Student Design Brief: #1 in a series of five

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Posted by: Creative Times on February 10, 2012 14:23

The call out for student designers was a great success, the first three students have been chosen and Design Brief #1 has been written and sent out to them. We can’t wait to see the results in a couple of weeks – welcome to the first instalment of our five-part Design Brief series.

Back in December 2011, we announced an exciting Creative Times project for student designers. Devised by Manchester-based freelance designer Dan Shannon and Creative Times, it involves a series of five design briefs, each to be completed by a different three student designers, with the results being published on Creative Times.

The idea of the series is to explore and interrogate the process of responding to a brief, while at the same time providing a platform for the next generation of designers to show off their work to the creative community.

The series provides a platform for the next generation of designers to show off their work to the creative community.

The first three students taking part in the series, who were sent their brief earlier today, are:
Kelcey Braine 3rd Year, Graphic Design, University of Cumbria
Laura Stanworth 3rd Year, Graphic Design, Manchester Metropolitan University
Nichola Watkiss 3rd Year, Graphic Design, University of Chester

Above are examples of their design work, in the following order: Infographics for Trevethin Nursery by Kelcey Braine; Design for ‘The London Branch’ tree museum by Laura Stanworth; Logo for Kingsway Faculty of Arts & Media by Nichola Watkiss.

They have two weeks to respond to the brief, and their designs will be published on Creative Times, along with an accompanying article, on 5th March. The remaining four Design Briefs will be sent out at two week intervals (#2 will be sent on Friday 24th February) and the results published on Creative Times four weeks later.

Confused? Don’t be! Here’s Design Brief #1 to take your mind off all those dates…

Design Brief #1: Design a symbol for Buy Nothing Day

The context
Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists. 2011 marked the 20th annivesary of BND, and as a result of increased public disillusionment over corporate greed and over-consumption it was integrated into the Occupy movement and renamed Occupy Xmas (or Occupy Christmas).

BND is typically celebrated on Black Friday in North America (one of the busiest shopping days of the year), where large retail chains and multi-nationals slash prices to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and the day after internationally (Saturday 26th November in 2011). It comprises of protests in the form of mall sit-ins, flash mobs, and consumer fasts, among other things.

BND and the Occupy movement are both born out of anger towards greed and financial inequity. However, it is important that the core message of BND (anti-consumerism) is not lost in its new association with the Occupy movement, which, regardless of its impact, has been accused of lacking a clear message.

The task
The task is to design a symbol for Buy Nothing Day.
The symbol must work in a single colour to ease reproduction.
It should work globally and transcend cultural boundaries as much as possible (reflecting and galvanizing BND’s international following).
It should be easy to paint by hand onto various home-made protest materials (including banners, signage and clothing).
It should be anti-corporate but not crude. Simple yet intelligent. Bold but smart.

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