Wednesday, 12 February 2014

OUGD503 - COLLABORATIVE - YCN Student Awards : Royal Albert Hall

Priyesh and I started by reading over the brief and highlighting all of the information we thought was relevant individually. The images below show the areas that we highlighted/underlined as the most important.



We then came together and wrote down the information that was the most relevant for research and design. The mind map below shows all of the information that we thought was the most important.

With the information focused down we then split it into areas that we felt we needed to research into. This information is shown on the mind map below.

At this point we split the research up between us. Priyesh researched into how we can reach such a varied target audience, the architecture of the Royal Albert Hall and the stories of the hall.

I researched into the bars and dining spaces in the Royal Albert Hall, information about the hall and information about the halls charitable status; for example how people donate?

Please see our Design Contexts blogs for the appropriate research; 

We then talked about possible ideas, deciding on what we needed to do and posing questions to ourselves.

It was at this point that we decided that we should try and visit the Hall to gain a better understanding of what/who we were designing for.

I rang and spoke to the Head of Tours and managed to get two free tour tickets.

Prior to visiting the Hall we thought it would be a good idea to have some prepared questions. We came up with several questions that the answers would help us with our understanding and our design. 

Unfortunately the person we asked was not very helpful as they were 'front of house' and our questions were focused on the running of the hall and how it raises its money.

We were given another contact number and email of someone who may be able to help us with our questions. 

I emailed a selection of our questions to her and this is the response I recieved;

Hi Jasper,

Thanks for your email. I am afraid I can only offer you some brief answers to your questions but I hope the below information will serve useful.

Best wishes,


1. What does the Hall need the funding for and what would happen if the Hall did not get this money? (effect on the community projects etc.)
The main areas are education and outreach (; archive and discovery (; and the building renovations outlined in the initial competition brief. Without further funding, we would not be able to secure these innovative and ambitious programmes for future generations.

2.  What are the ways that individual donators can donate currently?
Most donations from individuals are through cheques, BACs transfers and our Just Giving account.

3. Who are the biggest individual donators? (age/profession/gender/etc)
Our key supporters are listed here:

The answers we received were not overly helpful as they just sent us to different areas of the website, information we already had.

At this point we had a discussion on where we should go from here. The outcome of this talk was that I needed to do further research into charity campaigns.

We each went away and continued our work. I started making notes on the key element of the print matter, which was 'how do we get individuals to donate'.

The next meeting we talked through what we had done and where we should go from here. We made decisions on colours as well as a few other elements such as the audience and the specifics of what we were going to produce.

The next session we had we discussed our ideas with two other pairs. We discussed what people though the Hall stood for as well as what we needed to have done by next week. 

I also made some further design decisions, such as a new concept (donation boxes) and the information that was required on the posters.

I then proceeded to write down any poster ideas I came up with, using all the research I had done as a starting point. 

Whilst I was coming up with different poster ideas, we decided on the specific colours we were going to use. These were a yellow; C0 M30 Y100 K25 and a red; C0 M80 Y60 K60.

At this point we both really began the design of our separate elements of the project.

Using my original phrases and ideas I took inspiration from existing Opera North posters designed by the Beautiful Meme, I began to produce the main printed element of the campaign.

I started by drawing out my ideas, starting with a basic layout before I started putting in the information.

My initial poster designs had several different information points.

These initial designs were a mix of image and type and just type. The focus of each poster was the content, however each poster contained the Royal Albert Hall logo, all the relevant contact information, the donation information and a bit about the hall.

The designs that worked best were those with larger point size content and images as the backgrounds. The posters without the images looked too bare and lacked the impact that was required.

Using duotone images allowed us to keep a consistency across all of our designing. At this pint the duotone images were created using the Adobe Photoshop Duotone setting, however, we changed the method we produced our duotone images as there was an inconsistency of colour.

After a crit it became clear that the information on the left was superfluous and that the contact and donation information needed to be more prominent.

With this information, I redesigned the posters, removing the body copy on the left and increasing the size of all the information at the bottom of the poster.

After I had redesigned the poster, both Pri and I evaluated them and decided they still needed changing. 

We were happy with the new duotone images, where we had made the originals black and white before adding a layer of colour which was then multiplied so you could see the underlying image. As we were happy with the image and type posters, we made the decision not to continue with the type based ones.

The elements that still need work was, again, increasing the size of the crucial information.

The final poster designs also combined my existing content ideas with some other ideas that focused on supporting the Hall and encouraging people to donate.

Now that the posters were completed it gave me a solid design structure to develop the rest of the printed work.

The posters were also produced in a landscape format using the same principles as the portrait ones.

The other printed work included banners that would be displayed externally around the Hall and a mail shot that would be sent out to existing members, people on the Royal Albert Hall mailing list and available to pick up at the Hall.

The banners and postcard were designed in a very similar manner to the posters. Duotone images were used as well as the slogans and references to the hall.

For presentation purposes, the posters, banners and postcard were all mocked up in real situations.

Whilst I had been designing all of the printed work Priyesh had been redesigning the website and designing the app.

Please see: for all of the Web and App design work.

I also produced the submission board for the project. These were the boards that would be submitted to the YCN website as our entry.

Each board contained the Royal Albert Hall logo, our names, the hashtag that we used to promote viraly.  The boards also contained a specific element of the campaign and a small amount of information about that element.

From my point of view this project was strong but not as strong as it could have been. There are several things I would have liked to have added to make the print side more substantial.

I would have liked to have produced a wider range of advert. As well as having them on billboards and bus stops, I would have also liked to have positioned them in magazines.

i would have also liked to produce a more substantial mail shot. As it stands the mail shot is only a single postcard. I would have liked to design more elements that could be sent out as a pack. These elements could include stationary, leaflets, flyers/more postcards and the envelope it all came in.

Finally I would have liked to have designed a custom donation boxes specifically for the Royal Albert Hall. These would have been placed around the Hall so that people could donate any money they had on them whilst they were there.

The weakness in this project from my point if view was the lack of a really string defining concept that would separate us from the competition. Although we had a wide range of outcomes, covering a multiple of platforms, it was still only a basic campaign with not stand-out feature. I think we struggled with producing a stand-out concept as we found the brief harder than we had initially planned. 

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