103: Week 06- Application

Application

In this week’s lecture we learned about what we can apply our brand to.

Our brand’s tone of voice, values and colours can be applied to anything our brand does/ produces. This can include things such as:

  • Headed paper-  Headed paper can be used within a company for letters and invoices. You can apply aspects of your brand to this by putting the logo at the corner of the paper or come up with a design for the layout and colours used on the paper that coincide with the brand values and colours.

 

  • Envelopes/mailers- How we package things can make a big impact on the person’s experience when interacting with it. How colourful and easy to open the package is, is there an interesting use of typography. If the packaging of an item is beautifully presented and makes an impact the product itself could appear even better.

 

  • Social Media- Social media can be a great tool to interact with fellow designers/ customers or advertise your brand. If you keep the tone of voice/images and colours consistent throughout all platforms , the brand itself will appear strong.

 

  • Stationary- Stationery can be used as an additional item from the brand that can spread the brands relevance and awareness among consumers especially if done really well.

 

  • Funding opportunities- Having a strong presenting brand can help when it comes to applying for funding for any of your future products.

 

  • Wearables items- Wearable items can be another fun, additional item – like stationery, however you have a lot of creative freedom when it comes to items such as this; clothing, bags, shoes, sunglasses… anything you can think of and sometimes, the more out of the box the better. If these items are designed well in ways people would actually want to spend good money on it can help promote but also fund parts of the business

 

  • Video idents- Video idents for your brand can include things like; animated loading screens, web titles and logos and these can be used to show personality to your brand and catch people’s eye.

 

  • Office design- If you ever own your own studio, making the interior design of the space match your brand can really bring the whole brand together but also to life. It can be done in simple ways like painting walls or furniture the brand colours or it can be more innovative with the layout of the offices designed with the brand values in mind- maybe eye catching murals and lighting arrangements that fit the brands theme.

 

  • Business cards- Business cards are an essential part of the brand, they are really useful for networking or getting in contact with clients. The design of a business card can really express the brand with its use of colour, layout and typography.

Tasks

In this lecture we were asked to start designing our own business cards.

Before starting to design my card, I first gathered inspiration from examples of business cards on pinterest, you can view this here

My business card went through a lot of iterations, I started out with this:

 

 

I quite like the colour choices of this card and warm tone and more positive emotions they convey. I decided to use quite a lot of circles in this design to tie in with my wordmark but it all feels a little busy and distracting. The blue colour that I added in for contrast is adding even more to the design and overall I just think a lot of it could be toned down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I still liked the idea of bringing in the theme of circles from my wordmark but I thought I’d just tone down the amount and colours in my next design:

In this design, I changed the colour choices to 2 solid base colours- green and purple, I think these colours work well together but the green doesn’t really fit in overall as its only used once. I think the amount of circles is still too much and distracts, it also doesn’t fit in as well as it did in the first design as I am using my monogram on the front side instead of just a wordmark.  I liked the change in orientation, this was something I saw used before and I thought it was interesting and could catch user’s eye.

 

I think for my next design I will get rid of the circles idea and just strip everything back, create a much more minimal design:

 

I used the change in orientation again

 

 

 

 

 


Individual Research

This week I read 3 of Marty Neumeier’s books about branding. These are some of the main points I learned from each one:

The Brand Flip

In this book Neumeier explains what a modern brand model is. He describes it as;

  1. Company creates customers – using its products
  2. Creates brand – through purchases
  3. Brand sustains company- through its customers

These three things (Products, Customers and Brand) had been used in previous models but never in this order before as brands and advertising are always evolving. These days, “the product is no longer the innovation, the customer is” In today’s world a brand is all about the experience it can provide its users and creating loyalty through them, to sustain your brand and company.

 

The Brand Gap

Marty Neumeier describes a brand as “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organisation” People are intrinsically emotional beings and will buy on trust when it comes to brands. This really emphasises the fact that the brand really is what the customer makes it which is why it is so important to know your brand values and present them well.

He explain that when it comes to creating your brand it is important to focus on these four things;

  1. Differentiate- People are naturally to drawn to things that are different so it’s important to try to make your brand feel different to others. This always felt like huge task as coming up with a completely original brand seems impossible but Neumeier explained that there are smaller, simpler ways to do this. If you have a good idea of what your brand is, focus in on one thing about it to simplify your overall brand value. This makes your brand seem different because others may not have thought to focus on this thing in the same way or to the same extent as you.
  2. Collaborate- Collaborations are difficult and hard to organise but they are very needed when it comes to design. There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing and using collaborations and it is very useful when you pick the right style for you and your brand.
  3. Innovate- Your brand should feel distinct, easy to understand immediately and likeable. By focussing in one thing in the first point, it is already easier to make your brand more understandable as it cuts unnecessary information for customers to digest. To make you brand likeable I think comes down to the tone of voice you convey and how consistent it is with your brand values across all applications of your company. Consistency builds trust and I learned that trust and reliability creates delight in a customer.
  4. Validate- You should bring the audience in on your creative process as it makes them feel involved in the brand and makes the brand more trustworthy which can bring about a lot of loyalty from the customer. Along with this you should make sure that your visual marque is recognisable and relevant to your brand and field.

 

Zag

This is Marty Neumeier’s longest book and it basically encompasses the first 2 with some additional information.

In zag Neumeier talks about “Brand – Brand Combat” and how goes more in depth on differentiating yourself from the competition. He talks about how the barriers to competition today, lie within the mental wall customers build against clutter as we are all being bombarded with information constantly.

Something will take into account from this book is that customers prefer to be bought over being sold which emphasises the idea of not treating your customers as one object that you sell to but as a community that you let into your company and involve in the brand. Important things to note in finding success in your brand are;

  • Finding a trend and riding that wave. Trends rise and fall constantly if you can fit your brand into a trend early enough it can differentiate your brand from competition and the popularity and relevance among consumers will rise with it.
  • Finding who your are. knowing who you are and finding your passion in your brand can make the brand seem so much stronger and in return more trustworthy for customers.
  • Strong brand purpose can simplify a lot of clutter and over-information that can happen when you are more unsure of yourself and your brand. Knowing your brand’s purpose and being confident in it, presents your brand strongly
  • Changing assumptions allows you to take something that does exist but change it enough to feel new and different to a target audience.
  • Building loyalty in your consumer base is very important, as stated before your brand is nothing without your consumer and loyalty makes the base and brand stronger.
  • A strong brand name can go for amongst competition, something simple and effective is so much easier for consumers to latch on to and allows for the brand to be easily talked about to increase its relevance.

Summary

Overall I felt I learned a lot about the branding and advertising fields through these books but also this module alone. Neumeier’s books however did help explain how these concepts (logo, brand values, tone of voice) work in real life, in those respective industries. There’s a lot of thought and psychology that goes into how consumers (the public in general) will react to certain aspects of branding and how to use that to your advantage is all quite interesting to me.  I feel like some brands appear closed off almost like they feel better than their consumers, learning that allowing your brand to have personality and an openness to it was almost thrilling to me as that is something I was trying to convey before I had read this and it is also something I enjoy in other brands.

Marty Neumeier has a lot of good advice in these books and presented them in a really easy to understand manner which I was grateful for as I was worried a more industry based book would be over my head but it was actual pretty applicable to the personal branding project we’re currently completing.

 

 

103: Week 10- Beyond the Brand

Beyond the Brand

In this lecture we talked about brand values, which can be used to form an emotional connection with the audience. This is the goal for most brands as many consumers buy out of impulse and emotion, therefore if you create loyalty within your consumers along with producing quality projects you create value with your consumers.

Here are the main factors to consider when trying to create a brand value:

The first is the Brand itself- its important that the brand delivers high quality products and looks good so that the customers can start to respect and value the brand themselves.

The second is Experience-  the user experience when interacting with your brand in any way is important, it creates a brand perception with the user and elicits an emotional response from the user.  If the website the user interacts with is boring or contains errors and lagging the user will have a negative reaction to the brand and it will not hold value to them. That’s why it’s important anything pertaining to the brand must be of high quality.

The third is Product- To get consumers involved the product must be of high value. Whether the product is something completely new and radical or a better version of something already out there, it’s important it’s worth the respect and love wanted from the consumer.

 

How do we do this?

Building a respectable and high value brand takes years, especially to develop loyalty with its consumer base .

When developing your brand to reach this goal it’s important to focus on consistency within your brand. This means that the tone of voice and content should stay the same throughout to help build that loyalty and something consumers can rely on.


Tasks

One of our tasks for this week was to create a touchpoint for our brand e.g bag, clothes, desktop background or loading animation.

I decided to make an animation of my monogram I could use on my website.

This was my first attempt:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like the hand-drawn look nut the colours weren’t quite bright enough and at this point I had decided to take the green out of my colour palette so this didn’t work anymore.

 

 

I used the app ‘procreate’ and an ipad to create a new animation, it looked brighter and had cleaner lines but I had problems exporting it.

 

 

 

 

 

I then decided to completely re-animate the monogram with the hand drawn style I had at the beginning:

 

I had problems exporting with a transparent background so I decided to make the background black as that was the colour I was intending on making my website.

Instead of focussing on the letters of the monogram, I decided to have the colours stand out and speak for my brand themselves and I think this is more successful.

104: Project 02- Infographic

Project 02: Infographic

The second project for this module is to create an infographic focussing on a subject specific to the world around us.
The subject I chose was ‘Femicide in the UK’ . Femicide is defined as ‘men’s fatal violence against women’. This infographic will be made using statistics found in the Femicide Census, which is the first in the UK to analyse the murder of women and girls, from the age of 14 to 100, at the hands of men from 2009-2018.

Femicide is different to just male homicide in specific ways e.g. most femicides are committed by partners or ex-partners and usually involve consistent and ongoing domestic abuse, intimidation and sexual violence where women have less “power” than their partner.

Femicide is a worldwide issue and this was validated in 2012 when the World Health Organistaion created a short report declaring femicides increasing prevalence: ‘35% of all murders of women globally are reported to be committed by an intimate partner, compared to only about 5% of all murders of men are committed by an intimate partner. In those cases where a man is killed by an intimate partner, they were mostly killed in an act of self- defense’

Even though Femicide is clearly a global epidemic, I decided to limit the data I would use for my infographic by localising the issue to the UK for a more clear and influential effect. Therefore people won’t be overwhelmed by deaths and stories in the millions worldwide as that makes it easier to brush away the issue. When you are faced with important data and figures that are also taken from places and people you may know it makes it harder to look away from the issue and easier to get involved in the fight.
Before designing my final infographic I gathered the statistics and data I was gonna use. I wrote them down in a journal to keep track of them and the websites and reports I got them from.
I then did some research on pinterest for how to present data to get some ideas. Using this as inspiration, I drew some quick sketches of how to present some of the data I wrote down.
After this, I drew a template of what I would like my infographic to look like. I decided to go for a more minimalist design using easy to understand and clear data visualisation and messaging as I believe an important topic like this should be presented in a clear way. A more illustrative route could appear cartoonish or tone- deaf considering the subject, however I would like to incorporate more illustrative concepts in a minimal style throughout the project.
I haven’t drawn a template for the whole project yet as I felt I needed to begin digitising to to get a real feel for how it would look with colour and correct typefaces. This would save time if I decided I need to change a whole new concept and it allows me to make improvements on the digital version while I finish the paper template.
This was my first draft including what I had originally drawn.
These next images show the development of my infographic over time:
The colours used for backgrounds and text changed a lot, I went through lots of pink tones to find some that would both be aesthetically pleasing but allows text to still be readable. There were lots of other changes over time, I decided to remove black from the colour palette all together and stuck to a monochromatic range of pinks with white being used for emphasis or to make certain element stand out. I also added a new section along with my bibliography:
This section uses statistic I found which I presented in a droplet that could be inferred to be blood or tears to emphasise the point. To this section I added quotes I could find form real life cases of femicide to drive home the concept that this is real and happening around you, close to you. Too often data can feel cold and disconnected from real life but I wanted this infographic to present all the data we’ve been hearing about domestic violence for years, with context.

104: Week 08- Designing Infographics

Designing Infographics

In this week’s lecture we delved deeper into the world of infographics and how they are effective. Infographics have proved to be very useful in the medical field to explain infectionary diseases and many illnesses as its graphical representations of difficult or complex issues can simplify them and make them informative for everyone which is the main benefit of infographics.

There are different types of infographics, these are the main examples shown in the lecture.

Timeline Infographics

 

Timeline infographics are great for visualising the history of something, to highlight important dates, or to give an overview of events.

Humans tend to make sense of time and how its spaced, a visual like a timeline infographic can help create a clearer picture of a timeframe. Visuals aids like lines, icons, photos, and labels all help to highlight and explain points in time.

 

 

 

 

Statistical Infographics

 

 

A statistical infographic puts the focus on your data. The layout and visuals will help you tell the story behind your data.

Your storytelling devices can include charts, icons, images and eye-catching fonts.

 

This is an example of a statistical infographic.

 

 

 

In this lecture we also learned the keys to making a good infographic are utility, illustration and soundness.

Utility-describes understandable nature of the infographic as this is the main purpose of one- to simplify a complex thing for a wide target audience

Soundness- describes the accuracy of the data and the way it is presented- making sure it is clear and a good representation of the data

Illustration- illustration can really help bring data to life and visualising data in a really interesting and eye-catching way, however, it is importat the illistration does not overpower the data and distract from the topic and point of the infographic.

 

Our tasks for this week wast to complete a master-apprentice recreation of two bar charts:

The charts on the right are my recreations.

104: Week 07- Visualising Data

Visualising Data

In this week’s lecture we final part of the module, visualising data.

We introduced to infographics, and how important, easy to understand, simple,  concise information is.

Diagrams- are a simplified drawing showing the appearance, structure, or workings of something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visualisations- are ‘an interdisciplinary field that deals with the graphic representation of data. It is a particularly efficient way of communicating’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were shown that data is everywhere from bus timetables to forecasts and weather reports so why not take the the time to make this information beautiful and functional.


Research

For further research into visualisations and what they can be used for, I watched David McCandless‘s Ted Talk on the ‘Beauty of Data Visualisation’

The first project he brought up was his data visualisation on the military spending, worldwide which he called “The Billion Dollar Gram”

Visual Business Intelligence – The Billion Pound-O-Gram Redesigned

McCandless researched articles expressing the amount of money spent on something and scaled it accordingly with everything else to convey simply how much money was spent on something in comparison to say personal wealth. The project was then colour coded to show how the money was used. McCandless talks about presenting this information as a ‘landscape’ or a ‘map’ that ‘people can explore with their eyes’ I thought that was a really nice way of thinking about data and how you can even gain excitement from it.

The next project McCandless’s presented was called “Mountains out of Molehills” which he describes as a “timeline of global media panic” The higher the point the more intense the fear:

mountains out of molehills.PNG | Bryn Mawr College

McCandless points out patterns in data such as the ‘violent video games’ timeline which occurs around November and April every year. This can be explained by buying video games for Christmas around November time however for april, the spike occurs due to the anniversary of the Columbine shooting which is a pattern that never would have been seen if not for data visualisation.

David McCandless goes on to explain how he feels “Data is the new soil” as it as a fertile medium from which creativity and visualisations can grow from. He talks about how disconnected raw facts and figures can be and it makes them hard to understand but you can do more than just making data understandable you can make it an art unto itself.

The beauty of data visualization | David McCandless - YouTube

McCanless brings up this graphic to compare our human senses to the processing power of technology to allow us to see how powerful our minds are but the small square at the bottom right is how much of this we are actually aware of. This really made me think about how important proper presentation of data as is we, as humans, will immediately infer patterns and relationships between data from just a look at a graph. McCanless furthers this point by pointing out that we view America and China as military heavy and countries and figures back this up but these aren’t as true as they could be. If you put China’s soldier population relative to its general population it actually has quite a small army.

The world of data visualisations allow us to see how the beliefs of everyone around us and where they came from, it gives us a unbiased perception of how the world works and from this we can create our own opinions. The information I’ve learned about creating data visualisations has made me very excited about the topic and this is something I will look into myself.

 


Project 02 – Infographic / Data Visualisation

This week we were shown our final project-  creating an infographic looking specifically at global population.

I did a lot of thinking about which direction I would go in for this project, looking at past students work it seemed to be heavily focussed on overall population statistics or population changes from disease or disaster. The second concept is something I found interesting and struck a chord with me at the time as I had been researching women’s rights and gender inequalities at the time. In that research I had heard of the term femicide- ‘ a man’s killing of a woman’ and thought this would be a slightly different take on the project but something close to my heart and especially in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s death on the 3rd of March.

 


Weekly Tasks- Master Apprentice

These are the original diagrams:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And these are my recreations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t find a good match for the number in the centre of the second pie chart so I chose a font I felt worked with the rest of the diagram. Overall I felt I did a good job at recreating these diagrams and have been enjoying these exercises.

 

104: Week 05- Tying it all together

Tying it all together

In this week’s lecture we covered ui design on phones including the importance of the buttons sizes and how colour affects the functionality of the design.

 

Principles of UI 

  • Format Content- its important when formating designs for mobile that everything fits within the margins of the phone screen dimensions so the content can be viewed and understood easily without awkward scrolling or zooming out to see everything

 

 

  • Hit Targets- the buttons should be able to be easily pressed by a finger or thumb. They should be appropriately sized and spaced to avoid accidentally pressing the wrong button.

 

  • Text Sizes- the sizing of text should be proportional to how important the information is but also all text should be at a readable size.

 

  • Contrast-  there should be contrast in font weighting between in headings and body text. Colour can also be used to emphasise contrast but should be used sparingly and appropriately, e.g. all text the same bright colour or colour unreadably bright.

 

  • Spacing- the line spacing between text is important to improve the overall visibility of the text- helping the content be as easy to understand as possible.

 

  • Distortion- images and content should not be distorted or have a squashed appearance which could affect the understanding of the content/images. Images should be properly scaled to fit in the webpage or app.

 

  • Organisation- to assist the use of an app the content should organised in such a way that when the user first glances at it they know what the app or webpage wants them to do and can process the information as quickly as possible.

 

  • Alignment- the way the content is aligned on a page is important for the ease of use. Images should be placed appropriately along with the text and used in only one alignment. Buttons should be placed in similar areas across screens/pages to simplify navigation for the user.

 


Touch Gesture Sizing

The average size of a finger is 57 px wide and the average thumb size is 72px. It is important to keep these measurement in mind when designing buttons for an app or web page as  making buttons too small would make using the product more difficult than it has to be. The useability of an app or webpage is so important as people are less likely to use a product if their experience with it is difficult. However you can’t always use only these sizes for buttons as it leaves less room for all the important design elements, the use of the buttons and the difficulty level of pressing them should just always be kept in mind in design.

The anatomy of the user should also be taken into account when styling the layout and spacing of the content. Buttons spaced too close together could lead to clicking the wrong button and creating a frustrating experience. Also buttons- especially ones that are similar in context such as navigation buttons- spaced too far apart can lead to confusion in design as humans group together buttons that are beside each other.  The layout and where you decide to place important buttons should be concentrated on the bottom half of the phone as majority of phone users hold their phone in one hand and as phone screen sized have increased there is now more difficulty reaching top areas of the phone screen,.


Colour

 

Monochromatic colour schemes are one colour in many shades. These can be used to create a sense of consistency in more minimal design.

Analogous schemes involve few colours close to each other. This creates warm or cool colour schemes which produces a sense of temperature in design and colour harmony.

Complementary are schemes were the colours used are opposites on the colour wheel.  These can create good contrast on designs as it draws in the eye.

Triad colour schemes are formed from creating a triangle in the colour wheel. These can create a vibrant design if used in a balanced way.

Custom colour schemes were also mentioned in the lecture which is great for ensuring the colours used are appropriate for the app/ website being designed but the above colour schemes should be used to draw inspiration from to make sure it works.

Colour Contrast- is an important feature of the colour scheme as without strong contrast between all the colours used, it will be harder for the user to differentiate between the content especially with text colour.

The optimum colour contrast between background and text colour is 21:1, there is a website called https://contrast-ratio.com/ in which you can input your intended background and text colour to see what its contrast ratio is. This can help while in the design stage to check how readable your colour scheme is as functionality when it comes to app/webpage design is so important. These ratios do change between small (4.5:1) and large (3:1) text.

The website webAIM also has a colour contrast checker but it slightly more in depth. It tells you if your colour combination passes or fails depending on text size and gives an explanation. Adobe also has resources on their websites to help designers with colour contrast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrast in User attention- if you want certain elements to stand out in your design, make them appear different to its surroundings in some way. It helps the user focus on what part of the content is the most important and this helps users process information as quickly as possible and aids their user experience.