This week we we talked about Brand Identity and what it means. When we think of a brand, what comes to mind, just the logo? No. As Milton Glaser puts it, "A logo is the point of entry to the brand" not the brand itself.
Brands are the personality, service, what the customer thinks and feels about it.
"Products are created in the factory, Brands are created in the mind."
- Waltor Landor
'Brand' is the idea that is put into others' minds when they think about the organization. Chris took us through different companies and how their brands are viewed by the general public through the things that they do.
The Live Project
Garvan Traynor, our client for the Live Project came to talk to us this week.
It was really interesting for me, since I have never taken on freelance clients and had such a thing as a client meeting. I feel a little intimidated by the work needed within the timespan of 5 days as I haven’t been website designing and building for a while - since before my placement year. In many ways I think I am weaker than the other students in the way that my placement year took me away from web design for an entire year while I studied business. So the idea of suddenly working for a client with my current abilities is making me doubt myself.
Garvan went through a presentation of his work, what he does, his prices, his personal likes and dislikes etc. I was torn between the fact that he said he would like a minimalist design and likes the colour grey and the lecturers insisting we take note of his interest in Electronic music.
This is his favourite band, Talking Heads, and the album he likes. He mentioned that he wouldn’t really like bright colours, which makes me conflicted as whether to use the electronic music theme or not.
But maybe I am over thinking this in terms of what I’ve found visually. Electronic music can be based on short dotting sounds and rhythmic beats. Thinking about this physically and looking at Garvan’s work and examples of designers he likes gives me a good idea of a style that is simple but blocky.
I found a site called Analogik, which is an electronic music organisation. I also took the time to listen to some electronic music to get a feel for the style.
Garvan said that he liked Kraftwerk, and at first I thought he meant ‘craft work’ as in handy crafts, but after we were shown that they are an actual group, I decided to do a bit of research into them and their work to see what it really is Garvan likes about them.
The bold red background almost hurts my eyes, but I sort of understand from the typeface and the moving pixel characters gives me an idea of the style.
I found the catalogue of the album art interesting. It showed a video starting with these block numbers, which I really liked for some reason. I think it is the shape of them combined with the fact that they are only outlines so you can see all the other numbers behind which are arranged almost arbitrarily in different sizes.
The sanserif type compliments the block lines from the second image. It’s a very pleasing minimal effect. The last image “The Man Machine” reminds me of the posters by Adrian Frutiger with his typeface ‘Frutiger’ on his posters with the selectively placed lines cutting across the image.
It was mentioned that Garvan was interested in the design work by Donald Judd and Dieter Rams. I took the time to do some research on their work to better prepare myself to design for Garvan’s style.
While working in New York in the 1960s, Judd became known as one of the key exponents of ‘Minimalism’, strangely though, it was a label that he strongly rejected. He shared many of the principles identified with Minimalist art — the use of industrial materials to create abstract works that emphasise the purity of colour, form, space and materials; however, he preferred to describe his own work as ‘the simple expression of complex thought’.
Donald Judd rejected the ‘tradition of artistic expression’ and ‘craftsmanship’ by his use of industrial materials like Plexiglas, sheet metal and plywood; these were his foundations as he explored the conventions of volume, interval space and colour.
He encouraged concentration on the volume and presence of the structure, including the space around it so as to draw attention not just to the object itself but to the relationship between the object, the viewer and it’s environment.
"I was influenced by my grandfather who was a carpenter. And he was a specialist for surfaces, and I learned that from him but I had in mind to study architecture."
- Dieter Rams
Starting the Project
We were given 3 templates for our logo design, choice and extras of colour pallet and typography. I took a start with the logos and immediately hit a block… where do I start?
I looked at Garvan’s work and took inspiration from some of his abstract metal pieces in his exhibition work. I want to create a logo which looks like the metal in a shape of a GT (Garvan’s initials). I started drawing in Illustrator CS4, a basic idea, and the rest just went from there.
These are my first two logo ideas. The first is supposed to be GTJ (Garvan Traynor Jewellery) with the G being a ring shape, but I think I like the idea of the second one better, simply because I think it is more like something Garvan would like.
I also started looking at Braille and Morse code as ideas for a Logo design, since their basis is rhythm and texture, which is similar to electronic music. I thought it might be something Garvan would like. I found alphabets online for both and started creating ideas with them.
This is the international Morse Code Alphabet:
This is Garvan’s name in Morse Code:
I started thinking about what Garvan would want in a colour palette. The following palette is taken from the “talking heads” photo above. To be completely honest, I think this is a hideous colour scheme, probably because the colours together don’t quite fit somehow.
When asked what colour Garvan would like, he said “does grey count?” So obviously making the site psychedelic with neon colours would be the bad route to go down. However, I do believe a little bit of colour in a grey-scale palette can work really well, especially if the colour is taken for small accents in type.
These are a few of the other colour palettes I have been considering. They are all on a general grey scale, but I liked the idea of some of the greys being a little blue in hue.
For the one below, I added red, since a two or three of the pages have a lot of red in the photos he has given. Black, red, white and greys are similar to the colour palette that Kraftwerk has been using in their recent site.
Layout and Build
Websites of Interest
To get an idea of what I should design in terms of a ‘minimalist’ style website, I researched some other sites which are based on this idea. This also helped me gage what I should do in terms of a colour palette.
This site I think represents a really lovely minimalist style, working along with the grey scale Garvan has in mind. The pages are sleek and simple, the images take the focus, with a neat effect that when you hover over them, they become full colour. I really like this little addition of interactivity with the photos, it just adds something really nice to the overall feel of the site. I’d like to do something like this for Garvan’s site.
The layout of this page is similar to the one above, but the colour scheme is changed completely by the choice to go with dark background and white text; this makes the colours of the images really stand out, and the bold white typography draws the eye towards it then down the page.
I think this is a really nice minimal page layout, but I’m not sure if the colour palette would be Garvan’s taste.
Time of Eve
This is actually the site of one of the new anime shows I watched recently: Time of Eve. It’s based in the future where androids meet the needs of humans like servants, but it has a warm underlying moral core behind the story which really makes you think. I love how the series is based on future emerging technologies such as AI and Augmented Reality. If you have any time, you should go watch it since it’s only 6 episodes long. A movie is coming out for it soon too.
One thing I should say is that this is a flash site. It has lots of visual effects and neat image and page changing. The moving background is a little distracting, but I like the layout and total effect of the site. For obvious reasons besides the fact that my lecturers would kill me - I will not be building Garvan’s site in flash.
I like the layout for main content, with a large sliding image on the left and main content on the right. I perhaps like this site more than I should because of the fact that I really enjoyed the series.
Quadrifolia - Sebastian Brink
I also enjoyed the quote given.
"The difference between good design and great design is intelligence."
- Tibor Kalman
I think the simplicity of this site is a good representation of what Garvan is looking for; I especially like the clear sanserif typography.
I will be taking these site layouts into consideration when creating my wireframes for Garvan’s site.
I started playing with wireframes to figure out what sort of layout will look best for Garvan’s site. I like the idea of the photos being the focal point, so building around large images is my main interest.
Wide Navigation, Wide Footer:
Front Page: Central Slider, Image Links, No main_content.
Main central Logo, slider/images left, main_content right:
This is the current design I have come up with for Garvan’s website. It has a fluid layout so it resizes in a smaller browser, but the images don’t unfortunately; because of the slider, they have to be a fixed size for the transitions to work.
I’m not completely happy about this layout but I want to hear some feedback by the lecturers so that I have a better idea of what is good and bad, so I know how to improve.
HTML5 forms and CSS3
I’ve been thinking about the forms for membership in the database I could be creating for the Katagami Design site. At first I was considering php forms, but I found a site called “24 ways to impress your friends” and was reading about HTML5 forms.