Research on concepting

Generating an idea is not that difficult and Janaki already did a lot of research on brainstorming.

You have an epic idea. Which steps do you have to take to turn it into a medium independent concept? As a CMD student, especially whilst doing the Concept Design specialization, it is important to be able to do this but also to be able to notice the difference between an idea and a concept. Since we are still struggling with this sometimes, I decided to look further into this.

Copy and Concept is a book mainly focused on communication and campaigns. The writers explain that concepts are necessary to enhance a brand. They define concepts in two different types.

A concept in the broader sense:
The overall idea about the essence of the brand and its meaning in people’s live, which recurs in all the communication about the brand. This is quite close to the brands vision, mission and image.

A concept in the narrower sense:
Creative concept to include all communications within a campaign. It takes an USP and is linking this to an aspect that is not related to the product. Like a benefit, a symbol or different meaning.

This is the kind of concept we need for Banknote Bingo.

After generating loads of ideas in the brainstorm it is time to combine these ideas, evaluate them and finally make a selection. Does the concept fit the briefing? Is it relevant? Does it target the right people? Is it distinctive? Is it consistent?

A good concept:

  • Is asking for attention
  • Fits well with the brand
  • Fits the theme of the campaign
  • Has added value towards the brand
  • Fits the target group
  • Is developable and quite timeless
  • Is translatable into different kinds of media

So the only way to turn an idea into a concept is by using this ‘’a good concept’’ list as a sort of checklist.

Everything fits our concept ‘’changing the value of money’’.

 

SOURCES

Thobokholt, B., Waal, B. de, & Westbeek, M. (2012). Copy & Concept (4e ed.). Amsterdam, Nederland: BIS Publishers.

Augmented Reality

We want to use augmented reality to show our animation. Augmented reality is changing the way we view the world, or at least the way its users see the world. Picture yourself walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays, which will eventually look much like a normal pair of glasses, informative graphics will appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements will be refreshed continually to reflect the movements of your head. Similar devices and applications already exist, particularly on smartphones.

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Mobile device showing augmented reality

Thats what we want to use aswell. Since Fraser is in partnership with a company that also specializes in augmented reality we think it is a very viable option. Our concept is to increase the value of money. We think it is a solid idea to do change the banknote when you scan it. We can change the number (value) you can see on the banknote (which is a nice visual expression of our concept), and of course show our animation on top of the banknote. We wanted to make sure this could be done, even without his company.

I started with experiencing virtual and augmented reality myself to get a right impression. At the Makerspace in our school they have a Vive – https://www.vive.com/us/ -, a virtual reality device. Focussing on the augmented reality I started doing research on apps.

I looked into what app could realize our concept. I tried out a few different apps quite casually.

aurasma

Altough I didn’t dive very deep in all five I soon discovered Aurasma was the most promissing tool for us. It supports pictures and video’s. It even provides sound. You can use a banknote (make sure the serial code is clear) as a ‘trigger’. Then you choose a layer, which in our case is the animation. And that’s it. If you use the app you just see ‘the reality’ around you, just like using your camera. But as soon as it detects the banknote you picked it starts with the animation. You can even choose where you want the animation to pop up. In our case on the banknote of course. I believe that if it’s possible for a student to create an augmented reality with just an app and an animation, it’s very realistic for Fraser to choose this way of presenting. Even more so if he works together with a company who can even make it way more appealing!

Get an impression with the simulation I made:

https://vimeo.com/200828579

Password: fraser&bob

Evaluation Olmo

After we got the feedback from Fraser, Bob and other people we asked a few things needed to change. We needed to shorten the animation quite a bit, this was clear. There was no need for the mechanism explanations in the animation, Fraser will do that afterwards. So then Thomas made a new video and last monday, 23th of january, I did my evaluation round. This made sure we had our last workday to tweak and perfect our animation before the final presentation. I asked around at animation experts, and just regular adults (who would watch the show). The adult were not really a problem to get to, but the animation experts were. Of the four I approached, only one had time to review it.

I just showed them the animation. I wanted to make sure they understand it without any introduction. Then I asked for their opinion.

Adult 1 – Ineke Daalders

Ineke really liked the music. She did think it was too loud since she couldn’t understand everything Thomas was saying in the voice over. Overall she found it very entertaining and energetic. She suggested we used a little more colour.

Adult 2 – Robin Borsboom

Robin was also positive. She thought it was some kind of commercial and thought it really needed some explanation (without knowing that is part of Frasers presentation). Overal she liked the music and the voice. Although it was not loud enough. She also liked the way the illustrations were drawn.

Adult 3 – Jan Dorssen

Jan was a little sceptical. He thought everything went too fast. He did liked the music but it was too loud in his opinion. When I showed it again he understood it was somekind of promotion. He thought it was cleverly done but he preferred a more calm way of advertising.

Animation Expert – Jimmy Scholten

Jimmy thought the music was fine for starters, but also Jimmy said we had to tune down the music a bit to hear what the voice over was saying. He liked the illustrations but he thought they were a little bit minimal. He gave us the advise that by just adding a few more banknotes at the beginning or at the t.v. scene, the whole thing becomes more alive. He also helped picking out audio effects like the sound of money ‘flapping’ on the screen. Jimmy also told me he thought it was still a bit dark-ish and we just had to crank up the brightness a little bit to really make the colours more come out.

I think we had some great feedback. Except that Jan didn’t really like it I think overall the people that are willing to watch this show can appreciate it. Also Jimmy really helped us out. Thomas will be turning the music volume a bit down so you can hear the voice over more clearly. He is going to be adjusting the brightness so it’s less dark and more happy. Also thomas is increasing the number of banknotes in the video to make it more spectacular. And last but not least, the sound effects will be implemented. In the end I think we will have a pretty neat video!

Creative brainstorm

I want to learn new and creative ways to come up with concept. Last time with Take on New Things 1 I wrote the concept rationale to explain why a concept is a good concept. This time I want to research different ways of brainstorming and see if the concept becomes better because of this. I will do this by applying the different ways I found in the research and applying them with the group in the right circumstances. I will document this brainstorm and evaluate if it helped us to create more creative concepts.

In the research, as seen above, I looked up different ways to do creative brainstorms. I prepared the arbitrary word brainstorm and organised that the brainstorm would be done in a new environment. In advance all the group members and me prepared ten concept ideas. We went to a café where none of us had been before so that our brain would be stimulated in the right way to be more creative.

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Brainstorm session in the Stan & Co.

We first went over the ten concepts everybody prepared. And found out that we had a lot of the same first ideas, like virtual reality and doing a game of the gameshow with the tv producers. This proved that it was a good exercise to prepare these concepts beforehand to get these first ideas out of our heads and make space for new and more original ideas.

After that we did the arbitrary word exercise. On the table was a bottle of balsamico vinegar so we used that as the word. We first wrote down all the proporties, associations, functions and memories we had with this subject.

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Arbitrary word brainstorm – Balsamico Vinegar

Then we chose words that we wrote down with the association exercise. We then thought of ways that we could connect the ‘random’ word with Banknote Bingo. This gave us new ideas and concepts as seen beneath.

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Some interesting ideas we came up with that we normally wouldn’t have thought of are for example the image that the vaults of the banks are empty because all the money is at home with the viewer watching banknote bingo or that a stripper wins a lot of money because of the ten euro she got in her panty and that we could send a pizza box to the tv producers with the instructions of the tv show to grab their interest.

After this brainstorm session we came up with our ten best concepts that can be read in our blog post of all the ideas. Two days after getting all our ideas on paper and writing them down in a document, we went over them with a fresh and new look. We then chose our ten best ideas and combined adjusted some ideas to make them into concepts.

10 Concepts

 

  1. Time is money
  2. Watching the show = win/ gain.
  3. Showing scenarios of people who have cash and become rich with this in a commercial for the tv show. To grab their attention.
  4. A pizza deliverer receives cash and with this cash he becomes rich by winning money. – Send pizza to the producers with the explanation of the game in the box. – concept; Send all the tv producers something where the explanation of Banknote bingo is attached in a fun way. = commitment + consistency
  5. (Accidentally) Giving away your chance of winning money. (medium= Stripclub; strippers have cash in their panty’s and they can win money with this).
  6. Pilot Commercial. To explain the concept in a convincing way with a commercial.
  7. The vaults of banks are all empty because of the show. All the cash is in the homes of the people.
  8. Convincing the tv producers by showing that people like it (on the street). Act it out on the street with people who can win money = target audience. film this and show to tv producers that the people are already enthusiastic.
  9. Let the tv producers experience the show, as an audience or to be in the show. (Studio setup, make the show with live audience → invite the tv producers to you.  or VR)
  10. Changing the value of money. (Create 2000 from a 20 euro banknote. Jesus is/or an illusionist) Banknotes with 4 digits on them
  11. Banknote bingo is a party

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, we found that this way of doing the creative brainstorm helped us to come up with new original and creative ideas and concepts.

 

Research – The best way to explain a game (Thomas de Gilder)

What is the best way to explain a game?
After getting feedback from Fraser and Bob we found out we had to simplify the augmented reality video we made. The important thing is how are we going to explain the game while keeping it simple. This I why I did research on the best way to explain a game.

Before I just started doing research I had to think of the right places to search for the answer. I decided I was going to find out how the manuals where build up of some board games I have at home.

Weerwolven
The first game I researched is “Weerwolven”. The manual starts of with a story. The story actually already tells how the game works. After this introduction they tell in 2 sentences what the goal of the game is.

–           The villagers have to expose the werewolves.
–           The werewolves have to eliminate the villagers.

These are the key points or unique selling point of the game. We will be able to use this in our own explanation. We will have to find out what is the single most important thing of the format.

dav

De Mol
This game was derived from the well-known television show “Wie is de Mol”. The manual start off differently than “Weerwolven”. It starts by telling the short version of the game. It already goes very much into detail. This is probably because the game itself is much more complicated than the game I discussed earlier.

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Reddit
I decided to look up some articles and literature about this topic. It was quite hard to find some reliable sources but I did found something interesting. I came across a forum where people where discussing about board games and how to explain them. A person made a blog about the best way to explain a game. He claims to be a game teacher in a board game café. Of course this isn’t a very reliable source but I did notice a lot of similarities with the games I already discussed.

“As soon as you’ve set the tone with the game’s theme, players should know what they’re shooting for. When players know what their goals are, everything else falls into place.” (Monopolatte, 2015)

This is exactly how the game manuals where build up. This could work really well for our concept. We have to let the target group know what the main goal or unique selling point of the game is and explain the rest afterwards. Then everything falls into place.

Bibliography
Monopolatte. (2015, 01 01). How to Explain Games: a Guide from a Professional Games Teacher. Retrieved 01 16, 2017, from Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/2csl51/how_to_explain_games_a_guide_from_a_professional/

 

 

Illustrations

So today I worked on making illustrations in Illustrator, based on the previous design made by Olmo.

I’m not the best friends with Illustrator, but I manage to get around.

Also, these flat design like characters are not really comparable to my normal style, but it does fit the animation perfectly. So first I looked a little bit into flat design characters and I started designing. Half way through I asked some feedback from my group members, it was nice to work together in the same space, and these are the results!

televisie-versie-2-win
televisie-versie-2

I made the ‘win’ version because we decided that one character needed to stand up and cheer, so Thomas gave me instructions on how he needed the arms in a separate layers etc.

Research – Creative Brainstorm (Janaki van Os)

What are creative ways to brainstorm?

To come up with better concepts I want to research different ways of brainstorming and chose the best ones to apply with the group.

  • A brainstorm where everyone writes their ideas on little post its and sticks it on the big piece of paper lying the middle of the table.
  • Making a word association map with a word in the middle of the paper and every one of the group receives a pen and writes down their associations with this word.

These brainstorms are known as ‘normal’ brainstorms. Where you simply think of ideas. The creative brainstorm techniques we learnt in the lateral thinking lessons are as followed.

Lateral thinking

In our lateral thinking class, we learnt different brainstorming techniques. It came down to two different techniques. One of thinking ‘inside the box’ and the other thinking ‘outside the box’. The thinking inside the box techniques were:

  • 9 inbox tools
    • remove – leave something out
    • replace
    • multiply
    • connect – combine it with something else
    • divide – separate or divide
    • activate – unused parts
    • make dynamic – loosen/release fixed parts and fasten loose parts
    • rearrange – rearrange parts or aspects
    • different versions

Harvesting ideas
By harvesting all the ideas, you get an overview of the different types of ideas. This will allow you to see new things and to determine what a concept is and what is a specific idea.

  • Concepts – a concept is a principle behind an idea. It’s like an umbrella. Ideas that come from the same source. This concept leads to new ideas. Wonder which themes are to be found in the idea.
  • Initial ideas – these are ideas that aren’t yet ready-to-go (and may be they never will) but they are different, valuable and/or interesting. An initial idea can be enriched later on to a usable idea. If the idea still need research to see if it’s possible it’s an initial idea.
  • Specific ideas – these ideas are practical and directly applicable. By enriching they can even be made more fun or more appropriate.

enrich them ->

  • Transform and/or adjust the situation or the idea
    Use this in if there are too many restrictions, for instance if there is not enough money available. You will see to it that there is going to be more budget.)
  • Enhance the idea
    You use this if the idea has advantages but is not powerful enough to persuade the client. It can come in handy to figure out who are the parties concerned and make the idea better for them)
  • Adjust minus points
    An idea can also be more persuasive by adjusting flaws or weakness)

Outside the box thinking tools were the arbitrary word starting point exercise where you ask someone (or do it yourself) pick a random word. And then write down all the associations, functions, characterizations and memories you can think of with that word. You can have a piece of paper with a lot more words than that you started with. With the words, you wrote down with the associations, functions, characterizations and memories you can than connect back you the problem focus you have at hand. This way you might think of completely new words and connections that would have never occurred to you in the first place.

Universal Methods of Design

For this research, I used the book Universal Methods of Design. In this are 100 methods to design your concept.

Bodystorming
Bodystorming is a physical brainstorming technique. It is done by informative performances and active role-play.

Ways to enrich creativity

There are different ways to help your brain think in a creative way and to come up with new and different ideas. These are

  • change of environment
  • music
  • under influence

Our brains get lazy when we get used to certain environments, because you have seen them before and your brain doesn’t register them anymore. When going to a new environment your brain gets active again. Since it has to register all these things it has never seen before. It’s also been proven that different types of music has different effects on our brain. Like classical music helps us to study and music that has the same number of beats as our heart helps us to be active when doing sports. Now some people say that using certain drugs can enhance your creativity. But that is of course the most recommended way to be creative.

After finding these brainstorm methods I decided that it would be best if all of us came up with ten different concepts on our own, so that you could get the most obvious ideas out of your head and that you had the opportunity to think about it without the pressure of other people. Then I chose to apply the normal brainstorms to use the way that we are used to. I also prepared the arbitrary word brainstorm to compare the different brainstorm.

Source:

Martin, B., & Hanington, B. (2012). Universal Methods of Design (Herz. ed.). Beverly, USA: Rockport Publishers.