Graphic Design and Animation Graduates 2012

Online portfolio and print on demand catalogs for Graphic Design and Animation graduates from the Department of Design 2012. On this page you will find our conference presentations, and by hovering over the menu groups on the left you can read contextual documents. You are welcome to attend our Grad Show, opening on 29 November 2012 at 6pm, and daily from 30 November to 6 December 9.30am – 4pm.

Tim Tothill


The Guidebook
Investigate how editorial design, illustration and photography can be employed as a tool to discuss financial awareness accessible to students living away from home to make their transition into life as a tertiary student easier.

Context Discussion:


1: Key contextual references

The key contextual references in this project revolve around social responsibility in relation to youth/urban culture, specifically new students at the tertiary level. Positive social change through peer advice is my focus. Stress reduction, relieving pressure (social, peer and uni), and providing a grounding for my audience are

sub-focuses of this project. By consulting young people who are currently making the transition into independency (my peers) I can establish the relevant issues they face and ascertain how a graphic design practice can help to create a guide that they will want to use.

Humor, colloquial language and nonchalant or blasé attitudes reoccur throughout the written parts of this project as a platform to remain relative to my intended audience.


The biggest relationship I can build between the contexts of this project and the way I’ve been designing is the urge to create something that is more than appealing and desirable to my audience. The “hipster” mind set is rampant in today’s youth culture. The attitude of needing to be the first to have, do or like something is a driving force. Being part of a select few to have or do something before it becomes mainstream is the most important thing for young people at the moment. I need my design to comply with these ideals for it to be successful. Thankfully the design world naturally has a front row seat to rising trends in fashion, film and music so I ­am able to get a step and stay a step ahead of my potential readers/viewers.

2: Process Decisions

Through experience and research I was able to establish that the aesthetic properties of currently existing guide books and flatters cookbooks were less than desired by their audiences. The spiral bound, brightly coloured pages littered with clipart illustrations weren’t making a good impression on the young people that I needed to make a good impression on. By taking inspiration from current trends in music, fashion, sport, film, branding, social activities and internet culture I believe I was able to identify what would appeal to young people between the ages of 17 and 24.

In relation to politics, sports teams, gangs and negative (or positive) connotations in general, colour has never needed to be considered more carefully. More and more company branding, sports team uniforms and pieces of technology are sticking to a black and white or in some cases black on black colour pallet. Especially in fashion, head to toe black on black is a trend that comes and goes but peaks every ten years or so. It’s about to come around and peak again in the next 12 months. Committing to a black and white colour scheme allows me to reduce the risk of any unwanted connotations as well as carrying current trends occurring in areas of interest for members of youth culture.

Logos, quotes or any small set of words being designed as whole compositions or as an image rather than in a structured piece of body copy is a returning trend in design at the moment. You see it in fashion, web design, music branding and one of the most popular bars in Auckland, Tyler Street Garage, (according to my audience) has picked it up for their branding. Features of this type of design include; centre aligned type (multiple typefaces used) intertwined with ribbons, arrows, underlines and blocks of tone. I included this type of design in my project because I couldn’t stop using trends to connect with my audience when it came to my own profession. I also realized it was aesthetically opposite to the undesirable guides mentioned above.

 I have a particularly grotesque style of illustration and at first I wasn’t intending to incorporate it within this project. It doesn’t fit smoothly into the sleek, vector style of design I had been looking at and reproducing. But illustration is one of my strongest skills and its grimy feel does in fact sit well within urban and street culture. The illustrative style I work with is derived from artists like Ed Roth, Charles Burns, Chris Ware, Joe Coleman and Robert Williams. The skateboarding, punk rock and 90’s rap cultures on the west coast of the U.S. also influence my illustration heavily. Apocalyptic themes as well as a sense of counter culture are also present in my illustration. All began with defiant youth trying to build themselves an identity.


3: Outcomes

The final outcome of this project will be a small pocket sized, soft covered, perfect bound guidebook. The number of pages rule out other methods of binding like stitch and staple, as they will not work smoothly. A soft cover allowed the publication to be malleable enough to view each page in its entirety without damaging the spine and degrading the rest of the binding. Keeping the book from being so rigid will prolong its life as well.

Thinking forward to the printing stage of this project also influenced deciding to design with black and white. Limiting costs at my end might flow on to effect how my audience gets the publication. Whether it is a free hand out with orientation packs or $2 pick up at the student bookshop.

The size of the publication became an issue due to the number of pages being directly affected by the size of the pages. The smaller the size, the higher the number of pages had to be. A good medium was reached with the final thickness of the book being about 7mm. The weight of the paper also had a part to play in this. The end product fits into the back pocket of some jeans nicely as well as a large purse. It’s not a hassle to take with you wherever you go. It’s also quite “cool” and “mysterious” being able to pull out and check a little black book without anybody else knowing what’s in it.


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