Designer Lyall Bruce explains some of the thinking behind the development of this years Dundee Design Festival identity, which you can download and experiment with by following his link at the end of the blog.
Re-visiting your work isn’t something that happens often, so to come back again to refresh the Dundee Design Festival identity this year was an interesting opportunity.
The first years identity was developed as a woven pattern using the factory’s surrounding shapes and the colour palette from the printing presses that once resided within the space at West Ward Works.
This year’s festival looks more generally at the factory floor and production within design, and for me that was good opportunity to evolve the ideas started last year rather than start from scratch.
One of the areas that I felt was lacking the previous year was the typographic design work. I focused heavily on pattern and creating a pattern that would be recognisable throughout the festival that, in many ways, type was a bit of a distraction and inconvenience to the visual identity.
So for this year I wanted to swing that around and focus on type and how the pattern could evolve into a visual language. This began with looking at the shapes that were there and how these could be reconfigured to provide the foundations of letterforms.
I experimented with different levels of detail eventually settling on a minimal approach with each letterform made from 2 elements that took the legibility as far as I felt it was safe to go within the context of the eventual use.
For any identity project choosing the right colours is as much part of the design process as typography and visual design. Unless you are beginning the identity from scratch then most projects will already have a colour palette in place and sometimes a strong identity design can carry more than one colour palette option.
For the Dundee Design Festival, with it’s them based approach to the content, it made sense to approach the colour in the same way and look at how it could be used to reinforce the Factory Floor concept.
There is something really industrial about blue and yellow as a colour palette and once you see that association you begin seeing it everywhere! So this was easily the colour palette choice for this year. For me it was the yellow of the markings on factory floors and the blue of boiler suits, but it could easily have been the yellow of the machinery and the blue of the safety signs.
Application of the design ranged from posters through to screen and the colour had to work as spot colours, CMYK and RGB and the design had to be flexible enough to work across print, screen and for installation within the space.
I was working on the promotional imagery quite quickly as the turnaround between completing the print runs and getting media coverage was small – we literally had to photograph on a smart phone and use photoshop to tidy the results.
Some of the images needed just simple colour and contrast tweaks and others needed a more intensive revisions. The most codex image was the combined image showing the invitations that were printed on GF Smith Gmund Urban Concrete card and the posters. The image that was sent to me was a nice composition but had lots of small areas that needed tweaked – this resulted in a complex photoshop adjustment with the shadow being cast the hardest thing to work around, you can see this in the image sequence above.
The exciting part of any identity design is seeing it in the wild and hearing people’s feedback. If you want to explore more of the design work that went into this years identity you can visit my project page on Behance or on my website.
There is also this article written by Creative Boom and you can access all the design elements over here if you want to experiment with the design yourself, or just look at how the digital files are constructed.
Design work for this project was created using the Adobe Creative Suite – particularly; Illustrator for all vector drawing, InDesign for poster layouts, Photoshop for image manipulation and Animate for motion graphics.
04 May 2017
Modern design was invented by industry. The advent of mass manufacturing separated the design process from making. When the objects we needed were created by hand, they were made locally, often to bespoke specifications. Design and making happened simultaneously with craftspeople making decisions and adjustments throughout the process; managing what designer David Pye called the ‘workmanship of risk’.Read more
03 May 2017
The Factory Floor has its origins in the Industrial Revolution, a period of massive growth in manufacturing that changed how Britain worked. At the start of the 19th Century, Robert Owen was at the forefront of this change. When Owen became a partner at the New Lanark Mill – the largest cotton factory in Scotland – discipline among his workers was poor and management was enforced through verbal and physical abuse. He believed in a more compassionate approach and introduced a new way to monitor and improve performance. He called it the Silent Monitor.Read more
02 May 2017
Dundee Design Festival producer Siôn Parkinson speaks with founder of Make Works, Fi Duffy-Scott, about their collaboration setting up the Designer x Residency programme, launched for the first time in this year. Make Works are an open access online platform that allows anyone to find manufacturers, material suppliers and workshop facilities in their local area. Started in Scotland in 2012, Make Works now teaches other places, such as Birmingham, Bristol and Bath how to do the same thing. Siôn and Fi met at Make Works HQ in Glasgow.Read more