Due to confidentiality agreement, works displayed here are limited. Please request for full portfolio via Contact.
MOTIVATIONGrandmother passed away in 2013, after that grandfather looks lonely living alone. As much as the family is trying to help him to get through the bereavement, it is still worrying to leave him in the house all by himself. Motivated by such reason, I decided to do something about it, thus I carried on with the loneliness issue under the cope of social gerontology. Niche Ultimate Solutions is to tackle the issue of loneliness in the elder population.
IMAGE SEARCH ENGINEThe purpose of it is to find out how people perceive the elders. Back at the time I did not know the correct terminology to use, so instead of using the word “elder”, I used “elderly”. By searching the keyword ‘elderly’ in different search engines, I could find the most popular images of the keyword. The search engine chosen for this research includes GettyImages, Google, and Flickr, the reason I try more than one search engine is to avoid the bias in different search engine. I took the photos from the first page of the result and place them in a chart for comparison. The chart shows the degree of the stage setup, namely whether it is a studio photo-shoot; and
the mood of each picture, that is whether the person in the picture is happy. It might be a coincidence yet the research shows an interesting result. When speaking of older people, there are different image of it in every individual’s mind, nevertheless these search engines reflect what are the most popular images that people want to see when it comes to elders.
AMAZING ELDERSIn contrast to the previous stereotype, I also found some really inspiring photos of older people. They are stylish, confident, and well respected. I came across this series of pictures one day while browsing related information. These people look absolutely amazing, they are what I want to be when I am their age.
In an article by Tim Brown and Jocelyn Wyatt, designer Kara Pecknold used this method in a project in Rwanda. Pecknold doesn’t speak the language that the rural weavers use, so she gave each weaver a disposable camera, along with a list of what they are supposed to take with each picture. Through this activity the weavers were able to see for themselves for what they really need, rather than having an outsider to decide for them. I replicate this method for my research, too. I sent out five disposable cameras to older people in different countries, however only two of these people manage to take the pictures and send it back to me, they are my grandfather, Min Fu Chen, and Mrs. Asai Haruko.
From this stage I learned that older people in real life are not all like what staged photos depict, older people have their knowledge, they know better about tradition, and they are talented. This finding influenced me on the further development of the brand. After this research I was curious about what talents do the elders have, and I collected quite a few answers from friends. The answers are surprisingly interesting.
DESIGN PROCESS & EXPLORATION
The world is ageing rapidly, yet we often treat ageing something unpleasant, why can't elder people be cool? In the design process I was trying to reinvent the image for elder people. Some vibrant colours and wild bold handwritten texts were used, I enjoyed the process of exploring the possibility, although at the end I decided to go for a more elegant and discreet direction to show the respect to the elders.
The logo idea has varied a few times ever since the name is fixed. Based on the letter “N”, the idea of “niche”, and some of the explorations the “connection”. Niche is supposed to be the small market, thus there are two blocks in the symbol, the small block is to represent the small market, nevertheless it could mean something big (the big block). For the logotype, I compared a few serif and sans serif fonts together. Although Niche is to be delicate, it will be too messy if all the texts are in serif font. At the end I still stick with Frutiger.
We are called Niche because unlike companies that cater for the mass market, we provide tailored services from a very specific and delicate skill set. Our specialists, by honing their skills day after day throughout their whole lives, they have become true masters of their trade. We are here to provide our clientele a unique experience and the opportunity to be served by the best in whatever they require. No task is too small for Niche.