19/07 - Unit seven

Today we started off our final project unit seven which is a self-organised project for seven weeks. At beginning of briefing we were divided into several groups and asked to write down different things that can become inspirations. While totally agreeing with a project should have a "small" starting point I do hold concerns about comfort zones: how can we get improvements if we're always working with things that we familiar with? We were also asked to get down everything on sticky notes for sharing ideas.

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20/07 - Illustrator session

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23/07 - First tutorial

Today we had our first tutorial of unit seven. I was kind of swing between the idea of "Japanese idol" and "tongue-twister" as the former is something that i'm familiar with and the latter can be transform into visuals in a very interesting way. Tutor suggested me to chose the idol issue because there are more to talk about. He also said that the tongue-twister one looks too complete as a prototype of concept. I think I will explore more about idols and the background of them.

The tutorial also solved my worries about comfort zone: if the topic is familiar, focus on learning new techniques then.

24/07 - Gathering research

Today was mainly spent on ducumentaries of idols. I looked up several documentaries that produced by different broadcasting company or offices ("jimushyoku" in japanese which is more like a brokerage firm than a traditional office). It's intereasting that they all have different focusing point. For example the NHK ones is more likely to talk through a nation angle like how japanese idols is affecting globle entertainment market while the one that produce by offices is more like a well organised film. I also looked up idol tv shows such as AKBINGO! that i was keep watching for a while then has quited. For the office-produced ones, although they declaim themselves as "documentaries" it's still a show. Everything is well organised and edited even and the idols, who clearly has already be familiar with presenting strong emotions in front of cameras. As a person I can't image the most private, intimate parts of me will be displayed to the public, but that is exactly what they do everyday. I think i will keep looking at this in tomorrow morning's library session.

25/07 - Library session

Today we went to King's cross library looking for book materials that we can use for the project. My topic is japanese idol culture and i was looking for these and the derived cultures and then I found a book that particularly attracted me which is called < The otaku encyclopedia >. The book is talking about Japanese web culture by a western author. I thought these kind of culture is only living in the minority so i was kind of suprised that i can find them here. It gave me some valuable firsthand materials such as people who went straight to the idol's concerts and got their signed polaroids. I also found somebooks of cosplay photography album that is not very useful to me but got recommended from the tutors. I found it's very important to choose materials that suits you.

26/07 - Tutorial

By this morning i had a tutorial with Ignacia which is very helpful. She has inspired me on how to link my discipline and topic that i've chose in a practical way - she advised me of doing packagings. I wasn't really sure where to start with the project until talked to her. She suggested me to look at supermarket and taking pictures because products and idols are quite similar in concept as well as visual. I also recommended for a german philosopher Walter Benjamin for his book <the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction>. This wasn't really helpful as i thought it was talking about "how to keep the soul of art in mass-production and assembly lines era" yet the book itself is just an introduction. I will start with taking pictures of supermarket shelf and see what i want to do next.

27/07 - Proposal


01/08 - Contextual Practice

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02/08 - Premier Pro

Today I was in premiere pro workshop with David. it's one of high-end complex product that designed by Adobe company and used for movie editing. I've learned some basic skills such as how to add different effects on videos. So far I don't have to deal with videos a lot however its definitely worth to start up working with such an amazing tool.

03/08 - First acting plan

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Today i handed in the full proposal and after few editings its now even clear. My first acting plan is taking picture in shops and jot down the visuals based on the inspirations as the visual of idols (everyone dressing uniforms just like products) is pretty similar as products. It was hard to capture a picture with products nice and neatly sleeping on shelfs as people walking around and taking them away all the time. Finally i got one picture that i took in Waitrose besides Kings cross campus. The sandwiches lying in such tidy lines, raws and raws that i have never seen, and that's exactly the reason why i wanted to take pictures in stores for. I felt this could be the most astonished moment i ever had in a supermarket.

05/08 - Visiting Museum of brands

In the weekend I went to museum of brands whichs located at notting hill. Unfortunately photoshoot is not allowed in majority places in the gallery so I only took pictures of some parts. Basically it has many commercial packages of 20 centuries that from foods to commodities, and some of them are even from the Victorian. The style changing of illustrations and photoshoots, especially typographies has truly amazed me. The product themselves were sold quite time-based, for instance there were loads of army an war games during two world war periods. However, since vast majority of them are commercial and produced on assembly lines so packagings shapes were quite limited, and most of them just look like what we have today. Overall I found it pretty helpful in term of the relations between commercial graphic design and social (e.g. why its designed in this way and how they've transformed) and I'm thinking of adding elements of background and content on my own packaging as well.

06/08 - Timetable


06/08 - Making workshop

Today i joint in making workshop with Holly the whole morning. We were asked to draw down things that we want to do for current project and modeling it. I painted a bikini-shaped record cover as the idea of my project is "rebranding an idol group in an ironic way" so i want it to be a blatant one. AKB48 publishes records with all members in bikini in every summer and found that they've been well sold so it has became a trend in Japanese idols. After sketching we were asked to modelling each others draft. It's like a chance to reinspect your own sketches since we usually don't find those unclear or unprofessional thing in our own sketches.

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Lucy's model based on my drawing sketch.

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My own model though look like ice cream cones.


At the beginning of workshop we were asked to make a little object with milliput. I think the benefit of joining in different workshops is that you get chances to expand knowledges of different materials which is quite valuable experience for me as a graphic student as we don't usually work with them. Overall, today is well spent.

08/08 - Contextual practice

Material workshop

Today we've discussed meaning of materials in contextual practice session. i was a bit confused with the meaning of "materials" as some people brought in material pieces which is not exactly the one they want to use in final work. For instance someone brought in a green wood piece because thats all he had however what he wanted for final outcome is a white piece of wood. Material is an interesting topic as it plays diverse roles in different disciplines. For example i always look at sustainbility in both economical and ecological properties as a designer especially if the product is going to be mass producted. Meanwhile a fine art student might be using tons of honey to present an idea of "natural while perpetual" since it doesnt spoil, which is not environmentally friendly at all. Another thing that interested me was the trend of material using especially in fashion. i sometimes see two irrelevant talented people doesnt know each other at all using same rare or niche materials for similar concepts. coincedences do happen but i've see this many time and i wonder what has led them into same way. In conclusion, this session helped me a lot with understanding material.

09/08 - Tutorial

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Tutorial i had today which is quite helpful.

10/08 - Make it a day workshop

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Today i have tried printing workshop. Although it wasn't my first time working with it it still has inspired me a lot. I was looking for a screen printing artist Hiroki Nishiyama because i found that i was quite into his style. However i didnt really work in that style since it doesnt strongly relate to my theme. During workshop i was told using paper to make stencils which was suprising as i used to work with acrylic and didnt know that paper would do as well. Overall it was successful and the experiments are truly interesting therefore, i'm going back to it next week and hope that i will carry out more outcomes at then.

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13/08 - Research on fast food packagings

I have collected few packagings and uploaded them to workflow.

14/08 - Response to progress tutorial

Today i had my progression tutorial which i would consider as a successful one. Tutor said he wants to see more annotations in sketchbook and i also need to be inspired more from branding side, which refer to more practitioner in graphic branding. I was a bit stuck with Logo design as i was confused with the information that i want to convey: what does the packaging wants to say? And that is always the most important thing i need to think about as a graphic student. i also had a feel of my research wasnt focusing enough so in this tutorial the tutor gave me two websites that was helpful(itsnicethat and thedieline). i'll carry out more experiments with printing  workshop in this week.

15/08 - Contextual practice

Text analysis

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Today whilst contextual practice i was a bit apprehensive going in because i know that we're going to deep reading and i have a mild dyslexia. Turned out it wasn't bad as i did preparation on how to read essays(please refer to research part of "how to read an essay"). The artical of my My piece of writing is a report about fast food packaging and it talks about paper abuses and green wash. It was clear and basic therefore it's not easy to link it to certain political issue or social behaviour. However, the writing provides a new idea of using paper doesnt mean eco-friendly and i'm suprised that i didnt notice it before.

17/08 - Tutorial

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20/08 - Idea development

Today at workshop i was trying to combine lyrics with graphic pattern. I made few sketches at the beginning and carried out one of the possible idea which is using lyrics itself as pattern. It worked out much successful than i thought but i think it could be improved if i have used different stencils. 


21/08 - Workshop

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Today i keep experimenting with screen printing. .i used paper to made stencils which is different from how i used to work with acetate. Despite the outcome looks better than i expected, i still feel frustrated about that i have to throw away my paper stencils as it is not reusable. I bought acetate at the same day and hopefully that it will work. I also had my tutorial today and suggested to try out more possible samples. my plans of tomorrow and Thursday are:

- carry out more stencils on acetate.

- get down at least 20 sketches and make 5 out of them.

22/08 - Chips experiments

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Today I didn’t go to college as I was doing experiments all day in home. I was inspired by chips so I bought some and experiment with them. I was trying to use graphic patterns to reflect sound, so that I shaped the chips of sound wave and it worked much successful that I thought. I also made some other graphics however(for example the shouting girl here), they didn’t really match what I was trying to say. Thus I didn’t consider them as my final outcome. I printed the pattern and it looks good, but I need to be more careful with the material im going to print on because recycling is a vital part of the project.

Contextual practice

Hats workshop

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Interim poster updated version


23/08 - Printing with acetate

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Today I was keep working in the workshop. The aware of tomorrow isn’t workshop day has really frustrated me. I only had completed few silkscreen prints however chucked away my chance to experiment with lino cut which nearly the most pity thing I came across in the entire project. Fortunately the acetate experiment wasn’t too bad because the acetate is clear so that the burger ratio is basacially in grids. One of the good thing of working with acetate as they're clean so it easier to avoid other parts that already with ink. Additionally a couple of recycled paper samples I bought online earlier has arrived today yet don’t look exactly as I wished. These paper are grayish yet dont have the coarse texture that i want. And I finally understand why did we use paper for stenciling – ink didnt go through very well even under acetate stencils. I also learned some terminologies in silkscreen printing: flooding which refers to the act of spreading ink over the screen before pressing; and Photo Emulsion which is a special substance (or coating) that you apply on the screen for semi-permanent design. You’re only able to wash the coating off with special chemicals. I have never heard of this technique of making usable designing thus I was working with acetate stencils all the time. I am pretty sure that I will try it out in the future.

24/08 - Exhibition locations


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As I didn’t came in on Wednesday today I was asked to fill self-evaluation form. Meanwhile the plan of final photography need to be jotted down or framed. Since packaging has strong relations to the real world, it would be better if not only the product itself but usage scenario is also included. I sketched some photos with props that I might put on use: one is framing a burger wrapped with the designed packaging and another one is framing a pair of hand holding both packaging and the burger. A sequence to clarify the idea could be a good idea. I was also thinking of the necessity of symbols of Japanese idol take part in the shoot as the outcome is for them. And then I was kind of shrank as it may misdirect to a fashion photography not a graphic branding one. Anyway I’m happy with the composition of final photography for now.


The final photography will be shoot on tomorrow so I kept struggling with my final outcome. I have several designs with me however I just couldn’t make a choice. All the recycle paper samples I’ve found are kind of dark the pattern look good on it. Some of them are even greenie. They clashes between bright colours made the whole packaging looks weird. I know it’s too late to discover another material that is recycled and I could print on, in that moment I was truly downhearted. I think of getting an A2 colour cardboard as a background that goes with the paper colour so it might look less odd.

29/08 - Final photography

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Today at the final photography section I made a sequence of how I gradually unwrap the CD and “eat” the burger. I got a burger and a set of cutlery to build the scenario and it worked quite successful for me. The only flaw was that I forgot to take off bracelet turned out it was quite symbolic and eye-attracting hanging on my wrist. I should be avoiding everything with personal characteristic. Also if I had my sleeves rolled up it could be better on the picture. In the afternoon on poster section, I’ve selected 4 pictures that Alix took and 2 from myself – the experiment photo from yesterday and crayon painting as experiment I drew earlier.

30/08 - Poster

Today I had my evaluation done and I talked to Emma about that I wasn’t pleased by my final outcome as I couldn’t make an option at the end. Unexpectedly she told me maybe its because that there weren’t many differences between the them. I took it negative at the beginning, and then I realized maybe shes trying to say that the idea is a high-complement one so that changes can only be made on graphics which doesn’t make huge differences.

Final evaluation

Final poster