Thursday, 10 March 2011

Communication is a does it spread?...


During a visual  language session we were put into groups ready for the 'Communication is a virus' brief, as a group we had to come up with a skill that we each thought we could bring to the group and then from this we had to create a poster selling ourselves as a group of designers.

This was our first poster design, we decided to use the word collective to bring all our skills together and the symbols to the bottom right are the ingredients to our collective, the skills we have as a group are typography, illustration, organisation, writing/ research and idea generation. The visual qualities of the poster are probably not at their best, but we all liked the idea of having a collective which was made of the ingredients/ skills we each had to offer.

We then had the opportunity to improve the poster and the idea, so we came up with a collection of books called collective 5, i think it worked better visually and the design reflected upon the skills we had each incorporated into the group. The books looked illustrative and well organised on the shelf.

Our last poster consisted of 5 words that reflected on our group, the poster had to show what we could offer as a working group of designers, to a client. We discussed ideas of what we could give to a client and what our main assets were and we came up with five words that rounded us up as a whole. We each then wrote a word using a different typeface design to make the design visually interesting and engaging. I do feel as a group that we can offer these skills, and with this group brief, its our chance to prove just how good we are!


The Brief

You have been given a task. You are required to produce a graphics response that engages with a specific audience. Your response should consider the context and environment in which you aim for it to be delivered. You will need to identify this as part of your initial concept proposal.

You should aim to identify, analyse and use existing means of distributions in order to select an appropriate method of communication.

Tone of voice

The tone of voice should be appropriate to your content, the audience to which your work will be delivered and the context in which it will be viewed or delivered.

Mandatory requirements

Your response should remain within the legal boundaries. NB- Any activities that may cause damage, personal offence or involve acts of illegal nature are not encouraged or supported by the deliver of this brief. You must seek appropriate permission for all activities associated with this brief.


What do you want to say? How do you intend to say it? What language would be appropriate?

Will the content be communicated prmarily through type or image? If it is both what is the relationship between the two?

What are you aiming to achieve? Are you directing your audience to a website, encouraging them to attend an event? Will it be interactive or encouraging them to change their lifestyle?

A limited colour pallet, two colours plus stock, will allow for reproduction of your designs across a range of media.

You should resolve this problem by the deadline stated. However, if you have plans to extend the scope and ambition of your response beyond this deadline you should include these proposals in your presentation.


Design development sheets
Concept/ proposal appropriate to your idea

3 x A2 presentation boards identifying:
Method of delivery


Friday 11th March: First pitch...

Today we pitched our idea as a group for the 'communication is a virus' brief, we made 3 boards to show our idea, one for the concept, one for the content and the other for method of delivery. The pitch went well, we were told that the presentation boards themselves could be altered in terms of their design.

The main points made from the crit were:

- If we are trying to get people to give more then for our research we need to take part in an activity that is about giving, for example i am going to give blood and we could take something to a charity shop just as evidence that it is easy to give and to show that if we can do it then so can everyone else.

- We should look at the current market and try and approach our idea in a fresh, original way.

- We should look at free cycle and Leeds volunteering websites to research other ways of giving.

- We could look at the time it takes to 'give', for example how long does it take to give blood and try and tech people that if you have a spare hour what could you do in that time that would help someone else.

- We need to find out how many students give already (what and how much), what would make them give more.

- Following the crit we discussed ideas and what we need to do next, we made a list of things we could/ need to research and then split this into manageable do to lists, so we each had an allocated job to do over the weekend.

I am going to research giving blood and donating organs and i will also research how many charity shops there are in Leeds and where they are.


Giving blood and donating organs

96% of us rely on just 4% to give blood which saves lives. Giving blood is really easy and doesnt take much time at all. It takes about an hour in total to give blood. There are 24 blood donation centres across the UK with a huge number of mobile blood donor units stopping for sessions at your local supermarket car park.

The above images were found on the National Blood service website, its a short virtual tour of how giving blood works.

I think that a lot of students dont give blood because they feel they dont have the time or maybe they think its too much hassel, but the blood donor centre in Leeds in actually on the Headrow near The Light, which means if your popping into town to do some shopping you could easily pop in to the donor centre and spare an hour to give blood!

When you give blood, you go to the centre and register yourself, before giving blood you will then have a health screening and have to fill in a questionnaire about your health. I registered last year to give blood, i was very nervous but determined to do some good. I filled in the paper work and was taken to a room to have a haemoglobin test, unfortunately i had had a tattoo done about 2 months before coming to give blood and you have to wait at least 4 months. I was extremely gutted that i couldnt give and since then i lost the nerve to go back as i am scared of needles. But im going to go with a friend because i feel if do this now it may encourage my peers to do something amazing too, and give blood!

This is a poster i designed to promote giving blood, i have tried to keep the design simple and easy to read so that the message is straight forward. I have also tried to make the design funny and friendly by making the drops of blood into characters, i guess its a bit more light hearted. If you have a design that is eye catching and different from what you expect from the national blood service then it will attract attention and maybe get people to give blood.


Donating organs

Another way of helping is donating your organs, you can register online and can donate your organs if you were to pass away, your organs could help save anothers life when your gone. Organs such as your heart and kidneys to even your eyeballs can be donated. Many of us would be happy to accept an organ but only 26% of us are willing to donate our organs to save lives.


Charity shops in Leeds

As part of the group research i have looked at how many charity shops are in Leeds and where they are, so that if a student has a spare half an hour or if they were going shopping in town, we can inform them where the charity shops are so they could pop in and donate something. We found that there were only four charity shops in the centre of Leeds that were easily accessible to students, Scope on the headrow is a charity shop for cerebral palsy, we asked the lady who worked there a few questions:

"How often do people come in and donate things?"
"Nearly everyday"
"What is the main age group that donates to the shop?"
"It varies from young people to older people"
"What are the main things that are donated?"
"What would be useful to have donated more?"
"Anything except electrical items, as we have no one to test them"

We also found a British Heart Foundation charity shop, which is opposite the city markets. They mainly sold clothing and brick a brack. Next to the BHF charity shop there was the RSPCA charity shop, again they had a lot of clothing, but we also found downstairs that they accepted furniture for donation, which was different from the other charity shops. There used to be an Oxfam round the corner from these two charity shops but we found that it had been closed down for about a week and the closest one was now Headingley or Moortown.



This is the questionnaire that we printed out and handed around our class, as students are our target audience. We got ?? replies.

1.     In your free time do you feel you use it productively?

2.     How many hours of your free time do you think you waste in one day?

3.     What sort of things do you fill your time with?

4.     Do you give to charity?

5.     As a student do you think its hard giving away money to charity?

6.     Do you know where your local Charity shops are?

7.     If so do you ever donate anything to them?

8.     Are you an organ or blood donor?

9.     If not, is it something you are interested in?

10.  Would any of these different ways of giving to charity appeal to you, if so which ones?
. Giving Clothes
. Giving unwanted items such as technology, books and games?
. Giving blood
. Signing up for organ donation
. Giving away some artwork to generate donations
. Donating time to volunteer
. Using you skills to teach
. Helping with sporting activities for children
. Playing internet charity games
. Other - please state

The results showed that a lot of people wasted their time watching TV and some time was well spent doing uni work, when it came to giving many people said they would be happy to donate clothes to a charity shop but just hadn't got round to doing it, they were also happy to donate their organs and blood, a lot of people seemed keen to do this which is really good, now we just need to motivate them and get them to use their spare time wisely.

Group Crit

We discussed our ideas, after researching our initial idea of getting people to give more and came to a slight dead end. Our idea was to create a swap shop event where students could bring their artwork, materials and books that they no longer needed or wanted and they could swap them with other students. But we weren't sure if the event would come together and we didn't know if our idea was original, once we had researched this idea we found that everyone was doing it right now, there is the Papergirl event where artwork is given out free around Leeds. There was then an event TK Maxx were holding for Comic relief at the Town hall where artwork will be given away for free and they were asking for artwork from people. We also found websites that were swap shops, one was specifically a student swap shop online.

Another idea we had was to look at time and how some students waste time that could be spent giving. For example in the time it takes to watch Holby city, you could have given blood, and between a tv break you could have gone online and donated your organs. The idea was to make people aware of the time they were wasting and what they could be doing within this time that would be worth while.

What next...

We spoke to Amber about our ideas and discussed ways in which we could approach our problem in an original way, she said about focusing on getting people to give more time to themselves to try something new. For example Amber wants to start making lunch everyday but doesn't know what to do, how can we help Amber to make her lunches? We could motivate her, enlighten her with ideas or just come up with really simple ideas that we know would be practical for Amber.

We asked people in the class to tell us a problem they had that they would like some advice on, or even solving. A lot of the problems were to do with being active, like people wanted to go running or swimming but don't have the "time" or motivation. Our problem is their problem and our aim is to come up with a solution that will help them to give time to themselves to do what they need/ want to do.

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