Today we were given a new brief, we are to produce an outcome that gives new first year students advice about the course, or other problems we faced when we first moved to the city.
There are no restriction as to what can be produced, or the tone of voice it uses to communicate its message.
I started the brief by making a spider diagram of problems/difficulties I encountered in my first year at LCA.
- Intense workload straight away.
- Not knowing my way around University/Leeds.
- Finding street-art and graffiti.
- Finding street skate spots.
- Breaking the ice during the first two weeks.
- Finding the decent bars to drink at.
- Remembering peoples names.
- Not everyone had used programs such as Illustrator before.
- How the blogs are structured was confusing.
- Presenting work to the class was nerve-racking.
- Walls of my accommodation were bare and depressing.
- Finding cheap places to buy food.
- Friends that I have spoken too have also had problems with cooking.
- Locating the nearest cash machines and corner shops.
- Creative Student Guide - Introduction to the city from a creative students point of view.
- Software basics - Basic introduction to programs such as Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.
- Different ways to see the city - City guide that provokes students to explore the city.
- Gallery guide - Guide to galleries, craft shops and exhibitions in the city.
- Street Skate Spots - App or publication so that students that skateboard can find skate spots. (Limited audience)
- Graphic Design Year 1 Survival Guide - Guide to surviving the first year on the course, will provide information on the blogs and how they should be used, as well as maps and tips and tricks.
- Leeds Bar Guide - A student guide to the more bespoke bars in Leeds.
- Guide to Leeds - Guide to the city, skate spots, places to eat and see, shops.
- Breaking The Ice Game - Create a game that breaks the ice for first year students, and gets them to interact and comunicate.
- Student Cook Book - Cookbook with simple easy to follow recipes.
- Poster Pack - Illustrative poster pack to decorate walls of student accommodation, could include an academic calendar and city map.
- First year Survival Guide.
- Would act as a guide for first year students, providing them with maps of the university and city, help with how to organise the blogs and general tips and tricks to make their life on the first year of the course a little easier.
- Outcome would be small enough to fit in a pocket or bad so that it can be carried round easily with the student. (similar to the 'Field Notes' notebook that I have)
- The outcome would also have pages for note taking and drawing. (could produce separate books that work in a set)
- Breaking the ice game - Graphic Design Charades.
- The game will provoke students to interact with on and other and improve their communication skills.
- The tone of voice will be informal and light hearted.
- The outcome will be produced so it is the same size as a standard pack of playing cards so that they fit with the participants hand easily. If they were large in size it would be a lot harder to distribute and mix the cards.
- Leeds Bar Guide.
- A creative student guide to bespoke bars in Leeds.
- The outcome will inform students about bespoke creative bars in Leeds such as 'A Nation of Shopkeepers'.
- The information could be printed onto beer labels and stuck onto existing bottles of beer/cider.
- Packaging could also be produced that displays further information such as a map.
- The bottles could be spray-painted to represent the cost of drinks in the venue.
After reviewing the three possible outcomes I select the game ideas as the one to develop, I chose this as in the first week I personally found it hard to break the ice. The game not only presents students with a chance to interact with one an other, but also develops their communication and drawing skills.
Next, I collected some initial research to help me define all aspects of the project, such as what I will produce.
- Create a game of visual perception that acts as a way of breaking the ice and getting first year students to interact.
- The game will have two topics on each card, personal and professional. The personal cards will ask introductory questions that make students open up, this is also useful as people will be able to see who has similar interests.
- The game will get students to interact and improve and develop their visual communication skills, which are essential to have in graphic design.
- The phrases will be printed onto small cards that are the same dimensions as a standard playing card.
- I will also produce packaging for the cards, and a box for all the elements of the game.
During the first few weeks at University students are faced with stressful tasks such as meeting new friends, adapting to a new environment and completing work. In my first week at Leeds College of Art I found that breaking the ice and starting conversations with fellow class mates could be hard. Everyone is new, and everyone is nervous and sometimes approaching someone and starting a conversation is the hardest part.
I intend to create a game where students will visually communicate words and phrases. The game will act as a way of breaking the ice and provoke students to interact with one an other. Good communication skills are essential in graphic design, the game will improve and develop these skills as students will communicate words and phrases using only hand drawn imagery. The game will have two topics on each card, personal and professional. The personal cards will ask introductory questions that make students open up, this is useful as people will be able to see who has similar interests.
Finally, I will produce designs for the cards, front and back, packaging that will hold the cards together, and a box for all the elements of the game. As the game is being produced for first year graphic design students it will be aesthetically engaging, and finished to a high quality. The stock choice and production will reflect this ethos.
In past projects I have benefited from keeping time management sheets to help me keep organised.
As part of the brief we were required to produce three design sheets listing details of the concept, method of delivery and production. We will present these in a critique on friday and receive feedback on our initial concept and how the project is progressing.
- Keep organised over the holidays and stick to my time management sheets.
- Need to move the project along quickly as the print process can be time consuming.
- Check when print room is open.
- Create a mock up of the game, do a trial run and record results.
- Make models of the packaging, how will it hold the elements of my design?
- The game could be embarrassing for students who cant draw, how could I solve this?
After collecting further, focused research into packaging and card design I outlined some design decisions such as choice of typeface, colour, stock and method of production. All these decisions are affected by the visual theme. Therefore, I created a spider diagram exploring my ideas.
My visual theme needs to engage my target audience of first year graphic designers and reflect the games content. Therefore, I based my ideas on design related topics such as typography and geometric shapes.
After reviewing my generated ideas I made a decision on the visual theme that wil be used consistently on the outcome. My target audience will relate to typography and as designers should find it visually engaging. Therefore, I chose to use 'Retro Type' as my visual theme.
My visual theme directly affects decisions made regarding the typefaces selected for the project. I outlined my visual theme as 'Retro Type', so I have decided to select typefaces that would have been used in the letter press printing technique. I want to limit the amount of typefaces used on my outcome to one typeface, I want the design to be consistent and a constant typeface will help me achieve this.
I chose a font called 'Typoslabserif', it is a slab serif font that comes in two weights, regular and light. Due to the fonts characteristics, such as serifs and a tall x-height, the font will work well as a display font and for smaller body copy making it perfect for my outcome.
Stock choice is an important decision that will affect the quality of my final outcome. I looked at different stock choices in my research and have decided to use two different stocks. A strong thick cardboard will be used for the outer packaging, and a thinner cardboard for the playing cards and their box.
- I will use a thin double sided corrugated cardboard for the outer packaging, the stock is easy to work with and will create a durable outcome.
- I will use chipboard for the playing cards and their packaging as it is thinner and less bulky that the sturdy cardboard used for the outer packaging.
- One problem I am faced with is the colour of each stock. I dont want the stock colour to differ as this will look unprofessional.
METHOD OF PRODUCTION
Below are my final concept designs for my outcomes packaging.
The outer packaging will use this net and be made from corrugated cardboard, it uses flaps to hold itself together so no glue is needed.
I will also create an insert for the box that will hold the playing cards and sand timer in place when the box is being moved around. The insert will be made from single walled cardboard similar to the outer packaging so that it is durable enough to suit its function.
Furthermore, I will also create matchbox styled packaging for my set of cards. The packaging will also have screen printed graphics on it to engage the audience and inform them that the cards are inside. Due to the boxes size it will need glue to hold it together.
Finally, I will produce the cards, they will have a aesthetically engaging pattern on one side and the two questions of the other. The cards will be screen printed onto a thinner grey card stock.
All of the products will be printed using the screen printing technique, after I have finalised the dimensions of each design outcome I will work out how many screens I need to produce my outcome.
As I am screen printing my outcome I want to use a limited amount of colours to keep the printing costs down.
I plan to use one colour throughout the whole project so that the design elements are consistent. I am printing onto brown stock therefore I want to use a light colour such as white, as it will contrast the dark stock and be easy to define. Furthermore, a light colour will also benefit the typography as text is more legible when it is easy to define.
On Friday a small group of my classmates and tutors gathered around a small tabel to present the progress made with our projects so far. We each took turns to present our work to the group, discussing things like stock, and production methods.
It was the first time that some of my classmates had heard my proposal, so it was good to get honest feedback from them.
- Make sure that the professional questions are simple, as some first years may not have a good knowledge of technical terms.
- Instead of printing the rules on the inside of the card packaging where they could be missed, I should consider printing them on the inside the cover of the outer packaging.
- I should go to Vernon street to look at the print facilities and talk to sarah who has a knowledge of binding and folding techniques.
After reviewing the names generated for the game I chose to call it 'Sixty'. Sixty relates to the number of seconds participants have to complete their drawing when playing the game. It is a defining factor of the outcome and holds importance as to how the game is played.
I found generating names for the game hard, I wanted something memorable that also relates to the games content.
After the name of the game was defined I started creating logos. The logo will be used on the font of the box and will be one of the first visual elements the audience will see. Therefore, the design needs to be aesthetically engaging, and have the ability to grab the audiences attention and make them want to engage with the games content. As the logo will be one of the first visual elements the audience will see, it will set the design standard for the rest of the packaging. Therefore the logo needs to be high quality.
I started by creating a spider diagram of ideas for the logo.
I developed a range of logos, in past projects I noted in my evaluation that I would benefit from producing more digital variations.
I selected a range of different logo variations so they could be reviewed and a final chosen. When assessing the logos I wanted something simple and eye catching that would engage the target audience.
I chose the typographic 'Sixty' as the final logo as it is simple, refined to a typographic translation of my games name. Moreover, the strong uppercase letters are eye catching and fit with the chosen typographic theme.
RULES & QUESTIONS
I wanted to develop the rules and questions for the game early on in the project as it is important to have a finalized game concept before designing the visual elements for the packaging. There could be a definitive rule or question that will affect the visual design elements of the game.
I started by creating a set of rules for the game.
Next, I produced a long list of questions both professional and personal, the personal questions will act as the ice breakers so ask questions such as 'What is your favorite sport?'. Furthermore, the professional questions will test the participants professional knowledge.
I wrote up the rules in word to make sure that there were no spelling mistakes, then refined the list questions.
I wanted to test the function of the net selected for my final outcome. Testing the net at this stage will help me see problems that could seriously affect the functionality of my final outcome. Additionally, it also allowed me to test the strength of the packaging, my final outcome needs to be durable as it will be kept year round and used for each new year of first year graphic design students. Therefore, the packaging needs to be strong and durable to withstand the knocks of everyday use and storage.
The net was printed onto some relatively thick white card. I want to also experiment with making a developed model that will use the same stock as the final outcome.
I cut out the print using a scalpel and metal ruler, then scored the folding lines.
After all the lines had been scored I constructed the box. I used a bone folder to help me achieve accurate, clean folded creases.
No glue was needed to construct the model, as the net is designed in a way so that it holds itself together. I was sceptical about how strong this method would be. However, after finishing its construction I realised that the method used creates a ridged durable outcome.
When the model is completely closed it is hard to tell where it opens from, and how it opens. My outcome will need some sort of signifier to show the audience where the box opens from.
After defining my design decisions I started creating my initial concept sketches for the card design.
Firstly, I finalized the dimensions for each design aspect, this needed to be done first so that I could create the nets for each outcome at the correct size. I used the dimensions of the playing cards to then work out the measurements for the playing card packaging and box.
Next, I created design sheets exploring different patterns that could be created for the back of the cards. I want to create a pattern that is interesting, as it needs to engage the target audience. Moreover, the chosen pattern will also be printed onto other parts of the packaging to create a consistent visual theme.
I found that the most successful patterns were simple linear designs that are then repeated.
DEVELOPED PATTERN DESIGN
I reviewed the patters created so far and selected the three strongest to develop. The designs will be reproduced digitally, assessed and a final one chosen.
PATTERN DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT
I selected three of the most successful patterns to digitally develop in illustrator, below are examples of each option.
The first pattern simply uses fine diagonal lines. The design is simple yet effective and would be functional when printed full bleed on the backs of the cards.
The next pattern has been created with triangles and squares. The design is interesting due to its symmetry and use of geometric shapes. However, the design would not work printed full bleed as parts of the shapes would be trimmed off affecting the design.
This patter is made up of waved lines that have been rotated so that they are diagonal.
After making the final decision about what pattern to use for the back of the card, I created sheets exploring designs for the front of the card.
Finally, I created thumbnail designs for the outer packaging elements of the outcome. When designing the packaging I...
I reviewed the design variations created for the outer packaging and selected the strongest designs. As my outcome is being produced for first year designers the packaging needs to be visually engaging. Therefore, I selected a design that was simple and focused on the positioning of the logo and the function of the packaging.
I refined the chosen design digitally, adding the logo and other design elements. I made the template so that it measured the correct dimensions and is ready for printing.
On Friday we had our final critique for the project. We divided up into small groups of six and took turns to introduce the proposal and our projects progression. After we had all presented we wrote down a number of questions regarding design decisions made.
- Is the concept well communicated and understandable?
- When printing the outcome, should I stick to one colour or two?
- Do the questions work well as ice breakers/introductory questions?
After everyone had written their questions we walked round the table and gave feedback.
- Concept is really easy to understand.
- Stick with one colour! Keep it simple as it looks clean and its a game targeted at graphic designers. The clean style is original and I imagine designers will like it.
- Questions are good, even spread between easy and difficult questions.
- Simple concept, not hard to understand.
- Experiment with using another colour on the mock up and see if it adds to the design. If not, one colour + stock looks good as its minimal.
- First week is scary and intimidating for first years, therefore the questions work well as they are simple and will allow them to get to know each other.
- Stick with white print on brown stock, the content will stand out more.
- Possibly experiment with black ink for the lines on the back of the cards.
- Good mix of questions, some light hearted, others are challenging.
- The questions are relevant to those living in halls/accommodation and would also suit those who are living together. It would be a fun way of getting a conversation going in a casual way. General and not too personal for a first meeting.
- In regards to colour, I like it as it has a really classy look and I like the simplicity.
- Anyone who is familiar with pictionary will understand the concept straight away and even those who haven't will find it easy to understand.
- When printing I will only print using one colour, this will make the design consistent and strengthens the minimal feel of the design.
Firstly, as the packing is being screen printed all elements of the outcome such as the packaging and cards need to fit onto sheets that are then used to expose the screen. When arranging the sheets I managed to fit all parts of the design on two A1 sheets, meaning I will need to expose two screens when printing.
I decided to create another model of the final outcome, as I haven't worked with the stock chosen for the outer packaging. I used a print that had slightly misprinted on the double walled cardboard stock. I wanted to see how the material was to work with to help me detect problems that could seriously affect the quality of my final product.
One of the initial prints.
Firstly, I used a scalpel and metal ruler to accurately trim the net from the cardboard.
Then using a bone-folder and metal ruler I folded along all the crease lines of the packaging. I found using the bone-folder was vital to achieving an accurate sturdy fold.
The side flaps of the product are slightly too long, therefore I had to trim them down before constructing the box.
I cut a hole in the bottom of the packaging so the side flap tab can slot into it and hold the packaging together. After, I trimmed the side flap and folded it round the tabs.
I realized after trimming the tab that the design would benefit from a wider crease due to the thickness of the cardboard. Furthermore, a wider fold should take up the extra length left by the side tab.
Finally, the slots where the lids tabs fit into kept catching when I was closing the packaging making it hard to close the box. I overcame this problem by putting a small amount of tape along the edge of the tab, this stops any snagging when closing the lid.
When producing my final outcome I will need to make sure to increase the width of each fold to compensate for the width of the cardboard Moreover, I will also trim the closure tabs on the front of the box so that they fit the holes left by the sides of the the box, this will ensure that the packaging closes with ease.
Previous to producing my final outcome I had already printed one side of my outcome and trimmed out the templates. Therefore, when starting the final production process I started by screen printing the rules on the inside of the box and the insert.
I taped up the screen so I could print each part of the design separately.
This picture shows all the finished printed elements of the game.
Next, I started folding the outer packaging, I made sure that I made two folds to so that the crease is wider to compensate for the width of the cardbaord.
I also had to decrease the side of the size of the tab so that it slotted into the hole left by the sides of the packaging.
The dimensions of each box are slightly different, so the insert had to be individually measured so it would fit the inside of the box accurately. The insert needs to be tight fitting or it will fall out and be useless.
The finished template looked like this before it was cut.
After creating the insert I made the tray for the card packaging. The cardboard stock was not suitable for the tray so a grey chipboard was used instead.
Glue was used to hold the tray together.
After creating the tray I trimmed down the cards.
Finally, after trimming down the cards I realized that they were slightly too wide for the tray. This problem was easily solved as I left room for trimming.
Below are the final images of my outcome, I will use these when creating profiles on portfolio websites such as 'Behance' and 'Cargo Collective'.
Firstly, I started the brief by creating a spider diagram of the problems I faced during my first year at university, and the responses that could be used to appropriately solve the problem. I used these spider diagrams to help me form ideas about what I could create to help the first year students. It was mentioned in previous evaluations that I should spend more time thinking of ideas to help me define a strong yet simple concept. Therefore, I created proposals for three different ideas, I initially presented the bottle bar guide to the class as my final idea. However, after reviewing the choices I decided to go with the ice-breaking game proposal, I chose this over the others as it was a simple concept that I thought could really benefit the first year students.
After defining a proposed idea I started collecting my initial research, from primary and secondary sources I researched into card and packaging design. This came to influence the design of my packaging, dimensions of the cards and stock choice. Additionally, after I completed defining the games rules and questions I gathered a small group of my friends together to have a quick run through of the game. Playing the game allowed me to check for mistakes or problems with the games rules, outcome or concept. However, after playing the game no problems were highlighted.
After collecting my body of research I started creating three boards ready for presentation, we needed to communicate our concept, method of delivery and production methods to Amber, Simon and a selection of third years. I found the crit really helpful, not only did the session end with me receiving some really positive feedback, but it also enabled me to develop my presentation skills, I am glad that I was put in a situation which tested my confidence and presentation skills as these are something I want to work on.
Next, I defined a visual theme, this would affect the style of graphics used on the packaging and cards. The visual theme needed to engage the target audience of first year design students. Therefore, a simple slab serif type theme was chosen. Next, I used my research to help me define some design decisions regarding the typeface, stock and colour scheme. Defining these elements early in the design process meant that I could move the project on quickly after I finished designing the visual elements for the outcome.
Before I could start designing the visual elements of my outcome I needed to define a name and develop a logo design. The name and logo needed to be relevant to the games content and attract the audiences attention. Therefore, the name 'Sixty' was chosen, sixty refers to the number of seconds the participants have to complete their picture. As I stated that I would use a typographic visual theme for the project a simple slab-serif typo logo was selected. After finalizing the name and logo I was then in a position were I could start developing a design for each element of the game.
The design process was started by finalizing the form of each part of the game, after defining this I created a range of thumbnail designs exploring the layout and function of each design aspect. A range of thumbnails were created for the outer packaging and the front and back of the cards, creating the thumbnails allowed me to explore a range of different designs that experimented with the composition of type and pattern. When designing the aspects of the game I wanted to create simple, effective graphics that flowed consistently across all elements of the outcome. To keep the design consistent the same pattern, typeface and colour was used across all parts of the outcome.
After finalizing my designs and developing them digitally I was ready to print my outcome. I used the screen-printing method as it suited my outcome best, I wanted to print the design in white on double walled corrugated cardboard, so tonal printers were not suitable. I enjoyed the process of screen printing as it is a printing method that fascinates me and I hadn't had chance to use it in any of my projects this year. Furthermore, completing the process helped me develop my knowledge of the process which in turn helping me to become more confident with the printing method and in the print room.
I created a full sized model of the game from a misprint, this allowed me to detect any problems when binding the outer packaging. When making the model I noticed that the thickness of the cardboard meant that the folds had to be doubled up to make them wider. Without the production of the model I would not have foreseen this problem and made the mistake when making my final.
Finally, after I finished printing all aspects of the game I used a bone folder and metal ruler to help me create the game. Using these craft tools meant that I could achieve an accurate, professional finish, something that I try to achieve with all my outcomes. One mistake I made was leaving the lines of the template on the print, as this meant that the lines of the net were visible after the packaging was cut out and produced. In future projects I will remove the packaging lines to help form a more clean, professional looking outcome.