Project X – Evaluations

1) Visual Communication:

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

I think the message is clear and concise, asking people to recycle more and using a welcoming tone of voice, with shock elements too. The display aims to inform and educate the audience by being interactive and and inviting to engage with.

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?

The display ended up being a very mixed bag of messages, with mainly came from errors in communication within the group. The design may seem too light hearted and upbeat for quiet a negative image were were trying to portray.

 

 

 

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

I think some elements worked well, for example, the fish that could hang from the fishing rod on the display. Warping the text to a shape was an interesting way to engage the audience, encouraging them to read the little fact from the display, appealing to their inquisitive nature. I also like the “don’t be a tosser” type effect, although in hindsight, the choice of typeface may have been more appropriate to the negative nature of the topic.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

Tone of voice wasn’t in keeping with the overall gloomy topic. I think we tried to use a bright colours to try and attract the audience, but sacrificed the feel of the design, and the direction it should go in.

In what ways could the piece be mis-read or mis-understood by the audience? Be specific about who the audience is.

The tone of voice implied positivity of quiet a negative issue. This was a mistake and could have been rectified by working more efficiently as a group.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

I think the group attitude could have been better, and work harder to complete the designs, communicating more effectively to marry each element up, and plan more without being distracted by time constraints.

I also think darker, gloomy colours should have been used to try and evoke a negative reaction. Ultimately, we could have shown both sides of the argument more effectively, using bright colours on one half of the argument, and darker colours on the other side.

2) Good Design? Evaluation

Please note you are asked to describe and make analysis of your thoughts and actions about the topics below. If you have been able to act upon your considerations of Good Design you should give reasons for your design decisions. If you have not been able to act upon your considerations, nevertheless give reasons for this and reflect upon your thoughts about the actions you would have liked to have taken further. Honest evaluations are required as this reflection is to help you move forward.

  

In what ways did you consider Designing Backwards or application of Systems Thinking to your project?

We started by looking at the overall picture of systems thinking in this project, looking how altering one element in the eco-system can have a massive knock on effect. This was then applied to the project thinking about how we could make a difference from people recycling more to keep waste from entering the ocean.

In what other ways have you considered the sustainability of your project process and outcomes?

It has been interesting to see the large problems in the world through this project, and has got us thinking about how we as designers can make a difference. Not only have we been asked to design visuals in this project, it’s also been about designing an experience for the end user.

In what ways have you considered the ethical implications of your project process and outcomes?

We had empathy with our audience and know not everyone likes having the message rammed down their throat, showing glum visuals of what the world will end up like if no solution is found. During the inital visual display, it was clear our audience wanted to know how they could make a difference. It was important to show both sides of the argument, adding an educational dynamic.

In sustainability and ethical terms in what ways was your work in this project an improvement or a backward step for you as a socially conscious designer?

I think this has been a forward step in my attempt to become a socially conscious designer. This project has encouraged us to think about our local community and look at how we can make a difference changing how we live and treat the world.

What targets can you make at this point for your work in the future as a socially conscious designer?

I think in terms of this project, we needed feedback from our local community on the designs to help strengthen them. I thought this was a good way to get real time reaction on a design. Sampling the target audience can help generate new ideas, and get an insight on how they respond to the visual signifiers.

3) Reflection of own working practices:

Be very honest with yourself in this section. Please feel free to approach a member of staff for help finding ways to develop skills.

How was my time keeping?

I won’t lie, its been hard trying to juggle everything. A lot of late nights, however I didn’t miss hardly any class time and was in when I said I would be.

How was my analysis of the brief?

Initially, I found it difficult to understand the brief, but felt enlightened after a session with Tim during the first couple of weeks on Project X. After getting my head around the issue, and what the end deliverable could be, I think I gained a good understanding of what our audience wanted to see.

How was my research?

During the research phase, I felt I communicated well with the audience and asked a lot of questions to help enhance the display, and get real time reactions to what they saw from the visuals we produced. However, as identified in an earlier post, our questions on the feedback form were quite closed, encouraging one or two word answers, which was a mistake on our part. Despite this, we gained constructive feedback on the design.

I also carried out a lot of research outside of college hours, taking a trip to Brighton to view the #streetsahead initiative, encouraging people to be more conscious of where they place there waste, cleaning up the city and preventing plastics entering the ocean. I looked at other case studies too to enhance my knowledge.

How did I draw conclusions from my research?

I reflected at the end of each blog post, analysing what I’d learnt from each piece of research undertaken. I feel this has been one of my strengths during this process, is having empathy with the audience and taking data and direction from the source first hand.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas?

We did this in the form of feedback forms, showing our display to the audience and asking for feedback to help strengthen them later. This was an important part of the design phase, as it was almost like getting a cheat sheet of what it was they wanted to see and get from the design.

How did I use evaluations to help with my ideas generation and development?

I used evaluations at the end of each blog post to help distill the main points of how this relates to the project and what I could do to help strengthen it. It was important to understand how each part of the design process was going to relate to Project X, something I struggled with in the early weeks as I didn’t really understand!

How did I use experimentation during the project? How can I make this more effective?

I used experimentation when showing the audience the display before the final submission, which helped us understand what it was they wanted to see. I think, however, I could have used it more throughout the design process, using prototypes to fully understand how it could work.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?

I evidenced everything in my blog, and kept checking the learning outcomes to make sure I was on track.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

I actually really enjoyed working closely with the community and getting reaction to the display. I also found it fascinating seeing how other people and groups used different methods to display there message. A lot of interactivity was going on!

What parts of the project did I enjoy least? Why was this the case?

Working in a group! On this occasion, I’ve found it difficult to communicate effectively.

At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?

I think I worked well when I fully understood the direction we were going in. I think in future, I need to work on getting more clarity before moving forward in the design phase.

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case? How could I follow these up?

A lot has inspired me in this project, but for me and in relation to my topic, Ocean waste, I found the Brighton initiative #streetsahead interesting, and was amazing to see a real life campaign in the public eye, so local to me.

What areas were challenging or difficult? Why was this the case?

Working in a group as stated earlier. Also understanding the brief initially.

How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?

Take more of a leadership role in group projects, and communicate more effectively.

Do I need to develop certain skills? Do I need these now? Or later?

I think I need to be more confident in my ability. This is something I’ve only recently discovered.

 

 

 

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Project X – Fish Creation

We came up with the idea of dangling facts from a fishing rod extruding from the display to add more interactivity with the display. I suggested the style we went with, having simple shapes with text warped into them. I had previously tried this effect earlier in my professional working years on a poster, promoting a comedy night in a local restaurant. Comedy_02_Finished.jpg

After initially discussing with the group the idea, I don’t think people knew how to execute the style effectively, using complex shapes that don’t lend themselves well with warping text. James sent over one of his attempts over group chat, and we all agreed that it needed to be more stylised.

I sat down with James one morning and showed him the technique I used in illustrator, warping the text tot the shape using a mesh, or blending with the top object.

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Although the text loses its readability slightly, Its a fun way to show type and facts in a shape, and draws in the audience. I coloured the text blue to link it with the ocean theme.

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Project X – The Issue

One garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans every minute. Thats 8 Millions tons a year! Plastic constitutes 90% of all waste in the ocean. with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. One million seas birds and 100,000 marine mammals are likely to be killed from plastic in our oceans annually. Waste damages eco-systems and enters the food chain. It can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose in the ocean.

32% of the 78 million tons of plastic produced ends up in the worlds oceans each year. This figure is likely to double by 2030 and quadruple by 2050, and by that point, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. At the moment, only 14% of global plastic is recycled, and only 2% is reused as packaging. The system as it stands is unsustainable and need to change.

In our group, we discussed this information over and discussed the major topic that stood out. Nobody is recycling effectively. This lead us to think about how we could get people to think about how they discard there rubbish, and in the correct way in order to recycle properly.

Project X – Screen Display

As a group, we discussed ideas with Tim about how we might get our message across. One idea was to use video in a screen. This is something that I’ve found interesting recently. In my spare time, I’ve been learning how to use after effects to animate typography using visual elements. Although a screen display would have been a good idea, we didn’t have access to those facilities in the room we were using. I wanted to demonstrate what I’ve learn recently in after effects in conjunction with this topic.

I wanted to visually demonstrate the effect of plastics in the ocean, using particles and disintegration effects to reveal the text.

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This could be used as a discussion piece, drawing the attention of the audience by animating a subtle message in an interactive way.

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Finally, I decided the ton of voice was slightly wrong. I think the clear blue water is too clean, and needed dirtying up slightly, to evoke a more shocking reaction from the audience. I layered a video of floating plastic, using a blending mode to achieve the effect. Towards the end of the video, there is a transition from a light blue colour, to a merky brown colour, signifying the direction the world is going if this thoughtless production of plastic and mindless throwing away, continues.

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Project X – Design Process

For our display, we wanted to created a banner and a graphic for the front page of the leaflet we intended to produce, which was light hearted and enticed the intended audience in. To do this, I felt a script font would be an appropriate choice of typeface as its informal tone lent itself well to the intended outcome. I wanted to convey the idea of fluidity, tying in with our theme, the ocean.

I started by descreasing the leading, the spacing between the characters, to give a fluid feel to the typeface.

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I then added a lighting effect to give directional light and shadows to the typeface. This would add a three dimensional feel to the typography, and a sense of realism. Screenshot 2018-02-05 20.48.02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then started to think about the effect. I added a chrome style to the typeface, using a preset in the filter gallery. This was the beggining of the “fluid” style.

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I then added further shadow to the back of the typeface to give more realism and dimension.

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I then warped the text using a liquify filter to bulge the type were I felt appropriate, focusing the bulging on the bottom elements of the characters, and also where the characters joined. The end result, I felt, was quite effective.

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I then used the liquify filter again, using an image with multiple tones of blue, and warping the text to give a spiral effect. I added this with a soft light blending mode behind the text to further anchor the idea of the ocean. Screenshot 2018-02-05 21.05.49.png

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Project X – Refinement of Ideas

After looking at all of our feedback from our initial display, we made notes of the common and key areas of improvements. Some interesting comments were made, though some were also quite broad, however they helped us refine our ideas and approach to the next phase of the design process.

I think it was clear that people wanted more visual elements to the design to make it more memorable. The initial reaction to our display was quite negative and unappealing, seeing as it was just plastic waste dumped in a trough! Other successful groups had drawn there audiences in with clearer, bolder visuals and use of design styles that appealed to our target audience. Again, it was important to consider the end user, and encourage a younger demographic to engage with the design as well as the issue. The people in our group are quite bright and energetic, which I think was conveyed during the display day. However, the next display must stand alone, and we can’t rely on our on enthusiasm to see us through.

Another element that people wanted to see was the presentation of the other side of the debate. How can people make a difference? So far, we had only considered the negative effects of the issue, focusing our attention on the shock factor. Moving forward, I think it’s important to show how people can make a difference.

 

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On Friday, we all felt quite dejected after finding out that the displays would no be flat, on a board, instead of a “provotype”. Our understanding of the brief was that we were going to produce a provotype, however the goalposts had changed. Although this was annoying, it was also a good learning curve, as that is just life. Things change quickly, and designers have to adapt to these changes quickly and efficiently, to please clients, consumers, and audiences.

I tried to take the lead in the group, injecting some energy and enthusiasm to proceedings. This subject may not be to everyones taste, however, it was our job as designers to fulfil the brief to the best of our abilities, and leave our emotions at the door, so to speak. Following dialogue as a group and with tutors, and also considering our feedback, we discussed different design ideas that would help bolster our previous design, and help it stand alone. One of these was remembering one of our classmates ideas from a previous display, story boarding an idea in the form of pictures. We toyed with the idea of showing the journey of a single plastic item, from production to the sea. However, this was dismissed when we realised it would be difficult to document the whole process.

We later landed on the idea of sticking with a similar approach to our previous display, however, making it more visual and adding more design elements to encourage a positive reaction from our audience. I think, so far, this week has been more positive and we are beginning to work better as a group, and understand each others strengths. We created a group chat and have been in constant communication since leaving college today (Monday) and I think everyone feels more comfortable and understands the direction we are going in, and the work everyone needs to complete for Friday.