Penguin: Final Updates

The Penguin project was lowest on my priority list for making final updates because it was such a short project, and doesn’t have a design document. However, I’m in a position in submission week where I have time to make some final updates, which is really positive and I’m really happy with my time management at this point. Last year, I really struggled with time management and would always leave things until last minute, get really stressed and therefore not create my best work. I feel that my time management skills have improved drastically over the year, mainly due to taking on more freelance clients (I currently do around 15-20 hours a week of freelance work). This has forced me to manage my time more efficiently, which has been a really positive move forward for me, and is something which will benefit me lots in the future when taking on more freelance work or obtaining a job.

Penguin updates:

Outcome at formative submission:

At the formative submission stage in January, I received some really useful feedback from Carol and my peers:

The comments were all very similar in that they suggest I include more pastel colours within the jenga blocks themselves. Carol also agreed, and suggested that I make even more use of the blocks on the back cover of the book, to make the design work even more dynamically, as a whole composition (rather than a back and a front).

I started by adding pastel colours to the jenga blocks themselves. I started by adding colour to every block:

However, I thought that this looked a little too colourful and overpowering, so I changed some of the less prominent blocks back to white, and I think this is a more even balance and contrast between the pastel colours and the neutral white:

Next, I added some colour to the blocks on the back cover. I feel that this really helps make the front and back work together more fluidly:

Although these revisions were very minor, I think they have made a huge difference to the final outcome. This really reinforces the fact that small revisions can be key in taking a project to the next level. This is something that I’ll take forward into my future freelance work.

mockups-design.com

Dissertation Design: Final Updates

1:1 Tutorial with David – Wednesday 4th May

In my tutorial with David today I got some updated feedback on my editorial design. This is something that I really wanted to perfect because I’m conscious that this is the only major outcome which showcases my editorial design skillset from this year’s submission, so I really need to show off all of my skills within this one piece of work. Overall, David’s feedback was encouraging and really positive. The main points he highlighted all surrounded type detailing. He said that I needed to show off my editorial skills more by including type detailing more frequently. I responded to this feedback by going back to a resource which I had at the start of my second year (for our editorial project) and referred to it:

I found the typographic detailing section particularly useful as this was what David was highlighting that I didn’t have enough of in my design. I decided that I would need to include more subheadings, callout quotations, making the most of the use of ligatures within my typefaces and also just paying more attention to detail in terms of widows, orphans and the rag of my body copy. In order to start this process I used the Markup feature on my iPad to make notes of any typographic detailing I could notice in my own work. I then went on to send my work to Shannon, a peer, who also looked over the typographic detailing (I did the same for her, too!). This was such a useful process and seeing someone else’s work then makes you look at your own in more detail in my opinion. These were Shannon’s annotations:

Shannon’s feedback:

Shannon annotated my spreads in such great detail and I’m so grateful that she took the time to do this for me! It was SO helpful so get her perspective of my work and her notes were really engaging and constructive. I loved Shannon’s idea of rotating “Persuasive Design”, here was the result:

Something just didn’t look right to me with this so I decided to experiment with the repeated dots on the “i’s” (called a tittle) by removing some of them, in the original orientation and found that this looked clearer and more fitting. I think that the reduced amount of tittles :

The final change I made to this spread was to get rid of the widow at the bottom of the left hand piece of body copy:

The next change I made was to increase the size of the type on this spread. David said that he thought that it previously felt trapped on the page and the negative space surrounding the type felt unused or un-useful. He suggested that the size should either be increased or decreased in order to feel more free. I decided to increase the size as I felt that decreasing the size made the pace of the editorial piece too repetitive:

Smaller type – looks too similar to other pages

I also decided that I needed to change the weight of the bolder type in the body copy on the left as it wasn’t apparent enough. I have altered it from Bold to Extra Bold and I feel that this has really increased the emphasis on certain words. I feel that the hierarchy of this spread is really strong in that the path for the eye is clearly guided from the large type, to the pull out quotation on the right, and then to the body copy on the left.

Type increased – looks more free and dynamic

I added a pull-out quotation to this spread as I felt that it needed an extra element to help balance out the double page spread:

However, I felt that it still looked a little unbalanced. I actually printed off this spread and stuck it on the wall. I took a step back and tried to decipher what was making it so unbalanced, and found that it was actually the face that the right page was so pink-heavy, and the left only had a little squiggle of pink. I decided to take the idea from thr right page of using thin rectangles behind the text to help it stand out more. I feel that this really balances out the spread and makes it flow visually and typographically as a double page spread, rather than two separate pages:

Having considered both the feedback from David and Shannon, this is the outcome I have come up with:

Upon checking my submission checklist I noticed that in the submission notes it states “cover & 5 spreads” in the Dissertation Design section, which is something that I initially missed. My next stage is to create the cover for my editorial design.

Cover design

I started by writing out the title of my dissertation and experimenting with different placements and typefaces until I have happy with it. I really wanted the type to feel very close, with each word almost hugging one another. I think that this will help visualise the fact that ethics and finance go hand in hand in today’s Influencer marketing industry. Here are some screenshots of the process and development:

The final layout of type I created was the one I chose to use. I think that the mixture of the two contrasting typefaces work really well together in terms of clarity and hierarchy. I love how the last three characters of each word ‘lly’ mould into each other.

I also added some Instagram icons which I created in Illustrator to add relevance to the topic, and to display my illustration skills within the editorial piece. The addition of the illustrations helps to vary the pace of the overall piece of editorial, along with helping the reader to associate the cover with Instagram instantly.

I’m really happy with the outcome and how it’s developed over the last few weeks. It’s really nice to have part of my dissertation which is beautiful to look at, rather than just 70 pages of black and white text!

Criticality: Final Updates

I rewatched my Criticality feedback video from Theo and Carol in order to make some notes on any revisions that I needed to make. I knew that this was one of my stronger projects of the year and that the feedback was really positive, and only some minor revisions needed to made, which is why I have chosen to work on my other 5 projects before focusing on this one. In therms of the feedback itself, I found it really easy to follow and to understand this video format feedback and would love to have had this format of feedback more over the last three years. It’s really personal and easier to understand than written feedback for me personally.

Here is the link to my submission at formative stage in February:

The feedback

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the feedback for this project. Theo commended me on the simplicity and minimalism of my PDF submission which contained the link to my video outcome. The main points highlighted from Theo were as follows:

  • Every figure is £2500 – this seems unrealistic, and they should be more varied.
  • Why does the screen recording scroll all the way to the bottom and then scroll back up? It seems like a mistake in filming or an unnecessary scroll.
  • The screen seems to have a lot of wasted space around the phone. Maybe zoom in more on the phone to fill out the screen more. Also, it seems unbalanced with the full screen version squished at the right hand side of the screen.
  • There should be a call to action on the outro such as a website or social username.

I also showed the video outcome to my peers Abbie and Meg to get some more feedback from them. The feedback was generally really positive, but some of the points they gave were as follows:

  • The background looks a bit unprofessional – maybe try filming on a backdrop?
  • The blurred cover image of each commercial post is the same colour – maybe vary these to be more realistic
  • The voiceover pauses slightly at 0.57 and sounds a little unnatural
  • The username of the person who’s posted the commercial post changes when the blurred photo is revealed

I found it so useful to show my outcome to my peers to get their opinion on it, and I feel that the points they made were completely valid and I feel that it really helped me to reflect on my outcome. It will help me to make a much more developed and refined outcome for the summative submission next Friday.

The developments:

I started by remaking the feed elements on Adobe Illustrator and bringing them all together in Adobe XD to change the figures and blurred images:

I started by using the gradient tool to create the blurred image-conceal. I used the eyedropper tool to take colours from the concealed image to make the blurred colours more relevant to that image. I chose to do this over using the blur filter because I found that it didn’t blur the image enough and this was more realistic. I also changed the rates on each post at this time too to make a more varied price range. This makes the feed seem much more realistic and relatable overall. Changing these small details has made my outcome so much more refined, which really made me realise the importance of the development stages of a project, along with getting valuable feedback from a range of different audiences who will notice different details.

My next step was to re-record myself scrolling through the updated Instagram feed XD file. I chose to record myself scrolling along with screen recording (as opposed to just screen recording), as in a previous tutorial with Theo, we discussed the importance of adding personality and character into outcomes by using humans faces and limbs to make the outcomes more relatable. I think that showing my hand scrolling through the feed will really help emphasise the fact that this outcome can be used by anyone and that would definitely improve the reach of the overall video campaign if it were to be launched on social media or TV adverts.

Filming the scrolling

I then used iMovie to put these two videos together, and tweaked my voiceover to sound more professional and less script-like. Finally, I added my Instagram handle at the end of the outro which adds a call to action towards my Instagram page. Depending on which social media channels, this video would also include a link to both my Instagram page and my website portfolio, to increase traffic towards my work, and alo the project specifically.

Design Document

At formative stage, there was no need to submit a design document for the Criticality project, so I have created this from scratch. I looked back through my Learning Journals from last term which were essential for creating a detailed and in-depth design document. This really helped me realise the importance of documenting my work process and developments as I go along. I will definitely apply this method of working in my future freelance work because I find it gives such a thorough diary of amendments and finding what works and what doesn’t with different projects. In hindsight, for some aspects of the project, I would have liked to have created some more detailed Learning Journals to help me and my lecturers understand my process in more detail. This is something that I definitely improved for my Final Major Project, and will continue to work to improve on throughout my freelance work in the future.

I like my design documents to be enjoyable to read, rather than just plain, boring documents. I feel that being bright, interesting and interactive really helps them stand out from the crowd. For my previous outcomes, I always incorporate the brand identity throughout the design document – I feel that this maintains brand consistency and also helps to reinforce and showcase my branding skills subconsciously. My criticality project focuses heavily on the social media platform Instagram, and doesn’t necessarily have a brand identity because it’s a proposed built-in feature to Instagram. So, I have decided to use Instagram’s colour palette and gradients to help my lecturers subconsciously associate my project with Instagram while they’re reading the design document. I’ve also included collages of elements from the Instagram app like the Like, Comment, Share and Save icons, along with using the same typeface that Instagram uses within its interface design (Helvetica Nue) which also helps to reinforce the brand consistency.

FMP: Final updates

After having my final group presentation with David and my peers, I have decided to focus on my final major project updates ahead of summative deadline in 3 weeks while the feedback is still fresh in my brain. I started by making a to do list of what I need to. I find that this really helps me keep on track in terms of time management especially:

FMP to do list

Online web browser extension prototype:

I’ll start by refining my walkthrough outcome by adding in sound and a voiceover to make the video more engaging, and also to help explain how the software works in terms of user experience. I did some research regarding royalty free music and found the website Thematic. It has lots of royalty free music – all that’s needed is a credit in the caption if uploading to Youtube which is ideal. As for the voiceover, I will simply use the voice memos app on my iPhone and record myself in order to 1. save time, and 2. not to run into any ethics complications.

Walkthrough animation work in progress screenshot

I did this using after effects and this was a pretty simple process as I had already done the difficult part of creating the working prototype.

I then simply uploaded the video to my Youtube channel (unlisted) and added the music credit within the description:

Referencing music from Thematic on YouTube upload

You can find the finished video here:

GIFs & Stickers:

Next, I’ll move on to animating my stickers so that they are moving GIFs. I find that moving additions to branding such as GIFs really level up the professionalism and enthusiasm within a brand, so GIFs are a must in this project. I also find that they will help massively with community building via Instagram – users will be able to choose the GIFs from the GIPHY library and add them to their stories to share their experiences of money saving and steps towards female equality via the AntiPat software.

I will animate the stickers into GIFs using Photoshop. Although the process can be quite lengthy, it is quite a simple process overall. I learnt how to do this in 1st year in a tutorial with Matt when we were looking into Scanimation.

GIF creation using Photoshop

I simply exported PNG versions of this logo marque at different points so it looked like it was turning. I only used 6 frames as I wanted it to look simple and not quite seamless (because GIFs usually aren’t because of how low their size has to be). Overall I’m really pleased with this outcome and will create the rest of the GIFs in the same way:

GIF 1

After having created the full GIF package, I decided to upload them to GIPHY in order to get full effect from my project. Luckily, I already have a GIPHY creator account (this is a VERY lengthy application process), so I can upload them straight onto there. They take a few days to be approved, and then they will appear on GIPHY based on the tags that I will give them. Although this process seems a little unnecessary, I felt that it would be great to see the GIFs in real life and not just mocked up. I think it adds an extra level of professionalism to my project and although I’m aware that it’s a hypothetical project at this point, I think it has real potential to become a real life working project.

GIF uploaded to the GIPHY library

In-store AntiPat

Feedback highlighted in my final tutorial was that the user journey of in-store AntiPat. The user journey needed to be improved to be more realistic and legible in a real life situation. Currently, the in-store version of AntiPAt is a QR code which is scanned when you get to the checkout (similarly to how it works online). However, this just wouldn’t work in real life. You wouldn’t get to the checkout, scan everything, bag everything, and then go and return things to go and get cheaper items when there’s a massive queue behind you or you’re going to miss your train, etc. Instead, a “scan as you shop” method would work more efficiently. David mentioned that I could use a futuristic technology to achieve a better, more legible system for the in-store version of AntiPat. I decided to research futuristic technologies which could work.

The first thing I looked into was NFC (Near-field communication), which is a set of communication protocols for communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 4 cm or less. NFC offers a low-speed connection with simple setup that can be used to bootstrap more-capable wireless connections. For example, contactless cards, Apple Pay, etc. Although NFC could be a viable option for the in-store version of AntiPat, there would be cheaper alternatives that do just as good a job. For example, QR code stickers could be printed and stuck to each product, or each product price tag on the shelf. This could be scanned using a smartphone camera, which could open a webpage that could scan the shops inventory and search for cheaper alternative products. However, I think that QR codes are pretty “2015” and that I could think of a much more innovative and futuristic method for in-store AntiPat. I decided to talk to my brother who is very technologically minded and has lots of futuristic knowledge for subjects like this. I showed him my presentation and explained the challenge that I was facing in developing a software for in-store AntiPat to work through. He told me to look into microchipping and NFC, but also mentioned Amazon’s recent grocery store feature whereby the trolleys are “smart”. He explained that the trolley’s have barcode scanners 360-degrees around the trolley, so that when you put an item in the trolley, it automatically scans the barcode. Furthermore, it has a weighing scales which weighs the product when placed in, or taken out of the trolley. It also has a screen to help the user to believe that it’s really working. I thought that this was a perfect futuristic technology for AntiPat to be involved in. In my last meeting, David mentioned that if I was to use a futuristic technology such as this, that it should be justified (so for example, Amazon could sponsor or partner with AntiPat to show their support for women and the Pink Tax issue that they face).

RESEARCH: Amazon Fresh trolleys

I found the below video on YouTube which demonstrates the Amazon Fresh trolley in action. Although this technology is fairly advanced, aside from the cameras, it is essentially just a “self checkout” on wheels (apart from the clever cameras/barcode scanners). I think this justifies the use of a smart-trolley such as this for in-store AntiPat – and is a realistic solution for the near future.

So, how I would propose for AntiPat trolleys to work financially would be that Amazon will gift a certain number of trolleys to each participating store (in order to show their support towards the AntiPat movement). I think that this is realistic in terms of the other movements Amazon has previously partnered with, such as donating $10m to the BLM movement (https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/policy-news-views/amazon-donates-10-million-to-organizations-supporting-justice-and-equity). There is also a site called “Amazon Smile” (https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/chpf/homepage?orig=%2F) which means that when you shop at smile.amazon.co.uk Amazon donate to your favourite charitable organisation, at no cost to you. Charitable organisations available include http://www.forwomen.org (which is a feminism and equality advocist charity). I feel that this strongly supports my justification for Amazon jumping on-board with the AntiPat software.

My next steps will be to develop an AntiPat trolley prototype and/or mockup to illustrate clearly how the trolley would work. To do this I will create drafts and show it within my upcoming 1:1 tutorials, along with showing it to family and friends who are unfamiliar with my project. This will help determine whether or not my explanation and diagram/mockup/prototype is sufficient for a clear understanding of both the idea and the execution.

I started by searching for existing shopping trolley mockups but couldn’t find anything suitable for my needs. So I decided to create my own. I needed to create a screen which featured the UX and UI of the in-store version of the AntiPat software within the AntiPat trolley. This is the basis for the interface that I came up with:

Smart trolley design

This is very consistent with the online browser add-on version of the AntiPat software, which helps maintain cohesivity of the brand identity across the different outcomes. This also increases brand recognisability which is also a key factor in my project. The main addition to this piece of design is that it includes a map for the user to follow in order to guide them to the cheaper alternative product. This improves the user’s journey and experience of using the software, which is something that was previously picked up on in a group tutorial. I feel that I have dramatically improved the user’s overall experience of using the AntiPat software in-store, and this method is totally realistic and legible, as opposed to my previous idea of scanning a QR code at the checkout and having to change every item by going through the shop again.

1:1 With David – Thurs 29th April

In my tutorial with David today I asked him about my idea of the Amazon trolleys. He agreed that the idea would work but suggested that it be an addition to the solution rather than the main aspect, just because of accessibility (so for example if a store only had say 5 trolleys, then only 5 people could use the software). This was really useful feedback as I hadn’t thought about it from that perspective. We discussed other options, such as a voucher being awarded to shoppers who scan their AntiPat QR code at the checkout for the difference that they would save, or maybe the difference in what they would pay would go to a feminism charity to help fund AntiPat in the future. Another option would be to go back to the “scan as you shop” method by using standardised devices found in most supermarkets. Although I think the principle of this idea is there, it wouldn’t work across all shops – only the larger supermarkets. After thinking about all of these options in depth I have decided that the best option would be for the difference of the saving being awarded to the shopper via AntiPat. Although I think that a donation of the difference being made to a feminism lead charity would be most beneficial – the incentive just isn’t there for most people in reality. People need to save money themselves in order for this to work. So, how it will work will be back to the QR code method. Upon entering the shop, shoppers will have the chance to scan a QR code which leads them to AntiPat’s sign-up page where they can register. Once registered, they will have their own unique QR code to scan at the checkout. Once scanned, AntiPat will work out how much they could have saved if they bought male or unisex alternative products and will provide them with a voucher to spend next time they visit the store – PROVIDING that they share their experience on social media. This will give AntiPat the exposure that it needs in order to be noticed by more consumers and retailers and in turn help demolish the Pink Tax. The trolleys will still be available in selected stores but more as an addition to AntiPat rather than the focal point.

I’m really pleased with the outcome of this tutorial because I now feel much more confident in my project outcome – specifically the user journey of the in-store version of the AntiPat software. My project feels much more refined and I’m really pleased with how I have applied my developments based on peer and tutor feedback.

Promotional Animation

I used After Effects to create my promotional animation for AntiPat. I wanted this animation to be easy to follow, engaging and also aesthetically pleasing. I created a storyboard to help plan out the animation. I learnt the storyboard technique back in my first year, during our Movement module. I regularly apply this technique in my work as I find it helps me keep on track with the animation itself, as I often get fixated on learning the animation techniques themselves that I forget the actual storyline of the animation. Here is my storyboard:

Animation storyboard

The illustrations in block 4 of my storyboard are taken as n idea from the Ax The Pink Tax campaign (axthepinktax.xom, 2019). I wanted to compare the two products and talk about the price differences so felt that this illustration was perfect for that. However, I wanted tp create my own illustrations to maintain brand consistency throughout the project so I did this using my iPad pro and Procreate. These were the results:

I’m happy with the illustrations and feel that they fit well with the aesthetic style of the project by using bold, vibrant colours mixed with harsh black outlines. I also think that the hand-type on the price tags gives the project a friendly atmosphere. Creating the animation was tough, and as I have mentioned previously, I often struggle to use the After Effects software effectively. However, after watching and learning via many YouTube tutorials, I can definitely feel that my software skills are improving in terms of speed, efficiency and overall software-knowledge. I’m learning the keyboard shortcuts which makes the process a lot more time-efficient. These skills that I’ve developed over the course of this project will help me massively in the future, as I intend to start creating motion-graphic work more regularly using Adobe After Effects for some of my freelance contracts in the near future.

Animation work in progress screenshot

Creating my design document

I created my design document as I made revisions and additions to my FMP, as I have found that in my previous projects, it’s much easier to update the design document as I go along, rather than leave it to the last minute and have to go back over all of my work. It’s just a much more efficient way of completing the work for me. Sometimes it can get a little overwhelming as I always have to have multiple windows open and remembering to update the design document can also be a challenge, but overall, it’s a much more efficient way of working for me personally. This is something that I’ve had to “trial and error” over the last three years of my course, and I feel a sense of success in my final project – like I’ve really nailed my project working method for my personal preference. This is definitely a skill I’ve developed massively over the last three years, and each project has helped me towards finding the best method that works for me.

1:1 Tutorial with David – Tuesday 4th May

Today I showed David my finished animation to gain feedback on certain elements. He was pleased with how my animation had progressed and the feedback was generally really positive. He noted that the music I’ve used is a little too “happy” and “calm” – he suggested I search for something a little more upbeat and enthusiastic. I totally agree with him here and think that it will help give the tone of voice of my project that extra bit of enthusiasm and motivation via sound. He noted that the static images near the end of the animation felt a little rough and unfinished compared to the rest so encouraged me to make them move if even slightly. He also suggested putting my roller banner mockup into context a bit more. I think I could do this by dropping it into an image of a shopfloor to make it more relatable and easy to understand for my viewers. In response to this feedback I sourced some royaly free stock videos of shopping centres using Pexels.com. This gives the animation a much more professional look and feel, as well as adding context for the roller banner and QR code scan using the smartphone. However, there weren’t many options of videos to choose from – and most were really short. I had to replay the one video in order to make it long enough. Next time, if I had more time, I would have gone into a shopping centre and taken my own videos, making all the necessary ethics arrangements and agreements. However, I just didn’t have time to do that for this project unfortunately. This is something that I will bare in mind for my future work, and allow enough time for. Finally, he said that I should add my AntiPat branding to more aspects within the animation in order to celebrate the brand which will give it as much recognition as possible within the promotional video. After the revisions, here is the result:

References

About Amazon. 2021. Amazon donates $10 million to organizations supporting justice and equity. [online] Available at: <https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/policy-news-views/amazon-donates-10-million-to-organizations-supporting-justice-and-equity&gt; [Accessed 28 April 2021].

Razor illustration. 2019. Ax the pink tax. [online] Available at: <www.axthepinktax.com> [Accessed 1 May 2021].

FMP: The final group tutorial

Today I presented some of the developments I’d made to my final major project over the last few weeks to my peers and David. I wanted to note that I’d been focusing on my previous projects (Design for Real Life & D&AD) over the Easter break so these developments are by no means the final developments. However, I found today’s tutorial really helpful and now have lots of great ideas for further developments based on my peers’ and David’s feedback today.

The main development that I’ve made is the AntiPat online software walkthrough to help my audience visualise how they could apply this software to their everyday lives. I chose to create this as I feel that it really increases the relatability of the Pink Tax and also shows people how they could apply it really simply.

Georgia thought that the walkthrough video was a great addition to the project and agreed with me that it helped visualise the application of the software in real life. She mentioned that it would be useful to include this in some form of advertisement (such as Snapchat or Instagram adverts) to help spread the word about AntiPat as a whole. I thought that this feedback was so helpful and will definitely be applying this to my further developments of the project. Anya agreed with Georgia and mentioned that I could even use demographic targeted adverts, and change the products at the checkout to suit similar things to that specific user’s common buys (using advertising targeting methods supplied by the Facebook group). I thought that this was a really clever idea and will increase the relatability even further by using popular products among certain people to show the saving AntiPat can create.

David said that the developments were all positive, and mentioned that he liked that I had changed the emoji’s dollar signs to pound signs, which again increases relatability in the target market. He thought that the walkthrough was a really positive addition, and mentioned that I should add a voiceover or sound to it to help increase the engagement with it even more. He added that I needed to focus more on the user journey of the in-store version of AntiPat and that the QR code scan at checkout just wouldn’t be legible in a real life situation. He mentioned creating an addition to Apple Wallet or even developing a new technology which would allow you to scan products through your phone or apple watch. I was worried about this previously as I felt that developing an App would be unrealistic because of how expensive it would be for a startup company. I mentioned this to David and he told me that although he was happy that I was thinking realistically about the logistics, that I shouldn’t to worry about the execution of it as long as it’s justified – so maybe advertisers will invest of shops will invest. As long as that’s mentioned somewhere then it will be fine. This gave me a lot of relief and I felt that I could now express my original idea of creating either an App or other feature to allow customers to scan items as they shop, and search for cheaper male or unisex alternatives before getting to the checkout.

Overall I am really pleased with today’s tutorial and feel confident going forward with my developments ahead of summative submission in 3 weeks time. My next steps will be to finish the animation/video and further develop my outcomes based on the above feedback.

Design for Real Life: Final Updates

Outcome updates:

After re-listening to my formative feedback from Wendy, I have created a to do list of any revisions I need to make to my Design for Real Life project Behind Closed Doors. Below is my notes from the feedback voice recording and next is my to do list for the changes to make:

The first things I revised were my animations. Wendy had suggested that I altered the size of the text in order to leave more space to draw the audience in to reading the text clearly. Thankfully all of my After Effects links were intact and it was so much less stressful editing the compositions using my new computer, because my screen is bigger and also because the computer can handle the complexity of After Effects software.

Below is a snapshot of the text in the original animation:

Snapshot from original animation

And here is the updated, reduced text size which more room to breath and entice the viewers in:

Snapshot from updated animation with reduced text size

This revision may seem very simple and unimportant but I think it makes a huge difference to the outcome’s legibility and clarity. It looks so much more professional and is now much more easy to read. I also did the same with animation #2.

Before:

Snapshot from original animation

After:

Snapshot from updated animation with reduced text size

The second thing I altered was within the Design Document itself. Wendy mentioned that there was some repetition within the document which needed to be altered. I knew exactly what she was referring to straight away, as the particular slide being misunderstood as a repetition was a worry of mine when creating the document. These were the two slides in question:

In my head, page 5 showcased the brand’s visual identity in more detail (as I felt that page 4 didn’t showcase it clearly enough). However, because page 5 comes directly after page 4, it makes it seem like an unintended repetition. Because of this, I have decided to remove page 5 completely, and just add the title “Visual identity” into page 4, as it does clearly show and talk about the visual identity there:

I think that this looks much more compact and to the point, whereas before it was almost being dragged out. I’m really pleased with this revision.

The last revision which I made was an addition to my outcomes. In my formative feedback, Wendy mentioned that it would be nice to have some informative outcome which could help policymakers understand and most importantly – take action. I decided that a web page would be perfect for this, as it could hold lots of information on Frame’s website, and also provide an opportunity for policymakers, researchers and practitioners to take action on helping combat the problem of alcohol misuse. I designed the webpage cohesively with the rest of the project, maintaining the muted, pastel colours which convey a calming yet playful message. I also illustrated some megaphones to help show the fact that policymakers are needed to help create change within this demographic of people:

Blog updates:

In my formative feedback, Wendy praised me for regularly updating my blog throughout the project, but also noted that my blogs were mostly descriptive and that they needed to be a little more reflective on some of the wider elements of the project. I had inserted the updated blogs here so that it’s clear that these are revisions and weren’t in the original blog posts:

RELATIONSHIP WITH CLIENT:

I found that throughout the project, I really took the lead in the Teams meetings with the clients, Rosa and Ellie. I’m not naturally a very confident person, but felt a responsibility to make sure our clients could communicate with our group professionally and make them feel like they were working with a design team rather than a group of students. I have a bit of previous experience with client meetings from last year’s Persuasion project which really helped me with my confidence. I tried to introduce everyone from out group and prompted questions, rather than waiting for others to do so. I was really pleased with how I acted in the meetings and felt that it really helped my confidence and also helped other members of my group’s confidence.

Both Rosa and Ellie were such lovely clients to work with. They were open to lots of different ideas and didn’t limit my or any other members of the group’s ideas – they really wanted to see our potential. Rosa stood out as the more interactive person as Ellie couldn’t always attend meetings, so I felt I had formed a stronger bond with Rosa in terms of asking questions and understanding what she meant in her feedback. Throughout the project I felt that the clients were happy with my level of work and also my level of communication. I regularly emailed Rosa from our group and made sure that she and Ellie were never “left on read”. I feel that my relationship with the client was strong throughout the project, and following the project I have connected with Rosa on Instagram and LinkedIn, which could definitely lead to more work with Frame collective in the future, which is a really positive action in my opinion.

RELATIONSHIP WITH AND INFLUENCE OF MENTOR:

Melin Edomwonyi was my mentor throughout the Design for Real Life project. Melin was extremely helpful and I learnt such a lot from her in this short space of time. I know Melin from Creative Mornings which I used to attend before the pandemic so it was lovely to have someone who I was familiar with as my mentor. I felt very comfortable around Melin during our meetings and felt that I asked her lots of questions (maybe too many!) but she always answered in detail and offered to call me separately to the group call in order to explain things further. Melin is so kind and I feel very lucky to have worked with her as my mentor. I have also connected with Melin on Instagram, along with her business ME Design Instagram which will again definitely open opportunities in the future.

KEY FINDINGS DURING DESIGN FOR REAL LIFE:

During this project I have learnt so much around the topic of Alcoholism and how severe parental alcohol misuse is. I was so shocked to find out how common this issue arises, and it really gave me a different outlook on children who suffer. Through my research surrounding the project, I found out some really shocking first hand stories about parental alcohol misuse, which I have highlighted in a previous blog post. This project has definitely opened my eyes to the issues regarding this topic and has made me think more sensitively about it for sure. I will apply this more soft thinking in future when taking on sensitive topics such as parental alcohol misuse, and consider how serious the issues are by carrying out in depth research on the specific topics.

APPLYING SKILLS IN THE FUTURE

I think that the most valuable skill which I’ve developed throughout this project is definitely my communication and leadership skills. My confidence has grown significantly after having lead most meetings by encouraging questions and prompting my group members. This is such an essential skill for people in most industries, but especially in the design industry. Graphic design is all about communication so being confident and communicating clearly is a key skill to have as a graphic designer. I will definitely be applying this skill set in the future – such as in meetings, team/group projects, and even in everyday life.

FMP: M5 Formative Critique

Today I presented my project for formative feedback from David and my peers (presentation file & transcript file below):

The feedback which I received from both David and my peers was really helpful and informative. It’s given me a clear idea of my path forward in developing my project, and also given me a lot of confidence in the work that I’ve carried out so far. I also feel positive about the volume of work I need to do over the upcoming weeks and think that the workload I’ve planned is realistic within the timeframe.

The feedback I received from my peers was really positive. Luke said that he thought the overall aesthetic and style of the brand was really on-trend and “cool”, yet still had a serious and powerful feel to it which was what I was aiming for completely. He also mentioned that he got the message of how ridiculous the pink tax is, and admitted that although he’d heard of the pink tax before, he didn’t realise the extent of the seriousness of the problem, and that my project helped him to understand that even at this stage. Matt said that he noticed a great deal of development in my project since he last saw it, which was again really positive for me. He thought that the digital/online software was more developed than the in-store version and suggested I focus more on this to create an even balance between the two. He suggested I include videos of in-store within my video/animation to reiterate the fact that AntiPat can be applied both online AND in-store. This was really helpful as I hadn’t noticed that I was in fact neglecting the in-store version slightly, and this will definitely inform my developments following this formative stage.

David’s response to my project at this stage was also really positive. He said that the visual identity was clear, contemporary and serious. This was really positive as this was exactly the characteristics I’m aiming for from AntiPat. He mentioned the consistent use of the lightning bolt throughout the branding, which I explained was a symbol of power, change and “realisation” of the seriousness of the issue at hand. He suggested that I use the symbol as a symbol of realisation – showing “before and after” style media and use the lightning bolt symbol as “the change”. I loved this idea and think it could really level up my branding. I think this will take a while to implement and will need a lot of refining to get right but I will definitely apply this in my developments of AntiPat. David also suggested that I worked a bit more on the user interface of the online software. He said I should definitely add in a mockup to give more context to the software and also to help guide users to visualise how they could implement this into their daily lives. I think this is an essential piece of feedback as it will really help level up my project – I think I will create a working prototype in Adobe XD and create a moving mockup with voiceover or sound to help increase the relatability of my audience to my project. He said that from my animation storyboard, this outcome is going of be an essential part of the project. I totally agree with him here as I find animations the most engaging pieces of media when looking at others’ projects. He mentioned that I should create some product illustrations to help support the animation (such as razors, shampoo, bodywash, etc) and keep my brand identity consistent throughout all deliverables. This was really helpful and I will definitely apply this – I’ll use Procreate to illustrate some products before vectorising them using Adobe Illustrator and keep them simple to fit with the rest of my brand identity and help maintain that overall consistency to strengthen the brand.

Afterlife: Gareth Dunt

This Afterlife session was lead by Gareth Dunt, our final Afterlife presenter! He graduated from CSAD Graphic Design in 2010. Gareth is from Rhyl, North Wales, he was initially interested in architecture as a career path, but completing some work experience in the industry, he found that it wasn’t what he wanted. His brother worked in an interior design studio, which inspired Gareth to research a career in graphic design. He then went to college, and spent a lot of time experimenting with typography and photograms, which elad him to apply for and gain a place on the graphics course at CSAD. He went to the 4 Designers talk in London in his 2nd year of university, and was massively inspired by Michael Wolf. A phrase that Gareth memorised as a quote from Michael was “it’s better to be interested, than interesting” which really summed up his philosophy for graphic design (and everyday life).

After graduating from CSAD, Gareth worked for 3 months in Elmwood, London. Shortly after, he carried out a short internship at Kin, London, where he worked mainly on on exhibition design and interactive projects. He then completed a two-week internship that was unsuccessful. I felt really sorry for Gareth when he was describing this time of his life, it must have been extremely disappointing to be unsuccessful after graduating and moving to London, especially because of the price of living. He then worked 24/7 with little to no rest, social life or food because of the expense of living in London, and realised that he couldn’t go on like this forever, because he kept having creative, physical and emotional “burnouts”. His brother helped him obtain an interview for retail design agency Dalziel & Pow, London. He was successful and worked there for a short period of time before they offered him a place as a junior designer. He worked on a huge range of projects and gained lots of valuable experience, working with big brands like Timberland and Primark. However, he mentioned that he never really felt 100% on board with the work he was creating – graphic design for fast fashion brands like Primark wasn’t the industry he wanted to progress in, and he said that he felt really guilty about it. He didn’t agree with the idea of “BUY BUY BUY” and “SELL SELL SELL” and he was producing work that he didn’t even like, which lead him to burnt out after burnout. He then spent a short period of time in Thailand, where he felt that he could escape from London and recharge himself emotionally and physically until he could work out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. After 3 months in Thailand, he moved back to London and freelanced to build upon his real passion – installation. Next, he moved to Brighton, where he worked for Filthy Media carrying out branding projects for Box Park in London and type projects for Reebok.

Box Park Branding Project

From Gareth’s talk, the main points that I have taken and will apply in the future, especially his portfolio tips and tricks.

  • Collaboration is essential: widens your connections and networks with others
  • Just do it. Don’t wait for a client to ask you first
  • You don’t HAVE to go to London. 
  • You don’t NEED to work until 2am. It’s unhealthy and you will eventually reach a burnt out.
  • You don’t HAVE to work for FREE. Because it’s good for your portfolio and good exposure, don’t feel like you have to work for free.
  • You don’t NEED to be winning all the time. You don’t have to be working 24/7, there is more to life and designing. Have a balanced life!

PORTFOLIO TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Good ideas with good execution
  • Start with your CV
  • Practice what you preach – design your portfolio so that it successfully reflects your work and skills
  • Less (really is) more – it’s better to show really good projects rather than a huge quantity of mediocre ones
  • Build a narrative to allow for a natural flow during the interview process, for example for the order of projects
  • Be honest
  • Include self-initiated work in my portfolio – it shows my true passions outside of an education environment
  • Show my working, such as sketches and initial ideas as it gives the interviewer and studios how I work
  • Proofread everything – at least 3 times for everything
  • Get
  • Get feedback – portfolios are hard to do and definitely take some time
  • Keep on top of it – look at it every couple of months to maintain your level of design and so it doesn’t become a mountain of work

References

FMP: 1:1 tutorial

This morning I had a 15-minute 1:1 tutorial with David about my final major project. I wanted to speak with David as he hadn’t yet seen my updated visual language (only Carol so far).

David said that the visual language had improved dramatically, and noted that it looked much more modern and current, which meant that it was suited much more for the target audience. Consistently with Carol’s comments at the start of the week, he said that my statistics should be in GBP as opposed to USD to make them more relatable to the target audience, which I totally agree with.

I explained that I wanted to create a promotional video/documentary to promote and explain the software and its uses. He agreed that this was a good idea and suggested looking at D&AD style explanation videos for inspiration – which is exactly the style of video I had envisioned. He said that it would be beneficial to include supporting articles and statistics to create a more fierce and almost disappointed/sympathetical approach to the introduction to the video. He said he was really happy with the content, ideas and visuals of the project – just that the tone of voice needed to be more confident and have more drive. He highlighted that it didn’t have to be so much a “protest” style tone of voice, but it did need to show the fact that this is a real problem – not just something we need to work around. This was really helpful to me, and I had kind of lost the overall message of my project while concentrating on the content and visuals.

He also noted that I shouldn’t rush the video, and that a storyboard would be sufficient for Tuesday’s formative feedback stage.

FMP: M4 The Final Outcome

Today I attended aq group tutorial lead by Carol where we discussed our final outcome initial ideas. I felt a lot more confident during this tutorial, as I had made some major developments since our last meeting. I also had some questions ready to ask Carol and my peers about my work which also made me feel more confident and organised.

Please see my presentation below:

Last time I had a tutorial with Carol, she noted that I should include more details and information about the overall project within my presentations. I took this feedback on board and on slide 2 included an informative text based slide to help explain my ideas and ensure viewers understood my visions clearly.

FEEDBACK:

OVerall, both Carol and my peers both thought that the visual language of the project was much much stronger, more powerful and more impactful. They all agreed that the pink colour was more vibrant and therefore conveyed a more fierce and powerful message through the visual identity of the overall project. They also agreed that the combination of a strong, bold sans serif typefaces paired with a modern, script typeface contrasted really well. The tagline/hashtag is concise and catchy, and makes sense – which is really good. It also provides an area of connectivity and ability for people to share experiences via social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, which opens the audience even further which is really positive. Carol praised me for including some statistics within the presentation, as she and my peers agreed that they didn’t appreciate the extent of the Pink Tax until seeing this shocking statistic. This made me think that I should definitely include this statistic in some of my final outcomes, maybe on social media mockups but also on posters for the in store version of AntiPat.

Carol said that I should define the functionality of the software in more detail and try to explain it in a more clear and concise way. She also encouraged me to include popular, key leading products as examples as opposed to other, less popular items. Carol said that showing a deodorant was a bit inappropriate because women wouldn’t want to smell like men just to save a few pence. I see where she’s coming from, but this is the point that I’m trying to prove. Maybe I should use an example of a razor or something else that’s unscented to avoid confusion like this. She also noted that my statistics were american and so weren’t as relatable as they would be if they were in GBP. She suggested I looked on MetSearch for some more relatable UK statistics to replace the US ones. In terms of visuals, Carol said that the introduction of the colour yellow was a great move and was also a powerful and vibrant colour which contrasted well with the pink. She suggested I changed my * symbols to lightning bolt symbols in order to create a more consistent brand identity. She also suggested that I changed the $ sign in the emoji to a £ sign – but I don’t think I will do this, as my whole idea of using the emoji was for it to be relatable to young women, and altering the emoji could make it look a little less authentic and maybe risk making it look younger if that makes sense? Carol also suggested that the women’s silhouette was too different from my other icons. I agree that they are different, but my idea was for the icons to support the face silhouette, and the face silhouette would be the main marque. She said that the user interface needed a little work in order to be really clean and simple and just more cohesive overall.

Overall, I was really pleased with today’s tutorial. I felt like the feedback was really positive, and I had a clear vision of what I needed to do to make the project stronger visually and in terms of content.