Developing the Packaging

To begin I decided that I needed to find a font similar to the text used in the Barbie logo, I found a number of different ones but decided to opt for ‘Barbie MediumItallic’. I have experimented with this font using Illustrator, compared it to the original and it’s safe to say that they are identical.

The height of the average Barbie doll is around 12inch, I have checked and mine are the same, I also took a measurement of the widest part (hand to hand when arms are down) which was 4inch this was an important step so that I can establish what size my packaging needs to be.

I do not want too much excess room in the box itself as their is no need for this and therefore I feel that as long as there is an extra inch each way it will keep the design looking neat but will allow enough room to be easily accessible.

The packaging – 13inch height, 5inch width, 4 inch depth


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Happy Songs

To kick start the design I wanted to see what songs make other people happy. Of course the design is aimed at getting people to relax and enjoy where they are but what’s the harm in finding out what my friends would pick as the one song that makes them instantly happy. To go about this I wrote a Facebook status asking people to comment with the artist and title of the song that makes them feel this way. After just 20 minutes I have had an amazing response, but I’m hoping that a few more people will join in too.

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So an hour on the response has been mad, I guess people love showing off what they know about music. However, I don’t particularly like or even know some of the songs but it’s been a great opportunity to hear new stuff although a few people got a little silly towards the end.

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I’ve reserved three pretty cheap MP3 players to pick up tomorrow morning from Argos so I will have an idea how big the packaging will need to be and I’ll be able to start compiling together a play list, whether I use all of the songs from this research is another thing but it’ll be fun.

Final Idea

Sat here listening to a bit of my favourite music and had a complete brainwave. I have been thinking of ideas for weeks and well I have not been getting anywhere and in the 5 minutes I decided to sit and do nothing I had this idea which is still based on people appreciating their surroundings but relates back to my earlier thoughts around transport.

The idea is to have a number of MP3 players that are all full of relaxing music and noises. These will be packaged in a simple box and sealed, this also contains a set of instructions. The idea is to hand them out at Sheffield train station to people who are about to travel, but they aren’t allowed to open them until they have sat down.

The instructions -

Play loudly | Drown out all other noises | Sit back | Grab a coffee | Stare out of the window | Keep that phone in your pocket and your mac in your bag | See the world | Slow down and BE HAPPY.

What can you see? | Look at the trees, the animals and even the graffiti | Appreciate that 100 year old building with the smashed windows and barbed wire fence, it was beautiful once |

Of course this might not work, you know people probably wont read the instructions or play the MP3 but the intention is there, I could perhaps include a link to a questionnaire so they can let me know how if it helped them enjoy their day? You never know, some people like to help!

Anyway, I am very happy with this idea so I’m going to get designing.

I want something simple and environmentally friendly (cards/papers). I want it to be well made and intriguing. Little info on the box always makes people want to investigate!



In order to further my research and guarantee that I produce a thorough outcome I decided to take another look at the brief and analyse keys points to help direct my development. Being familiar to a brief is a massively important part of any project to ensure that all needs are met and to the greatest standard.

The final design outcome will be shown in an exhibition space that is 1.5m in width x 3m tall (wall), and 1.5m x 1m (floor). The design can be digital/screen based, printed or a physical construction, as of yet I have not considered making anything physical but maybe this is something that I could look into?

“This exhibition and your work will provoke its audience to consider hidden perspectives and questions. It should be challenging, provocative and enlightening to them.” This is something that I took great care of trying to achieve, there is no doubt that my topic ‘Cosmetic Surgery’ is a provocative one now it just depends on my outcome and that’s where I’m stuck.

I decided to take a closer at the exhibition space to get a feel of what I have to play with.


After this I gave my self ten minutes to develop an initial idea to get me started.


I did this to kick start the design process. I ended up developing an idea that I had very early on in the project. This idea is to use photographs of people both male and female and remove their faces (identities). This initial idea stemmed from the thought that if the majority of the pubic began having aesthetic cosmetic surgery noone would look like themselves and it would end up being some creepy Stepford Wives situation. I then took this and attempted to come up with some ways in which I could use it in the exhibition space. One ideas was to make a kind of game out of it by placing the faces on a shelf below where the viewer had to then guess who it belonged to. This is one way in which I could make the space interactive but as of yet a lot more idea generation needs to be done. None the less, this really helped me.

I then decided to see what this might look like and took a hideous ‘#nomakeupselfie’ and manipulated it using photoshop. This was very quickly done and would need a lot more work.

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A few more ideas I have looked at since this…




Enjoy Life More

New thought; relating to making people appreciate and notice their surroundings (the Obey sticker campaign) I could in turn provoke people to enjoy life more… How I could do this I don’t know yet but it could be cool.

Reasons behind this idea

Back to the London trip and there I noticed how grumpy everyone seemed, how people weren’t taking notice of where they were and that everyone appeared to be stuck in this hectic lifestyle of work, transport and deadlines (if I’m right then how could they not be moody). So, this has made me think about how I could get people to slow down sometimes, how if you don’t have your phone glued to your face you’re not going to miss anything and how much nicer the world is when you actually look at it.

The world in my opinion is an amazing and beautiful place filled with beautiful and amazing things, no two places are the same, but too many people get stuck in a loop so they forget about how lucky they are to have the privilege to be where they are.

Everyone has so much going on but I want people to rebel against the hectic life style that everyone has adopted world wide.

It’s off the subject of happiness slightly but by making people enjoy their surrounding more this will in theory provoke a sense of joy and happiness.



Thursday 27th March

So, since the presentation I have felt completely lost with where I am going and of course this has meant that I have been putting off doing work. Researching happiness has been really dull, and I feel that if I begin finding the subject dull the outcome will reflect this.

Last week I began another mind map to try and narrow down the topic. This lead to thinking about drugs. As of yet I have not conducted any research into this but I had the thoughts of perhaps creating an outcome that reflects the effects of recreational and/or prescription drugs on peoples happiness.

However, in the tutorial I discussed this idea and the struggles that I have come across since beginning this project and that I still do not know where I am going.

Whilst talking to James, he took me back to my initial thoughts and ideas about peoples happiness in cities. I spoke about how I appreciate all the random things and ordinary things in any situation, I make an effort to enjoy my surroundings and that fact that people don’t do this really confuses me. Maybe I could use this as a guide? How could I make people appreciate normal everyday things that people see that often they don’t even notice?

Tutorial Notes


So, over the next few days I intend to narrow down my focus, re-write my brief and have some direction in where I am heading.

Reflection, T1



Before making my final piece I did a number of test pieces (debossing) which appeared to work well, the type was clear and readable but when it came to laser cutting the plates for my book pages some of the type was not pronounced enough meaning that a small number of the information was hard to read once pressed onto my chosen paper (somerset newsprint grey). If I was to do this again I would allocate more time to creating the plates to ensure that everything was perfect.

The book comes in a pocket thats clean and understated, however, I did intend to emboss the title ‘pocket priorities’ onto this but unfortunately this was one of the plates that did not work. Even though this meant that I could not do as intended I feel that the packaging is still effective.

However, overall I am very happy with the outcome. I succeeded in creating a book that was both simple but well executed and not boring. The neutral sand colours work well and the textures in the stock and book cover (sandpaper) give it personality without being ‘in your face’. I feel that I got across my values to the reader, it really captures what I like about design; simplicity, texture and typography along with my written values.


Today I had to present my concept to a group of people which I always find nerve racking. I spoke about the subject matter of happiness and gave an insight into what research I have gathered as of yet. Surprisingly I feel that it went well, I got across all of the points intended and believe that people gained an understanding into what I want to achieve.


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Writing a brief for the first time was an extremely hard task. I found it difficult to articulate what I want to achieve from this project, especially with the fact that as of yet I have no ideas for a final outcome.



Creating My Final Outcome

Firstly I needed to design each page using Adobe Illustrator, these were to be transferred onto perspex which would then be pressed.


My Finished Manifesto

My final outcome consists of a book comprised of a number of debossed pages, each with a separate belief/value. The book cover is made of rough sandpaper to create a different texture to the rest and the pages are all somerset newsprint grey, as this stock worked really well for debossing. This comes in a plain, simple packet to protect it’s contents, originally I looked at using circular thumb slots but once this was cut out I changed the design to a clean cut pyramid shape, I believe that this adds more character and looks more finished/professional/unique.

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Manifesto Development

A manifesto is ‘a public declaration of policy and aims’ (Oxford Dictionary), in my case I will be using it to show my values as a designer and what design means to me.

My Values


My Life Values

Life Values

My Design Values

Design Values

This process is extremely helpful to me, it means that I can refer back to it and can always add more beliefs at a later date.

My Manifesto

I want my manifesto to flow, like a story, I want it to be short but understandable, I want it to be personal and represent me as a designer.

Making sense of my values

My Manifesto

Design is …

Embracing mistakes,

Pushing Boundaries,

Making a change and

Learning from others.

It’s about

Exploring the mind,

Finding new inspirations,

Saving Everything

Being your own worst enemy.




Designing My Manifesto

Things to think about -

  • Name?
  • How will it look?
  • What media?
  •  Is there packaging?
  • Size?
  • Layouts?
  • Materials?
  • Colours?
  • Textures?
  • Processes
  • TIME

Possible outcomes and process -

  • Etching
  • Posters
  • Type setting
  • Screen Print
  • Laser Cutting
  • Embroidery
  • Clothing
  • Packet
  • Box
  • Envelope
  • Books
  • Postcards
  • Pop Ups
  • Flip book
  • Embossing
  • Zine

Paper Porn -

To get started I decided to take a look at some different paper available.

These are the three that I decided to try out -

  • Hanemuhle White
  • Somerset Newsprint Grey
  • Somerset Velvet Black








Embossing creates a raised impression in stock. It pushes the desired image or type above the paper level – step up.

Debossing creates a depressed impression on stock. It pushes the image or type below the paper level – step down.

Both processes are very similar, both need a plate with the reversed image on which the paper is then pressed onto.

I decided to try out this process as I like the clean look it gives off. It’s simple and pure which is something that I value in design.

I made test plates that I designed using Adobe Illustrator which were then cut into using the laser cutter on acrylic. From these I made a number of test pieces using different stocks and colours. Some of the results weren’t particularly great because I didn’t cut into the plates deep enough.

I really enjoyed this process, once the plates were made the rest was easy and quick. I will be using this for the packaging of my manifesto and am now considering to do this throughout.

I feel that debossing worked better. It appears to be much clearer and more suitable for the typeface that I have chosen (Bodoni).




Before I can move on I need to develop my idea for my package and manifesto name.




More Debossing

This time I used the name of my manifesto, Pocket Principles. It’s short and catchy and I always enjoy a bit of alliteration.







The deboss appears to work best on the Hanemuhle White stock, I feel that it looks a lot more pure and clean that the others. – This will be the chosen stock for my packaging.

Designing Packaging

I want to create a sleeve for a book or postcards (a pocket) where it/they will be protected. I want it to be small for easy storage and movability (travel size).

I have designed a net on Adobe Illustrator that has been cut using a cutting machine (forgot the name).

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