Today Ellen and I had a meeting about this brief we are collaborating on. As we are both student ambassadors and progression ambassadors we decided that it would make sense for us to use our knowledge as ambassadors and write a brief together.
We spoke to Amber and Simon regarding the possibility of teaching a small group of students, and thankfully the timing was perfect and Simon asked us whether we would like to work alongside him to teach the Foundation students as well as the Extended diploma students. We jumped at the opportunity and started thinking about ideas straight away.
We started off by considering 'what is the point?' of this brief. We wanted to create a brief which was worthwhile for both of us, and referenced both of our interests in some way. As I am interested in interactive print design and Ellen loves the same design but digital, we thought that the two could work perfectly hand in hand together.
Some of the main reasons for us to carry out this brief are beneficial to us as individuals as well as our work. We both want to improve our communication skills even more and have an opportunity to interact with other year groups. This is something which we are often not really able to do, so it would be a positive start. We also want to give the students an insight into the course and the expectations, but without giving too much away.
Below are the key points we came up with when thinking about the outcomes of the brief. We want to combine print and web in some way, team up with tutors to gain a better understanding for how to run workshops successfully, and make it as interactive as we can.
Ellen and I also spoke about how we could really push the digital element of our workshop. We considered how it would be amazing to have laptops or ipads for everyone to be able to have access to. This could give them an added option of whether they would prefer print or web, and from this, we could take away some valid conclusions and analyse the percentage of people for each.
In terms of interactive print, this would directly link to my COP3 work, as I am looking at packaging and touching on how the customer reacts to a product. We also discussed the idea of the students working in pairs or groups, so that they didn't feel quite so overwhelmed or under pressure working on their own.
As we were discussing ideas, I had a thought and decided to sketch it out really quickly. I really love the idea of each student being able to place their piece of work up on the wall to create a collaborative outcome as a year group. This would also be a great way to showcase some of the work they have produced, and would also encourage more people to ask questions about the degree programme when they see that the work has been produced by Foundation and Extended diploma students. I also loved the idea of them designing a website or something along the same lines, and then asking them to post their response within a monitor display on the wall. Each individual could design a different aspect of a website and when they stick it up, it could piece together to create a fully functional website. However, considering how long it takes to teach the basics of web, this may not be achievable.
As a collaborative pair, we both came up with a few different ideas to put forward to Simon. We will be having a meeting with him soon regarding the work, so we would like to prepare as much as possible before then. We both love the idea of making it Christmas themed, and I came up with the idea of allowing the students to create their very own advent calendar on the wall. These are all possibilities which we can pitch to Simon.
We had a meeting with Simon and asked him whether our ideas were suitable for the workshop. He was really pleased with all of the ideas we came up with and loved the idea of creating an interactive advent calendar based on typography.
We mocked one of the designs up to show Simon in our meeting and started to design all of the windows to save us some time. Thankfully Simon loved the concept and wanted us to produce it. We ended up designing this work in a day, it was fast paced and we felt as though we had achieved a lot by the end of it all. Below are the dimensions and initial mock up for the layout of each advent window. We decided to adapt the design we had used on our Christmas card for Leeds College of Art, and apply it to the calendar. This therefore almost works as an extension of our previous collaboration together, and shows the versatility of the design we came up with.
As Ellen and I were walking around college, we noticed that an interactive wall had already been created by another group of students. I thought I would blog this as primary research, and feel as though we will be able to create a visually intriguing wall display with the help of the students we work with.
Below are some of the different variations we will be using to create our advent calendar. We decided that each of us should design 5 different designs for the front of each window. This would then give us 10 variations in total, which we could duplicate three times/randomly. Below are the 5 different designs I came up with. I alternated with the typography and used a serif font (helvetica) and a sans-serif font (georgia). We decided to use these two typefaces to show how they can differ. It would also get the students used to working with a variety of fonts too.
I haven't posted all of the different variations, as many of them are the same apart from the numbers on the front. This is the way we were told to lay each design out by James when we went down to the print room. We were slightly annoyed with ourselves that we hadn't considered this earlier, however we were so focused on completing the designs that it hadn't crossed our minds. It was fine though, as we were able to split the workload between the two of us and set up the files quite quickly.
When we designed the Leeds College of Art Christmas cards, we used Ellen's illustrations to create the insert. We used the insert again here to create the header for the type advent calendar. This is to be placed on the wall above all of the windows.
Below are some photographs I took whilst Ellen and I were preparing all of the work to take with us to the Foundation taster day. We had to print out 3 sets of 30 designs as we were told that the maximum amount of students in each group would be 30.
It took us quite a while to prepare everything for the workshop, but we felt as though we had achieved a lot in one day! We also decided in the end to just use the Helvetica type on the inside, as it would have got too complicated using both, and we also don't want to confuse the students too much.
Ellen was in charge of cutting each window out whilst I folded them all and placed them in organised piles in groups of three, so that at the end we were able to then collate them all together and create 3 sets of 30 cards.
I then decided to type out a brief using the same template which we use at degree level. We both thought it would be worthwhile handing out a brief to all of the students so that they could also get a feel for the requirements of the course. I didn't however make the brief very complicated as I wanted them to focus on the exercise more than studying the brief as we are going to be limited for time.
Here are all of the briefs ready to hand out in preparation for the workshop! Now we just have to hope that everyone turns up and enjoys themselves.
Below are some photographs taken from the taster day. Unfortunately on the morning of the workshop we were told that only a few people had signed up for the workshop. This was quite disappointing to hear as we had spent so long preparing all of the materials for them, however it just meant that we were able to have more time to speak to each individual student and answer any questions they have about the course. It also meant that the left over cards could be used for the next workshop we do with the Extended diploma students, so thankfully nothing was going to waste.
Here I was speaking about some of the work I produced during first and second year. I really enjoyed answering all of the students' questions and talking them through some of the projects as it was also a great opportunity for me to reflect on my work too.
Having asked all of the students to illustrate their letterform in a festive way, we were then able to ask them all to place them on the wall to create their own advent calendar. It was a shame that there weren't enough people there to create the whole calendar but I am looking forward to doing the same workshop again with ED students next Thursday to compare the outcomes and also get to know them all.
Here are all of the final outcomes. We asked them all to write their names down next to their letter form. It was great to see such a variety of outcomes. I feel as though the overall feel of the morning workshop was extremely positive and a couple of students in particular were really interested in the course and wanted to find out more. One student even asked me to look at some more of my work as she was really interested in packaging design but was really unsure about whether going to university is worth it. I persuaded her as much as I could to come to Leeds College of Art!