Padd Solutions

Converted by Falcon Hive

Just looking through my work as I sorted it out for submission I had mixed feelings. I felt as though the quantity of work had fluctuated but the quality had improved, and as for the research and how I approached that I feel as I have made more progress in the last module than I did in the past year.

1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

The main one would be the development of my illustration skills. On the last speaking from experience brief, my illustration took off. For something that I had admired for a while, more so this year than ever, I feel as though I've really taken to it. I know in my own mind I am not an illustrator by any means but I can hold my own when I can take my sketches and work with them digitally. Throughout this module that skill has developed from a weakness to a strength.

The final resolutions for the 'Speaking from experience' and the 'How to' briefs really do show the best of my illustration skills, more so the speaking from brief but I love the hand drawn typography I did too. I feel like this is another string to the bow rather than a career but I feel much more confident using illustration than I did before. The tutors asked us to push ourselves, and I do think that I did. I pushed myself outside my comfort zone and persevered with this approach. Studying the work of others helped my grasp a basic understanding and from there I wanted to explore how that type of illustration could be used across different media, like packaging, appose to always being in a poster format much like Kate Moross' work.

2. What approaches to/methods of research have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?

I think I've just opened my eyes a little more to feeling that everything in graphic design has to take inspiration from somewhere and for this module in particular, you will see I have done more visual research than ever before. The work of Kate Moross has shaped my final project quite heavily, along with inspiration from illustrators such as Parra and Ivana Zorn. Never before have I put some much importance on seeking out appropriate approaches to my work as I have for this final brief.

I started the module with a real focus on getting opinion through qualitative and quantitative research. Making questionnaires and using online surveys as a way to inform my decision making. However, as the module progressed I felt that I was putting far too much emphasis on this type of research. Although, it is a vital ingredient, I feel it should not be carried to an extent that hinders the visual research process. As much I stand by the fact that you must have a great concept before you make things look pretty, I feel that some of my work looked quite generic and literal. Therefore, I wanted ease up a little on the surveys and focus more on the visual side of research, again, something that I had never even looked at before this course. If I had not looked at illustrators work I would not have been inspired to pick up a pen and draw.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

The strength for me is still very much the execution of my ideas and bringing them to life. I am still very much involved in the digital side of design and some may argue that I rely on digital a little too much, but with my new found illustration skills I feel that I have something more to offer as long as I keep practicing and taking risks.

As mentioned previously the quantity of visual research I've done has outweighed the amount I've done in all of the previous modules. It's certainly changed the way I work now, and hopefully, I'm going about it in the right way. This visual research has really helped my idea generation and have enabled me to take inspiration and come up with something I didn't think I could.

I think my overall awareness of what works and what doesn't helped me through the module. I really enjoy layout work, and was thrilled about the type and grid brief as I felt my layout skills were good before. I felt comfortable using InDesign and came out with a some minimal but aesthetically pleasing spreads for Craig Laing's article.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these more fully?

My main weakness before the last and even at the start of the last brief was making design decisions and moving on far too quickly. I was trying to make the scotch egg before I had all the ingredients, so to speak. Luckily, I was pulled back and reigned in and I benefited from that, as did the work I produced in the end. If I had pursued the first idea that came into my head I would not have had the success that this had.

The quantity of my work has been up and down, and whether I have justified my design decisions enough I am unsure. I realise that I am expected to work hard, which I do, but I also feel coming to a decision is a natural process, and having a huge quantity of work is not the be all and end all. However, I do agree I could have had more ideas down in the form of design sheets even if I did not intend to use them for final designs. As it happens I only rejected 3 or 4 designs in the final brief, where as I did loads for the pure brief.

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?

I would like to just sketch more. Having looked through my work, with the exception of the pure brief, I feel as though I don't sketch out enough ideas. I naturally filter the ideas I know will never work and don't waste time sketching. I think getting the bad ideas out is a part of the design process, and I need to address that.

Although I thought my time management was ok, the set back was trying to think of different possibilities in the second week still. I need to re-organise myself at the time and change my timetable. In the end I did benefit from it as I produced far better work, but I had to work fast in the last two weeks, and it meant I had to print the finals myself.

I definitely need to look at other media and workshops I could exploit to benefit my work. The main thing that sticks out in my mind is that I have not used the screen printing facilities. I would have liked to have used it on this last brief but I felt as though my designs were too complex in terms of colour for screen printing. I also secretly felt put off due to the fact that I am still unsure of what I can do in there. I've had two inductions, and I'm not 100% clear, so I felt the risk was too great.

I still need to take more note of outcomes on the brief and module brief to aim for the highest grade. I don't think I have done too badly this year and I have been consistent and hit mid 60's throughout but I feel that if I read the outcomes I could manipulate and organise my work and focus on these outcomes and make sure I hit them. I am hoping for my highest mark of the year on this module as I have felt the most at ease I have ever been throughout the year. I have panicked about other issues outside the work and I have got on with it.

I know I also have to dedicate more time to the studio, as much as it pains me to admit it. I find it hard working in there with the noise and distractions, but I feel I will need to use the studios more next year outside timetabled sessions. I am being picky as I work hard enough and get the work done but perhaps I don't have enough input from my peers on my work, and that could hinder me later on.

6.How would you grade yourself on the following areas:
Attendance 5
Punctuality 5
Motivation 4
Commitment 5
Quantity of work produced 4
Quality of work produced 5
Contribution to the group 3

overall, I am super happy with what I have done which is an unusual feeling. I have had nice comments from other people in the group too, and that has helped a lot. I appreciate and it makes me feel as though I am doing something right. I just want to take this years progress and capitalise on it and develop further in the second year. For the first time in a long time I feel like I do this.

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