Monthly Archives: October 2011

Critical Moment

At 10.53am i received an email from the communications and marketing manager at Bridgewater, Matthew Atherton, stating, “It will probably be tomorrow afternoon when it (the brief) goes out now – we had to extend a deadline for staff responses.” So the deadline that the client themselves had set for the release had been delayed without a definative new date or time for release. I replied to Matt saying thank you and I hope to hear from him as soon as possible. I was at home working on my research at the time that I received the email.

I wasn’t expecting there to be any delay since the brief is being set by a large organisation who I expect have their own strict deadlines to work by so I was quite shocked by the delay. Initially, I would of expected an apology for the delay and the changes I would have to make but I expect that Matt isn’t exactly pleased with the delay himself and from the abruptness of the email I think he’ quite busy and the delay is not his fault.

It stands out as a critical incident for the project as I cannot develop my ideas until I receive the brief. Although I have an idea of the brief, have conducted research and have developed initial scamps and sketches for initial ideas, I cannot develop the ideas until I know the constraints set out in the brief, the message that the client wants to convey with the logo and identity and the identity management to the formal NHS logo and the new Bridgewater logo.

From the point of view of the client, the delay may be neccessary in one respect due to the staff feedback not received. This may be an important input for the client’s research and may inform my own designs greatly so it may be essential for the project and leaving it out of the brief may be critical.

I have learnt from this event that clients can be unreliable. I did not expect that a large client would have delays, or notify of any delays so close to a deadline. I was only informed on the day that the brief was to be released and would of prefered to of had a bit more notice as I have planned and prepared to work on the brief straight away. A new deadline would of also been preferable compared to “probably be tomorrow.” I maybe should of highlighted this when communicating with the client.

In light of the incident I will continue my initial idea generation and research in the hope that the brief will be released tomorrow so that development can begin. I will also adapt my Gantt chart for the new timetable and email the client tomorrow again to try and get a set release date if it is not released tomorrow.

Copyright

There are several factors in copyright law that may affect the design of a new logo for Bridgewater. This is wholey dependant on whether Bridgewater require any copyright to be aquired by me as the designer but I looked into it anyway to add another element to the project that will hopefully impress the client if they have not considered it themselves. I looked at several websites concerning the copyright of logos and artistic works, which logos come under according to the UK Copyright Service. This is part of the research I conducted: michael_hodson_IP

I need to extend this research further if it will be a professional piece of the project and find out how to get a copyright, whether a trademark may be suitable and whether or not this can be added to the costings of the project to give to the client as an option if they want me to handle that part of the project.

UK Copyright Law fact sheet from UK Copyright Service.

Statement Of Intent

Today I showed my first draft of my statement of intent, including a contents page for my folder and ideas on folder organisation to my personal tutor (johny). We spoke about different ways of making the folder better to navigate and looked at work by other designers such as Maria Fischer. Her book Traumgedanken is beautifully navigated through cotton stitched from the contents through the pages to all the relevant chapters. This is a highly intricate design and not suitable for my own work but it did make me try and think of alternative methods of making my folder easier to navigate.

Looking at this work also made me think that the presentation of my work is something that I should be very considerate about. Although the content is extremely important I think that if it is presented poorly then attention will not be paid to it. Also, as one of my aims is for this to be part of my portfolio I want every element to reflect the care and attention I like to put into my work.

Talking to Johny about this was valuable and he helped me a lot with my layout in Indesign and with setting up master pages and justifying my text. Also I had a chance to reflect on my Gantt chart and make sure I am on schedule with the project. I am currently up to speed but would have liked to of done a bit more research work so will concentrate on this for the next 10 days and leave my statement of intent until I have received the official brief from my client. At this point I will hopefully have enough research and be able to finish my statement so I can get on with my idea generation ready for my first deadline.

Castlefield

I went on a photography research day out around the Castlefield area of Manchester where the Bridgewater canal joins the Rochdale canal to try and find some inspiration for my logo ideas and found quite a lot of nice geometrical shapes and patterns that could be translated into a stylized logo. I walked down the canal from the crown court, past Canal street and Deansgate to get to Castlefield and walked around the whole area including down to the peoples history museum past the Museum of Science and Industry. Being in that area you can sort of feel how industrial it used to be. The huge railway viaducts that pass over pretty much the whole Castlefield Basin are very striking. Everything is red brick, which gave me some ideas for possible colours to use for the logo? There may be some problems with that due to the clients constraints however, I will investigate it further anyway. I feel it was a valuable exercise visiting the area as it gave me a lot of visual ideas and also ideas for colour as I mentioned. It kind of also made me try and relate the whole industrial feel to the NHS, the rise of industry and modernism leading itself to a better society and caring for others? Maybe there is a stronger link between industry, engrained in the Bridgewater canal, and the NHS that I had not considered and may be communicated in the new logo with great affect? I will almost certainly visit the canal again but maybe in a different area, not as industrial as Castlefield, to get a different feeling of the water.

The three railway viaducts that cross the basin. The furthest away made of tubular steel, the middle of wrought and cast iron and the closest of brick and iron.

Moorings found all along the canal sides.

A gear house for the basin with draw bridges.

The footbridge crossing the Bridgewater canal at the Castlefield Basin.

A monument made from a gear salvaged from the gear house.

Lock gate 88 on the Rochdale canal, lock 92 joins the Rochdale to the Bridgewater in Castlfield.

A draw bridge and converted warehouse, now flats and restaurants.

 

Bridgewater Canal

I visited the bridge water canal today to do some visual research, photography, and some historical, through the information boards they have set up around the part of the canal that runs through Manchester. I also used some – resources about the canal and its geography.

The canal was first opened 17.7.1761 and was the first canal in the country to not follow an existing river or other body of water so was considered a great achievement and many other canals across the country followed its lead. It was built by Francis Egerton, the third Duke of Bridgewater, in order to carry coal to the factories in Manchester.

This is just a brief explanation of the canals origins and where it got its name from. Today it is owned by the Manchester ship canal company and is protected by the Bridgewater canal trust which raise money and carry out restorations continuously. A more detailed history can be found at the Bridgewater canal company.

History of Logo

I’ve conducted some initial research into the history of logo design but only web based, obviously I will expand on this in the coming weeks but I have found some interesting sites already.

Logo Orange is a site cataloging the history of logos form various companies around the world with a brief history of the origins of each and how they have evolved. Its got handy downloads of a lot of them as eps files which will help with my visual research and idea generation. It is a history of famous brand logos so is limited on that front.

Just Creative is the website/blog/portfolio of the graphic designer Jacob Cass. There are several interesting posts on the site including one differentiating logo from identity and brand which includes a good concise definition of a logo as… A logo is for… identification. A logo identifies a company or product via the use of a mark, flag, symbol or signature. There is also a post on five principles to designing a good logo that I can utilize in my own design.

1st Web Designer is a site of links to other logo inspiration websites, including catalogues of existing logos and sites with logo design advice.

Logo Pond is another site cataloging logo’s, professional and amateur for commenting and critiques by the public.

Mind Mapping

I conducted mind mapping exercises to begin my idea generation initially using the NHS as a central theme. Taking from this the theme of Bridgewater which is the name of the trust I will be rebranding and branching out into several subject areas including the Bridgewater canal, the area that the canal runs through and other images associated with the area, such as industry. I deduced that as the trust is being named after the Bridgewater canal that this would be a good place to start research.

The mind mapping exercise was very useful in coming up with further idea generation ideas. It has also produced areas of research, not only on the NHS but I will conduct research on Bridgewater itself to find historical information that may inform my designs. I have further mind mapped this idea and will conduct some visual research of the canal through photography, hopefully to find landmark sites that may be stylised and edited to form part of the logo. It may also produce some patterns that may be useful, I will have to do some experimentation.

Gibbs

I’ll conduct my reflection throughout this learning log using the Gibbs reflective model shown above. i’ve already come across a few problems when planning my project through my Gannt chart.

My client will only be releasing the official design brief for the project on 31st October so this had to be accounted for when planning the project.

This will limit the amount of time I have for client feed back in the early phases of the project and also caused a bit of panic for myself in regards to time management. There is, however, a positive side to this as it gives me a set period to concentrate on research. Further to this, the design brief will also be based on research conducted by the client themselves so it will be very specific. The client has also provided me with some details on the deliverables of the project so I can account for them in my time management as well.

Overall at first I viewed this set date for the brief as a negative in respect to my deadlines for the module but I think now, if sticking to my Gannt chart it could be a positive.

This is my gannt chart: pp_gannt_chart_cs5

I have also had some initial problems with time due to my part time job. To remedy this I have already reduced my hours at work so that I can concentrate more on the project. I will spend my time running up to the official brief release researching and conducting initial idea generation using a range of techniques.