Research Critique

After the 2 weeks of research we were put into pairs and each pair assessed each others research work and made comments and possible areas of improvements.

Sam graded me a merit which i was pleased with as this is my target grade. His reasons for this grade was that i had a substantial amount of research with supporting responses and potential ideas which he thought was really good.

He then made 4 suggestions:
1. To complete annotating all my research
2. Gather further research which i was intending on collecting over the following weekend which was to visit the Naked Deli and The Corner in Jesmond.
3.He also suggested that i tried looking into some more brand specific research such as more packaging designs.
4. Finally, he said that i could try gathering more stylised and higher end research from places such as Fenwicks as opposed to cheaper super market brands.

He also commented on how he felt my work was successful in terms on amount of content however, i still needed to carry out substantial further research to gather a better understanding of the theme of my project.


Printing Problem

When i went to print out my development work, i discovered that the information on the back of my labels wasn’t showing up at all and if it did it was very wait and very hard to read. This could have been one of many problems. Firstly, it could be the printer that hast picked up the font. the easiest way to test this was to try printing in on a different printer such as the black and white one. This was very useful as although the visibility was improved, it was still very faint and hard to see, suggesting that it was a problem with the font type. The font i used was Roboto thin however this was clearly proving to be too thin or too small in size. However, i did not want to change the font as it was the same font which i used for my logo so i tried increasing the size. I also re downloaded the font from which i luckily found that i could download the font in a thicker version which was Roboto Light. Fortunately it worked perfectly and when i printed my designs again, i could see the font on the back clearly. This was a big relief as if i had to change the font style all together, it would have made my designs that little more inconsistent.

Further Research

At this point in my project i was beginning to complete my packaging designs for my super food range, however i was struggling to find a starting point in terms of layout which is why i decided to carry out some further research. I looked on pinterest for take away food packaging designs and this really helped me figure out how my packaging would work in real life. I wasn’t looking for style inspiration necessarily as i had already roughly related my brand image, however the research helped me layout my deigns and ideas more effectively.

I was then creating a poster design for my other form of media and again, i used further research using pinterest to help with my designs and layout. i research for ‘innocent smoothies’ posters as this is a brand which i have related to closely throughout the project as it is a similar brand to the one in which i am creating. This research made me look at my poster designs very differently as innocent, promote and advertise one drink/ flavor at a time by showcasing the bottle and ingredients on one poster, whereas i was trying to promote the whole brand and all its products on one single poster. I tried this technique with one of my bottles however, because i was using a digital copy of my smoothie rather than a photograph, my image looked very flat and unrealistic. however, this process lead me to creating my slogan for my brand which is ‘super food, super drink, super you’. I created this slogan as i noticed on innocents posters, their slogan was the main focus of the poster, and their brand logo was more discreet as it was only on the label of the smoothie.

Easter Holidays

During the Easter holidays I spent the first week catching up on both my sketchbook as well as my blog. Once I completed this task I continued with my logo and name development. I started this by creating a word associations list made up of words linked to the theme of health. I did this in the hope that I would fine some new and creative words which could become the name of my brand and this was the case. The two words I liked the most were ‘Nectar’ and ‘Kick’, and I felt that both linked strongly to the theme and purpose of my brand. ‘Nectar’ suggests natural and organic matter and is to do with bees meaning that it is a natural source of energy, meaning that this would suggest a natural and organic product which I am going to be branding. Similarly, ‘Kick’ suggests quickness and strength as well as more metaphorically, motivation and drive which I think is very appropriate for a health product designed to energise the consumer with natural goodness.

I made some thumbnail designs for both using inspiration from both the theme, as well as logos I found on Pinterest. I am pleased with how these turned out and I feel that I have made a great deal of progress within my project over the last two weeks and I am glad that I have a strong starting point when I go back to college. From this stage I plan to digitalise my designs.

Realisation Problem

Week 5 problem solving- struggling to transfer from the development stage to realisation.

I am at a stage with my project where I am feeling stuck and I can’t really see a way of moving forward. I have felt like this for some time now however week 5 has definitely been the lowest point. I feel that although I am making literal progress with the amount of work I am creating, I feel that I am making little to no progress with the actual graphics within my designs. I am not happy with the work I am producing and I can’t seem to overcome this. I have tried taking some time out to reflect and look back on my sketchbook to create a freshness of mind, however this did not work as well as I had hoped. I have also spoke continuously with my tutor for support and guidance however I am still feeling stuck. The more time is running out, the more concerned I am becoming and I am certain that this can’t be helping.

Fortunately, it was the beginning of week 6 where I began to overcome this problem. The resolution came when I sat back and stripped back my work, picked out the potential problems and changed them. for example, the bottle shape for my template was a water bottle with uneven edged which weren’t working well visually with my designs, so I changed it to a more regular shape bottle. I also simplified the amount of content on the front label and introduced a back label to hold this further content. This helped so much and definitely got me to the point of realisation. However, I couldn’t have made this resolution without the help of my tutor.

Week 6

I began this week with a big of concern as this is the beginning of the final two weeks of my final major project. I spent this following week continuing with my development and reaching the realisation stage which I am glad to say I did. After feeling very concerned and stuck, throughout the week I overcame this and Wednesday was my breakthrough point. I spent most of Monday with my tutor discussing where I was at and what needed to be done to really begin to realise my designs. Monday was extremely beneficial for me as this gave me the push I needed to have my breakthrough. This talk lead me to the point of creating some simple designs which looked more refined and professional, and from this point it was just a matter of refinement and tweaking my designs to be 100% happy with them.

I think the breakthrough point came when I began thinking of my bottle labels as a front and back rather than just the front. Until this point I was just concentrating on developing and creating a front label and I think in a way, this had restricted my designs and thought processes as this lead me to trying to squish too much information onto my front label which caused my designs to look cluttered. Another factor which lead to my breakthrough was a change in my bottle template. Until the beginning of this week, I have been using a water bottle template to base my designs onto and the shape of this bottle was difficult to work with due to the uneven edges. Once I began using not only an easier template, but a more appropriate shape to my project, it gave me an easier platform to work from.

On Thursday I finally decided (with the help once again from my tutor) which design to go with. We were both happy with the design and I was beginning to feel much more relieved. From this point, it was a case of now tweaking the design slightly in terms of colour, to represent different drink flavours. I had now created 4 super smoothies all of which are different flavours which I was pleased about, as in my project proposal I had only stated that I would create a minimum of 1 drink label.  I had also now begun creating some food packaging labels for both a ‘protein brownie’ and a ‘raspberry and cherry granola bar’ and I named these projects ‘super foods’. At this current stage I would say that I was on schedule, however I still have to create some designs for my two other forms of media, however I have the final week to do this.

Over the weekend I am going to draft up some more simplistic outline illustrations of vegetables to be used for my further food packaging which are going to be for salad boxes. I am also going to do some thumbnail sketches of some ideas for my two other forms of media. I am already thinking of doing a paper bag to be used with the food packaging as well as a poster to inform people about the product and where they can buy it such as Tesco, Asda and Waitrose. I am also going to make sure my sketchbook is completed up to date so I am ahead of schedule ready for handin.

Week 5

This week I began drafting up some initial drink label designs. I began creating these on photoshop however this software was restricting me so I quickly moved onto illustrator. On illustrator I reconstructed my logo designs and then continued with my ideas. The first design which I drafted on photoshop was mainly inspired by the ‘Naked Deli’ in terms of their layout on their bottles. However I quickly discovered that this design was not working at all. So from this, I decided I was going to spend this following week entirely on the computer creating a range of designs using the mark making ideas I was inspired by as well as referencing back throughout my sketchbook looking for inspiration.

This was working well and I was creating a range of designs inspired by innocent smoothies as well as the taco cookbook. However, at this stage I was not yet settled on a logo or name for my brand so I was playing around with designs for both. I started with ‘Kick Start’ and at first I was really liking my initial designs, however once I spoke to my tutor, I realised that although my designs were working, they were too small and would be lost on an actual juice bottle and wouldn’t stand out on a shelf. I then tried to scale up some of my designs, to make them stand out more and unfortunately this resulted in some very bulky and harsh designs.

I then started designing some designs for the name ‘Nectar’ hoping that this would give me a fresh state of mind which I thankfully did. My designs were very simple but they were beginning to look neater and more refined but were still a far way from finished. At this point I was shocked because I assumed that I would result in the name ‘Kick Start’ however at the current stage I am at I am currently thinking that I may result in the name ‘Nectar’. With the nectar designs, I was beginning on looking at the label as a wrap around as opposed to a static front label. Although i was happier with my designs, i felt that they were still a little bland and simple and this was the point at which i reconsidered my logo. As it was currently just a stand alone font in the style of Roboto thin, with some guidance from my tutor, i made it more stylized by simple font manipulation. i am much happier with my logo now and i think that it will work much better with my packaging compared to my previous one.

Currently at this point in the project I feel that I am beginning to struggle and see a resolution with my designs. I feel that they aren’t really working and I am concerned that I don’t yet have a brand identity. I am going to spend the weekend reflecting on my project and I am prepared to go into it net week with a fresh mind ready for my breakthrough.