Summary + Future Goals

Overall I have enjoyed the module Contemporary Graphic Design, it has enabled me to think more constructively as a designer with the ideas that I have, I usually tend to go for my first idea and develop that when it comes to designs, (for reasons I honestly don’t know why) but this module in particular has helped me step out of that normality and take each idea I have and see how far I can develop it before it gets to a halt. I think this is very useful for the way I think in future because the first idea I have will always be rough before its developed but polishing ideas has something that has improved whilst studying.

I have also enjoyed the printing and book binding lectures that we have had in this module. They were a bit more hands on and practical, more to my liking. I do wish they were more of those kind of lectures as I had learnt a great deal about an interest I did not even know I had.  I also like the fact Mary (my tutor) brought in guest lectures to come and talk to us about the industry we wish to step in. I think its very important us, as aspiring designers to have word from a consummate professional who has experienced what we are yet to. Personally it gives me a valuable insight into the journey I will take as a graduate, which could prove to be better in foresight than in hindsight.

I have learnt a great amount of technical and practical skill whilst being on this course, from kerning, leading and t  r  a c k  i n g :), to colour theory to layout and composition to functionality and form the list goes on… I am very glad that I’ve had this opportunity to learn such things on this course and hope to apply it to future projects. For the future I just want to continue learning and developing my skills. At the start of this course I actually joined as a product designer so I had no real experience in graphic design, which is why I think I sometimes found it difficult on this course, but I actually found those were the moments I learnt about my real skills as a designer and someone with good concepts it just reassured me and my skills and the fact that i am doing what i’m suppose to be doing (if that makse sense).

Once I completely finish University (wow just listen to that sentence… sorry emotional moment there) I will venture for new paths as a Junior Designer or a design intern. Any opportunity that comes my way I will take with open arms, using the knowledge and experience I have gained from University will help me apply myself and skills to the industry that I wish to go in, as a result I am very grateful for everything I have learnt so far.

 

 

 

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SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis can be used to identify and evaluate a person, an industry, a product or a place. examining its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats on that particular project.

S – Strengths – Characteristics or traits that give an advantage over others

W – Weaknesses – Characteristics or traits that place the team at a disadvantage relative to others

O – Opportunities – Factors that the project could make use of for its own advantage

T – Threats – Factors in the environment that can cause trouble for the business project

Taking the above all into consideration I will now apply the SWOT analysis to my own involvement in this project.

Strengths

I felt overall the team produced a strong portfolio piece with each and everyone contributing to the final outcome. This all started off as an idea and for it to have finally been published is an amazing achievement I think we can all be proud of! On a personal note I think my strengths in this project laid with being a good team player with good communication skills; As part of the production team I had to try and find quotes from printing companies, they all proved to be very expensive (for students anyway), so I let the rest of the production team know that I was having no luck in finding an appropriate quote this at least made them aware of my struggles. Good concepts; myself and James Andrews actually came up with the title for the book ‘Why I Hate To Love Design’ we were jotting ideas down together and once we had what we thought sounded strong, we ran it by the group to see what they thought, they all also liked the name. I also recommended we each set up a Pintrest account to exchange our visual ideas and research online which the majority of the group used. Good designs; I  felt my final quotes in the end reflected my thought processes which I personally, was quite happy with.

Weaknesses

The team on a whole communicated through the social networking site known as Facebook. As we are all students it was almost guaranteed we’d all have an account (someone actually didn’t at the start, but did in the end). We set up a private group on Facebook for us to discuss our ideas about the book, so things like size, number of pages, number of designs each etc.. The only problem I think occurred with this platform of communication, is that not everyone participated in the group discussions. For example someone would ask ‘What time is our next meeting and where is it…?’ there would only be about 5-6 replies considering there weas 11 of us in the group in total. My personal weakness I found in this assignment was my software skills. At times with my quotes I struggled to execute my ideas, simply because my software skills weren’t that strong, this was mainly evident when James Sparkes helped me with some of the designs for my second quote. He actually helped me design the post it note and the TV my versions of those illustrations were not as good unfortunately, but I was able to learn from his skills so in a way i was quite grateful for this weakness.

Opportunities

The brief we set ourselves I feel was a great chance for us as a group to creatively demonstrate our expertise as soon to be graduates. The book acts as a portfolio piece we can each individually take to future interviews and potential employers. I think it was a really useful assignment in terms of us setting ourselves up for the future, whoever we work for and with in future will give us a brief and we as designers will have to fulfil it one creative way or another and for us to all do it together as a last assignment is an amazing achievement. From this experience we can kind of gauge what it would be like working in a group when it comes to reality. My contribution to this book has helped me see that I am very good with working with like-minded people, I have frequently found during my time on this course that I work well when others around me do, they all inspired me one way or another. The book can also provide me with a therapeutic experience when I struggle on a brief and it has happened on numerous occasions during my time spent on this course.

Threats

A threat that I think can be a downfall is that the publication we have produced as a group may not be well received as we may like. Our future employers may not like it, this just could be due to them not being particularly interested in it or not understanding the concept we had as design students and or they may not like some of the spreads we have produced on a whole. But either way, we as design students felt this was a good brief to pursue as our last assignment together because it expressed our creativity on a larger scale. Personal threats I found during this assignment was some of the class having stronger design skills, better leadership of an authoritative role and better communication skills, however I do feel I can improve these in due time.

 

Evaluation

Once I had designed everything as in ALL the products I put it all in a PDF ready for submission. Can be found below

Major Practical Project

This was my first attempt at a branding project/assignment and I felt it has enabled me to express my creativity on a bigger scale as a much larger outcome was necessary to fulfil the brief.

 

At first I wasn’t sure of what kind of branding project I wanted to do, I even went as far as trying to get a brief from the BBC TV show The Apprentice. I’ve always wanted to do one of the branding projects they get as I thought they would be quite interesting to do, but myself and my tutor realised there was not much of a structure to their briefs so we just left it at that. We looked elsewhere and she found a few briefs from YCN (Young Creative Network) and I asked a member of staff at Marine Studios to send me a few briefs so I could also have a look at them and pick one. Me and my tutor went over the briefs they sent and we both unanimously agreed on the Transport For London one.

The aim of this task was to design and brand a contemporary canteen’s graphic/visual identity (that is inspired by London’s Transport’s history and design heritage) that promotes the canteen to Londoners and tourists. I created a brand for the canteen called Central Diner, the concept behind the name was that the diner is based in Central London and it will offer a diner experience to the intended audience so Central Diner I settled on. From there I would create a logo and the rest of the visual identity that can be applied to differnt design formats in my case a stationary suite (a letterhead, business card and a compliment slip). Cutlery sleeve, table mat, menu, staff uniform, signage and an advertising campaign promoting the canteen.

To start this project officially, I went to the Transport For London (TFL) Museum in Covent Garden, going there would help inspire my project as I had to include TFL’s history and design heritage in my designs somehow. At first I struggled to do just that, and I think this was mainly due to me rushing the processes that I had to go through to get to the final outcome. I had gone with my first idea as opposed to trying to find alternatives and I struggled because I fell short based on the ideas I had produced (it weren’t enough). However I was able to recover when I revisited my research, as it helped open more routes to tackle the brief.

I believe the things that went well was the application of designs that the brand lent itself to in terms of design products, so stationary suite, cutlery sleeve, table mat, menu, staff uniform and signage and the advertising campaign. I felt my skills in all the softwares that I used to create the products were tested to an extent that made me have to learn new skills in order to pull of what I was envisioning, otherwise it won’t look as I had imagined making the project (as a whole) weaker. I feel I developed stronger skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign that allowed to create better designs for the brand and the overall project.

The things that didn’t go too well was when I repeatedly got stuck on the idea and design stage, before I finally settled on a logo design for the brand I had to redesign it twice and I found it quite frustrating because I couldn’t produce the rest of the products until the logo was done and I found it quite demotivating which  lead me to procrastinate for a while… But with a few days off I was able to come back refreshed with new ideas and keep the project going 🙂

Overall I was pleased with my final outcome for this project because there were a few stages where I didn’t even think I’d manage to produce the work I have and to a good standard on top of that, but my persistence was of great help. This project on a whole has slightly increased my confidence in my skills as a designer, as its pushed me to apply skills that i weren’t  necessarily good at and were out of my comfort zone for example, illustration and layout needed a lot of work in this assignment in order for me to accomplish anything decent for this assignment on top of that, the mistakes I have made have also made me grow as a designer.

 

 

 

3rd Quote

With all feedback and additional ideas I had changed my final outcome. I had removed the loading screen bit because it was thinking too literally with the approach  and I had removed the lightbulbs from the conveyor belt. The book had enough lightbulbs as it was (other inside contributions) so I decided to not go with it, besides I had one in my 1st idea, don’t really want repetition in my designs.

Here is how the final design looked.

3rd quote

The final design of the quote changed to having the text on the conveyor belt (instead of the bulb) and it had the ending of the belt just so the idea can marry up and all make sense, the quote was also shortened.

I was happy with the final design in the end I felt the concept behind it was quite strong, as opposed to the other designs that were a bit too literal, saying that though if I had more time I may have chosen a different design but I think this one is just as effective so I am happy with it. Hope you like it 🙂

3rd Quote ideas

The third quote and final quote I had to design read “The journey from ideas to production and the unpredictability of software” the previous version of the quote was “I love the journey from ideas to production, but hate the unpredictability of software” it was just a bit too wordy on the tongue so we as group decided to change all of our quotes so they didn’t include the love and hate aspect (as I previously mentioned) because that is what the book is about anyway and each sdesign will potray the love and hate without us having to physically say it.

The ideas I had for this were similar to my 1st idea in a sense, only with the inclusion of wanting to have a lightbulb on a conveyor belt on one side and the crashing of software on the other side. This quote highlights the journey we make as designers on the out outcome towards creativity but the likelihood taht we may stumble across unforseen circumstances ultimately hindering our final outcome. But we usually don’t let this stop us.

Here is how my first idea looked

3rd quote 1st idea

This is how the first idea looked once designed. Showing this to my class they gave me feedback on how to improve the design, they recommended having the lightbulbs get brighter and brighter but never having it actually fully light up simply because of ‘the unpredictability of software’ we don’t know what could hinder the advancing of our ideas.

The retouched version based on feedback can be seen below.

3rd quote

This was the idea I had received from a cohort suggesting it that the bulb gets lighter and lighter on its journey from ideas to production.

What someone had told me upon the finished design was that the quote can be read separately and it could probably be even shorter. That was something for me to consider for the (actual) final design.