Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Year 2 Evaluation
Wasn't sure where to put this so I've posted it here as well as design practice blog and domain blog.

1. What skills have you developed through this year and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

Over the past year I feel that my skills involving type and layout have vastly improved which was my main aim for this part of the course. Doing the type module was a particularly important part of my development in these fields. I have applied these skills very effectively in all of the briefs I have undertaken since the completion of this module. You can definitely tell the difference in my ability between the publications I designed in the design practice module from the things I was doing in the design for print module.

I also managed to improve my illustration skills although I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I cannot draw very well. I had to draw a lot of storyboards for the design for digital media module and I did quite a few illustrations for my growing vegetables booklet. I definitely would consider illustration to be one of my weaknesses but feel that I have successfully developed my skills in this area and have vastly improved from last year.

The O2 collaborative brief I did with Emma was also important in terms of my development as a designer. The construction of our device was very process driven. I further developed my skills in screen printing and learned how to set up artwork to be laser cut as well. It also made me feel more comfortable when it came to negotiating a brief with another person because we had to make sure we were both happy with where we were taking the brief and what each of us was going to contribute.

2. What approaches to generating work and solutions to problems have you developed and how have they helped?
I think that working through many design sheets has helped me to get down all of my ideas and explore them before moving onto something else. In the past I would probably just have brainstormed an idea and left it there. Research has been an important part of the design process for me. The research I undertook for the good project and the gardening project really helped me to develop the work well and in turn, generate more ideas as to what I could do with a brief. Talking through my ideas with my peers and tutors has also helped with problem solving. Especially when the laser cutting went a bit wrong during the O2 brief, if we had not talked through everything properly and rationally, it could have gone horribly wrong.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?
I think that my strengths do lie within typographic and layout design. Next year I’m hoping to carry on with more publication design and am hoping to spend the majority of the time playing with type and layout on booklets, leaflets, magazines, posters and more. Because of this, for my work placement I applied to lots of design companies that deal with the design of this kind of literature. I have now hopefully gotten a place at Purpose in London. I feel that I come up with strong ideas and concepts quite swiftly which means that I can move onto fully researching a subject and developing designs with minimal fuss.

I feel that there is a strong correlation between my portfolio of work and my ambitions as a designer. Most of the things I have included in the portfolio demonstrate my abilities in publication design and how well I can manipulate type and design layouts. My portfolio is also very colourful which I think reflects me as a person and my eye for design.

My interest in layout design led me deciding on the topic of grids for my dissertation. I plan to look at whether they are relevant or redundant. My proposal is based around the question ‘is design ruled by the straight line?’ and will be examining how people adhere to or rebel against grids looking at all forms of design from city planning and architecture to painting. I admire the work of designers such as Josef Muller-Brockmann and wish to gain a greater understanding of the use of grids in all forms of design. I have already completed a module in typography which has helped to further my interest in the subject. Much of my work in the Design Practice module has been focused on publication design and so I have had to work mainly with grids and type. In the third year I wish to carry on with designing booklets, magazines etc. and so will again be working mainly with grids and type meaning that I will be able to use any contextual research I do for my projects as research for my dissertation.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how could you exploit these more fully?
I feel that I can manipulate body copy well. In the type module I learned about fitting copy into a grid and making a viewer want to read lengthy bits of text. I now know about the importance of line length, point size and leading in the development of a successful layout. However I feel that I could be more experimental with type and if I were to design more display style type work that would be beneficial to me as a designer.

Illustration is probably my major weakness but its not really relevant because that is what collaboration is for. I do feel that my skills in the area have improved somewhat but it is not something I will be pursuing in the future.

Time management is also something I feel that I need to work on. I used to think I was really organised as I am always punctual and in attendance and on top of my work. But doing more than one brief at a time during the design practice module showed me how much more I need to organise my time so that I can complete the work to a high standard as well as have a social life.

5. What will you do differently next year?

In future I plan to keep an up to date diary and blog every day to make sure that I am working at a good pace. Next year I plan to focus on publication design and will aim to do that for the majority of the time. I think I need to look at more contemporary practice as that is something that I have not done as much this year. However I have bought my own domain and have set up a new blog on there for next year. I will be updating it throughout the summer with my own personal work as well as anything that catches my eye.

6. How would you grade yourself on the following areas:
Punctuality: 5
Motivation: 4
Commitment: 4
Quantity of work produced: 3
Quality of work produced: 3
Contribution to the group: 3
Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Today I bought my own domain name and web hosting so I can have a proper online portfolio. I've still got to wait another day for it to be properly activated but after that I'm going to set up a new blog on there. It's been fun blogger but with any luck this is adieu.
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
End Of Module Self-Evaluation: Design For Print
1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
I have learned how to manage the colours of print work properly to ensure I can print the colours that I want. I have researched the potential of different colour modes and looked at contemporary practice using these to gain inspiration for my own designs. I now understand what each of the colour modes can do and how I can use these to further my future work. I used this work to create a set of 6 A3 spreads and think that I have applied the principles of what I have learned to these spreads in an effective way.

I also developed skills in different print processes including screen printing and letterpress - something I have wanted to do for absolutely ages. Unfortunately the direction that I took my 'good' project in, as well as a lack of time, meant that I did not include the use of these processes. I did however learn about lots of other types of printing, such as offset lithography, pad, gravure and flexography. These processes tend to be on the costly side and due to the facilities available at college, I only had access to CMYK printers. My work for the good project focused on the use of litho for my leaflets and boxes, and flexo for the production of my foil sachets. I could only mock-up on Photoshop what these sachets would look like. Despite not being able to actually use these two printing processes I feel that I have fully understood what is involved in printing with them, what they can be used for and how costly they can be.

I found learning about all the different parts of print processes to be really interesting. Things such as Pantone swatches, foil blocking, varnishes, embossing and stock are the really fun parts of printing. These are things that I can now consider using in the future to improve the quality and professional finish of my work.

2. What approaches to generating work and solutions to problems have you developed and how have they helped?
Understanding how printing works has meant that I know more about the possibilities available to me when generating work which in turn means that my work no longer has to be limited to the CMYK inkjet printing that is so readily available within the college. I have done a good deal of research which helped me to develop my work and sometimes given me restrictions to help focus my ideas.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?
I can work well with colour which is something that many designers struggle with. I like to come up with a few designs and experiment with them fully by tweaking it slightly until I come up with the best outcome. This means that I find it easy to create thumbnail sheets of designs which are so vital to design. My production skills have improved greatly from what they were last year. When I get started on work I can produce designs at a rapid pace and this is an important skill in design practice. My primary and secondary research have been quite strong in this project and have heavily influenced the outcome of my project. I really enjoy research driven design and feel that I can respond well to it.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how could you exploit these more fully?
I need to make sure that the finish of my work is complementary to my overarching concept. I felt that my packaging was a lot better than what I had produced in some of the projects we did last year yet I am just awful at hand rendering things. Perhaps I should stay away from packaging design in the future. I also felt that my idea development was sub par in this project. I found it really difficult to come up with something that could promote the health benefits of mint effectively and I think I just went for something that was obvious. Normally I feel that my ideas and concepts are the strongest parts of my work and I experiment more to get the maximum amount of development before creating a final outcome. But it just did not happen this time round. I think if I had time managed more between the good project and the colour project, this would have been rectified. This probably had a lot to do with the start of the year when I felt like we weren't doing anything when really I should have been working hard from the beginning. I also am not fond of long briefs such as this. I prefer to spend ages doing intricate research and then spending a short time actually solving a brief.

5. Identify five things that you will do different next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
1. Create a time management plan at the start of the project to give me some idea of where I should be with a project at any given time as well as working harder from the beginning.
2. Experiment more with printing processes by actually using them and not just mocking up things using Photoshop.
3. Make sure I have enough time to make full use of the different printing facilities.
4. Develop my designs further to suit each element of a project, rather than sticking to one style.
5. Think harder about the concept and come up with something more innovative in order to create something better than just packaging.

6. How would you grade yourself on the following areas:

Attendance - 5
Punctuality - 5
Motivation - 5
Commitment - 4
Quantity Of Work Produced - 3
Quality Of Work Produced - 3
Contribution To The Group - 3


Thursday, 20 November 2008
Hard Times Indeed
A humorous take on the cost of printing things professionally from Because Studio. This was a self promotional print produced using a Gocco screen printing machine. Loz Ives has a lot of other cool prints on his website.

Now playing: Patrick Wolf - Land's End
via FoxyTunes

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Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Boards & Final Crit
These are the mock up boards I presented in the final crit. They were quite rushed but got the basic story across. I got a lot of helpful input so I can improve them for the deadline. A lot of what my boards contain depends on my final outcomes so really I just need to get on with printing and photographing them. I basically need to condense things down a lot because some of the stuff I had included was just padding.

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Monday, 17 November 2008
Peter & Paul
Peter & Paul are a partnership based in Sheffield and they have some really gorgeous print work. That is all.

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Sunday, 16 November 2008
Every year, the design agency Office create a really nice Christmas card to send to their clients and friends. I especially like this year's golden owl one. It’s incredibly beautiful with a gold offset print, 2 colour gold foil and embossed details. It's weird how this Design For Print module has made me really appreciate print work like this.

Now playing: Queens Of The Stone Age - Like A Drug
via FoxyTunes

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