Tuesday, 22 April 2014

OUGD503 Responsive: Design Process 2: Voodou Hairdresser (Development)

Over the Summer period I did some freelance work for Voodou hairdressers in Liverpool. I gained a lot of experience working for them. Initially I had a meeting with Emma, who I used to work with before starting college. I had this meeting at one of the hair salons so that I could get a feel for the brand and their colour scheme. It was quite eye opening for me, as I had never been to a salon which uses such bold, bright colours. They also had a large skull at the back of the salon placed on the wall. So this showed me that it is often used as a separate entity to the 'Voodou' text. I have documented some imagery of the salons to help me to have a selection of images to relate back to.

I managed to keep in touch with Voodou in hope that they would approach me again and ask me to do some more design work for them, and luckily they did. I was asked to design an A4 flyer which can be distributed to students in Liverpool. 

Below is the logo I was given over Summer to use on any design work for Voodou. I have this file saved so that I have it stored for future use. 

I decided to experiment with the idea of incorporating scissors into the design. I was given all of the information which I needed to include via email. 

Development of flyer

Once I had been given all of the information to include on the front of the flyer, I decided to try and come up with an idea to start a conversation and allow me to receive some feedback and an understanding for what my client expected to receive. I took quite a minimalist approach to this brief to start with, and tried to create a playful flyer by incorporating eyes and a moustache. I thought this was quite a clever and yet subtle way of hinting at the fact that they are hairdressers. Although it could imply that their target audience is men. 

Below is the email I received in response to this initial design. At this stage I realised that it is going to be quite hard to design something straight away that the client will like and I have to make sure that I am patient with them. 

I then decided to take a different approach and rather than working with the initial idea and trying to improve it, I decided to go back to square one and start again. The good thing about doing this meant that I was able to take parts of the previous design and apply it to new and improved flyers which can only be a positive move in my developmental process.

I was already aware that she liked how their last graphic designer had used illustrations for any of the work they had produced and so I decided to try and think of some new illustrations which could be applied to any of the work that I produce. 

The feedback I received for this updated version was mainly positive. I was just asked to consider the top section as she thought it looked a bit too plain, as well as a couple of other minor alterations. I felt a lot more positive at this stage because I had a better understanding for what she was expecting the end result to look like. It just goes to show that it isn't always worth trying to put your own personal touch on a piece of work (like I had tried to do in the first instance) because it isn't necessarily going to be to the client's taste.

Rather than only sending one option in response to this email I decided that I would send several, as they didn't take me long to do at all. I experimented with the size of the type as well as the image in the background of the skull. I felt quite confident at this stage that the work was positively progressing and was looking forward to receiving feedback as I could then work on the back of the flyer.

In the meantime, I received another email from Emma with details for the back of the flyer. Although I felt like it had taken a while for the front to be finalised, I was still pleased with the outcome and felt happy to be able to take it a step further to being complete. 

I designed a couple of variations for the back of the flyer, as shown below. I wanted to try and use the illustrations I had on the front of the leaflet or at least develop some more which were relevant to the information provided. 

This is the first possible layout that I proposed. I wasn't completely satisfied with the outcome however and when I sent it to Emma I was hoping for some constructive feedback that we would both agree on. 

Final A4 Flyer 

I was then given the following feedback on an email and the final alterations didn't take me very long at all! It definitely isn't how I initially imagined it to look but it is finally finished.


Having worked for Voodou over Summer I was aware that this project may take quite a while to complete, as the previous pieces of work I have done for them always took longer than I had expected. I feel as though I have learnt an awful lot working with Voodou though. They were the first company I worked for and created an invoice for, which was exciting for me! They were punctual when responding to me and taught me a lot about myself. I learnt not to take it to heart if I ever received quite blunt feedback, and instead see it as an opportunity for me to improve my communication skills and the ability to remain patient even whilst sometimes feeling frustrated.

Interestingly, as mentioned on my research post, I have noticed that since completing this work for them as well as the Summer work which included a Facebook banner, poster to use outside the shop as well as a website banner, they have actually used my illustrations on some of their other design work. Emma, who I dealt with at Voodou, has now left and been replaced. My details were passed on and I have since been contacted about more work, however they didn't give me enough notice and weren't willing to pay what I was charging, so this meant that the job was given to another designer (or they have done it themselves since and used the illustrations). 

This brief has therefore also taught me that a lot of the time students are treated unfairly and are treated as being 'inexperienced'. I think this is a real shame because it means that a student designer will either be under paid or simply not paid at all. 

When I was approached recently by the lady who has replaced Emma's position, the way I looked at the situation was, if I don't get chosen to do this work for Voodou because of how much I have proposed to charge, then the job isn't worth doing as I know that the money was fairly calculated against the amount of hours which would have been spent on completing it in the short amount of time allocated. 

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