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OUGD405 Module Evaluation

What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
I have developed and improved upon many skills within this module, mostly notable my software skills and how I work across a range of software. Previously to this module I had always worked with Photoshop to create design work, I knew the software well and adapted the tools available to suit my needs, however I had introduced myself to using two new pieces of software within this module, Illustrator and InDesign. I had first been introduced to Illustrator in the previous module however I never felt I had enough time to get to grips with the software to use for creating and experimenting with possible outcomes. The longer brief within this module allowed me to begin to use illustrator and take advantage of tool on offer that aren't available to me in Photoshop. Although it has been a large learning curve moving from Photoshop to illustrator, the results have been successful, my overall workflow began to improve as I began to learn the software and become more adept to it, creating vector imagery in illustrator has now become a quick and simple task, rather than a tedious time consuming task in Photoshop. Growing my skills within Illustrator has also made it easier for me to experiment with new ideas quickly, and create many visual variations in a short amount time. Within this module I was also introduced to InDesign, this was a perfect time as I knew I wanted to create a newspaper and through learning the basic skills within the InDesign tutorial I was able to use InDesign to put together my newspaper. I learnt the basic set of skills needed to work within InDesign within the workshop and then used my own time as well time I spent working on the module to develop my skills and further understand the software. The most I used the software the more I became able to exploit the capabilities of the software to my advantage, although I have only touched the surface within the software this module has laid the ground for further learning with this software. I used combine my software skills in Illustrator and InDesign to create my newspaper and i'm more than happy with the result, the newspaper adhere's to a grid system, the software allowed me to create conventions such as headers and footers as well as page numbers which added to the professional end result of the newspaper. Furthermore with using illustrator I was able to create graphic which could then be scaled within the newspaper without loss of quality. The skills I perhaps developed the most is how to use the adobe creative suite applications as a collaborative collection of software and using each piece of software for particular aesthetic qualities and work flow and then bringing these elements created in different software all together to create a final resolution.
Research skills have been a key part of this module and I feel my skills within the research process have grown immensely throughout this module. I have learnt more in-depth knowledge about the process of research and different types of research, which I was unaware of before. Throughout the various studio workshops on research I have grown to understand the value and importance of research, such as the process of researching, the different types of research such as quantitative and qualitative research. I think I have also developed skills in analysing research and understanding where the value is in research, which information is worthwhile and what information has no value.

What approaches to methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed you design development process?
Within the module we were asked to produce a series of direction boards, something I have never really valued before, however creating these design direction actually proved integral to the development of my work. Traditionally on previous modules and brief I have looked at others works inspiration throughout a brief and at times when I became stuck for ideas. However researching a wide selection of pre existing work prior to designing anything proved beneficial to my practice. The design direction boards made me look for work that had an aesthetic style that I wanted to achieve to also to look into the context of the work something I hadn't always considered in the past. Initially the design direction boards needed to convey a story of what I was intending to create and this made me select certain image and work. However as I moved forward with the brief I found myself using my design direction boards more and more they became an essential tool for developing ideas and aesthetics. The design direction boards also ensured that I what I was designing and experimenting with fulfilled the problem I initially created. I will continue to use design direction boards in my future my practice as a designer as they provide a staple element to my design process.

What strengths can you identify in your work and how will you capitalise on these?
A strength I have shown through this module is my ability to take a concept and idea, develop and aesthetic style in the form guidelines which is include typefaces and colour scheme as well as a particular image style and carrying this style cohesively across the range of products. I have been able to do this through the use of limited colour palette, small selection of fonts and producing imagery which is bold, obvious and to the point.
Furthermore I think I have considered my choice of products that I have created well as the subjects when isolated don't particularly have a set audience or context in which they could be communicated, however using the research I collected I was able to make an informed decision about where my information should be communicated and the format of the newspaper lent itself well the type of information I had collected.

What weakness can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?
I think that major downfall in the design of my work is my reliance on visual cliques and visual references that already exist. For example through the 10 graphic products I have created for the 100 Things brief, imagery, icons and pictorials I have designed have relied upon existing convention to communicate my message, however to move forward as a designer I need to begin to think outside of the box and consider new visual references to communicate my ideas, for example looking at opposites to communicate a message.
A weakness within the work I have produced also is that point size of type is not always correct, for example the body copy and footers and header's I feel need to be smaller to be more visually fitting to the rest of the design, however this is mainly due to the type looking correct on screen and different when printed, this can be improved by printing mock copies to scale to check how type will be printed and therefore I can adjust point size before final print.
Although the two colour scheme worked well in conveying the two contrasting themes the absence of other colours within the palette made the work look dull and bland in areas, I will need to focus more on my choice of colour in the future and how colours can harmonise together to strengthen the message being communicated as I felt some of the spreads within the newspaper could benefit from a third colour being introduced into the palette.
Colour matching and consideration of stock is also an area that needs improvements I have used high quality stock across my range of products expect for the newspapers, however the ethos behind the product is that they have a short shelf life and will be disposed of shortly after they read, therefore a cheaper quality stock should be used. Having greater consideration for the stock I use will inform my design practice and how designers work in the industry. To improve upon this I think significant research should be carried out into the types of stock avaliable this will help me to make informed choices about the stock I am using.

Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
  • The module has identified a key failure in my practice, despite being aware of this early on I have still not used the blog as a source for creative progression. I refer to myself as a retrospective blogger, in that I blog everything after I have done it however by doing this I gain nothing from it, whereas if I blog as I go along and after every significant step towards in a brief I will be able to reflect upon, revisit and identify how my work is developing which is a value asset to my practice. Within future module I will begin to use the blog a tool that aids my practice and I will blog continuously throughout a module rather than in bulk at then end of modules. 
  • I will continue to develop my software skills across a range of adobe software and continue to develop skills in uses each piece of software collaboratively and synthesise the software together to exploit each piece of softwares qualities. 
  • From the group brief within this module it was apparent that we all worked individually and then came together at set points however this didn't always create the best practice, I will therefore aim to create a group dynamic in which member's of the group work collaboratively rather than separately this will enable the group to exploit the skills of particular members in the group and use them to the advantage of the brief. 
  • Focus even more on using digital tools as a process from design development and experiment, with the new skills I heave learnt within illustrator it has made it easier to create, modify and experiment on a much smaller time scale, therefore I can use this software to develop, experiment and test new ideas to see how they might function, rather than purely developing ideas through design sheets 
  • SPELL CHECK! throughout the brief within this module I have printed without spell checking my work which has meant added time has been needed to re print work as well as added costs in reprint, for design to effectively communicate it needs to be spelt correctly, I believe the problem is that it's hard to spot errors on the computer yet when printed they jump, therefore I should consider printing mock copies of everything I need to print prior to printing the final outcome to ensure the print is correct and no errors are present. 

Attendance - 5
Punctuality - 5
Motivation - 4
Commitment - 4
Quantity of work produced - 3
Quality of work produced - 3

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