Most pupils don’t know to which extent they are learning to become a successful artist or designer in Art & Design. To pupils, the subject is still a hobby, something that you enjoy doing. I try my best to push the fact that they will learn skills that can take them progress in a career that they will enjoying doing everyday. Although the curriculum doesn’t allow an overall view of Art & Design as work, it does give an insight into how it’s made, especially the design content.
Pupils will know that when working with a design, especially at a high level (intermediate, higher etc), you must provide three examples of design. This also helps when gauging what a client wants. With any piece of design that I do, it is important to give the client a range of ideas to help them decide what they want. Most lazy designers don’t consider the client and only do what is necessary, leaving the client feeling trapped to one idea and not saying anything about issues they may have with the design. It is then fairly unlikely that that client will ever contact you again for further designs. It is therefore important to consider who you are designing for and getting a brief of what they would like.
The working example I am going to show you is for an exhibition held in my home country of Northern Ireland. The exhibition is for ‘The Recessionists’, a collection of painters and artists who have got together to provide affordable artwork during this harsh time. Now it’s fairly tough to design for non-creative clients, it’s ten times as stressful when you are designing for artists or other designers.
After speaking with the client on the phone you have a vague idea and notes of what they want. I suggest you sit down and sketch out a few examples. It is fine to leave them as sketches, though I find it helps the client choose, if you’ve prepared clean, digital examples for them.
I thought of my three ideas (actually four, but I disregarded the worst one). The first idea came to me as soon as I saw some of the landscapes that would be shown in the exhibition. The mountains look like a graph, a sliding graph of lost shares or money. So I came up with the idea below.
The second idea came from the fact that the paintings would be affordable and on sale. This made me think of the competition between the big supermarkets and how they advertise their products. My next idea would be based on Tesco’s advertising.
The last idea (and the idea chosen by the clients) would be based around someone who hadn’t much money looking into the fact that they’d like to go along to the exhibition. It would be a scattering of coins and information that would tell the onlooker about the exhibition as well as give them an insight into its aim and audience.
The three ideas are then emailed to the client, who is allowed time to choose and fine tune any details they’d like to change. As stated before ‘The Recessionists’ have gone for the last idea and it will now be finalised and the final draft, emailed to them.
The three ideas and the final idea will have taken around 5 hours to complete. This is very slow in terms of commercial design work, most companies are ruthless with their time and expect an output in a short time. This is why I work for myself and can remain happy with the project, putting as much time into it as I see fit. Should you choose the design path, you’ll have to make the decision to either work for a company in a fairly safe job, but work underneath a manager or walk the uncertain path of working free-lance (for yourself), not knowing when and where the next job may arise.
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at an actual insight into how design works outside of school. The basic principles are there, the initial thoughts and plans, the three ideas and the development into a final idea. When you get to it being second nature, you don’t really need to show your workings anymore, especially if you’re not graded for them.
I will show you the final idea when it’s complete.