Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Food Packaging

Since the start of the semester we have been doing a project on food packaging. That's a whole 3 months on one project... crazy. Now that the project is drawing to an end I am enjoying it more. All the final designs are coming together at long last and the last minute pressure is making sure that I get everything done. I would have preferred to have had a smaller time scale for this project because I enjoy creating a lot of output in a short time. However I suppose the long process has been good because I have never done any packaging design before and it has opened my eyes to the packaging design world through research and trying out techniques. I have came across the amazing packaging website and I have started paying more attention to how the food that I buy is packaged.
As the brief was to come up with a revolutionary new food source using the food and material that we were given I came up with Mustard Food Perfume as my food was mustard and my material smoke. So the concept is; mustard flavouring on your food in a puff of smoke! My goal was to approach the packaging design in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way and at the same time have a bit of fun. So I used all recyclable materials and used exciting colours that worked well together but still related to mustard. I created an aluminum bottle for my mustard food perfume and a cardboard box to package it. The bottle is a pyramid shape and the box echoes this so that it fits in perfectly (no need for extra resources to make a larger, cumbersome box.) The bottle itself is very simple, the body is shiny aluminum to fit in with the clean look of the modern kitchen and the shiny utensils and pots, the nozzle is yellow to connect with the yellow on the box and advertising and to signify that it is a mustard flavour. As there is no information on the bottle all the important info is on the box and in the booklet provided with it. I have made the graphics fun and attractive so that the consumer will not mind having the booklet and box lying around so that they can look at the information. The box is easily opened and closed so the user can pop the bottle back in if they wish.
I also came up with the idea that the product can be refilled, so instead of buying many mustard perfumes you only need to buy it once and then when it's finished you can take it back to the refill station at the supermarket, pop in a pound and refill your durable and sustainable aluminum bottle. Creating less waste! This is all explained in the booklet. The final name that I decided on for the product is Mustardo's.
We have now been told that we are to present our final product by means of a Dragons Dens style presentation with judges and all. I find this extremely exciting and hopefully this week I will make an advert to present with the rest of my work.

Magazine Mission!

For many years I have collected magazines. I started with the teenage girl magazines like Bliss and Elle girl before deciding I was mature enough to buy Elle. Although Elle and Vogue are practically the same I was never a fan of Vogue and would make sure that every month I woud get my very own copy of the glossy covered new Elle magazine to hit the newsagents. After a while I realised that Elle was the same every month, the same layout, the same articles only on a slightly different topic, the same photo shoots only with a new model. Although at first it seemed great to drool over the new high fashions and look at all the pretty models I soon realised that I couldn't afford any of the fashions that were reviewed and shown off and I didn't look like any of the models so I had to look for another magazine to fall in love with. That's when I found i.D. It opened my eyes to a whole new world and it gave me all the information I needed at that time in my life. What music was hot, what films were not and who was doing what in the fashion and art world. After coming across i.D I found many other magazines of the same genre; Dazed and Confused, Flux, POP, Plastique, and Wonderland. whilst becoming a avid reader of i.D I also bought these other magazines now and again. As my magazine collection grew taller I loved it more and more. For every art project I would go through every one and find imagery and inspiration.
When I moved to Dundee last year for my first year of Uni I made sure that none of my magazines were let behind even though my dad protested that there was not enough room. They looked great in my room but I didn't pay as much attention to them as in the past. I continued to add to my collection with the additions of two new great finds; Cooler and Vice.
The end of first year meant trekking back home with all my belonging sand once again all my magazines came home. After sitting patiently for the summer they were to return again once more to Dundee but this time to my new flat. Once again they look great in my room but they are very much neglected. Not that I wouldn't like to look through them all I just don't have the time and although I hate to admit it I'm kind of bored of them as I've ripped out all the good stuff for use for other things.
Whenever a new i.D or Dazed and Confused hits the shelves I still head straight to them in the shops and have a flick through. However I feel quite disappointed because just like my realization that there was the same thing in Elle magazine every month this has became the same case with my other favourite magazines.
I no longer get excited to see the fashion shoots because I've seen them all before and it may be a new band there writing about but because it's written in the same format they just sound the same.
I find it really sad that I've lost my love for magazines because they truly were my inspiration in life. They even inspired me to do Graphic Design. So now I'm here studying Graphic Design and wanting to go in to the magazine industry, but how can I go in to an industry that I've fell out of love with?
Well..... I refuse to loose hope, there must be more amazing magazines sitting on shelves out there that I have not came across yet. I am going to go out and hunt them down, I am going to become a magazine critic until I have analyzed magazines so much that I know what's good, what's bad, what's ugly and what's beautiful. If I want to be in the magazine industry then I need to know it inside out from a readers/ buyers perspective before I enter it.
That is it! I have decided that No, I am not bored of magazines! I am going to go on a magazine mission to find the best so that I can then make the best so that I can inspire other people with pages of magical imagery and writing just as I was inspired by my loved magazines of the past!

Christmas is too commercialised!

Our lecture on friday about about "why we buy things" made me realize that I'm actually quite a scrooge when it comes to Christmas. I don't really enjoy buying presents for people because it stresses me out figuring out what to get within my budget and as much as I love feeling the presents under the tree and ripping them open on the 25th I'm usually disappointed with the outcome as my family don't have a clue what I like or need no matter how many pointers I give them. I may seem ungrateful but as I'm all about reducing waste I don't want useless presents that I'm going to keep for a few months and then get rid of in one way or another. I read an article by Crystal Hawkins called "Christmas is too commercialized" and she makes an extremely good suggestion; "If you absolutely insist on receiving gifts for Christmas, the perfect solution would be, instead of buying presents for other people, only buy them for yourself. Wrap them if you wish, though it is not absolutely necessary. This way everyone gets what they want and no one will have to guess anymore. Guessing takes the fun out of Christmas and adds pressure. If you stop feeding into the commercialization of this one day each year, you will rollick in a much more enjoyable December." I know a lot of people would disagree and say that Christmas is all about giving but I think it's definitely became more about getting what you want. Jesus didn't ask what he wanted when he got his gifts but now it's all about kids telling there parents, grandparents and aunties what they want and then all these people trying there hardest to get these things for them. Last year everyone wanted a Wii so parents would do anything to get on for there kids. Since Christmas is about getting what you want then you should go out there and get it yourself then your not going to have any problems. It could just be seen as the time of year when you treat yourself and then on Christmas day you can tell everyone what you got for yourself and why you deserve it and why it's so great. this way you will be enjoying your new things and therefore be in a happy mood whilst surrounded by family instead of sitting there disappointed and thinking about how skint you are.
Crystal Hawkins sums Christmas up pretty well in her article saying; Christmas is a time for dysfunctional families to unite, exchange meaningless gifts and enjoy a delicious dinner around a table that is scarred from years of assorted holiday celebrations that force families to congregate. However sad and depressing this may be it is quite true in most families. My granny organizes Christmas lunch and phones all the family to say when they should be there and we all turn up on Christmas day and see each other and talk to each other for the first time in ages. It would be nicer if there were phone calls between all family members to arrange things and talk to each other instead of leaving it down to dear old granny.
Just like everything in life there needs to be a lot of changes made. We keep on living our lives and doing the necessary things each year and everything keeps on getting more and more commercialized, where as what we need to do is stop and think about things and think about how we can change things for the better. We do this for other things in are life such as how we're doing at university or in our jobs but we don't actually think about how we're doing at celebrating Christmas, are we doing it right? If we stopped and re-planned and didn't care about what "we should be doing at Christmas" and thought about how it could suit each of our families then I think everyone would enjoy it more instead of dreading spending hundreds of pounds and making awkward chat with family members.

Monday, 16 November 2009


In Assignment 2 I focused on looking at Chapter 4 of the Tippin Point, in particular the part about the Broken Window Theory and the removal of graffiti from subway trains in New York, 1984-1990. I though about how graffiti removal from trains could be easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly. I came up with the idea of removable graffiti where vinyl stickers are pt on the side of trains so that the graffiti can be peeled off and put up in other more welcoming environments. Assignment 3 asks you to look in to the ideas and problems that appear with your idea from Assignment 2 in more detail by using the Library and the Library Cross Search. After doing a quick mind map I used cross search to find out about all issues surrounding graffiti and the removal of graffiti. I also checked out the Library to find out further more resources connected with my idea. Below is a bibliography of the useful resources I found.

Kees Keizer, Siegwart Lindenberg, Linda Steg, (2008) 'The Spreading of Disorder', Science Express Vol. 322, No.5908, 2008
This magazine article is the first of reports on what constitutes disorder. The article is mainly about a study that they carried out to find answers to this unanswered question. In the study they generated a hypotheses about the spread of disorder and tested them in 6 field experiments. they look at the Broken Window theory in detail and create insightful conclusions from their experiments.

Eleanor Young, (2001) 'Paint Fight', RIBA journal, 2001 Sept, v.108, n.9, p.73,75
The main focus of this article is design strategies to deter graffiti. However it looks at it from an architects point of view and in relation to architects which is interesting because they tackle it from a different angle and look at graffiti in a different light opposed to local government and policing schemes. They feel that the answer to graffiti is to consider it at the start of the design process compared to worrying about it when it's too late.

Lindsey Othen-Price, (2006) 'Making Their Mark: A Psychodynamic View of Adolescent Graffiti Writing', Psychodynamic Practice, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 5-17, Feb 2006
This paper tries to find an understanding behind the behaviour of adolescent graffiti artists and the way in which adolescents make public statements illegaly. The author feels that it is a predominatley male activity and looks in to the reasoning behind this and the links between puberty, emotions, difficulties and the need to do graffiti. The author also tackles the differences between individual and gang writing. This is a good source as in order to prevent graffiti you have to know why people do it.

Penelope J. Craw, Luis Lelend, Michelle Bussell, Simon Munday, Karen Walsh, (2006) 'The Mural As Graffiti Deterrence', Environment & Behavior, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 422-434, May 2006
This study investigates whether the use of colourful murals could significantly reduce graffiti attacks in areas prone to graffiti. They tested this by painting a colourful mural on a wall section covered in graffiti and compared this to another wall close by that they cleaned some of the graffiti off of. As predicted the section of wall that did not have the mural on was subject to significantly higher levels of graffiti during the test process.

M. Halsey, (2002) The meanings of graffiti and municipal administration, AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY 35 (2): 165-186 AUG 2002
This article explores sociocultural aspects of graffiti, and looks at municipal administrative responses to its occurrence. The article looks at how it is hard to classify graffiti as crime or art as there are so many different types and styles. There are interviews with council representitives and graffiti artists to try and gain a better understanding of good and bad graffiti. The article suggests that it is possible for regulatory bodies to engage with and promote graffiti culture.

The Design Council, (1979) 'Designing Against Vandalism'
This book is a really good source becasue it lets me look at how the removal of graffiti has been tackled in the past and how communities and buildings are designed to prevent it. It looks at how it can be tackled in different areas such as council estates and in schools. It has good images, case studies and really tackles the subject well and in detail.

Technical Conservation, Research and Education Division, (1999) 'The Treatment of Graffiti on Historic Surfaces', No 18
Although the title of this book suggests that it only tackles the subject of removing graffiti from old buildings, in actual fact it tackles many issues surrounding graffiti. It looks at the public perception of graffiti, the psychology of the graffitist, the cultural value of graffiti, community involvement, types of graffiti and types of removal methods. It basically tackles all the important issues that I need to touch on to understand how, why, and what about graffiti and really helps in al aspects.

Friday, 13 November 2009



As I've mentioned before on my blog this websites brilliant as it provides an ever lasting source of inspiration. It's updated daily with the most up to date graphic design and art. By clicking on a piece that you like your given ideas of other stuff you might like which helps you find work that you would never have thought to search for. You can then direct yourself to the artist/ designers website and find out more.
This websites great for the newest innovations in packing design. It looks at studio based work and student work so you can get inspirations from many areas.
Great for inspiration and help on website design. Focuses on a Graphic Design and Illustrative approach. Updated regularly so you can keep track of the new website styles that are out there.
A sustainable design agency. Really good for seeing how Graphic Designers can approach a project sustain-ably and be successful in todays business.
Another great website that provides lots of design inspiration. A lot of unique and different ideas. and because you can look at the magazines (both based on graphic design) without having to buy them.


Covers all areas of design so that you can open your eyes to other fields of design instead of being stuck in your own.
Let's you find out what's happening in the world around you quickly without having to flick through the newspaper. Easier to navigate to the things you want to read.
Keeps you up to date with the latest campaigns that are going on and has great blogs that people have written about interesting subjects to do with the capitalist worlds advertising culture, peace and war.
Voices what is happening with the state of the environment all over the world and what actions are being taken to protect it.
The Google of the art world. Everything is split in to sections so you can find and search for things easily. massive collection of artwork.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Poster for Design Studies

After brainstorming with my study group and having a discussion about the issues that came up in the brainstorm I decided to look at chapter 4 of The Tipping Point in more detail (The Power of Context) in particular the part about the clean up of Graffiti in the subway of New York in the mid 80's. In the brain storm it became clear that a lot of people linked vandalism, dirtyness, crime and violence to graffiti just as they portray it as in the book. I wanted to think of a way that would make graffiti more accepted in to society by the masses in particular graffiti on trains as is mentioned in the chapter. I came up with the idea of 'removable graffiti,' where a vinyl sticker is placed on to the side of trains that when sprayed on can be removed. The vinyl sticker is printed with the same colour, design as the train so artists don't realise and continue spraying as usual. The stickers can be put on the trains when stationary or at night and taken off through the day to appear clean and un-vandalised when on journeys. However I feel that it would be terrible to just get rid of the graffiti as it is an art form and some of it is absolutely amazing so I came up with some ideas for the graffiti to be displayed in more welcome environments. The poster describes how George Kelling tackles graffiti in the book, my new idea and how the graffiti could be put to good use.