The Big Idea- Addiction

This project gave us the opportunity to use research as a creative, non-superficial aid towards the production of an innovative piece of work. We are required to do some very broad and deep research, which we will then evaluate and edit to create a piece of communication. With this we have been asked to test the effectiveness of different graphic languages in relation to what we wish to communicate.

From a list of words/phrases we have been asked to produce a piece of work that communicates aspects of the concept to an audience of our choice. Out of a the list of words/phrases given to us, I chose ADDICTION.


I think addiction is very interesting. The fact that we as individuals can be addicted to so many things is remarkable. What I want to know is, how does addiction work?


Dissertation- PDP

The last three years, studying Graphic Communication at Cardiff School of Art and Design, has undoubtedly changed my outlook on life, not just within design, but how I approach day to day issues. When I started my degree, I initially struggled with the concept of university life, and I did not commit myself to the level of dedication that was expected and required in order to fully understand the coursework and be able to produce satisfactory assignments. I had not anticipated the leap from A level to degree and fell short in the work I produced in the first year.  It was evident from my Year 1 marking that I was not taking the learning on board and not carrying out the necessary research around the design topics that would enhance my understanding and enable me to produce higher calibre work. After my first year, I was lucky enough to secure a one week summer work experience in London, working at a design agency called Grey. This had a big influence on me and was the first real time I had experienced what it would be like to work within the design industry, and this made me realise that this is where I wanted my career to take me, I wanted to be a graphic designer. My second year on the course was certainly an improvement on my first year, I had more of an insight into what was required of me, however I still did not commit to research and reading as much as I should have and I feel this was still being reflected in my work. I needed a greater holistic understanding of the principles and attributes of design and to more fully understand the mechanics and technologies being used in modern design concepts. To be a good designer you must take pride in your work. Working towards these goals I improved on my overall results, however I still felt that with more work and dedication and working on my organisational and structural management I could achieve even better work. By my third year I believe I had the maturity and the passion to produce high quality work, I had gained a good understanding of design principles, I worked hard to review and explore designers work, both historical and modern which increased my understanding and appreciation of outlining factors that are seen to influence design in different walks of life. Constellation has played a crucial factor on changing the way I have turned my study around, reflecting on my work and experiences has really helped me learn. I truly believe that design is what I want to do and be involved in and I’m excited to pursue my career within the graphic communication industry.


At the beginning of year three, my first tutorial back my dissertation tutor announced that he would be leaving and handing us over to someone else. At first this, this resulted in finding myself very anxious, as I had previous tutorials with this tutor, which made me feel save and confident to express my ideas and concerns, as he had helped me in the past. The fact I was assigned a new tutor was scary at first, but Sarah has become an important asset to my learning curve. Not only has Sarah turned out to be very helpful and always at hand, she has also given me the confidence to believe that I can excel within my course.


My dissertation has undoubtedly changed my thinking and perception towards the way design is thought about and communicated through many forms of media. It has given me an incredible awareness of the roles of cultural backgrounds and influences and how these relate to change and inspire all forms of both historic and current designs that we can see all around us. Ii am excited at the prospects of what design and communication can bring to us all in the future and how far it can go with ever increasing advances in technology and though processes around how we can influence people and even nations on even a global scale through a piece of design. Although graphic design is my ultimate career ambition and what I see myself being surrounded by throughout my adulthood, an immense part of my life is football. With great passion for the sport, and such a strong interest, relating to the FIFA World Cup, I felt that this is what my dissertation should be based on. Writing on a topic I am so interested in, allowed me to indulge into my research as I was more motivated to go into greater depth. I was able to explore and discover many aspects of the FIFA World Cup that I was unaware of, as my research revealed many individual’s thoughts and decisions, on how and why these different designs came about. That aside, witnessing how much research and depth I have put into my study, I now know and understand the importance of how much research I need to administer for my projects. Writing this study has really helped me with my academic skills, in regards to structure, organisation, literation and language. An important skill which I have developed throughout the construction of the study is paraphrasing. How I have learnt to interpret other’s thoughts and ideas into my own understanding. Although I spent a considerable amount of time researching into different eras of the FIFA World Cup and the design throughout each tournament, making sure my study was well balanced and thought through, I did not realise how short of time this would leave me to structure and complete this study.


From this whole experience, I have learnt that if I put my mind to a task, allocating time and effort into my work, I can produce well thought and critical ideas. This has helped within my design work, which has been drastically improved since my time at Cardiff Metropolitan School of Art and Design. Although my attitude and commitment to my course started off poor, I now believe that I am a person who can go on much greater prospects due to the increase of work ethic and motivation to do well and become a successful graphic designer.

In Cold Blood- Research

From my research I have found that Hickock believed the safe contained as much as ten thousand dollars, where he intended to steal the safe, leave no witnesses, and start a new life in Mexico with the cash. As there was no safe, Hickock and Smith left the crime scene with only a small portable radio, a pair of binoculars, and less than fifty dollars in cash.

The question is, was it all really worth it?


The fact that four lives were taken for a small portable radio, a pair of binoculars, and less than fifty dollars in cash, and after all that, Hickock and Smith were then hung. It seems a complete waste of six lives. If there was no safe, why kill them?


The dream scenario- $10,000 and run away to Mexico.

Reality- Portable radio, a pair of binoculars, and less than fifty dollars in cash. 6 dead.

What is the significance of this?

Can I create a visual metaphor using this information?


Penguin Book Cover- In Cold Blood

The Penguin Random House Student Design Awards 2017 set a the brief to create a cover design which breaks boundaries in the same way that the book did. It should be bold, maybe even shocking, yet remain true to the book, reflecting both its literary merit and its chilling content.

The judges are looking for a striking cover design that is well executed, has an imaginative concept and clearly places the book for its market. While all elements of the jacket need to work together as a cohesive whole, remember that the front cover must be effective on its own and be eye-catching within a crowded bookshop setting. It also needs to be able to work onscreen for digital retailers such as Amazon.

The winning design will need to:

  • have an imaginative concept and original interpretation of the brief
  • be competently executed with strong use of typography
  • appeal to a contemporary readership
  • show a good understanding of the marketplace
  • have a point of difference from the many other book covers it is competing against

In Cold Blood is a non-fiction novel by American author Truman Capote, detailing the 1959 murders of four members of the Herbert Clutter family in the small farming community of Holcomb, Kansas. After Capote learned of the murders, before the killers were captured, he decided to travel to Kansas and write about the crime. He was accompanied by his childhood friend and fellow author Harper Lee, and together they interviewed local residents and investigators assigned to the case and took thousands of pages of notes. The killers, Richard “Dick” Hickcock and Perry Smith, were arrested six weeks after the murders and later executed by the state of Kansas.


Hickock and Smith committed the robbery and murders in the early morning hours of November 15, 1959. A former cellmate of Hickock’s, Floyd Wells, had once worked as a farmhand for Mr. Clutter, and had told Hickock about a safe at the farmhouse where he claimed Herb Clutter kept large amounts of cash. After driving more than four hundred miles across the state of Kansas on the evening of November 14, Hickock and Smith arrived in Holcomb, located the Clutter home, and entered through an unlocked door while the family slept. Upon rousing the Clutters and discovering there was no safe, they bound and gagged the family and continued to search for money, but found little else of value in the house. Still determined to leave no witnesses, the pair briefly debated what to do; Smith, notoriously unstable and prone to violent acts in fits of rage, slit Herb Clutter’s throat and then shot him in the head. Capote writes that Smith recounted later, “I didn’t want to harm the man. I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.” Clutter’s wife and two children were then also murdered, each by a single shotgun blast to the head.

Hickock and Smith were identified as suspects and arrested in Las Vegas on December 30, 1959. Both men eventually confessed after interrogations by detectives of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. They were brought back to Kansas, where they were tried together for the murders. They both pleaded temporary insanity at the trial, but local GPs evaluated the accused and pronounced them sane. The jury deliberated for only 45 minutes before finding both Hickock and Smith guilty of murder. Their conviction carried a mandatory death sentence at the time. After five years on death row at the Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing, Kansas, Smith and Hickock were executed by hanging just after midnight on April 14, 1965.