Assessment 1, Stage 4; Case Study Development Design

This case study has been a culmination of the ideas that we have explored over the past twelve weeks. I have tried my best effort to encapsulate a professional looking document that includes all of the concepts that I believe are most important for conveying design related information in the most efficient and user-friendly way. Primarily this has been through a strong disposition towards simplicity. Lidwell et al (2010, p. 170) states that when presented with two functionally equivalent designs, “the simplest design should be selected”. This has been considered in my document and should make for an easy vehicle to convey the information needed for assessment three.

The design direction I have chosen is inspired from modernist graphic design and as such I think it balances the line between performance and preference (Lidwell et al 2010, p. 178) quite well. It is aesthetically clean, but reliant on principles that are now almost traditional.



In contrast, Publicis Groupe are a French-based advertising and PR company with many international ventures. However they’re web design (pictured above) generally looks outdated and quite hard to read. It might not have been updated for some time due to reluctance from the public/client for change.


Design CS - Short Booklet_Artefact TitleDesign CS - Short Booklet_Artefact Opening PgDesign CS - Short Booklet_Artefact Contents PgDesign CS - Short Booklet_Artefact Information 1Design CS - Short Booklet_Artefact Objectives Pg


The design is intended to be printed onto thick, high-gloss paper and folded into a booklet. I have created a mock-up of what the title page looks like on screen.


Design CS - Short Booklet_Artefact Title Print



Publicis Groupe n.d, Home Page, Publicis Groupe, viewed 29 January 2016,


Lidwell, W, Holden, K & Butler, J 2010, Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated : 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, Rockport Publishers, Massachusetts USA.


Assessment 1, Stage 3; Case Study Development Design

Over the past few days I have created the brochure, all the while careful to incorporate many of the concepts that Lidwell (2010) advises.  These include a solid entry point and making sure the design can showcase the content legibly. I am happy with the design direction that I have implemented to date but I will continually adjust some minor elements in the coming weeks. However as a general style I want to keep it uncluttered so I don’t believe there will be any benefit in adding more elements or searching for any other inspiration. The next step for me is to give feedback to peers and fine-tune what I have.

Design CS - Short Booklet-01

Design CS - Short Booklet-02

Design CS - Short Booklet-03

Design CS - Short Booklet-04


But now I want to focus on a few other aspects that should be considered when making a brochure, despite the fact this design will be submitted online, the majority of brochures are printed to be used as a hard copy. It is therefore important to consider what the design will look like on paper through optimising the colours and format for print.

There are some principles that most people follow when converting a document from screen to paper. Adding a mix of base colours to black creates a richer shade (PrePressure 2013), and after ‘”talking to some graphic designers”, Ed Hart (2011) explains that changing the colour mode to CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black), and considering the use of Pantone schemes often shows up best in print. I have done some research in regards to these techniques and will attempt to apply some to my designs before doing some proof printing.



Ed Hart 2011, Using Illustrator to Match CMYK Colours to PMS, Ed Hart, viewed 8 January 2016


PrePressure 2013, Rich Black, Laurens Leurs, viewed 8 January 2016


Lidwell, W, Holden, K & Butler, J 2010, Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated : 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, Rockport Publishers, Massachusetts USA.


Assessment 1; Stage 2, Case Study Design Development.

As I continue to explore the different options available to me while developing this case study, I have decided to deviate away slightly from the newsletter idea that was previously hallmarked as an idea. I feel that presenting my design as a short booklet/brochure is more suitable for showcasing the design principles that I am focusing on.

Two further concepts that I will incorporate into my design is a strong focus on a clear entry point and linear storytelling. Lidwell (2010) explains that these design characteristics help to reassure the user and it makes sense to introduce these more austere traits as it fits in with the design language of simplicity and frugality that I’m trying to embody. I am also thinking of including small amounts of red colour, perhaps for important text or page numbers. This technique has been used by advertising business Ogilvy & Mather on their website. There is a chaotic order in the design that they utilise, it manages to stay clean yet inconsistent and this is something I will try to incorporate in my brochure.

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 5.47.51 pm.png

Though there will be clear sub-headings to help ‘chunk’ the information, through a mixture of negative space and minimalist design the booklet will not encourage the user to skip through pages. It will draw attention to design and help the viewer to recognise its importance in communication-intensive fields such as public relations and advertising.





Ogilvy & Mather n.d, The Work, Ogilvy & Mather, viewed 11 December 2015 <>

Lidwell, W, Holden, K & Butler, J 2010, Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated : 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, Rockport Publishers, Massachusetts USA.


Assessment 1; Stage 1, Case Study Design Development.

In the development of this case study over the coming weeks, I’ll be looking to implement a number of accepted design principles while detailing the role that design can have within the Public Relations industry. I’ve considered my options with regards to the medium that I feel will best represent the design direction I’m looking to take, and have decided that the appropriate format is most likely a newsletter. This has been chosen for initial exploration as I feel it will allow me to express the content and aesthetic design in an uncomplicated and thoughtful manner.

Past examples have shown that the idea of clean, minimalist design can be very effective in this industry. M&C Saatchi are an established advertising and PR agency. Their use of bold, confident design on the webpage interface creates a sense of sophistication and a discernment for the intricacies of the trade. Given that at the heart of Public Relations, it is essentially ‘public perception’, the aforementioned qualities exude a powerful message to any potential client.



This style follows some very important design protocols. It’s straightforward and eschews anything ornate such as a serif font to align itself with the concept of ‘form follows function’. It’s simplicity also allows it to be easily implemented across a broad range of mediums, from print to web. Furthermore, the use of a monochrome scheme may lack a certain degree of vibrancy, but it paves the way for subtle uses of colour to add extreme emphasis. I’ve attached a very rough draft of a possible direction.

Newsletter Design Development S1










M&C Saatchi n.d, Brutal Simplicity of Thought, M&C Saatchi, viewed 15 November 2015 <>

Lidwell, W, Holden, K & Butler, J 2010, Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated : 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, Rockport Publishers, Massachusetts USA.

Assessment 6, Task 6; Reflections

a) What was the most interesting weekly topic we covered in this subject this semester and why?

I think the standout for me this semester was week 4, covering Helvetica design and Typography. I know that previous to computers, an old printing specialist was a dedicated skill, so in the past 50 years or so, since the introduction of a number of standard fonts such as Helvetica or serif Times New Roman, I think it is something that has become undervalued. People don’t tend to recognise the subliminal effect it can have on consumers. An awkwardly placed font can make more of an impact then you realise and may shape views on the design/format/product. For instance the recent introduction of iOS9 has brought in a new font for iPhone, the type feels weird and and does not suit the product in my opinion. I like the power that something so small and seemingly insignificant can have.


b) Would you say that this was the topic about which you learned the most, or was that another week? Please explain your view.

I did have some prior knowledge in the field of Typography so I wouldn’t say I learnt the most during that week. I think a bit more recently there were a number of concepts during week 10 that I found engaging. Cradle-to-Cradle design is something that interests me although many of the ideas it entails involves a lot of blue-sky thinking, I’ve always wondered what happens to the things I recycle, and for me it is interesting to hear that recycling isn’t the best we can do; there is potential to ‘up-cycle’ materials and create something better in its second life. I’ve never been quite sure how much of a benefit recycling was as to me it seemed that the material was always going to go through some sort of deterioration from stage to stage. This is why thinking outside the box can help in these situations, as explained by the set reading, there is potential to create more from less.


c) Which set text or weekly reading did you find most interesting in this unit? Can you see yourself seeking out more of the author/s work or by other authors on the topic?

Throughout the unit I found I enjoyed some of the readings and not others. I loved the thought process and ideas within McDonough’s and Braungart’s book and it furthered my enjoyment of that topic. However I believe that Paul Polak’s Design for the other ninety percent also raised some good points and opened my mind to the ideas of creating ruthlessly simple but functional pieces for the masses. Previous to this, whenever I tried to think about designing something creatively, my mind always turned to potentially complicated, abstract or expensive pieces of design. I would consider going through some further reading materials by Polak.


d) Which activity/task did you enjoy the most? Which activity/task was the most useful in building your academic skills?

During week 6 we focused on lo-fi aesthetics in film and how this related to early camera techniques. I watched a number of documentaries and feature films by Michel Gondry in preparation for this topic. It is fun to watch films that can challenge perceptions of reality and ones that have the potential to broaden your horizons through new concepts and techniques. Gondry certainly has a unique way of conveying his ideas so it was very fun to relax and watch his material all the while trying to recognise his inspiration and what he was attempting. Ultimately, finding something fun and creative such as a quirky Gondry movie and translating his humour into an academic review is something I enjoy, so I have based my assessment 3 on his work. It will provide interesting material for me to analyse in an academic sense.



Polak, P. (2007). ‘Design for the Other Ninety Percent’, in C. Smith (Ed), Design for the Other Ninety Percent (pp.19-25). New York: Cooper Hewitt/National Design Museum/Smithsonian.

Retrieved from.

McDonough, W. & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. New York: North Point Press. (Chapter 6: Putting Eco-effectiveness into practice)

Retrieved from.

Hustwit, G. (2007). Helvetica. [film].

Retrieved from

Gondry, M [Director]. (2013). Mood Indigo.

Gondry, M [Director]. (2004). Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Gondry, M [Director]. (2008). Be Kind Rewind.

Assessment 2, Task 6; Design for nature



Dawn in the Yarra Valley, Victoria exhibits some of the most natural beauty in Australia. There can be no doubt that a lot of our ‘pristine’ nature has now been ravaged by humans. I couldn’t get any closer to the valley here due to a fence. Humans have barricaded nature and made it almost unattainable. I made sure the fence wasn’t in this picture but this distorts the perceptions of what our world really is now. This idyllic, unmolested valley can only exist within a photo. Being there in it’s actual state was slightly more disappointing as you couldn’t ignore the fencing like you can in this picture. Being in this area several hundred years ago would have created a sense of unimpeded freedom, to be totally immersed in nature, not restricted by human conditioning.




It is a common debate as to whether we consider curated gardens true symbols of a preserved world. Is ‘real’ nature what it would be like if humans were not around? Examples of this are very difficult to find. Or is it a place that has natural elements such as trees and lakes even if they are somewhat artificially constructed? The rejection of the view that a”place must be completely ‘pristine’ to count as nature” (Marris, E, 2011, p13)  means that one can indulge in the simplicity of nature that is being regularly updated to what society considers serene and natural. The Sugarloaf Reservoir Park is curated though peaceful. In Winter, it is vibrant, crisp, and easy to enjoy a picnic next to the lake.



Marris, E. (2011). Weeding the Jungle. Rambunctious Garden: Saving nature in a post-wild world. New York: Bloomsbury.

Retrieved from.




Assessment 2, Task 5; Cradle-to-Cradle Thinking

signal-cardboard-surfboard-2-537x405 signal-cardboard-surfboard-3-537x442



















Given that it is the goal of every designer to adapt current technology to a continuously evolving world in a cultural, political and social context, the terms design and sustainability have become binary for most professionals. The need to create with a social conscience however, is arguably not enough according to McDonough and Braungart (2002), who state that “destroying the environment a little less does not protect anything” (van Hatturn, 2007). They outline five steps that every respectful organisation/designer should consider. At first, merely recognising what harm your products are doing is fine, but following that, action should be taken to reduce the wastage and toxicity of every product.


The ‘cardboard surfboard’, developed in collaboration by Ernest Packaging Solution and Signal Snowboards, embrace some of the ideas put forth by McDonough & Braungart (2002). The board “improves the existing product in increments, without fundamentally re-conceiving the product” in order to create a waterproof, sturdy and aesthetically pleasing design. It follows point three and four of the manifesto; avoiding ‘X-list’ (harmful) materials and attempting to ‘activate the positive list’ of natural, compostable and nutritious textiles. As such the product does away with much of the styrofoam which defines the typical surfboard, as this material can often contain hidden toxins and instead replaces it with a strong cardboard weave. In addition a fibreglass coating provides strength and water-resistance. It’s success lies in achieving being an ecologically focused product that exerts capable hydrofluid properties and a unique design.



McDonough, W. & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. New York: North Point Press. (Chapter 6: Putting Eco-effectiveness into practice)

Retrieved from.

van Hatturn R [Director], (2007). Waste = food (Future focus). SBS TV.

Lisa A, (2014) .This Super Durable Cardboard Surfboard Won’t Disintegrate When it Hits the Ocean. Inhabitat.

Lukach M, (2007). Danny Hess and the Search for a Sustainable Surfboard. Inhabitat.