On display – Introduction

Last week we were briefed with a new project that would last over five weeks, named ‘On display’. After two weeks of exploring branding and identity we will now have to develop an identity with an understanding of a political/cultural/social subject. Our task is to develop a ‘cohesive exhibition experience’. We will need to ensure that the identity will work visually across a number of deliverables which would be printed, digital and spacial. A firm understanding of our chosen subject is key to developing a successful and cohesive identity. The themes we are allowed to choose from include:

  • Beyond Borders
  • Brutalist Architecture
  • Defuturing
  • Etymology
  • Psychogeography

We will need to create a unique name for the identity of the exhibition. Use of a graphic system will be vital to a successful identity across the outcomes. Things we will carefully need to consider include typographic systems/families, colour, grids, imagery, dimensions and materials. The design will need to be sympathetic to our chosen subject matter and will need to be appropriate for the target audience. We will need to choose a space that would be suitable for the context of the subject and its identity.

At the end of the project we will present the outcomes in a 10 minute PDF presentation which will need to include:

  • The visual identity/marque
  • How the identity’s brand system works across a number of contexts including:
  • Animated moving identity
  • Promotional installation / spacial communication
  • Ephemera (including both printed and digital outcomes i.e. posters, brochures, app, web, product)
  • Visuals of how a signage & wayfinding systerms works within a space

What I hope to learn from this project is how to apply all my skills to this branding project to create exceptional final outcomes, how to solve problems professionally for the client and the audience, and how to assess and produce work more critically and efficiently. I intend to pick a topic which I will find challenging so that I can produce my very best work by challenging myself to the limit.


Coptic book binding workshop


Today we were given a workshop in coptic bookbinding. Similar to the book binding workshop we had in our first year, this was a more complex style of book binding, however the process of making the book overall was very similar. We had created hardback books instead of small journals which we had created last year.

Coptic bookbinding was a process of binding books that was used and developed by the Egyptians. Sheets of paper, known as signatures, are single sheets of paper folded in half to create two sheets in a book.  Signatures are sewn together through their folds following a sequence of stitching creating a chain of signatures. The size of the sheets of cartridge paper we used were 12cm in width and 15cm in length.

  1. We first folded 14 sheets of paper in half, length way. We used a bone folder to create a perfect fold in the paper. After folding them we tucked one inside another forming 7 signatures.
  2. To mark up the signatures for stitching we used a ruler to measure in 1cm from the top and bottom by creating a mark with a pencil. We did this for every signature. Then we marked up 3.3cm from the marks we had created, making new marks on the inside. This would ensure that the four marks would be evenly spaced.
  3. Using an awl we pierced through the marks in the paper which would create the holes we needed to thread linen through them and to stitch the pages together.
  4. With a needle and thread we used the mountain of the fold to thread down through the first hole at the top of the page. Then we thread under to go up through the second, down through the third, and then up through the fourth hole.
  5. To attach the signatures together we used the remainder of thread to stitch through the other signatures. After completing the second signature we needed to make knots to hold them together.
  6. After completing the stitching process we used a piece of mull cloth and cut it down to the 12cm in height and 8cm in length so it would fit around the spine. Using PVA glue, we layered it onto the spine and gently pressed down the mull cloth around the spine making sure it was sealed to the spine with the glue.
  7. The next step was making the cover. To make the cover we were going to use card, book cloth, and PVA glue. First we cut the card to fit as a cover for the pages which was 12.2cm by 14.9cm to leave space for the pages to spread out without the cover limiting them. We made two cutouts to make the front and back cover. And then we cut a piece of card for the spine, which was 1.7cm by 12.2cm.
  8. After cutting out some book cloth to cover the card, we placed the card cutouts on the inside of the cloth. Using PVA glue and a roller, I evenly coated one piece of card for the cover on the cloth, leaving enough room to attach the other pieces of card. I made sure I pressed down hard and even to ensure it was firmly attached to the cloth.
  9. Before attaching the other pieces of card down I needed to make markings to ensure they would be glued down parallel and even to the first piece of card. To place the spine I needed to make a 6mm gap so the cover would allow the book to open. After making the marks we used the roller and PVA glue to attach the spine and cover to the cloth. Again, firmly pressing down, ensuring even coverage.
  10. To finish creating the cover we now needed to wrap the excess material of the book cloth around the card that made the hardback of the cover. First we cut off each of the four corners of the excess book cloth.
  11. After gluing down the excess book cloth over the card I then took the stitched pages and looked at how well it fit into the cover. I placed the book down on the table ready to glue the paper into the inside of the cover.
  12. To glue the paper into the cover, I only wanted to cover the first sheet with glue. I used a roller to evenly cover the page with glue and carefully pressed the cover onto the page. By lifting it up I could carefully identify whether any adjustments needed to be made to the position of the pages and the spine. To finish the book I glued the back cover in and pressed hard on the book into the table.

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The bookbinding workshop was extremely successful, however next time I make a hardback comic stitch book I will take better care in making my measurements and markings as accurate as possible. I hope to use this style of bookbinding in my future work and projects so I can look at further possibilities of making my work look more sophisticated and most importantly making it look professional.

An identity in a day

Thursday we had been given a project by our tutor and a guest speaker, Gareth Strange. The project we were given was a rebranding project, giving an identity to a brand or company that suited them best in terms of what their values were and what they wanted out of their identity to communicate to a suitable audience. We were put into groups of four and given the task to create a marque and have it placed upon five deliverables.


My group of four were given the task of rebranding Robot Baby. We were given a profile of the company and what they wanted to sell to their customers. It is a robot toy aimed towards 7-14 year olds founded by computer science graduates. It has an intelligent assistant built into it which follows orders and gives answers. We highlighted the words bright, vibrant, slick, and retro. These were values we needed to reflect upon in the marque we were going to create. The logo above was the original marque for the brand and we were tasked with recreating a logo, making it look more desirable and appealing to customers and the audience of the product.

Brief research we conducted was looking into what brands and kids toys reflected similar values and qualities to Robot Baby. Transformers and Hex bug were very similar brands. We specifically wanted to look the typefaces used in the identity of the products they created and also the colours. Hex bug was especially useful because they don’t direct their products towards any specific gender.

As a team of four we first started sketching and mind mapping. Initially we were stuck for ideas because we were without an image of the robot. If we had an image of the robot the logo would be more effective which would make the identity successful. However, since the brand was made up for the workshop we came up with the idea that we could find an image online of what we thought the robot would look like. We used this image to come up with more ideas for the design of the marque. This also formed part of our research.

We had come up with ideas that were forward thinking, reflecting the futuristic quality the robot toy would hold for 7-14 year olds. This would be a similar process to the 100 Ideas project we had completed in the previous week, producing many ideas in a limited space of time, and most importantly reflecting the values of the brand and what identity they wanted.

The ideas we had come up with featured arrows, text, and a simplified image of the robot that would have to fit with the text. Although there were disagreements we eventually decided on a design for the marque and we used illustrator to digitise the logo so it looked professional and so we could place it upon deliverables in a matter of seconds. At first we digitised it in black and white so then we could decide upon colour after positioning the elements together. We used the typeface Futura because we felt it best suited the tone of the logo. Then we could decide upon modifying it.


Deciding upon colours was difficult because we didn’t want to aim it towards a certain gender. We first started working with black and blue and decided to scrap some of the black for orange since it was a gender neutral colour and it seemed like an encouraging, welcoming and warm colour. The colours also reflect the bright, vibrant and retro values of the product and brand. We removed the torso of the robot and decided to use the head to replace the second ‘O’ in ‘ROBOT’. This made the logo less constrictive as to how we could explore type. We also looked at breaking up some of the letters to make the marque look more constructive, retro and slick. Making the width of the letter larger meant that the logo could be made legible on a postage stamp, as well as taking out a few of the breaks in letters.


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After completing the marque we had to decide upon which deliverables would be most suitable for the product and brand. We created a poster, a billboard, a packaging design, a t-shirt design, and an app for which you could control where the robot would go and what more the toy could do. For the design of the packaging and the poster, we added a very faint pattern of a circuit board which we found online. This would keep the identity established for the brand.

After completing all our work we presented our work to the class and received very positive feedback. One thing we could have changed was using a different pattern to the circuit board which people would find quite cliche of a robot. Maybe instead of using the circuit board we could have created a pattern out of directive arrows for the audience to get a sense of the toy being forward thinking and futuristic. We also could have incorporated the slogan, ‘your intelligent friend’ into the poster. We said we found this difficult because we struggled to find a typeface that would have worked in the poster for the slogan. I thought this had been a very successful day of rebranding Robot Baby. We got the chance to work as a team on the project which we didn’t get with the 100 Ideas project.

A logo in the making – Final sketches

Going forward I conducted some brief research into what makes great logos and trends in logos for 2017 going on to 2018. I looked at this website for some inspiration and tips on what kind of logos to create.


In sketches 57-60, I looked at breaking letters apart and cutting parts out of letters to create interesting structures to the logos. I referred to this logo for this process. What I liked about this logo was how the diagonal stroke of the A set the modern yet sophisticated tone for this logo. I also like the simple typeface that was used. It is geometrical which gives it the tone it needs. I also explored what I could do with the fillings of letters according to where and how the logo would be used.

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With most of the logos I created I wanted to keep them simple yet cohesive. I looked at logos which had been simplified. What I particularly liked was the rebranding of MasterCard and Airbnb. Both the logos from different companies were transformed into something that was modern yet timeless, and something that could work across any deliverables for the company.

Hand-drawn logos were also something I looked at. Sketches 40-54 were drawings of objects in my room, things I found attractive, and images which I thought reflected my work process. I named these sketches accordingly.

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A trend the website didn’t look at was monoline. What I like about these line illustrations is how interesting and appealing, but how simple they are. They don’t clutter the space and they are perfect for fitting into the size of a postage stamp. They can take the form of being simple, family friendly, playful, and modern, however I find that they will always be timeless because of how many styles there are.


As you can see, the typeface I used in the monoline logos I decided you use very frequently. I called it ‘jocose’ which is another word for ‘playful’. The same with the other designs I had come up with, I altered certain elements in the typeface and explored many more design possibilities. I felt the jocose designs were the most successful because they were unique, simple, and timeless. Most importantly I felt the typeface reflected me, my personality, and my work as a designer.

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I very much enjoyed this project as stressful as it could have been at times. It had opened my mind to brand new ideas and new productivity levels which I never thought I could have handled. The reason we had been given this project was to prepare us for working properly, rather than working at the unproductive levels we had been working at in our first year. I can predict that branding might be the most enjoyable part of graphic design I will experience. This project has said it all.

A logo in the making – Research and sketching

With the launch of the ‘100 Ideas’ project it was going to be difficult since we only had a week. However we would need to get used to producing ideas and sketches ten times quicker than usual since we would be entering the very productive design world in the very near future. After producing thirty-two sketches I had only realised how difficult producing ideas would be.

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In the middle of producing these sketches I began to think that a great deal of them looked quite like the Pi sign with how they were joined up. Many of them were simple and some of them were extremely creative and graphically interesting. I also noticed that a few looked similar to the branding for the Olympic Games, and the branding for Portaventura, a theme park near Barcelona, Spain.

After a group tutorial I got a sense of where I should have been heading with this project. Instead of combining my initials together and making interesting shapes and images, I instead needed to focus on adding imagery that represented me. I also decided to add words. Going forward I conducted some brief research into digital line illustrations. What I like about these line illustrations is how detailed yet simple they are. They don’t clutter the space and they are perfect for fitting into the size of a postage stamp. They’re family friendly, simple, yet playful, and modern, yet timeless.

CSAD Degree Show 2017

In the lead up to the deadline of the editorial project, ‘Changing Faces’, for the first year group, we all attended the spectacular showings of third year work from all disciplines within the Cardiff School of Art & Design. I could not describe how impressive some of the pieces of work were. The degree show presented just how much dedication and effort students can put into their work in order to seek a career, commissions from various people, or even into further education. The exhibition and students websites/blogs are their stepping stone to showing just how much they’re made of. All the disciplines presented such high quality of energy and enthusiasm through students’ choices of materials, tools, and process of production. Below are several pieces which caught my eye.

I have selected three pieces of work from the exhibition that most caught my eye and intrigued me.


The first piece of work I saw was a piece of ceramic work by Fflur Green who studied BA (Hons) Ceramics.

Pieces of vibrantly coloured coral made of ceramic material were carefully placed on the wall. She described that her work was to show the fragility of life and the importance of death. She wanted to celebrate this fragility through a different yet therepeutic perspective.

The bright colours which are associated with the coral reef were carefully considered to essentially bring life and strength to her work. The fragility is presented through the vulnerable material of ceramics as well as the fragility of life and the coral reef. She wanted to trigger an array of emotions for the viewer.

What I liked about this piece was how the work was presented. I liked the textures that were created with materials and tools in the production of the work, the colour used to show that it represented coral, and how she considered elements in life to bring this piece together. I can imagine using coral as an example of a fragile being could have been quite challenging.


The second piece of work that I’ve chosen to analyse was a photograph taken by Zara Jackson, as part of the BA (Hons) Photographic Practice course in Brigend.

This is a photograph of Sugar glass with a drop of food colouring. She didn’t describe how she took the photo or for what the photo represented. Jackson described that she likes to create work that makes people question, is unusual to the eye and is slightly different.

What caught my eye with this photograph was the vibrancy and contrast between clarity and blurriness. The composition of the photograph made me think it was made to look like a cliff or mountain. I like how it doesn’t completely look like a photograph because of the use of a macro lens, which is was drew me closer into the photograph and making me wonder what it was. I wouldn’t have known this was sugar glass with food colouring if the photographer hadn’t mentioned it in the caption below it in the exhibition.

The third piece I chose to look at was by BA (Hons) Illustration student Rebecca Woolmer. The collection of work was titles Narcissus.

Woolmer described that the collection was inspired by both ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and the myth of Narcissus. It explored the ‘fluctuating’ and ‘illusory’ nature human identity . She described how the boundaries between humans and technology have blurred which has made it more difficult to distinguish the difference between what is real and what is virtual. This has entailed the increasing obsession to achieve a construct of oneself that does not exist.

What caught my eye with this work was how the illustrations were presented in the book and on the wall. The incredible mixture of lines and colours was what intrigued me into looking closer into what the illustrator was trying to present to the viewer. I love the drawings and the concept that has been created.