There are just some projects that you can’t help but go that extra mile with.
Jett is a 5 year old boy who along with his family have been dealt a difficult hand as Jett has Muscular Dystrophy. It’s a muscle wasting condition that causes severe pain, ever limiting movement and currently there’s no cure.
Lucy, Jett’s mother, first put out the call for a designer on a local Facebook group in the hope someone could help create the logo for their new charitable fund (more detail on that below). After spotting the post we contacted Lucy and what started with a logo grew to Bronco designing a range of online and offline materials in support of Jett and his family.
Below is a little run down of some of the things we’ve produced so far for The Jett Pack.
The logo was the first port of call in creating a design style for The Jett Pack. It needed to be bright and colourful and above all fun. Fortunately the concept was an easy one to visualise and the idea of illustrating Jett flying with a jetpack came immediately to mind.
We produced a few variations on the pose of Jett – some facing towards the viewer, some to the side. In the end an amalgamation of the two was chosen with Jett’s body in profile and his head turned towards the viewer.
A comic style font was chosen to add to the dynamic feeling, and a cloud of blue smoke was used as a device to link the text to the illustration.
Once the logo was complete we turned our attention to creating some social imagery for their Facebook and Just Giving pages to give them a more consistent identity. As you’ll see from the logo, there’s only one backdrop you can add to an illustrated Jett with his jetpack and that was to place him over a city skyline.
After finding imagery that best matched the style of the logo it could have been a simple merging of the two. However with Facebook, especially, having a more landscape header image and the logo being square it felt like the logo would be smaller than ideal in its existing configuration.
So to make more of the logo within the available space we gave Jett a more angled flight path that made the logo more rectangular and to improve the contrast of the logo and background we altered his blue Jetstream to become white.
Once a strapline and Muscular Dystrophy images were added this stage was complete.
Once the final illustration had been completed we were able to produce several printed items including donation boxes, pop-up display banners and an A5 double sided flyer.
The collection box was based on templates supplied by the manufacturer. A simple logo and message were all that was required for the top but a fairly large amount of copy had to be carefully designed on the front and back. The side template was supplied in one continuous strip so we had to be careful that once printed the viewer would be able to read the information easily without having to rotate the box. Several mockups were created to achieve this.
The logo takes centre stage on the display banner and really helps it stand out from a distance. In order to fit the banner we had break the logo down into individual parts and reconfigure to fit the vertical space.
An A5 double sided flyer was also created to tell Jett’s story. Text was kept to a minimum on the front to ensure the impact of the logo and social media details, and the back was simply laid out in a double column.
With so much material having been produced so far the design for the website was a breeze. For this it was a simple case of arranging everything we’d already created in a format best suited for the web as well as creating the last few elements that hadn’t appeared before such as the buttons and the page curl for the MDUK logo.
Development posed a greater challenge as there was an opportunity to try a skill we don’t often utilise in our websites; CSS Animation.
With the logo and skyline of the previous work being our main banner on the website it seemed wasteful to not try and animate the background skyline to give the impression that the Jett within the logo was actually flying through the air. By giving the different layers of the background different transition speeds I think we achieved a greater feeling of depth.
On reflection it’s a shame the animation can appear to jump as it repeats at some screen sizes and that we didn’t animate the logo in some small way. However when working in design, animation and other fields it can be easy to be too keen to try lots of things and go too far; ending up with a distracting mess. Given the feedback I believe we’ve done enough to delight rather than annoy users.
Internally it’s been something of an interesting project. At Bronco we have two designers; one web (Kean, that’s me) and one print/graphics (Paul) with a certain amount of crossover.
Yet I can’t recall a time that we’ve criss-crossed this much on a single project; Paul worked on the logos first, I took over the social images before Paul returned to work on the printed materials and then lastly I finished off with the website design and development.
Through each stage we’ve taken what the other has created, expanded and tweaked what has been produced so far in order to meet the specific opportunities and limitations of a given medium. Though both of us have different tastes and styles that come out through our design work the whole project has maintained a consistent design language, which is critical when multiple designers are involved in a single project.
While we’ve individually found our own challenges within the project as a company it’s important to us that alongside our day-to-day client work that we’re able to contribute within our local community.
While there’ll always be those projects that help keep the lights on, that interest and challenge us in different ways, it’s on projects like this that we can create something that we hope has more meaning and where the benefits extend far beyond the numbers at the bottom of a profit and loss statement.