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1000 words…..

When greeted with this assignment I was delighted to actually step outside the normality of multimedia and embrace a potential new skill, and gain the opportunity to begin my networking as I will soon fully graduate from multimedia.

By completing this project I had a chance to step out of my familure zone of designing and apply my hand to hosting an event.

Before we could start planning our team has to communicate with the CS and explore their ideas further. There was a preliminary meeting set up as a meet and greet.

After the class meeting with Creative Spark (CS), Martin and I engaged with initial talks with Sarah in an attempt to discover what the CS had to offer and to what direction they would like our team to follow during our promotion of their services.

The meeting was successful with Sarah explaining we had full creative responsibilities for this project as the CS was the beneficiary of this service, not the director.

With the strong creative licence my team obtained we searched for a project that would strongly benefit the CS and raise public awareness for their services.

As the project was potentially limitless for our promotional options out team wanted to set the bar high and started to explore some of the world’s most extravagant exhibitions and were drawn to exterior light projections. (view here)

From our initial discussions and viewing of the CS building our team were drawn to the external wall of the CS building, as it fashioned large white painted walls – perfect for displaying light projected images.

Following further investigation into light projections our team discovered it would take a massive amount of time and dedication to complete the visualisations we desired, coupled with the high costs to project this show and the unpredictability of Irish weather, we decided to focus our efforts on a more achievable target.

During a team meeting we all agreed the main focus of this project was to introduce the CS to the public and schools, showcase the creative arts in DkIT and raise awareness for the services offered in the CS. By using a process of mapping our thoughts we discovered an option of holding an open day and inviting the public and schools to this event, all while showcasing work from DkIT students. Our goals were as follows:

  1. We wanted to promote the Creative Spark and raise awareness for its services,  both brining the CS to the people, and the people to CS
  2. We wanted to promote the services available in DkIt
  3. We wanted to promote ourselves and pose a new challenge that would combine our skills.

We then began to arrange content for our new project.

Martin and I took charge of obtaining students work. We focused mainly on the various design aspects, ranging from 3d, flash, graphic design, HCI and web design. Splitting the tasks up evenly I spoke with Keiran and Peter

As mentioned above,  I liaised with various lecturers and gained their assistance in obtaining peoples projects. This was the by far the most time consuming element of our project.

Some of the issues I faced,  most minor but heavily time consuming issues prior to assembly, these ranged from:

  • Unifying all motion based projects into one format. To do this we had use a video screen grab of the projects and convert these to AVI. Considering some of the projects were over 4 minutes in length this was very time consuming.
  • The majority of projects had file names like ”MyProject” or “major_Project” and made identification of the author near impossible. So I had to liaise further with lecturers to fund the correct author for the content
  • Reinstall PHP & MYSQL settings on individual websites so we could have them fully functional and make a screen recording of the site
  • Unify sizes of graphic work to A2

I decided the best method to display the work was to make a show-reel of them.  While making the show-reel I found the video transitions between subjects (i.e. flash to websites) too be very blank so I went and arranged a bunch of 3d intro’s. Factoring design and render time I found this to be very time consuming taking on average 3 hours to render, 3 hours design time.

I just did not have the spare time to dedicate to rendering & design, so I sourced some files on youtube and edited these to suit our needs. This greatly reduced design time and I was able to render a file over night to save time.

During this time I also designed an advertising poster for the event. After reviewing prior graphical advertising campaigns by CS I designed a poster that remained in the confines of their already established brand image. For this I had to ensure all fonts, colours, layout and general scheme fitted into this image.

When designed and printed I distributed the poster throughout various places in the college, ranging from the Canteen, the Carrolls building and all notice boards in the Nurses building and the main DkIT building. I also left some posters in local shops around the surrounding area.

To assist other groups for this project I also gave them our printed poster to use, and I also designed various flyers for people to distribute. These were handed about around Dundalk including the Marches and all over the college so they proved fruitful for not only our group, but others too.

I also mailed O’Fiach College on two occasions to see if I could meet with the art/computing/design departments to extend an invitation to our open day. Alas both Emails were not replied to. This could have been a rewarding experience. Not only for our group, the CS and DkIT, but it would also be very fruitful for participants of media courses in O’Fi. The students would have a fantastic inopportune to meet and greet some future designers.

For potential students I also thought it would be a good experience for them to meet lecturers and scope out some inside advice in gaining a place on the course.

Martin and I arranged for the use of easels from DkIT to exhibit the graphical elements of our designs and on the weekend before the open day Martin and I took them home for the weekend to clean them.

Gripped with a few bottles of cleaner and a nice pair of Marigold gloves I attacked them on a fresh Sunday morning (Beats going to mass)

I also had the joys of arranging projectors for the event (always a fun task).  I was advised from initial enquirers our department had enough projectors and I did not feel any urgency to book them.

By the time I went to book them  (1 week) I was advised by booking notice was not enough and uttered I could not get them. this was the start of the pressure, the only person who could actually get them was on a Nordic mission and would not be back in time to aid me.

So, it turned out I was able to get them in the long run.. so it saved a little pressure. just in case, I booked a second projector as a spare -Sarah in the CS was more than happy to assist me there.

On the day of the event Martin and I had a busy time.  As far as I can recall neither of us stopped working for the entire day.

After finalising the show reels for the event we went off to set up the event.

We arrived at the CS at 1:45pm and instantly met Sarah and Sophie. We discussed our plans and brought them through our set up. They were very impressed with the work we put in na d even complimented us on our organisation skills, mentioning frequent communication been good….so we started to set up the easels & graphical elements.

We soon realised that the printed posters were unable to support their own weight when been displayed so we had to add some backing cardboard to ensure they would display correctly. (thanks to Martin for hopping into the bin for the cardboard)

We arranged the easels, arranged the graphics and the refreshments.

When the projector arrived I set it up using my laptop and started to display it coupled with a chosen musical scoreline and all was set for visitors.

Alas, on the night there was very little footfall for the show. It was a cold and wet Monday night and I am sure the safety of leaving a fire lit sofa was enough to make the public forget about out event. It is a pity though, I at least expected a show from DkIT students and staff – but I guess it just was not meant to be!

On reflection I very much enjoyed this project, I found having an unrestricted theme a fantastic way to explore the skills we have learned over the years. I found the trust to allow us to preform our project externally from DkIT worth wile too

I have also entered various other blogs about creative spark, please feel free to check them out

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