Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Poster Idea for Publication Exhibition

Finally we have a name for our publication exhibition - "Let's Begin". So I began by knocking up this poster/flyer idea...

It is going to be printed in black onto different coloured paper, so I designed it with that restriction in mind. I think it even works quite nicely on brown!

I posted it on our Facebook group and it passed without comment. Oh well.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I Done A Art!

Could this be the beginning of a new direction for me?

Probably not.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Publication Project - Finished Books!

After a few printing issues last week I have finally got a stack of twelve beautiful shrink-wrapped finished books!

I am still not sure whether to refer to it as a book or a magazine. I guess it's more a magazine because I have played around with different layouts, giving each feature spread a distinct identity. If it was a book I may have been more restrained.

Talking of restraint, following the (mostly positive) feedback on my mock I made a few little tweaks to the design, the biggest being a reduction in fonts used from six to three (cover aside). I stuck with 8pt MetaPro Normal for the body text, plus OCR A Std and Caliper LightCubed for headings and big quotes.

I am really happy with how it turned out in the end. It has the high-quality look and feel of some of my favourite indie mags, which was what I was aiming for.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Business Card Idea #1

I really want a business card that stands out, so I have chosen a pretty strong block of solid colour for the front, while the back is more restrained:

Professional Contexts - Presentation

I've got to do a "Pecha Kucha" presentation in a couple of weeks, which is basically 20 slides, 20 seconds each, about who I am as a designer, what inspires me and where I see myself in the creative industry in the future.

Next week is the dry run, so I really need to start thinking about these important questions, thus making the task less nightmarish.

Let's see then... I would never want to work for a massive agency/studio, so I will most-likely be self-employed. However, I have worked on my own from home in the past and it is not conducive to good mental health, so ideally I would share studio space with a couple of other people, even if we work on different projects.

Most of the stuff I like is rather cold and structured in a classic Swiss grid-based style. I love what Paprika do, as well as Build and Music, but what does this say about me as a designer? All three of them use a lot of big, bold typography over solid blocks of colour and Music in particular seem to have a genuine sense of humour. This is very important to me, and something that I struggle with as it seems to be in direct opposition to the austere Swiss/German aesthetics. Maybe I can resolve this one day but for now I just have to switch between my two hats - sensible and mischievous.

The companies mentioned above, along with many of my other favourites, are well-established and no doubt charge a small fortune working for prestigious clients. I think I would like to produce work of a similar style but for small businesses in the local area. Not all small businesses want an off-the-shelf £99 website or Prestoprint stationery, so I think there could be a market for what I am planning to offer.

Until I can think of something better I will continue to work under the name AA72. I don't want people to think of me as a one-man band, operating out of my bedroom, even if I am, and the URL aa72.co.uk is available, which is a bonus. It's easy to remember, at least for me, being my initials and year of birth, and I think some people get too hung up trying to find the perfect name. It's pointless. I mean, look at the companies I like - Paprika, Build, Music, A2/SW/HK! So now perhaps I should crack on and produce a strong visual identity for AA72.

What else can I talk about in this presentation? My views on sustainability? Hmm, I don't really have strong views on that, I don't think you can be too concerned with that when starting out. Same applies to ethics - if Coca Cola or McDonalds want to pay me £100,000 to design a new logo I am very likely to oblige. No-one is forcing anyone to eat that shite. I would however not do any work for arms manufacturers or the military. Getting back to sustainability, I think that really comes down to the client. If it is a high priority for the client I would factor it into any proposal or quote. Obviously if the client was Greenpeace or The Body Shop then I would consider sustainability as a priority from the offset.

I am not an illustrator, although sometimes I get the urge to create something that is more than just type, like this sausage poster:

I would of course still take on work that required less crude illustration, although I would most likely sub-contract it to one of the proper artists I know, acting instead as art director.

And that is all I have for now. At least it's a start.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Publication Project - Request Denied

I emailed the printers to see if it was possible to get proofs of a couple of spreads, mainly so I can check that the photos are bright enough and that the silhouetted character vectors stand out against the black backgrounds. I also asked for a blind dummy, whereby an unprinted book is made up and bound using the exact paper stocks I have chosen, just so I can get a feel for the finished publication.

They told me this could of course be done but unfortunately they would have to charge me a setup fee of £20 for the proofs and £15 for the blind dummy. I can't afford that at the moment so I will have to just have faith in my decisions and hope for the best. I have sampled quite a few paper stocks and also proofed the questionable spreads on various printers at home and uni, so there is every chance they will be fine.

Obviously if I was doing a much larger print run then I would go ahead and pay for these as they would only be a tiny fraction of the overall cost. For twelve copies at £125, an additional £35 is just too much.