Reflection

My aim for this project was to gain an in-depth knowledge into a complex subject that I was interested in learning about, so that I could educate others with my findings. After some thought I decided on the topic clouds, I believed that this could be an interesting and thought provocative subject. From my initial research it was clear that the majority of books and articles were greatly scientific, making the information focused on meteorologists, academics and physicists. From the beginning this brought to my attention the difficulty others like myself may have in finding information on clouds that they could understand. As a result, I decided that I would convey my information in a manner more understandable to a wider population.

As a starting point I decided to look into how clouds are formed and the various formations that can occur, this information was gathered primarily from reliable internet sources, such as the Met Office. I feel like this was a necessary place to begin my research in order to gather basic knowledge on the formation of clouds. Once I understood fully how clouds were formed I began to think about how pollution may be affecting the size, number and rate at which clouds are forming. To uncover this I used a mixture of scientific websites and scientific papers to gather a knowledgable understanding. I took to finding guides on clouds in the library, I carefully chose two that appeared to be less scientific but on further inspection there was a trend of mathematical equations and physics orientated writing. At this point I felt that I was having great difficulty making sense of the information that I had obtained and needed to find a more suitable ways to uncover interesting data. I came across the book ‘A Cloud Spotters Guide’ which takes a relaxed approach in teaching readers about cloud formations. This was much more useful as I could easily gain further understanding into various aspects of the topic which allowed me to progress into looking deeper into interesting and more in-depth areas of investigation.

In particular I decided to focus my study on the altocumulus standing lenticularis more commonly known as the lenticular cloud. Again, I began with developing my knowledge on the way in which they are formed before focusing on various characteristics such as iridescence. By reading a scientific paper entitled ‘Coronas and Iridescence in Mountain Wave Clouds’ by Joseph A. Shaw and Paul J. Neiman, I was able to gather a large amount of rich information from a reliable source. This information took a while to digest and understand to a point where I was confident that what I understood was correct. The formation of these clouds is greatly aesthetically pleasing, this is the reason for my decision for them to become my sole focus. I myself became fascinated with their uniqueness and mystery. This curiosity led me into discovering how these clouds can and are often mistaken for unidentified flying objects. There are a number of newspaper articles, websites and online blogs that document such sightings that were later proven to be lenticular clouds. Whilst pursuing this avenue of investigation I found myself researching more into UFO’s and aliens. Although I went off-track for a short while I believe that this helped me to look for less obvious information such as formations and general scientific information. I found a gateway into less known about information, things that the general public may find more engaging and interesting. Myths were a large part of my later research regarding lenticular clouds, where I discovered an account describing a theory developed with the intention of explaining these clouds in a somewhat complex and unorthodox manner.

During this project I also looked into various other aspects linking to clouds that were also interesting, although I did not engage with these in the same way in which I did with my final focus. I came across a method in which clean water sources could be extract from clouds, referred to as cloud water harvesting. This process uses a net that is situated high up, preferably on a mountain that captures liquid water droplets from low formations that then condenses into clean, drinkable water. Whilst exploring this I came across a charity called PHOG who’s aim is to use this process in order to provide less economically developed countries with continuous access to clean water sources. Another interesting topic that I investigated in depth was the cloud buster, a piece of machinery that can manipulate cloud formations. This was developed by Wilhelm Reich who also discovered orgone energy, a key factor in the cloud busters process. At the same time as discovering the lenticular cloud I learnt about the morning glory. This is a formation of roll cloud from the stratocumulus genus that is unique to the Gulf of Carpentaria in Northern Queensland, Australia that appears for a few early mornings a year. During spring time a small community of people consisting mostly of gliders travel to see the morning glory, sometimes waiting weeks for it to appear. This formation can stretch lengths up to 600 miles and reach speeds of 35mph.

For my final outcome I chose to create a short magazine that informs the reader about cloud formations in an understandable manner by using an optimum balance between imagery, diagrams and text.

Overall, I feel that my research has contributed to my final outcome successfully. It has given me many interesting potential topics that I could follow up at a later date to expand my final publication. I thoroughly engaged in the subject, however, the transformation between research and designing was a slow process. I felt that I had a great number of compelling subject matters that could have easily supported an educational and visually beautiful magazine. This became a problem when deciding what I was going to create. Choosing to focus on lenticular clouds was good decision as I was able to transfer my knowledge in a more simple and engaging manner then the papers that I had read myself. Not only this but the imagery of these clouds is beautiful. If at a later date I have the chance to come back to this project I would like to expand my knowledge further on other mysterious formations.

 

Tutorial

This week we had individual tutorials. I used this time with Jo to discuss the research that I have already gathered in oder to determine which aspects were the most interesting and which had the most potential.

Using the concept map that I created, which focused on, The Morning Glory, The Cloud Buster, Lenticular Clouds and Cloud Harvesting. I went into depth with each topic and after some discussion found that perhaps the cloud harvesting was a dead end, PHOG already have branding and social media sites that appear to be successful and so I feel that there is nothing more to do on that which left it down to three options. I know that I want to create something that is interesting and not obvious, I want to stay away from creating an infographic on cloud formations etc I just need to decide on a way in which I could so that.

I found that this tutorial helped me narrow down my options, we talked about perhaps focusing on lenticular clouds, when speaking about these I found myself going into the most depth, I find them truly fascinating, the formations are amazing! Not only this but the link to UFO’s is also an appealing topic, Jo agreed.

Over the next few days I intend to investigate lenticular clouds in more depth, look into UFO sightings and the begin to develop an idea of what I want my final idea to focus on.

Concept Mapping

The concept map below aims to pin point important areas of research in a brief way, that highlights and focus’ on information that has interested me throughout the project. I aimed for the visual to be as concise as possible, by only selecting necessary points and elaborating only on the things that were going somewhere, or still are.

When doing this I found myself thinking too much about the layout and the overall aesthetic rather that the quality of information provided and so I had to take a step back and re-write points again separately which I then transferred digitally.

For the final visual I chose to group certain topics together, this way the information is much clearer and the topics don’t get confused. I like clean space and clean lines and therefore chose to use mostly black and white with a muted colour in the background for some simple illustrations, which I felt was needed to bring a bit of life to the page. A clouds appearance is usually thought of as clean and crisp and this is why I decided to used a serif font, Didot. However, the 10 in the background is Bodoni.

As before when I have been asked to complete a concept map, I have struggled and no found it particularly useful. There are other process in which I am more comfortable in using.

Concept map

Reflection

The Creative Responses module as whole was throughly enjoyable. I was given a chance to create anything that wished. Being able to choose my own topic and write my own brief allowed me to learn new skills that I am sure will be helpful in the future. At times it was difficult to get past the initial research stage as the topic of happiness that I chose is a vast and complicated one, I did however learn that no ones knows what it actually is.

This project challenged me in many ways. I decided that I wanted to push myself and use techniques that I haven’t used before, such as using wood.

I am very pleased with the outcome that I have created. I believe that it fulfils its purpose. It is small, light, fun and witty, all things that I wanted to create. Having feedback from my peers helped a great deal, as I was unsure at first, but I have had a lot of positive comments on the final design. They understand what I was wanting to achieve from this which was extremely important.

 

Further Possibilities

The boxes themselves before opened are secretive. This was intentional so that people are intrigued to find out what is inside.

The initial idea was to have them handed out at train stations, more specifically in London if possible, purely because the train stations in that city are busy constantly. The trip to London with my peers really opened my eyes, I noticed that noone was smiling on any photography or video that I took during that day. This is where the idea stemmed from.

So, instead of having them handed out manually there could be a red emergency boxed attached to a wall where people who are feeling anxious or stressed could come and take one for themselves, still not knowing what’s inside.

It’s free and a surprise, if that doesn’t cheer you up before you even open it I don’t know what will.

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Final Outcome

Here is the final outcome for my project based around happiness

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The leaflet

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Information Poster explaining the campaign

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THE BOX -

The boxes are made from 3mm wood that have been laser cut using a Trotec machine. By using this it allowed the edges to be smooth and precise, leaving them with a professional look. The decision to stain them brown was to give them a fully finished appearance, I felt that when they were their original colour they looked half completed. The box itself its small and light enabling easy transportation for the user. It is simple and therefore will appeal to a wide variety of people, not just males/females/young/old. All of the components can be found inside, where at the bottom underneath everything is a saying, this appears on all of the boxes.

THE LEAFLET -

The instructions inside is aimed to amuse the reader with the intension of them taking part and making the most of the product. This leaflet has been coloured yellow, not something that I would usually use but after doing a number of test pieces I felt that white was too plain. Yellow is associated with happiness (the smiley face). This was put together using Adobe Illustrator. The design choice to print this onto newsprint was related to the fact that newspapers are extremely comment things to see whilst travelling. I felt that using this would relate to the situation much better than a heavy stock.

THE INFORMATION POSTER -

This poster was a last minute decision. Styled in the same way as the leaflet that can be found inside the packaging this poster continues the projects theme.

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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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!

DESIGNING TIME YIPPEE!