Problem Solving

An lot of design, be it graphic, spatial, web or video is fundamentally about solving problems. By problems, I mean the design needs to perform a function, most design has to do a job, it’s not just about pretty pictures in the commercial world – shame really, but it certainly keeps the challenges fresh !

This is where my years of experience really come into play. I thought it would be a good idea to show a few examples of the kinds of ‘problems’ i’m faced with on a daily basis when i’m called in to help out another company or agency to help deliver their big ideas.

The brief and assets I have to work with vary from job to job, they can be as good as a detailed brief and some artwork that needs taking to another level, or a rough sketch and a very rough idea that needs building upon. The fact that i’m a designer as well as a ‘visual-problem-solver’ means I can take the initial idea’s and really run with them.

Example 1_Asda 3d logo’s and photograph integration.
Produced for Ashley Bolser Agency
See more on this project here

Asda 3d logo design

This project involved creating the asda logo as a 3d object that could easily be manipulated into different shapes to accommodate the objects and people that it was interacting with. The logo was created as a clean, polygon model to ensure it would always deform nicely. I produced a series of test images for Ashley Bolser Agency so that they could see how the solution would work and to give them confidence that we could produce all the variations required.
Asda 3d logo design

Obviously there was a reasonable amount of photoshop work involved in comping together the photographic and 3d elements. The photographs were all taken from similar perspectives, and the people were shot in a white-out studio sat upon white boxes that were similar in size the the 3d logo that would replace them. This ensured that the perspective and angle of the real photo’s matched the virtual camera and studio set up that was used to render out the 3d logos.

Example 2_HBOS advertising.
Produced for Work Communications
See more on this project here

This was a real fun project to work on, also a challenge as the client originally wanted to photograph the various scenes and then drop the ‘YOU’ logo into those scenes. I produced some early examples of how approaching the whole campaign as complete 3D environments would allow greater flexibility to alter the design, composition and layout of the scenes and the photography route was quickly abandoned !

HBOS blimp advert

This was one of the simpler logo variants, creating the ‘YOU’ logo as a ballon in the sky. As the client was working internally on this campaign, they had their own team coming up with the ideas and ‘scamps’ of how each logo and advert should look and work. Here i’ve shown the blimp scamp, which was one of the better scamps I was sent. Some of the ads bear no resemblance to the scamps as I created a few alternative ideas for many of them a it’s much easier to see what works and what doesn’t as the work progresses.

HBOS trophy advert

This example is the ‘trophy’ logo. Initially this was intended to be sat on a fireplace, but that left no clean flat area for the type to sit, so I created a clean modern unit for the trophy logo to sit on, complete with some nice floral wallpaper !

Example 3_Harmon International Stand.
Produced for Brand Fuel
See more on this project here

This was an exhibition stand design project with a crazily short turnaround time. The guys at Brand Fuel had an idea about how the exhibition stand should be broken down and laid out as regards product placement and the separation of the different brands in the Harman range. They sent me over the sketch’s shown as a brief and we had a chat on the phone – a long chat. Their idea needed a lot of work and refinement, especially the meeting rooms and how the spaces could work effectively. I pulled together the 3d rendered images shown, and a few more besides in around 4 days and put together a presentation that looked good and functionally met the needs of the different sub brands.

Harmon stand design

Apart from the sketches and a verbal brief I had nothing to go on, I had to research the products, download pdf brochures and quickly understand which products would be displayed where. Then design the stand on paper to ensure it worked spatially, then model everything in 3D, the result was a design that everyone was extremely happy with.

Example 4_Nokia Packaging.
Produced for Ashley Bolser Agency
See more on this project here

Ashley Bolser needed some really polished visuals to show their new Nokia pack graphics to their client. The actual graphics themsleves were really quite simple, but they needed to show then in context in an actual pack. The three photos show the box they were working with, and these are the images I was sent. I decided that the best thing to do was create everything in 3D, so the first thing I did was to re-create the box, inside and out so I could drop the supplied graphics (shown) onto my model.

Nokia packaging

Once I had everything created in 3D, I was able to choose a few dynamic angles and render out the different passes needed to create my final renders. I rendered out both an RGB pass, a mental ray pass and an ambient occlusion pass. I also rendered out a z-depth pass so that I could add some depth of field to my renders in photoshop. The final images look like stylistic photo’s and help really lift the graphics and make a much more engaging client presentation than supplying the graphics as simple flat pdfs.

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