co_LAB’s participation in the EU Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project: OnCreate has started to produce output beyond the scope of the internal project framework.
One of the tasks we are contributing heavily to is: Create Design Styleguide and Templates (O1-A4). The core outcome is to have created the identity and branding of the OnCreate project ready for when we are required to output work officially.
This task was designated to run from December 2014 – February 2015 with TAMK as lead. Early on in the project, we put forward the idea that we should set this as a competition brief for students who are enrolled on creative programmes within the partner institutions. This idea was suggested due to the success and enhanced participation encountered when we ran a similar task during MC2020.
All partners involved with this task agreed that this was an excellent idea but noted concerns that the students might not have the required grounding and knowledge of the subject of branding in order to produce work of a high enough standard.
During one of our all partner online meetings, a breakaway group suggested that it would be a great idea to collaboratively produce and deliver an online programme of 4 weeks to help educate and guide the students through the process using a mixture of blended and flipped learning pedagogies.
The original intention was for 4 different institutions to work on each of the 4 workshops that represent a phase in branding research, design and development:
- Branding analysis/research
- Mood board creation
- Logos, Fonts, Images & Layouts
- Styleguide creation
Sadly it didn’t quite pan out the way we would have liked, and in the end only 3 institutions contributed to this task, but what was positive about this approach, is that now, all the partner institutions have access to a 4 workshop intensive programme on the subject of branding design that they are free to use and participate in whenever they like.
One vital lesson learned was to ensure communication was as clear as possible as it is clearly difficult in some instances to ensure all partners are fully aware of their expected contribution and participation in a task.
As each institution utilises a different Learning Management System (LMS) there was no possible way we could select one in particular to host the programme due to difficulties in providing appropriate levels of access.
Those institutions who participated in the IDEO HCD MOOC favoured the NovoEd platform as it provided intuitive access to workshop content and excellent integrated synchronous and asynchronous tools for collaboration. However, it is a commercial platform and, as such, we did not have the time, or inclination to explore that route. After-all, this is as much an experiment in collaboration as it is a useful programme of study.
In the end it was decided that we use the OnCreate Google Drive as a means to store and deliver the programme’s contents as it is free, provides plentiful storage, natively handles a good range of files formats and allows excellent access control. Folders for each workshop were then created as repositories for related content:
We even created extra content that introduced using Google tools for synchronous collaboration.
Using the HCD programme as a model, which we all agreed seem to work well, it was recommended that each workshop consist of a video introduction or screen-cast of the content, a PDF that contains in-depth content on the topic, a task that requires demonstration of knowledge and provide each participant with an opportunity to discuss their responses to the task set.
We then uploaded our content to the appropriate folder and viola! a coherent programme about branding design, created by 3 different institutions:
Of course, the driving force behind this workshop programme is to provide students with the tools they need to enter their branding ideas for OnCreate to the competition brief. This is going to be published very soon.
In the meantime
While we are waiting for the students to participate in our collaborative branding programme, and then enter their responses into the branding design competition, the OnCreate project requires an online presence.
As co_LAB have experience in web design, we drafted up a basic placeholder webpage with the required vital information on it, outlining the key aims and objectives of the project: