Those few days you spend in limbo (Advert of the Week 10: Plusnet)

Argh, there's nothing worse in my opinion than the few days between Christmas and New Years. Blues start kicking in, TV gets full of repeats and there's a few days until something to look forward to! However, in this mini entry/mini advert of the week piece, I shall show you what has really been cheering me up and making me giggle now that Christmas is over and work is slowly starting to creep back into everyone's lives...

It makes me want to get Plusnet and so proud of being from Yorkshire (in particular the sunny Sheffield which the company is based in). The company have been really going for it recently with their advertising, placing catchy slogans in the Yorkshire lingo around Sheffield (not sure whether it's reached anywhere else or if it's localised to Yorkshire) and I love it! There's nothing better than reading something the way you say it! I'll not want to leave home when term time starts again with this ads flying around everywhere ha!

Anyway, enough of me bleeting on about Sheffield, if I'm not reporting back on here in the meantime, I hope everyone has a great New Years and doesn't spend it dancing like a nugget to Heaven 17 like me!

Ok, so maybe one more before Christmas!

You all secretly knew I'd be back on here, I can't seem to get enough of the place! Anyway, I thought I'd let you know that my CV and past three months worth of newsletters are now live and available to download at yay! I apologise for it taking quite a while but they're there now, call it an early Christmas pressie. Somehow I've had around 10 downloads of each file today so if you have been one of the lucky ten, please let me know what you reckon to them and if you have any constructive feedback to give me. I know they are rather simple but that is the look I am trying to aim for; bold, corporate and modern with the small twist of flashes of bright colours and quirky language which represents who I am as a person. Once again, I've been working on the pdf booklet today for our Online Promotions brief and with each page I do, I tend to add another to the minimum of 15. So far I have finished around 9 pages and you make think 'wow, nearly done'. No way. I've ended up with around 7 final outcomes due to the expansion of my online presence (website, blog, Twitter, forums, flickr, tumblr, cv download, newsletter download) so now I feel the need to create development pages for them all properly. At the moment, I'm estimating that I'll finish up with around 20 pages (including the reflective report, not including contents and cover) which is scaring me. Anyway, in order to get a bit of feedback, I thought I'd post a few of my completed pages on here for all to have a gander at. Once again, very simple and following formal grid structures. Finding it very hard to achieve high quality print screens which I might have to deal with again later (has anyone else been having this trouble?). Just hope they aren't seen as boring and given a bad grade!

Website Portfolio presentation page

Blog presentation page

Twitter presentation page

CV download presentation page

Newsletter download presentation page

Forum Participation presentation page

Others (Flickr and Tumblr) presentation page

Signing off for Christmas!

Hey guys! Just thought I'd give you all one last blog entry before I leave you all to enjoy your Christmas (and so I can enjoy mine haha)!

Lack of entries lately have been due to moving back home for the holidays and several nights late night shopping to get those last few presents (I cannot believe that Meadowhall is open till midnight, crazy stuff). Currently (as usual) stressing about things I've got to do, this time being finishing my online promotion work (luckily all the online things are done, I'm just part way through constructing the booklet) and revising for my marketing exam (which I have yet to begin, oops). In the end, I decided to run with the theme already displayed on here and on my web page, with simplicity and minimalism being 'my thing'. Currently constructing my booklet and CV (gulp) in the same way but at the minute I'm worried they don't look 'designer'-ish enough. Will hopefully post them up on here if I have time amongst the mass chocolate consuming and turkey eating.

Ended up having a little explore of Google whilst writing this blog and came across many different variations of Christmas trees in the 'modern' sense, here's what I found;

Spiral cut suspended tree

Christmas tree poster as an alternative to the real thing

Another alternative tree, bare and minimal

See, to me, all the above trees seem very innovative in terms of their design and look and yes, they do go along with the modern trend, but is it just me who feels they seem a little cold and lack the festive spirit? The idea of replacing a tree with a poster seems to extreme to me and even though I love minimal designs and simplicity, there is a point where people need to stop, especially with a Christmas tree! I just seem to love the tacky lights, tinsel and bauble idea and would much rather have the following in my home during the season to be jolly;

Ours at home is a little more wonky and uncivillised compared to this but isn't that what Christmas is all about?!

Anyways, enough of me rambling! I should be back on here between Christmas and New Years with further updates about the life, times and designs of me so in the meantime, everyone have a great Christmas!

Advert of the Week 9: I can't believe I'm saying this.....The Beatles

I've kind of shocked myself since this advert has been on with liking it (I'm not a huge fan of The Beatles...ok I really don't like them, please don't hate me)! Recently, the band's entire back catalogue have finally been uploaded and made available on iTunes, something which I automatically assumed has been done ages ago. Anyway, I've ended up really enjoying the set of four adverts, each to a different and notable Beatles song, promoting this. The one above to 'Let It Be', the song I can stand the most of the four (and end up singing along to but shhh), is played against the same slideshow of images of the band in their prime. The black and white photos are stunning and the content of each is real and raw, much like the music making of the band themselves. The simplicity of this also struck me, with no fancy use of CGI or special effects, just a nicely timed reel of images to an iconic track. Another thing which I really liked about these adverts is the lack of need to even mention the band's name, with the photographs of the members being instantly recognisable without plastering logos and writing around. Merely a strap line at the end states 'Now on iTunes', allowing the viewer to discover the point of the advertisement whilst leaving you with a sense of curiosity to go on there and find out more (something which would have been diminished should tracks and albums have been reeled off). The piece closes on an image of John and Paul during their happy period (as I've been told my boyfriend who adores them), with the Apple logo hovering over the top. All in all, despite my preferences in music, no one can doubt the influence of The Beatles and their recognisable tracks and I feel this ad has been beautifully done in a poignant and sophisticated manner to honour their memory and long-lasting reign in the music world.

Designer of the Week 9: Adrian Frutiger

I blame year one, semester two of University for my huge liking of this guy. As you may have seen from my online portfolio on my website (shameful plug, ), our first solo brief of university life led us down the route of promoting a font for its unique qualities. And that was when I fell for Frutiger...

Ever since, I haven't been able to stop using Frutiger in my work! As a type designer, Adrian also came up with the very popular Univers, OCR-B and Avenir; all very powerful and modern sans serif typefaces. Frutiger to me feels like a refreshing change from Helvetica and I love how I'm now identifying small variations between different fonts and typefaces (probably a good thing seeing as I'm embarking upon a History of Typography module after Christmas)! Anyway, I shall leave you with this very interesting link about Adrian Frutiger whilst I get on with my Christmas shopping; enjoy guys!

A potential change in direction?

Like a nugget, I was up until 5am this morning pondering over a new direction in branding 'me' as a designer. As you all know, I've run this blog and the corresponding website, Twitter and forums for a while now but I'm starting to feel they're a little boring, especially when it comes to presenting them in my fifteen page booklet. I uploaded a couple of snippets yesterday and got some lovely feedback via Facebook so I've decided to upload some better quality images for you guys to have a look at and let me know what you think. As a person, I'm really colourful and energetic and I'm starting to lean a little more towards my new design to represent and project this. However, the new design to me feels like I've seen it before. Anyway, enough of me rambling on and on, here are the images; let me know what you reckon!

Current website design, very plain and simple but I'm only really liking the homepage, the others seem really boring

Apologies for the poor screenshot, not created a particular layout here, just exampling a potential new logo and colour scheme? Can you read the logo?


I know, I know, I should be having a short break before getting back on the working bandwagon but I've ended up stressing over my online promotions project tonight (what can I say? I like to be extremely efficient haha). Anyways, I've been looking at some layouts and griding bits and bobs up for my 15 page booklet but feel I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place in making it interesting and innovating rather than a mundane 'I love Helvetica' graphic design piece. Also contemplating totally revamping my website with new logos and layouts and everything as I've got myself under the idea that currently, it is rather boring (although the new things I keep coming up with also seem a bit generic). Another issue I'm having it matching my design booklet to the website/logos etc. Do I have to do this you reckon? Is anyone else doing it? I feel like I should but when put together, I start not liking my website as it restricts booklet designs. I need to stop moaning haha! Anyone fancy dropping me a few comments/ideas/inspiration? Would be very much appreciated!

Kinda hard to see as there's no border. What do you reckon to the layout and logo? Boring? Argh!

Another example page from my current website design

A new little idea for a logo but I feel like I've seen it hundreds of times before and I don't really think it's me :/

(there's a little link if you fancy popping over there, having a look and giving me a hand...please?)

In other news, I've decided if all else fails in the world of graphic design/teaching for me, I shall become a cook. I made a mean Christmas dinner today, amazing when I don't even eat veg and had to cook tonnes!

Ooo, whilst I remember, has anyone seen the new Andrex puppies advertisement (which has conveniently just come on TV as I typed that, creepy!)?

Is it just me who doesn't like the new CGI puppies?! Bring back the real, cute ones please Andrex!

So it's Sunday 9...

Haven't really got anything to be showing you guys now the first semester is over! Have yet to start writing up my online project but I have till after Christmas so I'm taking a well deserved break! I do have something exciting to tell you about...

...I saw Gok Wan yesterday! His fashion Fix programme was filming in Leeds and I went along to it with my sister and wow, he's ever so lovely! Ignoring the huge delays and re shoots, the show itself was fantastic and that's coming from someone who isn't generally 'with it' in terms of the fashion world. They didn't tell us exactly what the four themes were but they seemed to be some sort of neon (you could kinda tell which was designer and which was Gok and I must say, designer won for me here, she wore a gorgeous red pencil dress in comparison to red leather trousers and a green coat), angelic (again, designer was better, the cut of the dress was gorgeous and just floated on the model), winter (designer looked nicer but I personally would have worn the high street one) and geisha (although designer was lovely, Gok put together a huge sparkly number which had me as soon as I saw it!). Despite still feeling ill, I had a great day, something which I didn't expect as a fashion lacking graphic designer!

Advert of the Week 8: Florence and the Machine/Littlewoods

Well, it's not really an advert to be honest but a really cute way to expose a bit of Dog Days!

In the meantime, here's a real advert what I've been really enjoying during this festive season (although the film which the song comes from is petrifying!)

I absolutely LOVE the scene in this extended version where the shadow hand lifts up the woman (watch it to see what I mean hehe)

Designer of the Week 8: Disney

My boyfriend was an absolute star last week and bought me a copy of the new remastered Beauty and the Beast on Blu Ray (giving him an excuse to play with his new toy of a blu ray player I reckon) and as well as re-living my youth, I really appreciated the detail and artwork of Disney. I'd totally forgotten about the main ballroom scene and how the cartoons are rendered upon a realistic background, making it so dream like and breath-taking. It was the second film that Disney had produced using computer animation production systems, with the first being The Rescuers Down Under (in terms of using CAPS for the entire film). This allowed the film makers to create a 3D situation in which the characters danced around in, standing out even more so in terms of being the only scene in this film where this technique was used and the significance and meaning of the scene itself.

Enough of Beauty and the Beast, I must admit I am a bigger fan of the older Disney hand-drawn films rather than the new Pixar generation. In my opinion, traditional cartoons and films are much more personal, with a lot more time and effort being put into them (especially with older films what took years to make).

Sleeping Beauty 1959
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937
Pinochio 1940
Cinderella 1950
Bambi 1942

It amazes me that some of these films were made before my Nan was even born, let alone my Mum! I love how much work has gone into every frame and the detail in each film. Do any of you guys have a favourite Disney film, either traditional like those above or something from the digital age? Drop a comment below and let me know. Mine's strange, my favourite is Beauty and the Beast but my favourite Disney princess (as I'm a bit girly) is Princess Aurora. So I kind of love Sleeping Beauty too haha!

I'm off now to have a go at twisting Channel 4's words, have a go yourself!

Crit Tuesday 8...IT'S ALL OVER NOW!

Sorry for the delayed entry guys, had an evening of utter relaxation as I handed in my pasta work a day early. WOW, all over until 2011 now! I'm sure you'll all miss my crit entry blogs but they'll be back eventually and hey, you might even get the chance to crit some of my personal work over the next few Tuesdays in the Christmas period! In terms of the final crit, despite the morning class being cancelled and only less than ten people turning up, it still went ahead. The tutors said they wouldn't give any detrimental feedback as we had less than 24 hours to make changes and print/bind but it was painful! s with previous weeks, they loved my idea and the poster adshel designs but now they reckon that my magazine advert would have been bettered via the use of purely text and the same images as the adshels. Something which I'd avoided to prevent repetition. One thing I've learnt over this semester is how much tutors change their mind, with two of them really liking my magazine ideas of the past two/three weeks so I'm not letting it get to me, I handed the piece in anyway, o well! Funniest thing about yesterday? They've now all gone back to loving my brand name! Talk about changing your mind guys!


Would very much like to feel better but in the meantime... are a few pictures is a picture of my final bits and bobs (seemed silly posting loads, you get the drift with one picture). Not exactly beautiful or exciting but fingers crossed for a good grade. For some reason, the morning group haven't got a crit tomorrow but our afternoon session has so hopefully the flu will have gone by then and people will be able to understand me! I've got everything finished now (apart from the online stuff what's in for next semester) so I should be able to stop panicking. Should being the key word...oops!

Messy? I know. Good grade? I hope. Fully filled two sketchbooks? Yep *gulp*

So it's Sunday 8...

Apologies for the lack of entries this past week; it hasn't been the best one in history to be honest. First there was the evacuation Tuesday night, faffing about sorting out my binding, 3rd year anniversary with my boyfriend (which was lovely but led you with no Friendly Friday) and then I've been (and still am) ill all weekend. Typical all this comes in time for hand in week. Luckily, I'm all done! I have been for quite a while but you know me by now, nothing like a little bit of wittling in between! Booklet for pasta is all finished and as I mentioned the other day, I managed another media piece. I'll post some photos of the booklet tomorrow in the pre-crit entry. My workbook is also finished, turns out I'd already finished it but thought there was more to do; silly moi! So today's task are burning and labelling CDs and the painful task of reducing file sizes. Then I'm free! Apart from a deadline on the 10th of January and an exam on the 18th but we deserve a break for a while (I'm sure all the other 2nd year G&CD guys will agree). Going to try and sort out some work experience, either in teaching of graphic design (or both) over Crimbo but I'll leave worrying about that till later. In the meantime, here's a little guy from the workbook that I had to work up on Illustrator, I've started to think of him as cute rather than creepy!

Advert of the Week 7: Barclays

I know this advert has been out quite a while but it really made me giggle last night when I watched it properly. The little piggy banks have such tiny cute legs! Bless!

Designer of the Week 7: Lianna May Wragg

I know, I know, shameful plug here. I've been sat working on my pasta project all night (which I've finished but keeps wanting to crash on me as I make the file sizes smaller) so in the meantime, have a quick visit to my website, it's getting lonely!

And also keep your eyes on it over the next few weeks. There are some big changes and updates in store as soon as pasta is out of the window! Some coming on here too...

Crit Tuesday 7 (on a Wednesday)

Sorry for my lack of entry yesterday guys, had an extremely hectic evening. The apartment block I live in lost power from half 6 till 2.30am so I spent most of my night evacuated into the Refectory at University. Don't think I've drank so much tea in my life!

Anyway, enough of my rambling, I'm warm and home and dry now so here's the overview of yesterday's crit!

  • went well! Again! After changing my type sizes, there were no more suggestions or changes to be made to my designs! Yippee!
  • The particular tutor we had yesterday wanted to see my third media (and everyone elses for some reason). Which confused everyone as the brief states at least 3 outcomes over 2 media channels. And I've done 8 outcomes over 2. So I got confused...
See, if I'd have had my blog on hand last night, I would have asked you guys for you opinions. But sadly I didn't. So I created a third media anyway!

Althought I found that flyers were kind of a bad idea during my research, I decided to run with a flyer idea which could change this. After spending the entire afternoon on the internet trying to find out the name of the technique I had in my head, I finally found it. Lenticular printing. WOOP! Since then, I've quickly created four extra flyers, working on the idea that when you tilt them, you can see an alternative image eg. bow tie from one angle, farfalle pasta shape from another angle.

In terms of the rest of the project, I've finished the booklet now apart from the new development page for the flyers and a bit of back up work for my sketchbook. The end is in sight though people! I'm thinking, if the snow is a little better by tomorrow, I might go print in the afternoon and get it totally out of the way by tomorrow evening!

I might post up some jpegs tomorrow but at the moment, I'm on a bit of a role with the booklet so I'm not going to disturb myself haha!

Crit day tomorrow...if I'm not snowed in!

Wow, I don't know what it's like where you're reading this from but it's belting it down with snow here in Leeds! Great way to get into a Christmassy mood but bad times in terms of getting to the crit tomorrow. Which happens to kind of be the final crit as by next week's final crit we need to have already printed! Anyway, I'm not going to bombard you with posts and images for tomorrow, need to keep up that sense of mystery (plus I'd need to save loads of files as jpegs from pdfs and I've got more things to be doing than that haha).

As you know, I haven't really changed much since last week, just changed the font sizes slightly for each media and added better pack shots. Been messing around this evening putting things into situe (aint sure whether we definitely have to do this but I always enjoy this section the best) and I'm nearly done. Need to get cutting and sticking all the pages in my sketchbook but in the meantime, have a gander at a select few of my pieces and let me know what you reckon!

Magazine double page spread (with slightly larger text from last week's entry)

Magazine single page spread (double sided)

Magazine single page spread (double sided). Conveniently placed next to a pasta recipe in a woman's glossy magazine!
Adshel/poster design with slightly larger text

Poster in situe (not sure if I really like this one)

Gunna get a move on now, stick a few more in situe, get some cutting and sticking done and wrap up!

So it's Sunday 7...

As you guys have gathered, Friendly Friday isn't a weekly thing like my other blogs so apologies again for not entry on Friday. If anyone wants a recommendation on here, send me a message and we can talk it through!

Anyway, in other news, I've once again spent a nice weekend at home amongst all the snow in Sheffield. The marketing report was sent in on Thursday, I've almost completed the Illustrator workbook and my pasta adverts didn't need much changing. Yet still I've been sat working! I'm currently getting my second pasta brief booklet ready to be printed after the Tuesday crit (fingers crossed nothing much more needs changing after then) and placing my adverts in situe. Currently I have 8 different outcomes across 2 media channels so I'm a little worried as the outcomes aren't very different from on another and the 2 channels are a little boring. Should I try coming up with another media outcome? I've made all the adjustments proposed to my pieces and they do look a lot better with the font sizes a little larger so I'm feeling kind of happy about that! I would post them up today but I'll keep you in suspense and post them tomorrow in my pre-crit entry (haha)!

In the meantime, here's a little piece I found about a year ago whilst trawling the web for inspiration. It's not of any relevance to my current project but it gave me a little giggle as I was searching through my computer the other day:

Ahh the impact of a simple illustration, gotta love it!

Advert of the Week 6: Coca Cola

I'm feeling in a little bit of a Christmassy mood today. The marketing report hand in went doolally but now it's finally in, I'm focusing on the few final hurdles before I can go home and celebrate Christmas! I love how Coca Cola have reverted back to their traditional trucks advert rather than the spin off one they did about a little girl's life and giving Santa a coke each year. Quite a few companies seems to be recycling their adverts recently (Toys 'r' Us, Kelloggs etc) which is great, takes me back to being a kid at Christmas again!

I love how as soon as this advert is on TV it means it's Christmas. And it isn't that overplayed! So amazing how something can become so iconic and loved!

Designer of the Week 6: Antoine et Manuel

Another blast back to my A Level results here!

I absolutely adored these guys at A Level and gained much inspiration from them during my project developments as their work is so varied and exciting. Not only do the use digital media but they have created many pieces combining mark making and digital manipulation to create one-off unique pieces.
Hand rendered piece. The messy look and unstructured text really work for this piece and the experimentation with paint shows that PCs/Macs aren't the best ways of producing spectacular graphic design pieces
Wallpaper design. Even though it's extremely busy, I think I'd still have this on my walls! Or maybe just a feature wall...

My favourite piece by Antoine + Manuel, this heavily inspired one of my projects at A Level where I completely renovated the Sheffield transportation system, using this as inspiration to create a new tram map
The stark contrast between the vivid colours and greyscale imagery here is very eye-catching and impressive, a combination which I may try out in future projects

Sorry for the shorter blog tonight guys but I hope these images and link sets you off to go explore the world of French graphic design. Marketing report is finished, handed in online and to be handed in tomorrow by another team member so I'm off out now to celebrate (by watching the new Harry Potter film haha)!

Crit Tuesday 6

GOOD DAY! Had some really positive feedback today on both my magazine spread and adshell designs. So good that the only suggested improvement to be made was to potentially make the fonts a little larger so people can see them easily from the associated distances. Yay! I was expecting a need in changing the copy but Jim and the gang seemed to really like my tagline and concept and nothing was mentioned about the small copy at the bottom of the magazine pages so I presume that sounded ok! Printing meant the packaging examples on the magazine pages didn't show up very well so I shall have to get that sorted but other than that, all is good! In other Lianna news, the group marketing report is pretty much finished! We're aiming to print it and hand it in tomorrow before the Thursday deadline. Hopefully our content and outcomes go down well when being marked! Once that's in, it seems to be plain sailing, with the pasta project and illustrator workbook in before Christmas and my marketing exam and online self promotion coursework in after. I say plain sailing...ha!

Thought I'd share this with you guys aswell, caught a glimpse of it earlier:

Dell have a new logo! Having 700 creative agencies working for them got a little confusing, with their logo being slightly different and varying slightly in typefaces used etc. To solve this, they've created one single logo (very similar to the original) which will be used across the board an coloured in 'Dell Blue', a colour not available in any colour book. I really like it, ties in nicely with the circular designs they have on their products. Plus I love Dell, my beast of a graphics PC (I know, I know, I should be loving Macs but you've seen previously blog entries by now ha ha)!

It's Monday, that can only mean one thing...

...Pre crit entry! Well, it hasn't half been a stressful week. I've come up with a new concept which I'm not 100% confident with but I reckon that's because I'm waiting for tutor approval (so I hope I get that tomorrow afternoon!). The marketing deadline is this Thursday so I've been very pre-occupied with that and I've only just really got round to knocking out some visuals for the crit. My sketchbook is also pretty lacking at the moment in comparison to my previous brief but after Thursday I'm 100% back on the pasta (and Illustrator but the less said on that, the better). Anyway, enough of me ranting and rambling about work, here are some of the visuals I've got ready to present tomorrow.

Concept: You don't have to dress to Impress. My brand of pasta is all you need to impress. Don't need to spend stupid amounts of money (reflecting the cheapness of the brand also even though it looks expensive). Slightly reminiscent of original packaging. Comparison of pasta shapes to items associated with dressing to impress. Plays around with male/female dressing up, slight idea of romance, dinner dates etc...





Feeling slightly ok about the magazine layouts, have a feeling the copy might be in question tomorrow but I went for a formal and clean layout to reflect the brand values and give the feeling of a jewellery/perfume advert etc. Thinking of placing these in women's and men's glossies (so the paper it is printed on also aids the look of the design), appealing to my target marketing and also attracting their attention (works nicely in terms of the male/female dinner date kind of feel.





Little unsure about these adshell ideas (placed in adshells at bus stops and on daily commute routes to attract my target market). Kept the same tagline and concept but limited the additional information given. Unsure on whether to include an image of the packaging again? Or would this be a little pointless? Rather than picking up on the comparisons, in these instances I've merged the images so the same idea is translated across yet in one image. Do you still understand the message and see it?

My only issue with these pieces is I don't want people to think low of them as they are rather simple but I wanted to get over a sophisticated and minimal look like the packaging. What do you guys reckon? Drop me a comment and let me know what you think! And fingers crossed for me for tomorrow, I can't bear changing my idea again and to be honest, it's growing on me a little...

So it's Sunday 6...

Sorry for the lack of Friday entry guys! Spent another weekend at home trying to wind down and looking at potential career moves with my Mum. Anyway, the week is here; our business report deadline! Eek! I think we're just about done, just need to compile things are write about them. Sadly, this has left me with very little time to work on my own pasta stuff, with limited development since the last time I posted about it (sorry guys!). Hopefully, I might have something to show you tomorrow in my pre-crit entry. In the meantime, have a quick look at a few of the designs I created on behalf of the group marketing report; fingers crossed for us for a nice grade!

Marks and Spencers advert to promote the new floor plan layout

Floor poster promotion in situe
University campaign to encourage clothing donations

University campaign to encourage small donations

Larger campaign duo poster
After the hand in on Thursday, I'll be back to my normal self and posting lots of pasta bits and bobs!