Animal Farm New Cover

Final Book Cover-01

this is my final outcome that I will be submitting to penguin. Comparing it to my previous design I feel this will be a much stronger entry as the visual metaphor is much more interesting and engaging. It is far less obvious than having a Constructivist Russian inspired design which exists already. I feel by implying the use of a pig in uniform with the buttons and hammer and sickle is much more powerful than the main image actually being a pig dressed up in uniform standing on two feet.

The main image went through many development stages which have been documented below.

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main image.jpg

The development is supposed to represent an old army uniform with a play on the hammer sickle combined with a pigs tail, implying the motifs and metaphors behind the novel.

The main thing I have learnt from this new design is that the design you may think is best and ‘finished’ may not be finished at all and that it can still need major development and changing before you get to the final outcome, which is what this supposedly short project has been like for me, but all in all I am glad I have come back and revamped the whole design.


Final Major Project Ideas and Initial Research

So for my final major project I want to work along the lines of creating pictograms depicting student life, all based around personal experiences from my time and university. My initial research has revolved around designers, Otto Neurath who initiated the Isotype -(International System of Typographic Picture Education), Margret Calvert who designed the road signs of Great BritainĀ  and more recently Stephen McCarthy who created the England’s Burning magazine, telling the story of London Riots through pictograms, something I would possibly like to do but about student life.


In addition to this for Criticality, I re-designed road signs to make them more representative of the times. I would quite like to also create some comedy ones about students situations which can then also be produced on t shirts and stikers to create a small side business from, which can hopefully be something that would carry on after uni and can be easily expanded upon with me focusing on other situations.

I already knew how to make thee simple pictograms before on illustrator but I do wish to do them in the style above and like in the images below.




Im sure what I have initially decided to do will change over time but I am happy I have found some decent inspiration and got some form of idea that I will really enjoy spending a long period of time working on.

Design Dough

So yesterday we had an excellent talk as part of our afterlife sessions with Joe Brown, the founder of Design Dough agency. His talk was brilliant and there were a few things I took away from it that I believe I will be able to take away into my own practice, the first of which he said “There is never a bad brief, it is how you tackle it.” What he said made me realise that this is the case, if you happen to have a ‘boring’ brief, try and make the outcome as radical and as interesting as possible, that way the brief should be you main interest.

One of the other important things that I took away from this was when and if you set up your own brand it is important encapsulate your personality, through the means of tone of voice and values. Brands that tend not to do this often don’t last very long and although it is not what I wish to do when I leave uni straight away, it has always been in the back of my mind.

The final thing that made feel quite good ad confident was that Joe claimed that Graphic Design is about the process and how designers get to the final outcome. The reason why this made me so happy was that I wrote something very similar in my dissertation, so hearing that from a professional was very encouraging.

Overall what this talk has done for me has reiterated my passion for working with an agency. After doing 2 stints at BurningRed, a very similar agency to Design Dough and after hearing and seeing what goes on in both, it has made me more determined to join an agency similar to them after uni due to the fun and exciting atmosphere that they provide.

Refined Reality Road Signs

phone sign-01

Not much has changed with this sign as it was fairly obvious what was going on in the initial idea. All I have done is created my own image on illustrator so it is of a higher quality. The only other minor change is that I have made the phone less ‘cartoon like’ by making its arms and legs more human like.

road works-01.jpg

So this one has changed a bit more since the last design. I has a bit more detail in it to make it more obvious what is being portrayed. The builder is walking away after down tooling his shovel, which is supposed to show that despite there being ‘road works’ no one is going to be working on them.


This sign has also been developed a bit more that its previous initial idea. It now shows the car getting dirty from the horse poo left on the road. Yet this is not a major issue at all, it is something annoying I have experienced when driving about at home, so thought it would be a funny idea to design a warning sign for it.

drunk people-01-01.jpg

This is a new sign I have designed. Despite it having some comical value it sometimes can be a real issue in cities in towns. It is something I have experienced when driving around my home town on a Saturday night, I will drive round the corner and below and behold there will be drunk people stumbling in the road. What it shows though is that times have moved on from when these signs were first produced, so maybe so more relevant and serious ones need to be considered so they are more representative of the times and to warn drivers of these new potential hazards.


Road Sign Digital Ideas

phone sign-01

So what I am deciding to call these road signs is, Reality Road Signs. Because of the development the world has seen since the original road signs were released in the 50’s the are not necessarily representative of the time anymore. The signs I have created are a mixture of seriousness as well as whit and sarcasm involved, all based on previous experiences I have noticed while driving.

The first is the one above with the child being dragged along by the smart phone. Now this one is probably the most serious and relevant, as with the modern technological boom most children have smart phones. When walking so many of them are glued to them, not often looking where they are going, so this is a take on that. They are effectively being led by what they are looking at on the screen, instead of their surroundings. The feedback I got for this was positive because it is relevant of the times, all I need to do is refine it and make it look slightly less comical with the phones arms and legs.

road works-01

The next is something I witness a lot when on the roads. Signs telling us slow down because of road works, yet most of the time there is nobody working. Most people agreed with me on this matter but decided the sign could potentially represent this better as some people thought it was representative of a grave. This sign is also less serious than the first, it is just taking a comical twist on what most people think and believe the reality is.


This sign is purely comical now. The reason behind me designing this sign is because often when driving back home on country roads this can be an issue, I will get home and the car and wheels will be covered in the horses fecal matter from when they have been out riding. What I don’t get is why people have pick up dog poo but not horse poo. Any how, despite people finding this sign funny they didn’t understand what it was trying to say and communicate. So this will be one thing I will have to revisit to make this more comical sign understandable.

Although this project has been short it has made me realize how serious and easy to understand our road signs have to be. If one needs explaining then it needs to be redesigned, which is the main thing I have learned from these initial ideas.


Initial Stages for Creating new Road Signs

So I am now at the stage where I am sketching out ideas for new road signs which have reflected the change in culture from when they were first created. I was thinking of creating some satirical ones that specifically target the representation of young people and also road workers.

In addition to this I would like to create a series of signs that reflect on the ‘dangers’ of student life such as 9:00am lectures, band hangovers and the stress levels of a student. This may not be my main initial focus for this small criticality project, but I wouldn’t mind exploring and expanding this section more for the final major project.

But going back to this small two week project the first of the two ideas I wish to portray is a child being dragged/walking with a phone instead of being walked by a figure that looks like a mother. It is there to warn drivers of the new modern hazard, people not looking where they are going because they are glued to their new technology.


The second is from a personal experience that I am sure other road users experienced also. It is when I am driving through reduced speed parts of the road because of so called road works when no one seems to be there working. So my aim for this design is supposed to be more of a witty satirical one focusing on this issue.

road works

Criticality and Graphic Design

So this is a two week project where we look at identifying the orthodoxies of graphic design and then come up with our own concepts which challenge these with new visual re-inscriptions through our own practice. At first when Theo delivered the presentation it was a bit much to get my head round, but no I have a day or two to think about it I think I have a clearer idea about what this project is about and what I could possibly produce for it.

So I have had a bit of a research look at everyday objects that graphic design has shaped, and one we see everyday on our travels is road signs. They have been about for ages and have rarely been changed which is why I think it would be good to focus on them for this small two week project. I have a few ideas about what I could do with them, the main one how I could combat the stereotypical icons that represent the younger and elder generations and how should they be re represented, but this is where I am at the moment on this very interesting and different project.