S4C Group Live Brief

In the next project was a live brief for the TV channel S4C (Sianel Pedwar Cymru, “Channel Four Wales”). The task we were set was to create a concept for the channel’s branding (including the indent clips between programs and advert breaks and the social media branding) for the 2017 Saint David’s day celebration in March. The idea we were given was that it had to represent twenty first century Wales (being inclusive to the whole of Wales). All the words (spoken and typographic) had to be in welsh.

This project was to be done in a group. My group consisted of me and four others (Jacob, Billy, Stuart and Kristina. I found that working as a group had it’s own challenges (people not turning up or being late to meetings) but overall we worked well together we all had input when we brought ideas to the table whether that was original ideas or/and ideas inspired by each other. I found that this was a positive experience as there was ideas that I could have never have came to by myself and created a positive environment to work in. This was also a drawback, at the same time, we found it hard to narrow our final concept down to an idea that worked and told a simple narrative (which was the angle we were going for). We mostly struggled with how we would actually start the 30 second video clip.

As I am not welsh (but with family from North Wales) I took to Facebook (not wanting to represent it just in stereotypes) to ask anyone who happened to be welsh what Saint David’s day meant to them. Most came back with memories from when they where in primary school (apart from my Taid who just said pub and that was it) of school plays and dressing up in traditional welsh outfits.

I then looked at the existing indents that S4C has used in the past. (Indent Football , Indent Swimmer) I saw that that they tended to have a simple narrative (for example a woman diving into a pool and swimming to the other side), they didn’t seem to have any emotional connection to the audience and she isn’t swimming for a reason.

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The basic outline for my idea that I had brought to the group. The concept was the background was slate (which could be inclusive for a lot of Wales have been quarried at sometime for the material) and using chalk to create a hand drawn animation the could be a bird flying and he passes different welsh landmarks such as the Millennium Center (Cardiff), the Menai Bridge (connects Ansley Sea to mainland North Wales), Portmeirion (an Italian Style village where the tv program “The Prisoner” was filmed), a number of castles and others. Then two sets of hands of people holding bunting saying “Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!” (“happy Saint David’s day” in welsh).

The group quickly rejected this idea as we had created another concept that had more of a relatable scenario to it. The basic jist of what we started with was someone going for a run in gentric Welsh mountains and then have some of the elements of the welsh culture today. After a tutorial with our tutor Ian, is was discussed and then decided we needed to explore ways we could create more of a narrative for the video clip, so from what we discussed  Jacob produced a whole new moodboard.

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This laied out that the running character was a father was late for his young daughter’s eisteddfod celebration in her school. We really struggled with how we were going to start the clip off and how the character was going to remember that he had to attend and that he was going to be late. We decieded he would get text of the mother. We Where also going to include animated arrows and bits of text which I really didn’t understand why we needed it as it didn’t add anything to the narrative. We ended up scrapping this for that exact reason. After a discussion we narrowed and defined the storyboard even more and ended up with this  board. 15321683_10209828700746169_2029547026_o.jpg

I had attended the Adobe Premiere Pro workshop on behalf of my group so it was my job to create the animatic for the practice presentation with tutors Ian and Matt. I played around with possible transitions on the program and decieded the majority of them were basically awful (putting it politely) so I decided to do a cross dissolve as it is one of the least in your face transitions.

Then, after the presentation, the feedback advised us to improve the pacing of the clips to make it faster and have more suspense. We then discussed this further and added a shot of his daughter and him looking down at his phone. We also made his journey more of an action sequence of him jumping over things, doing a minor parkour to get there. We then did a digital version of the storyboard.  15204299_1167313796679215_204649464_o

I personally think that the pitch to the actual clients (S4C) when well and we all seemed to be able to get our ideas across effectively enough so that they were able to understand what the ideas where and the origin of the idea. They seem to be positive about the underlying themes of family (which is pretty much a universal theme which would appeal to not just their welsh viewership but 30% from outside Wales). They also liked that this could be set not just in Cardiff but anywhere in Wales, from Wexham to Holyhead To Aber to Swansea. That it was inclusive, this was something we discussed a lot when coming up with the concept. I think that we were able delegate the speaking parts fairly, talking about parts we had practically had involvement in. I think we did the best we could have done on the speaking side considering that it was our first pitch to real life clients and for how nervous we all were before.

I think that overall that this project was a very positive experience. For one I have found that I actually enjoy group projects just as much as I do by myself. One thing I would change next time is that I would like to have had our final idea clearer sooner as all the elements were there and just not in the right places. If this was achieved we would of had time to have created some test shots which would have been positive. Apart from this (and one group member not turning up to the first pitch) I would  happily work with this team again on other projects. I am excited to see what S4C actually thinks of our concept when we hear back from them.

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Branding Design Development- Brand Mark/Logo

I brought the idea, of the three triangles (representing grass), into illustrator. I lay out the three triangles at an angle to maybe give it a more natural feel to the mark. I was finding it difficult on where to put the name of the company. Later after my first drafts of the touch points, I had worked out that the main problem that I had encountered have I had the proportions incredibly wrong for what I was going for with it. As the height of the “blades of grass” are too long to how wide they are it looks like they could possibly be overgrown rather than short and tamed (which is one of the services that the company provides).

 

The One With a Description of a Photograph

In this session we looked at an image that was a projection of an image and then had to describe the image.baby.jpg

There is a young child (most like around the age of 6 months at the oldest) the photo is in the day light. She is sat on a cheaply made baby seat that is made out of white plastic. It looks like the baby is watching the TV alone and has been forgotten. This photo is from the latter half of the 20th century, this is gathered from the style of the television it’s metal casing, big back and own wheels are a sign of this. Also the image on the screen is in black and white and depicts a space shuttle which leads to believe that this could have been possibly taken in the 60’s around the time of the space race. It is obvious that there has been some sort of family celebration as the are many cards on the side table and on top of the TV it could have been a birthday or a new baby. This could lead to be believed that the baby is a newborn and the family have just left her alone to watch TV; it could be an omen for her future that she’d be ignored and cast aside. I am not sure whether this photo was a amuture family photo or a staged set up by a photographer.

We then discussed the photo and it turned out that it was a family photo that was taken and in a family photo album. Also it turned out that the young child was not a girl but a boy and this could bring up the fact we assumed that he was a girl due to the colour of her clothes.

Branding- Idea Development (Sketches)

15878154_10210128555602353_918152336_o Around the time that I was researching into existing brands I started to sketch out ideas for the logo. I was finding it difficult to come up with ideas that were not the most obvious (and there for overdone). This was backed up in a tutorial with Ian. In this tutorial, we discussed that I look at the textures that are associated with gardens and simplifying them down.

15388545_10209883144507229_1278105058_o  We also discussed that with having just the name for the brand would not be clear to the viewer what services the company provide as “Roots” as a name could mean a number of different services (family tree,  organic fruit and veg, etc…). This could be improved with the use of a tagline, incorporated into the mark in some way, that gears the viewer to see the company behind the mark a bit more. I mind mapped the ideas for the tagline then brought them to my client to see what he thought. Going through the selection, that I had originally come up with, we decided that they were too long or too dull to use as a tagline. Then I came up with “Making Gardens Great Again” (as a sort of a play on Donald Trump’s “make America great again” slogan ). It’s was then clear what the services the company provides.

Keeping these things in mind for the logo I then went on to sketch out some more ideas with a much clearer direction than before. I narrowed it down to simpler ideas that would work better in a logo/touch point setting. The logo (which would be starting point to the rest of the branding) the client liked best was the three triangles that represented grass.

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Things Under the Sun- Conextual Sources

In this project I have looked at a number of illustrators and designers to take inspiration from. On the trip to Pembrokeshire we were asked to take a book out from the library; I took out Nigel Peake’s book “Maps,” I was initially drawn to the graphic and informative way he had approached the landscapes he was representing. Peaks combined a mixture of lines, colour, hand written type and symbols to create a new approach to maps. What drew me to the piece even further was the way he used the lines to create a pattern which in turn made a sense of space.
I also like how the book itself was small (possibly pocket size) so you could even carry it around as it was actually a map, even though using the book as a map may be quite confusing for the audience. It reminded me more of a small piece of ephemera (this was confirmed further when I went to order myself a copy and it was a whopping one hundred and seventy six pounds), that the whole book was a piece of art. Of course the pages where pieces of illustration in there own right but together they came and created something that was more impressive than them alone.

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Double page spread from Nigel Peake’s “Maps”

Looking at more of Peake’s work I grew to like his use of line and pattern more and more. In his piece sheds he manages to create a series of quirky buildings (sheds suggested by the title) the lines give each shed the feeling of a sense that it is made up of wooden panels (each line indicating the side of the panels). This is also part of a similar publication to “Maps” the format does not seem to connect to the subject matter as well as it does with “Maps.” This leads me to thinking that the format wasn’t intentional to be carried around like a map that it was just part of a series together as long with his publication “Bridges”.

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Sheds by Nigel Peake

 

The way Peak used lines is similar to Peter Saville’s use of line in the Joy Division’s 1979 album cover for “Unknown Pleasures.” This was based on a diagram taken from the Cambridge of Astronomy (1977 edition) of the signal from the first ever pulser (a early stage in the formation of a black hole) observed. This creates what looks like a mysterious mountain range of white lines onto a black background. (Link to video of Saville talking about this design)

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Looking at more of Saville’s record sleeve designs I like that overlapping print of the three/four CMYK printing process colours on the New Order record “Total from Joy Division to New Order”. CMYK is basically the colours that are used in the most common commercial printing process. The colours are cyan (a bright blue), magenta (a pinky red), yellow and key (black which is not even considered a colour because it is more of the absence of colour- all light absorbed whereas white is when no light is) and with these you can make practically every colour. I like the idea in the design that they have been stripped back to the separate parts and then they are coming back together again to create something new (says something about the band at this moment in time, after the death of Ian Curtis’s). I just find the layering and overlapping interesting and something I would like to explore.

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