GTV – Glyndwr TV     03/02/2011

We were given a brief to create an identity for the new Glyndwr TV online website. Which would be a way for Glyndwr to interact with Wrexham and interact with the different people of Wrexham, including Youth Groups and different areas that involve the community. We were briefed on the whole GTV concept and we had to think about what ideas we had for the identity of the GTV concept. I was really looking forward to it because I have waited for a branding brief since starting the Graphic Design course. It’s what I am really interested in and I am looking forward to digging my teeth in and getting my ideas out.


(Image rights belong to the designer/ ownder and the file hosting website

Image rights belong to the designer/owner and of Shell, and the file hosting website

image rights belong to the designer and to ESPN, and the file hosting website

I began by doing some initial research on corporate logos and identities that really stuck out in my mind, as strong corporate identities that worked really well. I felt that this brief would be a good chance for me to let myself go without restrictions and really bend the rules of typography and legibility. This is something I enjoy doing because I feel I can have more fun and be more experimental. One thing I really liked about my initial ideas was that working in only Black and White I was able to establish a focus on balance and legibility of the logo. Also I could see what the legibility of the logo scaled down was like. I also felt that starting with the logo could be the seed that affects the whole of the identity, finding that one element that makes it look unique could inspire me to create a series of designs in relation to the logo.

the  3 images above and their content belong to me and are my own work. © copyright

Today we were briefed in person by the Woman who was directing the GTV project and she gave us the important information that was needed, and what she felt were the most important elements that were essential to the branding of GTV. ‘Integrate, Inspire, Illuminate and Inform’, these are the main factors that the creators of GTV feel are most important. Sally said that incorporating these factors was essential and really define what GTV is about, and the kind of message they want to portray in there identity. I felt that Sally was brief and direct on what she wanted, I also felt that the GTV identity was pretty straight forward but a lot of work to do in a short time. However I am really looking forward to the challenge, and I get to look into web design and interactive design, which is something I would like to look into more as I have hardly any experience with animation design.

Reflection: 4/01/11

Today we watched a video talk by Erik Spiekermann on Branding. I really liked this talk because Erik gave an example of the TCHO chocolate that himself and his company branded.

image rights belong to the designer ERIK SPIEKERMANN and the file hosting website

image rights belong to ERIK SPEIKERMANN and the file hosting website

image rights belong to ERIK SPEIKERMANN and the file hosting website

Erik spoke about how do you research a brand? for me personally, I find it difficult to find that one ‘hook’ to then carry an idea forward. Especially for branding. I have found in my research that even well known international commercial brands such as Starbucks are not really that legible. I felt that from the feedback I have already received on my initial ideas and roughs, that I am expected to create something truly spectacular and amazing that works 360 degrees. However from my research I have found that in the real world of design personality is more important than legibility. Even big brand logos are not spectacular or necessarily work 360 degrees or reduced down in size. Some are well designed, but are very simple and this is a trend I have noticed quite regularly. Erik Speikermann was talking about how personality talks a lot louder than identity, and I agree to a certain extent. I feel that a brand has to be unique and simple but also have that essential element that people remember instantly when they see it.

Liz talked to us about how Identity can work in different concepts, for example the Intel Core Duo Processor ad called Intel Inside, on TV it has a recognizable audio that is instantly identifiable as Intel Inside.

This advert is a perfect example of how branding can work by using an audio as its identity, maybe I could do something similar maybe, I need to investigate these possibilities as I start to build up my brand for GTV. We then did an exercise where we had to create a Lonely Hearts ad for GTV but using Glyndwr as the name used in the ad. The ad had to contain the main qualities we felt were what made Glyndwr unique. My ad was : “I am Glyndwr I aim to be inspiring and practical. I push myself forward to achieve the best quality I can. I am unique and fresh with a pride for being different. I try my best to be sophisticated but also free spirited. To be individual, but also strong willed and ready for any challenge.” If i am being honest i didn’t feel I gained any ‘hooks’ from that exercise that would give me my branding concept. However I felt it was a good exercise to start thinking about what Glyndwr really represents and how I as a student feel are its defining qualities. I feel that I need to incorporate more of the Universities identity into the roughs and try and create a unique balance on how I am going to make the brand work 360 degrees.

09/02/11                                     post 1:32pm – Adam Cooke “One thing we really need is consultation time.”

Adam was explaining that as a studio we need to collectively share our thoughts and ideas, because something might just spark or generate a new idea to experiment with. Adam was also saying that Sally, who commissioned the branding of GTV doesn’t understand the branding side of Identity. I agree because its a specialist area. I feel that its something designers understand better than other people because we see thing visually and like things to communicate visually rather than logically. For instance writing the word Go, to people who are not designers the word Go may suit its purpose. But visually its not stimulating and thus not creating an emotional response from the observer. Now when a designer can manipulate and create a legible design, colour and also imagery and typography would help make Go more legible. For example accompanying an arrow with the type gives a sense of movement and direction, and using colour’s like green and yellow give us a subconscious sense of movement.

I feel that this could be an important factor in seeing how legible my identity is. Adam also said that we must break down the brief and only look at the essential elements to help make the process to creating the brand much stronger. 1. Communication, 2. Approach 3. Deadlines 4. Branding 5. Developing ideas. From my research I have discovered that branding is hard to keep ‘Fresh’, we began to ask ourselves how is a brand kept fresh and up to date? We found that a lot of corporate logos and identities are re-branded, and different elements are changed, such as scale, shape, colour and imagery. A good example is the BP logo, it changed in order to look more environmentally friendly. However I don’t feel it has been successful, because people have began to understand more about re-branding and why its done. It’s also obvious to look at the old and the new logo and understand why it has been changed, because of the imagery. The new logo is green and has a flower image, where as the old logo is bold and corporate with the type set against a shield shaped image.

image rights belong to the owner and designer and BP, the file hosting website

image rights belong to BP and the designer, and the file hosting website

Progress   09/02/11

Today Adam gave us a talk, we needed to think about making a decision on an name, and think about polishing up the brand to then start applying it for the client. Sally and her students are due to come in to the studio next week and I want to finalize the name and brand by then. I had to think outside the box and push  designs further if I wanted to strengthen the brand. First of all I felt I needed to change the name, GTV is just too plain and boring. I was speaking to Pauline after showing her my designs and she agreed. My designs were very ‘cliche’, and I felt my designs needed to evolve and become stronger. I changed the name to ‘Inspire’ and I did some initial designs, but again the designs didn’t suit the personality of Glyndwr. I needed to push myself more to find a concept idea that would speak visually about what Glyndwr is. I did a new Mind map for possible names for Glyndwr TV. The name that spoke to me the most was ‘Voiced’. I did some initial designs and really liked the effect, because I gave the type a steady incline from the letter V to D. But, I talked to Liz and she said that Voiced, didn’t communicate as well as Voice would. I explained that I used Voiced because I wanted to create an aspect where people would see it and know it was about people voicing there thoughts and opinions, and it was collective, instead of being one person. However she felt that my designs communicated quite well in aspect of the type growing like as if its a megaphone or being shouted out of someones mouth.

the 5 images above and their content belong to me and are my own work. © copyright

Post  –  1:52am       13/02/11

Worked on visuals tonight, but I need to refine them more. I applied my roughs to Illustrator and began to design my logo, and experiment with colour. I came up with 2 visuals to show to the client. I feel very confident that they communicate well and are legible. I scaled the 2 examples right down, along with others to check legibility. I found that tone works better in mono, and black against mid-tone causes a blur effect of the type when it’s scaled down. However keeping the mid tone strong helps to bring out the typography.

LONDON TRIP 20th – 22nd February 2011

I was really looking forward to the trip, I had never been to London before and I was very keen to experience the flow of everyday life in the energy of London city center. I was also really interested in looking at the speakers who were giving presentations at the conference, because id already seen the work of Paul Davis especially and David Hillman. On arrival to the conference hall at the Odeon theater in Leicester Square we were given a warm welcome by Patrick Baglee. I thought Patrick was a warm character who had a genuine interest in peoples questions and feelings about the industry. I was interested to read that Mr Baglee was the director of creative strategy at Navy Blue. I had no clue of what that level in the company entitled Mr Baglee to do but it was very interesting to hear his opinion of the industry.

image rights belong to Paul Davis and the file hosting website

The first presenter to talk was Paul Davis. Who was an illustrator who has worked all around the world. What surprised me the most was the quality of Paul’s work. He wasn’t an amazing Illustrator I believe he knew that himself. However I feel he knew how to visualize the world around him in its most raw and natural form. He exposed the embarrassing truth about political people or looked for strange and bizzare little quotes that make people of modern society.He seemed like a really sociable guy who didn’t present so formally. He was really easy to listen to and understand cos he portrayed himself as just an average guy who was just documenting the things he found interesting in his everyday life. I could really relate to this because life is random, and he said to just draw everything and everything, no matter how good your drawing skills. He said he would always carry a drawing pad around with him. This was a technique adopted by other famous designers I have looked up to, like Abram Games and Alan Fletcher. I felt that Paul was a very interesting person and he had some fantastic qualities and knowledge of the industry.

the work above belongs to the illustrator Paul Davis, I claim no ownership of any kind, rights belong to the file hosting site also http://www.papercutsandpencilshavings.blogspot

The second presenter to present was David Hillman who was an editorial designer, who had worked on some very prestigious magazines and had also worked for Pentagram in partnership with people like Alan Fletcher. Alan had done design work for The Guardian Newspaper, and engaged in such activities like re-branding the newspaper and experimenting with layout. He also did a lot of work for Nova magazine and worked on a whole host of pieces for clients for many years. I felt that even though his presentation was a lot more formal than Paul’s, he had a big wealth of knowledge that was to be admired and listened to. I felt that this mans careers was to be respected as a man who has been around a lot of areas of the business. image rights belong to the photographer and David Hillman, and also the file hosting website

image rights belong to David Hillman and NOVA magazine, and also the file hosting site

image rights belong to David Hillman and NOVA magazine and also the file hosting website

I really liked the look of Nova magazine, it seemed very unsophisticated and a real peoples magazine. It would be interesting to read a copy and look at the grid structures and layouts and use of typography used in the magazine. For a successful magazine it would make good referencing and research for my design projects. Overall I thought that Davids advice on the industry was very interesting and helpful. He explained that you have to put yourself out there and work hard to make things work. He described the industry as extremely overworked and underpaid, and you have to be very self motivated to do good work. He also had the philosophy that the day he wakes and doesn’t want to go to the office anymore he will leave the industry, he explained that to be a designer, you have to really want to do the work and become passionate and inspired to work hard everyday of our working lives.

LONDON (Day 1)                  21/02/11Post 10:00pm

I am really enjoying London so far, I can really visualize myself working in the place. The energy and flow of the city are really not what I expected. It is definitely a place that is full of energy and constantly alive, and a lot different to life back home. I visited a few museums today including The Imperial War Museum in Lambeth. I thought it was a very historical building holding a lot of memorabilia from The First World War onwards, including Tanks and Spitfires hanging from the ceiling and bombs. They also had a car that had exploded in Baghdad, I thought this was really impressive and emotive. What I really looked forward to was looking at the war and Propaganda posters from World War 2, I needed to look at and document them for my Dissertation research. I was really impressed by the vast number I saw.

I claim that i own the photographs above, the content is owned by The Imperial War Museum LONDON

It was a great experience to explore London City Center. Me and Adam then visited The Film Museum which was located right on The River Thames next to the London Eye. The building contained a lot of film Memorabilia including actual film costumes and props used in the actual films. I was very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. After a long day I am glad to be back at the Hostel, time to relax before the big day tomorrow at the 4 Designers Conference.

LONDON (Day 2)         22/02/11 – Post 10:00pm

Today was an interesting day at the conference but I felt really ill, I woke up with bad back ache but just thought I had walked too far the day before and needed to rest. But i got on with the morning and made my way to the conference.

Once again we arrived at the Odeon Building in Leicester Square, and were given another warm welcome by Patrick Baglee who gave a quick word about the speakers Paul Davis and David Hillman the day before. The first speaker was Tim Mitchell who was a creative mind who’s job was to help creative people to understand their unique skills, and to guide them to finding the right job for them. Tim’s speech was short but, I felt that it wasn’t that interesting. But as a person he seemed very passionate about helping people, which I thought was fantastic because I feel I need some guidance. Even though I am a confident creative I don’t have much knowledge about the industry and what I need to get a job. But i hope to build upon this in the next 2 years before I leave university.

The next speaker to give a talk was Jack Renwick from the Partners Design Agency. I found Jacks speech to be very enlightening and helpful. She was very specific and direct on what she expected as a potential employer of Junior Designers entering industry. She explained how to present yourself and what are the essentials of your portfolio, and the kind of this employers look for. This was very interesting because I knew it would be a situation I would be facing in the near future. I really liked Jack she had this idea that without being self motivated and being up for the challenge you will have a short design career. She explained it was a very underpaid industry for the amount of work it takes to become a successful well known Graphic Designer. As shocking and hard as it was I felt this was very pure, truthful and firsthand advice that I could take on board as student of visual creativity, I want to learn and I am hungry for the next challenge.

image rights belong to the designer and owner and the file hosting site

the image rights belong to the photographer and Jack Renwick, and also the file hosting website

Jack also talked about the D&AD which is a prestigious awarding body that look for new and upcoming creatives to give awards to and give designers the public recognition they deserve for there hard work. Created by a number of famous creatives, one being Alan Fletcher, Jack explained it was a huge honor in her professional career to receive a D&AD pencil. The D&AD pencil is an award given to outstanding works of art produced by people all over the world for their attributes and work that is inputted into the creative industry. Jack received her first D&AD award in 1998 as a student at Jordanstone College of Art. I now see the amount of work it takes to become a successful designer in an under recognized industry.

image rights belong to the owner and file hosting website

the image above belongs to the photographer and the file hosting website, i do not own any rights.


The last speaker to speak was called Tom Roope. Tom is a well known person in the creative industry, and has worked for ‘Tomato’ and is well known for his works in multimedia and design. He is well educated in Film, video and photography. It was really interesting hearing about his work for Tomato and the looking at the interactive projects he headed and was involved with. Interactive is a discipline that I am not that confident with, I sometimes look at the work of people like Tom and other big interactive people and think “that must have taken so much time to make”. I can honestly say some of the work produced by these people is incredibly and inspiring. Tom showed us a project that was used to campaign Xbox, and it featured Lilly Allen singing ‘The Fear’. But it was special because, they got 2000 people to film themselves singing their version of the song and send it to Tom and his team. They then compiled the footage to create a 2000 sing along which contributed to Lilly’s version of the song and all were compiled on one piece with Lilly’s image over all the videos. Then as the video played the screen would zoom into an individual video and you’d see peoples videos. It was really spectacular and inspiring to see.

It is an incredible achievement to have done. It made Tom a little emotional to watch it back as he presented it, and i could really understand why, it was an incredible piece of work, and he explained how much of a nightmare it was to make. But, I could really see how passionate he was about his work and his achievements, he was really inspiring. I was even more impressed by tome client list which consisted of: Sony, Underworld, V&A, Massive Attack, Levi’s, Guinness, MTV, Nike, Coca Cola, McLaren F1 and very recently Bon Jovi. He really is an inspiring figure, and as far as I am concerned made the trip worth while. I really enjoyed my time in London even though I got ill, I really felt honored to hear fantastic advice from such inspiring figures. I felt that I gained a wealth of information form the 4 designers that gave talks to us, and I felt very privileged to experienced first hand advice from people who have experienced the industry i am working towards. I know I have a lot to learn, and a lot of experiences ahead of me, but I feel that getting as much exposure as possible to industry, because these are the kinds of people I am going to be working with. It has also made me more confident to look and contact businesses about work and to inquire about what it is the industry requires from me. It is a fantastic experience and I will definitely be attending next year.

DEVELOPMENT       28/02/11              post 8:00pm

So far I am very happy with my the GTV project. I am very glad to have found a solution, I had to make some decisions and try and conclude my roughs and put my ideas into production. I decided on a final logo idea after some tester sheets. I experimented with colour and typography, and I decided on the name Voice as my name for Glyndwr TV. However it would be interesting to see how the designs would work in Cymraeg, and to decide to change the designs to a welsh version from the English or to create a similar designs in relative to the English version. However I feel I need to consult the client before I do this because the client has not seen my initial designs for Voice. I have changed the name so I need to see how Sally and her students feel about the name and if they feel it works. I myself feel it works very well in relation to its concept, and at the next stage I need to integrate the 4 I’s, which Sally was adamant was an essential in the identity, because it really represented what Glyndwr TV was about.

POST – 1/03/11           11:40


This morning we conferred with Adam about our current development in the GTV project. I really felt I had come a long way in the project, but I felt a little apprehensive about the next stage. Taking my designs to web was something I wasn’t too confident about, because it is an area I don’t have a lot of experience with as a designer. It very technical and uses code, and it reminds me of a web project I did in Yale College where we had to build a website in Flash and it had to be animated. However Adam said it better for us to create the website in Word Press, which gives me some relief but I am still apprehensive about animation. Adam gave us a list of the key things we need to think about when designing our layouts for the web pages. Identity, Layout, Colour, Links, Navigation, Hierarchy, Sound, Motion, Vimeo. He also asked us to look at Flexible Layouts, Plugins, Twitter Feeds, Comment features, Open or Closed site Functionality, Advertisements, Google Syndication and Analytics. There are other important factors including Meta Data and tags, and also typography and other limitations. Adam also gave us some useful information to look at and also For thursday Adam wanted us to produce the layouts for our websites, so today I need to produce a set of roughs for each web page of the website, and I need to look at the problems and limitations of taking those designs to screen.

Image rights belong to the designer and owner of Vimeo, I do not claim any ownership, rights also belong to the file hosting website

The first site I looked at for my research of web pages was Vimeo. I really liked the build of the site it was very broad and bold. It was very easy to navigate and everything was very clear and legible. I was thinking of using this style on my web pages, keeping it bold but simple and not clutter the page with links and useless information. I need the website to be as clear as possible and try and give it an over all feel of unique personality and identity. From my work on paper and on screen in building the identity, I am very confident that its going to look very modern and professional when it comes to building it for the web.

I first noticed that BBC IPlayer had the same colour scheme as the identity I designed for Glyndwr TV. I was thinking maybe I could do something similar in my designs of the web page. I found it really easy to navigate IPlayer, and everything was structured and not cluttered. I feel that the contents of the website is the most important in terms of what can function. But, I feel that the identity of the site is what is going to give it that extra edge and personality. For example the twitter home page is one website that stands out in my mind as a site that has simple and clean functionality and a very unique identity.

I liked this website I found on design inspire, its called I thought that it was simple and direct on what can help you structure on your designs and structuring typography. However I preferred its content to it’s structure, and I feel I need to find a website that is structured how I can visualize mine.

I liked the style of this website, its content was irrelevant when I first saw it because, its layout was really strong and the colours used were very good. I liked the contrast between the pink against the black, I think this could work well. If my roughs and sketches are strong I feel I could create an interesting concept within the tones of dark and pink maybe?

Then again this website has the nice contrast of medium against white which gives an interesting clean cut effect of the website. However personally I like the websites with darker backgrounds, I just feel they look more powerful against a colour like pink, which my identity for Voice is consisted of. However it would be good to experiment with tonal values and colours when I take my roughs digital. I wanted to make Voice unique, and not too corporate in terms of its style. I think modern and fresh is a good way to represent ‘Voice’, similar to the website above.

I thought that this website page was very interesting, it has a nice contrast between the red and the white, creating a balance. I could possibly create something similar to this for my work. Possibly look at typefaces and similar grid systems to create a good website layout.

03/03/11 – post 8:45pm                   FEEDBACK FROM THE CLIENT

After finalizing some of my web page mock ups in Photoshop, I began to build up my boards ready for the client Sally. Once the Client Sally and her student observed every ones work we were given feedback. However I felt the feedback we were given was unreliable. Sally was over whelmed by the amount of work we had produced and how much we had pushed our designs. But I felt the vibe that she did not know who’s design to pick because, it seemed that she didn’t know what she wanted her self. However I do feel the whole studio worked very professionally and produced some of their best work. Myself personally I think  I could have experimented more with colour. Both Sally and other tutors who helped advise me on my work said, that the colour pink seemed a bit ‘retro’ in perspective with the black I was using. However I felt that it worked quite well, and I tried to explain colours are not just slapped together because they look nice. Certain decisions were made, and I experimented during the rough stages and applying to screen. I made a conscious decision on what I felt worked as a design.

I feel that we were not able to sell our ideas and explain our concepts. Sally was brought in and we were asked to leave the room while she observed our visuals which were on the wall. I feel in the real world in a design-client situation, it would have been more professional and maybe more effective if were able to each talk to Sally one on one and explain our concepts and conscious decisions, and then maybe she would have been able to understand it better and maybe make a choice. However on the other hand, does this problem lay in my design itself, because I feel my job as a visual communicator is to express my concept as legibly as I can. It must be understood and digested within the first few seconds of glance by the observer, and it must ‘speak’ what I feel people are going to understand. However on the positive side, Sally did like the name I had used, ‘Voice’. I really feel it communicates Sally’s thoughts about GTV very well. Its kinetic, energetic, communal, vocal, expressive, loud and I feel it works well. I feel I just need to experiment just a little bit more with colour and my logo. I feel this will be a positive experience, because I will be able to look back at my earlier designs and know that my decisions to push my logo further will benefit the brand as a whole.

4/03/11  post 10:00pm                    REFLECTION AND PDP RESEARCH SESSION

Today Liz gave us a set of questions about how much we know about the area of field of design we want to go into, and it really made me thing “how much of do I really know about the area I want to work in?” It really made me realize that I need to motivate myself and research these things. I need to familiarize myself with companies and visit a some to get an understanding of how the business works and what titles and roles there are out there for junior designers like myself. It would really benefit myself and my PDP to start looking into this before the 3rd year of my degree. The earlier I do it the less pressure ill take off myself later in the year. I feel it will also benefit me knowing about the industry I’m going into, and it will help build up my confidence talking to new people and being in new places.

Liz’s session also made me think about what skills I have and what I am less confident and weaker at. For example I feel less confident with Motion and on screen animation. The thought of using Adobe Flash makes me panic and worry about getting the job done, because its such a difficult program for me to understand. I feel a bit more confident with Adobe After Effects but still, it is not something I know very well. Ideally Id like to build upon these skills over the summer, it would benefit me greatly. I feel this is important because when I start going for interviews for jobs, I would like to be skilled in a variety of areas. It is something I want to try and tackle this year and I know I can master it if I try.

POST – 06/03/11     11:50pm   THE PARTNERS – BRANDING AGENCY

Today I was interested in looking into The Partners design agency. I thought it would be useful because of their standing in the design industry. I really liked the talk from Jack Renwick and I’m looking forward to the talk from Greg Quinton. It will be interesting to hear about his experiences in the industry and I hope to take something away from the lecture too.


Day 1 – 7th March 2011


To start off the creative futures week, we were given a talk by a man from creative industries. He made some interesting points which I picked up on and found very useful. He said “There are no formal barriers in the creative industries than there are in more traditional jobs like accounting”. I feel that this this really takes the weight off when it comes to look for a job. I realized that there is a much bigger collection of creative jobs in Britain, and the industry is very competitive. But I feel this is a great place to be, I want to ‘work’, and break my way through the barrier that will come across my path in the near future. I am always ready for the next big challenge. I also learned that Britain is leading the way in creative production, the bulk of creative jobs in Europe are in Britain. I really feel I am in a great position to nourish myself with creative knowledge and design. To experience the industry around me and dip my toes into other creative areas, as well as graphic design.

11:00 – 12:30          BARRY PURVES

image rights belong to the owner and photographer, and the file hosting website

I had never heard of Barry prior to the lecture but I was impressed by his achievements and input to the creative industry. Barry is a BAFTA and OSCAR winning film director, and he has produced many television series including Wind in The Willows and Bob The Builder, and has worked on feature films such as Mars Attacks, and worked on the CGI in the movie King Kong. But I think, and it was clear from his lecture and his work, he was better known for his work in 3D animation, and puppets. I found Barry’s lecture very inspiring, because I could tell he was a creative mind. He sounded very passionate about the work he had achieved with the puppet films and they were very impressive. I feel that as a designer, Barry’s words have encouraged me to become more involved in animation and to embrace it as a creative outlet, that bring things to life. Barry was very clear that what give him pleasure from his work is seeing the interaction between human and puppet, and making scenes look as natural as possible using light and shadow to create atmosphere. Animation is an area I feel I fall flat, because I don’t have a lot of experience in it and I feel slightly intimidated by its complexity. Especially when it comes to digital animation, it seems like an impossible task with a variety of obstacles. However on paper I excel, and taking images onto screen and manipulating and designing is my strong suit. It’s what I’m passionate about and I want to work in that area.

3:00 – 4:00pm HARRIET BUCKLEY

Harriet gave us a lecture on structuring your portfolio and CV, and also how to present yourself at an interview. I have noticed that the speakers I have listened to have explained what they expect from a person getting interviewed. But, I thought, how can I be expected to be all these things? and I realized that I don’t have to be. I am a friendly and helpful person, and I don’t need to try and please everyone in everything. I am an individual and I will be selling myself as well as my work when it comes to my interview. I can’t try and be someone I’m not just to try and impress potential employers, and I’m sure they’ll see that, and I am passionate about my work and I know its of a good quality.

However Harriet mentioned that to be persistent and passionate is all you need to impress a client, and being over excited or too quiet is a put off for potential employers. But being attentive and helpful is a real positive in an interview or placement, and ask questions and ‘learn’. I feel this is good advice, its not to be intimidated by professional people, but to try and learn and become confident in a working environment. I personally find it hard to talk to people in a room full of people, but when it comes one to one I can express my thoughts and opinions very well, and I feel in a better position to ask questions that are relevant to me. Even though Harriet was an Animator by discipline, I found her lecture very useful in terms of her knowledge of interviews and portfolio preparation.

POST        8/03/11              (11:30 – 12:30am)  DAVID BARRACLOUGH – Barraclough Associates

the image above is the work of David Barraclough of Barraclough Associates, I claim no ownership of the work or its contents

I was really interesting in David’s presentation. I was familiar with the work he had done and I was keen to hear about his opinion on the design industry and specifically branding, because it is an area I am really interested in and would like to go into. David’s showed us some examples of his portfolio on screen and I was very impressed with his style of work. Very minimal but simple and direct. The iconic maximum meaning in the simplest form possible, so it is clear and legible as possible. David had done a range of works for a range of clients, including London Zoo, Artisan Wines, Odd Fellows and Brazen. I felt like a sponge, this was a person who had experience in the design field and particularly in the area I would like to work. David gave us some advice on portfolio preparation and the best ways to contact companies for work or placements. I noticed that most of speakers didn’t like the idea of big A2 portfolio files in interviews or being sent big PDF files, or anything too formal. I think the best way to present my portfolio is in an A4 – A3 sized folder containing prints of my best pieces of work that relate to the job I would like to work in.

the image above is the work of David Barraclough of Barraclough Associates, I claim no ownership of the work or its contents

David also recommended doing your research on a company before you go for an interview, its is very important to understand what the company does before you have your interview, a good way to impress your employer is to make references to the work they had done in a positive way. I felt that David was full of interesting and very helpful tips, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the guy because he has been there and got the T-shirt so to speak. He understands the design industry and how it works. It would be very interesting to contact David and have a talk about what he does, and how he feel about his job and what he gets out of it. I will also be sending him a PDF of my currant project and ask for his opinion is on it. Overall though I was very impressed with his presentation.

POST 12:40pm           Talk with Anita Harwood

After coming out of the David Barraclough lecture I sat outside the Glyndwr Cafe and I coincidentally I started talking to freelance graphic designer Anita Harwood. Anita began to introduce herself and I soon realized that she had done the same course as me at NEWI 13 years ago, as a student coming from Liverpool to do a National Diploma in Graphic Design. I was surprised, and I began to ask her questions about what she did. Anita explained that she was a freelance designer, but she started at a company called Splinter. I took the opportunity to ask her more questions and I began talking about my currant projects and the main project I was involved in, GTV. I was very eager to show her my best pieces of work and get some professional feedback. I had been asked by Pauline to meet her at 1:30, and I was due to talk to Anita in the afternoon. So it was really nice to get to meet her before the feedback session. I really liked her she seemed like a nice, friendly person, which made it easy to talk to her informally.

The image above and it’s contents is owned by, I claim no ownership of any kind

The image above and it’s contents is owned by, I claim no ownership of any kind

POST 3:30PM                                                               ANITA HARWOOD FEEDBACK SESSION

The 2 projects that I brought in to show Anita, was my currant GTV live project, and my NWSAD Collective Layout project. I was confident that she would like my designs, because I worked very hard on both projects and I am pleased with what I have produced. Anita was very impressed with my thought process, she said it was very clear where my ideas have come from and how I have developed them. Anita first looked at my GTV project and I explained about the clients feedback and my thoughts and explained what decisions I made. Anita picked upon the positives of my work and explained what could be changed and what didn’t work so well. Overall she really liked my ‘Voice’ brand for GTV and I was very pleased.

I then showed her my NWSAD layout project. Anita was impressed with my final layout, which consisted of a front and back cover, a contents page and a double page spread. She said it looked very professional and looked very impressive. I was pleased because it was a project I was very confident with and got a good mark for at assessment. I got a 1st for that project and that why I chose it to show Anita. She also said that I seem to have a good outlook on my work, and I understand how to put my ideas into practice. Overall I was very happy to have gotten the opportunity to meet Anita, she seemed like a lovely person, and I am very thankful for her feedback, helpful advice and kind words.


After the feedback session I began to experiment with the colour of the identity of Voice. I chose a Moderate sky blue for the identity and I also experimented with tone and brightness of the blue to find the right balance so it wasn’t too deep. I wanted it to contrast well with the black I also used. I then thought that Sally wanted GTV to contrast with its Welsh theme as well as English. I thought this was an interesting avenue to try some experimentation, and I thought that if I looked the correct Welsh translation of the word Voice, I could start doing some initial designs for the Welsh Voice identity. I wanted to keep the two logos as similar as possible apart from the colour and obviously the language. The welsh translation of ‘Voice’ is ‘LLais’. I thought hey this is a nice short, and simple word, it could work well in a similar way to the Voice logo. I began some experimentation in Photoshop and was very pleased with how it looked. I thought a nice deep, bright red would help reflect the Welsh culture in the logo, and again the red balances well against a deep black in the identity. I applied the logo different pieces I had done for ‘Voice’, but I just changed the colours and the language and compiled a board ready to be printed in Photoshop.

I feel the Welsh and English Boards contrast well and you can tell they are both part of the same identity, but just varied in terms of colour and language. It’s almost like a complete package. I dread to think what Sally makes of my new designs, but me personally I really like the style of them and they will look fantastic for my development work, and a good piece to my portfolio. However the ball is in Sally’s court, and she is the client. I have made conscious decisions in the best interest of Voice, and I am going to stick by those choices and defend them. This is not a one man job, it is Sally’s decision to choose who’s work she feel best represents Glyndwr.

POST – 10:37PM     10/03/11

Last night I emailed, Anita Harwood a PDF of a board I had produced for GTV, I had changed the colour to a lighter tone of blue, and compiled to website examples, 2 business cards, 2 logo variables and 1 leaflet onto an A3 board. She said it was really good, and was impressed by how it had improved. I think this is a positive thing, and I should start doing it a lot more. Emailing my work to designers and companies and getting some professional feedback and guidance to help better my skills. I feel much more professional and confident when I’m discussing my work with professionals, I can really express what choices I have made and It’s is nice hearing from professionals giving me their personal opinion, which will help benefit me in the long run.

Sid Madge Talk – BRANDING         10/03/11

(image rights belong to the photographer and Sid Madge, I do not claim any ownership of any kind)

Sid Madge is a graphic designer who works for a company called Mad Hen. I was very interested in hearing Sid’s talk because he is a specialized designer in branding which is an area I’d like to go into. Sid asked the question “What is branding?” and “How do we recognize them?” – recognition and recall. Sid also talked about how colour, form, shape and sound. I really think this is a constructive and professional way to look at how branding works. I think these are the principles and the elements that make a brand. The way we see colour and the way we sense our visual world is vital to how we feel. As with all visual things, I believe it provokes emotion subconsciously, and also how we feel about something. I feel that in branding the way we feel about a certain brand is a big factor in how we decide what to choose, and what defines one brand more than another. Sid also asked “are brands just purely visual?” I believe that brands are visual, but I also feel they define what that company or business is, how they treat their customers and how they operate. For example a cool calm blue corporate logo, with soft, simple imagery can portray a certain character and energy. I really think its a factor that people pick up on when they come in contact with visual imagery, I once read that corporate businesses use cool blue colours, because its a tone of colour that portrays calmness and trust. I feel that there is a whole psychology behind branding as well as the importance of legible communication.

image rights belong to MAD HEN MARKETING, and the website

Sid explained the importance of emotion in branding, its a big factor that people use in decision making, and I really agree with this because I really like the importance of psychology and how brands communicate. It is very important in the whole image of the company and the way people perceive that company. Sid’s talk was very inspiring, it helped me to open my eyes about the psychology of design and branding. I really enjoyed it, and Sid highlighted some key point that I really want to address in this.

3 Attributes:

1. Build from a great idea
2. Be true to yourself and stick to your values
3. Brand is the crucial principle

5 Great Practices:

1. Deliver brand on promise
2. The way they deliver
3. Experience for customers
4. Focus on internal branding
5. Improve and be innovative

Neil Johnston Talk – 01:30 – 2:30pm                10/03/11

I was very excited to hear Neils talk, because I read that he was an former N.E.W.I design student in the 90’s and I was really eager to hear about his success as a designer and how he tackled the industry. Neil mentioned that he was intimidated by industry at first, and found it difficult to approach the industry and it took him some time to get his portfolio together. He mentioned that he did a lot of free work, to help build up his client base and form a better portfolio. I really liked hearing from Neil, he seemed a shy character but I could see his self motivation and passion from the work he showed us. He truly is a creative mind and a very good designer, and he is also a D&AD pencil award winner. I was impressed to hear that he got work over the Czech Republic working for a design agency and also doing freelance work. Neil mentioned the quality of work in Czech is a lot different to here in the UK. He said that Czech design is very Soviet Union influenced. This really made me think, because even in the modern world, different cultures are still adopting their own styles of design. I also wondered if Neil found it difficult adapting to a designing in a different language or understanding that style of design.

I was really impressed with Neils work, it looked very impressive, and because of his shy nature, he did not go into detail about the pieces he had done which I thought was a real shame. It would have been interesting to hear about his thought processes and the decisions he had made in coming up with some of the concepts he had made in his work, because some were really fantastic. His work seemed very Russian/ Constructivist influenced. Also his typography was very Bauhaus and Swiss influenced. His influences were so evident in his work, and I was really impressed. One thing that I really liked was how he made his portfolio. He compiled his work and worked with a photographer to help photograph his pieces, he then designed pages and added them into a booklet which he designed himself. I thought this was a genius idea, it was totally out of the norm, and it looked very professional. Neil mentioned that he had 50 or so of them printed and put together. He then sent them out to companies in the hope of getting an interview.

POST – GTV UPDATE – Decision of the client         17/03/11

Today we were each called in to pitch our ideas to the client, Sally. It was a quick and efficient process, and I really knew what I wanted to say about my brand. I had changed a few elements of the brand, such as colour and adding in silhouettes of people to give the designs a sense of community and dynamic. I really thought they worked well, but Sally said she thought it didn’t represent Glyndwr enough. After I took the time to look at my work and think about it, I did feel I agreed also. It didn’t hold a lot of relevance to Glyndwr University. I feel that if a brand cannot link back with the brief or the company/ client, its not a strong brand. I feel it communicated well though, however there was a gap, because it communicated what I wanted it to, but it did not relate that well to Glyndwr, and I feel this is where my brand fell short.
The branding for Glyndwr has been a great experience for me, a live branding brief is just what I wanted at this stage of the graphic design course. I feel that my decisions were made professionally and I think I’d feel confident doing something similar in a job. I do understand that in the real business of branding the deadlines would be a lot more sharper and decisions would have to be made quickly. I feel that I wouldn’t have the ability to be so relaxed with the deadlines and organization in the real world. Of course in a branding agency I wouldn’t be working by myself all the time, and team work would be a big factor in the success of a brand, and also working with animators, and other people in specialist areas needed to get the job done.

UPDATE – GTV – The clients decision     18/03/11

Today I attended my morning session, and I was told by Liz, that Becky Delaney’s brand for GTV had been chosen, and that I had been chosen along with Melana, Nick and Becky to help design the promotional designs for the launch of GTV. Becky and Nick were asked to work together to finish the brand, and to experiment with colour schemes and typefaces, and also animation. Me and Melana were asked to design an A4 – 4 page leaflet that reflected the brand of GTV. I was really looking forward to this, because I knew my input to the brand of GTV would definitely be used in the launch. This was really exciting for me and I was really looking forward to the experience of designing a magazine that was going to be used, and printed as the promotional launch of GTV.

G-MAG – Working with Milena         20/03/11

Me and Milena got to work drawing up some designs of how we thought G-Mag could look, after Becky had given us the final draft of her Logo for GTV, we were able to draw up some ideas, using the GTV logo as a core to the layout and feel of the magazine. Me and Milena decided to do our designs individually so we could both have a chance to add in our own personal touches. We then decided to present our individual ideas to Sally and her group working on GTV. However my designs were again very personalized and didn’t really speak Glyndwr, but Milena’s were simple and had a good use of shape and colour, and I feel this is where Sally decided Milena’s would be more suitable.
Me and Milena decided to use her designs as a starting point to improve upon the areas that were lacking, but we decided to use the aspects of her designs, such as colour, and shape and to include my input on images and type setting. Milena began experimenting with layout and positioning the typography, and thinking about hierarchy. We then did our own design in Adobe InDesign, and looked at them both and tried to decide what elements of both we would use in G-Mag. We decided to speak to Adam and Dave Gill for some advice on the designs we had done. Dave Gill suggested Milena used a more up to date typeface than ‘Baskerville’ for her body copy. Me personally i would have gone with a simple serif font. But, for the headings I would have used a something like  ‘Swiss’ font, something bold and punchy. However Milena used Courier for her headings, which I thought didn’t really work, and didn’t suit the style of the magazine.
Since doing the magazine, and working with Milena and as a team, that the biggest factor is being able to compromise and find that neutral ground to lay down the ideas that we are both going to use, and feel will work. It may not be exactly what i had in mind for the magazine but, if i feel it works then I  feel I can make that compromise.

G-MAG update – Finalizing Visuals         23/03/11

Me and Milena both got in to Uni today to try and finalize our visual for G-Mag. We both started by creating Colour-Halftones on the circles that we wanted to feature in the layout. Dave Gill suggested the colour Halftone effect on some of the images that were given to us by the client Sally. We were emailed the images and I began creating different colours of half tones in Photoshop. Milena then began experimenting with layout and positioning of the typography of the inside spread. I felt that Milena listened to my opinions and I felt I listened to hers, our overall design reflected both of our imaginations on how we felt the final visual should look. We both agreed on the colour scheme, and what colours we felt were complimentary to the design. Once we had decided the design looked right we both signed it off as being finished.
However I was told by Dave, to never proof read copy that a client has sent you, because they can blame you for any mistakes, and it’s best to send the client the finished product, and then get them to sign it off as proof read. Nasty complications can happen and the blame can fall back on the designer, which I felt was very important and useful piece of advice, advice you can only get from experience. I was really to have had the opportunity to have designed a magazine that was going into production and to help launch a real brand. It was a fun experience I learned a lot from, I learned that compromise really helps get the job done, because in a work situation, you cant get too attached to your idea’s, because you often work as part of a team and its a team decision, but I feel whats important is voicing your opinion and help your work colleagues in making a decision that you both like and is neutral but also works. Then it must fit the clients needs, I have learned that a lot of factors effect a job.

08/04/11   PITCHING YOURSELF TO AN EMPLOYER – Liz and Des Lecture (PDP) 10:00 am

This is something I think about often when I think about the future of my design career, because It’s a very important factor because it affects your chances of employment. I feel that every piece of advice on this subject is money in the bank, I learned a lot from the lecture by David Barraclough and Harriet Buckley in Creative Futures week about how to present yourself to a client and the “do’s” and “don’ts” and whats generally considered ‘good etiquette’ when applying for work or having a interview. I was surprised that there is so much to consider when applying for a job, not to be too over confident, or not being too quiet, or not talking too much or putting in the right pieces of work. I just feel like there expecting an unrealistic amount of perfection, forcing you to fit a certain persona. However I feel people can feel a certain way about you when they meet you, and just being yourself and being relaxed but passionate is all you need to create a positive impression. It’s there decision whether they feel your employable or hold the right set of skills they require for the job. But, I understand that being prepared and organized isn’t a bad thing, it’s going to be another positive that the employer will pick up on.

Adrian Shaughnessy – Image rights belong to the photographer and the hosting site

Liz talked about some quotes and helpful tips from “How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul” by Adrian Shaughnessy. A book I own a copy of, and I have found it very helpful from what I’ve read so far. Its very helpful on giving advice about what employers expect of up and coming designers, fresh out of universities.

Image rights belong to the author Adrian Shaughnessy and the file hosting site of the image

I have not yet read all of the book, but I am reading it in small parts when I have time. Its a brilliant book, a book I’d say should be compulsory for all graphic design students who want to learn more about the industry. Liz was talking about the basic principles to consider when applying for a job and pitching yourself, and absolute preparation are key to delivering a good pitch. I feel that myself, I have a tendency to jitter or break up my words when I am presenting or doing public speaking. However I feel my strengths lie in my ability to voice my opinions and decisions 1 to 1. It is an area I feel very comfortable in because the focus is on my work, it feels like like a performance, but more like a session of feedback. I feel a lot let less pressured to ‘perform’ in that kind of situation, even though technically I am still being analyzed. Especially in front of a large portion of people I lack confidence, because my awareness shifts from the importance of the content, to the performance of myself and my confidence. However I feel with practice I can overcome this, in each presentation I do the first few minutes are the worst, and then I become aware of myself again and the nerves settle and I can get into that zone of expression and passion about the content.

12/04/11                          New Job for

I have a friend who is trying to create an identity for his website, he is a 3rd year Photography, and he wanted me to create a fresh, new and unique identity that represented him. The look of his website, was very bland and boring, with a logo that said Luminous Light written in ink. I wanted to keep an element of this in the new identity because he obviously wants himself to appear as a formal and free photographer with an element of space and tone. I think that the new identity should be simple but classy, maybe a hand written typeface with a nice swirl or an image that compliments the soft and elegant type.

I like the weight of the letters in the Calligraphy that Chris used in his logo, I think that adding a swirl or something like a rainbow of pastel colour’s will really bring out the effect of the identity. A nice graphical image can add a good effect to an identity, and that identity will always be remembered at first glance for exactly what it is. I want to take a more structured and professional. Its an important job because its Chris’s Personal Website.

23/04/11                                                                  Update

Today I began doing some initial designs for Luminous Light. I started by doing some designs that I felt reflected the variety of photography that Chris does for his Portfolio. I came up with an idea that I could help communicate this in the identity of his website. I began to search for some suitable typefaces and thought about looking for something, classy and elegant but also legible. I want the the logo to be readable when its reduced to the size of a thumbnail. I’ve always known about spotting how good a logo is by the colours, and if its still legible when its reduced right down in size.

27/04/11                                          Designing the logo – Luminous Light Photo

Today I want to start designing the logo for Chris’s Website. I wanted to use the imagery of the camera lense in the actual logo itself. It was quite difficult to do because of the font I was using. I feel that I need to look at more fonts in order to choose the right one that best suits the job. I think I need to show Chris my designs and let him make a decision on what he wants from my designs, and what he feel works.

15/05/11                                    WORK EXPERIENCE – CONTACTING COMPANIES

Today I began looking into the world of work experience, and was stumped on where to start and where to look. I thought that looking for companies that were looking for graphic designers would be a good place to start. So I began to Google “jobs in graphic design in the UK”. I began looking at companies such as Mad Hen and Heavenly. They were my first 2 thoughts on places I’d like to have work experience because I love branding. A branding agency would be a good place to start I think because its got all the elements I’d want for a job in the design industry. I also looked at some magazine editing agencies that I thought were interesting. However I feel that finding an actual placement is going to be hard work and take a lot of persistence.

20/05/11                                              WORK EXPERIENCE UP DATE

Today I was contacted by Sid Madge from Mad Hen, I emailed him saying I was a willing and able student looking for the chance to do work experience, and to learn more about the industry and especially branding. I explained that I had PDF’s of my work that I could email him. However he explained that he doesn’t take on people for work experience because he usually works from remote locations. I was disappointed to not receive more information but I guess that is the industry and rejection is a big part of learning about finding work.


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