Week 1

Strategies for Visual Research

[So this is my first post documenting the SVR project.]

My variable are: 

Older people / Happiness / London Councils

My insight is that, nowadays, in the West, older people have lost their voice. They are treated has if they were second class citizens, no one seems to care about what thy have to offer. If you compare this to other societies, such as pretty much anywhere in Africa, or, in China for example, where the elders re the decision makers within their families/communities, then by contrast you get the full picture of what i want to address.

My idea/proposed solution is simple. Elder have a lot to offer. They have experience, they have lived, we just need to give them the right platform to express themselves, but... eventually here lies the key, we need to give them an audience.

[Ill later explain hoe this project works, it is a social design / design thinking project, yet, we are doing the processes in reverse order. Yes, its an experiment, so, rather than starting by research, we start by delivering a solution as if it was in its final phase. Strange but interesting at the same time]

So, my idea was, why don't we put these people that have had 30 year careers in contact with people that are 3 years away from starting a career? Why don't we create a system where older people can share what they have experienced throughout their lives? Why dont we give a change to younger people to get valuable insights into what wrk really is by putting them in contact with those who know? You see the picture.

As for the first delivery day [On Mondays i must deliver that week's work] i then had to come up with a format that would answer our matrix of three variables, having previously determined the problem and the route for action.

This was my proposal. People liked it. Design wise it s rather a mock up than a finished piece of work, but, both my tutor and my colleagues understood the message. They liked it. I liked it.

And so you see, the idea is: to establish a platform where young people - who are having difficulties deciding wether they want to go to university, to do an apprenticeship (among the million other job/career related doubts and questions they have) - can be in contact and seek advice from those who have had a career already, those who are bored at home, those who feel they have lost their voice but still have so much to offer.

One of the reasons i am quite excited about this is the fact that those two target audiences (You might have realized that i will have to work both with/for youngsters and elders) have a natural bond between each-other. My younger audience could start being recruited at the GCSE level, where they are young and still (research has not been done, remember, ASSUMPTION) are still very much under the authority of their own grandparents. On the other side, kids could be the ones influencing their grandparents into joining as well. 

Bellow are some shots from my sketch book so far

My original idea, still in class on the day of the brief [remember that i had not seen the variables beforehand, so i had to make a decision and pick the three variables rather quickly in order to start working] was to help older people saving money by introducing them to online banking and comparison websites kind of thing. I thought this way i was addressing a real problem faced by elders, they are wasting money. But then i talked to my PBL group and people seemed not to go so well with the idea. I realized it was too restrictive, i had a very specific problem, a very hard to define audience (remember that i was making the assumption that all these people would care about saving £240 a year). 

Regardless, i was there in class and i had to present some work at the end. We had to present some outcome proposal. So the idea was to create some piece of direct mail, to be either mailed or distributed on the streets, where older people would be confronted with their own technological insecurities in a funny, witty and rememberable way. Some part of the material would then serve the purpose of allowing people to answer back by submitting their interest.

Then, already at home, already getting a bit anxious because the idea wasn't moving forward, although i shouldn't, i did some (just a little) research. I had to, i was stuck.
My research has shown that there are problems regarding older people and employment. That if by one hand, people fancy the idea of retiring and having more time for themselves, on the other, many end up getting bored. So i had this idea. THE SLOWEST COURIER SERVICE IN LONDON. I admit i liked it mostly because f it's craziness, because of it's surrealism. But think about it, this would allow for businesses to save money when they need something to be delivered on the same day but it is not a matter of having it within the next 20 minutes. Businesses would save money by hiring a pensioner who would travel by bus/tube, and they would be helping to fight the boredom of these people. 

Local Councils (remember, my third variable) would then be the link between businesses and older people. Older people on their side would have something to do, would travel (which is something research has shown they like doing) and would feel useful (which is another thing research as shown, they feel society doesn't need them), and would make some extra cash. (Again, this is a recurrently stated benefit for the elders who have started part time jobs)

I agree that the idea is rather... surreal. But, but, it was here that i started to think about two things:

01 The solution must come in from making my audience feel useful (Rather than helping them out directly, for example by giving them training onto how to use internet banking)

02 The solution had to come from a partnership. I realized it would all work better if rather then being the council helping people out, the council would work out as a middle man, an intermediary between two points - the elder and... by now you know, youngsters. But the idea had not come already.

So, the big idea started here. I love words and often (sometimes too much) i try and build a concept based on how cool would it sounds, i know its wrong, but hey, in this case, it triggered my mind.

I had this realisation. "But wait a minute, why would older people who have huge experience in their fields simply not work as consultants?" Of course i am not the first one to think about it and i immediately found this idea explored by other people.

Then i thought. But, hum, "share" is really flexible, it would work well to make older people sharing their resources as well, like... sharing a house, sharing tasks, sharing experiences... Again, a little more research showed that this is obviosuly being done already. Wandsworth (my local council) website has loads of activities available for older people. If for one side this made me think that, hey, "why are all these activities not available in one place?" it also made me think, "pheww, why the hell are these events only available to older people? Wouldn't it be better if they could spend some time with younger people on their activities?"

And so, the idea was born. You've seen it already.

That's it for now...

I'm back!

Ok, it's been an while.
To be honest, i thought it had been longer since i last posted, just a little over a year.. not too bad.
I missed on documenting my second year at uni, bigg mistake, ell, i did a bit at bartolomeujacq.tumblr.com, check it out if you are really interested, by now i only use it for street research, things that i see and want to quickly photograph/share/store. straight from my phone.

But so, here i re-start. No need for big explanations on this post. I have no time.


(It's nice to be back)


- Editorial illustration

Illustration for an article outlying a few prevalent uses of Twitter (back to when that was necessary)

What should companies with a stockpile of cash do with it?

More and more consumers are choosing generic over brand names.

When the media gets involved with criminal cases, it's always guilty until proven innocent.

This is a collection of illustrations that really caught my attention. This guy's name is Marius Roosendal and you can see the rest of his work, here. They feel very much like the mad collages project that i did at school last year. You can check it here.

- Aldi

This is what i (humbly) call, simplicity. Straight to the point, straight to the target, beautifully written copy with a perfect art direction execution. And cheap. Brilliant.

Agency: MacCann Erickson (Manchester)
Creatives: David Price/Neil Lancaster

- Alexandra Taylor

These are the last words of Alexandra Taylor - an authority in the advertising educational prisma in the UK - in an interview for the D&DA that you can read, here. Don't be lazy. It takes three minutes, and, if you are or wannabe an advertising student, then, don't be stupid, read it. It's well worth the advise.

Alexandra has been nominated more than 189 times for the D&AD awards, since 82 she works, in London, as a creative director, for some of the best agencies around.

I surely am going to take the advise on board.

- Master show Carberwell

So, this is the invitation to the MA show happening at the Carberwell College of Arts from where i just arrived. I was really excited about this one, so, when i left home at 6:30 and planning to get there by 7, i was hopping to enjoy 2 hours of great work...

Well, i did, in a way. But then, as i was about to go to the Fine Art galleries a friendly fella tells me that the College was just about to close, not, therefore, as advertised on the Facebook invitation that i was sent. Bear in mind, at 8, it closes.

The first galleries i visited were the illustration ones, and there is some jaw-dropping work, really. In fact, most of the work is absolutely incredible, these will be the vanguard illustrators in a couple of years, no doubt about it. Then, of course, there is the average work, just some of it. Bad work, i haven't seen.

This guy's work, for example, was amazing. His name is Will Morris and the reason i picked his card and not from others, was due to the ammount of work he presented. Incredible. He made an entire comic book, very funny, about some Scotish fishermen. I guess the text has been written by him, in a nice Northen accent - "shite!" His personal blog is, willmorris.blogspot.com, check it out.

To be honest, i find it quite unfair to select this or other work out of what was on offer, but hey, my intention is uniquely to invite you to go there and see by yourselves. This one is by Weiyi Li and again, just one that for some reason catched my eye more than others. 

I find her work very unique - i mean, personal - , again, check some more of her work at weiyilicreation.tumblr.com, its well worth the few minutes it takes to explore.

Well, here is the last link with information on how to get there in case you came to my blog on time and want to have a go at it. Yes, it is free, of course.  http://newsevents.arts.ac.uk/event/camberwell-summer-shows-2011-ma

See you soon...

- Live banner campaign


Sometimes, whistle you are two hours over the time you should spend in front of your computer navigating the web, (and it's two in the afternoon) you find something that really makes your day. Sure, i may be exaggerating, but this video did really made my day. What a clever idea, my guinness! 

I don't need to explain the ad, you are a click away from it, and it's such a simple idea, that whatever i may say, will be just about filling this post with bland text.

But i had a further thought i would like to share. This idea is so powerful, that it cannot even be copied. Why, because if cocacola, let's say, would decide to copy, sure they would also generate their own attention, but someone would know the idea came from virgin, giving them free publicity, and accusing, in this case, cocacola, of being unoriginal and stealing ideas from others. Wuauau!

And, if you think about it, this cannot have been much more expensive to run than a simple video board... Pay the comedian his hourly rate.... that's it.

Be inspired.

- FdA Degree show

This is a very small selection of the excellent work that is currently displayed at the London College of Communication. The work is from final year students of the course that i am on. Uff, the bar as been set really high i have the feeling. Next year will be us, organizing and exposing at the exhibition. Start your journey into the work here, or, alternatively and highly recommended, pop up there. The exhibition will last until the 8th of July.

- Great story

"As an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival, Stella Artois wanted to mark the occasion in true style. So Mother created an event like no other, culminating in the premiere of the highly anticipated Jacques d’Azur biopic: ‘The Death and Life of Jacques d’Azur’."

- Fish and chiiiips

Work done by ICO Design agency. If only i was an illustrator... :-)

- I'm lovin it

This is an ad i ended up at, and really enjoyed. Then i think, but, there are so many good adverts that never show on the TV. This must mean, that this great ads are being produced to be shown at other places than television, like the internet, planes, cinemas. There is something i'd like to investigate actually...

For reference and for your own pleasure, please check bunchdesign.com, they are the creative team responsible for this video, and the ones who have loads of other fantastic stuff on their portfolio.

- Singapore airlines ad

This, my friends, is what i consider to be great graphic design. Simple, clean, elegant. Simple animation techniques, beautiful effect. 
By the way. It was done by the whynotassociates studio.

- My nephews birthday

This surely wasn't my easiest brief. A birthday party invitation for an event taking place at a farm, where kids can play with animals, make homemade bread and pretend they are farmers, but, it imperatively had to include spider man. Uff, i've attempted quite a few stuff, spiderman flying, spiders, spider nets hanging from somewhere. I was almost going mad at not being able to do a job for a four years old (beautiful) boy. I came up with this and the client himself is very happy about it. Job done!

- Architecture of lines workshop

So this corresponds to pages 135 and 136. A double spread from my final major project, the book called
 "Seeing London through the eyes of a designer". Chapter 12 - "Rules".The workshop that gave place to this chapter was about coming up with a London Architectural landmark that would instantly become a touristic attraction. (Attracting this way media, a bit the london eye effect). And this was my proposal. A solarium. A place to venerate the sun. To be placed in Hide Park. To be covered in grass, the same existing grass on the park. It camuflages itself in the envirenment. 3 levels, each with a small forest in the middle. Not only works as a Solarion on the three levels but also produces shade to those who prefer to stay at ground level. The shade moves with the Sun. People move with the Sun. To be produced with recycled crushed brick, wood and earth.

- Time shift workshop

So, as we were proposed in the Time shift workshop, i started to document the life in my fridge. Each day i would make around 8 different pictures, from the same angle of the refrigerator (i didn't find another way of not repeating the word fridge- i mean, refrigerator). But... on week two, my flatmate decided to clean it - you know what  iam referring to... 

So, well, week two never started.

- Vernacular type

My first typeface, based on the Elephant and Castle shopping centre logo. A lot of work!

- PPD year review

As we were given the blog brief i realised the dimention of it. I realised that if i was capable of managing it well, by the end of the year i would end up with my work and research doccumented, and, the opportunity to show more about my personality as well. From the first post i focussed on giving myself (the student  junior graphic designer) a positive impression to the eyes of a potential employer. 

As i look now through the first posts, i realised that i’ve improved in the way i present things. If before i would use a quick iphone photo to show what i had done in class, now, when i report a project, i have a blog post always in mind. This made me work differently, i am now aware that as a designer, everything counts towards a good presentation. Whatever i do, from writting to sketches, i try to make it look visually good, just in case i might need it later (photographed, scanned...). Well, it is not always true, but i try.

I regularly post a link of my posts into facebook. What i intend with this is shouting to everyone - hey i am a designer. It is effective and i realised that people do actually go and see my work. Over the past eight months i had more than six thousnad visitors, over a bit more than one hundred posts. I have some nice comments. 

At the time of my first blog review, with Josh, i was told that i needed to use more images and less text. I took the advise on board, and indeed, the blog became more interesting. I ended up being forced to finish the day with something interesting to put on the blog. As a consequence, today i have my progress doccumented and it is really fabulous to look back. One academic year, i’ve certainly improved.

The first weeks workshops.
Well, these workshops were amazing. They were inspiring, challenging and fun. From them i understood the need of thinking fast and adopting the just do it mentality. I had (and actually still have) a servere problem with going into unexplored fields. I like to have the whole plan in my head before starting to produce. I like strategy, and seeing things happening one after the other, but realised with these workshops that i am also able to produce work when i just let things go, by doing, and doing and doing.  From these workshops i learned a technique - when i am stuck in a problem, i give myself two hours and i dont care what the result will be, but it has to be the best that two hours working fast will allow. It works, sometimes better than others, but it works. I cannot understand why i dont do it more often.

The mad collages project.
I know that the title of the project does not include “mad”, that the project was never meant to count for evaluation, and - worse of all - that the exhibition never took place. But... i loved the mad collages project and that is how i intend to cal it on my portfolio. That is what i thought when we were given the brief - One hundred collages? - In such a short time and having other stuff to do? - They must be mad! With this project i realised that i love working in the space between word and image that allows wit to exist. I produced one hundred collages on time and i am depply sorry there was no exhibition.

GDF project
Oh the GDF! I spent hours and hours on this, and, wasn’t able to come up with a very good solution, i like my idea but wasn’t able to produce the final outcome with the graphic design appeareance that i would like to. What i’ve learned the most from it, that i cannot swap from idea to idea all the time just because i am afraid of what i have to do, in order to develop it further. Instead, i need to explore, more.

GDA01 - Project in collabration with the Whynotassociates.
The reason i picked up this project was due to the possibility of working with suh a well known studio, and, to further explore the fields of brand and identity. I explored many very good agencies. By exploring identities i became aware of where are the states of the art in this field. Simplicity rules, and it is not a matter of filling every space with great skills of graphic design. I learned that, and tried to apply it to my design. The most positive aspect from this project was at the time of the crit with Paul, just after the date of formative assesment - i realised that no, what i had done was not good enough, yet i had the best mark in the group -  and this, made me seriously improve as a designer although i am not able to explain why.

Before crit with Paul Link01, and after Link 02.           

GDA02 - Project in collaboration with the institute of Contemporary Arts
This was a tough project. Tough because i spent a lot of time with nothing to show, and that was very... best word really is, depressive. I had many thoughts about quitting design. I just couldn’t come up with something to show. Days and days, and days, and days, with notthing. With this project i’ve learned that it is true, sometimes ideas come at the last minute, and if you keep calm, you can make them look good. Again, i had the best mark in the group. After this project i stopped caring about the grades, and here i started to explore more.

Final project
I consider this project as my favourite from the year. I decided that i wasn’t going to stress about it. That i would just explore, use the just do it mentality that i was forced to have in the first weeks. 
With this project i feel that my time is much better managed, and that makes things easier. I’ve’ve explored techniques i had never done, such as french folding, monoprint, patterns, mapping with type (although i havent done this workshop - blogs are really great for this) and others. I feel relaxed and i am able to produce stuff that i am pleased with, and actually, i must go back to it.

Great, great year.


- Typeface done

So, based on the Elephant and Castle shopping centre and the available time i developed this typeface. It obeys a series of rules, it takes time and can be a bit irritating at some moments, but when things start matching up is really a great pleasure. 

- Designing a typeface

So, as part of the vernacular typography workshop, i ended up doing something, that indeed doest not quite match up (just yet) with the examples of Mike Perry. But this was the idea that i had in class, Katy approved it, so i continued developing the idea at home. I've drawn it based on the rules found on the Elephant and Castle shopping centre logo. (You you are wondering why did i pick up such a grrrrrr logo, it's because it needs to relate to the area, and the design in the area is... let's say, strongly identifiable).
Most of all, and that is the reason why i stoke (the past of sticking) to the idea was because i really enjoyed the process. I am at half way to what i visualize as the end of the development. Now i want to bring these measurements into illustrator, and build it digitally. Wasting too much time on this though...

- Concept challenge

Today i went for the third time to Marylebone high street and photographed. I had a plan. I had a list of things to photograph. It's a great experience, you feel really professional. It's time effective, and very productive. You understand what i mean...? Instead of just going and making some pics without knowing exactly what to shoot, you go with a plan. Give it a try.

- Underground

This is one of my monoprints for the book. Simple, yes, but i love the texture and style that you can achieve from this. Or is it not so much more interesting than to have it as a perfect sign?

- Screen print

To screen-print. Two colors. I've done it already, but it is at school, drying. For the book project. To me, it relates to london.

- Moooo

For my layers chapter... Found this lovely street art cow this morning, in brick lane...

- Mark making

Found in brick lane, this morning while i was doing some pictures for the book project.