ASSIGNMENT 3 · ASSIGNMENTS · Notes · Research & Reflection

Assignment 3: Colour Me

The brief (keywords highlighted)

To produce a poster (297mm x 420mm) that celebrates a colour of your choice. Choose a colour that has a meaning that you want to explore and celebrate. Think about what the colour you have chosen means both to you and to other people and create something that celebrates that meaning, for example you may choose a golden brown because you like real ale, a vivid green because of a particular landscape, green to celebrate Irish identity or the yellow sandstone of Bath’s architecture.


Work only with your chosen colour, its complementary colour and black and white. You can include text, collages, illustrations and photographs. Use black and white to help establish a range of tints and shades with your chosen colour. These limitations are to get you to work with colour thinking creatively about how to make a limited palette work for you.

This project is as much about visual dynamics and contrast as it is about creating something with meaning. Make full use of it to show off to your tutor all the skills and processes you have learnt so far.

You need to submit at least three variations of your poster as well as the finished artwork.

My colour

I want to explore the colour RED. It is one of my favourite colours and I believe can evoke feelings from both ends of the spectrum such as love and anger. I believe the colour red can create good contrast to images and help focus a single part to an image due to its vibrancy and association to warning signs and symbols. Red is a primary colour and I will use its complementary colour per the colour wheel and this is green.

The colour red represents many things to me. I see the colour red in the Bangladesh flag and representing the blood shed by my ancestors when they fought for their independence and freedom. Red to me represents the red sun and the warmth it gives. Red is the colour that many of my superheroes wear such as Superman, Red Ranger (Power Rangers), Dante (Devil May Cry),and  Ryu (Street Fighter) to name a few. Red is a bold and vibrant colour and could represent many things to other people. It can represent love or anger, and it can be used to attract or highlight something. No matter the colour of skin, all blood is red.

Red – word association

Heart, blood, devil, rose, apple, fire, strawberry, London Bus, London Telephone Box, red sun, red nose, red lips, red shoes, lady in red dress, anger, love, sexuality, heat, stop signs, attention signs, Royal dresses, traditional Asian bridal dress, Superhero costumes, red headband (Rambo), red jacket (Michael Jackson), highest arc in Rainbow, red in the financial world means a negative direction, Coke, Red bull, Red Cross, warning, danger, red light district.

The colour red is so iconic to our visual surroundings and I have included some examples below.


Research done on the following websites:

Videos watched

The Use of Red in Perfect Blue

What Does Wearing the Colour Red Mean? Study Finds Answers

The Matrix (1999) ~ The Woman In The Red Dress [1080p|HD]


Initial designs

Final Poster – 3 Variations

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Final Posterblood final

I decided to have my final poster to be abstract and to contain stark contrast. It has deep blacks and bright red which pops from being on a white background. The colour I chose to celebrate is red and so I tried to show fear, danger and violence in my design.

I think I accomplished this with creating an abstract design concealing the face and highlighting the blood and the colour red. I used blood to represent danger.  I wanted to make the blood seem real so causing a level of anxiety when looking at the image.

I also believe the abstract design causes a level on uneasiness as it resembles a Rorschach image and you can’t help but focus on the red gun. The colour red is used to highlight and bring attention to text and images in other designs so I chose to colour the gun entirely in red like a block shape and hopefully have the viewers’ attention diverted straight to the gun which is also a symbol of fear and danger.

This final design is very different from the original design and I subconsciously applied Occam’s razor. The design was simplified the more I reworked and refined the poster. I am very happy with the outcome of this poster.


Assignment 2: Thinking of you – completed

I did like the idea of a card congratulating on purchasing a new home and this being  represented by  a small house in its entirety so that would include the front, the inside and the back of the house.  I decided not to include the house design as part of my final selection of greeting cards  because the idea is not unique enough and a card featuring a house on the front is very common thus not sticking to the brief of creating cards which are currently not catered for. I did think about keeping the design and modifying it and changing the message but instead I ended up created three separate designs.


After some feedback from various people I also decided to change my 2nd design which was of card congratulating an entry to a chosen university represented by an entry ticket. The design was inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and the golden ticket from that story. I really liked this design but the words “you have been chosen” stimulated another idea and even a better idea according to feedback.

My final idea for this then evolved into a student being “chosen” by a UFO and being beamed up into it. The UFO is actually a graduation hat and this is supposed to represent a university. The inside contains a simple message of motivation with a faint backdrop of beans and toast which is seen humorously as a student diet. This was the winning design for me and the people I asked.

My other design for a greeting card is based on a design of a certificate of completion. I got this idea from my wife who said she would love to give her friend a card to show appreciation of her accomplishing a major milestone in her faith which was to complete the Hajj pilgrimage. I understood that for most theory or practical based education a certificate is received on completion so I thought this card could be designed in the same manner. Also islamically once completing the pilgrimage you are then known as Hajji amongst the Muslim community and it can be used as a title to a name. This reminded me on how completing certain studies can give a person different titles like Dr and this also inspired me to create a greeting card based off the design off a certificate of completion.

I chose to include the colour green as this is a very popular colour in Islam; I chose the border to have arches as this is also very prominent in Islamic architecture. I included a simple logo at the bottom to represent Islam and the five pillars of Islam. One of the five pillars of Islam is the Hajj pilgrimage. I used a font which looked similar to Arabic writing so to keep everything consistent in its design. The inside contains a statement from the Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) from a Hadith (collection of his sayings) which signifies the importance of the task completed. My intention is that this is more than a greeting card but an actual certificate of completion presented by a loved one.

My final greeting card design is for someone to receive when getting their first credit card. My career has been in finance and I know having a credit card is very common but the biggest problem with credit cards is not paying on time or paying enough thus resulting in increasing debt. My idea is to represent how dangerous it can be having a credit card.

My initial idea was to have someone purchasing something with a credit card but for the person to be chains and weighed down by weights representing debt. I decided to go for more of a simple approach to imitate a warning sign and represent the card like a monster eating money as this is what it could do but not in the literal sense. By showing this in the literal sense I thought it could pass the message intended and be funny at the same time. The inside is kept simple with an image of a yellow post it note with the message to pay off the credit card.

ASSIGNMENT 2 · ASSIGNMENTS · Notes · Research & Reflection

Thinking of You – Mock ups and further visual research


I have created ideas, sketches and some mock-ups for a few greeting cards which all include memorable moments in life which are not currently catered for by the major card companies. I initially had the idea to design cards based on the sad moments in life and use a little tongue in cheek humour, but through research I came to the realisation that nobody wanted to highlight the sadness in their lives with a greeting card.  As Hallmark Cards (1910) states on their website “To us, a card is never just a card. It should leave a lasting impression and make a memory last.” and so it was finalised that my cards would be positive moments in life worth remembering.

My first design is a card shaped as a house. The front looks like a normal house and the words “Congrats! You have raised enough deposit”. This signifies and implies that the person has raised enough money for a deposit to get a house on a mortgage. I will change the wordings on the front to something that sounds better and delivers the message more directly.  Normally the card companies only make cards to congratulate the actual purchasing of a house but I think with so many people struggling to get a mortgage, raising a large deposit is a significant achievement in itself.

On the inside of this card is designed to be like the inside of the house and I have created it so it is a contrast to the front. The inside will be barren and just be an empty house. The message will be in jest but will highlight the truth that more money would be needed now to buy the furniture.  This will be done in a humorous way but will imply that getting the house is only the first step; there is more cost once you move in. I also want to juxtapose the inside with the outside to show that sometimes what see on the outside does not always give you the full picture.

My second design is a pop up card. I have decided to create a pop up because it literally pops the design thus making it more interesting. During my research, my work colleagues said to me that they would like to give their children a card when they get accepted into university because getting into university itself is an honour especially if it’s a well-known prestigious university. At the moment there are card companies only catering to the completion of higher education studies and congratulating graduation.

The front is designed to mimic an entry ticket and the inside contains a pop up literally thrusting into your face a can of beans with toast. The message will read something along the lines of “this is your diet from now on”. Just like the previous card design I want to balance achievement with harsh reality but with humour so the overall card is still seen as a positive and nice gesture. The idea for beans and toast as a diet in university is based on the experiences of my close friend when his money ran dry.


Assignment 2: Thinking of you- Research


At Hallmark we have a little mantra: leave your mark. To us, a card is never just a card. It should leave a lasting impression and make a memory last. That’s why we’re more than just card makers. We’re craftspeople. Creativity and quality are at the heart of everything we do, so whether we’re making someone roar with laughter or shed a tear of happiness, whatever we do will have our stamp on it. And because of that, we have been voted a UK Superbrand by consumers nationwide, recognising our distinctiveness, quality and reliability.

This specific web page contains ideas to make an envelope special and advice on how to write a message inside a greeting card.

Pop Up Benefit

Unlike a normal card which is kept on displayed for a while then stored or away or chucked in the bin, a pop up card has the potentially to be on display for longer and kept forever. Depending on the idea of the pop up can determine its length of use. Examples like the flower pop up card can be left as a display near the bedside as a reminder of the partners love, and the princess castle pop up card can be used by a child as substitute doll house.

Google research

Google search – Searching “Greeting card” returns and moonpig,com as the top two results. Both sites have a heavy focus on customisation and personalisation and this indicates to me that people like to give and receive something that is unique and has an element of personalisation to it thus making the card special.

Examples of card types.

Research on “life’s other landmarks”

  • First kiss
  • First job
  • First car
  • First house
  • First partner
  • First holiday with friends
  • First child

Not generally found on greeting cards

  • Failed exam
  • Failed driving test
  • Got fired from job
  • Going to prison
  • Pay a fine
  • You are depressed
  • Midlife crisis
  • Need marriage counselling
  • Relive your youth


I found through my research that cards are generally made for a few things.

  • Celebration of an event (Weddings, Birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc.)
  • Congratulations/well done (new job, success in something, having a baby, etc.)
  • Saying sorry/showing sympathy (death in family, loss of job, making a mistake, apology, etc.)

Greeting cards share the theme of expressing sentiment and expressing emotions through images and words. Generally the cards are positive and funny and the cards expressing sympathy are not specific to an event unlike the positive cards.

Sadness/depression/mid-life crisis research

Reading a self-help book or joining a support group are also worthwhile. They can help you gain a better understanding about what causes you to feel depressed. Sharing your experiences with others in a similar situation can also be very supportive.

Research on how to combat sadness/stress.

Use humour and enjoy yourself

Try to see the funny side of situations and you’ll often be able to cope better. Jokes have a way of making worries seem less important.

Doing things that you enjoy is also good for your emotional wellbeing. Simple activities like watching sports with a friend, having a soak in the bath, or meeting up with friends for coffee can all improve your day.

Tell yourself something positive instead, such as: “You’re a bright person, you’ll get the next job”.

Talk and share

Communication is important, whether it’s with a friend, family member or counsellor.

Talking things through helps you to release tension, rather than keeping it inside. It helps strengthen your relationships and connect with people.

My design

I intend to focus on making cards which fall into the sympathy (“sorry for your loss, sorry to hear, etc.”) group but making it specific to certain events which can happen to us all. Using the research, I will design the cards with humour or motivation to help combat sadness. Also, my research shows that talking and sharing is important to release tension and sending a card is an excellent way to connect with someone and is more personal than a text or social network message.  Normally cards from the sympathy group are very sombre, bland, and not specific to a situation which I believe does not help the situation and creates a disconnect to the gesture of giving a card. I will make my cards positive and funny to mirror the positive celebration cards out there in the market.


After conducting some market research and asking my colleagues at work what card would they like to give for an occasion that’s not currently catered for and they all answered for positive moments in their lives to be signified with a greeting card. They did not like the idea of having bad moments in their life illustrated with a card design so I will scrap my initial idea of creating sympathy specific cards. I will take this knowledge and create cards highlighting positive moments in somebody’s life that isn’t currently catered for.

ASSIGNMENT 2 · ASSIGNMENTS · Notes · Research & Reflection · Uncategorized

Assignment 2: Thinking of you – Analysis of brief

Assignment 2: Thinking of you

Keywords in brief

Create a range of cards for sentiments or events that are worthy of a greetings card, but are currently not catered for by card manufactures.

The cards could be linked to other calendar events, obscure Saints days, sporting calendars or any other happening that is worth celebrating or commiserating. You may wish to explore some of life’s other landmarks that currently don’t feature in greetings cards, like getting your first grey hairs, being released from prison or any other personal landmark someone might want to share.

My understanding

I need to design at least 3 cards which is not currently the norm to be found in card/gift shops. The event or sentiments on the card need to be important enough so that someone would buy a card for someone else. I need to explore life’s major milestones and use events that are worth celebrating or commiserating for. Sending and receiving cards is generally about sharing an event in life so it should appeal to both sender and receiver.

Communication issues and design problems

An immediate issue that I can see is picking an obscure event, this means that the customer generally would not be intentionally looking for such a card or the market for it would be small. I think a major life event that generally happens to all people would be the route I take. A greeting card is generally stacked amongst many so therefore a striking and dynamic design would be needed to catch the person’s attention. The design also needs to be able to communicate instantly the message it is trying to share so the person can understand and refer to this greeting card if the life event occurred to somebody they knew. I must be aware of cultural sensitivities and making sure the sentiments expressed is clear and concise.

Target audience

I can define my own target audience but generally a greeting card is to express sentiments for a particular event and or sharing an event.