Week 11 Overview

What I did

What I plan to do

  • Draft an advertorial article for Waltham Forest Echo to get people to participate in the project

AcTIvity Feedback

So, after getting some good feedback from my flatmate Cassie, here are the latest sheets:

As you can see, I’ve made it printer friendly (black toner only) and addressed the issue of ethnic background that Susanna brought up. Participants can now write their own ethnic background as they choose.

The activities have examples, clearer instructions and are less wordy:

I managed to get a map in my using the software QGIS that is Illustrator for maps. I downloaded open source data from Ordinance Survey and had a play. Perhaps it would have been neat to show you the process in a video, but the programme took up most of my RAM, and so I avoided all other processes running at the same time. Even so, it crashed several times. So, please trust that I went from zero to semi-hero in a couple of days to get the map in the format I wanted. I want to include other maps in my final hand-in, and this will be a great way to build them.

It’s really important that the people taking part can see how big and wide the E17 postcode is and that they can wander around their homes, it doesn’t have to be on the high street.


Week 11: Print Inspiration

At this point, I am thinking of creating a printed design outcome, and as I am going around the internet, I have found some sources of inspiration.

I like how this format folds out to be a square – it is a nice format and slightly unusual
A bright and bold look at how you can display typefaces within a publication
Bright typeface format with stretrched and condensed letters
Lots of type on the cover
Use as section breaks? Wow at this typeface!
Strong colour theme
Section introduction with photo and bold typeface
Colour stock
Different presentations of the same letter
Bright typeface showcase

Week 11: Literature Review

TyPE Tasting

Sarah Hyndman runs TypeTasting, and her mission is “to change the way we think and talk about typography by making it fun and exciting for everybody. She specialises in making typography entertaining and relevant with humour, a dash of theatre and lashings of audience participation.

She creates multisensory installations, immersive events and innovative workshops designed to challenge assumptions.”

I asked her if I could talk to her as I think that her workshops are good examples of how she gets people to engage with typography. Most importantly, she aims to engage people from a non-design background. Just like me. However, she said that she was too busy (and looking at her schedule, I can understand why) and to look at her workshops.

So, tonight I went to one called Painting with fonts: geometric fonts that focussed on the Bauhaus. We had 3 tasks to create alphabets from as fewer shapes as possible. Here are my 3 goes.

There were good references that came up in conversation too:


Rick Poynor, of University of Reading, thinks that looking at only typography is reductive:

Graphic design’s full potential as a means of communication comes from the integration of type and image. It hardly needs saying, one might think, and yet it often seems today that the emphasis falls too much on type at the expense of the image. At the point where we might be better able than ever before to proselytize the purposes of graphic design, because public awareness of type and design in general in the 21st century helps to make this possible, instead we fixate on one component— the “font,” simplistically reducing public perception of visual communication to a matter of expressing our personalities by our type choices.” POYNOR, R., 2017. “Typographic Selfies”? Print, 71(2), pp. 21-22.

This is a valid concern: good design is greater than the sum of its parts, and focusing on typography ignores to some extent the broader context in which it is placed. Because typography is commonly overlooked in everyday life, a narrow field of view is necessary for Stowe Framework to engage the community.

Kupferschmid takes a look at why readability has taken the place over idiosyncrasy:

“With hardly any other reason for the choice of one typeface over another, “readability” comes in handy when one has to sell a design decision to a client, especially a public institution or a corporate organization. The favoring of readability and legibility by clients keen to avoid untested or idiosyncratic designs may be understandable. …
Frutigerization of typographic landscapes is offset nowadays by a growing awareness of unique local lettering styles and increasing efforts to preserve them, not least through photographic documentation and archives. And young designers, who yearn for the hand-made typographic tradition to continue, slip into the vernacular and retro aesthetics in their work.”
“The tradition of letter forms past and present typical to a region is too rich and culturally significant to be relinquished to the “do-no-harm”, standardized typefaces like Frutiger. They can express so much more than just words and information. Letters are seen before they are read. Thankfully, recent developments in the digital media and young designers’ creative approaches to their work give some hope for the preservation of the older forms and the emergence of more varied and imaginative typefaces of contemporary cityscapes.”
Kupferschmid, I. (2015) ‘Between Frutigerization and tradition: diversity, standardization, and readability in contemporary typographic landscapes’, Social Semiotics, 25(2), pp. 151–164. doi: 10.1080/10350330.2015.1010319.

I like the idea that young designers are rebelling against the simplicity of modernism and creating an aesthetic that is easy to read while going back to previous references in history.

Week 11: Challenge

How can you ensure a business / creative idea is targeted and researched to maximise potential?

  • Select one of your ideas from the previous week and develop a clear business outline of your intended audience outlets for distribution or purchase.
  • You may need to evolve aspects of the proposition, and ensure there is a clear objective for the next stages of development.
  • Your output will include product development, research insights and production challenges; all of which will come together in the final week of this module.
  • Upload the artefact and evidence of any development undertaken (this might also include brand names and approach to the product’s story), and include a one page report outlining research, insights and development challenges.

Idea chosen

Walthamstow Typeface design: For Walthamstow, by Walthamstow

This is more than designing a typeface for Walthamstow: the objective is engage the community in the creation of a means of communication that reflects them and to have a discussion about how type influences how we feel about the content it displays.

The project starts with a series of workshops, each aimed at a different demographic, where we talk about the elements of type and our experiences of living in the area. We will go on to experiment with how we can encapsulate our thoughts in letterforms and go on to design our own glyphs.

From there, I will go on to design a body typeface and a display typeface that embody the themes talked about in the sessions. The typeface can be used by participating members free of charge for personal use, and can be purchased for any commercial usage.

The typeface will be shown to the community to gauge reactions and invite people to contribute pieces of writing about Walthamstow. In collaboration with Paekarikiriki Press, the typeface will be cast so that it can typeset the writing into a publication. Members of the community will typeset pieces at Paekarikiriki Press, allowing them to experience how books are made. The publication will be available for sale at local businesses to help fund the project.

The project will form the basis of the framework, where it can be refined and packaged as a community venture that can be applied in any location and as a commercial product that is sold as a tool for companies to understand their audience.

Evolution and Objectives

This started just as a typeface project called W’stow.otf, but has now developed into a framework called Stowe Framework so that it can be transported to different areas.

The goals for this project are community-based …  

  • Engage the community in typeface design, letterpress and book publishing;
  • Run workshops for people to create glyphs of a typeface together;
  • Explore how typography is used in the Walthamstow area;
  • Facilitate conversations about how typography can shape how we view our space;
  • Foster communications between community and creative spaces;
  • Showcase the communities’ experiences in a piece of written work.

… and will have physical outcomes:

  • Latin-script body typeface and display typeface, based on workshops, for use by the community;
  • Publication of writings on the local area, set at a local letterpress studios;
  •  Online tool where people can select display characters from the workshops to write “Walthamstow” and share online.
  • Framework that can be taken to other communities and sold to companies for as an experience-based session to enable them to understand their customers better.

Product development


The original name for the project, W’stow.otf came from a shortening of Walthamstow and the typeface file name suffix of Open Type Font – because the font would be open to be designed and used by all.

After transforming the project to a framework, it has been renamed as Stowe Framework. I have chosen to make it non-location specific, and kept the Stowe. The word Stowe/or Stow derives from Old/Middle English as a way to describe a holy or meeting place. Bristol was originally “Bridge stow”, or meeting place by the bridge. I hope that the project and typeface will serve as a meeting place for people of a community,

ReseaRch insights


I am going to run a survey asking people who live in Walthamstow a few questions. Here is the Google Forms I set up:


I would have liked to, as Dan Parry suggested in the lecture, set up a questionnaire that uses logic jumps so that I can drill down into certain answers and with people only answering questions applicable to them. However, TypeForm is too expensive for one survey and does not allow such features on the free version.


I am a member of a number of Facebook groups for the Walthamstow area, and have posted on them asking for people to help me out. I don’t have much traction with the groups yet, but I hope people will be willing to help.

I also have some friends in the area, and I’ve asked them to help me out by answering and distributing the survey.

I am also going to distribute posters around places I know where people might be interested, and make it varied so that a wide a selection of people as possible are surveyed.

Production Challenges

It’s ambitious

Oh yes it is! This is not a simple project: this has many different stages and facets that need to work together. I will tackle these by breaking everything into stages with a schedule and plans to clearly communicate to participants and partners.

Talking of partners …

I’d like to team up with Artillery Arts, Rabbit Road Press and Paekarikiriki Press so that it is truly community-based. Artillery Arts have a strong base in the area and facilitate projects regularly. RRP and PP are riso and letterpress printers respectively and I hope they will be part of this so that the publication can be produced. I need to make contact with this organisations soon to build a basis of the project.

Have you ever designed a typeface before?

Well … no. Not completely. To produce this I need to get my education hat on ASAP to learn and to sign up to masterclasses where my work can be refined and critiqued.

Have you ever run a session at this scope before?

Nope. I’m nervous about running workshops, but I can’t progress to be the designer I want to be working the projects I want to work on without starting somewhere. I will enlist the help of my arts facilitator flatmate to structure and run sessions.

How are you going to attract people to come?

I’m hoping the survey will at least make people aware that something is happening, and start to build a following through partners and social media.

What about Covid-19? How are you going to keep people safe?

This project is community-based and needs people to meet in some way or another. Ideally, this would be in person, but I need to make this safe. I would run workshops at the Mill, a community space, and have reduced numbers and safety precautions.

In your survey you mention running sessions for children. How are you planning to keep them safe?

Running sessions for children, and any adults too, requires safeguarding. I would apply for a DRB check and provide all details, and invite their carer to come with them.

Finally, finances. How are you going to pay for it?

I can’t self-finance this, and so I would build the project to make it eligible for funding from the National Lottery, Arts Council and see if there is any local funding. I don’t want to charge people to come to the sessions or contribute. The publication will be available for sale, which will help finance the project and the created typeface will be free for personal use, but charged for commercial and online use.

One page report

Week 11: Develop and Design


  • Research and contextualise how disciplines outside of the design industry could help you solve a design challenge.
  • Analyse how intercultural insights and appropriate media can be deployed to solve a creative problem.
  • Contextualise your research into a strategy to help solve the project.
  • Develop and design a creative solution to solve a design challenge that was posted on the Ideas Wall in Week 10.
  • Collaborate and provide feedback on the design solution made by another student to your original challenge on the Ideas Wall.


Contextualise your research into a strategy to help solve the project.

I have chosen J’s brief, because it captured my imagination when he presented it in the crit:


Here is some preliminary research I did on LA and water usage:

Notes scan_Page_1Notes scan_Page_4Notes scan_Page_2Notes scan_Page_5

Jay has also provided some context for me, via Whatsapp:


Callum utilised the Reddit community for his project to contact people in his area because we are all in a lockdown. Yay, Covid-19. I thought I could do the same. Here are the questions I posed, and answers I received (questions seen in the numbered list below):

Screenshot 2020-04-29 at 10.40.23

Perhaps Reddit is not going to give me the widest sample of people, true, and I have no way of verifying this information. It does highlight the difficulty of working from afar: how does one source reputable information from a community a long way away (and within a week, thanks Falmouth). If I had the luxury of travelling to LA, I would try asking questions in community centres, workplaces and public spots around different neighbourhoods to get a thorough idea of people and their lives through focus groups and interviews. From there I would build PERSONAS.

This interaction does give me information about population and its reaction to reducing water usage.

  1. Agriculture has a bad reputation (deservedly so) for high water usage, and therefore people feel their use is insignificant compared to major corporations
  2. There is a divide between people with high income and low income: those with low income feel that people high income use water frivolously because they do not have the same incentive to pay attention to water use (cost)

Going back to the Geert Hofstede and his six dimensions, I can look at how my perspective and that of a Los Angelian might be similar or diverge. Both the UK and US score very highly for individualism, which I would expect, compared to countries like China. This is important: to appeal to the Los Angelian, I need to apply a similar perspective to that of me and my community. In reducing water usage, what is in it for me? Appealing to the collective good might work on a few people, but to really make a mark on the overall population I should appeal to how water usage reduction can help them as households.

So I went back to the Service Design Tools website to use some of the tools they have on offer. I started building three personas based on what I have seen from LA so far – though I would try to build more thoroughly on these in normal times.

Now I have an idea who I am designing a solution for I can think about different ways to add intercultural knowledge. Although the user on Reddit was dismissive of personal water usage reduction when the agricultural industry uses so much water, I thought that I could put this into perspective. In 1969, the average person in LA used 189 gallons of water across residential and commercial settings. In 2015, that figure is 131 gallons, of which 67 are used in residential settings. Here are four other cities for comparison:


Clearly, even if some citizens feel that their water usage is low, citizens in other cities use less. Full disclosure, I’m not 100% the figures are comparable but the figures do suggest that LA uses more water.

Intercultural Insights

I live in London, near where a huge water plant that supplies fresh water to London. Just to the west is New River, which was built in 1631 to draw water from Herefordshire, River Lea and other local springs to central London.


Over the past five years, utility companies have been installing smart meters for gas and electricity so people can easily see what they are using and the cost. It allows peopelt to adjust their usage according to how much they want to spend.


If water ones were installed, then water usage could be monitored in the same way.

In Berlin, climate change has resulted in longer, hotter summers and the city has been devising ways in which to make sure its water supply is sustainable. One study suggests that “in the 1980s, with increasing success, to influence the use and consumption of water resources by applying economic instruments such as fees and price increases, along with subsidising water-saving gadgets and equipment. According to the Federal Statistical Offices of Germany, in 2007 the per-capita consumption of water in Berlin was estimated to be 112 litres per day as compared to 122 litres for the rest of Germany (Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland, 2009 & Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg 2009).” (Salian)

In addition, Berlin’s residents received 25 to 60 Euros /m² in subsidies for their investment in green roofs and further domestic measures can be credited:

  • “Higher tariffs for water to encourage customers to adopt a more economical use of water.
  • Effective publicity campaigns and well-organised public relations and instructions for water saving (in the 1980s first in West Berlin, later in the 1990s in the former Eastern sector of Berlin).
  • Temporary subsidies for the purchase and installation of water saving equipment. “


Saliently, it seems that PR played a huge part in people reducing water usage: “water issues in Berlin gained an important boost in public awareness during the 1980s, when environmental activism gained momentum.” (Salian)

This is impressive! It is a campaign that has taken nearly forty years, but one that has changed the city forever and made it a model for me to consider and draw intercultural insight from..

Small changes

Rather than expecting residents to make huge changes, I think small aims and goals would help people make sustainable long term changes.

Fab is an app that promotes healthy living and gives users a few things to do each day in order to build habits that last.

The Forest app is a productivity tool: you set a timer for an amount of time, and you see an animation of a tree growing over that time as motivation to not go on the internet or to waste time. The progress of seeing trees, and then a forest grow, is intended to be motivation to stay productive. I like the idea of having residents’ water usage shown in scale of saving water and how it can help the environment.

Develop and design a creative solution to solve a design challenge that was posted on the Ideas Wall in Week 10.

Going through my research, I think the best approach wuld be to combine the service with the current municipality system. This would give a thorough base and a way to integrate with the current system, as well as compiling information all over the web to one place.

The plan would fall into two categories: Smart Meter and Smartphone App.

Water meters

Smart meters provide real-time information about how much of a resource you are using, and make adjustments to your habits accordingly. By using existing technology, this scheme can allow a conumer to view all their energy and water usage in one place.

The visuals would be similar to the ones we are familiar with the UK.



This is connected to Smart Water Meter, or is can




Collaborate and provide feedback on the design solution made by another student to your original challenge on the Ideas Wall.

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Week 11: Research


  • Research and contextualise how disciplines outside of the design industry could help you solve a design challenge.
  • Analyse how intercultural insights and appropriate media can be deployed to solve a creative problem.
  • Contextualise your research into a strategy to help solve the project.
  • Develop and design a creative solution to solve a design challenge that was posted on the Ideas Wall in Week 10.
  • Collaborate and provide feedback on the design solution made by another student to your original challenge on the Ideas Wall.

Research and contextualise how disciplines outside of the design industry could help you solve a design challenge.

Whilst a practical necessity, the division of labour since the industrial revolution has meant that people in roles have had less opportunity to cross between disciplines. In the design industry, though relatively young, new categories are created to define awards categories and work output. Whether this is helpful to recognise different projects or leads to the segregation of a practice that is largely holistic is up for debate. A lot of projects use design as the ‘outside discipline’ to make sense of their project, and I will look at examples of this, does it matter which is the first discipline and which is the one being brought in to solve it? I ask this because the world’s problems that service design tries to alleviate are not design problems, they are practical problems that design has been brought in to help solve. Or, can problems be design-based first?


Redesign of Rape Kit

Through being an advocate for domestic abuse victims at ER and health centres in New York, Antya Waegemann came to understand how traumatising the process of collecting forensic evidence could traumatise the victim and take an unnecessarily long time. Instructions for nurses about each stage of collection and what evidence would need to be collected was unclear, particularly because each nurse would not use a kit that often in comparison to other tasks they took out.

Waegemann used her final project to redesign the rape kit to answer the question of “How we can remodel the rape kit to lessen the cognitive overload of the nurse or doctor so that they can focus on care-giving?” By providing clear instructions broken down into steps, with clearly marked sections for each step, Waegemann wanted to make the process as easy as “building an IKEA chair”. Alongside the kit, she has developed an app for patients that they can download on their arrival at the hospital. This gives them information about what to expect through the process and provide them with a sense of control through the procedure.

Whilst researching, I came across Geert Hofstede and his 6-D model of National Culture. Each country can be represented on a scale between six axioms:

  • Collectivism – Individualism: “Individualism is the extent to which people feel independent, as opposed to being interdependent as members of larger wholes.”
  • Power Distance (small – large): “Power Distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.”
  • Femininity – Masculinity: “Masculinity is the extent to which the use of force in endorsed socially.”
  • Uncertainty Avoidance: “Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity.”

Found later were:

  • Long-term Orientation (Flexhumble – Monumentalist): “In a long-time-oriented culture, the basic notion about the world is that it is in flux, and preparing for the future is always needed. In a short-time-oriented culture, the world is essentially as it was created, so that the past provides a moral compass, and adhering to it is morally good. As you can imagine, this dimension predicts life philosophies, religiosity, and educational achievement.”
  • Indulgence: “In an indulgent culture it is good to be free. Doing what your impulses want you to do, is good. Friends are important and life makes sense. In a restrained culture, the feeling is that life is hard, and duty, not freedom, is the normal state of being.”

This is a framework where every country has its own mix, but comparisons on the separate axes can be drawn between countries and communities to see how they hold different values. This can highlight whether design strategies can be as effective in one community as another.

Analyse how intercultural insights and appropriate media can be deployed to solve a creative problem.

I had a think about my first reactions to design about the benefits and problems we can encounter with intercultural projects on a mind-map.

Notes scan_Page_3Notes scan_Page_6

Design has been used to highlight health crises through the years, and the UN has recently announced a brief for people to design information posters to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

The brief includes this copy:

  • Use any creative medium to produce work that captures one of the coronavirus key messages below, in a clear, impactful and shareable way
  • Capture one of the UN key messages in your work:
    • Personal Hygiene
    • Physical Distancing
    • Know the symptoms
    • Kindness contagion
    • Myth-busting
    • Do more, donate
  • The UN needs a range of creative solutions to reach audiences across different age groups, affiliations, geographies and languages
  • Keep in mind that submitted work will be reviewed by the UN and considered for co-branding and distribution through UN and supporting platforms

You can view submissions from all over the world, and how different culture create content their peers will respond to.

Screenshot 2020-05-08 at 17.32.13

This is similar to an Ebola information poster designed in 2014 by Unicef to educate non-literate people about the symptoms of Ebola by showing illustrations of a person with these symptoms. In different countries, this poster looks different.


By seeing what people are creating in their own cultures in response to the Covid-19 crisis, we can see what might resonate with cultures around the world, Unfortunately I can’t filter by country of entry, but even in the screen shot I took you can see manga influences, maybe from a Japanese submitter? Further down there are suggestions to “Do it Like a Canadian”, an Indian Odissi Dance video, and photos of people making guns with their hands to demonstrate how dirty hands can kill. The submissions are, in essence, crowdsourced propaganda in a way that I haven’t seen before and it is a snapshot of how different cultures are reacting to one event at the same time.


Collaborate and provide feedback on the design solution made by another student to your original challenge on the Ideas Wall.

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Week 11: Design development Part II

Carrying on from my previous post, I am developing the game further…


  • Make and deliver a five minute presentation (Video, Keynote Presentation, Interactive PDF or similar) to evaluate the success of your industry project. Add initial reflections onto the Ideas Wall, to gain peer reflection, and post the final presentation in your blog.
  • Communicate an evaluation of the industry set project outcome and reflect on the project evolution, strategy, innovation, user testing, positioning, final delivery and success at reaching the target audience. Post your final analysis in your blog.
  • Design and deliver the final outcome of your industry set project. Post visual developments on the Ideas Wall, including the final outcome, and use your blog to reflect on detailed development.

Analysis of feedback

After getting feedback for my initial response here are the conclusions I can draw:

  • Linking on metadata, though simpler, is not engaging or interesting enough on which to base a game
  • The links can bounce from one end of the collection to another, and this is not strong enough for a game
  • There needs to be more of a narrative between objects and the links between the groups
  • Challenges should be more restricted rather than across the whole collection
  • Levels and game objects to collect to should be included
  • The player needs a takeaway from the game, perhaps as a points score or as a map of the journey they have taken through the network
  • Avoid feature creep, and trying to do too much. Start simple.


As I got feedback from John Stack and others that linking metadata was not interesting, I decided to borrow a connecting link from James Burke’s Connections TV show in the 90’s to provide an interesting narrative:




There’s also the option to select a multi-choice answer to make the links, in an easier version of the levels based on the description so that the players have to engage:



Correctly linking objects will allow users to score points too:



When the player exits the game, they will have several things to take away with them. One, their score based on the connections of how they performed in the games and how well they navigated around the collections:


Two, a visualisation of the paths they have taken through the collection on each journey so that they can see the objects in perspective and see how far they can go. If the user has had multiple sessions, they can see all their journeys on the map.


Three, a piece of artwork generated from the objects the user has seen in this session viewed in a number of ways, shared on social media:



Ideas Wall

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Week 11: Studio Practice


Case Study 2: Take a brand and look at how it is delivered in different countries, e.g. alcohol, tobacco, transport, cars. Is it symbolised in a different way? Why might colour or typeface have been changed? Does it work at a local level and does it work at a global level?

  • Collect – visual examples and upload onto your blog and onto the ideas wall.
  • Debate – ensure you contribute to debate and discussion and incorporate this into a short 500-word written critical review in your blog.
  • Consider – the impact that the media has on your understanding of visual signs and symbols relating to that piece.
  • Design – your case study:  visual study and written critical review into an editorial piece to be seen in print or on screen.

Guinness: Made of More

Guinness has had a long reputation of being the drink of Ireland, that that you’d never get a better pint pulled than in Dublin, however, it has a huge international consumer base and the company claims that “10 million glasses are enjoyed daily around the world” (Guinness-storehouse.com, 2019). In comparison, the Republic of Ireland has a population of 4.8 million.

The exportation of Guinness to England began in 1801, and by 1815 the company was shipping to European Countries. The ‘West India Porter’, now known as Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, shipped around the world and the market grew so large in Africa that a brewery was opened in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1963. The Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is popular in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, and these are the territories I shall look into in this piece.

Guinness’ branding is made of three components: the logotype “Guinness”, the harp, and Arthur Guinness’s signature, and they have been used in different guises and compositions through the company’s history. Most recently, the harp has returned to its previous 3D design, and the signature given more prominence to emphasis the history, heritage and authenticity of the brand.

The first international advertising campaign featured artwork by artist John Gilroy, who illustrated the copy of “Guinness for strength”. The two most popular posters of this campaign were the Girder” (1934).


Guinness for Strength (1934)

and the horse and cart with the farmer pulling the cart (1949):


Both use playful situations that comically overstate the strength that Guinness can give its consumer, without being misleading. The advertisements do not include the standard logotype branding, harp, or signature included on the product at the time, favouring the strong images and the slogan. The images can’t be compared for colour, as archiving methods might differ, however, the typeface is a powerful heavy san serif font in a bright red tone that contrasts strongly with the colours in the images and the pale background. Classically, red connotates strength and power, and so Gilroy was likely emphasising his meaning.

The people depicted in the images are engaged in manual labour: construction and farming, with a heavy bias towards traits seen to be masculine. At this time, soldiers had come back from the second world war and had found that their roles had been filled by women, and so equating Guinness with not only strength but working too could have been a very deliberate move on Guinness’ part.

In the above adverts, English language and Irish language are used, and both would have been displayed in Ireland. The Irish language poster would have been essential to capture the consumers for whom Irish conveyed a sense of nationalism. During the Troubles, Guinness considered rebranding the drink as an English drink brewed in London, but when the tensions eased, the company instead focussed on engaging an Irish market and Irish consumers around the world (The Economist, 2014).

Exports of Guinness to Africa were vital to the growth of Guinness international market, and in 1963 a brewery was opened in Nairobi, Kenya. The poster on the left was released as part of the same marketing campaign, and on the right is a UK campaign using similar imagery.

Both use the same actions of cutting trees down, although the UK poster uses Caucasian figures in a more comic way (see the figure on the left being surprised by the right man’s strength after drinking the opened bottle by stump. In comparison, the advertisement for the African market uses a similar composition to the Girder poster above and is a more obvious reference that Guinness will give the consumer strength to lift a huge log.

The slogan is different for the African-aimed poster: the word strength has been changed to power, and given a comic-book “pow” flash to infer that drinking Guinness would give you not only strength, but superpowers. The typeface for Guinness has been compacted and there is a crossbar on the G to make it more obvious, and the ‘S’s have more curve to emphasis the shape.

‘Power’ was later used by Guinness to create a black “James-Bond” persona of Michael Power, who was the epitome of the hypermasculine, strong working man. This was successful because it “played into cultural ideals of a strong African male—not unlike hypermasculine ads employed in Ireland, the U.K. and elsewhere” and also because “ower lacked ethnic affiliation, so he could appeal to everybody regardless of ethnic or tribal group” (Thompson, 2014).

The message of gaining strength and power by drinking Guinness has continued in various guises to other territories, for example, Mauritius (left) and the Caribbean (right):

where bright primary colours have been used and radically different type has been used to attract local consumers.

In more recent years, the message of strength has been used to highlight sportsperson-ship for rugby and football World Cups, celebration of black identity and coming together as a community, showing Guinness’ prowess at pinpointing where different cultures perceive power lays and using it to create a sense of “together” (adforum.com, 2019).


Guinness-storehouse.com. (2019). Archive Fact Sheet: The History of Guinness. [online] Available at: https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/content/pdf/archive-factsheets/general-history/company-history.pdf [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].

The Economist. (2014). Why Guinness is less Irish than you think. [online] Available at: https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2014/03/16/why-guinness-is-less-irish-than-you-think [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].

Thompson, H. (2014). How Guinness Became an African Favorite. [online] Smithsonian. Available at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-guinness-became-african-favorite-180950097/ [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].

Adforum.com. (2019). Guinness advertisements archive. [online] Available at: https://www.adforum.com/creative-work/search?brand=guinness [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].

Design Bridge. (2019). Guinness Identity | Design Bridge. [online] Available at: https://www.designbridge.com/work/guinness-identity/ [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Guinnessarchives.adlibsoft.com. (2019). Guinness Archives Homepage. [online] Available at: https://guinnessarchives.adlibsoft.com/home [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Medcalf, Patricia. (2016) “In Search of Identity: an Exploration of the Relationship Between Guinness’s Advertising and Ireland’s Social and Economic Evolution Between 1959 and 1969”, Irish Communication Review: Vol. 15: Iss. 1, Article 3. [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Murphy, B. (2003). “Pure Genius: Guinness Consumption and Irish Identity”. New Hibernia Review / Iris Éireannach Nua, 7(4), 50-62. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20646449 [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].


Week 11: Studio Practice Development


Case Study 2: Take a brand and look at how it is delivered in different countries, e.g. alcohol, tobacco, transport, cars. Is it symbolised in a different way? Why might colour or typeface have been changed? Does it work at a local level and does it work at a global level?

  • Collect – visual examples and upload onto your blog and onto the ideas wall.
  • Debate – ensure you contribute to debate and discussion and incorporate this into a short 500-word written critical review in your blog.
  • Consider – the impact that the media has on your understanding of visual signs and symbols relating to that piece.
  • Design – your case study:  visual study and written critical review into an editorial piece to be seen in print or on screen.


After visiting the Museum of Branding on Sunday (see my CRJ for a description), these were my first ideas:

  • Brexit – the Museum of Branding drew my attention to the 1975 Referendum in the UK, which was to decide whether to stay in the EEC or to leave. The campaigns for both sides reminded me of the more recent referendum to remain or leave the EU. I mentioned this to Joe, who said it was a great idea, and suggested I look at how referendums present a dichotomous question that divides people, and how graphic design does this. It seems like too big a question to involve with myself given the time given for the project, and it is something I would like to look at later. LSE has an archive of referendum ephemera I want to look at.
  • Royal family – the Museum of Branding displayed the very first coronation memorabilia of Queen Victoria, and the items produced for subsequent royal marriages and ephemera. Given how the Royal Family is a symbol of the UK and the Commonwealth, as well as being rulers of some pretty shady eras, I thought it would be fascinating to see how, graphically, the Royal Family have branded themselves over the world, and how people have responded to that.
  • Penguin or Faber – Both publishing houses have a great history from which designers continue to draw on. However, I concluded that they don’t really differentiate branding across territories.


Several weeks ago I went to Ireland for a friend’s wedding and I bought a tin of Guinness-flavoured fudge for my colleagues. The tin has sat on my desk and when I saw this week’s brief I thought that Guinness was a good brand to look into.


I’ve visited the Guinness factory at St James’ Gate in Dublin, and know they have distributed their beer across the world for years, and so it stands to reason that they have tailored their branding to the territory. Why did they use a toucan? I decided to dig into the archive online to see how their branding has changed through history and across countries. The archive can be found here. My review will look into how the components of the logo and branding and how campaigns have targetted different countries.

Guinness is Irish, right, and no pint of Guinness tastes better than when in Dublin, right? These are common views of Guinness and I want to dig into why that is the case. Is it a cultural view that has grown organically, or is it carefully engineered marketing plan? I will look into the Irish opinions of Guinness and how constructed its reputation is.

Logo and branding

Taking a look at the packaging archives for its trademark logo, progression can be seen (Guinnessarchives.adlibsoft.com, 2019). Here’s a sample of the most notable design changes of the Extra Stout Guinness labels though the years:


In 2005, Design Bridge was commissioned to “to breathe life back into the harp and let it sing once again…” (Design Bridge, 2019).



Design Bridge. (2019). Guinness Identity | Design Bridge. [online] Available at: https://www.designbridge.com/work/guinness-identity/ [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Guinnessarchives.adlibsoft.com. (2019). Guinness Archives Homepage. [online] Available at: https://guinnessarchives.adlibsoft.com/home [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Medcalf, Patricia. (2016) “In Search of Identity: an Exploration of the Relationship Between Guinness’s Advertising and Ireland’s Social and Economic Evolution Between 1959 and 1969”, Irish Communication Review: Vol. 15: Iss. 1, Article 3. [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].

Murphy, B. (2003). “Pure Genius: Guinness Consumption and Irish Identity”. New Hibernia Review / Iris Éireannach Nua, 7(4), 50-62. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20646449 [Accessed 13 Aug. 2019].


Week 11: Critical Reflective Journal


Museum of Branding

This course is nudging me to go to lots of places that I have always meant to go, and the Brands Museum in Notting Hill is one of them. They have a Memory Tunnel of everyday objects from 1850s Britain to the present day, from coronations to food and household to toys to publications. The teenies era is horrifying: so much One Direction and Minions!

I couldn’t take pictures, but it was good inspiration for this week’s project. In one room they displayed household products such as Fairy and how the packaging designs have changed, sometimes slowly, sometimes radically, over time.

Lecture on Symbolism and Symbiotics by Martin Hoskin

The point that first hit me was that communication is the message received, not the message sent. How many times have I accidentally offended someone by what I said and how I said it, even though the intention was quite different? How many politicians and/or “celebrities” have had to redefine or retract social media posts because they hit the wrong tone or wrong timing and got criticised (more likely: brutalised on Twitter).  Hoskin means it much more as a brand communicating with its consumers, of which there have been many blunders over the recent years, but sometimes thinking of personal examples really drives home how important this point is. He points out that George Bernard Shaw said that “the biggest error in communication is assuming it has taken place”. Again, very true!

We are bound by language and that it has an agreed set of rules that are common between us, however, the rules can differ from community to community and errors can still creep in.

Hoskin said that part of looking at communication is that we have to question what is the intention of the sender? What is being shared, what is the psychological image to signal intent? He uses the example of the swastika as how context has changed. Coca-cola and St Austell Brewery both used the swastika prior to the 1930s to symbolise the purity of the strength of the brands. It wasn’t until the National Socialist German Workers’ Party also adopted it to mean the same concept, and therefore discriminate against and kill millions of people, that the swastika was seen as bad. Swastikas are still used by people of far-right, nationalist, racist leanings in graffiti (cowards).


Case Studies

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Regular Practice presented examples for this week’s assignment, and it was fascinating to see the design history of the Olympics logo and what it meant for each country. The Olympic logo of five interlocking rings gives designers the room to flex and show the identity of each country. Over the years, the logos have fitted into three categories:

  • Systematic: designed around a system
    • Mexico 1968: the identity by Lance Wyman took inspiration from Mayan ceramics with spiral patterns that grew into a typeface and 3D wayfinding
    • Munich 1972: designed by Otil Aicler, the identity was based on shading a grid of half-square triangles to create type and signs for each sport.
  • Emblematic: figurative example to convey an idea
    • Tokyo 1964: the designers Katsumi and Kamekura used their logo on red circle depicting the red rising sun of the Japanese flag. Such a shape is instantly recognisable as belonging to Japan. Branding materials also included gradients over the circle to add interest and contrast.
    • Beijing 2008: Took inspiration from Chinese stamps and calligraphy, distilling the features such as red ink and torn edges into a unique logo
  • Abstracted: Using an abstract system not immediately connected to the city
    • London 2012: From what I can see, Wolff Olins took a lot of intersecting lines and filled in spaces to create an abstract 2012. Maybe it’s the British way to take the mick out of it? I feel the abstract nature was to not feature any particular icon of Britishness and came out representing no-one? In contrast, the London 1908 Games featured posters of the sports and activities participating as the Games were not widely known and the designers had to introduce the audience to the concept of what the Olympics were.

In conclusion: the variables remain the same between each design, but the global and national context in which the logos are designed is constantly changing.

Breaking News 2.0 by Patrick Thomas

An installation design to confuse and bombard the viewer with lots of information both visual and auditory, whilst encouraging them to critically engage with the content displayed and question, where is the news coming from? Viewers could tweet their own news that would be displayed on a feed in the room, but how reliable was it?

Breaking News 1.0 took place in a shopfront in Liverpool, and passersby were asked to contribute on pieces of paper, which Thomas felt contributed to the project being very authentic and a true reflection of what the viewers were thinking.


It’s Nice That Graduates of 2019, and other inspirational work this week!


I spent some time looking at the selected graduates for this year’s It’s Nice That Graduates for some inspiration. They are all phenomenal, and two really stuck out to me: Suzy Chan and David Massara; because of their layout and typography skills. Also this week I came across this image by Yasmin Crawford.


I also saw an article on Elya Foreyla, a graphic designer aiming to tackle the stigma around Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Her project “comes decorated with bold illustrations and a playful colour scheme, demonstrating the designer’s ability to delve into her research and tackle important issues with intention.” (It’s Nice That, Elya Forelya).