GDF – S2 – 2011

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

Post 4/4: the wonderful world of packaging design

by clea1g

The most compelling packaging works on multiple levels. At the consumer level, packaging should be visually engaging and resonate on both an emotional and rational level with the target audience. For many companies, packaging is the primary means of messaging; and broader brand objectives must be considered when beginning a packaging project. Well designed original and effective packaging will deliver your brand message with great success.

Here are a few good places to begin looking into this area of graphic design:  Pemberton & Whitefoord a UK based company who designed the very clever bottle above for Bambarria tequila. Their website is sort of fun too…

Moxie Sozo are a US co who also do some great packaging design, here are a few examples that caught my eye

Investigate examples of creative packaging for this final post of the term. Due at the end of next weeks class 21/9/11. Thank you.

CLEA – POST 3/4: Infographics & Data Visualisation

by clea1g

We will start off this new topic looking at an old favourite of mine: Harry Beck’s diagram of the 7+ lines of the London Underground, although geographically inaccurate, provides a coherent overview of a complex system. With excellent color printing, classic British railroad typography (by Edward Johnson), and, in the modern style, only horizontal, vertical, and 45 degree lines, the map became a beautiful organizing image of London. For apparently quite a number of people, the map organized London (rather than London organizing the map). Despite 70 years of revision due to extensions of the Underground and bureaucratic tinkering (the marketing department wrecked the map for several years), the map nicely survives to this day.

The BBC documentary The London Underground Map (from the series Design Classics) is an oldie but well worth watching.

Then we will take a look at Edward Tufte, regarded as a guru in this field. Tufte has written several books and lectures frequently on how to effectively present data and information. He essentially advocates a “keep it simple” approach, arguing that jazzy colors and designs distract from important information.

A Yale University professor of political science and computer science, Tufte is widely respected in the design community for his work on infographics. He was recently recruited by the  Obama administration to advise stimulus board officials on how to better explain the complexities of the economic stimulus to the general public.

David McCandless makes infographics — simple, elegant ways to see information that might be too complex or too big, small, abstract or scattered to otherwise be grasped. He discusses his ideas in a recent Ted talk.

In his new book, Information Is Beautiful (in the US, it’s being called The Visual Miscellaneum), McCandless and his cadre of info designers take a spin through the world of visualized data, from hard stats on politics and climate to daffy but no less important trends in pop music. Most of this info is available on his blog.

McCandless’ genius is not so much in finding jazzy new ways to show data — the actual graphics aren’t the real innovation here — as in finding fresh ways to combine datasets to let them ping and prod each other.

Closer to home is Patrick Clair who may be familiar to many of you through the brilliant motion infographics he creates for Hungry Beast on the ABC. Take the time to check out his work.

The Spanish design group La Mosca (Scott Dadich/Wired mentioned them in his talk) produce some very beautiful work. The image above was designed for La Vanguardia newspaper as a regular feature called Data.

A few more sites to find info on this topic are Smashing Magazine where there many more fascinating examples. (Not to mention a zillion other interesting things to distract you…) There is some great stuff too at the aptly named Cool Infographics.

What are the current design trends in the area of Infographics and Data Visualisation? Find an aspect of this topic that is of interest to you and share your findings.  This post due 7/9 at the end of class… thank-you!

A bit like the Pepsi/Obama branding??

by clea1g

I’m seeing a graphic connection here with Brett’s post on Pepsi and Obama, using the ‘swish’ device. What do you think?

I thought this was funny…

by clea1g

While we are thinking about  branding and identity take a look at this case study of the budget South American airline KALULA. This was sent to me by an ex-student last weekend.

Quite a different approach to airline identity. Hope you like it…

Post 2/4: Branding & identity

by clea1g

The task for this post (2/4) is to look into case studies about the branding and identity areas of the graphic design industry.

The example above is LOVE146 is a great example of graphic design being used effectively to reposition and re-brand products/services and the way in which they are perceived by the public. You will find this case study here:

The site this case study comes from is: where you will find loads of examples.

Another fine example of this type of repositioning is the case study:Unpackaged.

This case study is from another excellent site:, check it out…

Other useful and interesting sites are:

& local designers/studios: (a Brisbane based studio who are a little outside the box) & (an Australian based  international design firm). Of course these are just a starting point.

1: Write a brief summary of your chosen case study/example and your response and thoughts on the project. Please provide at least one image of the case study you and using and, of course, a link to the case study.

2: Then find two other examples of recent graphic design work that you feel relates to your chosen case study. Explain why.

For example: If you use the unpackaged case study (above) you might find examples of green packaging/thinking that relate.

This post is to be completed by Wednesday 17th August (by the end of class)

250words + images + links please.

Post 1/4: Publication design

by clea1g

For the first of the 4 required posts of the semester you are being asked to look into the area of publication design.

You may choose to look into traditional print possibilities: magazine, book, newspaper, periodical, newsletter, bulletin, report, booklet, chapbook, brochure, catalogue… and what is happening in these areas,

OR – you might like to look into how these are being adapted to new technology  such as ‘coffee-table books’ –  being redesigned as iPad and iPhone apps

For example: POWER platon (above) created by Scott Dadich (who we got to know last week).

Other interesting examples of this sort of adaptation are Al Gore’s Our Choice and Moonbot Studios Fantastic flying books of Mr Morris Lessmore 

Jacek Utko is an extraordinary Polish newspaper designer whose redesigns for papers in Eastern Europe not only win awards, but increase circulation by up to 100%. Can good design save the newspaper? It just might.

The Society for News Design is well worth a look. I particularly liked this Portuguese newspaper  ‘i’… 

On an entirely different note is McSweeney’s an American publishing enterprise who produce some intriguing and highly original materials… also a very cool website!

Visual Editions are another mind-expanding publishing company, also well worth checking out.

So, take the time to look into a range of topics before choosing a topic and preparing a case study of 250words + 4images  & links.  This 1st post is due by end of class on 3/8/11 (that’s next week). Enjoy!

Hello & welcome back…

by clea1g

Hello & welcome back to the 2nd semester of Graphic Design Foundation…

In these 2 units (BSBDES202A: Evaluate nature of design in a specific industry context & CUFRES404A: Conduct research) you will be sourcing information on various areas of graphic design and examining current trends in the graphic design industry.

Last week in class we watched a SemiPermanent presentation with Scott Dadich, creative director of Wired magazine.  He discusses the design intentions of the magazine and their concept/idea development process.  For those of you who missed it… and those of you who may wish to review it,  you may download it here:

He mentioned the SPD – Society of Publication Designers, here is a link to that site: where you will find loads of interesting information. His blog: chronicles behind the scenes at Wired in serious detail.