Dickens House

Me, Chris, Rage, Will W, and Will H met up over the holidays to discuss our plan of attack. There was a slight deviation from the plan, but I think it was unavoidable. I wanted us to all meet up twice (perhaps even more) over the holidays but this appeared to be trickier than I anticipated. A lot of us had agreed to work over the holidays (dramatically reducing the chances of us all getting together), some were out of the country, but we all had a wave of deadlines fast approaching.
In the end, it seemed as though the team were just letting this project slide. It wasn’t until 3 weeks before the deadline, when I alerted everybody, to the lack of time that things really started to move again. It felt a little like motivating a sloth to run a marathon, at first, in that nobody seemed to care! And because of this, I don’t think my heart was really in it either.
Danny, to her credit, had worked very hard on her pop up insert. However, there seemed to be no Va Va Voom within the team!
Eventually, I rallied the majority of the team together on the last Friday of the Easter break (13 days before the deadline..).

I had done a few brief mock ups over the holidays but I gave up when I realised that there was no way we would decide anything over a Facebook group!
Below is one of them. It was modern like we agreed before the holiday but everybody seemed to be against it.

Quick Mock Up

I wasn’t too keen myself but, like I said, it’s what we agreed before the break. I chose not to do any more until we were all there to come up with an idea we were all happy with.

I designated Will W and Rage with the task of (a) not playing YouTube videos and (b) accumulating a list of events for the inserts. This was essentially research and copy, a job that emerged when I realised Lee Ault wasn’t going to supply us with the information herself.
Myself, Will H and Chris began to chuck ideas about. We expanding on our idea of a modern styling. It was something that would appear brave and unique but when Rage suggested this ,redesign by Vevo, it began to dawn on me that the idea of a modern Dickens Souvenir was great in theory but ultimately irrelevant and unfitting.
This didn’t mean we were ready to do something similar to this, a traditional 18th Century brochure.
We weren’t trying to attract a new audience so the idea of a young and hip redesign for the Dickens House Museum was, in retrospect, ridiculous. Furthermore, the museum are going to remain traditional inside, so our design would be misleading and this compromises all design success.

We decided that the best way would be to create a 21st century program (to avoid the expected and obvious Dickens theme) but tone the bright, CMYK colours down a bit. We would pay homage to the 18th Century, not through safe stereotypes, but through things that gave the Museum it’s character and individuality.
Such things include the “David Copperfield” shield in the entrance way, the posters around the place and the wallpapers. The wallpapers are something, that during our first visit, we all agreed we should use and somehow it was something that we nearly forgot.
The bow wallpaper, in the room Lee boasted to be the most famous, was almost iconic.
Chris has done a cracking remake of the “David Copperfield” shield and a repeatable pattern of the bow wallpaper!

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We begun to think of ways in which we could find that balance between modern and traditional, innovation and homage. This is a design choice, not the concept. The concept remains to be “Appealing to and enticing families through Interactivity” and that is being executed with our interchangeable book titles and, either a pop up stage for children to play with or an activity sheet to be completed whilst inside the house (and perhaps have activities for once you have left). I personally feel the latter is the best choice as when we visited we saw children enjoying an activity sheet. This would find a way to use the already existing activity sheet in a way that you want to keep and remember.

Above is a mock up I made. It is bad (very, very bad) but the I think it gets the idea across..

  • Front: A modern, picturesque and cinematic shot of the museum. With an overcast, dramatic sky behind it. Possibly the bow wallpaper, faintly colour burned in the sky. A clean, modern font reads “Dickens House Museum” and a more traditional font reads “40th anniversary literary festival.” Chris will reproduce the border from a piece of paper we found in the museum, it is another subtle element of
    > I thought back to the first half of this assignment and remember we are called Pixelink because we are finding a link between the digital and the hand drawn. I may ask Will Hill or Danny to draw a picture of the front of Dickens House Museum, this would help us to keep true to our originally stated beliefs and create an awesome effect with the technologies bridging! <
  • Inside: I realised that we need to tell the user that the idea is to have your favourite Dickens book in the window. I thought a generic 18th century child, drawn by a child would be a good way to do this.
    The prominent colour is going to be Ruby, as it is the colour of the 40 year anniversary and the reverse of the flap is going to be a wallpaper effect, enhancement of the bows included in the front page.
  • Dickens-LogoBack: I also realised that if you search “Charles Dickens”, in Google, literally all you get is images of Dickens’ face and his ridiculous hairline, ridiculous but iconic hair line. I created this icon from that shape, it could do with work but I think it is quite a quirky little element to include.
    I also found the quote “A boy’s story is the greatest that is ever told.” This is an actual quote by Dickens and I think it works almost too well with what we are doing here. It engages the idea that children have astonishing imaginations and involves them in the world of Charles Dickens. It is very much a family quote.
  • Front Insert: Will Hill created a series of beautiful wallpaper patterns that would surround a book’s title. They looked great but need a little re-jigging to fit better.
  • Back Insert: Here we, finally, get to the real purpose of the program! We will have information (special speaker, am & pm schedule etc.). This should be clear and precise, not over done or have any unnecessary details. The information needs to be accessible and helpful.

It has come about, that we are aiming to create a mildly modern take, an update and an upgrade from all the existing Dickens design work already out there. All the while including nods and nuggets of these traditional elements, all of which will be relevant to the Dickens House Museum, Broadstairs (Fonts, Patterns etc.).
It will look better than the mock up I knocked up… I promise.


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