Sunday, 30 November 2008


I e-mailed the designers of a website I liked,
This is the reply I got. The link was very helpful!

Hi Megan,

I am a student at the Arts Institute of Bournemouth currently studying Visual Communication. Our next project is about web design where we have to design our own online portfolios, are there any tips you can give me? I love this website of yours, it's a really eye-catching design. How do you go about designing something like this?

I look forward to hearing from you. 

That's hard to explain in words because it will be something different for everybody. In my case I wanted to experiment and try something really different. The idea was to work with illustrations but in the first iterations it became a bit too girly so moved forward towards something different but still with the idea of using illustrations. That's when it hit me to use the illustrations as an experiment for people who view the site on bigger monitors. You can read all about how the site came to live in this post:

Your portfolio should represent your personality and you should try to be as original as possible. Make sure your portfolio itself is an example of good web design and talk about what you did for the client so that potential ones see what you did. Hope that helps.


Friday, 28 November 2008


Re-learning flash has been really useful for me today! It seems so much easier to make websites and links this time around and made sure I've been making extensive notes so I don't forget again.
Today we have learnt about load movie, which is an online gallery and how to upload lots of jpegs in order to keep file size down. Just before this we learnt how to make the simplest of a three page navigation page. 
Now that I've seen what we can do at the most basic points, it gives me a general idea of what we can achieve for this project.



Thursday, 27 November 2008


Our task up until the 23 January next year is to design our own online portfolio. 
I have been looking forward to this brief as it really gives us all a chance to get our identities out there ready to be recognised and snapped up by other major companies.
As of yet I have no ideas on what I want my identity to be or how I want it to look which is the first hurdle I need to cross. 
All in all we have three learning outcomes to achieve, our finished web design, research and demonstrating the process of our work. There's lots to do in this unit, however if it's done properly it can be our identity that will get our names on the map.
I'll need to consider what is going to appear on my online portfolio, the simplicity and ease of functioning and what will make it so unique that it will stand out from all the other online portfolios out there.
Plenty of research is needed here as well as finalising what I would like to call myself, whether I will put my name out there as Megan Corkhill, or a small design group. So far it makes more sense to put my name up as I searched in google for it, and it was the first few links to come up, meaning no other companies have that name.
A lot to take into account here!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008



This project has overcome a range of feelings and emotions as I feel like I have applied myself 100% more than last year. 

I particularly found the first project hard, as I wasn’t really expecting to be left completely alone by my tutors and expect to know what I was doing without much guidance. However after a day or so I got my head together and realised that I really need to learn how to be independent and make my own judgements and decisions. I think I took this quite tough at first because I was used to so much guidance in the first year, and wasn’t expecting this sort of treatment so early on. Despite this, I am glad I was dropped in at the deep end so early on, as I managed to pull myself together and use my initiative.
I think I particularly surprised myself when it came to critiques as this is always something I have shied away from, but once I realised we were on our own, an alarm bell must have triggered for me to grow up and start acting professional. Without even realising it, I found myself being one of the main contributors to critiques, and in doing so I have managed to train myself in constructive criticism, something that is very important in the design world.
As for my project, I wanted to take a different approach to what I normally would have gone for, and produce a completely typographical piece of design. I was quite nervous about this, as I have never attempted anything like this, and thankfully it turned out quite well. I believe I used every critique and tutorial to my advantage and applied any necessary changes in order to work to the highest standard that I could.
Right at the end of the week, during the final critique, there was debate between two versions of my poster, and it was a tough choice to have the final say. This gave me great practice in using my initiative, but also realising that most of the design world is based on opinion. Nothing is right or wrong.
Even during this week of poster work I found my computer skills had improved and my confidence was built in all areas, giving me a great foundation to start the year with. 

Out of the three different projects, I definitely found the greeting cards the most enjoyable and satisfying. Although I struggled slightly at the start with ideas and putting my thoughts to paper, once I had my character designs I was on a never ending journey. I was constantly inspired and interested in this project from start to finish, and even throughout my third project as I believed my characters can go further than just greeting cards.
Ideas were always floating around my head during this project and I got really excited seeing it all come to life. Despite only having to produce 6 greeting cards, I went on to produce further work such as 12 Christmas cards, a gift bag, gift tags and wrapping paper. The list could go on if I had more time to complete this project.
Once again I found critiques really useful and always respected what suggestions people had to say about my work. I have been consistent in making any necessary changes after critiques and tutorials in order to improve my work as much as possible.
As I had chosen to go down the route of typography in the previous project, I now chose a more illustrative idea. However this soon turned into using materials to create my characters before scanning them in. This ensured that the materials wouldn’t become tatty over time, but also captured the texture of the materials.
In my opinion this is the most successful project of the three, as I have been constantly entertained with the development. I believe that final pieces always look better when presented to a high standard. I have tried to do this by making some packaging for my products.

My final two sections of this unit proved very different to the other two projects. The first part of our project was to work in small groups to design and produce a pdf presentation reflecting our concepts and rough designs on how we initially want to pursue this task. I worked with Emily, Milla, Dan, Martin and Lianne to create a presentation (shown in A4 folder). We worked really well as a group and constantly bounced ideas off one another in order to approach our concept, ready to present to Neil and Claire at the end of the day. Like all of the other groups, recycling is the way forward, a route that we as a whole group wanted to take. This could be recyclable materials from the sports equipments, or materials such as cardboard and grey board. Alongside this, we thought up ideas to use bits of tyre or wetsuit, either that or make rubbings to capture the textures they give. Initially we wanted the outside of the box to reflect clearly the chosen extreme sport. I think our presentation went well, and once again I surprised myself as I was the one to be the spokesperson. Something I would have never done last year.

Once we completed our one day group project, we had to branch off on our own to produce a piece of Animal packaging. We had two choices here, we could either focus on what we had agreed on as a group and put our own style on it, or use the group work as initial research and progress on to a different idea. I chose the latter of the two choices.
I still focused on what we had learnt as a group and extracted various information to apply to my own work. For example I kept the recyclable materials. I chose to use corrugated cardboard, as this is strong, recyclable and printable. The template I chose was designed to flat pack when not in use, and slot together using just one strip of glue, making the folds and flaps an important characteristic. The design was strongly influenced by my previous work in my editorial illustrations last year, a flyer and a website I came across called I thought the design in black and white on a brown background and using just one colour was effective and easily adjustable to appeal to both male and female audiences. 

My chosen target audience was young adults aged between 18-30. Initially I wanted to aim towards a more unisex design, however during my design processes, this quickly changed to a separate male and female box. I found my tutorials and critiques extremely useful during this project as I felt I came up against a number of hurdles, however once I was able to get the opinions of my peers and tutors, my mind was soon settled and I could see clearly how my finished result was going to look.

Overall, throughout this whole unit I have felt constantly motivated to strive to achieve the highest standard that I can, straight away proving how much I have matured since last year. I am beginning to see, think and sleep design and forming a passion for this subject area, something I lacked in last year. This has been particularly helped by my growing confidence and the ability to make my own decisions, no matter how big nor small. I have developed a much more professional attitude towards everything I have been challenged with, and this alone is going to help me through the next year. Although I feel as though I am constantly working, I am however enjoying every minute despite how stressful it can get. It's all part of the learning.

Friday, 21 November 2008


Well last night we attended the launch party for Ink Bar. We turned up at about 6pm and stayed, drinking free champagne until we left at 11.30!
We met quite a few important people, one of which was Andy Price, owner of the Ink Bar (as well as The Print Rooms, Aruba, WestBeach). Our photograph should be appearing in a couple of magazines, DV8 being one of them, and the local newspaper. All very exciting! We were interviewed briefly by a PR from Liz Lean, so I look forward to see what was written about us!
It was amazing to see all our work on the windows, menus, invitations and flyers, it still didn't seem real though. We have been invited back early next week to be treated with dinner from Andy Price and to receive all printed media of our work, as well as having yet more photographs taken. 
If anyone sees our photographs, keep a copy for me please!
More updates to follow soon.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Ok so only a matter of hours now until the launch day, very exciting. I got my flyer all completely finished and ready for printing today and will see it for real tomorrow aswell as it is getting distributed on Richmond Hill! :)
Here's what the end result looks like, keep an eye out for it!


So today is the day the InkBar actually opens, and we are awaiting tomorrow's launch party which we have V.I.P passes to :) All very exciting!
James and myself received a phone call today giving us feedback on our work, we need to make slight adjustments, but my flyer is getting printed today ready to be handed out up Richmond Hill tomorrow!! Wow. James' invitations have already been printed, and more need to be printed as 100 people have already R.S.V.P and the bar can only hold a capacity of it's going to be pretty rammed tomorrow hopefully!
We have also been told that it is confirmed that there will be press coverage and we will be talking to quite important people about our work. Daunting but it's going to be amazing!
I was excited just to see our logo in the window during refurbishments last weekend, but tomorrow it's all going to fall into place and become real!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Today Neil approached me and asked for some more help in the preparations for the show this weekend. I have been given a couple of tickets to go and see our work on display which I am really looking forward to. James and myself will be going on Sunday 23rd.
I had to take a few photographs myself today as Neil preferred some of the greeting cards on a black background, and with help from George, we were able to do this. They looked good! We'll see how they all look after Neil has arranged them in to some sort of order on the computer.

Meanwhile I have continued to work on my Animal packaging project and making sure I have all the necessary bits ready for the hand in.

Monday, 17 November 2008


A few of my peers and myself have been approached to put our greeting cards from the previous project up on display at the B.I.C next weekend. Me and Dan put ourselves forward to help in putting this display together, which involved taking photographs and later arranging them in to a suitable order on the computer ready for printing next week.
Dan was in charge of taking the photographs, they came out really well! I can't wait to see what they look like up in front of the public :)

Friday, 14 November 2008


I felt that I received positive feedback for my ideas and designs despite being one of the last in the group to present my box, therefore leaving little time to get the most out of the critique. However, I was able to make some notes along the way, reminding me of what I need to consider and include in my project. For example, how will my watch sit in the box?
A few people mentioned that the box looks bare on the slanted side and suggested that maybe I should put the Animal logo there, where it is a window or a stamp.
I need to consider how my watch will sit in the box. Talking to Dan just before the critique he mentioned an idea that stuck in my head, which was to fill it with small polystyrene balls, protective and also resembles snowballs, tying in with my snowboarding theme. Another approach to this would be to have a cardboard insert, which ties in with the whole eco-friendly/recycled idea I had originally been aiming towards.
Neil noticed that on my mock-up that I had produced for the critique, my blue line was round the wrong way, I need to fix this ready for hand-in.

All in all, it was good constructive feedback which I was very happy with. I just need to apply these ideas now to give my box a complementary finish.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


I know I still need to push my idea further ready for tomorrow's critique, however I have made a few changes since my initial designs, and will need to transfer them on to my box ready for tomorrow. As I have spent all my time on the Ink Bar and the design for my graphics, I haven't fully thought out how my box will function.
I have looked at a few different concepts and believe that the choice I have made will prove successful if I approach it in the right way. Below is the net of my box which I have chosen to use alongside my design:

On the front of the box there will be a slanted face, somewhere which I am debating what to do with it. Hopefully someone will suggest something for this during the critique.
I have also progressed with my graphics a little, by experimenting with the blue stripes a little more, and the positioning of the graphics on my box. 

Here I have copied and reflected my original landscape so that the whole image flows smoothly around the outside of the packaging instead of mismatching. I decided to put a gradient on the colour to make it gradual around the perimeter of the box before reaching full colour and stopping suddenly. I think this design is effective. Once I was happy with my design I placed it on the template to see how it could sit.

As you can see from this diagram, the point where the blue stripes stop is on the front of the box. I think this works best as opposed to any of the other sides of the box, as the front is the first thing you see. The blue will come out a lot differently once printed on brown paper, which is the effect I want.
As for the inside of the box, I want this colour to continue. I was initially going to use a texture, but as I didn't have the Animal logo anywhere on the box yet, I decided to put it here. Below is an example of how I have used it:

As you can see, I have used the male and female logo depending on who the watch is for. The outer box is quite unisex so my idea was to separate the two by a difference of design on the inside.
This is my final design, ready for the critique:

More photographs to follow.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Building on my scanned/photocopied image I wanted to incorporate some colour. I have chosen a bright blue to represent the crisp skies that appear in professional extreme sports photographs.

This is how I initially imagined how my design would look. However it doesn't show much brown paper, therefore I need to review my ideas.
I have decided to use less colour on the outside, and focus on putting the colour inside the box to make it more interesting. I have used stripes in my design as it is simple and makes the design look quite contemporary.
In my opinion the design I would like to take forward is the third one down where the stripes stop 3/4 of the way along and are at the top to represent the colour of the sky more. I feel this is the most appealing and I have more scope to work with the layout once it is on the box.
I have two days until the critique, all I need to do now is push this idea a little further before presenting it on Friday.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Now that I have an idea to put forward, I now need to put it into practice. 
I want my graphic to be quite photographical instead of vector images so I researched various landscapes. I then selected particular sections of each image and collaged them together. Before this collage I tried a few out and this is the layout I settled with as it was my most effective design.
Below is how my image looked before any adjustments:

I then took this design to the photocopier to get a grainy black and white image. The effect was just what I was looking for, however in order for my image to be easily produced I had to scan it in. This refined the image slightly and neatened it, but I had to work with it on the computer and this was the only way to get close to the effect that I wanted. Ideally I would have like to use photocopying and printing in order to produce my design but this would be far to time consuming. I did try using cellulose thinner with my photocopied landscape, but unfortunately this idea failed.
I scanned in my image and printed it on brown paper to see how it would print:

This isn't what I had expected it to print out like, however I think I prefer it this way. I originally wanted the white to print out and show up on the brown paper, but I love the way it's just turned out with black on brown paper. Limiting the number of colours will also produce reduce printing costs.

Monday, 10 November 2008


In response to my initial design I received the following e-mail from Chloe:

Hey Megan

This looks good. Just a suggestion, but have you thought about moving
the text around in the columns and in the paragraphs to help with the
symmetry of the flyer? You can always play about with the headings of
each column if you think that something could work a little better?

What do you think?

Chloe Parmiter

I tried swapping a bit of the text around to make the flyer look a little more balanced, below is the final flyer I sent off:

I am a lot happier with this design despite only tweaking it slightly. Now our work is done, all we need to do is wait for the launch! I can't wait to see our work finally printed up for everyone to see!

Sunday, 9 November 2008


Using the information I was sent, and my design chosen by Chloe, I have started to assemble my flyer. Below is the first draft:

I have used the same fonts and elements as the invitations to keep a running theme.

Saturday, 8 November 2008


As Chloe has decided to use James' designs for the invitations, she has asked me to use my designs for the Ink Bar flyer to promote their bar. Below is the e-mail I was sent informing me of this opportunity:

Hey Megan

We really liked your designs for your invitations, however on this 
occasion we have chosen James's. But I would like to use your design 
for another flyer we would like to design. If you feel you have too 
much on with uni, then let us know. Otherwise we would like you to 
create a A6 flyer that we can hand out on Richmond Hill to entice 
people into Ink. We would like you to base it round the design with 
thick ink and white text on front.

This will promote the Happy Hour at Ink - did our graphic designer 
give you the Time2DRink logo? Can you also use George's Think Lunch 
logo too (see attached) Keep it simple - I will email you over the 

Let me know if there are any problems with this. Its a great 
opportunity get a finished promotion into your portfolio!
I look forward to hearing from you.


Attached to this e-mail was all the information I need to include.
This layout was later changed to a DL sized flyer divided into three sections as Chloe thought there was too much information to put on to an A6 flyer.

Friday, 7 November 2008


It makes it all a little better when your work gets recognised and people want to use your ideas, it doesn't seem like such a waste of time after all.
I received this e-mail from Chloe today:

Hey Megan

We really liked your designs for your invitations, however on this 
occasion we have chosen James's. But I would like to use your design 
for another flyer we would like to design. If you feel you have too 
much on with uni, then let us know. Otherwise we would like you to 
create a A6 flyer that we can hand out on Richmond Hill to entice 
people into Ink. We would like you to base it round the design with 
thick ink and white text on front.

This will promote the Happy Hour at Ink - did our graphic designer 
give you the Time2DRink logo? Can you also use George's Think Lunch 
logo too (see attached) Keep it simple - I will email you over the 

Let me know if there are any problems with this. Its a great 
opportunity get a finished promotion into your portfolio!
I look forward to hearing from you.

Although I do feel as though everything is going on at once, it would be an amazing achievement to see my design printed on something that was being handed out to the public. I really think our group has worked really well together, we have all had a close connection on this project and we can't wait to see our work in real life. It will make it all worth while I think.


I was quite worried about today, as I felt I didn't have a strong enough idea to put forward in the critique, and I was in the first group. Luckily I was one of the last to pitch my idea and along the way I had a few ideas pop in to my head which seemed to go down pretty well.
I still really need to consider materials, the design, and how it functions but so far my idea seems strong enough, I just need to push it further.
My idea is based on a small brown cardboard box I own which held a candle, and I thought this material would be really good to use as it is recyclable and eco-friendly.
Around the bottom of the box I will have my graphic/illustration, of the location of where an extreme sport is held, for example snowy mountains for snowboarders. It will be in black and white, which I think will have an interesting effect on the brown cardboard.
On the inside I will have a bright colour which will represent the bright blue skies/sunsets you find in most staged photographs of extreme sports. To make it more interesting I need to consider how the box opens, and possibly include some form of texture within the colour.
I am considering having a window somewhere on the box to give a taste of the watch and the colour inside. I felt a little more confident towards the end of the critique as the feedback was positive and my peers made some good suggestions.
I have spent most of the day sketching, and really trying to figure out how my illustration will work which has started to stress me out a little! Hopefully something will come to me soon, we have a week left before our final critique, which doesn't leave much time with the Ink Bar project on at the same time!

Thursday, 6 November 2008


So after our meeting with Chloe, I feel a little more settled knowing I can finally do some work on my other work which I feel has been neglected for ages! [although it has only been a few days]
I was a bit shady on a solid ideas as  I had a few brewing round my head during the week. However I felt a lot better after talking to Neil and Claire only to find out other people in the class are in the same position as me, James, George, Vicky and Luke...and done nothing since our group presentations last week.
I just had a brief tutorial with Neil and I managed to get a basic idea to work on, I just need to build on them now. We have a critique tomorrow, where we need to produce a page of sketches of designs for our boxes.
For this I will focus on the size, shape and how it will function before even really considering the design to be printed on the outside.
I think, once my idea is underway I will feel a lot more positive about this whole thing!
I need to calm down.


Today we got to meet the designer for West-beach, Aruba and The Print Room to talk about how we can all work together in order to produce all the printed media in time for the launch. George, Luke, James, Vicky and myself sat down with Chloe and James and had an ideas generation session on promotions names, and how we can all have a running theme between the website, invitations, menus, loyalty cards and Christmas flyers.
It was a successful day and helped a lot having them sat in front of us so we could get immediate feedback on our layouts. By 12 o'clock, we had a few final designs for the invitations as they needed to be completed ready to print by 5.30pm tonight. Tight deadline yet again!
We are still waiting to hear feedback on our invitations as to which got chosen, and considering it is 4.11pm it's pushing it if we need to make any changes!
Below are the three invitations I ended up putting forward:
I was happy with the fact Chloe had really positive things to say about my designs. She liked the fact that my design spread over to the back of the invitation which was good as that separated my designs from the ones that Vicky and James were producing. I used the text layout that Vicky made as it fitted together well and looked clean, crisp and professional.
Luke and George are still working on the website, it's looking good! All we need to do now is the Christmas flyer.
We have been told today that the bar officially opens on the 19th November, launch date on the 20th which means everything needs to be ready next week...Eek! The stress is on.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


Although we are succeeding in everything with the Ink Bar rebrand, I can't help but worry about the fact I feel as though I am slipping behind with the other projects I should be continuing with too.
ISTD: I still need to talk with Sally to confirm that my ideas are good enough to pursue. 
Animal Packaging: I didn't realise our critique was so soon! I need to crack on with this.
Other live briefs: Set by my dad for his company and my mum's.

I need to come up with a way to manage my time equally as I also have a part time job. It's hard and there never seems enough hours in the day! I can't remember the last time I just sat and chilled out, but there is so much to do in so little time! :/


Whilst George and Luke work on the new website for the Ink Bar, James, Vicky and myself are all beginning work for the printed media.
Without any text, and no exact colours to work from, we had to interpret our ideas on how we think the invitations should look and send them over to Chloe. It's a bit of trial and error with the whole thing until we get colours and text set in stone.
Here's what I came up with:

The ink drop on the background is just an example as we need to select imagery for the company to buy the licence in order to have permission to use it throughout. We are currently waiting on the feedback from Chloe's meeting with her boss today. Once we have heard, and got the blurb and colours sorted, we should be comfortably on our way.

Monday, 3 November 2008


What an achievement! I'm so happy all our hard work has paid off and our name and one of our logos got chosen to use in the new refurbished Ink Bar. 
During working on this we have been round and round in circles! We have managed to convince the owner of the Ink Bar that 'The Office' was a bad name, as soon as we were able to do that, the ball started rolling. From this the name has swapped between Ink Bar, Ink, Ink Dot Bar, Bar Ink, Ink Dot and Bar Dot Ink. There were problems in the name for trademark purposes as there was previously a bar up in Manchester called Ink Bar. It seems as though luck is on our side as they have recently refurbished and re-branded themselves as O-Bar meaning we can finally claim Ink Bar!
Now that we have a solid name, we are able to produce our merchandise and promotion material. The launch is still on the 20th November, which leaves 17 days until the big day! Eek! This is also the same day as all of our project work is due too. Going to be some tight deadlines I think.
Now we have the winning logo (shown below, Congratulations James!):

All we need to do now is design the website, menu, key fob, Christmas promotion flyers, loyalty cards, and invitations! In a few days. It's going to be tough, but if we stick together as a group I think we can do this! We are each going to take on a task to produce various bits so at the end we can all pull it together. This will look great in our portfolios!
We have been invited to the launch night, and Chloe also mentioned that her and Matt Desmier are trying to get some press coverage on the whole re-launch. Wow! First serious live brief and it's going public!
First thing we need to do is prioritise the invitations and Christmas flyers, Vicky, James and myself will work on these whilst George and Luke work on the website.

More updates soon.


Ok so this live brief that me, George, James, Vicky and Luke have all been working on is constantly changing and starting to get a little frustrating now! It seems as though every group of ideas we send over is just coming straight back with a different name to the bar. I guess this is what it will be like in the working world, especially with the tight deadlines!
Chloe will be having a meeting with her boss today to give us feedback on our designs. Below are the designs I sent over, producing them last night with hours to spare before they were due!

Whilst I have been updating my blog, we have received a phone call to say one of our logos have been chosen!! Success! Just waiting on her arrival to find out more now :) InkBar it is!


For the second part of out unit on Visual Communication in Context 2, we had to produce a series of 6 greeting cards for any occasion of our choice.
At the beginning I struggled with how I could put my thoughts and ideas in my head, onto paper. The tutorials with Neil and Claire helped a lot during my ideas generations and making them come to life.
'Monsters' was an initial idea from the start (inspired by Sesame Street and Pacman) and am really pleased that I have managed to make my designs work, not only as greeting cards, but also as a set, as seen in both my sketchbook and on my design sheets.
I decided on blank cards initially but reviewing my final set in an interim critique with Neil and Claire, I was advised to try some with type. As I couldn't find any suitable fonts on my computer, I designed my own. This proved more successful that I thought, and therefore wanted to produce two sets of six. Following this I have been able to extend my 'set' into a small collection introducing a gift bag and wrapping paper as well as 12 Christmas cards.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this project and have had a constant flow of ideas and motivation throughout this which has helped greatly with my work. I am always changing my designs as I believe there is always room for improvement. I have been consistent in making the necessary changes after critiques and tutorials in order to improve my cards to the highest standard.
Overall I believe this area of the unit is very successful and am hoping to make it sell!

Sunday, 2 November 2008


Just can't seem to stop tweaking my greeting card designs! I have now decided to produce a Christmas range, to demonstrate that my designs can be easily adjusted. We also have the opportunity to display our designs on a stall at the B.I.C Christmas show which is a great opportunity! Below I have shown 6 Christmas cards with a patterned background without text, and 6 with text. See what you think: