Agency Brief.

For this assignment, we are required to form groups of 4-6 and create a design company, along with its ethos/philosophy, logo, and an about page. The people I shall be working with are; Alana Handford, Fliss Newman, Tina Reet, Glenn Mellor and Katie Marsh.

We all decided to work together as each of us has a different specialist field, e.g. web, graphics, branding, logos etc., and a varying artistic style, e.g. doodles, digital, futuristic, vintage, etc. This allows everyone to contribute and bring something different to the table.

Group roles

An organisational chart is to be made, which defines each group member’s role within the agency. I have decided to be a Senior Designer. This is because, in all honesty, I’m not very good with too much responsibility. Having a ‘leader’ role such as the Project Manager wouldn’t suit me as I’m more of a “Team Worker” (Belbin’s 9 Team Roles). Why a Senior designer though? Well, I’ve got to give myself some sort of authority… Right?

“A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role which is understood by other members. Members of a team seek out certain roles and they perform most effectively in the ones that are most natural to them.” – Dr. R. M. Belbin

Belbin Team Roles are used to identify people’s behavioural strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. This information can be used to:

  • Build productive working relationships
  • Select and develop high-performing teams
  • Raise self-awareness and personal effectiveness
  • Build mutual trust and understanding
  • Aid recruitment processes

[Source]

To help out with the chart, we have decided that each member of the group will do a write-up of what their job role is and their specialisms. Here’s mine:

Alice Cadenhead 
Senior Designer.

My role within the agency is to find solutions to briefs and projects given to the agency, and approach them with strong conceptual ideas with original outcomes. I also assign tasks to the Middleweight and Junior Designers, ensuring that they tackle projects both effectively and efficiently, and making sure tasks are completed to the high standard expected. I specialise in digital art and media, including photo manipulation, photo composites and typographical pieces, with a strong knowledge of contemporary fads and concepts. Along with this, I explore the regions of video and motion graphics and web design, and have the core skills needed to produce good, professional quality work.

The roles of the group are:
Tina– Project Manager
Fliss– Creative Director
Alana – Art Director
Glenn – Senior Designer
Alice – Senior Designer
Kate– Middle Weight Designer

For the organisational chart, I believe that it should reflect the group as a collective. We are all for the people, which is reflected in our slogan; we listen to the client and want to work with them to get them know. However, we must also show that each person has their own specialism. Other members of the group also thought this and so the development starts.

First things first, however, we need to come up with our agency name, philosophy and tagline.

Lots of concepts have been thrown about and everyone is bouncing off of each others’ ideas (via our Facebook Group). First stop is the company name. Alana has come up with a good bunch of names, ones of which I like are “Uniqka Agency”, “Create Minds” and “Give me Designs”. I like these as they convey a message of unity and uniqueness within the design agency to audiences. The latter name, in my opinion, portrays that we want to help and are a determined, motivated agency; it has a statement within the name itself i.e. ‘give me’. It shows that we want to design and that we enjoy it.

However, whilst these are good names, the aren’t focused enough. It’s all well and good coming up with a name, but it needs to suit the agency itself. We’ve discovered that we need to figure out what we want our agency to ‘be about’; its philosophy. We want the company to be a source of communication and convey that we are good listeners, alongside being a team of professional designers, each specialising within their own field of expertise.

To develop this concept further, the idea of helping companies and organisations “get back out there” and back on their feet has come into action, and our target audience has become apparent – businesses/clients affected by the recession.

Following the Retro theme, Fliss looked up catch phrases from around that era for inspiration for names: – Check it out – Keep on Truckin -means go with the flow

- Rockin Out
- Clue Me In
- Can you dig it?
-Dream on Designs
-To the Max
-Confab Creations – confab meaning conversations.
-Dyno-mite Design.

All rough but inspired by retro sayings. What do people think? Or do we have to look outside the box?

We all agreed that Keep on Truckin’ was along the right track on what our name should be. We decided to change it to ‘Keep On Designing’ as, not only was it already a company, we thought truckin’ made the agency sound like a transportation company. The philosophy and tagline fell into place once we established our name;

Keep on Designing – We listen, and together we swill be heard.

Next step – Logos:

Everywhere we go, we see logos. From when we wake up in the morning until we go to bed at night. As we have to design and create a logo for our agency, I have decided to try and get a more in-depth  understanding about designing logos. I have recently found an extremely amazing book (in my opinion) to help me with this, titled “Logo Design Love; a guide to creating iconic brand identities” by David Airey:

Through reading this book, I have learned the importance of sketching and experimentation. Pencil and paper gives you that chance to be more creative. You’re not held back, unlike on a computer; “You want a circle here? A stroke there? No problem. Just do it. Translating the same process to a computer requires unnecessary steps that hinder your creative flow.”

This book has also enlightened me on how I can make the design phase more focused. Not only that, but more productive, too – simply by asking questions:

  • What does your audience care about?
  • How do people learn about your product, organisation, or service?
  • Why does your audience need a new brand identity?
  • What words do you want people to associate with your company?
  • Generally, what logos do you think will appeal to your customers, and why?
  • How many people are responsible for use of the brand identity?

- David Airey

Above are some logos I looked up for some inspiration. (Yes from Google I know, but it’s very useful.) However, I also looked at vintage/retro logos from here, focusing on colours, and typography.

The retro/vintage style is easily recognisable as it includes iconic imagery and is popular due to its eye-catching graphics. It is also distinctive from modern computer-generated styling.

Logo Designs

With the retro/vintage theme in mind, I’ve drawn some rough sketches of possible logo designs:

I’m not sure on the colour scheme of the logo yet, but I’m going to go for simple colours such as red, blue, and yellow. To give them a ‘vintage’ look to them, I will play around with these primary colours and maybe add some textures.

Following the sketches I’ve attempted to re-create some digitally:

 Glenn developed the second logo further to create our final logo:

What Glenn has done here is made my initial design much more ‘clean cut’ and professional. I love what he’s done by adding the red circle, and used brushes to give it a washed out, old, vintage style.

Organisational chart:

Sticking to the idea of being a collective, we have to come up with a way of presenting our agency in this way. Below is the stages of development we went through to get to our final product;

This process involved a lot of feedback from one another. I like the idea of the Venn diagram, as it I think it really depicts how we work together, not only with each other, but with the client as well. This fits in with our philosophy and backs up our agency tagline. The design proved popular with the other members of the group, too. The colour scheme was developed around our chosen style (retro/vintage) and also portrays that each member of the group is different and has their own specialism. This is shown by each having a different colour on the chart.

The final product was then placed a made into a poster:

The next step – Web presence:

I’ve seen the retro style being used in web before, but never really took any notice of the design. To gain an understanding (and inspiration) of the vintage style in web, I looked at different websites that used the style:

[Source of Pictures]

The retro style is very distinctive across the board and, aesthetically, very pleasing. I love the colours, its use of graphics, and layout; i.e. its simplicity and minimalism – Less is definitely more! The predominant colour palette is pale, desaturated colours, which gives it its ‘age’. It has a certain naivety and innocence about it. The retro style is just lovely!

The first draft of our website was done by Katie and Christina. This is the foundation of what is yet to come:

As a starting point, this design isn’t too bad. However, I’m not too sure about the green background. I think it’s too bright. The website displays who we are and what we are about straight away. This is achieved by placing this information on the home page. By doing so, the client is instantly educated and knows that we are up-front. Including a page about ‘the team’ gives information to the client about us. By including pictures and a small fact about ourselves, when hovered over,  it gives the agency a friendly vibe; we’re someone they can trust.

With feedback from the group, Glenn has developed the website, and given it a definitive house style:

The website has been further refined following additional feedback from the group and Glenn’s perfectionism:

Overall, I think that Glenn has done a brilliant job in putting the web presence together. It looks professional, consistent, user-friendly and everything good. He’s successfully created something which is vintage with a contemporary twist. Very eye catching, indeed!

Expanding our web presence:

Nowadays, there is more than one way of getting hold of someone. To improve our web presence a Twitter and Facebook page have been set up. This will mean clients will be able to contact us through different websites, and is also a form of advertising and more people will know about us.

Glenn has also created and posted a short animation on YouTube. This is a more interactive and fun way of interacting with clients. Click here to see the video.

I am really please with what has been created. I firmly believe that our agency has developed into something strong. Everything design-wise has been made consistent with the use of a definitive house style. This will make our company easily recognisable to an audience, whilst looking professional yet friendly.

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