King workshop

Gabriela Lazbal and Concept Art

Last Tuesday 15th of May we had the visit of Gabriela Lazbal on the subject of Rich Media Projects. Lazbal works at King, a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, known worldwide for its gem game Candy Crush. After being six years in the team, she is nowadays working as a Senior Artist and as a Lead Artist supervising all the follow-up of the Bubble Witch 3

Gabriela was born in Argentina, where she studied, but she has been living in Spain for nearly 20 years, having worked in Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona so far. From the beginning, she explains that her trajectory is quite multidisciplinary, always guided by her artistic vein.

Since she was thirteen, she knew that wanted to study the Fine Arts degree. However, as she is a curious mind, she discovered other disciplines along the way, such as film and television production and also analogue and 3D animation. Besides, before establishing in King and parallelly to her studies, she had dedicated plenty of her time being a teacher and working independently as a freelance.

King workshop

During the session, Lazbal explains in detail the process of making video games. In the case of the Swedish company, they follow a work methodology based on the SCRUM model, which avoids hierarchies, enhancing proactivity and coordination among its members. She highlights that the success of their projects it is based on the communicative routine they persistently build.

“The most positive thing that SCRUM has is the retrospective. In this sessions, we discuss what has gone well or badly both professionally and personally, to avoid carrying problems or accumulate misunderstandings. Is the moment we establish honest relationships through conversation.”

Lazbal tells us that brainstormings are composed of different types of work profiles like artists, game designers, producers and data scientists. Also, developers and testers use to join the team when all of them start the prototyping stage. The idea is that they don’t see each other only once for the initial brainstorming, but they meet regularly being everyone involved in every decision even if is ideating, analysing or sharing the results of tests along the evolution of the product.

“Discussing ideas together makes simply enrich them, that’s why teamwork is so important.”

Lazbal defines their process as progressive and introduces us the concept of sprints. This methodology consists of stipulating a group of tasks and schedules them in weeks or months. Then, all the team have to work together to reach the deadline. The purpose of this system is to be able to test the product as soon as possible. Although both creative and production stages use to grow simultaneously, the concept always goes first. For this reason, Lazbal remarks how much necessary is to define the drawings a lot, going through many steps if needed, to achieve a definitive version that will be used as a reference when creating the 3D images.

King workshop

During the talk, other aspects appeared associated with the design. On the one hand, it was interesting to realise the value of the typographic treatment and the UX / UI method. In the end, they contribute to define the style of the world’s game and satisfy the user expectations. On the other, Lazbal gave us advice on how to deal with the real world. Through anecdotes, she told us how to prepare a job interview, tips for the portfolio and the importance of being proactive but receptive at the same time, maintaining a flexible attitude and an open-mind ready for receiving the feedback that benefits us so much.

Sketching

User-Centered Design

Throughout the subject of Analysis and Management of Digital Publications with Enric Mor, we discovered the DCU (User-Centered Design) and the stages that configure its iterative process. It is necessary to apply it in each interactive product because it helps to improve the usability and accessibility of the user experience.

We learned about UX/UI redesigning the official webpage of a real client. To do it, we complete all phases of the project. We started with its definition and research. Then we analysed the architecture of information and developed the sketches. After that, we continued designing the wireframes and prototyping the result. And finally, we did the evaluation. Also, we alternated the theoretical content given by the teacher with dynamics developed in class.

The Wallet Project

The first activity was an introduction to Design Thinking. In pairs, we had to create a personal briefing. In one hour, we understood the essential thing that is to know about the needs of the person who’s going to use the product or will take benefit from the service, in that case, a wallet or purse. To achieve this, we had to interview each other, leaving aside our preferences as designers and proposing real solutions that could satisfy each case.

User Journey

The design of any online platform or application must contemplate user journeys. It means that is important to define previously which type of activity is, its contexts of use and the emotions experienced by users to detect such failures that we understand now as opportunities for improvement. On this occasion, we defined profiles and routes of people who would use an app to listen to music.

MDG EINA CDU 2018

Pet Lost & Found

In this activity, we used flowcharts to design the navigation of an app whose functionality consisted of a search and encounter system for lost pets.

Spaghetti Marshmallow Challange

Towards the end of the subject, we carried out this activity that consisted of, by groups of 3-4 people and in 18 minutes, constructing a structure that would stand on its own with the following elements:

  • 20 Raw spaghetti
  • Tape measure
  • Meter of string
  • Marshmallow
  • Scissors

And something else, the marshmallow must be located at the top. The initiative is raised from Harvard by Tom Wujec who took us to the curious observation on the success (or failure) of working as a team, especially among design students.

From the beginning, we talked about iterative design, a cyclical methodology of multi-stage problem-solving, always based on validating assumptions on the user behaviour in real-world tests. Prototypes and analysis of a product or service are made continuously to achieve a more and more recent perfected version.

Infographic

Analysis and Management of Digital Publications

In the subject of Analysis and Management of Digital Publications, we have developed infographics of topics related to the Internet and technologies. In the last session with Diego Fernández, we showed our results in class to share and discuss them all together.

Every project was diverse at both formal and content level. Themes were very broad: from the existence of cookies, the world of emojis, the success of online dating, the streaming music, the usage and abuse of smartphones or Instagram and the curious case of #foodporn.

Fanzine MDG St Jordi

A ZINE about Saint George

On the occasion of Sanit George, some of the students of the Master’s in Graphic Design have developed a collective fanzine.

This proposal comes from the desire to share personal interpretations of the 23rd of April’s festivity. The 11 participants, narrate and illustrate based on typical elements from the popular legend. Books, dragons and kisses appear in different ways at the same time we question them, reinterpreting the story with princesses that puncture and roses that are not for sale anymore.

The self-edition consists of 28 pages, black and white interiors and a silk-screen cover printed in the workshop of EINA Espai Barra de Ferro. In the same Arts Centre, the fourth edition of PRINT.ed Singular Publications fair took place on Saturday 21st of April, where the zine was available from 11 am to 8 pm.

Daniel Iglesias @dani_bydani

Aina Alsina @aidux_

Paula Lavergne @paulalavergne

Blanca Garaluce @blancagaraluce

Judith Murcia @judithmurcia

Àngela Balcells @ngeladraws

Gemma Fontanals @gemfontanals

Laura Magallón @cosmichorchata

Andrea Rueda @andreard_

Maria Millán @mariamies

Emily Eldridge @emily_eldridge_art

Bossa EINA

Information session on 2018-2019 Master’s Graphic Design

 

EINA offers a series of second-cycle programmes designed to let students specialise in specific design fields, improve their skills or explore new ones.

So that you can find out all the details of these Master’s and Postgraduate Courses from the coordinators, the school organises information sessions. The next one will be on Thursday, 26th of April at 6 pm at EINA (Passeig Santa Eulàlia, 25).

From among all courses, you will have the opportunity to know in depth the Master’s programme in Graphic Design.  It covers specific areas of graphic design in terms of objectives, analyses, planning, resources and materials, as well as objectives and project administration and management.

If you miss the chance, there will be another one on Thursday, 7th of June.

Màsters, postgraus i cursos de Disseny a EINA

Graphic applications projects

 

In the graphic applications projects subject each of us has been working on a different country, using it as an inspiration to design a wine label, a poster, a publication and a prototype for an installation or public sculpture.

It has been a great way to approach a project from various fronts: covering multiple formats, experimenting in the school’s prototypes workshop, or using only color, typography or materials. By trial and error we have corrected and re-made our designs once and again, until we unified them at the end. These are some of the results:

 

 

Final assignments for the Graphic Arts subject

 

As a final assignment for the Graphic Arts subject each of the students has been working on something, with both a theoretical and an experimental approach, related to the procedures and techniques seen during the sessions. Some of the topics addressed were bindery, screen printing, risography, marbling, printing on silk, or eco-friendly printing.

We made presentations in class, so we could share the conclusions we reached and learn from each other’s experiences. It was truly useful, and very interesting.

Some of the presentations that stood out were:

  • Risography (Happy accidents), by Emily Eldridge.

Emily explores risography visiting workshops and through her own work as an illustrator. She explains what the technique is about, how does the machinery work, what role plays the color in it, and which possibilities it can offer (such as overprinting, or the register errors referred as “happy accidents”).

 

  • Experimentation with the marbling technique, by Laura Magallón.

Laura explains the history behind marbling, a technique for decorating paper in a way that resembles marble, as well as all the steps she goes through to print with this technique. She talks about materials, colors, supports and mediums, and shares the problems and solutions she faced during the process.

 

 

 

– Liquid typography, by Daniel Iglesias.

Daniel experiments with marbling too, but with an intention to use the results to create letters with a liquid effect. He takes examples from Sergi Delgado and Alex Trochut, who work with typography in unconventional ways, and develops his own system, trying different materials to see wich one works best. With the images obtained and some post production he gets impressive results.

 

Lecture with Angel Rocamora, administrator

 

On December 13th, as part of the subject “design project and analysis management”, we had the opportunity to enjoy a lecture by Angel Rocamora, Futbol Club Barcelona’s financial manager and associate professor of tax and financial law at the University of Barcelona (UB).

The lecture consisted in a masterclass on a graphic designer’s fiscal and social obligations. Some of the issues covered were basic concepts (such as direct taxes and indirect taxes, or the functions of the Tax Agency and the Social Security), conditions when you are working for a company, circumstances when you work as a freelancer, and advantages and disadvantages of founding a society.

Angel expressed himself clearly and patiently, and he even answered all of our questions by the end of the session. It was a very useful lecture, contributing to a greater mastery of the topic and a much needed orientation towards our professional future.

 

Typography and IT Resources

 

Salvador Huertas teaches both basic notions of typography and familiarisation with design-related software such as Indesign, Photoshop or Illustrator.

The “Poster” project was about choosing a typography and playing with it, working on hierarchies and on its expressive potential. The elements worked upon were composition, the tension generated by blank spaces, columns and modules, integration of graphic elements, functionality and legibility.

As a result we got the posters you can see below. Not bad at all!

 

Visit to Morillas and TheRoomRooms

 

On November 29th, as part of the “design project and analysis management” subject, we visited two different centres: the Morillas agency and TheRoomRooms’ studio.

Morillas is an international branding agency founded on 1962 in Barcelona by Antoni Morillas. It has offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Sao Paulo and Guatemala, and it specializes in big brands’ public image. From its many departments, distributed in five floors, it can solve a business’ naming, identity, commercial strategy or packaging.

Apart from taking a tour around the company’s facilities and seeing how its employees work, we could there learn a little about its founder and appreciate some of his works of art.

TheRoomRooms, on the other hand, is a small communication and graphic design agency with almost 8 years of experience composed of three women, Blanca, Gemma and Elena. They told us about starting an agency in the middle of the financial crisis, about internal organisation, and about the process behind their projects (for example, stop motion animations for Penguin Random House’s audiobooks).

It was interesting to see such different agencies, each one with its own work methods. Thanks a lot for treating us well!

Check out their instagram and behance accounts:

@morillasbranding  /morillasbranding

@theroomrooms   /theroomrooms