The first thing I started to consider when thinking about ideas for the show was how the space looks. As we already know where the exhibition will take place and the conditions we will have to work with, honestly all I could see were problems. How are we going to cover up that door, how are people going to understand how to navigate in a place where I myself have lost my way several times, can we use the ugly lockers in the narrow corridor to our advantage somehow or will they just have to stay an ugly element in the show, how can we make the dark and stuffy 2nd floor feel lighter and bigger etc.. Our exhibition space kind of bummed me down a bit but realising that it is what it is and that there is one big advantage with it (no more carrying heavy furniture to another place) I began researching ways to make the space work.
What it needs is:
- bold designs
Gifs! Gifs are pretty fun because you can turn a quick drawing into something that looks like it was way more complicated to create. I have made gifs before but today I was introduced to another, more easy way of doing it on a workshop held by Russell Weekes.
Starting of creating simple movement with a round sticker confined to a drawn square and thinking about how the sticker needs to be placed for the movement to feel smooth from one frame to the next we later advanced to creating our own drawings or trying to make a gif stand still.
Before going on and starting another year of projects, I’ll summarise what I took with me from last year. What I’m most proud of achieving so far is probably how I managed to keep everything going at a fast pace when juggling so many projects at once. What I would like to improve though is related to my blog- and that is curating my images better to make my content more cohesive. I would also like to spend more time doing research for my projects because that always seem to be the most time consuming part of a project. I want my portfolio to look cohesive, thought through and feel like me so I should start to art direct everything I do from here on out. I want to be proud of my finished projects and the work I put in, leaving uni next spring.
Best get going then haha!
I thought the printing process would be pretty straightforward, I had my paper and my pdf and my print credits. But printing proved to be difficult. First try came on landscape on a portrait oriented sheet of paper, second one came out with the poster on the back the wrong way round, which I didn’t notice until I started to fold my A2 down to A5 and fold up the flap on the first page that reveals the introduction text to the zero movement underneath (a feature I added to make the design more dynamic and again make it more dramatic with a “reveal” kind of) and the text wasn’t there. Sigh. A shame because the registration for the front and back images was almost perfect. Third try came out the way it should (after I rotated the back poster in ID cause I thought that might fix the previous problem, but now I’m not sure that was the actual problem. Maybe that could have been solved by rotating it in the print preview or rotating the paper. hmm…) but the problem now was that the registration between front and back was off by one cm. So a lot. Way annoying.
Pager from both sides, by Lisa
So the cover is now sporting a vertical white line that is not supposed to be there and the letterpress image sits a bit too tight to the folded up flap on page one. But I am going to leave it like this because everything else is how I wanted it to be and I cannot afford to print it again. I don’t love it, but I like it! But I almost think it looks better as a flat poster than folded up because it just makes so much sense now. And the Zero movement kind of didn’t and the design seen laying flat as an A2 is almost more representative of that. The kinetic type poster though I think looks great.
Front and back cover, by Lisa
Just before I went to print my pager, I changed my cover a final time after a series of tests because I wanted to incorporate more of the light aspect of the Zero movement. So I took some experimental photos of the shadows created when lifting the cut out pattern I did a couple of weeks ago and really liked how they turned out so I decided to use that. Playing around with how to place it I eventually made up my mind on a design and stuck with it. The problem I have had with the red bit in the pager I tried to solve by taking the red completely off and focusing on grey instead so I did some tests with a drawing I did a couple of days ago where I using my fingers, created shadows on silver lines so the image looked like waves. Tried to place it in my layout in several different ways but none of them felt right so I ended up deleting that image completely and instead using the cut out pattern I used for the cover so they link.
Cover trials and layout decisions
And this is the final design:
My printed book has arrived and I really like it. It is bright and happy but still has a seriousness about it which is exactly what I was going for. It is so nice to see something physically that you have been working on for a really long time. I have learned a couple of things doing this project but the most important one is: it takes time to design a book. And there is so much planning going in to it. I have simultaneously enjoyed and dreaded the making of this book as it has been so extensive. There were so many images of outcomes I had to redo or clean up before it felt presentable for the book, so I hope I will learn for the future to keep better care of my work and take better images from the start haha.
The layout for my book is kind of Alan Fletcher inspired when he said that making a book is quite similar to making a storyboard for a movie, when it comes to the flow and pacing of everything from page to page. I have some consistent layout solutions throughout, like the introduction to each chapter looks the same and the explanation for each project always starts the same way with a small block of text in the bottom right corner and a image or images covering the left side.
Our final deliverables managed to look very cohesive and like the Neat brand- from the presentation slides, to the campaign page and its graphics along with the video and tone of voice in the presentation text on the website. I think we kept the Neat style but re- vamped it for the campaign, sticking to fewer colours and making our photos and mockups cleaner looking but still keeping the playful element. Our final preview page can be seen here along with the video.
I am happy with the end result and how we managed to put this together in such a short time, with other projects still ongoing.
Among all the little pieces that has to go in to making a Kickstarter campaign, the video has without a doubt taken the longest to complete. Dividing our work so that some people focused on setting up the page, some focused on getting some explanatory graphics in there etc- we all had at some point lend a hand to the making of the video.
Starting out with the stop motion part of it, what we thought was going to be quick and painful dragged out to three whole days of work with first taking the images, realising they were unusable as the lighting changed from picture to picture, re doing the process with a different setup (which took several tests and creativity to figure out) to then fine tuning it in after effects in terms of colour, speed of the sequence and pauses.
Stop motion images
The second part
So some problems happened when uploading my book to both Blurb and Issuu.com. With Blurb the size wasn’t right even though it was right in my InDesign document. It was repeatedly too small but changing the size even to be bigger for some reason never helped and it wasn’t until I made my document the exact size it said to make it in inches and removing the bleed setup that it worked. It also took a while to figure out how the site wanted the cover pdf to be uploaded (two landscape pages, one for outside cover and one for inside cover). But after that it finally worked!
Issuu.com presented another problem which was that the pdf Blurb made for me (combining my two pdf files containing the book + cover) took away some of my images. The yellow patterns for example that I had on my chapter pages transformed into solid yellow pixelated squares. Very very strange. And annoying because it cost 3 pounds extra to get that pdf. In the end I had to combine my pdf files myself through adobe reader and then the issuu version worked. Good to know! (not paying for the blurb pdf again hah).
Last project of creative industry practice is making a kickstarter campaign for the group brand we developed before christmas. So Neat stationery is coming to life again and we need to think about how to promote the brand to it’s fullest to make people interested in our products and wanting to buy them. Starting out researching, I looked at other stationery brands that are live on kickstarter at the moment and realised that the most important part of a campaign is the video. When I scrolled through different brands, I completely ignored the ones that didn’t have a video because it felt like they didn’t make enough effort.
Watching different videos I made a list of what I think are important things to think about if you want your video to be successful:
- Don’t make the video too long (I lost interest pretty quick watching some of them so that’s definitely something to think about)
- Keep it snappy (if the video starts with someone not looking too energetic and just talks and talks, I stop watching)
- Interaction with the product is nice so you get a sense of scale
- Fast pace is preferable to too slow
- Videos with good light and sound feels more professional, so think about that
I especially liked this video as it is a bit fun and ticks all the boxes that it needs to tick. Plus, the images for the campaign are art directed to feel colourful and fun which is a good touch as the notebook in question is grey.