Scholarship design exemplars - 2017

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Outstanding Scholarship

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Entire Folio (JPG, 3.6MB)

Sample Workbook pages

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This Design Outstanding Scholarship submission, “Out of Mind”, is a mental health campaign (informative and instructive self-help book) about anxiety and depression in response to New Zealand’s high statistics of depression and suicide. The candidate sets out to design a logo, poster, cover design and double-page spread, advertising zine and promotional graphics aimed at a target audience of teenagers and young adults. Early on, they reveal their intention to ‘emphasise the point and educate’ rather than ‘seek to solve’ the problem – their aim is to support and help young people to strategise and cope with this issue.

The enquiry begins with an exploration of colour use, investigating ‘positivity’ and ‘softening’ by limiting the colour range, thus making the campaign more approachable. This is supported by a personalised series of photoshoots and illustrations that pick up on key ideas and are transformed into visual strategies such as sinking, blurring, clearing, drowning, veiling, hiding, masking, conceding and grasping – all of which communicate a phase or state of mind.

The logo investigation conceptualises the struggle of a ‘mind-set’ and the difficulty with thinking and overthinking. The final outcome for “Out of Mind” is the combination of a key and brain, a metaphor for unlocking your thoughts. The strategic use of taglines also engages a depth of ideas and challenges the viewer to confront this difficult topic: “dare to discourse”, “get a grip”, “negative thoughts are a virus” – these are each integrated and reinforced by smart illustrations cementing the brand in a sophisticated way.

Clever concepts and personal insights underpin this performance at every turn. The double page spread explores the concept that depression is with you every day; that you take it everywhere you go. And, that in fact, you can learn to live with it and help yourself to “reclaim control” of your life. This project intelligently utilises text and image as a way to question and challenge viewers to change their thoughts around what is an extremely emotional and fragile issue. The accompanying illustrations also have an accessible graphic attitude and sophisticated yet subtle sense of humour.

Lateral opportunities are recognised through the use of visual language. This is achieved through graphic novel conventions such as framing, page layout, clear utilisation and ordering of images to extend and reposition the investigation into a new phase. These devices are relatable and user-friendly for the target audience, referencing metaphors that they can instantly connect with.

The novel dust jacket for the self-help book expands on the central proposition using ideas of sleeplessness, being overwhelmed, loss of control, being swept away, isolation, etc. The soft colour palette is purposefully used to make the content less scary and the format for this brief serves as the anchor of the campaign. The final brief synthesises earlier ideas explored and adds a further layer of ‘support’ with a series of notebooks (help pack) where the audience can unpack their struggles into bite size or compartmentalised categories. This serves as a way to start the journey of recovery.

Lastly, the workbook extends the personal engagement with the subject matter and the candidate reflects on their own experiences as a sounding board; what they would have liked or thought would be helpful in their own life challenges. They have empathy and a first-hand understanding of the themes and ideas explored. Constant reflection and refinement is evident throughout this enquiry, which results in communication of a message that is both imaginative and inventive


(click icon images to see a large version in a new window)

Panel 1 (JPG, 291KB)

Panel 2 (JPG, 294KB)

Panel 3 (JPG, 315KB)

Entire Folio (JPG, 836KB)

This Design Scholarship submission, “HAU’OLI Hawaii Festival” is a music festival proposition that begins by clearly establishing a range of appropriate references and generates a series of photographic resources, which are used to fuel the project from the outset. The strength of this Scholarship performance lies in its persistent and exploratory approach to its branding, creating a cohesive and believable (integral) set of outcomes. This folio has a commercial functionality, which firmly places it in a real-world context.

A range of logo devices integrate pictorial and typographic content and a colour palette is quickly established and thoughtfully used to align with the branding message. The choice of discordant colour conveys a sense of fun, festivity, youthfulness and positions the festival within a retro music 80’s tech feel. The poster brief is used to clearly define the visual aesthetic and identify design references. The active shifts between drawing modalities such as photographic, collage, vector, analogue bring together a variety of options. A stand-out feature during this phase of working is the 3-dimensional exploration of typeface – this becomes a key component that is reformed and extended through ongoing critical evaluation.

The double-page spread on folio panel 2 marks a significant shift, confidently and fluently moving up a gear, pulling together visual elements from the poster outcome to reposition these within a double-page spread context. Clearly understood conventions are utilised and consistently managed with technical fluency, including body copy, headlines, columns, gutter, drop in quotes, and letters and text as image.

This is further explored in the ticket options; conventions are understood, the format is thoughtfully considered and information is appropriately organised. A 3-dimensional fold-out format is also used to create a case for the ticket. Once again, drawing is used to ‘refuel’ the brief extending the visual repertoire and content. New vector-based illustrations are created of a food truck, surfer and singer, which are positioned into new designs and format options. During this exploration they consider the interactivity of the design object with the final resolution presented in-situ, demonstrating how the case and ticket operate together as a complete product.

The constraints of the website are managed using recognised principles such as grid, type hierarchy, navigational devices, scrolling and stacking. Colour is used to break the formality of the grid composition, integrating spatial and organic shapes to communicate visuals about travel, fun and movement – creating a dynamic relationship between the text, image and ground. Information for the website is selectively considered and coherently organised, evidencing an understanding of functionality.

The candidate demonstrates throughout the folio a consistent fluency and an ability to synthesis within defined content. There is further potential for expansion on folio panel 3 where they present a small animation sequence. This shows not only consolidation of ideas but offers the opportunity for the candidate to move into a moving image proposition. The workbook presents a thorough documentation of the processes and media applied, and systematically evaluates the entire design process, all of which are undertaken through a thoughtful and playful set of investigations.

* Note; there are no photographs of the workbook for 10217.

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