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.

Justin Marsh

Jah Marsh Contextual Document

Jah Marsh

Branding Ruffhaus

Investigation into how graphic design principals can be utilized in branding, by considering the way branding informs perception.

The key contextual references in my work are based on using graphic design to create an identity within society and through an online presence. This includes looking into the way web design and social media can be utilized to inform and influence the perception of a brand, how imagery, typography and colour is perceived through different forms of media and how “non design” people interpret symbols that have a common meaning on a global scale. By understanding the way that society now interacts with design through both real world and online mediums it will allow me to discuss the Ruffhaus brand through the use of both print and digital media.

Swiss graphic design and the international typographic style reoccur as a foundation element throughout my work, providing structure and the systematic use of content through layout and hierarchy by utilizing rigid but flexible grid systems that are adaptable across varied forms of media. This allows me to create a cohesive aesthetic regardless of the desired output. The effective use of space is also a reoccurring feature throughout my work. By arranging elements within a layout based on their contextual references it allows the creation of a narrative within a composition.

Graphic design principals can be utilized in branding by identifying common perceptions and interpretations of symbols that commonly occur throughout a viewer or users experience within different media. In the book Swiss Graphic design by Richard Hollis, Kurt Schwitters states “To advertise means to draw attention to something. And the advertising designer draws the viewer’s attention to what he is advertising not by means of words, phrases or artificial artistic additions but simply by designing the printed matter as a unified gestalt, and the designer can do this using accepted conventions – rather like musicians. This is basically because we human beings are the same and function in the same way” (Hollis 42).

Kurt is speaking about commonalities between all people. A universal understanding at both a sub conscious and conscious level and everyones ability to decipher visual messages that relate to simple everyday things. To incorporate this into my work I have used common items such as stationary, publications and websites that people visually identify with as being apart of an entity that provides a service, communicates or informs society of their practice. I have also chosen a common typeface Neue Helvetica to act as a visual identifier of the Ruffhaus brand as it has direct associations within the industry I place myself. The typeface also holds a strong presence within society and offers the stability of being established as a common visual identifier of services, products and information and I can use this to reinforce the Ruffhaus brand.

The use of textures in the Ruffhaus brand through visual imagery and materials relates back to the street and provides a sense of the tactile element that we encounter in everyday life in our surroundings and environment. The typography used within the brand also offers the stability of the everyday and the connotations that are associated with the typeface locate themselves within way finding signage and information visuals which relates directly to the familiarity that I am trying to create within the brand. I have adopted a minimalist approach as with way finding when dealing with type treatment throughout the branding process by utilizing the surrounding space to enhance and present clear visual messages that are direct and easy to identify.

This year my focus has been on branding and how to incorporate different elements from Swiss design and urban typography into a new cohesive aesthetic that draws on the strengths of both to create a post modern design style that can be applied across various forms of media. The strengths that I have identified within Swiss design and the international typographic style are the grid structures and layout, the use of positive and negative space, typography and the relationship between image and text. The strengths within urban typography that I have identified include the use of common symbols and identifying marks, simplicity in design, colour palette and the location of the type.

After identifying the strengths found within Swiss design and urban typography I began working on the foundation elements of my branding project which began with a simple but flexible grid structure that could be applied to print, digital and responsive web design. After numerous iterations and trials I finalized two grid structures which included a print based column grid set up in multiples of four to allow flexibility when creating layouts, this grid can also be applied to standard HTML based web designs, and a modular grid for web based application which utilizes the flexibility of the 1140 CSS grid system that fits perfectly into a 1280 monitor but becomes fluid and adapts to the browser when viewed on smaller screens. I have also adopted a limited colour palette to reflect the simple approach to presenting information in a non obtrusive and direct way while using highlight colours to draw attention to required text or images.

Throughout this semester I have approached the Ruffhaus branding project with the goal of establishing it as an actual working design studio by 2013. To achieve this I have been working on a brand guidelines publication called Deconstructing Ruffhaus which explains why design decisions have been made in relation to design collateral and how to effectively use that collateral in keeping with the brand guidelines. I have also created a full set of stationary including letterhead, business cards, compliment slips, invoices & custom flash drives to demonstrate the Ruffhaus aesthetic. I have also created a Ruffhaus website which will act as the hub of the business until I have established a physical studio location and I have created a range of projects for real world clients under the Ruffhaus brand that are displayed on the website and show how the Ruffhaus aesthetic can be applied to real world projects.

Hollis, Richard. Swiss Graphic Design: The Origins and Growth of an International Style, 1920-1965. New Haven: Yale UP, 2006. N. pag. Print.

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