhibitions over the next 5 days. - This might be difficult
- Turn TV programme on Mute and reword it for 5 mins
- Talk to 5 new people.
- Read 5 poems. - Or books/magazines?
I started the design process by making thumbnail sketches of symbols I could use to represent each task.
A lot of the tasks are similar and require the audience to draw, look and find to complete the tasks. Therefore, instead of creating individual symbols for each task I will create a set of symbols which can be used to represent the method of interaction.
METHODS OF INTERACTION
- Free write - Similar to write, use same symbol.
- Set - Use same symbol as make.
- Watch - Similar to look, use same symbol.
- Take - Photos, use look symbol.
- Talk - Similar to communicate, use same symbol.
Next, I used Illustrator to digitize the logos that best communicated the task.
After digitally producing the logos I selected the strongest designs to refine and develop so that they are ready for placement on Monday. I sized all the logos so they are the same size and changed the line weight so that all the symbols had the same line thickness. The aim of this was to make the logos work together as a set by making the visual elements the same. Moreover, I also added diagonal lines to the illustrations to give them texture and add detail.
Below are the refined, re-sized logos ready for placing on Monday when we bring all the elements of the magazine together. Although the logos don't necessarily immediately communicate their meaning, when used in the publication they will be placed next to text that will support their meaning.
Moreover, after presenting the icons to the group we decided it would be beneficial to produce two extra icons of a camera and hand.
I then sent the logos to Jamie who is producing a calender of icons that will pull out of the centre of the magazine, and leo who is producing the 5-a-day task double page spreads.
When dividing up the work load we decided that everyone needs to create thumbnail sketches exploring magazine layouts, this way on Monday we can assemble the magazine together with relative ease. Using my recent new-found knowledge of grid layouts I was tasked with creating layouts for the Drew Millward interview. My thumbnails can be seen below.
I used a 4x4 grid on each of the pages to help me accurately arrange the layout.
COVER & CONTENTS
I also created the designs for the cover of the magazine, I wanted it to represent the contents of the magazine, so included the logo and some of the illustrations I created for the tasks.
Moreover, I decided to print a proof of the cover to check for imperfections. After, inspecting the design and print quality I was happy with the outcome but decided to remove the lines from the top and left hand side edge of the design, as their placement will cause a problem when trimming the cover.
Additionally, I also created the contents page, I used the same fonts that are used throughout the publication,
Moreover, we also needed to select typefaces for the magazine. I think that it would be beneficial to use one constant typeface throughout the magazine to create a strong on going visual theme. The typefaces need to be suitable for headings, subheadings and body copy. Therefore, I collected a variety of contemporary typefaces suitable for the magazine.
Maven Pro Light Typeface - Suitable for Body copy.
Edmondsans Typeface - Suitable for Headings, Subheadings and Body copy.
Blanch Font - Heading & Subheading Font.
Quaver - Sans & Sans - Serif versions available.
After reviewing the typefaces that everyone collected we decided to use 'Edmond sans' for the body-copy and subheadings, and 'Franchise' for the headings.
We want to be able to produce the book cheaply, as it will be given away for free. When choosing a stock we had to consider this factor as it affected the stock we could get. The final product will be a magazine, as we are not producing a book that will be re-read over the years, the paper dose not have to be thick and durable.
After working out how many sheets we needed to produce the magazines we used an online outlet to order the paper. We chose an off-white 80gsm paper, as it was cheap and suited the function of the outcome.
However, the pages of the magazine will become tattered very quickly if not protected, so we decided to use a different stock for the cover. We selected a thick brown matt paper from the library, although this will affect the darkness of the inks when printing, as the cover will only be printed in black it is not a problem.
After gathering the work from all my group members I created an InDesign document for the magazine.
I then placed the contents onto each spread.
Before printing the pages of the magazine I made a small scale model so that we could check for mistakes. This is important as after we have sent the document to print there is no turning back.
The first time we printed the model, the scale was wrong and the pages had been re-arranged, so that certain articles were spread over the wrong pages.
After re-arranging the pages we sent the document to print. I selected the printing option 'Scale to fit Media' as we are printing on A4 stock, we had already planned for the zine to be slightly smaller than A5. However, when it printed it was much smaller that we imagined and was surrounded by negative space when placed in the cover. Moreover, I also noticed that some of the images were really pixelated, so I changed them for ones with a better resolution.
Below are the two replacement images.
Illustration by Drew Millward
Illustration by Steph Baxter
Therefore, I rescaled the magazine to print at 90% scale. This resulted in the page fitting the cover perfectly.
Finally, after rescaling the design and checking for mistakes the magazine was finally ready for printing. Firstly, I set up the correct print settings in illustrator, checking them to make sure that everything was set up correctly. After I was happy everything was set up ok I printed a batch of 20 magazines.
The first batch of magazine pages were checked and everything seemed fine so the process was repeated giving us a total of 40 magazines.
Moreover, after buying paper for the cover of the magazine we trimmed it down to A4 size so that it was the correct dimensions for the cover. After all of the sheets had been trimmed the cover was printed ready for binding with the contents of the magazine.
I also created a digital version of the magazine that will be posted to the various blogs. Posting an online version of the magazine makes it accessible to viewers who cant get to where the magazine is distributed, this essentially widens our audience
More over, blogs were also created by J'nae, Issy and Abi so that we could interact with the audience and see how the outcome is received.
The blogs enable us to receive feedback from our audience as there are sections where comments can be typed, we will ask the audience to give us feedback and interact with the blog within the magazine.
The blogs also enable us to check how the magazine spreads, this is important as the brief is titles 'Communication is a Virus', if our outcome is successful it will start to gain a following.
Twitter enables us to share with our audience inspiration and tips on how to stay creative. Moreover, it also allows us to see if the audience is interacting with the blog if posts are re-tweeted, replied to or favorited. Additionally, we can see how the magazine spreads as more people follow us and re-tweet our posts.
Facebook enables us to share information about the magazine and different ways that you can stay creative. We can see if the audience is interacting with the page if they comment on, like or share our posts.
Tumblr is an online blog where we have a page of inspiration, artist interviews, event information and the 5-a-day tasks. The page will gain followers if people want to see our posts regularly. Therefore we will have to judge if the blog is successful by the number of followers it gets.
We got our best reaction from the magazines twitter page. We posted information about the magazine and its production, and gathered a small following. Moreover, we also tweeted asking for people to tell us ways that they stayed inspired. Additionally, using the techniques submitted we plant to create a long list of ways people stay creative.
Moreover, we also got a similar reaction on Facebook but with less of a following. However, the page was followed by a local restaurant called 'Serenity', they liked the idea behind the magazines concept and approached us asking if we wanted to hold a launch night for the publication. Unfortunately, we had to decline the offer as we are currently unsure if we will continue to produce the magazine after the brief finishes.
Firstly, as a group we were given the subject of 5-a-day. To generate a wide range of ideas the group split up, in doing so this enabled us to think of ideas uninfluenced by input from other group members. Spider diagrams were created of possible directions the project could be taken in. We reviewed the possible outcomes in more detail, considering the target audience and most effective method of delivery. After further discussions we decided to produce the 'stay creative' concept because it was a strong idea with a specific target audience.
As creatives we were all aware that creative block is an issue that affects us all. Our target audience is creative students from the Leeds area. Therefore we collected primary research by asking students from around university if creative block affected them. Almost everybody we spoke to has suffered from creative block in the past, so it was obvious that staying creative is an issue. Moreover, Leo also created a questionnaire which was disseminated around University asking students how they personally overcome creative block. After the problem was defined we collected secondary research into the functionality of different outcomes.
At this point of the project the group was divided on what form the outcome should take, some members of the group wanted to produce a calendar with the daily tasks and others wanted to produce a magazine. Therefore, I collected a body of secondary research exploring the functionality of calendars and magazines for our project. The research enabled me to see a problem with format, we could not display 5-a-day tasks on a calendar unless we produced a monthly calendar with a page for each day.
It was decided that the outcome was going to take the form of a magazine, so I collected a small body secondary research into creative magazine layouts. The aim of this was to give me an informed idea of the functionality of a magazine outcome, and how this could be adapted to suit our outcome.
Additionally, when thinking of ideas for the content of the magazine, I suggested that we email a few inspirational designers and artists to see if they would like to have a featured interview in the magazine. I emailed illustrator Drew Millward, who replied saying he'd love to do it, and could even meet us in Leeds to do it face to face. I met Drew on a Wednesday and collected Primary research for the magazine in the form of an interview. This was useful as it gave us content for the magazine and also presented me with the chance to ask a working professional how they overcome creative block.
Moreover, I also collected primary research from possible places of distribution. The magazine is aimed at creative students from Leeds, so the best distribution point will be in colleges and Universities. Therefore, I walked to Vernon street amongst other places looking at where the magazine could be distributed. Moreover, I also collected flyers and booklets regarding creative events in Leeds as we planned to have a creative events section for our audience. I believe that we could have improved our research by making a questionnaire that asked the audience if they would interact better with tasks that engaged their creativity, or simply tips and tricks that could be quickly read.
I found divining the workload hard, there were specific tasks that everyone wanted to have input in, like the logo for example. Three members of the group made a range of logos, although this gave us a breadth of choice, we could have saved time by focusing on individual tasks.
Firstly, one problem we encountered was time management. I created time management sheets to help us keep the project on track, however we were unable to keep to the schedule as we didn’t have all the elements for the magazine we needed to progress. This resulted in us printing the magazine later than expected which left us with less time to check for errors and to distribute the magazine, undoubtedly missed some, like the page numbers on pages 17 & 18. Moreover, the overrun of time also affected our presentation as we had little time to spend preparing it. I believe that if we divided the work load up better and were stricter with meeting deadlines the project could have been a lot more successful.
Moreover, I think that the magazine was successful; we distributed it around university and generated some audience interaction online. However, I think that we could have improved our outcome, and the audience interaction if we had organised ourselves better as a group. This would have allowed us to spend more time checking the magazine for errors, and given us time to properly prepare our presentation. Moreover, I think that the magazine could have benefited from having tips to staying creative, rather than daily tasks. Students from Leeds College of Art are busy (this may not affect students from other universities), so finding time to complete 5 daily tasks could prove a task in itself.
Finally, we were asked after our presentation if we were going to carry on producing the publication after the end of the brief. I think that creating a publication is a great way to meet artists and get involved in the industry at an early stage in our careers as designers. Despite this, I don’t think that I personally would continue to produce 5 magazine, as I think that the concept and ideas need developing further. However, being involved in producing the magazine has got me thinking about possible concept for a magazine that could be produced in the near future.