Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Module Code OUGD201


NAME Lisa Whitaker BLOG. ADDRESS http://l-whitaker1013.blogspot.com

1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
• Lateral thinking to develop concepts has strengthened outcomes. Initially I did not ‘get it’ however can see how to use this method in the future.
• Hand drawn development of ideas – develops visual thinking - Drawing skills become more refined. Applied reasonably effectively.
• Understanding correct file formats for Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign for design for print.
• Illustrator skills to the point where I am choosing Illustrator to design over Photoshop.
• Use of nets, vectoring and crafting of packages.
• Designing boards for presentation, really pleased with how the boards came together and was also a useful way to draw everything together at the end of the brief

2. What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
• Understanding commercial print has opened up more options for substrates, special finishing and colour
• Selection of images for print – use of vector artwork over pixelated ones.
• The use of the college print facilities – acetate, transparent ink, bleeds (if A3 only way to get a bleed digitally is to print A2)
• The importance of building relationships with printers and providing the best formats and information.
• Thinking about a variety of substrates and also the weight and properties of these eg how they fold, how they would feel made up
• Start printing dummies of text layout straight away. The screen is deceptive and often point size can be much smaller and still be readable.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

• Extensive research and analysis has enabled me to focus on a ‘real’ product and problem
• Pushing concept development has led to a strong brand and identity.
• Improving attention to type and layout
• Project planning and tenacity has allowed me to develop this brief extensively
• Growing confidence in asking for help from experts eg Photographer/product shots

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?
• Lack of attention to detail especially before print, often caused when rushing to meet a print deadline. I need to factor extra time into reviewing for typos and other errors in the design.
• Explore more innovative Graphic Design for print. I tended to focus on the research for the apple and not get inspiration from a wider selection of contemporary Graphic Design.
• Towards the end of the brief I tended to design the nets digitally rather than develop ideas on paper first. Having seen some of the others design development I would like to apply this more in the future.

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
• Explore print finishes practically such as embossing, spot varnish and foiling so I can use them in future work.
• After the last type workshop with Graham I would have liked more time to apply what we had learned about font size, space and layout to my designs.
• I managed to blog quite consistently for most of the brief however lost the blog thread in last couple of weeks so had to pick up at the end which proved a challenge. OI f blogging as going along the ‘story’ is still fresh and the communication is stronger.
• My research was more directed towards about the apple, I would have explored more cutting edge packaging and layout through the print task to make the design and layout stronger.
• With the Design for print I should have spent some time designing the layout away from Indesign. The design would look more developed.

6.How would you grade yourself on the following areas:
(please indicate using an ‘x’)

5= excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = average, 1 = poor
1 2 3 4 5
Attendance x
Punctuality x
Motivation x
Commitment x
Quantity of work produced x
Quality of work produced x
Contribution to the group x
The evaluation of your work is an important part of the assessment criteria and represents a percentage of the overall grade. It is essential that you give yourself enough time to complete your written evaluation fully and with appropriate depth and level of self-reflection. If you have any questions relating to the self evaluation process speak to a member of staff as soon as possible.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Final thoughts about The Sweetie apple and the brief

The starting point for the What is good, the foundation for this brief started after reading through Good: An introduction to ethics in Graphic Design published by AVA. book.  This book discusses ethical issues that challenge us as Graphic Designers and gives consideration to being a good or bad designer.

I used this to think about an issue that would be ethical to explore and as such started with Buying British is good.  After researching this idea for a short time I realised it is quite hard to buy British these days so started looking at what we can source locally.  This eventually led me to apples.  I was quite shocked that we only eat 1 in 5 British grown apples and started thinking about perhaps providing some kind of education/info graphic.

The brand and identity direction came after I focussed on the Coop farm Sweetie apple.  It was driven by the research about successful commercial apples which all have strong bands and promotion behind them. I believe the brand reflects 'superiority' but also with the blossom logo has connotations of nature.

The packaging will elevate the brand as it stands above the norm, particularly the paper bag which was said to look like a Donut bag making the apples more enticing.  Apples are all about taste and appearance so the initial introduction to the market had to be a free apple to a large audience. The London half marathon is perfect both location, audience and timing wise.

On reflection, what may have seemed to some as quite ordinary has actually been a really interesting area to explore.  One debate that I am still having with myself is whether it is better to buy and promote English heritage apples or English grown modern hybrids which are popular and sell. As such I am wondering how ethical my branding and promotion of a'modern' apple would be considered in some circles.  I have exchanged a few interesting emails with the Founder and Editor of Orange Pippin.  The website on the whole is all about our apple heritage however even he thought this was an interesting question.  He was keen for me to stress the apple is 'English grown'.

Although I have not started with a cool, off the wall concept which could  have made for an interesting journey, I think the apple has suited the brief well in terms of concept development for logo, brand and packaging and promotion.  I have also had responses from the Coop Branding Manager and I intend to send a copy of the Presentation Boards for her feedback.

Attempting to obtain costings

One of the UV printers I have been researching Oriel also provide standard Litho printing so I thought this would be a good opportunity to obtain at least a rough estimate of the difference in costs between printing on paper based stock versus polypropylene.   No surprise, as this was not a live print job they have not responded with an estimate.

I had always imagined the re-usable container would be UV printed on polypropylene.  After my research I understand this will be more expensive than the standard routes available.  I considered this acceptable as this was proposed to be a limited edition offer to launch the product.

Since these ideas I then came up with a combined card /acetate hexagon which would prove to be strong enough for the apples and also the apple bag is a success. 

PDF art work files for Commercial Print

I have ensured I have specified the Pantone spot colours and also the die cut and fold lines with a spot colour.  I have also included in the description details of stock, special finishing and the colours. 

As a separate issue because the hexagon shape and the bag are both two stocks I spoke to Mike about how I specify this on a PDF.  In reality I would discuss with the printer to find out how he would prefer to be sent the information.  For the PDF submission I  created two art boards, one for each stock so that the PDF has two pages which are clearly described in the PDF details.

Context - the Brand and Packaging

I could sourced the context images online so they were quite low resolution.  I had to find a way to make the context photos sit well with the 'live' photos I had taken of the packaging.  I experimented with a few effects between illustrator, live trace and also adding symbols in Illustrator into Photoshop.

I could not find a realistic way to mockup a hexagonal banner or advertising poster on my contextual photos.  The hexagonal shape would tie the promotion to the brand and packaging and also be distinctive.  I image this would be made from a durable substrate such as digitally printed fabric or polypropylene which would be UV printed, also providing a link to transparency.

Other print based options are at the Food Festival.  They can include the tent, table cloths, t-shirts (Screen printed), umbrellas.  The people on the Sweetie apple stall would have a thorough knowledge of the apple and when giving the apple away know the apples benefits ie grown in Kent, supporting English orchards, not travelled 11,500 miles.

I have mocked up a blank foil blanket however the blanket could be UV or flexo printed with the Sweetie logo for further promotion with the runners once they complete the marathon.  'wear the blanket to the apple stall'

In store, I had imagined the strong stackable cartons which loose apples are delivered in would be hexagonal shaped, again to distinguish the sweetie from other brands.  However I could not work out how to use 3d tools for a hexagon in Photoshop.  As my final photographs were so professional I did not include this on the final presentation boards.  These would be flexo printed on strong corrugated card.  

At point of sale,  an obvious addition to the promotion collection would be a shelf wobbler made out of acetate or polyproplene.

Finally just a note about the Marathon leaflet.  Although I have submitted the larger hexagon as the final mockup I actually think the smaller size works better.  The print quality is much better on the larger version however the smaller one is easier to handle and fold out.  I think the larger leaflet is slightly cumbersome.