OUGD303DP Evaluation

Looking back at my original statement of intent; I feel that I have somewhat achieved what I set out to do. I definitely feel that I had more focus for this module in terms of what I wanted to get out of it in the end. One of my main downfalls in the last module was that I just touched upon areas that I wanted to work in and I didn’t feel that I had really exploited any of the briefs, so none of them were particularly substantial. Therefore, the quantity of briefs for this module may not be as many as I had originally hoped for but I feel the work that I do have is more substantial and of better quality than in previous modules.

Originally I stated that I had a keen interest in packaging; this is something that I have since removed from my position statement. Although I do still enjoy working with packaging and the crafting element of it, it isn’t something that I have really emphasized throughout the module. The one brief where I planned to focus on it was the Identity London brief which I decided to terminate in order to focus on the other briefs. It has become clear to me that I am more driven by the content; I prefer to work to a context which has been set for me, for example the Puffin book covers were produced using the dimensions given in the Puffin Children’s prize competition, so I could really focus on the content rather than spend time working out my own dimensions. As previously mentioned, I do still really enjoy working with packaging but I don’t feel it is something that I should specify in my position statement when I haven’t really exploited the uses of packaging.

One of the most important moments in the module in terms of my development was the Puffin brief. I originally only set out to do the James and the Giant Peach cover for the Puffin Children’s prize competition. As I enjoyed doing the one cover, I decided to expand the brief to make it more substantial and give me the oppurtunity to explore the subject matter more. This brief highlighted to me that I want my work to look fun and it made me realise that I really enjoy working for a young target audience and designing book covers and the possibility to expand this into childrens publication illustration. All of briefs that I worked to had different target audience and I enjoyed all of them but producing work for such a young audience wasn’t something I had explored before.

I feel my biggest weakness throughout this module has most certainly been procrastination, a ‘i’ll do it soon’ mentality. It really highlighted to me how much I prefer working with quicker turnaround brief and to deadlines. For example, the End of Year Show proposal had a deadline that I had to meet, so I turned around the brief in a fair amount of time and once it was done I could move on. Due to the fact that most of the other briefs were self initiated with the deadline was the end of the module, it felt like I had all the time in the world and I feel that this effected my workload as I spent too much time on some briefs. With the other briefs I didn’t ‘finish and move on’, I was working on all of them at the same time which has never been my strong point because I get very distracted; this is something I should have learnt from the last module.

Another area which I feel may have let me down somewhat is the printing side; it was mentioned a few times that I should try different printing techniques, for example on the book covers, but as printing processes aren’t something I particularly enjoy, I ended up avoiding them and resorting to digital printing. I don’t feel this is a big problem although sometimes digital printing didn’t have the desired effect; a lot of time colours came out wrong, especially red on matte stock; this is evident in the NYC pride brief. It made it clear to me that I am much more driven by the content and I would rather have somebody else do the printing process; a knowledge of the area is hugely important in order to get the work looking how you want it to in the end, but the printing process isn’t something I enjoy.

One of the areas I feel I have improved on from the last module is idea generation and experimentation. An example of this being the NYC Pride brief. As I wanted to work with handcrafted pieces and experiment with pop up elements, I spent a lot of time experimenting which is something I have lacked in previous modules, I tend to get one idea and stick with it.

Another area that I feel I have improved on is confidence in my own work and the way I work; one of the comments that sticks out to me from the final crit was that someone said ‘you can tell its all done by the same person, but it all looks different’ which I really appreciated because one of things I didn’t want to do was find a strict style and limit myself to just produce lots of work that looked the same. I feel I have a found a way of working that I like which gives my portfolio a clearer direction but it doesn’t just say ‘I will only draw these things in this style’.

Overall, I am happy with the work that I have produced but I feel that if I hadn’t procrastinated quite so much and managed my time better, I could have produced more work to an equal standard. The final major project has definitely given me more motivation for the future and reinforced what I want to do.

My stationary (board)

(I've erased my address from the letterhead and invoice for the purpose of being on the blog)

My Website

I have chosen to stick with the website that I set up a while ago - I know how to use it and update it fairly easily, its easy to navigate and it has the information that it needs.

There were some tweeks that I wanted to make to it, that I have done and although they may have been small, I'm much happier with it now.

First change - The page links are better aligned and easier to navigate.

Second change - This was the biggest one for me, it really annoyed me that because of the format I chose (a customised blogger basically), when you clicked on an image - it automatically opened a new page. Thankfully after some research (and confusion) I have managed to set it up so the images appear in a lightbox. This definitely works a lot better and will be less annoying to visitors!

Last change - The information on the about and contact pages was green before because of my previous identity - although there is an aqua colour incorporated into my stationary, it looked out of place on the website so I went for black/white/grey to match my identity.

I need to update the site with more current/recent work but I'm glad its live and out there.

Electronic Poet t-shirts

At the beginning of the second year, I took part in the Electronic Poet brief where many of us submit t-shirt designs - a few of us got selected and got to the see initial trial prints.
We couldn't put images of work online to keep the range secret etc.

At the time it was quite exciting but then as time went by, nothing seemed to come of it.

Then to my surprise - on Wednesday, Steve from Electronic Poet (and owner of Paper Scissor Stone) emailed me saying they were finally getting the shirts printed. They'd taken a lot of
t-shirts out of the range but one of mine was still the lead one in the lookbook.

The main thing I have learnt from this experience is that, things may take a Long time - but don't give up hope altogether.

End of year show proposal - 2

The main thing that I took away from the End of year show tutorial group sessions was that my proposed space didn't really have an identity - there was too much there.
So after clarifying what it was that I wanted to say about myself (Fun, colourful and targeting a young audience) it was agreed that I should minimine what I put in the space - choose the work that best shows what I want to say.

I chose the Puffin brief as its one of my favourites that I have done and I think says what I want it to. It was discussed that the colour-in wallpaper idea could be a little dangerous in terms of what people draw on it (especially on the family evening) so if I do use that, I should put it out the day after the family night. There is still the risk of either people not colouring it in or people drawing funny things on it, but on a personal note it would be something funny to keep -and works the target audience.

Papergirl Leeds

I really liked the idea behind this event - a 'everyone included' exhibition and then all the work being handed out to to random people in the street.
Of course there is the risk that it will be given to somebody who doesn't care and would just through it away - but on the other hand, it might be given to somebody who really appreciates it and wants to see more of your work.

I didn't want to produce work specifically for it because there wasn't a brief and was focusing my time on other work, so I simply submit 2 A3 pieces, 2 illustrations from the last module. This way I thought I had nothing to lose - I hadn't really spent any time on it because the work already existed.

Below is an image from the exhibition facebook page where you can see the cassette piece. that I submit.

However successful or unsuccessful the event turns out to be (I don't think the 'handing out' of work has happened yet) - it was nice to be a part of.

Another new identity!

So, finally I am confident that this is my final identity...of the year.

Taking advice from what Mark Howe mentioned about my handcrafted quality being something I should carry through to my identity, I wanted to have a completely hand-drawn one.
Initially I was concerned that it looked quite different in terms of the fact it doesn't look like a 'logo' but the more I look at it, I think it does and I think it sums up my practice a lot better than a vectorised one.

I openly admit that I'm not the greatest when it comes to choosing colour and I don't want a bad colour choice to effect a first impression so I decided to go with black/white/grey and I am Really pleased with it.

In terms of the information that I'm going to put on my business card - I was initially going to put my website address on it and my mobile phone number but then I realised, if I got a lot printed and then I changed my phone number...that would make all the cards invalid so I think I'm just going to put the web address on it.

Mark Howe Portfolio surgery

When I was signing up for this, I was pretty nervous because all I could think about was that I didn't have enough work...or enough Good work in my portfolio.

I chose to speak to Mark because I has previously been to his talk that he'd done back in November and in addition to the fact that his design practice was kind of close to mine, he was also really enthusiastic and knowledgable.

When it came to the actual portfolio surgery, I wasn't too disappointed in my portfolio but I was aware that it needed some work and hoped that Mark could give me some direction.

One of the key things I noted from his talk in November was to never say 'What's wrong with it?' say, 'Where can I improve?' and although I thought i'd drilled this into my head - as soon as I sat down and he asked what I wanted to get out of the talk, I said 'Advice on...where I'm going wrong.' Duh? Thankfully, I corrected myself straight away!

Issues raised/discussed:

- My billionaire, lyrics as type piece - he suggested that I could actually Make it into a real thing - take it off the paper so to speak. He liked it as it was, but it is just done on photoshop so to actually make it out of a gold material would give it a much more tangible, aesthetic quality.

- On the whole, presentation needs some work. It wasn't awful but I could do relatively simple things to make it a lot better. Mark suggested I look at other peoples portfolios - go on the websites of the designers that I am inspired by and look at how they present their work - what works and what doesn't? He showed me some of the techniques he used and gave me some 'cheats/tricks'.
The presentation needs to compliment the work but not overpower it...or in my instance underpower it (by just putting a flat image on basic printer paper.

- Give the pieces a context relevant to the content i.e. the 150 pens piece that I showed him, he said looked like it would go on the wall of a design studio so put it in that context (or make it look like its in that context) but in contrast with that, the cockpit poster that I did should be on a more relevant context like the wall of a venue or flyposts.

- Photograph products (such as my cassette bag) Really really well. He really liked the bag, but I can't really take that to all interviews etc. so it needs to be photographed so well that it looks as good as the real thing, including texture etc.

- The identity that I had applied to the portfolio - doesn't reflect my design practice - comparing it with the portfolio I took along with me, I totally agree as it was all hand-drawn pieces and the identity was vectorised SO this needs addressing.
He mentioned how he felt that my line quality was a strong, consistant part of my work so my identity should reflect that - to the extent that I could just handwrite all of my business cards (time consuming but cheap...maybe)


At the end of it...I was extremely happy that I chose to sign up for one and it showed me how useful they can be. It gave me confidence in my work and highlighted areas that I could improve.


I understand how successful Indexhibit is...and I can see why, because it does look good but I just couldn't work it out on my own!

So I went for the next best thing that I could think of - blogger. You can edit it so much to make it not look like a blog I thought I would have a go, so below is my first attempt.

The main things I want to change are:

- The 'favicon' - so that its not the blogger sign, as that makes it obvious that its blogger
- The layout of the images - I think it needs some work but at the moment its not too awful.

New Identity

After the initial business cards that I'd designed...I altered it slightly by adding the paint drip - looking back, I'm not sure why I thought that was a good idea because I don't use spray paint?

So before we came back after Christmas and before the portfolio review week - I needed a 're-think' of the identity. I wanted to focus mainly on the type design and I'm really happy with how the final shaded/3d ones looks.

Below is the business card of which I printed a few out to take along to the portfolio review - and as I'm still using the A3 clear plastic folder we were given as an initial portfolio, I re-arranged it to fit in the side panel of the folder.