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Overall Evaluation

Reflection of the Professional Practice and Exhibition Module

The final module of the year was the professional practice module, exploring promoting the group and ourselves individually as designers as well as exhibiting our own work in an exhibition space. At the beginning of the module everyone was split into specific groups and given specific roles and areas to be in charge of. Four project managers were chosen, one of which was me. Our job was to over see the groups progress and give guidance on what needed to be done. Overall i found the experience quite challenging for a number of different reasons however i feel the work produced by the team was effective and suited the nature of the topic.

Times were difficult when communication seemed to disappear and break down, and routes were taken that essentially lead to a dead end, however all these problems were essentially overcome. I was team leader for the branding and marketing team, which throughout the course of the module hit a few issues, especially branding with the sticker idea, due to costings and name problems. In the end a logo was handed over to the catalogue team which i felt reflected the name of the exhibition as well as the diversity of the class. The marketing team i felt was a lot easier to manage and adverts were collected raising money as well as one sponsor. The exhibition was also advertised via Facebook and twitter informing others of the key times and dates.

Overall i feel i personally contributed a lot to the tasks not only from a project manager point of view but from sketching concepts down on paper to be developed.

The second part of the module was to promote myself as a designer and to develop and exhibit my project.

Reflection of the exhibition

A number of additional elements were developed in order to exhibit my work to its full potential and really emphasize and reflect my final ideas. My project was all about informing student about the packaging industry on a number of different levels, looking at packaging tactics, sustainability issues, packaging history and the jobs within the industry. The information provided within the packaged products I felt could be reinforced through further information used within a student handbook.

The student handbook was to include all of the information that was needed within the module, such as the brief, a glossary, websites for further resources etc. This was then packaged within brown paper with a simply labelled attached introducing the brief. Brown paper was used for the packaging as the handbook will need to be mass-produced and handed to all students.

To make my exhibition space user friendly I decided to enlarge three of my favorite backing cards and screen-print them in order for the information within to be easily accessible. This I feel proved extremely effective throughout the exhibition as many viewers would stop and read the information provided. Alongside this 15 of the final product packages were hung up to fully emphasize the visual teaching aid. A shelf was then used to showcase the student handbook and it’s packaging, plus hold and displays my own business cards to promote myself as a designer.

Business Cards were also developed to be handed out at the exhibition providing potential employers with my contact details as well as my website address (Another aspect that was developed in order to promote myself.) Check my website out at http://www.amyturnerdesign.com. The business cards I feel tie the whole project together whilst express my passion for packaging design and my skills as a designer. The idea was that a flat business card would be handed out that could then be assembled to create a 3d package/box with all of my details printed on. In my experience I have found that designers tend to keep quirky business card designs which Is why I put so my emphasis on creating a packaging related business card that potential employees would pick up.

Throughout the exhibition I had a number of interests in my work and numerous people left general positive feedback. Within the book someone also left their email stating below that they will contact me, which is really excited. For me though the highlight of the exhibition was seeing ‘brand Opus’ looking at my work, and take my business card. I now have a meeting with the company to discuss my portfolio with them this week.

Overall I am extremely pleased with the space that was given to me for the exhibition, as the flat space I felt showcased my work in a more effective way that didn’t feel closed in or cluttered in any way. I was also extremely pleased with the fact that my space stood alone, and wasn’t overpowered by work displayed by others within the exhibition.

Exhibition Space – Evaluation

A number of additional elements were developed in order to exhibit my work to its full potential and really emphasize and reflect my final ideas. My project was all about informing student about the packaging industry on a number of different levels, looking at packaging tactics, sustainability issues, packaging history and the jobs within the industry. The information provided within the packaged products I felt could be reinforced through further information used within a student handbook.

The student handbook was to include all of the information that was needed within the module, such as the brief, a glossary, websites for further resources etc. This was then packaged within brown paper with a simply labelled attached introducing the brief. Brown paper was used for the packaging as the handbook will need to be mass-produced and handed to all students.

To make my exhibition space user friendly I decided to enlarge three of my favorite backing cards and screen-print them in order for the information within to be easily accessible. This I feel proved extremely effective throughout the exhibition as many viewers would stop and read the information provided. Alongside this 15 of the final product packages were hung up to fully emphasize the visual teaching aid. A shelf was then used to showcase the student handbook and it’s packaging, plus hold and displays my own business cards to promote myself as a designer.

The business cards I feel tie the whole project together whilst express my passion for packaging design and my skills as a designer. The idea was that a flat business card would be handed out that could then be assembled to create a 3d package/box with all of my details printed on. In my experience I have found that designers tend to keep quirky business card designs which Is why I put so my emphasis on creating a packaging related business card that potential employees would pick up.

Throughout the exhibition I had a number of interests in my work and numerous people left general positive feedback. Within the book someone also left their email stating below that they will contact me, which is really excited. For me though the highlight of the exhibition was seeing ‘brand Opus’ looking at my work, and take my business card. I now have a meeting with the company to discuss my portfolio with them this week.

Overall I am extremely pleased with the space that was given to me for the exhibition, as the flat space I felt showcased my work in a more effective way that didn’t feel closed in or cluttered in any way. I was also extremely pleased with the fact that my space stood alone, and wasn’t overpowered by work displayed by others within the exhibition.

Business Card Designs

The aim was to create a set of business cards that reflected both my skills as a design but also my passion for the Packaging Design Industry.

This design focuses purely on my passion for packaging reflecting my key goals and aspirations for future employment.

On the side of the cube will be my contact details, such as my email, website address and mobile number so potential employers can look at my website and call me if they wish to do so.

This design focuses less on my interests in packaging and more on my skills as a graphic design inn order to sell my self to other areas within the industry. The main idea is that the potential employer will be handed a flat business card that can then be assembled to create a small package with my information printed on the surface.

Here are the final business cards on display within my exhibition space. There are two different business cards available, the flat business cards that are available in two designs. Or the business card nets, that can be folded and assembled to create a small package / box, with all my details printed on.

These packages i feel reflect my passion for packaging in a quirky, and unique way, which i feel also reflects me as an individual. These interesting packages also help to make me stand out from the crowd and others designers business cards.

The overall design i feel completely reflects my overall personality as a designer whilst bringing the overall project to a closing point. Summing up all my ideas plus my aspirations associated with packaging design.

The next stage i feel could be to develop to the idea further and create a packaging cv, that can be assembled to create a box. This task i feel could be a touch more challanging due to the amount of information that will need to be included within the cv. I hope to explore this idea and develop the overall design and concept as i start to apply for potential jobs and internships.

Website Development

I decided to incorporate the type and symbols previously used into the header of my website design, as I loved the contrast between the black and white as well as the flowing hand rendered typography. I then decided to bring in a touch of blue on the arrow to create a connection between the website and the business card.The website allows a number of different templates to be used to help focus the designs and build upon. Above you can see a screen shot of the site so far, my name is centred within the design, meaning that the site will allow around two more projects across, however depending on screen size it may create two rows rather than one. Coding was used to initially remove the cargo collective link at the bottom of the site and also to edit the coding of the chosen template. This allowed me to edit the font used, the font size, background colour, thumbnail size and much more.

Further Development – Handbook Packaging

The initial packaging idea was to create a hand drawn paper packaging that could be mass-produced at a cheap cost. The packaging was to be covered in typography and different elements that reflected the topic and the course assignments.

A number of different illustrations were drawn, to then be used within the packaging design. These include key words, information and illustrations etc.

The design was then printed onto brown paper to subtly reflect the history of packaging design, but also create a handmade feel.

The front of the label features another illustration previously drawn, stating ‘a package of dreams’ essentially referencing that the topic could shape and mould the designers dream and change their goals and aspirations for the future. This is then printed on a silver card to contrast the brown paper and add a touch of luxury to the design. Within the label is a small introduction to the different topics covered within the packaging module and introduces the use of packages as a visual aid within the module. 

The packaging then wraps around the front of the booklet, and crisscrosses at the back to a centre point where a logo sticker is used to hold the design together in the middle. The design is then bound using string, with a small tag introducing the topic and module.

Further Development – Student Handbook

The aim of the Student Handbook was to create a resource that can be used by students alongside the blister packages to broaden their knowledge of the Industry.

The handbook is bound using white plastic screws to reduce costs and emphasise the mass production of the booklet.

The booklet features a double page spread informing students how the handbook works in conjunction with the blister packages. It also explains the activities included within plus the blank pages provided for writing notes during lectures.

The tracing paper inserts included provided further information on the topic being discussed, but also allow room for a blank page in order for students to make notes during important lectures.

Major Project Evaluation

Unpacking the Packaging Industry.

The aim of this brief was to create a visual yet informative educational resource, aimed at Art and Design students at level 3 and higher, to be used as a teaching aid alongside a packaging design module. This however changed as the project developed and teaching schemes were explored in greater depth. Throughout the research, it soon became clear, that level three was too early to be introducing a packaging module into the teaching scheme as the topic is far too specialized. This then lead to the decision to direct the resource at second year BA Graphic Design students, as this is a crucial year when many students are looking to further their knowledge and starting to specialize in specific areas within the design industry.

The final outcome was to present information such as, the history of packaging design, jobs within the industry and the tactics employed to impact a consumers purchase decision. I initially researched into different visual methods and which could potentially be the best in terms of information retention, and student appeal. Questionnaires with tutors revealed that visual methods combined with theoretical aspects were the strongest approach when providing students with large amounts of information, however the response in terms of which was felt to be the strongest method was inconclusive. These results then led to a wide range of visual testing including information designs, packaging, and informative posters. A number of experiments were also run in terms of different mediums such as hand drawn illustrations, vectors and collage, to help to finalize and determine which would be the strongest visual approach for the target audience. Alongside visual testing a large amount of research was gathered, mostly from secondary resources, in relation to the packaging industry allowing me to pinpoint exactly what information was to be used within the designs.

Throughout this stage many different styles were developed in line with two major conceptual ideas – Minimalism Posters and Vacuum Packaging. The minimalistic posters were to explore packaging design on a number of different levels, through the use of a simplistic grid based design influenced by the Swiss style. Minimalism was chosen, as this style is currently emerging within the industry. The second concept was to create a series of vacuum packages, looking at providing information both through the use of typography and the designs packaged within.

As the concepts developed it soon become apparent that the vacuum packaging was the strongest concept and had the most scope. Once the concept had been decided upon the stylistic approaches were refined and two styles – one vector, one hand-drawn – were tested with the target audience. Results were extremely close but revealed that the preferred approach was the hand drawn style. This style I felt was the stronger of the two, as it was not what you would expect from an everyday package, in essence making it stand out from any competitors. As the project and style developed, characters emerged within the designs, keeping the packages unique but also consistent as a series. One decision made, was to also introduce illustrations of objects into the series, to represent specific information in a visual and eye-catching way, to help engage the viewer and draw them into the design. These I feel add a sense of balance within the designs and stops the series from becoming repetitive and uninspiring.

Once the backing cards for the products were designed I needed to make a decision as to whether designs should be screen printed, or professionally printed onto a thicker material. Experiments with screen-printing were run and information was gathered in terms of professional printing and a decision was made. Based upon time, and the overall impact I felt the screen printing would have on the final design, I decided to pay to have the designs professionally printed, leaving more time to explore the products that could be packaged inside.

The turning point in my project I feel was the decision to not only provide fold out information within the packages, but to provide products in some packages too, as this once again introduced variety within the designs. All the products within the packages reflected the information provided, some in a more tongue in cheek way, almost mocking the consumers lack of knowledge. Products had hidden meanings making the student/consumer work to understand exactly what was being expressed, subtly reflecting the hidden messages that are used within packaging designs.

The final collection I feel represents my ideas and response to the brief in an engaging and unique way. The packages play on the visual language of packaging and at a glance they could be seen to resemble ‘real’ packaged products. I feel that the extra fold out information provided maybe confused the idea of whether the products were meant to be opened or not, and the series could have been a touch stronger if the packages were filled with just products. The chosen style I feel is effective, and makes the viewer almost question what the design is about, as the style is so unexpected and informal. The interactive elements are stimulating and intriguing, in turn inviting the viewer in. The aspect that I feel is the weakest within the design is essentially the way the product is assembled. This is because the tape is no longer invisible, and is slightly unattractive to the viewer, however this is only a small part of the design. If I were to create the designs again I would consider, creating the packages so that the join was not visible.

Once the collection of products was complete testing was ran with the target audience and tutors, to help gain feedback on the relevance of the information provided, the visual style and the successfulness of the designs in relation to the brief. Testing revealed that the 3dimensional aspects of the design instantly draw the viewer in, making them curious about the intentions of the design and the information being provided. All tutors agreed that the information was relevant and generally thought provoking however one point that reoccurred throughout a number of comments was that the information could be slightly too complex. One tutor stating, “Some of the info is perhaps a little difficult to decipher” This however was the aim for the series of packages on the tactics employed by the packaging industry, as I felt it challenged students to look into the information further and broaden their knowledge on these tactics. Overall feedback revealed the successfulness of my designs as well as how they could essentially be improved in the future.

Close Up Photographs

These are the final close up photographs, these i feel are massively stronger than the previous photographs as the 3dimensional elements are a lot more dominant and stronger in the photographs.

The use of angles i feel also add more depth to the photographs as this is the reason the 3d elements are so strong.

I love the way the spotlight used catches the 3d eements adding a highlight around the edges of the vacuumed words making them more prominant and effective within the design.

Final Packages

Package One – This is the first package of the series. the package focuses mainly on introducing the key roles of packaging and how it now has a chance to be a key player in the marketing industry. the illustration plays on the idea of a key player,, depicting a poker player. In my opinion it could possibly be one of the weakest packages of the collection however the design is brought to life by the product within. Packaged within is a series of playing cards cut out of wood, representing the different roles of the packaging industry,, To market, To Protect, and To inform and secure. The cards also have a message printed upon them that can only be read once all of the cards are lined up. This represents the hidden messages behind packaging designs that consumers are essentially unaware of.

Package Two – This is the second package of the collection. This package focuses mainly on the original role of packaging design which was to protect and secure a product. The illustration of a bodyguard/ Security Guard then expresses the idea of protection. The product within once again emphasises the idea of protection through the use a warranty stickers, another form of protection. This i feel is one of the stronger illustrations within the series due to the amount of contrast used especially on the arms of the body guard. I also feel the cropping of the illustration adds another dimension to the design.

Package Three – This package then goes on to describe how the role has evolved from  basic protection to a vital marketing tool. The illustration on this design is a zoomed out version of the previous bodyguard, to once again show the idea of protection. Packaged within is a timeline informing students of the different event and inventions that effected the packaging industry. the final postcard also asks the students to get involved and create their own timeline. This i feel will help engage the students and encourage them to look into key events in greater depth. It also add a creative edge to the design.

Package Four – This package then introduces the new self serve stores that in essence caused the dramatic shift in the way consumers would shop. The illustration depicts a store guy, a role that was extremely dominant both previously and now, although their roles has changed dramatically. The product within is a store assistants badge. In this design i love the use of a block colour behind the vacuumed text, as the vacuum is slightly offset to the design, adding greater depth and making the word more dominant within the design.

Package Five – This package then goes onto introduce the new self serve stores that became available, allowing the consumer to interact with a products package before purchase. The illustration depicts a consumer purchasing goods based on the desire and aspirations sold to her buy the products packaging and advertising. Companies use connotations and associations to make a consumer desire a product or aspire to qualities that are being sold. The product packaged within is two test tubes, Bottled desire and bottle sexiness, emphasizing the idea that consumers do not purchase because of need but purely because of ‘want’ and ‘desire’ which can be created through the use of packaging. This design has both words filled as without the letters the words became unreadable due to the lack of colour behind the vacuumed area.

Package Six – Consumers essentially can now interact with products and their packaging due to the use of barcodes, meaning products no longer need to be priced individually and kept behind a shop counter. This design I feel isn’t as strong as some of the previous designs, due to the simplicity of the illustration, however the white space left around the layout I feel is really strong. The product within is a cut out barcode, to really emphasize the development that essentially changed packaging and its environment. The barcode could have possibly benefitted from a touch of white behind to lift it off the illustration, as it blends in to the background a little.

The next six Packages are based upon the tactics that are employed by the packaging industry, to effect a consumers purchase decision. The terminology used within these designs is a touch more complex, to subtly express the lack of knowledge, in terms of the packaging industry and their tactics. It also challenges the student to look into the tactics further, and broaden their understanding.

Package Seven – This package was one of the first designs created, and I feel it could possibly be the weakest of the collection, as it seems extremely cluttered. The layout of the type could also be slightly misleading, it was testing and the majority of people understood the message however the odd few did find the layout slightly challenging. This package simply introduces the tactics employed by the industry to make consumers desire and buy into products. The product packaged within is an ‘apple’ logo a key brand that many consumers are willing to pay a premium for. This I feel really reflects the consumer society that we live in today, as we are always willing to pay a premium to own a specific brand even though it is essentially identical to another.

Package Eight – This package plays on the language of a package, stating ‘New and improved’ so you should definitely consume, essentially what a package is communicating to a consumer. The package is the last chance to influence the consumers purchase decision. The illustration used is of a secret salesman on the black market, as in my opinion this reflects the exact role of the package. Its job is to jump off the shelf and convince/ trick the consumer to purchase the product, the same as a salesman on the street. The words last chance stands out from the rest to emphasize that the package is the products last desperate chance to stand out from its competitors.

Poster Nine – This poster also plays on the language used on packaging ‘Brand New’ You know it makes sense. The illustration of the computer represents the consumerist society In which we are living in. This is then emphasizes with the use of the pound coin, as I feel it represents our lack of value for our money. Once again expressing the idea that many consumers are willing to pay a premium, for a product simply because of the brand name and the connotations associated with it. This poster potentially has the least text within the design, which I feel helps balance out the series, as the is a lot of white space included.

Poster Ten – This poster is one of the most complex of the series, but as this design focuses specifically on the hidden messages and connotations within packaging design I feel it really reflects the nature of the package. The illustration is of a diamond as, a diamond is seen as pure quality, which is exactly what I was trying to reflect. I like the way the information in staggered slightly as it allows white space around the text. Vacuumed inside are hundreds of table diamonds, in essence stating that, something may be advertised as quality, and might look like its worth the premium but essentially its not.

Poster Eleven – This package is also quite complex due to the nature of the topic being discussed in the design. The package is looking at how metaphysical properties can be attached to a product to increase value and make the consumer aspire to purchasing the product. The illustration of the crystal ball represents how packaging designers can essentially predict the response of a consumer in relation to a package design, through testing and planning, in essence allowing them to predict the future. The shredded paper then represents the use of shredded paper to protect products, playing on the idea of packaging what is used to package a product. This also gives a glimpse of where the packaging will end in the future. Creating packaging waste.

Poster Twelve – This packages talks about, desire and perceptions of happiness. The illustration explores how advertisers use photographs of glamorous ladies to help sell products to a consumer either through desire or aspiration. The product within is a Ferrari key ring. This is because I feel the Ferrari brand completely represents the idea that is being presented within the design. Ferrari are not only famous for being ‘sexy’ ‘high end’ but they also make promises to the consumer making them initially feel that purchasing a Ferrari will essentially bring them happiness in life. This will therefore effect their purchase decision.

Poster Thirteen – This specific package introduces the statistic of how many products are landing on supermarket shelves every year. There is no product packaged within, as I felt the statistic needed to be the most prominent aspect of the design. Almost as if the statistic ’20,000’ is the product.!

Poster Fourteen – This package focuses in on statistics about recycling to emphasize the sustainability issues associated with packaging design. The illustration depicts piles of boxes, that are unused, portraying how all packages essentially end up as waste. Within the design are a series of posters that cannot be visible until opened up. As the designs are not, officially made to be opened this I feel once again emphasizes the idea of hidden messages in packaging design, as you cannot obtain the complete message.

Poster Fifteen – This package then introduces the idea of creating packages that have another function, unlike previous packages. This will then cut down on waste created by packaging. Packaged within this design is a section of bubble wrap, once again playing on the idea of packaging – packaging. The bubble wrap also emphasizes the statement being made on the backing card, as after protecting a products the bubble wrap essentially has no further function, meaning it simply becomes waste – *its waste waiting to happen*

Poster Sixteen – This poster focuses completely on the way the design market has changed, and started to integrate sustainable factors into the design. Environmentally friendly practices are now in demand! The illustration shows, products being recycled, in turn creating a more sustainable future. There essentially is no product packaged within this package except the recycling logo. This is to emphasize the idea of creating packages that are either recyclable of have another function after its first life.

Poster Seventeen – This package focuses on the role of the packaging industry, looking at the different responsibilities within the team. It is colour coded orange to make it stand out from the other packages. The illustration in this poster plays on the common perception that all designers love to drink tea/ coffee. This illustration I actually feel is one of the strongest as the lid on the coffee cup looks as though it is sliding off adding a sense of movement to the design. Within this package is another activity looking at the different roles within the industry. This design will also be provided separately so they can be handed around the class, for students to fill in. The aim is for students to get involved and research into the different roles available within the industry and their key responsibilities. They can write the roles into the blank boxes.

Poster Eighteen – This is the final poster of the series, asking you a final question. This will leave the students with something to consider. It is colour coded yellow to once again make the final design stand out from the other series within the collection. Although this package doesn’t actually have any products vacuumed within I feel it could possibly be one of the strongest within the collection. This could be because of the vacuumed question mark, as it adds another dimension to the design, or it could be because it is the most typography- orientated design out of the series.