My group is 

Will Jeffrey.
Joe Leadbeater.
Roxie Blackham.
Amy Hill.
J'nae Saunders.

Our initial meeting wasn't overly productive, as people had more important things to be working on so it only consisted of a quick 10 minute brain-storm. 

The strongest concept we managed to come up was to focus on the idea of connection - all the cities of the North coming together to create one united and connected network. We decided we would go away, work on some ideas individually and then as a group evaluate what we had done. 

Working from our research, I began sketching some logos focusing on the concept of 'connection'. I also focused on the letters C and N, obviously standing for Capital North.

The main thing that was in the back of my mind was something that could be taken apart and put back together, so creating the logo from a series of shapes was the idea that drove most of these sketches. I also thought about the 'N' as an archway, representing the North being a 'gateway to opportunity'.

I wasn't overly feeling any of the designs, but as we were meeting the day after decided to try and work on them digitally just to see what everyone else's thoughts were. I really liked the fluid lines that flowed through these first designs - wasn't sure if a lowercase 'n' really fitted with the idea of the North being this big powerful place though. I then tried to create an uppercase N using the same line flow - in terms of something visually appealing I think this works, but doesn't really have the substance it needs for a logo representing something so prestigious. It also seems quite retro and doesn't really communicate our intentions. 

I then began playing around with the more structural approach I had been developing. I think this worked slightly better as it better communicated strength and connection - each shape representing the different areas of the north but also being able to come together to create one united thing. I did start feeling it was slightly too similar to the Melbourne logo though, but obviously nowhere near as well executed or fitting to the concept.

These were the final rough variations that I developed. I felt they were slightly more engaging and represented connectivity and movement really well.

I still wasn't overly exited about anything I had produced but It was still something to show the group and work from. 

Unfortunately, the next time we met was the day of the crit with the DBA, so we did not have chance to develop something stronger together. As a group we decided that my last set of designs were the strongest so we would all try and see if we could quickly push them further in the hour before our crit. 

The DBA guys decided that they would briefly go round each group, and then return again later to have a much more focused discussion on what we had done and the direction we were taking the project. The initial crit didn't go great as it made us realise our idea didn't cut very deep at all, and maybe needed a rethink. 

As a group we decided we would go back to square one. 

We were really struggling as we felt it was something quite out of our depth, therefore we had no idea where to start. We decided to do a word brain storm focusing on the name - Capital North to see if this sparked anything.

Unfortunately this wasn't overly successful. We then decided to try and think about what made the North different to the South, and why it was unique. It turned out this too wasn't really getting us anywhere, so then decided to think about the positive attributes of the North of England. 

This then lead us to start thinking about what Capital North is - a team. 

We then started trying to think about something a bit more conceptual - what is the purpose of Capital North as a brand? - to present the North in a different perspective? We were really drawn to this as a focus because it allowed a lot of room for design possibility. 

Finally we briefly explored the audience for this project. Obviously it is for pretty much everybody, but we though it might be quite helpful to consider who the primary people were we are trying to target. 

We then discussed our new thoughts with the DBA guys. This made us realise that the idea of perspective didn't really bring across much of a positive vibe. It says that the North is trying to break away from its negative associations, instead of saying 'WE ARE HERE AND THIS IS WHO WE ARE'. Asking the audience to change their perspective says 'We aren't as bad as you think', and this isn't really a good direction to be taking. 

We started thinking about how we could combine everything we had been thinking about and how we could move forward. Looking back to the positives we had brainstormed, we realised that these were just things that the North has; we needed to think about what made them better than anywhere else. The guy were were working with (Unfortunately didn't get his name) brought to light the idea of selling the message of capital north to the people of the north. I think this is a really good approach to be taking, as obviously if you can get on the level of the people who live here and get them behind the message, then there is a much better chance of people from the rest of the country/world to do the same. 

We then looked back to the idea of a team, and started thinking about what was the positives of being a team. This then led us to the concept 'MORE'. 

Rather than just one city (London) Capital North is a team of cities. A unified construct that encompasses more. More opportunities; more prospects; more jobs;, more culture; more variety. 

This new idea really appealed to us, as it actually felt like it much more meaningful and appropriate, as well as having the substance to stimulate design thinking. Talking to the DBA guys seemed to make us much more motivated and confident about the project. We decided to once again work on the concept individually and then come together to discuss our ideas and the next steps we needed to take.