My understanding of typography and how it used has been developed extensively throughout this module. From the initial two briefs to final two brief typography and letterforms have played a major role in what I have been designing. The main skills have I developed have focused on the legibility of type, something I had not previously considered while designing. The understanding of what makes type legible and it’s important has been built upon throughout the module. Within the first two briefs I developed a greater understanding of how type can be used not only to communicate words, phrases and messages but also to communicate meaning visually through the composition, form and shape of the letterforms.
I also more greatly value the need to visually explore and investigate every possibility and to experiments with variants of one idea before committing to an idea. The generation of a variety of idea it’s crucial, as for example within the second alphabet soup brief the idea I used I within the final typeface derived from one of the first ideas I developed, however I needed to embark on a creative investigation into other idea and text out other ideas to inform the selection of that idea being the most appropriate and effective.
My skills within Adobe Illustrator have also been greatly improved from the foundation laid within the Illustrator workshop period. Illustrator is a piece of software I had not previously used before and something I had refrained from using in the past and continued to use Photoshop as an alternative. However, now I no longer shy way away from using illustrator and understand illustrator can be used a much more effective tool for development and idea generation than photoshop in many ways, including speed of production and the ability to manipulate what you have created easily. I feel the initial skills and techniques learnt from the workshop have provided me with a starting point for my own investigation into use of the software and I have continued to use the software throughout the remainder of the module and I have began to see my skills develop and improve.
Coming from a background of A level straight onto a degree course I had not previously encountered or partaken in group crits, this has been the largest learning curve within the module. Within the initial briefs crits I felt I was quite and didn’t voice my opinion to others in the group. However as the module has progressed I have become more confident in speaking to the group and giving feedback on the work of others. The written feedback also offered my opportunity to given detailed feedback which isn’t always possible within a group crit situation, I also feel more confident in writing my thoughts that voicing them. This lead to final crit being a perfect balance between discussion and written feedback, I found the process of discussing with a partner and also writing feedback and extremely productive and beneficial process.
Again coming straight from an A level program the course structure has been a big transition, where I have been familiar with long, multiple month briefs to one or two week long briefs. Adjusting to this time difference has been a challenge but one I felt I managed well. In part due to my time management skills I have been able to mange my time effectively to allow time for development and also time for produce to final resolution.
What approaches to methods of idea generation have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
The use of mind maps and spider diagrams have provided an excellent starting point for all of the briefs, they have allowed me to explore the brief and other content such as the proverb or occupation. The mind map has allowed for initial first ideas to be quickly explored and noted down for further development later. They have also allowed me to identify, explore and research information surrounding a given a brief to inform the context to which I am designing. Furthermore they have provided a structure and a help throughout the design process from start to finish.
Working out of sketchbook has been a big change in the way in which I develop idea, it was a concept I was initially daunted by at the start of the module, however within the studio workshops I have developed the ability to develop ideas on a larger scale and not be confined to a singular sketchbook page. I now see design sheets as a more beneficial way of developing idea as they allow ideas to grow across a single page. They are also more productive when explaining your ideas with progress crit situations. The larger scale of working has encourage me to develop one idea and push it as far as possible before moving on and also exploring different visual variations. The design sheets have also allowed me to track the progress of a developing to see where it initially started and journey of development I have taken.
The studio environment has also provided an excellent space for idea generation and informed the ideas I have developed. Being surrounded by other in which I can question and constantly ask for feedback throughout every stage of development is something I have never previously had the privilege of having. Within the studio my fellow peers can crit my work and it progresses and this allows me to discard to discontinue work of idea which simply aren’t working or ask for suggestions on how an idea could potentially be improved, this process combined with the progress crits has allowed for a progress and natural development process.
What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?
One main strength I feel it present within my work I my use of colour and the choosing of colour to use within my work, which in the past has not been a process I have felt confident with. However I think both proverbially yours briefs demonstrate an appropriate and fitting use of colour palette. I think this mainly to due to limiting of the colour palette, normally the plethora of colour to choose from disables me choosing colour effectively, but the limit of two colours has allowed me to focused in my colour selection. Furthermore I understand now how research into the use of colour will always be a practical asset and researching what colours are appropriate for what you are designing. I will caplitalise on this strength by continuing to research colour palettes and what colours are most fitting to certain visual criteria and also understand that being restrictive with your colour palette can often lead to stronger outcomes.
I also think my eye for detail and need for things to be perfect and precise is another strength which allows my design work to look and feel complete and professional. Only settling for the best quality possible although frustrating and time consuming always leads to best resolutions and outcomes. To capitalise on this strength I think will be to always strive for the best and continue the mentality for things to have to perfect and precise.
My punctuality and attendance I also think go hand in hand with the strengths within my work, attending college and gaining the most out of the learning experience and being involved within the studio environment leads to better design work.
Another strength I feel I can capitalise on throughout the course is m persistence to generate idea and explore every option before settling on an idea. I feel I am very strong a developing a broad range of ideas some which work and other which don’t work at all. When developing ideas and seeing a range of ideas rather than a select few it is easier to compare which ideas work more effectively than others and result in a more complete and efficient design resolution.
What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?
A weakness I see within my own work is how I like my ideas to draw perfectly and neatly and I often different myself redrawing the same ideas and development to make them neater, however this wastes time which could be spent developing ideas further or generating new ideas. To move forward I will try to work with rough visuals and focus less on the need for them to be neat and more on the quality of the idea.
Currently I do not use the blog as a ongoing tool for development and progression, I commonly blog all of the work I have produced at the end of a brief however this does not translate and create a flowing blog and nor does it show continuos development. Moving forward I will blog work as and when I create the work and also annotate the work I have produce this will allow me to more accurately develop ideas and determine which stage I am currently at within the design process. It will also allow me to work more productively.
One weakness I feel that was demonstrated within the first proverbially yours brief was assuming my audience knew what I was designing and what my design was trying to say, however after the feedback it was evident that this was not true. Moving forward in the future I will always need to consider how my target audience with perceive and understand the message I am trying to communicate. Key processes I will need to develop in order to ensure I am designing for an audience who will understand my work, is to know who my target audience are and how best to communicate with them through research in my target audience. Also considering how messages can be simplified to communicate them more effectively, I have learnt that the more simple you can make a message the easier it is to communicate.
Another weakness I show is my lack of contribution within group situations, I plan to work on this by saying more in group crits and becoming more involved in what is being said and contribute my own opinion to the discussion and not to be afraid to voice my own opinion. Furthermore I need to improve on the time it takes me to crit the work of other often I find myself having informative things to say about the work but after the time has spaced to voice those opinions, working on streamlining the way I view work and be able to offer feedback efficiently and quickly will be an area I focus on in the future briefs.
Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
Within future modules I will blog my practical work and design context research throughout the brief on the day the work has been produced. This is reduce the build up of work at the end of a module. Furthermore this will create a more fluid and ongoing design process and practice and make me a more productive designer. Updating my blog more efficiently will also allow me to better crit my own work throughout a brief a see which elements are working and other which are perhaps unsuccessful.
Use a wider variety of materials and processes to explore ideas and aid the generation process. I will consider more appropriate uses of materials and processes that can aid the development process rather than just using design sheets, pens and paper. Often using the computer can be a tool for the development of complex ideas quickly. From considering the way in which I develop my ideas will enable me to become a more proactive designer towards how I’m working and to understand how best to work to a given brief and given circumstances.
Broaden the ways in research materials for given briefs, currently I am confining myself to internet website, however making use of other resources such as the library, and primary research tools such as conducting interviews and exploring the world with a camera can often lead to better results than searching through images on the internet. By doing I feel I will gain a better understanding of the world around me and for the subject I am researching as conducting primary research will greater my natural understanding than researching using a computer.
I will always try to book appropriate time slots within the digital dungeon, this will allow me to structure my time around my print slot to make sure all of my work is done and complete ready for print and I am not printing work which is incomplete. By doing this it will improve my time management skills and allow me to work to deadline, which mimics the practice of professionals.
I will also make even more use of the design studio within future briefs, although I have made good use of the studio within this brief, more improved use of the studio could still take place. Such as staying later after college has ended to complete to ensure the work is done before going. Also by surrounding myself with the work of other I will constantly be opening myself up to new ideas and exploring the work of others.
Quantity of work produced: 3
Quality of work produced: 4
Contribution to the group: 3