The Story of Realisations & General Improvement
As of 02/06/2016 I set myself a challenge of writing. Once a week. Every week. For my first piece I thought it would be nice to compare an old branding project based off what I know as a new me, not a 'new me' convoluted from a mixture of self help books and inspirational TED talks. The version of me that finished university and got a job in the industry. The me of today.
The old project was a brief for Tourism Australia. I want to explore why I felt it was the best I could do at the time, and why I thought it couldn't be any better/didn't bother to push if further despite time being on my side. What would I do differently now?
It all started with 'The Conversation.'
I was in my 2nd year at university & 3 honours students (4th years) come over to my desk, exclaiming ''ahh the old tourism project, I remember that one, I'd show you what I did, but it was terrible". We all laughed, and they asked "so what are you thinking about doing?" I recall pausing and thinking less about the short term project and more about a long term goal, "I want to create something I can look back on in 2 years and not hate, I want to look back and say, hey! That was actually a really nice concept" - I genuinely said this, to which they said "it doesn't matter what you do, you are always going to look back at old work and not like it". Hopes and dreams = shattered.
Because of that conversation I started thinking; At uni we have plenty of excuses for our ill-delivered presentations and projects that don't stand the test of time. The lack of effort can be blamed on uninspiring briefs, behind the times lecturers or we can even blame it on the lifestyle - spending all your time recovering from nights out drinking cheap wine with friends because 'that's what uni life is about'. Another excuse that comes to mind is the waste of time excuse - we aren't getting paid yet we are creating entire brands for clients that don't exist. it feels like we are waisting our time.
So, you are in your second year of uni, studying graphic design and you have 1,460 more days of practice in that field. Or just more life experiences; a few extra years with different events influencing you character with a slice of living lodged firmly under the metaphorical belt of life. What different about your work? The obvious answer is "you are better at what you do." - lets go deeper.
Enough about excuses and badly told anecdotes.
Sometimes I look back at my design work and think "I know what I was trying to do, but I just couldn't quiet get it out on the paper compared to what was in my mind".
Looking back, 4 years later, I have learnt an array of things (hopefully for the better) and it's not just an aesthetic change in my style that I have noticed, it's a development in how my ideas are pushed further, better refined, the substance behind them and the presentation put forth to demonstrate application.
This is the A3 page which I submitted for the project.
Other Potential taglines:
The 12 apostles -where nothing is ampossible.
The Great Barrier Reef - The land without barriers.
(photo of a) Witchity grub - which-city is for you? Melbourne. Sydney. Perth. Adelaide. Brisbane.
Why no use others materials?
3D render, fabric, food, play dough.
Truly justify using Helvetica, or use it in conjunction with another typeface 😔.
Understand what colours should be used, and how to bring them into a presentation. Compare the old postcard showed above, printed plainly, VS putting it into context:
Displaying a coaster as the products they are, not a flat piece of paper underneath a coke bottle in a photography studio - which is what I originally did.
What's the takeaway?
To start with the obvious and as previously mentioned; a technical improvement, ultimately leading to an aesthetic improvement. An ability to push further with concept development and understanding what your ideas will look like across a wider spectrum of products which leads in to my final take away: The overall presentation which may be the most important of all. I now understand that the presentation of the idea is what sells it, and gives everything it's value. It's the best platform/process for visualise my overall vision. Consistency in the application of the brand adds as much credibility as a beautiful mockup.
Everyone says you learn from your mistakes, and as it turns out university is your first of many big, long and expensive mistakes. There is always going to be people at uni which create beautiful things (fuck those people) but there is something about career maturity and a few extra years of living that is just an incredible eye opener.
You can see my project revisited here on Behance to see how I tackle the case study all these years later.
Thanks for reading! See you next Monday for more dribble and illiteracy.