“The Gerald Anthony Furniture Store is a charity that helps poor and displaced people furnish their homes with the basics. It has been running for over 100 years, staffed mostly by volunteers. They would like you to design a generic business card, letterhead, and paper mock up for the home page of their website. In addition they want you to design their 8 page annual review”
I began with a brainstorming session.
I was thinking about what the charity offers in terms of furniture or electrical items, and how it would need to appeal to a variety of ages (daft as it sounds, a charity that deals with second hand furniture needs some young fit people to lift it!) We have a local charity in Tavistock called ReFurnish that is a very similar sort of charity. Here they are
I really wanted to avoid a patronising tone. I’ve been on benefits, as many people have, and this sort of before and after approach makes me uncomfortable.
It was useful to explore other real life charities and how they present themselves to the public
If this was a real life client, I would need to gather a detailed brief from the charity. They may already have certain colours/fonts that form part of their identity. Its likely that they already have both printed material and a website I could view – the question is, how much of a change do they want and in what direction? What are the key words they would use to sum up their “mission statement”? Also, who is providing the photos? Is there anything that must be included?
I would also discuss what computers and software they normally use. For example I much prefer to use Illustrator, but if I produce a letterhead in Word, using a Windows system font, this might precisely match their needs. I have converted pdf to word and its really unstable! The text can move and its a pain in the….
. Further questions would be about printing costs and their budget. Here some options I researched
I think their best option is to go for saddle stiched/stapled. This type of binding is suitable for a (smallish) number of pages, which have to be in multiples of 4. Having printed out the word count, I think the best size is A4. Here’s A5, which you can see doesn’t really leave room for images.
Compared to A4 here, which leaves more space.
They would need to think about pricing, and paper weight. Printing a run of 1000 A4 Brochures is likely to cost anywhere between £350 to over £600, depending on the paper weight and finish. Some companies offer 120 gsm paper, rising to 170gsm with an 250gsm cover. The charity may be keen to avoid gloss, and use matt recycled paper, especially as they recycle furniture, but this will cost a little more. They could use the same paper weight for the cover to save money.
The alternative, if they have a a suitable printer, is to print these out themselves. In that case, I would need to change the order of the pages like this ( which is why I want to know in advance how they want to print everything and of course the size of the booklet.)
For the purposes of this assignment, I’m going to assume they have given me the go ahead to use A4 colour,and produce a pdf for a professional printing firm.
Thats the boring stuff. Now to the logo. I was thinking about what sort of object sucessfully indicates furniture. I ruled some things out – a bed (implies a hostel/b&B etc), fridge, washing machine, cooker (not primarily concerned with electrical goods). I also was thinking about the fact that they recycle, and the initials of the charity (G.A) or (G.A.F.S) (!)
Some paper roughs.
It occured to me that as the charity has been going for a long time, that they be associated with an older typeface, or they may be looking to update.
Some pencil sketches of furniture, that I was thinking I might then choose one to simplify. (The ink versions are on layout paper)
Computer roughs…Some of these get lost at smaller sizes (particularly the Baskerville ones) and don’t have a great deal of impact. The ones in the last two rows look the most promising to me.
I have seen this sort of letter arrangement before, (bottom right) – but I feel its the sort of thing that hopefully can be used in combination with something more individual.
More typographic ones…The script based ones are too “arty”. Might work well for another project.
Live trace in Illustrator and some fiddling…
Introducing some colour. Um I might sound a bit daft here, but the green is for ” recycling”, the blue for ” trustworthy” and the orange because its cheery, and a complement of blue. Plus some shades and tints.
These would obviously need adapting. I think the stool has potential, but needs further simplification (unless its was for an old style hand made furniture company)
It occured to me that 2 chairs angled together could be simplified down to fewer lines than I’ve shown here…but I haven’t pursued this as I have a vague feeling something similar to this may have been done by another OCA student!!
I drew a very simple version of a stool with the pen tool in Illustrator, and I think this works OK. Sorry no paper roughs for this, it just happened on the spur of the moment!
I’ve decided to go with the stool and changed the typeface from “Coolvetica” (!) to Browallia UPC as a more practical choice. In my recent fictitious phone call with the imaginary client we have confirmed that they also have it! It works well at all sizes so can be used for body text too.
Here’s the logo in a variety of colours.
I printed out the logo in different sizes to check it works both large and small, and it does look nice and clear.
Next I sourced some photos for the booklet from a creative commons search via google
And from the website www.freeimages.com
Here’s an example of how I sourced my images
And the legal bit
I downloaded a variety of furniture, then narrowed down my choices, baring in mind the body text I’ve already printed out to give me an idea of space. Here’s some pics. You can instantly see some are more suitable than others. I was originally going to use the chaps moving the sofa, but as soon as I opened it in Indesign it looked pretty cheesy!
I went for hands to avoid the problem of identifying any service users (or shy volunteers)
Next I did some paper roughs to try and work out the layout of the booklet
Then I was ready to start work in Indesign. oops, I should say I had already mocked up the cover page in illustrator, tidyed the photos in photoshop etc etc….
As I was working on the layout I did have some alterations, for example, the sofa wasn’t looking great in the centre, but worked much better dragged to the right hand page. I also added bands of colour, and worked up the graphs in Ilustrator before adding them into the page. It was quite tricky to get everything aligned across the baseline of each page. I did have to vary the leading a little in some paragraphs to get everything to fit. Once finished, I printed the pages out to see the results (which are now posted off for my Tutor to see first hand)
NB I know this is a lot of ink! An alternative would be to have a white background, and the text in orange (or green) instead.
I got a bit carried away with the stools! It may have been better to stick to another plain colour band here.
Also. in hindsight, it would probably have been better to add page numbers. At the time, I felt there weren’t really enough pages for it to be an issue, but it would have been a sensible addition (if only for the printer)!
The remaining tasks took a little less time, as I had already designed the logo and colour scheme. Here’s the business card rough.
And the web page
Please see the Assignment 5 entry for the finished items!