14 5 / 2012

Well the deadline is the day after tomorrow now so its final days for the FMP. I have almost finished my box but still need to print other branded bits off - I think perhaps the decision to print everything at work may have been a little naive as I have to keep waiting to use the printer after the other designers have finished and therefore keep falling behind on printing my work. 

In all honesty, I can’t see how I am going to get everything done that I need to tomorrow. It seems impossible and is very frustrating because of the amount of work I have put in to this project. I will have to just keep going and get as much done for the deadline as I can - I’m nearly there.

My brand guidelines are currently being printed elsewhere (definitely a good call - I would never of had time to print these myself on top of everything else) and I’ll be picking them up Wednesday morning.

I wanted to upload pictures of my box but my mac here at home isn’t working very well with my camera - it keeps saying ‘camera not found’. It’s all very annoying. I still need to put the inside foam and satin in but it’s constructed and the leatherette is on.

I’m glad this is nearly finished and that I will soon be able to start my career as a graphic designer. 

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10 5 / 2012

Today I have been at work printing my final pieces. Of course I have encountered some issues (nothing ever seems to run smoothly when there’s a deadline looming ahead!) and will need to go in Monday to finally wrap things up. I will also be constructing my box - have had to push this back to Monday due to these printing issues. 

The GF Smith stock I am using has worked really well re printing - something I was anxious about as it seemed Litho was the only way to guarantee a good result and of course my project was to small to print lithographically. 

Last night I spent 3 hours making wax seals with my custom seal - it’s not easy and definelty a lot more complicated than it looks but I think they came out well enough to use for the project. 

Things seem to be taking longer than expected so I have decided to leave photography until after the deadline, to use for the exhibition and my portfolio rather than for submission.

I’m confident I’ll have everything ready a few days before the deadline so that I can concentrate on clarifying my sketchbooks before the hand in.

08 5 / 2012

Well today’s mixed crit turned out to be more useful that I had orginally anticipated, although I still think it was left a little too late - had this happened a week or two ago I reckon it would have been twice as helpful. However, I received some really positive comments and few target suggestions so I left feeling reassured about my work, rather than disappointed. 

The most positive comments include "Think the final idea will be brilliant", "Love your font choices", "very professsional" and "can’t wait to see the box :)".

The suggestions are summarised below:

"Print out your blog" - Need to make time for this over the coming weekend. Tim mentioned a place on the net called Blog to Print that does this without all the hassle and extra bumph. 

"Needs a clear, stated brief" - I have got this but I need to make sure I print this out and stick it into the front of every sketchbook. Must not forget this.

"Need more research?" - In my other sketchbook that I didn’t take today. Pretty confident I have enough research so I can tick this one off.

"Produce some kind of explanations to ensure you get credit for the work" - This is a really good point. I need to make sure that I clearly explain every concept I go with, for example, my idea for the box that links to the fourth dimension of time. I should probably repeat these to ensure they are definitely remembered.

"Lacking annotation" - There are parts of my development sketchbook that I need to go back and annotate - luckily I’ve been keeping notes on my ai files that I can refer to.

I can now move forward with more confidence in what I have produced and concentrate on printing and constructing the box.

07 5 / 2012

We’ve got just over a week to go now until the deadline for our FMPs and things right now are on the home run. Despite getting lost somewhere in the middle of this project I feel I’ve worked hard and produced an attractive design solution - no pictures yet as the stuff I have already printed is safe at work. I’m fairly happy with the outcome but I think, had I not lost my way, that I could have produced something stronger. I don’t feel this project shows the same level of creativity I am capable of as my book cover does, but will still be good enough to go in my portfolio as a representation of what I can do.

I still have more work to print and my box to construct in a short time, but the designers at work are helping me. I’ve been offered a full time job with them when I finish so I’m pretty happy about that! 

Looking back I definitely wasted time looking at so many logo options rather than limiting myself - I expected to struggle with an open brief and to an extent I did. My sketchbook will be rammed full of development work however! I need to print all remaining wip sheets and get up to date with my annotation (I’ve made annotative notes on the ai files). For the future I need to learn the balance between speed and quality, rather than obsessing about perfection while the hours fly by.

My H&W custom wax seal arrived the other day in the post and it looks really good - the detail is amazing at such a small size. Can’t wait to seal everything for the photography. 

Still to do:

I need to print the remaining bits, i.e the watch certificate, and make up my rigid box. Unfortunately the leatherette doesn’t match the brand blue but I would be hard pushed to find a false leather that did, so I’m going to go with it anyway.

Photography - I need to book the studio tomorrow for Friday and ask to borrow some props from the horologists I contacted during my research stage.

Feedback - I’ve been asking the designers at work along the way about my designs and they have advised me on things, as well as Collin and Sancha, and will be sending my designs to the horologists for their opinions once the photography is done. There is a crit tomorrow that I feel is too late to be of much use, but I will go and see what feedback I can give and get in return.

Today I’m working on a revised pattern - the grasshopper and two flowers were nice ideas but limiting the pattern to just clockwork pieces works better at small scale and really works well in situe.

Looking forward to handing this project in - it’s dominated my life for the past three months and I’ll be glad to complete it. 


25 4 / 2012

Today we visited Principal Colour, a printers in Paddock Wood, so we could gain insight into the printing process and see what goes on behind the scenes of the design industry. Walking around and learning about the different printing equipment etc was interesting, and I managed to ask some important questions about printing my one-off project onto stock paper - this raised some issues that I need to sort out asap. 

On a positive note, the Horst project below - found on tumblr - has reassured me that my designs, which are coming together now, will appeal to my high-end target market, as they seem to follow the same feel (antique meets modern).

I have been worried about my designs looking so minimal that they lack character, but the Mulberry rebrand (NOT mine) below has convinced me that less is indeed more

I’ve managed to find a solution to the expense and impracticability of gold-foiling - using gold transfers instead. I saw the designers at work using them on mock ups and they came out really well, almost identical to gold-foiling but a fraction of the price. The only downside I can see is that you don’t get the slightly impressed texture of the gold-foiling, but I feel the transfers will be good enough for this project.

Super excited about having my wax seal made, I think this will really add that craftsman-touch to my work.

I’m looking forward to photographing my project when it’s completed. I’m hoping to borrow some horologist tools as props and set the photos against a wooden background - this I think will again enhance the craftsman approach.

Current Stage:

Tonight I’m finishing off my monogram by finalising the filigree surround. The different components, such as the letterhead and business cards, are all in development and will be ready for me to take to the Crit next week to check one last time before printing.

I’ll be working on the box and bag over the weekend, preparing them for print and construction next week.

19 4 / 2012

Having worked pretty much flat out through the Easter hols trying to find a strong logo solution for my project I managed to get quite lost, churning out loads of logo routes rather than really enhancing two or three. While this means I have lots of work to go in my sketchbook, it also means I’m behind on my schedule. I’m doing everything I can to catch up and get back on track with everything.

It seems like I’ve been working on this FMP forever now and I will be pleased to get everything printed and wrap up the project. It’s turned out to be a difficult project, and with me overcomplicating things further (a habbit of mine) it’s been a bumpy ride. Not long to go now though and I’m gradually making my way through all the different components of the project.

I’ve settled on a final logo solution and am working on this today to get everything sorted and finalised. I also need to complete the monogram graphic and work on the business card and letterhead designs before the day is up.

I need to get organised with my printing. While I’m still on track with allowing enough time for this I need to look at whether all the high-cost effects (i.e embossing) I intended to incorporate are really practical. For example, I might use a metallic pantone instead of gold-foiling my work if this turns out to be a better solution.

I am working tomorrow and will be taking full advantage of their packaging expertise when it comes to the construction of my box. I have an idea for this that may turn out to be quite strong, relating to the concept of time as the fourth dimension written about in H.G Wells’ The Time Machine.

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05 4 / 2012

Some inspirational brand photography found on tumblr, showing just how much the right set up, composition and background can make for a photograph that both enhances the design and reinforces the brand approach.

01 4 / 2012

Well, I hit a wall this week but I think I’ve managed to push through it. I’m not sure what happened but I just confused myself about the project and started to worry about the looming deadline. Kept working though and today I developed monogram concepts - typeface a real headache though, I’m just not happy with any I can find. I keep thinking it would be a good idea to hand draw the logo font so I’m completely happy with it, but this would probably be quite time consuming!

Worked out that I want to have the logo in final stages by the end of this week, which  means getting the other bits of imagery done too.

Strange to think that in just over a month we’ll have handed the FMP in and will just be sorting things out for the show. The whole year has gone so fast!

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26 3 / 2012

Over the weekend I have been tweaking and reprinting my APP project finals in preparation for the examiner, who is apparently visiting sometime in the very near future (!).
Above is my entry for the Penguin Design Awards 2012, submitted lunch time today :) I have another version with the lines ‘One Flew East… One Flew West…’ - the preceding lines to the poem - running in red from the space underneath the tail and over the dorsal fin but to be safe for the competition (it was outlined exactly what text needed to be where on the cover) I took this off. Maybe I’ll upload that one sometime too.
I’m not going to bother explaining what it’s all about - if you’ve read the book you’ll get it and if you haven’t hopefully you’ll want to find out!

Over the weekend I have been tweaking and reprinting my APP project finals in preparation for the examiner, who is apparently visiting sometime in the very near future (!).

Above is my entry for the Penguin Design Awards 2012, submitted lunch time today :) I have another version with the lines ‘One Flew East… One Flew West…’ - the preceding lines to the poem - running in red from the space underneath the tail and over the dorsal fin but to be safe for the competition (it was outlined exactly what text needed to be where on the cover) I took this off. Maybe I’ll upload that one sometime too.

I’m not going to bother explaining what it’s all about - if you’ve read the book you’ll get it and if you haven’t hopefully you’ll want to find out!

19 3 / 2012

So I have settled on the brand name of Harrison & Wells, with the possibility of bringing in Timesmith into the strapline somewhere. I feel Harrison & wells ticks all the boxes - for example it sounds like a feasible historic craft name, and combines clockmaking history with The Time Machine. I’ve done a quick google search and there don’t seem to be any exisiting companies with this name.

Over the weekend I got stuck into the development stage and experimented with embossing a few imagery ideas, using an embossing stylus set I bought off of ebay and a video tutorial Tim showed me on Youtube - http://youtu.be/J5fdkJk38VY

Got it wrong at first (cut out the wrong parts - typ!cal) but managed to get some quite good examples by the end of it, particularly of the standard Times New Roman H&W. It’s quite difficult to find the right pressure to press with, so that it makes enough of an indentation but the paper doesn’t show the stroke marks or tear. I only really managed this with the H&W, but I think this one works really well embossed.

While working on the lightbox and seeing the light shine through I got to thinking about die-cutting as a possible route too. The warm colours shining through the silhouettes gave off an almost magical feel that I think suits the mysticism of crafting time - maybe I can go somewhere with this.

Also started looking in to creating a monogram and drew MANY quick sketches, using an Art Nouveau monograms and decorations book I bought. It’s a bit confusing because of all the ways I can go with the imagery - for example Sancha suggested I try building the roman numerals for twelve into a crest as one alternative to a monogram - but I just need to get my head down and settle in to drawing up and developing these ideas.