Assignment 2: Thinking of you

The brief

Create a range of cards for sentiments or events that are worthy of a greetings card, but are currently not catered for by card manufactures.

The cards could be linked to other calendar events, obscure Saints days, sporting calendars or any other happening that is worth celebrating or commiserating. You may wish to explore some of life’s other landmarks that currently don’t feature in greetings cards, like getting your first grey hairs, being released from prison or any other personal landmark someone might want to share.

Requirements

Your will need to design the cover of your card and the message inside. You may choose to include the envelope within your design work as well as explore the possibility of pop-ups or other forms of cards.

At least three finished cards will be produced, which can either be unrelated or work as a series linked to the same sentiment. Base the dimensions of your cards on a size of envelope that you have available to you.

Work through the design process, documenting it in your research file as you go:

Analyse the brief

Read the brief, identifying keywords, communication issues and design problems

Research and develop ideas

Identify the primary and secondary research you need to undertake. This brief requires some lateral thinking: develop ideas that are unexpected, obvious and fun.

Visualise your ideas

Use mood boards to explore the feel of your sentiments, visualise your ideas through thumbnails and create mock-ups of your cards.

Critique your work

Write a short rationale for each of your ideas explaining your decision-making process. Evaluate your design work, try and include other people in this process.

Finish your artwork

Create at least three finished cards that are of the highest visual quality that you can achieve at this time. Use appropriate DTP, image manipulation and/or illustration software to complete them. Remember to check for spelling, typos and accuracy.

KEYWORDS OF BRIEF

  • design greeting cards
    • celebrating
    • comiserating
  • events
    • saints days
    • sports days
  • life’s landmarks
    • first grey hairs
    • released from prison
    • other personal landmarks

VISUALISING MY IDEAS

Having looked at a number of possibilities for cards, Welcome to some group, Celebrating an achievement or celebrating some calendar day, I decided on the latter. I decided on the following days

  • Girls day
  • Boys day
  • Cats day

My first idea was to use a number of thumbnail sized images to create a grid with the “greeting” superimposed on these. I wanted to mix black & white images with coloured. I started with “Girls Day” and located about thirty images from which I chose sixteen. I mounted these on a 14.5 x 14.5 cm square template. I did the same for Boys Day. I used this format because I make cards for sale in a craft shop and use this format.

I was not happy with the first results and decided to keep the theme but change the content of the cards. I photograph a lot of graffiti and wanted to use some of these images if possible.

I have indicated the steps in my learning Diary.

I was happier with these cards than with the first group I tried.

So the first ‘celebration’ card is for International Girls Day

the-future-is-female_sm

When working on the third card I decided to change the font on all three to Squeeky Chalk as I thought this fitted better with the graffiti style.

card_inside_female

The second card is for International Boys Day:

card_male_2_just_image_sm

 

card_inside_male

And the third was celebrating International Cats Day:

cat_card_sm

inside_cat_card

The set of three

three_cards_outside

three_cards_insode_sm

and with the envelope:

card_with_envelope_sm

I printed the cards on Bristol paper but this would not be heavy enough for commercial cards. I would need 220gms for a final production.

 

Reflection:

The brief was to create at least three cards to celebrate or commiserate some happening. I think I have fulfilled this part of the brief. The cards are linked by the fact that they are celebrating three International Days. These days do not presently have cards to celebrate them.

I found trying to create the size 145 x 145 mm in both Illustrator and InDesign difficult. I have done this many times in Photoshop for card creation but I wanted to try to get more experience with these design software programmes. When I tried to print my cards they were not placed correctly. So I took them into photoshop and resized the cards and the canvas which created the correct size and shape of card. I need to do more work on sorting the dimensions of these cards.

Comments by friends and family (I haven’t received feedback from everyone yet):

My husband thinks they work – normally he is not too positive!

My daughter (my best critic!!)

Hi,

I like the girls day one. Don’t like the boys/lads one just cos the pic is not right, doesn’t really grab me. Love the cats one but you need to say ‘happy cats day’ or Make the celebration clearer.

Also, cat is at an angle and it would be better to have the full cat across the bottom. Must be possible to find a sleeping cat in cucuron to photograph.

Tutor feedback:

nuala-mahon-graphicdesign1assignment2tutorreporttemplate-3-4-2

REFLECTIONS ON TUTOR FEEDBACK:

Your cards demonstrate some good learning in terms of production, printing and putting some key elements together to create a visual theme across three cards. Of the three, your “Girls’ Day” card seems the most cohesive – the use of graffiti imagery here describes a sense of activism relevant to a feminist concern. The boys’ day card apes this style a little but perhaps does not promote or celebrate / elevate the male through the image, your character crouches instead of standing proud and your dice message feels a little lost in the mix. Your cats’ day begins to speak of a cat relaxing and this is humorous in itself (cats really do need a day to kick back and chill out don’t they?) however the graffiti background here once again confuses the image a little because it doesn’t add a tension, context or further insight into the image. A simple structure to work into the cards may be something like: 

1. The card must contain a graffiti background that demonstrates celebrates the plight (eg. The future is female, a focus on men’s health / good male role models, celebrating the hard working tasks of a cat)

2. A counter image where the protagonist is celebrated / gets to relax.

This simple structure will allow a clearer legibility across all cards.

I have re-worked the cats day card. using an image of my friends beloved cat who has now passed away.

I found one of my graffiti mages which I thought fitted my tutors recommendation for the female card:

 

 

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