In the first session, we were given an introduction into the project with the presentation of the brief and then put into pairs who we will be working with throughout the project. Each pair will have a client from within the uni who they’ll interview and then will have to design and make chair upon the information collected. The final submission for the 5 week project involves: an A3 mood board for the client; scale models (both dirty & refined); full sized chair; A3 poster showing your chair (e.g. photograph) and a 500 word blog post.
Pair: Adam Ratcliffe (Artist Maker)
After the presentation of the brief, we worked on different sketching styles; 1 and 2 point perspectives. This was to help with the drawing of furniture to show different perspectives on how it might look at different angles. The idea was to eventually be able to draw without the lines.
Client: Fiaz Hussain; Associate International Dean
We had our client interview where we asked a series of questions we were given to help get an understanding of the kind of chair we should create. We found that there were quite a few key themes throughout that would be important to have in mind when designing the chair. He spoke a lot of travel and the many countries he’s been too and that his favourite piece of design was a mosque in UAE; we felt that this in particular would be an important source of inspiration. Communication is a huge part of his job and daily life so again, this would be an important thing to think about when creating this piece. A discussion after the interview we decided that we would stick with communication and travel as our key themes for the chair; another thing to think about encorporating is the idea of linking communities of different cultures today – which he said was a huge part of his job – so I think that this would be a nice element to have within the design (potentially as the surprise?).
This 5 week project has been a real challenge and I feel that I have pushed my skill set within a variety of possibilities. I’m happy that I chose such a broad idea as I felt that there was a lot I do with it. I chose to do cockney slang, not just because it’s primarily spoken language so I could really experiment with typography, but also because I want to create a really fun and vibrant project. I find that I don’t tend to use a huge amount of colour within my work so I wanted to push myself and create a project that does use a lot of colour. My development throughout the project changed a lot but I think that was definitely a good thing because as my ideas were changing and I was getting helpful feedback during tutorials, I was having to think of new ways to execute this. With is being such a broad project, it was good to have something that made you think of your brand in a variety of contexts rather than just on a poster or it’s logo. It was challenging at first to create a strong enough identity so that it fitted across different contexts but I feel that overall I’ve create a brand that does this well. Unfortunately I did run out of time as there was still a couple of things I wanted to develop. For example, my advert isn’t the idea I actually wanted to use and if I had more time I would have created something that would have contextualised the stickers in the environment more. Having said that, I think that what I’ve done – though it’s not the most refined piece of work – is still a strong visual and I think that it works well in conveying my initial idea to the best that I could. Another thing that I wanted to do for the ephemera was to make sure the social media pages had plenty of information on them. They are real pages, so I have made the accounts on both Twitter and Instagram but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to put as much detail in them as I would have liked which is why I have chosen to not submit this as part of my ephemera. However, I have created a website which I think shows more of my skill set rather than having a screenshot of an Instagram and Twitter. Overall, I’m really happy with the outcomes I have created. I’ve come a long way from when I originally started with my initial designs but I feel that I have changed and developed my project to create strong visual outcomes that reach the brief.
Initially in my original ideas I hadn’t planned to do a website but when it came to making my map I realised that it would be helpful to have one because then I could sell the maps on there. I struggled with out to create the website and worried that it would look too plain. I kept with the colour schemes and used a layout of an existing website online. On my website I wanted there to be my advert as the first thing you see and then underneath a description of what it’s about. I think that it is a bit basic but if I were to spend more time onto it and were to become a real thing, I could add information in the ‘about’ part of the website to show what work is being displayed and give more clues as to what to expect from the exhibition itself. There could be a contact page so that if you wanted to help on how to get to the exhibition then there would be details on there and in the shop section I could create more products for the exhibition – like the ones from my research into the Whitney gallery.
On the website, I have put an option to purchase a tote bag which I have created as another digital ephemera piece. This was one of my initial ideas from the start and followed along the same lines as my stickers. The idea is that you’d wear it to promote the brand of the exhibition so that more people would see it and want to go to the exhibition themselves. If there was more time I would have loved to have printed this bags because I really like the composition of it; I think that it’s contemporary and quite delicate compared to rest of my work but is still on brand and I think that with the slang being bold in the centre, it would still be eye catching for passersby.
A couple of weeks back in a tutorial, a potential idea was to create a video; there were two different ideas, one of them being film people of different ethnicities talking and have 1 cockney voices over speaking to show they’re all apart of the same culture, the second idea being to use my animation but to have cockney voices overlaying. The first idea I decided to not to do because although it sounds like a good idea and I’m sure if I had executed it right it would have looked great, but it wasn’t a realistic idea to create in the time span that I had – along with having to create everything else. The second idea I did experiment however felt that it didn’t work. The animation felt really strong and loud with the music in the background but once I’d took that away and added the voices, I felt that it lost that effect. It wasn’t as eye catching and I much preferred with the music as it made it easier to read. After both options not being right for my project, I decided that I still wanted some kind of moving image within my work. One of my ideas was create a film of someone walking down the street, putting my stickers on the wall to show them in contexts but to also then use it as an advert. The idea being is to look out for the stickers on your travels – giving more of a persuasion to look at the social media and website online to find out more about the exhibition. Due to time scale, unfortunately I was unable to do exactly what I wanted to but instead I just filmed my stickers being stuck on the wall, one after the other, to just show a general idea of what the advert would be like. After filming, I editing the footage on PremierePro and then used After Effects to add my logotype and social media page. I also used the same song as used for the animation – London’s Calling by The Clash – as I felt that it was important to run the same theme throughout. Though the advert and animation can be connected through colour – and of course at the end with the logo – I wanted to use the music so that there was a direct link instantly between the two things; the idea being that if you saw both the advert and animation, hearing the song would help you pick up it was about the same thing.
It’s a shame that I ran out of time and wasn’t able to do a couple of the ideas that I had because I think that I would have been able to execute them really well and it would have given my project that extra edge. However, I am happy that I was able to complete what I did; I wouldn’t say that it’s a refined piece but I am going to submit it as part of my ephemera anyway because I think it reflects an idea well and also is another way of showing how my brand works across several elements.
Prior to my group tutorial and tutorial with David, I corrected my animation so that it had ‘Celebration of Cockney’ at the end rather than what was originally on there so that it fitted more with the rest of my work. As well as this I adjusted the size and tried the other colours that are within my colour palette. I think that all the colours work well (see images below) and it further confirmed that I have chosen the right colours but I decided to stick with orange because it stood out the most on the billboard and if I think about it in context, the kind of orange that I have chosen, isn’t a colour that I see in the street often and I feel that if you were to be walking down the street, it’s definitely a colour that would take your eye.
After my tutorial with David, I was advised to change the hierarchy of the animation because the way the words sit at the end are too much of the same. I made the social media username smaller and more central, then gave more space for the ‘Celebration of Cockney’ and added the word ‘exhibition’ so that there was more context within the animation and people knew instantly it was an exhibition, but it keeps enough information secret so that you have to research into yourself. I kept everything else the same because all the way through I have had positive response from my animation and because I was happy with it myself, I did want to go about changing anything. I like that it fits with the music and I think it’s a great way of showing my exhibition.
After getting feedback from the tutorial, I knew that I needed to refine my posters and add them into context. Now that I have created my map, I decided to use this to create my posters. Using both sides of the map, I experimented with different layouts and tried combinations of colours. At the front of my mind when designing, I kept thinking about hierarchy and context; so making sure that I am communication my exhibition in the right way. From my initial poster designs, I really wanted to use the map because I like the aesthetic of it as it breaks up the text. With the map that is now updated, I used this, trying out a variety of compositions. One thing with the map that I did like was the outer cover – the layout of stickers – and I thought that this would be a really transferable idea for the poster; as well as that, it would continue the visual system I have with all of my ephemera which I feel would create a stronger brand. See below for the experiments:
In the end, I completed with two poster designs. One had the map on the other with the stickers. They are both different to each but because they have the same logo type and colour scheme, they suit with each other side by side. I think that the one with the map gives a bit more context into it being a street exhibition but I think that the one with the stickers is a lot more fun and playful and still gives the idea of what it’s about with the using of language. Comparing these posters to my original final designs, I am much more confident in these. I think that they are stronger in just the general design of it because I have followed the graphic systems of designing a poster much more closely, but, I have also thought a lot more about how my brand is going to fit across several different elements I think that this shows that. Moving forward to the presentation, I would like to have these printed so that I have physical copy to hand out as I feel that you can get a better perception of colour seeing it on paper rather than on screen.
In the tutorial with David, he did say to contextualise the work more so I edited the posters onto the actual street of Cheapside. I got the 3D images off google maps so you can get a real idea of what the branding actually looks like within the space. The posters are a huge contrast on the buildings and they stand out a lot but I don’t think that’s a bad thing because I feel as though it’s a putting a bit of life back into the street.
Using inspiration from the example, I redrew the map of the street a lot larger and in more detail, including street names and landmarks. I tried to be as detailed as possible so that you were aware of where the work was in adjacent to places on the street but not too detailed so that the map was overcrowded. What was really useful, is on either side of the street Cheapside, there are tube stations so I labelled both of these and put a description of what tube lines went to that station and also the direction in which you should leave the tube station so you know how to reach the street with the exhibition. I stuck with the same colour scheme and typefaces and decided to create the map as A2 in size so that it was big enough that you can really get a good idea of the location you were in. Though I want the map that big, I will have it so that it folds into an A5 booklet so it is easy to carry and accessible. For it to fold like a booklet, I want it to be double sided; so on the inside it’s a map of the exhibition, then on the outside there’ll be the name of the exhibition and a description of what its about.
For the map, I wanted images of the work so I could point where they’d be placed so it was at this point that I really thought about what I was going to use. I knew that I wanted to have poetry as the main basis, so I did more research and the street is not only known as the home of Cockney but is also home to famous Elizabethan poets that are now referred to as the Cockney Poets. There’s a plaque on the street of Cheapside that commemorates the cockney poet Thomas Hood so I thought it would be a good idea to have this as part of the exhibition since he wrote famous poems and was a cockney himself. Another piece in the exhibition is a speaker, who will chant cockney poetry showing the evolution of the different words throughout time that have been invented. The speaker will be placed in the spot where the pub ‘Mermaid Tavern’ once was which is where the ‘Cockney Poets’ went to. I will have pearly King and Queens as part of the exhibition since it is so famously known as being apart of cockney and another piece in the exhibition will be the band ‘Cockney Rejects’. I had the idea of using a band because I wanted to have someone who was cockney and sang in that accent so it would showcase the way it’s spoken. The final piece in the exhibition is to have a 21st Century East London Market. In a tutorial a couple of weeks back with Theo, he spoke about ensuring that I don’t single out any people that class themselves as cockney since today not all cockneys are white British. I wanted to use the market stalls as a reflection of that; to have a cockney market with a variety of stalls, reflecting the 21st century cockney – which would be so different from years ago and would show how it’s developed. I think is a good mix for the exhibition and I think it works well with my initial idea from the beginning about creating an experiential and conceptual exhibition about the etymology of cockney slang.
After decided the work, I found images online that would reflect what I wanted the work to look like and placed them on the map. I kept the images black and white as the only colour I wanted on the map was the colour scheme I was using for this project. I kept the map pink and orange as out of all the colour combinations, I felt that these two worked well together the best. I had the images of the work placed on top of coloured backgrounds so that there was still an element of purple and blue; also it added more life to the map rather than it just being two colours which would have made it look too repetitive. I also wanted to think about hierarchy so I felt that putting the images onto different coloured backgrounds would help them lift of the page.
Images of what will be in the exhibition:
All from Google images.
For the one side of the map, I experimented quite a bit with what it will look like. It took me a long time to work out how I wanted it to be especially because I didn’t want it to be plain and too much negative space but also it needed to be eye-catching and interesting enough so that it works well as the outer page when folded into a booklet. I was struggling with what to put as the background after inputting my type but then I thought about using my stickers since it uses all of my colours. I tried a couple of variations, one being with the stickers entirely covering the white space, but I found that this made it look too crowded. So my final design, I stuck with using the stickers in the middle of the page, leaving negative space either side which I found let the page breathe a bit and wasn’t so overpowering.
In my final design for the map, I’ve got the heading on the left hand corner and then the description and social media on the right. Initially I had the two together but then I began to think about what it would be like folded up and I felt that it would sit better if the title and description were separate. Also in terms of hierarchy, I want the same of the title to stand out so having it on the die on it’s own gives it more definition. Whilst I was experimenting with the designs, I printed the map out onto A2 to see whether it look good in real size printed. The actual map was perfect; it’s coherent to read and I think the combination of colours work really well but the cover (‘Celebration of Cockney’ text) didn’t work well as landscape because one it got folded you could read what it said. This was when I decided to flip it on its side and separate it from the description as this way it fitted onto an A5 piece of paper which is the size it will be when all the paper is folded. Overall, I am much happier with the improvements I have made to the map. I think that this version is a lot more refined and shows off my skill set as a designer more. In terms of communicating to the viewer information on the exhibition, I think that this map does a lot better job and I like to think that if this were to be a real exhibition, people would find the map helpful and informative. One thing I have included on the map which I will include in the rest of the project, is a website URL (cantcockney.com). I began to think about if you wanted to go to exhibition, how you would go about purchasing the map so I’ve decided as part of my digital ephemera, to create a website so that you not only read information on the exhibition but also purchase the map I have made.