Tuesday, 3 November 2015

OUGD503 - Responsive - Brief 01 - Responding to Briefs

In today's responsive session, we were asked to get into small groups of 4 - 5 people and generate a list or mind map of various strategies we all use to tackle any sort of brief as graphic design students. Our task was to basically compile a list of conceptual ways of 'approaching' a brief, in other words, consider carefully the various conceptual steps taken before actually producing any design work.

During the presentation delivered today, we were introduced to a number of ways of thinking about idea generation and creative, conceptual approaches to problem solving through graphic design. One of the most interesting slides for me discussed a notable art director from the early 20 th century named James Webb Young. He devised a five step plan for tackling a problem. It is as follows:

1) You gather as much information on the problem as you possibly can. You read, underline, ask questions, visit the client or studio to get as much of a grasp on the brief as possible

2) You sit down and actively attack the problem within the brief in a way that you see fit

3) You drop the whole thing and leave it along for a while to go and do something else wile your subconscious mind works away on the problem in the background

4 )Eureka!

5) You then are at a point where you can figure out how to implement your ideas through design

My group created a very systematic list, describing in depth the research processes we would undertake and the considerations into sustainability, design processes, materials and most importantly the target audience and brand considerations.

I then went away from the session and devised a list of the strategies and series of steps I take before approaching any design brief, but especially competition/live briefs:
  • Firstly I read the brief thoroughly and attempt to pick out the key problems that need to be solved
  • I then interpret the brief by mind mapping and writing lists of my initial thoughts. I try to write everything down that is on my stream of conciousness/train of thought - here is a good opportunity to get out all of the most obvious ideas/interpretations of what the brief is asking me to do
  • I then begin in depth research into the brand/product and everything that could be associated with it. This includes target audiences, past audiences, future audiences, where the design will sit in context of the brand, where the designs will be viewed/received, costings, ethics, morality, environmental factors, the list goes on and on
  • I would then most likely go for a walk or do something other than working on the brief to clear my mind and relax. Over-thinking in the initial stages of a brief is not a good or productive approach
  • I would then begin sketching out my initial ideas on paper rather than turning straight to digital methods. This I find helps me to be more efficient and conceptual in my approach
  • I then seek advice, feedback and general input from my peers both in my graphic design class and outside of my creative circles. Getting insights from people who don't necessarily view the world in the same way as I do as a creative is highly beneficial to the development of any design brief, as they will always offer an alternative view to whatever I was thinking 
  • I then consider the materials and processes that I will utilise to actually begin designing

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