Saturday, 5 December 2009

Universal Yellow and pitching to the world council

This may be the first and only time a blog of mine goes up straight after the event rather than 2 weeks after. As a result it will look like I managed to go through 3rd year in a completely different order to everyone else, but at least it will keep the followers of this blog intrigued (at the time of writing I have zero followers).

Ian Anderson is the face and mind of world renowned design agency The Design Republic or TDR for short. Creating iconic music and video game imagery at the same time as working for huge companies like Coca -Cola, all whilst maintaining moral values takes some skill so my hat is definitely off to Ian Anderson and TDR.  Having met Ian once before in our 2nd year presentations and liking the way he gave feedback and interpreted our presentation I was very eager to meet him again and have a chance at doing one of his workshops.

The brief Ian set us hinged around an idea that in the future a world council has been put in place and colours are seperately owned, the world council has asked 5 colour companies to pitch to them why they should be the official colour of world signage. Myself, Caitlin, Emma, Jackie and Hannah were selected as group 2 and we would be team yellow.

Oh yellow, how I loath thee was my first thought. I have many an unflattering baby photo of myself in a rather nasty yellow babygrow, bad enough for most but I also had a dodgy case of yellow skin thanks to a bout of Jaundice. Yellow has not been kind to me....after coming clean to the group about my childhood trauma caused by yellow we managed to get some spider diagrams/thought showers/ brain storms on the go and come up with a pretty convincing case for our colour.

Our main points hinged around the fact that yellow is soft, warm, light and many nice things of this ilk, yet it is still harsh, warning and attention grabbing. Surely good traits for a sign to have. We were unsure as to how to display this in a presentation and someone (I think it was Emma or Jackie, I was out of the room at the time) came up with the idea that yellow is like a mother. I wasn't immediately grabbed by the idea, thinking 'yellow is like a mum' may be a tad flimsy to take to the world council but the concept really grew on me and despite being twee I like the idea, congrats to whomever it was that came up with it. To further enforce our mum theme we wrote so limericks with keywords from our brain storming session and yellow in them my personal favourite being

Yellow makes your day feel bright
when once it may have been shite

it turns a frown
upside down
and makes you feel alright

Emma produced a nice graph of how a mum and the colour yellow work well to form a link, and how this is a good thing for the world council (WC). The reasoning being that the WC want to be seen as caring, warm and loving, yet also stern and forceful when needs be. For the presentation I took advantage of the fact that we were in an unspecified time in the future and spent an hour making maths formulas that proved the root of recognisability is in yellow and yellow is equal to joy and happiness. I think it gave some credibility to our presentation, even if it was made up. For some reason I have a ridiculous sense of pride in creating an A1 page of working formulas that prove yellow is the root of recognisability.....All those years as a physics student finally proved their worth. I think the team worked well together, we presented well, we had a nice and fun yet informative presentation and i had a proper laugh in the studio for the first time in ages brushing up on presentation skills rather than stressing out about how dirty the folding machine is and how it keeps ruining my prints...

Ian will let us know who he thought presented best and also the scores from our individual ballots for best team etc. Fingers crossed, I reckon we did pretty well, top 2 at least!

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