I decided to enter maybe one or two designs into the talenthouse competition for the secret 7" Vinyl. Here is the brief...

Secret 7" is an exciting project combining music and art in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. Seven bands and recording artists (Ben Howard, Florence + The MachineThe Cure, DJ Shadow, CSSNoah and The Whale and Bombay Bicycle Club) are inviting creatives to design the artwork for a seven inch vinyl sleeve inspired by one of their songs. The project will culminate in 700 unique vinyl sleeves displayed in Idea Generation Gallery in London in the week leading up to Record Store Day 2012. On that day, each of the vinyls at the gallery will be available to purchase with all of the profits going to Teenage Cancer Trust.
None of the buyers will know who created the sleeve, or even which song it's for, until they are holding it in their hands - the secret lies within.

45 designs will be selected and printed on a Secret 7" vinyl sleeve which will be sold and exhibited in a gallery in East London in the week leading up to the Record Store Day on April 21st 2012. On the last day of the exhibition one copy of each vinyl will be sold in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. Each winner will also receive:
• A signed copy of their Secret 7" vinyl sleeve
• Exposure and recognition for their artwork on a website dedicated to the winning designs

I decided to make designs for BEN HOWARD and CSS. Two really different that i already know and love...
In this challenge, Ben Howard has selected the track ‘Black Flies’ and is inviting creatives to interpret the song, however they please, via an original piece of seven inch artwork. This is an incredible opportunity for aspiring artists and designers to collaborate with Ben Howard, to have their artwork seen by millions, be exhibited alongside established artists and in the process, raise valuable funds for Teenage Cancer Trust.
In this challenge, CSS has selected the track ‘City Grrrl’ and are inviting creatives to interpret the song, however they please, via an original piece of seven inch artwork. This is an incredible opportunity for aspiring artists and designers to collaborate with CSS, to have their artwork seen by millions, be exhibited alongside established artists and in the process, raise valuable funds for Teenage Cancer Trust.
I listened to the tracks and looked at the lyrics to get a feel for them.

For Ben Howard, the song seems to be about this alone man.. 'alone soldier'. I chose to use an old photograph of my dad on a bike. I thought this just fit the mood and lyrics of the song perfectly. Here are some designs i have been working on...

For CSS i wanted to change the style to go with the much more hectic music. I liked the idea of involving old photographs so went with thiese designs...


Iv'e been busy making christmas cards for my friends and family. I decided to go create this nice typography piece and print it on antique white card. I'm fairly pleased with the finished results and hope my fam and friends will be to!

How to // End Of Brief Evaluation

  • What problem did you identify?
Basically we wanted to re-brand the look of information on diamonds. From our research, we discovered that most of the stuff that is already out there is really difficult to understand, and quite frankly boring. It looks like it is just there for all the rich snobs. 

Our main focus was to make a new, easier, clear and simple contemporary look around the same information in order to make the everyday male who is planning to propose, informed and educated about diamonds enough to make them feel confident about what they are talking about when shopping around. 
  • What evidence did you find to support your decisions?
From our research of stats and statistics we discovered that a lot of men find it difficult to know which ring to buy and what to look out for. 

We also thought that the existing information that we did find was there but you really had to search for it and it was long winded and boring. We wanted to make it a little bit more friendly and accessible. 

  • What methods did you use to gather your evidence and what forms did it take?
We used a lot of secondary research, both qualitative and quantitative. Looking at the hard facts in moderation to peoples opinions about the subject. We based every decision we made by always keeping this into consideration. 

We took our own surveys using to get primary research but this was less important as the people who took the survey was all around out age, and probably students.

We also used trusted sources around the internet to gather the hard facts on diamonds. This needed to be correct as we was including this information in out final outcome so it would have been pointless if we hadn't got this correct.

  •  (categorise your research using terms primary, secondary, quantitative and qualitative)

-  My original survey on how to ask for forgiveness
-  Imagery for the App Icons 
-  Imagery for diamonds


-   Diamond 4 C's - Colour, Clarity, Cut, Carat
-   Glossary of terms
-   Anatomy of a diamond 
-   Various stats and survey results
-   Imagery for diamonds
-   App Design Research


-   Opinions on engagement rings, prices and idea from both male and female point of view
-   Opinions on survey results 
-   Various different tips and hints to save money 


-    Various stats and percentages on engagement form both men and women points of view
-    Statistics on average prices
-    How popular diamonds and certain types are 
  • What methods of research did you find useful and why?

  • How did these inform your response to your problem?
I believe this gave me personally and also my group first and foremost, a better understanding and knowledge of diamonds. I was able to go away and re-word correct information about all sorts of diamonds in order for it to fit the friendly and clear tone we needed. 

It also give me a sense of what design is already out there and how it is not clear or easily understandable. Therefore, we could go away and fix that gap in the market that is searching for diamonds info for the average man. 

  • What methods did you encounter as problematic?
I think it took us a while to gel as a group. We all had different styles and it was hard to get everyones style to match. We all had ideas but it is hard when you want to go with an idea you are really driven by and other people can't see what you see. 

  • How did you overcome this?
I think we did really well in the end. We assigned each other separate tasks which we knew would work best for this particular brief. We kept the styles simple and only worked with two colours so that all of us could design things but have a similar consistent outcome. 

We kept in constant contact in the studio or via social networking sites in order to see more often how our work was progressing and to see that it was all working together. 
  • What research could you have carried put that would have proved more useful?
I think we should have maybe visited actual jewellers just to see their perspective on things and also to see how some of the things around diamonds work and collect some initial infomation about our subject that is already out there. 

Personally i feel i could have done more research myself. As we was all busy doing design tasks we based a lot of the work from imogen's inital research as it was so in trusted, in depth and well written and selected. I did use my own research for a lot of the work but feel i possibly could have divided my time into a little more research rather than so much design work. However i don't think this has had a negative effect on the final piece at all. 


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