APP1: Land Speed Record – Proposal & Brief

For the first of my APP’s (Advanced Practical Project) I have written up a brief and detailed proposal for the project I am to commence with.

University of Kent at K College

  • Course:                 BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Module:                 Advanced Professional Practice
  • Project:                 1 of 2


  • Date Set:             Monday 30th September 2013.
  • Deadline:             Friday 20th December 2013.

Theme: Adventure

Background Knowledge

The Absolute Land Speed Record marks the highest speed achieved on land by a four-wheeled vehicle under full control of a driver. Ever since the automobile’s invention, many have undertaken an adventure to claim this prestigious record.  As the years have progressed, so has the engineering effort and speed achieved.

Thrust SSC set the current record on 15th October 1997 at 763.035mph, faster than the speed of sound. While there have been a few small-scale challengers, no one has yet broken this record. However, on 28th October 2008, Bloodhound SSC, an ambitious British team, announced a plan to claim the record. Two targets are set, both creating a lot of publicity along the way. The first is to reach 1000mph. The second is to share their adventure through a school education program to inspire a new generation of British scientists and engineers.

The Brief

Who is the client?

The Beaulieu National Motor Museum, which houses over 250 automobiles and motorcycles including several Land Speed Record vehicles.

What is the issue?

While interest in the Bloodhound SSC project is at an all-time high, the illustrious heritage of the record is disappearing and not particularly visible, as there is surprisingly minimal information out there.

How to solve the issue?

Create a series of posters that illustrate the extreme and magnificent land speed record vehicles that have achieved their aim, as well as the current Bloodhound SSC.

These should be posters that will likely be collected and displayed by the audience.

Who is the audience?

The initial target is anyone with an interest in the Absolute Land Speed Record, but the aim is to capture the interest of anyone into automobiles, motorsport, or on a wider scale, major engineering achievements. This will make for an especially varied audience.

How should the design come across?

Informative, Accessible, Attention grabbing, Atmosphere, Sense of adventure.

Technical Requirements

A set of large-scale posters. (The size and number of which will be defined during research.)

Advanced Practical Project: Proposal

What do I intend on creating and why?

I intend on producing a set of posters that can be used to highlight the history and evolution of the vehicles that has occurred over the Absolute Land Speed Record’s illustrious history, defining the efforts that are gone through during their adventure into the unknown.

On a personal level, I have become ever more interested in the Bloodhound SSC project as it has progressed, which has inspired me to find out more about the history and the scale of the effort that goes into making an Absolute Land Speed Record and I think that more people would be interested if they knew more about the subject, like I did. This is why I think a display piece is the best way to create interest in the topic, as by being well designed, it will attract more attention and be something that sticks in people’s minds.

I have never fully ventured into illustration before so this project will help me to learn new skills and hopefully make for an excellent personal portfolio piece.

Research (Absolute Land Speed Record)

Books: I am expecting this to be a very reliable source of information, as these will be published resources, so I will need to find out if there are any books about this subject.
These are most likely to either focus on the subject as a whole, or a specific vehicle.

Automotive Magazines: These often provide the latest news on projects, such as with the progression of the Bloodhound SSC. Sometimes magazines will run features about topics that are interesting, mark an anniversary, or fits in with current events.

Documentaries: I am aware that there have been at least two television documentaries, one about Thrust 2, and the other about Thrust SSC, looking into not only the vehicles, but also the human effort needed in order to break the Absolute Land Speed Record.

Websites: The place where the highest majority of my information (text and images) will come from, as it will allow me to search through so much more. I will need to make sure however, that the information is reliable.

Research (Graphic Design & Illustration)

Websites: A way of looking through a vast quantity of contemporary, cutting edge inspiration that is relevant. I will be searching for inspiring designs.

Books: Likely to be dedicated to the subject of poster design, which means in one place there should be a high amount of good quality examples that can inspire me.

Posters: As I am going to be creating a series of posters about the subject I have chosen, it makes sense that I find out what else is out there that I can analyse in order to take inspiration from and to assess if there is any competition out there.

Information Graphics: As one part of the design will be to convey information in a legible, structured, but beautiful manner, I will turn my attention to analysing information graphics where this is their primary function in order to work out what makes them so successful.

NB: The above resources are starting points, so these may alter as the project progresses.

Experimentation & Ideas

Experimentation is a highly essential part of the project in order to help me explore the design options open to me, and help me to create an impressive design.  To experiment I will probably start with mind maps to assess the possible project directions, before advancing through various stages of sketches, refining them as I go, before creating digital mock-ups to assess ideas, which will lead to the final piece.


To receive the feedback I need to help me ensure the designs are not only as visually pleasing as possible, but suitable for the audience, I will speak to both tutors, other students and audience members for their thoughts. By including the audience in this, I can build up an idea of whether I am progressing correctly. Through previous projects I have found dialogue to be a very important way of developing my work and checking if it is suitable or not.

I will also use critical theory to explore relevant visual communication theories and metaphorically deconstruct designs for analysis, and document these findings.

Documenting & Reflecting

I will use my blog to document the creative process with regular blog posts. Also, to ensure my working practices are suitable, some of my blog posts will focus on me taking time to reflect on this. This will either take the form of being a written evaluation, documenting dialogue with my tutors, or documenting interim crits where I receive feedback.


To realise this project, I will need to think about whether there are any possible costs the project will carry with it. I believe the only cost will come from the printing of these, and how much that will be will determine on the size of the posters and location of printing.

Production Schedule and Contingency

With regards to the schedule, now I have more experience of handling larger projects I am confident that this schedule is accurate and reliable. I also have to factor into the timetable the other projects I am working on, as they will take time, and therefore mean I spend longer on each project than if I just worked solely on one project. I have also added contingency time into the schedule to enable me to correct any issues if they occur.

Week Date Research Experiment Ideas Design Realising Finalise
1 21/10  x
2 28/10  x
3 4/11  x x
4 11/11 x x
5 18/11 x x
6 25/11 x
7 2/12 x
8 9/12 x
9 16/12 x x