Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12 New Post Topic - TNC Project Reflection

Please comment on this project. What has been successful, not successful, how you think it has effected your perspective on creating an environmental message to the audience for the project.


  1. Being a Public Relations & Advertising major, creating campaigns is what I will continually do for the rest of my career. Through classes and in real-life experience I have created and executive numerous campaigns. However, I felt this project was more about creating designs rather than an overall campaign. I would have really liked to see an actual campaign created, one that included discussing target markets, strategies, tactics, messages etc. I feel that if as a class we did this we would have had more clear messages and overall ideas.
    Also, I believe if we had created a complete campaign- this would have given the non-designers something to do that dealt with the The Nature Conservancy rather than doing the Green Audit Database. I think this would have also made more cohesive groups. In general, the only time we spent with the designers was when we were getting ready to present, however I felt we could have helped the designers generate more ideas if we had met throughout the quarter working together to make the campaign. This way I feel they would have felt less-overwhelmed than creating the designs and ideas practically all on their own.
    I do like this project and it was interesting creating a “campaign” for an environmental client, considering I only work in consumer.

  2. I tend to agree with Alyssa; we were sort of on our own to decide what messages would be the most successful for which audiences. In the end, our main audience was not people our age, or even the general public, but ended up being the Nature Conservancy itself. I felt that other campaigns, especially the "find the space, enjoy the nature" campaign, managed to break the mold and do something more creative and radical. Our project is extremely conservative, because we felt that previous TNC campaigns presented a conservative message to a conservative audience. I would like more theoretical grounding in advertising -- from an advertising perspective -- because all of my previous experience with ads is as an english major, breaking down, analyzing, and discussing the messages in ad campaigns. I also feel pretty bad for the designers who were shouldered with most of the work for the project.


  3. As a designer I really enjoyed this project. I was happy to come up with the design (because its fun to do) and because I feel like alot of what my group was able to come up with is portfolio worthy work. It seemed like I got lucky with the group I was assigned with because I felt like the non-designers in my group were excited to come up with ideas. I think that it also really helped that the non-designers in my group understood that they were not designers, so they were happy to come up with concepts but at the same time they left the execution to the designers. I think this dynamic in my group helped alot, because I never really felt like the designers in my group ever ended up with too much work on our plates.
    I think for the sake of the non-designers in the class it would have been helpful to have the Independent Printers come in earlier in the term so they could learn a bit more about printing processes before diving into the green audit project.
    Overall I enjoyed working in a group, it was stressful at times to brainstorm about ideas, but I think that is how real world jobs are anyway. In the end I think our projects turned out better than if this was just a design based class because it was interesting to have input from people who have backgrounds other than design/art. As far as developing a campaign goes, I think that If the initial presentation given by the NC was clearer the groups would have been able to develope a more concrete campaign earlier in the term, rather than developing a campaign as we worked on the project. However, given the makeup of the class I think developing a full on marketing campaign is some what unrealistic not only because of time restrictions and other work but also most of the students don't have marketing backgrounds, and this would be expecting too much of the groups. With that said, I thought there was a lot of strong work in the class and I'm excited to see how the projects have developed for the final presentation.

  4. As a student who is studying both Design and Marketing, I understand the importance of strategic planning such as identifying target market segments, and finding ways to directly speak to those audiences in a way that breaks through the clutter of the market space. So I understand where Alyssa, and also Kathleen, are coming from with their comments- however, I had always felt that the context and client of this campaign cleared up some of the strategic questions at the outset. I also felt that the emphasis on design in a broad sense was explicit in the title of the class. Maybe 'design' could have been opened up to include the design of a full campaign, but time constraints make that difficult. Doing actual or hypothetical market research, deciding exactly what messages would be conveyed to a decided market segment, would only have been possible by cutting alot of the speakers (which was one of my favorite parts of the class).

    My group's campaign did take into account concerns that would go into an full campaign- by using more traditional forms of environmentalism such as composting, and staying away from looking like current green-washed consumer packaging, we are talking to committed environmentalists rather than people riding the trends. However, by giving the ads, space, and logo a fresh and contemporary feel, we open this market up to a wider age group that is a little broader than TNC's current target market.

    I thought that some of the best ideas for our campaign came from Jake and Katie, two of the environmental science students in our group. We split up the work well, contributing ideas and brainstorming together, sharing ideas for events at the space and for the visual feel of the ads. I really feel liked working with them, and I feel that I learned alot from them, as they often offerred a perspective that I couldn't see.

    And as for sympathy, no need to feel bad for me for having to make the designs. I live for this stuff and had fun with it, as always!

  5. On the whole, I really enjoyed this project. I was nice to approach class everyday with a clearly defined objective and work towards that goal as a team. This was the first time I have ever been challenged to collaborate in such a large team (I thought our team of 8 was one of the largest I've ever worked in while at DePaul) and hopefully get everyone’s voice heard. I think that the project was very successful from a conceptual standpoint, but felt that a lot will get lost when we physically display our project. Not because the designs and the execution was done poorly, but because we have such a limited scope due to the Nature Conservancy’s Requests. While this may have felt somewhat restraining, it was also very representative of a real world experience, and for that I’m very happy. Often times, especially in the business school, “real world application” simply means applying what we have learned to a tailored case study that fits a perfect mold. This was one of those instances where I was delighted to be pushed outside of the box because the requests and demands were very real and very clearly defined. From a class perspective I felt that the designers had much more pressure than those of us who were not actively involved in the physical designing of logos, etc. The writing and ideas from the environmental students was essential to the project, but clearly the bulk of the work was done on behalf of the designers. I felt that this imbalance created some issues, simply because I was unsure if I was doing my role, or if I should have been more actively involved somehow without working with the design group.

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  7. (I wrote this last week when in a bad mood about another class but thought I would still include it.)
    I feel that this class focused on the designers and that the “non-designers” were here to help with creating ideas for them to design. From day one the “Non-Designers” were let known that we were here only to help out; not design anything. I have a sense that the class was not originally designed this way but since Dolores only heard one side of the pros and especially the cons of the class because of the causality of the designer’s and Dolores’s relationship, which the relationship is awesome and if the same comfort ability was even throughout the whole class then I believe the class would of went much smoother. Anyways the class seemed that it shifted towards one group’s comments.

    What I Wrote Today: looking back at the beginning of the quarter I was really excited about this class, but I didn’t know what to expect since there was no class description. I thought I was going to have hands on experience with designing something, this is why I keep focusing on cool ideas for the designers to create especially for the el and bus stops and somewhere we lost track of what the non designers were suppose to be doing; designing the components of the actual space. i.e. .. materials/logistics. I think that most of the groups overlooked this part till the TNC lady told us to focus on that store space. Well shit now we only had a week to create the store space and events. So now it was just research, which is not that much different from my other classes and honestly the designers are involved enough in env. issues that they could of created this project with out the rest of us, I’m not saying we didn’t help, but they could of done it. I also think that the non-designers could have developed the whole ad campaign and gave the designers guidelines on how we wanted the logos. As it happened the class shifted to focusing on the design of the logos not the space. This was no ones fault it just happened that way. I also realize that this is the first time for this class and a new class is always hard to organize and with this being a multidisciplinary class it had to be extremely frustrating at times.

    Suggestion for fixing the class-If the class is going to be segregated make that clear, maybe have two professors work together on the class, have the Professors explain the project in terms related to their major in front of the whole class so everybody knows their and each other jobs. Then mix the groups and let all the creative minds work together with a clear direction. But I personally would rather see a blending of the disciplines. I am use to very structured class and struggled with the causality of the class. I also enjoyed the causality of the class but believe there is a happy medium.
    I would also drop the green printer audit, it was fun but I think focus on one project and do that project with explicit detail especially if it is for an organization such as TNC. It would also be interesting if a campaign was designed to promote sustainability at DePaul. While looking back at the class, even thought frustrating at times I would do it again.

  8. At first, I was really confused about the project. We flew right into it on the first day of class, and I left the classroom sort of puzzled. As we got into it however, I started getting more and more of the organization. I think the fact that the class was split up with designers and non-designers was the part where I got lost, since I came into the class not really knowing what to expect. I thought the split in the class was necessary since some of the things we did were non-design things, like the green audit, however, the designers I feel had a lot more to do in the class. I feel like the designers in our group carried most of the load. If there was someway to balance the workload, I think the project would have been less stressful for them. The project to me was successful in the end in part because it was an actual organization that we were doing it for, and so I got to see a lot of the business side to things. Since the whole project was really focused on groups, I thought this was another way to emphasize real-world experience in a classroom. I think that the feedback we got from the Nature Conservancy really helped, because at first it seemed like nobody really knew what they wanted. We all knew the about what we needed to create, but I feel like no one knew they were really emphasizing the storefront idea until the critique a few weeks before the final presentation.

  9. Rachel Markel
    The project was a very new experience for me. I had never done anything like it…ever so I never knew what to expect from any of it. The green audit report was my biggest responsibility. The man I talked to didn’t have a lot of information for me, but he was eager to tell me what he could.
    The design aspect of the project was so fascinating to me. I, again, have not been a part of anything like this. This class was only to fulfill a class requirement, but I am so glad I took it. I loved every class meeting looking at the new designs and logos and hearing the ideas of all the groups.
    I feel like because I have never really done anything like this and I don’t know anything about it, I’m not sure how successful it was. When I think of the ideas and the designs my group and the other groups had, I feel like they are all very smart, and original ideas.
    I love the idea that my group came up with of the different events that will be hosted at our storefront location. Also, I just think all of the designers did so well with the responsibilities they had.
    I’m not sure what is going to happen with any of the ideas any of the groups have come up with, but I feel like they were all fresh and smart ideas for the campaign.
    I think the project was a good overall final project for the class.

  10. Things I enjoyed about this project:
    * The chance to work on a real campaign and with a real client, especially a picky one, because it was good experience for this elusive 'real world' I keep hearing about.
    * Working with people outside of my discipline in order to see how different people are trained to think, brainstorm, and execute- it's amazing how different it is.

    Things I didn't like as much about this project:
    * The client of the Nature Conservancy doesn't seem ideal to me. It was great that someone was willing to sponsor the project and give us feedback, but I feel like there was too much disconnect between the project and the rest of the class.
    * Not having a clear idea of what we were supposed to be doing for a lot of the time.
    * Once we had a clear idea, it was difficult to get others to engage or to do what needed to be done. But, so it goes.
    * I wasn't expecting it, given the description of the class as a lecture class, so that was a bit stressful.

    Overall, I think this was a decent project- I love the idea of getting to work on a real campaign, but I agree with some of my classmates that I thought it would be more hands-on and more geared toward actually designing things sustainably or 'green', when it was more about a typical ad campaign for a client. Maybe if we were working with someone who deals directly with this sort of thing, or if we were able to design something with Zhanna that would be better- perhaps educational exhibits explaining the importance of these natural preserves? Overall though, I'm very happy I took this class.

  11. As I said in class, this course was not at all what I was expecting. That aside, I ended up enjoying quite a bit and I felt like it was a good exercise for everyone in getting outside of their box.

    At first I found the lack of direction frustrating and difficult to get my head around, but as the course went on I found it more refreshing and I think that that lack of guidance in the ultimate outcome of the project is what made it successful for several reasons. I think that it forced the groups to come together and work (for better in some cases and possibly for worse in others), but that is they way these things work in the real world. You are not always going to be smitten with your co-workers on projects, but you have to learn to come together in order to reach that common goal. Also, I think it made the process more organic allowing us to fully explore the ideas of what did and did not work, and I think in most cases everyone did a great job of doing so.

    The only thing that I worried about was the same as many other non-designers, that the designers did more work on the project. I'm not really sure how to rectify that situation, honestly. The designers in our group never made us feel like we weren't doing our share, or that they had too much on their plates, which I'm grateful for, I just hope that we were able to contribute enough.

  12. At first the project was really rocky. I didn't know what was expected or really what to do even. Once things started to unfold and we were given a little direction the project really started to come together.
    I did not really like doing the Green Audit part of the project. I personally feel like I do not know enough about printing to be interviewing a printer. Yes, I did learn about printing but there were times in conversation where I was not so confident or I didn't understand what I was being told. I just kind of felt lost in that aspect of the project.
    I didnt feel there was too much environmental issues being discussed throughout the TNC project. It felt more to me that we were just doing marketing which I didnt really like. It was a different experience for me but it was not something that I expected to be doing. It didnt really seem like issues we talked about in class rolled over into the project. It felt like two different parts of the class.
    I would have had a better hold on the project if it was something that I was actually able to connect with such as something at DePaul.
    I think the next class will have an easier time once we are finished with the test run.

  13. Overall i thought this project was great experience for everybody to work in a group with people of other specialties and disciplines. As a designer, this is going to be what i am doing for the rest of my life once i graduate is dealing with other people/clients/specialists to put forth designs that are successful in communicating specific messages. I have not had much experience in this sort of thing so it was interesting trying to mix 8 different people's ideas and designs together. Although this was difficult, i think that the end result ended up being much more successful because of all the work put into by multiple people and working together. Parts of this class were a little difficult to deal with but I think it should be run again with some of the possible suggestions above mentioned. I also am proud of our class because there is a very specific green trend going on these days and i felt that we stepped outside the box, maybe not all the way but we were able to because of all the different opinions and speakers that presented us information about the environment and sustainable acts.