January 27, 2011

This week has consisted of a workshop ran by Jan-Erik Paul, managing director of E-creation, a small agency producing big ideas based on the south coast. E-creation create work for clients, primarily in the field of branding and identity, but also run their own projects, creating businesses from scratch and running with them to make them a success.

8 of us were drafted in to come and help give birth to the latest concept and push it to the point of realisation. I am unable to divulge any real information as I am signed into a non-disclosure form as the idea is not ready to go public yet, but I will talk about the processes we went through.

We started on the Monday afternoon in the board room where we went through client branding forms that had been created by E-Creation to allow the team to gain as much insight to the feel of a clients business as they can, which direction the company is going in, is it upmarket, is it exclusive etc. These were a good idea as you can take the information away and immediately build a picture of what the client requires. I may start doing this when I am next asked to do a branding project.

After deciding on the feel and direction of the company we were branding we had to choose a name. After debating and racking our brains/thesauruses, we settled on something that was ‘to the point’, functional and clear with regards to the intended service that would be provided. This also allowed for maximum search engine optimisation as people searching for the service in question would probably use one or more of the words in the title.

We started early the next day and dived straight into the functionality of the site, noting down all crucial elements needed on the homepage, and placing them in logical, UX friendly locations to make sure that the page is easily navigated. I thought deeply when we came to this point and tried to implement the skills learned whilst working at Redweb with the User-Experience team. No real resolution came of this discussion and we quickly moved onto the branding of the company.

I unfortunately had to leave for a meeting at the point and so missed an hour or so of development, but came back in and got straight to work on the logo design. After only a short amount of time working on it, we had a critique where my logo was pulled out as being one of the stronger ones there. Ironically the logo that was chosen, was one I had already sketched out and thought about developing, but decided against as I felt it had certain connotations that may put off prospective customers. But in all fairness it did work well, the typography and colour palette chosen by the developers were good.

Unfortunately this brought us to the end of our short stint as a makeshift agency, although we are meeting up again soon to push the ideas further. The process was a good one to go through as practicing the workings of a professional environment will help for when I leave university. I learned a lot from Jan-Erik as well, a man full of anecdotes and interesting snippets of knowledge. I imagine working for him to be a pleasure and I look forward to our next meeting.


Augmented Reality

January 19, 2011

Amazing little cards developed to created buzz around the release of the film Avatar.

Site Finished

January 15, 2011

Ben Darvill Drop clothing website

I know its only been a few months since the last site went live, but the amount I have learned since has enabled me to re-make the site and produce something a lot more professional.

Using jQuery, PHP and CSS, the site is a lot more technical than before, with features like controllable slide-shows and fully functional contact forms. The page is filled with imagery, links and information, all brought together with cool fade effects to give the whole site a gentle flowing quality. The slide-shows play automatically but stop when hovered to allow the viewer to inspect the item, and then click to skip through so that there is some control.

All items have been strategically placed using “User Experience” testing techniques that I learned during the time I spent at working at Redweb. By watching my “testers” eye movements when I asked them to navigate towards a specific page, I managed to see where people expect things to be. This helped me position items around the site in a logical order. I also tryed a variety of colours on my test subjects to see which drew there eyes to help me create the right hand buttons. I had never heard of UX before going to do work experience at Redweb

The site is my online portfolio as well as clothing store and so needed to show my work in the best possible light. I think that the consistent approach I took when photographing, editing and presenting my portfolio pieces has worked well and will give future employers a valuable insight into the standard of work that I aim to produce. The colour and theme hits the target audience whilst also showing my own personal preferences when it comes to stylizing a piece of work.

Have a look and let me know


Best viewed on a high resolution display (1280×800)

Album artwork

January 12, 2011

I was asked by a friend to produce a layout for his bands new E.p.

My client was fairly particular in what he wanted even though he changed his mind quite a lot, which made it difficult to come to a well thought out conclusion. As with most creatives, being given an open project where you are left to your own devices in terms of the outcome is great, allowing you to experiment and let your mind wander with the possibilities. This doesn’t happen a lot though, and this was not one of those briefs. I did everything he asked for and he seemed happy with the artwork so I cant complain, the customer is always right (or so i’ve heard).


More logo Design

January 4, 2011

Here are two logos I have been working on recently for an events management group called Dub Generation and a drum and bass producer called “skinzmann”. There were very little guidelines about what was needed for these, and the outcomes were left to my own creativity.
Ben Darvill Ben Darvill