D4RL: First Meeting with Our Mentor

On Thursday we met our mentor for this project which I was quite excited for as i knew we’d get some really good insight into the working world. Also having some outside feedback will be extremely helpful and might give us different view on critiques our work. I did do a little research into our mentor beforehand. He is called Paul Thomas and owns his own independent creative studio here in Cardiff. On his website it says he works closely “with clients and collaborators to deliver tailored visual communication expertise.” Paul has worked with big companies such as the National Theatre Wales, Welsh National Opera and the BBC. He has over ten years of experience so i’m pretty excited for his to be helping us with this project.

In this first meeting he wanted to get to know the brief and see what we were initially thinking about it. He then gave us feedback and some advise. One of the questions I really wanted to ask his about the brief was that I was thinking a video would be a more appropriate outcome than a leaflet, because having someone speaking and some moving image would be more aphasia friendly. However it’s not my strong suit, so do I go all out and try a video or do I play it safe and stick to a leaflet? Pauls advise was given the time frame I could stick to a leaflet if that’s where I’m most confident. He said that formats aren’t a limitation and that I could create a really successful aphasia friendly leaflet focusing on minimalism and pictures. I was a little relived with his answer because making a video seemed quite daunting to me. Paul gave me the confidence to go force with the leaflet I just need to make it a really fantastic one and perhaps create some extra designs to really impress the client. He mentioned after this that starting by looking at some aphasia friendly graphic design would be extremely helpful. Also looking at companies that may have done something similar in outcome, to see what else is out there. One thing Paul kept reiterating was its so important to have a core message and to focus on it. Try not to get swept away on other ideas and focus on what the client wants as they are the ones we are trying to impress. I already have mine when I made my creative brief so I will have that in the back of my mind from now on. Another thing Paul mentioned to make the outcome grabs the audiences attention is to use localised data where we can. For example using statistics like 7400 people will have a stroke each year in Wales rather than 100,000 people will have a stroke each year in the uk. As the brief is for Wales NHS service it would be more striking to use these facts. Another way would be to make the outcome interactive. For a leaflet I could have things pull out or the leaflet could even have a second purpose after use. For example diy air freshener or something so that the outcome is still in use after its job is done. Lastly Paul mentioned that none of us have a character profile which he said would be really helpful for thinking of ideas and creating something relevant to the actual users. This is something that I will need to do along with the research he has advised.

I felt our first meeting went really well and i’m feeling confident about moving forward. He gave loads of helpful advise about this project and it was interesting to have his professional view point. We have arranged a meeting for next Friday at 11 so by then I should have some visuals to get some feedback on.

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