Constellation PDP

This Second academic year of constellation studies has been a better experience than the first year, it has given us more knowledge and is also very useful in the practice of graphic communication design. During first term I spent my study group learning critical material culture which was very interesting and something I got very interested in. The formative essay I wrote it on Critical design which was first introduced by Dunne and Rabby. The question for the essay was “How do designers get a positive reaction from a negative action”. I found it interesting that in Critical design designers design in a negative manor but the audience will be persuaded to do a positive reaction. This is seen in charity campaigns and smoking packaging but I wanted to focus deeper into this to see if there is two sides of this strategy. In the conclusion I agreed that Critical design was effective but only when used correctly and used for a certain brief. The feedback was positive but I did feel that I could of done a lot better because I was very interested in the topics I choose.

Second term in our study groups we started to prepare ourselves for our dissertation proposal. Before we started the group sessions we met individually with our tutor to discuss our choice of topic for our dissertation. I decided after learning so much on critical design in the formative essay that Persuasion would be a nice topic to focus on. Eventually I decided on the question for my dissertation which was “how can graphic designers persuade us?.” The reason for this question was that when learning about critical design I found it fascinating how designers can change peoples outcomes and make up their minds by their persuasive techniques on their work. In the preparation sessions we had the chance to share our ideas with the group and our tutor, doing so gave me some good feedback and other options to focus on. Closer to the Easter holiday we were given literature suggestions by the tutor to add on top of our own reading list which was very helpful in my case because as I started researching into persuasion I realised how big the field is and the numerous things I needed to research. Fortunately by the end of the second term I was ready to write my dissertation proposal.

Unlike my other essays I wrote my dissertation proposal differently because of all the information and knowledge I have on the topic. I started similar to any essay wrote everything that came to mind from introduction to conclusion. My research has been a long process and I have learnt countless things from the psychological aspect of persuasion, the designers techniques in designing to manipulate to the ways of categorising persuasion which is known as the three C’s, Control, Convince and Convert. Following my research I added a literature review on the books I have read to date. I wrote about the most helpful in certain aspects of persuasion and discussed what I needed to read next. After finishing the conclusion with 5000 words I looked back over the work and added more to it. When reading over the research I realised that I could propose the structure plan for the essay. This meant that I could propose which likely topic would be in certain chapters of the dissertation.

Looking back over the dissertation proposal I am very amazed on how much I have discovered while researching and it shows in the dissertation that I have discovered various facts on different views on Persuasion which is very helpful when it comes to answering the proposed question. The gathered information has the views from each side from the graphic designers point of view, the psychological side and also the effects on the audience of the work which is crucial in writing a successful dissertation. But also after reading over the dissertation proposal I can see what I need to improve on and what I need to focus my research on to in the next few weeks. From looking at the proposal it seems that I have got a healthy view on the psychology side but for the designer and the effects on the audience I suggest that there is a lot more needed because in the critical design formative essay, I found that not everyone agrees with certain techniques and this would be similar with certain strategies found for this dissertation. Another thing that I need to keep thinking about is the amount of research I have done and is it enough to support different aspects of persuasion and is there enough of it to fill a 10,000 word essay.

To develop myself ready to write the dissertation I will need to make sure that I have read the proposed books that I wrote in the dissertation and advanced my knowledge further to make sure that I can support different views on persuasion. Another way I can develop myself ready for the dissertation is to look over any books that I have already read to make sure I don’t miss any crucial information or explanations. On a whole I know what I need to focus on next for my dissertation and luckily I have the time to do so.

Second year has been a lot more challenging looking back especially preparing for the dissertation because the research involved is greater and different to any other essay I have written. But it has been a very interesting year because although it has been challenging I have learnt many new things and also found a topic that I have come to really enjoy. By doing this dissertation it will hopefully make me understand the science and the skills needed to be successful in manipulating the audiences with my graphic design work. By the end of the dissertation in a years time I will be able to use what I have learnt while doing this into my own work in University and also the future in the practice of graphic design.


Persuasion: HEALTH

“Persuasion attempts to influence people’s beliefs,
attitudes, intentions, motivations, or behaviours in
relation to an event, idea, object, or other person(s).”

For the next few weeks before Easter break we are starting a new brief called Persuasion. In this brief we are asked to design a campaign on a cause. Firstly we had to sign up to a group and I went for Health because I already had the light bulb moment when the brief asked for us to create a campaign and I instantly thought about my closest campaign which is organ donations.

A reason for choosing organ donation is not only the fact I’ve received a Kidney Transplant but also people don’t understand the importance of it and specially in Wales many people don’t understand the new law of Presumed Consent where an individual has to opt out instead of opting into the organ donation register. As I know a lot about this topic I can bring new light and different perspective to the campaign.

Over the last 20 years my family and I have worked closely with Kidney Wales Charity and they have produced some very strong campaigns on organ donations which would help with my research into the topic.


Penguin Project: Animal Farm Covers and Typeface

Before I can go to start designing I need to do some research on other Animal Farm book covers.

Image result for animal farmImage result for animal farm

Image result for animal farm book covr

In my research I instantly noticed that mostly every book cover of Animal Farm was quite similar to each other because they use visuals of a Russian Propaganda poster like this:

Image result for russian propaganda

All three examples above are very similar to this poster using the red and yellow colours and also a very bold and strong hierarchy of the typeface and imagery. Another massive similarity is the constant use of pigs on the front covers. Instantly my mind is trying to find new ways of pursuing this project without using the use of animals in the book cover unless used very distinctly. Also the use of Russian Propaganda is a very useful idea because the novel represent the Soviet Union but I believe there other ways we could betray this in the cover other than using propaganda imagery. I also think that the clue for a successful and also alternative book cover look for this book is hidden inside the story itself. By using a symbol  or an idea from the novel itself it would be possible to betray in the cover. Typography on the other hand I think would work if used a Russian typeface like Kroftsmann.

Image result for kroftsmann typeface


which is a army typeface which would sit perfectly in sink with the army like force Napoleon has on the Farm. If I moved off of the use of propaganda visuals and still used this typeface it would still make the reader realise and relate to the Russian Soviet Union idea. Before deciding on using this typeface I will start sketching ideas and when it comes to the narrowing down process I will start thinking of my typeface choice.

TERM 2 FIELD: Information is Power

Last term i was experiencing field in a completely different but exciting project. This term I’m back within the industry of Graphic design. In field we will be learning and doing a group and individual projects on Information design.

Information design is the practice done to design data and fact into a more effective and useful presentation. This could be presented in Animation, posters and other forms such as 3d sculptures.

It was established as a term for Graphic design in the 1970s when the Pentagram design company from London mentioned it but information design has been around since the 1869 when Charles Joseph Minard a French Civil engineer designed a map to show Napoleon’s 1862 campaign army.

Image result for charles minard

In this map it shows the volume of numbers of the soldiers from start to finish of his travels and also a map of where they walked with the names of the places tagged along the lines. The brown line as it goes from left to right shows how much soldiers they had walking to the bridge and the black is how many came away fro the battle. it shows the staggering image of the loss of people in the return from the battle.

Another historic information design is the London Underground map designed by Harry Beck back in 1931.


This was very clever piece of design because the designer has made London simpler to navigate. Also it shows how colours are crucial to make mapping clear to understand. This design is also still being used today in London and has been developed for other countries across the globe such as New York, Paris and Prague.

We were set a task in groups of threes and in this task we had to make our own information designed piece of working using the class. We had the question: What are your guilty pleasures? The class then wrote on post-it notes their guilty pleasures and then afterwards we added them into categories which were Food, Leisure, Gaming, Media Consumption, Smoking and Drinking, Music and Gross stuff. From the categories we decided to show the information by counting one person as 1inch and from the number of people in each group we made a square.


6 people choose food as a guilty pleasure. So the square would be 6inches

The layout system was very accurate and showed the information clearly but we could of helped it easier by adding the number of people in each category by putting it on the square. We had one answer which was a strong answer against the question and for this we wrote it upside down so it showed that the message is against the question.


In the afternoon session we were set into mixed groups of three to do a week task. In our groups we had to gather data and come up with three different outcomes. I was put into a group with an Animator and a fellow Graphic Designer. After 30mins we came up with the idea to gather information on where do students live in the Cardiff council states example Gabalfa, Cathays and Roath. Then from this we will also ask how they get to university which could be bike, car or walking and then last question would be what kind of building to you live in, so house, flat, halls etc. After gathering back together we had 57 student answers and all were different. We finished the day by counting and sorting out the data and getting ideas of how we could split the data up into three.


FIELD: Prototype

After deciding on the design I wanted to move forward with I went on to further develop and get some accurate measurements done.

I wanted the shelve to be 500mm in height and width and then a depth of 300mm which is the max measurement aloud on this brief. After final adjustments I went to the wood shop to start making a prototype of the shelve to see if my designs and measurements are working with each other. A prototype is an early sample or model of the product to test it’s concept and is used to learn from before doing the real build.

To make this Prototype I would be using a cheap engineered wood called MDF- Medium density Fibre board which is made by using broken down fibres from hard or soft wood and mixed with a binding resin.



Firstly I cut the wood to accurate measurements then after doing that I moved on to measure out the cut for the slot joint. The reason I wanted to make a slot joint was to make it an easy product to build and if it went on to mass production it could be sold as a flat pack. The sheet of MDF was 500mm in height and width of 300mm. To make the slot I needed to find the centre point which was 150mm then make a line from 150mm to the edge of the MDF. Then with the other board I measured the thickness and added that to the board. I did this to the other board as well, this will let the Horizontal and Vertical board slot together nicely and flush with each other.



This step was the tense bit of the build because even though the build is simple, the product is built only using these two slots so they need to be accurately cut and also should be aligned perfectly to make sure that the shelve wasn’t slanting to one side. To cut this slot I used a band saw and cut straight down the lines then moved the saw out from the cut. This only left to cut lines parallel to each other, this is shown on the board (top Right). To get this slot cut clean I had to travel back down the grooves and bend the blade into the waste wood and doing this again on the opposite groove which then overlapped making the waste wood to fall out. (Example of this cut is on the second board on the bottom left). To clear the remaining waste I used the band saw and cut a number of lines which made the wood weak and when sanding it they fell out.



Eventually after the sanding the waste wood from the slot it was time to slot the wood pieces together.

I was pleased with the outcome of the prototype because it gave me the necessarily feedback I needed to start the build with the proper material and it was a good experience to learn how to use the band saw. It wasn’t a complete success because the slots were slightly wider than the thickness of the wood, this caused the slot to be less tight around the wood which made gaps which is visible in the images. To stop this looseness I made some quick fix pegs to make it work better, but from doing this prototype it has gave me an idea of how to avoid this in the real construction of the product.


Constellation: Speculative Everything and Paraphrasing

Critical is not necessarily negative. It can also be a turn away from what exist, a language, wishful thinking, a desire and even a dream.

Critical design is a testimonial to what could be and offers alterative that highlight weakness within existing objects. Humour is an example of what could be found while using negativity and it creates a positive way of using negativity.

Example of this is Dunne & Raby who uses design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of current and emerging technologies. Its practice is centred on Critical Design, a critical theory approach to design.

“Huggable Atomic Bomb” – Dunne & Rabby

Another example of Critical design is these teddies:

Although these teddies are designed from negativity and they are quite unpleasing but from negativity there is positivity and in this example these teddies could be useful when teaching kids about diseases and also brings awareness. It also makes something dark seem more brighter.

In this session we were also ask to paraphrase a quote from the read “Speculative Everything”.



Many designers assume that design is the answer to make everything nice and pleasing but no designer wants to fabricate a ugly or dark product. But this doesn’t let the mind explore and engage with complexities in human nature. The creative industry need to realise that using negative or dark themes within design can persuade or make people to take action and from that negative action it produces a positive reaction.

This session has given me great understanding of how to persuade people. At the start it sounds wrong to think of negative things and thoughts but you come to understand from that negative action the designer creates it makes a positive reaction. It is a strong persuasive tool to kick people into action.