Overall & Plans For The Future

I have many plans for the future, but I will start with how this year has gone.

This year felt exciting at first, and the prospect of writing my own briefs and choosing my own timetable felt like the ball was in my court. It began well, and I was on track. The dissertation seemed to creep up on me however, and I found that the workload was pretty heavy over the christmas period where I also work the most of my overtime. I felt pretty stressed out when I came back to uni after the christmas period, and after handing in my dissertation I felt that I could then get on with the rest of the briefs.

I felt really happy with my dissertation grade when I finally received my results, so I felt positive for the next semester. Generally my briefs felt exciting to do, and I felt like I was making progress. When Easter came around I had the opportunity to work from home as well, which I enjoyed, because no time was taken out the days by commuting to Leeds. After Easter however I began to start to realise how soon the end of the year was, and so I tried to wrap up my collaborative briefs, and get my portfolio together to present to studios. This all happened so slowly, and I didn't contact any studios because I simply felt as though my portfolio just wasn't ready.

At the stage Im at now, where I am just about to hand in, I feel like everything is still in progress really. Im not going to make myself feel like a failure because I've taken longer to get to a stage that other people may feel they are at, and so I am going to continue to work hard on a few briefs, make my portfolio really presentable, and contact lots of agencies and studios for work placements for over the next few months.


Website Development & Design

I made my website on squarespace.com. and it was really easy to do. The templates are nice and simple, and most importantly, they are very customisable. I decided to create my own domain name through squarespace because web design boggles my mind, so I made it easy for myself in general. I am overall really happy with the result, and I have managed to create something really simple that will show of my work.

My about page leads the viewer to my personal statement, along with my experience, that will hopefully be added to within the next few months.

The work click through option leads the viewer to a simple scroll down format where the project description is on the side at the top. I wanted the designs to be able to be seen easily, and for the project description to be readable. My project pages all have a rollover brief name, which is what I wanted originally.

The email page takes the viewer straight to their mail box where they can email me from there. 


Personal Branding: Business Card

I really find it hard to make my business cards look and feel good, and I think it's because they're all about me! However I do plan to concentrate more on my personal branding when I don't have to think about blogging my life away at uni. To be honest it feels like the pressure of having to create a personal brand is somehow stopping me altogether. I am definitely the type of person that will so something when I have felt the time to do it, and with all of the uni work that needs to be done, I sometimes feel that I am doing work for the sake of it, and I know that I will find my personal branding aesthetic properly when I have the time and space to think about it.

I have included my number website address and email address as standard forms of communication. My logo on the other side as a stamp, and a short statement.


Manifesto Project

For my 'promo pack' I wanted to make something that would point to me as a designer, but wouldn't show my logo or portfolio, and so I wanted to make something that people could apply to themselves and to maybe stick on their walls as a nice reminder.

I took the manifesto from my manifesto presentation earlier in the year, as I feel that it resinates with me personally, and can be transferable to anyone. I aim to screen print it and send out to studios, just to gain some attention really, and for a bit of fun. I like the idea of sending something out that simply makes people smile.



Manifesto: Promo Pack Research

Format design research for my 'promo pack'.

For the promo pack I have designed a manifesto that anyone can apply to themselves, and to make people smile. I wanted to make the manifesto a kind of envelope, as it will comprise of double sided A6 postcards.

For a print project, I want the manifesto to feel laboured over, and it will be a pop of colour to, so the idea of opening a coloured box to reveal a colourful manifesto appeals to me. The quality of the materials used to make it should echo the design of the manifesto too.

Simplicity is what I have gone for, and I want the colour to by simple and eye catching.

The manifesto also needs to feel personal to whoever receives it, so the box needs to feel nice to open.

I have been really inspired by the Glasgow Press promo pack that they made available for around £5. A beautifully letter pressed piece of work depicting image based typography inspired by songs. The pack felt a pleasure to handle and open, and so this is the kind of feeling I want people to have when they receive it.


Thompson Brand Partners: Portfolio Crit

I decided to go to Thompson Brand Partners as part of the portfolio crits by studios. I made my way to the studio itself which was a positive experience, as we sat down as a group of six in the conference room to go through everyones portfolio's with everyone in the room. This was quite daunting actually and made me feel very nervous to talk to the two guys, and then in front of five of my peers too.

The experience was good because we went to them, and instead of a university environment, we were in a professional one, where we could sit around the table and talk in a semi formal way about everyones portfolios. The two guys that worked their talked briefly about their own professional experience, and gave us some publications they had been a part of from previous agencies. Some of their work was on the walls, and were similar to the art boards we create for the degree, although they focused solely on the designs rather than the research. I took some inspiration from them too, so that was nice. The premises was small, but an ideal size for a small agency. They took us on a micro tour, a and the long thin building was separated into four main sections: presentation room, break room, design room, and accounting room. It was useful to see this set up, and so the small size of the agency was suited to that close knit environment.

So, to my portfolio: I showed them my website, as my portfolio had not arrived yet, and I didn't want to present bits of laser printed paper to them. They got my website up on the big screen at the back of the room, and so I went through each of my projects. They explained to me that my album cover design was where their eyes were initially drawn to.

I went onto talk about my recent branding projects, SNAP Bistro and The Veg Loft. I talked about how I would like my portfolio to be more focused on branding and editorial and layout design, rather than the album cover design, and they said that it can comprise of both. They commented on how they the logo designed for The Veg Loft.

I also like the design of the logo too, and was pleased they noticed it. They went onto mention that the copywriting should be made more of a feature of, and should be brought out of their original contact and shown on their own. I never thought of taking aspects of a brief out of it's original context so it was useful information, of which I acted on.

They didn't really notice my photography work, which is prevalent across three of my briefs, so this was slightly disappointing, but another studio or designer may pick up on this, so I am not too worried that it's something that shouldn't be there. Overall I felt quite encouraged, though didn't feel as complimented as my peers, which may mean that my portfolio needs some work, of which I will act on anyway in the next few months.


Ro & Co. Inside The Studio

I always find looking at 'inside the studio' articles really helpful, and Ro & Co. are an agency that have always intrigued me, where they approach their work in unusual and innovative ways, and they are for me the most innovative studio out there at the moment in my opinion. The Dieline interviewed them and I have chosen to display some of the useful parts of the interview where their answers are influential. I originally wanted to only post parts of the article that were helpful for me to read, however lots of the article was helpful, so it is now a long post.

The Dieline article.

'Diane: Speaking about employees, how do you keep your employees and designers inspired? Tell me about your creative process.

Roanne: We work as a very collaborative studio and I truly believe that my designers are inspired by what we've all created together. I hire self-motivated individuals who constantly push themselves and each other to create high quality work that exceeds clients’ expectations. They are motivated by challenging projects and inspired through finding solutions, rather than being discouraged. 

Diane: Speaking about hiring, can you share with our readers what do you look for when you are hiring designers? 

Roanne: Talent, great style and passion are, of course, a given. But I also look for enthusiasm and good “people skills”— the questions I ask myself are, how will they work with the rest of the team and our clients? Will they be a team player? Our team is small, we're like a family, and we want to surround ourselves with people who want to be apart of the family and grow with us.

Diane: What is the RoAndCo design philosophy?

Roanne: Clients are involved, clients are listened to, clients are inspiration.
Challenging and moving beyond what’s already been done is just the beginning.
Different for different’s sake: Wrong. Uncommon ideas that are intuitive and exciting: Right.
Old meets new. Masculine meets feminine. Capturing the balance is what brings out branding to life.

The consumer is as important as the client. We consider how the message is delivered on paper, over the web, and into your smartphone from here to Tanzania.

Diane: What are your favorite kinds of projects to work on? If you have a dream project, what would it be?

Roanne: The most exciting projects involve working with clients whom we are truly inspired by and who trust us with their brand while still pushing us creatively. I love working with clients who see us as their creative partner and value our involvement in all aspects of their growth, from strategy to content creation. These collaborations tend to be the most successful and inspiring, and often result in our strongest portfolio pieces.

A dream project, for me, would be to art direct a campaign for a client like Céline, Chloé, or Balenciaga—a brand at the top of the fashion game—that is already artful, highly curated, and aspirational. Alternatively, I’d also love to guest art direct a fashion magazine that draws the most talented writers, photographers and the like. To work with the best of the best in the fashion industry has always been my dream.

Diane: Tell me about RoAndCo's package design projects. What makes you different?

Roanne: We approach packaging projects the same way we do with branding. Our goal is to tailor a full experience for our client's, with no detail left unconsidered. When designing packaging, be it a single item or an entire packaging system, we take a comprehensive look at the brand’s core values to determine how to best translate their standards into a visual and sensory experience. We also love to incorporate surprise elements into designs, be it a color, material or even smell that creates a deeper and more meaningful connection.'