Messy Design produced a self-promotional piece with the goal of raising awareness about the importance of good typography, by means of a sealed booklet which folds out to reveal four altered images of (their own) faces, that demonstrate basic typography rules in a humorous and engaging way.
You wouldn’t do it to your face, so why would you do it to a typeface?
So how does one end up with a concept that may scare or attract clients, and the courage to go ahead with it?
Our goal was to create a self-promo piece that was clever and intriguing but also showed that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We settled on the topic of typography as it is one aspect of design that clients are becoming less aware of with the advent of digital media.
The design tells the story of an experiment on our (type) faces, hence the clinical design, zip sealed bag and warning sticker. We wanted people to be able to view the images as separate cards, to keep and re-visit for future reference.
Throughout the process we were constantly questioning if people would understand the concept. We knew that, to designers, the piece would make perfect sense, but would potential clients find it engaging enough and take the time to digest the information? From a functional standpoint, would people know to rip the sticker seal rather than tear the perforations and ruin the reveal? Would people be scared off by the warning labels or would it entice them to open the package?
At a quick glance, I can take and educated guess and see that the production of this piece needed some planning, perhaps some testing, and a good printer.
Our printers had a tough time executing our knifeline — the perforation, heavy black ink and the rounded corners made it difficult to fold flat and evenly. We wanted the perforation to be subtle enough that it didn’t fray and detract from the heavy black ink on the page so we tested applying the perf through both sides and decided on the option that produced the least frayed edges when folded. The printer did a great job of applying the knife accurately (to the millimeter) and in the end we were really pleased with the result.
The only other slight challenge we faced was the drying time on the business cards. The heavy application of the metallic pms smudges very easily and took over a week to dry properly.
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UnderConsideration is a graphic design enterprise that runs a network of blogs, publishes books, organizes live events and judged competitions, and designs for clients.
Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.
Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.
Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.
Speak Up (2002 – 2009) / Discussing, and looking for, what is relevant in, and the relevance of, graphic design. Archives Only.
Word It (2003 – 2010) / Encouraging creative diversity in the community through monthly, one-word challenges. Archives Only.
Brand New Classroom (2010 – 2011) / Providing a space for critique and opinions on student identity workArchives Only.
Department of Design / Designing corporate and brand identities and full development of printed and digital matter for clients.
The 2010 FPO Awards / 2011, self-published.
The 2010 Brand New Awards / 2011, self-published.
Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work / 2010, self-published.
Events & Judged Competitions
Brand New Conference / A one-day event on the development of corporate and brand identity projects by some of today’s most active and influential practitioners from around the world.
Brand New Awards / Celebrating the best identity work produced around the world.
FPO Awards / Celebrating the best print work from around the world.
Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design / 2009, Rockport.
Women of Design: Influence and Inspiration from the Original Trailblazers to the New Groundbreakers / 2008, HOW Books.
The Word It Book: Speak Up Presents a Gallery of Interpreted Words / 2007, HOW Books.