FMP: Beginning to experiment

This blog post should have been written a while ago, but I’ve only just caught up with it, as I’ve been so busy designing for this project. So here, I begin by showing my first experiments, based on finding a particular design style as well as ordering designs.

The first thing I did was to create a mindmap so that I could write down all the main points I needed to think about for the project. This was to ensure I wouldn’t forget anything, and I think this has been a good technique to help, as this is a very busy project.idea006 I then looked into ‘wireframing’ how the app design should work, trying to come up with sections, putting them into a suitable order, and then thinking about how this would fit into the style of an iOS app. This is my main guide I have been referring to when creating the app so far.idea002 I then moved on to thinking about the potential interface, where my research had shown a black background with the details picked out in a brighter colour, such as white and grey. The monochromatic theme is something I have explored previously, and see it as being suitable due to its elegance and class, just what I am looking for. Here I have inverted the colours in my sketch when I scanned it in, so my sketches could take on a more realistic perspective. I also started thinking about things such as an app icon (first thoughts are to pick out a key styling detail such as the headlights) and icons to feature throughout the app, such as the icon for the home screen.idea001 Here I have furthered my sketches into creating app icons for the ‘Exterior’ section of my app. I am really pleased with these, as these characterise ‘paint’, ‘wheels’, ‘roof’, and ‘accents’. As my icons will have text below them, they do not have to perfectly summarise the meaning, but I am pleased mine do, as using a paintbrush brings up connotations of paint. As for the wheels, that was simple enough. The roof was something I struggled with, trying to create something based on the car’s roof, but in the end I decided showing a house roof with chimney would have real meaning to the audience backing up my point. As for the accents, my sketch represents these elements on the car visually, which will be very clear to the audience as they will know what this part of the car looks like.idea003I then turned my attention to thinking properly about a styled minimal ‘logo’ as such that could graphically represent the Range Rover’s key styling qualities, highlighting the differences over the old version. I was inspired by concept sketches I had seen throughout my brochure research, and from a couple of Land Rover press images I came across during my research which I have screenshotted sections from.

The LRX concept image was the image that started my idea, which gave me an idea to create one for the Range Rover, as I had not seen one before…

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 09.55.13

…Then I saw in the Range Rover image press pack there was indeed one, present on the B-pillar when you open the doors but I could not help thinking it wasn’t quite as realistic as I hoped for with the shape of the rear lights especially. So I thought I could create my own, as I did not want to just create a copy of this design.Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 09.55.25

Also, the below example of a Porsche 911 GT3 illustration on the Porsche UK Car Configurator shows how it is a great way of quickly highlighting the style of the vehicle in a minimal way.Screen Shot 2013-04-20 at 08.15.40

I then started sketching my thoughts on what it could like and whether this was the right way for the project to progress in. I felt it was, as research has backed me up on this, so I decided to progress.idea004 Here you can see a more refined version of the sketch where I am familiarising myself with the shape of the car.idea007 The biggest idea here I had was to stop just thinking about a illustration of the side and think in terms of the front and back as well, to create a complete set as such. These illustrations could potentially be used for the front and back cover, so below is a sketch I did of half a Range Rover in the available space I had on that page of my sketchbook. As with many of my sketches, I started with something small like the headlight detail, and then unexpectedly filling as much of the page as possible with the remainder of the car!idea005

From there, I had to find the images I was going to use to construct my vector illustrations from for this design approach. I was able to look in the press pack and fine some line drawings that I felt would be suitable, so I started creating the design.Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 07.32.31

Below is the set of designs I created. Originally it did not have wheels on the side view, but chatting to my tutors, they felt even for a minimal sketch, the lack of wheels gave it a feeling it was heading down the production line, and as the wheels are such an important part of the all terrain nature of the Range Rover, they should feature somehow. I am not overly sure about this on a subjective level, but objectively I can see their points so have included them as they look pretty good. As for the front and back I haven’t got around to finding an elegant solution for that yet, but hope to do so soon.Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 09.21.38 I also tried different colour schemes as I have been thinking about the dark blue Land Rover uses for a lot of their corporate identity, and felt white would be a bold contrasting colour that would give the designs maximum attention. However, I just felt it wasn’t classy enough for the Range Rover, so instead moved onto looking at a black and grey colour scheme, which I prefer, and my feedback has also shown this is the way to go.

It also has made me think about whether something like this could be a dominant wall display piece in dealerships for example as it would certainly be attention grabbing. Or perhaps it could be turned into a promotional leaflet. This is something I will think about at the relevant time.Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 09.21.24 I then wanted to translate this to the covers for my brochure, so copied the Illustrator sketches into Photoshop, and added some glows to the lights. The reason for doing this is that it appears it is appearing out of the darkness. As for the body panels, I see it as the minimal light source spilling onto the most distinctive parts of the new Range Rover in a stylish manner. On the whole feedback has shown this to be a very good approach, which i am obviously pleased with. I will now turn my attention into making this experiment into an actual front and back cover, which I’ll talk about in another blog post.Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 09.22.34

So how has this benefitted the project? The experimentation seen here has allowed me to find a design style I think is suitable, and the vast majority of feedback has confirmed this as well as sketch out some key design concepts which I will be using later on for this project. Of course this is a fluid process, so things may change along the way.

I will now progress to make more ideas, and create digital proposals from which I can select the best way forward for this project.