Tuesday, March 23, 2010
On Tuesday, 24 March we were given the task to come up with a logo for a business. We were put into groups - I was with Jules and Mitch - and we had to come up with a name for our design company. The very original (maybe not so original - still good, though) idea to use the first letters of our names to make the company name was decided upon, so therefore we became JAM Graphics.

The groups were asked to meet with a client in order to determine the details: their business, what image they were going for, etc., and it was actually quite a good role-play exercise. Our client was William "Bill" Preston. His company was a family owned earthmoving business by the name of Preston's Earth Moving. His business was located at Bomen, Wagga Wagga, and had been operating for three years. Bill told us that he wished to have a new logo that stood out from the original - something that made the business identifiable, something that gave the business an image. When asked about colour scheme, he said that perhaps black and white would be a good way to go - he wished to have the logo on the machinery (trucks, bobcats, tractors, etc), which is orange in colour, and on the uniforms. Immediately I thought along the lines of tough. A block-y, bold typeface would be preferable for the job. When we asked about what he'd like on the logo, whether he'd like a picture of anything, he specified that he wanted both a logo with and without a picture. Bill also mentioned that he had a tight budget - "tough economic times".

When all of the groups had their mock-meetings, we were told that we had until midday to finish out first designs. When Jules, Mitch and I left to start on our job, we all shared our ideas that were all rather similar - a tough, blocky image with grunt. We agreed that we needed to research other logos of similar businesses, so we googled some images of earth moving equipment, industrial machinery businesses and brands such as Caterpillar. There were lots of images that we used to create our first ideas. The layout of the Mick Humphrey’s training group logo inspired Mitch's and my logo - an image in the centre with curved words framed the top and bottom of the image. We changed it around a little and had Preston's in the centre with earth at the top and moving down the bottom. I worked on just the text logo, whilst Jules and Mitch worked on the pictorial logo. Together we also came up with what typefaces to use: Impact and Stencil, as they were the blockiest and most with-grunt typefaces we had available to us at the time.

This is what I initially came up with:

Mitch's layout was similar to mine as it had Preston's in the centre and earth at the top and moving at the bottom, but instead of just being type he had the idea of having a tractor tire as his image and he put Preston's in the middle. We several images of tractors and bobcats and there was one logo – the Northern Beaches earth moving - that inspired one of Jule's designs. Jules also used a cartoonish picture of a tractor for another one of her designs, having the type in front, looking as though it was being moved away. We made two versions of our logos, one with Impact as the type and one with Stencil as the type to see which the client liked best.

Then came feedback time.

Bill told us that he wasn't a fan of the Stencil typeface and that Impact was better. He said that mine looked like a number plate - and to be honest, it did, but he still liked it. Mitch had to tell Bill that his tire was actually a tire, because the client thought that it was a saw, which we didn't even consider because we knew that Mitch had traced a tractor tire with the pen tool on Illustrator, but once Bill pointed it out we saw what he meant. Out of Jule's images he preferred the tractor with the type being pushed away but he asked that the type be moved at the bottom of the image instead and that the shape of the tractor be a little simpler. He asked me to make different variations of my logo, and here's what I came up with when we went back to work on the revisions:

I also tried switching the colour-scheme as well.

I decided that having the text just flat on top and bottom was a lot more appealing than the curved shape, and then I decided to put it all inside the one box, but still making sure that the name Preston's stood out. After looking at all of the revisions, the text inside the box worked a lot better than having it outside. I put some bolts in the corners of some just to play with the idea of having it look like a number plate, but Jules said it reminded her of something else and we decided that without the bolts looked better.

I was annoyed that we hadn't a huge range of typefaces to work with, but for that particular job, I thought Impact worked and it made the logo seem blocky and tough and I thought that I had it in control.

I thought as a group we worked well. We all shared our ideas and we helped one another and gave comments and feedback on our finished logos (I think Jules and Mitch were a bit too kind to me and I think I talked too much and had too many ideas haha). But I think after the feedback session, we worked really well and we all had an idea of what to do, and the finished products looked really good. Together as a group we were successful in solving the client's problems. We were given enough information and between us we had good ideas to work with so together we were a pretty good problem-solving team.

I thought using Illustrator for these logos was really good - my idea was relatively put together in Illustrator, though there were some difficulties I had when trying to figure out how to kern and how to make the text curve, but that was sorted out just by asking. I don't think the technology really held me back on this idea.

I think when our designs were revised, they evolved and they became a lot tighter. When I chose to use plain text instead of curving it, it became a lot tighter but then when I put all the text inside the box it was tighter still. Looking at the original, it fits into a box or rectangle, but it doesn't seem as clean or as compact as the revisions, and I'm glad that my design could evolve like that.

Coming up with an amount to charge a client for a job like this is difficult to think about. On one hand, you have to consider their budget, and on the other, you have to charge what you think is adequate for the service you are providing and your skills. I think because we had a day to create a logo (roughly six hours) think I would charge something like $40-$45 an hour. For a real job I would choose to have the hourly rate of $60+ or so.

I think this exercise was very enjoyable, and I had a great time doing it. As well as designing posters and book covers, this is exactly the type of work I hope to be doing as a graphic designer. I think doing these kinds of exercises in groups helps so the other people in your group can look at it separately, with different eyes as they have not been working on it and it isn't their idea so they are able to give you an idea of what a client might say. Working on my own on something like this would have also been really good, but I enjoy working with both people and on my own.

In a way, Bill Preston was specific without being particular in what he wanted. Just by saying where he intended to have the logos, wanting it to be the image of his company, we were able to determine what sort of logos we should come up with and I think our client was realistic with his expectations - he wanted something bold for his company, he wanted something simple, so I don't think he was asking too much of us.

One day to create a logo seems realistic, but you have to consider revision periods and the job itself. A graphic designer may have other jobs to work on at the same time so a time period of three days to a week would be more realistic. It also depends on when the client needs to have it done by and what they want done with the logo, how complicated the design may be.
Overall, I thought being put into groups was a great idea and it was a great opportunity to work with other people I didn’t usually work with. It was great to see how others planned and how they developed their ideas. It was also great being able to see the other group’s work and it was also interesting to see how they approached their tasks. I had a lot of fun doing this exercise and I would enjoy doing something like this again.

These are the revised logos that I will be presenting to Bill at our next revision:

Raiders Logo

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A bit of Illustrator work - using the pen tool on a larger scale.


Here are some more logos that we had to replicate using Illustrator:


Monday, March 15, 2010

THE NOISE music festival logo + poster

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I thought it would look cool just as is - black and white

The finished poster

Music Festival Posters

Thursday, March 4, 2010
Just a few music festival posters I thought were pretty groovy.

This poster has an appealing folk/indie feel to it with the use of natural, warm colours and motifs such as th vines, the wheat in the background and the wooden-looking signs and picture border in the centre.

I like this poster because the colour scheme is simpleand the shapes used are fun and flowing.

This poster, even though it has a lot going on in it, is really cool. It's bright and exciting and your eye is drawn to different parts of the poster after seeing the bold "VISAYAN MUSIC" at the top. It's the kind of poster that you would stop to look at on the street if you saw it on a billboard or light post.

I like how this poster has a really grunge look about it. The main part of the poster is the band names which draws your eye, and then you notice the patterns, shapes and colours in the background. It works because the rest of the poster is plain and uneventful, therefore not taking the spotlight away from the main event - the bands that will be playing at the fesival.

Like the winter jazz festival poster, this one has fun shapes and a simple colour scheme. You get a fun vibe from the poster.

The main reason I found this poster attractive was because of the huge pirate ship on it :P but the colours are simple and they work together. The varying shapes of the poster unite the entire image and makes it work as a whole. The top half is balanced by the text on either side of the triangle, which draws your eye to the centre of the poster to the island and trees. The bottom half of the poster works because the pirate ship itself is just one solid colour against the repeated circular pattern.

Mean Green Killin' Machines

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
WHAT WORKS? - With the colour scheme being rather low key, there aren't clashes with the images - the greens in each image is able to stand out against the brown of the background without being difficult to look at. The text at the bottom of the page balances everything out, and there was no totally blank space left which looked awkward to begin with.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK? - The space between ther three images and the blocks of text beside them - the gaps are too big and they don't go with the small space between the image and the text beside or the borders (which are also uneven) which are much smaller.

WHAT WERE THE DIFFICULTIES YOU ENCOUNTERED WITH SPLITTING THE RECTANGLE? - Deciding the layout with the page. I took a more pedestrian approach with the layout, and therefore I found that if things weren't in line properly, everything looked out of place - it didn't help that there were a few things that refused to sit where I wanted them to. Making sure the images were relatvely the same size to fit the page was difficult as well because I had to crop and re-paste and it was a pain!

Or is it?

For this task, we had to make a composit based on the saying "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."
I decided to explore the aftermath - what happens when you reach the supposedly greener side? Is it better than the side you were on, or is it worse?