End of Field 4 Evaluation

What went well?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

The group worked really well as a team during our Man Up? Man Down. project. We grew as friends and colleagues, which helped us become more comfortable when working as a team. We communicated really well throughout the project, meeting up regularly and then communicating daily over the Christmas holiday while we were at home. I felt that our outcomes were very innovative, unique and creative. For example, no other group created a Snapchat Lens. We thought outside the box to create these outcomes, and although the research work took up a lot of time, it was worth it. (Snapchat Lens work: https://ellie4545.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/design-as-activism-my-final-outcome/). As a group, we took a well organised approach to the project. We started by assigning roles, setting deadlines and sharing our work regularly in order to understand what point everyone was at within the project. We also divided the workload equally between us, which made it fair. We had overall positive feedback from both our peers and lecturers on ur final outcomes.

Protest! – See Me Speak

As a result of the Protest! project, we had a lot of final placard outcomes which was really good. We worked hard and consistently throughout the project, and eventually had a clear branding idea and outcome. Our overall feedback was positive, although we had some issues along the way.

What did I learn?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

During the Design as Activism project, I learnt that communication is an essential part to any collaboration project. Although Shannon, Emily and I communicated relly regularly and clearly, some other members didn’t contribute as much, which made the tasks quite confusing and we just didn’t know if they had done anything or not. I also learnt that some people just don’t turn up to meetings and you just have to deal with it. In reality, this is going to happen a lot, so it’s preparing me for the world of work, even if it is frustrating. Dividing roles equally is really important, some people suit some roles better than others, some people are going to want to the same roles, so compromises are needed. I also learnt the importance of brand consistency throughout the project. I felt that Emily’s, Shannon’s and my own work had clear consistency, however Connor’s sometimes didn’t seem to fit – if the work was shown separately, I don’t think you would tell it was the same brand if not for the logo.

Protest! – See Me Speak

During the Protest! project, I learnt that having a clear pathway in terms of ideas and work is absolutely essential. We started off with a lot of ideas and had no clear pathway which initially lead us off track. As a result of this, I learnt how to adapt quickly in terms of ideas and decision making. I also learnt to speak up within the group when things weren’t going too smoothly. I could tell that our group had far too many ideas, therefore Georgia and I had to take control and try to determine a ‘set in stone’ idea to focus on. I also learnt that not everybody agrees but ‘that’s life’ if the ratio is a 3:1. For example, some group members wanted to focus on making creative signs using real children, but weren’t focusing enough on the actual tasks that had deadlines in a short timescale (we were already a week behind because of not deciding on an idea!).

What didn’t go as expected?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

One thing that we didn’t expect was for James to not turn up for the whole project. We had assigned him a role, but weren’t too worried as we knew we were being marked individually. Although James didn’t turn up, he did contact us to let us know he wasn’t going to be part of the project. This cleared things up, and we could now concentrate fully on the jobs that needed to be done in his absence. Another thing that I didn’t expect was the inconsistency of some group members in terms of meetings. We found it hard to communicate with them wheat we discussed and were then worried that they wouldn’t fully understand how we wanted to develop work or progress with designs. I didn’t expect making a Snapchat Lens to be so complicated. I imagined that I could design something in illustrator and then convert it and it would just work – but no! I was surprised with the amount of programming that Snapchat have developed for Lens creators and was really impressed with how well the software worked. It took a lot of YouTube tutorials and research to create the lenses.

Protest! – See Me Speak

Firstly, our Manifesto didn’t go to plan. We had misunderstood the brief and thought that we had to create a visual metaphor when in reality most other groups created Posters / Digital outcomes, and we had constructed a bird out of paper… Secondly, our group had so many ideas, that nobody could agree on what to focus on. This indecisive nature continued throughout the first half of the project, which set us back a fair way compared to other groups. However, we did take action from this by making clear decisions from week three onwards. Because of this, we decided to change our campaign subject in the middle of week 2. Although this seems late to be changing the content, it was the only was of us completing the task. Another unexpected event was that Uni shut because of the snow on Friday. This disrupted our placard making a lot, as some people had other commitments over the weekend. Thankfully we had a bit of extra time on Monday because of this.

What would I do differently next time?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

Next time, I would assign job roles along with deadlines as to when certain tasks need to be done, and if deadlines are not met, somebody else would take over from the original person that was assigned the role. I would also have a clearer time management for myself, as I felt I put off the work a lot over the holidays because I was at home. I would also make more effort to get the group to communicate more frequently and share work more consistently so we can give each other constructive feedback throughout the project.

Protest! – See Me Speak

I would definitely ask more detailed questions about briefs that I don’t fully understand, for example the Manifesto task. I will also express my opinion more confidently in terms of others’ ideas, because having too many contrasting ideas can sometimes be a negative thing and cause a negative atmosphere within the group. I would also try and take more control of the group rather than everyone ‘doing their own thing’. Sometimes I find that groups work together really well, and other times nobody seems to communicate well or agree on anything. In addition, I would set a clear idea from the start, and not change half way through a project. There just isn’t enough time for that. Finally, I would plan more meetings and try and encourage every group member to attend so that communication is easier.

How did I use my skills to contribute?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

I used innovative and adaptive skills by using new software to create an up to date, functioning Snapchat Lens. I adapted quickly to the new environment and software, researching different methods and techniques which best fitted my studies. I used good communication skills to stay in contact with my team throughout the Christmas holidays and kept them up to date with my work, as did they for me. I also created a OneDrive sharing folder where we could upload high quality versions of our work and access them from anywhere.

Protest! – See Me Speak

As a graphic designer, I used my Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign skills to build the brand for See Me Speak. This was a joint effort from Georgia and I. I also used these skills with the digital placard making, along with my knowledge on typography and its theory. I used my communication skills to stay in contact with the group and share my work consistently.

Did I attend, engage and commit fully to my project?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

I attended every session and made a big effort to stay in contact via social media over the holidays. I fully committed to the Design as Activism project by sharing my work consistently throughout the project with Emily and Shannon to ensure a consistent brand was kept between us all.

Protest! – See Me Speak

I attended almost every session except for the manifesto making, which I really regret (I was unwell) because I think this was the point in which our project got really confused. I tried to keep everybody in contact via social media, and attempted to arrange regular meetings for everyone to attend, however not everybody attended most times.

How has this process helped me to develop as a Graphic Designer?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

I have experienced the reality of teamwork, and that not everybody works as hard as yourself. I also learnt the importance of time management and organisation during collaboration projects. In addition, I learnt the importance of regular feedback and tutorials, this really helps when it comes to refining your work. I also used new software to create working real time animation filters which I can use in the future.

Protest! – See Me Speak

I experienced working with people from other practices, and learnt how they think and create differently to me, which was really interesting. I learnt new ‘placard making skills’. I completed a live protest which was a good experience in itself.

How did I consider the audience, tone and communication of the project? Did it change or evolve during the project?

Design as Activism – Man Up? Man Down. 

The audience was male dominated so we used masculine colours (greens, greys, blacks). The communication and delivery of the campaign was fully on social media, so we made Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter related and compatible content.

Protest! – See Me Speak

Originally, our audience was the state school system, we then realised that it was too broad, and narrowed down to new audience: deaf people & the government. The tone was more to guilt trip and provoke the audience, in contrast to the ‘WE WANT THIS AND WE WANT IT NOW!’ type of protest. Our placards are engaging and need to be looked at closely in order to be understood.

Protest! – Printing & Live Protest

Today we prepared our final placards for the Live Protest this afternoon. I needed to print appropriate sizes to create an overall A2, which got quite complicated.

Some issues I encountered were not having enough printer credit (and then forgetting how to recharge my credit!). This set me back a bit, but I eventually sorted it out. I then went on to research how to print an A2 sized document over 2 x A3 pages (because we don’t have an A2 printer). This seemed easy, but when I went to print it, every time it would only print A3 size over 2 x A3 pages which was very frustrating! Therefore I had to go back and find another way to print in A2 size. In the end, I resorted to splitting my document using Photoshop and pasting each side onto a new A3 document just for printing. This seemed like a long way around, but was the only way that was going to work for me today.

After having successfully printed out the two halves of my placard, I then cut them to size using a guillotine and joined them together, and to the cardboard using a stapler. This was a quick and easy way to secure the paper. I then attached a stick handle to the cardboard using duct tape. Finally, I printed off the back of my placard and repeated the process, finally stapling the two sheets together. Here was the result:

 

This afternoon, we carried out our Live Protest on campus. It was good fun, but also very cold! We had a total of 6 placards between the 4 of us, and we were really pleased with the outcomes.

Protest! – Placard Feeback and Development

In yesterday’s feedback session with David and Jo, we presented our placard designs to date and they, along with the other groups, gave us feedback on our designs.

In terms of the logo, they both thought it was a strong piece and worked well with the context. David suggested that we make the fist overlap the box even more to clarify that it’s breaking out of the box.

David and Jo both agreed that my first design that included colour in the illustrations was stronger than the one without. David liked my typographic placard and thought it was very strong, and just needed our logo incorporated into it somewhere to keep the brand consistent.


Post Feedback Alterations

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 17.33.14.png

Here, I added a white rectangle with a small black stroke in the bottom left corner of the placard, and placed our logo on top. I thought that this white background helped simplify the design, as it would be too complicated without it, especially because the typefaces and colours are the same.

Protest! – Digital Placards

As a group, we decided that as Illustrators, Celine and Sam would focus on the handmade and illustrative placards, and Georgia and I would focus on the digitally made placards.

I started by drawing up some hand signs, eyes, ears and a mouth using Procreate. I then exported these images as PNG files and brought them into Illustrator.

I decided to focus on some of my original ideas for placards. The first one I worked on was the My eye is my ear, my hand is my mouth. I came up with this:screen-shot-2019-02-05-at-17.11.39.png

I chose to add colour to my illustrations as I felt it made the placard a bit more interesting and engaging. I used the same typeface as the logo, and included a small version of the logo in the corner to keep the branding consistent throughout.


I also created a similar version to this here:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 17.14.56

In contrast to the previous design, I didn’t add any colour to my illustrations. I wanted to try a version without colour to see the difference in impact. I also kept the text simple by using the same technique of engaging the viewer to work out what the placard reads by using both visual and typographic content. I used the same typeface as the logo to keep the brand consistent, and made this stand out more by adding a drop shadow to it, keeping to the colour scheme of red, black and white. However, personally, I think that the previous design is stronger.


I decided to steer away from using imagery in this design, and keep it purely typographic. Here is my initial design:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 17.20.20

Again, I used the same typeface Hiragino Kaku Gothic StdN, and simply repeated the phrase I can’t hear you, but you can see me’. Initially I thought this design was far too complicated and unclear. However, I decided to play around with different colour options. Here is the developed result:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 17.20.37.png

I coloured one of each word in red which reads diagonally down the page. I feel that this has a much more clear path for the eye than the initial design. I need to work on incorporating the logo into this design somewhere, without it being too crowded and complicated.

 

Protest! – Branding

After having completed the first placard, we decided that our campaign needed a brand.

The three main colours used in the placard were red, black and white. We thought that these colours worked well because they are simple and very minimal, verging on monotone. However, the red gives the visuals a bit of life and seriousness. We also thought that these colours represent how serious and upsetting the issue is.


BRANDING

Name

As decided in the previous session, our campaign name is See Me Speak. The idea being that deaf people see you speaking rather than listening to you (and in most cases, vice versa). We thought that although the name doesn’t make sense at first (how can you see someone speak?), when put into context, it works well.

Colours

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 17.01.16.png

Logo Design

Firstly, we decided that we needed a very heavy, bold sans-serif typeface for our logo. As the Graphic Communicators of the group, Georgia and I took on the role of logo design while Celine and Sam carried on with some more handmade placards. We started by playing around with different layouts using Adobe Illustrator. Our first outcome was this:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 16.40.27

We liked the layout and how each ‘E’ lined up. We wanted to include the idea of a box (the red lines surrounding the type). The red box signifies that sign language is being trapped and excluded from mainstream teaching. After receiving some feedback from other groups, we decided that the red lines were too thick, and part of it was confused with the text reading See I Me Speak. We agreed, and found that asking our peers is a really good way of seeing the bigger picture when it comes to branding. We felt that we became so focused on this design, that we couldn’t spot the little mistakes like this. We developed the logo by thinning out the box lines. Here was the result:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 16.40.32

We were happy with the result and confirmed with our peers that it no longer looked like a ‘typo’ logo! However, we still thought that there was something missing from the logo. The negative space in the top right corner was concerning us. Therefore, I drew up some different hand signs on my iPad using Procreate. We felt that this would link the wording with the Sign Language connection. Here was the final result:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 16.57.43

We chose to use the hand in a fist shape. This was appropriate because it resembles the power of Sign Language – an amazing way to communicate with and include deaf people. We overlapped the fist and the box, so the fist appears to be ‘breaking out’ of the box, resembling the fact that sign language is breaking the barrier of tradition, and will be introduced to mainstream schools.

 

Protest! – Placard Development

The aim of our placards is to communicate a message. This message is that we want Sign Language put into teaching at both Primary and Secondary School levels. We plan to do this through engaging viewers with visual and typographical content. Hopefully, this will result in people feeling guilty and naive to the fact that Sign Language is being excluded from mainstream teaching in the UK, and they need to help make a change.

From our initial placard ideas, we came up with the idea of asking a question within the placard. We felt that this would make the sign more engaging, and therefore more useful. We chose to ask the question Do you speak… English? Francais? Espanol? Deutsch? and then added in ‘Sign’ at the bottom of the list, spelt out in sign language. We chose to differentiate the other languages (that are often taught in schools) from the sign language to show that Sign Language (e.g. BSL/ASL) is just as important as the other languages, yet is being forgotten and left out of teaching.

IMG_2726.JPG

This poster was our Stanley Green inspired design. Georgia did the really intricate, precise lettering, which took a long time and a lot of patience to do. The detailed hand signs are also very precisely painted using gouache paints. We were all really pleased with this outcome. We feel that it’s a very traditional, handmade style placard.

Protest! – Placard Idea Generation

Today we were given a new brief within the Protest! Project. The new brief is the Graphics brief, to create the placards.

We made a few sketches and jotted down our initial ideas after being given the brief. We then decided as a group that we would create some more detailed sketches/mockups before tomorrow, in order to gain feedback on the visual ideas in the tutorial times tomorrow.

Below are some of my initial ideas:

Protest! – Oxymoron

In this session, we were introduced to the next part of the collaboration project. This was focusing on visual metaphors within our work and how these can communicate different messages to the viewer. We had to choose an oxymoron from a provided list, and the mini task was to create some illustrations to represent each word.

Oxymoron

  1. a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g. faith unfaithful kept him falsely true ).

Our chosen oxymoron was ‘Silent Speech’. We thought this fitted our project perfectly, because deaf people can’t hear (which is silence), and also cannot hear people talking (speech). We sketched out a few representations of the word ‘silent’ and the word ‘speech’ to help us generate some ideas for the final oxymoron visual. Illustrators often create visuals which include two contrasting words, they sometimes pair different concepts to create original, unique imagery that creates visual and emotional meaning that their audience can find humorous, emotional or confusing. See below for initial ideas:

We initially came up with the idea of combining being underwater (silence) and sound waves (speech), but then decided that it wasn’t clear enough, and just looked like a surf company’s logo. We then came up with a zipped mouth (silent) with jumbled up words and letters coming out of a head (speech) to show that deaf people can’t express themselves:

However, this didn’t represent that the person was deaf enough so we had to rethink our ideas.

We talked to Theo who showed us a Radio 4 Podcast called The Right to be Deaf which inspired us to focus on infants who were deaf. The podcast talked to a deaf man, who had a deaf wife, and a deaf child. The family wanted a second child, and went through IVF in order to have the choice of whether their baby would be deaf or not. For this family, being deaf is normal, so having a completely able second child would be harder for them, and that child would feel disabled because it is NOT deaf within the family. This conversation sparked a huge debate between the interviewer and deaf man, because the interviewer thinks that it’s unfair on the unborn baby that someone else is making the decision to disable them to hear, whereas the deaf man wants another deaf child so the family can live ‘normally’, and so they can all have the same abilities.

Link to Podcast:

After having listened to this podcast, we then came up with the idea of combining an unborn baby with an ear. This shows that the baby is; 1. deaf, and 2. can’t have its own say in whether it’s born deaf or not.

img_2689

Final Outcome:

Final Oxymoron - Silent Speech
Artwork credit – Celine Hicks

 

This was our final oxymoron outcome. Celine chose to create the piece using her illustrative skills and tools. The outcome was created using pencil to sketch out the initial design, and then watercolour to add the colour to the piece, and was completed at a large scale, using A2 sized watercolour paper.


Feedback

Today we presented our final Oxymoron. Overall, the feedback was positive, which we were happy with as a group. We explained the link between the podcast and oxymoron words, and both Jo and David thought the idea was strong. However, they both said that before we explained the image, they didn’t see the ear, they just saw it as a womb. In order to improve on this, we could add a more defined earlobe, maybe add an earring, or even add the side profile of a face into the piece, and alter the colouring to show the divide between the two different parts of the image.

Protest! – Project Updates

After having presented and gained feedback on our our manifesto, we decided that the idea was too broad and open, and therefore had too many possible routes to go down. In response to this, we decided to slightly change the initial idea, in order to narrow down our outcome possibilities. The group met up and we decided on keeping the school system theme, but focusing on how we believe that sign language should be a more taught language, as Modern Foreign Languages such as French or Spanish are taught in school. Personally, I don’t know any sign language at all, and that’s really terrible, because I would have absolutely no way of communicating with a deaf person.

After having decided on a new idea, we all felt that we had a more clear path to follow. Therefore, our next step was to come up with a name for the Protest. We made some mind maps and lists to help us with the idea generation:

After chatting with Theo, we decided that ‘See Me Speak’ was the best name, because it clearly represents a deaf person because instead of listening to someone speak, they see someone speak by watching the signs. It also flows well because the two words begin with ‘S’.

We then researched into the statistics of deaf people and were really shocked to find that there was actually a huge number of deaf people just in the UK, so the demand for sign language is large.