KALINA SURMA MACD FALMOUTH
Design Research Journal
The Compete Brief
As a module, Compete focuses on zoning in on live industry competition briefs, according to our own personal interests and direction. Recognised organisations publishing briefs include:
D&AD - Penguin Book Cover - RSA - Red Dot Design - Communication Arts Design Competition - Core77 - Designpreis Halle - YCN Awards - UX Design Award - ISTD - Creative Conscience - Conference
The compete module highlights that communication design doesn’t exist in a bubble, but rather is hewn with histories and contexts affected by the design industry. The key is to utilise innovative and provocative methodologies to make your work stand out amongst other entries, whilst also appreciating the current cultural, technological, and social landscapes. Alongside the brief, ther is a requirement to develop a personal strategic plan for your future practice and career, that will build insights into your own ambitions and professional interests, potential funding streams, and a strategy to achieve these goals. This should be compiled into a 20-minute verbal and visual presentation.
My Brief Choices
Unfortunately, the yearly Penguin Book Cover competition is not running this year, which was my immediate go-to option as I enjoy cover design and had an opportunity to develop skills in this area during my BA. However, Penguin do accept non-student entries, provided that you have not had a year worth of professional design experience, therefore I will definitely be participating in this brief as a graduate next year.
Because of this choice, I was then immediately drawn to the D&AD Penguin Brief, asking to create a Gen Z oriented merchandising identity and product line for the publishing company. In the past, I was always intimidated by D&AD as a non-designer, however the potential to get an award so widely recognised within the industry is a challenge I feel ready for at this stage in my education.
The brief itself name drops BookTok, a book sharing and reading movement on the TikTok platform, as well as attention to sustainability, and telling Penguin's brand story. Because of this, my initial port of call is research into Gen Z cultural and reading habits, as well as market research into what makes Penguin individual as a brand compared to its competitors. For this, I indent on using case studies from the source of BookTok, as well as others youth news outlets reporting on Gen Z and literature, as well as primary qualitative research through direct engagement and interview with members of the BookTok community.
Based on the submissions I have already seen, I aim to submit my own entry in a narrated video format, allowing my to combine the elements of copywriting and branding with a greater insight into the story of my enquiry and rationale behind my chosen idea. However, this will be presented in the tone of an existing product, rather than a pitch.