Tuesday, 23 November 2010

End Of Module Self Evaluation

For this project we had to use our beliefs as to 'what is good' to determine our subject point. The fact that I was able to contribute my own personal thoughts and beliefs I feel made the project a lot more interesting and myself more driven to produce a high quality outcome. I initially chose to focus on 'love', interpersonal love specifically, researching about both the pros and cons of being in love. I felt this subject however was far too broad to pin point one aspect. Love is a very overworked market I feel and having one more product alongside the other million selling love would have been an almost impossible task. So I decided to flip the idea on its head and focus on being single and how to promote being single.

This project has made me realise the possibilities in production. I enjoy creating high quality, luxurious feeling products and I have come to realise there is a whole world of production methods enabling you to be able to create a high standard finish. Photoshop and Illustrator therefore took somewhat of a back seat in this project. Previously I have relied greatly on the Adobe software to help realise my ideas, and not to say that they aren't a key factor in designing, but I have focused more on composition. Illustrator works in 2D and then to transfer your ideas onto a 3D product needs a whole different set of skills. I feel now I am more confident to experiment with different methods of production such as, screen printing and UV spot varnish.

Everything you produce has an audience. You need to think in the mind of the audience to create a water tight design. I have learnt it is important to know every aspect of what is being produced to enable a smooth run from design to print. Sizing, cost, stock, print method are all important factors that without one of them production wouldn't be possible. Visiting the print house and seeing how things are done professionally had just made me more driven to produce perfection.

Last year I found it very hard to keep on top of my blogging. I would leave it to all pile up and blog at the last minute. Doing this made me forget vital information and weakened my progression. However, I feel I have become more accustomed to blogging everyday or every few days. It has helped me greatly keep on top of my work and do so in a more thorough and progressive way. 

I am very pleased with my finish products for this project, however I feel because the project was longer than I am used to I haven't worked to my full potential. This is only through fault of my own and a lack of vision and time management. There could have been a lot more work produced on my part during this 6 week project. The way I feel I work best is to sit quietly and run things through my head. This helps me get things clear and helps me to think more methodically. Doing so there is no physical work to show and therefore wedges of thoughts can get lost and not communicated on my blog. Writing more ideas and thoughts down would help me to rationalise and progress more systematically.

I feel very proud of my finished products for this project and I know I have worked extremely hard to get to the finished result. I have learnt a lot about print processes and working in a professional environment and how engaging with these things can only help me to progress further. I think this was a good project to start the year with and it has used our own interests as a start point and hence it has kept driven throughout. In future projects I plan to use more time management skills, writing down dates and personal deadlines; I think this will keep me driven by focusing on smaller time scales.

As time progresses and I am learning things every day, I am starting to feel more like a designer and am more driven towards to type of work that I enjoy producing. Creating a portfolio of work that projects individualism and will hopefully attract potential clients and work in the future.

Attendance - 4
Punctuality - 4
Motivation - 4
Commitment - 4
Quantity of work produced - 4
Quality of work produced - 4
Contribution to the group - 4

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Lecture 5 - 10 Steps To A Future You


  • Stephen R Covey - writer of one of the world's best selling self improvement books. His work is widely used in business and management training because of its straightforward advice. His book is called "7 Habits of Highly Effective People'.
  • Lawrence Kholberg - psychologist who can aid us into becoming entrepreneurs and successful business people. His work shows us, as humans, how we grow from being self centered children to responding to praise and punishment, to becoming a fully functioning adult responding and contributing to situations through a process of reasoned debate. 
  • Karl Hopkins - Started off on a ND Graphic Design course and is now one of our region's most successful businessmen. He has appeared on the TV as a 'Secret Millionaire' and now delivers business training. 


The first of Covey's precepts is to be proactive.

Proactivity is considered to be one of the main attributes that separates humans from animals. Most animals are predictable as they respond to stimuli. Animals will run, hide, hunt, in response to different situations, whereas humans have the ability to be proactive in these situations. 

Proactivity is also the key trait of a successful business person. Our lives are improved by designers who can anticipate the future needs of others. Also alike would be a helpful shop assistant who anticipates your needs as a customer and offers you a range of suitable products instead of holding back.


Highly effective people make decisions to improve their situation through the things they can influence rather than waiting for something to come along needing to be influenced. Ineffective people are often complainers and use excuses of why they CANT. Successful people set themselves achievable goals and gradually extend their capabilities.

  • Develop a vision of your future
  • Create a principle centered personal mission statement
  • Extend the mission into long term goals. 

You need to have a clear vision of where you are going to be most successful. When apply for a job you need a clear vision of why you are applying for the job, how it will benefit both you and the company and progression within the company or as a result of working for the said company. You need to know who you are working for, for example, how successful they are, how many people they employ, who is the owner and what their reputation is like. 

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” - John Lennon

If you don't have any particular plans or goals then you will be stuck dreaming of a dream. 

You need to be made aware of the difference between a dream and a plan. It is very easy to dream about living a luxurious life in Los Angeles with a swimming pool and views to the horizon but not really have any plans to achieve that lifestyle. However, if is is your plan to live and prosper in Los Angeles, then all of your choices and actions will be designed to lead you to that conclusion.


1. Give clear explanations to people.
2. Speak in their language.
3. Talk about benefits' not processes.

Carl Hopkins climbed through the graphic design ranks to become Managing Director of Judith Donavan Associates, taking the company from 9 million to 20 million turnover in 5 years. He says that in order to market yourself successfully you must be able to explain yourself, your ideas, vision and plans in language that people can easily understand. 

Talking easy to understand language will benefit both you and your employers/employees.

1. Think - who you are talking to.
2. Create - clear messages.
3. Inspire - people with you creativity. 

People from small start up companies to established companies all all bad at describing what they do. It is a common mistake to describe the processes that you provide and forget to speak directly to the customer and tell them how you can benefit them.

There is an exercise that many effective people have used. The 'elevator pitch'; if you were to get in a lift with me for one floor and I asked you to tell me what you do - could you do that? If not that is a missed opportunity.

My 10 word pitch....

I am a realistic, perfection driven, innovative designer who turns the ugly into luxury.

HMMM maybe needs a bit of work?


1. Put first things first.
2. Keep a proper balance.
3. Stick to your personal mission.

Study >> Socialise >> Rest >> Money >> Time >> Results   <<<<<< FOCUS

You need to have a clear view to your roles in life. 

Why did I choose to come to The College of Art? - To work hard, achieve well, socialise, leave home, get a job??

For me it is the whole package and missing any one of these factors would affect my time at University, but I have to put them into order of priority. 

You need to put 'first things first' at the front of your mind so you can act here and now in the right direction.


1. Think win/win.
2. Seek outcomes and relationships that are mutually beneficial. 
3. Do a favor to gain a favor.

All three experts agree on this subject. The 4th habit of highly effective people is to seek out people and agreements that are beneficial to both parties involved. 

Carl talks about giving customers more than they ever expected in order to make then think highly and speak highly of you. Carl gives talks and offers free advice clinics to keep himself visible and to keep people talking about him.

Kohlberg's Theory

Kholberg, the psychologist explains in his theory about Conventional behaviours that, as humans, we progress through different levels of moral, ethical and social behaviours as we learn and mature. 
A Pre-conventional person is generally only concerned with themselves, they have an ego-centric perspective on life and deal with short term results. They will reason in terms of what’s in it for them.

A conventional person conforms to social norms. They know right from wrong and will be pleasant to deal with, will be reliable and make good co-workers. They obey rules and care about morality and the wellbeing of others.

Post-conventional people have a well developed sense the individual and may not conform with rules that differ from their own moral sense. They will have belief in liberty, human rights and justice. These people often question norms and also have the ability to see things from others’ perspectives. They collaborate to achieve higher goals and have a visions of a greater good in society.  All of us may think we have some of these attributes but it rare to find anyone who consistently acts this way in every situation. 

  • Pause to listen - give all your attention. Give yourself to the moment.
  • Empathise, walk in someone's shoes.
  • Don't re-iterate or interpret, just listen.
  • Do you really know how they feel or are you just saying how you feel?
You need to understand other peoples minds and experiences and not be wrapped up in our own world.

When you are trying to explain a story and someone keeps interrupting, you know they are more bothered about themselves and this can be very annoying; make sure you are not that annoying person.

When working professionally you should learn to listen without leading the conversation back to yourself. You will be surprised what you can learn from listening. To help solve other people's problems you need to step out of yourself and into their shoes. 

1. See first to understand; then be understood.
2. Learn from your differences.



You need to be memorable. Just because you have done something good doesn't mean that you are number 1. You will fall to the bottom of the pile if you don't constantly and consistently execute things well.

A business does not change its brand every time you come into contact with it – it is consistent in its execution, language, experience and its customer touch points.

Make sure when you market yourself you are consistent, so every time someone comes into contact with your or your work they will know it is you. Consistency of service and quality of work proves that you are running a reliable business. It proves that you have thought carefully about your approach to your work and that you will be around tomorrow. For example if you go to a restaurant and the first time it is okay and the second time it is amazing, they are not consistent and you do not know what to expect so you wont go back. It is the same for your practice. 


Covey uses the term 'Synergy' for his precept. Synergy can occur when two or more people come together with a need to reach the same goal. Synergy is a process in which we can say 1+1=5 because the effort of two people works like a catalyst and produce far more than simply twice the effort or quality of result. 

To create synergy you need to work with people who you can bounce ideas and work well together with rather than just picking the most qualified person.

Pit Stop

Sharpen up – bolt on , get new stuff, 
Rest – renew, re-vitalise 
Explore - challenge, excite


1. Extinguish your fears.
2. Exude confidence.
3. Instill faith

Going out there and marketing yourself can be scary – new networks, clubs, meetings, events; even new introductions can be scary. You will make excuses of not having the time, or the money, or the contacts but really they are mostly excuses.

The fear of the unknown, failing, or being rejected all hold us back. Thinking that 'it won't happen to me' will not get you anywhere and whoever has told you that will not get anywhere themselves. 

What is the worst that can happen?


What is the best thing that can happen? 

Attach that greater pleasure and gain to the possibilities and the opportunities that may open up to you. Attach more to the pleasure than to the pain you attach to the fear of loss, or the fear of risk, financially, or emotionally. EXTINGUISH the pain of the process of change to the pleasure of the gain of change.

Believe in yourself; if you don't believe in yourself, why should other believe in you?

Never use the phrase "I am JUST", no you are not just, you are "THE'.

Stand tall to give the appearance of intelligence - if you don't already have that.
Meet people, they might be as scared as you are. 

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lecture 4 - Understanding Customers

How To Promote Yourself In 6 Easy Steps

The advertising world is crammed full of people advertising, shouting, persuading, talking, singing, telling us, showing us how things will improve our lives, making offers, offering bundles of products, making things faster, cheaper, more luxurious, more famous, celebrity endorsed, 15 minutes of fames, league tables, charts, price comparisons, two for one, BOGOF, lifestyle, environment, diet, save the polar bears, latest information, new tour, limited edition, must have, high quality, on time, internet discount, easy payments. 0% interest, group bookings, interactive, designer, fashion, experience, mind-bending, local, global, faster, better, full service, guaranteed, contract, budget, premium, cash only.
How are you supposed to be heard when you are just one small voice, you are new to the market and have no money...
You need to understand the difference between the different maarketing methods. You need to know their streghts and weaknesses and how they will relate to your audience.

Many small businesses look at their marketing in terms of their own viewpoint of their own business, practice or service. So, in order to announce that they are new, they do something introductory, as they grow, they do something more mature and assured and as they become famous they reckon that they probably don’t have to promote themselves any more because everyone knows them and they will pick up business by word of mouth. Then their relationship with you develops but, rather like personal relationships, before they commit to you for the long term, they will need reassurances and encouragement, reciprocity and signs that they are valued by you.

This ongoing introduction of new customers bring an on going need to meet your customers needs and therefore an ever changing and moulding company. Different types of marketing strategies will attract different customers. You can see these different activities happening in TV advertising with businesses like O2, Honda, Morrissons and so on. Their messages are mulit-layered because the communications are complex.

Here are the ten basic marketing methods which could make up your Marketing Communication Mix.
The Internet
Some people believe that using solely the internet for advertisement will work, however the internet is only a medium not a promotional method. You need to work out who your work will appeal to...

• Advertise using banners
• Will you draw people into your practice and ask them to engage with your work through a blog
•Will you simply exhibit your work on a community web site
•Will you employ’ personalised selling’ in the way that Amazon does by allowing customers to have ‘accounts’ on your selling site.
•Will you pick up new customers through web site maximisation
•Will you encourage use of your website by offering online discounts that are not available from your workshop or your market stall
•Maybe you will use your web site, bog or Twitter as a public relations tool to change people’s perceptions of you
•Perhaps you will build relationships with people by inviting them to interact with you in some kind of forum such as Facebook.

Do Nothing

Whatever you do, DON'T do nothing. Nothing will bring you NO results. No one will know you exist. Imagine if Tesco or Morrissons had never opened a second store nor advertised their low prices to a wide audience.

Get Their Attention
•Memorable business card
•Radio interviews
•Write articles
•Run a blog
•Exploit social media

Raising awareness in people who have not heard of you before. Relationships with customers are the same as with new friends. First they need to be interested in what you do, then they need to get to know you, thirdly they must trust you. But how do they get to meet you in the first place?..

• You have to be visible.
• Attend events, introduce yourself to people and, if there is some interest, take and give a business card.
• Network, as they say
• Write articles in a magazine about your specialist subject. This will attract people who share your point of view
• Run a meaningful blog that will attract like-minded people
• Most importantly – CONTIBUTE TO THE BLOGS OF OTHERS. Don’t be passive.

Build Their Interest
•Web site
•Information packs

Make your self readily available, keep your work with you electronically. make your work easily accessible and network.

Convince Them

  • Artist statement 
  • Recommendations 
  • Testimonials
  • Awards 
  • Community engagement 
  • Professional bodies 
  • Charity events
As interest grows about your company people will want to know more about what you do and what the benefits would be to them if they were to do business with you. They will want to know about your reputation because if you have a bad reputation doing business with you could damage theirs.

You need to make them aware of our values, sell yourself, you need to engage with the world around you.

Make your offer irresistible 

  • Value proposition
  • Pricing strategies
  • Packaging
  • Try before you buy
  • Recommendations
  • Differentiation
So now they like and trust you, now you must persuade them that you are the best that they can get and that you will be there to support them in the long term.

Close the sale 

  • Convenience
  • Buy it now
  • Right place, right time
  • Delivery
  • Personal selling
  • Interactive website
To close the sale you need to summarise what you have offered to them..
Is there anything I have missed?

Is there anything else you need?

Does the offer suit your needs?

Can I help you to sell the idea to your colleagues by making a further presentation?

Does the price fit your budget?

Can you tell me who I will be liaising with in your organisation as I execute this project?

Can I help you with Marketing to your customers?

Is there any reason why we should not proceed?

Are you ready to sign the contract now?

Shall we put some dates in our diaries for progress meetings now?

  • After sales service
  • Advertising
  • Public relations
  • Longevity
  • Merchandising
  • Maintaining contact
  • Building relationships

Make sure this relationship is a long term commitment. 

Keep up your public relations activities to give your customers something to talk to others about.
Give them new reasons to do business with you by introducing new ideas from time to time. 
Ask them to help you develop new ideas
Work together with them to explore mutually beneficial opportunities 
Make your customer your business partner. 

AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

The steps of the sales cycle

Target your market

Defining your customers... to save money you need to advertise effectively to the right places, so they will be seen by the right people.

Publications that sell advertising give you all the right information you need to decide weather it is the right place to advertise in and to reduce the risk on your part. 

You need to think and know about things such as...
  • How many copies they sell
  • If they sell it nationally or globally
  • What their readers are like.
It is also useful to know what the focus of the magazine that month might be. Most monthly magazines publish their monthly themes about 12 months in advance of publication. Picking the right month with the right theme can help to maximise sales and publicity.

People are very diverse, they may seem simple on the outside, but look at the above diagram at all the different things about this woman. How would you go about attracting a customer like this? 

Let's say she reads things such as, gardening, nature, ecologist, gardeners world, the guardian, novels


listens to things such as, BBC radio 2, BBC Leeds, opera, theatre.

There is a wide range of advertising methods that you could apply to reach out to such people, you just have to know as much as possible about your target audience to reach out to them in as many ways as possible.

Media usage
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Radio/ TV
  • Internet
  • Social media
  • Trade magazines
  • Public space advertising
  • Parish magazine
You need to capture your audiences attention on an area in their lives in which you can contribute to.

B2B - Business to business

Business to business marketing is a lot easier. The focus of the business interest is much clearer. The biggest consumers of creative output is the Public Sector. Free lance work appeals to a lot of businesses, for example, looking through the yellow pages as all the different departments in the Leeds City Council that could use your skills of outputs is staggering:
  • Museums
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Care for the elderly
  • Parks and gardens
  • Highways
  • Public health and sanitation
  • Libraries
  • Art galleries
  • Public events and festivals
  • Housing
Consumer segmentation
  • Demographics
  • Geographical factors
  • Lifestyle
  • Media usage
Putting yourself in your audiences shoes can help you relate to them better, ask yourself these questions:
  1. What kind of people are they; what business sector are they in?
  2. Whereabouts are they located at the time you want to communicate with them?... at home, in the office, in the car, walking in the street?
  3. What is their lifestyle or what are their values?
  4. What is their media usage with regards to my kind of work?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

7 Things To Know About Print

This example will be based on a model for lithography printing, however litho is the most common form of printing and most of what is discussed here is applicable to all printing.

I will be looking at the practical, technical and economical aspects of printing and the four main areas of commercial print production.

Colour Models
The way colour is generated in print is completely different from what you see on screen. If you don’t grasp this you will never be in control of what you design.

CMYK - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black
RGB - Red, Green and Blue
Hexachrome - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black also including 2 extra colours; two different shades of Cyan and Magenta. Adding two extra colour increases the gamut.
Spot colour - The colour to be printed is the colour in the tin. 
PMS - Pantone Matching System

Understanding format options and limitations will help you to be more creative and economical when necessary.

Standard ISO paper sizes - A4, A3, A2 etc.
A & SRA - A is normal size and SRA is the paper size printers work to. Because of bleed ad cut marks the paper needs to be slightly bigger so the paper can be trimmed after printing.
Tabloid, Broadsheet and Berliner - Small, medium and large (e.g newspaper sizes).
Envelope 'C' sizes - Envelopes are measure in 'C's for example C1, C2, C3...


The correct weight and finish of a paper or substrate are crucial to the feel of a job. If your knowledge only goes as far as 80 gsm photocopy paper you’re no serious about design.

Weights (gsm) - Grams per square meter.
Finish (gloss/silk/matt/coated/uncoated) - Coated is thicker and stronger then uncoated.
Laid/Wove - how the stock is made and put together, the grain.
Plastics and Acetates 

Preparing artwork correctly for print is the sign of a professional. It will save you an the printer a lot of grief if you know what needs doing and check it twice. Get the client to sign-off the proof, it offeres some insurance if things go wrong.

Document set up - Right colours, paper size
File formats & Fonts - If you chose to use your own font for a job and the computer you print from doesn't have it the printer will substitute it for another font.
Spellcheck - Get your work to be signed off by the client so that if anything has been miss spelt it has already been checked through and therefore it is not your fault.
Colour Specification - RGB, CMYK etc.
Pre-Flight Check - Before you print check everything is as it should be.
Printer Marks - To show where the paper should be cut and what colours have been used.
Mock-ups - Ideas should be printed out at a low cost on low standard paper to see what they look like at a glance before printing the final design.
Proof - Of your work.
Sign-off - Client will sign off the work and say that it is fine to print therefore it is their fault if things don't print properly or are incorrect. 

Print Processes
You should know very early on in your design which print process and finishing is appropriate for your job. There are nuances in artwork specification that you may need to be aware of… find out before you’ve gone too far.






Six Colour

Laminate - gloss/matt

Foil Blocking


Spot UV Varnish

This is very closely linked with the print process and should always be discussed with your printer as they are likely to do this In-House. If not they will still commission and manage it as part of the job.

Binding - what type?
Folding and Creasing
Die Stamping/Drilling

Get 3 quotes and check the the specification is the same on each one otherwise it’s impossible to see who’s providing the best deal. 
Be aware of the impact special sizes, finishes etc have on the overall cost. Sometimes a ‘finish’ can cost nearly as much as the the rest of the print. 

  • Get a quote very early on, before you start the job in earnest in possible
  • Identical specification for three print estimators to work to.
  • Learn roughly what things cost (unit cost).
  • Understand viable minimum quantities.
  • Extras/Authors/Corrections.
  • Delivery?