Saturday, December 18, 2010

Puttin It All In the Bag

Post for Monday, December 13:

Today was our final day for class! And boy did we end it in quit the unique way. Finally having finished our Pasta Demonstration posters and getting them printed, we put together a CD for Franc with the final refinements done to all of our Al Dente work to turn in. We also printed out three of our favorite labels from the 8 total that we designed and headed over to the Al Dente Pasta factory in Whitmore Lake. Once there, we took a short tour to see how was the pasta was packaged and distributed. We also were able to take the labels we printed out to put on the Al Dente packaging bags and get them filled with pasta! It was really cool to see our work displayed with the actual pasta :)
After we headed over to Monique's for a delicious pasta lunch and there, presented her with our posters. She loved them! The food was great and the joyful conversation about our work and its wonderful turn out filled the air.

I've posted some images of our final posters (above), which are 24''x36'', and some images from the Monique's celebration (below)!

Hope you enjoy!

Happy Holidays,
A.D. Trois

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Post for Wednesday, Dec 8:
Today we continued to finalize our final versions of the Al Dente Cooking Demonstration posters. Many of us printed them out full scale, tiled in black and white to critique in small groups with Franc. This was very helpful to see the posters at full scale in order to directly see how proportions, spacing, and alignment related to each other. From here we are to print the final versions with Patrick Young at full scale and half scale to present to Monique at our very own "Al Dente" lunch at her factory on Monday. This will be a great ending to such an in depth semester and a great way to tastefully finish off our hard work. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

First Printed Iterations of the Poster

Post for Monday, Dec. 8:

In class on Monday, we had a critique of our in progress poster designs. It was very interesting to once again come all together and see the different directions that everyone has gone with these posters. Another element that was particularly exciting was seeing these designs go from mere sketches in sketch books to full color prints hanging on the wall. The final poster is going to be 24" x 36". For most of us, this will be the largest we have ever printed. One challenging thing in regards to this was trying to keep in mind how large the poster is actually going to be/look since most people had printed their posters half size or smaller. In our group, we each seemed to try to relate the design of our posters back to our labels and with consideration of the placement and use of our logos. Issues that were brought up generally had to do with color, placement, illustration, typeface, hierarchy and concept. On Wednesday, we will continue work on these posters in hopes of printing in full size by Monday. Pictured above are the posters we presented to the class on Monday.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Beginning Stages

Post for Wednesday, Dec 1:

On Wednesday's class we had a discussion regarding the posters. We were all
excited about making them, and brought in our preliminary sketches and
ideas. Some things we considered were what was important to have on the
poster, such as the logo and the places/times of cooking demonstrations.
This tends to be a lot of information, and our challenge will definitely be
how to organize the info in an interesting way that will not look
overwhelming. Posters need to draw in a viewer in a matter of seconds, so
the design has to be simple as well as compelling. Some of us used photos
of Monique, but we realized quickly that this was problematic because many
of the photos we have in our archives have the previous identity on aprons
and bags, which conflicts with our new designs. Instead we will have to use
new individual photographs and drawings if we choose to use images.
Overall, everyone's ideas seemed to be coming together nicely, posters are
definitely one of the more exciting items to design.

Here is an example of one of the preliminary poster designs by Jackie:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Presenting to Monique!

Post for Monday, November 22:
Above is what was newly presented today (things that were presented, but unchanged can be found in the previous posts).

Today we finally presented all of our finished work for Al Dente to Monique. It was great to see her reaction and see what she had to say about each's work. She was so enthused by all that we have done that we couldn't all but help give ourselves a HUGE pat on the back. It was super interesting to notice how groups that started together, finished with logos/designs that all related, yet were all so different in the ways that each was unique to the designer's style. Finally, after all the iterations and reworking that our logo type/identity creating has gone through, we felt like professionals, presenting our work to our number 1 client! What a great way to bring it all to a close.

Although the hard part is over, Al Dente is not yet finished. Next we are onto the fun part, the part that has minimal limitations and suits the ending to the semester well as we take all of the knowledge and skills we have gained throughout the identity process and can use it to formulate a poster of our own unique choice :) I am excited to see what everyone will come up with and how they we think to represent Al Dente through such a strong piece of print media as a poster!

Cheers for now!

Made with Love,
Group 3

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Move Towards the Finish Line

Post for Wednesday, November 17:

Today we spent class time doing our small group critiques. We’re talking less about overall placement now and focusing more on the details like kerning and keeping graphics consistent. At this point in the semester it’s nice to step back and just see how far everyone’s designs have progressed. Because we collaborated as a group for so long, we all used the overall concept of making the logotype look like pasta. However, what’s so interesting is how we each made it our own and found design solutions through very different approaches. Over the next couple of days we plan to tweak our designs and get them ready to present to Monique on Monday!

Label Time

Post for Wednesday, November 10:

This week we brought in our finalized (or well-redefined) iteration of our logos, along with our first set of iterations for labels and any other identity items we had (t-shirts or aprons). Together as a group and with Franc we discussed finishing touches for the logos, picking at small details for improvements, and discussed specifics for the labels, such as logo placement, hierarchy (separating the type of noodle from flavor, and differentiating between noodles types of the same flavor), typography, sizing, color, and images. This helped to give us a better understanding on how to construct our labels to not only follow our project proposal, but clearly define Al Dente Pasta Co. as a brand, and what characteristics play into that. From here we will continue to rework our labels and continue to build upon other items that make up the Al Dente identity.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting to the Nitty Gritty

Wednesday, November 3:

Today in class we brought in our next set of iterations for the stationary set. Since last week, we were able to go back and make changes and additions to what we initially designed. We reviewed specifics for sizing, spacing, bleeds, and structure for the stationary set as a whole and then further discussed our individual changes and designs in small groups with Franc. The feed back from both Franc and each other was very useful as having the view of a fresh eye always is.

From here we are to finalize our stationary designs and the begin our process on the bag labels.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Giving it our First Shot

Wednesday, October 27

Today in class we each showed our individual designs for the stationary
set: letterhead, mailing label, business card, and envelope. While we had
been working as a group, we each spent individual time working on these.
Surprisingly enough, we had a wide variety of styles as a group as well as
a class. This was one of the first days where we saw our ideas truly
materialize. It was awesome to see everyone's work! In the next few weeks
we will see even more solid designs, as we each perfect logotypes and
illustrations for the bags. I think everything is coming together very
nicely and Monique will be excited when she sees!

Stepping Over to Phase 2

Monday, October 25

On Monday we talked about phase two of the project and how we plan to apply our logos to everything from packaging to business cards and aprons. Though our concepts should be more finalized, we are also doing this in order to find what is and isn’t successful in our designs. As a result, we will still be tweaking and testing the readability of our logos along the way. After we finished with the class discussion, our group took some time to look at the different design directions we are taking from our initial concept. For the most part we are still going in the direction of hand drawn fonts, but with different interpretations. We are also choosing different color combinations but still staying in warmer color families.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Visual Identity from a new Perspective

Wednesday, October 20:

Today, instead of meeting in the classroom for our normal discussion meetings, we traveled to Kerrytown to experience the process of identity making/branding from a professional perspective. We visited QLtd Designs, an awesome group consisting of 12 designers/writers, who were kind enough to present to us some of their projects for past and current clients, presenting the work to us as they would to the client, along with explaining the process they go through to create an identity. The three major projects they showed to us were Legacy Land Conservancy, Siggraph 2011, and ApplEcon (still in process).

It was interesting to see the process and learn how as a group, the research is done to get a "feeling" for the client, and after how each designer came up with their own iteration of the identity, color palate, and feel looking to be created in a series of idea boards. Afterward we were split into small groups where we were able to see each designers work-space, hear about their work/process, and get to know them on a more one-on-one basis. Overall, the trip was a great expereience to learn how we can follow a similar process in our own branding of Al Dente (but at a much slower pace haha)!

Narrowing Ideas

Wednesday, October 13:

Today we came to class with revised iterations for the designs we received critiques on this past Monday. Each member of our group chose their best working design and revised it to the comments/suggestions made.
While meeting as a group with Franc and discussing the positives and negatives, what's working well/what's not of each, we were then able to narrow down even further to our most favored two designs (Erin's and Jason's). We discussed the importance of line quality, gesture, legibility as a logo/logotpye, and hierarchy as a means to further improve our designs. From there we each traded files of the two favored designs and have set off on our own to come up with individual solutions to further improve them for our next set of iterations, which we will assess as a group by Monday, Oct 25. During this time we will individual play with our versions of each as a logotype and actual begin to distinguish placement and integration onto the label. The color plate studies we have done will also play an important role in terms of the beginning designs for the label. This will be the introductory process to Phase 2 of our Visual Identity: Application.

Monday, October 11:
Today we had an in-class critique about our logos/logotype, labels, illustrations, and color schemes.
Our group brought in everything we have done so far to get some feedback from the rest of the class.

Here is what we brought in with the feedback we received from the other groups.
^ For the above logos, our classmates mentioned that they preferred the top two rather than the ones on the bottom because the top look more like pasta where as the bottom ones are too smooth and don't quite achieve the look and feel that we were going for. They thought the free flowing nature of the logo worked well and really captured the idea of Al Dente, the pasta as well as the company itself. One thing they did suggest about the top ones were that they are a little too jagged and angular. They recommended working more on smoothing certain edges out in order to capture the look that we are trying to achieve.

^ Another concept we explored was using imagery of pasta wrapping around a fork. The class thought the imagery and colors were working very well but thought that the logo looked more like an identity for a restaurant and less than a logo for a pasta company. Another suggestion they had was to play around with the typeface a little bit. They felt that this one was a little static.

^ Here is another concept we brought in for critique. It explores the use of the pasta as image. It is also an exploration of what the pasta actually looks like. We saw that when we drew from memory, the shapes were looking more like ribbon than pasta. The class really appreciated the research into the characteristics of the actual pasta. They also suggested that we try working with different shapes due to the existing connotations of that specific ribbon configuration.

We also received some positive feedback about our color studies and we look forward to referencing those as the project continues.This feedback was very helpful in seeing what is working and what isn't. We will use these comments as we start to narrow down our designs and focus on fleshing them out.
Our goal for next class is to take what we have heard and focus on one or two of these designs. We are all going to work on creating more variations of these logos/logotypes in hopes our starting to begin finalizing a logo for this part of the process.