FIELD LEVEL 5 REFLECTIONS

FIELD 1 ; INDUSTRIAL DESIGN 

 Having felt disheartened by my first year experience of field, I was apprehensive to begin this module despite having selected it as an option. I couldn’t have been more wrong – I developed a passion for Industrial Design during this module so much so that it made me doubt my choice of product design at one point. This module taught me how to submerge myself in different ways of design thinking and styles from week to week as well as how to adopt different methods of design approach as well as selecting best methods for design communication/presentation. Through doing this, I widened my skill set in presentational techniques and perfected my ability to choose which style best to present my work from week to week eg through sketch, digital sketch, CAD etc. This also gave me opportunity to improve on some of my weaker skills eg CAD and even adopt whole new skills for instance, digital sketch. I liked the fast pace, layout, teaching style and demands of the module as well as the mixture of tasks given both group and individual constantly developing new ideas and gaining constructive feedback – a mixture of these benefited me in working to my best ability/workload while still finding it interesting and enjoyable.

Although I’m proud of my workload from this project, if I were to do it again, I’d certainly have pushed myself to explore CAD and digital sketch as a tools for development sooner in the process rather than letting them intimidate me. This would have also allowed me to produce a better final render in the penultimate week – this is the only part that I’m not so pleased with due to lack of time and skill, I wasn’t able to present my final idea to my best ability.

FIELD 2 ; BEYOND THE BARCODE 

This module focused on learning to understand the importance of whole business design/knowledge in order to apply this developed understanding in designing and developing my own business idea. I have always had a keen interest in business hence selecting this module however, I was nervous on commencing due to having no previous experience or knowledge in this field and being within a group of predominantly fashion students. Having begun developing some of my own business ideas in my spare time, I decided to brave it and take one of these ideas forward for this module rather than playing it safe and designing a freelance style service as did many of my peers. I was nervous to do this due to it being a theme very personal and close to me, it took a lot of confidence to be so honest and open to the group in my first presentation but it certainly paid off. I surprised myself most out of all during this project, I fully submerged myself in it and developed a huge passion for the idea I was developing, going above and beyond to develop my ideas and continue working on it in any spare time (alongside a hospital admission for a chunk of the project). Through the different workshops, presentations and support from various professionals I developed a breadth of new knowledge in this subject area that I was able to apply and develop for my own ideas.

I am most proud and passionate about this project over all this year and have continued working on it in my spare time with great success. It has helped me begin making huge decisions and plans about the direction I would like to take my third year work and career path post university.

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WORKSHOPS – WEDNESDAY 6TH MARCH

Following my Field module at the beginning of the year, during the module and, in my reflection, I set out to partake in more of the workshops within the school that were’n necessarily within my subject practice and my comfort zone. Having developed an interest within clothing and merchandise during Field, I chose to undertake a workshop in screen printing which I attended this morning;

As demonstrated in the images above, this workshop was very hands on and enjoyable. Having a hands on approach and being involved really helps me particularly in learning and understanding the different processes involved. I decided to stay in keeping with the work I produces during my field module trying to recreate my logo by hand.

Moving on to digital stitching, I was really surprised by this workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed and began developing a good understanding for designing for stitch including the software and materials involved.

For next week, we are to prepare something that we want to design for stitch and map out how this might be done within the stitch software.

 

 

FIELD 5 – BEYOND THE BARCODE – TERM 2 – PROJECT REFLECTION

Without a doubt this has been one of, if not, my favourite project since studying at CSAD…

I really didn’t enjoy Field in the first year, so wasn’t looking forward to undertaking 2 Field projects during second year expecting them to be equally as unenjoyable. My assumptions couldn’t have been more wrong…

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Beyond The Barcode as a module. I’ve really enjoyed the delivery of the module and the split between tutorial time, lecture time, guest speakers, workshops and free time to get on with the work and tasks given.  Having input from guest lecturers / speakers on a weekly basis including Jenny Kate, Alex, Dewi etc has been hugely insightful and inspiring giving a real sense of how everything works in the real world / industry. Having Alex come in and speak to us and also give us some feedback / tutorials was hugely beneficial and interesting. Hearing his background and how he’s worked his way up through the industry was incredible, I found this really inspiring and hugely appreciated being able to have him on board for the project and being able to help me and give me input in terms of my own business. Likewise with Jenny Kate, it was incredible to see / hear how she has developed her business from her ideas at UNI to where she is today with her business and getting an insight to some of the behind the scenes and marketing strategies. Although I was a little unclear to begin with on what the required deliverables were, I feel like I have produced a good portfolio of work that I’m pleased to present and feel like I’ve developed hugely as an individual in multiple senses over the past weeks. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone a little during this project, delving into something completely different, that I’ve always been interested in but, haven’t yet had the opportunity to learn more about. The project has definitely lit a spark of passion and interest with me and I’m certainly going to continue developing the ideas and work that I’ve produced as its something that lies close to me and I believe, has real potential as a business in the real world. So much so, completing this Field module has completely transformed my prospects for after my degree and I’ve changed my dissertation focus to a business plan.

Cardiff Met EDGE – I feel that this field module has given lots more opportunity explore the Cardiff Met EDGE (Ethical, Digital, Global and Entrepreneurial). Ethically I’ve had to consider my target audience and the fact that people come from all sorts of backgrounds and have different viewpoints towards all aspects whether it be cultural, racial, environmental etc. This is something I’m really interested in hence hoping to include a race/religion episode on my podcast series. Digitally I’ve done a lot of exploring and experimenting. I’ve explored lots of digital avenues including photography/film, website building, social media marketing, new digital softwares, digital sketching, logo design – the list is endless! I’ve had to make decisions on which softwares are best suited to completing particular tasks as well as completely learn/teach myself new softwares. The opportunities, capabilities and possibilities are endless in this field, I don’t think you can ever know enough when it comes to using digital skills and softwares hence why I plan to continue putting all of these skills to use as well as developing upon them. In terms of being global, I’ve had to research and consider global brands, companies and customers as this is a global matter and has researchers and developers in the field across the world. I’ve also had to think globally in the means of my products and services, who might they reach or be available to? Will they be applicable and appropriate to people across the globe? And arguably the biggest one for this project, Entrepreneurial. This project has been extremely entrepreneurial with its business focus – I’ve developed a breadth of new knowledge and skill in this field that I will continue to carry with me, use and develop both in my spare time and back in my Product Design practice. As I will continue to discuss in this blog, I’ve been fortunate enough to hear and learn off so many entrepreneurial people from industry as well as beginning to learn some of the skills and knowledge required to start a business and begin putting these to practice with my own business concept. I will continue to discuss these in more detail however, thought it would be appropriate to mention The Met EDGE here and how this field module particularly has given opportunity to develop all four of these key skills.

Due to a severe deterioration in my health, particularly over the second half of the project, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to complete the volume or quality of work that I’d have liked to, or, would have been able to achieve without these health struggles having spent a lot of the time in hospital. However, I have to remember, these health struggles are what in fact have inspired this business idea/brand and this has given me time to reflect upon and appreciate that in a more positive, better mindset. If anything, this has greater informed my aspiration to continue developing this idea / business and hopefully, one day in the near future be able to build it into a real business for myself.

 

So, my business idea and developments thus far;

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After much confusion, curiosity and a lot of suffering with unusual symptoms, at the age of 13 I was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, one of the two main forms of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). As yet, there is no cure to these debilitating diseases. At this very young and vulnerable age, I began working my way through the list of harsh treatments available to try and get some control of my symptoms and regain my life that was being striped of me. Unfortunately not much luck was had. My symptoms continued to worsen and I began spending more time in hospital than I did in school. In 2015, when I was 17, my body eventually gave in. With no options left and days before my condition would lead to me to bleeding to death, I underwent emergency surgery to remove the majority of my diseased colon. This left me with a temporary stoma which I had to overcome both mentally and physically. Following this time of recovery, my symptoms began to return in my remaining colon and rectum again, with no treatments succeeding leading to another emergency surgery to remove the remainder of my colon, rectum etc making my stoma permanent. In very short, this is my IBD story and leads me to where I am today. This story has shaped the majority of my life and my stoma is something I now deal with on a daily basis along with the complications of my disease. Being a young person growing up, and dealing with these experiences, I’ve particularly noticed that much of the literature and guidance to do with IBD but in particularly, stomas, is very much tailored to the elderly not to mention the huge stigma there is surrounding the subject making it very hard for anyone but particularly younger people to come to terms, learn about and manage what they’re going through. As my research shows, one in four people newly diagnosed are actually under the age of 16 so this really doesn’t make sense that things are this way…

This is where my brand’s story stems from. I’ve grown up with very little aid in terms of understanding and empathy for people my age going through these experiences. Everything is extremely medical and mundane. Literature is focused on the elderly and there is much taboo surrounding the subject meaning that people don’t want to or, don’t feel comfortable discussing these things. This is where I want to make a change. OSTO.ME is an empathetic and inspiring brand that creates products and services aimed at a general target market of people with chronic illness, invisible illness, bowel disease and those particularly who’ve undergone bowel and stoma surgery whatever their age or background. This is my WHO. These products and services steer away from those of the typical medical generation that are currently on the market and aim to break down the stigmas and taboos surrounding these illnesses with aim to empower and inspire the customers, making them feel part of a community and more comfortable in their own skin and with what their bodies are going through. This is my WHY.

During this project, my concept has developed immensely from a very very basic concept with no real idea or purpose, just a recognition of a need and gap in the market, all of the way through to thoroughly researching the current market and trends, placing myself within these and recognising my strengths and weaknesses as well as what I can provide that they and nobody else can’t. I then moved onto creating a brand name and streamline and putting this into a logo thus creating the beginning of a brand image and beginning to place this on marketing strategies such as social media, a website, marketing imagery and business cards. I’ve began creating concepts for physical products and merchandise as well as digital such as a podcast, social media and a website. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and experimented with new softwares and skills, attempting to delve into the world of the fashion design course. Evidence of all of this and my developments for product and services ideas can be found in my blog. This is a part of the project I’ve thoroughly enjoyed as it has allowed for creativity and personal touch, what we’re good at here at CSAD, but has also given this creativity and what we’re doing purpose with real world research and justification for the need and placing of this particular brand. I even went as far as researching into how I might be able to kick start and achieve this business financially. A lot of this initially would require my time and effort with some small costs for things here and there eg website domain, sample items. However, when it would come to beginning to develop and produce products (in particularly those physical) I might require some sponsorship or funding. So, I began researching and mind mapping this and even got into conversation with one company, ‘The Good Neighbour RX’, who have actually made an offer for the near future to work with them and financially support some of my ideas which is incredible. This is my WHAT.

Now, with a concept of a brand and some of its potential services and products, I was able to begin thinking about and developing some marketing strategies for it. Again, I was thoroughly interested in this area in particularly the social media marketing aspect however didn’t realise there was so much background, theory and knowledge to it. I learned that there’s much more to this aspect than anticipated and was rather overwhelmed but with some of the tools and knowledge advised by the team of tutors that its quite easy once you’ve cracked it and begin developing a customer basis and fan base if you like for your products / company. Something key that I learned is that you could have an absolutely fantastic business / brand idea but, if you get your marketing wrong, this could have absolutely detrimental effects to the business, in some cases leading to huge loss and failure. I would have liked to have maybe had a little bit more time to focus on this area to get my marketing strategies really crisp and refined however, I’m going to continue to develop on this  and my skills in this area in my own time, seeking advice and assistance where needed so that I have a strong portfolio that I feel markets and showcases my brand and ideas at their very best.

On the whole, I really feel as if I’ve developed in many areas over the duration of this project not only in my knowledge and skills but, in myself as a person too. Being mixed within a new group outside of my subject practice, I’ve gained confidence in myself and my ideas to be able to pitch them to new tutors, guests and a new group of colleagues in particularly due to the theme of the idea / business being very personal to me, this is unlike anything I’ve done before. Through this, my professional skills have developed and I’ve been able to have many real world like business orientated conversations with people from a range of industries. I definitely feel more confident in going into similar discussions/conversations in the future. This kind of thing is difficult to demonstrate on a blog but it is one of the highlights of the project for me personally and I’m really proud and pleased with this. Another one of my personal highlights has been taking an interest in the fashion design side of things so much so, that I’ve booked myself into weeks worth of workshops in this field and have pushed myself out of my comfort zone to try and include some work in this area within my final portfolio which although I can appreciate is probably very low fidelity for a fashion student, I’m really proud of this and have actually discovered something new that I’m really interested and enjoy being clothing design. This is something I actually can’t wait to continue developing my skills in so that hopefully, one day in the near future I can actually begin printing and stitching some of my designs and ideas onto actual garments. These are just some of my highlights from the past weeks. I think it’s easy to tell that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this project, where a lot more detail and imagery of the weeks can be seen throughout my blog, despite some of my health setbacks, I’m really pleased with some of the work and ideas I’ve been able to produce but even more so, my personal skill development – these I will definitely continue to work on and take through to all aspects of my other work.

Thank you to Irene, Dewi and all guests, I look forward to further developing my ideas and pestering you for your knowledge and help.

 

FIELD5 – BEYOND THE BARCODE – VIDEO MARKETING CAMPAIGN

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After seeing some of Jenny Kate’s video marketing examples particularly, I was really inspired to start planning my own. The difficult thing in my case at the moment, is that I don’t yet have any physical products to market, just my ideas and myself as a brand. However, this doesn’t stop me from creating ideas to create video marketing campaigns. I was trying to picture ways that I could market my story and myself which could then lead to my brand and in the future, my products.

The idea I had is as outlined in my quick story board;

  • To go to Pen Y fan, The Brecon Beacons, Wales and climb the mountain
  • I will get someone (preferably with some camera/videography skills) to come with me and capture the journey there, up the mountain and back down.
  • The weather needs to be at least dry if not sunny
  • We won’t need to take much equipment, I will drive us there, we need to take plenty of water and a few snacks, a good quality camera with plenty of storage space (I already own)
  • I will show whoever I take with me, some examples of the kind of video footage that I’m trying to achieve before we go so that I can ensure we’re on the same page and both know what we’re aiming for
  • Once I’ve got the footage, I will take some time to edit it all and pick out the good parts edited, I can figure out how much footage I’ve got to work with in terms of creating background sound / speech
  • My aim is to script my story in terms of my medical journey (in a very short form) but to include all key movements / features / developments while visually not a lot is shown just some of the journey to Pen Y Fan (potentially some of the preparing to go), some of the views en route and climbing as well as some imagery of me climbing the mounting with short blanks / pauses between each key bit of information. There may be some use of music in the background depending on what works / sounds best but this music will have no lyric and won’t be too overpowering because the key sound is the voice – I will only use music if it compliments the voice and the scenery and helps set the tone of journey / inspiration that I’m hoping for.
  • This same feeling / scenery will be continued as the mountain is climbed / the summit is in sight, maybe with a slight change in tone / voice – climbing the mountain is a representation of the mountains and hurdles we climb / overcome during life (mine being my illness/story in this case). I chose Pen Y Fan as the mountain for this due to it being a part of my Welsh heritage and part of my home turf within the Brecon Beacons / Mid Wales. Pen Y Fan also means a lot to me as it is a marker in terms of time and weak / strong points during my journey as I’ve climbed as a goal after every weak point / surgery hence why I felt it a perfect location to film this. Getting to the summit is a sign of overcoming, resilience and strength physically and mentally.
  • Reaching the summit will be filmed with aim of evoking this feeling through the imagery and sound
  • However, up until this point, although they might have been mentioned, my illness and stoma won’t have actually been shown. When I get to the very recognisable plaque / landmark at the top, I will eventually show my stoma bag.
  • There will be another blank and a black screen with the appearance of my brand name and strapline – OSTO ME – BRINGING THE INSIDE OUT (no other music / sound / visuals at this point)
  • The film will then end
  • The descent of the mountain will not be shown
  • The video will end with a feeling of strength and will evoque emotion
  • Although it may not have marketed a particular product, it will have demonstrated me and my story and in turn, my brand giving the viewer a good idea of what it all may come to and being left with a feeling of empowerment
  • This will act as my initial introductory marketing video to me / the brand, marketing videos to my products can follow in the future – these however, could potentially follow a similar plan / idea with different activities / challenges depending on the product.

 

Due to shortness of time and different timetables, there are only few days I have to work with to plan the filming of the video. I also have to consider daylight (the sun is currently setting at 4:30pm ish so this rules out filming in the evening) and safety, for example we can’ go in severe weather conditions. As I mentioned, in a perfect world, it would be a lovely bright day with good visibility and sunlight at the peak but I understand that this isn’t always doable at this time of year so we will just have to do what we can.

I have provisionally planned to go on Wednesday the 6th of February, leaving at 10am, with one or two of my peers from Product Design who have some previous camera/film experience.


 

Despite the forecast for some gloomy weather and, it having snowed some of the previous days, the roads / paths looked fairly clear and not too much rain forecast so we set out to Pen y Fan as outlined in the above plan. Due to health reasons, I was only able to take one of my planned piers so took her through using my camera, and told her what I was aiming to achieve / my plan. We were under some time constriction due to the gloomy weather so I gave her full responsibility of the camera.

We were successful in getting up / down the mountain despite some snowy paths. The visibility from about half way up was very poor and the weather deteriorated the higher we got which meant some rushing / less opportunity for effective shots however we persevered anyway. I was very grateful to my pier for persevering with me and continuing to try and get some shots however, upon arriving home, and uploading the content to my Mac, I realised that the content achieved was not so successful. This was by no fault of anybody in particular I’d say, more so due to the conditions leading to us both being in a rush and not having the time to achieve what I set out to. I do not regret this journey at all and still believe that my vision for this marketing plan could be fully successful and impactful with a few adaptions;

  • Potentially taking multiple cameras that are capable of achieving the different shots desired
  • Potentially hiring a professional videographer
  • A brighter (preferably) summers day

 

Below are some of the still shots from the day;

 

 

I’m going to do my best trying to edit the clips that I’ve got, but I’m not hopeful that I’m going to be able to achieve what I would have liked at all. A temporary idea I could use for the time being otherwise could follow a similar structure but just using images of my different travels / adventures over the past few years with the same music / voice over plan.

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Evidence of the amount of video footage we took

I am disappointed by this but again, have to appreciate the time constraints and know that in the future, with the correct facilities, I have a strong idea that I believe in for a video marketing campaign. In the meantime, I aim to create some marketing imagery that I could use instead to demonstrate and market my business / brand.

 

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Despite not managing to achieve what I wanted to in terms of a video marketing strategy, I’m pleased with the collection of imagery I’ve developed – this imagery I wanted to reflect the positivity, strength, aspiration, motivation and adventure of my brand/business. As already mentioned, I’m going to work to continue developing my graphic communication abilities to create better quality, clearer imagery. And, as I spoke about previously, I’m going to arrange a retake of the Pen Y Fan trip and arrange some of the extra final touches that I spoke of to enable me to achieve the exact type of content I wanted.

FIELD 5 – BEYOND THE BARCODE – MOVING INTO FEBRUARY

I found Tuesday’s lectures extremely informative, firstly delving into social media marketing with Dewi and then, reviewing the project and its deliverables with Irene. I knew social media marketing is currently a huge thing and has been ever growing over the past few years but, I didn’t realise that there was such logic and theory behind it – I found this extremely interesting and feel it is particularly relevant to our current generation. As a result of my current growing instagram platform, I really  enjoyed the information that Dewi had to share and found it both really interesting and helpful.

Last week, we also were fortunate enough to have a lecture/presentation/workshop delivered by Jayne Pierson, a high end luxury fashion designer. She looked at branding and got us thinking about how particular brands make the customer feel and look – how might we evoke these feelings in our own brands? She also spoke of the importance of choice of wording and a brands voice along with many other contributors such as music, location, colour, texture – all of these things contribute to a brands identity and feeling showing that every single choice we make in this field has its own relevance and importance. I hope to start giving these factors deeper consideration when I’m planning and designing my brand/business as a whole.

Jayne recaped on the importance of brand values and ethos and particularly the  relevance and importance of these and sticking to them in everything you do as a brand – Jayne taught us that as soon as you’ve made a connection with your customer / audience on a particular level, then you’ve pretty much already sold the product.

 

FIELD 5 – BEYOND THE BARCODE – MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

TASK: THINK ABOUT WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS YOU’RE GOING TO USE AND WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT YOU’RE GOING TO SHIFT ON EACH

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INSTAGRAM – I’ve already created an Instagram platform for my business / brand. I wanted to ensure that I could have the domain/ name I wanted so took it before anybody else could @osto.me

Instagram is currently my main platform in terms of my non profit personal business / brand that forms a community of people like myself with chronic illness’, stomas, IBD etc @ambersostomy so, I already have some knowledge of how to network, perform and control an Instagram platform. However, I understand the platform for my business will be slightly different in the way that it’ll be slightly more formal. Despite this, it will still be very visual however, I will still aim to provide some useful content for free whether this is within the imagery or, in a caption that the image provokes. I will only share images and information on here that relate to or, market my brand.

Interestingly, Dewi spoke of his (and many other business’) strategies in terms of how they go about creating content and sampling its success. The appearance of the content is extremely important and has to be thought through differently for different platforms. So, Dewi suggested a couple of handy ways for doing this which I will bear in mind when it comes to beginning to plan and map out my own content. Firstly, he provided some links to sites that you can use to create free sample posts which is really useful in helping see how posts will appear across different platforms. I plan to explore these links and hopefully test them out over the following days/weeks; https://adparlor.com/ad-mockups/ https://freebies.fluxes.com/blog/free-social-media-mockups-2017/ . Another strategy, something so easy and simple which I don’t think I’d have thought of doing myself is to have ‘fake’ private versions of each account which only you, or a select few who can help you out with feedback have access to. This way you can test out posting your content and play about with how it appears as well as getting some feedback before you post this content on your live account for your customers to see. Through doing this, you ensure that you provide the most appealing, successful version of what you’re trying to put out there, rather than a version which might not work so well.

https://hashtagify.me/hashtag/tbt – A free tool for searching hashtags, their popularity and engagement

  • Think of who your competitors and customers are, see what they’re doing/using, where they’re checking in, what they’re buying – use this as a source of information to target your own content.
  • Engage with your target customers and lead them to your page

 

HASHTAGS THAT I MAY USE IN MY OWN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING – Using Hashtagify, the website Dewi told us about, I began exploring and testing some of the hashtags that I feel may be relevant to the content I post – it was really interesting to see the trends and popularity between some of these. This is definitely a tool that I wouldn’t have thought of using before but will certainly use in going forward with my brand into the near future to ensure that I’m using hashtags that are relevant and on trend for that given time.

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It’s important to remember that hashtags change with trends and with whats going on in the world at that given time. A good example of this within the audience that I’ll be marketing at follows a recent tragedy in the USA where a 10 year old boy, Seven Bridges, who had a stoma recently took his own life after being tormented and bullied by his school friends. Absolutely distraught and feeling helpless following this tragedy, the stony community formed a hashtag to encourage people to be more vocal about their stoma bags in aim of raising awareness and understanding in the hope that in turn, this will lessen the likelihood of similar tragedies happening again. The community demonstrated this pledge by using the hashtag #BAGSOUTFORSEVEN – As demonstrated in the graph below, there was a huge spike in this hashtag over the course of that week or two. As an entrepreneur in this field, I amigo be in the know and up to date when it comes to trends such as this and therefore, be able to include campaigns and trends like these within my own posts to ensure that I’m capturing the correct audience.

CREATING YOUR OWN HASHTAG / TREND – Another idea I thought of was to possibly create my own hashtag that people used in their posts when posting about my company/ services. I think this would be a cool way to outline the community that are engaging with my products and services as well as hopefully attracting a wider audience through the sharing of this.

  • I could think about using my slogan as a hashtag to form a community between my followers that are interacting with my business / followers  – #bringingtheinsideout
  • I could use my brands name – #OSTO.ME

 

PEOPLE I MAY CONSIDER USING AS INFLUENCERS

The people / influencers I use don’t necessarily have to have extremely large scales of followers however, their followers must have a relevant following base in terms of my customer / target market and a good engagement with these people – in this case, it doesn’t matter to me whether these individuals have tens or thousands of followers, I will just need to be aware of who exactly is following them and what their engagement is like. I will also be sure to know what kind of content they produce, I don’t want to have my brand being demonstrated amongst imagery and information that my brand isn’t about as this will start creating the wrong and unclear image for my brand and what its about. It’s important to me that my influencers have the same values, goals and aspirations to me / my brand meaning that I will have to be careful and aware of this when choosing individuals. Each and everybody within this community is different in their own way so I will assess what additional things some may be able to bring to the table for example, some have different health problems, some have multiple different platforms, everyone’s of different ages, different careers etc etc. I have included some of the accounts / people I may look to initially to use as my brands influencers. These are people that I’ve engaged with in the past and find their content and what they’re doing hugely inspiring and informative. They all have relevant followings and all produce content that are in line with my brand.

When it comes to working with and choosing influencers for my brand, these decisions won’t be taken lightly and different collaborations may be tailored differently to particular individuals. For example, I may reach out to certain individuals (or vice versa) and discuss my products with them / offer to send them free goods in return for them to display them on their social medias if they like them. Others, I may offer them financial incentment to show themselves engaging with my products on their profiles – these can be provided in many ways including commission, commission links, affiliate links, a sum of money per post, more money for certain posts/ engagement e.g. YouTube, discount codes for their followers… the list is endless and different things will work differently for different influencers and the content they can provide for me / their followers – over time I may find that certain methods work more successfully than others and therefore steer to only using certain methods.

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On the whole, I aim to be as engaging as possible with my followers and make use of all social media features e.g. with Instagram using the posting facility, Instastories, IGTV, Inbox, Likes, Comments etc.

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The Instagram page / platform I’ve began creating / designing for my business ‘OSTO.ME’

I’d like my Instagram platform to be sleek and attractive in its aesthetic – I want it to be informative and a place that people enjoy visiting.

I’ve been taking some time to do further research into influencer marketing, I’ve started watching many videos and reading lots upon the subject and am beginning to learn how it works – it’s definitely a lot more complex than I ever realised or noticed before starting this module but is extremely intriguing and actually involves a lot of thought, mathematics and algorithm. I’m starting realise that a lot of it can be quite manipulative and dishonest . It’s business at the end of the day and a lot of companies are only in it for themselves. Whatever the case, I want to ensure that I steer away from this being the case with my companies. I’d much rather have fewer influencer relationships but to ensure that these are sincere, honest and on the same page with me in terms of what we stand for with the main aim / goal to help improve the lives of those sufferers rather than having multiples of influencers pumping out content that I can’t keep a track of or don’t necessarily agree with.

As mentioned previously, I’ve also made a wordpress page (website page) and business email address which all have the same name which makes finding and remembering each much easier for the customer/audience. Having spoken to Dewi, I’ve now learned that I need to purchase a domain so that I own my website name and that nobody else can use/take this as well as research into WordPress layouts and potentially invest in one of the premium layouts here so that I can have a website design that I really like and believe suits my company as well as fits the purpose it needs to. As discussed in a previous post, I need to thoroughly plan this website / layout, who will be visiting it and for what reasons. Although this may not be within the time scale of this project, I will continue to seek feedback with the decisions I’m making in this field and attend workshops to help ensure that I’m doing this best as well as to gain any new / extra knowledge in this field. Over time, in my spare time, I plan to continue adding to my website, its content and its design as well as adding to my knowledge in this Field. I’m going to continue seeking advice and help when needed so that someday in the near future, I can launch a website that I’m really proud of and that works successfully.

website

In terms of other social medias, as on the SimplyDo platform I have discussed Twitter and Facebook, their uses and who would be targeted in particularly on these. If anything, I will be more inclined to create a Facebook page first which will be very much similar to the imagery content I provide on my Instagram account. However, there would probably be more information on this account as there is a lot more space for it. This would also be useful as well in order to link to my Instagram and create it an official business account.

In terms of the email address, I will use this for business purposes only. I will provide this on my website, Instagram and any other social medias so that it is easily accessible and people have a means of contacting me with regards to anything to do with the business. I will also include it on physical documents such as business cards, leaflets, receipts etc.

When it comes to marketing and launching my business for real, I will need to create physical marketing products too. I will need to include my logo on things such as adverts, flyers, magazines etc. So, I decided to try and design some business cards because this is something I will need as a promotional strategy when it comes to launching my business for real. I decided to keep these minimal to begin with so that they match my aesthetic thus far (this has potential to adapt with time as the business develops and physical products emerge).

business cardsbusiness card holdong

 

FIELD 5 – BEYOND THE BARCODE – PRODUCT LINE IDEAS

I’ve decided it best that I break the project down and log different parts / my progress in separate posts. So, in this section, I aim to concentrate on logging the development of ideas in terms of physical products that I might provide as part of the business / brand. These, of course, are all concepts and each require their own separate research etc as if they’re their own mini projects. Some of these will of be different scales to others and require different levels of skill, research, funding etc etc. However, for now I will track and log all of my ideas and add to them as they develop.

  • ‘Merchandise’ – T-shirts / Hoodies – I would like to create basic tees and hoodies with small logos, sayings or inspirational quotes all relating back to Chronic Illness / IBD / Stomas in some form. The aim of these is to inspire and empower members of the community or people who wish to support. It doesn’t necessarily have to be obvious but, just something small that they feel connected to / personal to them.
  • My stoma bag ‘on the go’ changing device – This is one of my more specific products that I’ve been developing in the back of my mind for a little while. This is one of the ones that will take much more research and development but has potentially to be my ‘biggest break through’. the concept is inspired by a builders tool belt or festival style bum bag but, with a twist. Being an ostomate (person with a stoma) myself, I’ve noticed and found that changing my bag in public places can be very difficult due to organisation and hygiene issues. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to change your bag in these situations however, this is not the case and often you don’t have a choice or much time to find somewhere to ‘do the deed’ of changing in public.  This device will be a device that aid those ostomates in these situations and would provide a belt like product that provides different compartments for the changing process so that everything is sanitary and clean, accessible and stress free. Ideally the device would be foldable and waterproof  but again, reaching this finish in quality and performance will take lots of testing and research as well as other elements for example numbers, sizes and shapes of compartments, size of product etc. These are all things for the future and potential near future projects for when I’m back in my practice, Product Design.
  • The next idea is something that’s very recently come to the light for me – personalisation is a huge market at the moment and I was wondering why stoma bags and similar products couldn’t be easier personalised by the patients themselves? One of my ideas is to create designs that could be made as stickers / prints / pressed prints that you distributed on their own with instructions for use then the customer could put them wherever they please whether it be on a bag, on an item of clothing or, anywhere they please. Or, alternatively, people could send you their products / items with a specified design / location and I’d do it for them for a small extra charge. Another idea could be to send he designs out with a selected plain item of clothing e.g. a plain white t-shirt provided for extra charge and then they place the print onto it themselves wherever they please.

 

I will discuss through my ideas with my tutors and continue developing them over the course of this project and beyond.

Although I’m not a fashion student, and by no means have an idea of how the fashion department go about designing their garments, being on a fashion orientated module, in the fashion studio has made me extremely intrigued and in fact, interested in what they do. Before this module, I didn’t realise quite how much the fashion students did but its really inspired me and made me want to develop more skills in the field (hence booking workshops as mentioned in another post). Although I do not have any of these skills yet, as my product range(s) could include clothing or ‘merch’ of some sort, I thought it’d be nice to play around with some software and designs to see how these products may look if I were to bring them to life at some point in the future. Again, these are very basic but I’m pleased with myself for trying and aim to keep developing these skills over time so that hopefully if my business does become a reality one day, then I can get involved with the fashion design side of things. My merchandise / clothing range would be less medical and more of an accessory of the business. They’d be comfy items of clothing that have a message or symbol that relate to the brand subtly printed or embroiled onto them such as the strapline (as demonstrated) or other symbols/inspirational quotes. I’d like this range to be affordable if possible with items ranging between £8 – £35. I’m hoping that after attending some of the workshops I’ve booked during March, that I’ll actually be able to play around with some of these ideas whether it be printing or stitching. I could just buy lots of cheap plain high street garments initially to test my ideas on and if successful, I could look into ordering in better quality items so that I can create my ideas on for real and actually begin selling them – this could be a possible idea to get my product ranges started when I’m still at UNI!

Some more refined ideas and demonstration of my skills slowly improving;

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I’ve been thinking of ways that the stoma bag itself can be made more personal / personalisable which doesn’t affect its function or safety/standards as a medical product / device as medical devices take years to pass standards and regulations I thought I’d think  outside the box and try not to redesign the product itself. Stoma bag covers exist on the current market already however I thought it’d be really cool to design something that could be transferred directly onto ones stoma bag to add a personal touch and transform the bags aesthetic. This idea was inspired by some of the arts and crafts kits I used to use as a child which you could iron an image/pattern/graphic onto fabric using a transfer paper. I could provide multiple designs to choose from in ranges of colours, sizes etc – the customer would select which they wanted, I would create the transfer and then post it out to the customer and they’d iron the transfer on themselves at home – this is an incredibly affordable, quick, and easy way to personalise your stoma bag from your home. It could make people feel much more comfortable and confident wearing and even proudly showing their designed bag. Another option could be for people to request a certain design and for a small additional charge, I will make it for them. Alternatively, customers could specify  which design(s) they’d like and then send me their bags and again, for a small additional charge, I would print onto their bags for them and then post them back.

https://thegraphicsfairy.com/union-jack-shield-pillow-iron-on-transfer-printable/

 

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FIELD 5 – BEYOND THE BARCODE – PODCAST PLANNING

As part of my business / brand, I want to offer some sort of information / support service for my audience (Chronic illness sufferers in particularly those with bowel disease/who’ve undergone bowel surgery). I already run a rather popular Instagram account in my spare time that is rather similar to this and have been considering / planning to expand for a while and feel like this project and the development of my brand idea offers the perfect opportunity to open up this new field. Having given this quite a bit of thought, I have decided that I’d like this new venture to be in the field of Podcasts. I feel like a podcast would be a great form of sharing ideas, information and support. Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular and I believe this would be a great way for my audience to zone out and listen in whenever they please. In a nutshell, my podcast will cover numerous individual topics when it comes to day to day life and living with a chronic illness, IBD, Stomas etc.

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My current Instagram profile directed at Inspiring others in a similar situation as well as providing information and advice in numerous fields such as fashion, fitness, travel… @ambersostomy

 

A list of some of my podcast topic ideas can found seen below;

 

EDUCATION + IBD / STOMAS

RELATIONSHIPS + IBD / STOMAS

GAY RELATIONSHIPS + IBD / STOMAS

PARENTHOOD + IBD / STOMAS

PREGNANCY + IBD / STOMAS

DATING + IBD / STOMAS

FASHION + IBD / STOMAS

TRAVEL + IBD / STOMAS

CAREERS + IBD / STOMAS

SOCIAL MEDIA + IBD / STOMAS

ANXIETY + IBD / STOMAS

MENTAL HEALTH + IBD / STOMAS

EATING OUT + IBD / STOMAS

RACE + IBD / STOMAS

RELIGION + IBD / STOMAS

SPORT + IBD / STOMAS

ADULTING + IBD / STOMAS

DIETING / BULKING + IBD / STOMAS

WORKING OUT / GYM / WEIGHT TRAINING + IBD / STOMAS

 

I will continue adding to this list as my ideas for themes/titles develop. I feel like some of these topics are very personal and listening to discussions on these would be extremely beneficial to many people in this communities as not many people discuss them due to embarrassment/taboo however they are things that people want to hear/know about. Due to this, a lot of these topics cannot be found in literature so I believe there is certainly a gap in the market and lots of people would be helped. In conjunction with this, I will choose certain individuals to be ‘guests’ on my podcast to help shine a light on/discuss certain topics.

This podcast would be a part of my business / brand even if it is non profit, it will help me build a fan base/following in which people will then be lead to my profit providing revenue e.g. merchandise / products. The podcast will be heavily advertised on my social medias and advertisement as well as having its own section on my website.

The podcast will be well thought through and planned so that each topic has its time for discussion. There could be multiple series. It is possible that I could seek funding in terms of a sponsorship for my Podcast, this is something I will discuss with my tutors and do some further research into over the course of this project and beyond. Another option is to charge a small subscription fee to those interested in the podcast. This is something I’d currently like to steer away from however, will do some research into as it is an alternative option.

 

PODCAST NAME IDEAS:

  • CHATTING SH*T
  • SH*T TALK
  • SH*T HAPPENS
  • TOUGH SH*T

 

Although I have began researching into podcasts and their logistics e.g. how to create and edit them, how / where to host them, I need to do some further research in this field and begin making more finite decisions about how I will achieve this in order to make a better plan. I will continue updating my findings / options as I do further research. I would like to find somebody who’s done something similar (not necessarily on the same subject) so that I can get some insight and idea first hand of what its like to create and host a podcast.

I will use this section of my blog to continue noting the development of my ideas in terms of the podcast side of the project so that everything can be found in one location. I’m really excited about this aspect and hope that with planning, I can bring it to life at some point in the near future.

I’ve actually been involved as a guest in a podcast over the past couple of weeks which has given me the opportunity to practice and get used to the logistics and set up of it all – I have become more comfortable and confident speaking about given subjects/topics on the spot and giving my views/opinions on subjects presented. I have also spoken quite personally and got used to opening up in this way while essentially talking to a microphone / computer. This has given me some opportunity too to ask some questions with regards to the setting up of a podcast and has also arisen opportunity to potentially get some sponsorship / funding to beginning my own as well as an idea of what platform to begin on and how to navigate it.

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This element of the project is something that I feel really passionate about and am extremely excited to continue developing. Although this may not be profitable in terms of the business financially, i really believe it can profit the lives of those customers and patients which is what my brand and I really stand for.

 

podcast name ideas

 

 

podcast logo ideas

 

 

podcast themespodcast logo

When it came to thinking of a name for this strand of the business, the podcasts name, I really enjoyed playing around with name ideas. Again, similarly to the business’ name, I wasn’t being too precious with my ideas although I did have some idea of the direction I wanted to go in with this. I had fun with this name, I wanted it to be less serious, but still relevant and meaningful. In the end I decided to use a play on words / phrases. I took the phrase ‘chatting shit’ and adapted it to use the same style and fonts as my logo however, added a graphic in to disguise the taboo language but to still demonstrate what the word means. At the end of the day, the disease IBD, and the surgeries surrounding it, all concentrate on the topic of poo. This topic that we’re trying to break the taboo and stigma of. So, I felt it only applicable to use the phrase ‘chatting shit’ to name my podcast as it has a double meaning – we are generally talking about something that arises from the topic of bowels and poo and secondary, we probably will be waffling on just as the phrase is supposed to demonstrate and mean.

 

FIELD 5 – BEYOND THE BARCODE – BRAND / BUSINESS NAME AND STRAPLINE

initial ideation : ideas

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As shown in the above image(s), having made 2 lists, one of all medical words related to the project and one of all adjectives to describe my brand / business, I began merging and combining words in aim of creating a name for my brand / business that has meaning behind it yet, poses a feeling of a higher end brand rather than a feeling and aesthetic of some of the medical brands that I’ve previously analysed and discussed. This was completely experimentive and creative, not being too precious of my ideas just putting pen to paper and seeing what words I could come up with / create. I really enjoyed this process and was surprised with how much this helped me in being creative with words rather than sitting in front of a blank screen forcing myself to come up with names for my brand which often lead to either copying exiting brand names that I like or, being very boring with my ideas. As mentioned in a previous blog post, here is the list of some of my personal favourite ideas for both brand names and, some of the streamline ideas that I began creating;

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I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks that this element particularly is very subjective – what one may think is a perfect name, another may think is awful and, of course, every opinion has its reasoning so I should consider this carefully and take every piece of advice as well as the reasoning behind it on board but most importantly, always think back to my customer and market, what is it that they’d like? I plan on continuing to add to my ideas while continuously asking for feedback and opinions. I plan to make a definitive list of my top 5 for example, and then work from there. In this stage I will try and get feedback from my audience as well so that I can develop a final brand name and strapline that not only I love, but am confident my audience and others will too. I have just purchased an iPad Pro so aim to begin learning how to use this effectively as a tool for helping develop my ideas i.e. for sketching out appearances of how my name may look, deciding on typefaces and developing logo ideas. I will use this section of my blog from here on to note and show my developments in this area of the project. I really look forward to developing and working on this element of the project until hopefully, I develop a name, streamline and logo that I am proud of and can use when actually bringing my brand / business to life in the near future.

TUESDAY 29TH JAN

I prepared and developed some of my ideas further ready for my tutorial with Alex with regards to name / logo / strapline. I showed him my ideas and presented my favourites / top ideas. I was so pleased with his reaction / feedback having been worried that I’d been overthinking / being over creative. Between us we chose a final name and strapline (subject to finalising / a couple of further bits of research. Alex began putting pen to paper and we started to chat through some potential ideas as shown below;

brainstorming with Alex.jpg

Although this is basic, I feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders as this is something I’ve been really stressed about getting perfect. I’m pleased because this is the name I most liked. I definitely feel like I need to better trust my own gut and instinct when it comes to things like this because since stressing less about it, I’ve realised how perfect this name is (ironically it was one of the very first I came up with). Over the next couple of days I’m going to continue working on and developing the typeface and aesthetic of my chosen brand name ‘ OSTO ME – BRINGING THE INSIDE OUT’.

Before 100% deciding to go with this name, I researched the word ‘osto’ and whether it actually had a meaning first as the last thing I want to do is use a word that has a completely different meaning to what my brand is about. I’ve attached some images of my findings. Although it has a couple of meanings in a couple of languages, I’m confident that its appropriate and won’t be misinterpreted or misunderstood.

I began further developing and experimenting with some of Alex and I’s ideas by hand, not being too precious to see what I could come up with. I made sure to gain feedback off Dewi, Irene and my peers at this point to continuously question which ideas were more successful than others and which everybody preferred.

… However, I soon discovered that although its very useful and insightful to gain the opinions of others through these development stages, this kind of thing is very personal and can be very much down to personal preference. People tended to favour different designs. What did this mean for me? It meant that I continued to experiment with my ideas, not favouring anybody in-particulars judgements – I decided that although all opinions/comments were helpful, this brand is very personal to me at the end of the day and stems from my story so to appreciate all opinions and the reasoning for these but to overall go with my gut at this stage.

After experimenting with some of my ideas by hand initially, I moved on to experimenting digitally with an iPad Pro – this was very useful in getting a better idea of what my ideas would look like professionally presented and I was able to edit my ideas quickly, experiment with fonts, sizes, thickness’ etc a lot quicker. Again, I wasn’t being too precious with my ideas initially – just simply trying to be creative and free, seeing what I could come up with.

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I haven’t yet decided whether to use a logo or not. Again, this seems much down to personal preference and when getting advice there seems a split between those who think a logo is a lovely idea and those who advise to steer away from it completely. I’m not going to reject the idea of a logo in the form of a graphic or an image completely at this point but I’m going to bear the above in mind and if I do decide to experiment with logos then to keep it quite minimal and simplistic yet try and create something meaningful and symbolic to the brand. Below are just some basic sketches I’ve been doing while testing my ideas.

 

MY FINAL LOGO / AME / STRAPLINE

logog

As I previously discussed, this is an element of the project/business that I very much over worried and struggled with. It became difficult because everybody had such different opinions and comments about. Anyway, in the end, i decided to go with my gut (or whats left of it). I decided to keep it sleek, stylish and minimal because this is very much reflective of my taste and style as a designer. It wouldn’t have made sense for it to be overly graphically complicated or comic styled as some feedback suggested – Although this might have been cool, I don’t feel it would have reflected me or the brand and its product to follow, it wouldn’t have matched and therefore wouldn’t have been successful. However, I still wanted to be creative with it and add some meaningful/personal touch. For those who don’t know, a person who’s undergone stoma surgery is termed an ‘ostomate’ their stoma is their ‘ostomy’. I wanted to use this word to form the basis of my brands name. So, I decided to play on the word ostomy however, making it personal to me, and the customer as they read it directly involving them. The pronunciation of the name is important as it needs to be interpreted to be pronounced in the same way as ostomy so, the ‘me’ was to be separated from the ‘osto’. To reflect the strapline ‘bringing the inside out’ (which I will discuss later) I decided to place the ‘me’ inside the last ‘o’ of the word. I also chose a very equal weighted, rounded typeface so that it included perfect circles that represent the shape of a stoma.

Moving on to the strapline, this also has a little bit of a double meaning – bringing the inside out is representative of bringing feelings, emotions and knowledge from the inside as a fellow sufferer and pouring that out into a business/brand that is more empathetic to the customer. The second meaning of the strapline relates to the surgical procedure of creating a stoma in which they make an opening in the abdominal wall and pull a remaining part of the colon / ileum through to form the stoma.

I really do feel strongly for my choice in business name and strapline, I really believe in it and feel it relates strongly to not only the business but to me and the customer also. Some outsiders may not understand the meaning of the name and may feel it a bit random but this doesn’t matter to be as they’re not my customers. As long as my customers understand and relate to it then that’s all that matters to me. I’ve reached out to a few sufferers and they’ve all really liked the idea, have been able to read and understand it and have given positive feedback in the means that it feels high quality, its attractive and it feels like it has purpose to them.

Prior to beginning this project, I had zero graphic communication skills so have tried to adapt what I can of this as the project has progressed. I think this is reflective in my work from starting off simply by hand to moving into digital and trying to teach myself and experiment with some of the softwares available. Although I love the name and strapline, I hope to continue building upon some of my skills in this area in order to be able to professionally polish up the quality of the final outcome for when my business hopefully becomes a reality.

 

BRAND VALUES

Looking back to the lists of words and adjectives that I made initially to form inspiration for my brand / business name, I realised that a lot of these in fact, form my brand values. I took a further look at these and picked out the key ones that I felt best to form my brand values. These words are really meaningful to both the business and I. I bear them in mind and look back to them on regular occasions when working on this project as a reminder of what I’m doing and why. I want my brand to be hugely inspiring, stylish, functional, forward thinking and beautiful. I want it to create a sense of community and evoke a feeling of belonging to the customer and therefore be welcoming and homely. It will be hugely empathetic and understanding. I want my passion to shine through and to comfort and inspire others wherever they are in their journey.

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BEYOND THE BARCODE – MARKETING STRATEGIES – WEBSITE PLANNING

I’ve started to think about the different marketing and promotional strategies I may choose to use when building my business/brand. I’ve decided that I’d definitely like to use this opportunity to plan my website as this is a platform that I’d definitely like to build upon for multiple parts of my business. Having had multiple discussions with Dewi with regards to this already, I’m hoping that with his and the Enterprise Team’s help, I can bring this website to life. Dewi has given me a few tips to consider before I get started;

  • To consider my URL when creating a brand / business name – it’s important that the URL of the name I’d like to use isn’t already taken so I need to do my research before hand.
  • Then, once I’ve decided on a name I need to secure my URL so that nobody else takes it (This may cost a small fee but is 100% worth it!)
  • Research diferent websites and website layouts I like – pick out which bits I in particularly like and consider how I might use these in my website design
  • Create a WordPress.com page for my new business/brand
  • I should then look through all available layouts on here, including the premium options and buy one that I like / feel is most appropriate – In doing this, I should thoroughly think through my target market and those who will be visiting my website. Who are these people? What are they looking for?
  • Leading on from the previous, before actually creating any of these links, tabs, options etc I should perhaps plan it out on paper in multiple drafts, test it out and see what people think.

 

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Here is the very initial sketch Dewi and I came up with when initially thinking of who will be using/visiting my website and for what reason. Some of the initial things we came up with were; 1. Family / Friends / Colleagues of sufferers – They might be visiting the website for information in terms of learning about what their loved one is going through exactly and how they might be able to support / help. 2. Sufferers/ patients – Depending on what stage of their journey they’re at, it’s likely that patients will be visiting for similar sorts of reasons. They might be visiting for support. They may be visiting the shop section for products / merch. 3. Other Brands / Companies – Might be visiting out of interest but most likely will be visiting to get in touch for some reason e.g. collaborations so will need a contact page.

As I develop my ideas further and begin considering designs, I will continue adding to this page of my blog so that all website related work and development is all concisely in one location. I will support this information with visuals of my developments also.

 

I’ve been doing some research into website design and making mood boards on both medical websites to see how they’re designed and appear when you follow their links as well as finding different websites that I find aesthetically pleasing so that I can take inspiration from them in order to move forward with creating designs for my own website.

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I really like the aesthetic of the website below. I feel its stylish, classy yet fun and intriging with its use of imagery and pops of colour. I like how the subheadings are clearly and neatly laid out along the top alongside the company name / logo.

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