Figure A: A design process that involves going back to the research stage at multiple iterations from J. O’Grady and K. O’Grady.
The above chart is what best shows my process for designing these logos. I started off with a general research session where I learned everything I could about the subjects and created mind maps. These mind maps became a starting point for my initial sketches. Once I had exhausted my initial impressions of the subjects, I went back to do more in depth research. If there was a type of design, I liked I would research more into the subject and what it means to Reykjavik or how it affects the lives of citizens. Once I had a large range of logos I looked to see if any of the subjects overlapped or had any interaction.
Figure B: Geographic Logos
For these sets of logos, I did a batch where I experimented with the lighthouses’ forms and shapes. In another batch I played with the Bay of Smokes moniker and with waves and mists. In many of the photos of the lighthouses there was either large amounts of mist or smoke from the water. I decided to combine the swirl logos with the lighthouse logos to create a new design that used the strength of both.
Figure C: Modern Culture Logos
For these I started with creating geometric designs of famous buildings from the area. In this case I started with the art museum. As I continued designing, I realized that maybe I shouldn’t tie the city down to one building, but I wanted to still play with an abstract logo. I continued to play with the shapes I got from the museum until I got something that resembled an abstract R.
Figure D: Tradition Logos
During my research sessions I found that Reykjavik is a fishing village. I started to play around with some motifs centered around that. I created some plain fish logos. Then I created some fish logos that combined the trident figure from the sun voyager. I combined the two but found the logo still needed some work. I went onto fish hook motifs and found a way to combine the three sets of designs.
O’Grady, J. V., & O’Grady, K. (2009, February 01). [Design process that has multiple iterations]. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
In regard to the critiques from my classmates I have learned to be clearer about my ideas and use more notes. Communication is key and one can always improve. The main feedbacks I received from assignments involved paying attention to the smaller details. Usually when I got hit for points it was from small things like grammar. In the future I am going to pay attention to the smaller details. It is like painting. You can get the point across well enough with getting the overall shapes right, but it is the small things that make the piece pop. By paying closer attention to all the details I can elevate my work to the next level and get closer to mastery.
I started with researching a broad range of information about the area. I then picked the common phrases I found in that research or general ideas that came up often and broke those words down into more specific aspects.
I employed multiple problem-solving techniques by looking through a combination of text and picture sources. I used the text sources to learn about the area and I used the image based sources to help come up with word associations appropriate for the area.
Unique and Innovative
First I looked at existing logos for the places and their neighboring cities. Then I tried to find common ideas and phrases that the cities used on various tourist sites.
Research Competencies I used for the project included gathering mass amounts of information and filtering it down. Another competency I used was finding reliable articles that covered the cities themselves and were not talking about the region as a whole.
Some of the takeaways that will have the biggest impact on my experience come from learning new problem-solving skills, the Design Learning Outcomes, and the research components to the assignments. Most of my problem-solving skills come from how to solve a client’s problems visually or how to convey the information they need in media. I am not the best at solving overall brand or social problems. What I do know is from what I have learned on the job. The DLOs will help me learn what I need to change in my design process. I have strong skills in application. I know the inside outs of Photoshop, Illustrator, and basic art techniques. The drafting and research part of my process though could use some revamping. This part of my process, as I have mentioned before, is something that I have learned from trail and error. I have never really gotten formal training on how to be a good graphic designer. Just a good artist. I hope to get a lot from the synthetization stage and the problem-solving stage. For this course I hope to learn where to look when I am researching for a project. And more importantly I want to learn how to gather effective data and how to use it properly. Learning better research techniques will be the biggest help to me in the future.
The only questions I have are in regard to how to properly research a client and how to use that information to help them build a brand. Is it just about googling them and seeing what kind of interaction they have on social media? Would getting a clients’ google analytics help? And where do you even start when the client is still getting used to the idea of mobile phones?
My action plan to finish out the program will be about balancing my schoolwork, my job, and my own projects. I will use my Mondays to plan my week around my course work and get a head start on assignments. From there I will alternate days where one day I do course work, the next I work on my lesson plans and grading, plan a day for my personal projects, and then fill the rest of the week with the extra time I will need for my course work. I am going to use the information I gather from this program to not only better teach my students but to also build up my own online presence. I have done freelance graphic design for a long time and while I enjoy the commercial aspect of it, I want to move more towards prints and illustrations. Primarily selling my own work would be the main goal but custom prints can be fun as well. The main problem is though that I do not know how to effectively build an online presence and how to use media data to my advantage. The main end goal would be learning how to effectively create a brand to my advantage.