Unit 4 - Narrative & Voice

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Our first session with Olly was a briefing and a workshop in which we had to draw a "favourite object" which we had brought along with us. Above are the results of the afternoon, it was a great warm-up/welcome to a mainly illustrative project. 

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Brief: design a how to 'do something' booklet/pamphlet/poster.

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My first reaction to this brief was that it was quite a simple concept with lots of material already available to contribute to my research. We had a briefing with Olly and Andrew and they talked us through a few examples of existing work and we had a discussion on where we could take the brief. Once I had started looking into what I could produce as my outcome I knew I wanted to extend the boundaries and create something that wasn't an ordinary "how to make" or "how to do" and I wanted think outside the perameters of the brief. 

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After some initial research I came across many examples of how to's that all had an element of sarcasm and patronisation which really appealed to me as that is very much my sense of humour. I knew I didn't want to create something that was wholly optimistic and cheery because that's not what I relate to. I came across many examples of advertising from the 50s and 60s that were HUGELY patronising towards women, obviously now we wouldn't stand for that blatant sexism in our advertising but the fact that it was so common and not even looked at twice in that era was quite funny. I wanted to create something that made people look twice at but that if read in the context that it was 'designed for' wouldn't be outrageous at all.

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So I began to develop a concept that was based on a governmental handbook given to citizens in an Orwellian society. A 'How To' behave manual. I'm a huge sci-fi fan so I used my knowledge of other dystopian novels to compile some 'rules' to live by for a member of society. I used themes from Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and Hartley's Facial Justice as well as obviously Orwell's 1984. 

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We had an opportunity for a photography workshop with Gary and had been told to bring an object or objects along with us that were related to our project. I decided to use the Fahrenheit 451 theme and brought along a load of my dystopian fiction books to photograph. I ended up using a box of matches and a chain necklace that I had too to create this powerful image that really represents the book. I didn't end up using the photographs in my final outcome but I did base one of my illustrations on them. 

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It took me a while to develop my concept so that it had the right attitude and 'positivity' and didn't just come across as a very strict and negative rule book. I wanted to channel the patronising-yet-cheery tone of the 50s adverts, like the reader was almost childlike and used to being told what to do. I ended up using phrases like "DON'T STRESS" which has a positive message but in the "don't exhaust yourself coming up with new ideas" there was a parental patronisation that had a subliminally threatening feel to it. To add to the sense of governmental threat I created fake 'laws' that went with each political message that stated that citizens would be punished if they didn't conform, which of course is one of the main underlying principles in George Orwell's 1984. 

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I wanted my final illustrations to look very sterile, simplistic, monochromatic and not highly decorated. This was because I thought that they would then fit the tone of the handbook - very straightforward, no messing and straight to the point. This also came from my earlier research into isotypes and the universal language that they represent. This was echoed in my project which was hypothetically going to be used across the "new" world. 

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My final outcome, a behavioural 'how to' booklet for members of a future dystopian Orwellian governed society. 

I am really pleased with how it has come together. I put a lot of thought into the phrasing of each political message and I'm really happy with how well the illustrations work with the overall look. I think that despite the fact that obviously my work is based on being received by a fictional society, the messages that are within are still relevant to us all in this day and age, even more so with events such as Trump's election and Brexit. Hopefully the booklet can help shed light on the ridiculousness of each person having to conform to a specific stereotype and instead feel comfortable breaking the 'rules' and being themselves. 

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Group 1 -

nell, alastair, lillie, yolande, albina, Nadi and jiweon

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The second part of our brief required us to work in a group and come up with an object that has previously been seen as a 'miracle solution' and come up with a way to design our way out of its continued usage. 

After some discussion about which miracle solution to work with, we settled on painkillers, specifically paracetamol and ibuprofen and other such otc drugs. We decided on coming up with a campaign that was mainly information on healthy and natural alternatives to a potentially harmful painkiller. We decided we could come up with a range of posters and stickers with information on alternatives and the damage that painkillers can do to your stomach and body. We figured that if the information was widely available and people were educated on which herbs and teas had the same qualities of a painkiller, they would be less likely to turn so easily to pills and tablets. 

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