After two years, it’s time for a change. An evolution. The Work Of relaunches.
The site has been designed with the aim of less clutter and more work with all project images now larger than before. There’s also a more consistent branding over the range of all of The Work Of’s materials whether online or in print – as it should be.
Feedback on the new design is greatly appreciated. Drop me an email: neilATtheworkof.co.uk
With the Viral Man project completely finished, it was time to launch it, but not without a few changes.
Unfortunately, the symptom videos which we filmed were eventually not used as the committee thought that a lot of them weren’t as funny as intended. It’s a shame, as we thought that they really added to the project, rather than just the one interview video.
Additionally, Hannah had volunteered to dress up as Fresher’s Flu, a friend to Viral Man and together they’d infect students. We incorporated this into the script of the interview and Hannah volunteered to don some pink facepaint, pink clothes and even some pink hair extensions to become Fresher’s Flu for the day. Unfortunately, this didn’t make the cut and the committee requested that the interview video be reedited to remove references to this character.
Viral Man goes live
The Viral Man project was developed in the middle of July/August for a September launch and the committee had always intended us to be present at the student’s welcome meeting to introduce the video to them. Both Jerry and Will weren’t sure if they’d be around for the welcome meeting and Hannah didn’t want to do it by herself at one of the two campuses, but I was really keen on gauging the student’s reaction to the video, even if it meant standing in front of a few hundred people.
In preparation for the presentation, I made a very simple PDF with my name on it and some key points. Having sat through a similar welcome meeting when I was a new student, I knew that they wouldn’t want to listen to me go on and on and so my presentation would last no more than three minutes, though I had been told I had ten. I wanted to incorporate the video directly into my PDF, but unfortunately, I was told that there wouldn’t be time to give me a copy of it to do so. I was assured however that there would be AV technicians on the day to help make the presentation run smoothly.
On Sunday 20th September, I headed over to Chester and watched everyone start to gather in the large sports hall which was now home to around 700 seats. I spoke to one of the committee and she told me that the video was ready to play on disk. I just had to open it up. As I said, I was told that there would be AV guys there who would do that and so I wasn’t looking forward to having to close my presentation down, insert a disk and play it. In theory, that sounds like the easiest thing in the world, but when you’re on a stage in front of 700 students who just want to go for a drink, it’s much harder. I was also told that I would be presenting twice, as there would be two lots of 700 students to speak to. Something which no one had informed me about! This made things twice as nerve-wracking.
Once the hall was full, I realised just how daunting it was going to be to stand in front of everyone on my own. While other staff members had done this on a yearly basis, the most people I had presented to was 30 of my fellow classmates. 700 students was on another level!
On stage first was the Vice-Chancellor, Tim Wheeler and then followed other important staff, some of which I’d already met. I was up last, right after Gay Rabie had spoken to students about Swine Flu.
When Gay took to the stage and delivered her presentation, the first thing I noticed was that she had used an image of Viral Man in her presentation and while this in itself wasn’t a bad thing, it made my introduction of Viral Man a little less pronounced, especially since there was no explanation as to why the image of this green man was in the presentation.
And then suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I managed to see someone enter the sports hall. As I turned to look at them, I realised who they were. Viral Man. As someone who had been playing Viral Man for roughly two weeks of my life, it was absolutely surreal to see someone else dressed as him. Green face, the same wig I had worn, along with a stripey jumper, black pants and green gloves. And holding a green umbrella.
It was at this moment that I felt just as confused as the students sitting in the hall. I hadn’t expected him to make an appearance like this, especially before he had been properly introduced by me but because it was so unexpected, perhaps it worked.
Viral Man began walking towards the front of the hall. You could even say he was strutting, twirling his umbrella as he did so and making his way onto the stage where Gay Rabie was still speaking and coughing as loud as he could. I was bemused and so were the students. And full credit goes to the person who was playing Viral Man as he did a fantastic job.
Gay finished her presentation and suddenly I was introduced onto the stage. I could not believe how nervous I was. My hands were literally shaking. I was very thankful that I had a small script prepared for what I wanted to say and a presentation.
I said hello to everyone and explained who I was and why I was there. “And this is Viral Man”, I said to the crowd, but then had to fiddle about with a laptop to get it to play. As I said, this is usually the easier of actions, but when you’re literally shaking with nerves, it was like a lifetime waiting for the CD to load.
Finally, it played and I was able to take a 90 second breather as they watched the video. To my surprise they laughed. At the right parts. It’s a great feeling to know that something you’ve created has been enjoyed by so many people.
I would call the presentation a success for both the project and for me personally. For the project because it was a culmination of five weeks worth of work and for me personally because to speak in front of so many people was incredibly nerve-wracking. I knew I would be nervous beforehand but I still wanted to do it because what better way to overcome your fear of something than to confront it?
After the launch
Since introducing Viral Man to students, the project has been featured in numerous press articles including The Chester Chronicle, The National Student and Nursing Times. I also spent a fair amount of time regularly talking to students as Viral Man on Facebook and it was great to see him being mentioned in people’s status updates. Additionally, Viral Man was also tagged in a number of photos after students had taken some of the posters from various places just because they wanted them. I think this proves that Viral Man was indeed popular and successful.
In conclusion, my time spent on the Viral Man project was a hell of a lot of fun and resulted in a project that I’m very happy with. Given more time, I would have loved to have built a website around Viral Man to better focus all of the campaign assets such as the videos and perhaps some downloadable content. On the plus side, the Facebook profile for Viral Man proves continually popular, with more people adding him as a friend every day. My only hope is that the people responsible for updating the profile and interacting with students maintains the level of fun and quirkiness that Jerry Clark, Will Bollen, Hannah Bradshaw and myself managed to create over the course of five weeks. A fantastic project to work on.
As part of David Pache’s efforts to create awareness for the many graphic designers in the world, he presents part two of his 100 Brands of Interest series and in it, you’ll find my logo. David contacted me a few months ago, out of the blue about adding my logo to the list and I was very flattered. You can find the article here.
There’s so many excellent logos on the list from simple logos to the more complex and beautiful. I feel honoured to be included in the list.
Pache is an excellent logo designer and one which I’ve followed for many years from my time at LogoPond. His logos are always well thought out and reflect the company they’re designed for accurately. I thank him for the time he’s spent compiling this list and for featuring me in it.
The Work Of has finally launched and this version is here to stay. Completely redesigned and now fully automatic, my site is going to see a lot more attention over the coming months. This version has been in the works for over two years on and off now and it’s fantastic to finally be able to launch it and begin regularly updating my portfolio with the many clients I’ve been working with over the past few months and indeed years.
As I said, everything is now automatic, which means adding stuff to the website is now so fast and easy. This includes everything in my portfolio, this blog and, if you’d like to scroll down the page, you’ll see a nice list of interesting links, which will also be updated regularly. As you can probably tell, I’m like a kid with a new toy. This is my favourite toy. My thanks goes to Colin from XAdvance for developing it with me. I’m no coding expert but he is.
You might find a few errors here and there but don’t worry, I’ve already spotted them and they’ll be taken care of ASAP. It’ll take some time to get things back up and running so you may find that my portfolio is looking a bit empty as you read this, but give me a few days and everything will be back up there along with some fantastic new projects that I’ve been working on. I’m really looking forward to using this site more often and your feedback is as always very much appreciated.
Let me know what you think of the new site and thanks for stopping by!
To get this blog up and running and provide some interesting reading while I’m still in the stages of getting things sorted out, I’ve posted five mini articles on the power of sound in visual media. I’m not a sound engineer of any sort, but I’ve always loved soundtracks and sound effects. The articles I’ve written about are of particular interest to me, especially the stunning Batman Begins soundtrack, created by Hans Zimmer. Just one of his many soundtracks, of course.
I’ll be talking about a range of things in my blog, most of them design-related, but other stuff too. I’m not quite sure what yet, though.
If you’ve come to my blog via my website, The Work Of, then thank you for taking the time to look at my work and thank you for also taking a further interest in what I have to say about a whole host of things. If you’ve come to my blog from simply browsing the web, welcome to you too. Please read my About Me for a bit more info on who I am.