Define and Inquire: Graphic Design Individual Project

For this assignment, we were asked to find our own client and design for them something that they need.

We created 3 design briefs, eliminated one, and then received peer feedback on the remaining two. Based upon that feedback, we then chose our final design brief that we wanted to work on.

As for me, my final client is the Anime Culture Club of ISB. I decided to help them create a logo. This project would be making a positive impact to the beneficiary because I would be designing a logo for them, which is something that they have voiced out that they need.

Design Problem: The Anime Culture Club (ACC) at ISB is a group of people all interested in anime who have the problem of not having a logo for their club.

User/Audience: The creation of the logo is because of the Anime Culture Club at ISB. The logo will mostly be displayed to the ISB community, and mainly used by Anime Club members.

Purpose: The club needs a well-designed logo in order to establish a visual identity within the school.

Constraints:

  1. Must look aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Must incorporate my client’s values/identity (must have something to do with anime/Japanese culture).
  3. Must be created within a time limit that makes it still useful to my client (doesn’t take too long to create).

Goals: To make an aesthetically pleasing logo that also lines up with the club’s identity.

Potential Materials/Resources: iPad + Apple pencil + Procreate, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop.

Potential Mentors/Assistance:

  1. Teachers.
  2. Design assistants.
  3. Anime Club leader.
  4. Anime Club members.
  5. Expert designers.

These are my other 2 design briefs:

After doing a SWOT analysis for all 3 design briefs, I decided to eliminate the third one: Spring Fair Aprons. This is because I wasn’t sure if the time of this project would line up with the time of the fair, as well as the fact that I didn’t think they’d want a 14-year-old kid to be designing the things they need to make the event successful.

As such, the designs I received peer feedback for ended up being the Anime Club logo idea, and the Game Character Design idea.

For the Anime Club idea, the main thing I was asked was what the logo would be used for, which is something I had to think about. In the end I concluded that this Anime Club logo would likely end up being used for promotional posters and perhaps merchandise.

Another thing I was asked about this design was whether or not it would take up the entire allotted time. Although I really won’t know the answer to this until I actually start on the designing of the logo, I do believe that the time given will be used up, as there is simply too many options as to what I could do. This feedback was something I expected, as for a while, I was also wondering whether or not only designing a logo would be a bit too easy.

The feedback I received for this design was mostly in line with what I thought of my design.

For my Game Character Design idea, the main feedback I received was that the idea might be a bit too challenging given the time limit, and that perhaps something a little bit easier would suffice. This is true, as there are typically entire teams of people needed to create just one character, but this is feedback that I didn’t expect, mostly because I didn’t think that it would be too difficult for me, and was perhaps a tad bit overconfident.

There was another feedback I received that I did expect, however, and it had to do with not being able to find an actual client for the project. It’s likely that even if I went through with it, the client would be a hypothetical client, and I wouldn’t actually be benefiting anyone through this design.

In a way, the feedback was aligned with what I thought of my design. Mostly, however, it surprised me.

Based on this, I ended up eliminating the Game Character Design idea. This was mostly because of the lack of an actual client for this project. As such, I ended up selecting the Anime Club logo design project, as to be honest, it was the project that I was the most interested in anyway.

Logo Design

For this assignment, we were asked to create a logo for a client, and learned the basics of logo design to create a brand identity for a business.

Initial research.

After looking into the background of my client a little bit, I started brainstorming some ideas for the logo. I created a mind map to organize my thoughts and ideas, thinking of keywords that represent my client and expanding based upon that.

Then, I generated as many ideas as I could, organizing them using the SCAMPER technique.

From this, I was able to select five designs that I liked the most and that I felt best represented my client. Something I wanted to focus on was linking the design to the business, while still keeping the logo simple and modern (as my client was an electronic DJ).

(Some feedback from my peers that I got was that the cursive font in one of the designs might not be the best choice to highlight my client’s values).

Actually, I drew these five designs out, but mostly focused on the two on the far right. This is because these two were the ones that could reflect the musical part of my client the most (one of them being a CD, the other with lines that resemble sound frequency).

I then put these designs into Adobe Illustrator and played around with modifying them, trying to find a version I liked most and that I felt best represented my client.

Design Versions.

Some feedback I received was that instead of only making the “E” a different colour, to make both the “M” and the “E” as a different colour. It was explained that this would make more sense, as the client goes by “ITZME” (it’s me), and that there wasn’t really a substantial reason in only making the “E” a different colour.

I decided to take this advice and apply it to my logo. This way, the logo could also illustrate the two different words in the client’s name, making the business more memorable as well. This, however, eliminated the CD design(s), as I felt the logo didn’t look as good after doing so.

Ultimately, my final design is this one.

Music, electronic, and hype are important to my client. I highlighted these attributes by using varying line width (giving a fast-paced, hype/electronic look) and connecting the business with the logo (sound frequency lines). Colour variation was also utilized to make the logo more interesting and to reflect the two words in the business’s name.

We were also asked to create mockups of our design:

Adobe Illustrator Intro

A challenge I faced while working with Adobe Illustrator was the pen tool, as it was difficult to understand and get the hang of. There were many times in which I knew exactly how I wanted my line/shape to be, however, I was not able to execute the idea due to my limited understanding of the pen tool.

In the future, a tip to remember would be to taper my lines and adjust line width accordingly, as this makes the entire logo look more interesting. I would use this technique on my own design so as to make it look less like simple, boring block letters and more like an actual logo.

Illustrator (tutorial).

Illustrator (letter).

Procreate (letter).

The main strength of Illustrator was its ability to create clean, bold strokes in a short amount of time. However, learning how to use it was the hard part of it. As such, the difficult learning curve was its weakness. On the other hand, Procreate was easy to learn how to use, however, the strokes in themselves were much less clean than those from Illustrator, due to the human hand being less stable than a computer-generated line. Personally, I think Illustrator is best used for this kind of purpose, as although learning how to use it can be tough, it is worth it in the end when you have a clean, bold, and stable logo.

Bookmark Design

Graphic design elements and principles are the essential building blocks of all graphic design. This design task was all about understanding them as well as being able to apply them. To demonstrate this, we were instructed to create two bookmarks – one showcasing a chosen design element, and the other showcasing a chosen design principle. I decided on form (design element) and movement/direction (design principle).

I made my bookmark to look this way because I wanted to try out a simplistic, minimalist style. I believe I succeeded in doing this, and would say that the finished aesthetic is one of the strengths of this design. I also believe that I was able to create form through this design (by using a progression of shades, in this case, dark to light), as my finished shapes look 3D (popping off the page) instead of plain 2D squares. However, the weakness of this design is that perhaps it is too simple, and, though aesthetic, simply would not hold the viewer’s attention for long.

I made my bookmark to look this way because, as it is a bookmark, I wanted to incorporate special words onto it (fun fact: petrichor is actually an English word, and it refers to the smell after it rains). The strength of this design is that it is eye-catching, as the neon colours of the words greatly contrast against the black background. However, the weakness of this design is that the demonstrated design principle isn’t obvious enough, and can only be slightly more visible if zoomed in. This is because, in my quest to use attention-grabbing, neon colours, I was afraid to use colours too dark. As such, the multiple words stacked together don’t contrast each other enough, and they threaten to blend into one plain, 2D word.

PDFs:

FORM.

MOVEMENT/DIRECTION.

The Circular Economy Introduction

An idea in the CE that resonated with me was the idea of designing out waste and pollution, as I found the idea of making waste in itself a design flaw incredibly interesting. Today’s lesson on the CE has changed my mind about recycle and reuse: instead of just throwing things into an impersonal recycling bin, I was introduced to different options of recycling. I think the CE is being taught in this subject because, as designers, we should be thinking about how our creations affect the environment, and working to impact it for good and not for bad. It will affect our learning likely as another thing to think about when designing a product.

End of Year Essay Thoughts

Based on what I have read this year, I think I would most likely choose The One by John Marrs simply because of all the moral lessons I can explore. The way the mood and tone is set throughout the book encases the reader into the story, and though the multiple stories with the multiple people are told through relatively simple methods, it is able to significantly impact the reader all the same. For example, one of the themes of the story that I can tell deals with whether or not love really conquers all, and if not, then to what extent it does. This is only one instance off the top of my head that I can think of, and I am sure that I will have a fun time digging deeper into it.

The One: Reading Update

Something that strikes me the most about this story is the way the atmosphere/mood is set. This becomes increasingly important as the book goes on, since the story progressively gets more and more sinister every time a page is turned. The way the author can make just one simple, everyday scene so that there is obviously something Not Right is commendable, and I think is what makes The One truly the thriller that it is.
There are a myriad of themes in this story, and the way the author uses language is what makes all of them possible. I definitely look forward to taking the story apart once I reach the conclusion and analyzing how the messages of the story are foreshadowed throughout the book.

MCC Product Project – Portfolio

The MCC Product Project is a multi-step design project in which students were asked to create a product in accordance with the ISB Design Cycle. The project was worked on in association with the Masaka Cycling Club (MCC) to 1) create a product that could help the club itself directly (i.e. through creating products for their athletes), or 2) create a product that the club could sell to the community for funding.

User Story: MCC Cyclists are athletes who have the problem of not having a place to put their snacks when they go on rides. They need snack bags in order to have enough nutrients to supply their bodies with on long bike rides.

Succes Criteria:

  1. Snack bag; must be able to hold various snacks
  2. Multiple layers
  3. Multiple colours/shades of colours
  4. Durable
  5. Easy to carry around
  6. Lightweight

Annotations of Design Precedents:

Experimentation:

(I do have more annotations from my experimentation process but unfortunately none of the images were willing to load properly.)

Graphic Design Persona Poster

I think that design can be traced back to creativity for purpose. The way that people can create something out of nothing, and then use that thing they created for something is one of the main things that inspire me about design. I can’t really trace back a “most memorable” experience in terms of designing something, but something that strikes me every time is when I am able to create a character visually, since it almost feels as though I have brought something to life even with just my hands and my brain and a drawing software.

As an artist myself, there are many people I look up to and have been influenced by, most notably being ymin.ii and krystaki, and the latter has definitely created some of my favourite designs. For what it’s worth, I like to think that I’m steadily improving in terms of drawing, digital design, and photo-editing. On the other hand, however, I’d like to get better at collaborating with other people, since when I’m with people I don’t know, it’s hard for me to open up about ideas and creative opinions.

By @mirukachii on Instagram. This kind of a soft, quiet portrait style brings almost melancholic emotions out of the viewer. I feel as though the colours chosen play a big role in this effect – the way they are on the muted/desaturated side. Something I really like are the creative shapes especially in the decorative elements of the piece (wings, flowers). I could possibly use a variety of shapes to give my piece more contrast and bring attention to the main subject.

By szainx on Instagram, using Clip Studio Paint. This portrait style is on the simplistic side but it is very focused, which allows the viewer a clear view to the main subject. The lineart is on the messier side but I feel that that adds to the effect of the piece even more – an almost nostalgic feeling making itself known through the art/design. I really like the way the lighting/colouring is done, and it could be possible for me to employ a few of the techniques shown here.

By _yuelight on Instagram. The portrait style brings a very vibrant, in-your-face kind of effect to the viewer, which gives the effect that the person in the portrait could be very outgoing/loud and fun to be around. The thick lineart further brings this out and makes the main subject pop, as do the vibrant colours and the minimal background. I really like how colourful and clean it is, and I feel as though that is something I could possibly incorporate into my own portrait.

By krystaki on Instagram. This portrait style brings out a low-key kind of effect, telling us that this person is probably pretty chill and perhaps on the quieter side. Something that I really like is the use of various opacities (the cranes vs the person) and I think I could maybe use that when it comes to the decorative elements in my portrait.

By tangypine on Instagram. The style of the portrait gives a very earthy, comfortable and homey effect, which tells us that the subject likely feels relaxed and carefree. There is a certain texture that really brings this out, almost like a noise filter over it (which is plausible, but it also could be because of the brushes used), and I think this piece allows me to really think about textures and the way I could use them to bring out the desired effect.

FINAL PERSONA POSTER:

The style of my self-portrait reflects who I am because the majority of the poster in itself is very monochromatic, which I associate with being logical and introverted. The layout is also very straightforward and regulated, with no crazy curves or circles, also adding to the logical and organized effect.

Originally, I had created another, different persona poster. However, it had been my first time using Procreate and I was extremely unskilled in maneuvering around the application. As such, I was very unhappy with the outcome of my first poster, and ended up completely redoing it into the one I have right now. There was also a brief dilemma I had in which I drew rainbow highlights on the hair because I thought it would be fun, however, it did not match with the style of the rest of the poster. The design decision I had to make was whether to keep it or to scrap it, and in the end, I chose to scrap it.

I think I did well in the layout/composition of the poster and using that layout to express (part of) my personality, but something I’d do differently next time would be to plan out the poster in the beginning stages better, so that I’m not scrambling all over the place to try and finish when I barely know what I’m doing.

TIMELAPSE/PROCESS:

PDF OF POSTER.