Since last week, I have made small developments to all three of my main pieces: the CV, the online portfolio and the PDF portfolio.
In the PDF portfolio, I have added in the text and the images to each of the project pages, although one or two are still missing that I want to add in. I have made sure that they are the same images used in my online portfolio and that the brief and solution are the same too. I have added in navigation buttons on every project so that you can flick through the projects using arrow buttons and also return back to the home page. After a tutorial, I have increased the text size by 1 or 2 points because it was suggested that it was perhaps just a little too small. At the the end of my portfolio, I have added an extra page which is a ‘Contact’ page and also has an ‘About Me’ paragraph, similar to the CV.
For the CV, I have added in work experience and also written the ‘About Me’ section. Like the PDF portfolio, I have developed my CV so that it is now interactive too. It has icons which link to my social media profiles: Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I decided to exclude Facebook because my account is a personal one and I think it is important to keep my CV purely professional and not mix up my personal life with work. I have also added a link to my online portfolio so that employers looking at my CV can get to my work with one easy click.
On my online portfolio, I have gone ahead and removed the ‘Home’ page as I decided that it was not needed – my online portfolio now opens simply with the text saying, “Hello and Welcome!…“. After originally arranging the images on each of the project pages one after each other in a straight line as individual images down the page. I have now arranged them in a more designed layout (image below: I have taken a screenshot from one of the project pages as an example). I have also spread ‘The Solution’ paragraph between these images because I felt that there was too much text to begin with at the top of each project.
My next steps are to move on to beginning the Research and Development PDFs for my Subject projects: Persuasion, Penguin and Branding.
The last main piece I have to make for Digital me is the PDF portfolio, so that has been my next step to take.
I wanted to make the PDF consistent with both the CV and the online portfolio, so I created it in a similar way. I ensured that all the smaller details matched, for example the underlining of titles and the chosen fonts.
Wanting the PDF to be interactive, I created a home page with thumbnails of the six projects that I had chosen to include in my portfolio. From this home page, the user can click a project thumbnail to be taken directly to that project. Also, on hovering over a thumbnail, the image changes (as I have added a rollover image the same but with a white layer over the top with an opacity of only 50%) and the name of the project appears. The image below is a screenshot taken of the PDF portfolio home page – the ‘A Blank Space’ thumbnail shows what the hover over looks like.
I have inserted in all the needed pages for each of the projects and given them titles accordingly. I have then created the links so that each of the thumbnails on the homepage takes the user to the correct project. I have created a rough layout for each of the pages and my next step is to start inserting my design work. I want to have a column of text down the left side, which will include the title of the project and then the brief and my solution, and then the images of the outcomes will be positioned on the right.
Over the last few days, I have been working on developing my brand style ready for my first tutorial today.
I began with attempting to self-brand myself using my name rather than an actual logo. Finding a photograph of myself that was able to actually interactive with the ‘title’, I’m Amber, made me realise that this was the style I liked best. Unfortunately the photograph is not high quality enough for me to be happy with and I want to capture a better one, but this has at least helped me decide on a favourite style. I should be able to use I’m Amber in both ways, with and without the image of myself sat on it.
After testing out a few different fonts and style, and picking a favourite, I began experimenting with colour and of course I had to use my favourite colour orange (Pantone 144 CP) that I use in so many of my projects. After all, it is my colour, “amber”.
I have put together an initial rough CV layout that I think works well alongside my personality and overall brand. My next step is to begin creating the online portfolio layout in consistency to the CV. As my CV is not fully completed yet, I will be able to make changes accordingly if needed – I think it is necessary to keep myself flexible in the beginning ideas generation and design stages of this Digital Me project.
Although I had more or less decided that I would not use my pre-existing logo (used on some social media), I wanted to put it into my CV just so that I could confirm or disconfirm in my tutorial if I was choosing the right way to go. Sure enough, my logo was pointed out as being probably unnecessary, so I am going to go ahead and remove it. Although the logo is not needed, they agreed that it was a great touch to have an image of myself interacting with the title, I’m Amber, as a personal touch. In my tutorial, it was picked up on by my peers that the use of the key colour orange worked really effectively as it doubled up well as being the colour “amber”, just like I am, Amber. The typefaces that I have chosen are Bebas Neue for the headlines and Champagne & Limousines for the body text.
One of the hardest parts of beginning the process of this Digital Me project is branding myself. It is certainly much harder to brand yourself than it is to brand a client.
There are lots of things to consider when branding yourself – trying to ask yourself, “Who am I?” is a lot harder than I first anticipated. The first obstacle I have come across is whether to have a logo or not? I had previously created myself a logo to use on my social media (e.g. Instagram), but was unsure as to whether I should carry this through to use in this project or leave it behind.
After speaking to the lecturers in university, they recommended not to use a logo and to sell yourself as a name instead. Why not a logo?
What does a logo mean? A logo represents years of commitment, hard work, reliability, trustworthiness – it is a promise of professional skills. As a student designer, I do not have these years of experience under my belt yet so I would not want to risk a negative response of my logo from, let’s say, a director of a well-established design company, who has built their own business over many years and has worked hard to develop relationships with people who are now their clients – they have established a clear identity, a well-trusted, competent brand, and this is all shown through their logo. It is important for me to consider how you might respond to a newly-graduated student’s logo in order to make me realise that perhaps not having a logo was the best way to go for self-branding.
What is a logo representing? How might I want to reveal myself through using graphic language to include my human-scale skills, personality, ancestry, culture, interests, motives, awareness of graphic design? And how might I contextualise this graphic representation sensitively, perhaps discreetly into your house-style? This could potentially be quite difficult to show through a logo at this stage, and I certainly do not want to create something that simply isn’t very good. “If [it] is… terrible, I’ll instantly be put-off. Better to keep it simple… If [it’s] a great idea, it needs to be really great.” Mark Smith, branding specialist. This leads me agree that a logo is not needed and that my own name would be the best way to brand myself for now.
Things to consider when branding myself:
- Simplicity and clarity – have a single focus and don’t make it confusing.
- House-style and consistency – apply a well-developed visual consistency throughout all pieces (PDF, online and CV).
- Photography – use high quality images only.
Today I found the time to go in and finally complete my design that I created a few weeks ago but didn’t have the time to actually stitch it out.
I love how this one has turned out, although I think the simplest design would work best for the branding. However, saying this it was still good fun and interesting to experiment with the range of motif fills that were available. I used various fills that were made up of triangles. I tried to think about where I was using each pattern, for example the filled in one which looks darker because it a block-colour, I used on the back leg which would be in shadow. I used the same block-colour fill to separate the horse’s mane, tail and hooves.
I am interested in using textile techniques where I can in my further projects. I am thinking perhaps I could digital stitch into paper if the opportunity arises and fits relevantly with what I am doing or creating.
Today we displayed our five final touch points and had a review which involved peer assessing each other’s work. We also submitted two PDF’s – the first showing the five touch points and the second showing the research and development process that we took.
Research and Development PDF
For submitting, I created a PDF document which showed all of my research and development up to where I am currently with my final touchpoints so far, in order for the lecturers to fully assess both my final outcomes and the process of getting to that point. I used Adobe InDesign to create the document, using the columns and grid system to keep everything to a high and consistent quality. My research and development PDF covered areas including: about the brand, market research, competition, initial ideas, developing ideas, and finally, the solution. If we are to later update and resubmit this particular PDF, I would like to add more detail of the change from my initial ideas to the final outcome, of each and every touchpoint individually.
Final Touchpoints PDF
Again for submitting, I created a PDF which displayed each of my five touchpoints. This PDF was also printed out and displayed on the walls for our peers and lecturers to see and review – this is the piece that was peer assessed.
- Stationary (including business card, letterhead and compliment slip)
- Packaging and products
- Delivery van
My PDF does not contain too much detail as I did not want it to be an information overload for whoever was peer assessing it, particularly as this assessor would essentially be my client in a real life situation, who would only want and need short and relevant descriptions of each touchpoint. As well as a short paragraph on each of my touchpoints, I also included my colour and typography choices for the brand. The descriptions explain how I made each touchpoint fit to the client’s breif.
The Peer Assessment and Review
My brand was peer assessed by Greta Abelyte. Greta gave me a mark of ‘excellent’, which I am of course extremely satisfied with. She commented that my touchpoints were creative and connect with the brand well – she also made a note that my colour scheme fits and reflects well on a target audience with an “active lifestyle”, which I was very pleased with as this was a major change that I made to the brand earlier on in the development process. I believe that the most important comments made on the peer assessment sheet is the constructive criticism made as I can use it to improve and develop my work further again. That is why I am going to take into consideration fully the suggestions that my peer assessor has made and work on them where I can – for example, as Greta suggested, my brand could benefit from a shopfront touchpoint – I could also perhaps include signage in this. Even after receiving a very positive review made by Greta, my next plan is to make the changes that she has suggested before the final summative review which will take place over the Summer of 2017.
After my group tutorial with Matt and also another individual tutorial with Ian, I developed my touchpoints further.
After looking through my touchpoints with Ian specifically, he showed me that I actually needed another touchpoint in order to have five complete points – because I had used the compliment slip and business card as two separate touchpoints, I had to create another as they were in fact technically classed as one touchpoint: stationary. I added uniform as my fifth touchpoint.
One of the key overall development that I made to the overall brand is that I removed the use of green in most places and instead kept it simple and consistent with just orange. I picked a pantone from a solid-coated colour swatch card: pantone 144C. Another key development is that I got rid of the use of serif fonts and replaced them for a sans.
I made developments and changes to my existing touchpoints on top of adding in the uniform. For example, it had been mentioned in my branding tutorials that the menu bar at the top of my website was illegible in white font on a pale blue-white background. To fix this, I simply added an orange tint (pantone 144C, 20%) behind the text. I have changed the typeface itself, both in the menu bar and the ‘shop now’ button, from serif to sans serif – I feel that all together, this gives it a much more professional look that fulfills the brief better.
I have added elements to the stationary so that it is now a set which includes, the business card, the compliment slip, and also a letterhead which I have since added. Pantone 144C has been used throughout all of the touchpoints, including the stationary set – when looking at my original stationary pieces compared to these now developed ones, you can see the slight difference in colour. In the stationary especially, using the pantone has added to the consistency within my touchpoints, ensuring there are no small but noticeable errors in the colours. The strip across the bottom of each stationary piece is in a 50% tint of the pantone, similarly to the menu bar on the website. I have slightly edited the ‘running horse’ design on the back of the business card – I have staggered the design which adds a sense of movement to the piece, as if the horses are in motion and are actually running. I have changed the majority of the typeface from serif to sans serif as it did not look right in writing the contact details, however I kept the words, ‘with compliments’ in serif as I feel that it works well in giving it a handwritten feel on the compliment slip.
On top of the stationary set, I wanted to create the brand something new and stylish, thus giving it a unique feel. I hope that I stamp like this will work well in doing this – it could be used to sign compliment slips and letterheads, giving it a personal touch for the customer.
Products and Packaging:
I have kept the packaging the same as I felt that any major changes were not necessary. I want the packaging to be kept simple, clean and appealing to the eye. I have however, improved the quality of the emboss effect in order to give a more realistic look.
I have created an example of what a potential product sold by Young Stallion would look like. Here, the logo has been embossed into the leather of the saddle – this mark would be made similarly on all of the company’s products.
The main development on the delivery van is the removal of the green strip from the bottom of the van’s body and the change to the orange pantone 144C instead. The geometric horse image now appears across the bottom of the van too, as an improvement suggested by Ian. Also, the typeface used, like on the rest of the touchpoints, is now a sans serif rather than serif font. The final development that I have made on the van is adding “Young Stallion” across the front of the van – it is written backwards so that when a driver looks in a mirror, e.g. their rear view mirror, they can read it normally.
As the new touchpoint, the uniform is again based around the orange pantone 144C. There is still some changes I wish to make to this touchpoint, particularly the t-shirt. I want to try positioning the geometric horse image across the shirt, much like it is on the delivery van – I believe that this will add to the consistency of the brand as I feel that it does not quite fit with the other touchpoints currently.
Today we got briefed on our next project as part of the BrandWorld module.
We had two guests in the Graphics Studio this morning, from Welsh television channel, S4C. They are going to be working us over the next coming weeks as a local media company, who are providing us with a brief for a live project. Their project for us involves, as a member of a small team, we are expected to create screen based motion graphic outcomes to brand and promote one of their upcoming events. This part of the module is called BrandWorld:Narrative.
This project immediately excites me and I think it’s going to be something extremely useful, particularly because we are working on a live project – it feels much more ‘real world’, particularly as we are working for real life clients from a real company, and eventually, our outcomes of the project may be the chosen creations to be broadcasted across the country to their viewers on S4C’s channel.
Who are S4C?
In their brief, S4C describe there themselves in their background information as a public broadcaster, formed in 1982, which transmit a wide range of programmes on numerous different platforms, from current affairs to soaps – including: sports, entertainment, childrens’ TV (Cyw), agriculture and religion. They claim that their absolute vision is, “to be a central part of the lives of the people of Wales everywhere.”
What are their brand values?
S4C’s overall mission is “to be inventive and innovative in creating, broadcasting and distributing entertainment and information in Welsh, that inspires and captures the imagination.”
They have four key brand values on top of this, which are:
- first and foremost, to be Welsh
- to be creative
- to keep the audience central to everything we do
- to be available to everyone
Who are their target audience?
- Slightly older than the average TV viewers
- Most popular locations: North and West Wales
- As wide as possible – don’t exclude any demographic
- Mainly Welsh speakers living in Wales (but many outside of Wales too)
What do they want?
S4C want us to create them a branding for all their platforms to be broadcasted on 1st March 2017, St. David’s day (the patron saint of Wales).
Of the final motion outcomes, they would like a positive and uplifting feel to it with subtle patriotism. The final piece would also need to work as both video and stills, across all sorts of platforms, including: TV, Web and Social Media. They are looking for flexibility and adaptability, but fixed with consistency throughout.
The total deliverables include:
- Break bumpers
- Tops and tails for promos
- Visuals for presentation items
- Print and social media
Ident: an ident is simply, a short sequence shown on television between programmes to identify the channel.
The ident needs to be able to be used as a device for the announcer to speak over, so should give the viewer a quick and clear sign of what channel they’re watching. It needs to be visually interesting while giving of the brand’s personality.
S4C would like two versions of the ident: one 30 second version and one 10-15 second version.
Break bumper: a break bumper is a brief announcement which is placed between a pause in the program and its commercial break. For example, a bumper may contain a warning about swearing or violence, or a programme might be introduced as a tribute to someone who has recently died.
S4C use mute break bumpers; they have no audio. They require bumpers of three different durations: 2 secs, 3 secs and 5 secs.
After being given the brief by S4C, we were put into our groups and sent to do some research and discuss what had been spoken about so far. In my group, we started by looking into S4C themselves, such as their website and their social media pages – we even watched some of their programmes in order to be able to see the current idents and break bumpers for example, being used. We also looked into Saint Davids Day and Wales in general as well – we looked into what it means to be welsh, as this is what St Davids day celebrates.
In my group:
- George Goldsmith
- Greta Abelyte
- Tom Greenwood
- Yanni Hwang
- and myself, of course, Amber Lloyd
Today we had our final group tutorial for this part of the BrandWorld module – we were asked to bring in 5 created touchpoints to present to our group and tutor, who then gave constructive feedback on our work so that we could improve it in our own time, for the final deadline on 9th December 2016. See below my five touchpoints.
For this tutorial, I was in a group with Matt Bonaccorsi as the tutor. The first thing he noticed was that I hadn’t stuck to my original idea of using purple as the key colour in my colour scheme, but he agreed that the new colours worked better and were suitable to the company. He liked how I’d used the main image from the website and carried it through all of the touchpoints as green grass in order to keep consistency, however he also said that perhaps the grass detail may not actually be needed, and that a block green colour could work just as well, if not better – this is something I will test out before the final deadline on 9th December.
In regards to the website, I need to look at the menu bar and make it more legible against the background image. I had thought that perhaps it would be okay, because in real-time usage, the words would change colour slightly when hovered over to a more legible colour such as grey, but after Matt pointed out that the average viewer would only stay on a webpage for approximately 10-20 seconds, I did not want to give any excuse for them to click off of the website, such as in this case, illegible navigation options at first glance.
The group really liked my running geometric horses which were inspired by Eadweard Muybridge, particularly on the back of the business cards.
Matt suggested trying all sans-serif typefaces rather than using the serif in some areas – he wasn’t quite sure if it worked or not, so this is definitely something I need to try. It was said that it works on the compliment slip where it says, “with compliments”, as this is fitting to a handwritten style of text, however it maybe doesn’t work so well on the address and other contact details.