FMP Questionnaire

As I am designing two sets of greeting cards with matching gift wrap sets I am interested to find out what others look for when buying them either online or in a shop. So, if anyone can spare a few minutes to answer some questions it would be a great help.


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Further Development of Stationery

Originally I had planned to have the business cards printed professionally. I have always admired stationery design and I’m always looking out for new styles and interesting designs. One style I was keen to incorporate was the use of thick quality paper stock with coloured edges to coordinate with the colour scheme and give a luxurious, professional finish. However, as a student, I don’t have the resources to justify spending so much having them printed professionally like this. So, I’ve been thinking of alternative ways to achieve the effect I’m after.
Recently, I found out about carving lino to make your own stamp. Since then I have been doing lots of personal projects combining graphic design with lino cutting, focusing of typography as well as simple illustrations. This gave me the idea to improvise. I have bought some plain white 300gsm paper (at 90p per A2 sheet) that I can cut to business card size and I already have all the tools and materials needed for lino carving and printing (inks, brayers, linoleum). My plan is to keep with the current design and carve the lettering from the logo so I can stamp the cards and any other item. Then I can stack the cards tightly and colour the edges with the same ink. The one thing I will not be able to do at home (unless I use my stamp that you set yourself) is print or carve my details on the reverse as the card is far to thick to go through the printer and would be too intricate and small for me to carve. But I have found several places that make personalised stamps online at a reasonable price. I have not tried this yet but I am quite confident it will work. The one element that may prove trickiest is colouring the sides with ink, but if it does not work I am sure there are other ways to get around it. Although this is still costing me money, it is still around half the price of a professional print and once it is set up I can keep making them at barely any cost. And when I hand the finished cards out I can tell people I made them myself.
Here's my first attempt at linocutting

Here’s my first attempt at linocutting

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Revisiting Promotional Branding

It has been a few months since I have done anything with this project I did back in November, so I thought I’d take a fresh look and see if there were any improvements I could make.

Due to a fault with my back up drive and some over zealous file clearing on my computer I accidentally lost all versions of the original files I used to design the branding. So, I had the opportunity to develop my initial designs slightly before handing them in for good.

So here is the final set of personal branding design

Personal Branding

Business Card

I’ve adapted the original design slightly, making the lettering on the front simpler and neater and changing the typeface and style of my contact details. I used Gill Sans light before and all in red, but here I’ve just used Avenir Book and rather than have all the type red, I’ve just a section red so it is still eyecatching but not overwhelming.

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The set I have designed successfully and clearly represents me as a designer. I was careful to make sure potential clients looking at the finished pieces would be clear on what I do, who I am and how to contact me.


If I had more time I would put more into customising the script style typeface that I have used as my logo across the set. However, I think it suits the style and represents my style well, but I would loved to have designed the type completely. Of course, with my skill level and time constraint I was unable to do that right now.


With more time I would also have experimented more with different styles, however, I found in this instance my work flowed more easily by experimenting with just 2 base ideas and adjusting them.


The target audience are my potential clients, so this could range between a wide variety of people, in particular, design studios and companies or companies who need graphic designers e.g. magazines. The there is the freelancing side, so I would be targeting people and business who need one-off design such as logos, brand identity, stationery etc.


As I mentioned above, I was careful to make sure my message was clear, so anyone who I would be handing my stationery (in particular the business card as that would generally be the first contact) to would know instantly what I am about.


When I designed the set I wanted it to be something that I would genuinely use and be happy to show others, especially potential clients. So I paid close attention to every aspect of the designs. Saying this, I think there are ways I could develop it further, in particular the card. I am planning to have it printed professionally at where they offer a really good quality service at reasonable price (I’ve used them several times before for clients I’ve designed for in my spar time). For my card though I am going to have them printed on 600 gsm card with a seam of colour between the layers that will match the red I have used for the type.


One issue that I did consider was the colour. I have used red, which, traditionally is not used for type, but I think in this instance it is acceptable. I wanted something that would really ‘pop’ against the white background and instantly draw the eyes. So, I chose red not only because it’s my favourite colour but also because I think it’s the most eye catching colour but without looking too offensive.


Typographic choices:

Business cards
(back) Mercury Script for my name which I edited to fit nicely onto the card and joining the letters more smoothly. Secondary typeface – Avenir Light, 8pt

(front) I’ve used Avenir Light to reflect the back, my name is at 11pt, ‘graphic design’ is 9pt and the contact details are at 8pt. I originally tried the type on this side at 1pt lower (across all parts) but after a test print I showed others and most agreed that the larger type was much more legible. I did prefer the smaller type slightly but that was down to personal preference, however, some of the characters – particularly the @ symbol were difficult to make out.

Designs – Business Card Front

Designs – Business Card Back

General Standards

Business Card
Dimensions (UK):
full bleed 91 x 61 mm
final trimmed 85 x 55

In the UK business cards are generally printed on stock between 350 – 600 gsm



standard A4 (210 x 297 mm)


Compliment Slip

1/3rd height of A4 (210 x 99 mm)

Logo Ideas

I’ve been thinking about designing a logo to represent me as a designer. It’s a bit ironic but I’ve found this really difficult. Even though I have been designing logos for other people pretty regularly over the past year, designing one for myself has been the most challenging. So, I’ve decided to keep it simple and go for a typographic one. I’ve been looking through lots of great examples to give me some inspiration to create my own monogram  as a logo that I can incorporate not only into this design (stationery) but into future work too.

Here are a few examples of what I’ve found:

His personal logo is an interesting mix of his initials. Clever and simple, there’s no unnecessary embellishment or decoration, in this example that makes it more effective.

Designed by Alan Fletcher in 1989
Monogram of characters V, &, A using a bodoni style typeface. It’s a simple design but an iconic one recognised over the world. Even though the A is customised and missing the stem it is still recognizable as the serif on the ampersand serves as the stem and crossbar.

Logo of John Ellis, a graphic designer who specialises in typography and letter press printing. The letters EGD are an abbreviation of the name of his freelance design business – Elsewhere Graphic Design which is clearly reflected under the letters. Its a clever representation of his work as it represents his expertese in letterpress and typography without the need for any extra decoration.!about-us

Beautifully elegant, it looks simple at first but when you take closer a look you see the care and effort that has been put into it. I really love the ampersand, it’s by far my favourite character and I always keep an eye out for examples like this.

The circle with a J in a handwritten style is a simple representation of his name, it’s modern, to the point and effective.


Compliment Slips & Letterheads


Stationery Design Now! (Taschen, 2010)


Business Cards

I’ve collected a few images of business cards that have really jumped out at me, so here are a few that have inspired.

Sources: pre-designed business cards
Stationery Design Now! (Taschen, 2010)
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Brand Identity

Here I am going to take a look at some branding stationery to get a better idea of what and how to design my own.

Client: Maria Vogel
Year: 2007
Design: Magpie Studio originally found on

The monochrome colour scheme is striking yet simple, it looks clean and elegant without looking too crowded or fussy. Whilst the minimal decorative features imply a link to the fashion industry in a clever way.


Client: Matter
Year: 2007
Design: Pentagram
Source: Stationery Design Now! (Taschen, 2010)

Simple theme running through with the logo at the same size on each element but with the colour inverted. It gives a nice clean feel to the overall finish without the need for various fonts, colours, images etc.


Client: Blink Hypnotherapy
Year: 2009
Design: Buddy
Source: Stationery Design Now! (Taschen, 2010)

While I’m not too keen on the actual design I think the it is quite interesting, especially the implied link between the design and hypnotherapy with the use of the circular pattern. And it is still a good straightforward example of stationery design.


Client: B & R
Design: Anagrama

Just like the logo, this set of brand stationery is simple and elegant. The designer has made a good choice with the paperstock as the black print may have looked too severe against a white background but the natural brown colour compliments it nicely.
I really like the letterhead design here, it’s a basic but nice change from the usual style while still looking professional.


Client: Maryland Institute College of Art
Year: 2007
Design: Pentagram
Source: Stationery Design Now! (Taschen, 2010)



Client: Lollipop
Year: 2007
Design: m Barcelona
Source: Stationery Design Now! (Taschen, 2010)

Plan of Action

I have been set a task to design a stationery for myself as a designer which will consist of a business card, a letterhead and a compliment slip.


Here are some things I need to consider before I start:

•  use screenshots and annotation to keep an account of design process

•  consider designing a logo to go accompany designs (given the short time allowance for this project and the time it takes to design a decent logo, any logo I design and include with the final piece will be considered a ‘work in progress’)

•  as this work forms part of the Graphic Design with Type module I am being assessed on my ability to set type, so this needs to be a main focus for me.

•  as mentioned in the brief, any work I submit may be publicly displayed online or around college so it would be sensible not to use my real address.

•  presentation of designs – need to ensure I use quality print and and paperstock to show them off to their full potential. Also need to be careful when it comes to trimming the edges, there’s no point in putting effort into the print and paper quality if I trim the edges poorly.


As this is a short project I do not need to focus to much on research but I always find it helpful to put together a plan of what I need to include in my work and a general order to follow.

•  quick analysis of what I need to do and things to consider

•  research into the style and general specifications of letterheads, business cards and compliment slips i.e. sizing, type setting, colour etc. look into a variety of examples both online and any physical examples of business stationery to get a better understanding of the design and also help generate ideas for my designs.

•  ideas – show any initial ideas and look into which would be the most viable options. Discuss these with peers and tutors.

•  show the progress of my designs and develop ideas further

•  reflection

•  final designs

Stationery Design Brief

University of Kent at K College
Module: Graphic Design with Type 2
Year 2 Term 1

This is a quick, one-week project that concentrates on your ability to set type in an effective and appropriate manner. It also checks your ability to work with speed yet still be accurate.

Design a set of identity documents for yourself as a designer. These must include a letterhead, business card and compliment slip.

Each item must include as a minimum:

  • “company” name
  • full address
  • telephone number(s)
  • email address
  • website or blog address.

You may wish to design a logo as part of the brief.

Please do not use your real address on the documents that you design because these may be displayed in college, online or elsewhere. However, you may wish to consider how you might design real identity documents for yourself.

Please submit one set in hard copy and one set as a PDF by email to both Sancha and Tim.

Date Set: Monday 5th November 2012
Date Due: Friday 9th November 2012

Analysis of the Brief – iPhone App

This brief is part of the Design for Digital Media module. I have been asked to design icons for seven iPhone Apps that incorporate measurement functions relating mostly to environmental conditions (speed, altitude, wind speed etc). The apps will form a series produced by a digital company and I have to keep this in mind when designing the icons.

As well as designing the icons the brief states that I must also produce an example of the usability or navigation of one App icon design and how it would look on an actual page, although the App does not need to function.


  • icons must be 57×57 pixels
  • need to maintain a degree of visual consistency between all icon designs as they form a series
  • use as little detail in the icons as possible – redundancy – don’t want them looking cluttered, especially at a small scale
  • needs to work at small scale
  • use type only if necessary, icon needs to be able to stand alone and not rely on type
  • consider the role of semiotics especially in icon design
  • demontrate how it would work as an app icon


What I need to do

  • Research
    – pictograms, ideograms and icons – history, development and usage
    – 7 apps – each area such as speedometer or barometer, what they do, what they look like etc.
    – existing app icons for each app and existing series of apps (to see how other series show consistency and help inform my ideas)
  • initial ideas – make sure to include lots of sketched ideas and consider how the designs would work in practice
  • reflection, analysis and evaluation of work throughout
  • produce, plan and give examples of designs in action

Target Audience

Despite several attempts to find evidence of the target audience of such Apps available for use on the iPhone, I’ve struggled to find anything solid, so I can only guess at this.

I would design these app icons to appeal mostly towards proffessional males aged roughly between 20 to 45 years of age. However, each of the seven apps vary widely in their uses (although all have measurement functions and would come under either the utility or weather categories) I must be careful not to exclude any potential audience ranges.


Personal Aims

  • discuss work, ideas and progress with peers and tutors more regularly
  • give myself enough time to annotate and evaluate research and work sufficiently
  • be more organised with the order in which I carry out tasks
  • reflect and evaluate at regular intervals (rather than just at the end)
  • balance my focus more especially in terms of reseach vs. design (rather than spending too much time on research and not leaving myself enough time for development of designs and ideas or vice versa)
  • I will come back to these at the end when I carry out my evaluation but I will keep them in mind throughout the project (I’ve also stuck them to the wall in front of my desk, so I have no excuse to forget)
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