Creating a design brief

Maori Mist Header image

Wine. How does one market a brand of wine to create a profit? Surely this is a question that would be obvious right? Perhaps not.

My assignment was to create a concept for a new brand of wine, after being given a back story and a brief I set out to do what I could. First off, I researched the three main points of intrest I had. New Zealand ( The country of origin), Japan ( the country the company wants to market the wine to) and wine in general.

Research Notes

Research Notes second page

I figured an easy place to start would be to use what I learnt and combine the idea. I created a concept sketch using a couple of main points of interest. Japan and New Zealand have mountains, New Zealand has the southern alps while Japan has hundreds of famous mountains, the most known is arguably Mount Fuji. Both locations have capital cities by the ocean, while the Yin-Yang symbol isn’t inherently Japanese, I chose to use it to represent the harmony of the two locations and to tie together the idea that the wine fits with both.

Once I had my idea, I needed a name. I created a spider diagram for the various name ideas, most of which ether tied into the story we were given with the brief, or the countries involved. I even tested out a little bit of french naming to see how the names would flow. The box highlighted in red was the name I settled on.

Spider Diagram

My initial sketch idea involved silhouettes of mountains, the ocean, crossed Katana swords and a sun rising behind the mountains to represent two things. Japan, the land of the rising sun and the dawn of a new opportunity. After this I did two things. First, created four similar concept ideas for the logo based off the image I sketched and notes I took for logo ideas. Around the same time as this, I also experimented with various font ideas for the wine.

Sketches

Sketch and notes.

Logo concept ideas.jpg

Logo concept ideas based off initial sketch.

Test Fonts

Although I liked the sketch I did for the logo, i wasn’t satisfied with the look or appearance of the logo concepts. One thing did stand out and that was the font on the 4th logo concept. I hadn’t come up with it during the font test but I liked it so much that I chose to stick with it.

For my final logo design I kept the same idea as the other logos, involving all of the same concepts, except after looking at wine labels via google images, I noticed a trend. Most of them were very plain, there wasn’t a lot of design going on. I realised the cartoonish aspect of the logos i’d so far created just didn’t work and I’d ether need something that fit onto a background or would cover the entire image. Another thing I noticed is that most wine labels weren’t the traditional rectangular shape that wrapped around the whole bottle. A large proportion of the labels I was looking at were square in shape and were only stuck on one side of the bottle, otherwise they were rectangular but not horizontally aligned, they were vertically aligned and covered a majority of the body of the bottle, however I much preferred the square labels due to how neatly they fit onto the bottles and the overall aesthetic appeal to the design. Keeping all this in mind, I created this:

Maori Mist Logo

The only thing I sacrificed was the Katana swords, which I chose not to add to the logo after deciding all they’d do is clutter up the logo. Originally the font wasn’t bordered in white despite it being so in all of the concept ideas. After discussing it, it was decided that a white border on the font would not only make it look more professional but it would also make the font more noticeable in smaller images.

The Japanese font under the wine name, is Japanese for wine which I discovered after researching the Japanese translation for the word, i chose to add it to further add ties to japan and after looking at Japanese wine labels. I originally planned to have it be read vertically down the bottle in the same way that the Japanese read books, however I chose against it as it didn’t look right with the already horizontal positioning of the wine name. Not only does this chose work well but it allows the label to be understood in the western market and the Japanese market.

After further discussion the idea for a black and white version of the logo was brought up and so, one was born.

Maori Mist Logo Black & White

Although my favourite is the colour version of the label, its undeniable that the black and white logo has its charms and works just as well, if not better than the colour version.

Once I had my labels, all that was left was to come up with some concepts for what it’d look like. Using images from google, I photo shopped the label onto various wine bottles to see what it would look like and how it would work. I’d done this before with the original logo concept design which is when I realised it wouldn’t work, this is that concept image:

Bottle tests

Original wine bottle concept. After I created this I realised that the whole logo concept was terrible as a logo and wouldn’t work, this lead me to scrap it and create the designs for Maori Mist which were posted above.

Logo on bottle

This was the first attempt using the new logo, I had yet to create the black and white logo concept by this point. After resizing and warping the logo to to the bottle it became apparent that bordering the font in white was a good design choice as it allows the text to be eligible from the background and adds flair to the design without standing out too much. I continued with the trend and came up with more concept ideas.

Maori Mist Red Wine

Maori Mist Red Wine B&W

For this image I chose to create a concept using both the new logos, it was another test to see how the logo would work and if both versions of the logo worked in the same concept.

Finally, I created this:

Colour Maori Mist logo concept bottlesB&W Maori Mist logo concept bottles

My finalised concept designs. I wanted to take my own photos of a wine bottle but sadly I didn’t get the opportunity, so I opted for the next best thing. Adding the logo to the bottle wasn’t the tricky part ether, overall I think the hardest part was coming up with a believable logo that didn’t look too fake. It had to have a balance between being authentic and believable which I like to think I created nicely with my design.

Even if the logo doesn’t fit with the classic wine label appearance.

Animated GIF

So I set out with a simple goal, to create a simple animated GIF file for this blog. It took more than I thought. At first I created an animation in Adobe Edge Animate but it wouldn’t export into a proper file format, so starting from scratch I started working on one in Adobe Flash Professional. This is the end result.

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This is how I created the effect of the letters disappearing. I drew a box and matched its colour with the background, adding it to a 2nd layer above the first and simply moved it over the text to create the illusion of disappearing text. My original aim was to make it so the box had faded edges but ether you can’t do that in the software or I couldn’t figure out how o do it.

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Next is the amount of Key-frames it took to just animate these few seconds. By the time I was done, I’d gotten up to about 50-60 key-frames in total.

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A close up of the rectangle box covering the text:

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3D Modelling and how it came together.

So you’ve been tasked with creating a 3D model of whatever you want, you’re all out of ideas and don’t really know how the software works, what do you do?

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Create a computer of course! It’s the easier than modelling something from memory and you presumably are using one to run your 3D modelling software so if you get stuck you don’t even have to move or minimise the program for help or reference as it’s right in front of you.

This is the scenario I was in a week ago, i’d only ever attempted 3D modelling once before in college and all I remember from that time was the massive headache it was to get anything done. Yet this time, since I chose something easy that I could see in front of me, it was a breeze. Once i’d figured out how to move the camera that was.

Honestly, the keyboard was the trickiest part but once i’d figured out how to bend the 3D shapes to my will, all I had to do was match it up to the very keyboard I was working with at the time.

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Even without the letters you can clearly see it’s the basic shape of a computer keyboard and all it took was one flattened cube and a lot of copy/pasting. Next I added lighting.

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The cones highlighted in white lines are the light sources and how the light spreads across the 3D structure. I used the “Target Light” option as to better control the way the light is positioned on the object. Which by adjusting can ether lighten or darken the area on which the light falls.

screenshot-4

Next with help I used a 3 step process of drawing a line, adding a circle and then using the sweep effect, grouping the previously mentioned steps into a group with the sweep option to create the wire for the mouse which I constructed before hand using a capsule tool as the body and the buttons for the mouse.

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Which becomes more apparent as you zoom in on the mouse itself. I even altered the colour of the flattened cube the mouse is sat on to resemble more of a mouse pad.

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Once all the different elements come together and the final version is realised, then you’ll really be able to see how well it all relates. Overall, to say I had no prior knowledge or experience with 3D modelling then it’s not been all that difficult, it’s been challenging but not impossible. No matter your skill level, anyone should be able to figure something out and produce a product worth mentioning.

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Who needs beauty when you have creepy?

IZombie. Until like 3 seconds ago I had no idea that this show even existed. Okay okay, I lied, I found out about it yesterday night which is weird considering zombies are just another aspect of fiction (Unfortunately) that I love.

Now i’m one of the first to advocate for zombie rights, or I would be during the apocalypse. Who needs grenades and machetes when you can have the savage powers of the undead, and lets face it, even the down side of eating brains would have its perks. If I can be positive i’d happily commit to drinking blood if I turned into a vampire, then I’m pretty sure i’d commit to eating brains as a zombie.

Anyway, IZombie. I’m only on episode 5 of my marathon of the first season and its pretty safe to assume that I won’t be sleeping tonight ether.

Imagine you’re the only one of your kind, what would you do to survive? Because let me tell you, Liv, the main character has a pretty nice set up. I don’t care what you say, but working with dead people and having a steady supply of food is a damn sight better than working with living people and having to murder people to eat. The less contact one gets with humans the better. Especially as a kick ass brain eating zombie.

Other perks to zombie-ism is the radical change in your natural hair color. Albino skin and hair with no chance of tanning and no sign of freckles? Sign me up. I’m naturally pale anyway except for my arms and it’s the perfect “Screw Societies beauty standards look”.

Oh and serious red eye, like popping of the blood vessels kind. That’s right, when Liv goes full zombie as she likes to call it, her eyes change to a deep crimson color. Normal or not, that’s always been one of my dream eye colors. Sucks that I instead have a very mild form of Heterochromia due to neck trauma caused by my unusual birth and a different eye color than my entire family that change shade and hue depending on the light conditions but whatever. You get what you get i guess.

The white hair thing is extremely appealing to me, as I was born with the same hair color as the person that I unfortunately share half my damn DNA with. I-Unlike my brother-Wasn’t blessed with my mums hair color. Things would be so much easier if I’d have been born blonde like them. I’d have dyed my hair gray or white years ago.

Back to the show. It also has a villain or a antagonist zombie who seems like he’s going to be a villain, I like his character a lot. He’s the sort of zombie I’d be. Cunning, witty and willing to take full advantage of any new found abilities. He’s harvesting brains somehow and selling them off like designer drugs to people he turns into zombies. Which is a great way to force people to buy your brain related products. There’s no other market for that kind of business and not every person has what it takes to survive in a world where they have to hunt people to eat, so by selling the brains off at high prices and insuring no one else takes advantage of the growing market value in human brains then, you can ensure a very loyal consumer basis.

Did I even mention the personality shifts and visions you get from consuming anothers brain matter? No? Well well well, if the cravings don’t get to you, then maybe the perks will.

The visions are triggered randomly, but you get to see details of another persons life, such as how they died or what they did in life before they died. So, consume the mind of someone you hate and BOOM, you get to see their death from their point of view… Okay maybe that’s a little too morbid but there are a few people whose brains I’d eat if I was part of the undead just for that viewing material.

Take that Casey from High School, the last thing you’ll ever be is eaten by the girl who you wanted dead. Revenge is best served cold is it not?

The other perk is that you inherit personality traits from the brains that you eat. For example, you eat the brain of an artist. You gain the ability to draw like them, see the world like them and experience life in a mindset that you’d never have been able to otherwise. Just don’t eat my brain, I don’t consent to any hungry zombies taking a bite out of me until i’m fully dead. Although considering i’m also an organ donor, if you’re the person cutting out my organs after I die and you are a zombie then have at it.

Personally, i’d people watch until I found someone worthwhile and eat their brain. Or perhaps, if I was a zombie and it was common knowledge that we existed, then a brain cafe would be good.

A brain cheese burger? Brain ravioli? Coffee infused with gray matter? It all sounds so disgusting but I bet it’d be a huge hit. Kinda like Ms.Lovetts pies but better and less cannibalistic but more undead. It’d be like Halloween everyday or at least a Tim Burton movie.

Damn.. Did I just talk myself into the apocalypse? Ah hell, I’ve always been pro apocalypse.

 

They’re singing about cooking people into pies! People. Into pies. Morbid but genius. The only problem is that on a scientific stand point, cannibalism isn’t actually worthwhile. It provides next to no nutritional value and no one really wants to eat humans. No one sane anyway. Despite all my harking on about how awesome being a zombie would be and the cool perks that eating brains would give me, it’s not like i’d actually enjoy it.

In reality, brains freak me out appearance wise. I’ve seen brain matter up close too although it was only from mice and it’s disguising. Don’t ask me how or why I’ve seen it, there are some things about owning a specific kind of pet that are best not to know. Besides that, who hasn’t seen road kill? Brains are just about the only organ that makes my skin crawl, assuming we’re talking about what you get inside the human body.

Until the inevitable apocalypse however, i’ll have to stick to my contacts and Halloween I guess. Although my zombie walk and groan were nailed years ago. Roll on the day that I can fake my organs falling out and I get the chance to stumble up the road freaking out some kids who think Halloween is all fun and games.

Newsflash, it isn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Cahootify?

 

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Welcome back to my blog, readers. Today we’ll be covering Cahootify, what it is and how you can use it.

“Cahootify is an online project portfolio and team-forming platform for the creative production industries. We exist to help you make projects happen.

In return for someone joining your project Cahootify allows you to offer whatever you wish – be that cash, profit-share points, expenses, “love and learning” or chocolate. We call that flexiconomic.

We’re working hard to make Cahootify incredibly simple to use, whilst also giving you the power that you need.” – Cahootify.com

Cahootify is an online website that allows you to create portfolios and build teams for the creative production industries. (TV, Film, Video). You can also use it to showcase your skills and crew productions.

“Cahootify is for people who are committed, engaged and up for making stuff happen. People who know what it takes to build a career in the industry, are prepared to get on with it, and are seeking others to work with who match their commitment and professionalism.

People like you.” – Cahootify.com

Like all media platforms Cahootify connects millions of its users with others around the world, you can link your account to your social media accounts, to maximize your possible audience.

The site allows you to upload videos to your account and share them with anyone who is watching you. In a way, its similar to YouTube in that sense. You share videos and your followers can watch them.

One element to Cahootify that is similar to the event system on Facebook is the Projects With Needs section of the site, it allows you to post information on a project you might be working on for others to find and can get in touch with you if they can help with your project.

Cahootify is mostly like YouTube, whereas you can upload videos and receive feedback on your work. The website will also promote the project ideas for you for free.

The main aim of Cahootify is to create a professional online identity, while  social media are usually used to keep in touch with your friends, such as Facebook and YouTube, they can be used to aid your professional online identity.

At it’s core, Cahootify can be used for three things:

  1. To create a project portfolio. Tell people who you are and show them a prime selection of projects you’ve worked on. Credit people that you enjoyed working with – this helps them along, of course, but it also helps you along – people are more likely to get in touch if they know someone that knows you.
  2. To form teams / crew your productions. Post a project that’s in progress and the roles you still require to make that project happen. Also show who’s already on the team because people enrol people.
  3. To seek opportunities. Look for roles on other people’s projects – paid or collaborative.

The website is free to sign up to and has no subscription fees, however the website does allow payments to be chosen between users for work, so payment is tailored to suit the parties as they decide what happens.

Despite already having a solid set up, they have many more plans to further their business, and here is the list of features that they plan on introducing to Cahootify in the near future:

  1. Organise and categorise your list of saved profiles.
  2. Share a project with paid-up members only and also be able to view these projects.
  3. Limit who can see a project to particular individuals or categories of people from your list.
  4. Create a hub of selected associates who can communicate and share projects privately with each other.
  5. Share the management of a company profile.
  6. Share the management of a project in progress through light touch communal discussion and simple task assignment.
  7. Take advantage of a contractual framework that looks after things like profit-share points between team members.
  8. Crowdfund your projects.

Cahootify also fills in a gap for jobs in the media industry, not only is it easy to navigate but you can create professional accounts for people who plan to hire others or personal accounts for if you want to be hired.

Cahootify have said “Cahootify is for people who are committed, engaged and up for making stuff happen. People who know what it takes to build a career in the industry, are prepared to get on with it, and are seeking others to work with who match their commitment and professionalism.” When asked about who they think would use the website.

Basically anyone who will put the effort into their work and wants to be involved with media and film, has a place within the Cahootify community.

Cahootify allows for people to connect and work on projects together, when you need someone else to come and work with you on your piece. It consists of people working on their projects that hire, and people that look for projects to be hired by.

Share-ability, relevance and updates. These are the boxes you need to tick to make sure you’re successful so if you’re making relevant things that people like and can share on a regular basis then you shouldn’t have any problem. And if your updates on social media can relate to Cahootify profile then you’ll be away; promoting yourself in a professional manner, linking people to your profile, getting yourself recognized and chances of being hired raised and lots more.

You can also promote yourself via social media in many different ways, such as group chats and pages on Facebook to Hashtags on Twitter which is a feature even Cahootify uses. These are all valid ways f getting yourself out there and spreading your work around in the digital medium.

If you go onto the Cahootify Facebook page, it will give you plenty of opportunity to meet other users who like you, want to get their work out there and shared among the internet.

When you add the projects that you’ve worked on and  completed the project, you are able to add that skill to your profile. For example, Photography. This will be listed in green, the tags that aren’t show that you have not demonstrated that skill in a project. This skill will then appear on your profile, for everyone to see what you worked on, and will allow you to view projects based on your experience with media. This image shows how you can personalize your portfolio and alter how others view it. The site is really easy to navigate around and there aren’t many buttons to press so you won’t find yourself confused or lost on the site.

Overall Cahootify is a great online platform for your professional online identity to use and get your work out into the world. It provides many opportunities that can help you gain knowledge and experience. Not only that but using Cahootify with other social media platforms can really be a handy method of increasing your audience and reach for others to find.

If you enjoyed this blog post and want to see more or a just a horror fan in general, then please check out the rest of my work at: https://directoranderson.wordpress.com/

Alice: Otherlands

Alice: Otherlands will be the third installment of American Mcgees psychological horror video games about a teenage Alice, travelling deep into wonderland and the insanity which lies within.

So far, the funds for the 3rd game in the (hopefully!) trilogy has yet to be raised. American McGee’s Alice and Alice Madness Returns (First and second games respectively) were visual delights with haunting soundtracks that stays with the player for years after his or her initial play through.

“Rendered in beautiful 3D animation, Alice enters the “Otherlands” of London’s most beautiful and terrifying minds.” – Kickstarter.

Now just imagine Alice travelling through the minds of the most notorious people in Victorian London, from Jack The Ripper to Queen Victoria. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

The kickstarter to date has already raised $222,377 which is currently over the original goal of $200,000. But as Tesco always claims, every little helps. Now, i’m not telling you to donate, because you don’t have to but spreading word of it around is always helpful.

Wouldn’t it be just the perfect Christmas gift to fans of the series to learn that the 3rd game is in development?

Kickstarter To Raise Funds

If the idea of Alice In Wonderland with a dark and disturbingly horror twist appeals to you, yet you’ve never stumbled upon the first two games, be sure to check out their trailers, or forever miss out on some of the best takes on the original story out there.

Trailer for American McGee’s Alice

Trailer for Alice Madness Returns