Wk8: Re/Flex Journal Deliverables Part 5

5. Overall reflections on what you learned in DCMD (all modules, esp BDS and DCOM) + 200+ words

In DCMD, I learn about the word perspective, know myself better, and gained knowledge about life, art and design. I have grown to be someone who thinks more than I should, being in deep thoughts most of the time and reflecting on what I have learn more than what I had done in Secondary school. If thinking too much cause this change, perhaps maturity could be the word to describe how I feel. DCMD have broadened my mind and eyes in the way I look at different things and it’s something that I might not be able to experience in other courses. In BDS, marketing is not just about selling the product, there are many stages, from the branding process to the 4Ps and how you advertise the product or service, the target audience, how they feel and think is crucial. How you communicate to bring across the message in its most effective way in advertising is part of the design process. DCOM aids my design process in many different ways, in terms of perspective, how we can find the different elements and how they can be linked together. Understanding of oneself and others is also part of the process such as doodling is one way to help us think differently. Creating a certain communication model helps us to focus on the objective and tells us what we need to do is one way. Whereas, 3D Modelling, MAYA, has helped me to create another interest in something I feel that I might enjoy doing and in terms of technology, I feel that it will aid us a lot in the future. Creating a product or object in 3D allows me to actually look at the object specifically, the details, design, fonts, texture and colours that I have not really look at. WEB Design has also allowed me to have the urge in wanting to create a webpage that I have always wanted to try. Although it is a tedious work in terms of getting the CSS, HTML right, I want to learn more and do more. So I guess, the interest is there, it’s just that whether I have the time or not. On the other hand, Creative Communication was not exactly I wanted as English was not my best subject and it’s not easy to get every word and sentence right. Although I learn about editing of a passage, script writing and poems as of now, I still don’t think I have the talent for them. However, I will try and do my best, understanding them is not the problem, the problem lies in interpreting them. Overall, DCMD has brought me closer to what advertising is all about, whether or not I will continue to pursue them in the future, it is something I learn and will eventually be of some help to me in the future.

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July 6, 2010. Re/Flex Journal. Leave a comment.

Wk8: Re/Flex Journal Deliverables Part 4

4. 2 Visual Experiments (choose from 1st 2 presentations). 500 word write-up on what you’ve learned so far from these graphic design history presentations (follow the instructions in the week 6-7 folder).

For both visual experiments, I tried using back my year 1 Visual Design Studio assignments as I think that there is some link to the movements from the second presentation, Victoria era and art nouveau. Although I did not know about these movements at that time, but somehow they are closely related to the two movements. Whereas, for the first presentation, my past assignments did not have any elements that can be link to the different movements. But I believe that perhaps my own style was not so much about straight lines, geometric and emphasis on the text or certain elements. It is interesting to see how the form of art can change so quickly due to the change in environment by industrialization and the use of technology. How artists shares stylistic features and focus on similar subjects as seen from the different movements. Futurism, constructivism and de Stijl are somehow similar due to their dynamic composition, abstract geometric forms, included modern elements, rather straight outlines and bright bold colours to express a certain element. These movements are still highly seen in modern designs whether it is art, advertisements or architecture. Whereas, Dadaism and pop art are similar in their informal characteristics , bold forms, reaction to abstract painting, inspiration from every other movements. Although there is a difference in terms of type face, Dadaism focuses more on literary devices. Each movement had its impact in modern art and design, but perhaps for the younger generation, it’s more about individuality than politics or change in technology or further advancement in their lives.

  • VICTORIAN ERA

VDS Font Design (Click image to enlarge)

The first visual experiment I used was an assignment I did during my year 1 Visual Design Studio font design, it’s actually a typography assignment and we had to create our own fonts. In my case, I decided to do my fonts about roots in terms of creating it visually. Although it might not work well in the ads, but I thought it was a good try for me as I wanted to create something that is really different and might work on fonts. But perhaps this was not the case. My initial concept for my font design was to create a font that is visually appealing than just modifying the existing fonts to a new type fonts. I began looking for ideas that consist of lines and shapes and eventually came up with using decorative lights, jigsaw puzzle; drink can pull tabs, fingers and roots as my final font design, name “Alpha Roots”. The reason was due to the complexity of the roots that was intriguing to one’s eyes and the rest of the ideas were either used before or too difficult to continue with all of the alphabets. During the process of developing “Alpha Roots”, I find it impossible to take photographs of the roots and hence I had to resolve to sketch out the alphabets. After scanning them into the computer, I used pen tool to trace it out and did the numbers and punctuation marks on illustrator. To enhance the font, I tried applying colours to it but failed, hence I outline the fonts with texture in brown colour to make it more realistic. On the other hand, it is also somehow related to the Victorian era when people were searching for a design style to create a new awareness of the industrial era’s spirit, culture and moral standards. It was the time of aesthetic confusion by approaching design in a disorderly fashion such as flat colours, elaborate lettering and iconic images. My font design is similar to the Victorian era fonts in many ways such as it is aesthetically appealing, disorder design, sentimental, nostalgic and beauty towards the nature. Although it was not so much about home, religion and patriotism but if we were to think about our current situation regarding on our environment, destruction of  plants and nature, there is some how a contradiction in responds to our society. Moreover, ornate elaboration became the main influence in typeface design at that time and ornate means excessive designs in terms of shadows, outlines and embellishments in a flashy, showy or florid style or manner. Bright flat colours, elaborate lettering and iconic images help create symbolic presence. In my font design, it is filled with lines, elaborated and perhaps iconic in terms of the roots design to create the presence of the nature, trees and plants. Hence, I feel that they are similar in a way but perhaps looking from different direction.

  • ART NOUVEAU

VDS CA2: Breath (Click image to enlarge)

The second visual experiment I used was an assignment I did during my year 1 Visual Design Studio CA2, this assignment was a free choice of graphic design. At that time, there wasn’t much of an idea or concept I wanted to start with, it just begins with a thought of drawing a person that could be related to the movement of water (underwater theme). I just wanted to create a form between realistic and non-realistic for a different view hence; I have used the real human eyes and tracing out the goggles instead. The movement of water is seen from the hair and by using a smoky effect; it brings out the focus of the eyes and goggles. I did not use many brushes so as to keep it simple. However, in order to create a particular idea or message, using typography method, I decided to use the word ‘breath’ to be merged with the hair as the message. The idea was to show the desperation that humans can’t breathe underwater and thus, there is a limit to everything. Instead of using the word ‘air’, ‘breath’ appears to be much more suitable and the way how one is in need of air. The bubbles are created to show that the person is underwater and that she is running out of oxygen. There are many parts to one story and in this illustration, the mouth was not seen so as to create an imagination for the viewers or perhaps what is in need of air was not from the mouth but something else. But I do not think it had any relation to certain advertisement that I want to communicate. In this case, art nouveau was the beginning of modern movement in terms of space, colours and textures. It was the start of abstract art by ‘mixing of everything’ in respond to industrialization. Similarly, my graphic design had the few characteristics of art nouveau, such as energy and elegant grace, transitional style that evolve, and surrealism. Although it not consist of all the design arts such as architecture, furniture, product design, fashion but it had human form and graphics, using people as part of a the design was a turning point at that time. Some elements and themes include man-made environment, organic visual quality, flowery and human female forms in simplified designs with graphic vitality with bright colours. In my design, the non-realistic background and goggles showed the man-made environment feel but in contradiction of the organic visual quality of the ocean. It is also in human female forms with bright colours with the light and fanciful flowing curves of the hair showing the flowery feel of the fonts ‘Breath’. Furthermore, stylized hair patterns was the hallmark of that era, hence it is more than similar to the art nouveau movement.

July 6, 2010. Re/Flex Journal. Leave a comment.

Wk8: Re/Flex Journal Deliverables Part 3

3. Brand Archetype and Metaphor reflection. After working on the week 8 homework (part 1 above), comparing the Brand Archetypes with the Zaltman Marketing Metaphors — think of how these ideas could be used in branding communications (200+ words)

Zaltman marketing metaphors talks about the consumer point of view, whereas, brand archetypes is about the brand itself, how it brings the message or idea across, how it communicate to the viewers or audience. In Zaltman marketing metaphors, there are seven factors that affect the consumers point of view and they are balance, transformation, journey, container, connection, resource and control. As a consumer, I strongly agree with Zaltman’s statement and it’s very true in our society today. If I were to compare Zaltman marketing metaphors and brand archetype, there are both similar in a way that it affects us as humans indirectly and directly, depending on the situation. Advertising is a communication and how it communicates affects how we think. For instance, in Zaltman marketing metaphors, transformation, it stated that due to nature’s ultimate vision, “we see butterflies used in hospital designs and in advertisements promoting sleep aids”. That is how we think, and in brand archetype, it stated that “The universal images of archetypes mingle with our personal unconscious to help create personal ambitions and dreams.” Somehow, imagery is part and puzzle in our lives and we are deeply affected by them. However, it is subconscious but sometimes we question ourselves why we think a certain way and how we go about dealing it. In any case, I personally feel that it dwells in the human brain; we do not really know exactly what we are thinking.

Furthermore, I was quite intrigued by Zaltman marketing metaphors under resource about the part that “In fact, all our giant deep metaphors- our mysterious tunes- populate the songs and other expressions of popular culture around the world.” Somehow or rather, the reflection of our lives or I should say, metaphors, can have such a great impact to us. Similarly, in brand archetypes, “modern mythology tries to do the same in its commercial messages, imparting some important lessons/morals to us,” which is actually kind of contradicting that we learning from ourselves.

On the other hand, an example of using archetypes and metaphors in brand communication would be our CAAS assignment whereby, we create a brand for the Singapore’s aviation centennial event. The brand consists of the logo and tagline in terms of conveying the message using the three key words, Singapore, aviation and connectivity. In one of the elements in my logo, it is considered an imagery metaphor in terms of putting in the three key words together, hence, directly conveying the whole message in the brand. It will be explained in my rationale below.

The main idea of the logo was about everyone (Singaporeans) being able to experience travel in Singapore for 100years till today. In terms of connection, the propeller-like shape represented people of four different races moving together in a circle, connecting with aviation. The swoosh shape showed the movement of people and aviation coming together. The movement of the smaller swoosh to a bigger swoosh also showed the vast progression of Singapore’s advancement towards aviation. It is in cyan colour as it symbolises the sky and blue symbolises the stability and trust in service and safety of Singapore aviation. The shadow helps to give a more 3D effect and enhanced the movement of the people and aviation coming together. The star in red at the end of the swoosh represent Singapore, celebration of joy and excitement and its unusual shape showed Singapore’s progression towards the future.

Whereas, the font gave a more professional and technological feel, showing the technology advancement and high professionalism of aviation in Singapore. The colours of the font are in dark blue provided a more collaborated feel to the whole logo. The tagline “Together, We Fly” is to enhance on the idea of everyone coming together to celebrate the centennial event in Singapore.

July 6, 2010. Re/Flex Journal. Leave a comment.

Wk8: Re/Flex Journal Deliverables Part 2

2. Personal Brand DNA + personal logo tryouts (from value combinations). Reflect on your attempts to match your Brand DNA with your values, and incorporating them in the logo – revisit your CAAS projects and pull out the most important learning points from that assignment. In terms of the branding process, what do you think are the similarities and differences between personal and corporate brands? (200 + words).

When I started my personal logo, I struggle at first and did not have a particular direction in the kind of design I want and that says it’s totally me except for the part about spirituality that speaks clearly that I’m a Christian and have faith in the Lord. Not exactly trying to spread the gospel or something, but I just couldn’t find something that exactly says it’s me. So I just did something that I like, and it might say something about me. As seen in the logo, it’s a sheep and the characteristics of a sheep are that it follows the crowd but each of the sheep is unique in its own way although all of them look the same. I guess it is kind of like myself in terms of unable to really make an exact decision and tends to seek for opinions from others. I do not have a clear direction in what I want to do whether in design or not, I just follow along with my life, learn as much as I could until I truly find what I truly want to be. Perhaps in the future, my personal logo will change and show more about me.

Personal Logo

However, during this exercise, although we are just following what the words would mean, it kinds of open up the mind and make us think differently. It would also mean different to anyone who looks at it. I like being simple, clear and straight to the point but sometimes it might not work in certain advertisements. I’m also someone who plays a low profile and it’s hard to tell what I’m exactly thinking. But I have moods swings and sometimes people can tell my mood like perhaps I have this aura around me spreading my mood. The benefit about me could be being straight forward but it can be in a good and bad way and obviously I think before I speak. People do not need to believe the claims about my brand, they see for themselves. (Taken from wk6-7: My Brand DNA)

CAAS Logo

But as for my CAAS logo, it shows clearly about what I want to convey, about connectivity, Singapore and aviation. I learn that sometimes being direct, simple and clear is needed in corporate logos and advertisements. You have to be clear in what you need to do, the objective of the assignment, and looking from another point of view. Some questions are relevant in the brand process, such as what will the audience feel, does it convey your message, and does it have the celebratory feel? Each point of view is different, in terms of the target audience, the gender, age, occupation etc. There are many factors we have to consider and its important in the branding process. Whereas, the personal logo, its more about me and what I want people to know about me, not so much about the target audience and how the audience will feel. However, similarly there is a certain message you want to convey to the people who look it, a story that you want to tell and show.

July 6, 2010. Re/Flex Journal. Leave a comment.

Wk8: Re/Flex Journal Deliverables Part 1

1. Complete General Communications Model (using illustrator/electronic media) — make sure the communications model is useful and can be reused as a template for future BDS/DCOM assignments to diagnose communications effectiveness. Write up what you understand about effective communications that you’ve learned over term 1 (200 + Words).

Communication Model (Click to enlarge)

In my communication model, I have 2 parts, one for the student and one for a working designer, stating how both the student and the designer can effectively communicate through the communication model. Firstly, there is the source/ sender which is the client’s brief, for instance the CAAS brief, an assignment that the client want us (designer/student) to do. Whereas, us as an interpreter/communicator, we need to understand the objective of the brief by gaining knowledge through research (eg. History of CAAS & Singapore). After understanding the objective, we as the encoder need to make the decision on the code we will use, in terms of how we want the receiver/audience to learn/know from this objective. Next, we create the message which may include the content or visuals direct or indirectly. However, before creating the message, we might meet some difficulties in the processing of the whole idea into a message which is the Noise. In medium, we will be able to decide the treatment of the message in terms of layout, fonts etc. Then we precede onto the channel, which is where we will choose the form of communication to convey the message to the audience such as print, TV ads etc. Last but not least, the receiver, namely the client, lecturers and classmates for the student or directly to the audience for the designer, receives the intended message and provides feedback. They are the reactions or responds from the intended audience for both the student and designer. The student will then be able to make adjustments and finally reaches the client. Whereas, for the designer, the feedback received goes directly to the client for the responds of the certain design or advertisement. The whole cycle of the communication then repeats again. Although, my effective communication is rather long but I feel that it has to be detailed as we might have miss out some points in the whole communication process.

July 6, 2010. Re/Flex Journal. Leave a comment.

Wk6-7: My Brand DNA

Brand DNA (Click to enlarge)

MY BRAND DNA:

Draw out your new Brandmark/Logo Drafts. Choose your favourite one, and in a rationale explain how the different graphic elements come together to create a representation of your brand (USP/value proposition: icon/symbol/index;metaphor, metonym, etc)

From my rough sketch, I do not have a favourite as each of them is interesting in its own way. Although I kind of like the one that is in heart shape with faces in it, sort of showing a bright feeling, as it is a combination of friendship and joy, so I guess it’s something that I can really relate to and it’s something that makes me happy. However, all of them are similar in a way that I do not have a particular direction in design, it can anything and everything. But perhaps because I’m a Christian, when the word spirituality comes to my mind, I would think of the image of a cross. And the word directness would mean an image of an arrow or any shape that point. I’m more of someone who likes something that’s straight to the point and perhaps with a twist or something but it’s not easy to create and it might go out of point. During this exercise, although we are just following what the words would mean, it kinds of open up the mind and make us think differently. It would also mean different to anyone who looks at it. I like being simple, clear and straight to the point but sometimes it might not work in certain advertisements. I’m also someone who plays a low profile and it’s hard to tell what I’m exactly thinking. But I have moods swings and sometimes people can tell my mood like perhaps I have this aura around me spreading my mood. The benefit about me could be being straight forward but it can be in a good and bad way and obviously I think before I speak. People do not need to believe the claims about my brand, they see for themselves. Although its not obvious in my sketches, as I have stated that “I do not have a particular direction in design”.

July 6, 2010. Wk6-7: My Brand DNA. Leave a comment.

Wk4-5: Semiotic Research on Brand/Logo Links

Apple Logo

1) Apple: “The trustworthy”

The Brand Category – Technology (Phone/Music Player/Computer..etc)

The Brand Difference – Simple, sleek design and direct logo.

The Brand Character – Clean/Sleek/Direct

The Brand Benefit – The design and trust.

The Brand Credibility –Advertisements/Publications/Word of Mouth

It uses shadow, grey colour, and smooth design/shape to represent these values/qualities. The shape of an apple shows its metonyms (realistic representations). The leaf that is separated and the bitten part of the apple (logo) show that its metaphors (fantasy-based representations).

Nike Logo

2) Nike: “Just do it” (Slogan)

The Brand Category – Apparel (Shoes/Clothing/Water Bottle/Bags/Caps…etc)

The Brand Difference – Simple and direct logo/tagline

The Brand Character – Simple/Clean /Direct

The Brand Benefit – The design and durability.

The Brand Credibility – Advertisements/Publications/Word of Mouth

It uses black colour and simple, direct tick shape to represent these values/qualities. The shape of a tick shows its metonyms (realistic representations). The rounded part to the end of the tick (logo) show that its metaphors (fantasy-based representations).

Lays Logo

3) Lays: “The healthier choice”

The Brand Category – Food (Potato Chips)

The Brand Difference – Clear and direct logo.

The Brand Character – Bright/Healthy/Energetic

The Brand Benefit – The taste and the variety of flavours it has.

The Brand Credibility – Advertisements/Publications/Word of Mouth

It uses red and yellow colour with different shades and the curve/rounded shapes to represent these values/qualities. The yellow rounded sun-like shape shows its metonyms (realistic representations). The red ribbon-like wrapped around the “sun” show that its metaphors (fantasy-based representations).

Coca Cola Logo

4) Coca-Cola: “Open Happiness” (Slogan)

The Brand Category – Beverage (Carbonated Drink)

The Brand Difference – The clear and direct logo

The Brand Character – Bright/Energetic

The Brand Benefit – The taste and it is widely located.

The Brand Credibility – Advertisements/Publications/Word of Mouth

It uses red colour and the curve fonts to represent these values/qualities. The cursive font shows its metonyms (realistic representations). The ribbon-like extended lines from the font show that its metaphors (fantasy-based representations).

Pepsi Logo

5) Pepsi: “The not so gassy drink”

The Brand Category — Beverage (Carbonated Drink)

The Brand Difference – The simple and direct logo

The Brand Character – Bright/Energetic/Cool

The Brand Benefit – The design and taste.

The Brand Credibility – Advertisements/Publications/Word of Mouth

It uses red and blue colour and the rounded shape and fonts to represent these values/qualities. The round font of the text in the logo shows its metonyms (realistic representations). The shape and design of the round element in the logo show that its metaphors (fantasy-based representations)

Research:

1) Apple Research: The values are consistently depicted as clean, direct and simple throughout these collaterals although it’s more elaborated for the brochures. But all of them appear professional in terms of font and layout and it also have a unified feel as they follow a certain layout and white background colour in their collaterals.

Apple Ads (Click to enlarge)

2) Coca-Cola Research: The values are consistently depicted as bright and energetic throughout these collaterals. All of them appear to have a certain vintage style in terms of font and layout and it also have a unified feel as they follow a certain colour and layout in their collaterals.

Coca Cola Ads (Click to enlarge)

Reflection: I learn that most of the logos are simple and direct and they have to be consistently depicted in their collaterals as well. Each colour, layout, design, shape chosen have suit the brand idea which is part of the whole design process. Target audience is also particularly important when deciding the brand idea.

July 6, 2010. Wk4-5: Semiotic Research on Brand/Logo Links. Leave a comment.

Wk2-3: Reflections on human creativity, motivation and communications

Hierarchy Of Needs (My version) (Click to enlarge)

In my hierarchy of needs, there are 15 values that I strongly feel that they should  be part of my needs, however, there is still my top 10 personal values in the diagram. Most of my values lie under Esteem and Cognitive needs.

Chain-of-Values:
•Biological & Physiological needs: The necessary needs to sustain my body, heart & mind and survival in this society.
•Safety needs: My values did not fit into this section and personally, I feel that my hierarchy of needs should be about me and how I think; not about being protected etc (That’s another thing).
•Belongingness & Love needs: Considered a physiological need to me and keeps me moving on.
•Esteem needs: A need to keep moving on in everything I do.
•Cognitive needs: A need to continue in the design industry.
•Aesthetic needs: A need to how I view at things/beauty etc.
•Self-actualization: A need to truly understand myself and become a better self.
•Transcendence: A need to go beyond my own philosophical concept or limit.

The top 10 values as seen in the diagram are:
1)Freedom: Something that I want but yet to truly attain it as I’m still bound to what I need to do as a student now.
2)Vitality: The energy/strength to allow me to continue in what I need to do.
3)Spirituality: As a believer, it gives me the strength to work harder and not give up.
4)Friendship: Friends are particularly important to me as motivation and helping me to make decisions in certain things.
5)Focus: An exception need as I lose focus easily, whether it is in doing work or the main focus of the certain assignment.
6)Perspective: In terms of art and design, it is important to view them in perspective.
7)Self-Expression: Similar to originality, I need express my opinions/views in an exceptional way.
8)Creativity: Particularly important in art and design (The industry that I may or may not be in).
9)Perseverance: I give up easily; hence it is a motivational need.
10)Acknowledgement: I need an answer to every question as a confirmation and to keep me motivated.

July 6, 2010. Wk2-3: Reflections on human creativity. Leave a comment.

Wk1: Personal Promise Declaration

Week 1 In-Class Activity: Reintroduction

  • What did I do well last year?
  • [History & Theory of Ideas]
  • What did I do badly last year?
  • [Drawing Studio]
  • Did I achieve my goals last year? How much of it did I achieve?
  • [I guess it’s a yes that I achieve my goals last year, in terms of completing yr 1 and proceeding to yr 2. At that point, I was only focusing on passing my results and anticipate for yr 2. Although I did not get very good results but I tried my best and I will work harder in yr 2.]
  • What stopped me from achieving those goals?
  • [Time management, as I have a tendency to side track a lot.]
  • What are my goals this year?
  • [Achieve good grades and work hard to get to yr 3.]
  • What do I promise to do if I encounter difficulties and am unclear about anything related to the class?
  • [Seek help from friends and lecturers.]
  • What am I committed to achieve in this class?
  • [Understand the main aim of this class.]
  • Who I am (name), and some brief, distinctive things about myself.
  • [I am Shi Min, I do not have good time management, and I can’t draw very well too, but I’m straight forward and like to things that are simple but unique in their own way.]
  • What is my (Unique Selling Proposition)? List a few possibilities.
  • [To be able to design in a simple but unique way.]
  • [To be able to easily communicate the idea to my client.]
  • [The idea can be straight forward but also, it is able to allow the client to think in a different way (still trying to figure out how).]
  • What bad habits of mine do I intend to do something about over the semester?
  • [Time management.]
  • What is my promise to the class this year… (What I can contribute to make it a better learning environment for everyone, etc)
  • [Work hard and try to give more suggestions and ideas. I try..]
  • What I would like to achieve in my three years in the DCMD course?
  • [I would like to be a creative person as I have stated before that I’m still learning to be creative and come up with many different ideas.]

July 6, 2010. Wk1: Personal Promise Declaration. Leave a comment.