Collection: Part 2: Graphic and Communication Design

Reflection

REFLECTION

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40 HOURS

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Saturday 30 Jan 2016

After 4 days I have completed my 40 hours project and the outcome I produced are 4 A4 sized pieces of paper each containing overlaying prints of photographs and screenshots of my activity every half an hour. I found that it is quite impossible sometimes to stick to my planned routine. When I was outside of the university or my flat, I was unable to print the images straight away so I only printed when when a printer was available to me. Also during the day as I was working on workflow, I had forgotten to document my activity at exactly half an hour so some of the screenshots or photographs were taken quite late. I had to make sure that I still get the appropriate amount of photographs for the day but I wasn't being very honest to the project as I should have. The outcome turned out better than I thought it would. Even thought the middle section became totally dark because all the images printed overlap, my activities can still be noticeable on the lighter part of the page. I am not sure how I could display or present the outcome on an A2 sheet of paper but personally, I do not think that this project is good enough for me to add into my portfolio.

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Wednesday 27 Jan 2016

After having started the routine today I felt that it was rather difficult to remind myself to stick to the timeframe that I planned (every half an hour). I decided to make minor changes to the framework by working 10 hours per day from 12pm - 10 pm as this is the time period that I am most active during the day and therefore, would help me record much more interesting information. This means that I will have to work for 4 days in total starting today and finishing on Saturday which leaves me time to finalise the project on Sunday. The result that I have created was very interesting as the printer has produced a symmetrical black and white piece of art that clearly reflected the time period in the layers and layers of ink overlapping on top of the paper. I found that however, because the middle part is overlapped the most with images and screenshots it became completely black after one day which means that the recordings of 3 remaining days will not even be visible on the paper. Maybe this is the point of the project anyway but as I do not want to ruin the beautiful symmetrical pattern that I have created today, I have decided to use one piece of paper per day to reflect each day's routine and I can compare the similarities and differences between them all. The final outcome would be 4 different pieces of paper each reflecting a 10 hour period between Wednesday 27 - Saturday 30.

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Tuesday 26 Jan 2016

For 40 hours, I have decided to approach the project as a photojournalist because I believe it will be the most simple way for me to document and record my work and the process with the amount of time I have. I was inspired by Xavier Antin's "Just in Time", chain-linked printers project where he devised this beautifully orchestrated printing process to create his book. One single page would pass through 4 printers each responsible for a colour palette and the outcome would be a full vintage CMYK image. I really like that the process itself is represented through layers of colour applied on top of each other which made the final book quite special. Therefore, in response to this project I have chosen to record / screenshot / photograph whatever is in front of me every half an hour. I will start at 10am until 10pm and will continue for four days. Each time I get an image I will then print it out repeatedly on the same piece of paper to layer them all. In the end of the 40 hours time period the outcome will be a single piece of paper layered with 80 different images that will represent my activities during the time period.

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Monday 25 Jan 2016

During the weekend I came up with a few ideas such as designing 40 characters one per hour, following a plastic bag on the streets for 40 hours or documenting my electronic use for 40 hours. I think that these ideas are ideal because I should think about representing time in the final outcome. It is important that my whole process goes towards creating the outcome so that it is created within the time frame. This would give me time to work on my portfolio and prepare for the assessment. It is important that I will not have to spend more time on the project after the 40 hours so I have to define my set of rules and do more research. From the pitch people really like the idea of following a plastic bag for 40 hours because it is very humorous and playful.

One thing that a lot of us didn't consider in the pitch was the challenges that we might face for our 40 hours project. Health and safety factor seems to be something that everyone neglects since we are all quite ambitious with our ideas which is a good thing but can be harmful. Some people planned not to sleep for the whole 40 hours and some planned to roam the city in the middle of the night which can be quite dangerous. This reminds me to really think about the framework of my project and be specific. At the end of the day a lot of us including myself are quite lost and still couldn't figure out what we should do for our project. 

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HEAR MAKE HEARD

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Thursday 21 Jan 2016

The comment I got from the group crit made me want to redesign some aspect of the book. Since I spent only one week to design and produce them, I think I should spend a lot more time on each decisions that I make and really think about the publication in the eyes of the audience. I thought that I have made everything simple but under 'brief interpretation of the books contents', some people wrote 'the environment' which wasn't very clear. A few suggestions that intrigued me were about the cover and the glasses placement. They suggested having an image on the cover because it would help attract the audience and give them context before opening the book. Also the suggest that the 3D glasses be put in front or in a pocket because the cut is clearly visible and it is not very attractive. Overall I also believe that the paper choice was too thick. Some people suggested using my own photographs for the publication because it is a 'self' published book and I should consider copyright... 

I like that the most memorable aspect of the book is the 3D effect. Overall, the comments on the layout and the content was quite positive and the relationship between image and text is well thought out. The simplicity of the book made it quite easy to understand the context of the book. I disagree on someone's comment that "the serif font is not really a good choice, perhaps a sans-serif would be better to emphasize the modern style and the delicate feel." I believe that the typeface that I chose for this publication is appropriate and sophisticated. Using a san-serif font for the publication, especially for the spoken words would give totally different emotions and tone of voice which I feel is not a very good thing. I did not intend to give it a modern style so I should give it some more thoughts if people believe that it's modern.

After the introduction to 40 hours, I had no idea what to do or where I should start. For the hour experiment I eavesdrop and recorded everything I heard at the second down.

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Tuesday 19 Jan 2016

For today I have completed and printed out a mock up of my publication. I had another discussion with a different tutor about the cover and he agreed that I should keep it very clean and simple so that it can look more sophisticated. I found a lot of mistakes after going through the mock up such as spelling mistakes and weird layout errors which I will never see on the computer screen so I think that printing a physical copy out to check for mistakes is a lot better than trying to go through them on the screen. I realised that I concentrate a lot more when reading on paper than on the screen which helped me spot minor mistakes that I often ignore.

Initially I was going to clip the 3D glasses to the front of the book because I want the glasses to help reveal to the audience the 3D element within it. However, after trying out a few examples I realised that the 3D glasses distracted too much from the text in the middle of the page and the title already reveals the 3D element in itself so there is no point in stating the same thing twice. It risks falling out because there will be nothing to keep it secure. I thought about using a slip pocket on the pack of the book to hide it on the last page but the A5 size is too small to fit the pocket in nicely. It will also add more cost and time in production as well. In the end I decided to cut a strap on the back cover so that I can slide my 3D glasses in because this is the most simple way to keep the glasses secure on the back of the book and it won't distract the cover.

Since my book has 36 A5 pages I will only have 9 pieces of paper in total which means that it is thin enough for me to do saddle stitching. It is the best binding method for my publication because it will allow the images to connect properly across the pages.

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Monday 18 Jan 2016

We spoke about format, binding, layout and material today. The task of today asked us to think about the intended purpose of our publication. "FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION" was what the tutor repeatedly said today to remind us that the format and layout should derive from the content of our work and what we want the book to do. I believe this is very important because it will allow us to effectively communicate our intended message by considering how suitable the content we want to distribute can be presented in a format. I have chosen to create in a small A5 zine format as the narrative of the book is quite short so therefore won't require too many pages. A simple zine is the best way to display the individual anaglyphs and the text along with it. In this way I can do saddle stitching which is the most simple way to bind a book. I can produce the book quickly and economically as well so that it will not be too costly for me. If somehow my publication will have so many pages that I cannot do saddle stitching, maybe due to the thickness of the print material, I will consider producing a perfect bind which might cost a lot more and take a lot more time to create. For the paper material I have chosen double matted paper 160 gsm which is the perfect thickness that will flip over easily and wont wrinkle too fast.

While considering the cover, the tutor suggested that I keep it very clean and simple, not having any 3D elements or imagery on it just the name of the zine so that I can keep the excitement hidden like a gem inside it. I tested out all the different ways that I can present the cover. I tried a full bleed image with large text and I felt that it was too chaotic with all the information and everything going on. I tried a small non 3D image with bigger text but still it seemed like it's not right so I have decided to just have simple text in the middle revealing the 3D element subtly on the text itself. The result of the cover turned out to be something quite sophisticated and professional which I want.

For the layout, I researched into different photography books and found that most if not all of them have similar layout. Images are placed either in the centre of on A5 page, or centred across the page spread and text are incorporated quite small around, on the side of or under the images so as to not distract the images too much.

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Thursday 14 Jan 2016

I have finalised my concept for the publication for today's crit session. I want people to be able to experience the sounds in the same way that I had experienced but since I have to turn them into a visual book with no sound, I decided that 3D Anaglyphs would be a really cool way to allow the audience to experience the Galapagos. What better way than to bring it out to the audience in 3D? This would be a really cool selling point for my book because it will be able to attract visitors to come view my publication. I decided to try creating 3D Anaglyphs on photoshop and after the first failed attempts, I learned a few techniques that helped me achieve my image. I notice that the by shifting the red to the left and cyan to the right, the image will go inward, deep into the page making it look like it is further away from the book. However, shifting the red to the right and cyan to the left will make the image pop out of the book closer to us. A way to bridge the two levels is to create a clipping mask and create a black to white gradient to subtly level the two. This project is going to be quite difficult and time consuming even though what I intended to create is something very very simple.

After the crit I began to think how text can be integrated through the pages and / or on the images. Since these anaglyphs contain a lot of information on the images themselves, will I be able to read text if printed on top of the images? A lot of experimentation has to be done inorder to figure out the best way to present my publication and the layout. The tutor asked me to think about the actual content of the book, what text / information will be on the pages and where. A publication especially mine need content or otherwise it will just be an ordinary 3D photo book. Therfore, I have decided to keep Chris Watson's voice record exactly the same as it is so I chose not to omit any errors and pauses while he speaks so that the audience can really hear exactly what he is saying as if he is speaking directly to them. I believe that apart from Watson's words, I want to include my own description of the sound effects as well and I might add them somewhere on the page near the image so that it will act as a sound description for the image for the reader to use their own imagination.

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Tuesday 12 Jan 2016

The three sound tracks that I chose from the British Library's sound archive are recordings of the coal mine, recordings of children playing in the playground, and recordings of Chris Watson in the Galapagos. I have chosen to work with Chris Watson's audio diary of the Galapagos because I found the content of his recording very intriguing. It sounded like he is taking us on an adventure with the recordings of the ocean and the forest as he narrated the scenery in front of him. This triggered my imagination and really challenged me to visualise these locations in my head while listening to the peaceful sounds of nature. I thought it would be cool if I can turn this sound recording into a publication that represents my interpretation of it.

I started off transcribing the whole track jotting down every word he said as well as the description of the sounds I hear in the background. I felt that it is important that I don't miss out any specific detail within the recording so that my representation of the sounds within the publication will be as accurate as I can. I wasn't sure what kind of publication it is going to be but I wanted to create a photo book / story book type publication that will allow me to visually present the Galapagos islands as seen by Watson along with his original description of it. So that will be my content for this project. I decided to discard the other two sounds as they all are quite contrasting and I don't think I can create anything too interesting with children playing in the playground or a very brief sound of workers in a coal mine.

The examples we got from the class was very cool. I believe that some are very professionally made that they can be distributed in the public. I think that most of my ideas are towards creating a zine because of the examples of zines I have seen so far.

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BUILDING BLOCKS

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Monday 11 Jan 2016

I chose to create digital specimens that suits the sci-fi theme of my tape typeface. I tried many variations and began by first listing the attributes that I believe my type has: rigidity, straight edges etc. Using the attribute as a starting point is good for me since it helped me think about the different applications of my typeface. I was particularly intrigued by the sample I found of a typeface that is digitally edited on to realistic backgrounds. The light and shadow effect added on to the text made it very realistic and I think that it is a good inspiration for my specimens. I tried to associate my typeface with objects and textures such as concrete and metal since these are 3d objects that go very well with a sci-fi theme. I also tried screening flat galaxy backgrounds on to the typeface and play with the layout and space quotes. I wanted to see the relationship of textured filled text and the white of the background in creating modern sci-fi themed specimens. 

In the crit session a lot of people enjoyed viewing my specimens as some believed that I "put a lot of effort" in contextualising my typeface on contrasting and realistic backgrounds. I believe that my typefaces are very legible since this is one of the most important aspect that I aimed to achieve with this project. Legibility is so important for me because it allows the reader to comprehend the text which will give them further context into its applications apart from its visual. Some people commented on the quality of my tape font because it is very "consistent and professionally done" however, "it has no originality at all". This is very true because I was struggling to come up with anything and I decided to just do the most simple thing that came to mind. It has no obvious development or research so people wouldn't understand the concept. The letter M is believed to be "out of place" since it is different to the others and therefore stood out the most. However, I deliberately chose to do that to add playfulness and originality to my typeface. For my object typeface, people believe that it is easy to read and is more "playful". The development process was clear and they can clearly see my inspiration and how I came to the solution. I like one feedback that suggests that I should find references and inspiration in the field of gaming so that it could possibly become another representation of my specimen.

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Tuesday 05 Jan 2016

At first I didn't know how sketching small objects would have anything to do with typeface design but as we observed and manipulated the shapes of each object, I realised that there are so many possibilities and inspiration all around us in every single corner. I was able to find the letter A in so many objects and it has inspired me to further develop those quirky shapes into an alphabet. Simplification should be the best way to find letterforms within each objects. After having sketched out A, R and C based on the three objects I chose, I began to develop variations so that I can later choose the best ones that would be most suitable for the design of my typeface. In the end, I chose the clip as my inspiration for a typeface and based on that I produced three different variations. Not sure why but I am always not satisfied with my very first design. I felt that it was too fat and childish which wasn't the effect that I want for my typeface. I wanted it to be more mature and professional. After a few developments I finally came up with a proper set of system for my typeface and I carefully draw them out properly. I chose to keep all the letters consistent in structure and form however, I deliberately tweaked a few features to keep the typeface interesting and different. I believe that the outcome was quite successful because the structure is consistent and it also looks attractive.

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Monday 04 Jan 2016

The first thing we did was showed our task one outcomes with the class. There were specific comments on our work in general regarding simplicity and it really made me think about the purpose of graphic design. Our job was to convey a message in a way that would be as simple and as easy to understand as possible. Sometimes we do not have to make anything complicated because something so simple can also achieve the same effect or better. People often perceive graphic design projects as something that anyone can do because they believe that it is easy. However, I believe that making something so simple and straight forward is the most difficult thing to achieve. I especially like the outcomes from Bobby Chen because she simplified everything to a circle and a line. I like the way she presented the symbols on the page, so effective.

The morning activity reminded us that a good set of typeface must be consistent and systematic. Each letters should be constructed logically from the previous ones and users should be able to identify and analyse how it is constructed. This is very important in typography in order to create a typeface that is easy to read and aesthetically pleasing. Unpredictable typeface will look very weird and this is something that we all should think about when designing our own typeface.

I found it quite difficult to come up with an original typeface design using electrical tape. I chose to create the first thing that came to mind which are simple squared sci-fi letters that I believe everyone had already seen somewhere else. I wasn't so sure what to create. I started off making Thai letters first because I want to explore the relationship that the Thai alphabet have with the English alphabet and found that Thai turned out to be easier to create since all the letterforms are quite straight with no diagonal lines while the English letters such as Q and S and N, all contain diagonal lines which I believe is harder to convey using tape.

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Holiday Research Task

I decided to approach the holiday research task with imagery to explain the typographic terms as I believe that familiar and relatable images would be the easiest way to convey the definitions instead of creating the obvious examples using type. I want to make the imagery as simple and relatable as possible by using human and animal silhouettes in the explanation. This will make the work more memorable and therefore, the message will come across to the audience better. For example the x-height and cap-height, I simply use the an adult and a child to explain the terms. Although these imagery I used are quite common and simple, I believe that they are still very good in achieving the objectives of the images.

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APP STORE

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Thursday 10 Dec 2015

In the morning we began by sharing our primary research. It was interesting to see that so many of us had the same or very similar most-used apps. This being a social networking app such as Facebook, a messaging app such as WhatsApp, and lastly either a photo-sharing app like Instagram or a dating app like Tinder. We came to discuss the importance of these apps and how they have become such a major part of our lives, consuming our thoughts and actions. I then realised how much time I have lost wasting on these apps and they became a vital component of my life as well. From the research, I noticed that most user journeys are rather short. Each are about 4-6 steps to complete the desired actions. I believe it is very important that these steps are short because it greatly improves the overall user experience so that it is not too difficult. It also saves a lot of time and add convenience. Since I am already quite happy with the function and the user journey of the apps I used, I wasn’t sure how they could all be improved. Some peers have suggested how the app can be improved such as adding new functions and processes. However, I believe that these aren’t improvements to the user journey. The suggestion only adds another function that people can choose from. 

For the group exercise, we got the words “connect / disconnect”. After we interrogated each word in a mind map, we chose to use the app ‘city mapper’ as our example. Unlike the obvious connections from social networking apps, this app allows us to connect to different locations and help us reach it. So we drew out the main user journey that will help us achieve the desired actions. A user journey for city mapper is also roughly 6 steps not including the choices we have to make on the way. Then we have to turn the app into “disconnect” instead by tweaking the user journeys that will effect the overall function of the app. With the city mapper app, we tried to interpret ‘disconnect’ in a different way to disconnecting the user from the outside world, from their worries. Instead of allowing the user to navigate anywhere using the app, it will only offer a selection of peaceful locations that will take them away from the stressful world and allow them to ‘disconnect’ from the outside world. We decided to also let the user choose their moods before suggesting the locations so that these locations will be more tailored to the different moods, whether they are just hungry, sad, stress or bored. It will greatly improve the user experience while the user journey within the app remains the same. This new app concept is totally based on the original city mapper app with similar navigating system but using a different starting point.

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MADE TO PERSUADE

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Tuesday 08 Dec 2015

The Made to Persuade event went very well. In the end I sold all 17 boxes of my product up until the very last minute. I displayed the regular black package 9 boxes at a time laid it out neatly to show both the front and the back of each three coloured sleeves and the limited coloured boxes behind them. I stood the poster behind the product display and stock other boxes behind it. I found it quite difficult to initiate an interaction with the audience and engage them in my product however, the packaging and poster proved to be successful because I attracted a lot of people to the store. Everybody was intrigued by what I was selling not just because of the name but almost everyone commented on the appearance and quality of the packaging or laugh at the phrase on the poster. They said that the packaging were very well made and it totally negates the original product. I began the pricing at three pounds per box and found that people were not willing to buy a fart pack that expensive so I had to lower it down to two pounds and then finally a pound per box at the last hour so that I can completely sell them out. Most people came to look at the products but then left I found out from a friend that the key to get people to buy the products is to start a conversation, initiate an interaction and explain to them the concept behind my work and the process of making them. If visitors spend time to understand what I intend to communicate then they are more likely to spend money on it as well and it was true when the friend came and helped me sell my products. She was able to engage visitors and persuade them to buy my products by explaining the thoughts and process behind everything. I realised that the skill to interaction with other human being especially strangers is very important within sales and I will need to develop this skill in the future. An advice that a visitor gave me was to put the catch phrase ‘You can’t spell fart without ‘art’’ that I have on the poster on the packaging itself. She really loved the product and the packages but believed that it should not only be on the poster and it can be my selling point to have a memorable, quirky and funny phrase on the package to persuade people to buy it.

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Monday 07 Dec 2015

I completed the first box and tried it on with the sleeve. It turned out very good and so I tried all the coloured sleeves on. I decided to have three different variations of the packages for visitors to choose from. I cut and prepare all the black boxes and assembled them ready to put the products inside. I will enclose them later when everything is ready. I also tried to create the box in orange, pink and white as well and it turned out to be attractive on its own therefore, I decided to also sell these as limited edition boxes. I was going to spray paint the product to cover up the original design and put it into the package but decided not to do it because the product has important warming messages and warning instructions on it. To make sure that people read them I decided to type them up in bigger and bolder writing and print them out so that I can put it in separately as well. It is very important that they follow the instructions so that they can be safe.

The second part was the poster, I decided to create a poster to attract attention to the products. I made it standout with a bold funny catch phrase and I also put the logo under it. To fill in the blank white space I decided to use fart patterns as the background. At the end, I finished printing up the posters, write out the price tag and produced all 17 boxes and enclose the products inside ready for tomorrow.

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Friday 04 Dec 2015

I came in for screen printing today and made prints on three different coloured paper: white cartridge paper, brown sugar paper and black sugar paper. White paint came out very good on black sugar paper and black paint came out very good and sharp on the others. The prints have a charming printed eroded texture to it which is better and more attractive than digital printing them. However, the very small text at the bottom did not show up on the print because the size of the screen is too small. In order to fix this I tried directly writing the text on using a pen and also printed out the text on a different piece of paper and stick it on. I decided to write it on rather than sticking it on because it did not turn out very good as it takes away from the package itself and it stands out too much from the print. Writing it all would also give it a nice handmade quality even though it will not be very straight.

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Thursday 03 Dec 2015

I came in for the crit to show my progress. The group agreed on the second design, the one with the huge writing across the sleeve as the background because the design looks chic and smart but not too elegant as the designs with the patterned background. It will be able to attract as much adults as teenagers as well and it fit the purpose of the project as well as the product itself more than the others. I made some changes to the design making the white box surrounding the text round instead of rectangular because it is too close to the edges of the box therefore making everything look too compressed on the front.

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Wednesday 02 Dec 2015

The style and size of the box has been determined. From my research, I noticed that a lot of the products have sleeves that wraps around the product or a box again. The bar soaps and denim jeans are examples because of the nature of the rectangular box that makes it easy to wrap sleeves on them. I think it looks more elegant than having box with printed graphic on it. Therefore, I chose to use sleeves instead of printing the graphic directly on the boxes to make my life easier as they can be done separately and then slip on later. I wouldn’t have to worry about both stages being dependent on each other and also it would reduce the risk of ruining my boxes. Then I also felt that black packages with white writing on them are more attractive than plain white ones. I believe it’s because that although we perceive white as clean and class, it can also make the package looks low quality because of nothingness. I will have to try them out with coloured sleeves to see which colour combination will fit the most but I am quite set on creating mostly black boxes with sleeves that has coloured writing.

Since I want the design to look fresh and modern, I made several design sketches inspired by examples on my research. I made a total of 5 design variations to choose from with the same content just changing the layout and the style font. I believe that each design has very different feelings and associations to it basing on the font and the layout. Some are more elegant than others. I tried using the white space, arranging everything in the middle and sized according to importance. I tried using patterned backgrounds which definitely improved its image and made it much more elegant with the calligraphy font as well. I tried using type writer font and arranged it on the sides and even blow up the text huge across the sleeve as the background. Each one is unique and interesting but I couldn’t decide on one but I would eliminate the plain white one because it doesn't give the effect that I want. The text on the packages are to make the product exclusive but also to add humour to the packaging as well. 

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Tuesday 01 Dec 2015

I plan to hand make the packages so I did some research on the style of package boxes I can create. The product that I have ordered to package is a flat square pack the size of a palm so I want something that is rather flat. I have decided on screen printing and signed up for it because it would lower the cost of production rather than digital printing and I want everything to be lower than one pound. After I have tried physically testing and making the different types of boxes out of paper and asking for opinion from my peers, I made a decision on one that is easier to make. It looks more elegant than other designs with a flat front and two arms that interlocks to seal the package on the back. The product will be nicely contained and protected on the inside with a little bit more room to add instruction notes or anything else that I need to put in. The size was measured according to the product specification and I made a proper size template of the box so that I can copy it on to the real material. I tried out different types of paper and decided that cartridge and sugar paper will be used for screen printing because the paper is thicker than normal printing paper but it has an appealing texture that will fully absorb the acrylic colour. The screen print facility at Archway is free therefore, will lower my cost of production. 160 gsm card would be used for the package boxes as it has the perfect thickness and strength to contain its shape when folded and make creases at a specific spot. It will look like a proper product similar to ones in the supermarket.

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Monday 30 Nov 2015

From the progress tutorial, the tutor suggested that I decide on an idea today so that I can focus on it instead of trying to work with several ideas at once. He particularly like the idea about getting people to write to their parents as I will be trying to use design to establish a relationship in a meaningful way. However, I believe that this idea does not provide me with much opportunity to engage with the design aspect of the project and also I am not good at initiating an interaction with visitors in order to make the idea successful. Therefore, I chose to work with the idea about packaging and selling fart gas so that I can explore the potential of packaging design. I was particularly inspired by 'Artist's Shit' by the Italian artist Piero Manzoni in my research where he filled 90 tin cans with his own faeces in 1961. The can is now sold at 130000 euros and it made me question how much packaging can add value to products and especially in this case, something nobody would want to buy even if it was handed to them for free.

I finalised the idea after the progress tutorial. Instead of trying to capture and package real fart, I would package and sell existing fart bombs. The concept still remains the same and I am not trying to market fart bombs but since this will really be sold in a public event, I took into consideration the fact that people will have to pay money for this and I didn’t want to give them nothing. The final product would be a new package that will enhance the overall image of the fart bomb, adding value and higher perception of quality.

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Friday 26 Nov 2015

I have sketched out a few ideas for the 'Made to Persuade' project mostly based on the references provided on the presentation. Initially I was intrigued by the 'Shit Kit' from a former student that proved to me that people will buy anything as long as it is nicely packaged with added sense of humour. Also the 'Love Letter Kit' was a creative and simple way to get people to engage in letter writing. The packaging was very nicely designed and produced even though everything on the inside were handmade. From this I decided to focus my attention on the packaging aspect of my product because I believe that it creates the first impression that will draw visitors in even though the product has nothing.

The feedback I got from the pitch was very positive. A lot of people particularly like the idea of selling 'Fart in a Box'. It is a very simple idea that will rely a lot on packaging to persuade people to come and buy the product. I personally like the idea myself since it opens up this opportunity to transform a product that people won't want to buy into something that seem higher quality through the use of packaging. I think it will be a very interesting approach to the brief. The other idea that many people liked was giving out a free postcard in exchange of a promise that they will write to their parents. I got the idea for this from my own circle of friends who are all overseas student living far away from home. I discovered that a lot of people don't contact their parents very often and based on the Thai culture, maintaining a close relationship with our parents is one of the most important thing. Both ideas have to be developed further and my interaction with the visitors should be carefully thought through because I believe that for something this boring to be persuasive a lot of decision has to be made.

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Workshop with Åbäke Design Studio

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Thursday 26 Nov 2015

The workshop today was based on Charles Eames' and George Nelson's Rough Sketch for a Sample Lesson for a Hypothetical Course. The workshop team had no idea what the teaching panels were all about since they are random images assembled together and it is up to us as small groups to look and analyse to come up with a modern version of the teaching panel. Our panel consisted of three different eye tests including english alphabets, number and some symbols; a brick wall along the right and an unidentifiable image that we had no idea what is was. We discussed so many different possibilities of these mysterious shapes and came up with a bunch of associations including Chinese characters, the constellation and advertisment. To find a replacement image for each, we had to rely on our network, people we know and our connection with them through social media. We chose to go on Instagram since a majority of people on Instagram uploaded photographs with hashtags which made images so much easier to find. We associated the brick wall with the Berlin war as it is something that happened recently and was an issue on the 20th century. It happened to remind a group member of that so we decided to find that. For the eye tests, we came up with many ideas for different eye tests including the colour blind test, the sign language, and the alphabet as these are means of communication. The last image was quite tricky and it was entire up to our interpretation of the image. However, using the previous panel as a starting point we were able to identify it as a billboard on a building therefore, decided to associate it with modern technology. This leads us to a screenshot of photoshop and advertising that exaggerate consumerism and modern technology. To present this we decided to keep the screenshots as it is with the Instagram frame on them with comments and hashtags to allow the audience to make sense of the modern context.

We worked really well together as a group and I believe that we communicated effectively through out. It was very challenging not being able to use the internet search engines or using the library. It really restricted the kinds and the amount of information that we could have gathered. In the end we projected our new updated panel on to our old ones and view the differences between them. The activity was very interesting but the pace of it made it quite boring. From the workshop, I learned the importance of research and human connection. It is first hand personal information that we cannot buy in books or search in the internet and these are often very valuable as it will determine the path of our project in a way that is more unique and different to what other people have done. They really highlighted the importance of context and the constant change of information in our everyday lives. Everything is changing and adapting all the time and we are always in constant need to update and re-evaluate what we have. As time change, we need to update our knowledge, teaching and information. This is because every body at a certain point in time make sense of information through their personal knowledge and the context at which the information is presented. I believe that this concept applies to everything in life including our knowledge and research within the area of graphic and communication design.

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Wednesday 25 Nov 2015

At first glance, I wasn't sure what 'The World of Charles and Ray Eames' exhibition had anything to do with graphic and communication design and the workshop tomorrow. Most of their works are mainly product design, architecture or a collection of items. However, as I walked through I was became interested in a few things from the entire collection. Their cover designs for 'Arts and Architecture' magazines are very unique, characterised by the use of montage and the layering and superimposition of motifs. I also like their card designs using image of familiar nostalgic objects from the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms or graphic patterns and solid colours. 'The cards encourage play and experimentation with structure, as well as reflection on everyday artefacts that the Eameses felt should be appreciated as both useful and beautiful.' I like their philosophy of using off the shelf standard materials. Building something out of found objects, even the most ordinary object was potential source of material. I believe that this is something that I should be thinking about, exploring the potential of materials and using the resources that I have effective to create something new and eliminate waste.

"Communication is what links any living organism together." - Charles Eames (1953)

"Celebration is a human need that we must not and cannot deny - celebration is not exclusive but the most inclusive human act."

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GRAPHIC SCORE

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Tuesday 24 Nov 2015

I spent some time in the morning refining my animation. I tried as hard as I could to finish it and line up the visuals with the sound. Although it wasn't that great, I am quite proud of the graphic score and the way that I approached this project since I learned how to create the short animation and finished it with in one night. Overall I believe that my outcome was successful in translating the sound track into the graphic score. It was quite easy to understand and colourful. I liked the way I layered the different sounds and reduce the opacity for the background sounds so that it wouldn't distract from the main sound as much. However, at some point in the middle there were too many things going on at once when all the sounds come up at the same time which makes the visual looks quite chaotic and confusing. I believe that if I had a little bit more time I would refine it more and maybe take out the background so that it won't look so busy. 

The feedback we got for the group video wasn't very positive. Although we had a different interesting approach to the group video by not showing out performance but footages of the streets like a music video, the tutor believed that it wasn't very relevant to the sounds. He disagreed with our statement that our soundtrack was quite busy and a bit chaotic although there were some sounds like the cracking or the sound of someone kicking a soda can that reminded him of the streets, non of the other sounds was very relevant to the scene as it wasn't busy or chaotic enough. The video was successful in some part like when the drummer was beating the drums while there are knocking sounds in the background. He questioned why we thought it was chaotic when it wasn't and why we chose to use the streets since, for him, the streets are quite orderly and systematic even though busy full of people. Maybe we could approach it in a different way by also introducing our own performance like the other groups, or also showing close up footages of out instruments being played which will help the audience understand the nature of the sounds a little better.

For my graphic score, the tutor believed that it had potential in the beginning to be something very successful. However, he didn't think that it successfully translates the group sound track. It felt more like I was having fun experimenting with the process more than considering the objective of the graphic score. Not much else was said and he did not give reasons for his opinion in regards to my work. I could only agree with him about the quality of my work because it really was quite a rush and I did had fun creating it. However, I believe that I did consider the objective of my graphic score. I did translate the group sound into visual and I think all the notations visualised the sounds very well. A lot of my peers also believed that it really did translate the sound although maybe the nature of the track is not well translated in that the colours are a bit too vibrant and colourful. As for my group member, he also saw potential in their graphic scores but they all tend to be quite repetitive.

I thought a lot about the new project 'Made to Persuade' after the introduction. I am not sure where to start at all.

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Monday 23 Nov 2015

I have done some visualisation on the weekends and decided to work off the coloured oil pastel marks and notations to create my graphic score. As I only have one night to produce it, I feel that I should choose an outcome that will be possible to create within this short period of time. From my research I was more interested in examples of graphic scores that are moving images, like 'Bloom' by Brian Eno and 'Star Guitar' by The Chemical Brothers, more than still images because I believe that it has a lot more potential and dynamic making the graphic score more energetic and interesting. Each sound or instrument is associated to one specific symbol that comes up every time the sound appears which is so much easier to understand and read. I believe that creating a short animation will be the best way to translate my sound as it will help me more accurately associate the different sounds to the notations based on the exact time it comes up rather than having a still image that contains every single notation in a timeline. It would be hard to communicate the time frame through a still image. I used the visualisation that I have done on my sketchbook.

I tried exploring different ways I can finalise the graphic score and decided that the best way would be to draw each notation individually on to separate pieces of paper then scan for layering on photoshop. Physically layer the colours on paper causes the colours to mix and smudge which did not create the image that I like. I felt that it is a lot more successful when layered digitally because it is clean and more interesting although it may seem a little flat since all layers are colourful but without any shadows to make it three dimensional. I spent quite a long time experimenting and creating the animation. The notations only come up when the specific sounds come up on the track. The orderly way that different sound effects come in made it less complicated. Visually I believe that the graphic score was quite interesting. The notations map on to the sounds very well including the background beat box and the plastic cracking. The colours however, I felt was more for me and the viewers than for the purpose of translating the song as have no idea what the mood or atmosphere I should be conveying. I believe that our track was quite random that there wasn't much emotion in it.

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Saturday 21 Nov 2015

We got a lot of work done today and we finished the group part of our work. A member of the group was missing so the rest of us had to improvise a little bit. We experimented some more with objects that we found around the room and created different sounds with them. We found that they were even more interesting than the sounds of our instruments so we incorporated these in our work as well. We had the cracking sound of the plastic bag as a background throughout the entire 60 seconds. The ambiguity of the cracking sound made it quite interesting because it can be interpreted in many different ways. Some people believed that it is the sound of water while some believe that it is fire or something else completely.

As we progressed, we decided to repeat the background beat box and the cracking throughout so that we have a consistent rhythm so that we can introduce other instruments one by one in a specific order. A lot of discussion were made about the style and the layering of sounds and everybody agreed that we should not have everything layering all at once because the sound will be too chaotic which will make it hard for us to visualise each sound to create the graphic score.

Our video wasn't a footage of our performance but we created more like music video using footages we took of a busy public street. We didn't want to show the instruments we used and rather want the audience to think about each sound by themselves. We thought that our sound were quite busy and so we tried to match some of the sounds with footages of street performers and people crossing the streets. The video editing did not take much time at all. We could have incorporated some of our instruments in the video and have ourselves live performing as well but we thought that this would better present our sound.

In the end of the way we tried to visualise our sounds. I found it a lot easier having gone through the exercise on Thursday to turn each sound into a visual, a notation. One thing that challenged me was to interpret the mood or the atmosphere of our group work. This made it quite hard for me to choose colours but I decided to use the colours freely and vibrantly so that it can liven up the track and it would allow the audience to engage more with the graphic score. I presented ringing sounds with swirly circles to represent the echo effect it has. I particularly thought that my can banging sounds should be something rectangular and explosive because the it is quite sharp and clear. I decided to use oil pastel again as I have enjoyed using it in the experiments. It allowed me to produce these designs very quickly in thick and vibrant colours.

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Friday 20 Nov 2015

We tried to experiment with the different sounds that our instruments make in order to figure out how we are going to produce the 60 seconds sound track. We didn't really know how to start and I believe that as a group we lack research and inspiration. About half of our time was spent playing around testing the sounds and randomly making sounds and patterns that didn't work. I wanted to everyone to try to create music it instinctively by playing all our instruments together and creating rhythms but some disagreed and believed that we had to plan out everything properly in order for it to work. We tried recording our sounds and putting them together in an orderly way starting from one instrument and keep layering different instruments. I believed that it work well as the sound complimented each other and the background shaker noise really made the banging standout. However, a group member commented that the sound that we made wasn't interesting enough. This might be due to the consistent beat and rhythm of the sound and the layering of the instruments in the exact same rhythm made it quite boring. In the end, I believed that we were thinking too hard and weren't accomplishing anything. Our progress so far had been quite bad as we were all quite passive and no one was really bringing energy to the group task and sharing ideas.

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Thursday 19 Nov 2015

The first music track we had to visualise was very loud, fast and random. There were a lot of instruments playing at the same time and the tone of it went up and down throughout. It was chaotic and so I decided to use oil pastel because I could make very thick opaque lines that will help communicate the heaviness of the track. Since it was the first exercise of the project, I felt that I was restricting myself in the use of space and medium as well as the technique I used to create marks and line that will best describe the heavy sounds. I created overlaying sound waves of different colours and sizes to convey the different instruments I heard in the track. Although the track was chaotic and longer than 5 minutes I found myself not using the entire page effectively. The colours were too playful to convey the mood of suspense that it had. The second track was a rock music with repetitive patterns. It was loud and upbeat but instead it was very orderly and systematic in a way. I tried to let myself be more free this time filling up the entire page, starting from the middle. I only used black and red tones which I believe effectively convey the style and the mood of the music. There were some parts that were extremely loud and so I drew large black circles to illustrate the low sound. The third classical music lead to a different approach. The sound was very smooth and continuous but it didn't give the peaceful atmosphere I expected. The challenge was that we had to use both our hands for this one and I found it quite hard to coordinate between the two colours on each hand. I found it easier to mirror my action. This time I tried to explore soft pastel and smudging to give that smooth flow effect which I believe reflected the nature of this track. Lastly we repeated the first track again. This time I was a lot more expressive and free with the way I visualise the sounds that I heard. I began to feel the unpleasantness of the track and distinguished a lot of new sounds that I neglected on the first round. I used very specific dark and reddish tone to express this uncomfortable feeling. This morning exercise got me thinking about the possibilities of visualising sounds and helped clarify the objective of this project.

I was quite lost while trying to figure out what sound making device to create with my found materials. I had very limited materials and I was thinking way too hard to do something complicated. I ended up creating quite a simple shake bottle using a plastic lid tied inside a soda can. The instrument was simple and easy to make but it creates a unique metallic sound when shake. Unlike the ringing of a metal, the bang was quite sharp and loud but it wasn't clear and clean. I decided not to use the plastic bottle and the wooden plank I had because the sound they created wasn't very interesting when most people are creating very similar percussion sounds. 

In groups we presented our instruments. It was quite difficult for us because all our group members were quite passive and quiet including myself. Together we worked and communicated well but there was no energy or group dynamic. We decided to gather some more materials that will create much more interesting sounds because most of our instruments were percussions and shakers that produce similar sound effects. There wasn't a lot of discussion going on and I believe that it would be much better if we decided on a leader who will help lead our discussions. 

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