Saturday, 28 February 2009


I am currently aware that as this professional project, PPRD and anything else goes on I need to make sure I don't neglect the theory side of things.
Today I have tried to come up with some sort of reading list and some case studies ready to show Anna in Monday's session. Unfortunately a few of the books I need are on loan, so have reserved them. But I also can't take any more out until I have returned the 9 I currently have on loan! This must be a record for me I think. But it's all very useful. I am disappointed it has taken so long to get in to the library to work, however, for an FMP I'm glad I did it now instead of never.
I have made a list of everything I need to include in my sketchbook so far as I am finding I am working faster than I can fill my sketchbook!
I am making sure I talk to lots of people and tutors about my work and listening and on the look out for any ideas. I am feeling alot more confident about my work as ideas are rolling out of my head onto paper, I just can't wait to make them happen. BUT I need to research first, or I'm jumping ahead of myself and will lack the research I need to underpin my work.
I'm finally glad to see it's pointing in some sort of direction now, I just need to run with it.

Only thing I need to conquer now, is the essay. Uh-oh :(

Friday, 27 February 2009


I decided to go to the library and search for some useful books on concept advertising and stress management. Unfortunately there were a few missing that I wanted to take out, however I will leave that for another day.
I now have a list piling up with references which will eventually form my bibliography at the end of the project. Currently I am looking at books such as Guerrilla Advertising, Small Graphics and Creative Advertising. For the more theory based side of things I am looking at Stress Management and 365 Steps to Self-Confidence.
I have spent the majority of the day scanning and selecting various images that is relevant to my work, and it looks like I am finally heading in some sort of direction!

After my tutorial with Mike yesterday, I felt I needed another input on my thoughts and ideas. I had a tutorial with Neil, which really helped and set me on a path in the right direction. I am going to scrap the idea of designing my own typeface for now as that is potentially a professional project in itself.
I need to define my idea to appear in a specific concept or situation in order for it to have the desired effect. As I want to encourage people to think more positively, I suppose you could say I am advertising positivity. I want the final outcome not only to be the chosen words and colour, but also how it is displayed and presented to the public. From here I can now look into advertising, and artists such as Catherine Griffiths and Sheila Levrant de Bretteville.
Now I have an idea of my final outcome, it will make things easier to research. I realise I am only scratching the surface at this point, so need to continue to define it further. But I finally think I'm on to something! :)

I received a text from one of my friends which made me smile quite a bit :D it's one of those annoying chain texts, however I thought it related quite well to my topic. It read:
Sick of sissy friend poems? This speaks of true friendship. When your sad I will get you drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad. When you're scared  I will take the piss whenever I can. When you're sick, stay the fuck away from me til you're well again. When you fail I will point and laugh. This is a promise I pledge til the end. Why? Cos you're my friend! Send to 8 friends and then you can get depressed cos you can only think of 4.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


I am pushing the positive thinking idea as broad as I can manage. I need to really consider all the different ways I can present my design, for example: desktop, bus stop, phone box, projected, road signs, posters, postcards, screensavers, newspaper adverts, etc. 

As my research is ongoing throughout the project, I need to continue to gather all the relevant information I need, through primary research and looking at various other artists.
I will be looking into everyday life, elements that people may not notice at a first glance, but will sink in once it has been acknowledged. 

My primary research is gathering information from a wide scope of people, which I can then map and find common ground in order to produce my short snappy and memorable quotes.

On top of this to broaden my design even more, I am considering looking into designing my own typeface which will also help enhance this positive thinking.

To summarise:

  • Look at Barbara Kruger and Andrew Weiner.
  • Think of different ways to present.
  • Continue to gather material.
  • Research artists that work with text.
  • Sift through magazines and newspapers.
  • Research typefaces.
  • Gather quotes.


I have conducted a really short questionnaire which I have put across facebook as I thought this was an effective way to get primary research quickly.

Hey guys,

For my professional project I am looking into positive thinking.
Please can you answer the following questions?

Copy and paste, answer and send back!

1. What makes you happiest?

2. What can't you live without?

3. What advice would you give to someone who needs to think more positively?

That is all :) Thanks for the help!


So far I have had a really good response! I emailed to around about 70 people, so will gather the information once I have a few more replies.

Monday, 23 February 2009



This morning we had a session to help with our research processes for our theory essay. I found it very helpful and used it as a kick start with my work. I understand I still need to seriously crack down with getting on with my research, and I think this is just what I needed.
Charlotte explained various processes, databases and catalogues we have available to us in order to do our research. We also had to write a list of keywords relevant to our essay. Listening to what she was saying I managed to make a note of things to consider:
  • Define topic.
  • Define further into the topic: eg. to a specific country, time era...
  • Think of alternative ways of saying the same thing. (both when writing keywords and forming the sentences)
  • Read and reflect on what you have read.
  • READ information you find. Make notes.
  • EVALUATE what you have read.

Friday, 20 February 2009


So after a long wait for the results, they finally came back.
I am pleased with what I got, as I was expecting a lot worse since starting to really dislike my website towards the end!
However I came out with a nice little 66 which suits me fine.


I have now designed my reflection diary ready to distribute to a random selection of people.
I have asked everyone to write down 10 good things to happen in their day. This will encourage them to focus on the good instead of the bad and encourage positive thinking.
No matter how bad your day has been, something good must have happened!
This will form my first part of my primary research and can also be an ongoing thing throughout the project depending on how successful this first round is.
I have asked each person to take 5-10minutes out of each day to record the good things for a week.

My initial design was very bold and a little overpowering:

However, I had a re-design shortly after to come up with this. I really like it! :)

Anyone at all who is reliable and interested in filling this is POSITIVELY and properly day by day is more than welcome to have a go, just let me know and I'll get one to you :)


Today was the deadline for our Learning Agreement and it is such a weight off my mind! I finally have exactly what I needed written down and I can now focus on my research.

Synopsis of study

For my final major project I will be looking into happiness and positive thinking. I will be researching this through conducting surveys and experiments on a large number of people in order to get the best results. My primary research will be supported by material from books and the Internet. I will be looking into methods of relaxation and how colour effects people’s mood using perception and looking briefly into the psychology behind it.

My aim is to encourage people to think in a more positive way. From more positive thinking, I want to encourage people to become more self-confident and reconsider how they perceive everyday life, as well as other people. This can help in stressful times, or just simply change their way of tackling the day ahead. I want to divert people from being affected by negative thoughts and reflect on positive thoughts. An exercise I will be conducting will involve a group of people recording between 5-10 good things that happened during their day in order to bypass the bad. In addition to this I will record how they felt after the exercise to see if it helped in their positive thinking. From this information I will map people’s behaviors and thoughts, which will contribute strongly to my primary research.

My target audience can effectively be massive, however, I believe that young adults aged from 18+ will benefit from being able to think more positively and could potentially affect their outlook on life. It is this age group that find it hard to relax and manipulate their way of thinking, as it is a big turning point in their lives and are faced with a lot of different things. I am not trying to persuade people to forget their problems, but to consider there are other ways of dealing with them using positive thinking.

I am aware that there are a lot of self help books in existence already, however I aim to produce something in a different form, using the same technique. A simple quote or short phrase is something that can and will stick in someone’s head if it is effective enough. I aim to develop a small variety of these, which will be enhanced by the overall design and use of colour. I will produce a small collection of postcards, which can effectively be supported by other media to form my final piece. In order to put it into practice I will conduct one last survey from a separate group of people to gain some feedback on how effective my work has been and whether or not it has inspired positive thinking.

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Today was a slow start what with everyone getting images together and what not, but the process was underway by about 12ish which was enough time to produce something at least.
I don't think I produced something with enough imagination, however I know I can scan the images in and work into them more to change/manipulate them. I am hoping that if people don't turn up next week I can continue doing a couple more images to move on from what I produced today. I really enjoy screen printing, although I don't think I was confident enough to experiment and 'think outiside the box', which if I get the opportunity next week, I will broaden the boundaries more.
Here are some examples of what I produced today:

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


After a much needed tutorial with Anna to set me on the straight and narrow with my theory essay, I felt a lot better about things.
As I find things difficult to explain what I mean, I needed someone to say back to me what was interpreted. This helped a lot. I want to link this essay to my professional project as much as possible and wanted to base it around colour. I knew this would be a very broad area but didn't know how I could condense this down to something relevant.
After a long chat with Anna, we came to a topic which I find very interesting in itself. After lots of research into advertising I will be producing a visual analysis of ad campaigns on specific use of colour. I will look at how they used colour to manipulate the viewers minds and look at the semiotics behind it for my methodologies.
I will be looking at at least 3 case studies. One for healthy living, one which uses bright colour and one which uses a strong shock factor, all based around the same subject area. 
I feel a lot better about things! Hopefully after Monday's session with Charlotte I will have a solid idea on how I will be doing my research.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


Tomorrow I have a screen printing workshop with Jo, but instead of producing something I won't need, I have made a few small designs on something that can relate in some way to my project.
This also meant I was able to get a full screen to myself as it will help with my work.
Some quotes I came up with before the session and design were:
  • Be happy where you are.
  • Practice ignoring your negative thoughts.
  • Relax, reflect, smile.
  • No matter how s*** your day is, I bet something good happened.
  • Will this matter a year from now?
  • Lighten up.
  • Turn this upside down. (Things are looking up already)
My templates:
The black areas on this template is what will eventually become colour. I also have a selection of papers to print on.
Things to consider:
  • Put textures in the text?
  • Bring in templates?
  • Decide how to use space on the screen?
  • Stitch paper together?


Browsing through the internet and having a tutorial with Sally, I came across Anthony Burrill's work. I think the way he works is interesting, simple and effective.
I particularly like this piece of work. The statement is strong and really makes you think. This is the sort of approach I want to take. However, in terms of use of colour I would probably approach it a different way depending on results of my surveys.
However I am happy I have a solid starting point now :)
I also emailed him:

Dear Anthony,

I have just been looking at your website and find your work really interesting.
I am a second year student at the Arts Institute of Bournemouth studying Visual Communication, currently working on my professional project.
My aim for this project is to encourage people to think in a more positive way, and from this encourage people to become more confident with how they perceive and live everyday life. This will be presented through not only the words, but the design and use of colour too.
Where do you begin to think about the words you are choosing to make people re-think?
Are there any tips you can give me to influence my way of working?

I would be extremely grateful of any help you could give me.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks

Megan Corkhill

Just need to wait on a reply!


Ok, so after a stressful day yesterday, a relaxing coach journey back got me thinking...
I really feel as though I need to sort myself out. I feel like I'm slacking. If not slacking, then I feel as though something is going wrong because I am struggling with all this work. I shouldn't be because it'll be 10times worse in the real world!
I need to become more organised. So from now on I will be planning each day ahead. Maybe a week, depending on what's on. I need to manage my Uni work around my job. Trying to juggle all these projects and work is getting me down. I need to do something that I can keep up as well as I am rubbish at continuing with new ways!

Monday, 16 February 2009


Ok, so over the weekend, James and I planned a route around London to visit various exhibitions which would link to our professional projects. He planned the trains that we would be getting (as I have no idea where to start with London) and he agreed to be my tour guide.
At first we thought that leaving at 7 in the evening would be too much time, but turned out to be not enough as it took so long to get around anywhere! With delays on the tube, this slowed our journey down more.
However, we made it to every destination we wanted to target, but unfortunately we left London in great disappointment as the gallery's were either shut or taken down (despite saying the open dates on the websites) by the time we reached them. 
As I am really not familiar with London at all, it was an experience. A stressful one at that! I found people very rude and certainly made me never want to live there.
The highlight of my day was Leake Street. James, Laura, Chris and myself walked through this tunnel which was completely covered top to bottom, in graffiti. It was incredible! :) We also visited the London Graphic Store, a very nice art shop which I could have spent all day in.
I have agreed to go back there to try visit various exhibitions again. At least I know what I am expecting now! 
Unfortunately I have come back with nothing that will contribute greatly to my professional project, or my essay. I feel as though I have lost a day and am now starting to panic a bit! :(

Friday, 13 February 2009


So after the presentations and a talk with Kit and Sally, I can finally describe what it is I want to achieve without going off on a tangent! :) This will more than likely change, however for now I am happy with how this stands:

'I am encouraging people to think in a more positive way. From more positive thinking  I want to encourage people to become more confident with how they perceive everyday life.'

These tutorials lasted for a long long time, however I enjoyed being able to talk about other people's work with them and bounce ideas around. Unfortunately, by the time it got to my turn, it was approaching the end of the day and half my group had to disappear off. I was still able to get some solid suggestions though, as there were less people so we were all agreeing on things as opposed to switching and changing minds.
I have had positive feedback from both Sally and Kit for the idea, and I want to push it as far as it can go in the given time space I have.
By the end of the tutorial I have agreed some targets to meet by the next time we meet.
  • I need to research Anthony Burrill > consider use of colour, connect with colour theory/analyse and compare to how I work.
  • Positive thinking.
  • Quotes and design > decide where it will appear > advert in magazine?
  • Recording process? > gather info from 10-20 people and map > 10 good things about each day > record how they feel after taking this exercise?
  • Look at 'Poems in the waiting room'.
Think about researching:
  • How can groups of people motivate each other?
  • Look at 'True' (graphic designer).
  • Primary research.
  • Colour theory.
  • State of mind.
  • Psychology.
  • Stereotyping.


I have started to look at colour theory and colour therapy. This will contribute to the psychological aspects of my work. I am hoping that once I have some answers and proven facts, I can form another survey to see how different people of all ages, but also artistic and non artistic people react to certain colours. 

I am currently awaiting a tutorial with Kit to help with where I should be going as I don't want to go off on a tangent!

Thursday, 12 February 2009


Ok, so I was really dreading today as first of all I hate presentations, but as I was towards the end of the very long day it was, the more I saw how people were getting 'shot down' I was really scared at the reactions I would receive!
However, despite my worries and feeling a little negative, I enjoyed watching other peoples presentations as it was good to see what people had come up with. I feel my presentation went well, I produced a powerpoint presentation accompanied by an explanation of my ideas. This was another thing that made me nervous as every time up until that point I had tried to explain my ideas to people, and each time they came out different! Luckily I pulled myself together at the presentation and apparently what I wanted made sense, so that's a relief!
I finished my presentation with a short survey from my classmates to form the first part of my research. This was successful in some aspects however I feel a few people didn't take it seriously enough, and as this is for my professional project I was quite annoyed at this.
I chose a series of images and asked my peers to write one word on how the image makes them feel. This did include colours as well, however my presentation broke down a little here so will do a separate survey for colour using non-artistic people. My reasoning behind this was to see how peoples mood was affected/what feelings people associate with certain surroundings.
However, it does form research and will continue to include the results and findings, however I think I would rather do my survey more on a one on one or small groups in order to get accurate and serious answers.

To summarise:
  • I want to produce something to help make people think more positively, particularly when they are stressed. 
  • I want people to reflect on the good things in their day, not the bad.
  • I want my design and use of colour to enhance the way people think psychologically.
  • I will use surveys and experiments to form primary research.
  • I will be researching the psychology behind colour and how they effect people.
  • Make people remember, they can't forget their problems, but can think more positively about them.
  • Aim is for more positive thinking, and self confidence.
  • It's all about your way of thinking. This CAN be controlled.

"Don't sweat the small stuff" (refer to this).
'Is the glass half full or half empty?' Does this reflect how people think? Look at their reasoning.
Good presentation, and fastest survey!
Good use of time, and good idea to use presentation for research purposes too.

Monday, 9 February 2009


I have no idea what I am doing. I don't understand anything!
Help :(

Saturday, 7 February 2009


I have decided to run with the whole relationship/happiness idea. There is a lot of research I can do both primary and secondary which could really enhance my project. 
I'm still very much at the starting point, I still need to pinpoint exactly what it is I want to do and how I'm going to approach this. However for now, these are my thoughts:

Think about past experiences?
Present experiences?
Other people?
Relative incidences?
Friends and family?
How to people handle different situations?
This isn't just about me, but my experiences = inspiration.
Do people really know how to ask for help?
Train your brain to think of the pros instead of letting the cons take over your emotions.
What makes people happy/sad?
Survey 100 people on what makes them happy, makes them think differently?
Look at relationships between parents/teachers/teenagers?
Show that parents and teenagers think the same?
Self confidence?
Alternative ways of thinking when you are down/stressed?
Are children less happy now?
Where have the parents gone?
What do people think is a suitable age for the parents to start back at work full time after giving birth?
Look at how colour effects people's mood and reactions.
Weigh up pros and cons.
Life experience = value to the project.
Social workers > are they taking the blame for the parents mistakes?
Could the way of upbringing point children towards drug and alcohol abuse?
Experiment with different types of people eg. different clothing/music tastes?
Experiment with one phrase, different design/colour/layout?
Look at psychology.
The design of each page will become just as important as the content.
Colour with meaning. Why is it used?

I will be using my 1 minute presentation as research about how people respond to different images/colour. Hopefully people will take it seriously and this will be a good starting point for me!

Friday, 6 February 2009


After the tutorial with Sally and the presentation with Mike Ryan, I knew I needed to start fro scratch again and do some serious brain storming. Instead of settling for the first idea that came to my I realised that I needed to really think what is it I want to for this project as it's such a huge thing.
Initially I came up with the following:
  • website.
  • branding.
  • identity > logo design.
  • letter heads.
  • business cards.
  • flyers.
  • magazines.
  • leaflets.
  • tickets.
  • merchandise > badges > keyrings > stickers.
  • re-making.
  • ways to persuade to recycle.
  • re-using.
  • materials > plastic > cardboard > fabric.
  • clothes.
  • packaging > what for? > minimal.
  • leaflets.
  • instructions.
  • on the bus.
  • billboards.
  • books.
  • magazines > content? > what about? > how big?
  • WHAT TO DO IF...?
  • you get lost > use imagination? > serious approach.
  • you need to get less stressed? > stress ball.
  • you want to travel?
  • funny scenarios? > alternatives > things to do in situation?
  • get more positive attitude?
  • theme parks?
  • bournemouth > history? > things to see?
  • bath > reasons to go? > why is it special?
  • london > tube system > distance > best places > cheap option > never been before.
  • are there more simple ways of learning?
  • how can we understand visual communication?
  • learning intelligences.
  • look at statistics? > how long do people sit in front of the tv? > how often and when are educational programs on tv?
  • realistic methods.
  • how do people learn better? > generations > artistic/academic people > kids > teach themselves > images/colour/text?
  • survey.
  • feelings > actions > words > weather > environment > relaxation methods > colour > music.
  • places to go?
  • different people use different methods.
  • make people think differently?
  • look at depression?
  • humorous approach? > genres/appearance > goth/skinhead/emo/chav.

I will now decide upon one of these subject matters and push forward with it. Some tie in with my initial ideas, some are completely new.
Thoughts at the moment are about the tour guide : produce something 'for dummies' or as if you have never been to that place before. Useful tips that are cheapest options (good for London).
I originally wanted to produce kits to bring children and parents closer together, almost like a relationship building exercise. It would only take 5 minutes out the day so never any excuse not to. I believe that what happens in your childhood reflects how you live and see things when you grow older. 
I am considering tying this idea in with what makes people happy. And/or what to do if you need to relax..

Any thoughts please?