Design Practice - Assessment 1: Journal Entries 1 & 2 Seb thalis

Inspirational Diary Cover: Journal Entry 1

Wednesday 8/3/17

The first work towards my Innovative Diary Design Assessment has been in the first class of the day, where we were tasked to start work on an infographic progress timetable in Adobe InDesign which is to be included with the first journal entry submission.

In the following Design Practice class, it was recommended that a few charity organisations that had a strong meaning to us should be considered for the assessment.

My choices were the following:

  • WWF (World Wildlife Fund)
  • RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
  • Wildlife Alliance
  • The Nature Conservancy Australia

These charities are all ones I’ve either donated to and/or have personal significance to me in animal or environmental preservation, a theme I will consider for design inspiration.

The best options for the assessment appear to be WWF and RSPCA, as their organisation size, recognisability and established commendation would have broader appeal to purchasers of the diary.

Of the two, I have decided on RSPCA as it has a large and historical establishment in Australia, giving me an advantage in appealing to the national demographic, and I feel the pre-existing organisation's designs and interfaces are more diverse in use of colours (white, blues, greens) compared to WWF’s primarily darker shades.

The RSPCA logo. Source:

Wednesday 15/3/17

Today I have started researching my chosen charity organisation’s website for inspiration based on the considerations of their public appearance, demographic, services etc. as a hypothetical client.

Screenshot of the RSPCA national website. Source (taken 15/03/2017):

RSPCA makes its message clear its motto: “For all creatures great and small”. Their aim is to assist in the wellbeing of all animals by protecting their habitats, organising animal rescue and refuge, veterinary treatment and citizen’s adoption if domesticated.

They have a well-regarded image as being professional and ethical amongst the general public, even licensing seals of approval for Australian goods providing they meet their standards.

The target demographic for RSPCA donations and services are, amongst the public, families and animal lovers for adoption and the latter for donations as well. They also encourage getting a career with them through course integration for their rescues and charity events such as dog shows.

The products RSPCA offers, aside from their animal adoptions and pet insurance, are quite indirect often promoting related goods of their corporate sponsors such as pet food and accessories. It has some officially branded designs on postcards, calendars, portraits etc. that is available for delivery or in their shelters, and also manage their own news media exclusively focusing on animal events and issues.

From a browser search for current RSPCA diaries, their products seem to focus on the interests and values of the potential consumer.

Their audience is, once again, the animal lover and pet owner. They include a surface designed with a non-animal deriving material and the diary content includes many professionally photographed animals for the owner to gawk at and pages exclusively for writing they and their pet's activities.

Screenshots of the RSPCA online merchandise distributor.

Source (taken 25/3):
Internal diary design tailored to animal lover's an their pet's activities. Source:
More diary contents. Source:

Timeline Planner

Inspirational Diary Cover: Journal Entry 2

Sunday 23/4/17

In a recent class this week, we were asked to quickly sketch ten ideas for our innovative diary covers in ten minutes. Today I looked over each one and tried to replicate my favourites in Photoshop, spending about ten to fifteen minutes on each as they are still in a conceptual stage.

Each of them would - if progressed into production - mainly utilise typography, symbols and arrangement rather than high-definition photography in consideration of the hypothetical timeframe of the client. Additionally, these methods are what I would be most comfortable with as well as being confident they would achieve the most effective diary covers.

I revised on the look of the company which I addressed in my previous journal entry, which is generally a non-confronting and optimistic appeal to animal lovers such as using basic clean whites, blues and greens. While keeping this in mind, these are the results of my experimentation:

In an attempt to achieve an even and smooth look, I tightly confined the five letters of the RSPCA logo and the paw-print symbol to a 3 by 2 grid of sorts, and changed the colours of a few letters to make the diary cover more interesting with a bit of asymmetry. The original concept I sketched had animals filling in negative space behind the letters, but I felt this would crowd this design a bit too much. Furthermore, I explored this with my next design... Source:
I am the most happy with how this design turned out. The initial thought behind it was to explore using a diagonal line for the letters, and as it created a staircase-like descent it gave me the idea to put animals on them. I then found images which I could play with to give the diary a sense of interaction between the animals with the cat and puppy staring at each other. To fill in the rest of the empty space, I put in the unused paw-prints behind everything which came together well. The only change I would make would be to make the text go down from the right to left instead, as I had to invert all the other images horizontally around them to go for my idea. Sources (accessed 29/4): Cat: Cockatoo: Labrador puppy:
This design was intentionally simplistic as I just wanted to display the idea of the symbol I thought up on the spot when sketching. The human hand composed partially of the Australian continent - which is coloured differently in green to highlight this - reaching outstretched to an animal paw conveys a number of messages: the care and humanity of the charity, connection with animals and touching on a sense of national pride as the RSPCA is largely agreed to be historically engrained in Australian culture. The text was chosen as it was the closest to the letters of the RSPCA logo as I could find. I would expand and improve the components of this design if I were to go ahead with it over the others. Text: Arial Black

These designs - I feel - are a satisfactory attempt at a start. As mentioned, they could all use with a heavy layer of expansion and polish.

Saturday 29/4/17

With further research, I have collected a number of the RSPCA's previous advertisements, campaign and merchandise designs which resonate with me the most for a mood board and in turn could be influential to my diary cover in progress.

My mood board. Apologies for the low resolution, the only solution would be to individually view the source of each image if the text is too small. Sources (all accessed 23/4): 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6, 7 & 8:

I found examples of RSPCA designs which defied my expectations, as they had much more confronting topics and messages. However, there is still no use of graphic imagery or dark shades etc. like those of WWF and others; both methods attempt to work off the public's emotions of empathy and desperation to incentivise donations.

The designs still use an uncomplicated format, having usually one central image or just an easy-to-observe graphic accompanied often by relevant information and a message. These elements are - I find - very effective in influencing an audience towards a message.

The grey and navy-blue shaded backgrounds incorporated into many of the found designs are a very neutral tone, and would suit the diary cover quite well. Additionally, the personification placed on the animals is also something to consider.

Saturday 6/5/17

On reflection of my investigation and design progress, I have decided that the following concept is the most conceptually sound foundation for my diary cover design.

Secondly, I would also like to include the symbol originally designed for the class sketching activity as a complementary component.

Finally, the elements I found when creating my mood board were influential enough to consider for adapting and including in my dairy cover.

Components such as:

  • Neutral greys and navy-blue
  • Shading and focus
  • Emotional and ethical appeal

- are all things I will consider.

Of course, not all components can be included from past designs. However, I believe I am closer to achieving a final design that will satisfy the intent of the charity, its audience and of course myself.

Thank you for reading!

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