Category Archives: Reflection

Final logo

The final logo has been approved by the client (via email) as concise and what they were looking for. They approve of the versatility and possibility of adaptation in the future for their own means. The mock ups provided were a suitable representation of how the identity may be formed and how the logo could be used but may need revising in the future. Also the tagline may be revised based on the clients own interests.

Overall I am pleased with the outcome. Despite relatively little feedback I have used the clients research and choices that they made from the concept stage to create a logo fitting for the new Bridgewater Trust. It works alongside the formal NHS logo, is versatile, simple and reflects the key values that the trust wish to communicate with its staff and community.


Idea Development

After collating research and conducting focus groups, along with feedback on the concepts sent to Matt, i developed the ideas that were approved by the client. I adapted them and experimented with different colours from the brand identity document. I tested whether they worked in black and white and indifferent sizes. I then forwarded the developed idea to Matt.

The feedback from Matt was concise and honest which was very helpful and helped me develop the ideas that he thought would be suitable for the identity. I was happy with the direction given by the client and the development of the idea went well. I wanted to combine both icon and text and the logos that the client approved of were combination logos so i was happy to develop these ideas.

I would of liked to have met up with matt to discuss the ideas further but was unable to at the time. The feedback was helpful though but it would of been good to bounce some ideas off him face to face to get a better idea of what they were looking for. This is possibly a disadvantage of an indicative project.

Focus Group

On 4/11/11 I conducted a focus group with 7 NHS staff to gather some primary research and views from frontline staff of the organisation I am re-branding. I gave an introduction to the nurses and explained what my role in the project was, what I wanted to achieve, what the Bridgewater trust wanted to achieve and why I had invited them to the focus group.

I was slightly nervous about chairing the group at first but soon became comfortable talking to the nurses. I explained that their views would be in strictest confidence so they could be as open as they liked with me which was a good idea as the criticisms given gave the best results and ideas throughout most of the conversation. I was pleased with how the group worked out and the views I received which weren’t reflected or highlighted as much in the research received from the client.

On criticism I could maybe make is that the ideas and opinions I were given were not in a creative sense so I didn’t gain many creative visual ideas but they were mainly to do with the impression that the new identity should give to the public so it has given me more focus when generating ideas.

In the future, if I hold another focus group, I would maybe try and gain some more creative ideas and also get more feedback on ideas that I have come up with myself. I didn’t share any of my own ideas with the group so could not get any criticisms of my own thoughts but on the other hand I was given a lot of ideas that hadn’t crossed my mind so overall it was a success.

I will now use these new view points and ideas to inform my idea generation and create as many visual representations as possible. I will also try and come up with some tag lines that may possibly be used with the new logo.

The Brief

I received the formal brief for the project on the 1st November as stated by the client the previous day. As soon as I received it I entered it into my proposal and finalised my statement of intent. I then began to read the brief several times to understand it better and began initial idea scamps. I also organised a focus group to gather some primary research to help my idea generation.

I was relieved that I received the brief only a day late as I was worried that another set date wasn’t made at the time and it was possible that it could have dragged on longer than planned for, messing up my schedule of work. I was pleased with the brief as well, it was thorough and also included a lot of research conducted by the client that will help with the idea generation a lot. I also found out through the client that the name of the organisation, Bridgewater Community healthcare NHS Trust did not have to be included in the logo which has changed my direction of idea generation dramatically. It also opens the option for some copy to be provided, for example a tag line to go with the logo. This has given the project a great deal of more direction.

I will now use the brief and continue my idea generation. I will deliver some initial concepts to the client before  9/11/11 for some feedback and then develop ideas from this feedback for delivery at the next deadline on 14/11/11.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.