Friday, 12 March 2010


I knew this lecture was going to be good when it begun with Beatles songs being played...

When I first read the title "Designers and Clients" I was a little unsure of what would actually be discussed and whether or not it would be interesting. Pleasantly surprised Emma Murphy, Graven Images, talked expressively about the company that she works for and the techniques used by herself and others when dealing with clients.

Something that particularly interested me was when she talked about branding and the issues surrounding that. Giving examples of some of the companies that she had worked with, she discussed some of the issues surrounding their company brands.
She stressed the importance of having a similar theme running through both the brand and the building/product, e.g. when a company brand claimed that they to be trustworthy but on visit to their office, the atmosphere created was not very inviting. Something which Emma and Graven Images changed, installing glass divides, the office felt immediately more appealing and engaging! These changes meant that the brand and company communicated the same ideas and reinforced clarity among it's customers.

As discussed many a time in previous blogs, advertising is something that is becoming increasingly more and more influential. With companies trying to appeal to people in a particular way, those opposing what they represent are constantly trying to 'sabotage' their image.

A good example of this is McDonalds...

When the film/documentary called "Supersize me" was appearing, many people were shocked with the hard hitting facts being revealed about McDonalds. Morgan Spurlock aimed to spend a month eating nothing but fast food from the McDonalds menu, intending to eat at least everything on it at least once. To begin with Spurlock was quite excited about receiving his meals but as time went on he soon became a little sick of it all and this started to show through his health. In the end Spurlock has to stop the experiment because the effects of the fast food were so detrimental to his health that he faced a high risk of suffering a heart attack. This had a damaging effect on McDonalds and as sales started to suffer, the company needed to rebrand itself...

Trying to recreate their image, McDonalds were trying to hit out at the critics who claimed them to be 'evil' and 'money grabbing' and were trying to show that they really did care about the people. An article that appeared in the Guardian "McDonald's goes green - but not all customers are lovin' it" talks about some of the schemes undergone to try and remodel themselves. Changing to healthier fats to cook in, redesigning the interiors and funding community projects, the company looked are rebuilding it's image and portraying itself in a more positive light. Judge for yourself if you think it has worked...can a cheetah really change it's spots?

Something I would like to thank Emma for though is talking about all the different skills she uses and for breaking down the idea of what a brief is in detail. It was refreshing to hear someone who works out in the big bad world in a design company talk about the skills they use and the processes she used to gather information - a lot of which are similar to the techniques we are using at the moment in our assignments.

With thanks:
Emma Murphy, Graven Images

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