Shamas Mehrban Final Evaluation:
My final major project ‘Establishing my own Fashion Retail Brand’ has transformed a lot from the initial starting weeks. My original FMP concept was extremely broad, all I knew was I wanted to base my FMP on branding; I wanted to use graphic design and photography within my work. My idea came to me rather than me thinking of an idea, I received the idea through social media. On social media there are advertisements and I stumbled upon many fashion brands starting up and broadcasting their company through social media. I wanted to follow this idea thus began my FMP idea of establishing my own fashion retail brand. Many brands have very similar styles, I was inclined to create a brand that differed from everyone else’s.
My primary research has aided my project in allowing me to see first-hand how a brand is effective and successful in presenting itself. I have explored different stores in Birmingham Bullring, seeing how brands stand out from each. Brands like H&M, keep their store design very minimal while Sports Direct loves to showcase their bright colours and obtrusive wordmark on every edge of the store. I responded to what I found by designing my store with a unique house style unlike any brand that currently exists. Initially, all I knew was to create a logo and some advertisements but through this primary research, I learnt there is more to a brand.
Further aiding my project, my secondary research has showed me what makes a good brand and what styles are thoroughly used in modern design such as minimalism. Minimalist design is seen nearly everywhere, and I wanted to include some elements of minimalist design within my brand but wanted to start experimenting with abstract design. I have extensively looked at modern examples of good branding such as Apple, Adidas, Amazon, McDonalds and many other brands. I didn’t just constrain myself to just look at fashion brands. I responded to this research by designing a single look (house style) for my brand as not having a clear identity can destroy a brand. A key component of branding is advertising (how a brand broadcast themselves to the public). My artist research aided me in crafting my advertising material for my brand, such as Stephanie Sunderland. She is an outstanding free-lance photographer who composes her images beautifully, analyzing her work allowed me to be more experimental when taking photos in the park.
A large section of my project is experimenting with different designs to see what is effective and what is not effective. Experiments allow me to see what issues I could encounter and how I could prevent future problems. My most effective experiment was creating my gift card, I didn’t reach my final design in one creation, I evolved a singular design that started as a sketch. I have experimented in other fields such as photography. I have taken headshots in a studio to aid my knowledge in portraiture photography and edited them in various styles until I found an outcome that was achieved my purpose. I have found trying different designs to be the most effective process in creating a successful design.
In my whole 10-week project, I have encountered issues along the way. I did expect to encounter issues through my project. My most common issue I encountered through my project was issues with text. When I used text in my digital pieces, they would sometimes be hard to distinguish from the background due to it having similar brightness. To solve this issue, I applied a drop shadow to the text which gives the text its own background allowing it to be legible. Subsequently, I had issues with my photography; lighting was a major issue, if my camera settings were not correct to the location, images would appear over exposed. This issue would only happen during the beginning of a photoshoot as my camera settings vary in different locations.
The feedback I have received through my project has been invaluable, as without feedback my project could have been very different. At the start of this project, my intentions were unclear as you can notice reading my original proposal and viewing my original presentation. With help from my tutor, I was told my original fmp idea was broad and that I should make my theme more specific. I changed my idea of exploring branding in the world to creating my own fashion retail brand.
Subsequently, I have been self-reflecting my own work throughout as I like to use my time wisely and like to work at home. Officially, the project is 10-weeks and doesn’t count term breaks. I spent a lot of my own time working on my project in my house. Using the student matrix, I graded myself and set myself tasks. Within my physical sketchbook, I give myself tasks on a daily basis or note what I need to do before the hand-in date.
I have created many different pieces of media. Throughout my project, I have kept my style coherent thus, there isn’t any inconsistency. Everything I have created is featured on my blog under ‘Practical Skills’, however, not everything I created will be used. I created posters for my brand and didn’t use these designs as I already created screen designs and they appeared better aesthetically. I could use these screen designs as poster designs if I wanted to. I created a style guide which features the guidelines of my creations, this style guide will be featured in my exhibition.
My favourite piece that I created were my Instagram story adverts. These adverts looked like they were real, as if an actual company was displaying their brand on Instagram. They exceeded my expectations and were created due to my findings on my target market. In the modern age, most young adults live on social media and broadcasting my brand on social media is ideal.
My least favourite creation is my poster designs; these designs were terrible. I didn’t try other design styles as I had already created screen adverts, which can be used as poster designs.
To conclude, I am quite pleased with my project outcomes. I may not have always had a clear incentive during the start of my project but slowly my project came together. I created a lot of media for my brand including: a logo, retail graphics, screen adverts, store designs, social media adverts and a style guide. My final piece is a collaboration of media I created; I physically created a style guide which will be featured in my exhibition. Moreover, I would like to showcase some of my screen adverts in my exhibition. I have been documenting my progress on my blog and in my mini-sketchbook. Working on a blog makes everything easier for me, as most of my project is digital and uploading screenshots is easier than printing and sticking images in a sketchbook.