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!

Advert of the Week: Did anyone see Rude Tube last night?

Something a little different this week. Watched Rude Tube on Channel 4 last night which featured a countdown of the top 50 viral adverts on the internet. A wow, there were a few corkers (including the number one which was an animation piece involving crude drawings on a toilet wall to promote safe sex which was fantastic as well as the Durex animals at it like...well animals in at number 15).

As most of them are a little rude to be posting on here (I'd recommend visiting the Rude Tube site at to have a look), here's one of the cleaner ads which is still as impressive:

Designer of the Week 5: Flight of the Conchords

Well, in today's case it's going to be kind of a design of the week. I have spent ages searching for the artist's name and whether or not the pieces were done by an individual or various designers but anyway, today's showcase is on the art of Flight of the Conchords. In case you don't know Flight of the Conchords are a band from New Zealand, popular also for their HBO TV show. A little bit of a spoof/funny rock band, this is reflected very much so in the artwork for their series, albums and promotions. Recently, I've been falling back in love with the more hand-rendered look and the band certainly grab on to that style and run away with it.

As you can see, the band is really colourful and mad. For their recent tour, the due created a tour poster individual to each date. This piece is much more extravagant than the one I got in Manchester! 

A little different from the hand rendered look, I love the simplicity of this piece in contrast to the previous image. No corporate image seems to be kept by the band, with the sporadic nature of the designs and fluctuation in style itself becoming their corporate image
This piece, for FOTC's second album, once again uses sketches rather than pure digital artwork. Despite the sombre looks of the pair, you still can't help but laugh at the sight of a random duck on the artwork!
Above is the TV series cover for the second series of the programme. The use of the oversized heads became a trait for the series, featuring on the posters, DVDs and show titles
Their first official album on a major label once again plays around with the idea of chaotic imagery. Colours used are very vivid and I feel that everytime I look at this piece, I spot something new which I haven't seen before
Poster to coincide with TV series. Love the copy beneath and the reference. The simple lines drawings upon the baby blue background work great
Something all you designers out there will recognise, a brilliant parody of the infamous Milton Glaser piece. It's great how you can still recognise the pair even in this get-up!

There's nothing better than design that doesn't take itself too seriously and makes you laugh and crack a smile!

Crit Tuesday 5

Ahh feedback. Didn't shake as much today! Anyway, got a bit of feedback for my few ideas. Pasta filled adshell went down the pan which is a shame but to be honest, it was only really a pie in the sky idea. As I explained to the group, I didn't really have a strong concept yet and they really picked up on that. This week they LIKED the name! Amazing how they changed their minds. So now they want real emphasis on the name in order to create a concept (Make an Impression, Only takes a few minutes to make an Impression etc). Hence this very short blog entry. I am currently brainstorming a few ideas and trying to think of something new. Something similar was mentioned in the crit today and I'm potentially working on the idea of how you dress to impress, incorporating the pasta shapes into certain items (eg. earrings, bow tie etc) with some sort of tagline that you don't need these items to make the best Impression. All very wish washy at the moment so I'm going to run off now and work on it.

(UPDATE: here's a quick mock up of the little idea, let me know what you reckon)

Does it look like an earring vaguely? Reminiscent of my packaging in terms of size and placement? More info and text to be added obviously

In other quick news, I've also been looking more into my options after university. As you all kind of know, I have been looking into the MA course in Advertising and Design at Leeds University but recently I've been wanting to look more into teaching and maybe art therapy. Shall keep you all updated on how this little research experiment goes. And actually, whilst I'm at it, I'd like to thank all the regular viewers of my blog, I've cranked up well over 1000 views in the month since I opened it and amazingly I've attracted a regular flow of viewers from America so hi guys!

Am I the only person who seems to prefer PCs to Macs?

Probably because of how long I've used them for in comparison to Macs (well over a decade in comparison to just over a year) but I still can't get used to them. Spent half of my class today with my little finger searching for Ctrl. The class in which we got our workbook! Seems like my kind of thing, 23 illustrations what we've got to work up on, well, Illustrator. Didn't get far in class but I've been having a little go at them since I've been home, I can't believe we have three weeks to do them for half of our grade, seems rather nice of Leeds Uni! On another note, it's pasta crit time tomorrow...DUH DUH DUHHH!

Spent the past week just coming up with some ideas for campaigns and the media which I could use to portray the campaigns etc. Had a few ideas but seem to have stuck on one, rather simple idea (which I am hoping is approved tomorrow as it would make my life lovely). Running with the unique windows of my brand as the selling point, using them across the potential campaign to create a strong recognition of the packaging and design when seen in store. Literally thinking black background, gold/pasta filled windows on. Potential tagline of 'What's your Impression?' or something along those lines (trying to include the audience and asking them which shape of the range is their favourite; I'm thinking this line is gunna need a lot of work). Very minimal, much like my lil' cylinders and I'm scared the tutors may think 'oh, what a cop out' but simple sells right? In terms of media, the simplicity of the design makes it easy for my to create adshells, billboard, an animation (for tv or web), website, promotional carrier bags and a magazine campaign. We're only meant to be doing two media but I may end up doing more to make up for the simple look. Maybe. Anyway, one of the ideas was to create a structure within an adshell which could actually hold pasta, recreating the packaging itself and creating that bit more interest. May be hard to create this across other areas of the campaign though. Anyway, here are a few sketches and pages from my sketchbook with my other ideas too (none seem quite as strong/desirable as my main idea so fingers crossed for me tomorrow guys):

Initial brainstorm
One of my messy sketch pages
Another messy page of my brain exploding

Neater ideas
Few more ideas including a concept of people not impressing as they haven't used Impression. Not the strongest of ideas...
You can kinda see what I mean with the bold and simple thing. Few ideas for outcomes
Few more media ideas

Bold and effective? Or a bit too simple? Let me know what you think, remember, it's got to reflect my brand and its values!

So it's Sunday 5...

Wow, been rather stressed out recently, feel like I have tonnes to do and very little time! Enjoyed a loooong weekend at home in the lovely Sheffield and now have that Sunday night Syndrome. Kinda looking forward to tomorrow, we're getting a new workbook to work through for our online promotions. Apparently it's just lots of sketches for us to trace in Illustrator, something quite up my street hopefully as I did tonnes of that over summer. Hopefully, it will be nice and lovely. Marketing is getting rather stressful, there are pieces missing from some members and it's sending me loopy! O well. In terms of pasta, I've had a kinda ok campaign idea but I'm a little scared of the tutors thinking it's too simple and boring. But simplicity works in the world of advertising doesn't it?!

Anyway, enough of me wittling, I'm keeping tonight rather short and sweet as Take That are performing as a five-piece for the first time in ages. Yeah, I'm a sucker for the X Factor haha! Keep an eye out for my blog entry tomorrow as I'm hoping to upload a few sketches and ideas for you guys to crit before my Tuesday session!

Friendly Friday 4

Like I said last week guys, not many people have their blogs and sites set up for me to recommend you to so for this week, I'll leave you with something amazingly uplifting and just pure lovely to start your weekends. Just wow at today's technology:

Advert of the Week 4: T-Mobile

I didn't think it'd work again when I heard T-Mobile were doing another mass performance. I was wrong. Some fantastic singers feature in this advert and it takes it to another dimension where dancing couldn't. Anyone who doesn't crack a smile at this can't have watched it right. So many great songs in there, I'd forgot about half of them, definitely a tune in there for everyone. It has stuck in my head all week and is such a great example of advertising a product/service via methods which seem to have absolutely no relevance until the final message; Life is for Sharing. It's great how everyone who aren't in on the act get into it and start singing along!

Designer of the Week 4: Saul Bass

Bit of a blast from the past tonight with someone who I studied during my Graphic Design A Level. I'm not one for intricate, complicated art and this guy delivers his messages clear and simply: love him.

Although well known for his graphic design pieces and films, he is better known for his amazing movie title sequences. Collaborating during his lifetime with Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese, Bass' work has been featured on many films including North by Northwest, Veritgo, Psycho and his most recognisable piece, The Man with the Golden Arm.

His distinctive, hand rendered style is instantly recognisable and his limited colour palette for each piece makes them eye-catching, bold and straight to the point, a trait which I would love to bring to my own design work. Enough of the writing stuff now, here are some examples of my favourite Saul Bass pieces:

The Man with the Golden Arm poster. The amount of times I drew this at A Level was unbelievable. Although I've never seen the film (though I reckon Ii should, Frank Sinatra is in it, top guy), I love the poster for it's simplicity, hand rendered look and restricted palette.

Vertigo movie poster. Doing this is making me realise how limited my film spectrum is! Another example of Saul's restricted palette and hand drawn designs. His style is emulated across all of his work, creating an instantly recognisable range

Anatomy of a Murder poster, another infamous Bass piece

Ooo, love coming across something new, just found this piece by Bass and I think I've fallen in love. Sometimes, the best designs are simple, clear and straight to the point. Wow, I fancy going off and drawing some Saul Bass stuff now!

Crit Tuesday 4

I didn't go, oops.
Wasn't feeling very well so I hope I didn't miss much.
Off to try and get some rest so I feel better for tomorrow via excessive viewing of

(A programme which has excellent titles by the way, a very nice thread of blood sweeps over the gorgeous font and drips through the 'canine tooth' V. And is generally a wicked programme haha)

Sorry about the boring entry today, I'll make it up to you guys I promise!

I can't imagine tomorrow is going to be a crit... I'll keep this short and sweet. As you guys know, my latest brief (as predicted) is to now market and create campaigns for my new pasta brand. One week in and I'm currently in the research stage (trying to not go too over the top like I did for the last project - whoops). I have a few ideas but I'm not going to reveal them yet (for one, I want some approval, two, they need development and three, I fancy keeping them to myself for a while hehe). My blog wasn't born when I was going through the early stages of my previous projects so the next couple of Tuesday entries might not be too exciting but I shall try and keep them as entertaining as possible. Anyway, I shall leave you with my newly found fact of the day:

It isn't the best idea to wear your skinniest jeans during a day of torrential rain

They end up being very hard to get off

Or get back on!

And on that note, I shall love you and leave you and go get my spaghetti on toast (tinned variety of course, if I wasn't a hater of dried pasta enough before, I certainly am now!)

So it's Sunday 4...

Ahh, rather boring weekend on my half to be honest, slightly lacking work due to feeling under the weather and overworking myself. Dodgy takeaway on Friday night did nothing to help this either. So, what do I have to fill you in with? Well, in the end I followed everyone's advice (apart from the tutors) and stuck with my name of Impression for the pasta brand. Got plenty of justification from my target market why I should keep it so it is staying. Nervously staying but staying. Booklet is now complete for that project apart from potentially another in situe shot of my brand (they thought my supermarket shelving piece was a little cluttered and wanted a shot of it along with a few other brands on a white background...not what I class as in situe but o well, I'll eventually get round to it). Here's a sneaky peek...

A very sneaky peak might I add, don't want to give too much of the game away yet
Started the pasta marketing/promotion brief now, had a day of research which has gone really quickly! Already got a few ideas which run along the 'mundane' styles of advertising except with a twist. We were told we either had to market a unique aspect of our design or come up with a wicked, individual campaign strategy. I'm hoping my windows are a unique and recognisable aspect for me to run with...Decided to create a little survey too which has ended up being pages and pages long but at least I'll get the info (hopefully) that I want and need from my target market.

On a more interesting note, I ended up stumbling upon a few interesting images whilst trawling the internet for advertisements. The following is rather controversial and I apologise now if it offends anyone (it certainly did me) but I couldn't believe how hard-hitting and clearly it got it's message across:

In case you can't quite see it, the message reads 'The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11'
Just wow to be honest. So hard hitting! I was extremely shocked when I saw this but considering WWF and their normal shock tactic advertising, it seems pretty tame in comparison to previous imagery they have used. What do you guys think to it? I'll leave you to ponder...

Friendly Friday 3 (a little late, I know haha)

Well, what can I say, last night was Bonfire Night so I might have just neglected my blog a bit (I'm sorry blog). Anyways, it's getting hard to recommend a friend every Friday as some are still establishing their blogs and sites (if you want a recommendation, drop me a comment or message btw). So, seeing as it got set up this week, I shall recommend myself for one week only (please don't see this as being big headed guys, pleaseee).


Advert of the Week 3: Marks and Spencers

Seeing as today I've been bogged down with a markting report on Marks and Spencers fashion, I thought I'd torment myself even more by posting their newest campaign:

It's the first week of Novemeber and already their Christmas ad is out! Personally I prefer this one from a few years ago, give me one of those boys on Christmas day and I'll be well happy!

It's so much better! And it has the cute, home-made video feel to it. O well, better luck next year M&S, I'll still get excited when your advert comes on but it's no Take That!

Designer of the Week 3: Jasper Goodall

It's that time of the week again guys and today, to distract me from pasta, I've had some of my fave band on full blast. Nothing like some Muse to cheer up your day. And it got me thinking, especially when flicking through their single and album artwork on my iTunes; I haven't showcased one of my fave Muse single artwork designers yet!

You might have seen my own interpretation of Jasper's Muse cover on my website (if not, I wouldn't suggest looking at it after viewing his, it puts mine to shame!). His cover art for the CD/DVD/Vinyl version of Muse's single 'Invincible' brought Goodall to my attention (I love how music influences you sometimes) and then I realised he'd done most of the single artwork for the Black Holes and Revelations album!
Example of Goodall's smoke imagery which Muse used for their Wembley tour dates in 2008
Starlight single cover, sticking with the recognisable Goodall style

Invincible single artwork. I adore Goodall's smoke imagery and I understand how time consuming it must have been after recreating my own (see, personal work section)
Supermassive Black Hole single artwork
Knights of Cydonia single artwork, another example of Goodall's smoke imagery

Obviously the guy does more than just work for Muse! Quite alot of his work is dominated by the female form (on many occasions, a naked form) which he believes is influenced by his father's photography work of the 70s of the feminist movement. The illustrations are so intricate and delicate, something which drew me further into the work of Jasper and the vivid colours contrasting his theme of strong black and white create a dramatic and eye-catching effect. Below are a few more examples (which aren't to do with Muse ha):

Don't know about you guys but I get a real Bond Girl/Bond Titles theme from this. Think Goodall would make an amazing job creating the next Bond film titles. Made from pieces that weren't use during his Muse brief
Love the limited use of bright colours on this piece, contrasting the stark black and white
Have a look at the dude, his work is amazing! It's pj time and potentially pasta for me now!