I thought it was about time I uploaded some of my own work. I tend to take a more typographic response to my briefs because, for me, there is a reason we have developed language and it has been refined over tens of thousands of years. Languages develop so fluidly, initial meanings get molded and shaped so it fits to need. Not to mention what seems to be the millions of typefaces or fonts available which essentially gives me unlimited source material to bend and appropriate to my need. Additionally, I like working in layers and this time i don’t mean the handy feature in Photoshop and illustrator. I like to present an initial or obvious message to my viewers (that being the main point to commercial graphic design) but i also like to add secondary or tertiary meanings. Sometimes they might be witty or informational, sometimes historical and other times it’ll be pretty simple dependant on the material I’m working with.
Charity Poster: Locked in Syndrome.
This poster is designed to draw attention and inform the public on Locked in Syndrome. Due to its heavily typographic content I envision it to be placed on bus shelter and train station ad boards to allow people the time to read the information presented. In order to draw attention i chose to use a red background as red is traditionally an attention grabbing colour. By placing a lighter colour centrally i want to draw the viewer in, enveloping them in the work. Additionally i wanted to echo what is seen when you close your eyes but face a bright light source, such as on an operating table or hospital bed.
The tag line ‘Blink and you’ll miss me’ is an extension of how most sufferers of LiC are misdiagnosed as being in a coma. They tend to lay motionless in hospital beds, sometimes for years, before a family member, partner or friend notice non-erratic eye movement which usually leads to that person begging medical professionals to run further tests and hopefully end up with a corrected diagnosis. These eye movements are usually so subtle and minute that they are easily missed, so I decided to appropriate the saying ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ which is used to describe something that’s exceedingly fast and change it to fit this situation.
To follow on from the idea that in order to notice these eye movements you need to pay close attention, i have wrapped and infiltrated the informative text around the tag line forcing the reader to take a much closer look at the poster.
Greenall’s Gin Campaign.
This brief required me to look at a ‘quintessentially British moment’ and use it to promote Greenall’s Gin. I’m going to be upfront here and say this piece went a little off brief, but as Steve Jobs said ‘The customer never knows what they want until we show them’. I don’t take this literally for many reasons, the client always has final say after all. But what I mean here is that i took the brief for a very British moment and decided to use a very British quality instead. In this case, i chose to combine the dry and sarcastic British sense of humour and mix in what i think ‘Britishness’ is, multiculturalism. From our language to our food and everything in-between Britain has been claiming things from different cultures and re-branding them as British since forever.
I decided that i wanted to pull in influences from Abram Games war posters, the old Public Information Broadcasts, mix in a little of the old British window sign writing for visuals and keep my usual layered meanings within the text.
Everybody likes a pun, i have no idea how true this is but i opened with one anyway. As the entirety of the poster is designed to be informational and it’s designed to advertise Greenall’s Gin, Ginformation.
As i mentioned, to me, being British is being a part of a multicultural society. To represent this i decided to start with a bold declaration that Greenall’s, a long-standing British based company, only use British products. I then researched their most common ingredients used in creating gin and discovered that not a single one is indigenous to Britain – an example of how we as a culture have appropriated so many things. So i decided to drop that information into my poster, but i wanted it to be a secondary voice so chose to present it a smaller handwritten font to give a kind of whispered or countered voice to the main.
Pulling on the old window signage style I added some basic, Victorian styled illustrations for clarity, i also wanted to experiment with a more illustrative style. To echo this style but not shown in this digital copy is that the bright white spaces in the text and flourishes are to have a metallic foiling added (silver, as it’s a brand colour of Greenall’s).
Centrally, i placed an image of Greenall’s Original in the same style – Product placement after all.
I finished the piece with ‘where do you get your dutch courage?’. I felt this well-known British saying of ‘Dutch Courage’ was appropriate as during my research i discovered that a poplar of theory of Gin’s origin is that it came from the Netherlands. By using this tag line I’m suggesting that you should get yours from Greenall’s Gin, this runs a fine line on the alcohol advertising standards as it may be seen to suggest that alcohol gives you courage, which wouldn’t be allowed, however i felt the relevance too appropriate to not include. I did run with other tag lines but none sounded or looked as fitting as this.
These are just a small example of my work but i would say they are the pieces I’m most proud of. My portfolio does contain other mediums like magazine spreads, web pages, board games and short animations but i feel that my specific area of interest lies in poster campaigns. However, even thinking about specialising in a singular field of graphics design is mentally draining to me, i believe I’d be much better off working for an agency, if not solo, which would allow me to produce materials (I’m very keen on actual print) of all varieties with perhaps the option to do mostly posters or flyers. Besides there’s a whole bunch of different outcomes i haven’t had a chance to try yet, installations for galleries or advertising spaces for example, really interests me.
I think career wise, starting off in an agency with aims to one day starting my own practice would be the best route for me. The agency would give me experience working for different firms, in different mediums, and help me make professional contacts. I’ve been told that I’m easy to get on with and fairly charismatic, Ive held several managerial positions in my life, several that included costing with aims to profit-making in my catering days, this leads me to believe that with the right experience I could open my own practice.
My only real concern for my career is that I’m going to be a newly graduated 32-year-old in a pool of young 20’s. I worry that employers will choose a younger applicant because of how many more working years they could provide to the company. However, employers may see the attitude to work and life experience (I’m hoping they do) that I have as a bonus and want to employ me.
So there it is, a little taster of my work, what i wanted to achieve with it and further, what i want to achieve with my life.