Thinking Within The Box.

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This really is branding innovation – A Brazillian agency has grown real fruit into the shape of juice boxes in order to promote the supposedly ‘all natural’ Camp fruit juice brand. à http://bit.ly/JOWGTr

This is an excellent idea: people just love a novelty. This is sure to grab the attention of adults and children alike. It is sure to not only promote the Camp brand but also encourage people to consume more fruit.

I first discovered this via Twitter but have since seen it feature on Facebook, YouTube and Google+. This kind of viral activity is one of the best kinds of publicity a brand could hope for – a South American fruit juice company suddenly has the world talking about it.

 

 

Brand Me Happy.

Adobe_logos

At the beginning of the FdA Advertising course, I was very much a novice in the world of InDesign and Illustrator, and frankly not much more adept in the world of Photoshop: I did not know my tracking from my kerning, nor my spot-healing tool from my magic eraser.

That was eight months ago. Having been taught at college and patiently self-teaching in my spare time, I feel I have gained a very good grasp on the possibilities that exist thanks to the Adobe Suite. Don’t get me wrong – I have made MANY errors and there have been moments where it seems the only rational thing left to do would be to abandon my .psd in favour of MS Paint. But I persevered and as a result I have somewhat magically managed to complete my Digital Skills module for submission on the 16th May 2012.

Me_moodboard

Firstly, I collaborated with a photography student in order to get a professional image that had been taken with the correct lighting. We liaised to discuss what my aim was, what I was trying to communicate and what props etc. I would like included. I created a mood-board using images that I had sourced for inspiration and examples of portraits similar to that which I desired. The photo-shoot was successful in providing me with more than 50 raw images to work with. I was able to select 8 images that I felt were a good base with which to begin. 

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Taking the raw image and using Photoshop, I first set about using the healing brush tool to remove imperfections on my skin, clothing and background.  There were also a few white footprints on the floor so I removed these too.  I worked on separate layers for separate areas such as ‘face’, ‘body’ and ‘background’.

I sourced an image to overlay my portrait to give it some texture and set the opacity at 10% with the blend mode ‘luminosity’. I also removed the red channel from the RGB settings, which gave the image a distinct green hue.

I added a subtle Gaussian blur set at 1.0 pixel and added some noise to the image set at 12.5% uniform.

To finish the image, I adjusted the levels so as to show a little definition between the floor and the backdrop.

To create my logo I have used both the InDesign and Illustrator applications. I knew from the outset that I wanted to design a logo that gave an impression of creativity and individuality. I toyed with the idea of using a fingerprint but felt that had been done before. I also played around with the use of circles and “bubbles” in a variety of opacities and shades but I felt this was too simple and did not best represent me. I came to the conclusion that I should physically represent myself and so I decided to incorporate the silhouette of a man as part of my logo. 

The font I used was sourced from DaFont and called ‘Travel Diary’. I chose it because it had a sketchy feel and looked as though it had been hand drawn – this brings the touch of creativity I wanted.

By creating outlines and using layers, I was able to copy and paste the sketchy feel from the font over to the silhouette. Now, instead of being a solid block of colour, it became more incorporated into the design.

Finished_poster

Overall, I am very happy with the outcome of the self-branding exercise, the photo-shoot and the subsequent use of Adobe applications to create the final product. I feel I have surpassed my own expectations in producing a poster that not only represents me well but also displays my proficiency in the use of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Aside from using Adobe software, I have also shown skills accomplished through the digital skills workshops, such as digital research and sourcing.

I am more than happy with my progress and anticipate advancing my knowledge of digital skills further in the second year.

 

 

Not-So-SMART Targets.

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Newcastle College suggests using the Reflection Cycle as a good strategy to use to ensure that I am managing my time appropriately. By planning, reviewing, analysing and evaluating my work and methods, I should find that I can manage my workflow easier and also that my productivity increases as a result.

At the start of any project, it’s important to plan. The Reflection Cycle suggests setting a SMART target at this point. Being a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed goal means that SMART targets should ensure that the aim can be achieved and keep motivation up. Once planned, the SMART target could be reviewed. What happened? Was the target reached? From there, the Reflection Cycle suggests analysing the project and your feelings towards it as well as evaluating your work. Using the evaluation, the success of the project could be concluded and any lessons learnt could be outlined.

To summarise, each step of the Reflection Cycle appears to be relevant and provide feedback in some form towards the progress and success of a project.

However, in my opinion I find that I cannot allow myself to be bogged down with corporate mumbo jumbo. Experience has taught me that generic learning methods such as the Reflection Cycle waste my time by expecting me to partake in activities that I find pointless and frustrating. This causes my brain to rebel. As a result, my work suffers and productivity decreases. For me, motivation and targets are very specific to the project at hand. I am goal oriented and need to set an attainable incentive for myself. By tailoring the method to myself in a unique way that sits well with the frame of mind I occupy at that time, means that work gets done.

A good example of this would have to be the latest project that I worked on as part of the FdA Advertising course – ‘Caledonia Best Ale’. As well as studying, I am a full time employee and a part-time intern. This means that time is valuable to me and my day-to-day routine is pretty hectic. It is hard to set SMART targets with an unpredictable month ahead – plans change, nothing is black and white and life throws curve balls at us all. As a result, I found that “Specific”, and “Measurable” targets were not as “Attainable” as one would like. This negativity greatly affected me. My work suffered as I found myself quite simply not wanting to do it. Surely this goes greatly against the ethos of “SMART” targets? As a result, I have taken a firm stance of independent thinking and I have decided to go about my work in a way that I know works for me to ensure that the best possible work is produced and deadlines are adhered to.

 

 

Virgin Exploits.

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“Sir Richard Branson formed the Virgin empire on a few branding best practices: do things differently, do things compellingly, and do things with personality. Virgin Media, through the use of humour and their well-respected and humble leader Sir Richard Branson, communicate a warm friendly face to the brand. In a way, they make BT look dull and corporate. And, when inviting a service into your home, you do not choose a dull and corporate brand. Sir Branson’s presence in the adverts also helped remind consumers why they like Virgin; this is a brand that likes to do things differently and with personality, even more reason to have it in your home.” 

http://bit.ly/KnOkMb

 

Let’s Start a Conversation.

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As well as writing the copy, I am also responsible for maintaining the social media aspect of Discovery Daily. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ all play a vital role in spreading the word of Discovery Daily and making sure that we have our finger on the pulse with regards to trends and demand. By being relevant and up to date, users are encouraged to engage in Discovery Daily. For example, for Valentines Day it would be beneficial to feature Interflora on our Twitter and Facebook feeds. This links back into Creative Advertising: advertisers are realising the benefits of social media with regards to brand identity and marketing. Companies big and small have utilised the Internet for some time as a means by which to communicate effectively and affordably.

To mark the 100th anniversary of Universal Studios, I wrote this for Discovery Daily’s Facebook feed – 

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…As well as this for the Twitter feed to coincide with the latest trending topic of “I cried when…”

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Another responsibility of mine is the sourcing of relevant images. The image needs to be added to the DDCA server so that it can be utilised in social media and, obviously, compressed and uploaded to the website. Before this, however, it must be manipulated in Photoshop using a template to ensure it is the correct dimensions for discoverydaily.com.

As a project, Discovery Daily really excites me. It is giving me a huge insight into affiliate marketing as well as teaching me skills relevant to the advertising industry with regards to copy, digital and account management. By integrating into the agency environment, I am gaining first hand experience of the roles of others and how an agency runs on a day to day basis.

 

Kiss & Sell.

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Kiss_and_sell

It was Gareth Howells of Newhaven that first suggested adding ‘Kiss and Sell’ to my reading list. Working primarily as a copywriter on placement, I am beginning to view this book as somewhat of a handbook and fantastic reference for examples of great copy.

It not only contains “…insights from leading players in the advertising world, but also provides ideas and inspiration to the reader as to the most appropriate approach to copywriting”.

 I have learnt a lot from ‘Kiss and Sell’ and continue to use it to aid me in my own copywriting endeavours.

 

Discovery Daily Products – 16/04/12

Beehaus

THE OMLET BEEHAUS

 

The latest buzz in the suburbs!

Recent media would suggest that Britain is generating somewhat of a buzz for beekeeping. With “one in three mouthfuls of the food we eat dependant on bee pollination”, the British Beekeepers Association has been doing it’s bit in our schools and have captivated the minds of children countrywide. Thanks to omlet.co.uk, building your very own hive has never been so fashionable with their funky looking ‘Beehaus’. Available for £499 from Amazon in green, yellow, purple, white and red, and capable of providing up to 7kgs of honey, your garden, terrace or rooftop will be a hive of activity in no time!

http://amzn.to/JmW80X

 

Boatshoes

STARBOARD TRI BOAT SHOES

 Be style savvy this season with the return of a classic. Summer, ahoy!

 

The chino has seen great popularity of late and several high street retailers have added their own twist on the classic design. With warmer weather on the horizon, you can do no wrong by ensuring that your chinos are incorporated into your summer wardrobe along with a good pair of boat shoes. We found these at topman.com, and being 100% leather and just £42.00, quite frankly, they tick all the boxes. Team with navy chinos or tailored shorts to rock the nautical look.

http://bit.ly/IiYqk6

 

Dawnchorustableware

PORTMEIRION DAWN CHORUS TABLEWARE

 

Invite the girls round and pop the kettle on: introducing tea party chic.

From John Lewis comes this delightful tea set by Portmeirion. True to their philosophy, Portmeirion have created a collection that is not only beautiful but also functional and affordable. Tastefully decorated with birds and butterflies set upon vibrant pinks and blues, the set includes cups, saucers, a cake stand and even a cake slice. Starting from just £8.00, you’ll always find an excuse to get out your best china.

http://bit.ly/I5Oycm

 

Slushmaker

RETRO SLUSH MACHINE

 

Forget your Mojitos, Cosmopolitans and Mai Tais, 2012 is all about the revival of the 80’s cocktail.

Bring on the Sex on the Beach, Blue Lagoon and the classic Woo Woo. Reach for those shoulder pads and pop on a bit of ‘Club Tropicana’ to get you in the mood. Then, really get the party going with this retro inspired slush maker for just £53.99. It’s one thing making a Pina Colada, but it’s another having it perfectly chilled and on tap. Add your garnish and the obligatory umbrella and you’re all set. You’ll be channelling vibes of Tom Cruise before you know it.

http://bit.ly/HXy1LB

 

Caginabag

CATH KIDSTON ‘PETAL’ CAG IN A BAG

April is upon us and with it comes those pesky showers.

It’s finally happened – a designer has managed to make the cag in a bag fashionable: Cath Kidston has taken her panache for quaint, pastel florals and utilised them to brighten up the rainiest of days.  By folding right down into its bag, the cag can be kept at hand in your handbag or glovebox. With matching ‘Petal’ accessories and costing just £26.00, April showers never looked so good.

http://bit.ly/HVKLwU