Wednesday, 24 November 2010

analysing an article, summarising a book

Differing from the ideas my title may give off I in actual fact did not analyse an article and summarise a book. I instead summarised two books. The reason being I have not to date found an appropriate article on my subject and I also wanted to get a head start with reading some books. When I do stumble across a linked article I shall summarise it and pop it up. The two books I have been looking at hold endless amounts of useful information and I have found both books enjoyable even though the writing style at times is very different. I have found myself unable to stop taking notes on each book as they spur lots of different ideas that I can use for further research in to my topic. The first book helps me with ideas on the teaching and education of Graphic Deign whereas the latter allows me to consider the other factors effecting the success of a design course.

The Education of a Graphic Designer, edited by Steven Heller

The main purpose of this book is to bridge the gap between education and graphic design, and show the importance of teaching such a subject. It pulls together thoughts, theories and different ways of practising Graphic Design as well as many different teaching techniques which may inspire a better future for Graphic Education. The authors key question appears to be "how can we look at the education system in relation to Graphic Design and all the notions that surround this in an unbiased fashion to offer new perspectives?" This question is answered well with the inclusion of essays, interviews and course syllabi from a large variety of people and sources providing a wide basis of information from which the readers own ideas can flourish. These methods mentioned are the authors primary sources. The secondary sources present in the book are that of facts from the history of Graphic Design and general knowledge of the subject.

To have success with this book you have to grasp the key concept which means dropping all preconceptions of Graphic Design Education, whether you have had first hand experience or you have heard rumours about the system from others you need to be open to learning that there is a lot more to it than scribbling down notes on typography and photoshop. The book looks at it from all angles; creatively and intellectually.

After letting yourself be open to what is in the book you are likely to conclude that there are a tremendous amount of ways and theories about how each aspect of Graphic Design can be taught. Another conclusion that can be drawn is that each way of teaching and learning Graphic Design is neither right or wrong as the book strongly suggests that there are a more aspects to the success of a teaching method than the teaching method itself. If you take the books line of reasoning and conclusions then it is expected that you will be a person with more rounded and balanced views on Graphic Design Education. You will probably come out of it with your own ideas of what makes a good way of teaching Graphic Design. If you fail to take the books words in to consideration you will remain blinkered to the multitude of theories surrounding Graphic Design Education.

Becoming Designers: Education and Influence, edited by Esther Dudley and Stuart Mealing

Becoming Designers focuses on the designer as an individual and a real person, considering what needs may have to be met and what factors contribute to turning a student in to a practitioner. In other words what factors influence the growth of a designer and also a design course. These factors are dealt with in depth taking in to account everything that could effect them. The author draws a lot of inspiration from quotes, as you find them littered all through out the pages proving ideas and information right. Coinciding with the good use of quotes, a strong knowledge of design history and practise shines through in the text. A great primary source in the book comes in the form of whole chapters being written by different design practitioners, offering a diversity of views.

The key concept in the book is development. It is not a history book of what designers are like and how people become one but instead a clever philosophical and insightful bank of knowledge in to how things and people progress in the ever changing design industry. This way of writing leads us to the books main conclusion, that more theoretically ambitious, pure and applied research programmes are needed to support the furthering of design brilliance. Meaning more experimentation is needed to allow our design students and courses to keep up a good level of success and development. If you agree with this conclusion then you are someone who can look to the future of design rather than drawing what was good in the past. More than ever, there is always room for more success and this book urges this saying in to action.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Map to my Dissertation

My hoping that the dissertation workshop would spark an idea for my dissertation paid off. Whilst being taught about research skills I came up with the idea of researching about how we're taught. I feel really strongly about this as I want to learn as much as possible at University so I can come out of the experience and feel that it has paid off. Having come straight from school in to University I have nothing such as college to compare University teaching to, however after speaking to numerous people in my class about their college experience has made me realise that the way things are taught in the two higher education institutes are very different. College seems to be more to the point and the information is handed to you more readily where as University is more about your own research and thinking creatively. I would like to do an in depth study in to how and why things are taught differently in different institutions. To keep it in line with my Design area I shall focus on techniques of teaching Graphic Design and what is and is not successful. I shall also look at other factors that contribute to the effectiveness of teaching and learning. I feel there is a lot of scope and research can be started off easily by starting with the dynamics of my very department.
To get my initial thoughts out I have noted key words on
my mind map that I can draw from to start looking for relevant resources.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Dissertation TIme

It has come to that time when University gets serious and everyone starts to talk about dissertations. We all met in our Design Studies group yesterday to let out our thoughts out about the subject. Everyone was feeling reasonably unsure about the decision of what to focus on. The fact that there are near to none limits on what you could pick to study was a large stress on everybody's minds. We felt that the Dissertation workshop on Wednesday would be a large help to put things straight in our minds and hopefully spark some ideas.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Mind Mapping

To get the ball rolling on my Wiki entry about Branding and Design I made a detailed mind map with all the ideas and issues I could think of concerning branding, on its own and relating to design. It appears that there are a whole lot of areas to cover, but this will make my wiki entry all the more interesting. The main thing I noticed is that design plays a massive part in every part of branding so what I'm interested in finding out is the role branding plays in influencing other areas of design.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

beginning Assignment 1

On Wednesday morning at our first lecture of 3rd year we received, amongst other information on Design Consumerism, a description of our first assignment. The first task to get us on our way to completing the assignment was to find our study groups for the year. Unlike last year where we were in same discipline study groups and had supervision, we are now mixed with people from all disciplines and have to meet up on our on accord. I'm really looking forward to having contact with individuals from other design disciplines as it will bring fresh ideas and insights.
In true makeshift style we found each other by means of one of our members holding up a scribbled down sign reading "Group 7." We decided that for our Thursday afternoon meeting the next day we would head to Braes Bar/Restaurant to meet each other and chat in a relaxed atmosphere.
In preparation for the meeting I looked over the list of topics that we could choose from for our first assignment. There were a number of terms that I had not came across before such as embodied energy, perma-culture and green wash. So I learnt a lot just from the decision process. A lot of the topics were in some way or another linked to issues surrounding sustainability. I find this subject extremely interesting but although I am eager to continue learning more about sustainability I decided that I would take a different route as I have done quite a lot of sustainability projects in the past. Our class project at the moment is focused on branding, a subject that I have never had the chance to look in to in much detail. For this reason I felt the topic Branding and Design would be perfect as I would be able to transfer any new knowledge in to my studio work as well.

The Meeting

After everyone turning up at the right place and the right time we got down to the business of choosing which topic each of us would like to do. Luckily we had all chosen different ones so it was easy from the beginning.

Our teams choice of topic:
Abbie Graham- Green wash
Gary Gourlay- Up-cycling/ Down-cycling/ Re-cycling
Leanne Evans- Ethnography
Victoria Guy- Crime
Lynsey Hutchison- Fairtrade
Fiona Harper- Co-Design
Kirsty Turpie- Branding
Tobie Verleye- Art or Gender?

I feel that the topics are group have chosen are all quite different which will provide a lot of interesting discussions. We had a small chat about each persons choice of topic, giving ideas and inspiration on the different terms. Gary gave me a good issue to think about concerning branding, which was to think about how brands have influenced other brands and how they have done this.
Fiona made us aware of a website called TeamBox, a website where you can create an interactive message board for projects. We decided it would be a brilliant idea for us to sign up so that we could keep in touch with each other, quickly and easily and post ideas and links relating to each others topics.
We rounded up the meeting with plans for next week and the decision of joining TeamBox. All in all a good start to Assignments. mind map!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Research for Studio Brief

I have had numerous studio briefs this year all asking me to undertake appropriate research into my given topics in order to analyse my findings and make fresh connections in my creative thinking towards design outcomes. These briefs have required that I document my research in sketchbook form. I used the library and Internet to find information and images to add to my knowledge on new topics. However after learning new research techniques through Design Studies, both secondary and primary, I feel that I could have found out a lot more information for my projects with quick but in-depth research methods. I would like to discuss how I would tackle one of my studio briefs again with new research techniques and methods in mind.

At the beginning of this Semester (semester 2) my fellow classmates and I were given a brief titled The Origin of Food. The brief outlined that we were to research the activities of the SCRI (Scottish Crop Research Institute) in relation to a fruit or vegetable plant that we would be later designated. We had to take this research further and see how our plant related to sustainability and food, find out the main issues for our plant and what it could contribute to our society and the environment, so that we could later produce an eight column broadsheet to communicate what we had found out about our plant.

I was designated brassicas, a group of plants including swedes, turnips, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Where as everyone else had one main plant such as raspberries or potatoes I had a whole group to cover meaning a lot more scope for my research. I found it hard to find interesting information about any of the brassicas family members. Looking back I think that taking a different approach and using different research skills would definitely have helped.

I would not have changed the fact that I used the library and Internet to find the basic information about brassicas but I would have used this ground knowledge more efficiently by using it to create a detailed mind map. This would have led me to new ideas and potential statements for using in library cross search. The reason I could not find out much information is because the wording I used when searching for books and articles was not very effective. The mind map would have allowed my wording to be clearer and more to the point hopefully providing better sources. I would have then discussed my initial findings with more people to get my ideas out in to the open and gather some feedback instead of struggling away myself with the minimum of knowledge. Using these techniques, I may have found out more interesting facts about brassicas. If so I would zoom in on one particular area and go through the process again- mind mapping ideas, brainstorming, searching for more comprehensive articles and studies and discussing my findings.

What I did decide to focus on for my broadsheet was why you should buy brassicas from local sources as I had found that only 27% of brassicas that we consume in Britain are grown in Britain. A terrible statistic when considering sustainability with food transportation producing carbon emissions. I wrote in my broadsheet about these facts as well as how brassicas could contribute to the health of our society, promoting their many nutritional qualities. The second part of the brief which we were given at a later date outlined that we were to communicate further the information in our broadsheet by means of a three dimensional piece of type. I decided that I would create large letters from cardboard fruit and vegetable boxes, with the goal of spelling “LOCAL.” I felt this was appropriate because it got straight to the point but had the underlying message of; is my fruit and veg really local? Where does it come from?

Collecting the boxes from supermarkets and grocery stores showed that in fact the fruit and veg in our shops comes from every corner of the world and I learnt a lot myself by observing this. Although I was trying to show that many people don’t buy local food as all of our sources have been imported without us even noticing, I didn’t have any facts, figures or information to back up my case. I have since realised that using interviews would have been the perfect method for obtaining this missing information.

If I were to do it again I would use interviewing to find directly from a range of people their fruit and vegetable shopping habits. I would target people in supermarkets and grocery stores, some before their shop and some after. I would target people before and after their shop because I think they would answer differently. The people who had not yet been shopping might answer the questions on how they like to think their habits are but people asked after their shop might answer on the basis of what they have just bought making the answers more true to life. Asking people after their shop could be beneficial because I could ask them to show me some of the fruit and veg they had bought and ask them if they would usually buy these products. To gain a broader amount of answers I would also consider arranging interviews with a range of people when they are not in a shopping environment so they would have nothing to pollute their thoughts. It would be interesting to ask people of different ages and backgrounds, genders and professions to see if this effects what type of fruit and vegetable products they buy. To find out the right information I would not directly ask the question; do you buy local fruit and vegetables, but instead ask questions that stem from this idea, which would lead me to conclusions about where people buy their fruit and vegetables from and how they think about where it comes from. These questions could include; How often do you go food shopping, where do you usually go food shopping, do you buy fruit and vegetables when you go food shopping, and would you say you buy a lot of fruit/veg. Finding out information like this would have made me feel more confident talking about my work and it would make me feel like I was communicating a bigger message.

Not as many people buy local fruit and veg as there could be but we can’t blame individuals as it is down to what is readily available for them. Transport and cost could be big factors but the largest factor is what is being sold in the shops. For this reason if I could do more research I would like to target shops, businesses and companies, interviewing them and asking them for statistics on where they get there fruit and vegetables from and why. This would further more back up the point I was trying to prove with my work and the information I found out would have been great to include in my broadsheet because I would be talking about problems a lot closer to home making it more hard hitting and easier to relate to.

As well as using interviews I feel that observing would have been beneficial for this project. I could have observed people picking up fruit and vegetables in shops and supermarkets to see if they read about where the produce was from or if they just chucked it in their basket. This would give me better answers than asking people if they read to see where their fruit and vegetables were from, as I would be seeing first hand with my own eyes. An observation that I did make during the project is that a lot of the fruit and vegetables in shops are not displayed in their original boxes but instead the boxes are packed up and sent away whilst the produce sits in similar plastic containers with no graphics on them disguising where they have come from. For this reason I would add to my interview questions to all groups. To the buyers I would show them the boxes and tell them the places the fruit and veg they had bought had come from and ask them if they now had second thoughts about buying it. To the companies I would ask them why they don’t show the fruit and vegetables in their original boxes; do they do it on purpose to disguise where they have come from or is it for other reasons? Finding this out would give me an answer to all the unanswered questions surrounding my work and make it a lot more plausible.

Reflecting on how I could have carried my project research out more thoroughly and describing what I would have done differently, makes me realise that I really do have a different perspective when thinking about any brief or project I am now given compared to before doing Design Studies. After every assignment I felt my design research capabilities were expanding and bringing everything together has proven this to me. I feel a lot more confident going out there and interacting with real people and problems and connecting it with my design work, a very important factor as design is about real people. No longer do I feel confined to the studio walls and I feel this outlook will take me to new levels with future projects.

Assignment five

Earlier this year I used secondary resources to find out information on the issues surrounding graffiti. The library and library cross search allowed me to find books and articles relating to these subjects giving me an extensive amount of background knowledge and information. I have since learned many primary research methods and feel that they are extremely important in finding out important information. Seeing what the issues are for yourself and hearing about them from the people who know most gives you a more diverse learning experience compared to reading a book. I would now like to discuss the many ways in which I could take my studies in to graffiti further by using my own research methods.

First of all I would like to highlight the main issues that occur when talking about graffiti, as these are the issues that I will need to tackle with my research. One of the most highly discussed issues is “why do people do graffiti?” as this provides many answers to another issue “how graffiti should be tackled.” Other areas of interest are; who does graffiti, how do graffiti artists resist authority, what types of graffiti are there, where are the most graffiti prone areas, and what are societies views on graffiti.

There have been numerous conclusions drawn over and over again about why people do graffiti. The article “Designing against Vandalism” provides a detailed list of favoured answers. It could be because of “innocence of age, peer pressure, status, respect, daring, revenge to individuals/institutions, general frustration and boredom, competition, sheer excitement or to show resentment to a political campaign or any other campaign.” These are very believable and detailed answers so I would consider using these topics as a basis for interview questions. I would interview a cross section of people who have done graffiti in the past or still do graffiti asking them questions such as what were there motives to do graffiti, were there motives different in different circumstances, how did they feel before, during, and after doing each tag, and what did they gain from doing graffiti. This would allow me to get some very personal answers and prove the reasons listed above right or wrong. To find the right people to interview I would go to places with a lot of graffiti and try and catch some graffiti artists to potentially interview. I could ask them for connections to other graffiti artists. I could also arrange meetings with certain groups to see if any of them were graffiti artists for example; young offenders, secondary school pupils, youth club attendees and university students. Arranging meetings with groups like this would also give me information on what types of people do graffiti helping me define the most dominant age, sex and background of graffiti artists.

In “Making their Mark,” the author Lindsey Othen-Price feels that graffiti is a predominantly male activity so I would like to gather more information on this through the interviews. I could do this not only by viewing out of the groups of people whether it is more male or females that come forward as graffiti artists but I could also ask them if they do graffiti in groups or with friends and are they male or female. I could take this idea further by observing graffiti artists taking a note of male and female numbers and by contacting local police stations and asking them for statistics on the numbers of male and females that have been caught committing offences by doing graffiti.

Interviewing people who do graffiti is important but it is also important to hear the other side of the story. I would like to use interviews to find out why others choose not to graffiti, as this would provide answers on how to change graffiti artist’s motives. I would not ask a certain group of people but instead target a mixture of age groups and sexualities to get a diverse range of answers. I would ask them if they have ever considered doing graffiti and why, did they go through with it and how did that make them feel, did something stop them from doing it again, are they for or against it and for what reasons. I could also ask questions such as did or do you- attend a youth club, enjoy school, have many hobbies- to allow me to draw more conclusions on what leads people to do graffiti.

An interesting issue to do with graffiti is where it is commonly done. Are there similarities between these places and do they link to the types of people that do it? “The Treatment of Graffiti on Historic Surfaces” book identifies the most graffiti prone areas to be rundown/ empty buildings, street furniture, toilets, garages, shops, subways and train stations, schools, poor and poverty ridden neighbourhoods and play parks. These places are easily accessible and don’t have much surveillance.

I would use this information as a foundation to do more research. I would go to the places listed and make observations about the positioning and amounts of graffiti in each place. I would then target other areas such as offices, banks and museums and see if they have any graffiti to allow me to compare and contrast my findings.

Over the years many techniques have been tried and tested to deter and eradicate graffiti. One of the techniques I find most interesting is that of the mural. The article- “The Mural as Graffiti Deterrence”- is nothing but­­ perfect for finding out information on this subject but I would like to make my own observations. I would begin my research by contacting local councils and schools to see if they have used this method and if they could tell me where the murals are. This would allow me to visit the murals and view for myself if there is any graffiti over the paintings or in the surrounding areas. To back up my findings I could add some questions to my interviews about the subject. I could ask people if they would ever graffiti over a mural and why would they do this.

There are numerous other techniques to get rid of and protect against graffiti. To find out which techniques prove most successful I would like to contact those who deal with these issues. I would again contact the council asking to speak to those who are concerned with graffiti and arrange an interview. I would firstly like to find out from them what they feel is the most acceptable and most unacceptable forms of graffiti and what form of graffiti do they tackle the most. I would then move on to ask them questions about methods and techniques they have used in different circumstances to eradicate graffiti and what the outcomes have been. To gain more information on the subject I would try and arrange to visit the scene the next time some graffiti is being cleaned. Being able to see when and how it is cleaned up would give me a new perspective on the situation and I could possibly ask the individual who was cleaning some quick questions. Asking the people who clean up the graffiti would give balance to my research and I would find it very interesting to find out why they do the job; do they feel strongly about having clean environments, do they check back on areas they have cleaned and how would they feel if it had been sprayed over again. It would be interesting to see if any of the cleaners had ever done graffiti in the past and if they felt bad erasing some peoples work.

To conclude my research I feel that the last group of people I would like to find out information from would be architects. The article “Paint Fight” by Eleanor Young focuses on graffiti from an architect’s point of view and states “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.” I would like to interview a mixture of architect students, architect tutors and architect businesses for information. I would ask students if they had been taught about how to design to protect against graffiti and if they felt that it was an important consideration when designing building ideas. I would ask tutors if they felt that graffiti deterrence was an important part of the architectural course and if they felt strongly about it. Given the chance to speak to an individual from an architectural firm I would ask if they had found graffiti a big problem with past projects and if so how have they got round this. I could also ask them how much they consider graffiti when tackling a new project and what have they found to be effective in design against graffiti. Asking all concerned with architecture would give me a wider range of answers opposed to just asking architects already in the business.

Although I have been looking at graffiti as a whole my main interest is graffiti on trains. I feel that it is more beneficial to tackle it as a whole first to gain a variety of ideas and view points before focusing in on one area of graffiti. To finish off my research correctly I think it would be advantageous for me to go to the train station at different times and make observations on who is around, is there any graffiti on trains and is there much surveillance. I would use the information from my previous interviews to devise an appropriate and focused variety of questions to ask train station staff, train cleaners, customers and graffiti artists if the opportunity arose. I would be using all of the same techniques, as I would have carried out for tackling graffiti as a whole but on a smaller scale. I hope that the experience of tackling graffiti as a whole first would make it a lot easier to find the information about graffiti on trains a lot quicker, more efficiently and easier.

Overall I feel that I have set out to tackle each issue of graffiti in a detailed manner. The primary research methods I have picked for each one seem appropriate and useful and connect to past experiences and knowledge. I would be prepared to change each method as I see fit if they were to be unsuccessful and would keep an accurate track of my findings through out the research process to make it easy to draw precise conclusions.


The Design Council, (1979) 'Designing against Vandalism'

Othen-Price, L. (2006) 'Making Their Mark: A Psychodynamic View of Adolescent Graffiti Writing', Psychodynamic Practice

Technical Conservation, Research and Education Division, (1999) 'The Treatment of Graffiti on Historic Surfaces'

Craw, P. Lelend, L. Bussell, M. Munday, S. Walsh, K. (2006) 'The Mural As Graffiti Deterrence', Environment & Behaviour,

Young, E. (2001) 'Paint Fight', RIBA journal

Monday, 22 March 2010

Discussing the Interview process

To get feedback and discuss how everyones interviews went I got together with numerous people in my class and we had good talk about how it all went. Discussing the interview process made me realize just how much I enjoyed doing interviews. I was quite apprehensive to ask people I didn't know at first because I felt they would be too busy to take part but everyone I asked was happy to take part and were really positive about answering the questions. This gave me a boost of confidence and I enjoyed hearing all the different views that people had about my questions. I found it easy to keep the questions flowing and added in new questions based on there answers to find out excess information. It was a great way to find out a lot of information without having to ask millions of people. Targeting the right range of people at the right time is definitely how to approach interviews. When I told the group that I had to change my questions because they weren't working the way I wanted them to someone suggested that I should have tried to answer my questions first before asking them to people. This was a great bit of feedback for me because if I had done this I could have foreseen that maybe the questions were a bit challenging or confusing.
Everyone that I discussed the interviews with found out a lot of information without asking too many people and enjoyed getting out there and chatting to people they wouldn't usually have the chance to have a conversation with. I will definitely use this process a lot more often in the future.


Assignment 4 asked us to interact directly with a mixture of ordinary people in the form of intervews. I chose to tackle the question; How do men and women differ in the way they view the design around them? I found this question interesting as I recently did a project in the studio about different visual languages, the project really opened up my eyes to the amount of design that surrounds us in life…it’s everywhere! I wanted to see if others realised that everything around them is design and how they react and think about it, and in the process I could see if men and women were different in the way they think about these things.

I devised an interview outline including 22 questions asking numerous different questions about design. I started with; What do you think design is? This was to straight away gather an idea of what the person being question perceived design to be so that I could put it in to context with their other answers. I asked other questions such as; Do you think design has a big impact/influence on your lifestyle, do you get ennoyed or feel bombarded by design, do you like simple design or design with a bit more of a hidden message, why is this?

I asked a wide range of people, students, shop keepers, nursery nurses and those of other proffessions. After interviewing 5 people I was hearing a lot of the same answers and I felt that I was sometimes having to help them a lot with their answers. Everyone came up with a good answer when I asked them what they thought design was but they didn’t really follow this idea through in the rest of their answers and went off on tangents. Older interviewees would be more likely to list off numerous things that have been designed and say buildings, cars, art etc whereas suprisingly it was the younger people that would try and be more clever about there answer. A 19 year old law student said that design is “an idea that somebody comes up with and then makes it happen.” I felt this was a very nice answer.

Since my first attempt at interviewing wasn’t providing the answers I was looking for I decided to break down what design is and ask more specific questions to my next group of people. These simpler questions proved a bit more helpful at giving me conclusions about my overall question.

Doing two sets of questions has provided me with plenty of information about how people view the design around them. There are comments that are similar for each question but they are not in particular similar between men and women or age groups. A 45 year old man who is in the army commented that “I enjoy advertising that is clever, that makes me laugh and that will stick in my mind.” This is similar to a 19 year old art and philosophy students answer; “advertising that is funny and a bit different that has had some thought put in to it is most likely to attract my eye.” An overwhelming majority of all ages said that practicality and cost are what they look for in design over style. Everyone said that they would automatically ignore an advertisement if it was by a company that sells products that are out of their price range. Interviewees of all genders and ages like to build trust with a company and would try out a new product because they are familiar with the company.

After looking at all the information I gathered and disscussing it with my class mates I have came to the conclusion that men and women do not differ in the way they view design, its all about the individual, there personality, needs and wants. Other factors are a lot more important over gender, there proffesion, friends group, lifestyle and personality over ride whether they are male or female. Because design is basically everything in the world it is quite hard to conclude why people like certain design. The way someone grows up, the people that they have been in contact with through out there life and the education they have had all add to how people view design. It is all a matter of personal taste.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Essential Skills!

On Friday I attended my Design Studies lecture where we received a talk from an employee of Graven images, a design company based in Glasgow. It was very refreshing and a bit of an eye opener receiving a talk from some one who has worked in the Design business for many years. The woman in question was Emma Murphy and she spoke to us about client expectations and the briefing process. Along the way she gave a lot of examples of the companies work and she spoke from her own experiences within the business. This manner of giving information across made me learn a lot, question my own work and where I want to go with it in the future and made me think about the world of design in more depth than ever before. The balance between what you want to create and what clients expect from you is a major issue and I'd never took much care to think about the importance of clients before. This seems idiotic as if I want a job in Graphic Design I must think of clients at all times. So now that it has been brought to my attention I shall take the time to take them in to consideration. The lecture also underlined how important the brief is, and that you need to keep going back to it over and over again to see that you are on the right tracks and find a new perspective every time you go over it.
This info and more has made me think about briefs in a whole new way, I will question what I am doing to tackle a brief a lot more.

Essential Skills of being a designer
inter disciplinarity is the way forward!

-the ear of a librarian
-the imagination of a child
-the head of an accountant
-the tongue of a salesman
-the fluid sketching hand of a four year old

Sunday, 7 March 2010


After observing and recording we had to discuss our experiences of our Design Safari. The discussion was great because we had all had the same experiences but with slightly different view point. It was interesting to hear what some people noticed and others didn't. Some people enjoyed the experience more than others. And some got more out of the experience than others. I got a lot out of it as it really made me aware that I should be more vigilant when out and about to notice the rules of behaviour in different places. Some good words came out of our discussion which described the experience well; complication, suspense, climax, anxiety, sneaky.

Design Safari

I don’t usually get over excited about doing our Design Studies Assignments however this time I was truly looking forward to it. We had to choose a location and observe peoples behavior, note down any unwritten rules and special etiquette. There were a number of suggested places that would provide us with some interesting finds however I felt it would be best to go somewhere I had never been before because then I would notice a lot more about the place and people. As a lot of my class had never been to the bingo a group of us decided to go because sharing the experience would allow us to bring a lot more ideas to the table and boost our discussion.

We made our way to the bingo on Wednesday night, not a particularly busy night but busy enough to obtain the relevant info. Me and two others were running late and got there just on the stroke of 7 which was when it was supposed to begin so we all felt extremely stressed because we didn’t think we’d get in. However after rushing to become a member and get our bingo strips sorted it was all fine and we had plenty of time to spare as we had to sit through the end of the first game. This was good because it provided me with time to take in my new and strange surroundings and make some quick notes before I began playing.

I noted numerous points:

-No one talks much at all except from when someone shouts house and there’s a small outburst of chatter and then 1 minute later it’s straight back in to concentration.

-The bingo caller addressed some of the crowd by first name as they must be regulars, furthering the sense that bingo is a members club only.

-The bingo caller talked very clearly but at great speed and nothing is repeated meaning you really have to listen carefully.

-A special Mecca bingo song is played at the break along with advertisements on the big screen for the Mecca café and bar. The music is cheesy and the advertisements bright. It is like they are hypnotizing you to love the game, the surroundings, the great offers and the great amounts of money available to win. Drawing everybody in.

-Just like the strict formality of the game and the concentration the seats are all in an arranged and strict order, table after table. Like small pens at a cattle market. It doesn’t look fun and casual, you can’t move the seats around. It’s like your there for one reason and one reason only. This makes it seem quite scary and shows that there is an underlying unhappiness and desperateness to the game.

-New comers and beginners are not made to feel very welcome. The experts are just there to get on with the game, not to care about new people.

-In-between games there are special prize games and there are many betting and gambling machines around and outside the bingo hall, shouting win money. It’s all about the money, money, money.

-The style of dress is very casual, a lot of people go all the time so it’s not something to get dressed up for.

-The interior is very retro and art deco. It has not been modernized in anyway as they probably feel it doesn’t need to be because it does the job it sets out to do and still attracts the same customers. The money is what draws people in not the decoration.

-It is reminiscent of a Haven holiday, chucking cheesiness in to the palms of those who think this is the best type of entertainment.

-There is fast food and drinks on offer, all the things to make your experience all the better!

-People are a mix of middle and lower class, a lot of older people, certainly not many people under 25.

-People aren’t in big groups, they sit on there own or with one other person.

My notes make the bingo seem like hell, a scary and horrible place however I did enjoy it and there is a brighter more fun side. When you are playing the game it really tests your concentration skills and gets the adrenaline pumping. You really feel like you have a chance of winning because there is no skill only luck. Even when you don’t win you feel like your really close to winning before someone shouts house so you feel like “I’ll definitely win next time,” making you want to keep playing. When you see the amount of money you could win it gets you really excited and keeps you concentrating.

We were in the bingo for and hour or so and played about 14 games. I’m glad we stayed for this long as it let us see what the whole experience is like and gave us enough time to take everything in.

I feel the unwritten rules are quietness and respect for other players and everyone behaves


Wednesday, 3 March 2010


As I mentioned in my last post, friday was the opening of our 3D typography exhibition. I feel really happy with my final piece and I think that with everyones up and finished our exhibition is definitely something to be proud of. My piece consists of an abundance of fruit and vegetable boxes roped together to form large letters spelling out the word "Local". This links to my broadsheet which is about buying local brassicas. After collecting all the boxes from various supermarkets around Dundee it became clear that none of the fruit and vegetables were actually local, or even British for that matter. They came from a variety of places from all over the world including France, Spain, Israel, Morocco, Holland and Colombia. This gave a whole new meaning and story to my typography. With the word saying local but then the boxes all from-local places my piece aims to question peoples view on where there fruit and vegetables un actually come from, hopefully making them think twice about just chucking everything in at the supermarket and persuading them to find more local sources in there area.
Above is an image of my piece in the exhibition along with the broadsheet I was required to complete for the project!