So it's Sunday 3...

Back to the workhouse tomorrow after a really nice weekend spent at home. Ended up becoming not only the proud owner of my third set of Take That tickets but also, as of an hour ago, Bon Jovi tickets too! So it's mostly been a weekend of music (and as you can see, my music taste is extremely varied).

Anyway, enough of my strange tastes, onto design... terms of pasta, everything is now in situe! Not 100% happy with it, still don't think it looks really realistic but you can have a nosey...tomorrow! Would upload it now but I'll build up the suspense and let you all have a peak tomorrow in my pre-crit blog entry.

In the meantime, I'll give you a peak at my marketing group's report cover:

Spent a lot of my weekend putting our report on Oxfam and Marks and Spencers Fashion. Still got a bit to go and only a few weeks left so as per, I'm in panic mode but I'll try remembering to breathe. I've been trying to make the info look all pretty in Illustrator which I've rather enjoyed!

Feel awful not sitting on a PC longer this weekend and working but I haven't seemed to have anything to really do! So now I'm gunna love you and leave you now and enjoy the rest of the free time I seem to have before my final crit on Tuesday and intro of the new brief!!!

Friendly Friday 2

Here's something a little different for you guys this week. I know I said I'm going to recommend a fellow designer friend of mine each Friday, well, that's going to be hard. I haven't got a huge amount of designer friends...yet. Anyway, seeing as today has been dominated by music news (I'm not going to take this opportunity to gloat about which tickets I successfully managed to purchased today...I've been using Facebook for that!) I'm here to recommend to you lovely readers a great music blog!

I urge you to have a look if you're into a little bit of alternative, up-and-coming music. Insight Music is full of album reviews, gig reviews and recommended artists so if you're looking for a new listen, start your research here!

I'll be back on Sunday to let you all know whether I've calmed down from the Take That mania, how my final pasta pieces have come along and any other general news about my design work (the photographer I told you all about has been contacting me again, he must like me quite a bit!). Have a good weekend chucks!

Advert of the Week 2: Cadburys

I'm not feeling too well today so here's a quick and cheerful blog featuring my fave advert of the week. Once again, chocolate related. What can I say, I have a one track mind!

Enjoy whilst I overcome my migraine! :) 

Designer of the Week 2: Takashi Murakami

Here's something a little different to my normal taste but has stuck in my head for years. A while back, I was watching an art programme on BBC2 (don't ask me the name, I can't remember for the life of me and neither can Google) and it featured a section on the Japanese artist

Now, I'm not normally a big fan of the whole anime/graphic arts scene but after watching the show, I really fell in love with this guy and his work. Not only does he work in digital design, he expands his work in fine art and sculpture in which he's developed his own style: Superflat. Being a bit of a day dreamer, his use of bright colours, rainbows and smiling characters is really up my street! His merge of modern Japanese art styles with the works of the infamous pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein is ingenious (something which I believe drew me to him due to my love of the pop art era). Anyway, enough of me talking about the guy, here's some of my favourite images!

A lot of Murakami's work has been made in to toys and teddy bears. I love the ones above, especially the flowers due to how upbeat and bright they are

Digital version of the flowers, a design which is so popular, it has even been made into wallpaper (something which I would die for!)

I love how cute and colourful all his work is! Design doesn't always have to be serious and complicated and I love how his designs are always simple and sweet

If I'm honest, I've kept one of his more famous pieces from you. Personally, I'm not a fan of his music but I still love this album cover:

Anyone who's a Kanye West fan will have probably seen this Murakami album cover design

Check Murakami out, his work never seems to fail to cheer me up and inspire. I'm off to be with pasta now. Or try and recreate my own Murakami inspired piece!

Crit Tuesday 2

Told you I'd be back with my crit feedback mwa ha ha. So yeah, was rather nervous today, crits always get worse towards the end of a brief, especially when a different teacher views your work every week so you're never quite sure if they're gunna hate your idea and turn round and say change everything. Luckily for me, that didn't happen (they must have to pity of my shaking whilst holding my creative log...yup, I get ridiculously nervous). Crit went well. Really well. I came out smiling for once and knowing where to go from here! You saw my proposed final piece I posted yesterday (if not, shift yourself back one blog and have a gander, you'll need to keep up!) and I presented that today along with my development work (if you're lucky, I might post some of those images up with this entry). My teacher, who I must say is the wackiest person I've ever seen, seemed pretty impressed, he thought I'd had previous studio experience (sadly not, currently looking)! AND I managed to change his opinion on PCs! He presumed I'd produced it all on a Mac (controversially, I don't like Macs - don't all go hating me at once, I just like my PC and Windows) and was shocked that the work could be produced on a PC (since when does a PC affect your work that much?!). Anyways, enough of me rambling about my compliments (tries to cover inflating head) and I'll get onto the good stuff: Where I am going from here. The suggestions I got were:
  • Research sizing of the logo - make sure it doesn't compete with the window too much (although some said this wouldn't be a problem as the windows are part of the brand identity too) and see how large other companies have their logos, adjusting where and if necessary
  • Sizing of the information on the back - same as the above really, just make sure it will be legible
  • Colour of the information on the back - it was suggested that the writing on the back should be white. I'm a little apprehensive about this as I don't want to lose the corporate look and produce a cheap look but I shall give it a go; printing the pieces at full size should help me with this sorta thing
  • Put the product in situe - my fave part of design briefs though this might be a little tricky with my piece (especially sneaking my camera into supermarkets to get the initial image ha)
And that my friends, is pretty much all I have to do over the next week. And you know what? I'm on such a buzz, I'm going to make a start now. Tarra!

Oh, go on then, al upload me final design again! (For those of you who didn't quite get my Yorkshire lingo there, that was 'Oh oh, I'll upload my final designs oncemore'. I'd forgotten that I was writing to an audience for a second ha!)

It's almost that time again...

...Crit day tomorrow! And wow, have I had a mad Monday once again leading up to it. Amazingly I am still awake after only having two hours sleep last night (the downside to being an insomniac designer), I have sorted the basic framework out for my group's marketing report and everything is printed and ready to be stuck into my sketchbook for tomorrow. Argh, tomorrow. Here's a sneak preview of what I intend to present...

Yep, that is how my pasta brand, 'Impression', is looking atm. Unsure whether uni want Illustrator images or actual mock ups but that's something I'll ask tomorrow. I ended up doin ALOT of development pages to get to this point, I wasn't sure on any aspect of the design and I'm still not 100% happy and I can't figure out what's bugging me. What do you guys think? Anything you'd change? Favourite aspects? Like the logo? Windows too large/small? Really appreciate any feedback I get back!

Another I'm trying to work on is a tagline. You might not be able to see it from those images but on the back, I've placed a little tagline beneath the logo saying 'make a good one' (playing on the whole, make a good impression). I don't like it. I think 'good' is a bit of a mundane word, not like 'wow' or 'amazing'. But I want to keep it short and sweet and linking in with the brand name. Any suggests before I take it to the crit session?

What kind of impression (pardon the pun!) do you get from this sort of product? I intend to market it as a rather cheap brand due to the cheap production etc so would you buy it? Would you be embaressed if someone saw this on your side/in your cupboard?

So many questions for you lot to try answering there! I'll update tomorrow with how the crit goes (fingers crossed for me, I worked my bum off without trying to get too attatched to the design and if all fails, I have a week to re-invent!)

So it's Sunday 2...

It's been another day of pasta in the Lianna household. Had a day off from designing yesterday which resulted in an A&E trip so I'm getting my head down on this loooong Sunday. As I mentioned in my Crit Day blog entry, I'm still running with Impression as a name and aiming at the average pasta user who wants a premium look (to impress, see, it fits!) at a cheap price, with the added convenience of a portion measurer. Still working on the design but I thought I'd give you a quick glimpse at what I'm currently working on...

[I know that the text isn't in perspective on the rounded cylinder but that's my next job hehe]

Anyway, I'm not sure whether I like this or not. Spent this week working on layouts and colours and this is what I've come up with. I'm hoping that the font still makes the product look posh yet still approachable for the average mom shopping in a supermarket etc. What do you reckon? Moved the window 3/4 down as the class said and I kinda like it, balances out well with the logo 3/4 up. Speaking of the logo, do you think a purely text logo is enough or should I add more ie a symbol etc? Toyed around with the idea of making the handwritten text look like chalk to go along with the menu boards at restaurants but my good friend (see my Friendly Friday blog) suggested it might lower the tone, especially when I originally settled on gold. After quite a bit of deliberation, I decided in the end to add the pasta name at the bottom really tiny, didn't really take away from the minimal design and it informs the audience should they not make the connection with the window shape. Settled on a black lid too rather than a differing colour, didn't want it to look cheap.

Could you guys imagine seeing this as a believable product on the shelves? Does it look too high end that a working mom wouldn't buy it for example?

Obviously I've still got quite a bit of work to do on it so I better get on with it and stop rambling to everyone on here!

Friendly Friday

Well guys, it's been almost a week since my little blog here was born and viewing figures are great! As you've seen, I've established the weekly days of Crit Tuesday, Advert of the Week and Designer of the Week so here's another...Friendly Friday. As I'm such as nice lass, each Friday I shall recommend a fellow designer friend for you lot to check out (and trust me, if they're on here, they're good, I tend to be very picky!). I urge you to check out whoever I post and be friendly!

Enough of the chit chat, this week I'm showcasing my good friend Michael Pasquale

[WARNING: this guy is extremely hilarious, you will definitely get some good laughs out of this blog]

His work is fantastic and his comedy really comes across in his illustrations (which have on many occasions got us through boring lectures). For the ladies out there, this Italian Stallion is single as well as being a whizz on a Mac (what more would a girl want!?). Please check him out, I've purposely not posted images so your curiosity takes you to his sites (master plan or what!), he's a great guy, reliable designer and a good friend of mine.

Advert of the Week: Galaxy Ripple

Seeing as Wednesday is my Designer of the Week day, my Thursdays shall focus on my favourite advert of the week, be it a campaign, poster or video. I'd love to venture into the world of advertisement design so on here, every Thursday, you'll all be treated to a little insight of my favourites and opinions (and of course, my least favourite ads every now and again!).

This week, as a highly addicted chocoholic, is an advert I have been searching for ages for on the old tinternet as I've only every seen it in magazines...

Mmm, now I've stopped salivating, I'll carry on! I love this piece due to the use of the texture of the chocolate, of which it is known for, is used as the main focus. The zoomed in view of the rippled chocolate reinforces the brand name, with the name itself only being printed in the bottom corner and allowing people to recognise the ripples instead. Created by computers, the ripples still look very realistic and the curves of them lead the eye to the bottom of the page cleverly to where the name is (maybe would have looked good directly pointing towards the chocolate bar?). They come across in an almost smoke or speech bubble shape (with potentially the aforementioned coming across negatively if it wasn't depicted in chocolate). The shades of cream and brown are extremely relaxing on the eye and deliver an air of peace, something which you're meant to feel when you're relaxing with the chocolate bar itself. The only negative aspect of this design in my opinion is the tagline 'Let the day unfold' at the bottom. Although it links in well with the ripple slowly relaxing towards the bottom of the page, I'm just not really keen on it. An actual bar of chocolate is also featured on the ad, something which I don't believe is 100% necessary as the ripples are already enough notification to the audience as to what chocolate bar it is advertising (or maybe it's just clear to me because of how much I eat the stuff). Perhaps the logo itself would have been enough along with a tagline.

All in all, I love this piece by Galaxy and it has only one bad thing about it...the fact that it has made me really want a Ripple and I haven't got any in the cupboards!

Designer of the Week: Alessandro Pautasso

As you guys know, I've been sent a tester photo to edit for a photography in hopes of getting a job as his graphic designer side kick (that aint the job title, I'll just refer to myself as that as it sounds pretty cool). Anyways, he has given me total free reign of the photo (which I may eventually get on here with my final designs, need to ask his permission first) so I have been racking my brains for inspiration. Here's where my designer of the week comes in.

Came across the Italian designers work whilst trailing through Google images and Flickr and was extremely impressed. I love the use of bright colours and feminine imagery, all processed using Adobe Illustrator. Despite all the images looking different from one another, with some faces created via illustration and some via photography, a strong, corporate colour scheme is used throughout which allows each piece to be identified as part of Alessandro's series.

The pieces towards the end are what I hope to use to inspire my photo edit. I've been playing around with many different design ideas, none of which have been successful...yet. Hopefully this technique will work with the rather simplistic side profile I've been given! Another idea I'm currently running with is mirror effects, much like the alternative artwork for the Kings Of Leon 'Because of the Times' album so I'll keep you all updated on that in due course. In the meantime, check out Alessandro, his work is fantastic and has really given me a much need inspiration boost!

Crit Tuesday

It's that day of the week again, crit day (obviously not a regular occurrence for you guys but from now on, I intend to keep you updated each week on how they go). Our session groups are so large we didn't really get that much time each today so feedback was pretty slim (and hard to hear, I've never known tables to be placed so far apart!). Anyways, as you know, I was going in today with a brand name, "Impression", rough ideas about my packaging and info on costs/manufacturing (see my blog from last Sunday and the following sketches).

(Please excuse poor quality of the scanned sketches - my scanner is pants and so are my drawing skills haha!)

Here's what I got back:

  • The idea of a pasta shaped window was better received than an embossing of pasta on the cylinder. People said it would allow them to see within and further identify the product (especially due to my desire to only have the window shape representing the pasta rather than the pasta type name being printed) and even though it wouldn't be as high class looking as the embossing in gold, it would work on a better level to those everyday shoppers who want a premium look without the price. Only negative was the idea that the name might not be as relevant in this case but the name still stands for other things so it wouldn't be lost. Do you agree?
  • Another suggestion was to have portion measurements inside of the tube rather than devising this on the side/back via a clear strip and printed measurements which the teacher thought would bring down the premium look. I'm a little unsure about this as surely you wouldn't be able to see the measurements deeper in the tube? What do you guys reckon?
  • The name 'Impression' went down rather well but seemed to get lost amongst the discussion. They liked how it tied in with the idea of an impression of pasta on the tube, the good impression the box creates, the positive impression it would have on the environment as it is completely recyclable and the impression it would make on your pocket due to its low price from manufacturing yet high quality look. A classmate commented that he could see it as a real, believable brand name which cheered me up a little :)
  • It was suggested that I should look into the positioning of the window and brand name (something which I'd intended to do anyway this week). After discussing the logistics of placing the window at the top (wouldn't see pasta for long), bottom (would affect stability of packaging) and central (how long would the pasta be behind it to be seen through it), the main two suggestions to be followed was placement either 3/4 up or down the packet. How does this sound?

Other than that, I didn't really get much back so I was left feeling a little unsure on what the teachers felt about the piece (other than one mentioning that it was a simple package shape, something which made me hmm a little but since when have you seen other pastas come in a tube, I'm being innovative in the most simple ways haha). So yeah, it's left me in a weird mood so some comments would be greatly appreciated. I'm gunna get to work on the logo pretty soon and now feel a little apprehensive of something simplistic, don't want this bringing my grade down but premium products generally deliver a clean, minimal look.

Anyway, enough of me moaning about pasta!

I finally got round to revamping my Twitter page last night! I promise I will eventually get round to designing this place all nice. Will probably be easier once I've finished my website (which I have yet to start, uh oh, pasta and the online brief has been getting in the way) which, by the way, I bought a domain for! I am now the proud and official owner of (wouldn't advise clicking on it yet though, there is nothing there...). At least that's some positive and exciting news, only cost me 7 quid for the next two years too, something I will definitely keep up!

Ooo, I have more news too (see, I shouldn't let pasta overtake all this other important stuff)! I heard back from Nicholas, the photographer who wants to work with me (see my Monday all must think I'm daft posting hyperlinks to blogs just below this but oh well!). He's sent over a tester image for me to play with, free reign. Ahh free reign, something which I thought was great until I saw it. Don't wanna give too much away but it is practically an outline of a female head and neck looking to the sky (which is pretty white). I have no clue what to do. Initial thoughts is to play with curves and get rid of the background completely. But then where from there? Add text? Brushes? Colours? Eek! If anyone has any good ideas or sources of inspiration, drop us a comment, I reaaallllly want to set up this job so I need to impress!

Wow, lots of info for you guys there! Whilst you mull through it (and comment *wink*), I'm off to make myself some tea (the Yorkshire word for dinner/evening meal in case you didn't know hehe). I'm thinking something really classy and tasty......chips and eggs it shall be!

It's been a bit manic to say it's a Monday!

After my blog entry yesterday, I ended up on a very productive spin and really got my name out there! I joined a couple of design forums, finally uploaded things onto Flickr, began sorting out my website, made a couple of logos, blah blah blah! And WOW did I get some results. I had literally been on the forums for half an hour and I already had over ten replies and helpful comments, my Twitter went mad with new followers and this blog, even though it's only just started, went from 3 or 4 fews to almost 40 in one hour! As they say in Yorkshire, I was dead chuffed! Even more exciting was a post I noticed from a photographer up Newcastle way who required a graphic designers help. I thought 'o yeah, al av a go pushin me luck whilst I'm on a roll' (yep, I have a very broad Yorkshire accent) so I dropped him an email about his request for a designer to edit all his photos for him. Went to bed and didn't think nothing more on it until I checked my emails this morning...HE'D REPLIED! He said he'd looked at my work and was very impressed and wanted to know if I was willing to edit a tester piece for him before we went serious (I talk about this as if it's a romance haha, kinda feels like it at the minute!). So yeah, good mood today despite the masses of work I have to do. Whilst I'm waiting for a reply, please head over to his site and check him out:

and keep your fingers and toes crossed for me on that one :) Anyway, onto other things...

As I said before, I've been creating a few types of logos for my self branding task. I ended up sat doodling in my marketing lecture this morning and came up with a design that was simple yet memorable and captures the essence of my design brand (clean cut, modern designs, efficient etc). Decided to colour co-ordinate logo to the applicable site they are to be assigned to, with hopefully this reflected on my website in links such as liannamay|twitter in the associated colour for example. What do you reckon?

And I'm thinking this for my main website logo? Too girly? Boring? Crit me :)

I'm off now, I've rushed through my pasta sketches today so I've got more time to research establishing a website/getting a domain name etc. Crit day tomorrow so my mood may have changed by the next time I blog...

So it's Sunday...

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, I am currently working on a brief for uni where I have to rebrand pasta. This includes coming up with a new brand name, devising new packaging and basically solving everything what is currently wrong with pasta. Apparently I came off lucky as the other assigned products were sugar or tuna. I'm not so sure. I HATE pasta (awaits the shock of this revelation). I have never liked the stuff so I have no clue about anything pasta related so research has been extensive (so has the amount of pasta my boyfriend has had to eat due to it being a new addition on the shopping list). Anyway, today's task has been looking at pasta portioning and the impact it'll have on my packaging. Sounds boring yeah? Well, for the first time during this project, I have actually enjoyed playing with pasta! I got to use maths! I have missed maths so much since A Levels and it turns out, an A Level in Maths and Further Maths really does come in handy during design! My knowledge on volume and formulas helped me devise the optimum size for a 500g cylindrical packet of pasta which satisfies both long strands and pasta shapes (I realise by now you guys may have drifted off with the prospect of maths so I'll just add a photo of my work to elaborate).

As you can see, I've also done a lot of research this weekend into types of packaging and its sustainability which went totally out of my comfort zone. As someone who likes to stick to 2D work and the more advertising side of design, packaging design has been a whole different world to me. My Graphic Products GCSE has really come in handy so I'm kinda glad this brief has widened my design spectrum a little and allowed me to get even more involved in my design in terms of researching production, materials etc.

My current idea for the brand name is Impression due to the brand creating a good impression on your shelves should someone see it (looks expensive), it creates a good impression on you pocket due to it actually being affordable and impressions of pasta will be on the front (thinking of somehow putting simple silhouettes of pasta on the tube either via a window or engraving etc). I'll let you all know what the crit session thinks to the name but in the meantime, what do you reckon?

Moving on, I'm still on the hunt for summer placements next year. Spoke to my personal tutor the other day and he agreed with me on my idea to do placements over the summer rather than taking a year out because I really, really, really (yep, that much) want to stay on at Leeds Uni and do the MA in Advertising and Design for an extra year. Already applied to a few places back home in Sheffield, will probably search for some in Leeds this week. One I've applied to which I really hope they get back to me from is a company in Sheffield called Blue Strawberry Elephant Their work is amazing, I really would advise checking them out. A family friend knows a designer there so hopefully a placement should get pulled off, if not, I am determined to find one so watch this space!

Ay up chucks!

Hey guys, I'm Lianna and I'm a graphic designer, currently studying at the University of Leeds (second year now, things are getting exciting!). Just setting up a blog to discuss my work, other people's work, my influences and generally have a good old chat with you all. Any comments and feedback are totally welcomed on here so I'll look forward to hearing from you all. In the meantime, I'm gunna get to work with sprucing this place up so if you wanna know more about me...

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Website: Coming soon...