RH Contemporary Design

I wish my brain was this organised…

Post 4 – Week 8, 9 & 10

Above: The design 99% finished (Source: Riley Hodgetts, 2016)

From my last post Shane suggested I wasn’t making much progress with my design, which I agree with, so I diverted my focus from the analysis to the visual to try and get further along for this week’s post.

Week 8: Interaction Design

The learning materials for week 8 spoke of design and its role in addressing social innovation and building a sustainable and resilient culture. Without knowing I had addressed this concept weeks ago under my “What are the benefits?” heading where I discussed how design can be used to incorporate the creator’s ethics, amongst other things, in their work in PR. Ethics in design is explored deeper in Bradley’s 2010 article where they ask the question “Would you take on a client who’s business you(r) were morally opposed to?”.

Week 9: Playing well with others: designing and working in teams

Every assignment in this unit has been classed “individual” work, however the collaborative nature of this assignment has felt like I have been working collaboratively with a small circle of classmates whom have been giving each other consistent feedback after every blog post. This feedback, in conjunction with Shane’s comments, has helped me thing deeper about my design with each passing week.

Week 10: What is good design?

This week’s learning materials allowed me to assess the almost finished product I have created under these points:

  • functionality – works efficiently
  • aesthetically pleasing
  • user friendly
  • ground breaking – sets a new standard for the future.

I would say my design satisfies all but the final dot point, as brochures aren’t a new concept.


Bradley, S. (2010), Are You An Ethical Designer?, viewed 24/1/16


Post 3 – Week 6 & 7

post 3

My chosen text and colouring to ensure optimum clarity for readers (Source: Riley Hodgetts, 2016)

After my previous post, Shane suggested I look into good and bad examples of brochures in order to create a benchmark and allow myself the chance to avoid more typical design pitfalls. Maddox (2012) compiled 15 examples of poor brochure designs that I have reviewed and connected to the applicable weeks concepts.

Week 6: Communication design

Varying issues can arise in design when considering font. The font chosen will ultimately determine how well the reader interprets the information put in front of them. As a designer, it is my job to give the viewer the best opportunity to understand my design and its content, which is reliant on them actually being able to read the words. I have chosen white text on a medium blue background and a turquoise/blue text on a white background (pictured above). The variance in colour should keep the brochure from looking over crowed or too repetitive, an issue Maddox highlighted in their article.

Week 7: Usability

The viewer’s ability to read the brochure determines how successfully the design can be used. If it cannot be read, the viewer will not engage with it, rendering my work as a designer useless. The way to avoid this is to ensure I leave sufficient but not large amounts of space in my layout, avoid over cluttering, using a simple background and clear text that stands out amongst whatever background colour I decide on.

Maddox, K. (2012), 15 Awful Brochures, viewed 2/1/16

Post 2 – Week 3, 4 & 5


(Source: Riley Hodgetts, 2015)

Week 3: Show me the money

When viewing design as an investment rather than a cost, I was able to begin linking my design to a service rather than just a physical piece of something to be bought then passed around and eventually making its way into the bin. This has made me realise I will need to focus more on the “What are the benefits?” (of design in PR) section of my brochure and be prepared to possibly expand it further than I first anticipated.

Week 4: Ethics and design

Week 4 has tied into my thought about the benefits of design I will be including in my brochure. Linking a designer’s work to their own ethics brings PR designers back to the basics of what PR is about; the best communication for all parties involved. This section of the brochure may make some designers consider what their design ‘voice’ is portraying and if they are happy with it – some self-reflection. Pearce (2012) says of ethics in PR “the primary code of ethics I refer to is my own moral compass. In most cases there is a clear right or wrong…that is subjective and dependant on each individual’s own moral perspectives, which will…vary.”

Week 5: Design for everybody

Ensuring my design could be used and understood by more than just professionals would be challenging but beneficial long the long run. The challenge will be if I can create a design that coveys the complexity of communicating through design to professionals whilst also being understood by another member who may not be involved in PR but would like to understand their work better.


Pearce, C. (2012), A personal view on ethics in public relations, accessed 30/11/15

Assessment 1 – Post 1: Week 1 & 2



I used week 1 & 2 to format my design piece and develop subheadings I will complete by incorporated future learning materials. (Source: Riley Hodgetts, 2015)

Week 1: Why design?

Week 1 covered how design can be incorporated into various fields using standard design principles. I found Martinez’s (2013) testimonial  ‘The Benefit of Graphic Design in Public Relations’ helpful in clarifying how and why design can be incredibly useful when incorporated into the practise of Public Relations. Martinez quotes a fellow PR major Lauren Brewer saying “Graphic design is definitely beneficial because no matter how great your ideas to promote your client are, if you are unable to communicate those ideas in a manner that is attractive to the general public, chances are that your message will be overlooked…With a good understanding of graphic design, PR practitioners can display and enhance their message in a way that will garner attention”. Have not only incorporated Lidwell et all’s (2010) Hierarchy of Needs in my own design but in the written portion to ensure members involved have the tools to create effective designs in the own work.

Week 2: Designerly ways of knowing

I have begun to incorporate some of the principles covered by Lidwell et all (2010) like colour to enhance my design, which will continue to change and improve through the course of its development, as well as ensuring there is a section of the written portion of the design dedicated to further explaining how members can enhance their own work through more effective use of colour. I intend to cover more principles in my design and written portion as the assessment as we continue through the learning materials.


Martinez, M (2013), ‘The Benefits of Graphic Design in Public Relations’, viewed 14/11/15 <>

Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2010). Universal Principles of Design: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design. Beverly, MA.: Rockport Publishers.

Blog at

Up ↑