SWOT Analysis for the three design brief ideas:
1. Original design for Wizards of the Coast cards
Strengths: I think this project is really versatile because Magic cards could be anything and in any style of drawing. I love doing it so this project would also have a lot of motivation for me. I think graphic card design is also one of the most expressive styles of graphic design because the flavor of the card can be changed accordingly, and there are less strict limitations like a logo, where it has to be simple and outlined. This project is also a true problem that I’ve noticed, and want to work towards to make an impact. Another strength is that this project wouldn’t have a strict deadline, therefore I can develop my graphic until the end of the unit.
Weakness: The weakness of this project is that I actually can’t get into the company, so I can’t work towards a realistic goal. I tried to contact the WOTC design team but didn’t get a reply. That means my project would have to work towards a hypothetical client, and I think that takes a lot of purposes off my project.
Opportunities: I think the impact my project would have on the world would be close to 0.
Threats: The potential external factors at risk is that I haven’t made an entire graphic design and export it to Illustrator, and I feel like, with my current skill, it would be really hard for me to edit a complicated design, as it was already challenging altering a simple logo.
2. Graphic design for store
Strengths: I think this is another project where I can use my imagination to its full potential because my aim is to make a design that could attract my target audience of card players. I would probably be successful in this because I understand the characters and scenes in the Magic universe so it would be easier for me to design something related to it. Another strength would be that I will be making my design for myself, and for an actual commercial cause. This means that I am my own client, and I have a thorough understanding of what I need.
Weakness: A weakness of my project would be that it’s very challenging to create something original. Of all the themes and styles of art related to the MTG universe, I would have to carefully make something that differs from previous designs
Opportunities: A interesting graphic design on the front page of a store would make a huge impact. A blank webpage selling cards would seem extremely unprofessional and unattractive, and a good design the audiences, card players, can relate to will draw people into my store, hopefully, increase the sales and views.
Threats: I think a potential threat is copyright problems. I might have to avoid copy-righted images, and I’m not sure if I could directly use characters from the game for commercial purposes, meaning that I might have to develop my own characters that can fit into the theme.
3. Logo design for Electronics Engineering Project
Strengths: This is a project where I have direct ways to communicate both with my client and with my target audience. I feel like this is important because various feedback sessions throughout the project would help me create a final product that fits the client’s requirements, and give me the opportunity to change my banner and logo according to their preferences. Another strength is that I am a part of my target audience as an engineering student, and I already have a good understanding of this electronics project, so I already have a rough idea about what elements to include
Weakness: I think this project has a very restrictive nature, and I wouldn’t have room to decide what things I like to incorporate, so it’s only based on the preference of the audience.
Opportunities: This project probably has the most opportunity for impact, because it’s for a real need and cause. I think that a proper banner would increase the authenticity of the project display and having a logo for the exhibition would make the projects more professional.
Threats: Possible threats of this project would be time constraints. I decided to make two final products, one for the unit planning banner and one for the final logo, meaning that this project would have a heavier workload compared to previous ones, and I’m planning to only do one of the two if time really runs out at the end.
Eliminating project #1
After completing the swot analysis, I decided to eliminate the first project, which was making an original graphic card design for Wizards of the Coast. Firstly, I thought that this project has the least potential to have an impact on the world, because when I don’t have a real client and issue (it could have been, but I couldn’t get in contact with the company). I sent an email to the company explaining who I am and my passion for mtg art but didn’t get a response. This meant that if I chose this project, I would have to work with an imaginary client an imaginary goal. Another reason why I eliminated this project is that it’s also the most challenging out of the three. As shown in image page #1, creating original card art is a very complex process that requires character design as well as landscape design to match the lore of the card, and this time-consuming task seems a bit less ideal compared to a relatively simpler logo and banner designs.
Eliminating project #2
Design brief 2
- “This looks great as I’ve personally seen people doing store designing”
- “Really good choice for the position of design and unique idea, but designing for yourself might be challenging.”
- “I like how detailed your plan is! If this is successful, would you still consider the store to be a temporary idea?”
- “I like the idea of a card shop since it’s something new at ISB. But you said how posters can have an impact on small business, so you might want to consider more on the design of your poster and how it would attract potential customers.”
- “Very unique idea, but really challenging, not only website but also designing would be hard.”
- I think designing this logo and banner is a good idea because it would appeal the project to other students. I think it would be easier to communicate if you know Mr. Michie or took his classes.”
- I think it’s a good idea, but I also think that it somewhat needs to be connected to what people are doing in the class.”
- “I like the idea, but how would this help the exhibition?”
From the comments, I eliminated the second project, considering its limitations. From the comment, people suggested how it could be challenging designing the store page while also creating graphic designs as decorations, and also challenging if I’m designing for myself, which makes me the target audience. After talking with Ms. Gietz, I eventually decided to do project 3, and have a realistic goal and client with who I could talk, for both requirements and feedback that can lead to a better product. Also, choosing project 2 would mean that I miss the great opportunity to survey and interview my target audience.
Progress and Future plans
Currently, I’ve decided on the project I’m going to work on, project 3, as well as identified the rough requirements with my target audience. I first talked to Mr. Michie about his requirements for the project, and he mentioned how the unit exhibition outline is using a pixelated banner taken from google, and we’re missing a logo for the project, so he hopes that I could make those in order to make the unit more professional and visually appealing. He mentioned using icons in the logo such as a wrench to signify the broader topic of engineering, while also being clear that this current unit is about electric circuits. From the surveys, I realized that most people felt that circuit building was the most significant part of their project, and blue was the color they believed to be most correlated with this unit (probably because Arduino and LEDs are blue). Therefore, from this information collected from clients, my next step is to design a logo that incorporates both concepts of engineering and electronics, then design a banner that uses blue as its primary color and circuit as its main subject.
Develop and Plan
I started to sketch down possible objects and very basic designs that I can incorporate into my logo, and I drew out simple objects such as a wrench for a representative object for engineering, or a 5-volt resistor to represent circuits. This step helped me further develop my ideas such as with the scamper techniques. The second picture shows some techniques I applied to the simple objects. The one with arrows is a brainstorming technique of random regeneration learned in the video; I looked at my glasses, I thought of glass, glass was reflective, I thought of the light that reflects, and then I thought of LEDs. The brainstormed word, LED, then helped me sketch a few logo ideas. For the logo ideas, for example, the LED ones again, uses techniques of magnifying and combine. The wrench in the light bulb is obviously unscaled, and I combined two different brainstormed objects to create something that demonstrated both engineering and circuiting.
Here are another nine different logo ideas I came up with using the scamper technique; magnify, combine, eliminate, and rearrange. I combined, resized, and rotated these simple objects to create something more complex. I received feedback on these five designs on sticky notes: Ryan gave me really good feedback on being more concise for the need of the audience, then I have a more focused goal. What I currently have (batteries, LEDs, circuit lines, resistors, etc.) is all over the place. If I could get a specific thing I work towards it will make improving much easier. Michael gave me almost the same feedback, that I should pick a theme and expand on it with more delicacy. David’s feedback was that the first logo I made with circuit lines is a bit too complicated and not focused and that the one in the middle is less detailed (a good thing), but not really representative of electronics.
Beside the logo idea sketches are the ideas I got from reading the two graphic design books, Upper & Lowercase Ideas and Exploring Graphic Designs. I learned a few very unusual ways to create balance, as well as ways to create balance with text. I sketched a few examples of how to apply these techniques to a design.
This was the client feedback I received from Mr. Michie for the design sketches, and he commented on the features he liked and improvements I could make. One of the most valuable pieces of feedback was that since my target audience is the engineering community, most engineers would prefer to see things that are realistic and recognizable. For example, if I were to incorporate a LED in my design, engineers (at least Mr. Michie) would be drawn to a more detailed and accurate representation of that specific electric circuit piece. He told me to sketch out more clearly the negative and positive terminals, and make sure that every flat part is drawn out, so that when an engineer sees it, he/she will go, “Oh, I recognize that, this designer has some professionalism on this topic.” Another feedback I received was that Mr. Michie thought that an engineering-specific element isn’t that necessary, as long as I could show clearly that this unit is about electronics.
I created more than 50 different design ideas, and the three designs on top are the selected designs based off of peer feedback and client feedback, and they’re both sketched with more detail. Ms. Gietz commented on how I could change the fonts and text a bit to make it fit my content more. For example, the text taking up two rows in the first design is a bit too clunky, maybe some text with different emphasis on letters would be better. I asked Mr.Michie for feedback again on my selected designs. He said that the fonts look a bit rigid and stiff when connected with the hyphen, but the square-y font is pretty good for the topic I’m working on. He also likes the first and third designs as they followed his feedback from last time — I tried to include as much necessary detail as possible. However, he didn’t like the light bulb in the middle because it’s not representative of this current unit.
On the bottom, I sketched out, again, different ideas for the font, some giving focus to specific letters, and some leans towards circuiting. The middle sticky note is a rough sketch of how the font would look like when placed in different positions of the LED design. Finally, the rightmost sticky note is where I tried on a few colors on both the graphic and font, to see their effect on the logo. I have already decided and identified after brainstorm, idea sketching, and selecting favorite designs, that my final logo would have a graphic of an LED sketched with delicate details, use one of the fonts drawn down, and apply blue as the main color scheme as sampled from the survey. This logo would serve to connect strongly with engineers and people who do electric circuiting, as well as bring aesthetic improvements to the current unit outline and exhibition. This is the broad idea of what my final logo will look like (and as briefly discussed in previous paragraphs), and that the specific colors, textures, and format is pretty much decided, and the options would only be on the sticky notes shown above. My logo would first be created using procreate, sketching out the outline and securing the color scheme, then put into illustrator to turn into a vector file, add further adjustments, and add details with a cleaner style. The specific techniques and skills I would use will be seen in the Padlet above.
The most obvious success criteria are to have a product that is appealing and satisfies the target audience, which is the surveyed population and Mr. Michie. This can be done easily by having frequent feedback sessions with my audience and improving upon my design constantly to fit their needs. Another success criteria are that either my banner or logo would have to use the main color scheme of blue because that is believed to be the more correlated to their projects, as shown in the survey. Additionally, according to the survey, the vast majority believed that their project focuses on building the circuit more than soldering and programming, so I would have to put elements from building circuits into my banner or logo. Another success criteria would be that as a vector file exported as the end, the logo should show very clean cuts and lines without messy, rigid, angles, while the final banner exported as a png/jpeg would exhibit professionalism in showing its main subject of zoomed in-circuit lines. My next step would be to select the version of the final design I will be creating from the candidates already passing the first round of selection. I would have to decide the colors, shape, and angle of the LED, as well as the position and style of the texts. I would start my designing process on procreate immediately after these parameters have been identified.