Live Brief: Colouring In Tolworth
Updated: Apr 27
TW1: Monday 6 January
10:00 -13:00; 14:00-16:00 Introduction to the module Briefing (client) Team making Place Purpose https://medium.com/dn-co/introducing-place-purpose-and-whywe-need-it-now-more-than-ever-975d450855f8
To begin the year and the module, we were given our live brief as well as an introduction from our clients.
We met our client Charlotte from Community Brain, as well as Clara from Kingston Hub;
and Salah and Pablo from 121 Collective.
When given an introduction to our brief, we were shown work previously done by Community Brain's on going project called Shed X. They have worked with the Council in Tolworth previously on projects to positivity help the community. They have previously collaborated with graphic design students at Kingston School of Art to create wayfinding routes and nature trails, as well as geography and architecture students. I also had a look at their activity online on Facebook. Many people from the local community have comented on Shedx's posts talking about their experiences of helping them and how it has benefited them.
"Thanks to SHEDx for supporting this initiative. Excellent after a slow start. Learning curves on putting on this sort of show but really enjoyed it."- Denise Gridley
When speaking to 121 Collective and Community brain, the key notes that stood out for me to consider were:
Find what exists + What people value + Create a new 'reputation' from that
Consider that we will have to pitch a proposal, and will have to look for funding. Therefore will need to put a load of detail into it to make sure that it can work.
How can we incorporate wayfinding to allow people to use the greenspace in Tolworth.
Civic & Community
We were then put into our groups, giving us a focus of either Heritage or Civic & Community. I was put into Group A to focus on Civic & Community. I began to breakdown our focus to understand what and who we will need to consider:
When designing a solution we will need to ensure that we consider a range of communities within Tolworth, including the residents and workers.
Today we were also given our brief outlining the direction we should go in and the structure of the whole project. I highlighted within the module summary areas we should ensure we should focus on. Conceptualisation, research and solution design stood out to me as the key skills that we would learn and use in this project, as well as having a professional level of interaction.
Within the aims it specialises that we will develop our listening skills and professional writing skills. This also stood out to me, as we will need to make sure that we listen to the community to hear what they would like to change.
TW2: Site Visit
To gain a further understanding of the area, we all as a class met Charlotte from Community Brain and were given a tour around the areas she wanted to show us. Below is a rough diagram of our route.
We visited 121 Collective's office near the allotments, I recorded Pablo's talk about what they have currently been working on. He was talking about how as a social enterprise for funding they work on projects with a limited company are combining their ideas to find solutions. As well as their wayfinding project, about how they haven't yet progressed with the wayfinding project, as they are still questioning "How do we make the biggest impact with these routes to lead to these little hubs?"
To record what they mentioned I made this video with the recording:
Below is a slideshow of areas from our tour that stood out to me in particular:
Workshop with Annie Yonkers:
As part of our secondary research, we will incorporate the research and findings discovered by some of the geography students. Annie Yonkers designed a workshop for us to combine our skills to create an outcome. Our challenge was to visually map 'The Ghost of the Past Present and Future'. In our team we initially discussed what they have been working on and one of the geography students showed us some of their previous work with data visualisation and wayfinding mapping. From their work we decided as a team to incorporate wayfinding into our diagram, we used our different skills to direct our outcome. From this activity I learnt the importance creating a visual diagram that is clear and easy to follow; including a key was particulary useful when we presented our outcome.
TW3: Know your place - Simon Yewdall
Simon Yewdall the Strategy Director at Dn&co came in and gave us a talk about their agency, showing some of their most recent projects.
Their agency consists of around 30 partners including: designers, writers, art directors, strategists, developers and project managers.
Their aim for a lot of their large projects is to change perceptions. This may involve them digging up more on the locations history and bring communities together. This really helped us in relation to Tolworth as a lot of people's current perception is negative, and we will need to think of ways that we can change that- perhaps by breaking down the ways to why people may be thinking that.
"City that never sleeps" - New York
Simon mentioned how we give cities and locations traits, that's their branding.
Some places that want their perceptions to change, need to get people to understand their purpose, what they stand for and why they exist.
Place purpose: Intentional reason a place exists based on human centred needs.
Disney land - has a clear purpose - create somewhere where magic comes true
:. Invented a load of technology.
When considering Tolworth as a brand, we will need to consider its place purpose through researching the area and what it has to offer in the location. When going on our visit with Charlotte she highlighted areas such as the green areas. Perhaps we could consider incorporating these into Tolworth's Brand?
Simon then mentioned their process for a project:
Research & Insight Generation ( Looks at british-history.co.uk )
What do our customers want?
What are the biggest challenges?
What does the community need?
What's going on in the world that creates opportunity?
Do we need to conserve heritage or embrace future?
What else do we don't know?
Do social good
What would make a difference to people?
What can we do to make a social impact?
What social good can you contribute to?
Can you help make your community a better place?
- What we are doing for someone else, the customer, the world.
-Its about benefits to the customer not the features of the place
-Do things relevant to Place Purpose to create credibility and authenticity.
As we are helping the community it is important that we consider ways that we could possibly collaborate to bring together our ideas with the voices that matter.
Somebody has to be brave and take the risk, or everyone defaults to what is proven elsewhere. As I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone in managing a team, I offered to be project manager as I felt confident for us to lead taking risks that we would look over to see if its realistic.
We should have 7 key components:
Research - Do social good - Place Purpose - Acts & deeds - Collaboration - Leadership - Commitment.
Dn&Co's Lessons Learnt: Think bigger than the brief, Importance of research, one voice in multiple tones.
We can have a look at the shops to gain a sense of people's priorities.
Second Trip to Tolworth
As a group, we decided to visit Tolworth again to speak to the local residents and workers to hear their opinion. We found that not everyone wanted to speak to us and answer all of our questions so we adapted our technique by asking people to describe Tolworth in three words. This helped us to understand what people's current perceptions are. Giving us a more refined idea to what we should focus on. With documenting our progress we took it in turns to go into the shop as well as on the street. Miyako visually documented for our research. This structure worked really well as we all gathered a large amount of research to talk about in our presentation.
TW4: Research Development
In our groups we gave our initial presentations to explain our initial aim of our direction for the project. I collated all of our research and initial thoughts to create our presentation; outlining our thought progress to show our new aims and focuses. I thought it was important to show the journey, including both our primary and secondary research. This worked well as we each had work allocated to ensure that we would cover all the points to make it easier to put it all together, although when I was putting everything together I realised that i had to go over alot of the work, simplifying some pages as some of the information was too heavy to include in a presentation.
In our group after our presentation we decided to sit down to break down our what we have to complete. This helped us to target specific areas to ensure that we complete everything we need to achieve, through giving each of us specific focuses.
As a team we found that communicating through WhatsApp was successful, as well as using basecamp to set personal deadlines and aims. I project managed our team, giving us individual tasks to complete, whilst keeping to our mini deadlines. Though managing people in our team, I found that with some people I had to remind them and give more specific tasks to ensure that they would keep it within the project deadline. Luckily due to previous projects, I learnt peoples strengths, making it easier to allocate tasks.
As a group we started to discuss areas within Tolworth that stood out to us. As we received so many negative comments we began to focus on the centre of the high street, The Greenway. Through speaking to local residents, we realised that it was due to unfortunately an accident around 7 years ago where someone passed away, causing The Greenway project to go ahead, removing the barrier from the middle.
Although The Greenway's purpose was to make it safer for people to cross, as well as creating a bike lane. We noticed people running across the road and not using it to cycle on. We decided to move forward with our solution to design a new barrier.
TW6: Group work- How can we incorperate the community?
As a group we began to brainstorm ideas to how we could involve the community in some way. Previously I mentioned on our trip that we could perhaps incorporate drawings from the local schools. An artist I found a few years ago used photoshop to transform his kids drawings, bringing their ideas to life! This helped to trigger the idea of us perhaps vectorising kids drawings through using our skills on Illustrator. We agreed that this could become a successful way of working with the community as it could show case young tallent.
These are examples of Tom Curtis' work:
Miyako also mentioned that in a close town to where she lived in Japan, they painted drawings and art work onto barriers. This was perfect as this helped to spark a clear direction in which we need to go in, helping our proposal to directly relate back to Civic and Community.
- Promoting local school on school road, in Japan
- School road for kids, country side of Japan
- Feeling season on the road (4 seasons of local nature), Omachi Nagano in Japan
- Romance road, Kamitonda-cho Wakayama in Japan
- Fence Dimention
To start off our branding guidelines, I used Adobe Colour CC to select a suitable colour scheme. As a team we agreed on these colours as we wanted to ensure that we have a range of colours to make sure that all of the objects we need to digitally vectorise will work. In the final colour scheme incorporated tints to ensure that we would have a variation of balanced colours to compliment the illustrations.
Although the art style will be left up to the young artist's imagination, the way that we display the drawings, combined with the selective colour scheme we should be able to create consistency creating a identity. Through looking online and on Pinterest I gathered a few art styles that I wanted to feedback to my group to see what they thought of them. As a team we decided to go for this kind of art style- as shown in the picture on the left. As the pictures themselves are very bold, by making them smaller and adding space it keeps a sense of simplicity.
Getting Primary Art work:
Initially I phoned up a couple of local primary schools if they would want to get involved, however they gave a very slow response and was not in our timeframe. Annie Yonkers from Kingston Hub, was very kind with helping us gather primary drawings. We designed a worksheet with three different themes: nature, play and transport to give a broad range of drawings that would relate to Tolworth.
This was the email I wrote to Annie:
We were extremely lucky as Annie gave the worksheet to her son as well as some of his friends, giving us a load of drawings to transform!
We printed off all of the drawings and began to create the drawings using the colour scheme. I felt this worked well as we were able to all draw over the original drawings whilst keeping to our branding guidelines.
Technical note: we found that Illustrator sometimes connected the shapes with a harsh-geometric line, altering the artists style. Therefore we had to go back over some of our drawings by hand.
We were all really happy with these outcomes, as each drawing had its own personality. Using young artists drawings instead of our own should be really powerful as we are essentially giving the young artists a platform to use their own ideas.
As part of our group, I was in charge of creating the barrier design. Through researching further into different creative projects people have done and different styles of barriers, I began to think into what would work for Tolworth.
Previously, Tolworth used to have a singular barrier going down the whole high-street, as shown in the image below.
I used Cinema 4D to create the barrier design as it allowed me to create them in 3D so I was able to Photoshop it more realistically onto the broadway.
Then with the drawings I added them on top of the barrier design so when we pitch our idea to clients, it will make it easier for them to visualise. The photo I used was from google maps as I was able to angle the shot, however I was not happy with the quality of the image. I decided to not use my primary photos as the sky was grey, which could have made our design percieved more negatively.
We decided to design a leaflet to hand out to our clients for our presentation, as an example of what we could hand out as an informational leaflet. Izzi looked at a range of folding techniques for us to play around with concepts. We decided to design a map of where our design would go; a poster about the barrier; as well as a leaflet that would be folded inside, giving information about our launch event. This worked well as a team as we worked on individual sections of the handout. We constantly sent our designs to our group chat on Whatsapp to ensure that we were all keeping to the art direction style.
This worked well as a team as we worked on individual sections of the handout. We constantly sent our designs to our group chat on WhatsApp to ensure that we were all keeping to the art direction style when were working individually. At times it was hard as I had to be harsh to keep within the branding guidelines.
I created the barrier poster design, keeping organic to the kids drawings. Ironically, it turned out that creating a simple design was very difficult to get right.
In our group we worked together to structure our presentation, to ensure that we cover everything we have all been working on. With this initial structure we create, I offered to put all of our work together as our first presentation was successful. Below shows the initial layout structure we created together.
To try to break up the presentation, I tried to make every page different in design. To keep consistency, I found that I had to draw new images such as the pie chart, as the previous design on the first presentation was only from Microsoft Excel. However this meant that I had to replace a lot of the images people put on basecamp for their slides. Miyako's videos really helped to bring our concept to life and I feel that it really helped our engagement with our clients.
Prior to our presentation, as a team we met up multiple times to practice our slides. This was very useful as we changed the order of the slides to make it flow smoothly.
Watching our presentation back was really useful for us as we were able to pick up on things that we wouldn't have necessarily noticed. As painful as it was to hear my voice back, I noticed that I said "Um" a lot, and this is something I need to work on. However I was very happy with our team as everyone was very clear and concise with what their slides.
We we're given a large amount of feedback, with a lot of factors such as changing the 'A' in the typeface as it was quite distracting when they were reading. As well as reducing the ratio of text to visuals throughout. Through reading our feedback, I learnt that we should simplify the presentation as much as possible, whilst keeping a typeface that is easy to read.
Izzi and myself worked on the report together, collating everyone's research. Due to the change of situation, we started to use Zoom to screen share our work so we were able to go though the report together. This worked really well as we were able to rely on each other to get the pages complete.
The day before the submission I lost all of my work as my laptop screen broke. We luckily shared our final report through basecamp however a lot of the work I wrote was not accessible, meaning that I had to re write everything for the pages I was doing. I was saving my work externally, however this happened unexpectantly so not everything was retrivable.
I was very lucky to have another laptop, and was able to finish the report on there. Below shows some of the pages I worked on. PersonaIly, I was not too keen on the text layout in the columns as I felt like it was quite a corporate structure in comparison to the fluidity of the images and branding. However that was the layout for the planned structure.
Overall I am really happy with our outcome as a team. Although through the project some of the people didn't put as much effort in, the few of us who were dedicated to the project worked really well together, to ensure that we reached our outcome. I feel that we were very lucky as we had strong design team with the same vision. Using basecamp to set tasks and uploading documents, worked very well for us and would likely use in the future. Also using zoom was perfect for the report, as we were able to go through the work with eachother as if we were there.
A large challenge for the project was to manage the team, ensuring that they were all meeting the deadlines. Over time I learnt to give some people tighter deadlines of less work. Setting the deadlines weekly worked really well as we all showed the work we were focusing on, helping to motivate each other.
Communicating with Annie was definitely the best decision, as the drawings brought our ideas to life. I think that if we would have drawn them ourselves, there wouldn't be character and imagination.
Personal Reflection: I'm glad that I was able to go out of my comfort zone to manage my team, and I felt that I was able to allocate tasks to people's strength. However this project was okay to manage as most people put in all the work needed and were keeping on top of it all. Although with the report and presentation, some of the work distrubuted was not to the same standard, meaning that I had to go over quite alot of the work. Perhaps in the future to combat this, setting more specific tasks clearly outlining the standard and what it needs to include, I feel that would have helped.
I am happy with our presentation outcome, although I would really like to practice public speaking to help sound more confident with my ideas. Although listening to myself in our presentation was painful, it was useful as it helped me pick on certain words I repeat.
The technical error with my laptop did throw me off slightly however, from the amount of work we all put in, that kept me motivated to complete the report with Izzi.