From a workshop that we took part in with Gareth Strange from design agency John & Jane, I came away with some good tips and guidance
- Think of yourself as a brand
- Expose your work better
- Consider the order of your projects – use three solid project that stand out
- Think about your values
- Do something different
I decided to create a visual identify for myself as it is something that I had not done before. My email and university blog is under that name of Lambchops – taken from my last name of Lamb. This is something that Gareth seemed to think I should roll with. I designed a logo which would sit across my portfolio, CV, correspondence and online presence.
For the final design of this Website for WCIA I wanted it to look clean and concise, with not too much text, as the currently website if heavily cluttered. Which is something that is over powering in their website at the moment. I decided to use pretty much the same colours that were in their original website as I felt that they worked well as a colour palette, bright and cheerful. All the text was taken from their current website. I split the site up into four sub sections, though more could be added with the same layout as the others created. From the homepage from each subsection I envisioned that by clicking on the read more would take you into a more detailed page for the subjects which are “Get involved”, “Global Learning”, “Peace and Human rights” and “International development”
The overall design of the website I like. Though could have played around with the layout a lot more. I think I have met the client brief and have worked to develop a design that is informative, clean and clutter free. I have tried to keep the user in mind at all times and remembered the variety of people that may use the site.
What strikes me is how similar they all are. Ignore the colours and photos and you’ll see that most of them follow the pattern of having a big ‘hero’ image or slider at the top, and the content conforms to an obvious grid – sections are usually full width or split into two or three columns.
This modular approach makes sense for many charities as it makes it easier to tweak the design and drop new rows of content in.
What they all have in common is the big hero images that dominate the home pages of the websites. Looking into it more, I got to thinking about what makes a good big hero image?
- It’s got to add something to instantly telling your story, so something ‘metaphorical’ isn’t ideal.
- Pictures of people, or a single person are more engaging.
- Unless they’re animal charities, most charities are ultimately about people. Which is why photographing cancer research is likely to be pretty hard/boring, but Cancer Research UK do a great job of bringing their work to life by using photos of people.
- A bit of eye contact with the subject in the photo is good.
- The image should complement the words, not compete with them for attention.
- What most of the charities here tend to do is to use a more hard-hitting ‘need’ photo for their fundraising/emergency appeals, but balance that out by using more positive photos the rest of the time.
Some examples that I found of really good Hero images:
Save the children has a really nice positive image, offset to one side which leaves a good amount of space for the text.
Action for aid has a more sober image that is used, with eye contact from the child in the photo, demonstrating the need for support.
This is an example of where the words and the focal point of the image perhaps compete with each other. They’re both centred in the screen so the words cover up the children’s faces. However it works well for this website, you get a sense of the desperation of the appeal.
This research has given me plenty to think about when it comes to design my own charity website. It seems that the image is important part of the initial look of the website and something that needs to be considered carefully.
Graphic Design is the last thing the world needs!
The final project for my second year is all about us as junior designers. How we perceive ourselves and our ethics. To get us think about what kind of designer we want to be. We undertook mini projects and workshops to help us to discover what we really care about and why? What is good design to ourselves.
From the workshop with Neil, we were able to see an insight to each others ethics as well as our own. The whole basis of this project was to help us create and develop our own creative brief, CV, website and portfolio, and getting us thinking about how we see our selves and the wider world was a good starting point.
For myself it will give me a chance to really think about what kind of designer I want to be when I graduate. There lots of talk around future facing design. Were designers are conscious of issues reflecting the rest of world, and are aware of their role within that. They initiate information inspire and create awareness. To be honest its is one of the reasons why I wanted to become a graphic designer in the first place. Im aware of the powerful impact that design has to influence and inform audiences, and I want to be able to use it for good!
With a shift that has been in transition within the design profession for some years now surrounding environmental and social issues, having an option on what we feel is good design is important. With designers considering how their designs influence and effect the world its is apparent that within the graphic design profession it is clear that this ethical position is important to many designers in the field and in the business and political world. But does taking the ethical route give you less employability, as you are likely to turn down jobs offers on ethical grounds. For myself I feel that maybe there is someway that you can have an influence on these companies or business and bring something new to the table. Its about challenging views and to influence for the better good. To be better served by being part of a community and helping each other.
I’ve alway thought that if you want to live a good life and do good in the world, you’ve got to be good to yourself first. This is something that I want to evolve into my work. So good design will please my client, it will maybe help a product sell better, but most importantly it also improves life for everyone because it can be something that’s lovely in its own right. I hope to achieve this sentiment in my CV and creative brief.