Week One: Brief Analysis: Application and Interactions

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

This weeks lecture was in the form of an interview with:

  • Christoph Miller (Offshore)

  • Verònica Fuerte (Hey)

  • Vince Frost (Frost Collective)

  • Sam Bompass (Bompass and Parr)

  • James Stringer (Werkflow)

How do you identify the subject of a self-initiated project?

Christoph Miller:

  • 50% of studio.

  • Met Isobel (the other 50%) in 2012/13.

  • Met again in 2016.

  • Collaborated on smaller then bigger projects.

  • Migrant Journal was a big one.

  • Founded a studio in Zurich in 2017.

  • Focus on: editorial design, typography, visual storytelling and image-making.

  • Jump between self-initiated projects and commissions.

Verònica Fuerte:

  • Founder and creative director of Hey studio in Barcelona.

  • Began with self-initiated projects to build a portfolio.

  • Exploring ideas that clients didn't want.

  • Exploring graphic design and illustration from zero over four days.

Vince Frost:

  • CEO and Executive Creative Director of Frost Collective in Sydney.

  • Created a book: Design Your Life.

  • Took design principles and started to utilise them within life.

  • Approached by Penguin/Lantern to publish the book.

  • The book took three months to write, design and produce.

  • Built a brand on the back of the book.

  • Created a Podcast.

  • 'De-Frost' events, talks and debates.

Sam Bompass:

  • Started twelve years ago as an artisanal jelly-maker.

  • Everyone has great ideas.

"The thing I always worry about, when I get a creative idea, I tell everyone about it, and that's the whole joy of the project: as a consequence, I can't really be bothered to realise it."

-Sam Bompass

James Stringer:

  • Digital artist.

  • Background in fine arts and music.

  • Works with musicians, artists and brands.

  • The first major self-initiated project is a video game called Sovereign.

  • Sovereign is a game that is based on real-life experiences.

How do you structure and plan the production of a self-initiated project?

Christoph Miller:

  • Write rough ideas for projects on a list.

  • Always have to look for opportunities and frameworks to make self-initiated projects happen.

The three scenarios for self-initiated projects:

  1. Apply for residencies that are funded.

  2. "The quickie" of a self-initiated project; work intensely on a project.

  3. Flexible, no particular deadline that can be easily fitted around other priorities.

  • It's hard to find a balance between self-initiated and commercial work.

Vince Frost:

  • Small projects that can be done on your own.

  • If it's a larger-scale project, hire a project manager to keep everything on track.

Sam Bompass:

  • Treat all your projects (whether for a client or self-initiated) the same way.

  • Set initial outlines and write up the budget and timeline etc.

James Stringer:

  • Developing Sovereign came from an idea for a graphic novel.

  • Funded a trailer through the Arts Council.

  • Engaged teenagers within the creative process.

  • Working and learning as the game progresses.

-Verònica Fuerte

Image: https://www.creativeboom.com/features/hey-studio/

Creating the perfect design brief: how to manage design for strategic advantage

Chapter One: What is a design brief anyway?

  • A written description of a project that requires some form of design.

  • No single correct or preferred format for a design brief.

  • A design brief can be a narrative written in paragraph form, a bulleted list, a PowerPoint etc.

  • It should be available both as a hard copy and online.

  • The goal of a design brief is to be as complete and helpful as possible.

  • The more specific the message, the more effective.

  • Not every design project needs a brief.

  • Briefs should be written, not verbal. Verbal briefs can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

  • Needs have to be communicated effectively.

  • Great design must start with a thorough understanding of the problem to be solved.

  • A truly collaborative design brief process can make a significant difference in how non-design executives perceive design.

Chapter Three: Essential Elements of the Design Brief

  • The design format you develop will vary depending on your particular companies culture, standards and practices.

  • A final design brief must unanimously be agreed upon by everyone involved.

A list of essential ingredients almost always found in great design briefs:

  1. Project Overview and Background: Articulate the scope of the project.

  2. Category Review: "Category" refers to the specific industry in which the product/service is involved (McDonald's).

  3. Target Audience Review: This needs to be detailed, be clear and leave too broad.

  4. Company Portfolio: Useful for when an external design agency is working on a project for a business.

  5. Business Objectives and Design Strategy: This is the most important part of a design brief. If there is a problem, and a solution is required, then it follows that not only must the problem be clearly stated, but the business objectives of the solution also have to be articulated.

  6. Project Scope, Timeline and Budget: Provides critical detail to the road map of success. This stage ensures that everyone is clear and understands every phase of the project.

  7. Research Questions: This may or may not be required; however, if questions are critical, then list them.

  8. Appendix: Keep everything that has influenced you from the project; they might have the potential to be used again on similar projects.

Workshop Challenge

1.) Cinematic Photo Story Book

I wish I could read more books; however, I usually get put off reading as soon as I'm greeted with large amounts of text. Part of me is still child-like in that regard and needs pictures. As an amateur film photographer, I wonder if I could put a series of my photos together to inspire a written narrative. The cinematic photos would accompany the writing in a book. It would be as though you were part reading, part watching a film. Hopefully, this could lead to further collaborations between photographers and writers.

2.) Illustrative Text Short Story Posters/Book

Inspired from the Type and Page week in the Contemporary Practice module and a piece I did for The Collaborative Mix week in the Studio and Entrepreneurship module, I want to create a small selection of short stories in which the text would also be manipulated to illustrate the story. This project would also be inspired by some poster designs I like from Studio Julia as well as Vince Frost's book Design Your Life. The outcomes would be either in the format of posters or a book; this part is still undecided; however, I'd like to use risograph printing either way.

Image: https://julia.studio/posters/

Image: https://segd.org/how-design-thinking-changed-vince-frost’s-life-and-can-change-yours-too

3.) Comedy/Art Book

Taken from the Studio and Entrepreneurship module is my book idea exploring visuals within comedy, whether a prop, poster or costume etc. The book will detail the cultural relevance and/or the art movements that inspired them. This will be accompanied by essays from comedians detailing their comedy influences and in- spiration. The book will also be interactive in parts, like a pop-up book, making it more visual, with the reader reenacting classic comedy scenes/animations. The book will be primarily targeted to an audience with a keen interest in comedy, its history, and art. However, it would also appeal to a demographic interest in art history, entertainment, theatre and culture.

4.) Can visual language match verbal language in generating humour?

My brief is a slight hangover from the artefact in the Studio and Entrepreneurship module and the Type and Page week from the Contemporary Practice module.

I want to explore design through three comedic styles, surreal, satire, and slapstick.

How do these styles influence type, colour and medium choices?

Can visual language match verbal language in generating humour?

Project Brief

Project Brief
Download PDF • 53KB


I often feel that self-initiated projects must be tough to get going. Self-initiated projects are entirely reliant on you, making the time between other life commitments, and that can be difficult. As well as this, these projects probably won't generate an income from the start unless you have secured funding, so the work you do to generate an income has to take priority. However, it was great to hear from the designers in the podcast about their self-initiated projects, how they came to be and how they made them happen. I was particularly interested in Verònica Fuerte mentioning that she created self-initiated projects to build on her portfolio, which is something I'm continually trying to do.

Regarding the workshop challenge, I'm happy with my brief, which I have left relatively open as I'm not overly sure what the next few weeks will hold. Comedy has always interested me, and to be able to combine both design and comedy where I can is exciting. I'm looking forward to what the next few weeks have in store and how I'll respond to this brief.


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/954/pages/week-1-lecture-brief-analysis?module_item_id=56200 [Accessed 25 Sep. 2021].

julia.studio. (n.d.). Posters «Julia. [online] Available at: https://julia.studio/posters/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2021].

Wikipedia Contributors (2021). Bompas & Parr. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bompas_%26_Parr [Accessed 25 Sep. 2021].

werkflow.co.uk. (n.d.). Werkflow - Projects. [online] Available at: http://werkflow.co.uk/projects/.

Creative Boom. (2017). Hey Studio founder Verònica Fuerte on the importance of self-initiated projects and how to survive a crisis. [online] Available at: https://www.creativeboom.com/features/hey-studio/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2021].

MIGRANT JOURNAL. (n.d.). MIGRANT JOURNAL NO.3: FLOWING GROUNDS. [online] Available at: https://migrantjournal.com/products/pre-order-migrant-journal-no-3-flowing-grounds [Accessed 25 Sep. 2021].

Creative Boom. (2017). Hey Studio founder Verònica Fuerte on the importance of self-initiated projects and how to survive a crisis. [online] Available at: https://www.creativeboom.com/features/hey-studio/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2021].

Simpson, P. (2004). Creating a perfect design brief : how to manage design for strategic advantage. New York: Allworth [Accessed 26 Sep. 2021].

51 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All