Presentation & Evaluation Of The Year

For my personal and professional practice presentation, I wanted the presentation itself to be image based, and to talk about everything myself.

• I started the presentation off with my identity designs, giving a hint to the my designs from the end of this year. This then rolls onto the beginning of the second year.

• The second year started off with such a long module, with print production and web forming the core to the first 5 months of the year. Along with the ISTD briefs these briefs felt very long and drawn out for me, and I didn't feel like a was fully warmed up from the summer to start designing great quality work. The print production module was definitely the more successful part of the 504 module. I produced a publication for the print production manual, using InDesign. This was a programme I didn't use at all in the first year, and so from the workshops we had at the start of the second year, I showed off the skills I had learnt through the print production manual. I bought an A3 printer towards the end of the first year, but to no avail could I get my printer to print a booklet from InDesign so in the end I had to create pdf's of the manual, and feed the stock through one at a time. To ensure everything lined up I made each page print from one side of the paper. I had to change the bind to a Japanese stab bind in order to make my design work with how it was printed so I left a longer edge on one side. Overall I am happy with my design for the print part of the module, and I can learn from my mistakes. I made some samples to go with the booklet which would showcase foiling and embossing techniques. I used an image of an offset litho machine as a motif running throughout the manual.

The image came from a printer visit, which allowed me to fully understand the print production process on a professional and mass scale. There was the height of technology with digital printers, to the traditional lithography printers. It was interesting to learn that litho is a dying method, with digital print taking over due to newer technology allowing for better quality prints. With the web module I have always struggled with maths or any methodical or mathematical methods, and so I found it really hard to code my website. I made it as simple as possible, and made it so the website still looked good even though it was made from possibly the most simple of grids. I don't have any desire to continue coding because I just find it illogical and I cannot work out how to solve problems when something needs to be done a different way. I want to continue working with web design though as this is a skill that can be used within branding and other design briefs. I have to say that I am just so ashamed of my ISTD brief I just want it to die and have never existed. I just couldn't think in a design way at that point in time and I wanted to just get on with the next module.

• Moving onto the responsive module, I felt really positive about approaching competition briefs and just giving things a go. The briefs I was most proud of were The Feel Good Drinks Co. brief, and the Secret 7" briefs. I chose to design labels for Feel Good, and although I initially found this brief quite hard in terms of thinking of concepts, in the end I went for a traditional approach, using the company logo and creating a colourful and fruity range of designs. I didn't win any briefs that I entered, however I am most proud of the Feel Good brief. I can see why some of the other designs were stronger than mine for the concept that they were driven by, and so this is something I carried onto the other briefs I completed. The secret 7" briefs were ones I thought I had a good chance of winning, however to no avail. I still feel that my still life vinyl cover is a really strong piece of design, and I think my peers were also surprised that I didn't win anything.

A really important aspect that I feel has improved the way I work is time management, and each time I approach a new brief I develop my skills in time management and ways of working. I use notebooks endlessly rather than creating design sheets, and I scribble down designs in pencil, usually until I get an idea of what I want to create. I can't force myself to do something I don't naturally do, and so I never hand in design sheets because they would be forced. I think a designer should work naturally, and working on a brief is a process unique to each individual. To do lists also get me through, they make me feel organised, and outline things I need to do without having the pressure of keeping them in my memory alone.

Moving onto the shorter and also successful briefs within the responsive module, I underpinned the Puffin books brief, and the Hellfire beer label with strong concepts. I set the time for completion of the beer label brief to one day, and I naturally completed the Puffin Books brief within a week. These shorter briefs proved to me that if I set my own time limit according to the brief then I can work to a professional time scale. I like that I had a strong use of typography, and that they are a new direction for me as a designer.

Overall I felt a mixture of content and disappointment with responsive, due to the fact that I didn't win a single thing, and I felt that some of my resolutions were really strong. Looking at my peers that won over me, and thinking that my designs were just as strong or even stronger made me feel really inadequate, and that I shouldn't be doing graphic design at all. On the other hand I have to remember that most of my peers have been doing graphic design for at least a year extra than I have, and that this is only my second year of doing it, along with the fact that I got a high 2:1 for the feedback, nearly gaining a first which is my strongest mark so far. I just need to remember that if I keep working hard I will eventually succeed. I will take this into the third year with me.

• With the What Is Good brief, I went into the research enjoyably because I chose something I wouldn't normally have chosen. I went with Thai Green Curry, and this led onto researching into Thai food in general. I was slightly confused as to what the tutors were looking for, and so I did plenty of research which would form the back bone for my design brief. I wrote the brief myself, and chose to design for product and packaging. This also had related subjects such as branding and identity, and promotional and retail. All areas that most interest at this stage in my graphic design journey. I felt that I used a wide range of production methods even though I DIY'd a lot of them. and I chose to design a variety of products too. I made my tote bags from scratch which I was proud of, however they were let down by the calico material not being able to take the transfer pen method, and so the stamping effect didn't really work. The web aspect of this brief was strong, and I am happy with the designs. I am overall really happy with this brief, and the research really comes through within the designs.

• For my self branding and identity design, I started by talking about my web presence, which is barely there at the moment. I really want to have a good portfolio that I am proud to show others, but at the moment I don't have that at all. I need to think about this kind of thing at the start of a brief, and also photograph my work so it looks good. There's no point in creating a body of work and not having good photographs of it. I have chosen to use a new web hosting site called Salon, and it is more versatile than Behance or Cargo, but it is harder to use, and it took me ages to figure out how to even get images where I wanted them! Salon gives me the opportunity to use my own domain name, and this is mostly why I chose to use it. This could change thought within the next few months.

My 'promo pack' and business cards coincide with eachother, and I chose to try and make my boring name interesting by using the four letters to highlight my four areas of interest within graphic design that hope become my speciality. I wanted my branding to be personal, and give potential employers a taste of me by reading my opinions and beliefs. Like quotes, they summarise my design philosophy. Colourful and playful, but showing off my design ability.

For the third year, I hope to start looking at gaining placement work, even thought this is a scary prospect, I hope that I will be fully ready next year to start emailing and making new contacts. I hope to develop my portfolio, and the way I work overall.


Visiting Professionals: Numiko

Numiko | visiting professionals talk.

The talk from Numiko was better than I expected. I have no intentions at this moment in time to design for screen, and so it was a comforting surprise to know that a designer doesn't necessarily need to know how to code the website, but just to know how to design for navigation, usability and general function.

The Numiko team work with another team of web developers, which makes a whole lot of sense seeing as that is their specialist area, and they concentrate on the design alone. Working with both code and design can be stressful, and one area needs to be thought about about before the other can take place, and so the designers work alongside the developers to establish the limitations and the possibilities of the design brief, without the two clashing. Numiko explained that this works well because it pushes both designers in their field of speciality and develops their skills as designers.

The kind of design they produce meets the clients needs, and is always underpinned by a strong concept.


What Is A Creative CV? Examples

Creative CV's.

What is a Creative CV?

Who are you writing it for?

Who needs to read it?

Who will actually read it?

What do they need to know?

What do they want to know?

When trying to search for creative CV's I found it pretty hard to find any good ones. These are the best ones I could find from searching for 'self branding' 'self promotion' and 'personal identity'. When I searched for CV's horrible designs would appear and so I didn't bother using that term again. I initially didn't think there was much point to the ambitious concepts, however I feel that there are too many generic designs out there, and so if I were to decide to design a produce a creative CV to send out to potential employers, then I would consider designing something that had a point of difference to the CV's that are currently out there. If it catches someones attention and makes them remember the design then that will function how I want it to.

This idea is fun, although I don't know whether I would trust the chocolate inside the CV enough to eat, because it was obviously wrapped in something else before the CV covered it.

This is pretty ambitious in my opinion, and although it is a 'message in a bottle' it doesn't necessarily convey the instant image of someones CV. It looks like a medical sample rather than a creative CV.

I do like this layout and the simplicity of it, and the overall subtly of it, however this may not excite the intended audience.