Evaluation

Once I had designed everything as in ALL the products I put it all in a PDF ready for submission. Can be found below

Major Practical Project

This was my first attempt at a branding project/assignment and I felt it has enabled me to express my creativity on a bigger scale as a much larger outcome was necessary to fulfil the brief.

 

At first I wasn’t sure of what kind of branding project I wanted to do, I even went as far as trying to get a brief from the BBC TV show The Apprentice. I’ve always wanted to do one of the branding projects they get as I thought they would be quite interesting to do, but myself and my tutor realised there was not much of a structure to their briefs so we just left it at that. We looked elsewhere and she found a few briefs from YCN (Young Creative Network) and I asked a member of staff at Marine Studios to send me a few briefs so I could also have a look at them and pick one. Me and my tutor went over the briefs they sent and we both unanimously agreed on the Transport For London one.

The aim of this task was to design and brand a contemporary canteen’s graphic/visual identity (that is inspired by London’s Transport’s history and design heritage) that promotes the canteen to Londoners and tourists. I created a brand for the canteen called Central Diner, the concept behind the name was that the diner is based in Central London and it will offer a diner experience to the intended audience so Central Diner I settled on. From there I would create a logo and the rest of the visual identity that can be applied to differnt design formats in my case a stationary suite (a letterhead, business card and a compliment slip). Cutlery sleeve, table mat, menu, staff uniform, signage and an advertising campaign promoting the canteen.

To start this project officially, I went to the Transport For London (TFL) Museum in Covent Garden, going there would help inspire my project as I had to include TFL’s history and design heritage in my designs somehow. At first I struggled to do just that, and I think this was mainly due to me rushing the processes that I had to go through to get to the final outcome. I had gone with my first idea as opposed to trying to find alternatives and I struggled because I fell short based on the ideas I had produced (it weren’t enough). However I was able to recover when I revisited my research, as it helped open more routes to tackle the brief.

I believe the things that went well was the application of designs that the brand lent itself to in terms of design products, so stationary suite, cutlery sleeve, table mat, menu, staff uniform and signage and the advertising campaign. I felt my skills in all the softwares that I used to create the products were tested to an extent that made me have to learn new skills in order to pull of what I was envisioning, otherwise it won’t look as I had imagined making the project (as a whole) weaker. I feel I developed stronger skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign that allowed to create better designs for the brand and the overall project.

The things that didn’t go too well was when I repeatedly got stuck on the idea and design stage, before I finally settled on a logo design for the brand I had to redesign it twice and I found it quite frustrating because I couldn’t produce the rest of the products until the logo was done and I found it quite demotivating which  lead me to procrastinate for a while… But with a few days off I was able to come back refreshed with new ideas and keep the project going 🙂

Overall I was pleased with my final outcome for this project because there were a few stages where I didn’t even think I’d manage to produce the work I have and to a good standard on top of that, but my persistence was of great help. This project on a whole has slightly increased my confidence in my skills as a designer, as its pushed me to apply skills that i weren’t  necessarily good at and were out of my comfort zone for example, illustration and layout needed a lot of work in this assignment in order for me to accomplish anything decent for this assignment on top of that, the mistakes I have made have also made me grow as a designer.

 

 

 

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Menu

I then moved on to the menu designs these would (obviously) be handed to the customers before they order. I based my menu on the British traditional foods that can also been eaten and seen at other canteens, but what makes it more memorable for my own canteen is the inclusion of the Transport For London history behind the design I feel it has more of an appeal to it.

The menu items came from the link provided.

http://www.canteen.co.uk/inc/food.pdf

http://www.canteen.co.uk/inc/drinks.pdf

The menu was based on great British food.

 

A restaurant brand that I came across when designing this project, it helped me see how to apply  the brand to similar things I am designing for my Central Diner brand.

http://www.behance.net/gallery/gallimaufries-restaurant/3606351

 

With the menu at first I went with the same colours approach I had taken with the other products such as uniform, stationery suite, signage, cutlery sleeve and table mat but as this was the menu I would be able to include the typeface that has also been used for the logotype.

The photography for the menu was taken by myself and here are all the images that I initially selected from, it included the dishes English breakfast, bangers and mash with onion gravy, raspberry cheesecake  (hmmm :p) and a glass of wine… I say glass of wine, I actually mean blackcurrant.

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If that made you subconsciously hungry or thirsty in any way (I am sorry)… Though just imagine what it was like when I was taking the pictures :/

Those are the images I had taken for my menu, however I would only select one of each image to include, there would be no point in including more than one type of the same thing, it wouldn’t make sense and it would be unrealistic based on what I had researched.

Once I had the images I was able to move on to the actual layout and design of the menu. My first idea can be seen below.

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This idea was based on a sections layout so each topic (breakfast for example) had its own section with an image and the items of food on sale, the only thing I didn’t really like about the design is that it was too plain I had colour boxes and other than that it wasn’t really a fancy enough design for a menu (it also got called boring) so I first changed it ever so slighty.

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Here I added vector lines to these design in this case I was just trying to go for something that wasn’t as plain (the first one did). I didn’t find it interesting enough to look at it for long periods of time so it still needed to be changed. Upon analysing the design I decided to change the body copy, even though it was the same as the typeface for the logo I felt it was a bit difficult to read and it didn’t flow, as there is a large amount of text to read I would actually prefer if it was easily legible and flowed as a design and most importantly a page.

Here are versions with a new font called Futura Bk BT (san serif) for the body copy.

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Here is how the versions with the lines and the new typeface looked, I admit it was bit more cleaner and more legible (most importantly) than the previous version but I still felt something was missing from the overall design. So I went away for some research to see how I can make it more visually stimulating.

 

From my research I found a texture that almost resembled the surface of the steam locomotive (the train that the logo design was based upon) it was quite dusty and old and I felt it gave a new look to the design. I also decided to change the overall design as I and others felt it wasn’t interesting to look at on a visual level.

With the addition of texture I also had a new idea which had come from the table mat and cutlery sleeve designs, this included the horizontal white lines that went across both products, however to make it slightly different I decided to curve it ever so slighty just to add a different dimension to the design. The new idea can be seen below.

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I also designed the front cover of the menu so myself and the audience can get more of a feel as to what they would be looking at if it were actually in the canteen. This was the new design idea I had come up with based on those horizontal lines, and as you can see (with the addition of a texture) it has a more rough feel to it. I felt  the texture gave it its edge for the menu design. The only problem now is that I had designed the menu but I didn’t include the images, this was done intentionally to see if I would 1. like the overall design and 2. where I would be able to put the images once the design was complete. So based on that I stripped the bottom, curved horizontal lines and added an image of one the dishes, I done the same with the other side.

In the end the final design for the menu looked something like this.

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I was a lot happier with this outcome as I felt I was still relating the design (in some way) to the history of TFL even if it was just the original colour and a resemblance of texture of the steam locomotive.

Staff uniform

After the signage was done I moved on to the staff uniform, the idea behind the uniform was just to include the colours of logo, the logo itself and the logotype that way when staff are (hypothetically) working, the customers would be able to see and engage with the visuals of the brand on the uniform. Which are also portrayed on the table mat, cutlery sleeve, stationery suite and signage. This again adds consistency to and for the brand allowing it to be (potentially) more recognisable.

Below was my first design idea for the uniform.

old staff uniform

The idea here was just to accentuate the colours of the brand so i had a white trim for the collars a white trim, round the edges of the sleeve (for the women’s uniform) and then a white trim round the end of the shirt (for the men’s uniform). I got the trim idea from the uniforms that i saw at the London Transport Museum so it inspired my own designs.

I wasn’t as keen on these design ideas as i don’t i feel i did the design justice, so I moved on to a more sleek design idea which can be seen below.

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I preferred this design for the staff uniform because it looked a bit better on the eyes even though it is a similar idea I slighty changed the design and as customers would be looking at their staff they have to be dressed on point, otherwise it could  potentially devalue their perception of the brand if designs don’t look according.

Once decided on the designs of the uniform it was next to pick the best colour combination. As I was using the colours that were on the logo (dark maroon, light maroon and white) I was trying to see which one looked the best, I also added a view of the uniform from the back, as this is only a digital representation of the uniform. Below you can see the designs from the front and the back.

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The designs above included the back and front of the male and female uniform, and as this is only a digital representation I found it easier to portray the colours as opposed to using a real shirt and having to adjust the colours to suit the actual colours, I found it diffucult and couldn’t do it properly, so in the end so I chose to go with this route which I think is still effective in its own right.

I then added the logo and the wordmark onto the uniform, again to see how it would look. The results can be seen below.

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Once I had all the uniforms designed with the colours, logo and wordmark it was next about picking the best one to represent the brand and in the end I settled on the design you see below

Final white bg

Cutlery sleeve & Table mat

Once the signage was done I moved onto the cutlery sleeve and table mat as these would add to the diner/canteen experience and of course be in the diner itself, so i started of designing the sleeve using the same colours that are on the logo, stationery suite and signage this would help with consistency.

Here are the initials ideas i had for the sleeve

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The finals one i had decided on were the designs you see below.Final

That is the final design i had settled on for my cutlery sleeve, i felt it looked the most suitable out of all the ideas that i had and i was now ready to move on to the table mat.

 

Similar to the cutlery sleeve i tried to keep it clean and simple and not over complicate the designs, so i translated the same idea onto the mat just to see what it would look like. Below are the experiments of the examples i was trying.

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Here i was going for the same style that was seen on the cutlery sleeve (ideas) with the lines, just trying to define the shape and the overall style. The mat designs that just had the circles was taken from the logo itself, i felt that could act like a place to put your plate when eating… It also looks like a plate so that could help communicate that idea.

I stayed with the same ideas (below) but  just removed the lines, again to see how it would look as a design. Below is how they looked in the end

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I felt the designs with just the wordmark looked too similar to the signage that was created for the canteen, however saying that it would carry consistency as the same design is being applied to the products, but i wanted to include the logo on this design as i didn’t have it on the signage, business card and cutlery sleeve, including the logo here could just refresh the mind of the brand. So here is how the final mat design looked.

Table Mat6

The final design for the table mat.

Here is an image of both the cutlery sleeve and mat together as a package, I also went to the liberty of implementing them inside the diner, though it was only a digital representation one would hopefully be able to visualise how it would look if it were real.

 

Cutlery sleeve & table mat

Cutlery sleeve & mat

Signage

The next thing for me to design was the signage which is how audiences will come across the canteen name and the brand itself.

I had taken an image of the canteen signage over at my university, just so i could use the board that they held over the place as a template for size and for the design of my own signage.

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I then started designing the signage for my own canteen that would go on the boards. Below is an experiment of all the colours that i wanted to use (the house colours) and whether i wanted the symbol or just the wordmark.

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These are examples of the signage i had done i was trying to design it with both the wordmark and the logo just to see how it would look like.

I wanted a nice and simple design for the signage, i didn’t want to complicate it with the logo as well or have it by itself it didn’t look right and it would be hard to relate to it if it isn’t designed well or was over complicated. So in the end i just kept the signage with the name of the canteen (Central Diner) it was a lot more simpler to remember as you’re reading a word as opposed to looking and studying an image.

Here are how the final signage designs looked.

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I was going for something fairly simple and memorable and i feel going with this design could achieve that expectation.

Stationery suite

I first started of with designing the stationery suite for the Central Diner brand this included a letterhead compliment slip and a business card as part of the pack.

Below are links that i visited on the behance website that helped me with my own designs for the stationery suite.

http://www.behance.net/gallery/Soi-7/8429335

http://www.behance.net/gallery/Firelight-Bistro/4354241

http://www.behance.net/gallery/gallimaufries-restaurant/3606351

I was particularly looking at restaurant stationery suites because this enabled me to gain more of an understading into what similar design features or attributes are related in each of the packages. One thing i particularly noticed is that they kept the letterhead, compliment slips and business cards all consistent with colour, layout and of course typography the only thing that changed was the design item itself obviously (what the brand was applied to). Based on that i was ready to start designing my stationary suite.

I started of with the letterhead designs i mainly wanted to use the house colours that were on my logo they were a dark maroon, light maroon and a white. Here are my letterhead design ideas.

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I was trying to decide on whether to use the wordmark or the logo itself so i began experimenting with the layout of both, changing the opacity and size to see if it made any difference to the overall design.

In the end i settled on the design below, as i felt it was a simple design that could easily be translated to the rest of the package so that is a business card, and compliment slip as well as the letterhead.

 

Letterhead

 

I then moved onto the compliment slip, again i was just experiment with the designs and seeing what i could come up, with below are the ideas that i tried based on the layouts. the coulour had already been decided.

 

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Similar to the letterhead design i stuck with the same layout and colour scheme as it would make it appear more consistent as a brand. So the final compliment slip i decided on, can be seen below.

 

Final compliment

 

Last on the list for the package was the business card. I decided to go for a different shape for the business card because i wanted to make the brand a little different and more memorable from what already exists so i decided to go for a circle shaped business card this will also act as a coaster. Below are my experimentations with the colour and layout i still wanted to make the theme continue onto the card even though i decided on using a different shape.

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The experiments here are just testing the ideas of different colour combinations based on the original house colours, but as the compliment slip and letterhead did i decided to use the same colours on the card. The final version can be seen below.

Back business card2 without bg Front business card3 without bg

Having a circle business card idea came from wanting the card to be memorable and as part of the diner/brand experience, i also wanted the card to act as a coaster for people to take home and remember the experience and most importantly the brand so that’s why i decided to stay with the circle idea as opposed to the generic.

Here are the items of the stationery suite.

Stationery suite