Sunday, 26 April 2009


It's been a long time fellow bloggers, but rest assured I have a lot to get through.

The collaborative brief. What an eye opener! After the short, and frankly embarrassing process of advertising ourselves and picking partners (the kind of process you'd associate with school kids picking their football teams) me and Will decided that to save us being the last two without partners, to team up. It's so strange working with someone that you already know well, we're both completely different people when we're in 'work mode'.

I found that I changed into the lazy, useless sack of shit that becomes a burden to the other half of the partnership, which i quickly corrected the following week, and I felt he naturally wanted to lead the proceedings... not necessarily a bad thing, but I didn't want to be left out of the process.. Anyway I think we worked really, really well together and would work with him again any time.

That aside, I'll get on with what we did!

The first task was to come up with a problem, we chose the starting point "Get people to do something new" and came up with the slightly sarcastic take of 'Get people to do their chores'.
Initially we didn't have to make whatever we came up with, so we could be as imaginative as we wanted. Me and Will decided to design a range of cleaning products, so tea towels, scouring sponges, bin bags etc... with a blunt, yet humorous message printed onto them.

The idea behind this being that the 'victim' of the messy housemate would be able to present the offender with a gift bag, full of the things they would need to clean up their act!

Here we have our first set of boards.

We experimented with slogans, type and obviously the finished product. We thought a lot about audience, and had many a long night arguing (constructively) over the actual deliverables, and how they would communicate to said audience. This was possibly the most difficult part of the whole collaboration, because without a clear sense of audience and product, we would be left floundering around in our ever growing pile of cool ideas.

The next phase was a lot shorter, and came as a horrible, but expected turn of events. After all our hard work and disagreements, we we're to pitch our ideas to another partnership for them to take to through the next steps. They would be free to change our designs as they saw fit, and we would be free to do the same to theirs!

We had Becca and Heathers design boards. They planned to create a calendar, with the idea including local charity events for every month. Will and I soon realised the biggest flaw in this design was that it was just the wrong time of year to make a calendar for 2009, as a good percentage of the year has already passed, and it was too early to make a calendar for 2010...
We tore their idea apart and re arranged it in a way we felt worked best, and then pitched their idea back to them...

The final twist, and the most frustrating one, was after the 2ND pitch, both couples were told to swap back to their original ideas, but with the changes the other team had made. Parts of this process were helpful, as the other partnership had simplified areas we had previously struggled with. But to have to go through the process of finalising an idea so its ready to create, and being so ready to create it, and then having to pass it on to someone else. Twice?! Very frustrating stuff, but I suppose this is the nature of the industry.

After we had pitched back to each other, and the concept boards handed back to their original owners, Will and I discussed the changes that had been made to our initial designs. I'm unsure whether I didn't like the changes Becca and Heather had made because I felt our ideas were actually better, or because I was being stubborn and wanted to do what we originally thought of.
Either way I don't think they took on board many of the changes we made, though we did totally massacre their concept hah.

Anyway, making compromises where we thought necessary, Me and Will decided to really simplify our message, and the deliverables for that matter.

We were originally going to make a pack of branded household cleaning products to kick start those lazy housemates into cleaning up their mess. There was a lot of confusion as to how many products the pack should contain, or indeed what products would be included, the biggest factor was whether or not a product could be screen printed, or stickered. As time began to run short, and we realised just how much money this was going to cost us, we decided we had to change the final product or we just wouldn't have enough time to make it.

We opted for what we thought was the most effective resolution, a tea towel, screenprinted with our original message "Do the fucking dishes" along with series of patronising instructional drawings to aid the user with their washing up duties. Simple and effective.

The final boards produced should give you a better idea of the nature of the product...

Despite the stress of other project deadlines, and a good few hiccups at the beginning, both Will and myself we're extremely pleased with the final outcome. I personally feel that we managed to overcome every problem that was thrown at us, and our completely different personalities and styles of working complemented each other really well, and we managed to pull of a well designed, well thought out resolution with a good amount of research and documentation to go with it. Well done us.

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