The Relationship between Business & Design

Recently I attended a lecture with Peter Norris with covered the basic principles of the relationship between business and design. We mainly looked at what actually feeds into deign and problems we may encounter. When designing we look at who our target market is, then begin our research. We had to consider the ethical and social issues as well as macro environment issues (big economies!). On the business side we have to think about the market issues such as market segments, real mark issues, and the end user aspects.

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In Norris’ lectures he often refers to Shannon & Weavers communication theories. Here we looked at their model of communication diagram which examples how we send and receive messages while there is also the risk of interference. It shows how we must reinforce messages multiple times to support our ideas and give an understanding to people otherwise the message may got lost of they may not be able to hear/read/decode it. During this process we must think about the context and type of message we are trying to send. Is it long or short? Simple or complex? What is the reason for the message? If the consumer doesn’t pick what we are trying to say up then they would just bin it. If they do they may accept it and store it, if they understand but disagree then they can either chose to accept or reject it, but hopefully this would always feedback to the sender.

During this session we also took a lot of mediums and were shown several examples of ambient media and campaigns that get people involved or make a big impression. Here are some examples:

We also took a look at what effects people when they think, act and buy. Here is an extract for Norris’ presentation showing aspects that may be a factor in this:

After this, we looked at ethics such as the moral and principles that may effect a persons conduct. Above is a mind map showing that factors may influence an individuals mind set. Looking at the realm of understanding we looked at three important words:

Relativism: no universal standards, case by case basics, ‘when in rome’ attitude

Utilitarianism: judgement based on consequence of choice, ‘greater good’ is allowed

Universalism: duty based, treat others how you would like to be treated

We thought about the moral compass which was originally supplied by religion (e.g The 10 Commandments). Do people still follow these today or are they less strict about these kinds of morals. Personally I feel they are a lot less guided by these in todays designs as it’s quite normal to see something (such as nude bodies) on the cover of a magazine where it would have been seen as offensive a century ago.

After Effects: Rotoscoping Animation

Today in our animation production session with Sara Nesteruk we learn the basics of rotoscoping in After Effects. This technique allows you to remove the foreground from footage from the back ground. This is useful for many things, from adding your own backgrounds or even creating vector silhouette animations of the subject. I used Sara’s sample footage of a couple dancing. I wasn’t as pleased with the outcome as I found it difficult to keep changing the pen outlines to suit the shapes in each frame I also noticed once I had vectorised the silhouettes using solid colour that it was difficult to see the shapes as I hadn’t cut out the gaps between the arms.

To do this technique, I began picking out the most detailed part of the clip and using the pen tool to cut around the subject. I then skipped 2 frames forward and did this again until I had 5 different frames. I learnt some shorts cut during this process; cmd + > or < is to skip between frames, > to add a keyframe, ctrl + cmd + m to add to render queue, and alt + cmd + t to bring up time remapping. I can also hold alt and drag the pen outline along as a whole to made changing the outlines easier of each frame. After using the pen tool we opened up the time mapping tool. This allowed us to make sure that it didn’t mess up in-between frames where we had not edited. I copied all the keyframes onto the time map so ensure they were matching then selected all keyframes and clicked toggle switches / modes in the composition menu. I then added two solid colours, one for fore ground and one for background and set the foreground colour to alpha track matt mode. Finally, I added my animation to the render queue ready to export. The settings we will be using through out the year will always be options/codex: apple prores 4444 and the format will be Quicktime. After rendering, I opened the file in Quicktime and exported the outcome at 720.

If I have time after my formative assessment I may come back to this task as I found it quite easy to follow and feel I could do a much better job. This test run is quite messy and not as long as I hoped to make it. I will record my own footage and attempt creating a 10 second clip that runs smoothly.

The Design Process

Last week we had a lecture with Peter Norris based on the design process. This covers topics from the process of design to the PEST and SWOT analysis.

We began by looking at how designers tackle a brief and what aspects we consider during this process. Below is a template we were given to show each stage designers go through. The trigger of this diagram would be the brief; you should always ask questions about this with the client to know exactly what they want. If they don’t know what they want, how can you design to their needs? The idea generation stage is influenced by 75% of real life. At university it is good to experiment with many different idea’s and it enables tutors to access how we think. Design concepts is presenting your idea and explaining to the client how it works, while design detail is a more specific version including weight of letterings, pantone and ratios. slide25

 

Today, 20-25 year olds are considered to be the key market as they follow all the trends. The market has a thing called fall ups and fall downs. This refers to how 29 year olds try to be 25, teenagers try to be older and 40 year olds look at what the key market is wearing because they want to be trendy too. The next task I completed with Rowan Hunt. We were asked to chose a product and place it where we believe it is on the grid of quality and price and then compare it with other similar products; it’s competitors. We chose to look at Coca-Cola and decided this was a high quality, mid high priced drink aimed at 10-40 year olds. Here we created our own grid of production positioning. Obviously due to personal preference and experience, this table may be a little biased and not so accurate.

cocacolaproduct-positioning

We then looked at the two tests we should give products when introducing them to the market. The PEST analysis and the SWOT analysis. The PEST analysis is assessing the political, economical, social and technological side of the product, for the present and in the future (think 5 or 10 years time…). The SWOT analysis is considering the strengths and weaknesses (internally) and the opportunities and threats (externally). This will help to ensure the products existence in the market place.

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Below is a small extract from Norris’ presentation which gives a quick over view on a products life cycle and the adoption to trends in relation to the place in the market.

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Halloween Candy Skull Mask

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After building my mask I downloaded from Wintercroft I decided to cover it in paper mache to strengthen the frame. I then used a mixture of paint, glitter, indian ink and embelishments to customise it to my liking. I’m very pleased with my results and although this was very time consuming, it was quite fun! I thought i’d keep you updated on how this project turned out :-) the silver one and the other candy skull with the cobwebs are my friends.

A Conversation: Formatting

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Now I have a clearer idea of what I am hoping to produce, I can look into what format this would be best suited to. Generally, illustrations are usually printed in the format of posters, greeting cards and other novelties. I do think that these would make fabulous posters, not only to represent my interpretation of the Yorkshire dialect, but they would make great souvenirs or gifts too as many people can relate to the slang. Above I have drawn thumbnail idea’s of formats I could produce my illustrative designs on.

One idea that kept coming to mind was a simple poster print, either as a serious or all grouped together (like a chain linked display). I think this would be effective as posters can be put up anywhere. They are a decorative item and put in the right place they would draw peoples attention. As mine is based on the accent of many people in my area, I feel they are likely to catch their attention if I make them interesting enough as the dialect is something they would understand and feel drawn to.

Another idea was to create a zine or a book. I have two versions I could create. One been a little book of illustrations simply made for the visual pleasure, while the other would be a guide to the Yorkshire slang. In my survey I found that some people didn’t understand some figures of speech as so by illustrating them and giving them examples of the dialect in context, I would be able to give them an understanding. I also think this would make a great novelty to have, and it would be fun for people to buy their relatives back at home or grandparents who were brought up with this language. I also had the idea of creating an A-Z style book, which would simply be a mini zine of slang, quotes or words translated into proper English, e.g W is for Watta ‘wha-ta’ meaning ‘water’. This would be a fun experiment and a humorous approach to educating.

An installation would hopefully get people to interact with it if placed in the right surroundings. I could design for a window display or the side of a building. On a larger scale is bound to catch peoples attention and with the topic been something people can closely relate to, it should bring a smile to their face.

Postcards and a pack of cards was also another thought to consider as it would suit an illustrative piece of work well. I would be able to keep them together as a set and it would show an extract of my ideas. Postcards is closely related to the topic too as it would show the essence of Yorkshire through dialect and visuals and allow them to communicate with others at the same time, enabling people who haven’t visiting to get a small taste of our area.

Finally, the last idea I thought about was created something 3D. Looking at my sketch book on the right hand page, there is a round object. I thought of the idea of a biscuit tin shape. Creating a tin would be an interesting approach, Yorkshire people are known to like their tea and a biscuit tin is closely related. Or a tin shape made from glass, showcasing my illustrations around the edge and proudly displaying the Yorkshire Rose on the top! This would make an interesting piece and would be for visual purposes only but may help people to think back or feel an emotional connection, even spark conversation. However, finding a round glass tin or having one made would be difficult and time consuming. Another idea I had for a 3D project was a small wooden shelf type of display. Having a gridded front would allow me to fill the gaps with my designs. This would act like a frame to my drawings but give it depth.

I think my best idea’s here would be to create a series of postcards as I feel they would suit this format strongly, or to design to a 3D element as it would sparks peoples interest and make a great visual piece based upon the Yorkshire dialect.

Katherine Streeter Inspired Experiment

After looking at Katherine Streeters collages I felt inspired to experiment with her style myself. I really like how she throws things together and somehow makes it look like a child made them but good at the same time. Although Katherine appears to work by hand, I only wanted to test out how it may work with my theme and so I chose to take a digital approach. I have attempted to incorporate a hand crafted style to it by using textured paper, water coloured backgrounds, personalised fonts and acrylic paint brushes in photoshop. I feel this works quite well as a whole but I’m not sure how I feel about it in terms of my project. I took a more literal approach for the ‘Appy as a pig phrase which I feel doesn’t really show the meaning of the term very well. I feel the bright colours and doodles add a light hearted touch to it but it would have worked better showing some sort of happiness through facial expression. On the other hand I illustrated ‘tarrah’ as a woman waving goodbye with a handkerchief. I quite like this as I have experimented slightly with the positioning and sizing of each letter, hoping that the audience would read it in the tone it is spoken in. (tar-rah!), having a slight raise in vocal tones on the ‘a’s. If I was to take this style forward I would experiment further by adding my own personal hand crafted elements rather than digitalising everything. I think this would work better as I have more control over exactly how I want to create things.

Yorkshire Slang Survey Results

After receiving 100 responses from my survey based on Yorkshire dialect, I collected together the answers to give myself a better understand of what people interpret from slang in dialog. Here I had analysed each questions results and gave my conclusion as to how easy it will be to communicate to people using these terms.

Q1: Be’ reyt: (it will be alright) The results showed that 1 person skipped this question and 99% of the participants answered this correct. This would be a good figure of speech to base my designs around as it is understood by almost the whole of my audience

Q2: On yer bike: (go away) 1 person skipped this question and 5 people got this wrong, leaving 94% of people understanding this phrase. This still leaves it as a possible use for my project as the majority of people know the meaning. 

Q3: Flippin’ eck: (Annoyed or surprised response to something) Again, 1 person skipped this and only 94% got this right

Q4: Daft as a brush: (Silly) 3 people skipped this and 2 got this wrong. Making this phrase understood by 95% of participants. This is another quote I could use as it would have meaning to many people. 

Q5: Tha’ what: (Pardon? or could you repeat that?) 3 skipped this phrase while 17 people misinterpreted it. This leaves only 4/5 (80%) people understanding the phrase. I will not be using this in my work as it is possible that it will send out mixed signals to different people. 

Q6: Ars’ thi bin?: (How have you been?) A whole 8 people skipped this questions and 11 people were confused, meaning only 81% of people understood the phrase

Q7: Neither use o’ ornament: (Good for nothing) 24 people skipped this while 3 people got this wrong. This means over a quarter of people didn’t understand the term as only 73% of people knew the meaning! 

Q8: ‘Appy as a pig in muck: (contently happy) 5 people skipped this questions while 4 people misunderstood it. This means almost 10% didn’t manage to decode the phrase as only 91% were correct

Q9: Was tha’ born in a barn?: (Close the door! or implying they are messy) 7 participants skipped this while 12 people guessed this incorrect. 81% knew the meaning.

Q10: Is it ‘eck: (No it isn’t) 4 people didn’t know this one while 5 people got it wrong, meaning 91% of participants understood the phrase.

Looking at these results, I am able to take out phrases that are misunderstood from my possible ideas as I don’t want to give out mixed messages to my audience. The phrases I will not be using are ‘Tha’ what?, Ars’ thi bin?, neither use o’ ornament, and was tha’ born in a barn’. This leaves me with 6 other phrases I could look into designing around. I feel I could have made my survey a lot more accurate by adding questions based on their origin and age group, however I feel I don’t have much time to recreate the test and adding more questions would have put people off getting involved. I hope this will be enough to be able to reach the majority of people who will be able to easily decode the Yorkshire phrases.