How have you chosen to set out your designs and why? (Reference
layout, image/text ratio, busy/simplistic etc)
At the start of the project, I wanted a clear and concise layout, which could be easily
read by the audience. As I progressed to Task 5 of the project (questionnaires) it
became apparent that a clear layout was paramount in achieving success in this
However, as production drew nearer, the brief stated that the ingredients and method
must be on one page. This meant that the second page (bottom) would be the busy
side of the recipe card, while, in contrast, the front of the card would be simplistic and
well spaced out, with few objects added.
In terms of images/text ratio, on the front of the card, the images outweigh the text.
This is due to the purpose been different on either side of the card. On the front, the
purpose is to entice the audience to view the card, where as the back of the card,
where the text outweighs the images, the purpose is to inform the consumer about
The layout of the text of this existing product is relatively similar,
with it been divided into left and right, instead of been on top of
each other. However, it is constructed differently in terms of
imagery. The designer of this card has decided not to have a big
image, but, instead, gone for a small image, with text overlapping
I believe this feature makes it look crowded and busy, not clear
and concise like my layout. On the other hand, this recipe card is
a one page layout and doesn’t have two sides, which means all
the information and imagery have to be on one side, so can
understand why the designer has not gone for a full page image
and the text overlapping.
Text definitely outweighs the imagery on this recipe card, but it
doesn’t look boring and bland, due to the sunny/summery
colours used on this particular recipe card. As previously
mentioned, I do think the text should fit round the image, not
overlap it, like it does here.
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.)
This image is an original image that we captured
for our project. The dish and the surrounding
table don’t have much colour, so decided that
some additional colour could be added in the
form of the background. The blues and purples
of the flowers, along with the Red of the wine,
add to the overall striking nature of the image
ad help it stand out on the recipe card. The only
thing I would change is the aperture setting.
Blurring out the background would have added
to the effectiveness, while the colour element
would have been maintained.
This image wasn’t used by us in the project and is an
example of a piece of stock food photography. Colour
isn’t a problem in this image, with bright Greens, Reds
and Yellows featured heavily throughout the image. A
feature which isn’t featured in my photography is the use
of aperture. As stated on the left image, this is one
feature I would add, should I repeat the photography
again. One aspect I would have changed on the image is
the spill of tomato out of the food. While I believe food
photography should e captured in it’s natural form, this
tomato make the image look messy and therefore lets
the image down.
This image is taken from a different angle,
compared to image one, however, the colour on
the plate means that the background can afford
to be restrained. The colours used in this
photograph connotes Italy, with the Red of the
tomatoes, White of the plate and Green of the
napkin, which is an effective use of photography
to accompany the main body of text. This image
looks professional, but it was however an
original photograph taken within the project.
The photographer of this image has used similar
techniques to the first original image, he has realised
that the dish doesn’t have much colour, so must try and
add some colour using other sources. This particular
photographer has found colour in the form of a napkin,
which works very well because it does grab your
attention, it’s intended purpose. This sourced image
also uses aperture, like the first sourced image, to try
and make the overall image more effective. The way in
which the image is cropped is one of the most
important amended features to this photograph. It’s
cropped so the napkin just fits in the frame, any
additional white space would have been unnecessary.
Which the photographer has seen on this occasion.
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 looked at during the project.)
The image that we used in the final bruschetta card
was captured in this way because it features the
colours of the Italian flag, the country in which our
dishes originated. This feature conveys,
subconsciously to the audience, that this dish is
Italian, without looking at the dish title or the
branding strip at the bottom.
As well as the image connotations, the
branding strip conveys the same
connotation. The Italian flag is used to
show that this dish is Italian, without
having to think about it.
The simple font (Arial) communicates to
the audience that the cards are meant
to be simple, yet effective, and easy to
read. Arial, one of the simpler fonts
available for layouts, was our choice
because letters can’t be mistaken for
others, therefore it’s a clear choice for
On the back, there aren’t too
many connotations. However,
the one image that is on the
back, connotes the Italian
theme again. As one of the
most famous Italian landmarks,
the coliseum helps the
consumer identify with the
card, even before they’ve read
The font of the main body
(Baskerville old face) is slightly
stylised, but is also clear to read.
The reason it is this way is because
the flicks and curves of the font
connote Italy and Italian fonts.
The snowflake shape on this recipe card connotes
Christmas and the Christmas holidays. This helps to
convey to the audience about the Cookies. The
Christmas holidays, amongst other times, is a popular
time to make and eat the cookies.
Borders can be used to make the recipe card look
effective and well made. It can do this by been striking
or could frame the overall product. However, as well as
doing those things, the border of this recipe card uses
something else, symbolic codes. The check colouring of
the border connotes a home-made/homely feel to the
overall recipe card, which then suggests something
about the cookies. Due to the snowflake already
connoting the Christmas holidays, the border suggests
that these cookies should be made as a family and also
eaten as a family.
The background, which is almost a textured looking
feature, can be used to suggest something about the
recipe, instead of any theme or time of year. The
textured background symbolises the cookie by looking
like a cookie. This therefore means that the consumer
can look at the background and subconsciously have
cookies in their head, before reading bout the recipe, or
indeed, looking at the photograph.
The fonts, along with the weathered look of the
background, and the home-made looking border,
suggest a traditional approach has been taken. In
particular, the weathered finish of the background
suggests this recipe has been used and passed down
from generation to generation, thus the weathered feel
of the recipe card.
Create an audience profile of your chosen demographic
(Age, gender, psychographic, geodemographic, NRS Social Grade, hobbies,
sexuality [if appropriate] etc)
Age – I think the more experimental
nature of this card, with the cut-up
bits to the right, along with the
relatively bright branding strip,
reduces the age of the
demographic. Due to the previously
mentioned techniques, I believe the
intended audience for this product
Psychographics – I think my
product is quite cutting edge
and new, with not many cards
looking like this one. Even
though I have emulated the
techniques from other cards, I
have taken quite ordinary ideas
from cards and put them
together to create an original,
new and creative product. For
this reason, I believe my
product fits into the Explorers
category of Psychographics. In
accordance with the age
bracket I recommended for the
card, a younger audience is
more likely to also fit into an
explorer category, due to their
seeking of discovery, which my
product provides, due to been
an original, cutting edge design.
Gender – At the start of the project,
I didn’t want to make a gender
specific product. After making
different variations of the card,
some gender specific, some not,
I decided that it could still have
relatively bright colours and be
mass market. After establishing a
style, I selected colours which I
believe don’t look too gender
biased, and which I believe work for
Socio-economic status and Geodemographics – The
colour or layout doesn’t particularly target a particular
social class. However, the overall idea of recipe cards in
the first place does. The ABC1 demographic have money
to spend on luxuries (ie.recipe cards), where as the
C2DE bracket don’t. Due to the relatively bright and
vibrant colours, I would say this card is targeting
someone living in a city location, compared to someone
living in the country. Someone living in a rural area, like
the countryside, would be looking for more organic and
restrained colours, rather than bright and noisy colours
(without making assumptions or generalisations).
AS Media Studies 2009 10
Age – The restrained colouring choice
of the overall layout increases the
target audience, with the simplistic
layout also adding years to the age
bracket of the target demographic.
The photographers decision to add
no colour to the image using props
and other sources, suggests that the
media producer intended this
product to be for an older audience.
If I had to choose a specific age
demographic for this product, I
would pick a 30-35 target bracket.
Gender – The colours, which
aren’t very gender specific,
don’t suggest a single gender is
been targeted by this card.
With the clear layout and the
stylised font, it can’t be said
that these features lean more
toward one gender, compared
to the other. Instead, I believe
this product is a mass market
card, in terms of gender.
Psychographics – No one group
is the targeted demographic in
terms of psychographics for this
card. Instead, a mix of reformer
and resigned are the target
groups for this card, in my
opinion. Reformers rely on
independent judgment to the
product, as well as looking for a
freedom of restrictions, which
this card offers. The group of
reformers is also massively anti-
materialistic, but knows good
taste, which this card offers,
through the sytlised font and
the professional layout of the
card. In comparison, the
resigned group believe in
traditions and are looking for
continuity of this tradition. Due
to the conventional nature of
this card, I believe this group is
perfectly suited to the layout
and design of this card.
Socio-economic status and Geodemographic – like
I mentioned on the previous slide, the actual idea
of recipe cards is a very ABC1 demographic idea,
due to the disposable income of this group.
However, due to the professional looking
photography, the sytlised font and the clear layout,
this specific card would appeal to the ABC1
demographic, even if it were a flyer, not a recipe
card, due to the layout/design. As for
Geodemographics, this card doesn’t have the
bright colours of my final product, but instead, has
restrained, homely colours. For this reason, and
without a generalisation, I think someone in the
countryside would be enticed, compared to
someone who lived in an urban area, who looks for
more bright and vibrant colours, while they also
look for simple font, instead of a stylised font.
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.
The brighter colours on the card
help to entice a younger audience
to the card. However the image,
which is colourful, but restrained
at the same time, helps to
maintain a mass market feel to
the card. The shape of the
branding strip is quite creative
and is an informal technique, so
will reduce the audience age
demographic considerably. An
older consumer maybe wouldn’t
look for something like that in a
recipe card, but instead look for a
professional finish, which the
overall layout delivers. Overall
then, I believe the mass market
card construction is achieved, but
a younger audience maybe more
inclined to pick it up/buy it.
Task 5 (survey) showed that
the majority of people looked
for a clear and concise layout
when buying/pick up recipe
cards. This analysis then
helped me to construct a clear
layout that will be liked by the
consumer and therefore will
make it a successful project.
For a start, the Arial font was
the clearest font I could find,
so I decided to use this font
for my title. Another feature
that helped to make the layout
clear and concise, was the
border around the picture.
While it looks like it’s adding
more layers and making it
more busy, it’s actually
splitting up the page and
making it look less in the
The stylised font of the recipe
card suggests an older
audience, with an ABC1
demographic as the target
audience. Even though people
want a clear font, others are
looking for something more
professional. It is, after all,
about personal preference to
the card, but from the survey,
these demographics would be
appealed to more, should the
card incorporate a stylised font
in a sensible colour
The restrained, yet effective
border, suggests that a gender
neutral audience is been
targeted, with the designer
coming to this colour, due to
the profits available been
higher, should it be a gender
neutral product, compared
with a gender specific one.
However, if the producer
would have gone for a
complete mass market
product, they would have had
to compromise and try and
please the majority of people,
because you can never please
absolutely everyone, in terms
What did you use as your design influences and why were they chosen?
(What existing media products influenced the final look of your work?)
Our final set of cards was massively dictated by the
construction of these cards. Features such as the big image,
the small cut-out pictures and the branding strip are
features that I have emulated into my work, which, I
believe, made it a success.
In this example though, the big picture is not stretched or
badly taken, but the way it’s been positioned on the screen,
cuts a bit of the image off on the right. For this reason, I
would centralise the big image, like our final card.
As for the branding strip, we emulated that exact wave
design to our own design because we liked the technique.
However, the colours on this card were too restrained.
Instead, we brightened the colours up, but not too much,
due to a mass market audience still been targeted.
The little images on the side of the page were another good
feature that we emulated, but altered to fit the
construction o0f our card. While we cut pieces of the big
image, we didn’t use close up’s, instead, just pieces of the
big image. The reduced opacity on this version however,
wasn’t a feature I wanted to emulate on my card, due to it
looking too faint on my card when applied.
This layout doesn’t replicate my recipe card, but it does however,
incorporate some of the features I have tried to emulate within my
Before I Iooked at this product, I had no intentions to put a big
branding strip on my recipe card. Despite the brief stating that a
branding strip must be included, I was adamant that I was just going
to add a thin strip at the bottom. However, this recipe card showed
me that you could have a big branding strip, while not compromising
any quality or effectiveness in the process.
This recipe card, along with others, highlights the effects of a simple
font. This recipe card is easily readable and doesn't use any stylised
fonts, which can sometimes, despite looking effective, lose
effectiveness on the actual product, through difficulty of reading the
initial font. Before I came across this recipe card, I had a stylised font
included on my card (Brush Script), however, soon realised that a
clear font was paramount to success on this project.
Full page images have become the conventional technique for recipe
cards, like on this card. Using the image as the background, with text
been arranged on top of it, is a good technique of using available
space. Some cards choose to have a small image in the corner, with
their text been the main focus, but this card doesn’t look like it’s
trying to entice the audience, instead, trying to inform the audience. I
didn’t want my card to do this, I wanted to grab peoples attention
and make sure I sold the card, which was my project goal. The opacity
on the main image loses a bit of the effectiveness, but it needed to
be done to allow the text to be seen. I’ve used this technique on the
back of the card, with the landmark image having it’s opacity turned
down, but on the front, where the food is, the opacity is turned onto
full, to try and capitalise on maximum effectiveness.
Do vegetarian products have a specific design aesthetic and how does your
project reflect/contrast this? Why?
Creative piece -The creative
qualities of vegetarian
products is very evidently
there. With the ingredients
arranged in an image at the
bottom, and a big image
with the text arranged
creatively, this is the
consistent level of
creativeness on the large
majority of vegetarian
Bold headings are another
technique that features in
vegetarian products. This helps
the title stand out and draw in
the consumer. However, this
feature is found in non-
vegetarian products as well, due
to the purpose of the products is
to try and inform and persuade
A big image is conventionally
used to try and draw the audience
in and draw their attentions
toward the product. Like the bold
heading though, this feature is
normally used in all products, not
just vegetarian products.
A branding strip is used to
tell the consumer where
the product came from,
in terms of company. This
feature is also used
because it breaks up the
text and images, which is
why this feature is
normally the same colour
as the title, font, or title
Creative piece - The main creative piece of my recipe card is the
shape of the branding strip and the rotoscoped edge of the
image. The wave effect of the shape, which was done using a
polygonal lasso tool to rotoscope it, required the image to be
changed also, so that it would interlock with the branding strip.
This feature was also done using the rotoscope skill, with it then
been transformed and shrunk to allow the border around the
image to be created afterwards.
The branding strip, however, isn’t just there to be a creative hub for the overall piece, it also fulfills
another purpose. Like the existing product on the previous page, it helps tell the consumer where
the product is from. Due to me making the card of the vegetarian society, my logo could not go on
the card, so I added the logo of the client I was working for. In my case, though, my branding strip
has a third purpose, It holds the title within it. If it wasn’t on the branding strip, it would have to be
on the main image, which would then take some quality away from the overall image, so I decided
to add it to the branding strip on my final piece.
This font may not stand out as much as the one on the
previous page, but it fulfills it’s purpose of been seen
and been a prominent feature of my recipe card. Put a
the bottom of the page, I was worried it wouldn’t be
seen, but due to it been one of the only black coloured
items on the page, it stands out from the rest of the
Does your finished product reflect your initial plans? How? If there are any
differences, describe why changes were made.
(You can use visual examples of flat plans and finished products to illustrate this
On my flat plan, I decided that white is a neutral colour, so would be the best colour to choose for a mass market recipe card. The
individual boxes would help split up the text and prevent the card from looking busy and crowded. In terms of the images, two images
of the food would be added and it would perfectly illustrate the food that accompanied the main body.
However, when I read the brief, as a start, the ingredients and method had to be on the same side, there was nothing included on the
card that would connote Italy, apart from the text, and the boxes just looked unprofessional and cluttered, instead of the ordered
layout I wanted.
As the project progressed, I realised that you didn’t need the colouring to be bland and restrained to be mass market. The Italian flag
was selected to make the audience identify the card as Italian, without reading the main body of text.
When further researching existing products (aside from Task 3) I realised that most successful recipe cards had a large image, which
would be the central focus when enticing consumers in. I then captured my photos and added them in, before chopping various pieces
of the image up and arranging them on the side of the recipe card.
However, I did make a clear and concise card in the end, which I wanted, I did capture the images myself and I did make the card look
professional. All these features were identified as a must when constructing my card.
Does your finished product match what you were set in the brief? How?
I put the ingredients and method on the back and
image and title on the back, like stated. It also stated
that a branding strip must be included, but didn’t
state where, so I put it on the front of the card, the
side which I had most room on.
I believe my design fulfills both the interesting
and creative criteria's. How the branding strip
has turned into an Italian flag is one of the
most creative features of the card. Even though
the idea was emulated from another design, I
think the alterations really make it stand out
and make it fit in on this particular card.
The clear Italian theme is evident throughout the
set of cards, with the branding strip ensuring this
connotation. Obviously the Italian theme denotes
the Italian food also. All the ingredients that were
used in the production of these recipe cards fitted
in with a vegetarian diet, while 2 of our recipes
are vegan suited too. Taken your own images
wasn’t compulsory, but we decided to make the
food and capture it, due to legal copyright issues
of sourcing imagery.
Included on our card, preparation times, cooking
time and number it serves (right), as stated in the
brief. We decided not to include vegan suitability,
due to it been a given that these dishes were
vegan. However, if I repeated the project, I may
consider adding it onto the card.
All these requirements for the cards were met. A
few of them were difficult to fit into the card,
but were eventually solved and amended
accordingly. The listing of ingredients on new
lines was the toughest of all to complete. To fit
them all on a new line, I had to scale the text
down to 8 on some of them, 4Pts lower than the
method font size.
How did the use of peer feedback help you in your production?
(Reference specific examples and their final outcome in finished product)
This piece of peer feedback was the turning point in the overall project. Before this point, we were aiming to
make a very gender specific, simplistic design that would be a very mainstream recipe card. However, after
idea 1, I wanted the recipe card to be a very creative, mass market card. I formulated this idea, mainly
because of the funding option I had taken. A self-financed project needs to aim at a mainstream, mass
market audience to make a larger profit (or any profit at all). I thought this idea may be good, and one of the
best ones I had. After reviewing all five of my designs, along with five of my partners designs, we decided
that this idea would be the most feasible (and potentially, profitable). When it came to disadvantages of the
idea, my peers decided that the silhouette shapes may be too difficult to make, especially with the time we
have. However, this idea had the least disadvantages about it, so we decided to take this idea forward to
production, which I don’t regret doing. Even though amendments have been made (the landmarks weren’t
the shape, but the silhouette in the background instead) this idea hasn’t changed too much.
As well as the last piece of peer feedback, this development piece ruled out his idea, an idea which I initially
liked, and would have taken to the final two designs. However, after receiving peer feedback on the idea, it
was clear to see that this card would have been problematic, from start to finish. This piece of feedback
showed me that even if I thought it was a good idea, my peers may not think it’s such a good idea, which I’m
glad about, due to the success of the cards been reduced, had I selected this card as my final. Along with the
survey on Task 5, this feedback section showed that a clear layout was paramount to success on this project,
which we altered on our first design when the amendment stage came. The font issue was also spotted by
my partner. On our first couple of test cards, we went for an Italian font (Brush Script), but when it came to
the final card, we selected a simple font, Arial, which proved to be a clear and easy to read font.
Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your final product regarding its
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.
Dislike – While the border helps differentiate certain
parts of the card from others, I believe the border around
the image should be scrapped, with the image stretching
to fill the space from the top to the bottom. If I repeated
this project, I would certainly change this technique. I
would do this by using the transform tool, before
dragging the image to fit the available space.
Like – The shape of the branding strip. It seems to curve
across the bottom of the page, while allowing the image
to fit into it also. This feature was added using the
Polygonal Lasso Tool, which helped add the shape by
using the ‘layer via copy’ option. Like I stated previously,
this wasn’t created by scratch, instead, it was emulated
from another existing product, but amended to make it
Like – The cut outs of the various angles of the food was
a technique which I really liked. This was created by
selecting the portion of the image I wanted, before
selecting the Rectangular Marquee and layering via copy
to it’s own layer. After this, I could place the cut-out
anywhere on the screen. When I had repeated this
process three times, I had my cut-outs, which I chose to
place in a section of white space on the right hand side of
AS Media Studies 2009 23
Dislike – Due to some of the ingredients not fitting on
one line, a feature which must be included in your
recipe card, according to the Vegetarian society, I had to
shrink the ingredients down. I don’t like this feature
because it is evident what has happened because it’s
clear when compared to the method. I did try and
amend this technique, but it led to additional,
unwanted white space on my recipe card, which I
decided looked worse than some squashed text. If I
repeated the project, I would try and find a better way
of laying out the text.
Like – The way this piece of picture has been selected
using rectangular marquee tool and been cut from the
small section at the bottom. If I could fault it in any way
however, it would be that it could be dragged up a bit,
due to there been additional white space below the
ingredients. On the other hand though, the shape is
equal on both sides, which it wouldn’t be, should it be
Like – Linking to the past rectangular marquee select, the small, full
opacity piece at the bottom corner has been split from the larger
image. Like mentioned previously, the rectangle in the corner is of
equal proportions and doesn’t look stretched, which adds to the
effectiveness of the card. However, the same cannot be said for
some of the other seven within the final set. If I re-did the set, I
would change this feature, which is such a simple thing to change,
with a big gain in quality been made. The image in the bottom right
of the page is the best example of showing this slight miscalculation
of proportions (one card which I would change, if I got the chance
to repeat the project).
Like – The way the image has been added to a
rectangular shape, before been added to the
recipe card using a rectangular marquee tool. The
way in which this was probably done was: The
image layer was probably selected using the
Rectangular Marquee tool, before been cropped
down, added to the white rectangle, before been
added to the recipe card using the transform
Like – The stroke and drop shadow techniques are
used on this technique. Firstly, the box would have
needed altering, colour wise. The next stage is to add a
stroke around the side, which will make it stand out.
The last stage involves adding a drop shadow, which
can be seen on the bottom of the box (The black
shadow under the box). This works for this recipe card,
but wouldn't work for a recipe card like mine, due to
the features already added, clashing with this feature.
Dislike – This technique is subtle, yet very effective,
despite me disliking it. The technique in question is
gradient levelling, a technique which lets you adjust
the levels of a colour, using bits of a gradients. Doing
this involves choosing a pattern (in this case, a slight
diagonal stripe) and then adding this pattern to the
edges or corners of backgrounds for a subtle colour
change. This effect works on this card, due to the light
blue, contrasting with the Black very well. However, my
card wouldn’t have looked effective, because the red,
white and green of the branding strip covering two of
the corners and preventing a gradient levelling from
Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your final product regarding its
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. You can
reference existing products here and compare your work to them.
Dislike – This piece of white space on the branding strip is a feature which I
dislike, due to the inconsistency of the layout. The previous two boxes are filled
with either text of logos, so I believe that something else should be added in
this box, which would make the overall card look more aesthetically pleasing.
Cooking time, Preparation time and how many persons it serves could be a
feature which could be added to the card, if repeated. In previous versions they
were included on the branding strip, but that was when the branding strip was
rectangular, not a wave effect (like shown on the image in the right hand
Like – The way the colour of the branding strip match
those of the image. The bright imagery connotes Italy,
due to the Red, White and Green featured on the initial
photograph. However, I didn’t want the connotations to
end there, with the branding strip coloured the same,
which will subconsciously tell the audience what theme
the dishes are, without them having to read any titles or
Like – The clear font that has been used, Arial. Before I added this font, I
had a stylised, Italian font (Brush Script), which I felt was a nice font, but
wasn’t clear. A clear and concise layout was one of the main features the
audience looked for, according to the survey in Task 5, which I have
taken into consideration when producing my final set of cards.
Dislike – The way in which the font on the back of the card
varies from the one on the front. The Arial font on the front is
very simple and clear, which can also be said for this font
(Baskerville Old Face). However, even though it’s clear, I feel a
consistent fort should be used throughout. On the other hand, a
variation is sometimes good and doesn’t make the product look
boring. For this reason then, I would keep the cards the same,
but at least consider changing the text by looking at other
Like – The variation in opacities on the larger image and the
smaller image. If the small section at the bottom left wasn’t at
normal opacity, I believe it would be too much white space to
look effective and creative. This technique helps split up the
method and ingredients up, while allowing the text to be seen,
which it wouldn’t be if the opacity was turned up to 100% all
Dislike – The layout of the text isn’t as
aesthetically sound as it could be. I believe that
if the method section was dragged up a little
bit, the text wouldn’t be squashed at the
bottom, while the section would be levelled
with the ingredients section, therefore, making
the overall proportions of the card look
effective instead of been out of proportion.
Dislike – The range of colours this recipe card uses is
overpowering. With recipe cards, and any other media
product, there is a fine line between standing out and
looking too bright and overbearing, which this card
crosses. One of the colours featured on the card would
have been fine for a main colour, but when you start
mixing bright colours, it doesn’t work too well. I
especially dislike the different shades of yellow that
differentiate the left portion of the card from the
border. Having them the same colour would have
worked just as well ,while toning down the card at the
Like – The boldness of the ingredients which are
made by the company, which helps identify what
can be easily acquired. This feature looks good for
this recipe, but for other recipe cards, like mine,
which are made by media companies, won’t
make foodstuffs, and this technique will be
Dislike- The way in which the numbers of the method aren’t bold,
but instead, blend in with the rest of the text. On my recipe card, the
step numbers are highlighted bold to differentiate between them
and the text, but this card doesn’t seem to have this feature. I
believe it would work how it is now, if the colour of the background
wasn’t bright turquoise. The effectiveness is compromised when left
like this, a feature that may need to be reviewed, should the
producer work on it again.
AS Media Studies 2009 28
Like – The font choice for this recipe card. Even though my
card was required to be clear and easy to read, due to my
survey feedback, I believe it works well on this card,
contrasting with the background colour very well. The
font is also used for the headings before the method and
ingredients, which helps differentiate between the main
body of text and headings. Sometimes, even if the
headings are bold, the titles and the main text get mixed
up, but this one doesn’t because the font varies.
Dislike – The photography piece has been taken well, with
the compositions been of professional quality. However,
the way in which the image is cropped and then framed
makes it look unprofessional. I understand that the
producer wanted to give it a professional, creative looking
border, but because the frame stretched over the corner
of two of the other buns, it makes it look of poor quality.
This would be an easy technique to change, with the effect
of the change been monumental in the overall
effectiveness of the recipe card.
Dislike – The cut-out shape that has been used to hold the
company name. Instead of a branding strip, this company
have decided to create a cut-out, which is creative and
well made, however, the colour of the cut-out clashes with
the rest of the card. The colours themselves aren’t too
dissimilar, but the colour of the cut-out doesn’t match any
other colours on the recipe card. If the border or s9ome of
the text was the same colour, I believe the cut-out would
fit in well, but unfortunately, I see it as a creative,
promising technique, with one thing letting it down.
What skills/knowledge have you gained/developed in this project? How could
these be applied in future practice?
Rotoscoping – Even though I have used Rotoscoping in other projects (Digital Graphics),
this project has required me to carry this skill out to the best of my ability. Whereas in
Digital graphics, it was zoomed out enough to be hidden if you nicked the corner of the
design, but in this project, if you got something g wrong, you had no other option, apart
from start again. This development in Rotoscoping makes this skill one of the most often
used in all my projects so far, while this project built on the skill and precision I had with
this tool, which I will carry to future projects.
Rectangular Marquee Tool – In
this project, I used this tool to
cut out the shapes on the right
hand side of the recipe card.
Even though I had experience
of this tool, I had only used it to
select the whole object and use
it to create another layer.
However, this project required
me to work accurately, or the
proportions of the overall
image would have been
compromised, through the
compositions been out, due to
stretching. This skill will allow
me to select small parts of
images and objects in future
projects, as well as allowing me
to have accuracy in precision in
the other Marquee tools
(Elliptical, Single Row and
Single Column Marquee Tools),
due to the skills been
transferable from the
Knowledge on layout – Before this project, I had a fair bit of knowledge on page layout and
design, due to previous tasks giving me general insight into magazine and newspaper layout.
However, on the page layout task at the start of the project, I managed to gain insight into
features such as: Pull quote orientation and various layout styles, which I hadn’t acquired thus
far. As well as the page layout tasks, the production task also helped me with layout. Before the
project, I would have put the ‘Tomato and Bruschetta’ text across two sections of the branding
strip, which would have looked ineffective. However, with some work, I learnt the ways of
effective layouts and amended my previous attempts at recipe cards, to get my final product.
This knowledge will help me in future tasks, including when we get to the writing copy project of
the course. The layout knowledge will especially help, as well as all the features that go with it.
Choice of Font - In past projects, I
hadn’t realised how much a font can
change the overall fell and style of a
layout. In Task 5, I had decided that my
layout style was going to be clear and
concise. Therefore, it was paramount
that a clear font would be chosen, so it
could be easily read by the consumer. I
believe the fonts, Arial and Baskerville
old face, suit my recipe card and make
it look as effective as possible, while
pleasing every demographic, due to
them all looking for a clear font, as
subject to my survey results. However,
earlier in the project, I had chosen a
stylised font, before getting feedback
and realising how significant and
consequential a font could be to a
design and layout. In future projects, I
will make sure I select my font more
carefully, going through them all,
without selecting a font at almost
Opacity levels – This project was the first time I was required to use opacity levels in
my product. Previously, I had reduced the opacity to see layers below, but had
always restored them to normality after. However, our design required a reduced
opacity with a part of white space, which was 100% opacity. This technique had to
be used to allow the text to be seen by the consumer. If we had not reduced the
opacity the clear and concise font that I was targeting would be lost. This feature
could be carried forward in future creative tasks, however, it isn’t a very common
feature and won’t be used unless absolutely necessary.
Marquee tools – On the front of the card, I used this skill to make little cut-outs of
the larger image, however, it held another purpose on the back. Sticking with the
Rectangular Marquee tool, I selected the section I wanted to transform. Still in
reduced opacity, I used the opacity slider on the right hand side of the screen to
adjust it to100% and return to the original image colours. This simple, yet effective
technique transforms restrained white space into a colourful section. Similar to the
opacity levels, this technique would only be used on a creative piece, ot just a
simple layout project. Where as the cut-outs could be transferable and used in a
range of scenarios, this colour selection may not be applicable for as many
Do you believe your work is creative and technically competent? Why?
(Reference specific examples (use images if this will help) of where you believe
your work is particularly visually or technically impressive. Reference
professionally produced work and compare your products to them)
This branding strip, made using the skill of
Rotoscoping, is one of the most creative and visually
impressive pieces on my recipe card. Not only is it a
creative piece of design, it also uses symbolic codes
to communicate to the audience it’s connotation. The
colours used, which are the colours of the Italian flag,
help convey the theme of the dishes to the consumer,
without the need to look at any of the text or titles.
The design also incorporates the vegetarian society
logo and the title, which saves the white space which
would have been used holding these features, as a
way to display a large image of the recipe, which, in
turn, will make the card more effective and
The small cut-outs on the right hand side of the
recipe card helps to show the most prominent parts
of the food, as well as been a creatively competent
piece on my recipe cards. On this particular example,
the images assist the branding strip, in terms of
symbolic codes. The image contains the colours of the
Italian flag, which helps in connoting the Italian
theme, along with the branding strip. These features
were made using the Rectangular Marquee tool to
select a portion of the image, before making it a new
layer and dragging it to it’s desired location.
Within my photography, I wanted the main focus to be
the food, but I also wanted to include other props within
the frame. Like the professional image on the right, I have
also used cutlery in my Tiramisu image. I believe it gave
the photograph an extra element, not just a dish on it’s
own. This photograph was taken at a birds-eye view
because I wanted the wood effect of the table to contrast
with the white and grey colours of the props, like the
table contrasts with the white plate of the professional
My photograph of the Bruschetta (left) was one of the
most important picture of the whole project. Due to the
branding strip not been established at this point, I knew I
had to have something to signify Italy and connote Italian
themes. I thought of how I could do this, coming up with
the idea to add props and frame on a dark background to
contrast it, which makes it a very creative and visually
competent image. The effect in which it has on the recipe
card is monumental. However, a feature that could have
been considered, which exists on the professional
produced right image is the feature of aperture. In blurring
the back dish out, it makes the dish at the fore-front look
even more prominent and therefore effective.
In what is one of the only images I captured from a point-
of-view perspective, this image is at this angle for a reason.
Due to the restrained and bland colours on the dish and the
table, it was paramount that I added colour from another
source. The background with the flowers transforms the
image into a colourful, vibrant piece, with visual and
technical competency achieved. As for the professionally
produced image on the right, it’s creativeness relies on the
slice missing from the dish, to show what it looks like on
the inside. This feature is only effective for pies, cakes and
similar. I did contemplate this photographic feature, when
photographing my Tiramisu, but decided against, due to the
mass of quality that would be lost if it wasn’t captured
On this comparison, unlike all my other comparisons, these
photographs use the same feature to try and achieve visual
competency, which I believe they achieve. Even though the
technique is used in very different ways, they both use
Dynamic Range. This feature involves the image ranging
from light to dark, and sometimes back again. The left
image does this les noticeably, due to one side of the image
not been completely dark. However, the darker shading
around the edges, before becoming increasingly brighter
near the middle makes it an example of Dynamic Range. In
comparison, the professionally produced image on the right
uses Dynamic Range to an obvious degree. As you can see,
the darkness around the top of the image is contrasted by
the lightness as the image continues down the bottom to
reveal the dish and the plate in which it’s presented on.
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?)
At the start of production, I wasn’t confident we would
finish in time, which is documented in my peers concerns
also. I then drew out the schedule for the cards, with a
two week deadline set on it. In this time, we would have
to work efficiently, with no major setbacks. As we divided
up the tasks, it was evident the magnitude of work we
would have to get through to succeed in this project.
Instead of spending two weeks working on a set of cards, with no feedback, before
printing them out, seemed like a bad idea. Instead, in the first week, we designed the
first set of cards, before getting advice and feedback from tutors and peers. We then
spent the second week developing and amending the cards.
The amendments included colours, layouts and fonts and lasted just short of a week.
Even though we did have a week to complete the amendments, we also needed to
test print and then print the cards. Test printing had been organised for the
penultimate day of the project, just in case something went wrong. However, we had
to move it into the final day, due to the amendments taking longer than anticipated.
This could have been catastrophic, but as it turned out, it worked well, with us getting
the cards finished within the deadline. The contingency time was needed for the
amendments, but, luckily, wasn’t needed for any other aspect of the project, which, in
short, saved the project.
Our idea of designing a layout in a week before developing the idea in the second. This is the evolution of our
If you could repeat the process what would you do differently?
I would close up the gaps in between the pictures.
Even though it fits in with this design and it splits up
the photographs well, if the project was repeated, I
would find a way to make the tightened up images
Like the closing up of the gaps on the photographs, the
border would be changed, should I repeat the project
again. It does fulfil it’s purpose of splitting up the branding
strip and the images, I do think that if it was closed up, the
recipe card would look more complete and busy, without
The text is clear and very easy to read, but it could
be more so. Instead of increasing the font or
changing it to something more simple, I would add a
bold stroke to the font, so it stands out more. After
all, this is the title and should be one, if not the
prominent feature of the card.
Without being too picky about the recipe card, I would
change the third sections colour. Even though it is
evidently the Italian flag, a more red colour could be
selected, instead of the pink-red that is currently in use.
Additionally, this box could have a use also. With the
previous draft including preparation time, cooking time
and number it serves, I would like to divide this space into
three equal sections before adding these three headings.
I would change the font of the headings. While there is nothing
wrong with the clarity or selection of the text, it isn’t in
accordance with the font on the front of the card. The font on the
front (Arial) is not matched by the font on the back (Baskerville Old
Face). However, after consideration, I have decided that I would
change the font on the back of the card, despite it been easier to
change the front on the front of the card.
The low level of opacity on the majority of the image allows the
text to be seen clearly, but also allows the image to be seen.
However, if the opacity level was increased a bit more, it wouldn’t
be noticeably different to the 100% opacity piece. The
differentiation of the parts of the image is a nice idea, but doesn’t
need to be so drastic, instead, an opacity of 75% could be chosen.
On the other hand, at this opacity, the text clarity may become a
problem, but this would need reviewing should I repeat this
Overall layouts are key to success on products, especially these
recipe cards. Even though the ingredients and the method
columns work well, I still feel that they could be improved. An
unprofessional and ineffective feel is seen when you move to the
bottom of the recipe card. As you get to the bottom of the
method, you notice that it only just fits on the page, which makes
the whole box look squashed, with the text at the bottom been
difficult to read. If I repeated this process, I would make sure that
the method box was moved up toward the ingredients box. Even
though I think they shouldn’t be level, I believe the box should be
Other things I would alter should I repeat this project again:
•I would review and consider the various methods of financing the project. While I don’t regret making the decision to self-finance
the project, due to it been a relatively good success. However, it could have gone the other way and I could have ended up losing
money. I also believe that I rushed into choosing self-financed, due to seeing what kickstarter and client financed projects ended up
like for other companies.
•Personnel members were wasted and some of them spent the end of the task doing admin jobs, instead of the design and
production tasks I hired them for. At least one design member and one general personnel member too many were hired for this
project. This could have saved £360 and paid for the embossing, which was sacrificed due to little cuts I had to make during the
•On Task 3 (researching existing products) I had researched totally different products, compared with my partner for the project. This
seemed like a good idea at first, due to the different ideas about what our cards should look like. However, as the project progressed,
this became a bit of problem when faced with different ideas to take into final production. Due to me seeing a similar card to what I
want to make, already yon the market, succeed, and my partner doing the same, it became an issue. We eventually solved it and
compromised on the design of the card, with the card, aesthetically looking like something we both wanted. If I repeated the project,
I would work with my partner on this task and then the squabble that ensued at the start of Task 9 would have been avoided.
•Task 5 had similar problems to Task 3. Due to us not working together on the survey, our data was different, so our audiences were
looking for different things on the card and different themes on the cards. Again, we resolved this problem using a compromise. For
example, the most common theme on my survey was Italian, with the second most common theme on his been Italian, which was an
obvious choice for the dishes them on the recipe cards. The same solution as the previous paragraph would have been taken, should
the project be repeated.
What constraints did you encounter and how did you consider/avoid them?
•On our final recipe card, we emulated some features of an existing product (page 14). The branding strip and the cut-up
sections of the pictures were emulated. However, I altered these techniques enough for them to be legally appropriate. I did
this by changing the colours, the construction of the branding strip and the opacity on the images, as well as not using the
same zoom option, instead, choosing to keep them zoomed out and shown as original.
•The vegetarian society logo will be subject to copyright, so instead of sourcing the image from the vegetarian society
website, I got the image from a website that didn’t have any legal copyright laws on it, so I could use the logo.
•At the beginning of task 9, I was going to design a logo and involve it in my design, but because a self-created design would
look unprofessional and will make the final product look unprofessional, I would need to alter an existing one. However, I
would have had to alter the logo to such an extent that the logo would have looked as good as a self-created one, therefore I
decided it wouldn’t be beneficial to have a company logo.
•Sourcing various images for the project would have required me to get non-copyrighted images. In order to do this, I would
have had to search through a lot of images, which would have exhausted a lot of my time and potentially resources. Instead,
I decided to take the photographs myself and save some time on this section, which I used for extra test print time.
• Before printing the cards, we realised that we didn’t have the correct type of paper that the Vegetarian brief stated that we
should use. The 350gsm paper should be used for the cards, due to the stock been “similar to the thickness of a good
type of card” *extracted from the Veg Soc brief* We managed to acquire some of this paper, which we envisaged would be
expensive. However, one of our personnel member knew a company that worked within paper and could offload us this
paper for £10 for 3500 sheets, which didn’t set back the budget as much as we imagined.
• However, when we got the 350gsm paper that we were required to print on, we hadn’t checked the previous step on the
brief, which stated that the paper and vegetable inks should be recycled. We had not though about asking the company
about if the paper was recycled, before we bought it from them. However, when we read this requirement, we got in ouch
with the supplier and asked the question. It turned out, luckily, that the paper was recycled, as was the vegetable inks that
we had picked up from another supplier within the project.
• We were asked to come up with an alternate to biodegradable laminate as part of the project. After a lot of deliberation
from me and many personnel members, we could not find an alternative, despite experimenting with various materials.
Instead, we bought the biodegradable laminate that the Vegetarian society normally use to put on their cards. Due to them
refusing to work with normal laminate, we ruled that option out, as well as the option of no laminate, due to a wipe able
card been the best option. Like stated in the Vegetarian brief, the material was very expensive, but with a big spend, a big
gain can be made.
• When we made the first set of cards and used normal paper, we had a visit from trading standards, which had come, due
to us been a very new company. They wanted to see what we were making, as well as review the product for problems.
Due to this been a prototype, the best paper wasn’t used, which was flagged up by one of their examiners. Apparently this
bad quality of paper couldn’t be used, should we have kept it like that for the final product.
• After creating the final product, but before sending them off, the SSL (Sales Standards Agency) wanted to view our
product too. Before any product can be sold in the UK, which ours was just about to, we had to have our product tested
and sent to a panel of members of the public for review. After this stage was over, there were fortunately, no queries.
•My office space cost wasn’t contractually agreed with the clients, so it increased when it came to the production stages of
the project. This meant that there was less money for either objects or personnel. Due to the cards been difficult to make as
it was, the personnel numbers couldn’t be compromised, so objects had to be reduced instead. A the begging of the project,
my cards were going to be embossed, which, according to my budget, would cost £210 to do. Instead of losing personnel
members, I sacrificed this feature of my cards. It may have lost some effectiveness on the cards, but at least they were
complete in time and the Vegetarian Society received them in time, which was the project goal.
• Contracting the printing out to an external source was the plan at the start of the project, but because the price of the
printing that was written in the budget (£875 for 3500 cards) was only a limited deal, we had to find other ways to print the
cards in the project. Mid-way through production, we managed to acquire a printer from a rental company for £500, £375
cheaper than contracting it out. This extra money that had been made was spent on a photographer. In the budget, I was to
take the photographs, which would generate no extra costs, due to an internal source lending a camera. However, as a
group, we decided the professionalism of the photographs was paramount in achieving success in this project, so hired a
photographer to take photographs of the food we had prepared, which cost us £250 for the time he was there.
•In this scenario then, money from the £7290 budget could be saved. However, as I found out when we got to the location in
which we would take pictures. The price of the three locations, all owned by one company, had been miss-quoted to one of
my personnel members, with it costing an addition £200. Due to the locations been key in our project, we had to pay the
extra cost of the locations, or risk making little profits. Now, with all the costs and prices taken care of, I was down by £75.
This figure was not bad, considering all the extra costs and faux prices. At the beginning of the project, I was expecting his
figure to be higher, now my hopes of making a good profit are still possible.
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?)
At the start of the project, it was decided that I would co-lead the team, due to me not wanting to just manage people around, but
instead, actually get to work on the project myself. I wanted to be part of the research, design and manufacture, like in other
Firstly, we divided up tasks between the group, which included making 4 cards each, deciding who will do what recipes and deciding
on what landmark would go on each card (only featured on our cards, not a brief requirement). The diving of tasks wasn’t difficult,
with no arguments about who will do what, due the division of labour been equal and fair.
I did enjoy working in group. This is mainly due to the amount of work you can produce, as well as the quality. The other member(s)
can be your quality control and tell you their honest opinions on the design and other matters, like I could with them also. Another
good thing about working in a group was the idea generation. A mass of ideas could be discussed and the best ones could then be
developed. This brainstorming session was shorter than anticipated and definitely shorter than if I was working on my own.
However, this could also be a disadvantage because if I worked individually, an idea may have been individually tailored to my likes.
On the other hand, we made a product that we both liked.
This was one of the only opportunities throughout all the projects I have carried out, to work in groups. I thought at the start of the
project, I would be better working on my own, but instead, this project proved that it’s good to work in an group and can be
beneficial for idea generation and feedback. I don’t think I would’ve made a product that measured up with this final product, had I
worked on my own.
How important is communication when working in a group?
(Use specific examples from working in a group on this project)
Our first product (left) and our final product (right) were made two weeks
apart. To get from one product to the other, me and my partner had to
discuss what was good and bad, before we could decide on the next course
of action. Of course, if we wouldn’t have spoken about this and just stuck
with the design we had, which we thought was perfectly acceptable as a
starting platform, we would have ended up with no developments and very
poorly constructed card. This did mean having differences of opinion at
times. For example, I didn’t like the white opacity strip a the top of the first
card, where as he did. As a compromise, on the next card, we didn’t have the
strip a the top, but moved the text to the branding strip a the bottom. This
project, and indeed working in a group, is about compromise, but as long as
you get a product you both like, this does not matter.
How important is communication when working in a group?
(Use specific examples from working in a group on this project)
During the design process, due to the personnel members, no one wanted to discuss ideas about how the layout and design should
go together. Instead, various members of the team worked individually, on their own thing, for the first few days. In a brainstorming
session on the third day, we collated ideas together, before making our minds up about the layout and design. A few designers had
good ideas, some of which we used for the first prototype, but others had a few very bad ideas, which we decided to stay clear from
These two designs, according to the personnel
members that designed them, were meant o be
gender specific products. After seeing these designs,
we decided to scrap these ideas and stay away from
very bright and vibrant colours for the rest of the
project,. This design, in a way, shaped the colours and
layout of the final product, by putting me and the
personnel members off using bright colours in the
What have you learnt about working in a group and how will you apply this to
The main thing I have learnt about working in a group on this project is: Just because you come up with a good idea, not everyone is
going to like it. On the first week of the project, I created a design which I believed had solved all the problems of the Vegetarian
Society, with an original, creative idea. I presented these findings to my team, but they didn’t give the same response as I had given
this idea, instead, they didn’t like the idea and wanted to go back to the drawing board. Looking back on this decision now, it was
one of the best decisions that has ever been made. If we would have gone down that path and stuck with that design, this card
wouldn’t have been half as effective or creative.
Another thing I have learnt is that you can’t rush an idea from someone. Brainstorming ideas at the start of the project helped the
team establish some shells of ideas, before developing them in the coming week. However, mid-way into the first week, we had got
news that the client was coming in to have a look at our ideas, while talking to the personnel members involved on the project. We
had a few good ideas, but one very good idea, that just wasn’t as developed as I would have liked. Instead of stalling the client, I
stupidly rushed the development and finished with an average product. If I would have waited and then unveiled the product, we
could be looking at that product now, as the final one. That is one of my regrets in the project and it wouldn't be repeated if I re-did
the project again.
I will apply these two future practices on the course. The second learning step was the most key. I will try not to rush projects in
future, due to a good piece of work been in jeopardy if I do. Even though you do have to be quick and efficient with work, you
should finish the product to the best of your ability, or risk the quality at the end of the project not been up to scratch.