Monday, 2 August 2010

A Novel Idea

So I was thinking. And thinking begat an idea... or 27.8 of them anyway. The best of these, however, was that I enjoy copy writing. So to enhance said skill, I should probably continue on with this blog. [A year later is not exactly inspiring, but the first step to sorting a problem is admitting you have one!]

So let us see where the journey takes us, and hope that my commitment to this will go far beyond my long lost vegan promise [that lamb on Sunday was delicious].

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Le Fin

It is finished. DONE.

I went to ge tthings printed and bound yesterday. Of course, the colors were atrociously dark so I had to do some last minute lightening. Unfortunately, even though I went in for test printing a week ago, the prints came out beautifully but darker than expected and a little blurry. So while it is "over" and I've completed the project for due date's sake, I am not fully pleased. But printing aside, I think the project is GREAT. The photography came out much better than I thought it would and my client was very happy indeed with the outcome. In fact, we may go on to work further on the book proposal and make it a reality. That would be WONDERFUL. I already have a couple of design projects lined up so it really is on the up and up.

Back to the project. I am turning it in and my heart is singing about a million lyrics of joy. I would definitely say I have grown in my design capabilities, although, there is plenty of room for improvement. I already have my next design goal in mind [learning Flash and gaining a better understanding of the RGB and CMYK relationship... the discrepancy between what I see on the screen and how things print is honestly the bane of my existance...]. Anyway-- Forward, march!!!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

It's Been So Long

AH! I completely left my blog untouched for 2 weeks. But, not to worry, it was with good reason. I have been terribly busy with photoshoots, editing, and designing. Whew! So let's cover what I've completed...

Photography. It's allll done! We have themed shots, and icon shots. About 800 photos to choose from in all. [I finally understand and appreciate when they warn the models they only have 50 frames on America's Next Top Model! That many frames only produces 3 or 4 perfectly worthy shots...] Some of them are seriously lacking in inspiration, but others are breathtakingly gorgeous. I'm so excited for my final publications.

The logo. It looks so sexy with it's juicy color and high resolution. We're talking professional quality here people. And the "client" has seen it and loves. 3 cheers for getting it right!

The Look Book is DONE. That's right, I have put it all together and it looks fabulous. Now it just needs to be edited, and printed. It's been a fairly tricky process in that my client is VERY self-concious [which isn't a bad thing in terms of PR...] so picking photos that speak to the cohesiveness of message and ddesign has been difficult. She wants to feel pretty [can you blame her] but sometimes fails to see the beauty in particular photographs. Alas, that is the purpose of such a project... learning how to work with a subject and produce something more than satisfactory for both the client and the public or whomever it is inteded for...

That's well and good, you say, but what all is MISSING and queued up to be completed? Well, my good friends, I must complete the book teaser for starters. I need to finish the content and layout examples. It won't be very large, but it still needs to be sharp as a tac in terms of design. After all, it's basically a proposal. Also, I need to finish putting together all of my research. It is currently scattered like a broken string of pearls. Finding and picking them up is easy enough, but they are all over the place and will take some time getting back in order. Yikes.

With that, I must leave you so that I may continue working on my project. But you need some visual munchies to hold you over [I know, words are not enough] until the finished product. So I leave you with a few particularly gorgeous photos of the lovely Ruby Randolph. [My amateur photography skills are gonna leave you jealous and wanting more... I know.]

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Uhhh. Ya.

I know. I know. It's Tuesday. You have been biting your nails all week and there wasn't a post to keep you updated. I'm late. But I wanted to have more to tell you lovelies...

So in the past week I have been working on the more artistic bits of my project. Titles for the client's first book as well as content. Flourishes and secial touches for the book design. Logo design. You will be pleased to know that I am in the process of transferring sketches to photoshop and making them suitable for design and layout work. I like them and so does the client. How did we get there?...

Well I took her out to look at fabrics, colors, and patterns. I took pictures and notes on her ideas and loves for colors and textures and prints. So I have arrived at different elements of designs and sketched them out so they can be pieced together and used for different flourishes and layouts on the book. Instead of copying patterns I had already seen or just copy and pasting, I decided to go ahead and just create my own. So not only are they unique, but they meld together her different inspirations and emotions to be shared with her and her adoring public. Fabulous.

The logo was actually fairly easy. I had an original idea that seemd very basic and possibly done before, but the further I got sketching out other ideas and possibilities, the further away from the brand I strayed. The original idea was the most true to the client, and the brand. It was organic in the sense that it was something that any person might come up with it as their logo or insignia, but everything about breathed the essence of the client and her brand. So I'm sticking to it!

I know that plenty of people would say that I need to branch out and try different things, etc. But I am taking a hint from Paula Scher: If it works than it works. When she designed the Citibank logo after their merger she did it in all of 15 minutes on, like, a paper napkin!!!! She discussed how clients like it when you take your time because they want to feel like they are paying for something but when you are good you are good, and when it's right it is right. That is the way design works. The best design doesn't always come from hard laborious thought and work. Sometimes it is just a random spark-- a synapse out of millions. And Citibank got what they paid for-- great design. Their logo is PERFECT in every way that a logo should be: simple, recognizable, memorable, and usable.

This logo happens to be one of my synapses out of millions. It just works. Disagree if you will, but I've made my design decision. [But you don't get to see it yet, HA!]

This week, we go shopping! Oh yes. the client and I are going hunting for the looks. Since this brand is about a personality, she has to have a "look." I've decided that it's not going to be too brand heavy. This personality may be about "fabulousness" but what is unique is how personable and reachable she is. It's nto about lording greatness, wisdom, and beauty over everyone else. It's about reaching people from where she is to were they are. What she has is unique, but you can get there too. The idea is to be your own original and be just as fabulous... not some New York skalking designer glamazon afraid of a polyester dress or an item off the sale rack.

Also, I will be putting together content for the brand guidelines as well as the book teaser. And as for the research, I am basically there. Survey analysis will be done next week, and I will be putting together a couple of short case studies of other self-made brands. And, unless my eyes deceive me, there is a photoshoot on the horizon... :)

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

I've Been A Bad Girl...

As can easily be noted, this blog has fallen into a state of disrepair complete with cyber cobwebs from lingering spirder-bots betwixt the last post and the gaping space up to now. Tsk tsk.

But no more! To keep myself accountable as a designer with a client to answer to [as opposed to a nutty creative person with answers but no explanations] my goal is to provide an orderly weekly update on my final project as well as tidbits of other design I am working on to fill the mean time. So here goes...

I have had a few meetings with my "client" and I have given her homework. Since I am branding her "personality," it is key that she plays an active role in the process. I have assigned her homework such as creating her own catch-phrases and quotes that embody who she is and wht she stands for. She loves the idea of performing but I have brought the brief back to reality by deciding on promoting her as more of a "lady's feminist and kitsch writer" instead of an all-around character and peformer. She has so many poignant ideas and things to say that are much more realistically introduced to the market through "fabulous literature" instead of an on-stage variety show.

The personality has also been greatly whittled down to key messages and insights. So my research is headed in a different direction than I had originally considered. I'm looking more into communicating "fearless feminine feminism" as opposed to glitter and general performer fabulosity. Hopefully, my research will be completed and analysed by the end of next week. There is much designing to be done, but I can't really get started until I know exactly what to communicate and HOW.

Interestingly enough, my research and work with the client has led me to a different realization of the outcome. I intend to produce brand guidelines as well as a book teaser for what would be her introduction to the market...

In other design news, I have been working on a couple of logo designs for anotehr brief. The logo is for a media team handbook. I considered goign the bland businessy route, but decided that a theme would be much more fun and representative of the media team. I am designing an "academy patch" logo. The idea revolves around high school handbooks and yearbooks/annuals. The magazine/handbook would be a publication given to newcomers to the media team to introduce them to the different teams, their work, and jsut a general handbook to joining the team.As a member of the team I have seen them to be a fun-loving and creative bunch and it's more liek an after-school club than a boring corporate team. So that is a bit of the background. It isn't finished yet, but I thought I would give you a little peek as to how it is coming along... [The colors and depth haven't translated terribly well but you get the general idea..]

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Pull Your Skirt Down! [Your Briefs Are Showing...]

I feel the title is quite appropriate considering the subject of my project ["walk feminine, talk feminine..."]. I have spoken with my "client" and from our discussion and a creative brief I had her answer we worked on the content and foundation of this project. So I have worked on a brief to communicate exactly her desires, and my practical objectives for this final project. 


Ruby Randolph: Identity Branding

Create a quantifiable representation of Ruby Randolph as a recognizeable and marketable brand.

Brand Objectives

To change perceptions of women in reference to standards of beauty, enjoyment of life, promote an attitude of optimism, and to affect day-to-day confidence of women to rise above optimism reserved for special occasions.

The brand will...

Inspire young and middle-aged women to better affect their world by improving their self-confidence through self-acceeptance and embracing their identity as feminine attractive women of substance and character as opposed to hard feminism or blatant sexual objectification.

Affect and shift the perceptions of women held by young to middle-aged men from chauvinistic tendencies to masculine and gentlemanly respect and appreciation.

Target Audience

PRIMARY: women 24-44- career women, busy women, love life but have or take little time to enjoy it, finished high school, desire to be/are highly educated

SECONDARY: men 27-50- career men, desire to be/are highly educated

TERTIARY: young girls 13-17- urban, suburban, looking for a feminine role model

Desired reaction of target audience...

Women will embrace their femininity with confidence. They will learn to exude femininity and appreciate it as a character trait and not a flaw.

Men will change their perceptions of women as sexual objects, the lesser gender, or simply as "other". They will change their own behavior from chauvinistic and appreciate their masculinity as it is complimentary to femininity and vice versa.

Young girls will look up to and aim to achieve their goals through their personal identity as women of character and beauty as opposed to whatever the next young starlet appears to be in tabloids or any other form of media.

The brand will promote...


Glamour [appreciation, embellishment, acceptance, and delight of inner beauty translated to the surface]

Exuberance [passion, joy, optimism]

The brand¹s personality

Feminine, strong, energetic, and intelligent.

Tone of Voice

Feminine: soft, attractive, and bold

Intelligent: well-informed but not inconsiderately loud

Design Elements

- Name and logo

- Typographic style

- Colour palette

- Tone of voice

- Brand guidelines

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Final Proposition

Is it just me, or does the title of this post sound like the name of a Harrison Ford movie? Anyway... I have been thinking about the topic for my final project since the first day of courses in September. I pretty much had it narrowed down in February as to what I wanted to do. As I am interested in branding, I have decided to take on a business project.

I have a friend who has this "alter ego." She's a public personality. This persona isn't just another marketable name, rather she is very unique and powerful while being incredibly "feminine." I have always found it interesting and she has always talked about actually having a stage name and promoting this character. So I am in the process of researching and gathering background on not only creating this identity, but building it as a marketable entity and setting down some definite guidelines on how to publicize and use this identity from putting on a show to designing a coffee table book.

I am fully aware that this is a Goliath project, but I'm eager to get a bit messy and figure some things out about branding and identity building and management.