So yesterday we were briefed on the next part of the unit. As part of a Live Brief we are to produce watch packaging for Animal. To get us started and to get us right in the deep end we were set a one day group activity. We were split into groups of around 6 and were to spend the whole day researching and brain storming ideas and concepts. By the end of the day we had to produce a presentation to show Neil and Claire, which would show our ideas and concepts for the packaging. Below is my groups presentation (click on each image to make larger) -

We decided to target 16-24 year old males that have particular interests in extreme sports. More specifically the sports that Animal currently have an association with. We split this up into four elements - water, snow, wind and dirt. We then researched into Animals main competitors in this range of market. Picking out Fat Face, Oakley and Quicksilver as the strongest competitors. We specifically researched into their watch ranges. We also researched into the range of watches that Animal currently has to offer. We found them to be quite different from their competitors. As well as the buckled and steel straps found in other brands, Animal use a velcro strap for extra strength, (especially during extreme sports) that they invented. Their watches are known for their sturdyness as well as being water resistant. They have very reasonable prices ranging from £60-£100 for their main range. However they also offer a flagship range.

We then produced a colour scheme that would be associated with the four elements (water, snow, wind and dirt). We particularly looked into the dirt range. Using Adobe’s Kuler, we were able to come up with combinations of colours that complimented each other well. We added the CMYK colours at the bottom to show how they still could be used with bright colours. We also briefly researched into the events that Animal run for extreme sports, and how we could maybe associate the packaging with a particular event, or Worldwide Freeride (the name given for the collection of events).

We then collected examples of illustrations from the Animal website, and compared them to example that we had collected throughout the day which kept in with the brand. We also looked at photography, as well as typefaces which we found to be a mixture of bold sans serif and hand rendered.

As a group we felt that an important part of the industry today is to produce eco friendly and recyable packaging. We mainly researched into easily obtainable recycable materials such as newspaper. But also looked into materials such as tyre, that could be linked in with sports such as Mountain Biking and Motocross. Whilst researching into this we found a purse featuring imagery to do with travel, that we felt could be strongly linked with the nature of having to travel far and wide to partake in extreme sport activities.

As our a concept we produced a rough mockup of how newspaper could be formed into a cube box and used to hold the watch either within the main packaging, or even just on itself. Now we are to push our ideas forward, taking ideas from todays group session or even branching away completely.



Another update on The Ink Rooms rebrand. Back on Monday we had a quick meeting with Matt Desmier regarding the whole situation. We had become confused with what we were actually meant to do, after having several emails sent to us saying different things to what we had been hearing. In the end we were told to continue with our ideas, and to try and persuade Chloe Partimer away from 'The Office' idea as we all felt that it wasn't strong in the slightest.

So within our group of Megan Corkhill, Luke Bonner, George Russell, Vicky Martin and myself we pursued with our idea of The Ink Bar, leaving the other group to pursue with The Office. Yesterday we battled on with our ideas, of logos, and ideas for artwork etc. By the end of the day we had our presentation ready (the main slides are below) -

I went into the meeting with an open mind not really not knowing what reaction to expect from Chloe. But after showing and speaking about our ideas the response was very positive. Chloe really liked our presentation. She could see the potential with our ideas and could see them working very well for their bar. We then all sat down around the table and discussed why we didn't think 'The Office' would work. She took all our opinions on board, and agreed with them all.

The next step is for Chloe to take our presentations to her boss, to try and persuade him away from the idea of The Office and towards our idea. We have exchanged contact details, and will find out more tomorrow after Chloe has presented the ideas in a meeting. There is also the possibility of further work which excites me.



Whilst in the swing of the whole rebranding thing, I decided to rebrand my identity. Now presenting what I think is a lot more professional and clean identity -

Using my new favourite font 'Myriad', but also keeping my CMYK identity.


With the deadline for The Ink Room rebrand closing in I had an hour bashing out logos for 'The Office' name idea with Megz last night-

After being told by Matt today that we should continue pursuing our own ideas, as they may change their minds on the name of the bar, I continued with my idea of Bar Ink -

After a further chat with Matt we've decided to work as a group, and to take our ideas forward to the next step ready for the presentation on Wednesday.


Today I arrived 5 minutes late, but it was great to see the session in full flow already. The group had been split into three smaller groups, allowing more people to speak. Our original plan was to go through the theory unit with them in some detail, but between the PAL leaders we felt it was a bit too early to go into too much detail.

Instead we organised a writing activity. We gave each of our group a small piece of paper and got them to write on it, what they struggled mostly with when it came to writing activities. After collecting in the pieces of paper we were able to categorise them into 3 main issues -
  • Planning (how to prepare and begin)
  • Repetition (repeating the same word over and over, and describing the same thing differently when there is no need to)
  • Structure (how would you go about writing what you need to say and in what order)
  • We then got them to stay in the same small groups and got them to solve these issues using a mind map. I found this to be successful as it got good interaction within the whole group, and got them to realise that they know the answers deep down. 
Next week we are covering time management, whether in the form of a diary or a timetable, as a lot of the first years feel they will benefit from this as their first unit deadline comes closer.



A small group of us had a quick meeting with Sally today regarding the new ISTD briefs. Even though I feel like I'm working non-stop at the moment, I'm really enjoying this 'new' me, and am looking forward to taking part in this. I haven't had a chance to look through the briefs properly yet, but from what I heard of them discussed in the meeting, they sound really exciting and something that I definitely want to take part in. With Sally being an examiner for ISTD as well, I need to make sure I keep in contact with her closely to determine that I produce a successful final piece.

I know it's all extra work but we have until March to complete this, but I do need to watch out as I'm sure these next few months are going to fly by. Will need to keep a steady grip on these briefs.


Our task it produce a complete rebrand of The Ink Rooms on Richmond Hill, adjoining onto the prestigious Print Rooms. Neil had mentioned this brief the other day, and it was something that really interested me. Today we had our first group meeting for this brief. At first it didn't seem that interesting, as they had decided on a new name of 'The Office', or 'Small Print'. These names I thought were pretty poor, I like the idea of 'The Ink Bar'.

As the meeting progressed, the group were throwing around some excellent ideas, not just for the the two name they had suggested but also some new names that we had come up with. This excited me and I looked forward to taking part in this brief even more. The only problem with this brief however is the timescale. We've only got 2 weeks to come up with a complete rebrand - logo, name, menus etc.

We've got a further meeting with Chloe who is the marketing manager for the bar, so we have been split into smaller groups to progress with the ideas that we currently have. I've been put into two groups to work on the ideas of The Ink Bar, and Just Off The Square.


After the relative success of our first PAL session I went into todays with a lot of confidence. As discussed last week with our group we went through PPRD and blogs. We gave our group our blog addresses and let each of them go on a Mac and read through our blogs to give them an idea of what they need to do for their PPRD. We then got all of them to set up a blog, so it is to hand if they did decide to take the blog path for their PPRD.

It was great to see that some already had set up a blog after hearing about it last week, and for these individuals we showed them how to customise it so it fitted their personality.

As well as blogs, we also brought in some of our own work from last year so the first years could maybe get to know us better through our design. Next week as a group they've decided they want to cover the theory unit, as they are all a bit confused!



Well its finally over and done with, our first PAL session. After all the training, it felt totally different to be stood their with a group of first years all looking up to you, waiting on what you have got in store for them. It was a slow start as we all found our feet, but after a couple of minutes we all got into our stride and the session went great.

We lightened the mood, and showed the first years that we're all human too by doing an icebreaker. It involved us having a celebrity written on a post-it note place on our heads, and with us having to answer questions to guess who it was. I failed miserably! Who thought Father Christmas was so hard to think of! Lewis and Dan both failed pretty poorly too, with Neil Armstrong and Dave Benson Phillips. But Lianne surprised us all by guessing (an easy celebrity) Katie 'Jordan' Price.

We then took the group through the basic concept of PAL, and then split them into 4 small groups of 3. We took this oppurtunity to speak to each of our class on more of an individual level and work out how their year had started and what issues they wanted to cover.

Next week we are covering PPRD, and also bringing in some of our work from the first year to show them.



Just been set our new brief for this unit. Our task is to produce a series of six innovative greetings cards; all of which must be part of a set and must be clearly indicative of one particular target audience.

During the Placement unit last year, one of the live briefs was to produce a couple of Christmas greeting cards for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. I found that I struggled quite a bit with it. But I'm determined to continue my good start to the year and produce a successful set.

We've got a new lecturer called Claire, who works in the greeting cards industry. She has cards present in shops such as Clintons, WH Smith and Asda. It was interesting listening to how this part of design works, and was also really helpful to see how she went from mood boards to her final design. She has given us a list of websites to have a look through to generate ideas, so I better get researching!


I thought I'd have a quick bash with one of the suggestions from the crit. This was having the pharmacy logo 'stamping' out the cigarette. Below is no where near a finished article with this suggestion but gives a good idea of the final design.

When I have a bit more time I will come back to some of the suggestions from the crit for the poster, so I have a professional finished article for the final hand in date.



The first critique of the new academic year. Overall it was very good feedback. Neil felt it was a good campaign, with a good, strong and simple design; which is easily understandable. It was felt though that it could do with a bit of playing around to make it the finished article. Improvements suggested were that - 
  • Need more clarification from the bottom text, maybe explain the campaign a bit further?
  • Could treat it as if the law has come into effect and it is a general public info advertisement.
Not major changes and merely suggestions, which is always a sign of a good piece of design. The general feeling was that it was nearly there, just needed wording slightly different. Was also suggested that the green crosses could be seen as looking positive, but I didn't agree with this as the Pharmacy symbol is world renowned. Another suggestion was to have the pharmacy symbol defeating and stamping out the cigarette, and I will look into this further. Overall I am really happy with the feedback from my first unit of the 2nd year.



We arranged a small critique between a group of about 8 of us. It was good to see how well everyones ideas had come forward and there was some really strong designs. I used my time in front of everyone to gain a general opinion on what they thought was a stronger poster, with or without a frame. A clear winner with 7 votes to 2 was the poster with the frame, and this is the poster I will take forward with me tomorrow to the final critique. One small suggestion was to make the warning label text slightly smaller to give a bit more white space. My final design is below -

Everyone really liked my design and this filled me with confidence ahead of tomorrow.


After deciding which route I was taking with the poster the designing on Illustrator came naturally. I first designed the symbols using basic illustrator shapes, and added the warning label.

It didn't look right, so I made the pharmacy symbols slightly smaller and added an extra one.

This I felt gave it more of a swirling smoke shape as there was more movement due to more symbols. Next was to add the Green Party slogan that I had come up with to go with the campaign - 'Britain's better without it, Britain's better with the Green Party'. Then I added the logo and tinkered around with the colour green, so it was easier on the eye, and also to fit in with the colour of The Green Party.

After lots of tinkering around to make sure everything was aligned, everything was the right size, and the addition of the I came up with the final design -

But I decided to take away the green frame to see what it looked like -

I'm now unsure which one I like best. We've arranged a small critique between us students in the next hour, so I guess I'll find out which one is the most popular then.


After our tutorial and realising that I had thought far too much about the final piece I took a step back and went back to the research side of things.

The first step was to research into what I had been recommended in the tutorial. I browsed through books such as Communicate and Shock in Advertising to get a better general feel of advertising and to gain a better understanding of smoking within advertising. Even though the smoking related advertising in the books, was all dealing with the anti smoking side of things it helped me realise that I didn't need to make my piece overly complicated. There are a lot of easily recognisable symbols to do with smoking and I should use these to my advantage.

The use of a symbol such as the cigarette symbol that is world wide recognised, would mean that I could stray away from my initial idea of a cigarette packet with a prescription label on it; that from afar may just look like an advertisement for a cigarette company (which is completely the opposite of what I want!). It also means that the could be viewed from from a distance and the viewer would be able to instantly pick up what it is about, without maybe reading the text.

I then started to look into Damien Hirsts' 'Pharmacy'. Even though it maybe didn't have a lot to do with the whole smoking side of things it did generate two big ideas. The first being the whole pharmacy side of things. I had already thought of using simple easy recognisable symbols, and the green cross of the pharmacy is another one I could use to my advantage, especially with the whole prescription idea of things. The second being the simple bold colours used in his installation. It really made it a striking piece of art, and I feel that a few or maybe even one bold colour would make the poster stand out from the crowd, making it eye catching.

After experimenting with a few ideas I decided to go down the symbol route, and produce the campaign for The Green Party.



The last two days have been rather long and also rather different to what I'm used to. I didn't know what to expect from the two workshop days, but by the end I learnt that choosing to be a PAL leader was definitely a good choice and I was excited for it all to begin properly.

Yesterday we were eased into the whole process. We were first told to pinpoint what our biggest fear about being a PAL leader was. Mine being that the first year students wouldn't respect my position. By the end of the day this fear had vanished though, as my confidence had grown and I felt much more relaxed about the whole affair. We were talked through the handbook, highlighting key points, and listening to others explain the sections that they had read further into. The main point I feel was that the reason of PAL was for it to be beneficial to the first years, and to get them to be active and think. In the afternoon we were split into groups and we had to complete a PAL session of our own. My group being given 'Stage Fright', which was to do with critiques and having to stand up in front of the class. We weren't given much time to plan, and it felt like we were being thrown a bit into the deep end. However when it came to it, I found that I was a bit of a natural (don't want to sound to big headed!). I don't know where it all came from but I was able to answer every question that came my way, however obscure it was. I felt a bit nervous at the start talking, with all eyes on me, every word being listened to. But this nervousness quickly disappeared and I enjoyed the interaction aspect.

Today was more of a wrapping up session than more training. We had to write reports of our PAL session from yesterday, and reflected on the workshop. We then had to decide what leaders we wanted to be in groups with. As I worked successfully with Dan yesterday it was a natural choice with him, as it was with Lianne as we are good mates and bounce off each other well. We were then required to write a plan of our first session. To wrap it all up we went over the fears that we had discussed yesterday, and it proved that the workshop had been a success as we all felt that we had overcome ours.



This morning we had our group tutorial for our new project. I found it to be very helpful, and it was a breath of fresh air to have my whole group talking and debating as I found at times last year this wasn't the case. I was the first to discuss my idea with the group and I had a mixed reaction. The general consensus was that I had thought to much about my final graphic/illustration and I needed to take a step back and to research a lot more and to think about the title Look Again / Think Again. But they all felt that my idea was very interesting and that I should build on it, as it would make an interesting campaign.

I needed to step away from the anti-smoking side of things as this has been done to death. Neil and the group felt my idea was strong but I needed a different stance. That stance maybe being a government campaign for a fringe party. The feeling was that the language and tone of voice was going to be the most important aspect of my poster. Neil went onto explain how he believed that shock tactics no longer worked. Yes in the 80s they worked, but now everyone seen it before. The same was with statistics. A quick Q&A with smokers in the group proved this, they didn't care how many people died etc. as it was their choice to smoke.

So I needed a new stance for my poster, and that was for it to be a public information campaign. It was to present my 'campaign', in such a way that explained pretty much everything on an A3 poster. It needs to have a catch to draw people in, such as a witty strap line or a striking image.

I was told to look into artists such as Damien Hirst and his 'Pharmacy', as well as into Government advertising. Neil also felt that it would be beneficial for myself to look at 1920s advertising in New York as well as more recent communication adverts. Books recommended ranged from Graphic Agitation to Smile in Mind to Shock in Advertising.

I feel excited to start this brief properly, and can't wait to jump into the research and generate ideas.



One last thing today is that I found out that I had been successful with my application to become a PAL leader. I am really glad to be given the opportunity and responsibility, and look forward to the training next week. In total there are 11 of us, 3 being assigned to each of the 3 PAL groups with the remaining 2 being given the responsibility to float around all the groups helping where they can, and covering if any absences occur. We will find out our groups and PAL leader teams after the training has occurred.


Today we were given our new unit - Visual Communication in Context 2. As with our first unit last year this unit is split into a series of tasks. Task 1 being Look Again / Think Again.

Our task was to produce an A3 poster either -
Choosing a social issue that in our opinion has been over looked and needs addressing
Or, choosing an object that carries values that go beyond its intended purpose or everyday use; it may evoke certain memories or feelings that give the object a sentimental significance.
Unfortunately I see myself as a bit of a nomad. There's nothing really that sentimental in my life, that I feel carries values beyond its intended purpose. Rather sad I know! So it looked like I had to go for option 1.

At first I was pretty bamboozled. Surely if I knew of a social issue then it couldn't have really been overlooked, as it would have been brought to my attention. I produced a brainstorm listing issues that I knew about. Things such as racism, drugs, religion, drinking all popped into my head. However one did stand out - Smoking.

Yes the issue has been raised. There have been smoking bans in all enclosed spaces such as work and pubs. But even though we all now know of the dangers it has to us and the others around us there are still teenagers and even younger starting it up every day. Why? Because they have the choice to do so. Maybe because of peer pressure, or maybe to look cool. Who knows. I strongly believe they shouldn't have the choice. It should I feel personally be completely got rid of. But then there's the problem of all the addicted.

Another way round it would be to phase it out. Stop letting people start it up, so eventually it would die out. The only way to do this would to be to stop selling it in shops. Make it be like a prescription, where you would have to prove that you are already a smoker, and then you are only allowed a certain amount a week (that you would still have to buy) so you could not pass on your spares. Then their 'prescription' could be cut down, eventually helping them to quit completely.

I had a quick brainstorm, thinking about maybe just having a packet of fags with a prescription label on it, and having the typography follow a swirling smoke shape. Maybe a slogan "Don't give them the choice". All pretty basic ideas, but would it be hard hitting like all the anti-smoking campaigns we know? I decided to have a quick chat with Neil, who said that I should think of it as a political campaign. It needs to be a persuasive argument. One example he gave was that of the Conservative campaign against Labour.

A simple hard hitting design using statistics, that won the Conservatives the election. I then started to research into existing anti smoking campaigns. Whilst flicking through the book 'Creative Advertising' I came across this anti smoking poster -

A very simple design, with a very strong statistic linking in with the image. Tomorrow I have a group discussion of our ideas so far with Neil, so tonight I will be doing more research into previous campaigns and smoking statistics, jotting down any ideas I may have on the way.



Well day one of Year 2 has been and passed. I now go to a 'university', but everything seemed the same. Well everything except for me. Unlike last year I went in with a different attitude. I went in full of motivation and excitement, without a hangover. I know the university life now, I'm used to it. I'm used to my freedom, but I now need to give my mind the freedom to create.

It was a usual first day back. Catching up with mates, a welcome back from the tutors, enrollment and our first brief - PPRD 2. This was the unit I failed last year. Something that cannot be repeated again this year. The aim for this brief is to make us employable and/or ready for the third year. Something that did stick out from the Neil's talk though was the need for us to create an identity. Its all well and good for us to pass with flying colours, but if we're not unique we aren't going to be able to get the jobs we dream of as there will be someone else out there.

We also need to build up a reputation for ourselves. Get our names and work out there. Build up a network of contacts. The way to do this is through live competition briefs such as D&AD and ISTD. Neil stressed this point, and it stuck in my head. I shied away from such briefs last year, just focusing on the work set in class.

We've already been emailed a number of briefs, ranging from t-shirt and hoody design to logo design. One brief that has caught my eye however is a competition run by Don't Panic to create your own New Era cap [link]. As a fan of New Era caps this is an exciting competition for myself, and something I look forward to starting.

During our PPRD unit we are required to -
- complete a progress file which you are viewing :)
- enter competition and live briefs
- prepare out portfolios and CVs
- and prepare for our end of year show.

Lastly on our first day the PAL leader nominees all gathered together to discuss this years PAL sessions with Kit and to write why we would make a good PAL leader. Becoming a PAL leader is something that excites me as I feel the responsibility would be very beneficial for myself, and I feel that my experiences from last year would be good for the first years. We are to find out if we were successful in applying to be a PAL leader shortly. I will keep you posted, fingers crossed!