Chris Heighton, Creative Director at 5and3, shares visuals and his thoughts
on this creative project for Lucent Technologies, who later became Avaya.
He also discusses the technologies and processes used at the time,
reminiscing and going off on a few tangents, as he usually does when
One of my earliest memories and projects when entering the creative industry
was this printed catalogue. Alongside other projects, such as the Marconi
Brochure mentioned previously, this was a project that helped me immensely,
both creatively and technically. I entered the industry without any real
experience, Adobe Photoshop
was somewhat new and Illustrator, well, completely
alien. At college I was only ever able to use Corel Draw
and at the time it
wasn't easy to use. I knew there must have been something out there that was
better and more professional, but it was only when I began working within
the professional industry that my thoughts were realised. It was working on
this product catalogue, for Lucent technologies, that helped teach me the
fundamentals of Photoshop (4), Illustrator (6) and Quark Express at the time.
Photoshop, back in the 90s, had only just introduced layers and alpha channels,
it was superb! I could manipulate photography with ease, and for this product
catalogue, where not all the products were shot with logos on, I was able to
super impose logos and manipulate images by removing the logos that weren't
required, changing product colours by paths and alpha channels. For anybody
who is interested in learning Photoshop, I highly recommend taking shots of
products and bringing them into photoshop. Draw paths with anchor points,
cut them out with alpha channels, change the product colours and textures by
using channel mixers, hues and so forth.
Creatively speaking, I cannot take much of the credit for this brochure because
I wasn't the only graphic designer working on this at the time. There were three
of us, if I recall correctly, and the concepts chosen to be developed were not my
own, in fact, I only played a small part in the design process. However, it was
this product catalogue that allowed me to be involved within a creative team for
the first time, drawing from their experience and enthusiasm for design. I designed
and developed pages, yes, but the main memory and fundamental point of showing and
discussing this project, is that it taught me the software, processes, creativity,
teamwork and how to pull all these elements together to produce such an engaging
and well structured product catalogue.
For anyone out there who wants to get into Graphic Design, it's simple; immerse yourself
in the industry standard software, keep up to date with design trends, analyse and
critic the designs – most of all, get yourself into a design agency either by
volunteering to work for free outside your normal job, or be bold, and apply for
an apprentice position.