Grow the Gare Prototype and final design

I was struggling to bring the idea together. Then I realised that I was over thinking and it’d be better to make one touch point well and then work out from that. I decided to focus on just the seed packet. As this is a cheap and viable way of communicating to Families. This could be to advertise an event that would see a planting the seeds in the packet that would have been grown at home. A reminder flyer would be needed. I made the design for sunflowers for a starting point for Derwen as they are easy to grow even if there is no past gardening knowledge. I decided to make the packet larger than a standard packet to increase the visibility. I don’t think that this really works as it doesn’t feel like a seed packet this is mostly because of the size. This was massively improved when I reduced the size of the packet. There was also some elements that needed cleaning up like the alignment of the instructions on the back is messy and hard to connect with the number.

I think that I managed to make a playful but clear design.


Grow The Gare- Type Design

As I wanted this work to have a more organic feel to it but that would still feel modern and smooth. I knew I would not be able to get this with a font that was computer generated as I tried with a few from Typekit. So I got out the fine-liners and came up with a hand-drawn alphabet. It has a subtle serif that does not appear on each character and part of the character that typically has a serif. I was trying to create a feeling of organised disorganisation. Then bringing in to illustrator to give it a bold feel.


This font was only used for headings and avoided using it in a body text due it having reduced visibility in a smaller format like a seed packet as it is quite bold and I only produced one weight of the font.

I do wish that in the client presentation that I had included that I had created the font my self as it was a massive part of designing the piece.


Mentor Feedback

Through this project, I have been getting feedback from a mentor. We have been utilising Skype and Slack to facilitate this communication. A key bit of feedback was from when I came I sent Mia my ideas and concepts.

“I love the little drawing of the pot with the photo of lavender in the presentation you sent me. I love the mix of photography/simple line art and think as a style, that would really appeal to your audience.”

I found this most helpful as I was humming and harring over which direction to take the visual language of the project.

It was also good to have an extra person to spot things I had missed.

“Your colour palette is nice and simple but I would just watch using similar shades and tones all together – I would err on the side of caution in terms of colour contrast because of your target audience being older.”

Because of this piece of advice, I stripped down my colour down to minimal yellow/orange for the sunflower petals and the black to create a bold contrast on a white background.


Grow The Gare- design ideas and how does this look?

I then thought that the idea was way too broad and unachievable so it needed to be narrowed down a bit so still using the green space around the Hub to create a community garden space that is maintained by families and the residents.
This idea was liked by the client as she said that the residents take great pride in the green spaces around their homes and gardening is quite a gender-neutral activity. As a chance to involve families by asking the older residents to invite relatives to learn new skills that they have or even share any they have something to bring to the project. Then after there would be a place that would be a friendly area a place to relax and meet up with friends and family. The area is lacking any of these spaces.
“Grow the Gare” is taking this idea and to make this project irresistible to families to the
hub and get involved gardening. I will be possibly designing a pack which will contain information about how they can get involved both all weathers.
Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 13.45.05

As a start, I looked how people have communicated information about community gardens and I mostly found posters in which the designer has just given some information for the viewer. As this is targeting families that may not live in the area this would not be effective as they would not see them. Also, posters are quite a passive form of communication and some sort of interaction would be more effective and stick in peoples minds. I was thinking of having some sort of pack that would come in a sort of an envolpe box that contained a small booklet about the project (also how they could get involved) and a packet of seeds to give them a taste of what they could get involved within the hub.
I decided to go with a simpler envelope box. As when I tried to make a paper mock-up it just looked tacky and was fiddly to work with. But having the envelope designed would make it stand out compared to the standard item of mail in a white envelope or the trashy pizza leaflet.
Because of Welsh weather being not ideal most of the time I was looking for a way of having an indoor garden within the hub that can be made cheaply that the family
could even bring the techniques home aswell having a connection at home to remind them of their older relative. The booklet could have instructions on how to recreate this.
  Trying to work out how I will style the designs visually. I am thinking of having a limited colour pallet and have vector drawings that are simply done or combining hand drawn with photographs for a more playful approach.

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Concept Ideas

Families were at the heart of this project and I wanted to come up with ideas that will work towards strengthening relationships in families in The Gare. This is important as isolation and loneliness are sadly extremely common amongst older people and so the frequent visits from families can massively improve the quality of life of both parties. Looking at the values of Dewren most important thing to show within my ideas is to care, compassion and consideration for both the families and their older relatives. I am hoping to explore and gain an understanding of different age-related conditions and recognition of the identity and individuality of the residents (which I have touched on in persuasion in level 5). I want to help to close the intergenerational gap by helping different ages to learn from each other.

Looking at these main values we came up with ideas that would bring these core values into light.

Then as individuals, we chose to focus on a signal idea each. I was interested in creating a green space and sharing skills with younger family members. This could have been with planting seeds or basic DIY.


I then looked at how this has worked well before. This leads me into thinking for green spaces that are community led in Liverpool (my hometown). The first place that I thought of was The Bluecoat gardens which are in the middle of the city centre. This is a place that people come to relax and come and have a hot drink and cake. It is up kept by volunteers.

Gramby Four Streets- Assemble Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 15.33.08

Using skills from many people a community has created a number of regenerated affordable homes to bring people back into the area of Granby in Liverpool. With help from the collective Assemble and other organizations, they are bringing back a community through people coming together. This made an area that would be avoided if possible into an amazing and interesting space with a monthly community market. It even won a turner prize.



Blue or Red Pill Design- Neil’s Workshop

In this workshop Neil used the blue and red pill from the matrix as a metaphor for the type of design we were going to create not just in this project but within our wider practices. The blue pill had a symbolic meaning of design until this point created by other people (blinded from the truth in the film). Red pill is a chance for change in the way we work and how it impacts people’s lives (what is going to be real if creativity doesn’t change life can we call it creativity).

We then took to the challenge of rearranging the lecture space to change the way in to which the space worked. We then changed the seating arrangement into a circle which we came to be that this created an environment of equality and sharing community. This sort of environment is important to a designer in how they work. (Like in about a boy and the characters go on about no man being an island).

We then had a discussion about why design is important. We came up with a number of different reasons:

  • design can have a real impact
  • to create things with purpose
  • Look at challenges and see how we can change it

After that we talked about how we could work in different ways to change how we design (taking the red pill so to speak). Neil had a number of ways he uses in his practice:

  • Getting rid of designers titled the client want to share the process with you
  • Talking to people on shop floor as they tend to know more of the internal workings of the company than the big boss
  • And most importantly that WE CAN’T DO IT ALONE


Then we talked about the importance of points of view in graphic design. This is a massive part of if a design works or not. Good design can be objective on what the viewer has experienced in the past (in life and within design) and their own personal values. What is important is how do we engage with this and we take ourselves away from the design and look at it in someone else’s shoes. Connecting this to the project with Derwen the aim for the residents is to change “I used to be somebody” (red pill) to “I am somebody” (blue pill).