Protest Project – Design Manifesto

Following our independent research into the various areas of our chosen topic, we met to discuss the research we had all obtain. We then started to look at designing the manifesto for the project, this was something new to me as I hadn’t done anything like this before. Prior to the meeting with the group I looked at manifestos that were already out there to see how they had been designed.

From looking at these manifesto designs it was clear that there was a sense of hierarchy and a path for the eye. On a few of the manifestos above you can see the use of grid system through the body copy layout which I think works well in the sections as it’s spilts up all the text. I don’t feel that the large volume of text works well together at once, its easier to read when spilt up. Not many of the manifestos I found used images or illustrators within them however, I think that they help to express the topic of protest. The use of the larger image in the centre works however you do lose some detailing, while the small illustrations incorporated with the type works well as it’s subtle but effective, this is something I think we could take forward and use within our own design because it will allow us to show a variety of animals that are effected by the horrific pet trade.

I decided to also look at the book 100 Artists’ Manifestos From the Futurists to the Stuckists, selected by Alex Danchev. By looking at these allowed me the chance to think about how we could word our manifesto, I would be able to share this with the group to help with ideas.

We also chose a mantra for the protest we settled with ‘protect not possess’ because it gave a short but clear message about what we are protesting/raising awareness for. Finn started to illustrate logo ideas during our studio time, where he came up with a range of ideas before showing us. As a group it was decided on the logo/Mantra design, we also thought about developing the mantra further digitally.

Using the sketch I took it into illustrator, we had decided to use the typeface “Zeitung” as we thought that it was bold and striking. However, when digitalised we talked about the fact that it looked too manufactured and lost it’s personality. In order to enhance this I thought about adding a brush stoke to the design, in the hope that it would give some personality back (like the original sketch). I experimented with a variety of different brush strokes as a group we felt the second down on the right was best as it had grunge and personality while still getting the message across. Lizzie also experimented with making the mantra/logo digital so the group discussed which they felt was best. In the end it was decided that Lizzie’s design would be used further.

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Mantra Design Development

The next stage in the process was designing the mantra itself, as a group with 3 graphic communications students we decided that we would each come up with a design and them incorporate the best elements of each into a final outcome. We felt that this was going to be the best way to complete this outcome.

I started by sketching various layouts that I could create, as the illustration students had illustrated the word manifesto I was aware that this was going to be the main focus within the poster. Taking inspiration from the research I had conducted into manifesto designs I knew it was going to need to be bold and striking, to capture the attention of the audience. As a group from our research we realised the pain that animals went through when people smuggle them and sell them as pets, this influenced our choice of colour scheme. The red symbolises the danger that this trade is but also the anger it causes people when they hear about the topic, with the black and white complimenting  the red making it standout.

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Initial Sketches

Using the illustrations that Cameron and Finn had completed and scanned I developed them in photoshop before adding them as PNG files into an InDesign document. As the illustrations had been done in white pen or pencil, I kept the background black with white text to be consistent with their work.  I used a 4 column grid system for the initial designs, I was able to take some inspiration from the designs I had seen before, I particularly liked the way the characters where spilt across the page, this was something I incorporated into my own design. The first one uses all the text we initially wrote down in two columns. Whereas the second one uses key sentences that best express the outcomes that we are hoping to achieve.

After communicating with the group on these initial ideas, there some aspects that they liked and others which they felt didn’t work as well. The constructive feedback I received was that the slogan in the bottom left hand corner felt like it wasn’t connected to the rest of the poster and that the word ‘manifesto’ was difficult to read. To try making the text more legible I changed the placement of the ‘s’ to follow the ‘F,E’ make the path of the eye clearer. I also added the white boarder to link all the components of the layout together, including the mantra which is now placed at the top right corner.

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Further Development

The next stage is to move forward and incorporate Lizzie, Matt and mine own designs together to create a strong visual manifesto. After looking at all the three design ideas from the group we felt we’d take the best elements from each of the designs forward to create a final outcome. We felt that the red type off of Lizzie’s poster was powerful and was able to draw people in alongside the mantra logo. We all really liked how Matt had spilt up the text making some phrase larger and bolder to raise attention,along with clear path of the eye. Using these elements from their work and the layout and white line boarder from my own, we created this final outcome for the manifesto.

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Final Design

I think that overall by taking the strongest elements from each individuals work we were able to create an outcome that held all the ideas we had collated. I feel that this worked well for the team because everybody’s ideas were considered before decisions were made. I found working collaboratively in this way, in terms of designing, very good as everybody was willing to accept feedback and everyone felt that their ideas had be considered and included.

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