GDF – S2 – 2011

Conduct research / Evaluate the nature of design in a specific industry context

Will ~ Graphic Visuals & Your Workplace Environment

by blkthread

In my report i will look at the relationship between interior graphics and visuals and the workplace atmosphere. What makes a comfortable working environment, and how you can create an inspiring space, stimulating work ethic. Graphic styles and the relationship to the type of work that will be undertaken in that environment. Universal do’s and dont’s of interior graphics.


The Apple of my eye ~ Will Neill

by blkthread

When it comes to successful packaging i don’t think anything can surpass Apple, as obvious as it is i think it needs to be mentioned. Its the simplicity that has made Apples packaging so well known. Generally just a front on image of the product, usually to scale will sit prominently on the box with the product name in simple bold text, sitting on a clean matt either black, white or grey background. The other key aspect of the design is the size of the packaging, over the years Apple have continuously brought out their products in smaller and tighter packaging, when looking at the box you wonder how the product even fits inside. The minimalism doesn’t stop on the exterior either, when opening, your greeted with nothing but the product itself, a couple of accessories and the support that stops it from rattling around, not to mention that new smell.

So how has the less is more approach been so successful? The words that come to mine are sterile and quality. When purchasing an electrical appliance you want a simple and easy to use product that gets the job done. To all who are familiar with Apples product design and software design, you will understand how well the packaging actually portrays the product. In the end you are left with something so minimal that it looks as if its barely even been designed at all. Its an a egotistical approach, as if Apple are saying why would we need to spend time on our packaging when everyone already knows how good our product is. Apple have succeeded in producing something that combines advanced technology with style, and an entire experience around buying a product.

David McCandless, Infographics Genius ~ Will

by blkthread


Award winning writer, designer, author, David McCandless is taking infographics and putting it on the worlds graphic design stage as a highly respectable form of design. At first glance Davids’ work is clean, bold, bright, colourful and balanced, graphically well refined and aesthetically pleasing. When traditionally graphs and grids bring to mind textbooks or business reports, landing your eyes on something that looks like a piece of modern art (David never studied graphic design) its a breath of fresh air, it creates intrigue and draws you in like a window in a classroom.

David touches on issues from climate change to drugs to politics and time travel in tv and movies. On his website, Information is Beautiful…  , he touches on a broad range of topics some important some maybe not but either way you find yourself reading through it, learning though remaining entertained through well chosen words and of course the graphic layout and design. The layout designs bring fresh new ways of ordering importance of information, keeping things in proportion and perspective, revealing an underlining story or pattern. Its graphic design meets information design to create a informative visual tool.
For me this is graphic design for a difference at its best, its design allows important information to quickly and easily processed for the average Jo. In this day and age information and statistics are such a powerful tool, this proves with good design it can be used for good on a mass scale.

Rebranding of Mr.Swirl by Will

by blkthread

Mr. Swirl is a well established plumbing and services business in Vancouver which have been operating for over 20 years. Competing amongst a competitive industry all seeking the same audience, Mr.Swirl needed a new look and competitive edge. the design agency Cossette – were brought on board to create a fresh new approach.

I had no previous knowledge of Mr.Swirl (really?!), but the graphic transformation really captured my eye. I also like the idea of taking graphic design and applying it to areas where design and aesthetics are not usually considered to be important such as a plumbing business, i think as graphic designers its our duty to make everything look good down to all corners of the world we live in. In this case they have gone for a quality and friendly look to their designs like something from an early era where quality and heart were what was important.

The new designs (below) use a visual language of simple bold shapes and borders, creating a friendly and professional look and feel, whilst incorporating a certain traditional style.

New Logo


Branding Illustration

The 3d designs continue with the simple bold look. I feel like the cleaning products package designs leave the products to speak for themselves, nothing too flashy just a simple good product.

Package Design

Brand Application

New Website

And this is what was before….

old logos

old website and coupons

Below is more product rebranding that i thought had a similar feel and thought process, using simple colours and shapes, refining the design down to a cleaner look.

Old packaging

New Packaging



Future of Newspapers ~ Will

by blkthread

The newspaper industry is experiencing a soaring decline in revenue and newsprint prices and an increasing number of newspapers are closing down and filing for bankruptcy.

Traditional media under threat

            The main argument for this is said to be the technological change, an increase in social networking resulting in free and easy access to information and news through search engines such as Google and Information servers such as Wikipedia. Power is shifting from the large media corporations to the individual journalist through blogging email and social media, which is allowing less restricted content more points of view with instant publicised feedback.

Google and its free access to media and information

            The strange thing about the situation is that the want the news has never been so sought after, and though profits are dropping popularity of content is extremely high. Newspapers have started to turn to the web as a way to stay relevant, offering digital content through websites and downloadable issues on tablet devices at a cost for subscription, some moving completely to digital others a combination of both digital and print. Profit margins through this method are only a fraction of those from printed publications from one-tenth to one-twentieth, and online advertising profits are minimal.

NYT have now made all content free to access relying on their name and advertising

NYT have now made all content free to access relying on their name and advertising


The iPad is changing the way we access media, and a positive opportunity for publications to move to digital

            Its evident that the digital revolution is having a devastating effect on printed media, though it’s the business structures of these businesses that have been their downfall, a total re-think of their services has to be considered. Experts are advising not to fight but to accept change, and rely on business branding and content value to see them through.,9171,1538652,00.html