Thursday, 22 May 2014

Final Evaluation - OUGD602.

Over the course of this module I feel that there is quite a large range of skills that I have developed. For example the main thing would be confidence and clarity of my own practice. I feel that over the course of this year I have really refined what I am interested in and how I want to progress in the future. Before hand I found it difficult to find studios that I was really passionate about I think this was because I didn't have a clear idea about what I was interested in. I now know with certainty that I enjoy working with retail brands in the luxury or bespoke sector and that packaging, branding and editorial are areas I am passionate about. Because of this clarity of my own practice it has improved my confidence in approaching design studios as I feel I would be able to talk clearly and professionally. My evaluation skills have also improved as I feel I can now successfully keep track of my progress and review the improvements I have made.

Aspects that have helped me to develop during this module are finding studios that relate to my practice as it has given me things to aspire too and help me find my place in the graphic design industry. By looking at these places it has also informed my own design and given me inspiration. As well as finding studios I feel visiting them has been even more beneficial, for example going to London was very exciting and I enjoyed seeing the working environments. I think that my manifesto presentation helped to inform me as before I hadn't necessarily considered what I was interested in in much depth, it was just something that was accepted. I have really enjoyed going to exhibitions and talks this year such as Design Manchester and Dialogue, it was really inspiring listening to experienced designers and seeing such exciting things.

I feel that strengths from this module would be my personal branding as I think that it is now a lot more reflective of me as a designer. I like the colour palette and I feel the processes like triplex and vinyl give a strong professional look that would be memorable to who I gave them too. I think that my confidence in presenting has been a big skill and it something that I no longer anxious about. I feel that this was proved in my visit to the Elmwood studio to pitch my 'brand the boring' idea. I really enjoyed the experience and felt confident in talking about what I had done. I have also been proactive in visiting studios and I felt that going to London was hugely beneficial to me. As well as portfolio surgeries with a selection of studios where I felt confident in talking about my work.

Some weaknesses that I could say would be the I feel I could have developed the web aspect of my personal branding further. It does the job but I think the layout could be more exciting and interactive. Also, even though I visited a large amount of studios and spoken to a lot of professionals I haven't had a placement. However this is something I definitely want to look at over the summer.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Evaluation - D.C Book.

I think from putting together this publication it has become even clearer to me the type of design I like and can see myself trying to get into in the future. It is very reassuring to clarify with myself the area I want to focus on and improve. When gathering the research I found myself reconnecting with studios I hadn't looked at in a while and also discovering new designers that I previously hadn’t heard of. I feel that this book will still be very useful to me in the future for referring back to and getting inspiration.

Before I started this brief I was unsure as to how I would approach it so I made spider diagrams that noted down my interests and themes within them I feel this was very beneficial in structuring the publication.

I feel a strength of this brief is that it is so relevant to my current practice and what I aspire to. The chapters some up exactly the sectors of graphic design that I am interested in and want to focus on in the future. I have found the examples of work I have included I have written about in a way that sums up why they are important to me and why I aspire to about them.

An aspect that could have added more depth to the publication would have been to gain some primary material, like interviews with some of the studios that were included. I think this could have added another level to the content.

Evaluation - Personal Branding.

I feel like my new branding has improved a great deal from my previous designs and it is more appropriate for my current practice. I began the process by reviewing what I had previously done. I analysed what I did and didn’t like and made a list of the things I could do to improve it. For example adapt the colour scheme, experiment with processes, look at alternative layouts for my business card and cv and create a larger range of products including postcards and a live website. I felt like doing these things has led to a more professional end outcome.

For research I looked at examples of other peoples personal branding, from these pieces I like the bold use of colour and lettering. I also looked at the type of products that were involved in these collections, from business cards to cv’s, websites and extra material. I also wanted my cv to be more creative and exciting to look at but I was unsure how to do this and still achieve a professional finish. From my research I saw that adding colour was quite a frequent technique that added a simple point of interest. Info graphics were also popular and I liked the more subtle versions. Due to wanting to have triplex cards I researched into the process and ways that I could craft it myself.

I feel a strength from this project is how consistent the end products are. This is due to the constant colour scheme and the continued use of the vinyl stickers. I also think because of the vinyl and the triplex layers the collection has become more memorable.

Something I could have done to improve the finish further would have been to get everything printed professionally, therefore having a spot varnish rather than the sticker. However I feel what I have done is suitable for what I need it for at the moment.

Evaluation - L.D Editorial.

Aspects that I have improved during this are my skills in layout design as the composition had to be consistent not only through one editorial but also across the whole range. This was very important to me, as I wanted each publication to flow into the next. I also felt I learned more about how to work with a real client and how to inform them on the changes being made. This was quite a quick turn around brief but there was still some development that took place during the process. After designing the first draft a mock up was printed out that Lauren could look through and note down any changes that were needed to be made. The things that were changed most drastically was the cover style and also image orders.

I gathered together a collection of research material for when I started constructing the books. I found it was really helpful to have something to refer to when the designing was taking place. Some main aspects I took from them were interesting composition ideas for the images. I particularly liked when certain photographs were positioned across a double page spread or the use of margins.

A strength from this brief is the quality of the professional print. It was really exciting receiving these as it is great seeing something come together. I really like the simplicity of the design and how everything is so consistent across all three editorials. Even down to the cover design where the images chosen are of a similar front on, portrait style. I think the use of white in the compositions really helps to frame the images.

Something I could have done differently to improve this brief is to maybe use a more interesting format as the A5 size is quite standard and is something I have used a great deal across the year. Experimenting with this further could have made for a more exciting end result.

Evaluation - Yearbook.

I found that this brief was as much about organisation as it was design and a lot of our time was spent planning different aspects that needed to be done and collaborating with people outside of each other. I feel because of this I have really improved my skills in organisation and communication as I needed to make sure tasks were done by a certain date in order for the project to progress and be completed by the final ‘send to print’ deadline. I have also greatly refined my editorial skills, I found that as this was a live briefly so closely linked to the college the level of finish and consistency of layout was very important, this led me to learn a lot in a short space of time.

We conducted research into previous yearbooks from the course, this was very beneficial as it was clear to see what did and didn’t work, we could also discuss with Duncan about this to hear his thoughts on what he wanted. It was clear that he wanted the focus to be on imagery with limited white space as well as the focus on the course as a whole rather than the individuals work. We also researched into options for a more interactive publication, the main ideas we gathered from this was coloured paper inserts and a wrap around cover that would double up as a poster.

As mentioned before I think a strength from this would definitely be organisation. On a basic level we had to organise our own time to meet all the necessary deadlines, as well as organising photo shoots in and out of the studio of the environment, work and students themselves. We were also back and forth from the Textiles office getting feedback and content from Duncan. I feel this has taught me a lot about the expectations once leaving university from the outside world.

I think a weakness of this project is that it isn't as interactive as we initially wanted it to be, for example there wasn’t the resources to be able to get the page inserts. If there had been more time I think I would have liked to think more into getting an alternative for this. However I am really pleased that we were able to get the wrap around as I think it really ties the whole publication together whilst adding an exciting additional element.

Photography Collaboration - Final Images.

Here are some final photographs of the completed printed copies. I am really happy with the finish and it is great to see it in a physical form.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Photography Collaboration - Complete Publications.

Completed versions of all three editorials, it was really exciting seeing it all come together. I really like the simplicity of the design and how everything is so consistent across all three editorials. Even down to the cover design where all the images chosen are of a similar, front on portrait style. I think the use of white really helps to frame the images and the varied compositions makes it interesting to flick through.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Evaluation - L.C Branding.

During this brief I improved my branding skills as I had to find an aesthetic that suited Lauren’s personality and design style. I haven’t had a huge amount of experience of creating logo but I knew the style I wanted to achieve. I wanted it to be type based with a simple, contemporary look that wasn’t fussy and overbearing so that the designs could speak for themselves. Because the logo was so stripped back I incorporated bold, block colour to break up the white but still be not distracting. I feel like by completing this I have really began to understand clearly the aesthetic that I like.

My research began by finding out more about Lauren and her work, to do this I visited her space in the studio to gain inspiration from her colour palettes, research and designs. This was really helpful to me because I feel I went away with a much clearer understanding of where I was headed. My research then followed on to more general textile designers and their branding, I found a common aesthetic choice was hand rendered type that was often coloured. After seeing these it cemented that it was not the route I wanted to go down as I felt it looked to traditional and fussy. To incorporate colour I thought it would be exciting to paint the edges of the business cards so that they created impact when stacked together, I looked into cards that used this process and guides to how to complete this myself. I’m glad I did this as I feel it is a strong aspect of the branding.

A strength is the level of consistency across the products and with Lauren’s own work. I feel they work seamlessly together which I’m really happy with as that was the aim from the start of the brief.

I think a weakness is that I could have covered a larger range of products like a web presence or more stationary material. I think these things could have elevated the project a little further.

Personal Branding - Final Boards.

Photography Collaboration - Design Development.

After I had completed my first draft it was printed off so that Lauren could look through it. I found this was really helpful as she was able to make physical notes that were easy for me to find and refer to when making the changes. There wasn't that many adaptations, it was mostly things like changing the image order or adjusting a photos frame so that more of it could be viewed. Lauren's feedback from this was really positive and she liked the way it was going.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Personal Branding - Website.

I have recently completed my website so that I can have an online portfolio and web presence. It is simple to navigate and shows my projects clearly.

Portfolio Surgery - Elmwood.

I recently took part in a second portfolio surgery this time with Steph from Elmwood. It was great to talk to another professional about my work and gain some helpful criticisms to help improve my portfolio. This crit was also individual which made the experience different from the previous time. Some points that I took from this were:

  • Include an introduction board about my interests within design could incorporate some of my personal branding as a way of demonstrating my visual style.
  • Champneys: Be sure to show clearly the examples of copy as it shows a deeper understanding of the audience on more than just a visual level.
  • Galina London: show products in context so that less explaining would need to be done. For example labels on the products.
  • Galina London: as the logo was initially the main part of the brief have that large scale to show where the project came from.
  • Kubu: Strong project that relates to my current work, but because it is a second year piece and it isn's as developed as current work have it nearer the end.
  • From looking through my portfolio it was clear to see that I am interested in doing projects for high end fashion and lifestyle etc.
  • CV: include experience like working for real clients and entering live and competition briefs as it shows I can design for others and work from a brief.

Photography Collaboration - Editorial Research.

To help with coming up with interesting layout examples I did some research into possible compositions. Aspects I like from these examples are when large scale photographs spread across onto the opposite page leaving a column of white space. In other examples a square has been extracted from the image and placed on the opposite page, even though I like this and think its interesting I don't think it would be viable for Lauren's publication as I feel she would want the whole photograph to be shown. My favourite publication is of the birds as I love the layouts that have been used.