British Football Academy

I have been working as a creative consultant for The British Football Academy in Kuwait for the past 6 months. The BFA approached me in order to totally rebrand their company with the aim of remaining competitive in a somewhat flooded market in Kuwait.

I approached the project with a number of key objectives in mind:

  • Design and develop client communication materials (overall experience, supporting assets and artefacts, etc.)
  • Support client engagement and internal teams in the exploratory development and iterative processes.
  • Define visual direction for of new offerings and businesses.
  • Lead concept prototyping and evaluative testing of new concepts
  • Support business development and proposals for new client work
  • Contribute to internal research and development projects
  • Provide feedback, support and training for design usage

Working alongside key stakeholders at BFA I established design objectives, key communication objectives and agreed upon a functional and conceptual design brief.

I also conducted a brand value management workshop with several key members of BFA in order to fully establish market positioning, target audiences and core brand values. This subsequently informed the fundamental aspects of the brand identity and allowed me to comprehensively develop a brand guidelines to communicate these concepts effectively.

The project is still ongoing and the new brand identity will be fully launched across social media and print collateral in September 2017. I have shown below a selection of the brand guidelines which will support the launch.  Thank you BFA for your commitment to creative progression!

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British Football Academy

LAM

I am pleased to be working on an exiting new venture which combines both my passions of design and academia into one beautifully presented package.

Introducing:

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WHAT IS LAM
LAM is a bi-annual, multidisciplinary publication which supports international creatives in publishing artwork and scholarly writing, pertaining to their specific fields. Fostering an exchange of interdisciplinary knowledge and encouraging debate on the global, cultural and social aspects of design.

Conceived with the aim to develop and critically examine contemporary discourse in practice-led and scholarly research related to creative practice; Inclusive of history, theory and the applied arts. LAM encourages submissions from individual designers, collectives and/or multidisciplinary projects, with an emphasis on visual essays, professional practice case studies, industry interviews and scholarly reviews.

VISION
LAM aspires to bring creative, intellectual minds together to a single platform, in order to share knowledge, creativity and inspiration.

MISSION
LAM is a global publication that supports and empowers both emerging and established creative practitioners. It is a contemporary creative platform that aims to enhance
people’s lives through knowledge, inspiration and creativity.

WHY IS LAM NEEDED
LAM was conceived due to the distinct lack of publication opportunities for creatives in the Middle East and offers the opportunity for inclusion in a peer-reviewed publication produced for creatives, by creatives.

Graphic design, in academia, is in it’s infancy and as such there are limited quality academic publications available for the scholar; either in terms of publishing opportunities or knowledge accumulation. Thus LAM aims to address a distinct gap in the market and provide a quality academic, peer reviewed, publication to an international audience.

AIMS & OBJECTIVES

  • To create an academically focussed creative publication that brings practitioners and scholars to a single platform
  • To publish in Kuwait and internationally by the end of 2017
  • To provide a highly regarded resource for scholars of the applied arts
  • To showcase the best international creativity and scholarly writing, specifically focussing on providing a platform for those in the Middle East

THE LAM FRAMEWORK FOR PEER REVIEW
Scholarly articles or creative submissions should demonstrate
the following criteria in order to be accepted for publication:

1. LIBERATED:
All submissions should demonstrate a contemporary approach to the investigation of creativity and should remain free from judgement of religion, sexual orientation
colour or gender. However, freedom of creative expression is highly encouraged.

2. LITERATE:
Appropriate academic language should be used throughout any written submission.
All referencing should be submitted using the Harvard referencing system. Visual language should aim to demonstrate a strong conceptual approach and clearly meet the edition’s chosen thematic.

3. LEGITIMATE:
All submissions should be the individual’s own work and any images or references should be appropriately cited and relevant copyright permissions of any third party sources must be provided.

4. APPROPRIATE:
Each LAM edition will have a specific theme and all submissions should aim to specifically address that topic. Appropriateness should also be demonstrated in typographic choices, colour choices and the hierarchical layout of information in order to meet with the industry standards of creative practice.

5. AWARE:
Awareness of contemporary issues and debates within the relevant creative field should be demonstrated, whether that be via a visual investigation or a traditional scholarly approach. Research should aim to generate significant interest from within both local and global creative communities.

6. ADVENTUROUS
Lam aims to push boundaries and explore creativity. All submissions should aim to create conversation and invoke curiosity.

7. MOTIVATIONAL:
Inspiration comes from many sources. Lam intends to provide a platform to address how design can inspire, promote and encourage. All submissions should respond to this directive.

8. MEMORABLE:
Lam understands that in this throw-away society, the next new thing is always just on the horizon. Therefore Lam aims to create a platform for creatives where people will come back for more. All submissions should enable Lam to be remembered.

9. MEANINGFUL:
Authenticity and integrity are key aspects of Lam’s creative ethos and successful submissions will evidence an appropriate emotional response.

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LAM

A list of lies

We judge others by their appearance, whether we admit to it or not, it’s something we have all been guilty of. It’s an unconscious and therefore uncontrollable reaction. But how accurate are our judgements? We often make rash assessments based on physical appearance alone and get it oh so very wrong.

Attractiveness plays a major role in shaping positive emotion towards a person , although according to Andrews et al (2013 p.62) we genuinely believe this not to be the case. However, research demonstrates that not only do we favour physically attractive people; we also identify beauty with an intrinsic goodness, developing what is know as a ‘halo effect’. A form of cognitive bias, which attributes positive qualities created in one area to influence opinion in another area. Ergo, we see attractive people as being far more trustworthy than those who do not possess (Andrews et al, 2013, P.65) protypical features, facial symmetry and/or sexual dimorphism.

I wanted to explore this visually but rather than utilise a model displaying all the aforementioned attractiveness traits I wanted to do the opposite, by using an image of someone who society would not deem as physically attractive in the conventional sense at least. I searched online for images at :

https://morguefile.com/  A free photo archive “for creatives, by creatives.”

I use this website frequently, as it grants access to quality, free stock photography and has provided me with some excellent images in the past. Here, I searched for male portraits in the hope that I would find a suitable image and I was in no way disappointed.

I came across a series of images of homeless men which were of excellent quality, both aesthetically well composed and technically fantastic. The fact that the images portrayed homeless men added to the message I wanted to convey. How quickly would we judge these people? Would we trust them or would their outward appearance and circumstance taint our perception of their person? I would hazard a guess that the halo effect would work recto-verso in this instance and their outward appearance would ensure that they would be considered most untrustworthy indeed.

In my book of bullshit, at the beginning of the chapter on trust, I listed a collection of words which represented the positive feeling associated with trust. I wanted to do the opposite here, so I began to compile and alphabetise a list of words associated with lies and deceit. My idea was to create a contrasting spread with the image on one side and the judgemental words of the other, thus forcing into question our perceptions of truth and trust. Below are several of my attempts at layout and composition for this piece.

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Fig 1
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Fig 2
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Fig 3
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Fig 4

After careful consideration I decided that the image in Fig 1 would be the most suitable for this composition, however I also concluded that a black and white shot presented a more meaningful outcome and that the typography and layout wasn’t working how I wanted. The typography needed to balance more with the image and communicate a clearer message to the viewer. I therefore decided to add the word trust in to the composition to contradict with the list of deceitful words and the imagery presented, thus forcing a visual dialogue of questioning. I also rotated the image of the homeless man, offering the viewer a new perspective or not facing the issue head on, again presenting another level of ambiguity to the piece.

Lastly I dismantled the word trust. Has the trust been totally broken or Is there some trust held together? The type also could be read as R – U – ST. Posing the question Are you Street? Are you aware of what is going on in the street? Are you turing a blind eye to the homeless? There are many layers to this social problem and many layers to the personal feelings of trust which I hope I raised awareness of in the visual narrative to this piece.

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Fig 8

The final layout shown Above (fig 8) is one of my favourite pieces in terms of the balance of negative and positive space and use of colour. The striking red against the black and white is incredibly powerful. Ideally I would have liked to take my own photography but time and location were against me. Although there are many, many very poor people here in Kuwait I am unaware of any homeless people. Accessing these poor communities in 50 degree heat would have also been a very changeling and time consuming task; a whole project in itself. Maybe this is something for me to consider as a future project. But for now I am more than happy with this composition and believe it conveys an oxymoronic message which leads the viewer to question their own preconceived ideas on the notion of trust.

References:

Andrews, M., Van Leeuwen, M. and Baaren, R. (2013). Hidden persuasion. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers.

Morguefile.com. (2016). Morguefile.com free stock photos. [online] Available at: https://morguefile.com/ [Accessed 8 Aug. 2016].

Images:

All layout designed by Lisa Winstanley 2016 Images used as follows:

Fig 1/5/7/8: Chilombiano, (2007). Smoking man. [image] Available at: https://morguefile.com/creative/3/chilombiano [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

Fig 2/6: BBoomerinDenial, (2012). Homeless man in hat. [image] Available at: https://morguefile.com/creative/BBoomerinDenial/2/all [Accessed 25 Jul. 2016].

Fig 3: BBoomerinDenial, (2014). Homeless man. [image] Available at: https://morguefile.com/creative/BBoomerinDenial/1/all [Accessed 25 Jul. 2016].

Fig 4: BBoomerinDenial, (2009). Homeless man profile mustache. [image] Available at: https://morguefile.com/creative/BBoomerinDenial/4/all [Accessed 25 Jul. 2016].

A list of lies

Eat your words

Earlier in this module I had the idea to create some edible typography in the blog post shown below.

https://lisawinstanleydesign.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/two-faced/

My rationale behind this was two fold. Firstly I wanted to get my hands dirty! My role as a designer is often behind a computer screen these days and I wanted to return somewhat to design as craft. Secondly I wanted to explore 3 Dimensional typography. I had originally planned to create and  3D print using a rubber material but time seemed to creep up on me and this meant I just didn’t have the opportunity to experiment or retain the necessary training in CAD software to make this happen. (Although this is still on my list of things to do in the future!). Baking some type fulfilled both my objectives so was a suitable alternative experiment. It also meant that I could use the idiom ‘eat your words’ then literally do it!

I wanted to use this particular idiom as a representation of how we feel when someone is caught in a lie. They are forced to figuratively eat their deceitful words and repent in order to receive our forgiveness and in that moment all trust is lost. Certainly not a sugar coated experience.

Firstly I set about hand rendering the typography. I had to ensure that the text would be legible and easily constructed using cookie dough but also decorative enough to look crafted and authentic. I conducted quite a lot of research into food based typography and came up with the following examples as reference.

Creating my own typography by hand was really enjoyable and I’ve loved this part of the process. The next step was to create a makeshift lightbox at my dining table and trace the letterforms off onto a sheet of paper which could be cut out as a template for the cookies.

Once I was happy with the letterforms (it took a number of attempts!) I then set them aside and rolled my sleeves up for a little baking! I downloaded a cookie dough recipe and gathered my ingredients. I am not the best in the Kitchen so at this stage I didn’t know if this would be a total disaster or not, but at least I would have fun trying!

Once the letters were cut to shape they were ready to go in the oven

Again I had no idea if this was going to work but 10 minutes later I was pleasantly surprised! I set up a scene on my kitchen worktop with the baking ingredients and some added sugar, utilising the reference images above as a benchmark for quality.

I then took several shots and cropped and edited slightly in Adobe Photoshop to get the following results.

Although I think the images above are great, I had it in my mind that the cookies should be on a wooden surface. I initially approached a friend with a wooden dining table but discovered a large wooden tray in my home that I though would make a suitable surface. The following image is one of many that I took to get the right angle and lighting and I am more than happy with the results. This took a lot of planning, preparation and hard work but the end result has been almost certainly worth it!

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The last stage in the process was to eat the cookies! I enlisted the help of my husband who kindly once again served as my model (for the hefty price of stuffing his face with biscuits!) and I took some images of him eating his words. I wanted him to look uncomfortable, as I mentioned previously the reality of this would not be a sugar coated experience and I wanted this to be communicated, even if in a slightly satirical manner.

I experimented with the HDR filter in Photoshop and the resulting image is everything I hoped it would be, although my husband perhaps would not agree!

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References

All images original creations by Lisa Winstanley 2016 unless otherwise stated below:

Fig 1.1 Analog Folk, (2015). Dark Chocolate. [image] Available at: http://www.creativebloq.com/typography/tasty-type-food-101517292 [Accessed 6 Aug. 2016].

Fig 1.2 Clason, B. (n.d.). YAY [image] Available at: http://www.beccaclason.com/THE-SWEET-TOOTH-FAIRY [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Fig 1.3 Clason, B. (n.d.). hold what matters. [image] Available at: http://www.beccaclason.com/CHATBOOKS [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Fig 1.4 Six N. Five, Pini, E. and Reisinger, A. (2014). Toasted. [image] Available at: https://www.behance.net/gallery/18849929/Abelina [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Fig 1.5 Unknown, (2013). Sweet Christmas. [image] Available at: https://storage.googleapis.com/imgfave/image_cache/1356542419410799.jpg [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Fig 1.6 Walsh, N. (2014). Melt. [image] Available at: http://nickywalsh.eu/?gallery=words [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Eat your words

What’s your perspective?

Civil rights in Kuwait leave a lot to be desired. I constantly hear horror stories of how domestic workers are mistreated; deprived of food and sleep, underpaid, if at all and I see how the elite of society sweep it under the carpet and continue to preach morality. The sheer hypocrisy of it all disgusts me.

Whilst I cannot possibly understand the issues that many workers face here on a daily basis. I can, however, attempt to raise awareness and help to rebuild some trust in humanity. There are good people out there, people who respect their staff and treat them with dignity and kindness.

Domestic workers flock to Kuwait, leaving their families behind. Arriving in a new country, often not speaking the language and are flung into total culture shock all the while trusting that the system will protect them. Sadly it often fails them and this is common knowledge here but it is simply ignored and the people charged with protecting the vulnerable don’t seem to comprehend their plight. This situation sits heavy on my heart as this is not my country I am powerless to do anything and I feel equally as saddened by my lack of ability to act.

I used these feelings of sadness when composing this piece. So it really does feel very personal. I asked my wonderful nanny, Laila, if she would pose for a portrait for me and she kindly agreed. Her face represents all the domestic workers who do not have a voice. I took several shots of her using my smart phone. (I think after experimenting a little with photography during this module I may well invest in a decent SLR camera, so I am able to explore my interest further). Nevertheless, I was able to take some relatively decent images which I then edited using Adobe Photoshop to increase the contrast and crop in order to focus on the eyes.

 

I split the the word ‘perspective’ over three lines over the image. The viewer is therefore required to adopt a different viewpoint in order to read the whole word. I purposefully allowed the piece to remain quite ambiguous encouraging the viewer to evaluate the meaning from their own perspective. Whilst this does not directly raise awareness of the plight of the domestic workers, it may serve to draw attention and glean empathy from someone in a position to make a difference to someone’s life.

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All images by Lisa Winstanley 2016

What’s your perspective?

I see right through you

Whilst contemplating the notion of trust I began to consider who or what we value as trustworthy and why they deserve our trust. I also considered who least deserved our trust and with the current political debate, politicians, immediately came to mind. The fallout from Brexit and the current US presidential race have filled the news with vicious bile and hatred, stirring up an undercurrent of prejudice all fuelled by the media. The smiling faces of the politicians seem to ignore this frenzy and continue pushing their own agendas regardless, in order to gain power.

I wanted to depict the current state of affairs but also recognise that this is not something new. We have been manipulated and deceived by politicians for generations; their deception is in pain sight but vigorously denied. People, however, seem to be waking up and realising how untrustworthy our so called leaders are and have been.

In light of this I created a number of pieces depicting politicians with the phrase, ‘I see right through you’. Intended to represent the realisation that people are able to see past their proposed policies for change and realise that for the most part they are only out for themselves. Quite a heavily charged political statement.

My initial idea was to use a series of images of US presidents and British Prime Ministers as a backdrop to the typography. I also attempted to single out two right wing politicians  (above) but I wasn’t convinced that these communicated the message seriously enough. The typography and tone were not solemn enough to communicate the message I wanted to send so I disregarded these options.

 

I then attempted a slightly different approach, whereby the faces of the politicians were still obscured by the typographic treatment but more of the background was retained. This solution however, still didn’t address the solemnity I wanted to communicate. So I again disregarded these options.

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Fig 1.1

I then came across the image above and decided this would be a great idea to try on an image of a politician. I chose to use Donald Trump as he is a well recognised and current political figure. The controversy that surrounds him made his image the perfect choice to communicate my message of mistrust.

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Fig 2.1.

I was pleased with the end result but in retrospect I wasn’t convinced that this was a suitable piece for the visual narrative of my book. As a piece in its own right I do believe it works well but in terms of continuity and retaining the design language of my book it was not a compatible solution. I therefore decided to leave this idea alone and move on as time is moving quickly on! That and I am convinced that having Donald Trump’s face in my book would be something I’d regret in the future!

All in all removing this piece is the right choice, regardless of its aesthetic success.

 

Images

Fig 1.1: samstevensondesign.com, (n.d.). Noel Gallagher typography. [image] Available at: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/514606694897404028/ [Accessed 25 Jul. 2016].

Fig 2.1: CNN, (2016). Donald Trump. [image] Available at: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/donald-trump-is-allowed-to-be-racist-because-america-still-is [Accessed 25 Jul. 2016].

I see right through you

A visit to the printers

I have not had a vast amount of experience in dealing with printers in Kuwait but I had heard of Al Khat’s reputation for quality so I approached them via their website for a quote. I was invited to their production site to view their facilities and to meet with Mr Ma’an Sulaiman regrading my project.

Once on site I was given a tour of the presses along with their finishing department and this gave me a great deal of confidence in their ability to deliver the kind of quality I was hoping for for my book. Mr Ma’an, is a Lebanese national, as is my husband, Bill, which was very useful as they were able to communicate in Arabic with Bill acting as my translator.

However it is rather concerning that had it not been for my husband’s communication skills I would have been at a disadvantage in explaining my requirements. Perhaps now is the time to take those Arabic classes I have been promising to do!

Images taken at Al Khat Print House in Kuwait

A visit to the printers