I’ve been teaching English to street kids with a local organisation (Tri Kusuma Bangsa) for around four or five weeks now. I teach them a new topic every week and create educational games for them to make learning more fun. Getting them to stay interested and focused has been a difficulty for me and it’s hard to teach when they all have different learning capabilities, but I’m already seeing improvements in many of them! #trikusumabangsa #teachingenglish
As I was designing the tickets, programme, and advertising for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I was asked by Ms Fisher to design the performing arts logo. BSJ’s new name for the performing arts department is ‘Moving Parts Collective’ and I was really happy when Ms Fisher chose me to design their logo, which will go on everything from t-shirts to posters to letterheads. As with almost all design projects, I had several initial design ideas I made on Adobe Illustrator, which I presented to Ms Fisher. Out of the four I made, she chose the one she thought I should build upon.
To be honest, this was a much simpler project, especially compared with the Midsummer Night’s Dream one, but it was still work piled on top of work, since I was designing this logo at the same time I was doing the advertising for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I also had no idea what Ms Fisher wanted since she didn’t give me any specifics, just examples from some of her favourite performing arts companies’ logos. I mostly had to think up ideas from the name itself, which I think is great experience for anytime in the future when I’m given very brief details about what to do and I have to just think of an idea in a small amount of time. I know this is often the case in the design world, when clients give a few words to describe the theme they want and the designers are meant to create something out of those.
This was when I realised that the importance of a typeface really shows. The cursive typeface I chose for the first and fourth designs help represent the ‘moving’ aspect of the title. Through this, I know I’ll have to constantly remind myself to choose typefaces carefully because they’ll have an immediate effect on anything I design. After the initial design stage, I received some feedback and the changes that I made were all based on Ms Fisher’s suggestions. This stage was a bit difficult because I had to incorporate things like cogs and spirals into the logo while finding appropriate positions for them so that they don’t look too awkward.
None of those designs worked. Ms Fisher decided that the cogs, spirals, and the awkward eye wasn’t right and told me to try on ‘foot’ designs to represent leaving a footprint through the performing arts. Again, I think this gives me an insight into the harsh reality of the ‘real world’ – that sometimes, what you did just isn’t what other people is looking for. The final design might look so simple, but people underestimate the amount of thought and design that goes into a logo. I myself used to think that all those logos like Nike and MasterCard are so silly because they’re literally paying graphic designers so much money to design these logos, yet they’re really simple. Through designing a logo myself, I realise that sometimes simplicity makes all the difference. People need logos to be iconic and something many will remember, so simple logos that at the same time represent the company’s vision/mission are not easy to design.
As can be seen from the above picture, every little detail was considered, from the shade of red ‘British School Jakarta’ was in to the spacing between the three words to the placing of the foot and how the foot actually looks. The file named ‘roughfoot3’ in the middle on the right side became the final design. Once again, I really surprised myself by how much I liked the design and the outcome of something that I had limited rein over. I always believed myself to have this very specific style that I need to follow and most of everything I design has to be in some way symmetrical, but this shows that collaboration goes a long way and I’m really proud of the final design, which will stay in BSJ perhaps even after I graduate.
From this project, I felt like I have addressed the following learning objectives:
LO3: I plan and initiate – From the second picture, I’ve shown my initial design stages where I was mostly brainstorming. This shows the planning and thought that goes into the design, even if it may seem simple and easy to do. Even after the initial design stage, I still had to plan all the ways in which I’ll make the changes and the positions of things such as the cog, the spiral, and the foot. What may surprise some people is how much time I spent just moving around the foot and words to get them into a position that I think might work.
LO4: I show commitment, I persevere – Even when my designs were turned down and I had to create something new, I committed to this project, stayed positive, and created something that Ms Fisher finally said she loved. I persevered through the difficulties I faced and by spending a lot of my time on this project, I think I really showed my commitment.
Overall, I’m glad I overtook this job, because it was only a matter of my choice whether I wanted to design the logo or not. I thought it would be a great opportunity and I was right. This was my first time designing a logo, which proved to be more challenging than I anticipated. Nevertheless, I’m extremely happy with the result and very proud of myself!
The school had a production last term, a remake of Shakespeare’s famous play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. I was fortunate enough to be chosen to design the poster, tickets, banner, and programme for the play. For this project, I had to work very closely with the Head of Performing Arts, Ms Fisher. It was a very fast-paced and challenging project because I had never done anything of this scale before, and certainly not something that basically everyone in the school would see. I had to go through countless drafts in response to Ms Fisher’s demands, and almost everything I did was based on what she wanted it to look like.
I was given a brief on what to include and the theme for the play, and I made some initial design sketches, out of which I chose the one I think would work best. Then I created the first draft on Adobe Illustrator, the software I used for all the designs. The time frame was a bit challenging, because Ms Fisher wanted the final draft of the poster in a week, which was difficult because she wanted many changes. These show the drafts I went through for the poster and the programme:
I think this project really gave me a tiny insight on what life would be like as a graphic designer should I go down that path, which I am considering. I’d have to constantly make changes based on a client’s wishes, even if I disagree with some of them. The colour scheme and much of the design was something that I decided on myself because of the brief that I was given and what I thought looked nice, but I did change anything that I was told to, such as the yellow moon to a blue moon. I did find out that I really liked doing this, though, and I learned a lot of new skills and techniques on Adobe Illustrator. Sometimes Ms Fisher would ask me to do something that I had no idea how to do, but I simply agreed and Googled how to do it and tried it myself. Through this, I felt that I really improved my Illustrator knowledge.
From this project, I felt that I addressed the following learning objectives:
LO2: I undertake challenges, I develop new skills – As I’ve mentioned, this project was a huge challenge and unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I’ve never had to work at close deadlines or with something I was really unsure about. I volunteered myself for this project, but I had no idea if it was something I could do well. Of course, I knew how to use the software and I did smaller graphic design projects at summer school, but a lot of things I had to do in the A Midsummer Night’s Dream project included skills which I never encountered before. I developed new techniques as I continued to play around and found more effective ways to do things as well as discover new tools on the software to give different effects. A lot of them I had to search up, which isn’t really something I’d have the initiative to do in my free time.
LO5: I demonstrate collaborative skills, I recognise the benefits of collaboration – I had to work very closely with Ms Fisher and listen to her suggestions and demands. In a big way, the final product was a collaboration between me and her. Although I did all the design, she pitched in many ideas, provided me with the play’s costumes and set to let me understand the theme better, and basically all the changes I made were based on her requests. It definitely made me realise how collaborating with someone will lead me to somewhere even better than if I tried to design everything alone, because feedback always helps. It was also a very beneficial experience since I will probably have to collaborate and work with someone in the future, no matter what path I take.
I really enjoyed the challenge of designing these four items for the school play. I faced difficulties that gave me a glimpse of what I’ll have to face in the future, such as short time frames, working with a demanding person, and the last minute changes that needed to be made. For instance, the programme was initially twelve pages long, which was not very economical. I then made it into six pages, but the printing team informed us that for it to be a booklet, it could be either four or eight only, so I had to make an overnight change on the number of pages, which is harder than it sounds. I had to reformat so many details and change the font to fit nicely onto the page. There were also parents who gave last minute information on their children’s names, so I had to fit those into the cast list. Everything was very hectic, but I weirdly enjoyed it. I think I’ve proven to myself that I’m capable of these things and that if I do decide to pursue graphic design either as a major, a minor, or a future job, I’d really like it.
From all of this, I was able to serve the school, but I was also giving myself so many things. Not only have I learned new skills, but I have also given myself a design project that I can include in my art portfolio for university applications. When I saw the finished product around school and on the nights of the show, I felt really proud of myself because this is really something that I’ve worked very hard on and gave my time to.
I’ve opened myself to other projects in the near future, such as the ticketing and advertising for the formals. I hope I can learn even more from those projects and enjoy them as much as I did this one.