What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
This module has been very different to the rest, in the fact that we were using the theory we had already learnt throughout the year and then using this information as content for the product we produce.
On the theory side of this module I have learnt a lot of new things, this has really been a learning curve for me because I have learnt so much about the theory side of Graphic Design, which I have never looked at before. The lectures were interesting, some of them I found really interesting and useful and others I thought didn’t help me within my studies. The seminars and workshops with the tutors, were where I learnt the most. I found these really easy to connect with and found all the information and things taught to us very useful. I think this was better because it was a smaller group and the interaction within the group and tutors, what a lot better and made discussions, which we could delve into more and more.
The practical side of the module was really interesting and fun. To start with I found it hard to get one solid idea, which I think that was one of the main things I learnt on this, the idea is the main thing about it and that needs to be solid before starting on any sort of design work.
With this module it was again in my favor because it was about an editorial, which I enjoy to do, and like doing this. For this module I wanted to try something different and try to push my abilities within the editorial sector. So I decided to make a publication which had fold out pages. This was a challenge in itself because I had to make the publication over two software programs, again something which I have learnt a lot about. Getting the design of the publication to work over the different softwares was hard to start with but once I got the hang of it I think I have done a good job and managed to line everything up etc.
What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
From previous modules I have said that the section of the design process I needed to focus on the most was the design sheets and initial ideas of a brief. So for this brief I have worked on design sheets to start with, making them to a decent standard and trying to develop my ideas on these first before starting to work digitally. I found that this worked really well and when it came to doing the digital design work, it was easy because I had the idea there and new what I wanted to achieve.
The other thing I have learnt which I have mentioned above was using two softwares for the publication. This was the hardest part of the brief for me because I had to get the style and layout the same over both the programs. As the pages ran on from each other, lining these up was tricky and took some time to get them right.
I also decided on the format because of the content that I had and what I wanted to produce from this, which involved designing information cards and double sided printing. Double-sided printing was a lot harder than what I thought, setting up the document was really hard for me to get the idea of and get it right for it to print correct. I think from this, I should try to not make things so complicated in the final production of the products. Maybe trying to think of alternative ideas/ more creative would have been a better thought.
The other main thing I learnt to the approach of my work was researching. Researching was a big part of this module, for both the practical element and the theory side of the module. I have found that making a good in depth attempt at the research before I started any sort of work, was the best way to work. Especially for the essay this was present and the publication it helped a lot too.
What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?
I think the strengths of my work was the A4 publication, I found this the most interesting part of the brief to design and make. I think the result of the publication was the best. Even though there was a lot of information which I had to portray and communicate to the audience, I wanted to keep it simple and straight to the point; to do this I had to condense the information and make it more straight to the point. The tone of the publication was kept neutral, as I was aiming it to graphic design students, I didn’t want it to be too factual or too wordy, so I think this worked well also. The overall publication looked good, with the strict structure and grid all the page layouts were kept simple, neat and clean. The style throughout the publication was kept the same. With the information cards I wanted to keep this similar to that of the publication, making them relate to each other, because they did actually relate to each other and were meant to be used as a pair, to gain a greater understanding of the subject.
I feel that with this publication I have worked on what I already know about editorial design and have tried to push it by experimenting with the format. I have worked upon my content and the sourcing the right information for this. Developing the style and structure to the publication was also a strength which I think came through strong. From the feedback I got in the final crit I do believe that I produced a good informed publication, which could be used by designers to learn about the subject of Typography.
My main strength for the theory side of the module, being the lectures and seminars was gaining confidence to participate within a group to talk about what I felt/thought about the subject we were talking about. I am not one for talking in front of people and in the past have always kept my thoughts to myself, but I felt as though I did come out in these sessions and put across valid opinions which contributed to the sessions.
What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?
I think the weaknesses of my work, was the information cards. I don’t think that they are a failure or a bad piece of design, but compared to the publication I don’t think they work as well. Also the packaging that I did for the cards could have been worked up better.
The aspect of the cards I think I could of designed better was the layout and the structure. The way, in which I designed them, was to keep them simple because I wanted the main element; the actual typeface to come across the most and be the thing that you see the most. This did work on them as they are now, but I think I could have been a bit more creative with them. The format of the cards were quite small, which was hard to fit all the information at a legible point size, but the way that I design them worked for this and made the most of the space available. I just think that looking at them once they were printed, that they do look good and the idea and concept of them was clear, you could easily read them, but they weren’t a design/structure that pushed the boundaries and every time that I did look back at them I thought of different ways to improve them.
In future I will try to experiment with the layout and structure of product more and develop these ideas more. Doing more research into the visual aspects of this would help develop the design.
My weakness on the theory side of the module was defiantly the essay. I found writing the essay a challenge and something, which I do need to improve on myself. My writing skills are good for everyday use, but when it comes to writing a critical analysis on a given subject I find it tough. The researching and sourcing of the information was fine and I feel that I did this well, it was just writing the essay and structuring it, to communicate my argument.
Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
- Time management – Even though I have been improving this throughout the modules as the year has gone on. I didn’t leave that much time to actually design the products for the brief. I got the work done, but I feel if I had managed it better and left longer to design it, I may have produced better work.
- Ideas/concept – I need to decide on a solid idea/concept from the start, something that I find interesting and know I can produce work for. On this brief, I had an idea from the start but them changed it part way through, which meant I had to do all the research again, this took up more time from the design stage and wasn’t as well informed as it good have been.
- Format – Experimenting with the format of the information cards could have been better and I could have developed the design for these. As once I had finished them and printed them I wasn’t happy with them. Experimenting and developing ideas will stop this from happening in the future.
- Lecture Notes – Find a good, effective way to take down notes. When in lectures I did find it difficult sometimes to get all the relevant and important information down on paper whilst being spoken to. I often found myself having to look back over the presentations after the lecture to get these down. Coming up with a better way for me to take notes would help solve this and save me time, I could be using on other things.
- Essay – When it comes to writing a essay, I know myself that this is my weakest point and I always put it off because I know this. In future I wont put this off and will have the confidence to get on and do it, I can always go back and make it better, but getting the initial ideas down will help. In future I will probably get help with this aspect and try to improve this skill myself over time.
Attendance = 5
Punctuality = 5
Motivation = 4
Commitment = 5
Quantity of work produced = 4
Quality of work produced = 4
Contribution to the group = 4