Blog Design challenge – Quarterly roundup #1

The design team share the first 3 of their monthly design challenges.

What is the design challenge?

When it comes to developing skills, I find the way that works for me is to just, do it. When freelancing, I would always take part in design challenges on social media, which is what inspired the Design challenge here at percipio. I wanted our designers to venture into something new each month by trying an art style they haven’t used before to create something new – Hopefully to expand their design knowledge, and find a new interest!

Heres how the design challenge works: I come up with a brief which contains all the information and guidelines needed. I include a theme, a client/​target audience, specified final deliverables and sometimes a specific colour palette or iconography that needs to be used. The design team then hop on slack the first working day of the month and we do a show and tell of the month before. I then deliver the next brief! Everyone is given the same brief, which I always try to make as fun a possible, and instead of giving people a design style myself, we randomise it using an online wheel spinner – like we’re on our very own tv game show.

Once the meeting is over and everyones clear on the brief, they have 6 working hours within the month to complete the challenge (which includes research time). Since starting this in July, I have had nothing but positive feedback. It’s nice to see everyone designing and experimenting with styles. 

Here are some highlights from the first quarter:

July – Festival Poster

To create a poster for Percipibeats’ summer music festival. The poster must include given copy: dates, tickets prices, festival website and a minimum of 7 of the given bands.

Design challenge - Quarterly roundup #1

Brad – Art Deco

Whilst researching the Art Deco movement, I looked at many different pieces of artwork including posters, pieces of furniture, and architectural/​building designs.

From that research, I realised that there were two main elements that seemed to define Art Deco: very elegant colours and symmetrical patterns. Using these two themes, I created this poster design by rendering a symmetrical pattern in 3D using Blender and then laid over my text for layout. The rendering also allowed me to create a more realistic gold and using shadows to add interest and depth.

Design challenge - Quarterly roundup #1

Helen – Bauhaus:

My design style for this challenge was Bauhaus – something I’ve been a fan of for a while.

After looking into some attributes of Bauhaus design to refresh my memory, I decided to take a more modern approach much like the work of designer Orla Kiely. I spent a fair amount of time choosing my colour palette, as this would make my art movement the most recognisable. I tried a few different layouts once I had my pattern and heading made, but in the end chose what I felt was the easiest to read.

August – Children’s Mural and Alphabet

To create an alphabet print and an accompanying mural for a bedroom/​nursery (for a child aged 0 – 5). The mural should be an extension of the print – this means it should be the same themes and elements.

Design challenge - Quarterly roundup #1

Rox – Line Art

I was a little thrown when I was given Line Art’ as my design style as my personal design style is maximalist. After some research I realised I could still create something fun and exciting using this simplistic style. A team member at Percipio has just had a little girl called Violet, so I knew I wanted to stick with a purple colour palette.

We’re only allowed 6 hours total to complete each design challenge (which includes research). I started by creating detailed illustrations for each letter but after 3 hours and only 4 letters completed, I realised this was an unachievable goal – back to the drawing board. I decided not to over think and create something fun and modern for both the alphabet print and mural.

Design challenge - Quarterly roundup #1

Phil – Retro

My theme was Retro’. I settled on mid-century American children’s illustrations. Growing up I had loved both Hannah Barbara cartoons like the Jetsons, and the more post-modern takes on the style in 90’s Nickelodeon, so attempted to incorporate the two.

The typeface used for the lettering is Risque’. I quickly illustrated objects for the 26 letters and had a playful take on the American Atomic Age’, hence B for bomb, G for gun and N for Nucleus! Once the vectors had been completed, I wanted to distress the image in photoshop. I used a ripple effect to give variation to edges, a multi-tone effect on the colour, and emulated a misaligned black printing plate to evoke cheaper printing methods of the period.

September – Hot Sauce Branding

To create brand guidelines for Pio’ hot sauce. The style guide must include: logo, sub-logo, icon or illustration, 2 fonts of your choice and a pattern. You must use at least 3 of the provided colours. 

Design challenge - Quarterly roundup #1

Helen – Traditional Tattoo

My art style for Pio Hot Sauce was traditional tattoo. I struggled with this theme, as I felt it hard to pinpoint the characteristics of the style. I decided to use my art style as a starting point and push that definition to create my branding.

I created a stippling brush in illustrator and added shading to my illustrations and included a banner graphic into the logo. I created one version of the logo in black and white and kept my pattern colours limited too – I found monochrome designs to be most common characteristic of traditional tattoos. I also created the coloured version of the logo, as the brief asked us to use at least 3 of the 7 given colours.

I created my pattern with minimal colour to make it as adaptable as possible. I envisioned it to be used on takeaway bags and paper food wrapping, as well as social media.

Design challenge - Quarterly roundup #1

Brad – Flat Illustration

This month’s design challenge was my favourite so far. Working on branding, illustrations and packaging concepts is always a great brief to have. I started by researching into the art movement as well as other examples of hot sauce packaging in the industry, just to get an idea of potential illustrations and packaging out there. From this I decided to keep the branding very simple, using a modern typeface so that the logo can be shown in different colour options, and allowing multiple different options for legibility. Keeping the branding simple allowed me to focus on getting the art movement into the packaging.

My designs use doodle flat illustrations to create a branded label, and these can be adapted across different flavours and different colours, as shown in the mock-ups.