Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Gdes2014 final Submission of Work for The National Archives Brief

Children's Book Design students handed in their final creative concepts work recently for the National Archives "Significant People" Key Stage 1 eActivity Book brief. 
We held a small, informal exhibition of final display boards and were joined by clients Katie and Lauren from the National Archives for the session. The clients were really keen to see all of the range of outputs produced as well as to be able to talk briefly to all students about their ideas based on research undertaken. The ideas will now be considered by staff at the National Archives and a shortlist of 5-10 submissions arrived at. This will then form the basis for the final .pdf eBook that will ultimately be compiled and put together by tutor Andy for use in future workshops at the Archives.

Feedback
“I think they were absolutely fantastic and there’s plenty to work with. There is a real range of activities and some amazing designs. We’ll have a look at all of them and come up with one book probably trying to take elements from each person’s designs.”
Katie Fox, Client and Modern Domestic Records Specialist, National Archives, Kew

“It (the brief) was a bit daunting to begin with but the people from the Archives were very friendly. I don’t think it would have been the same if we had not gone to the Archives. It put it into perspective.”
Student Charlotte Halliday

“I’ve never worked on a real life project before so it was good experience. I found it interesting because I got to experiment with other materials and it was a lot of fun thinking how children would act and what they would respond to.”
Student Genevieve Oheneampong

“Throughout the process (and production of final pieces) client feedback for improvements and Skype calls were also incredibly helpful in case there were any questions.. I feel like this project expanded my knowledge in history and graphics, it gave me the experience of working to a proper live brief and actually getting to meet the clients of said project (too).”
Student Zoe Marriner

Here's a couple of pictures of the event:


Student Dani and clients Katie and Lauren look over design boards.


Student Katie talks to clients Lauren and Katie about her eventual designs.

Note: Content to be added here as fast as I can process the images, please bear with me. At this moment I'm also waiting on remainder students to send me back their associated wording to their imagery too.

Tip: Click individual images to enlarge.

Here's a set of reference images (low res, alphabetical order) of the latest set of student work:

Katie Bryant
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Megan Chiossi



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Laura Cottle
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Ollie Davis
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Katie Dolan

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Caz Durston
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Michael Finch

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1. What key research findings influenced your final design decisions (and why)? Conducting research into available KS1 learning activity resources was a useful insight into areas that make these successful, as well as highlighting their limitations. Varying tasks to promote interactivity was highlighted as an important feature, both to encourage the learning process and keep the interest of the child. This was especially important considering the short attention span of children at this age. This therefore influenced my final design decisions, such as including stylised illustrated characters in full colour, an element in which many of the research examples neglected, leaving pages uninspiring and bland. User testing feedback from KS1 Primary teachers highlighted some key aspects of the design and content that needed adapting for the target audience, an important factor influencing the final designs.

2. What was your key 'design theme' or ideas within your final visual work (and why)? My key design theme was created to encourage the child to feel involve, completing their own investigative journal, relating to how all three significant individuals are remembered for their recording and writing of events. Not only does this create a visual relationship between the significant people and the design, but including elements of scrap paper, tape, pens and other stationery items gives the child a feel of having their own journal to complete the many activities – A fun, interactive way of completing a learning exercise. 

3. What angle have you gone for with any activities, how do they work (and why have you done this)? My eActivity book has definitely been designed to be completed as an activity after a main lesson, as the children can use the knowledge they have been taught to then complete the tasks. Each significant individual has a wordsearch, giving each page a level of continuity (as well as being a fun, hands-on task). Each pages also contains a more challenging task varied in order to stimulate visual and kinaesthetic learners, with the possibility of a teacher narrating the tasks as a group suiting more auditory learners. Activities have been designed around applying knowledge of key facts on the historical individuals, guiding the reader through completing their very own notebook. In have tried to limit the amount of writing required by the reader, for example circling the TRUE/FALSE facts on the William Shakespeare page, ordering numbered events on Queen Elizabeth’s timeline, and joining the dot-to-dot map to complete Captain James Cook’s first voyage.


Charlotte Halliday
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Researching on websites such as The National Archives, BBC Bitesize and for class activities currently used in the curriculum for KS1, gave me a base of how to begin planning to ensure that the designs and activities I chose would be relevant. The style I wanted to recreate was an old fashioned document to match the history of the significant people and also The National Archives documents. With the activities my aim was to try and include a task that may appeal to all different types of learners. The tasks are for an introductory activity book for the 3 significant people, and information could be added to in another lesson if the teacher wanted to continue with the theme. 


Beth Hawthorne


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Kersti Heido
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1. What key research findings influenced your final design decisions (and why)? My final design decisions were influenced by the fact that children around that age are still more reliant on images than text. Children prefer to discuss things instead of reading them. I tried to put as little text in as possible and make them learn through open discussions with the teacher.

2. What was your key 'design theme' or ideas within your final visual work (and why)? My final design theme were mainly influenced by a discussion I had with a family friend who works with children that age. In her experience, children are more drawn to illustrations than realistic things around that age and that is why i decided to make my design into a bit more cartoony photo album style.

3. What angle have you gone for with any activities, how do they work (and why have you done this)? With my activities, I tried to take more of a fun and involving angle rather than just having facts. I tried to get the children to enjoy themselves while learning about history.


Kirby Jennings

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1. What key research findings influenced your final design decisions (and why)? Looking at existing worksheets and activity sheets is the research that influenced my final decisions the most. This is because they showed me what elements that had already been tried and tested and which would be successful to include in my designs. Looking at the different ways people learn also influenced my designs in a big way. This meant I had to keep in mind each persons preferences and abilities

2. What was your key 'design theme' or ideas within your final visual work (and why)? I wouldn't say I had a 'design theme' per say however I made sure all of my pages followed a basic grid layout. This allowed the set up of the page to be familiar and meant the reader could focus on the activity itself. I also used a combination of hand rendered and computer generated elements throughout my designs to keep the pages visually stimulating and engaging.

3. What angle have you gone for with any activities, how do they work (and why have you done this)? My activities base themselves heavily on engaging each students way of learning. I ensured there was a lot of interactivity to get the students up out of their seats. I found, through research, that children of this age get easily distracted and turn off from the activity so to combat this i took every opportunity to get them involved.


Holly Leak

Zoe Marriner


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What key research findings influenced your final design decisions (and why)? Looking into existing examples of how other people have displayed and produced information, this is because it gave me a point of reference of how watered down the information could be, this was important in this particular project since the target audience was between the ages of 5 and 7, the BBC’s Primary History website was the most useful for this.

What was your key 'design theme' or ideas within your final visual work (and why)? I wanted to focus on the illustrations, the visual style I wanted was to be bold, bright and eye catching, something a child that age would look at and steal their attention. The illustrations characterise the historical figures and make it less boring then looking at a photograph or portrait. The visual style has almost that sense of animation as if the characters are going to start talking to you.

What angle have you gone for with any activities, how do they work (and why have you done this)? I looked into children’s activity sheets to get some inspiration, I chose to do a discuss the historical figures task and a maze task on the ‘Starter’ page. On the ‘Main’ page I thought of a family tree task, I wanted to make the challenge to be kinaesthetic so I thought of ways that could happen – the first way being if the task was to be printed out, students could cut the answers out and stick them into the correct boxes, the other way would be if the e-book was interactive the answers could be dragged into the correct places, the family tree task is not too difficult because its common sense Henry VII comes before Henry VIII and the information provided tells you ‘Elizabeth had two siblings’. The ‘Plenary’ page has a world map that has a dot-to-dot task on it, the map is an image from the image library of The National Archives, it shows a historic artefact that the children would have to have a good look at to find the numbers and then ‘come back home’ to England in the task, I wanted to create a entertaining but sort of challenging experience the maze and dot-to-dot puzzles were always my favourite puzzle types when I was little and the family tree task I think is a nice change of pace, it goes well with the historical figure Elizabeth I since royalty especially the Tudors were very much into the royal succession.


Dan Mills

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Dannii Newman
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1. What key research findings influenced your final design decisions (and why)? The influence for my designs mainly came from the trip that information was gathered from (for example. the trip to the black Country museum) and the research for the chibi/cartoon figures, as from these two elements I was able to draw designs for my pages that I knew would stay consistent throughout the book. Having the designs be more accurate through the visual research I had, made it easier to draw my cartoon designs and illustrations throughout each page, which made planning out the text information after a lot simpler.

2. What was your key 'design theme' or ideas within your final visual work (and why)? The design theme stuck to brown/cream shades, to stick with the visual representation of the pages belonging to an 'older' time (mostly likely the times at which the historic figures came from). The consistency of the same colour allowed for me to create illustrations easier because I knew where the light and dark areas of the designs would fit, adding in gradients and small shades to make the designs less flat. The 'chibi' designed used for the cartoon figures was chosen to the the favourable child-like element they portray. Having a style that resembles cartoon is more suitable for children who will be looking for fun designs.

3. What angle have you gone for with any activities, how do they work (and why have you done this)?
The activities I decided to go forward with were chosen with the idea of having them all seperate from another. The first activity is more about reading and processing, thinking about the facts they've written and then simply writing bullet points of their thoughts, making them think more and engage themselves with what they've written. While, the second page is a cross word puzzle, a fun activity that will get the kids involved with and want to solve. Cross words are known to be challenging, so I made sure the words and questions I used were simple enough for children of their ages, but fun enough to make it a fun activity to perhaps do with other students. Role play as an activity requires no writing, as opposed to the last two activities, I wanted to do this because it requires more physical involvement and team work with a friend, which often leads to having more fun, rather than having to just read stuff off paper. Lastly, the dot to dot activity on the last page is an activity I added for some additional fun, an element the children can complete with some ease, but enjoy it none the less to see what the final outcome of the design is, and colour it in at the end if they want to too.


Gen Oheneampong

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Megan Osbourne

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Laura Paice

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1. Key research findings that influenced my final design included activity books from WHSmith such as Bloomsbury and Usbourne activity books.

2.The key design theme in my final work was using rustic looking paper for the background and having a continuous colour scheme throughout for each character making each page link quickly.

3.For my activities I have chosen to go for simple puzzles and tasks that 5-7 year olds would manage. From my user-testing I found that I had to simplify some of my tasks to make the task easier and suitable for the age.


Sophy Pickering


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Ashley Poyner
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1. One example of this would be finding out that Alan Turing was a brilliant
mathematician so in turn I included some math problems for the viewer to
solve.

2. To give the reader information on the individual and then base the
activities on that info and to keep things clear and simple so that a KS1
viewer isn't confused.

3. I have tried to cover a wide variety of activities ranging in various difficulties.


Dani Shaw
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Laura Thompson

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Darrin Tucker
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Maddie Tunstall 
(Non submission)

Liam Turner
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1. What key research findings influenced your final design decisions (and why)? The research I looked into was heavily stylised and used vibrant colours; this influenced the general appearance of the layouts by using bright colours on a simplified paper file, to try make it look visually engaging.

2. What was your key 'design theme' or ideas within your final visual work (and why)? My main theme was to try and recreate the appearance of documents we were shown during the visit to The National Archives. It then developed into the idea of a secret file containing fact files of each person, I did this for a unique style of work that would be relevant to the background of the significant people.

3. What angle have you gone for with any activities, how do they work (and why have you done this)? The activities are based around the use of symbols, coding and spy work. The first task is joining the symbols with their sentences and then finding the words in the wordsearch; the second task is an algorithm of questions which have cut out answers alongside to place over the top and the third task is a memory game or to find the answers provided in the e-book beforehand and to write the answers in the white space.


Jack Vaughan

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What key research findings influenced your final design decisions (and why)? Axel Sheffler heavily influenced me as his use of colour really brings rhe page to life. I wanted to follow suit in this sense but with a less detailed drawing as i feel KS1 don't need detail to be engaged.
 

What was your key 'design theme' or ideas within your final visual work (and why)? I wanted to create something visually bold and bright. Sticking with block colours to draw in attention and not using to make ch detail as this can take away from the colours and create a messy page.

3. What angle have you gone for with any activities, how do they work (and why have you done this)? I tried to use activities which could be completed individually or as a team. Also i have tried to get the children's creativity flowing in every activity as i feel creativity and thinking outside the box to be a big part of brain development.


Ele Watson

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What key research findings influenced your final design decisions (and why)? My main research was on existing activities for KS1 not just on the significant people but as a whole, I feel like influenced my design decisions because I realised that the fully black and white activities had more to give. The fact they can be coloured in and the fact that it isn't going to cost a teacher all of their printing credit to print them off for the class.

What was your key 'design theme' or ideas within your final visual work (and why)? My key design theme was to keep it simple black and white design, so that the whole booklet can be adapted by the child who is working on it. They get to colour it all in, add as much detail as then want and just make it that bit more fun.

What angle have you gone for with any activities, how do they work (and why have you done this)? With my activities I have decided to keep them short and fun so the child doesn't get bored filling it in. It's easy and fast paced And will keep them entertained


James Watson
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