Sunday, 11 October 2009

Blog Rationale

I have always been critical like every other design but this brief has offered an opportunity for me to expand my thinking and improve the way that I put my views across.
When I began the brief I did not fully take on the responsibility to put myself in a critical state of mind. As weeks went on felt myself gradually becoming more involved in the brief. I found myself analysing things during the day without meaning to which can some times spoil the moment.
Due to travelling I was not able to update the blog as I should have, instead of frequently updating it I began to take notes and analyse things that I saw as I travelled. The advantage of travelling during the time of this brief has allowed me to view other cultures in a critical way and create structured opinions on them.

I have looked into areas that are stated on the brief, and tried to link designs within each area. There were a number of deigns that I found, that cover more than one area; this did not come as a surprise as design today has to reach a wide audience and be seen on a number of levels. I may have taken them for granted previously but they have helped me to focus my mind and categorise designs into areas in my head. Each area has different aspects that I find more interesting than others, and has helped me to realise how my mind works, by seeing a trend in what I favour. As well as the areas that were stated on the brief I looked into others that I noticed whilst on my travels. In particular television adverts, which are different across the world as they are played to different audiences with differences in their behaviour and culture. I found them interesting as they did vary and met the needs of the Target audience; they may not have been so successful in other countries.

This critical thinking that I have developed during this brief has helped me to critically talk about something and do it in a structural way. Previously I used to criticise and not be able to express what I meant, which did not help people. Now I feel that I am more capable of offering advice into areas that I feel are letting down the design. This will enable me to work in groups a lot better and also help peers whilst in university or in a work situation.
I also feel that it will boost my own work because I have been more engaged with my surroundings so I have learnt from other designs. Appreciating what is around you also allows small details to become apparent, which shows how details can be important in work. More shapes and patterns that can be used in design appear more frequently, resulting in a bigger influence on my sub conscious. Apart from the more experience and knowledge that I have taken in from this brief, my critical analysis on my own work has improved. Critical analysis is a major part of a designers ability and once it is tuned properly greater results are achieved.

The blog entries are mainly about designs that I felt were good and had something about them that worked well. Maybe the whole design did not succeed completely but generally they are pretty sound designs. There were many designs that I encountered that I did not feel were good enough, and discarded them because I did not like to look at them. I felt that I should show designs that I enjoyed because it shows what I appreciate. Each blog is unique to the person and I felt mine should show current and past designs that inspire me. There are some that caught my attention and did not inspire me but I felt that they were nice designs that made me smile.

Once this brief ends it is important for me to continue what I have learnt and try to get better at critical analysis. The blog will still be a tool that I could use to express my opinions and get a response. My opinion may be completely different from an others and it would be useful to see how they view a design, to get a better understanding of the fuller picture. This brief has allowed people to compare views and discuss them, but I feel it is important especially at university to continue with this. As this is the learning ground and the chance to interact more freely, so the opportunity needs to be taken advantage of.

I have enjoyed taking part in this brief and as I have stated I will continue to use the skills that have used during it. Hopefully I will be able to notice how these skills influence my work and I hope that my results will be improved on all levels.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Ford kinetic design advert

This advert has recently been showed on television, like most car adverts it is cleverly designed. The Idea behind the new ford range is that they look like they are moving even when they are not. This is a clever concept and I think that Ford have failed to produce a car that looks like it is moving. Many cars are following a similar shape and design style and Fords do not seem to be any different. The advert is what caught my attention; it shows a Ford driving through streets and then zooms out showing that it is not real life but actually a green screen with a video being played over it. This meets the concept that Ford were trying to achieve and demonstrates exactly what the company want. It is a very clever and original idea that I feel has been very successful.
Christchurch museum

This is another museum that I visited whilst n my travels, inside it had an exhibition about Captain Cook. The man who navigated to New Zealand and mapped the country, before continuing to discover other lands such as Australia. The exhibition was very impressive and I learnt a lot more about the man and the methods that were used to reach the other side of the world. Seeing things and learning more about the past was very inspirational and made me appreciate how far a man can push himself. His achievements put things into perspective and make you realise that stepping into the unknown can pay off.

Timaru museum

This museum is only small and concentrates on the city of Timaru in New Zealand. There are pieces of Maori culture and the history behind them; as well as history into wildlife. A section of the museum that caught my attention and imagination was the Richard Pearce section. This is about a man who is said to have achieved flight before the Wright brothers. This story was very interesting and has not been publicised as much as it should have, probably due to political reasons. Apparently the Wright brothers accepted that Richard Pearce did achieve flight first, but the brothers maintain the fact that they were the first to achieve controlled flight. The museum had a scaled model of the plane that is apparently the first flying machine. This story sparked my imagination and made me appreciate how anything is possible.

Ali G Indahouse

This is one of my favourite films, not because of brilliant lighting or anything to do with how it was filmed technically, because I am aware that it is lacking. It is the sheer fun of the film and how it can entertain you over and over. It is not to some peoples taste but this film always makes me walk away with a massive smile. The character Ali G is something that I have always seen as genius, because when he was created it was ahead of its time and the vision of Sacha Baron Cohen to create him was brilliant. The attitude of Ali G and the persona that is given is all very cleverly done and has boosted Sacha into stardom. The film will always be a favourite of mine and allows me to relax and not have to think about deeper meanings. It is a tool for relaxation and enjoyment, which makes it an important film to me.
Postal gold

These adverts are extremely annoying and very poorly presented; there are ranges of companies that are competing in this area. Each offer the same service, and present themselves in a horrible way that makes you feel that they are not legitimate. The graphics and imagery used are not tasteful and the whole design of all of the companies is horrible. Envirofone offer a similar service but in a different field, and their campaign worked a lot better; due to the better use of imagery and colours.
The Cock Inn

This is a local pub in my hometown. It was always a dirty run down place that I would avoid when possible. It recently received a complete refit and new management. What interested me the most was the exterior; which did not alter apart from new windows. The way that the pubs name was rendered offered something that I had not seen in a while, the classic style public house. Just from the painted sign on the wall it offered a lot more warmth and traditional values; that I appreciated as it is lost in some places due to Weatherspoons. The new style of pub/bars is increasing in popularity as they offer cheaper food and drink.
New style food adverts

New Zealand, Australia and U.S.A all have an advert that has a similar feel. They are food adverts promoting a product but showing what you can cook by using the product. This idea I feel helps to show the diversity of the product that is trying to be sold. The problem that I have with them is the feel of the advert; it feels tacky and doesn’t make me feel it is of a high quality. This style of ad has recently been introduced into U.K television, most notably Sharwoods; who show how to make a curry dish using one of their curry sauces. These ads try to show a different way of cooking something but I don’t feel that they are very successful.
Touch screen mobile phones

Following the constant development of mobile phones over the past decade, I feel that the diversity and range of available phones will decrease. The increasing popularity in touch screen mobiles sales has seen more choices. The variation is not as diverse as it once was. I fear that the market will eventually become flooded with touch screen technology and the classic mobile will become unfavourable. As the buttons are within the screen space, there is no room to design buttons in a physical sense. There is only so much that ca be designed to look original and fresh, when it follows the touch screen model. Applications will become more of an attraction, instead of the style of a phone. Apple has the brand recognition that has already proven to be a massive benefit to the company.
Leeds university portal

The portals recent revamp has improved what was a boring and uninviting area on the Internet. The improvements do make the portal more aesthetically pleasing than it was but the original was not good at all in my opinion. For a university as big as Leeds you expect a certain standard to be maintained across the board the website and portal fail to achieve this. The enhancements are better but there is still a way to go to make the site interesting and appealing. The site does not inspire me.

This is a very clever idea that has created a new market out of something that became a waste product. I believe the concept works very well and the advertising campaign that they used worked well. It clearly stated what they were about and made it very simple for the consumer to accept and conform to it. The website followed the same principles of simplicity. I have sent phones to Envirofone and received a substantial amount for an item that I regarded as useless. The simplicity of finding out how much the mobiles were worth and the stages that were necessary to receive money made the decision easy to send phones and reap the rewards. Other companies have followed envirofones concept, but I feel that this company have successfully achieved and filled the niche.
Absolut voka website

I stumbled across this website whilst reading an article on the Guardian website. Its branding has always been something that I have enjoyed and the website is very up to date and stylish. It has a menu that is inspired by a washing line, and when you select an option it is brought forward. It works extremely well and does not let down the brand name that has been built up so well in recent years.
Nike id website

This website has been around for a few years now, and has always been the playing ground for young boys to customise the foot wear available. Having the ability to customise footwear offers a unique service that adds to the website. People in todays society wish to be different and have more choices, this site meets the demands of the consumer. Also it is something that helps to pass the time and can be a fun application. The site works very well and is clear to operate, which adds to the enjoyment of customising the footwear.
Absolut vodka ice bar

There are only two official Absolut Ice bars in the world, one is in Sweden and one is in London. Others are across the world but Absolut were the first to use the concept and maintain the opinion that theirs are the best. When I went to the ice bar I was a bit sceptical about the whole idea, paying to go and drink in a freezer did not sound the ideal place. When you enter they give you a poncho that is insulated (the same ones that they use in the ice hotel). Everything is how it says, the walls are covered in ice, the chairs are made out of ice, the bar is made from ice and the glasses are made from ice. We only stayed in the bar for 45 minutes as it began it get uncomfortable. I did enjoy the experience and would recommend people to go just for the experience.
Corona magazine advert

This is a magazine advert that caught my attention because of its textural qualities. The advert is an image of a beach, umbrella, sea and sun, with a bottle of Corona in the corner. It was a full-page advert in full colour, with the added extra of the sand having a rough texture. This simple method of altering a surface made the advert memorable to me, which is a fundamental part of advertising.

BBC Iplayer

A revolutionary online website that has taken television to its inevitable place, the Internet. When this came out a couple of year ago it lead the way in how an online library of TV entertainment should be. ITV tried to create their own version but did not succeed in the same way. This may be down to the speed their response. Channel Four have achieved a better website which can compete with the Iplayer. The navigation around Iplayer is extremely good as is the quality. Iplayer has lead the way for the BBC shows to be broadcast live onto the Internet as well as the TV-Match of the Day 2 for example. It has become yet another platform for the BBC to reach out to a wider audience.

This is one of the best DJ’s in the world who has consistently been in the top 3 in the world for the past 5 years. The music that he plays is not to everyones taste but to me it offers a very unique feeling. Not only does he produce music that sells in the millions across the world but his live performances are key to why he is regarded as one of the best. Just listening to his music builds me up and gives me more adrenalin to exert, which is beneficial when things begin to get on top of you. It allows you to release and this helps to clear the mind and stimulate the brain to be more productive.
Wembley ticket

I went to watch England versus Croatia in a world cup qualifier match. We won in an impressive fashion. It was the first time that I had been to the new Wembley and was very excited, as I had heard how it was incredible, in terms of design, and atmosphere. I had the impression that everything would be perfect down to the last detail. When I received my ticket I was disappointed. It was a boring uninteresting ticket, with nothing to interest the consumer. This may seem a strange observation but when something is built up so much and you receive a ticket for one of Englands most important games in recent years, you expect something more.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Apple Tablet

This is the future of apple computers. The sleek design is to be expected from Apple but the technology that it incorporates is not revolutionary, as Microsoft has already had the Microsoft table in production for a number of years. There are other tablet laptops that have been around for a while but this is the first touch screen that Apple have designed as a computer. The success of the ipod touch and iphone are promising signs for how the apple tablet will be accepted. The touch technology will hardly differ from the current touch products that they produce, which will be beneficial to Apple as they can use a component that has already been tried and tested.
Drugs advert – big eyes

This is an interesting idea that the government have pursued, I was not aware of the ad until my dad told me about it. It was a few days before I viewed it in a bar, so I could not hear the narrator over the noise of the place. But I understood what the ad was about and felt that it was a subject that had not been addressed properly in recent times. I understand why they are now campaigning against driving whilst under the influence of drugs as there is an increased amount of drug taking in the country. Also just addressing the subject would have been important even if the amount of people taking drugs didn’t increase. I did feel that the perception of the ad, implying that everyone in the car had taken drugs was a little strange as not all young people take drugs. Thinking about it the reason with why they made everyone in the car wide eyed was to provide maximum impact.
Instant chat on websites for assistance

This is something that I have only encountered in the past couple of days, it is a function on certain websites that allows you to ask for assistance and speak to someone who works for the company. I first encountered it on virgin media and then on T mobile today. At first I was concerned with the safety of it as I felt that it could be an external source trying to gain access to y information. I trusted the source and found it to be a very helpful feature as they are also capable of pointing out the best deals and what would benefit you the most. In my opinion it is a clever step to incorporate this into websites that offer a service that can sometimes be misunderstood. Linking with the current popularity of online chat it is a very clever and useful device that I am sure will be developed and be an integral part of websites in the future.


This is a relatively new piece of software created by Intel. Its format is similar to iTunes in terms of downloads and the way it operates. It has made apple worried as it their dominance in this field that is under threat. Spotify runs on similar principles and has a similar feel, but allows you to listen to music for free whilst online. There is a download facility if you join the premium membership- this costs a subscription fee. This piece of software is gaining support and is showing a new side to digital music. If you are on a standard membership then whilst listening online you have to listen to adverts that come on in between songs. This is a small price to pay for the catalogue of music available to you. I feel that it has a lot of potential and can be developed further, as at the moment it is still relatively standard. There are a few other pieces of software similar to Spotify that are also changing the way music is thought about online.

Joan Miro

One of the first artists that I looked at when I was at school after looking at Picasso, and other famous artists that are thrust upon you at school. The reason why he appealed to me is because of his use of colour and shapes that offer meaning that is not first understood. Most of his work is very bold and can be interpreted in different ways depending on the viewer. His gallery in Barcelona was very enjoyable and the bold style truly comes through when you see the scale of his work. He comes from Barcelona that has an impressive tradition in art and culture. His work inspires me to step over lines and not be afraid to try something even if it may fail. His work helps me to release the strange ideas that all designers have but suppress, as they may seem to be so strange that they be difficult to understand or to be useful.

Rita Angus

Rita is an artist that I recently came across in Auckland Art Gallery, I have always been a fan of stylised art and the majority of her work is done in this style. She is one of the most famous and popular artists in New Zealand. The country that she lived in offers so many incredible places to express artistic flair. Her work is mixed across most areas of interest, portraits, landscapes, etc. the reason I link stylised art over more conventional realism is because I liked to view the world in a different way, and artists must be viewin the world through a different mind to break down the different clouors and textures in the picture. Also the simplicity of it makes it appealing to me as I regard simplicity as a very import quality that can be exploited and benefited from.


A film that is based on a true story told by an ex gang member; Gomorra is the Naples equivalent of the Sicilian Mafia. The film is in Italian so for many people subtitles are required; I don’t see this as a negative because there are many great foreign films that are of a different language. I feel it gives a different viewing experience that many find to make it special. The film is pretty brutal and the fact that it is based on real events makes it an eye opener. I recommend it to anyone who likes gangster films, also to people who enjoy realistic films that are not based on fantasy.

VB is one of the most popular beers in Australia and consumed by a wide audience. This advert is specific to its Australian audience but could be used on a wider international stage as the different audiences that the ad refers to are generally found in western countries. I think that it is a good advertisement and achieves its goal by showing that it is a beer for the people and is happy about being that. It is not trying to be something that it is not, it is just a beer. This marketing mentality from the company also offers a more personal and friendly feel that many Australians would appreciate.
Toyota bugger

Another ad that was not appreciated in the design world but was very effective and linked to the Target Audience. It shows the humour and the way of life in New Zealand, which is the most important thing. The different segments work well. They could be used as singular ads that briefly interrupt the standard length ads, or it could be used as a whole. The ad becomes diverse.
Speights - anywhere north of here

This shows how the company understand their T.A. and have continued with there brand identity. It is an advert that people who are from the country will understand and be amused by. On lookers may not see the funny side of it but the key to the ad is how it communicates with the T.A. using typical stereotype southern New Zealanders, amusing simple imagery and dialog that comes together to meet and achieve what it is meant to.
Tooheys New White Stag Carb Relief 60 second Advertisement

This advert caught my attention straight away and made me smile. What surprised me was how obvious they were in their approach to how Americans are perceived. Australia is a very physically active country that does not have a big issue in terms of obesity. America being the fattest nation in the world is a fitting target but the way in which they approach it is comical. It is meant to be taken in a light hearted manner but at the same time you feel that it’s a bit cheeky and would not be allowed in England due to not being politically correct.


One of my favourite films of recent years, that has come from one of the best graphic novels of all time. The story is set around the cold war era, in an alternative universe, which has many similarities to our current world but with the exception of costume heroes and Dr Manhattan. The film follows how these retired costume heroes who used to fight crime are being murdered, which unfolds a greater plan that will result in the safety of the world. I had read the graphic novel before watching the film so I was aware of the story line, but the way that it was filmed was very powerful and made it a very inviting film. The brutality that is evident in the novel was portrayed well and the style of the film matched the dark qualities of the novel. In my opinion it is a must see film, I understand it will not be to everyones tastes but with the current superhero popularity in films I feel that most would enjoy it. Another aspect of the film that is a success is the music that is used which enhances the film and any music lover will enjoy the diversity and quality of the tracks. This film gave me the experience that you want when you are watching and leaving the cinema, as you find yourself involved in the film. Questioning meanings and trying to understand and solve what is happening. As I have said it is one of my favourite films and I recommend people to watch it.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Bahrain World Trade Centre

This is a new building that I encountered on my travels that made an instant impact as soon as I first saw it. Sails and the sailing tradition of the Arab nations have influenced it like so many new buildings in the Arab countries. It consists of two towers that are linked at the bottom of the structure, with an entrance that follows a similar theme. Both towers work in unison arcing upwards to a central point, never meeting but when looking at it you make the connection in your head. The use of material works extremely well also and the building all comes together to be a very aesthetical and impressive building. The key feature that caught my attention was the engineering aspect, because the design incorporated three wind turbines that help to power the building. I had never witnessed wind turbines on a building and it made me see a whole new range of possibilities. The vision and ability to incorporate the turbines shows why creativity is so impressive and inspirational.

Wynn Hotel Las Vegas

This hotel is my favourite on the Las Vegas strip, and considering that there are some extremely impressive and unique buildings along the strip there must have something special about it. I think the reason why it stood out was its effortless style. It is different to all of the over the top extravagant themed hotels that dominate the sky line. The gracious curves are very simple but offer so much to the eye. These key aesthetical features are what attracted me to it. This is another building that encouraged me to look more into design, making it important to me in my initial steps of finding what I wanted to do in my future. This is not a small building either and it proves that size does not always detract attention from aesthetical qualities. Also how a relatively simple design can be as impressive if not more impressive than a complex design. The completely coloured mirrored glass that covers the structure also shows how the single use of a material can make a big statement - and with the Nevada sun nearly all year round it is a clever choice.

Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque

This is an incredible structure that can only truly be appreciated when visited. Imagery shows how grand it is and the basic form of the building but in intricate detail of every aspect within and outside are not possible to see. This did intrigue me and I truly saw the beauty in typography, as it was within the interior design as part of the décor. Arabic is possibly the most beautiful typeface that there is, as the shapes that are formed through the words are incredible. The use of Arabic in décor is only a small part of the interesting feature that the mosque embraces. The domes that help to make an impressive exterior are a sight to behold, with variations in sizes and decorative qualities on them. There are so many inspiration qualities that can be gained from looking at Arabic buildings, I feel this mosque epitomises traditional Arabic design and qualities.

Chrysler building

This building is one of the reasons why I first looked into becoming a designer, so I have always felt this to be a major influence and a special building. There are many skyscrapers around the world all having different attributes. I do not dispute this is just my preference but the inspiration that it gave me is unique. The top of the Chrysler building is the most iconic and memorable feature of the building, with the arching sections getting small to create the point at the stop of the building. This contrasts with the bottom of the building where the form is much squarer and does not offer anything to interesting apart from the staged decrease in size to the central tower. Combining straight edges and curved edges at the top add an intriguing spectacle that everyone can appreciate. It offers a solid base that symbolises stability and the more creative curved edges show that unique and original qualities are as important. Also the gothic influenced gargoyles add a different aspect and feature, as they are not generally regarded in the same way as they used to be centuries ago.

Oslo Opera House

This building is very inspirational to me. The first time that I saw it I instantly loved it. At first looks it is an impressive building, with clean edges and a stylish feel that Scandinavian design inspires. Also initially I felt a connection with the Sydney Opera House, in the way that people could navigate around it and also the location by the water. The design allows people to walk on the roof, as some parts seem submerged, this is how it is at Sydney. A different aspect that I enjoy is the different stages as you make your way up the construction. It is staged and different platforms are clear. These offer different viewing points which offer different use for the opera house as the exterior can offer more in tourism by offering this facility.


The following will show architecture that has influenced me