I really messed up! We were also asked to produce a short video pitch. I was in charge of doing the voiceover for the video, which was the last part to be done. I don’t know what happened, but I forgot to send the finished video to my team members at the time and have somehow managed to lose all of the files between now and the Real World project. So, I’ve had to remake it:
(This next part isn’t related to the Real World project, so don’t feel obligated to read it, it was just nice to type out how I’ve been feeling)
I’ve had a lot of issues with my memory this year, but this is the first time that it’s really affected anybody else. It’s really embarrassing having to admit to forgetting something like this and it’s actually quite scary to realise that I have. My issues with memory seem to be getting better, as do some of the mental symptoms of CFS I’ve been suffering from this year, but it’s been one of the worst years for me, in terms of my illness. I found the first year quite scary, sometimes feeling trapped inside my own body because I didn’t have the energy required to control it, but it’s nothing compared to the lack of control I’ve felt this year with the mental symptoms. Feeling like you’re no longer yourself, or that you’re not in control of your brain is horrible! And I really hope that I’m never faced with these symptoms again.
As I said, I feel like they’re getting better, or that I’m getting more used to them. I just hope this continues.
At the beginning of this project, we were given a load a briefs from a few different places (D&AD, YCN, ISTD and RSA). I remember looking through them all and not really finding any one particularly interesting. I also found that they way a lot of them were written made them quite confusing. I eventually settled on the Amazon Fresh brief, which was asking us to “define an identity or persona to drive the way the brand is expressed through content. Foodies don’t know that treats and essentials from the most incredible local, specialist merchants are only a tap away.” Being raised in my family means that you’re brought up with a love of food, which was a huge reason why I chose this project.
As the brief suggested I target foodies, I started off this project by looking at various top food blogs and Instagram accounts. I noticed that they all have a very similar look. Most images use soft tones and a top-down shot. Most of the blogs used either a script typeface or a soft sans serif. I also looked at a lot of foodie Instagram accounts, most using images with the same kind of feel, with only a few breaking the mould.
I also looked at some competitor’s websites, as well as Amazon Fresh’s current website (which is really quite ugly!)
I didn’t really know what I was supposed to be creating for this project, I felt quite confused by the brief (as did a few other people doing the brief, so I didn’t feel too bad), but I knew that I was going to have to designs a website, as it is an online service. This meant that the vast majority of my visual research was website designs. After looking at the clutter of the Amazon Fresh website, I knew I wanted to try to make it look a lot cleaner, so I tried to keep an eye out for designs that used a clean design and used things like buttons as navigation, instead of a big drop-down or list.
I started sketching some ideas, but I was still feeling very confused by the brief and didn’t really know exactly what I was supposed to be doing/working towards.
Because I was aware that time was quickly passing, I decided I needed to just get started on something and put my confusion/worry to one side for now.
I came up with 4 different ideas for outcomes, so (although they were worked on at the same time) I’m going to talk about each one separately, just to make it a bit easier.
Shop by Map
Shop by Map is an idea for a feature on the website which would allow shoppers to shop based on the store’s location. The aim of Shop by Map is to make the shops on Amazon Fresh seem more local by showing that they’re from around the corner or down the road.
I started off with a very rough design, just to illustrate the idea to my class mates and give an idea of the layout.
I then started trying to improve the look of this idea; drawing my own map, figuring out what would go below it and trying out different ‘pins’ and buttons. I tried out a few different things for the buttons, but I struggled to get something I was actually happy with, so I ended up settling for something that was just OK, mainly because I was pushed for time.
The final design for this Shop by Map feature was alright, but I feel like it looks a bit too generic. That being said, I am fairly happy with the shop part of the design because I think I’ve managed to really simplify what the current shop has and I’ve created a nice, clean design.
Before designing the actual website or layout for the website, I tried out an idea I had for some buttons on the homepage.
The aim of these buttons was emphasise the local aspect of Amazon Fresh by making it seem like you’re buying to a local butcher, bakery, etc. I decided not to go with these/take these designs any further because I thought the were a little to comical/juvenile, and I wanted something that looked smart and clean.
Although I scrapped it, I did like the idea of buttons, so I designed a rough layout for a website and made a few quick mockups of what the buttons could be.
I really liked a couple of the buttons designs, but I was unsure about having them as illustrations. For this whole project, that part of the brief/Amazon Fresh I wanted to focus on was the local shops. I thought that illustrations could be too impersonal for the feel that I was going for, but I did like these buttons, so wanted to try them with photos instead.
I think that a few areas need work, like the shop by isle buttons, but overall, I’m fairly happy with this design. I’ve kept my design very clean, meaning that it’s a lot easier to navigate than the current site, being less cluttered. As I know how much Amazon love to advertise, I’ve left a banner at the top that could always be scrolling through different adverts/promotions.
I think that the best idea I had was for the postcode posters. The idea actually came about during a group tutorial, when I was trying to help Connor with his project. The tutor was saying the he needed to tie the local aspect of the site into his work, I had a sudden brainwave and told him an idea that I think could have worked really well for his project. I then realised how good an idea it was and, a couple of days later, asked him if he was using it. Thankfully he wasn’t, meaning I could use it for my project.
The idea was to do a range of posters that would contain different London postcode made out of different foods. The plan is for the postcodes to change based on each posters location. I planned for the final posters to be built up using photographs of food, but as a place-holder, I illustrated a number of food items.
As well as illustrating the food, I started playing about with layouts for a billboard advert.
Once I chose a layout, I changed the postcodes to correct London postcodes, adapted it to a different size and tried out a couple of other possible aditions to the poster.
The final posters still has illustrations in as place-holders because I didn’t have time to photograph real food, but the intention is still to eventually replace them.
At the time, I was quite happy with these posters, but now I’ve had a little time to reflect on them (and see some other people’s work), I think they could really benefit from some more colour or a slightly more interesting design/layout.
The final part of the project was an app to partner the website and work with the adverts. I hadn’t designed an app before, but I knew I wanted it to follow the design of the website as closely as possible, so I started developing the designs for the buttons first. I worked on the banner and the menu.
I also wanted to do an app to work with the posters. The idea is that the app has a feature that allows the user to scan a poster when they find them. The app would then highlight a local shop, using augmented reality. I wanted a very clean design for the scan feature. I’ve also added text like “whoops” to try to make it more human and slightly funnier, to keep the ‘buying from a person’ idea going throughout the different parts of this project.
I’ve tried to keep the design of the app as close to the website as possible. I had to add a ‘menu’ button because there’s not room for everything that was in the top bar of the website.
The scan feature would allow the user to scan a poster and, when scanned, the app would highlight a local shop, showing one of the shop’s owners of staff member to make it feel as human as possible. This is all to add to the idea that you’re shopping locally using Amazon Fresh, buying to real humans, not just a computer.
I’m very torn by this project. I’m pretty happy with parts of my designs, like the app and most of the website, but I don’t think that the other parts are working perfectly. I do like the idea for the posters, but again, I don’t think they’re quite there, I still think they need something.
A big reason why I’m still very torn about this project is because I still don’t think I properly understand what it was I was being asked to do/produce. I get the feeling that they were asking for something closer to a branding project, creating a visual identity through a range of touchpoints. I’m not sure whether I’ve done this or not. I feel like, instead of touchpoints, I’ve come up with a range of ideas for things Amazon Fresh could implement.
As this is our final year, the tutors (for this project at least) are trying to get us more used to the real world. This project is all about working in a group/design team, for a real client.
We were going to be working for Healthy University, who’s aim is to improve the staff and student’s experience at/of the uni. They do this is 4 main areas: Environmental Management, Health and Wellbeing, Welsh Culture and Equality and Diversity.
Each group/team were allocated one of these 4 areas and would be targeting either students or staff. My team was initially 4 of us, me, Dan C, Katerina and Laura, with Connor joining us later. We were given the task of finding a way to better inform the staff members of the work that the Environmental Management team (EM team from now on) do. I was kinda disappointed when we got this one because, from the presentations they gave, the Environmental Management task seemed like one of the least interesting to me.
The project started with a lot of mind maps! It seemed like it was all we were doing for a while. (I didn’t get images of them all, so here’s a selection of them).
After these mind maps and thinking about the problem for a while, our team felt that the issue was that it’s always the university that gets praised for solving/helping with the environmental issues, but the staff aren’t receiving any thanks or praise, meaning they’re probably not feeling that interested in the information or interested in helping. We thought it could be good to do something that said “Because of you, we can do this.”
We agreed that, after some research, we would all go away and try to generate some ideas to come back to the group with.
It took forever to come up with/settle on an idea! I really hated the idea generation stage of this project. It seemed that no matter what the idea was, how good it was or how many of us agreed on it, there were always a couple of people that would pick fault with it and sometimes almost refuse to go with it. This meant that we wasted the majority of our project on trying to get an idea and, until Matt B saved us, a few of us were arguing about whether we should just pick an idea and go with it or whether we needed to pick out certain things that the EM team do. Matt got us to try to look at the list a different way and we ended us realising that most of them could be spun to be a ‘free [something]’.
This was it, we had an idea and we weren’t going to turn back!
We worked on an idea of an activist group that were trying to tell the staff about the ‘things that were happening without them knowing’ and about the ‘free’ things they could be taking advantage of. I thought this could be done through a guerrilla style advertising campaign that would have “Free [Something]” plastered around the campus, not trying to give the staff the information, but make them interested enough to go a find things out for themselves. I quickly did a bit of research to show the others the kind of things I was thinking.
The team seemed to like the idea, but thought it should have a partnering website that would house the information, so that the adverts a subtly nudging people to the website.
As we were very short on time at this point, we split up tasks. Connor and Katerina would be working on the adverts, Laura and Dan C would work on an animation for the site that would explain what the EM team do and I would be working on the website.
Some of my initial designs were trying to make it seem like a group of ‘hacktivists’, but the client thought this was too sinister, so I scrapped them and tried to design something lighter and cleaner.
The adverts, that would direct people to the website, were worked on by Connor and Katerina. The images to the right are of some of the adverts Connor worked on.
I really like that way these have turned out. I like the hand rendered type style, although I think it could maybe be a little bolder? Some of the feedback from our presentation as said that we didn’t need the QR code because we already have a URL there, and nobody uses QR codes anyway.
The final designs for the website have a big banner image of one advert, which would scroll though, showing each advert. It also has a small piece of text, slightly explaining each advert, which would change with each image.
The information page takes the existing wibsite that explains everything the Environmental Management team do (below), but seperates up the big block of text into more managable chunks, each viewable with the filter.
Both pages of the site were animated, to show how they would work.
At the end of the project, along with a presentation, we had to present our work for the project on two boards, so that people could walk around each group, asking us question and giving up some tips.
I’m very happy to be done with this project! I don’t know whether it was the collection of people or whether it was the sometimes very dull, dry task, but I don’t think that our team worked very well together. There was an awful lot of disagreement, and there seemed to be a lot of miscommunication as well. That being said, I think we’ve managed to somehow pull together in the end and produce some interesting work.
I wouldn’t mind working as part of a team for another project, but I think that I only do it if we got to choose who we worked with, because I feel like I know a few people that I would work well with, and got a more stimulating brief.
And so it begins, the third and final year of university. I’ve had a really boring summer, so I’m really eager/excited to get back to doing briefs (and to be back in the studio with everyone)! Speaking of the studio, it’s been slightly revamped/rearranged. It’s really nice, I feel like the little splash of colour has given the place a bit of energy.
We’ve started off the year with ‘Real World’, a group project. The class were separated into teams and given a brief by one of the Healthy University staff members, each team either targeting staff or students. My team were given the Environmental Management targeting staff, and consisted of me, Katerina, Laura, Dan C and Connor. Each team was also given a mentor from outside the university that we could contact and get advise from throughout the project. We were given Julian Sykes of Hoffi. We’ve not had a mentor on any project before, so I’m looking forward to meeting up with Julian and getting feedback from someone other than a tutor.
This first day was a bit odd. Nobody knew what was going on or what exactly we were supposed to be doing, even after asking a tutor. We mind mapped the two different main points of our brief (Environment and Staff), then had to pick one thing from the mind map and come up with some ambient designs to do with it and then show the client at the end of the day. I must have asked about 5 different people throughout the day what we were supposed to be doing, but nobody had a clue. And then when we showed what we’d been doing the the client, they clearly didn’t know what was going on either.
Hopefully the rest of this project will have a bit more direction and be less vague.
So, we’re back in Subject, after spending what feels like years in field. We were welcomed back with Persuasion.
The first thing we were asked to do was to think of an issue that we care about or have an interest in. We were then told to find an organisation/charity that works to help this issue. I immediately knew that I wanted to focus on men’s mental health issues because I’ve suffered from mental health issues myself and I know that there’s a lot of stigma surrounding it in our society, which doesn’t seem so evident for women’s mental health issues.
After doing some research, I came across CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
“THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST LIVING MISERABLY, or CALM, is a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. In 2014, male suicide accounts for 76% of all suicides and is the single biggest cause of death in men under 45 in the UK.”
Once we found our organisations/charities, we then had to produce campaigns for them. We were told to contact our companies to get some feedback/a brief of what they’d want for a new campaign, but I never got around to it, so what I produced was up to me. Before we actually started making anything, we had to write ourselves a brief, outlining our organisation, the target audience and requirements for our campaign.
After this, I started brainstorming ideas. I struggled with this part a little bit; I was able to come up with a fair amount of ideas, but it took me quite a while to get something that I was happy with and that I thought worked well. Eventually, I came up with the idea of a conversation between two young men. One question with two responses; the commonly spoken response and the response that is only thought, not spoken. I was pretty happy with this idea because it addresses what I think is the biggest issue with men’s mental health, which is men not feeling as if they can actually say what’s wrong.
I took this idea forward and created a set of 3 different posters. Each poster is separated by having only 1 colour each. I have also written a different conversation for each and given them all the slogan “mental health stigma changes when you say what you’re thinking”. For all the posters, the dark grey text is the question, the coloured text is the spoken response and the light grey text is the unspoken response.
These posters were then applied to 4 outcomes: A3 posters, a bus stop advert, a headliner in a bus and an animated GIF for a website banner.
I’m very happy with these outcomes, I think the idea behind them works really and I think I’ve managed to display this idea in an appealing way. Although I am happy with this now, I’m curious what I’ll think of it at a later date because I think it is the idea that I’m happiest about, not the visuals.
For the Brandworld brief, we were asked to make 3 unique concepts, each with touchpoints, to display at the end of the project.
I started my design work by looking at existing window cleaning companies. The biggest thing I took from doing this was: it wasn’t going to be hard to design something that looks better than most of the other companies! So many of the companies I found had such a similar look to them. Most used some very simple typography (not saying it’s a bad thing to have simple typography, but it’s got to be done well) with a small illustrated ident. I also noticed that the use of blue seemed to be a must for window cleaners. A lot of the branding used a few blues, for the entire logo and website, which just got very boring and repetitive after being a few sites in. I also didn’t find a single company that offered the same ‘traditional’ service that Smashin’ did, so I thought that creating something to reflect this ‘traditional’ service could be a good way to stand out.
After doing some research, finding examples of branding that I thought could apply to Smashin’, I produced my 3 concepts:
The Bubbles Concept
The Orange Concept
The Charles Concept
This concept was made to slightly emulate some of the more traditional sign-painting I looked at in my research. I’m not that happy with this concept, the more I look at it the less I like it. I can stop thinking that it reminds me of a circus and I think that it’s just seems too cluttered and messy to work.
As I said, I looked at some sign-painting in my research. I did this because I thought that it could be a good idea to communicate the company’s ‘traditional’ services and could be something done on promotional pieces and on things like a van livery. For this concept, I drew from the more modern sign-painting styles. Although I have used blue for the background, I have tried to use some brighter, bolder colours to make it stand out from competitor’s branding.
I’m pretty happy with this concept, although it could do with a little bit of work, just to tinker with some small detail. I think it would stand out from other window cleaning brands and I could use one ‘S’ on it’s own, if the full thing doesn’t work smaller.
This concept is the most ‘traditional-looking’ of the three. I’ve illustrated a character (Charles), using am image I was given in a moodboard by Seb, at the start of the project. I’ve given it a turquoise background, with white text, but it can work just as well reversed (white background, turquoise text).
I think this is my favourite concept of the three, and was definitely the most popular with my classmates.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the work I’ve done for this project. I think I’ve managed to create a couple of pretty professional looking, and interesting, brand concepts for Smashin’. Throughout this project, I’ve regularly talked to my client (Seb) about the work, and Seb has told me that he’s really happy with the work I’ve done too.
So, now that everyone had their companies, it was time to swap briefs and simultaneously become clients and designers. For the client side of the work, I had to give my brief to Carwyn, sit down with him, take him through my brief and talk to him about roughly what I was looking for. For the designer side, I had to sit down with Seb and talk to him about his traditional window cleaning; Smashin’.
We are Smashin’, a traditional, friendly and cost-effective window cleaning company that aims to put the personal “hand-done” flare back into the practice.
Our services pay homage to the traditional methods of window cleaning that were adopted in the late 19th Century using Premium quality Chamois and Scrim for a truly smashin’ job. However contemporary methods are also available. Contemporary services include, gutter cleaning, patio pressure washing, conservatory cleaning as well as solar panel and roof cleaning.
We take massive pride in our work and guarantee a smashin’ job however if for any reason you are unsatisfied with our work we will give a full refund.
Now I’d been given the company to work on, it was time to start designing.