D1.5 Essay

In regards to my earlier post about Concepts in Design History – D1.5.  I have included a downloadable attachment in PDF format.  the reason for it being late was down to the fact the original file went missing and the final copy was only in paper format.  I have decided to re-create it all – word for word – as a new document.  The fruits of my labour are in the link below:

Modernism Essay

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Critique of Design – Neville Brody (Part 2)

Continuing from the previous blog entry about the work of Neville Brody, I am to look at his more current work and what he has done/produced in more recent years.
In more recent years, Brody has a number of clients across the globe, with clients such as Lucozade, LG electronics and the BBC. I find that his work very interesting and does think outside the box to help communicate. A good example of this was for a magazine called Wallpaper*. What I find interesting about is that, unlike his work which traditionally used bold coloured fonts for the title of the mag to contrast against the background, he’s used white text with a white background (using two different shades of white), it has produced an interesting effect whilst looking rather sophisticated.

His reason for using “white on white” was because this is a magazine that is ordered and not something you find in shops, so there isn’t much need to use bright colours or ceratin design to catch ones eye.  This is one thing I like about his work – how he reflects on peoples perception on design and it is also something that has been taken into consideration.  It has also come to my attention that it even has a reminiscent of Apple products, in which “white on white” is also used on their products, which not only makes them stand out, but also have a universal appeal.

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My manifesto

I have been thinking about my manifesto as I have started to approach towards then end of my first year at University and my goals and aims for my second year. The first question I have asked my self is:
What is my chosen pathway? I have decided to narrow my pathway down to Design Digital, the reason for this, is my knowledge and my interests are both equal in this aspect, most others I have found to have been more towards interest than knowledge. Having them both equal is at an advantage, as it means I could work down a pathway with my interest and knowledge are both put into practise, plus, I also feel like I know what I am doing.

My next question I have asked myself has been:
What do I wish to aim for? The answer for this one is rather vague, but I have thought long and hard and whilst – to some – I may seem have my aims low, I do wish to finish University with at least a 2:2. But I guess I have set myself a target. The reason why I wish to aim for a 2:2 (or a Desmond) is so if I wish to do so, I could back to education for a Masters Degree some years later.
Another question I have asked:
What are my strong/weak points?
I have found that over time, my strong points have lied in essay writing, I have a keen interest in the history behind certain aspects of design, along with the political and social movements. To put it simply, the basic “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why” and “how” behind design. I also feel my strong points is designing anything seem to lie in using both software such as Photoshop, InDesign and even Illustrator (even thought it isn’t really used on this course, but I do find it a useful tool), I also enjoy creating using mixed media and manipulating images etc.

These questions have seem to have given me the insight I needed for my future pathway and I think they have justified my choice for Level 5.

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Critique of Level 6 Student – Martin Gray (Part 2)

Earlier, on my blog entry about Martin Gray, I mentioned about the use of Guerilla Marketing and the impact it currently has. I can mention how this links into his final project. Martin has looked into the problems with littering in Leeds and how it seems to go unnoticed and where it seems to be a bigger problem. He has found it doesn’t seem to be taken seriously enough by students and that possibly the image of recycling has a negative impact on both students and the general public. What he done is set up a website and has produced tags with a logo that is akin to the official Leeds City Council symbol and came up with the identity of “Leeds Green Council”.  The reason for using a design based on the Leeds City Council logo was to make it look official. The tags are an interesting part of this project and are colour coded. These tags can be fitted onto to people’s bins and would possibly make the use of shock value – the shock that the resident could be fined.  To show how much like the Leeds Green Council logo looks like the Leeds City Council logo, below is a picture showing the two symbols.  On the left is the Leeds Green Council logo and on the right, is the official Leeds City Council logo.  On the Leeds Green Council logo, you can see the use of the Keep Britain Tidy symbol has been used.  On a larger picture, the eyes of the owls are made up of the symbol for recycling and the recycling arrows have also been used on the shield too.

On the tags, are the link to Leeds Green Council website, when the user accesses it, they go onto an online survey and can fill out 10 questions on why students hardly recycle and there it will contribute as feedback. The feedback received will help contribute a more “relaxed’ version of the site. This version will be more fun, will help promote recycling and re-using into something more fun than chore, it should also help make recycling/re-using cool, current and fun. There is the possibility that a game may featured onto the website at a later stage, or something to make it more engaging. Going back on the use of tags, they will not be used widespread across Leeds as it could be illegal as it does look very similar to the official logo for Leeds City Council. The use of the councils image will be used temporary to begin with and see if it does work.  These tags will be used to see if people do take notice.  Below is a screenshot of the Leeds Green Council website and how it looks at the moment, of which there are links that take you to a survey for students and how often they recycle and if it has become unfashionable to recycle and why it has and how recycling could be more fun/appealing:

I have also enclosed a PDF of his brief about the project here. D3.3 working brief – Martin Gray

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Critique of Designer – Neville Brody

My chosen designer to critique is Neville Brody, who is a  renowned Graphic Designer, typographer and Art Director and Brand Strategist. When he was at school, he studied Art on A-level mostly on Fine Art, then he went onto studying for a Degree in Graphic Design; I find this an interesting transition since he went from studying fine art of which the work is creative in the sake of art, to a course which is about creating to serve a purpose.  At one point, he was almost thrown out for producing a stamp putting the Queens head on sideways.

After College, his fir job was designing for a magazine called The Face from 1981-6 then went onto design for another magazine – Arena – from 1986-1990, which was launched in 1986. Also, during the 1980s, he designed a number of album and single covers including Depeche Mode’s 1981 hit Just Can’t Get Enough.

Left: how The Face Looked when it was redesigned by Brody, and Right: the front cover for Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode

He has also designed his own fonts/typefaces over the years and was one of early users to design his work on Apple computers.  In 1994, he founded his own company Research Studios and has had clients such as Nike, Macromedia, and many more.  The company isn’t only just in London, but also has branches out in Barcelona, Berlin and Paris owing to the success of the company.  I will cover further details of the website in the next blog entry.

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My thoughts and questions so far

Since starting University, I have realised how much my outlook in my future has changed.  I have discovered it’s not just about making a choice on a career and that’s it, I have decided what I want to be!  On the contrary, if this course has taught me anything so far, is that there is a lot more to that.  Since then, I have began asking myself questions such as:

Which pathway do I wish to pursue?

What is it that interests/motivates/moves me?

What is the social/political movement behind a particular movement behind certain movements?  And why?

Will I be in employment when I graduate?

Would I like to go back to higher education later for a Masters Degree and maybe later, a PhD?

These days, I seem to be asking myself more and more questions than I used to do, whether it is about my future, or just wishing to seek more knowledge.

However, I do seem to have found some aims in life.  My key aim on this was to expand my horizons in design and I was asking questions such:

  • What takes my interest in design?
  • Am I able to find a career of interest?
  • Is there anything else I am good at or enjoy doing in design?
  • Do I have any other skills that I can pursue in design?

I like to set myself a challenge, to find if there any new skills that I could possibly go into a career.  Personally, I like a challenge, as this does motivate me, I then start asking myself questions that are relevant and I usually end up finding the answer that could help me progress into something further.  I could find that there there is something I like to do, other times, I may find that a particular aspect of design isn’t something of my interest, or it could be of interest, but I would rather leave as an interest.

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Critique of Level 6 Student – Martin Gray (Part 1)

I managed to meet up with Martin Gray – the Level 6 student I am shadowing and critiquing the work on. He specializes down the Design Digital pathway in Graphical Design. He found himself down this pathway on his second year on his first personal brief. For this project he produced a website for a band called The Dead Vinyl’s. The first project for on his third year saw him produce “Cartoon Tales” a live project working with the Royal Armories, which is still underway. This brief was applied to the whole group and the main aim was for simple usability.  Martins site is aimed at primary school children to encourage literacy. The user can create a scene and add characters to make the story. It has already been tested in a primary school in Barnsley and has already been met with success. It has since been updated and ‘sharpened up’ to make it more user friendly. For example, the edit bar has been moved to the frame/main area as it was previously seen as a misuse of space.  Here are some screenshots of the early developments of the site:

(From top left to bottom left: the original layout for the main menu, original layout for main workshop, the original layout for the character design page, the updated and lighter version of the same page and the final design layout.  This has all been refined since.

Below, is a how the webpage now looks with the improvements made in the layout which is more organised and includes a guide – called Laura – who gives you basic instructions on each page, so the child – who will be the user – can then build up their story and save it

Martins dissertation took place mid-way through the project and it links into his final project.  He has chosen to look at “Guerilla Marketing” which uses traditional marketing using unconventional means – some people say it is illegal to be “Guerrilla” as it uses rebellion. It is quite interactive and makes use of environment, helps change peoples perception and the use of shock value to surprise the public (though how far can shock value go?) and makes a point – a rebel has a cause. One company that makes good use of Guerilla Marketing is an insurance company called Novocortex, the company places sheets of static paper onto cars and from a distance it looks as though there has been a scrape, once the owner looks closely at the scratch, they will find that it is actually text promoting the company. Of course, it hasn’t been met without controversy and some people just stick it onto another car etc.
To put the concept of Guerilla Marketing simply, it aims for minimal input for maximum output – little money to invest for maximum outcome. In the next blog post, I will talk about his final project and how Guerilla Marketing links into this.

Below are photos from Novocortex which shows the impact Guerilla Marketing on someones moped, of which is looks like someone has scraped it.  Next to it, is the close of the transfers which have the scratches.   Here, you can see the text promoting the insurance company

Here is Martins summary on why Guerrilla Design is important  The Importance of Guerrilla Design summary – Martin Gray

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