Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Collection 100. Research Proposal

My subject matter is:

Possible categories will include:
Laces, soles, innersoles, feet, odor, socks, material, stitch, purpose, styles.

Research processes will include:
Visual research, popularity, common-ness, questionnaire,

How will you research?
PRIMARY: Visual, popularity of styles, questionnaire for cobblers and retailers, stock take.
SECONDARY: History of shoes, making of shoes.

Who/where will you research?
PRIMARY: City centers, retailers, general public.
SECONDARY: Vintage shops, cobblers, library, internet.

Research process will include:
PRIMARY: Looking at styles and their popularity, effects on posture, detail and persona.
SECONDARY: How shoes have developed, materials, how they are made.

Monday, 14 December 2009

What if... Self Evaluation

What problem did you identify?
The litter in Leeds city centre due to people being lazy.

What evidence did you find to support your directions?
Initially we looked at eye sores in Leeds, concentrating on the city centre. Research in this area found many different types of eye sores in leeds:
  • Graffiti
  • Broken debris
  • Litter - cigarettes, bottles, take away boxes.
  • Permanent litter - chewing gum.
From this we found that litter, (mainly cigarettes, bottles and take away boxes) were the biggest/most noticeable eye sore. We got photographic evidence of this and compared litter at different times. Going out at 4pm and 12midnight we found considerably more litter later on when people were starting to come out for a night out.

We also wanted to see if litter was the true problem or if it was the lack of bins, so we selected a route from the leeds college of art down through town finishing at briggate. This route focused on main high streets, which would be busy and therefore create more litter, and less busy streets which theoretically would have less litter. Our findings are below:

We found that the problem of litter is caused by people and not by the amount of bins. Placing the two maps side by side you can see that were the litter occurs there is still a vast amount of bins, so people aren't littering because there are no bins.

We found 97 bins covering 8 streets.

Maybe they are littering because they are lazy? Or maybe they are littering because they don't know where the bins are?...

To help inform our findings on the streets of the centre of Leeds we comprised a questionnaire, our findings were:

53% of people thought people litter because of LAZINESS followed by...
14% thinking it was because of the BIN STRIKE, which has finished now, making it an invalid point.

Other answers were: people are just not bothered, habit, full bins, upbringing, not enough bins.

Our findings suggested that people are unaware of bins and their locations, and therefore don't use them.

97% of people thought litter was a problem in Leeds city centre.

We asked what would make people more likely to use a bin and they answered:

More of an incentive to use bins, more colourful and visual bins, more interactive, cleaner bins, more bins, guilt of dropping litter, bigger fines.

Now we knew we had to draw peoples attention to the bins more and make them more convenient. In this busy society peoples attention needs to be grabbed away from their own hustle and bustle of everyday life to make a difference.

Secondary research included,...

On the Leeds council website information of bin emptying times stating that bins are emptied on accordance to how busy the area is ranging from being emptied daily to two or three times a week. Street cleaning is also done regularly and if a large spillage or litter concentrated in one area occurs street cleaners will come and clear up the mess. Also walking up to bins there is a sign saying that there is a £75 fine if you drop litter, this seemed to be a good idea and incentive to potential litterers however, there was litter all over the floor next to bins, so maybe the visibility and incentive to put your litter in a bin needs to addressed.

What methods did you use to gather your evidence and what forms did it take? (categorise your research using the terms primary, secondary, quantitative and qualitative).
Primary - Qualitative Research - Visually looking who drops litter and when, distance between bins in accordance to where they are, photographing evidence.

Primary - Quantitative Research - Bin to litter ratio count, amount of bins in certain area, questionnaire.

Secondary - Qualitative Research - Internet city centre bins information.

Secondary - Quantitative Research - Fines, existing littering problems.

What methods of research did you find useful and why?
Going out and seeing the problem in its primary state was most helpful because I could see the litter building up and then the bin men coming to clear it. Seeing the problem up close helped to determine how to solve it and what would work effectively.

How did these inform your response to your problem?
Putting yourself if the audiences situation and best trying to interpret how they would react to our solution helped us further our ideas.

What methods did you encounter as problematic?
Trying to catch people in the act littering found itself to be very hard, also there was little internet information on the direct problem available.

How did you overcome this?
We looked at different aspects of the problem which would help overcome the obstacles such as, looking how litter built up over time rather than catching people dropping it themselves. The lack of internet information wasn't such of a problem because the most important information was available.

What research could you have carried out that would have proved more useful?
Looking at the amount of litter over a longer period of time could have improved our results validity. Also asking more people in the questionnaire for their comments on what would stop them from littering, because after all it is them who we are trying to please, so having a better idea on what they would like to see would better inform our solution.

5 things I have learnt about design process over the last two weeks:
Design process can quickly change direction when in-depth research is carried out.
Working in groups means a lot of communication is vital.
All ideas need to be looked at when working in a group to please everyone.
Thinking about what you are going to do will never get the job finished.
Keeping focused on the target audience and environment for the solution is vital.

5 things I would do differently next time:
Keep more communicated with all group members.
Assign specific jobs to certain people so 2 people don't to the same thing.
Have a team member from the start to engage some authority.
Encourage team members to engage more with the group for a better result.
Structure work better, plan ahead, timetable what needs to be done.

Monday, 23 November 2009



I have learnt colour theory, about legibility and readability of text, how to respond to briefs in a logical way, not to be afraid of making mistakes and critical analysis.

All these practical skills have helped my work, and helped me work more effectively. I think I have taken on board everything I have learnt and applied the skills to my work.


Researching the subject field area helps immensely in creating a rounded conclusion to the problem. Feedback from crits are helpful and taking everything on board helps to create more informed design decisions. Experimentation not only uses your own ideas and tests them, it helps to create new and stronger ideas.


I think my work shows a lot of individual style and experimentation. I like to have things very precise and measured as well. Graphic designers need to appreciate measurement and precision which I think I already do and can use my perfectionist attitude in my favor. Also individual style is what separates you from every other designer, so keeping in touch with my own style whilst still experimenting with other areas will help gain design experience.


I think, although I do like experimentation, I tend to get one good idea and stick to it before exploring other possible outcomes. I also need to brush up on my drawing skills, I have never been an amazing drawer and think spending more time on sketching could help in my work.

  1. Be better at time keeping, to keep up with the fast pace of the course and produce enough work of quality.
  2. Experiment more with ideas including drawing skills to push my self in an area I am less confident in.
  3. Ask for more feedback on a daily basis of my work to see what other people think from a distance.
  4. Try more ideas out before making a quick decision to stick with my first good idea.
  5. Keep up to date with my blog so my work flows better.




Friday, 20 November 2009

'No News Is Good News' group and self evaluation

- I got feedback for my posters anonymously. Feedback questionnaire and answers are below. All the criteria for this crit had been taken directly from the brief ' NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS', message and interpretation - part two.

What statement/fact/question is being communicated to you? - this might not be what was intended.
  • Over the top health and safety.
  • Health and safety gone mad in this country.

Is this being communicated in a clear and focused way? YES
What could be developed further?
  • Making the image larger so it is even more noticeable, or a pure white back ground, as the black background is lost in areas due to the shiny surface on the paper.
  • I understand what the posters are trying to communicate. Maybe they could be clearer in imagery. The image poster says 'sick' to me instead of 'don't breathe'.

Have the posters been kept 'simple and to the point?' YES
Is a statement, fact or question being posed? - how do you know this?
  • Fact/statement basically saying that you cannot do anything without it being a health and safety issue.
  • Statement. The posters are giving you an order and taking the mick out of health and safety.

Has the restriction of two colours been met? NO
Are the two colours plus stock appropriated to the solution? YES
Why are the two colours plus stock appropriate/inappropriate? - if inappropriate offer possible solutions.
  • The colours are entirely appropriate. Yellow is associate with warning and instructional sign, however the colour criteria has not been met due to the use of a tint.
  • It could look quite effective on a white background, which would make the design stand out even more, but the contrast of yellow and black is highly effective.
  • They show warning and are saying this could happen.
  • The yellow stands out well against the black, but I'm not sure if red may have worked as well?

Do the posters work as a set or series? YES
Why do they work/ don't work as part of a set or series and could this be developed further?

  • Consistent design throughout the three.
  • Same typeface, illustration and text used.
  • It would be recognisable as a poster from the set.

Is it clearly evident which poster is type, image, and type and image? YES

Are the posters 'memorable, immediate, high impact and clear?' - give as much feedback as possible.

  • These posters are memorable as they are quite humorous in a dry, satirical way.
  • As a set they have immediate impact, however if I saw the image based poster on its own, it might not be so clear as to what is being communicated.
  • The designs are very clear through the use of simple sans serif text and a simple symbol through line drawing.
  • I think the colours play a big part in the posters being so memorable.
  • The illustration is unique as well so would be remembered.
  • Could be more high impact if capitals were used.

Do you feel the brief has been fulfilled to its full potential? YES
Further feedback...
  • Apart from the minor issue of the number of colours used, the brief had been fulfilled to its full potential. It clearly communicates the strange wonders of today's health and safety in a to-the-point comical way.
  • I think they would have more impact without the gradients and therefore will fit within the brief of three colours including stock.
  • Also with the imagery being used on the text poster it misses the brief.
  • Overall I think it is high impact and could work well with a few changes.

Personally I think I may have neglected the finer details of the brief because I did use gradients, creating more colours and a box on the text poster. Although I did make alterations and my final submission meets all the requirements now. Strengths of the posters are the colours used create the right feeling and the satirical style of the tag line.


What? Ridiculous health and safety rules and regulations, strong instructing tag line
Why? Picking fun at health and safety. Informing others that health and safety is ridiculous these days and they are worrying too much.
How? Fold out re-sealable envelope with flyers slotted inside developed from posters.
Who? Health and safety head quarters, government, high risk work places, unions for workers.
Inform/instruct/persuade/promote? Inform
Format? Re-useable envelope, three posters with info sheets and written explanation of what I am informing.
Colour/stock? Yellow and black, tracing paper.

Half way through this brief there was a group crit with 4 people giving me feed back on my work so far; here is the feedback:

'I like the 'Don't speak, don't breathe, don't move' experiment as it is very playful and communicates the idea of stupid signs well. I also like the clear, layered look'.

'I like the layering idea. More experimentation of envelope design will help you find a more unique envelope design'.

'Using more of a fun idea, your putting across that it's a joke. Using a wheel which your turn to reveal funny signs 'don't speak don't breathe' could work well'.

'Tracing paper might get broken in the post, maybe look into something stronger'.

Action to be taken to resolve issues:
  • Strength of tracing paper on envelope when posted.
  • Is tracing paper relative to the subject.
  • Keep the envelope design in link with the subject of health and safety.
  • Make sure the symbol is clear what it is telling the audience.

Evaluation of final envelope and contents:

I think overall the whole envelope design looks good and works well. I think it looks sleek and interesting. I have put a lot of effort into making sure the print quality and paper quality is to the highest of standards. Also I tried to make sure there was a happy medium between imagery and text information to keep the audience happy and interested.

Things to improve I would say are the don't breathe symbol. On a majority people understood what the symbol was representing, but a few were confused and thought it could be a man with a beard or someone being sick. If I had more time I would develop the symbol further so it was more clear. I found it quite hard to design the logo because it has to be simple yet self explanatory. I would also experiment with different papers to see what I could achieve without the paper being semi-transparent.

On a whole I am proud of my result. I think it is a quirky idea and works well as comical yet serious. Trying to keep something simple and to the point limits the outcomes, but I find makes them more direct and effective.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Alphabet Soup - Brady Alphabet Evaluation


How are the four words selected to represent the typeface being explored?


The font I have chosen is Chopin Script - I will only use the capital letters:

For the words 'extravagant' and 'messy' I will look into the works of Linda Zacks, one of Brady's favourite artists. Her style is very messy and extravagant. The font I have chosen already is very extravagant and elaborate in its design. For the word 'girly' I will experiment with colours and the way they change the overall look. I will look into floral designs for the word 'floral', mainly roses because Brady has a tattoo of a rose on her back, so it will communicate and relate to her more. At the moment I wouldn't say I am a very confident flower drawer, so I will experiment with styles and techniques to best use my abilities in the time available. Maybe tracing or simplifying of the flower design.

Why is the existing typeface an in/appropriate choice?
Brady said her friend is the person she most admires because she is crazy and doesn't care what people think, so I chose a swirly expressive font to demonstrate this. It is already quite elaborate and girly, I plan to work into and around the letters using the style of one of Brady's favourite artists Linda Zacks. Her style is very messy and bold, so I plan to work in designs of roses and introduce colours like pinks and yellows. Only using the capital letters could produce some problems because the letters have a lot of swirly flicks and could distract the eye from the actual letter form when I add my designs to it.

What are the reasons behind your design decisions made for your typeface so far?
At the moment I am just experimenting with ideas in my sketchbook. I plan to make the typeface more messy and stylized. I am experimenting with different media and colours because I want to see which colours go together well and represent Brady best. I feel experimenting is the best way to manipulate the font in this case because the final piece is all going to be free hand and a one of design. Because I will be using paint splodges and slap dash brush strokes, creating as many visual ideas before hand will give me a better idea of how to create the final piece and what I want it to look like, because it will have to come from the imagination for the final piece respectively.

Other issues raised / action to be taken
Carry on experimentation and reach decision over colours and techniques to be used. Make sure letters are not to elaborate to begin with, maybe shorten swirls on letters?

5 tasks to complete brief to full potential:

1. Experiment with media
2. Experiment with colour
3. Experiment with styles and techniques
4. Make sure all letters are legible.
5. Keep reverting back to brief to make sure I am meeting the criteria.


1. Good amount of research and relevant to the work.
2. Lots of experimentation with different colours and medias.
3. Direct responses to other artists work.

1. No annotations/ self evaluation in sketchbook.
2. Development to the final idea isn't clear from the sketchbook.
3. No developments of one idea.
4. What you think worked and what didn't not indicated.

1. More development of one idea, push things further.
2. Clearer self evaluation, what you think works and why.
3. How font relates to partner and why.
4. More self evaluation/ reflection.


1. Well crafted.
2. Beautiful letterforms.

1. How can I rework the letters so there is a logic?
2. At this point some of the colour placement seems random.

1. Draw out letters separate.
2. Full black and white.


On a whole I am pleased with the project. I think visually it looks as I set out for it to look. Elaborate, girly, messy and floral. I think the subtle injection of colour brings it to life and gives it a character, of which reflects Brady. I have visually represented all the four words initially chosen and kept to the style of Linda Zacks. I like the fact that none of the letters are the same which gives it character.

Because of the randomness of the letters design some of the letterforms were a bit disjointed and didn't look like a family. Some of the swirls coming off the letterforms were quite extravagant and made the letters slightly illegible. When I made the name tag for Brady because the letters were al capital they didn't read very well. It was hard to make out what it said from a distance. I designed the '£' sign my self because it wasn't already in the Chopin Script typeface. I could have made it more elabourate because it doesn't fit in with the rest of the font quite as well as I would of liked it to.

To do:
1. Reduce the size of some of the swirls on the letterforms.
2. Try to create more of a flow between the letters, in respect of creating a logic and putting the same thing on every letter.
3. See what the letters look like separated from each other and in black and white.

Alphabet Soup Compress Evaluation

Pairs were picked out of a hat at random. I got paired with Gemma, she evaluated my project by looking at me sketchbook work and final piece. Here is her evaluation.

What is being communicated and how? (refer to the final piece only)
COMPRESS - The way this has been communicated I would say isn't obvious, but when I knew what the theme was it became clear it was being communicated by the compression of a letter to a point it was almost illegible.

How well does this answer the brief? (why do you think this?)
This does answer the brief as the 10 letterforms have been compressed, therefore communicating to the audience. I like how it isn't too obvious at first, as it makes the audience more intrigued, but at the same time it is not impossible to guess.

How well has the idea been visually explored? (refer to research/ sketchbooks)
Ellis has looked into the idea of pixellation in quite a lot of detail, looking at different methods and the different extents to how pixelated something can be. Other approaches to answering the brief have been noted, but dismissed due to being to obvious.

What are the strengths of the resolution? (refer to the whole body of work)
I think the whole idea of pixellation is an interesting way of going about the brief, it's interesting without being 'cliche'. I like how colour has been applied, one colour use twice throughout with several tones, that form the shape of the letter.

How could it be improved?
On a couple of the letters 'g' and 'e' I found it hard to distinguish what they were, other than that they were in alphabetical order.


What are the strengths of the project and the final result?
I think my final piece is visually stimulating and is not an obvious conclusion to the set word 'compress'. Although it is not an obvious conclusion, it does take the word 'compress' quite literally (compression of a file). I think the colours go together well. I though if I used a different colour for every letter it might get a bit confused and too busy visually. And would look equally as boring if the letters were all the same colour, I think I have reached a happy medium with the use of one colour for every two letters. I like how the final piece needs spacial awareness, looking close up at the letters the form gets lost and legibility is decreased, but if you stand back and look from a small distance the letters take form and are easier to read. Experimenting with pixellation in my research, with the ways of pixellation and amount, it helped to create a better finished piece because I tried to push the pixellation as far as possible without the letters being illegible.

How could the project output be improved?
Some of the letters, as mentioned in Gemma's evaluation, 'g' and 'e' were hard to work out what letter form they were when set aside from the rest, so maybe some of the letters pixelate worse than others. Wanting the final piece to look like a family I used the same amount of squares for each letter, but in doing this some of the detail gets lost in certain letters. For my research I feel I could have looked further into my other ideas and experimented with them more. Although I feel like a researched enough in the time given.

Overall I am happy with the final piece. If I have some more time I will look into making the letters more legible.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Self Evaluation - HOW TO... project

What role(s) did you take on in the group?
Team member in brain storming initial ideas.
Collection of materials.
Taking photographs.
Research into relevant fields.
Layout of posters.
Assembling box and aesthetics.

How well do you think you performed in the role(s)
I felt strong enough to make my own decisions whilst working along side my team mates and their ideas. There was good communication within the group, therefore I was able to do work in my own time and keep it linking within the same look/ feel that the team wanted.

How well do you think you worked as a group?
Communication was good and all ideas were listened to; constructive criticism enabled us to further our ideas. Everybody appreciated each others input, which enabled us to produce a multi-styled finished product.

What were the positives of working in a group?
Everybody had different styles and ideas which made the product stronger all round. Certain people were more specialized in certain fields e.g. illustration and computing.

What were the negative of working in a group?
We had to work alone at home and it was hard to keep on track of what everyone else would be doing and intern keep it in the theme of what we set out to produce. Working separately and then putting everyones work together at college was quite hard. as everyone had different styles and interpretations of what was expected.

What will you do differently next time?
Doing jobs in different, more methodical order, for a more organised approach.
Last minute changes were not taken into consideration.

What were the strengths of your presentation?
We had two main speakers so that information didn't get jumbled and was more easy to follow for the audience. We produced reasonable sized visuals to accompany the presentation.

10 things to achieve in the first year of graphic design

1. Further knowledge in design techniques
2. Further knowledge in the design industry.
3. Respect from tutors and students.
4. To have designed in areas out of my comfort zone.
5. Become more grown up and able to adapt to situations better.
6. A Better idea of who I am as a designer and my individual style.
7. A good body of work that I'm proud of.
8. More skills with working alone and in collaboration.
9. A good balance between work and leisure.
10. Links/ contacts within industry.