Sunday, 18 May 2014

OUGD602 // Personal Branding // Stationery

After creating the logo and being happy with the use of the typeface, I could move on and start to design the printed stationery. For this I am going to create a letterhead, invoice, quotation and compliment slip. 

Initially I took the letterhead and experimented with the design and layout of that before turning to the rest of the products. I thought if I could a layout worked out for the letterhead the invoice and quotation can carry that same design and just be adapted to fit the content. 

Sticking with the aesthetic from the logo, I wanted to create a layout which had a simple design and layout so that the content can be clearly visible, as with these products it is very important the client can see the information they need. 

With an approach to doing this I had to think about splitting the information into different sections to clearly divide the clients info, my info and the content of the product. To achieve this, I looked at using columns within the design to show a divide within the information. 

The first layout takes a very minimal approach and uses a single thin stroked line to separate the information in the left hand column to the content. Using a grid which splits the page down into columns, I have taken a 2:1 ratio approach to split the page into two columns. The content of the product is most important so this needs a larger content area. The column on the left holds all the information for both the client and my information. 

I feel that this layout does work in some ways, as it clearly split the information up and having all the details grouped together in one area, works well to identify the information and give space for the main content of the product. But I do think this is too minimal for the design. There is too much white space for my liking and it doesnt feel like a considered design. 

This second design, takes a different approach. Here I have split the information up my taking the top section of the page to display all my information, the remainder of the page is the content of the product and the client information, sticking the 2:1 ratio within the design, the information is clearly split up and doesnt need the line between the client info and content area. 

I don't particularly like the idea of having my information at the top, I think that this creates an unbalanced design as it feel very top heavy and your eyes are attracted to that area straight away. But I do like the use of the horizontal lines, which define the design more, making sense of the space within the product. 

Taking ideas from both the designs, I have mixed them together to create this layout. Here I have the idea of using the horizontal lines which defines the top and bottom of the product. Having the line beneath the logo creates a header area and shows that this is my identity. The main content area still uses the 2:1 ratio, which splits the space up well and with the spacing between the two columns you can clearly identify the two separate sections. With a more defined spacing within the information column, the user will be able to see the client information and my information better. 

I think this design is a good mix of the two above, this feels like a more considered layout, which takes advantage of the format and space within the product. This works well as an overall design and as a template to use for the remainder of the products as the main content area can be adapted to hold the content of each product. 

Taking the final layout which I choose to use, the only adaptation I did on the letter head was taking away the 'nathan bolton design' header at the top of the page. I decided that this was unnecessary, it wasn't needed within the design and the clients know who they are dealing with, it was redundant to the design of the product.  


Using the letterhead as a template I could adapt this to create the quotation product. With the set up of using the 2:1 column ratio, the needed information could be added to the left hand column. Pushing my information further down the page, creates more room for the needed information - this takes the form of job number, descriptions, client addresses. The main content area of the product has been adapted to hold the information of the quotation. Taking the idea of the lines within the letterhead design, I have used these to separate the main content area and create a table within the page. This clearly defines the different job specs and prices of each job entailed, with the totals being added and recorded at the bottom of the page. 

This template has worked really well for this product, the splitting of the information has been easy due to the two column layout and the main content area is large enough to accomodate the information of the quotation. 

The final product to design was the invoice. Again using the template and taking the quotation product as one that I could adapt. The information was very similar to the quotation product. Futher information needed to be added, but with the design it was pretty much identical. The main content area of this product was larger as it has all the product information and prices involved, but with the template being pretty simple, this could all fit in easily and still create a balanced design. 


The compliment slip is always a strange product to design. Im not entirely sure if you do actually need a compliment slip, I don't particularly like the feel of compliment slips and the wording that most people tend to use within them. They feel too formal and mostly unnecessary for what people use them for. 

I still wanted the idea of a compliment slip and a product which was branded that I can write a quick note or something on when sending out products, but I didnt want it have that aesthetic of a compliment slip. 

Looking at the format of it, I think that the standard size is too big and a massive waste of space, I reduced the size and created a more compact rectangular shape that was more in proportion to each other than the standard size.   

From the letterhead, I liked the line being put underneath the logo and it created a header on the page, but I thought carry that aspect through the compliment slip, would tie all the products together and this defines the compliment slip. The line rules the bottom of the page and gives and area which a personalised message can be added to. 

As I said before, I wanted to take away the idea of the compliment slip and the common identity of one, I don't think that having all your details on a compliment slip is necessary, whenever you use the product it is to someone that you have previously spoken to or that have come to you to ask for samples, so they already know who you are and have your details, therefore I see them as redundant information that is just there for the sake of it. 

With this in mind, I have just added my website address to the compliment slip and thats all the information that will be displayed.  

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