Self initiated work


Here's a question for you: If you guys had three weeks to work on a self initiated project, what would you tackle. I'm In this position and though I'm usually pretty good and coming up with strong concepts, I'm struggling to find something appropriate and was wondering how you pro's would spend the time.
I'm trying to do something with some substance (perhaps tackling a problem) but nothing so huge that I can't take it on (where I slipped up last time)

Fire away!
Is it part of your uni course, a self initiated project? If so then you definitely need to find something with substance like you said. Branding a coffee shop or a bar is pretty simple, doesn't take much research, if any, and could be done in a few days.

When I was at uni I was always encouraged to find a problem and aim to fix it. We were always given ideas like something medical/environmental. I suggested this in another thread a couple of days ago, but I based one of my self initiated projects on the issue of food miles, and the problem of how this country buy and eat food out of season, shipping it in from abroad. I put together a whole ad campaign, seasonal eating guides, packaging for fruit and veg and grow your own stuff, all sorts of stuff. I did in fact come up with a fictional restaurant that cooked and served food in season, branded it and all sorts. It did take longer than 3 weeks, I think my last few months at uni actually, but it worked out well.

That was a few years ago, so probably has been done a lot now. But there's definitely things you can do in a few weeks.

Take a look at this agency. Future Farmers - Futurefarmers . They're known for the weird projects they work on, but full of great ideas.
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What about taking an existing famous brand (that's not very good) and redesigning or modernising?
You could show what the problems are with the existing brand and then how you've improved it and perhaps some potential new product designs for this brand.
Haha, you could go for Little Chef or Waterstones ;) Controversial.

I've always wondered what it'd be like to rebrand a huge company, McDonalds, Nike etc...could make for an interesting project.
I just got back from a talk with a couple of guys from LOVE, a design agency in Manchester, and they mentioned they much to prefer to see student work that's current and up to date, not just in terms of design and trends, but something that tackles or raises awareness of current problems. This shows that the person is thinking about problems and ways to solve them, which you'll be doing in the industry, not just producing pretty work.

So, look around for problems and see what you can come up with.