With the summer drawing to an end, and autumn most definitely here, if not just round the corner, I thought it was about time to get my blog back on track as I am shortly due to start my final year studying a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design at K College/University of Kent.
One of the projects that I have been working on over the summer break is for the Aberystwyth University Hiking Club. I was approached by the vice-president, a good friend of mine for several years, who is very impressed with the graphic design work I have produced (which is very flattering! 🙂 ) and asked if I would be able to create some designs for the club.
Discussions took place and I agreed to produce a roll-up banner, which led on to me also producing a logo and Facebook group banner for the club. As the project was a particularly interesting one, I asked if I could write up some of my workflow process plus a couple of quick tutorials showing new techniques that I learnt along the way, which he agreed to. The completed project can be viewed here on my Behance portfolio.
First of all, I set my attention to designing the logo. Initially the club had worked on designing a logo, and while the concept was very interesting and well suited to its purpose, the execution was not professional. Therefore if they wanted the logo you see below on a banner I was designing, they would need a new one. Thankfully the client was excellent, understanding my points and so it was added to the list. It was agreed though because of the promise held in the initial concept, that to keep the club happy, I would not scrap the concept, but instead focus on creating a professional version of the logo.
So I thought long and hard on what format the logo should take and decided a circle would be best, as it could tie in to look like a badge. The style would work best as vector.
I then moved on to visualise my thoughts and develop them, very roughly at first to see what worked and what didn’t. The key stages in development focused on text and colour schemes. For example with colour schemes, I started working monochromatically, before adding colour, eventually deciding it needed to be bright, noticeable and bold, eventually settling on the outer band reflecting the university colour scheme to give a strong identity.
I then showed this to the client, who accepted it, and suggested changes to ensure it met the brief, which was reasonably fluid. From there, I progressed onto refining the idea, including making different versions to make it usable for different applications. The first change was to create a version with a border around it for use on the same colour background. Then I created white and black versions, which would be helpful if the client prints any documents in monochrome, or wanted clothing to be produced with the logo on.
The most intriguing aspect of the project, as the brief entailed me to design a 2000mm x 800mm roll-up banner for use at their Fresher’s Fair later this month. Having never designed something so large, I was learning as I went.
With no apparent inspiration out there on the Internet for roll-up banners, I had to think in a more logical back to basics approach, which helped me to work out exactly why certain design features/tricks were used, instead of taking it for granted.
I decided to come up with two or three proposals drawing on the university’s colour scheme, trying a variety of similar grid based structures. The main things I noticed while designing is how much larger the type needs to be in order to be read from a distance and how the layout has a different priority structure from say a magazine, where low priority information is lower down where people may not even glance, with the top priority information at roughly eye-height so it always is visible.
From there, I settled on the design that was the strongest in terms of structure and visual hierarchy (the left option) and focused on refinements, producing the design below. However, late on in the project, the client informed me that they would rather use another supplier due to price reasons plus the fact they seemed more reputable. This meant the dimensions differed slightly being 1950mm x 850mm (instead of 2000mm x 800mm). Thankfully because of the design I had created, the change was easy to make with no disruption to the final piece. I’ll place some photos on the blog when the client receives it.
Facebook Group Banner
After creating the logo and roll-up banner, I already had an idea of how to transfer my ideas across to this format. With space being at a premium I displayed the club logo and slogan, as well as a second sentence reminding the audience to find out more on the website. I felt with limited space, it was best filled with photography of the fantastic scenery club members can enjoy. Choosing three photos instead of just the one allows a breadth of locations the club covers to be displayed.
I’ve addressed most other factors of the designs in broad terms here, except the typography so I thought I’d better fix that here! When looking at a suitable display typeface, I decided it should be sans-serif to project a modern feel, as well as being incredibly legible (so a thicker, heavier weight) and usable across a wide variety of formats. This all lent itself to the Nevis typeface.
At first, I hoped the Nevis typeface would actually stretch to be the only typeface needed for this project, but unfortunately it didn’t, as I wasn’t keen on the lower case set of letters, as it just looked a bit clumsy. So I searched for another typeface that would work well for print and web, was sans-serif and very legible. The end result was me coming across a typeface called Fabrica.
Well, it’s been great to work with the Aberystwyth University Hiking Club to revitalise their identity, and also to create another project for my portfolio, which has helped me to design for new formats and widen my skills. As I mentioned earlier, the next couple of blog posts I write will be tutorial based, showing the new techniques I learnt during this project.