Arobase is a recently set up creative agency which deal in a variety of different briefs from branding and packaging to photography and digital design. The two guys who run the company graduated 4 years and some of the tips and advice they gave us was very useful and interesting.
The first was to try and work for an agency before you do freelancce. Iv’e always wanted to this because working in the agency if so varied and interesting but this was not the only benefit they gave us for working in an agency. The benefit that stood out for me was that by working in the agency you make useful contacts which can then be used later for if you ever go into freelancing, whcih is something the guys at Arobase now do.
The other benefits from not going into freelance straight away is that it can be a lonely place as there is very little colaborating with collegues and other creatives.
In terms of getting into the industry the advice they gave was just be proactive, show them that you are a hard worker that can bring something different to the team and most of all be confident in yourself and nice to people to make that good everlast impression.
After my useful group tutorial on Thursday the main piece of feedback was positive and that people liked the simplicity and effectiveness of what I am trying to do by telling a story through pictograms and isotype but maybe something more challenging and intellectually stimulating could be told instead of the life of a university student. I guess because I want to carry this project on after university and build it up into a brand it is still something I can go back to later on. But in the meantime I have done some more research and I have decided to agree with the people from my tutorial and tell something different.
I have decided to tell the story of Brexit, and I know initially I wanted to stay away from politics because it is all we hear about these days and I am especially sick of hearing about it all, in particular Trump, but I thought during my research and when reading Private Eye, not to something as topical as Brexit would be a little bit of a waste of a good opportunity, plus it will be far easier to create something comical and with satire on this topic that a lot of people can relate to. Now it is time to research what key events I wish to portray, so best get researching and sketching.
The After Life talk yesterday from Rebecca was rather useful and inspirational for a number of reasons. The first thing that I got from the talk is the importance of perseverance. Despite how hard or stressful a project or live brief might be it is always important to persevere because there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. It will also build up your character and make you a better designer at the end of of it for no giving up. Also through the hard times it is important to stay motivated and be interested in the briefs, even if they are a bit ‘boring’. This way you will always produce your best work.
One thing I can relate to that Rebecca said was that in the industry there are lots of different briefs, big and small, all asking for different things. During my time at Burning Red this was something that I found was very common, which personally made my time there all the more interesting which is something I look forward to when graduating.
On that note of graduating, I think the most important piece of advice I gathered was to take your time finding a job once you graduate. Find something that you enjoy, a job or something that is right for you, instead of rushing into it and ending up at a place that you don’t enjoy.
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.
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.
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 Britain 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.