Thursday, 15 January 2015

End Of Module Evaluation

End Of Module Evaluation
Context Of Practice 3

1.  What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

I have really developed my ability to research a variety of sources and collate them into arguments for a dissertation. I think that I have also developed the ability to effectively research which has saved me a lot of time. I also think I have developed my understanding of synthesis between theory and practical, and showing my understanding of how they connect. I have also developed by photography skills via photographing my practical work.

2. What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?

I have developed my work from a more theoretical stance. I have also used the ideas of the theory in my design and production. For instance sustainability was a theme I looked at within my dissertation, it was also a key concept within the practical and so I printed on recycled stock as this is more sustainable and so the three connect. I have also looked into brochure design more and how they inform and promote housing, as well as brand and I feel that this helpful for my own interests within graphic design and my own practice. I have also developed my photography skills for the presentation of my work and I feel that being shown and doing this properly will help me in the future to photograph and present work properly.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

I feel that strength of my dissertation was that I had researched and read into a lot of sources, I think that this really helped me have a variety of sources and it also broadened my own knowledge and thoughts. I think that having an understanding of the theory helped me to link it to my practical and meant that my practical work had a deeper theoretical connection. I also feel like my practical design work is strong visually and I enjoyed designing a brochure type publication, I will capitalise on this by my experience and developing my own design style and interests. I would also say that another strength is I gave myself enough time to complete each part of this module especially the written element I am pleased I began my research in summer and kept going back to the dissertation, I felt that having it completed earlier meant that I got feedback which meant that I could keep improving the written element.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?

I would say that a weakness within this module is the production of the folder, I feel that this is a lesser quality to the rest of the materials, this is because, firstly I feel that it is a little bit too big, a folder wouldn’t need to be a big, I also think it could have been better if it closed properly with a tab or something similar, and I had to back the folder onto card, which in hindsight was a little too thick. I think I may not have allocated enough time for my practical, all though I don’t feel overall that I had rushed. I think it may have been useful to have the work ready for critique from peers, and this may of improved aspects of the piece.

Attendance- 5
Punctuality- 5
Motivation- 4
Commitment- 4
Quantity of Work Produced- 4
Quality of Work Produced- 4
Contribution to the Group- 4

Design Boards

Design Boards for LILAC, showing the deliverables and the concept.

Practical Synthesis: Rationale

Why did I chose LILAC Housing as my practical element to my dissertation ?

The reasoning behind my choice was the need to include the four themes that related to the idea of being responsible, that I had outlined within my first chapter of my essay/ dissertation. These where according to MacDonald (2002) consumerism, sustainability, global warming and equality. 

LILAC, is a relatively new build of houses in Bramley, Leeds. LILAC stands for Low Impact Living, Affordable, Community and so I felt that these concepts linked really well with the themes that I had used in my essay. Low impact living, is environmentally friendly and sustainable and so this would help me relate to sustainability and global warming. Affordable and community would fit under the category of equality as the financing behind the housing is fair and accessible, community also suggested a variety of people, age, race and sex that all live together. 

And so I decided to brand LILAC as if it was its own housing initiative brand like Redrow etc. I then revolved my practical pieces around deliverables that would be used by the company to promote and inform people about the new housing. This led me to create a folder that would contain a brochure that informs and advertises the housing by describing the way it is sustainable, environmentally friendly and equal, which related to my themes in my essay.

I also created a CD that would contain LILAC's ethical policy (which can be found on their website) it explains certain companies they will not work with, I felt that this showed that LILAC was a moral company and didn't fit in with the regular companies that run the consumer system, such companies I had shown in my essay, i.e. BP. 

I then created a branded letterhead, that a the business could use to write to customers or residents, and a business card for prospective buyers/ residents that they could refer back to for contact information etc. 

I also printed everything on recycled stock and I tried to use minimal paper to fit in with the sustainable aspect of the housing brand. I think that this would match their company ethos and I felt that it was very appropriate. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Practical Synthesis- Final Products

LILAC Housing Cooperative Final Pack

(A3 Folder)

(Inside the Folder) (Information Pack)

Business Card



(Additional page- due to printing pagination) (this page states that residents must sign an agreement and participate in communal activities)

Business Card Front and Back

I am really pleased with what I have created, I think that it is appropriate for the purpose, and it shows LILAC well. I also think that the brief shows synthesis with my dissertation especially within the themes I discussed and talking about designing for a good cause. 

Practical Synthesis: Brochure Binding

For the brochure I decided that a Japanese bind would be the most appropriate, I felt this because I wanted the brochure to have a sense of formality, a loose sheet publication wouldn't be a appropriate as it could fall apart especially as it is a small format. 

I thought that the bind looks more artisan and fits the LILAC brand. I also wanted to Japanese bind as I haven't previously for a brief. 

As well as this I think that string/ thread is more ethical than staples, and again fits with the brand. 

I had previously practiced this bind earlier in the year in a workshop, it is relatively straight forward, however I did use a youtube tutorial to help me through certain parts. 

Practice Bind

I cut the pages down, and put them together along the left spine. I then cut down a piece of paper the same width as the book and marked the amount of holes along this so that I could puncture the holes. I used a bulldog clip to hold all the pages together. I stabbed the holes with the needle. 

I had two types of thread to bind with, the first was the white I thought that this may look bit unnatural. And the brown would look more contrasting with the stock. However the brown thread is too thick, and the white is a binding thread. 

And so I used the white thread. And I think that it has a professional aesthetic. 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Practical Synthesis- LILAC Housing Brochure Design

I decided that my main format would be a brochure, this would help me show the synthesis between the practical and the dissertation the most. 

(physical sizes etc? Binding)

When I began designing the brochure the first page I decided with guidance from Richard Miles to include a foreword which would allow me to include more theoretical ideas and link LILAC to the themes within my essay. 

A foreword is usually written by the editor or executive, I found in my research that Paul Chatterton was a named co-founder and had published a book about the experience of LILAC. I looked online and found interviews he had done and I tried to mould some of his words into the foreword to make it sound more personal. 

This is where I found some usual information Paul had talked about:

"LILAC is a fascinating model for a new, more equitable and ecological approach to providing affordable housing, built in response to three keys issues: the financial crisis, the threat of global warming and the breakdown of local community." 

I found this quote online and I felt that it really synthesised with my own themes in my essay. I also added further explanation to this in the foreword, and mentioned sustainability, global warming and equality.

I started with the word 'welcome' to invite the audience to read. 

I also kept the text the same colour as the LILAC logo as it fits with the lilac branding.

I wanted to create pages that looked warm and inviting, I went for a minimal clean layout as the modern style matches the buildings and the brand identity I had designed. 

I also drew a signature and added Paul's name at the bottom to add authenticity, it almost acts as a seal of approval. 

On the next page I answered some key questions, which on the website are quite hidden. For a potential buyer it is important for them to understand the founding principles of LILAC and this page explains this firstly to se the scene. I also added an illustration of one of the housing modules, there is also and photograph of one of the houses which is very warm due to the sun exposure, I also like the fencing and plants, its almost like you are looking in from the outside. 

Again the questions synthesise as they explain why they help with issues such as equality, sustainability and global warming.

I then went on to explain the letters and concept of LILAC- Low Impact Living, Affordable, Community. I got the information from the lilac website. 

The images I used on this page are meant to show off the range of facilities and they give a sense of family each photograph shows something which can be done as a group, i.e. children playing, a decking for outdoor meals, and a communal dinning area.

Another key page is the explanation of ModCell. Which is the main building component of the housing, this again talks about reduction of emissions and sustainability which again shows my own themes.  

One of my favourite spreads is the floor plan page this shows buyers/ visitors what they would expect inside the housing, I think that this also helps as it there isn't really any imagery of the inside of the buildings. 

I took the initial floor plans from the website and drew over them in the simple style that works with the brand. 

I guessed at the 3 and 4 beds and made up a floor plan. Under the name of the plans I added information which suggest how many people should live there. This was to coincide with a point I made in my essay about how people are taking up more space in housing, and lesser number of people are living in a bigger area, and so I suggested how many people would live in one of the houses, and this points to a more sustainable way of living.

I left my front page until last I was unsure of what I wanted it to look like, however for coherence and brand identity/ recognition, I followed a similar design and layout to the folder cover. 

I felt that there didn't need to be anymore information on the front as it is inside the brochure.

The image again is meant to be inviting and friendly.

The brochure is coherent, the layout is clean and minimal, it is modern and matches the brand and the concept. I like that there is no black typography, it looks different and it also appears light and inviting.

PDF Version of the brochure for LILAC housing.

Practical Synthesis: LILAC Logo Development

The previous logo I felt was over complicated, the bright purple is too harsh and the buildings don't reflect the buildings of the cooperative itself. 

I felt that the logo needed to be simplified, and it needed to look more modern to suit the modern technology of the house, and its modern concept. 

I also think that the explanation of LILAC doesn't need to be included in the logo, as it is too lengthy and once you know what it is you don't need to see it every time. 

The colour is to vibrant, it looks un-natural and its dark which again doesn't give a natural feel which is what LILAC is about, natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly.

From my research into house/estate branding companies I decided that I wanted to use a bold sans-serif font, that appears to be wider than taller, I wanted to create a sense of open and modern. 

I couldn't decide which font to choose and so I changed the type to the colour lilac I had selected and this made it clearer. 

The serif font that I had tried for difference can't be seen properly in this colour. 

I also felt that full uppercase is more appropriate, and looks more formal, its more fitting as buying a house is a big commitment and it is quite a formal process, yet I still wanted to maintain a feeling of friendliness.

I then began to look into an icon that I could use along side the name and on its own, and maybe even as parts of icons. 

When I looked at the word 'lilac' the flower Lilacs, came up, they are made up of four facing petals and this is what I started with. 

I thought back to the main concepts of LILAC and the main themes in my essay, I thought about sustainability, and was reminded that LILAC housing has solar panels, which like the buildings are also square, when I searched this term this image of a solar panel appeared and I really liked the pattern that appeared, I started experimenting with this a shape for my own logo. 

I initially drew out four rounded squares on illustrator in a square formation, but I felt that the square was too obvious and didn't resemble something natural and so I rotated the shape into a diamond, this reminded me more of the Lilac flower I had first drawn. 

In the first shape I added more smaller squares to resemble leaves. However I felt that this was too complicated.

I tried the squares in an outline style too, I wasn't sure which I preferred, I did feel that an outline appearance would match the type more. 

I also made the edges more sharp/ straight to make it a little more obvious that is was a square. 

I also made the outline thicker, but I think that this made the shape look heavy, the top shape looks more open and inviting. 

I decided upon this as my final logo. 

I used the grid and rulers to align the icon to the centre and it is just a bit bigger than the counter of the C. 

The final logo as opposed to the original is a lighter purple- lilac, the colour I feel is lighter this is due to the tone of the purple being closer to white rather than black like before, and it is softer which makes it appear more friendly, and natural. The type is bold but not abrasive, the logo is still formal but not overly authoritative, and the capitilazation of the letters suggest they are equally important and that they are an acronym. 

The logo mark has a feeling of joining together, the squares within squares are representative of the housing and the site of LILAC itself. The open square in the middle again gives a sense of space and openness. Personally I feel that the mark could look like a  minimal representation of a flower head, a wind mill and as the original inspiration solar panel marks, which all suggest environment and sustainability.