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Dissertation prep





For my first question, what i’m wanting to find out through my dissertation is whether a strong, successful and/or professional visual identity is key to a band’s success. This doesn’t just mean professionally designed album/single covers but every part of a band’s visual identity. This entails the research (primary and secondary) of several different successful bands which have either a strong visual identity through merchandise, music videos, websites, social media, promotional photography etc or successful bands that don’t have a prominent and well recognised visual style or identity but have found success regardless.




For my second question I will be hoping to discover which form of advertising is the most effective. Print based advertising, television based advertising or web based advertising? Obviously print based advertising was first to appear and is still very prominent in the present day whether it be in the form of a billboard, magazine advertisement, flyers etc. Television based advertising came next and has a huge impact on our lives as well and this is a huge platform to advertise on. also advertising is all over television shows even when it’s not the ad breaks. Web based advertisement is now a huge part of the advertising industry. Pretty much every web page a person will ever come into contact with will bear some sort of advertisement. This has gotten so popular within advertising that people have developed hugely popular ad blockers as the pop up advertisements have now become seen upon as a nuisance. My main aim is to find out, through primary and secondary research, which one of these advertising platforms are the most effective in terms of the amount of people they come into contact with and how influential they actually are within people’s lives.


The Questions in Detail




In modern day music big expensive music videos, amazing logos, professionally designed websites and fantastically designed merchandise have a huge part in the way a band or artist is seen in the public eye. Some of these bands or artists have actually become known for their music videos or merchandise. This is, a lot of the time, through controversy and public debate which in turn possibly catapults the band or artist into the public eye. This may not actually be a good thing as it can turn a lot of people against the band in general which, in turn, makes people claim that the band’s music is not good. On the other hand people could see this as any publicity is good publicity. But the question is related not only to successful bands with a strong visual identity but it also relates to bands that have a more unrecognised or weaker visual identity but have managed to find success the old fashioned way, through their music and building a strong fan base by touring everywhere. What led me to asking this question is the fact that obviously a band need to be able to tour and record their music to be able to get any recognition in the first place but in order to do all this a band need to sell merchandise, alongside whatever money they have anyway, to be able to make money. But then I realised that there was quite a few bands that I, and many other people who I know, hadn’t even seen any media, merchandise or logos from. So what does this mean? Well this is what I intend to find out if i choose this as my dissertation topic.




Print, television or web advertising? They can all reach different audiences and in different ways. Print can be more creative in the way it is made (3d or 2d) and also in where and how it is placed. Television advertising has been proven to have a huge impact in our lives in the way that it affects our decisions when the time comes to choose a product or a service. The internet has become a huge platform to be able to advertise on mainly because of the amount of users that are online. This runs from pop up advertisements to viral videos on Youtube to social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace. A lot of the time they are seen as a nuisance and can just quite simply be avoided by skipping to the next page or just closing the window that the advertisement pops up in. This is it’s main downfall as most people get annoyed with them but also these people are seeing the product or service first before closing it. Does this affect the way we choose our products or is it just an inconvenience? Most people have come across all three formats of advertising but which type has the most profound effect on a person and is therefore more successful? These are questions that I hope to answer through primary and secondary research if i choose this question for my dissertation.






For my research into this topic I am mainly looking into alternative bands as these bands have to work from the dirt up through writing their own songs and touring constantly to get known. The main areas i am going to look into are how important merchandise is to a band and if they need to be well designed and professional or if people buy them purely for the band’s name, how important music videos and again if they need to be well made and professional to be able to catch people’s attention and what part a band’s logo plays in the overall image of a band and if a well designed logo is really necessary.



Merchandise is essential for any band who wants to go on tour or record singles or albums. It is a band’s main source of income (second to the members personal income). What I would like to look into is how important merchandise is and what part it has in creating a professional overall image. In order to do this I would need to look into a band that has a strong visual identity and find out what sales figures they have against a band with a weak visual identity. Finding this research will allow me to understand if a band needs the professional image to be able to sell merchandise.


Music Videos

A music video allows the band to put across their own personal image and their music at the same time. It advertises the band’s music through television and the internet therefore aiming at a much wider audience. I would like to find out whether or not a professional, high quality music video is necessary to catch people’s attention and create interest in the band or can the music or the band’s name create more interest? To find out I would need to create a survey and ask different people to fill them out. It would have to be digital as i would need to provide two comparisons for the person to make their decisions. By getting the results from these surveys i would be able to establish whether or not the bands with a professional video are more effective than the band with a lower standard video.



A logo is a signature for a band. There are many bands that have iconic logos that are instantly recognisable. What I would like to look into is how important a logo is for a band. I would like to create another survey that has different bands logos. I would like to target people who have no idea who these bands are so it would be a fair decision. What i would be aiming to find out is which of these logos attract the viewer more, the bands with a weak visual identity or the bands with a strong visual identity. Doing this will help me to come closer to a conclusion by finding out which logos are more effective.




The research for this question will be split into 2 different areas. The first of which will be statistics on how many people each form of advertising reaches. This will be done through thorough researching on the internet and looking through sales figures for different major companies to find out what percentage was through what form of advertising. This will help me to get the hard facts and will be a big step towards my conclusion. But this is only a small part of what I am hoping to find out as it doesn’t cover people’s opinions on the overall effectiveness of the different types of advertising. The next area will be to find out people’s opinions when asked about how they feel about print based, television based and web based advertisements. They shall also be asked, when given examples, to choose which one would affect the decision making process when it comes to choosing a product or service. These questions will be presented in the form of a survey which shall be given to several different people. This will help me to find out what people’s general opinions are when presented with different forms of information. Finding the answers to these questions will help me towards finding my conclusion to the overall question.


Branding and Advertising Evaluation

The process started off with me thoroughly researching about branding and finding out what it is and how it is applied. Through the evidence that was found I understood that a brand is not only a logo that is applied to products and advertisements but a complete visual identity. This entails the consistent usage of a specific colour scheme, specified typography, correct usage of a logo, a consistent layout throughout packaging, print, web and advertising etc and many other things. I also found that if a brand was consistent with it’s visual identity that it would create a familiarity with it’s target audience and with familiarity comes trust and security which establishes a brand in it’s market. Then came the research into different brands and why they were successful. The brands that I researched showed that their main success was through the human connection that they had with their target audience. The actual design process started with brainstorming different words that were related to peace or that were related to the different areas in which Peace One Day branch into i.e. music, film, sport, dance etc. This then led me to drawing up rough visuals of different logo ideas. I eventually came up with my dove idea. After developing this concept I realised the idea was good but the design itself was not right. After many different variations of the initial idea the finished logo was created. It was around this that I created the colour scheme and the type that i would use throughout the brand. After creating the brand’s image I started to research into advertising, advertising agency’s, different types of advertising and examples of creative advertising. Early on, in the advertising side of this project, I had one idea in my head that was based around my logo. It was an origami dove that doubled up as a flyer. Unfortunately I got this idea stuck in my head nothing else tied in together so I needed to go back to the drawing board and create a whole new campaign which, after a lot of development, finally became successful.


I feel as though I have majorly improved my skills within branding and advertising by working through this project. Before i really struggled with advertising as I had not really done much theoretical or practical work within the advertising area, but now after thoroughly researching different areas of advertising and looking at different examples of advertising this has helped me out a lot in forming my own ideas and putting them into practice. The exact same can be said for branding, although I didn’t majorly struggle in it I managed to greatly develop my skills, mainly in the rough and development stages.


My final outcomes were submitted in 2D format but they were submitted like this as an idea for how they could be used in 3D format. My final outcomes, I feel, met the project brief very well as they filled the criteria that was stated in the brief handbook. My outcomes could have been executed in the format that i wanted them to work as and I feel as though this would have been a more professional presentation. If anything i’d have spent a lot more time on the advertising side as it lacks in creativity but would look a lot better if presented properly.


If it wasn’t for the crits and discussions I would not have been able to have submitted the work I have done as these discussions pointed me towards the right direction and helped me develop and choose the most successful work.


If i had managed my time better my submission probably would have been a lot stronger and a lot more in depth. If there’s anything that i have taken from this it is to start my sketchbook from the beginning of the brief and not leave everything until the last minute to place into it as i realised how much I had actually missed out whilst I was placing my work in my sketchbooks.


My main strength in my presentation was the fact that i had plenty to talk about and i tried to explain everything in depth. This was also one of my main weaknesses as i had not structured my presentation beforehand so everything was a little bit everywhere so if there was anything i’d do to improve this it would be to structure my presentation.

Hair Typeface

I found this online. A Japanese student created a typeface out of leg hair! I thought it was pretty funny but really creative at the same time so I thought i’d share it.

Style Guideline 20 Top Tips

I’ve just come across these 20 top tips for designing style guidelines, written by saatchi & saatchi design. This explains everything you need to put together good style guidelines and has helped me out with creating my style guidelines for my Peace One Day brief.


As a workshop we were asked to choose an area of interest and design a visual that explained the chosen area. I chose politics and debt and created an infographic to display certain figures.

The Great British Debt

Typeface Workshop

At the beginning of the second year we were asked to create a typeface based on a element from the periodic table. I chose Rhodium and the link below shows the typeface that i created.


Manifesto Posters

I created a poster for my manifesto that summed up the basic point that i was trying to get across. Simplicity.

Manifesto poster

Dissertation Prep Articles

My 2 questions that i have chosen are:

Is a logo really necessary for a smaller company?


What sells a product? The brand or the product itself?

I have researched into other people’s views on these subjects in order to help me answer these questions.

Here are links to articles online that have caught my attention.

Simple is Ample.


Electronic technology is a complicated subject and has simplified jobs, entertainment and household chores, revolutionizing the way we live. Yet some devices are more popular than others. Why is this? Well, whilst looking through other people’s views on simplicity i came across a blog post that couldn’t be more on the mark. It said that he was on a train and noticed that 3 women were using their blackberry smart phones, yet they had the iconic white Ipod earphones in their ears. He asked the question, why do people own a smart phone, which can hold mp3 songs, yet still use an Ipod to listen to their music? Simple. The mp3 interface on the blackberry, and other phones, is very clunky and not attractive at all. The Ipod interface is very sleek and simple which invites the user more to use it. The point is that simpler is more attractive and is also easier to read and understand.

Small Image Big Brand.

In brands simplicity is evident that it is the key to a clean cut, more professional looking, company. A major example of this is Apple. They are known, not only for their range of macs, phones, Ipads and Ipods, but also for their very clean, simple design. I, personally, am attracted to simple designs because it’s straight to the point and obvious. Isn’t that what graphic design is about? Communicating and informing visually? Well from what i’ve seen complicated designs do communicate the point it’s getting at but it takes the long way round. Simple design just gives it to you on a plate, telling you straight away what it is and what it does. I’m not talking about logo design either. I’m talking about the overall image of a brand from it’s advertising through to it’s print based work.

Define Simplicity.

A big debate about simplicity in the graphic design community is what does simplicity mean? does it mean using the least amount of elements as possible? or is it just making design easier to understand? Well personally i think simplicity is about making things easy to understand by using less elements to make it obvious what your communicating. Why debate the two ideas when you can combine them? It’s like an abbreviation. In text language successful use of simplicity is evident. I’m going to be late tonight becomes I’m gna b l8 2nite. It’s a lot shorter and simpler but it communicates the exact same message as before and it’s still obvious in what it is saying.

Techno? TechYES!

As you can see in my report i have made many references to technology. This is because technology has revolutionized graphic design in the way we see it and the way we use it. It has made it easier to create pieces of design and simplified the design process by a drastic amount. I suppose that’s touching on the digital vs traditional debate, in which i side with the digital option but i won’t go into that.

Simple is definitely ample and, in my opinion, it is the best way to design.