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  1. 1. Recipe Card Evaluation Jonah Adshead 1Creative Media Production 2013
  2. 2. Producing Print Based Media 2
  3. 3. Visual Language How have you chosen to set out your designs and why? (Reference layout, image/text ratio, busy/simplistic etc) We chose to set out the designs in quite a simplistic fashion, ensuring that the cards do not appear overcrowded but also do not seem too bare. This means that the cards are interesting to look at and are busy enough to attract attention, but do not contain so many different elements such as to look messy and unstylish. The image to text ratio in the cards is quite balanced, the front of the cards have a large image that takes up over 2/3s of the page and give the viewer an insight into what the food they are cooking could look like. The back of the cards contains more text and information but the use of space in-between means the card doesn’t seem overcrowded and the images and graphical elements work to break the text and images up. The graphical elements of the cards work to separate certain parts of the card but do not intrude or take too much attention away from important elements such as text and the main images of the dish. The VegSoc logo is an important part of the card and is always presented in the top left of the page meaning the viewer always sees it and is sure to know who the cards have been designed by and the graphic showing the difficulty level of each dish is on the top right allowing a person to know if they will be capable of cooking the meal.
  4. 4. Visual Language Discuss the contents of your final images and reflect upon decisions made. (Content used- image/text/graphic, use of colour, original or stock images. Compare to existing products.) In our recipe cards we used stock images and a foliage graphic that we manipulated as well as the VegSoc logo and a difficulty level indictor that we designed ourselves. The stock images we used were photographs of the dish that the recipe card was giving instructions for and the point of the images was to give the audience an idea of what the meal they're about to cook could look like and to entice them. We did a lot of colour matching and picked some of the colours out of the stock images we used to determine what the colour scheme for the rest of the recipe card would be. This method of choosing the colour scheme worked well I believe, as it allowed us to ensure that the colour scheme flowed nicely across the page. Using two or three different colours picked from the stock images with the colour picker tool I manipulated the foliage graphic by filling the leaves in with the colours. I think this worked very well and gave the recipe cards a very clean and professional look allowing them to work well as a set because the graphic was always the same, but also allowing the cards to look good with their individual colour schemes. The naturalistic foliage graphic also fits in well with both the Vegetarian and summer themes we were going for. Many existing vegetarian recipe cards feature graphical elements from nature such as the one we have used and many recipe cards that are going for a summery theme also use foliage as a motif. The VegSoc logo was a graphic that was in the brief and had to be included in our design, considering this fact I believe that we still made the logo an aesthetic aspect of the card and it wasn’t as if it had been crammed in just so the brief was met. We added a outer glow to the logo to allow it to stand out better from the background and I think this works well to bring the logo out of the page and make it stand out.
  5. 5. We believed the difficulty indicators would be a nice extra element to add to the recipe cards. Because they are showing information that wants to be easily read and understood by the audience so they can anticipate the difficulty of the dish they should be simple in design and easy to recognise and read. This in mind I used a very simple circular design that could easily be colour matched to fit in with any of the colour schemes and I believe they worked very well in the recipe cards. The fonts we decided to use were all sans serif using very similar texts for the headings, sub-headings and main body of text. The Ayuthaya font works well in the heading as it is quite sleek and modernistic and I believe this works well with the other graphical elements of the card. The subheading on the front of the cards is Tahoma and I believe this also had a sleek look to it but worked better than Ayuthaya in a smaller font so I chose to use it. On the back of the cards the font Bell MT has been used. This font has been made much larger, put in italics and made bold in some places. The legibility is very important on the back of the card as that is where the instructions and main information is. Because of this some designers may choose a very boring but easy to read text to ensure that the information can be read. We have chosen a slightly more interesting type and manipulated it to further its aesthetic qualities but it still reads perfectly so I am pleased at the outcome of it.
  6. 6. Visual Language Discuss the semiotics and connotations created from the content you have included. (What meaning or suggestions are created from the images/colours/designs you have used? You could reference how they were used in products you look at during the project.) Our target audience is middle aged, middle class people and mainly women. This target audience warrants quite a specific design and quite specific connotations must be given off by the elements in the card. The card also needs quite specific design qualities to give off the correct connotations that fit with the spring/summer theme we were aiming for. The foliage is quite a detailed graphic and is nice to look at but isn’t particularly interesting in the sense that children often need a face or some emotion in an image to enjoy it. Because of this I think the graphic gives off a suggestion of maturity and also is quite a professional, clean looking image that fits in with the style that people of a middle class background and middle age range may appreciate the most. The foliage graphic is a very organic and natural shape and gives connotations of nature and freshness. All these things contribute to the message we are trying to put across that eating a vegetarian diet is natural and healthy and id the best thing for us. The naturalistic image gives the sense that it is natural and normal to eat a diet free of meat. The images we have used are all stock images from professional food photographers and so all are high quality images that make the food look as attractive as possible and show it off the most. This keeps in with the high end feel to the recipe cards and makes them look very professional. The choice of using photographs rather than say illustrations or cartoons also adds to the more mature feel to the cards and helps them be more suited to a middle aged audience. Some existing recipe cards that are aimed at children use illustration instead of photographs and we realised that to suit our target audience photographs should be used.
  7. 7. The colours we have used have all been chosen carefully to connote freshness and spring. I think the colours put these themes across very well and although each card has a different colour scheme they all work well together as a set. There is a sense of continuity between the types of colours chosen from card to card and even within each card there has been care put into the different colours chosen with special attention put in to make sure the foliage matches colours from the image. This gives the card a sense of unity and ties it all in very well. The neatness between all the colours in the cards and how well they all work together gives the cards as a set a professional finish.
  8. 8. Audiences Create an audience profile of your chosen demographic (Age, gender, psychographic, geodemographic, NRS Social Grade, hobbies, sexuality [if appropriate] etc) Our initial audience research told us that the most likely audience would be middle aged heterosexual women who are usually either B or C1 in the NRS social scale. Because of this we chose to target middle aged, middle class people who are mainly women, we wanted to give the cards a feminine feel but not so much that males would feel as though they couldn’t use them. Our audience could be already vegetarians who are looking for some ore creative and exciting meals they could begin to cook for themselves and possibly their families or it could be people who are not vegetarians who just would like to try to eat healthily and are turning to vegetarian food to try and provide themselves and their families with a healthier diet. The target audience are middle class people as they are more likely than working class people to have more money to spend on food and so can afford to experiment with different cuisines and ingredients. The target audience are middle aged women because they are the most likely group to have children and the most amount of housewives are middle class middle aged women. This is because the male of the household earns enough to support the family on his own and the female can stay home. This means that they may cook more and have more time to look at different diets and cuisines trying to provide the healthiest meals they can for their family therefore are very likely to try our recipe cards. The target audience’s hobbies could be cooking, an interest in this will make them more likely to decide to get the cards and try out some recipes in them. Although not strictly a hobby, an interest in health and healthy eating could also be a trait our audience members will have. Taking the time to learn about different seasonal healthy vegetarian meals will probably mean the audience member is interested in their own and their families health.
  9. 9. Audiences How have you constructed your work to appeal to this audience? Include an annotated copy of an example of your work to help illustrate how you have done this. Images used are very professional and give the impression of style and class. Something a middle aged middle class person would appreciate. Our recipe cards often use quite different and so often slightly more expensive ingredients such as the saffron in this risotto. Slightly more expensive luxurious ingredients are more likely to be within the price range of a middle class person. This Strap-line will appeal to the none vegetarians who’re deciding to try out a vegetarian meal. This fits our target audience who are not exclusively vegetarians but people just wishing to try something new with food. The repeated foliage graphic gives the card a nice continuity but also will appeal to our audience as foliage has strong connotations of nature and health, something our audience is interested in. It is also quite a feminine graphic and so will appeal to our audience of mainly women. The repeated foliage with the lowered opacity is included in the design to add some depth to the appearance of the before quite bare bottom half of the page. This addition gives a very professional finish and is a graphical element that will be appreciated by a middle aged audience. The colours we have used are not incredibly bright and vibrant. This decision was made as very bright colours can often look childish and will better appeal to a younger audience. The colour pallets we chose are still attractive, but are slightly more toned down to appeal to the middle aged audience we are targeting.
  10. 10. Cultural context What did you use as your design influences and why were they chosen? (What existing media products influenced the final look of your work?) During our pre-production research many different existing products influenced the way our final products looked. Existing VegSoc recipe cards helped us get an idea of what already released recipe cards looked like and allowed us to form new ideas about how we wanted ours to look. Some of the main influences I gained from existing products was the type of colour schemes they used to target a middle class audience and I gained an understanding of how they chose similar colours so that a set of cards would look like a set rather than a number of individual cards. Looking at different cards that were targeting different audiences also helped me to see what different elements both content and graphical wise would attract our target audience. For example the cards targeted at children seemed to have a lot of motif you would associate with school such as lined paper graphics, ink splotches etc. and they often included more illustrative images and more images with a lot less text. The cards aimed at adults almost all had one very large, high quality image on the front cover and then one small image (if any) on the back to break up the text. The adult cards also had more complicated mature recipes and so have a lot more text on them.
  11. 11. Cultural context Do vegetarian products have a specific design aesthetic and how does your project reflect/contrast this? Why? I believe that vegetarian product definitely have a specific and recognisable design aesthetic and I believe our cards conform to this most of the time. Vegetarian products are quite often colored using very natural colours, you never see a vegetarian product that is a luminous yellow or a very unnatural neon green. This is because these colours do not exist in the natural world and so do not have connotations of health and well being, something that vegetarianism does have strong connotations of. Vegetarian products also often contain images of fruit, veg or something like flowers of foliage as ours does. This doesn’t always include the main image and could be other decorative graphical elements around the product. This is because these things often have connotations of health, nature and vegetarianism. Products released by groups such as VegSoc obviously do not have images of meat on them, sometimes they have images of animals happily alive in a field or paddock but animals are usually left out of the designs.
  12. 12. Finished products Does your finished product reflect your initial plans? How? If there are any differences, describe why changes were made. I believe that our product does reflect our initial plans of summery/spring seasonal dishes as they all feature the fresh, natural foliage graphic and all have quite nice bright attractive colour schemes. The initial audience we set out to target was middle aged middle class people who are mainly but not exclusively women. I believe that our design fits this perfectly. It is quite a feminine looking card but not so much that it would put the male gender off of using it. It is quite a sophisticated and professional looking design and so fits the middle aged audiences interests and things they find attractive.
  13. 13. Finished products Does your finished product match what you were set in the brief? How? The VegSoc ask for “interesting and creative designs” and I believe that this is something that we have delivered as a production team. Our designs are eye-catching and attractive to look at featuring a clear theme across all eight cards with the foliage graphic that has connotations of spring and freshness. This graphic gave the cards a nice sense of continuity and brought them all together well. Our recipes are all vegetarian friendly and some are either vegan or we have provided instructions to easily swap out some vegan unfriendly ingredients for friendly ones. This makes the recipe cards versatile and be useful to all diet types be that vegetarian, vegan or meat eaters wanting to try out a vegetarian diet. Our photographs were stock images and are all of a very high quality and make the food look as appealing as possible. This is good as the more appealing the food looks the more likely a person is to decide they want to try the food and use the recipe card. All our recipe cards follow the presentation specifications of the prep time, cooking time, serving number and vegan suitability at the start of the recipe. This allows this information to be easily and quickly seen by people using the cards and they can work out things such as if it will feed sufficient amount of people and if it will suit their diet preferences. Metric measurements are used rather than imperial and method points are numbered but ingredients are not as the brief requests, these things make the card more straight forward and easy to understand for readers.
  14. 14. Finished products How did the use of peer feedback help you in your production? (Reference specific examples and their final outcome in finished product) I think that peer feedback helped me a lot in my production whether that be from asking my work partner for his opinion on my work or getting advice and the opinion of my tutor. It allowed me to get a fresh set of eyes to look over my work and point out any improvements that they could see that I would have overlooked. One example of this was that the VegSoc logo was not standing out from the background very well and it was difficult to read. It was suggested that to allow it to stand out better from the dark photograph background I could add an outer glow effect to lighten the background slightly and pull the logo into the foreground. With the “Saffron risotto with spring vegetables and ragout” recipe I was at a loss as how to fit in the title on the front cover with it looking good and fitting with the house style of the set. I asked my work partner for his opinion and he suggested having “Saffron risotto” in the same large text used for the other titles but then in slightly smaller text underneath the rest of the title. This is the decision I went with and I believe it looks very good and allows the longer title to still fit in with the house style of the set of cards.
  15. 15. Finished product Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your final product regarding its technical qualities. Use box below for text or page space to include an annotated copy of your work to help illustrate how you have done this. Reference what you like and dislike about the work with consistent reference to correct terminology of tools/effects used. Reference existing products. I think that as a whole the technical quality of our final products is very strong. As a set the cards work well and are recognisable as set because the same techniques have been used throughout and we learned the methods well to allow us to make the different aspects look the same on each card. Understanding how to set up the rulers and guidelines was a strength as it allowed us to place different components such as the VegSoc logo and the difficulty indicators in the same places. This gave the cards a professional look as each part was neatly in the correct place. Using the same foliage graphic for each card and colour matching two or three colours with the image, then filling the leaves with these colours worked well as it made the image and foliage match. It was a good method to use, using only the fill tool allowed the graphics to be adapted to a complimentary colour scheme quickly and easily. One weakness was that it did not always allow every part of the graphic to be coloured however and sometimes the original green was left behind in the graphic making the foliage not look as good as it maybe could have if another method was used.
  16. 16. Finished product Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your final product regarding its aesthetical qualities. The foliage graphic repeated throughout all the cards is very good as it has connotations of freshness and health. It also is very east to colour match and so making all the cards look individual and have their own colour scheme but still carry a sense of continuity with the same graphic. The images we have used are all very engaging and bright and work well with the rest of the image as we have colour matched the other page elements with them. The way the cards are set out is very good. They don’t look overcrowded or as if there is not enough content on them. The font we have used for the card text is easy to read and can be deciphered easily. It is not boring it adds to the aesthetics of the card.
  17. 17. Finished products What skills/knowledge have you gained/developed in this project? How could these be applied in future practice? During this project I believe I have gained many skills and developed a lot of knowledge. My idea generation has improved as we had to come up with a number of them quickly in order to chose what one we were to go with as a group. The more ideas I came up with the more ideas we could choose from and the better our final decision was. Idea generation forced me to think outside the box more and improve my creativity, thousands of recipe cards have been made and so I wanted to come up with some new original ideas. One idea I thought of was the idea to suggest a vegetarian friendly wine that would go well with the meal or dish the recipe card is about. My creativity was also tested and improved when the final idea had been chosen and I was tasked with designing the front covers. To make a professional looking card that that looked good but was interesting I found enjoyable and believe I improved in order to achieve this. Many existing products I looked at in my research before production seemed over simplistic and were very boxy with little or no detailed graphics. Because of this I wanted to add a slightly more complicated and eye caching graphic and so created the foliage. I believe this was a show of my creativity improving, but also my knowledge and understanding of what already exists and how I can improve on that in my own work. My knowledge and skill with the computer programs I used improved greatly during the project. In Photoshop my understanding and competence in using many tools such at the clone stamp and spot cleanser tool increased greatly as I took full advantage of them to clone parts of the photographs I used to ensure they filled the whole page and there were no white gaps. I found this method better than stretching the image to fill the gap as this often warps and distorts it, decreasing its quality and aesthetic appeal greatly. Although I did not use this program in my final production, during the project I learnt to use InDesign for the first time. I found it very simple and think that for prints with a lot of text InDesign offers a very simple and quick way of arranging all the elements onto the page. Because I was designing the front covers of the recipe cards I thought that Photoshop would suit my mainly graphical task better. Now I have a grasp of InDesign however, I will no doubt use it in the future.
  18. 18. Production process How effectively did you manage your time? (Could you have used time more wisely? Did a particular aspect of the project take longer than expected? Did you complete everything on schedule?) I believe that we used our time very effectively. We completed all the work before schedule and had time to move on to the extension tasks. I think we worked so quickly and effectively because we divided the work evenly and both had a shared vision of what we wanted to create and a good understanding of how we were going to do that. This allowed us to pretty much get our heads down and concentrate on the work we had set ourselves without having to keep stopping and checking with each other if we were doing something right or what to do next. After each card we finished we may have asked for peer feedback and improve if needed but this did not take long and I think we worked very efficiently. The schedule we planned out at the beginning definitely helped with out production speed even if we did not stick to it completely as I believe we completed the work quicker than we had planned on it. Creating the first card I think took the longest but after I had that done and had the template ready with all the rulers and guides I made the cards very quickly. It was just a simple method of dropping different elements into the correct places, colour matching and inserting a bit of text and then it would be complete. This allowed me to work very quickly but also with little room for error; everything has its place. This meant I was not realising I had done something wrong and having to waste time rectifying it. Because we finished in such good time we were able to move onto the extension tasks and get some of them done hopefully improving our overall grades.
  19. 19. Production process If you could repeat the process what would you do differently? If I were to repeat the process there really is not much I would do differently. I believe we planned the work thoroughly, divided the labour fairly and to each of the teams strengths and kept communication going well. We worked quickly and effectively and got the work done on time with enough left over to move onto the extension task. One thing I may have done differently would be that after completing the main task, if we would have come together to discuss what we could do for the extension tasks and shared ideas it may have helped as I was often struggling for ideas with those tasks.
  20. 20. Working to a brief 20
  21. 21. Constraints What constraints did you encounter and how did you consider/avoid them? Legal: There are a number of legal constraints that apply to our work. Copyright is one thing that we would need to consider if the cards were to be published. We used stock images and ones from Google and so would not be able to use them unless permission was sought and attained. Ways we could have got around this could have been to take our own photograph and so It would be our own work not the work of someone else.
  22. 22. Regulatory: Because the cards would be published and are a kind of an advertising and promotional item for the Vegetarian Society we would need to make sure that it fits with standards of the ASA and the publication will not upset of alienate any audiences. Because it is being released to the public no swearing or vulgarity must be used in the publication and we have checked that none is included. Because it is for vegetarians the recipes must fit certain requirements in order to be able to be labelled a vegetarian meal. We ensured that our meals do fit with these requirements.
  23. 23. Financial: We did not come across any financial issues as the budget sheet we made ensured we knew what we were spending all our money on. All the money we spent was hypothetical and so things like computer hire, software cost and stock image cost we budgeted for in our sheet but we did not pay for. We stuck to the budget sheet well and did not have to for example take longer than scheduled to complete our work so would not have had to hire equipment for another day, something that could have become a financial issue.
  24. 24. Management How did you work as part of a group? (Did you lead the project? What parts of the project did you take charge of? Did you enjoy working as part of a group? Why?) I think that as a group worked very well. We divided the work between ourselves fairly and evenly and the pieces of work we had played against our strengths. I took charge of the front pages of the cards while Henry did the backs. It was felt that I was working slightly better creatively at that time and Henry was more interested in the copy side of production. This split was good as it allowed us to both be happy with our tasks, understand them and get on with them quickly and almost independently, only checking every now and then for each others opinion and ideas. I think that this way of working was enjoyable and having someone to bounce ideas off really helped to develop my designs to how they looked finally. I am very pleased with how we worked together and the outcome of our work.
  25. 25. Management How important is communication when working in a group? (Use specific examples from working in a group on this project) When working in a group communication is very important. We had to communicate in order to think up ideas, develop these ideas and check that we each thought the way we were working was good. I think me and Henry both had a very good idea of what it was each of us needed to do and how we both wanted it to be done. Because of this we did not need to communicate and go through it together every step of the way; we were able to work relatively independently. It is important however to check over each others work and ask for/give feedback every little while to allow a fresh set of eyes to look over the work and check it is all ok. For example we pointed out a few spelling and grammar mistakes in each others work and near the start of the project me and Henry were discussing his back page design being too simple and so he redesigned the whole think into something that looked much better.
  26. 26. Management What have you learnt about working in a group and how will you apply this to future practice? I have learnt that working in a group is beneficial but it is also essential that every member of the team knows what their role is and how to fulfill that role in order for that team to work effectively. I realise the benefits of having someone else look over your work as they more often than not spot a mistake that you have over looked or come up with a new and better way of doing something. As much as you need to keep an open mind about the ideas and opinions of others it is also important to provide ideas and feedback to other members of a team. All of these things I can take with me and apply to any future practice when I find myself in a group work situation.