the troops are on fire

October 13, 2008

So I’m currently working on a couple of different things for my Professional Brief at college, and rather than my usually tactics of printing out things and sticking them in I thought it might be a good idea to publish my own thoughts and notes directly into this blog, seeing as most of the things I’m taking inspiration from are in here already.

Highest on the priority list at the moment is a project I’m doing for a company down in Cambridge that my uncle runs; basically he’s noticed a gap in the market when it comes to souvenirs down there, namely a model punt-shaped gap. For those who might not be aware, punts are boats that rather than being pushed by oars are propelled by a big ol’ stick that you push against the river bed. They fit in rather nicely with the whole cream tea, Pimms and lemonade and straw boater thing Cambridge and Oxford do so well.

Anyway, I’ve been approached to do the box packaging artwork, and this is what Nick sent to me by email as to what he was thinking:

a. We’re looking to recreate the look and feel of a very tradditional English / Cambridge – Oxford scene along the river. It would be good to also incorproate other UK motifs in the design (e,g union jack flying from a flag post?) The box has to be so attractive that punters (!) instntly take it off the shelf to take a closer look, and instantly see that its about punting, the river etc
b. We’ll need to take your advice about how any actual colleges are represented (if any) might it be best to avoid real life representations in case we infringe some copyright by the unviersities?
c. We would like to incorproate the words ‘Cambridge & Oxford Punts’ in the design.
d. On the box, we may alos add a ‘flash’ across one edge such as ‘ncludes how to punt guide’ though we’re still debating this one.
e. We will need to leave space for a bar code and (I assume) a contents list and manufacturers details. I’m not sure what the statutory issues are about this, but we are finding out
e. If this product sells, we may find other products we can add into the range, therefore it is worth thinking about how the design translates to other products, and how it might form a brand identidy, in the future.

The reason I’m doing this project is because it allows me to gain more experience in working professionally and dealing with clients in an appropriate manner; although it’s my uncle I’m working for, we’re still communicating in a fairly formal manner and there are still deadlines I need to stick to and work towards. I’m also doing it because it’s a chance to apply my own illustrative style to another commercial product, and thus widen both my skills and my portfolio.

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