Following on from my ‘Experimenting with glue’ posts the other week, I have got back into my task of re-doing the ‘Tales to change the word’ brief after a short but very sweet trip to London. 
I have come up with an action plan, I want to get the reader involved in the process of reading the story in an effort to get them engaged with the characters and the morals of the story. What I’m aiming to do is design the short story into a magazine format that is visually interesting and changes from page to page, this will keep the reader interested because of it’s varied composition and change of pace throughout. 

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As I have not set myself a time limit for this project I am taking my time on each spread, pushing myself to be a bit more experimental than usual and to try and develop a noticeable style. 

Along with the magazine I am going to have a series of posters that use quotes form Marie and the chair in the same style and using the same technique as I used in my ‘Experimenting with glue‘ post. This is to reflect the penultimate sentence of the short story ‘Some say they never existed.’ and it allows the reader to interact with the story by encouraging them to reveal what the posters say. 

Stay tuned for updates …. 

After searching the house I found some airfix paint so I had to do the best I could with that. It’s not the best paint to use really considering it is enamel paint but luckily they hadn’t been used in so long it had separated a bit.

The outcome:
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It turned out a lot better than I was expecting! In future I will be using watercolours, the consistency will work a lot better and run off the letters more effectively than the airfix paint but all in all, for a first attempt, it worked really well.
When I have another go at this I will need to go easy on the smaller details, but thats just a few minor tweaks.

I’m excited to carry on with this concept now, hopefully it will look as good as it does in my head.

For one of my projects I have set myself over the summer, I am going to re-do my ISTD tales to change the word project. I really wasn’t happy with my original final piece that I submitted for uni and there is no way it is going in my portfolio therefore I am going to do it again, better.
As the story is open to interpretation as to whether the waitress and the chair actually existed, I thought it would be interesting to physically represent this by painting the words onto paper in glue.

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I’m going to paint over it with watercolour (or some clever substitution because I left those in Lincoln), in theory the colour won’t stick to the letters and so the words will be revealed. 

That will be this evening’s job so stay tuned… 

Over the past couple of days we have been luckily enough to have a visiting workshop, rubber stamp making by Stephen Fowler, today was my turn to have a go and I really enjoyed it! 
He started off by showing us some examples of his work and other student’s work, I really love the organic feel to rubber stamping, I think it adds a real personal touch to any piece of work and the imperfect finish just adds to it’s charm. 
I decided to carve a little elephant out of my rubber, keeping it a block shape (I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough for  such a small linear drawing just yet!) When cutting your rubber you have to remember to cut at a 45 degree angle (holding your scalpel like a pencil helps) away from your stamp shape so there is a strong enough base to allow the stamp to last over and over again. Once the unwanted rubber is cut away its time to ink up, dabbing a raised ink pad onto the stamp is the best way to do this, it ensures you only get the ink on the raised parts meaning you will get a cleaner print. Next step, stamp away! 
Heres my stamp, Evan the elephant
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When it comes to printing with the stamps you can be as experimental as you like, testing out layering colours, layering the stamp, two tone colours, anything you can think of really. This was probably the best part of the process, armed with a stamp and being let loose with coloured ink, this is a little something I came up with;
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At the end of the session we all made a book and collected everyone else’s stamps 

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 All in all a really good workshop, I will definitely be trying stamp making again.  

Check out Tasha’s blog for even more fun with stamps.  

This is the first proper post about my actual work (other then the group type rules video project), I am no used to writing about my own work yet in a concise way so it may be a bit wordy, and at 1383 words its really quite long! Whoops, but if you have some time spare I would love it if you could have a little skim over… I am quite pleased with the way this project worked out in the end, not necessarily  with the design outcome (which, after the final presentation crit I realise it could have been pushed further) but with the concept.
Thanks 🙂

In September I was given a project where we had to select a company from the BrandZ top 100 list and give them a re-brand. The aim of this brief was to build and apply both my conceptual and technical knowledge to this area as being able to understand brands and effectively design for them is a central part of Graphic Design.
The brand I chose was Walmart (or under the British name Asda) after researching I found it was too large of a company to cover entirely having 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names, I would have to chose whether to cover the company as a whole and therefore have to brand for an international audience or whether I should just focus on Asda. I decided that it would be more beneficial to focus just on Asda as it would be easier for me to thoroughly research, I was able to visit the shops which I couldn’t have done if I carried on with Walmart….  3000 miles is a long way to go for a field trip!

From my research I found that the common opinion was that Asda was good value for money however their customer service left a lot to be desired. Therefore, my idea was to make the brand more ‘user-friendly,’ I wanted to encourage a more positive attitude towards the company to keep the customers coming back. As well as this I found the target audience was generally families, in particular mums, I found this the case because in the majority of their adverts the people featured are mums with children doing their weekly shop.  My concept was to give the customers something extra from the current brand, something that would keep them coming back whilst at the same time improving the customer service, I called the concept Asda+.
The applications I came up with to support this re-brand were a new marque, a loyalty scheme, external advertisements and a smart phone app.

To begin, I changed the marque, I wanted to keep the green colour as this is what makes the current logo recognisable as ‘Asda’

As you can see, instead of having the font green I reversed the type out of a green circle. The green I used for the circle is also different to the original, I chose a lighter shade that looks more friendly as it is softer. I also changed the typeface, it is more slim lined and modern looking, the kerning is also much better, none of the letters touch like before which gives it a more open feel, both philosophically and physically, therefore reflecting the new brand promise of better customer service.
In addition to the change of colour, addition of a circle and change in typeface I have added a ‘+’ to show that the customer is getting all the great value that is associated with the Asda brand plus something extra.

Next I moved on to coming up with a loyalty scheme, unusually Asda did not really have anything like this in place which I thought was an area they were really missing out on. I wanted to make the scheme work for each individual, allowing them to collect their points then spend them when and on what they wanted rather than like other supermarkets’ schemes (Tesco Clubcard) where the user is sent vouchers that amount to the value of their card points which eventually expire. My idea was that the customer would be allowed to collect and spend points from all the Asda branches including their Home stores, George at Asda stores, petrol pumps and online too. This gives the customer full control of their points which would only benefit the company by encouraging loyalty and improving the care given to customers.

The design of my card I kept quite simple, I wanted it to look sleek and understated, just keeping the circular pattern as a theme, in addition I gave it a chip for ease of use it would work in the same way that a Boots Advantage card does (inserting into the card reader for the points to be added).

The next thing I needed to think about was how I would let the public know about the new ‘+’ scheme, I didn’t just want to have in store advertisements because the idea was to also get new customers involved therefore I designed a billboard that would be located on the outskirts of towns and cities as well as around the supermarkets themselves so anyone could see them and be drawn in to try out the new scheme.

The design of it is once again very basic, just keeping the circles as a running theme, I couldn’t include too much detail as it is only going to be viewed quickly when passing in a car or on foot therefore there is only one sentence of information ‘Introducing the new loyalty scheme from Britain’s lowest priced supermarket’. This copy not only introduces the scheme to potential customers it also reminds them of the current characteristics that attract the consumer to the company.

In addition to the new marque, loyalty card and billboard I came up with a small smart phone app that will make the shopping experience less stressful and more interactive, it also keeps the company up to date with modern technology which helps give it an edge, with so many people these days (especially within my target audience of busy families) having smart phones and using technology almost constantly the best way to get through to new and existing customers is to tap into that trend and take the brand to them rather than making them come to it.

I have designed 3 pages to my app (not in shown order) the first is a personal information page (bottom middle) this page allows the user to input all their information including preferred brands or categories into the system so they receive specific offers for them that they will find useful, the second page (bottom left) shows the current points balance for the signed-in user, this lets them keep a track of their points so they know if they have enough to use in store or online. The third page I added was a barcode scanner (top middle) this allows the customer to scan their favourite products which would them be added to their favourites list page on the app (top left) the point of this is so they could receive specials offers or be updated on the promotions in store of these products. In addition to the offers on their favourites list the user would have their own personalised offers page (bottom right) that uses the information input on the personal information page to give exclusive and relevant offers. I think by having these personalised offers the customer service is improved, the user would feel like they are being treated as an individual rather than another statistic. The final page is a recipe suggestion page, each couple of weeks new quick and easy recipes would be shown in this section with a list of ingredients (all of which could be found in the Asda store) and prices are also shown, this takes my concept one step further, it doesn’t just fill the needs of the customers it goes beyond that and offers them extra whilst catering for he busy family lifestyle of the audience I am reaching out to.

Finally,

these are a few extra elements I quickly came up with to push the improvement of customer service a little further, it is quite simply a badge that would be worn by staff encouraging the customers to talk to them and ask them about the scheme, this highlights that they are approachable and ultimately there to help. On the right is the letter a new loyalty card user would receive with the card, it just welcomes the new user to the scheme and explains what the   card is used for, the tone of voice I have chosen is friendly and open through the use of words like ‘welcome’ and ‘we’.

Whilst browsing through the Design Ark blog (http://the-design-ark.com/) I came across this great little video created by Sean Ohlenkamp in a Toronto book store. He literally brings books to life , just see what you can do with a room full of books, a camera and a few spare evenings. It definitely makes me want to pick up a camera and go crazy in the uni library.

‘After organizing our bookshelf almost a year ago, my wife and I (Sean Ohlenkamp) decided to take it to the next level. We spent many sleepless nights moving, stacking, and animating books at Type bookstore in Toronto’

See what you think: 

Who ever said books were boring? 

We were set a project a couple of weeks a go called ‘Type rules.’ We got together in groups and each group were given a type rule, ours ‘don’t overuse capital letters’ which I think was a good rule, it had to be 60 seconds long and could be done anyway we liked as long as it was a moving image. My group was made up of Amber, Lucy and Tasha…. best group ever? I think so 🙂

Our original plan was to do a music video but it turns out we are absolutely rubbish at re writing lyrics to a song so it evolved into a nightmare sequence where lovely Amber was being taunted by too many capitals…. just imagine the terror!

I am so pleased with the final outcome, the song we have chosen (Baptism by Crystal castles) fits it perfectly, not just the style but the timing of the shot change and chorus too. Considering we had over 8 minutes of film we have cut it down really effectively and managed to get our main points across in the allotted 60 seconds (helped by Amber’s ninja editing skills too).

Here is our final film, hope you enjoy 🙂

‘Don’t overuse capital letters’