The first semester started with an individual challenge to the Master's students.

        It consisted on a introspective project where one had to create a self-portrait piece, which could be in any possible platform or support.

        A self-portrait is a representation of an artist, drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted by the artist. Although self-portraits have been made by artists since the earliest times, it is not until the Early Renaissance in the mid 1400s that artists can be frequently identified depicting themselves as either the main subject, or as important characters in their work. With better and cheaper mirrors, and the advent of the panel portrait, many painters, sculptors and printmakers tried some form of self-portraiture. (Edward Lucie-Smith, S. K. 1987)

        For me a portrait should illustrate not only the appearance of its subject, but also details which link to his personality and past experiences.

        My experiments on portraying myself were based on an indirect reflection of myself, inserting some of my characteristics in my painting or drawing.

        In this case, I wanted to try a new approach, something quite different.

        After some doodling and sketching, I opted on using the photographic mosaic technique.

        This technique consists in a picture divided into rectangular segments, all then replaced with another photograph of an approximated color. When it is looked at from a distance, the individual pixels appear as the primary image, while close examination reveals that the image is, in reality, composed of many smaller images. Trademarked by Runaway Technology, Inc., in 2003 by Robert Silvers, a Master's student at MIT (US Trademark Office. Retrieved 2009-10-13), the technique

        Because life is made of bits of experiences and an individual is composed of his memories, each pixel of my portrait was to be replaced with photographs of dates, events and people that had marked me.

        That piece would be inserted in a tridimensional composition, expressing how my past experiences shaped my personality and how it shows on the outside, by my actions and appearance.

        The composition was influenced by the work of and Julien Vallée. His outstanding, creative and inspiring handmade graphic sculptures and stylish motion graphics are like passage ways to alternative dimensions, parallel worlds. He also has an incredible ability to connect elements in a way that his compositions always become direct means of communication.

        The tridimensional lettering forms a sentence from Fernando Pessoa, the brilliant Portuguese poet, and its meaning is much more than it appears to be.

        The phrase is a hymn to the Portuguese people, representing hope and belief in ourselves

        Because life is made of bits of experiences and an individual is composed of his memories, each pixel of my portrait was to be replaced with photographs of dates, events and people that had marked me.

1st brief

        Two weeks after my arrival at the UK, still getting used to the new life in Epsom, it was time to start the first semester work.

        As starter, on the first course meeting, each postgraduate student had to present themselves as well as their portfolio of work. The purpose of those presentations was to help us students to know each other and to, after that, choose the people we wanted to work with.

        The first project we would have to answer was presented to us and it consisted in, after forming teams within the class, brand ourselves as a team and represent that same team in the form of a website. Each designer or partnership had to create an interactive website design that had a recognizable identity and brand experience; defined a philosophy, rationale and methods of working; which explored through the presentation of work, how the team applied key theoretical, socio/cultural, political or industrial concepts to it; which had background documentation of research that explores a variety of contemporary screen portfolio styles and influences. The website should show the added value of the team, as well as the target companies (who would we want to work with? who would our audience be?)

        As for the presentation, it should explore and apply clear graphic design and communication tools to communicate the ideas of the team.

        Every presentation went smoothly and I was mesmerized with the talent, skills and impressive work shown by my colleagues and to choose the ones I wanted to work with was proving to be difficult. I know that in a team we have to combine, not only the skills of its members, but also there has to be a mutual understanding and a good relationship between them.

        Taking that fact into consideration, I looked to the people I already knew and with whom I had a good connection and between them five appeared to be the most reliable.

        When the presentations were done, I was asked by the two girls sitting next to me if we could be in the same group, and since they were part of the group of people I wanted to work with, I agreed with it. Later I received some invitations from other groups and people, but it was too late. Who knows if it was the best choice, or how would it had been if I've chosen to join other group? I don't know, but the group was then made and it was a powerful group made of strong willed people - me, Ines Torre; Rudo Tinofieryi; Rashi Puri; Helmut Mertens; Christina Sinn; and Chia Chieh Chih.

        Afterwards, I was approached by Lisa, who asked to join the team I was in.

        Since our team had already six elements, we had to first be sure it was acceptable to have an additional member. She then asked our supervisor, Damian Chapman, if there' was any problem in her joining our team, and after he said that it was perfectly fine, our team had turned from six into a seven member's team.

        We established a clear time plan and pursued on our first meeting making a first approach to how we would work and which were the personal influences from each team member.

        Unfortunately, there was some sort of problem with our team. We were notified that the team couldn't continue having seven elements since all team should have a maximum of six members and there was other team - Afterdark - which had only five members.

        That brought us into a hard situation, having to choose someone from the team to leave the rest. After a long discussion on the matter, all of us being reluctant in expelling anyone, the group came to the consent that Lisa, for being the last element to join the group, should be the one to leave.

        This was not an easy decision to be made, but everyone understood it was a necessary measure to be taken and it was decided in a democratic way, so everyone could have a part on it.

        Having read Marty Neumeier's publications The Designful Company: How to build a culture of nonstop innovation and The Brand Gap, I had the perspective that the power of a name strengthens the meaning of branding while promoting an industry.

        While taking into consideration the name of a corporation, it's needed to keep in mind the significance of branding.

        To settle on a name is not a mere coincidence, but, on the contrary, is a meticulous process and study of possible names and meaning. Consumers don't actually think about the magnitude of branding, but he needs to understand the brand's product or services.

        The route begins creating a simple name, consumers memorize what's simple, and also making sure your name can be connected with something positive - the consumer is attracted to items to which he can relate positive qualities.

        One more important point is that the name must be unique. If the name is too similar to another company's, then the public is likely to mix the companies in question, which decreases revenue.

        It is commonly known in the business world that a brand's name is of the highest significance for any businesses.

        Without an attractive and familiar brand name, it doesn't matter if the products or services are good, the income would almost certainly not be that encouraging.

        A great name would be easily associated with the products or services offered (people would relate excellent cars with Ferrari or Lamborghini, sportswear with Adidas or Nike, soft drinks with Coke or Pepsi the same way as fast food with McDonald's or KFC).

        The brand name is used interchangeably quite regularly within the term "brand", even though it is more appropriately used to particularly stand for linguistic elements of any product.

        It constitutes then a sort of trademark, if the name entirely categorizes its owner as the commercial font of the products or services.

        As my research on the subject revealed, relating to brand names, they can appear in many styles:

  • Acronyms (constituted of initials);
  • Descriptive (which illustrates a product utility);
  • Alliteration or rhyme (amusing to say and easy to remember);
  • Evocative (which evoke a real picture);
  • Neologisms (words invented out of nothing);
  • Foreign words (adopted from another language);
  • Founders' names (names of real people);
  • Geography (names of regions or landmarks);
  • Personification (brands that take their names from myths or legends).

        Not sure about what would be the best choice of a name for the team we just formed, on the first meeting I had with my team mates, we started by defining ourselves with just one word.

        Not sure about what would be the best choice of a name for the team we just formed, on the first meeting I had with my team mates, we started by defining ourselves with just one word.

        Each of us had, also, to specify our strengths in graphic design. As shown in the scanned mind map on the previous page, each member mentioned their roles in the area of Graphic Design, how they describe themselves and their definition of Graphic Design. The interesting point we got from those notions was that we all complemented each other, and each one had their own and particular value to the team. It was a good start.

        Knowing each member's strengths would make it easier to plan a strategy for our work flow, as well as for each one's roles. To maximize the time and do the best possible with a tight schedule, is always necessary to indicate specific roles for the elements of the team.

        I see myself as someone determined and hard worker, never afraid of late working hours or to fight for what I believe. My core strengths are the experience in working both in web design and usability, as well as illustration.

        Basically, I have had worked in the most varied areas of Design (for example, video editing, animation, airbrushing, photography and publication).

        The core motive that made me join the Masters course of Graphic Design & Communication in the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom was the search for training not skills but ideas. Because a good idea is what really matters.

        As for my team mates: Rashi is experienced in photography, flash animation and both print and typography, she defined herself with the word "simplicity"; Rudo has an amazing talent for packaging design and brand identity, and describe herself as unique - I couldn't agree more, as she's one of most remarkable people I've ever met; Christina is the force connecting the group an defines herself as creative, she is also strong in print design; Chih is simply crazy - by her own words- and she is strong in various areas, including the creative one; finally, the only male member of the group, Helmut, is a realist and the typography specialist.

        Resuming, we all defined Graphic Design as a tool to support communication and to understand information.

        As a group it was clear from the beginning that we wanted to represent ourselves as a young, fun and creative team that would approach design without fear. We wanted to create clever and wacky ideas that would translate into interesting design that communicates a message. We wanted to work for clients who are open minded and would give us the freedom to create unique ideas. An example of those companies is Coca Cola or Cadbury.

        After having presented ourselves to the rest of the team, in a more profound way than earlier before all the class, we started our quest for a name doing a brainstorm on random words and expressions.

        That brainstorm is illustrated in the mind map seen above. Our method consisted in quickly saying the first thing that came to mind on the instant. We then would search for the origins, context and meaning of each word or phrases.

        A list was made and every name analyzed. Some of the names we came up with were excluded for being already used by other companies and to select the final one from those left, each member voted on the names they preferred.

        By the end of the voting, the name chosen was Bring Back the Bacon. I personally voted on this name. It has all that is requested in a good brand name: is fun to say; easy to remember; and has that freshness of being something new. Plus, it means "bring home the prize", which is the goal of our projects.

        One of my key influences for the choice of that name was the personal website of Nessim Higson, The name is incredibly fun to say and is just basically a random phrase, but communicates the author's constant hunger for knowledge and new experiences. That was the exact feeling I wanted for the team.

        The website also inspired me for its interactivity - it challenges the user to explore and unveil its contents by telling him to drag his mouse trough the page.

        Initially we thought of using a food/kitchen based theme, so, the first sketches for the logo were around that theme.

        While sketching possibilities for a logo, we were also thinking of possible metaphors for the website. The kitchen theme would be an interesting one.

        Doodling with that idea of kitchen in mind, I thought: why not using a fridge as a metaphor? As a web page, it also has different levels, areas, and those aspects could work with a web interface. With this in mind, I tried to explore the concept, building possible information maps for the distribution of contents on the website.

        Parallel to this, I started playing with different ideas for the logo. Ultimately I thought about the crazy factor we said we wanted for our team. And what's crazier than the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street?

        The character was a perfect fit for giving a certain fun aspect to the kitchen based thematic.

        Developing that idea, I started with some sketches of our own Bring Back the Bacon monster (see previous and next page).

        The monster was later discarded as the whole concept of a kitchen based metaphor was rejected. The fridge, interface we ultimately chosen for the page, was associated with cold and harsh. It was a flaw from our part to not consider the English public as a primary client: the cold does not please the consumer, because the typical English weather is already too cold. It could work with the use of a oven instead of the fridge, but we also admitted that all that thematic was too cliché.

        So, we started all over again, from the beginning, trying to find the right way to conduct our project.

        I then created some characters to impersonate the members of the team.

        With those characters, the website could be developed through a comic strip, telling the story of the team, our beliefs and the way we work.

        Different styles of characters were tried - simplified shapes, as well as manga style illustration (see below and next page).

        This idea wasn't developed profoundly, as it didn't show the graphic style of the group.

        We defined ourselves as a group of young designers from around the world and following the motto "nothing without fun". Our understanding of Graphic Design is that it has to catch the attention of its viewers, with clever ideas that communicate a message.

        The comic strip approach wouldn't follow the path we had encrypted in our description.

        Putting that idea to the side, and going back to the search for an adequate logo to represent Bring Back the Bacon, I thought about the values we wanted to transmit to our future clients, besides the craziness.

        We would be loyal to our clients, only thinking on their behalf, and which animal is known for its loyalty? The men's best friend - the dog.

        With that I started making some doodles of dogs (see below).

        The dog should be both charming and crazy - to represent us properly - so, I thought about drawing him showing his tongue. That attitude would show the character as a rebel. But it wasn't quite passing the feeling I intended. How about a dog with an open mouth, barking loudly?

        It would express the impression that we're new but we're here to stay, and we want to make an impact. Is the kind of feeling of screaming our lungs out - that kind of freedom - which we think defines us as a team.

        And so, it seemed we had found our logo. But the truth is that it would work much better as a mascot. The logo was still missing.

        Then, we tried a different approach - a typographic logo. Playing with the initials from our name, BBTB (Bring Back the Bacon). That turned out to be the best solution for us.

        After some doodling, the final logo finally took form.

        For the colors, the bright yellow, so catchy, in contrast with a solid black.

        On one hand, yellow transmits happiness and warmth, but on the other it is the color of deceit. It also represents courage in Japan, and is a symbol of peace in the Indian culture.

        Reading the book The Elements of Color by Johannes Itten helped me understanding the reasons of using the yellow color instead of others (since it was also considered the use of red).

        Also, my perception psychology's knowledge from my Bachelor has aid me on this aspect - according to The American Journal of Psychology, yellow is stimulates the brain and the nervous system, activates the memory and encourages communication.

        Clearly this was the color which best described us.

        The main influence for the design of the logo is clear - the D&AD logo.

        Designed by Colin Forbes, one of the five founders of the Pentagram design studio, the D&AD logo has all the characteristics of success - it is attractive, simple, clear and efficient.

        Every neat piece of design needs a grand concept behind it. Is that concept that's going to preserve the core value of the designed article.

        With this project, we specified the "head banging" as main concept of our identity. It is translated as "yes, we can do it", which enforces the team's attitude facing graphic design.

        On our first brief, we needed an added value to our final concept, so it would be strong and efficient on delivering our core identity to the public.

        When we went to London, to ask the designers and creatives from established design agencies and business people to say yes with us, it marked the point we wanted to make clear - we are not on the way to be a top design team, we are already on the top.

        The sense of belief in our work was reflected on that act, and all the rest of the elements of the identity came along following it.

        Our concept was based on the happiness that we transpire in the team, inspiring each other , and reflecting the fun side of graphic design.

        With the identity of the team defined, the next step was to establish a concept, the big idea and the core value, which would bring the clients to us and make them choose our services instead of other companies.

        Going over the description of our team, we did not wanted to be seen as a regular design agency, but as a fun company, which reflects the way we feel about creating design solutions.

        With that in mind, we started working on the website prototype. Since we put aside the use of metaphors on our website, I started exploring minimalist layouts, with straight lines - it would fit perfectly with our style. Taking the black and yellow from the logo, those would be the main colors of the page, and, for the background, a plain white, giving it a touch of simplicity.

        However, there wasn't anything incredible about the page.

        It needed something different that would motivate the users to come back to our website. I was deeply influenced by some fantastic websites which explore this matter and please the user with interactive pages (see on the right and next page).

        What all these websites have in common is the fact of being different. It induces the user into revisiting the page once more to have that sensation of surprise he had the first time he encountered it.

        They also make an excellent use of color, setting the right mood to the interaction of the user and the page - being with its graphics or written content.

        In the current brief there was an imperative need of a fresh design.

        The web is already filed with too much flash websites, and, the truth is that everyone with flash coding skills can create a simple animated website, but only a creative mind can look over from that.

        I then came across the website of the Champagne Perrier-Jouet. It dazzles the user with a clean layout and soft lines, with some reminiscence from the Art Nouveau. An amazing aspect of this website is that it makes use of videos integrated in the layout giving it the difference factor - the same factor we wanted for our webpage.

        Following the example of Perrier-Jouet, our website should integrate videos as an added value to the page.

        The final layout was then quickly designed (see next page). The idea was to place a main video on the home page, which would have objects or elements that worked as links to the following pages, constituting on the main menu.

        As for the navigation, it would be made through sliding from a page to another. Later on, that sliding effect was rejected, due to technical problems and lack of time to develop it properly.

        We then opted for a simple navigation, without any animation or effect.

        Each member of the team would be wearing different masks of the team's mascot. However, the masks would have some element that would relate to the person behind it.

        Then, a symbol was designed for each of the team members, which could define their personalities and work methods.

        As seen on the previous spread, the BBTB website has four submenus by the names: culprits; ideology; work; and ring.

        The culprits' page starts with a fun and crazy video made from various shootings of moments the team spent together. I thought this would show to the user how we love what we do and how we have fun designing. It captures the joie de vivre we all have in our daily life and towards our work. At the end of the short movie, a message appears challenging the user to click on our mascots below if he wants to know more about the team members. Clicking on each mascot, it is possible to see a photograph of its related member, as well as a description of its role.

        On the other hand, on the ideology page the user can read about the philosophy that's behind our work methodology.

        As for the work page, since we were a newborn team of designers, it wouldn't make much sense to just display each team member's previous individual work. As a team, our work had to represent us as a whole. With that said, we decided to go to some of London's companies (design related or not) and ask them to nod their heads with us. As crazy as that may sound, the core meaning of that act was the fact that they would be saying "yes" to our team. Nodding their heads at the same pace as us shows how we didn't wanted to reach the industry - it showed us as being already there. The professionals shown in that video are Phoebe Chang, History teacher at London School of Economics; Tom Probert, designer at Coley Porter Bell; Luca Da Silva, chairman of Albert & Mildred; Nadia Kellas, freelance designer at Bostock and Pollitt; and the manager of London Graphic Center at Covent Garden.

        Finally, the ring page is the location where users or potential clients would be able to communicate with us, sharing their opinions and ideas regarding the team or its work.

        The music that was used on the background was of great importance for the group. We wanted a sound that wasn't annoying to listen to continuously, preferably without lyrics. It was then decided to contact different types of music bands or dj's. The hip feeling of electro music with odd added sounds would reflect us and that was what we needed. The contemporary aspect of that music style also matched our personalities.

        With that in mind, we got in touch with a fascinating Belgian dj by the artistic name of MagikBitum, who mixed a song exclusively for our team.

        Personally, the choice of music was well made, since my musical influences have strong electronic roots. But in my opinion, it should have had a more indie touch to it. Because we wanted to be known as alternative agency, meaning that we would be more than ordinary, more than mainstream.

        Music is an outstanding inspiration, for me as graphic designer, and I search for challenging sounds and lyrics, which stimulate my creativity. Some of the strongest musical influences on the work I developed through this design path are the Icelandic singer-songwriter, composer and music producer, Björk, and the Irish/English electronic duo, Moloko. Their visuals and sounds are sometimes strange, yet amazingly refreshing.

        The stationery for our team brand was not a requested item, but I proposed it to the team and it was accepted. Being this project about branding, I felt it was a aspect that needed to be explored.

        I started making some sketches and thinking of the kind of items that could be done, and designed the business cards and letterhead for the team, as well as a notebook and folder to store all the items (see below and following pages).

        For the business card, I idealized a pop-up system to be inbuilt in it.

        The card would have a closed version for an easy storage, and when pulled, the lid would reveal on the opposite side the Bring Back the Bacon mascot.

        A number of stickers and t-shirts were created by Rashi, showing the BBTB logo and mascot. They were part of the additional gimmicks of the project.

        After three weeks which passed faster than we had foreseen, the presentation day arrived.

        Our main focus on planning the presentation was to introduce our project development without leaving the core idea to the side. As a continuation of the "head banging" concept present on the website, we entered the presentation area with our Bring Back the Bacon masks on our faces and repeating with our heads the movement seen on the website. We also carried our BBTB mascot plushy with us to the stage.

        Even though our concept was strong and our ideas well thought, due to existing problems in the time management within this brief, the presentation wasn't prepared as carefully as it should had been.

        Therefore, we all knew how to explain and present our project outcomes, but because none of the team members was a native speaker, and with the additional insecurity it caused, communication mistakes were made. Also the language used was not at all the most correct one.

        Those factors had a depreciative effect in the jury's evaluation on the display of our work.

        This first presentation was a valuable lesson for me, relating to the time planning and management - with a strict deadline and a project to be developed within a short period of time, one has to be strategic in order to bring it into reality.

        One must know his limitations and based on that should try to break them.

        If our team didn't had any Native speaker member, each one of us needed more time to prepare ourselves for the presentation. That was a grand weakness that was revealed on the presentation, and made us lose the brief.

        But to work in a team is to expect some experiences like the ones we had during this first project. When a team has elements which are incapable of sticking with the time plan, is always hard to have good results within schedule.

        I've learned to impose myself and speak up when I feel that something isn't right, and is a great feature I'm taking to the future.

2nd brief

        The second brief that was given to us was print based.

        Each design team was to create an illustrated book or magazine by the name "Nursery Crimes". It would consist in a re-invention of traditional nursery rhymes, changing their thematic and message to face a matured audience.

        The project would have to have a strong concept, with a distinct theme running through it, exploring theoretical and communication perspectives which supported a print based storybook. The publication would be composed of twelve rhymes and illustrations, each two by each member of the group.

        Before approaching this brief my contact with nursery rhymes was quite limited, not being a native speaker.

        The research, at this level, was primarily a necessity.

        The term "nursery rhyme" is used for traditional children songs in English speaking countries.

        The early versions of those rhymes were only lullabies (in Portuguese, "canções de embalar"), sung to children to help them sleep.

        According to the Children's Literature: a Reader's History, from Aesop to Harry Potter by Seth Lerer, nursery rhymes were often associated with criminality and historical events (the rhyme "Remember, Remember" is an example of an historical event portrayed on a rhyme).

        Throughout my initial research I came across several Children's Literature illustrated books which I promptly analyzed.

        An interesting aspect that was common in every book analyzed was the use of bright and colorful images. The illustrations had a heartwarming feeling intrinsic to them, representing elements of the text very accurately.

        The text followed the clarity and simplicity adequate to its readers, consisting in regular font types, easily read.

        Other factor of relevant is the attention to detail in the pictures, adding the possibility to explore the images countless times.

        After this brief encounter with the Nursery Rhyme context, and having fully understood the purpose of the project, I started deconstructing the title Nursery Crimes.

        The mind map on the following page shows the analysis on the word Nursery, the word Rhymes and the word Crimes.

        I searched for words related to Nursery, trying to find some link between them and the thematic of crime.

        Then, I analyzed the types of rhymes that could be found in literature. Since the rhymes chosen would have to be re-written by myself, I considered this research very useful to that process.

        Finally, following a visit to the local Epsom Police Station, I added to the mind map every crime name that was given by the police officers. This list of crimes would be of much help on choosing the crimes with which I would associate my rhymes. Of course, the immediate link between Nursery and Crimes would have to be the crime of child abuse or pedophilia, for being directly related to children, but the other crimes on the list weren't discarded, as they might be useful to the creative process.

        In the first team meeting working around this second brief, the time plan of the work was established (see on the right). The first week would be to choose and alter the nursery rhymes into the crime theme, and with that done, the second week would be spent constructing our illustrations. With both the rhymes and illustrations finished on the third week our efforts would be directed to the making of the Nursery Crimes book, with time for the printing and binding also included.

        With the purpose of not being through the same experience of the previous brief, the final fourth week would be left free for preparation and practice of the final presentation.

        The plan wasn't followed by every member of the team, which would later cause the group to have the work late. Regardless of the way the team organized their time, I followed this planning and accomplished the whole work within schedule.

        My personal opinion regarding the time management is that it is absolutely vital for the correct function of work. In a group this becomes even more necessary, as everyone's work methods influence the rest of the group members.

        Nevertheless, the first week began for me as a search for existing Nursery Rhymes - popular or not.

        I started by going to the library and looking through the Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes. In that book, I was able to find the most popular and well-known rhymes, such as Humpty Dumpty or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

        Because of my great influences by horror and thriller cinema and TV series, I had already certain imagery well present in my mind. Having watched horror movies since my childhood, I developed a special taste for that thematic and graphics.

        The first nursery rhyme I was inspired to alter was "Curly Locks, Curly Locks.

        Because it reflected the endless love of a boy over the girl, Curly Locks, and the fact that he wanted to make her his wife and cherish her forever, I immediately considered the hypothesis of Curly Locks being a prostitute who the boy is willing to pay for her short time services.

        The contrast between the two visions is obvious and it would also be controversial, approaching the theme of prostitution.

        After some doodling around the theme and the words to build the rhyme, being it perceptible and easy to associate with the original poem, I then altered the rhyme to portray that decadent picture, which could now be read the following way:

"Golden Locks, Golden Locks"

Golden Locks, Golden Locks,

To please me, you might?

Should I ask your master,

How much, for the night?

Just sit on that cushion

For I'll come back for you.

Will you be nice and ready,

And shed those clothes too?

        The strongest visual influence and inspiration while working around this rhyme was Frank Miller's fictional universe of Sin City graphic novel, more precisely the twin characters of Goldie and Wendy, both blonde prostitutes, leaders of the self-governing group called The Girls of Old Town.

        Also, while doing my research in the thematic of both nursery rhymes and crime, I was fascinated with high contrast images and illustrations.

        That disparity between black and white, darkness and light, good and evil, would give the picture a highly dramatic sense. Adding to that, the use of black and white with a bright color, such as red or yellow would capture the eye and attention of the viewer easily as it is, by itself, shocking. That was the exact sensation I required for my transformed rhymes.

        Although the transformation I did to the Curly Locks rhyme followed the path I proposed, it still didn't have that shocking effect I was looking for. Another crime was needed. Perhaps a more horrible crime, so the readers would be terrified by reading throughout its lines. I then pursued on analyzing the crime list, searching for the ideal theme to illustrate.

        The strongest visual influence and inspiration while working around this rhyme was Frank Miller's fictional universe of Sin City graphic novel, more precisely the twin characters of Goldie and Wendy, both blonde prostitutes, leaders of the self-governing group called The Girls of Old Town.

        Also, while doing my research in the thematic of both nursery rhymes and crime, I was fascinated with high contrast images and illustrations.

        That disparity between black and white, darkness and light, good and evil, would give the picture a highly dramatic sense. Adding to that, the use of black and white with a bright color, such as red or yellow would capture the eye and attention of the viewer easily as it is, by itself, shocking. That was the exact sensation I required for my transformed rhymes.

        Although the transformation I did to the Curly Locks rhyme followed the path I proposed, it still didn't have that shocking effect I was looking for. Another crime was needed. Perhaps a more horrible crime, so the readers would be terrified by reading throughout its lines. I then pursued on analyzing the crime list, searching for the ideal theme to illustrate.

        After presenting the final outcome of my first rhyme to my team mates, I got the reaction I wanted - the surprise and horror on their faces while trying to picture the image of a little girl being abused and then chopped to pieces was terrifying to them. It proved that my objective was successfully fulfilled.

        Having decided on the rhyme, I started thinking about the way it would be more adequate to illustrate it.

        I started looking at traditional techniques of illustration, such as silk screen and woodcut. This last one, one of the first techniques used for the matter, had the particularity of evidencing high and strong contrasts and simplified shapes.

        Because, pursuing the same path for both the rhymes wouldn't be such a challenge to us as creatives, we wanted to have a certain something which would make our project distinct comparing with the other team's ones.

        As a member of the BBTB group, I asked myself once more what kinds of crimes existed. I started looking through news reports on TV and articles on the newspapers, with particular attention to criminal activity.

        I came across with the usual shocking crimes of murder and domestic violence, so common in our present society, but I also found some incredibly brainless criminals that barely succeeded on the crimes of theft. That rang a bell inside my mind - contrasting with the shocking crimes that would be present in one of our rhymes, the second rhyme should portray clumsy criminals through a comedic story.

        Presenting that idea afterwards to the rest of team, it was accepted promptly.

        I could then start the thinking process for the second rhyme.

        Previously, I had already came across with the Humpty Dumpty rhyme, and When I think of the character Humpty Dumpty I always have in my mind the image of a round little boy, considerably clumsy.

        Therefore, my clumsy crime would easily fit with this rhyme.

        The crime I had in mind for illustrate in my second rhyme was a robbery case that took place in the past year, in the United States, in which the robber, after being caught by the police, asked them to return the gun he had alleging that it was borrowed. That fact was confirmed afterwards by the police, turning the whole case into a joke.

                After some time spent playing with words, trying to find the best way to alter the original rhyme, the final transformed rhyme turned out the following way:

        I needed to be sure that the main idea of the rhyme was understood by the readers, and to be sure of that I showed the changed rhyme to elements both English and foreign.

        The story behind the poem was understood completely and every single person laughed reading it. That reflected the success in delivering the message through the rhyme. Having rewritten both rhymes, shocking and clumsy, I had already some ideas of techniques, color palettes and compositions for the illustrations.

        The doodling started once more, and for inspiration I read again Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in wonderland.

        To create a consistent book, every illustration needed to have an element which would link it with the rest. We thought of using the Bring Back the Bacon yellow color in every story, mixed with black and another color. That would connect all the illustrations making the book to be percept as a whole.

        As mentioned previously, the technique that mostly charmed me into using in my first illustration was the woodcut printing.

        Woodcut, a technique also known by the name of xylography, consists in carving an image into the surface of a chunk of wood, with the parts to be printed remaining at the surface level and the invisible parts are removed with sharp tools. The surface is then covered with ink with the aid of an ink-covered roller, filling the flat surface but not in the negative areas.

        To illustrate my shocking rhyme I've chosen the traditional woodcut trace adapted to a vector environment.

        After some sketching, I came across the idea of replacing the girl with the image of a porcelain doll, for it's fragility and the fact that it can be so easily dismembered.

        It would reflect the innocence of the childhood and the connection with the story behind the rhyme wouldn't be so obvious. The doll could have been left behind when the girl was kidnapped, or could be the remains proving that there had been a child there once.

        It could also mean that the child, stripped of her innocence, would leave her doll to the side, forgetting all about it.

        I mentioned earlier that I've always been greatly influenced by the horror cinema. Also, another important influence in my work and creative process are its film scores. In the particular case of this illustration, I was inspired by some pieces by James Newton Howard. Being my all time favorite film score composer, his work always took me to different universes, helping me to set the appropriate mood of an illustration or design composition.

        The exquisite use of melancholic piano notes, the interaction between flute and harp and the challenging melodies from the chords, create a whole atmosphere which helps me to unveil my creativity, even when I have those irritating creative blocks.

        For the Little Girl illustration the tracks that marked its development were "I Cannot See His Color" from M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and "Voices", "Be With You" and "End Title Suite" from M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening.

        Besides these pieces, the soundtrack from the Showtime's TV series Dexter by Daniel Licht and the CW's tv series Supernatural by Christopher Lennertz also influenced me in this project.

        Because both tv series have that sense of horror around their episodes, their soundtracks always bring me back to that environment of mystery - that's why it proved to be so helpful on my journey.

        In the composition, I wanted to display, besides the porcelain doll, symbolizing the little girl, the tree under which the child was laid to rest. But that element wasn't enough for the illustration to reflect an additional meaning.

        Looking into the rhyme again, I thought about the fact that the girl is held captive, perhaps in a cottage in the middle of nowhere - because she could scream and no one would hear her.

        So, in order to build a connection between the time when she is inside the cottage, chained, and the end of the story, when she finally is free to rest, I imagined a door opened showing light from the inside. The same light which would glow into the woods revealing her final state.

        I started with the illustration shown on the following page, in which, to help the viewer finding and deconstructing the poem, I pictured the rhyme flowing from the cottage door where the event happened to the tree where the little girl rested.

        I tried to draw near the idea with vector illustration, which proved to be the ideal method of portraying the image I had in my mind.

        Regarding the visuals of this specific illustration, I was influenced by Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes and Noma Bar.

        Burns and Clowes have in common the use of contrast between black and white in order to give the illustrations an increased deep feeling. Their graphic narratives are clear without making the message too obvious to the reader.

        As for Noma Bar, the artwork of this Israeli graphic designer provokes a second glance through the astonishing use of negative space. His illustrations are composed of a sum of the single image with a series of elements related to the theme behind it with which the first image is connected to, that give the final piece its shape. The color palettes used on his illustrations are also always correlated with the theme illustrated.

        An illustration can have an added value if it fulfills its purposes of delivering a specific message and also has something more to make the viewer wonder about its elements or composition.

        This aspect separates the common illustration from a remarkable one - which is the case with Norma Bar's pieces.

        The shelving Fill in the Cat by the Mexican collective of designers NEL, was another heavy influence by its use of negative space.

        Created from large, solid white blocks with characters cut out, only when the piece is deconstructed it is possible to visualize the whole concept and its different shapes.

        As the authors said, "the resulting emptiness is filled with the user's belongings and through this action the silhouettes' meaning shifts. The pieces suggest a continuous play between interaction and representation, where daily use generates a continuously changing story: (...) a living room where birds come to eat the cake's crumbles..."

        One other key influence in the project was the work of Otl Aicher, also regarding the use of negative space in graphic design.

        One of the leading German graphic designers of the 20th century, Aicher's work reflects the simplicity of pure graphic design. Responsible for the Munich Olympics logo and pictograms, he communicated each idea in a disciplined, organized and readable way.

        Regarding the font to use, in order to link the text of the rhyme with the illustration, I wanted something with a strong and evident impact.

        Therefore, a variety of different typefaces was tried and I experienced some fonts with splatters which reminded me of blood - such as Arslan's Blood.

        But unfortunately that font completely ruined the whole concept of the composition. To use blood splatters to write the rhyme, telling the story of the little girl, could work theoretically, the blood following the journey of the character. The main problem with that typeface was its legibility - playing with the characters ' size, to fit the movement on the action of the story, the text would not be easily read, some words being quite different to understand and even generating double meanings or difficulty in reading it.

        Only after that failed attempt, I realized that what I really was looking for was to communicate perspective and depth. The same perspective and depth present on the illustration.

        For that I used Barnes Erc by Eric Wiryanata. I came across that typeface experimenting different fonts with strict lines and bold shapes. I was still searching for impact through not only the text meaning but through its shape also.

        The font used fits the profile I idealized, being in a certain way a bit ironic for its handwritten style, almost grungy, but still very bold.

        The perspective within the font's characters goes smoothly with the whole style of the illustration because, even if there isn't an obvious perspective in the elements of the picture, there is the depth of field which gives the feeling of the distances within the composition.

        Although the typeface was already the right one, there was still something wrong in the composition.

        I then tried to alter it in order to fit not a double page spread but a four pages one.

        The problem consisted in the quantity of information and graphics to be displayed in a limited space. With two extra pages, I divided the rhyme into paragraphs and positioned each in a page.

        The light coming from the cottage door on the left glows through the trees into the location of the doll, taking the shape of a hand, which emphasis the feeling of the crime that took place and shows that the doll might not be just an ordinary toy, but something more important.

        Finally, I was satisfied with the final result of my illustration for the first rhyme (see next page).

        Having concluded my shocking rhyme illustration, it was time to concentrate on the second one - the clumsy.

        For this illustration I wanted to try something different from what I previously used. Since the crime to portray had a humorous connotation, I was inspired by pop art, more respectively the work of Roy Lichtenstein.

        "Roy Lichtenstein was the master of the stereotype, and the most sophisticated of the major Pop artists in terms of his analysis of visual convention and his ironic exploitation of past styles. The work for which he is now known was the product of a long apprenticeship." (Janis Hendrickson. Taschen.)

        I was deeply inspired by Lichtenstein's use of the comic book style into his pieces.

        The use of halftone was then my main focus for this illustration. It consists in a technique which simulates continuous tone imagery through the use of dots, varying either in size or in spacing.

        My second illustration, for the robbery case, was meant not to show a police environment of the crime being committed because the focus of the whole rhyme is the borrowed gun.

        First I imagined a gun in an evidence bag on a plain white background, but the picture was too obvious as it showed exactly what happened to that element in the story.

        That was not at all what I wanted for my work.

        After some experimenting and research I came up with the image of a fake gun which fires a little flag with the word 'Bang' in it.

        That image reflected the silliness of borrowing a gun to rob someone. Also, the fact that those guns are usually used in pranks or jokes reinforced the clumsiness of the crime.

        I then proceeded with this idea and designed a first sketch for the illustration.

        But although I tried to play around the contrast between the black and white, the weakness of this layout was that it was too plain (see next page).

        It wouldn't also be readable because the fold between the two pages would be positioned over the text area.

        While doing some experiments and trying to imagine the correct composition for the picture, I was inspired by the action-comedy NBC's Chuck TV series. The series tells the story of an "average computer-whiz-next-door" who gets an encoded e-mail from an old college friend (who was now working in the CIA) and that message embeds the only remaining copy of the world's greatest spy secrets into his brain. Its about being the accidental hero.

        Despite the fact that my rhyme was about a criminal and not a hero, this series story and visuals, and also its soundtrack inspired me while constructing the illustration.

        I decided to play with the lines giving a more dynamic feeling to the composition. Also, I thought about turning the second paragraph with the dialog into an actual dialog.

        As for the typography, I've chosen the freeware font Bearpaw because of its resemblance to a typical comic book font and the fact that it looks clumsily written.

        After some further analysis, I realized that the text was readable but the first lines were not understood correctly. For using the Humpty Dumpty of the start of the first lines as one only block fitting both lines the reader would get lost. He would not understand that those words were present in both lines, not just the first or the second.

        With that in mind, I changed the disposition of the text, fitting the readers' needs.

        Apart from the division of our Nursery Crimes book into two sections reflecting two sides of that thematic, the main concept of our book was based on another point.

        Taking the alternative term for Nursery Rhymes, Bedtime Stories, in consideration, we thought of changing the letter "e" and replacing it with an "a" - becoming Badtime Stories. The association would be immediately made and it would be related to a more mature public than the original tales.

        With that in mind, we continued to search for inspiration for our book composition.

        As I previously mentioned, among my key visual influences were the Showtime's TV series Dexter and the CW's TV series Supernatural.

        Dexter is the anti-hero, a forensic blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department, who is a serial killer in his free time, killing people worth killing - criminals who have escaped the traditional legal system or were never suspected in the first place.

        The tv series' title sequence by the agency Digital Kitchen, awarded with an Emmy in 2007 for "Outstanding Main Title Design", is itself a reference to the concept that each person has a two sides, two personalities. In Dexter's case that duality is present through the two characters - Dexter and the killer.

        The CW's TV series Supernatural, tells the story of two brothers who hunt supernatural entities and creatures.

        On the fifth episode of the third season, the theme involves bedtime stories. In the episode, those tales get twisted into the crime thematic.

        There is yet another TV series' title sequence which visuals and composition were a tremendous inspiration and influence for me - HBO's True Blood.

        "A truly hand-made sequence for one of the most watched dramatic series in HBO's history. The final piece is made of over sixty five shots of original documentary, studio, tabletop photography and found footage.

        Six individual shoots took place in Louisiana, Seattle, and Chicago on seven different still, film, and video cameras."

        The sequence is outstanding for it's reality and dual meaning.

        "One on hand, the title sequence suggests a progressive vision of vampires who are seeking social acceptance in the rural Louisiana.

        The title sequence makes explicit reference to both the gay and civil rights movements with images of civil rights protests, the Ku Klux Klan, a burning cross and a lighted sign that reads "God hates fangs."

        At the same time, it evokes a number of stereotypes that portray southerners as poor, rural, violent, drunken, religiously fanatic, highly sexualized, etc. It's difficult to see how the perpetuation of these stereotypes serves the progressive political agenda suggested by the civil rights framing of the show.

        Of course, as is often the case, the title sequence was produced outside of HBO, in this case by the design firm Digital Kitchen, who received an Emmy nomination for their efforts and has gone on to create an inventive, multi-platform advertising campaign that includes numerous True Blood-inspired "viral" videos and cross-product marketing with companies as diverse as Gillette, Harley-Davidson and Geico.

        Interestingly, the title sequence includes no explicit vampire imagery, although death, predation and rebirth are referenced metaphorically: a bloody opossum in the road; a slow motion rattlesnake strike; a frog being consumed by a Venus fly trap; a canine corpse decaying in time lapse and an insect emerging from a cocoon."

(2009, September 09). True Blood title sequence. Retrieved December 19, 2010, from Critical Commons Web site:

        While the team was unsure of the concept to adopt for our book, some possible covers were designed (see on the right and below).

        I then proposed the idea of using the inspiration of the ordinary police folder as the concept to involve all rhymes and illustrations. As a cardboard folder that could be easily found in a Police station desk or archives, has the purpose to organize the files related to a crime, our Nursery Crimes book could be one of those folders, filled with the crimes from the rhymes we reinvented.

        This became the final concept chosen for the project.

        However, those designs weren't pleasing me, because, in my opinion, they weren't appropriate for the core idea behind the book.

        Before even starting the illustrations, the group had some discussions about the binding of the book.

        Some research was done on examples of extraordinary types of book binding, because we wanted our book to be different.

        I was inspired by the fantastic work of bookbinder Michelle Ray.

        Her talent to transform the books into part of their content, their narratives, it's something that I have never seen. My personal favorites are presented on the left, and are examples of exquisite books.

        However, after settling with the final concept for the book, we decided that each tale would be treated separately, as distinct crime files, each showing the different style of its author.

        The BBTB Nursery Crimes book then ended up looking like a folder with multiple sections, from where each illustrated story would be pulled out and unfolded.

        The cover would be plane, with only the title shown like a stamp.

        Each tale would be labeled with a file name, where the reader can see the original rhyme and the author of its reinvention.

        The table of contents would be on the inside of the lid which closed the folder, and it had the resemblance of a sticker label. That detail would integrate the table of contents with the whole theme.

        On the back of each folded story, there would be an evidence bag carrying a sample of an element of the related crime.

        The real evidence transforms our fictitious poems into reality. This feeling of reality creates interactivity between the viewer and the book.

3rd Brief

        "A brand is the 'personification of a product, service, or even entire company.'

        Like any person, a brand has a physical 'body': in P&G's case, the products and/or services it provides. Also, like a person, a brand has a name, a personality, character and a reputation. Like a person, you can respect, like and even love a brand.

        You can think of it as a deep personal friend, or merely an acquaintance.

You can view it as dependable or undependable; principled or opportunistic; caring or capricious. Just as you like to be around certain people and not others, so also do you like to be with certain brands and not others.

Also, like a person, a brand must mature and change its product over time. But its character, and core beliefs shouldn't change. Neither should its fundamental personality and outlook on life.

        People have do brands. A person's character flows from his/her integrity: the ability to deliver under pressure, the willingness to do what is right rather than what is expedient.

        You judge a person's character by his/her past performance and the way he/she thinks and acts in both good times, and especially bad. The same are true of brands."

Robert Blanchard, former P&G executive, from "Parting Essay," July 1999

A brand is much more than a logo or an advertising campaign.

It is the pure representation and expression of an organizational vision.

That vision is frequently based on great intuition informed by careful and detailed analysis.

        It focuses on a profound consumer need, which the organization has unique abilities to meet and should be strongly encrypted in the brand's stated core, pledge and character.

        The strongest brands aren't born from a logo or a tag line, and aren't created with an advertising campaign.

        They start with a persuasive vision — an idea whose starting point is the consumer insight, which might come from personal experience, in-depth research, active listening, intuition, or many other paths to consumer understanding.

        Those brands try hard to comprehend the cultural context, fundamental values, hopes, anxieties, fears and other motivations, as well as the self image, icons that bring to mind memories and feelings.

        They are authentic, stand for something and own integrity; they possess a unique and consistent 'voice' and visuals.

        Possibly the most significant brand management activity is positioning the brand properly, because a well-positioned brand addresses vital consumer benefits in distinctive and compelling ways.

        It also generates an emotional link to the consumer. As a final point, it provides flexibility for future development.

        As Wally Olins recommends, on his "On Brand", every brand tests how it stacks up against its competitors regarding each of these associations:

  • Trustworthy and with high quality;
  • Authentic and relevant;
  • Unique and innovative;
  • Popular and Attractive.

        The first step in positioning a brand is in-depth research, which should provide you with the following: deep consumer insight; a precise knowledge of the competition; and a comprehension of the consumer benefits.

        Brand positioning is a combination of four main points - Target consumer (the primary spectators to whom the brand is intended to appeal); Brand essence (the core value of the brand); Brand promise (the claim of the brand); Brand personality (characteristics that help in the personification of the brand). As a whole, these ingredients define the brand.

        Based also on the books "More than a name" by Melissa Davis and "Branding - the power of market identity" by David E. Carter some notions on what makes a brand successful.

  • A brand is the promise of something (Promises: guarantee of quality / sense of prestige / sense of heritage);
    • Brands offer a differentiating factor and enable an audience to identify;
    • Effective brands en gage the audience (Engagement happens by identifying: the idea that connects it to the audience);
  • Communication must be qualitative not quantitative;
  • A brand must trigger emotions / the audience must want to be part of its;
  • Strong brands create a cult.
  •         Brands also are divided in three types: they can be functional (a good example is Visa); symbolic (like Moet & Chandon or Louis Vuitton); or can also be a sum of both, being both functional and symbolic (a perfect example of this type is Mcdonald's).

            The first vital point is to fully understand the brand and its direction to determine how far the identity should change.

            Re-branding needs clear communication, explaining the change and its impact on its audience. It should also build consumer confidence, clearly defining the audience and knowing your market.

            After a profound analysis of the brand, a route to market it should be chosen.

    A route that makes the brand stands out from the crowd.

            An important aspect to considerate is the style of the brand - it must capture it's the spirit, to make the association easy.

            A good example of an effective rebranding is the case of BP and Shell. These two petrol companies embraced a new and stronger image representing them, which reflected: in the case of BP - taking responsibility and getting eco-friendly; and for SHELL - evolving the logo into a simpler version of itself and making it easier to remember.

            Companies need to evolve with time and to not stagnate with their image, because the present world is filled with competition and all the markets are constantly growing.

            In my research I came across several interesting brand evolutions (see following pages).

            In this final brief, which marked the end of semester one of the present Masters year, we were challenged, not just to rebrand a mark, but to change its reputation, therefore, reinventing it.

            As a first approach to the brief, I went to the local stores, such as Superdrug, Boots, Waitrose and Sainsbury's, in search for brands which fitted the profile of the rebranding job.

            Those brands would have to have a bad reputation even if their products were good.

            In mine and my team mates' opinion some products were difficult to approach, such as dairy products due to the society's increasing obesity problems (specially the children's obesity); or alcoholic beverages, which recently had some of their publicity discouraged. Even if these were particularly interesting choices, we agreed to look for better alternatives.

            Having that in mind and after some hours of walking the aisles of those stores, I had a list of possible choices.

            After doing a brief analysis of the brands listed (see next page), some weren't adequate to the parameters of our project, some, for having been recently through a rebranding or a change in their image, and others due to some conflicts between their motto and our ideals.

            The non-carbonated bottled soft drink Oasis, owned by the Coca-Cola Company, was an interesting option. Its previous advertising campaigns, the Oasis Run Cactus Kid Run and the Rubberduckzilla, grabbed the public's attention and made the brand stand out from its competitors.

            The image of the brand appeals to its audience, but it would be a great opportunity to improve it.

            The fact that it belonged to the giant Coca-Cola was an aspect taken in consideration while analyzing the possibilities Oasis would proportionate.

            Coca-Cola is an iconic brand, having crossed decades maintaining its image and building an indestructible value associated with its products.

            In the case of Oasis, although the image is not as strong, the sense of freshness of the drink and even the name, which has a feeling of liberation, would be amazing to revolutionize the concept around it.

            A brand of snacks, bars, shakes, packaged meals and other dietary supplements, Slim•Fast is sold by Unilever, a multinational company, created from British and Dutch background.

            Unilever owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods, beverages and personal care products, such as Wall's, Lipton or Dove.

            It promotes and supports diets and weight loss plans featuring its products.

            Slim Fast makes use of the phrase "a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, then a sensible dinner", which illustrates the right way to use of the products within its plan.

            From a 2003 study, evidence was found that Slim-Fast is successful at accomplishing long-term weight loss and control for the followers of the diet.

            Although the Slim•Fast diet is proved to be effective and that it doesn't represent any harm to the health of the consumers, my team was in certain way divided and with different opinions about this product.

            I, personally, think it would have been an opportunity, since the reputation of this products is somehow deficient, and it would be a fantastic subject for our project, like the other brands analyzed, but there was needed a brand which pleased every member of the group. For that reason, Slim Fast was discarded.

            Founded over 160 years ago, as one of America's first skin care companies, E.T. Browne Drug Company, Inc. is the leading brand of cocoa butter products worldwide.

            Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula is the only brand offering a complete line of cocoa butter products, from creams and lip balms to soap, body oil, plus the original solid formula.

            Adding to cocoa butter products, the company promotes Palmer's Skin Success, a full skin care line that highlights the treatment problem skin.

            Palmer's Hair Success product line presents a whole range of hair care products.

            E.T. Browne Drug Company, Inc. has the only complete line of coconut oil products, which represents a natural choice to treat dry, damaged hair into hair that's bursting with shine and strength.

            The company is dedicated to produce only the highest quality, natural skin care products, meeting women's skin care needs.

            The image of this brand, however, doesn't match its care for the consumer or the results that its products bring when used. The orange is aggressive and doesn't reflect the softness that's intended for the product.

            Besides this fact, the lines of the logo are rigid, in contrast to its competitor ones.

            The website is hardly structured and the information isn't concise or clear.

            In my first experience navigating through the page, I had some difficulty in finding the subjects and relating information I wanted. It came across as both confuse and unaesthetic, and it didn't represent the quality expected from a skin and hair care brand.

            On the other hand, the packaging design matched the website style, showing a lack of appeal to the consumer: dull colors and tedious lines, with the strict logo and its hostile tones.

            E.T. Browne Drug Company, Inc's brand represented an opportunity for our team, but the brief stated that the main point of the project was to change a reputation, not just to do a rebranding. The reputation of Palmer's is strong among its consumers.

            Ryanair, established in 1985, grew from a small airline into one of Europe's largest carriers.

            Also known as the "queen of low-cost", Ryanair offers cheap flights to a vast number of destinations, not only providing aerial transportation to the main airports, but also to small port ones.

            In the last decade, Ryanair has added more and more cities and countries to its list of destinations increasing its domain.

            Ryanair's direct competitor is the low cost airline EasyJet, which provides similar services - cheap flights. In contrast to Ryanair, EasyJet has an appealing image and a consistent identity.

            The identity of Ryanair is diffuse. It changes dramatically from the website to the airplanes, jumping from a bold modern typeface to an italic and sleeker version.

            Other aspect of the company that makes it less appealing to the public, when compared with its competitors, is its reputation.

            It's known as having a lower quality of services, filling their interiors, which are very small and poorly decorated, with its own adverts.

            Of course that, if chosen as the brand to revolutionize, we couldn't change the dimensions of the aircrafts, but the possibility to change their interiors, as well as the crew's uniforms, for example, would be an outstanding challenge in addition to the project.

            Because the company only sells its tickets through its website, a serious improvement to the page would have to be done, as it was highly needed.

            If the website was the only link between the company and the consumers, then it should be usability friendly, clear and homogeneous in its navigation.

    Dominican Republic

            Other possibility considered was to change the reputation of a country.

            The Dominican Republic had a real brief to designers all over the world for the rebranding of their tourism.

            It would be really interesting to approach an identity like that, because of the dimension of the variables that have to be considered.

            Having been once in the country, I find Dominican Republic amazing and with the nicest people.

            Situated on the Caribbean, it's known by its wondrous beaches and relaxing resorts, having recently invested on the ecotourism as a new hallmark.

            Tampax is a well known tampon's brand owned by Tambrands, Inc.

            Even though it is the leading brand of tampons on the market, its image and advertising is enormously poor. The packaging does not appeal to women, having cold colors and harsh lines; the products advertising has been done in a repeating loop around the same theme - Tampax's tampons make women happy when they have their monthly cycle.

            The rest of the competition has similar approaches to the theme, so why not innovate with Tampax?

            This brand also has the advantage of having the products patent, as it was the very first brand of tampons.

            The point would be to approach the tampons universe in a different way. Not rejecting the truth about menstruation, which women do not feel good on those days, but trying to show an alternative side of it. And because it is a product for daily use, it represented an opportunity and an ideal project for our portfolio.

            Finally, after analyzing the brands and discarding some of them, the team ended up with three final options: Ryanair, the identity of Dominican Republic and Tampax.

            Because the group was sort of divided about which brand would be the best choice, we had a tutorial with Damian, hoping he would enlighten us in that matter. Our problem was not a disagreement between each of our preferences; it was the certainty of some members and the doubt of others.

            In that way, we prepared presentations presenting the analysis of those three brands and met with our tutor.

            After presenting each situation regarding the brands, Damian told us that the Dominican Republic's identity was more similar with an undergraduate brief than with a postgraduate one. It didn't have the factor of reality we needed for our portfolio.

            With that said and completely agreeing with Damian's point of view, we put that brand aside and focused on the other two.

            An interesting fact about the tutorial is that Damian mentioned that Tampax, being a daily use product, was an interesting brand to develop. In fact, when we later thought about that aspect, we all agreed that it was true.

            Besides that point, Ryanair would be a risky subject, since it would be difficult to access information about the company and its aircrafts. Plus we had little time to conclude the project and the bureaucracy we would have to be concern with only delay our work.

            Considering the pros and cons of both of the brands, Tampax appeared the ideal one.

            Tampax represented an amazing opportunity, since all the market follows the same pattern of approaches to the consumer. Because it's used daily, representing a need for the female population, it has to take in consideration the target public and, truth be said, the design and the language used is not at all the correct one.

            Having defined the brand whose reputation we'd change, the next step was to research its characteristics in a more detailed way and effectuate an in-depth analysis.

            After a search through Mintel, I was able to find valuable information about the brand's target audience, its market shares and its current positioning.

            In 2007 they held roughly half of the entire tampon market with recent estimates putting them at 51% of market share. In order to compete with the plastic applicator market they created Tampax Pearl and captured 12.8% of the plastic applicator market in its first year.

            The brand offers two basic products with variations that can be made to each - Tampax Pearl has a plastic applicator and Regular Tampax Tampons uses cardboard. Variations in the size differentiate the individual products.

            Its target audience is women aged between 15 to 55, but Tampax tends to focus more on the younger end of that spectrum. With girls entering puberty at younger and younger ages the brand see this portion of the brand as having the most potential. The Baby Boomer generation is now beginning to enter menopause and the market (especially on the older end of the spectrum) is shrinking. Tampax targets women aged 15 to 35 that live an active lifestyle. It even has an interactive resource page where women, especially teenagers and young adults, can talk with each other about topics that revolve all around being a woman, not just tampons or their periods. Also they can seek advice from those who have already experienced certain events.

            Tampax uses bright and colorful aesthetics for all of their marketing communications. Also the brand tends to use smooth, rounded and clean colors and patterns. As seen above, their website is great example of this.

            Tampax's current positioning on the market is based on the slogan - "Embarrassment happens, leaks shouldn't".

            The Tampax brand name allows to a markup of approximately anywhere from 50% to 122% over private label or a non-name brand tampons with the same qualifications. This means that simply putting the Tampax name on them allows to the charge twice as much for the same product in certain situations.

            A survey was conducted on 31/11/2009 to 138 people, sex indiscriminated and within the age of 15 to 40, which results pointed that approximately 97% of the public associates the brand's name with the product (see previous page).

            Due to the research made, I was also able to find which brands were in direct competition with Tampax, as well as their claims:

    Lil-lets has the slogan "Designed for comfort"; Kotex, having been through a redesign lately, has the "For the ultimate care down there" slogan; O.b. claims to "Set yourself free"; and finally, Natracare focuses on "Natural care".

            Relating to the brand's imagery, it reveals itself as cold, hard, sharp, rough, it seems not comfortable at all and looks too edgy, reminding me of medication's graphics.

            What differentiates the brand from its competitors is that Tampax is the most traditional brand of the product, it is the leading brand in the UK, acting as a stereotype for tampons.

            In the minds of consumers, Kotex is seen as soft, feminine, warm, comfortable, and, comparing with Tampax, it is more modern and trendy, as well as younger.

            O.b. has a round, soft, clean and light feeling connected to its products, although its packages look a bit like diapers' ones. It is one of the leading brands in Europe and America, and customers identify high quality with the brand.

            Other brand of tampons, Lil-lets has also a round feeling, and its packaging appears as a "cough sweets" package. Even though its appearance is not the best, the brand is still represented as the leading one in UK.

            The communication vehicles which Tampax uses to deliver its claims and motto are TV-spots, print ads in magazines, outdoor posters, its package, and its website. The performance of the communication though, is based on a childish language, translated as a stereotype in consumers mind, linked with the "old fashioned" and the "traditional".

            So, at this point we started asking ourselves how we could add brand value to Tampax.

            Since its current brand value sat upon the fact of it being well known and a traditional brand, we considered the possibility of following a different concept, more connected with the necessity women have of feeling beautiful, even during their monthly period.

            Several brands of this market claim to offer women happiness (such as Always, that wishes women "a happy period"), but the point we wanted to focus on is that we are aware that no one feels happy during those days and that Tampax only comes as a help to minimize the pain and discomfort. That would be the main difference that would distinguish the brand among its competitors.

            Also, it would be a change to the public's mentality, providing an alternative view over the topic.

            With the central concept lined up, it was time to direct it into both the brand's evolution and revolution paths.

            We knew that the evolution route should portrait a natural development based on the brand's current imagery.

            On the other hand, the revolution should be a complete change on the brand's visuals.

            We still needed a strong link between both of the design paths. We needed a slogan which could be applied to both evolution and revolution.

            At first, I proposed the phrase "In love with myself", which evolved to "In love with me". It was inspired by the song with the same title by David Guetta. The only problem this represented was that it could perhaps be connected with masturbation, and that wasn't an idea we wanted associated with Tampax.

            Therefore, we opted for the single word "Me". It showed precisely the kind of impression we wanted - to be a little selfish, and only mind about ourselves.

            A mood board is made of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator.

            Designers and other professionals use mood boards to develop their design concepts and to communicate to other members of the design team their point of view.

            It enables the creative team to illustrate visually the direction of style which they are taking.

            Due to the complexity of this project, we needed to clearly set up the feeling for each design.

            Our mood board was used as a frame of reference during the design process, helping us to stick on a consistent path.

            We decided to build our mood boards physically, in two A2 boards, because constructing mood boards in a digital form may be easier and quicker, but physical objects often tend to have a higher impact on people because of the more complete palette of sensations they offer.

            For the evolution mood board, we wanted to portray the purity of cotton, a connection with nature and the sweetness of honey.

            Inspired by the clean and simple lines of Japanese contemporary design, we used a palette of clean white and pastel shades.

            The images related to the beauty treatment we desired, by showing photographs of relaxing landscapes and moments, and spa environment and ambient.

            For the revolution mood board, we wanted the smoothness of velvet, the softness of silk, the purity of a feather and the feeling of a drop of perfume touching the skin.

            We were inspired by Victorian/Edwardian patterns, with a palette made of light pink in contrast with luxurious red, an immaculate white and the royalty of gold.

            The images related to the beauty feeling we so wanted to portray, by showing photographs of beautiful women, jewelry. accessories and clothes.

            The attention to detail was also an aspect considered, being reflected in the pictures of the movie Marie Antoinette. That attention to details in the art direction of the movie, was indeed the attention we wanted to use as concept for the evolution path of this brief.

            As mentioned before, the core theme of our evolution of Tampax was the spa.

            Our main purpose to reflect on this part of the project was the feeling of being pampered, that need that every women has, especially on their monthly cycle.

            Some treatments based on the use of body oils and massages, help women by easing their pain.

            Because of that, the Tampax brand would evolve into that deep sense of relaxation, providing women with the feeling of being cared.

            The motto of the new design would be "pampers your heart", giving emphasis on the purpose of the evolution of the brand.

            With the strategy defined, I started doodling around the concept for the packaging while some other members of the team were working on the logo.

            Inspired by Japanese culture, I used the Lotus flower as influence on my designs.

    The purity and peacefulness it represents was a perfect link with our evolution concept. Other possibility would be a hexagon shaped packaging.

            Because one of the ideas connected with the project was the sweetness and purity of honey, and also for being a natural resource, it would fit the brand.

            Due to the simplicity of lines found on contemporary Japanese designs, I also tried to experiment with a pyramidal shape.

            The first sketches were similar to a Chinese food take out packaging, so it wasn't appropriate.

            Then, I tried to draw a design that would be more similar to a Buddhist bell.

            That would be connected with the "Zen" feeling of relaxation of our evolution theme.

            However, all this ideas would be too much of a change for an evolutionary path. For that, they were discarded.

            Created by Rashi, the new Tampax logo would be a very soft and swinging handwritten brand designation, which makes the brand easy to remember.

            It was important for the new Tampax design to be very clean, clear and comfortable.

            The Logo could be used in three different colors, which are connected with the product.

            The Tampax color palette would consist of:

    • rose bright c 0 / m 55 / y 24 / k 0
    • rose dark c 0 / m 55 / y 24 / k 10
    • green bright c 27 / m 0 / y 63 / k 0
    • green dark c 27 / m 0 / y 63 / k 10
    • blue-grey bright c 10 / m 0 / y 0 / k 39
    • blue-grey dark c 10 / m 0 / y 0 / k 49
    • white / black

    The following fonts were used:

    • AG BOOK ROUNDED / bold — for claims, headlines;
    • AG BOOK ROUNDED / regular — for subtitles and texts.

            The font size can be chosen individually. But it is important to see that the proportion of each text element achieve in combination a high level of cleanness.

            We opted for a simple packaging design, with a white box and simple lines and text with pastel soft tones. There would be a lateral window on which would be possible for the consumer to see the appearance of the packaging content.

            Also the view insight the packaging gives the customer the feeling to know what they buying and that they buying the right product.

            The new Tampax packaging would be very functional. It is easy to open, and very important easy to close as well.

            The pattern is optionally expandable.

            It consists of soft and smooth clouds, and could be used as design element in every context.

            The new imagery concept of Tampax is clean, pure, calm and soft.

            The soft colors of the packages are shown in combination with white and a calm picture of a beautiful woman.

            For the advertising campaign, I developed a TV commercial with simple shots of women having relaxing moments and just feeling comfortable with themselves.

            Based on the pattern created for the brand, I designed a new layout for the Tampax website.

            With a cleaner appearance, it would be easily directed to the audience.

            The navigation would be clear and fast due to a menu easy to comprehend.

            As a new feature, to add value to the website, me and Rudo created an iPhone application. With that, the consumer would be able to access their period calendar, discover tips on how to ease their pain on those days, and more information on the matter.

            The language used follows the slogan "Me", having menus like "My Tampax" or "My Calendar".

            Continuing with our main purpose to reflect the feeling of being pampered, feeling and looking beautiful, we kept the slogan "Me" and approached it through a new vision.

            To revolutionize Tampax brand, our main focus was to transform the whole idea behind a tampon brand.

            The aim of this fraction of our project was to mature the imagery of the brand, making sure it transmitted to women the experience of feeling and looking beautiful.

            While searching for a theme to portray the essence of beauty and feeling pampered, we came across the art of both 17th and 18th centuries.

            I idealized some concepts for the packaging and logo based on the sensations I got from the mood board.

            Thinking about the image of a jewelry box, I made some sketches for the new Tampax packaging.

            I was also inspired by cameos from the XVIII century. Often worn as jewelry, these sculptures are carved onto stones.

            The themes were either scenes of Greek or Roman mythology or portraits of rulers or important dignitaries. In history, agate portrait cameos were often gifts from royalty to their subjects.

            That sense of royalty matched the mood of our design concept.

            The new Tampax logo is a combination of the brand's name and four curved leave symbols.

            Depending on background or design surrounding the logo could be used in three different color combinations (see below).

            For the range of Tampax products a product label was designed based on the Corporate Design.

            This product label includes all Tampax products as a product family in its whole, but gives each product also enough space to show its strengths.

            The front label presents the product to the consumer, while the back one has all its details and characteristics.

            Each product has its individual claim, which fits into a claim family: love me/pamper me/adore me

            The fonts used were Bodoni BT / book, for claims, headlines and text; Bodoni Ornaments ITC TT / regular, for the pattern; and Edwardian Script ITC / regular, for subtitles.

            The size can be chosen individually, though it is important to see that the proportion of each text element achieve, in combination with others, a high aesthetic level.

            At the end, the chosen packaging would be a circular shaped one.

            The entire packaging is composed of the pattern created for the outward casing; front and back label which is positioned at the center; the inner casing, which has just one color matching a piece of the pattern on the front; a black rose, on the top; and, on the back, an hygienic sticker, to prove to consumer that the packaging was sealed.

            Like the evolution, the pattern created for the revolution path is expandable.

            It consists out of two symbols of the Bodoni Ornaments ITC TT / regular font, and the colors used are magenta and bright gold.

            The Tampax revolutionary color palette consists of: white; black; magenta (c 0 / m 100 / y 0 / k 0); dark gold (c 40 / m 40 / y 85 / k 10); bright gold (c 20 / m 20 / y 60 / k 0).

            Each product has its individual color combination, to be easy to remember and to identify for the customer.

            For the new imagery concept, we divided the pictures into two categories: emotional and informative pictures.

            The first are pictures which transmit the feeling of luxury, beauty and relaxation. In these images, the product is on a secondary plan.

            The informative images are simply close ups of the product.

            These would show the product in a luxurious way. The purpose is that the viewer must be able to get the feeling that the product is a design object which he wants desperately.

            The TV advertisement was shot with the same feeling of luxury we wanted to have on the whole concept of this part of the brief.

            Finally, we went even further with our commitment to the concept, and decided to add value to the brand by creating a new range of pain reducing and relaxing products, such as body spray; bath salts and oils; bath bubbles; or even soft and smooth towels.


    • Adams, Hazard, and Leroy Searle, eds. Critical Theory since 1965. Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1986.
    • Birren, Faber, Editor. The Elements of Color: A Teatise on the Color System of Johannes Itten. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970.
    • Blackwell, Lewis, and David Carson. The End of Print: The Graphic Design of David Carson. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2000.
    • Chermayeff, Ivan, Tom Geismar, and Steff Geissbuhler. TM: Trademarks Designed by Chermayeff & Geismar. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000
    • Dondis, Donis A. A Primer of Visual Literacy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1973.
    • Drucker, Johanna. The Visible Word: Experimental Typography and Modern Art, 1909-1923. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
    • Jacobson, Egbert, Editor. Trademark Design. Chicago: Paul Theobald, 1952.
    • Johnson, Michael. Problem Solved: A Primer in Design and Communication. London: Phaidon Press, 2002.
    • Lupton, Ellen, and J. Abbot Miller. Design Writing Research: Writing on Graphic Design. New York: Kiosk, 1996.
    • Millman, Debbie. How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer. New York: Allsworth Press, 2007.
    • Muller-Brockmann, J. The Graphic Artist and His Design Problems. New York: Hastings House, 1961.
    • Pentagram. Pentagram Book Five. New York: Monacelli Press, 1999.
    • Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. New York: Routledge, 2006.
    • Wheeler Alina. Designing Brand Identity: A Complete Guide to Creating, Building and Maintaining Strong Brands. New York: Wiley, 2003.