John & Jane Identity Workshop

Yesterday we had a really interesting workshop about identity, held by an independent graphic design company called John & Jane. They have a big belief in being your authentic self. On their website they said that ‘You can have the best idea but if your brand doesn’t represent you in an authentic and captivating way then your business may never meet it’s full potential.’ I think its a really uplifting message and one I believe in also. With each work I do I try to keep my own style part of the outcome as if I’m leaving my mark.

In the workshop they spoke a lot about this topic of identity and keeping true to yourself after we were asked to fill a questionnaire about us as a brand. One of the questions that was asked was which 3 already established brands would you say reflects us. I chose two clothing shop Killstar and Disturbia and another illustrative company, Pusheen. Firstly chose the clothing shops because they both stand for similar things I do being unusual with ‘twists of darkness’. Disturbias website mention they cater to the outcasts and weirdos, I love this way of using maybe hurtful words to bring others together. Their brands would pretty much encapsulate my life and what I find beautiful. The other brand being Pusheen which is quite the opposite.  Their work is much more innocent and light, I love these type of aesthetics too and I try to use them in my own work. Seeing the juxtaposition from dark to light is sometimes shocking or unusual for the audience, this can make a certain design memorable which is always important in good design work.

After this discussion, we were asked to look at our portfolios so far and see if we had a message we wanted to put out. I felt at this point my portfolio wasn’t visually me and that I had watered everything down to seem more ‘appealing’ to my tutors. I was a little mad at myself but now I have this drive to make my portfolio about me and my style. I started by thinking of some quick branding ideas which I sketched out. Each was using the k’s in my names while still having this horror films feel to them. I then trialed a front page for my portfolio, I mixed this sinister yet innocent photograph with my modern style font. I love the juxtaposition it gives and hopefully will help me to stand out against other designers. Overall the workshop was really insightful and gave me the confidence to design for not just my audience.


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