First Client Meeting

After contacting our clients, today we had a meeting with them to introduce ourselves and to talk over their brief.

After our first tutorial on Tuesday, Ian suggested that rather than just send a list of questions to our clients over email, that we reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in actually meeting us face to face to have a proper discussion. The same day, I sent our clients an email on behalf of myself and the rest of the Food Safety group. They quickly replied, seeming keen to meet up, and arranged a meeting almost immediately, which was of course, great for all of us.

Fortunately, our clients are two members of the health science staff that work on Llandaff campus at Cardiff Met, which certainly makes our lives easier when it comes to meeting with them – we barely had to step outside the front door. After going through the brief that we had been given in advance, we picked out any information that we felt might be useful but wasn’t included in the brief. We went in prepared with several questions that we wanted to ask them based on this. The first and foremost thing that we wanted to do was to ask for the booklet mentioned in the brief that contains all of the information. The other questions included: how many videos were they wanting and how long would they want each one to be; where would the finished videos be shown and displayed; is the target audience specifically just for the Velindre Cancer Centre or a more wide audience; do the videos need branding, for example, to Cardiff Met or Velindre Cancer Centre.

Today’s meeting was really helpful and definitely worthwhile – we gathered plenty of useful information from them. On receiving the current information booklet that they had, we all realised that they were asking for quite a lot from us considering the time constraint we have – the information booklet was bigger than I expected and was full to the rim with information. The booklet was broken down into six main sections, with separate ‘top tips’ sections on top – the client’s seemed to want everything included and explained that they want a separate video for each section. Unfortunately, we had to admit to them that this big of a request was simply not possible for us to undertake with only 4 weeks to create a finished outcome. We managed to meet half-way, agreeing to make them 4 very short videos, no longer than 1.5 minutes each. To reach this conclusion, we combined and condensed the existing sections, and were left with the following four:

  • General and background information – why there’s a need for food safety for the patients
  • Top 10 tips on food safety
  • The risked foods and the alternatives for them
  • Top 10 tips on nutritional advice

Image Searching, Referencing and Copyright

Today we had a talk in the library with Martha Lee, the academic librarian for CSAD, who showed us the best way to find and use images correctly within our work.

The Cardiff Metropolitan University library subscribes to and pays for a huge amount and range of databases, including image databases – so we should make the most of using them, especially since it’s our tuition fees that are paying for them.

Image Searching

The image databases can be found on MetSearch under ‘Databases A-Z‘, which takes you to a page listing all of the databases in alphabetical order. From here you can sort the databases by subject, material type and also search for certain words. Martha recommended that rather than sorting it to just ‘Graphic Design‘ in subject, that we only sort it by ‘Multimedia‘ under material type, because this is the best way of gaining the best search results.

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Useful image databases for graphic design:

  • Bridgeman Education
  • Berg Fashion Library
  • British Library Flickr Photostream
  • John Johnson Collection
  • National Gallery
  • New York Public Library Image Collections
  • Paperbacks Galore
  • World Images
  • Worth Global Style Network (WGSN)
  • VADS
  • V&A

We were taught how to use search terms. So for example, if you were doing research into Coco Chanel, some search terms to use could be: “French”, “Fashion Designer”, “Perfume”, “Little Black Dress”, “Chanel No’ 5”. A more complex example would be, if you were researching around a hypothesis, question or statement, such as your dissertation title. So for example, if your topic was to “outline and evaluate the origins and development of the Arts and Crafts movement”. The first thing you would need to do in order to create your search terms would be to highlight the key concepts.

“Outline and evaluate the origins and development of the Arts and Crafts movement.”

After you have highlighted your key concepts from your sentence, a good way of expanding your search terms is by putting the words into a table. From your key concepts, you can stretch and create related keywords – there’s nothing wrong with using a thesaurus to help you do this.

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Copyright protects the creator or owner of an image, but allows the user to make use of an image via fair dealing. Fair dealing involves asking the owner’s permission or adhering to certain conditions (known as, creative commons). Copyright sets out to:

  • Acknowledge ownership of work and stop other people taking credit for it.
  • Ensure owners or authors are paid for their work.
  • Deter the copying of work for commercial gain or artist recognition.

It is important for designers to understand copyright. While fair dealing permits you to use a small part of other’s works of art without permission, you should still be careful and seek advice or permission if you are unsure.

What does fair dealing involve?

You can copy an image without permission for:

  • Non-commercial research.
  • Private study.
  • Educational or teaching use (i.e. instructional purposes rather than decorative reasons).
  • For criticism or review purposes.

You cannot:

  • Make multiple copies of an image.
  • Share images online – unless: you get permission; it explicitly allows you to; the copyright has expired; or via Creative Commons.
  • Use images for commercial gain or in employment.

Google Image Search

Google is a tricky one when it comes to copyright. The easiest and best way to avoid any problems is to use the Google advanced search – under ‘Tools‘, change the ‘Usage rights‘ drop down options to ‘Labeled for reuse‘.


Acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge!

You need to cite and reference any and all images that you use in your dissertations. Whether you are using an image for private study or for business, you must always give credit to the owner or author.

Persuasion with Cath

Today Cath Davies visited us in the Graphics studio to give us a talk on persuasion.

One of first stages of the project should be to find what existing campaigns are already out there relating to our topic area. After dong this, then you can relate your own ideas to them. You can borrow techniques from existing campaigns, explain your design decisions including why you’ve chosen to do it, etc. You can also talk about techniques that you don’t like, if there are any, and why.

Techniques that generate response:

  • Images – relating to the client’s organisation. Which images and why?
  • Text and typography – what information is provided  about the organisation? Language and its connotation? Relationship to the image?
  • Framing, colour, narrative themes, and motifs.

In the session with Cath, she showed us a range of different persuasion campaign posters relating to a particular topic, for us to analyse. The posters that she showed us were all on the topic of animal testing, focusing more specifically on, anti-fur campaigns. She said that we should consider the techniques used that encourage either informative or emotive responses to the client’s need.

Informative: this is the information part; it is usually text – the information goes to the viewer’s brain/head and it can make them think – the informative part is often a call to action.

Emotive: this can be images or text that appeal to the viewer’s emotions, causing for example, feelings of sadness, disgust, or anger.

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Using Cath’s [famous] columns, we considered the range of techniques employed to raise awareness in the examples that Cath had picked out. We talked about the possible advantages and disadvantages of the techniques and design approaches used, from the viewer’s perspective.

Research Stage Tutorial

Today was our first tutorial during this project, to talk about our research so far.

Our group’s tutorial today was with Ian Weir. We showed the research that we had collected so far, including our creative briefs at the stage that they’re currently at. My research included what the food safety risks are for cancer patients and what some of the foods are that they should avoid. I also looked into who both, the Velindre Cancer Centre and ZERO2FIVE are, and what they do.

As a group, we made a list of questions that we had put together for the client – the questions covered what we found was missing from the brief that we believe would be useful to know. The questions included:

  • Ask for the booklet.
  • How long a video would you consider suitable?
  • Where will the videos be shown? – on your website? on social media? etc.
  • Is our target audience purely those who visit and are caregivers to patients at the Velindre Cancer Cancer, or is it a wider audience?
  • When should we expect to receive the nutrition and food safety messages for the video from the researchers at ZERO2FIVE?
  • How many videos do you want in the series?
  • Is there a brand? – for example, Cardiff Met or Velindre Cancer Centre?

After showing Ian the questions that we intended to email through to our clients, Ian suggested, why not meet them? – after all, they are located literally on the university campus. Ian also made clear that he personally felt that, the clients were possibly asking for and expecting a bit too much by asking for a series of videos – he suggested that just one single video would be more realistic considering the time constraints that we have. The clients, not being designers themselves, would most likely have very little, if any, knowledge of how to make a video and how long the video-making process takes. We will need to see if we can come to a compromise with the clients to create a more doable outcome for them.

From here, we plan to contact the clients in order to ask if we can meet up to introduce ourselves and talk over the brief with them.


Beginning the Creative Brief

The first part of the research stage of the persuasion project is to write a creative brief.

A good creative brief should cover what the aim of the project is, who you are doing it for, and why you are doing it. Having a creative brief makes your life so much easier when it comes to carrying out your client’s brief – it helps you make sense of the whole thing and to really understand what it is that they are asking for. Although our client had a brief for us, it helps to pick out the important information from that and recreate your own brief from it – it also helps to find what is missing from the client’s brief, so that when we go to see them, we can ask questions in order to fill in these gaps. A creative brief will help both myself, as the designer, and my clients – it will:

  • Provides background for the designer.
  • Clarify the goals and objectives.
  • Uncovers the facts and the most important parts.
  • Help to gain an insight into the brand.
  • Reveal the personality and values of the client.
  • Create a general agreement with the clients.
  • Provide the criteria which needs to be assessed.
  • Indicate exactly what is needed for success.

My Creative Brief

Although I have written the majority of my creative brief, it is not yet finished. I will not be able to fully complete it until after I have met with and spoke to the clients in order to fill in any gaps that I have discovered. It is highly likely that there will be multiple changes made to my creative brief as the projects goes on.

My creative brief begins with my client’s names – Dr Ellen Evans and Dr Elizabeth Redmond – and their contact information, followed by the title that they have given this project. I then have my own name and contact details as the project designer. Next comes the background/overview, the objective, the target audience, important thing to say/show, and finally, the development phases.

Background / Overview:

The bigger picture of this project is that many cancer patients undergo chemotherapy treatment, and although they themselves are usually aware of the food safety issues that come alongside the treatment, many others, including people close to them, are not. The clients, being doctors themselves, have most likely personally witnessed the effects of not knowing or understanding the food-related issues that come as side effects of chemotherapy, and how they can affect their own patients – the clients realise and fully see how much simple awareness of the difficulties could prevent food-related infection from occurring. Their core value is the wellness and safety of the chemotherapy patients, but they will most likely also care about their family and friends too.

Objective – What is the goal of the campaign?

The primary aim and objective of the campaign is to raise our audience’s awareness of the food safety issues to cancer patients being treated by chemotherapy. We need to inform the audience of the facts and advise them from there what they can do. The friends and family will want to help their loved ones who are going through the difficult times and procedure of the treatment. For this reason, we need to convince and assure them that they are able to help if they just listen to the campaign – we will show them exactly what to be aware of and do, coaxing them into action. We want the audience to feel included in the process, as if they too are personally affected by the issues, because in a way, they are. The audience should practically be able to imagine themselves in the patient’s situation, making them think, “What if it was me in their position?”. We need to urge them to take immediate action.

Target audience – Who am I talking to?

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy will undoubtedly see our campaign, however, rather than the actual patients themselves, we are talking more to the people around them. The original client brief specifically says that we are trying to reach the family-caregivers of the cancer patients at Velindre Cancer Centre. Everyone from their friends and family, to their colleagues, their bosses, their teachers, and even a waitress serving them in a restaurant – the general public around them all need to know.

What is the most important thing to say or show?

The facts need to be presented firstly – the audience need to be shown and made to understand why this food safety is an issue that needs to be addressed. They need to be told that they can help to make a difference, simply by learning about it and being aware of its existence. What are the high risk foods that should be avoided by the chemotherapy patients? But not only the negative side, with what they can’t have, but the positive side, with what the alternatives for them that they can have are as well. It’s not just ‘eating the food’ that’s necessary to be included, we should include information on a wider variety such as shopping, storage, food preparation, cooking, and eating out.

Phases of creative development:

  • Do we have sufficient reference sources? – adverts, brochures, videos, websites?
  • Do we have contact info and links to people, research and resources that can supply us with help?
  • Is it clear from the client what must be in the communication? – client requirements?
  • Is it clear from the client what might be in the communication? – client preferences?
  • Do we represent the client’s issues, concerns and wishes?
  • Have we completely excluded everything that the client determined undesirable?


Screen Printing Workshop

Yesterday afternoon, I took part in a workshop on screen printing with Tom who is the ‘main man’ when it comes to printing processes.

For the first half hour, Tom showed us how to actually do screen printing, which was helpful considering that I’ve never actually done it before. After that, we were left to our own devices and allowed to create whatever screen print we wanted.


I wanted to do something related to my current work, so gained inspiration from the new project that we are starting – persuasion. As the brief I am working on in the project is based around food safety, I decided to do something food-related. As I am still working on the research stage of the persuasion project and am not at the stage of ideation yet, so I simply picked a food product that I felt would work well in print form – a burger.

Rather than just doing a single one-colour print, I chose the burger because I could create it in a layered fashion with multiple colours. I drew my burger design and then used a light-box to create the stencils which I would use to print through. As my burger was more than one colour – I had to create one stencil for each of the colours. Altogether I had 5 stencils:

  • One for yellow – this was the burger buns and the cheese.
  • One for green – this was for the lettuce.
  • One for red – this was for the tomato.
  • One for brown – this was for the meat.
  • One for white – this was for the sesame seeds.

Above are some of the images that I took during my screen printing process. Instead of writing out what the step-by-step process that we took was, I made a film which acts as a screen printing tutorial/lesson. I will be able to go back and watch this if I ever forget how we did it, but others can also watch it to learn how to screen print too.

Talk by Neil Hubbard from Heatherwick Studio

Today, we had special guest Neil Hubbard, a designer at Heatherwick Studio in London, come in to give a talk. Neil spoke about himself, the studio, projects they’ve worked on and gave us some design tips.

Neil Hubbard opened by introducing himself and how he came around to work at Heatherwick Studios. He claims that he never really knew what he wanted to do in school, except for that he wanted to make things. He decided to go do an arts foundation which helped him realise that he liked 3D design. He went to Goldsmiths, University of London, where he worked on one particular project featuring Thomas Heatherwick, and fell in love with it – he was inspired and knew there and then: “I want to work for this person.”

Who are Heatherwick Studio?

British designer, Thomas Heatherwick founded Heatherwick Studio in 1994 – he wanted to bring a mix of craft, design, architecture and urban planning, all together in a single workspace. Today, over 200 architects, designers and makers all work side by side in a combined studio and workshop at their King’s Cross studio, in London. Heatherwick Studio is known for its methods of working – they explore and test responses in order to create and produce a design that fulfils the brief in an inventive way. They use the same process of collaborative inquiry and experimentation, no matter who for or what they are designing, whether it is developing a chair or a masterplan. The studio’s completed jobs include a number a range of incredible, award-winning projects, including the ‘Learning Hub’ in Singapore.

Some of Their Projects

The London Buses:

In 2010, Heatherwick Studio joined the London Mayer’s commissioned design team to design a new London bus. The current buses at the time, which had not been redesigned in over 50 years, were inaccessible to wheelchair users and caused great difficulty for pram users too. The new buses are 3 metres longer than the old ones, with 2 staircases and 3 doors. The geometry of the vehicle has rounded corners to minimise the perceived size and the front window is angled towards the pavement so the driver can see any nearby small children. The side windows form two ribbons of glass that wrap around the bus, giving it it’s key unique look. After all of these modifications, of course, the bus remains red.


Al Fayah Park, in Abu Dhabi:

The studio were set the project of recreating a major piece of public land in Abu Dhabi. As the city’s rapid pace of urban development increased, so did the desire for a local park and public space. Designing a park in the middle of the desert is not a straightforward task – the main obstacle that they struck was how to protect both visitors and plants from the hot desert sun. Inspired by desert land patterns, particularly the cracks in the earth caused by the heat of the sun, they created the incredible structure. The 20 metre high structure is made from a series of cracked raised pieces of concrete on columns, forming a gentle dome across the site. The cracks are filled with palm trees to create partial shade, allowing the sunshine to creep through and the garden beneath to grow.

The Rolling Bridge, in London:

The brief was to create a pedestrian bridge to span an inlet of a London canal – crucially, the bridge needed to open to allow boats through. The aim they took was to make the movement the extraordinary aspect. The rolling bridge opens by slowly and smoothly curling until it transforms from a straight bridge into a circular sculpture.

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UK Pavilion, World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China:

The World Expo is an international fair in which countries participate by creating themed structures/buildings. The brief that Heatherwick Studio was given to create the UK’s pavilion was simply that, it must be one of the expo’s “top five” most popular attractions, meaning it had to stand our from the other 200 pavilions being created. Rather than use digital screens and technology, Heatherwick wanted to create something that shone through simplicity and clarity. Instead of focusing on outdated stereotypes like London fog, bowler hats or red telephone boxes, they wanted to represent inventiveness and creativity in Britain. The theme of 2010’s Expo was ‘the future of cities’, so they began to look into the relationship between cities and nature. Looking at nature and texture, they played with the idea of a Play-Doh figure that grows hair when you squeeze coloured paste/goo through the holes in his head. With this in mind, they created a cathedral to seeds. The Seed Cathedral is a ‘box’ about 20m tall. From the surface of the structure protrude 60,000 clear acrylic rods – there are then 250,000 seeds cast into the glassy tips of those rods. By day, the inside of the pavilion is lit up by sunlight entering through the rods, which lights up the seeds too. And by night, LEDs inside in each rod illuminate the seeds and the inside of the structure. The awe-inspiring structure stayed up for 6 months before being dismantled.

Coal Drops Yard, in London:

This projects is based around the historic Coal Drops buildings in King’s Cross, London. Coal Drops Yard is now being turned into a public space and retail park. Rather than tear down the existing buildings and start building afresh from scratch, Heatherwick decided to take down and pull apart bits from the existing building and develop the structure from what it already is. This is a prime example of one of Neil Hubbard’s top tips, ‘find new from the old’.

Learning Hub (The Hive), in Singapore:

This project was to create a Learning Hub for a university in Singapore. Designers at Heatherwick picked up on the shift in how student’s approach education facilities in recent years – it is no longer a necessity for students to be on campus thanks to the development of the internet and low cost computers. University buildings are no longer the only site where students are able to source educational texts and have become unappealing spaces with endless corridors and no windows or natural daylight. Noticing this, Heatherwick wanted t0 redefine the ambition of a university – togetherness, sociability and collaboration. They began by breaking down the traditional square forward-facing lecture theatres and classrooms, and replacing them with rounded pod-like learning environments without corners where students and teachers can mix on a more equal basis – doing this has created a new, incredible quality and texture to the building itself.

Pier55, in New York, USA:

Pier55 is a public park and performance space, where visitors can wander, finding places to eat and relax. The island will be made of a mix of both natural and artificial features, including lush lawns and pathways, offering beautiful city skyline views. The new performance space, which will be designed to serve as NYC’s premier venues for music, dance, theatre, public art and other community events. They are currently in the process of constructing the structure, building it on a series of stilts in the water – the architecture has an industrial, concrete feel about it.

Pacific Place, Queensway in Hong Kong:

Heatherwick was asked to find ways to improve already existing shopping complex, Pacific Place. The brief was to carry out huge and vast improvements to the centre, while still keeping its shops and restaurants all open. Everything from the lifts and escalators, to the toilets were modified, including increasing the natural light into the building and making it more energy efficient. Heatherwick designed them new restaurant and café buildings, the exterior of a new hotel, a new pedestrian bridge and even added large public spaces and gardens to the entire structure. They created an outdoor area which is situated on top of the shopping centre, and inserted skylights into the roof of the building, allowing more light to enter – the skylights are 7-layers thick, making them strong enough to be both walked on and driven over, but also have 3-dimensional patterns embedded within these layers. The project was all about the little detail, but on a massive scale.

Vessel, in New York, USA:

Vessel is currently under construction today. The brief was to design and build a new public landmark, but rather than just being something beautiful to look at, Heatherwick Studio decided to create a landmark that one could quite literally explore every inch of it – you can climb it. They wanted to create something that would elevate you, offering a new impression of and way to look at New York. The finished design was inspired by the Stepwells, in India – it will be a series of steps and balconies that come together to create a copper-coloured sculpture which opens up towards the sky, looking almost like a rounder beehive. The complete structure will stand at 150 feet tall and will be 150 feet wide at its top too.

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, in Laverstoke, UK:

Heatherwick Studio lead the master plan and design of the UK’s new distillery. Some of the 40 buildings on the site were Grade II listed buildings, which were a bit of an obstacle – on top of this, the River Test ran through the grounds, making the project even more challenging. They wanted to bring clarity and coherence to the diverse and contrasted site – they chose to unhide the River Test, which was then hidden by steep-sided, concrete and dangerous channels, and to build a central courtyard. The initial brief had included the creation of a visitor centre, however, the studio became convinced that the vapour distillation process itself, that the distillery use to make gin, would be much more interesting to any visitor. They looked at the process of making the gin, particularly the way in which they infuse 10 tropical and mediterranean herbs and spices, and decided that they could build ‘the world’s first botanical distillery’. They developed two intertwining botanical glasshouses to house the plant species used in the gin – the curved houses spring from one of the historic buildings, recycling the spare heat from the machinery to make the perfect tropical plant conditions. The houses are actually sat embedded in the River Test itself.

Zeitz MOCAA, in Cape Town, South Africa:

The project was to reinvent a historic Grain Silo in Cape Town, as a cultural institution housing a collection of African contemporary art. The main obstacle was the physical facts of the silo’s structure – there was barely any open space. Rather than rip the building down, they wanted to celebrate its industrial heritage. Their solution was to carve galleries into the silos concrete structure, creating a cathedral-like central atrium, complete with a glass roof. Looking at an actual grain of corn, they decided to carve out a giant-scale mould in the central gallery of one – this was how they created the cathedral feel.

The Olympic Cauldron, London 2012 Olympics:

The project to create the London 2012 Olympics, Olympic Cauldron, was kept so secretive that it was even given a code name: “Project Betty“. They wanted to create a ver human creation, because the Olympics is all about the people – they wanted to focus on that personal moment when the flame of the Olympic cauldron is actually lit. Their end creation involved each country bringing in a petal section of the cauldron during the opening ceremony, each of these petals fitted onto the 204 long stems of the cauldron. The athletes themselves then lit the torch in each petal and once lit, the stems rose up to create one giant flaming torch – this represented the coming together of all the nations.

Final Top Tips:

  • Find new from the old – develop what’s already their, don’t just ‘rip it down and start again’.
  • The brief supplies both the problem, and the solution.
  • Know your context.
  • Create theatre.
  • Zoom in, zoom out, zoom in, zoom out – keep zooming out to look at the bigger picture.
  • Avoid cliché.
  • Not just an idea; the idea.
  • Make it real.
  • The importance of making – produce, produce produce! – make prototypes.