Archive | October, 2012

Note To Self: 1) Read A Brief Carefully; 2) If Not Sure, Ask!

22 Oct

So it’s been a busy few weeks, with a lot of things going on.

Still working on the calendar project, with drawing out the ideas, planning typography and colour is the main focus that needs to be sort of sorted out by next week (Week 5 of class) so to propose it to the client. We were only told of this last week… T_T So far, only two drawings have been made out of 12, and there are also puzzles, layout, and putting it together to do that I am planning…. Looks like plentiful late nights for me again *yippie*

There’s also another live brief for Design Portfolio, where with our university who is joined with the London College of Music has requested for promotional material (A3/4 posters, DL flyers, A5 programmes and online banners/announcements) for three of their five musicals they will do.

All imagery etc must be adapted to the different sizes of the promotional material. For hand-in, we only choose two of the three designs we have done. The three musicals we have to produce the material for are: Closer Than Ever, And The World Goes ‘Round, and Into The Woods. All interesting might I add, and reminds me of when in the first half of the second year we did opera posters for a typography module. That seems so long ago now… But the themes are quite broad and I’m thinking for some of them focus a bit on one of the songs or the theme of it.

Now, as for Experimental Communication, we had to produce a postcard which must be posted to our tutor, displaying our likes and dislikes in an illustrative way, but not necessarily the traditional way of illustration. It has to be sent through the post so people can see it through the travels the postcard goes through.

And silly me thought that the postcard had to be professionally printed, but I have now found out that it didn’t need to be so I wasted £15 for eight postcards I don’t need (overall 10 I ordered) when I could have done it in a cheaper way T^T

Wish I thought of emailing my tutor before doing the whole process…….. >_<

Anyways, this is the final design:

And this is the process that went into it:


With the postcard idea I wanted to take the shape as part of the formation of the text. So with the rectangle tool I drew out the shape and with the text tool selected ‘Type on a Path Tool’ where the type follows the line it is directed on. To make it in the spiral shape, I drew out another rectangle as shown above and used the second one to carry on with the next line of text.


The finalised black/white piece.


I then selected all the text and grouped it together (Ctrl+G), went onto Windows > Appearance and double-clicked the Contents tab area, which came up with Group: No Appearance.

Then with the small arrow on the top right of the Appearance tab, I clicked on Add New Fill which allowed me to select a new colour for it. I chose a rainbow gradient style.


I didn’t like the linear form it took as it felt too separate and wanted it as one continuous flow. So I went onto the Gradient tab, where it says ‘Linear’, clicked the arrow tab and selected ‘Radial’, allowing the colours to form in a circle.


Through the printing website, it mentioned of making it into outlines by Type > Create Outlines which allows the text to maintain its format settings. Tip: If you plan to do Create Outlines, make sure your type is the right size beforehand as once done you cannot adjust the point size.

So that’s the steps in creating the postcard. I just hope my tutor is not mad at me when I emailed her saying that I may not have the card delivered to me before our lesson on Thursday, and that instead I bring in a draft copy and send the actual piece to her once it comes through : /

(Why did I make it so complicated for myself?!)

All I can say is that I realised now that I misinterpreted the brief when it said: “remember your card is open to the public so try to produce ideas both high in quality and concept“.

Besides this, there is also a presentation we have to do consisting of only 3 images/instances (not including any friends/family) which lasts for five minutes detailing why those images have influenced and helped shape us as a designer. That will be done soon, but the deadline is Week 6 (now being Week 4).

Anyways…. For Concept Development, there has been a few things progressing from it. In one of our lessons we had to produce collages depicted our two words (which were Suspend and Sleep). Both sketches done in the previous post , although are good, it needs to portray the essence of suspended sleep. The first one, only one person’s sleep is broken, whilst the other the feeling of falling is a good aspect.

So from magazine cut-outs, I did two collages that demonstrates such thing:

My tutor (for this module) liked the imagery used to portray it. Gave a somewhat dreamy feel to it (for obvious reasons of course!).

Our next task was to produce a triptych (3 panels) with a solution to our words. It had to be either a Powerpoint or printed visual. This was mine:

And this was the Powerpoint for it: SabineFox_SuspendSleep

Here is a critique post I have written from a blog I have to do as part of this module:

Although the transition effect (fade; three seconds per slide) works well with the concept of ‘Suspend Sleep’, the triptych as a whole does not communicate it well enough for the viewer to fully understand the meaning behind it until perhaps the last slide which is the only slide that reflects on any notion of sleep.

Therefore, all slides need to show sleeping in a form that can be in a continuous structure within the triptych.

I feel that the fonts fully demonstrate ‘Suspend Sleep’ as the doubling up of ‘Falling’ in Colonna MT (287pt) font helps to provide movement due to its linear structure and gaps within each letter, whilst with ‘in your dreams’ in Gabriola (60pt) font helps to reflect the relaxed state a person is in when asleep as well as the mind being in an unconscious state.

However, the ‘in your dreams’ part of the triptych, although helps to show the side of sleeping, does not completely show it as one may think of it as actually dreaming of falling rather than sleeping. With this in mind, there needs to be another way of portraying the sleep part of the triptych that can also be more visual to the viewer. An example would be using multiples of the letter ‘z’ on the background.

Choosing the colours shown I first felt that it would help with the contrast and allow the sections to also be distinguished, however, another colour such as dark blue would possibly be better to use for either the words or background to portray the theme of night.

If needs be that I think more for it, I have to add it on. I’ll have to make a few changes, so eventually they’ll be a new one ^_^

As well as this, there is also another brief for this module, where we have to take a 3-5 hour mini-sabbatical which must invest in time, money, not being lazy and must be recorded in some way like photographs or video etc. So I’m still sorta thinking of something good…. Just don’t know yet!

The Succes and Unsuccess of the Persuasive Design Project

11 Oct

So, last post I mentioned how my Facebook/phone number idea failed.

Basically, with the use of Ryan’s Facebook profile and a new SIM card, I wrote on his status this:

“To all my friends on Facebook,

CALL this number:

*number inserted here*



Reasons as to why will be revealed on Tuesday.”

I thought it would work, considering the persuasion is the reason people would like to know and therefore call. Also I wanted to see how far it could go as well as how trusting people are. However, I only got one call. ONE CALL!!! Unbelievable. I thought at least perhaps five but one?!

So in the end it allowed me to conclude that although this was not a success, it showed that even if you are friends with someone on Facebook (although these friends were his relatives and work colleagues), there still lies the line of distrust within the online/virtual world. I know that perhaps some people may have thought that someone hacked onto his profile, but they could have: A) Messaged/call Ryan up asking what it was about; B) They were not going to lose minutes/credit since it is a missed call I was asking for; and C) There is a thing called a private number.

It got me annoyed for a while but I moved on. The next day, I thought of another idea: Bobble-head and signage.

I decided to use a Darth Vader bobble-head Ryan had with a sign pointing to it saying:

“Tap the head for good luck” (with an arrow pointing downwards. It was interesting for the fact the character is known to be evil and it is associated with good luck.

What I am writing next was taken from my work book for this module (Experimental Communication) as it was worded good enough on there:

Placed in the canteen area of the university, I wanted to test out the reactions of other students and their actions towards it.

I also wanted to test whether people would take notice of the contradiction between the character which is thought of as evil, and it being used as good luck.

^  Cute, right?  ^

Within 30 minutes, I had ten people doing what is asked of on the sign, with many people looking at it when walking past with a smile or laugh. I also noticed that people in groups were more inclined to do it compared to people by themselves, perhaps due to the fun/unusual feeling it gives off. There was also one person, who walking with their friend, passed the figure, looked back, then did the action, afterwards going back to their friend.

With this person, their nationality was Chinese which made me believe that this may have involved the person’s view on luck due to their cultural background or believing in luck.

^  I did certainly get a lot of stares when setting this up. It was embarrassing!  ^

My plans for this ‘event’ had to alter as the canteen was closed off at 3pm, so I went to Ealing Broadway shopping centre to try it out but after enquiring at the head office it was not possible due to commercial reasons and the area being owned by an outside company.

In the end, I taped an A4-sized sign onto my body, carrying the figure at the same time around Ealing Broadway and the university, managing to gather five more people, giving 15 in total.

^  Yes I know I look awful in this photo -_-‘  ^

So yeah, that’s my persuasive design which finally worked!! Yippie!! Now I need to develop it further with something else in mind, but this time we can Photoshop the persuasive scenario *phew!*

Persuasive Design Update

9 Oct

So my phone number/Facebook idea failed completely. Therefore resorting to one of my last measures. Which finally worked although many of my plans for it had to be altered. But all will be told another day when I’m in a less tired state.

Right now, I am busy writing up my findings in rough before neatening it up in my book.

New Uni Year. New Me. New Projects.

5 Oct

A brand new Uni year has finally arrived. Just finished my first week of lessons (well, two days worth) and it has not been so bad. Obviously it’s only just started so there’s no major pile up yet. The first semester has three modules, and the second will have two.

The new modules we are taking on for the first semester are:

  1. Concept Development
  2. Design Portfolio
  3. Experimental Communication

Concept Development and Experimental Communication so far only involves mini briefs and are quite interesting.

I’ll refer all modules through initials: CD, DP, and EC.

So far in CD we had to choose a word from a list given to us, and the word I picked was ‘Sleep’. It was the only word I felt stood out to me in the list and the first thing that came to mind was dreams, stages of sleep, sleep walking/talking.

I researched and gathered information on the word, absence of it and its effects, how much sleep needed, and the stages of sleep (REM and Non-REM). Afterwards, we got given two choices: take a lucky dip to pick a new word, or add a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the word and find the associations linked with it.

I chose the lucky dip and got the word ‘Suspend’. Put it together, and you get ‘Suspend Sleep’. With this, I looked at how sleep can be suspended (sleep disorders, nightmares, stress, moments of waking up during sleep).

As part of our self-study I looked a bit more into both words for more information and had to produce a rough visual that combines both words. I did two and these are them:

^ This one is meant to be that feeling of falling and you suddenly wake up. Found out that this happens in the N-REM stage 1 which lasts for about 5-10 minutes, and is when it causes a muscle contraction.

For EC, there was a lot of talk on lateral thinking and we got given ‘riddles’ which we had to think outside the box, as they say. For example, one was:

A baby fell from a 20-storey building and survived. How did this happen?

Answer: Baby fell from a ground-floor window. It does not specifically say the baby fell from the top floor, only that where it fell from was a high building. Such a twister, although I got it straight away ^^ There was some others that were much harder though.

Anyways, as our self-study we have to do this thing called ‘Persuasive Design’, where something encourages us to act upon, to desire, or to purchase without the conscious mind having an opportunity to interfere. A friend and myself were on the train home and did one as we were discussing what to do. Basically, we put a sign on a seat opposite saying: “DAMP SEAT. Do not sit”. I suggested to make it more authentic by adding dabs of water onto the paper (yeah, you know where this is going) and stupid me actually spilt some water onto the seat so it turned out damp in the end. We changed the sign again to a cleaner one, and jotted down the amount of people who:

  1. Noticed/Looked at the sign
  2. Avoided the seat
  3. Sat on the seat:
  4. Touched the seat
  5. Ignored the sign

This started at 17:30, during rush hour period (and we did feel a bit bad when it got busy…) but it worked. People did avoid the chair no matter how busy it got. No one wants a damp bum. Also, we could have left it after, but we were kind enough to put the sign there for no unfortunate person to have a bad Thursday evening (although it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t spill the water!)

We took photos discretely, and the whole thing lasted 40 minutes until one woman with her friend, possibly in almost in her 70s rushed to the seat without even paying any attention and sat on it. Both myself and my friend were in the “oh my god!” moment, but realised after she wasn’t even standing up so we assumed the seat was dry. We also assumed that they were tourists as they spoke in another language throughout the whole journey even after I got off. Thing is I just found it funny that she was capable to walk around the whole of London, in also inappropriate shoes, and felt the need of needing of rushing to sit down. I hate people like that.

So the final results were:

  1. Noticed/Looked at the sign: 22
  2. Avoided the seat: 22
  3. Sat on the seat: 1
  4. Touched the seat: 0
  5. Ignored the sign: 1

(I’ll say now though that if anyone, which I doubt, who was on the Piccadilly line  at the time this happened, reads this, I apologise for the inconvenience of not having that seat).

So our persuasive design did work, somewhat. But after when I emailed my tutor for this module on whether it was ok we did it together, unfortunately although she loves the idea of collaborating, it’s an assessment and needs to be individual.

It put a damper on things, but we were fine with it as we discussed with each other what we would do if we couldn’t. She’s gonna plan on wearing a sign that says free hugs and see how many people will give a hug, and I’m going to print out fake £5 notes and drop them on the ground to see if anyone would pick them up thinking it is real money. Or perhaps do the old trick of gluing a coin on the ground and see any attempts of anyone picking it up ; ) Good fun.**

Anyways, for the DP module, our brief will either be competition based, live client briefs, or made up ones. Five altogether, but 3 only for hand in. Our first is to produce a calendar for a hotel company where the proceeds go to the charity UNICEF. The calendar itself has to portray children, food/recipes, UNICEF, the hotel, and their theme of togetherness, sharing moments with mother and/or father etc. I have a good idea of being able to combine all of them, so it’s gonna be an interesting project. Plus, if yours does get considered, it will be sold on in their hotel branches. So this will be definitely interesting to take on : )

**EDIT: I am no longer doing the money thing. Been thinking and this morning decided against it. Don’t really want to get done for counterfeit…. You never know what can happen on the day!

So now, I am going to do something that involves a phone number, and a Facebook account.