The rationale that I established at the beginning of this module was - A print driven investigation into identity and branding with a focus on format and finish.
Looking back at the work I have now produced I can see that I have actually stayed true to this vision and ultimately accomplished what I had set out to achieve. The briefs I had written myself over the summer covered a wide range of topics and disciplines, but after deciding on the rationale statement I found it easier to select my four core briefs that would help me to build a focussed body of work that was suitable for my portfolio.
Brief 1 (Colour Exhibition) was a project that I really enjoyed. I wanted it to be a fun project, full of colour that was resolved with a range of printed deliverables. Similarly to everyone else it took me a little time to get used to juggling several projects and once but the enjoyment of this first brief helped to drive me forwards. I was generally very pleased with what I produced in response to the brief and I'm really happy with the visual identity of the project as a whole. If it could have been improved then I think I should have spent less time concept building and made a few decisions earlier which would have allowed me to expand the project even more.
Brief 2 (Apparel Brand) started out as a branding project for something else which ended up changing due to my 3rd brief being branding based and food related and I didn't want the projects to be too similar. As a result I simply changed this brief to another branding brief from one I had written over summer which involved branding a mens boutique clothing company. This brief initially proved quite tortuous as I just couldn't figure out the brand identity in the manner in which I wanted. Eventually, I ended up taking a week out of the third brief (which I'll explain in the next paragraph) to concentrate solely on this project - and it worked. I managed to crack the design direction which just involved reworking the logotype I had designed and I got my resolutions wrapped up quite quickly from there onwards. Overall I was really pleased with how this brief turned out and I was happy with how I managed to work through the problems I faced with it. If some of these problems had been sorted earlier then I would have liked to have got onto doing some digital mock ups of the potential clothing store itself.
Brief 3 (Concept Restaurant) was a collaboration with Naomi Farrar who I approached at the end of summer to discuss working together. I felt we have a similar approach and attitude in terms of how we work and I think this turned out to be correct. This brief got off to a flying start and we decided on our design direction very quickly and the brand identity we produced I was really happy with. One thing I thought was particularly good was that we actually both managed to influence the brand identity - for example I drew the custom lettering and then referred back to Naomi and it was subsequently developed. But from that lettering Naomi went on to create the abstract logo. We were even similar in the fact that we were both struggling with our second briefs whilst this project was ongoing and so we decided to take a week out and get our second briefs resolved and we managed to stick to that. This week out I feel did cost us the chance to use any screen printing/foiling and special finishes but it didn't diminish the quality of work we produced. And I would rather have had all of my briefs well resolved than leaving one to suffer so I'm glad we took this decision. Aside from this I have really enjoyed working collaboratively as it definitely makes me even more productive. I think its all about working with the right people and I would happily work with Naomi again. I have also started thinking about other people I could collaborate with on future projects too.
Brief 4 (ISTD) was a bit of a strange one to be honest. I had agreed with Amber from the start that I would only spend a week on this one but I kept changing my mind on which competition brief to do. Eventually I did settle on an ISTD one and I did get it done in a week which was good. The main problem with this brief was that I did run out of time a little bit which prevented me from expanding the project further and creating extra deliverables. I feel this lack of time was essentially down to me doing two other decent sized extra briefs though so it wasn't like I hadn't spent my time not doing work. What I did get done for this brief I was quite pleased with and received good feedback from people in the class on it as well.
In terms of extra briefs I created an edition of 10 books for the Manchester book fair, tackled the live brief for WÅVEN and submitted an entry to the Imagine That competition brief - which I won!
Overall I was really happy with how I managed to stick to my rationale and move more towards brand identity work which was something I hadn't done much of before. The apparel brand and concept restaurant (briefs 2 & 3) definitely fitted this description and they were the two projects I was most pleased with. I also essentially worked on building an identity for the colour exhibition too. Generally I feel much more confident about the kind of work I want to do more of in the future but I remain a little wary of getting to focussed on type led work as I want to keep up my drawing skills and see how I can work a little more of this into my design practice and not just in drawing typefaces and custom lettering. I feel this has been a very successful module for myself and I'm excited to see what I can produce through my final major project.