Monday, 10 October 2011

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Module 1 - 1st Brief - Layout+Print Finishes+Ltd. Ed.

This is the second draft of the Ultimate Layout brief. And to be honest as I direct my ideas of what I want to design more closely the brief seems to keep evolving. The first draft was about looking at typography skills and trying to create the 'perfect' layout and if there could be anything perfect within design because everything is open to opinion. I thought this was an interesting brief, however it lacked structure and meaning in the real world.

The second draft of the brief is below and focuses towards an insert for Elle magazine. Again looking and layout and typography, but this time it had a meaning and more of a focus.

However, what I would really like to get out of a layout/editorial brief is an exploration of stock, materials, print finishes, and innovative thinking in the tight constraints of magazine making. Having chosen an already well established company there are already man very tight constraints on what can be produced and then to be able to transfer it into mass production.


My updated first brief (and hopefully finalised) is as follows:

Create a high quality in store look book for Harvey Nichols showcasing the wide range of exclusive brands they stock.
To accompany the in store look book a smaller and cheaper to produce book will be made, with the same contents, for customers to take away.

The purpose of the look book is to give the customer ideas as to what they can buy and it could be coupled together in styles, colours, etc to express a lifestyle.

The type of people who shop in Harvey Nichols don't need to look at the price. No prices will be included in the look book, instead it will be advertising a lifestyle 'if you buy this you will be...'

The look book will experiment with print finishes and materials to give an overall exquisite experience to the customers.

The look book won't only have in store clothes it will show what has been on the catwalk, tips and trends. Like a mini 'style yourself' instruction manual.


Monday, 3 October 2011

All About Me


An editorial investigation of high end retail with a focus on typography and print methods.

5 statements relating to my umbrella of interests:

1. An experimental investigation of branding with a focus on ‘pushing boundaries’.
2. An innovative investigation of packaging with a focus on its use.
3. An editorial investigation of layout with a focus on fashion magazines.
4. A social investigation of inventions with a focus on helpful products.
5. A typographical investigation of editorial design with a focus on print finishes.


VERY VERY SKETCHY OUTLINE OF SPEECH (in previous speeches I have read word for word from a script, I think this is partly because of nerves and because I am scared I will forget what I am talking about. This presentation I have promised myself I will not read from a script and instead have a couple bullets points to go from. So here is my initial (very scruffy) outline of what I will say, I will briefly learn this script and then only have a few bullets points to read from on cards when I am doing my presentation to help me engage with the audience more and have an all round more interesting and fluent presentation):

I would like to start by saying how much I feel I have progressed over the summer holiday. I feel I have been able to more clearly see where I want and could progress to in the near future. I have been able to realise WHERE MY MAIN SKILL SETS LIE AND WHERE I need to work on. During the first and through to the second year I was working MORE on experimenting with many different key skills and tried to be a graphics designer in all design areas, however I know this is very hard to achieve and have realised it is so much better to be amazing at a few things and to in turn develop a more personlised and recognisable identity.

Over the summer I was unable to get a placement because of money issues, or a lack of. But as I said in my previous presentation I didn’t let this hinder my personal and professional progress. I managed to visit many galleries, showings and events to help keep my head design minded and abel to keep up to date with my competition. Visiting these places encouraged me that what I want to do professionally is something I am still very excited about and something I feel I can achieve highly in.

I have recently been speaking to someone called liam keogh who has a lot of contacts within high end magazines such as elle and vogue and said he could get me in contact with various people within these companies to help me establish a dialect.

I managed to get some work designing a new logo for a night club in leeds. The logo will be featured on flyers, advertisements and possibly eventually signage.The logo is still being developed with an ongoing dialect with the club and for one of my briefs I have decided to work on the overall corporate identity of the club and two other bars that run alongside the club.

I have also been focuing in on my love of inventing and product design. I have been researching into everyday products that can make life easier. Like a dragons den style product. This research will be furthered as one of my 10 briefs is to design and make a new product.

On to my dissertation which focuses in on packaging and how people buy items because of the packaging and not so much on the contents. My research includes in store observations and relative questionnaires ad looking at the work of............... I feel not only is this a very interesting subject but it will help me with my design work and vise versa because another of my projects is on packaging and its function and importance. Using both academic and creative aspects to packaging will enable a very in depth analysis. The products that I will be analysing will be cans specifically and will be unrecognised brands to help keep the analysis away from bias within loyalty within brands.

Where do i want to be and where do i want to work.
Before the summer I was very focused in on editorial design and type and layout, but I feel my aspirations and interests have broadened and opened me up more potential clients and employers. I am very good at problem solving and thinking out of the box for solutions. With this in mind product design is something I have really enjoyed looking at over the summer. Looking at problems of everyday life and coming up with a solution. Now I just need to find an amazing problem to solve. Having said this I am still very interested in type and layout for editorial use and if all goes right contacting elle and vogue magazine then maybe something good will come from that to help me progress, after all some of the time it can definitely be who you know and not what you know.

Thinking about where I want to be wan what I want to do, I need a portfolio that will reflect and interest these companies that helps me stand out from the crowd. There are still some gaps in my portfolio to fill, but this is where my 10 proposed briefs come in.













PDF of presentation:

Monday, 26 September 2011

Friday, 27 May 2011

Module Evaluation

I have thoroughly enjoyed this module and feel this is because I have been able to focus more on where I want to progress to in the future. The enterprise module it helped clarify more specific aspirations I have and therefore I have been able to apply this to my work. I have a keen interest in high end retail design, mainly in editorial design but also in branding and identity. 

During this module I have learnt a variety of skills that will help me to progress both on this course and into  a professional designer. I have become more aware of the importance of a fluid brand identity, making sure everything links together to create a stronger and prominent overall company. I have only recently gained a specific interest in editorial design since the typography module and therefore thought it was a good idea to design a magazine to put my new interest and skills to the test. 

During the Ted Baker brief my partner became ill toward the end and therefore I had to create all of the designs and deliver them to the YCN submission. I found it very daunting initially having to completely change my time scale for designing. Having to think on my feet and quickly turn around the majority of a project on my own.

I found creating a website quite challenging to grasp in the first instance because it is like learning a new language. After attending the web sessions I found myself more coherent with the software and able to incorporate my own design onto an interactive page.

I feel my greatest strengths of this project have been in idea generation and decision making. I feel more directed with my work now and know what I want to achieve. My time management has helped me throughout this module writing lists upon lists of 'to do's'. I found setting smaller time framed lists helped me look at the smaller picture and me more dedicated to specific tasks rather than generalising and looking at the big tasks in hand. I am starting to learn more about myself and how I work best so I would say that overall this is a good strength that I have gained.

My main weaknesses during the module have lied within documentation. At the beginning of a module I am always very motivated and enjoy finding streams of research and initial ideas, but once this has been done I can sometimes become overly focused on the finished product and push the documentation of my experimentation to the side. I have also found it very hard to keep up to date with my blog this module, because I have been so motivated to finish the product I have become behind and this in turn made me feel slightly lost and jumbled in the normally logical way I go about things.

Overall I am very happy with this module and wouldn't change much if I were to do it again. I have learnt that I cope well under pressure and in fast changing situations. In a sense I am happy that I had to think on my feet with the changing circumstances because it has made me aware that I am very capable.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Presentation

Start up costs

Before you start your business there are many costs you need to be aware of and account for in your business plan to make sure you don't get any nasty surprises later on whether you are starting a home based internet business or a bricks and mortar retail outlet.
Of course you can consult an accountant but you may not need to. Have a look through this article and write down the cost of everything you think you'll going to incur into a spreadsheet before you start up your business.

Types of Startup Costs

Of course different businesses will have different costs when they are starting up so we have attempted to think of all the different types of start up expenses you may encounter whether they be running costs of the operation or once off capital costs for purchasing assets.
When preparing your first business plan you'll probably have to estimate most costs which is fine so long as you are estimating based on facts and not on what you believe they should be. As your business grows you'll hopefully be able to make cost savings as you can build in economies of scale into your operations.
There are two basic type of cost you'll incur - fixed costs and variable costs and these are used to estimate and plan your break-even analysis point.

Types of Fixed Costs

Fixed costs are those costs you incur which do not increase (or decrease) from you selling one more unit of your product or service. (The costs directly associated with you doing this are called marginal or variable costs).
We have split the fixed cost of your business startup into the main categories.
  • Professional fees - These may include the cost of hiring an accountant, solicitor, lawyer, or other expert professional to deal with the legal aspects of starting a business such as company formation, copyright protection, drafting partnership agreements or other fees you may need to pay to the government for certificates and inspections for health and safety or food hygiene.
  • Insurance - this can include public liability insurance, car insurance, van insurance, contents and building insurance
  • Premises costs - included refit of a shop, building and construction cost of premises, rent, rates and connection of utitilies including electricity, telephone, gas and water rates.
  • Staffing and employment - Any advertising and recruitment fees for new staff including training and training course
  • Stock - purchase and storage of initial stock and warehousing costs
  • Sales and marketing - initial launch and promotion of your products and services including ecommerce and website development
  • Finance - any forms of loans or finance including interest payments and arrangement fees

Variable Costs

Variable costs or direct costs are those that increase if you sell one more unit of your product or service. some of the above costs under fixed costs may actually be variable, but more often than not your variable costs will fall under direct product costs such as:
  • Actual cost of product - this may come your stock but it's a variable cost
  • Shipping of product - the cost of shipping, postage and any shipping insurance
  • Packaging - the packaging of shipping the product
  • Remuneration and commissions paid to your sales force
  • Direct wages paid to workers who get paid by the item produced

Project Management of your new Start up Business

Think about the time it's going to take you to develop your ideas into the first day you startup your business because whatever you need to undertake will take much longer that you imagine. For example, if you need premises the time taken to have solicitors to go through the lease agreement to you getting the keys and then having to have the shop re-fitted can take months. And, if you have to recruit new staff you don't want to have them employed by you and not doing anything whilst you are paying the salaries.
So it's a wise move to produce a project plan of all the items you need to get ready and plot them against a time line, the cost of each activity and the person responsible for that activity on the overall project. You can then monitor progress against the actual events as you progress.
Perhaps also think about what skills and professional you may need to hire to help you with your small business because you alone will not be able to do everything.

Cost Management

Like most people you will be keen to get your business off to a great start as soon as possible and may tend to rush things to get towards your goals without keeping an eye on the best deals or to ensure that working capital and cash flow are healthy. Here are some tips to keep the cash flowing in the early days:
  • Lease or rent rather than buy - this keeps the initial payments low and like vehicles you can give them back at the end of the lease and not have to worry about depreciation and sometimes maintenance during the contract
  • Use contract workers - so you don't need to worry about tax, NI and pensions
  • Use price comparison websites to check out the best deal for utilities - there are business price comparison sites these days also
  • Use pay as you go rather than contracts so you're not tied into a long period you can't get out of

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Design Style

We would love to sit alongside designs like this... but using our morals of sustainability.

Sleek elegant design, feminine and luxurious. 
Making food a fantasy. With suggestion of luxury and a sneak peek at the contents.

Standout design breaking away form the norm.

Innovative design ideas to stand out on the shelf and make life that little bit easier.

Collections and ranges with minimalistic design.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Before I started this module I liked to think that I enjoyed business and would one day like to run my own company. Now that I have finished the module, I still have he same passion and I am possibly even more excited about my future business ventures, however, it has opened my eyes, and somewhat shocked me, as to how much time and effort needs to go into setting up a business.

I found the lectures very helpful and informative. There was a vast amount of information to take in, however it was delivered in an easy-to-understand way, which made me feel more capable and not out of my depth.

The tasks I was asked to do helped greatly at solidifying the information we were given in the lectures. It enabled me to apply my own aspirations and to further understand what it is exactly what I want to do in my future. Never the less I still haven't thought of exactly what I wish to do in the future, but I feel a lot more secure in the fact that I know what's out there and I know how to handle my self better in the business world to reach out and do what I want to do.

I fund it very enjoyable and a positive experience being able to set up a virtual business. It helped to apply the knowledge we had gained in the lectures and set tasks and apply them to the 'real word'. I found the financial side of it very interesting, however I have to admit, I did find it very hard to get my head around all the final calculations so my other business partners aided in that aspect of the company greatly.

I have enjoyed learning about what makes businesses work and I now feel overall more capable in the enterprising world. If I were to do this module again I would definitely stick the with same design partnership as we worked very well together, however, I would perhaps try and get to grips more with the money side of things and persevere with trying to understand better. Overall it has been a great learning experience and I will undoubtably benefit from this in the future.

Overall Costs

Maya calculated the costs of doing business:

Direct and Indirect Costs

Our indirect costs will include:

Office supplies
Post and phone bills

We will not need to pay for gas and electricity because it is included in the price of the rent for the office space.

Our direct costs will include:

Manufacture of designs

Social Change

Within society you have:

Greatest Human Needs


Lesser Human Needs

In the current global situation some of the needs have been shifted.

There is a lot of talk about global warming etc. and resources are having to be used to carefully and sparingly. A big result of these issues are sustainable, ethical and economical ideas. They aim for our actions we take today not to impact badly upon the future of the environment.

This example shows how being good to the environment now is becoming a greater human issue than it was before.

Roles and Responsibilities

Maya Srivastava - Editorial and packaging

Roz Stoughton - Sustainability and ethics

Kim Sandford - Photography

Me -High end retail.

Internal, Micro and Macro Environments

Because our business is a new, our priorities will initially be internal. Making sure everyone in the business is capable and wanting to start this company.

Then we will need to penetrate the micro environment, getting ourselves known and on top of everything regarding, supplies, contacts, money etc.

Finally once he business has been set up for a while and has become relatively successful we can focus on a wider market area and think about expanding (macro). Also we will need to keep up with ever changing trends in society to keep up to date.

Location and Premises

We decided firstly to rent office space because it would be a cheaper option than buying permanent space.

We need a place in a highly populated design area

Fairly cheap to rent

Good location and building to make us look more professional.

We also decided that we wanted to be near london

Here's what Roz found for us:

Think this is a really good option as it's so flexible. It's cheap to rent, and you can alter how much space you need according to your needs. You pay per desk per week, so if we needed to expand this would also be possible. It has 24 hour access, good for late nights. Car parking - definite requirement. Meeting rooms available. And an on site manager which means less costs have to spent on the running of the building. It also has kitchenettes for tea! This would be ideal as it's affordable and flexible.

Business rate tax:

Approved people we would may need to contact in order to move into a new office space in the EC1 postcode area: 

Here is a table for the budget of setting up in a new office:


S - Strenghts

Our business has 4 creative minds with different specialities making our overall design capabilities stronger. 

We have found a hole in the market therefore we will have less competition.

We will be situated in a popular design area.

We have calculated costs and investigated all aspects of our business before we have set up.

W- Weaknesses

Because it is a new business idea we can't be 100% that it will be successful.

Because none of the team are on the business radar at the moment it will be harder to find clients if they only want to work with known designers. 

O - Opportunities

With growing amount of clients we could move to a bigger office or a more central location for accessibility. 

With sustainability being a growing market working overseas could become a big opportunity.

We are targeting a market which hasn't been used to its full potential yet (sustainable high end retail design|) and so businesses could be very interested in our unique and current design values.

T - Threats

High end retail brands like to work with established designers and so they could carry on using the more established brands instead of stepping out of their comfort zone.

With sustainability, ethics and the eco friendly market being a lucrative area at the moment other companies may be in the same position as us, setting up, and therefore we need to stand out from the crowd so they don't take our custom.

P - Political 

With current social money issues funding may become an issue, so we will need to keep on top of our finances and always have a back up if something was to go wrong money wise.

In relation to money, businesses may not be willing to take risks using our new company incase things went wrong ad they would loose money.

E - Economic

We need to get out costings right so that we can be competitive enough in the market, but still create enough income to fund the business and ourselves. 

S - Social

People will want to work with well known designers for a better guarantee of quality. 

Or idea is fairly new and unique so businesses may be slightly apprehensive to try something new.

Sustainable, eco and ethical are a growing market and interest within society. 

T - Technological 

Everyone will have to keep up to date with their skills and software will have to be re newed yearly to keep up to date.

Being an ethically aware company we need to ensure that every step in our design is as eco friendly as possible to keep a good reputation.


It's important to select an accountant who's right for your business. Speak directly to everyone on your shortlist, discuss their experience and services and outline your business needs. Ideally the relationship you have with your accountant will be long term, so these are important considerations.

Telephone your shortlist

Ask each accountant about their practices:
  • Experience - do they have clients in your sector and experience of businesses of a similar size? Can they deal with your business' specific needs?
  • Charges - what do these cover, how are they scaled and do they offer all-in fees?
  • Personnel - who will look after your business most of the time - a partner or someone more junior? How many partners are there? Sometimes smaller practices suit smaller businesses.
  • Efficiency - what response times do they work to?
  • Added value - what additional services can they offer?
Choose about three to visit. Check whether you will be charged for this meeting.
Meet your prospective accountant
When you visit a practice, you should discuss:
  • How the practice can help you develop your business.
  • Whether it will be able to offer you advice.
  • What services you will be charged for and how and when you will pay for them.
  • The level of access you will be given to the data held about your business. This is important as you might need data to update your business plan or for a tender document. You will also want easy access to this information if you ever decide to change accountants.
Take your business plan and other useful information about your business to the meeting. A good accountant should want to know as much about you as you do about them.
A good accountant should also be happy to pass on names of clients for you to take up references.
Once you have chosen an accountant, let them know that you have selected them and they will issue a letter of engagement. This letter will be the contract between you and your accountant and should detail:
  • your responsibilities
  • the accountant's responsibilities
  • their fees and how they will be charged

EC1 Accountants

There were so many results for accountants in the EC1 area, however, Carbon Accountancy kept cropping up so I decided to see what they were about.

Their website seemed very legitimate with case studies and quotes from their clients approving them. The site was well laid out and clear to navigate. They seem almost perfect.