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OUGD406 Module Evaluation

What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
As this is now the third studio based module I feel I have developed my own way of working from the research, to initial ideas, development and final outcome - the system I have allows me to work with most briefs effectively and transfers my skills were appropriate. In particular this was present within the Stamp It! Brief, as I had not previously designed this format, the brief came as a shock to the system. However using the skills of research to inform myself of the subject and content of the stamps and then to develop a range of initial ideas which I can then take further after crit feedback and develop an effective response to the brief. I defiantly learn’t many new skills within the process of working through the Stamp It! Brief, most prominently was ability to design for a much smaller format than I am used to, however by working through design sheets and considering how I work with type and image differently at this scale allowed me to consider how best to make use of the space to convey my ideas - primarily I was able to do this as I worked at a larger scale when designing, but also when I considered the format I considered the stamps as a set rather than an individual entities, however I did still consider them as working alone also. Additionally my skills within Adobe Illustrator have continued to improve, I feel I have come along way from the start of the year having never used the software to completing a set of stamps solely within the software. Key to my improvements within the software was use of clipping masks to change, adjust and manipulate forms into the desired shapes I wanted to create. These skills have also then been applied to final brief It’s Your Choice which again I used Illustrator to create which created again successful results, my need and use for Photoshop is rapidly decreasing and in it’s space is increase workflow due to the flexibility Illustrator offers me. 

I also think my skills when working within a team have improved since the last group brief, although it was made easier by working with friends, I have still develop transferable skills which I can use in the future. Project management was one of the key skills that I felt I worked on and developed, which meant ensuring the team could come together regularly to discuss progress, I found it more beneficial to the group work to all sit together present and discuss ideas and decide how to move forward, rather than all working separately and then coming together at the end - how I’ve previously worked within group briefs. Additionally my group communications skills have generally improved and also presentation skills as a result of presenting our idea to the rest of the year group. A skill not necessarily required by a graphic designer but one that will be valuable in the future is knowledge of the use of social media and how to exploit it to your own advantage, I some new I have learn from the communication is a virus brief, these skills will allow me to promote myself as a graphic designer in the future.

What approaches to design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
Using Adobe Illustrator as both a tool for design production and design development as been extremely beneficial to my practice. The tool is so quick and easy to use that I can quickly begin to test ideas that I have explored on paper and begin to work with them digitally to text how effective they are as a idea which could be potentially part of a final outcome. Furthermore the duplication tools within illustrator easily allow me to test and explore visual variation within a piece of design and then look at all the designs at once and consider which is the most effective. Additionally the use of layout paper within the design ideas and design development stages of a brief has also been beneficial to my practice as it allows me to trace elements and work with elements I have already created easily, It has simply improved productivity when working on paper as I have efficiently manipulate, enhance and change my designs and ideas and my ideas grow as a result of this development process.

What strengths can you identify in your work and how/will you capitalize on these?
I think a clear strength that is evident in my work is my attention to detail and production quality of the final outcome, I always intend to make my work have the most professional feel possible, I think taking this approach to work is beneficial as it means I enter into nothing doing a half hearted job that looks mediocre, striving to achieve a high standard of quality within my design work means the final outcome looks successful and fulfilled, but this only comes as a result of the design development process which allows to best figure out the best way the communicate and present my ideas, as without this regardless of quality the outcome will always fail. I intend to continue to work in this way in the future and always ensure the work I am producing has a professional feel and quality.

What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address them in the future?
As mentioned in the previous question, I have talked about my goal to strive for a professional quality within my final outcome, however I have recently began to consider is this hindering my progress and development as a graphic designer. I realise that at this time as a student I need to be experiment, and explore alternative avenue to realise my true goals as a graphic designer, however also wanting to have a product that looks professional at the end of brief may sometimes result in an outcome that is less than innovative and doesn’t explore other options out of fear it will not look professional or will fail as an outcome. In the future I defiantly want to allow myself to fail for more, as I feel it’s something I’m just not allowing myself to do at this stage. The key to achieving this will be allowing myself to explore, experiment and fail, but then through time management allow myself to address the failure move forward and hopefully create a successful outcome at the end of a given brief.

Identify 5 things you will do differently next time and what you expect to gain from these?
  1. As previously mentioned before I want to allow myself to fail more, or perhaps not to fail but to experiment and explore alternative before settling for a mediocre idea. From doing this I expect to gain a greater understanding of graphic design and also my personal goals as a graphic designer. Furthermore I suspect that my outcome if will be more developed and considered and also more innovative in that they don’t always rely on things that have come before. 
  2. My time management within the D&AD brief was particularly good as within only one week I developed three posters but did an extensive amount of design development previous to constructing the final three posters. I want to take this process forward into other brief and remember the importance of design development, digital development but then also going back to design sheets. I want my process to become a little less rigid and allow myself to go back and forth between initial ideas, development and considering an outcome. This will hopefully make my process more organic and create a more developed final outcome as I will ideas and merging them to create an outcome that uses the best elements of everything I have developed throughout the brief. 
  3. Explore my analog process and a posed to just using the computer as a tool for both development and production/creation of a final outcome. For example paper craft has also been a passion of mine yet I have never considered it for any of the brief, however in the future if I felt it was appropriate to a brief to explore analog methods of image and type creation I will explore them. From this I expect to gain a more innovative and unique response to a brief. 
  4. Use my blog as a tool for analysis, it is more and more evident that when annotating my blog I should not only be discussing how I have produced work or developed work but also why I chosen to do certain things. Asking the simple question of why will enable me to consider how effectively the decisions I am making about my work are and perhaps to better understand what is working and what isn’t within my work.
  5. Look for new places to gain and gather research and inspiration, it is all to easy to rely on the internet for as a source for inspiration and I am guilty of it. However there are a plethora of other sources in which one can gain both knowledge and inspiration and in particular one if the library which is a resource I neglect as a place for inspiration. From considering alternative places to gather inspiration hopefully my work will be more thorough and present a varied design landscape rather than just that of current graphic design. 

Attendance: 5
Punctuality: 5
Motivation: 4
Commitment: 4
Quantity of work: 3
Quality of work: 5
Contribution to the group: 5

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