For this weeks live, we were thrilled to have Manon from GPLD host her very own live agility session along with her pooch pal, Rowan! So make sure she wasn’t alone we had Beth from FP join her with her doggo Charlie, who was eager to learn some new tips and tricks! Using household items, Manon showed our audience how you can set up a quick and easy dog agility set up in your own back garden and how to get started with some basic training!
To say this was Charlie and Beth’s first time trying out dog agility, they both did a fantastic job and clearly had a lot of fun during the process. Although I’m aware not everybody has a dog, or even wants to take up dog agility in their own time – it was nice to see someone showing a different kind of craft/hobby that they do, and even better it involved getting to play with animals! This whole experience was so joyful, I really enjoyed watching it from home (mainly just to stare at the dogs, sure) and by the comments we received during the live I think it’s safe to conclude the audience did too.
Although I’ve previously managed to gather feedback on my project from GPLD, I didn’t received too much critical feedback on the actual design of it all. Susanna reached out to Harriet, introducing me and my project once more to help me gain a better perspective on the progress of my design so far. During our phone call, I spoke about one of my main concerns, which was what the project was looking like from an outsiders perspective. So far, I had managed to create branded content to send out behind the scenes, but when it comes to public facing content, there wasn’t really much there.
As the main point of contact the project has with the public is the FP Instagram, it made sense to focus on this area first. At the time, another member of the FP team was in control of the content that was being posted – and other than the poster/video content marketing the newest live, I was contributing to the news feed. As it stood it was looking incredibly random and a little confusing. Me and Harriet discussed potentially creating a separate Instagram for Joy in Numbers, crediting FP, as this would allow me to control the content, ensuring that everything put out was in line with the project ethos and objectives.
However, when I brought this idea to FP, they didn’t seem keen on the idea and understandably wanted to keep Joy in Numbers on their Instagram page as it was currently serving as the main source of content for their feed. Instead, I suggested a compromise, we would keep Joy in Numbers solely on their Instagram page providing that Maisie, the person in charge of their social media, worked directly with me so we could generate a clear theme and story throughout the feed. Keeping on brand with the FP brand, and somewhat the Joy in Numbers branding, I then generated a series of digital illustrations that she could use to celebrate national days instead of random images found online. I also began framing every post, making sure each line (so, every 3rd post) changes the coloured theme – creating a fluid and aesthetically pleasing news feed.
During my meeting with Harriet, we also spoke about the brands overall nature and appearance. Seeing as the project entirely revolves around inviting people to interact and encourage joyful activities, it only seems natural for the brands tone of voice to portray this. Using Innocent Smoothies as an example, we spoke about how I could soften the tone by keeping the text casual and playful. I had previously had worries about the project not being taken ‘seriously’ enough if I leaned too much on this but Harriet disagreed. The project doesn’t need to be serious, it just needs to have an impact. As soon as she said this it completely cleared up my worries. She was right, why was I spending so much energy trying to get the project to be taken seriously? If the project was taken seriously, surely that would diminish the entire projects point? We discussed potential ways that I could embed impactful messages throughout my branding, one idea was to curate a manifesto of joy using the submissions I had gathered from my questionnaire previously. The meeting with Harriet was incredibly helpful and gave me back some fuel to continue the brands progression.
Starting with the logo, I began to work on progressing the brands identity. Although there were some elements of the logo that I liked, such as the ‘sun-ray’ lines coming from the ‘O’, overall the aesthetic seemed flat and clunky. When I had originally created the logo, it was a matter of urgency, and with it being under such tight deadline, I didn’t give myself much time to play and explore the shapes within the logo. I used a premade font from the Adobe library (GoodDog New) and stuck with it, thinking that the layout and the small additions I put in afterwards were enough to carry the projects charm and ethos through to the audience. I began looking around me for inspiration and it turns out there was some closer than I thought!
At the time I was wearing a pair of Lucy & Yak dungarees – Lucy and Yak are a British brand dedicated to creating ethical, sustainable and above all, stylish pieces of clothing. After paying closer attention to the little tab on my front pocket I noticed just how playful and unique their logo was. I absolutely love how the letters seem to play together within such a small space, creating a real sense of energy and highlighting the organic nature of their products. Even though the logo itself was 2D, there was nothing flat about it.
Taking inspiration from the clothing brand Lucy & Yaks playful aesthetic, I began sketching out potential ways that I could have the type interact with each other as theirs did. This process was really enlightening and it helped bring me back to the very core of the project – seeing as it was evolved into something live and public face so fast, I think I was beginning to forget what I had originally wanted to create. Design that would bring joy.
After playing around with several different concepts I landed on one that seemed to have the perfect balance of everything I wanted. It was playful, energetic and had visual references embedded within the design whilst also remaining legible and recognisable by the public.
This week, Manon got in touch with some exciting news that somebody from Heritage England was interested in the Joy in Numbers project and wanted to find ways that we could work together (see email below).
We immediately got back in touch to set up a meeting with Debbie and found out that we could actually embed quite a few of our projects in with their HAZ project – such as the Mural project we had previously started. We all agreed that it would be a step in the right direction to begin working together on these projects and Me and Beth from Fresh Perspective put ourselves forward to lead the projects and liase directly with Debbie. Debbie did inform us during the meeting that we had around 2 weeks to put together a grant application, so my main take away from the meeting was to begin putting together an official project proposal for the Joy in Numbers project. This wasn’t too much of an issue as I had already put a basic frame of the project together previously, I now just had to ensure that it also worked with the HAZ objectives.