Project Showcase: Navarino Electric Systems

Joe Berry, a graphic design student at Salford university, is currently entering into the third year of his degree. He's chosen to focus his efforts on creating brand identities, illustration and packaging - and he's already working on live projects for clients.

During his studies, Joe was tasked with completely rebranding the company Navarino Electric Systems. The client required a new logo, branded stationery and front-end visuals for a possible website. The meticulous brief from the client required Joe to produce a very professional brand that was still inviting and friendly.

Putting his newly learned skills to the test, Joe took the challenge and delivered a sleek brand that truly set Navarino apart from the competition.

Joe continues to impress with his work, which can be seen in full at www.joeberrydesign.com

You can also keep up with Joe on Twitter and Instagram!


So, what is Graphic Design?

When it comes to my job as a Designer, most of my friends and relatives assume that I "Sit and draw all day". I imagine that when my grandmother thinks of me at the office I'm cross-legged on the floor with a big A3 pad drawing a logo with various different crayons. There is probably a simple and much more technical answer to the question "What is Graphic Design?", but it certainly isn't sitting and drawing all day.

The best way of putting it, in my opinion, is that Graphic Design is the art of visual communication. Be it in a logo, in advertising, in art, on the web, in a book etc - Graphic Design is meant to communicate with and evoke emotions in its target audience, good design should do this instantly. And no, that doesn't mean it has to make you cry (not always anyway).

What a lot of none-designers (and some designers #shade) don't realise is that design isn't about trying to make the prettiest picture, it's actually all about interpreting what your client needs and turning that into something - you might even say, communicating it visually. Unfortunately it's not always easy, as the client doesn't always agree with your interpretation of their needs and may even want to make their own modifications.

Often what follows is an uphill battle of disagreeing with the client's wishes and explaining why, while they'd really like their logo to have a million colours and a detailed drawing that explains the entire history of the business, that may not be the best course of action.

It's not always the case though, I've received plenty of valuable input from clients in the past which has made me look like a much more competent designer.

Graphic Design is definitely not just putting together a pretty logo or sitting and drawing all day, it's a process of visual problem solving that's definitely not as easy as it looks.


Graphic Designer Martin Charles uses his talents and Roland wide-format printer to ensure viewers believe in Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters – a 2016 reboot of the classic 1984 supernatural action/comedy film – is set to open nationwide this Friday, July 15. In the new version, an all-female ghost-busting team (Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones) take on a massive number of slimy ghosts and ghouls threatening to take over New York City. In addition to all the CGI movie magic needed to bring these creepy characters to life, making the sets look real was a monumental task. To help bring the set to life, the film's producers called on graphic designer Martin Charles. Using his considerable talents and his Roland wide-format printer, Charles gave an authentic look to everything from faux building walls and surface textures to the street signs, labels and bottles in the Ghostbusters' lab.

Charles, the founder of Santa Monica-based SagaBoy Productions is no stranger to Hollywood circles. He has helped design and create realistic sets for more than 50 feature films and television productions, including movies such as "42," "Public Enemies," "Love and Other Drugs," "Charlie Wilson's War," and the HBO hit series "The Newsroom." However, producing the wide variety of detailed sets for Ghostbusters, which ranged from mid-town hotels to Times Square to haunted mansions, definitely required the best his skills and equipment had to offer.

"Rebooting this legendary movie franchise was a great opportunity and an intriguing challenge," said Charles. "We needed to preserve all the familiar graphic elements while bringing in a few modern twists."

Charles worked closely with Production Designer Jefferson Sage to create all of the different settings needed for the film. Recreating the bustling New York City streets required designing and producing commercial signage, wall wraps, street signs and posters, as well as the wraps needed to transform ordinary vehicles into NYC taxi cabs, NYPD cruisers and EMS emergency vehicles. For the film's interior shots, he produced posters, signs, labels, wallpaper and wraps that simulated marble and other surfaces.

"It all translated into an incredible amount of work," noted Charles, "Fortunately, my Roland inkjets allowed me to print just about anything you can imagine on the set quickly and easily. That was crucial in meeting the tight deadlines dictated by the Ghostbusters shooting schedule. I also relied on the help of two additional graphic experts – Stephanie Charbonneau and Kelly Hemenway – to get the job done."

To produce the full range of graphics needed for the film, Charles employed a 64-inch Roland SOLJET® Pro 4 XR-640 large-format color printer/cutter and Roland Eco-Sol MAX® 2 inks. "Having a product like the Roland, which can handle all of our graphics needs, is a huge plus," he said. "In addition to providing stellar quality production, the XR-640 has built-in printing and contour cutting capability, so with one machine, we can do it all.  The Eco-Sol MAX 2 inks helped ensure outstanding results as well, allowing us to hit the color mark every time and achieve fine close-up details, which were often required for Ghostbusters."

For scenes that included a re-created Times Square and simulated rock concert, Charles produced photo images, backlit signage and images, billboard banners, and a variety of smaller signs. This output was printed on a range of materials, including artist canvas, varying weights of vinyl media, photo paper, poster paper and adhesive fabric. To set the backdrop for one interior scene, Charles even needed to produce over 3,000 square feet of printed wallpaper graphics.

In total, Charles worked for close to eight months on Ghostbusters, including a four-month shoot. When designing each set, Charles worked backwards from the shoot date, allotting time for the appropriate approvals from the designer and director.

"I wouldn't do any movie without my Roland," Charles stated. "Getting a 'thank you' from the director and a personal e-mail from the producer saying 'See you on my next movie,' is proof of satisfaction. Everyone was quite happy, and I think the viewers will be too!"