OUGD203 - Collaborative brief evaluation

As a designer, I never ‘look forward’ to collaborative briefs and leading up to it, I get extremely anxious. This collaborative brief wasn’t any different but now the deadline has been and gone, I am pleased with the work that we produced and I feel that the creative partnership worked well. In other collaborative partnerships I have followed the advice to not work with friends however in this instance I thought; if my friend has the design qualities I am looking for and I have never worked with them before, I’m never going to know whether it will or will not work.

As I stated on the original contract; ‘Nichola is commited to the course and is reliable so I know I can trust her.’ I’m glad to say that this stayed true and I felt confident working apart and meeting at set intervals to put our work together. Another point that I made on the contract was that ‘Nichola works well with type where I work better with image therefore I hope that putting our strengths together we can produce a successful piece’, we both worked on our strengths and when we were working alone, I’m sure were both happy with our work but when we came together it was hard to analyse each others; I don’t think this led to an unsuccessful piece but I do feel it made decision making take a little longer because, personally, I didn’t want to say something to upset Nichola so I ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’d’ a lot until I would suggest anything, even if it was a tiny decision where she’d ask me which typeface I liked; this was probably the biggest problem when it came to working with a friend, but on the other hand, we communicated a lot more than I ever have in any other collaborative brief.

Referring back to the contract and what we both wrote about design skills, I think we definately stuck to this; I stated that I wanted to work with image and a limited colour palette which I did get to do. Nichola mentioned her interest in typography which were needed throughout the brief, as well as her layout and InDesign skills. One particular area of the project that I felt we worked really well together on, was the research and we stated that this would be a joint responsibility; thankfully, this brief meant we could go on a ‘research trip’ to London; Nichola was ‘in charge’ of documenting it in terms of photography (with a good camera!), I had a little digital one, took notes and recorded all the info on our ‘interactive tickets’.

The final boards that we submit as a creative partnership to YCN were quite image dominated so when it comes to producing my own boards, I will document the development of the production of my images. In addition to this, I will show my own type work; this was Nichola’s area of the brief, and rightly so, because she is more skilled in this area as she did the type module and I did the image one, but I think it would be interesting to see how different it would have been if I was doing the brief on my own and I would have responsibility for the type aswell.

I stated on my creative partner ‘advert’ that I was ‘cooperative’. I don’t think that in this brief I was ‘uncooperative’ but I don’t think I could use that as one of my personal traits anymore; looking back on the brief, I do feel that I may have been a little overpowering sometimes and instead of discussing some things, I just said ‘I’ll do it’ and when it came to making images I produced them on my own and maybe forced the idea upon Nichola, at the time I didn’t do this intentionally and its not because I think I could do it any better than Nichola; I’m just a control freak.

Looking back on the creative partnership, I am happy with the work that we produced and I’m more than happy that I chose to work with Nichola. However, it has reinforced to me how much I like working alone; when I have to depend on other people or other people depend on me, I tend to panic, get very anxious and sometimes angry at the other person even when they haven’t done anything wrong. In the book ‘How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul’, the author explains that the freelance life suits two kinds of people; ‘the second type is best characterised as the creative loner. These are individuals who cannot be comfortably accomodated within the structure of a design group...They are often designers who cannot compromise their work.’

So overall, from this brief I have learnt that I am a control freak; a creative loner.

Creative CV

This was my mail shot piece for the first year - I intend to base my creative CV on this but just make it a little smaller as this is A2; I will probably make mine A3.