Feedback needed on latest design project - Spreading positivity in 2020 and beyond.....

Milcor88

New Member
Hi All, New member here!

I am currently a year 3 (level 6) UK based BA (Hons) Graphic Design student nearing the end of a project I did on spreading positivity and changing perceptions of 2020 through visuals.

I have attempted to get feedback on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin so far on multiple different pages. I also set up an instagram page but I have not had much feedback which I need for the course.

I am hoping that there are some nice people here that can help me out!

I did a series of designs and then wrote a blog post about the designs which can be found here;

[link deleted - Levi, Moderator]
I would MASSIVELY appreciate some form of feedback on the designs as I am trying to gauge the impact and which designs are best/worst and why etc.

Whatever you have to say I'm interested to hear! :)

Thank you in advance.

Corey
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
We're happy to give feedback on your work but prefer it to be posted directly on the site, as such I've removed the link.

Please feel free to post some imagery directly on the forum.
 

Milcor88

New Member
We're happy to give feedback on your work but prefer it to be posted directly on the site, as such I've removed the link.

Please feel free to post some imagery directly on the forum.
Hi Levi, thanks for the quick response. The main reason for the link was to give context to the designs so that they made sense but I guess people can still give feedback without that, just maybe not as accurately. I did attempt to post some images to the group but some of the images which were as small as 1.5mb were too big for the site. What is the maximum file size per image?
 

Milcor88

New Member
OK, I have attached some of the images from the project given the limit is 10 per post (I may post others depending on how the feedback goes) lol.

Any questions about any of the concepts just let me know! as without the concept they could be seen as ambiguous in some cases :)

Thank you!
 

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Milcor88

New Member
Some more of the designs from the project...
 

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hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
The medals is a good one to use the medal colours as the background.
The typography of the £32 million doesn't look right. I'd have £32 the largest - the million fit underneath.
I don't like the cartoon drawing - I just don't. It's not very endearing and a bit insenstive.

George Flyod one is good - but a 'catalyst' is wrong thing to say - the man was murdered... If anything the police officers were the catalysts... but that's another days story.

Stairs thing - why are people falling off. and going up is seeing as success - rising to the top - and it goes 1-4 then lock down? The hierarchy is wrong here.


Eye Heart Lock Down - rip off of Paul Rand - unoriginal.
2020 with that stretch font that is everywhere - unoriginal - sticking a covid thing behind gives me nothing.
Matrix reference - only if you saw the movie - nothing really happening here. Glass with up down arrows... get it glass half full or empty - it's not great is it? What's the point of it?

Spread Positivity the distance between the two P's is too great it's hard to read - sticking it on a bunch of things does nothing.
The message isn't great and not in line with NHS guidelines. Spreading COVID and spreading positivity aren't related to one other.

Baby milk 1st world vs 3rd world - doesn't make sense. I have nothing to critique here. It's not great. No message, no call to action. No meaning.


Your best work here is using the medal colours as a background.
I'd prefer to see this as a full background with the medals underneath at the bottom of the image.
£32
Million

As the text.
And incorporate the image of the gent in the image in a tasteful way.
 

Milcor88

New Member
Thanks for the feedback,

I think you have missed my point with alot of designs which is why I originally posted a blog link to add context. Without the link your feedback tells me all context was lost.

Ok I understand what you're saying about the 32 million typography. Re the image what do you suggest as being more endearing? My thought process was to go for a hand drawn simplified look to signify authenticity instead of a generic perfect vector based homage.

George Floyd - what I meant was that his murder was the catalyst for change. Not that he himself was the catalyst.

Stairs - based on the UK based tier system for quarantine for covid. As it worsened restrictions got worse and worse until the whole country was in full lockdown. It was effectively climbing levels of intensity getting further from normality. The person on the right hand side is not falling. They are walking back down to normality. As its an optical illusion you might not catch it the first time.

Eye heart lockdown - was directly inspired by the Paul Rand piece and Milton Glaser I love NY. I don't see it as a rip off.

2020 stretch - Not sure what to say here. Ok well it transitions into 2021 rather than staying just 2020. Also the empty space in the '1' paired with the covid and injections signifies the start of beating the virus.

Matrix - was meant to be a perception piece about 2020 and what choice they would have taken if such a choice was actually possible.

Glass - yes half empty half full. Again another perception piece.

Spread positivity - ok feedback taken on board.

1st world 3rd world - a play on crying over spilt milk. Putting the difference between the two worlds into perspective and trying to make people think about how easy we have it in general compared to the 3rd world yet they remain content whilst we stay privileged in our bubbles and metaphorically cry.

I hope the above gives a bit more context as I knew it would be lost without explanation.

I appreciate the feedback. Maybe I need people to be brutal lol :)
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
I think you have missed my point with alot of designs which is why I originally posted a blog link to add context. Without the link your feedback tells me all context was lost.
The thing to remember is that most people would see the designs without context or the blog post explaining things.

If your designs aren't 'understood' without a blog post then have your designs really fulfilled the 'brief' being used to design them in the first place..... I'd say no and I'm guessing most of us on here would say the same.

I don't necessarily agree with all the topics chosen and your 'explanations' in some cases as well if I'm being honest.

Also I didn't even realise the 'head' was Captain Tom....
 

Milcor88

New Member
Ok which topics do you not agree with? So that I can make note of it?

Also what specifically do you not agree with? It would be useful to know.

Re the Captain Tom 'head' do you have a suggestion for what style you think would work better with the overall design? Or how to improve the existing? Or is it more of a scrap the head completely and go back to the drawing board scenario?
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
As previous posts really. I'm not even going to read all your explanations - as a graphic designer, the visuals should speak for themselves. You told us the brief, and what you have shown just falls a bit too short I'm afraid.
There's no mention of any actual positive things to come out of the pandemic, ie environmental advantages, families getting together etc. It all smacks of quantity over quality. A bit more research is called for I think.
What's the BLM one mean? I was expecting the lettering to make the shape of the fist or something. Generally, a bit more thinking and sketching is needed before doing some nice shiny visuals.

The Spread Positivity design just doesn't work for me, more than the obvious that Hank mentions. You could have made it into a sun or something at least, it's not enough with just typography.

Not sure what to say about Cap Tom, I didn't realise it was him either. I think you need to show him with the walking frame. There's a book about him with an illustration that doesn't really look like him either,
but he's got his zimmer and jacket and medals and so we know it's him.
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
I think you have missed my point with alot of designs which is why I originally posted a blog link to add context. Without the link your feedback tells me all context was lost
Thing is, as a my moderator I can still see your link. And I read it.

I gave you critique. And the eye thing is a rip off. You even said you took the idea from Paul Rand and also the I love new york. You admit it.
You havent improved it, enhancednit, given your own spin, done anything different - its basically a catchphrase.

And who is going around saying that anyway?

More aptly I would give you more dues if I said i hate lock down. Thats more the mood of things, I would imagine.



You have my critique, take it or leave it.
 

Milcor88

New Member
Thing is, as a my moderator I can still see your link. And I read it.

I gave you critique. And the eye thing is a rip off. You even said you took the idea from Paul Rand and also the I love new york. You admit it.
You havent improved it, enhancednit, given your own spin, done anything different - its basically a catchphrase.

And who is going around saying that anyway?

More aptly I would give you more dues if I said i hate lock down. Thats more the mood of things, I would imagine.



You have my critique, take it or leave it.
One of my module questions involves utilising an existing idea but creating an alternative idea or design.

My spin off was the phrase itself 'I love lockdown' nobody is going around saying it. It was something which I was trying to spread as a message rather than negatively focusing on reasons to hate lockdown.

I created a version of it which I didn't post here that had numerous positive reasons that we could enjoy being in lockdown or at least make the best of a bad situation included in the poster. The wording came from my social media following as I asked them all to give me 1 positive word about 2020.

My observations were that everyone moans about lockdown but forgets the reasons why sometimes it can offer positivity.

If my poster had said 'I hate lockdown' that would have gone against my brief as I would have been knowingly spreading negativity.

Thanks again for the feedback.
 

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sprout

Active Member
I'm guessing most of us on here would say the same.
That’s exactly what I was going to say, but you got there before me.


It’s dead simple. If you have to explain it, it is not working.

No one is being horrible or needlessly cruel in saying this, but as Levi said, most of us who’ve been doing this for some years will likely say the same things.

It’s all about visually communicating, clearly and succinctly so the intended audience gets the intended message. You can (and often should) be clever and a little lateral with it, but you can’t be so obtuse that people either don’t get it (tier 1-4 steps / D&AD-type pencil with S and H – absolutely no clue. Red and blue pills?!!), or even if they do, it says nothing of interest or is simply not meaningful.

With the ‘I love lockdown’ one, for example, aside from what others have said (rightly so, in my opinion) you haven’t really shown any positive benefits and it is something you have to be very careful about anyway. For a lot of people, there aren’t a whole lot of upsides of lockdown and many people for whom the downsides have been extremely traumatic, either directly, emotionally or financially. You have to be very, very sensitive to this when extolling positive benefits, otherwise, at best, you sound glib or more likely just plain offensive and hurtful.

Imagine seeing a poster telling you to be positive about COVID when your mum just died, alone and struggling for her last breath.

That said, it can be done. One of the huge benefits that has come from this is the fact that many people have had the opportunity to just stop a while and re-evaluate what is important to them – something modern life doesn’t afford most people the opportunity to do most of the time.

To just say I love lockdown is pretty vacuous and meaningless. You need to both state something actually positive and add something to people’s way of thinking that may not have previously occurred to them, otherwise what’s the point?

Speaking of which; what is the point? What is the reason the project exists? That’s not meant to sound as harsh as it does. I am just questioning the motivation. What problem are you trying to solve and for whom? Why are you spreading positivity? Is it an altruistically-funded happy campaign? If so that doesn’t come across all that plausibly. It would make more sense if it were a campaign for, say, a mental health charity highlighting the benefits of positivity for those locked down and prone to depression (though arguably a patronising over-simplification).

Overall, despite specific criticisms, I’m left thinking, ‘Yes? And? What’s the point?’ I get that we could all do with some positivity, but design is about solving an actual problem and fulfilling a need – with an outcome. Your call to action feels a little weak and a bit of an afterthought. Spread positivity, not COVID. I could be a miserable bastard (some might say…) and still do the right things to avoid spreading covid, or I could be Doris Day (OK, a bald, middle-aged, male Doris Day!) and not bother to put a mask on or wash my hands. You see what I mean? You are making a comparison about two things that don’t necessarily juxtapose all that tightly. You’ve just found a commonality with the word ‘spread’.

For me, the whole thing just doesn’t gel. There seems to be no point. There are one or two fairly OK bits, but where are you going with it? The thinking just feels a bit lightweight. Needs to go deeper and more coherent.

Bet you’re sorry you asked now! Just remember, all of this is not a personal slating. It’s all intended to help you improve and give the project some substance.

Finally, I agree with the others re the P thing; trying to, use the letter P to do two jobs doesn’t work. That sort of thing – which is rarely avoids being a bit of cliché anyway – only works with alliterative phrases.

Good luck.

Right, it’s beer time now…
 

sprout

Active Member
Ah, I see you positively responded re the I love lockdown thing, whilst I was writing. Thing is, The original was not simply using about replacing the word love with a pictograph of a heart. It was brilliant as it tapped into a mood at the time. It hit exactly the right tone at the time. Everything that emulates with a different intention, just comes across as very tired and extremely over-used. I suggest picking a different existing idea. That one has been done to death.

Right, I’m definitely going for a beer now…
 

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks again for the feedback.
Hopefully you find the positives in it. A lot of us doing this a long time.

I once spent two weeks on a presentation for a big advertising agency, one of my first gigs. I wad so proud and ready to wow all the pros.

Five minutes in and I was ripped to shreds, my work was literally torn up and thrown in my face.

It was the first and last time I ever let myself be embarrassed like that.

But not as bad as what one of my first jobs when I made a small typo in a book, I was brought out the back and battered!

But I didnt have a forum of pros to draw on at the time.

Believe me, you CAN do it.

Push yourself!

If someone handed in what Paul Ramd did for IBM now they would be punched in the dick or equivalent.

Why? Because it is already done.

Put a heavy sweater and a jock strap on cos you are going to be punched and kicked in the crotch (metaphorically)

Thats the graphic design career.
 

Milcor88

New Member
As previous posts really. I'm not even going to read all your explanations - as a graphic designer, the visuals should speak for themselves. You told us the brief, and what you have shown just falls a bit too short I'm afraid.
There's no mention of any actual positive things to come out of the pandemic, ie environmental advantages, families getting together etc. It all smacks of quantity over quality. A bit more research is called for I think.
What's the BLM one mean? I was expecting the lettering to make the shape of the fist or something. Generally, a bit more thinking and sketching is needed before doing some nice shiny visuals.

The Spread Positivity design just doesn't work for me, more than the obvious that Hank mentions. You could have made it into a sun or something at least, it's not enough with just typography.

Not sure what to say about Cap Tom, I didn't realise it was him either. I think you need to show him with the walking frame. There's a book about him with an illustration that doesn't really look like him either,
but he's got his zimmer and jacket and medals and so we know it's him.
Ok, re positive topics I had every single one of your mentioned positive topics noted down in my research and ideation phase but it wasn't possible for me to develop concepts for every topic that I had. Perhaps I could have decided on final topics a little better and maybe they could have hit harder or been more relevant or less offensive. Although I did plan a little ambiguity and controversy to some degree in my outcomes.

BLM - This was supposed to signify the turning of a corner and a world forced into action following the murder of George Floyd. In my opinion his murder was the catalyst which made the world stand up, start paying attention and start making positive changes towards the BAME community. Perhaps more thought could have been put into the concept delivery/composition and in hindsight a fist shape does sound apt so thanks for that.

Spread positivity - ok revisions needed or a fully re-worked concept.

Captain Tom - so these posters were made weeks before his passing. They were actually made to celebrate his life and achievements but I guess also served as tribute after his passing too. I thought the medals, 'We Salute you Sir Tom' , £32 million and the NHS blue hex utilised on poster 3 made it obvious that it was him. I also didn't think his face was so far off that he was unrecognisable but the collective feedback says a re-think is required.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Milcor88

New Member
As previous posts really. I'm not even going to read all your explanations - as a graphic designer, the visuals should speak for themselves. You told us the brief, and what you have shown just falls a bit too short I'm afraid.
There's no mention of any actual positive things to come out of the pandemic, ie environmental advantages, families getting together etc. It all smacks of quantity over quality. A bit more research is called for I think.
What's the BLM one mean? I was expecting the lettering to make the shape of the fist or something. Generally, a bit more thinking and sketching is needed before doing some nice shiny visuals.

The Spread Positivity design just doesn't work for me, more than the obvious that Hank mentions. You could have made it into a sun or something at least, it's not enough with just typography.

Not sure what to say about Cap Tom, I didn't realise it was him either. I think you need to show him with the walking frame. There's a book about him with an illustration that doesn't really look like him either,
but he's got his zimmer and jacket and medals and so we know it's him.
Ok, re positive topics I had every single one of your mentioned positive topics noted down in my research and ideation phase but it wasn't possible for me to develop concepts for every topic that I had. Perhaps I could have decided on final topics a little better and maybe they could have got harder or been more relevant or less offensive. Although I did plan a little ambiguity and controversy to some degree in my outcomes.

BLM - This was supposed to signify the turning of a corner and a world forced into action following the murder of George Floyd. In my opinion his murder was the catalyst which made the works stand up, start paying attention and start making positive changes towards the BAME community. Perhaps more thought could have been put into the concept delivery/composition and in hindsight a fist shape does sound apt so thanks for that.

Spread positivity - ok revisions needed or a fully re-worked concept.

Captain Tom - so these posters were made weeks before his passing. They were actually made to celebrate his life and achievements but I guess also served as tribute after his passing too. I thought the medals, 'We Salute you Sir Tom' , £32 million and the NHS blue hex utilised on poster 3 made it obvious that it was him. I also didn't think his face was so far off that he was unrecognisable but the collective feedback says a re-think is required.

Thanks for the feedback
That’s exactly what I was going to say, but you got there before me.


It’s dead simple. If you have to explain it, it is not working.

No one is being horrible or needlessly cruel in saying this, but as Levi said, most of us who’ve been doing this for some years will likely say the same things.

It’s all about visually communicating, clearly and succinctly so the intended audience gets the intended message. You can (and often should) be clever and a little lateral with it, but you can’t be so obtuse that people either don’t get it (tier 1-4 steps / D&AD-type pencil with S and H – absolutely no clue. Red and blue pills?!!), or even if they do, it says nothing of interest or is simply not meaningful.

With the ‘I love lockdown’ one, for example, aside from what others have said (rightly so, in my opinion) you haven’t really shown any positive benefits and it is something you have to be very careful about anyway. For a lot of people, there aren’t a whole lot of upsides of lockdown and many people for whom the downsides have been extremely traumatic, either directly, emotionally or financially. You have to be very, very sensitive to this when extolling positive benefits, otherwise, at best, you sound glib or more likely just plain offensive and hurtful.

Imagine seeing a poster telling you to be positive about COVID when your mum just died, alone and struggling for her last breath.

That said, it can be done. One of the huge benefits that has come from this is the fact that many people have had the opportunity to just stop a while and re-evaluate what is important to them – something modern life doesn’t afford most people the opportunity to do most of the time.

To just say I love lockdown is pretty vacuous and meaningless. You need to both state something actually positive and add something to people’s way of thinking that may not have previously occurred to them, otherwise what’s the point?

Speaking of which; what is the point? What is the reason the project exists? That’s not meant to sound as harsh as it does. I am just questioning the motivation. What problem are you trying to solve and for whom? Why are you spreading positivity? Is it an altruistically-funded happy campaign? If so that doesn’t come across all that plausibly. It would make more sense if it were a campaign for, say, a mental health charity highlighting the benefits of positivity for those locked down and prone to depression (though arguably a patronising over-simplification).

Overall, despite specific criticisms, I’m left thinking, ‘Yes? And? What’s the point?’ I get that we could all do with some positivity, but design is about solving an actual problem and fulfilling a need – with an outcome. Your call to action feels a little weak and a bit of an afterthought. Spread positivity, not COVID. I could be a miserable bastard (some might say…) and still do the right things to avoid spreading covid, or I could be Doris Day (OK, a bald, middle-aged, male Doris Day!) and not bother to put a mask on or wash my hands. You see what I mean? You are making a comparison about two things that don’t necessarily juxtapose all that tightly. You’ve just found a commonality with the word ‘spread’.

For me, the whole thing just doesn’t gel. There seems to be no point. There are one or two fairly OK bits, but where are you going with it? The thinking just feels a bit lightweight. Needs to go deeper and more coherent.

Bet you’re sorry you asked now! Just remember, all of this is not a personal slating. It’s all intended to help you improve and give the project some substance.

Finally, I agree with the others re the P thing; trying to, use the letter P to do two jobs doesn’t work. That sort of thing – which is rarely avoids being a bit of cliché anyway – only works with alliterative phrases.

Good luck.

Right, it’s beer time now…
I have been looking for a forum for a while now where people firstly will actually respond to my requests for feedback as opposed to blindly and endlessly scrolling social media and skimming past the posts that I've put up over the last few weeks with little to no interaction or engagement.

So you can believe that I will be coming back here in future as it's always drummed into us on the course that constructive criticism is crucial for development. Getting feedback from people I know does not work for two reasons. They don't know about design and they will sugar coat the responses so the brutal reviews, although hard to take can only help me in the long run.

Anyone who is willing to take time out of their day to help me reach the levels I know I am capable of reaching is a winner in my book.

I do understand about the sensitivity issue surrounding the whole pandemic but I'm also aware that it's impossible to please everyone with a design. No matter what the design is, for every person who loves it there will be another who hates it.

I was not trying to disregard the feelings of anyone with genuine reasons to hate lockdown such as bereavement and financial loss etc. I was trying to provoke the thoughts of people who may take a step back and say actually on the face of it lockdown is not as bad as I think it is.

In short, my current uni module is a self initiated brief. I decided on the 2020 positivity issue as I felt personally that there was far too much negativity everywhere so I wanted to try and hone in on some positives.

Spread positivity - ok it seems like a unanimous scrap the idea and start again on this forum.

The stairs - I thought worsened tiers ending in a lockdown worked as going upstairs. Rather than stairs signifying success they were signifying the struggle of the climb. It's also an optical illusion as the guy who looks like he's falling off the side is actually walking down the stairs if you are able to get your eyes to see the illusion. I understand people might not get it without explanation so feedback taken.

The SH - was a stay home logo redesign with a superman inspired theme and colour palette but again I understand why people wouldn't get it.

At this point it may sound crazy but I may pay a few more of the designs shortly as there are a few more that I did as part of the project too. I will have a couple of shots and strap myself in before I await the feedback :)
 
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