Delivering and presenting my work…
The main aim from this phase of the project branding exercise was to generate a personal branding presentation that demonstrates my strengths, attitude, personality and abilities as a design professional. Taking on board what I had already researched during the projects initial theme approach and rationale behind my logo identity, it was important to make a continued and relevant connection to this overall branding concept. (See part 1: Branding Myself – Click here).
Self promotion as a designer is an important process like any other client based campaign and should be treated with the same professional attitude. A portfolio and CV without any design considerations or presenting myself without design communication isn’t going to get you noticed by potential employers or commissioners.
In this blog post I look at how I developed the already established military theme into a physical form of delivering and presenting my work. Starting with my research into the military themed ‘design service’ mood boards, I was keen to express the stencilled plain card packaging I found to be used throughout the majority of military items. I think that this element will provide more impact to the reveal for the ‘design inside’ that I want to portray.
One area that I initially thought would provide the most appropriate connection was by simply using an ammo case (fig 1), but on reflection these cases tend to be quite expensive, very heavy and would prove difficult for mailing because of the weight. However, the markings and individual packaged boxes of the ball rounds are still very interesting to take forward for my development. This similar theme of stencilled black markings and symbols are used across all military items, so I started to look at some other connections from issued equipment.
I needed to consider my CV and accompanying supporting material such as portfolio items and how this presentation could provide a feeling of military records. A service record could look quite official if it uses a similar range of natural cards and papers to the packaging elements. I started to think about a screw bound folder (fig 2) that contains multiple ranges of papers, as this will provide the feeling of a classified document or record that has been accumulated over a number of years.
Chicago Screw Notebook
UK ration pack
I looked at other standard issue military equipment and thought about the 24 hour field ration packs that are issued when on exercise or deployed. These contained many packaged elements that could provide an interesting perspective, from heat sealed bags, boil in the bag metallic packets to waterproof matches (fig 3). This then allowed me to connect to the same simplistic stencilled text effect that you find across the original issue rations and still forms part of the new issue packs too. The whole ration pack was then packaged in the same plain card (fig 4) with familiar marking and range card for documenting key features of the field of arcs from a fire position (fig 5).
Looking at the ration packs also reminded me about the light weight solid fuel hexamine stoves we were issued with each ration pack (fig 4 and 6). This simple stove folds into a box like structure to hold the solid fuel block, but could also provide a ready made solution for part of my themed packaging. Unlike the ammo boxes, they’re light weight and still provide a strong structure that could be of benefit and protect some of the other items I wish to mail out.
British Ration Pack/Ratpack, British Army, UK
UK 24 hour Ration Pack 80s-90s
Milary issue hexamine cooker and fuel
I went through the usual procedures of multiple mind maps and doodling to establish a workable solution for presenting each of the elements. But it was a design based on a standard issue ration pack that provided the most appropriate and relevant approach.
Within the presentation, making a connection to my personality with motivational statements of encouragement throughout the packaging by using items usually found within a military ration pack was also simple way to tie the entire theme together. Canned beans: Carry a message of “Full of beans” meaning I’m in high spirits. Dextrose tablets: A message stating when it comes to design I’m “Energetic”. Solid fuel cooker: To symbolise my “Burning ambition” This element contains my CV, or “Service record” and portfolio examples.
The ration pack design would require the individual element to be clearly displayed to the viewer, so extensive crafting development was experimented with to effectively present each individual element within the packaging. The final box design retains the property and ownership connection from the statement ‘MOD use only’ but identifies the use for its new intended purpose as ‘Design use only’.
CV and Portfolio document development
The CV element takes reference from a military type report. The concept is of a screw bound folder that could contain multiple ranges of papers, as this will provide the feeling of a classified document or record that has been accumulated over a number of years. The portfolio element will follow a similar context to the CV element, but it will only be screw bound in one corner. This will allow for the portfolio cards to fan out.
Above: Continuing the military theme with the titles of the portfolio and CV elements, making reference to an armoury and service record. The titles within the service record (CV) also make connection to military references. Below: The final documents are designed to fit neatly within the hexamine cooker, the feature element that symbolise my ‘burning ambition’.
A simple but effective connection that I had the idea of utilising, was military identity tags as a business card. These tags usually carry the following information on separate lines: Surname, Initials, Blood group, Army number and sometimes Religion. To make the information relate to both the military limitations and the basic contact information you would expect to find on a business card, I reduced the format to read as:
The final outcome:
The main strategy behind the design rationale of my self promotional pack was to make a connection to my personality traits, skills as a graphic designer and create reference to my former experience as an infantry soldier. The main target audience would be design agencies looking to recruit a disciplined and dedicated graphic designer to join a team within their design firm.
Project Personal Branding
Client Self Initiated Project
Date September 2017
Skills Concept Development, Branding, Typography, Packaging, Website Design
Figure 1: Ammunition 7.62x51mm NATO 147 Grain Full Metal Jacket Ammo Can.
(n.d.). [image] Available at: https://www.midway-usa.com/product/205776/ggg-ammunition-762x51mm-nato-147-grain-full-metal-jacket-ammo-can-of-640 [Accessed 13 Aug. 2017].
Figure 2: Chicago Screw Notebook. (n.d.). [image] Available at: https://www.clubcard.ca/chicago-screw-notebook [Accessed 17 Aug. 2017].
Figure 3: MailOnline (2015). UK ration pack. [image] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-2945604/Peanut-butter-ravioli-freeze-dried-curry-bubblegum-combat-rations-20-armies-world-revealed.html [Accessed 13 Aug. 2017].
Figure 4: JK Militaria (2016). 2004 British Ration Pack/Ratpack, British Army, UK.
Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvWpWXoZRAE [Accessed 13 Aug. 2017].
Figure 5: UK 24 hour Ration Pack 80s-90s. (n.d.). [image] Available at: http://www.crusader80.co.uk/ration.html [Accessed 13 Aug. 2017].
Figure 6: Milary issue hexamine cooker and fuel. (n.d.). [image] Available at: http://www.litekamper.com/stoves.htm [Accessed 17 Aug. 2017].