OUGD406 Module Evaluation

What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
As this is now the third studio based module I feel I have developed my own way of working from the research, to initial ideas, development and final outcome - the system I have allows me to work with most briefs effectively and transfers my skills were appropriate. In particular this was present within the Stamp It! Brief, as I had not previously designed this format, the brief came as a shock to the system. However using the skills of research to inform myself of the subject and content of the stamps and then to develop a range of initial ideas which I can then take further after crit feedback and develop an effective response to the brief. I defiantly learn’t many new skills within the process of working through the Stamp It! Brief, most prominently was ability to design for a much smaller format than I am used to, however by working through design sheets and considering how I work with type and image differently at this scale allowed me to consider how best to make use of the space to convey my ideas - primarily I was able to do this as I worked at a larger scale when designing, but also when I considered the format I considered the stamps as a set rather than an individual entities, however I did still consider them as working alone also. Additionally my skills within Adobe Illustrator have continued to improve, I feel I have come along way from the start of the year having never used the software to completing a set of stamps solely within the software. Key to my improvements within the software was use of clipping masks to change, adjust and manipulate forms into the desired shapes I wanted to create. These skills have also then been applied to final brief It’s Your Choice which again I used Illustrator to create which created again successful results, my need and use for Photoshop is rapidly decreasing and in it’s space is increase workflow due to the flexibility Illustrator offers me. 

I also think my skills when working within a team have improved since the last group brief, although it was made easier by working with friends, I have still develop transferable skills which I can use in the future. Project management was one of the key skills that I felt I worked on and developed, which meant ensuring the team could come together regularly to discuss progress, I found it more beneficial to the group work to all sit together present and discuss ideas and decide how to move forward, rather than all working separately and then coming together at the end - how I’ve previously worked within group briefs. Additionally my group communications skills have generally improved and also presentation skills as a result of presenting our idea to the rest of the year group. A skill not necessarily required by a graphic designer but one that will be valuable in the future is knowledge of the use of social media and how to exploit it to your own advantage, I some new I have learn from the communication is a virus brief, these skills will allow me to promote myself as a graphic designer in the future.

What approaches to design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
Using Adobe Illustrator as both a tool for design production and design development as been extremely beneficial to my practice. The tool is so quick and easy to use that I can quickly begin to test ideas that I have explored on paper and begin to work with them digitally to text how effective they are as a idea which could be potentially part of a final outcome. Furthermore the duplication tools within illustrator easily allow me to test and explore visual variation within a piece of design and then look at all the designs at once and consider which is the most effective. Additionally the use of layout paper within the design ideas and design development stages of a brief has also been beneficial to my practice as it allows me to trace elements and work with elements I have already created easily, It has simply improved productivity when working on paper as I have efficiently manipulate, enhance and change my designs and ideas and my ideas grow as a result of this development process.

What strengths can you identify in your work and how/will you capitalize on these?
I think a clear strength that is evident in my work is my attention to detail and production quality of the final outcome, I always intend to make my work have the most professional feel possible, I think taking this approach to work is beneficial as it means I enter into nothing doing a half hearted job that looks mediocre, striving to achieve a high standard of quality within my design work means the final outcome looks successful and fulfilled, but this only comes as a result of the design development process which allows to best figure out the best way the communicate and present my ideas, as without this regardless of quality the outcome will always fail. I intend to continue to work in this way in the future and always ensure the work I am producing has a professional feel and quality.

What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address them in the future?
As mentioned in the previous question, I have talked about my goal to strive for a professional quality within my final outcome, however I have recently began to consider is this hindering my progress and development as a graphic designer. I realise that at this time as a student I need to be experiment, and explore alternative avenue to realise my true goals as a graphic designer, however also wanting to have a product that looks professional at the end of brief may sometimes result in an outcome that is less than innovative and doesn’t explore other options out of fear it will not look professional or will fail as an outcome. In the future I defiantly want to allow myself to fail for more, as I feel it’s something I’m just not allowing myself to do at this stage. The key to achieving this will be allowing myself to explore, experiment and fail, but then through time management allow myself to address the failure move forward and hopefully create a successful outcome at the end of a given brief.

Identify 5 things you will do differently next time and what you expect to gain from these?
  1. As previously mentioned before I want to allow myself to fail more, or perhaps not to fail but to experiment and explore alternative before settling for a mediocre idea. From doing this I expect to gain a greater understanding of graphic design and also my personal goals as a graphic designer. Furthermore I suspect that my outcome if will be more developed and considered and also more innovative in that they don’t always rely on things that have come before. 
  2. My time management within the D&AD brief was particularly good as within only one week I developed three posters but did an extensive amount of design development previous to constructing the final three posters. I want to take this process forward into other brief and remember the importance of design development, digital development but then also going back to design sheets. I want my process to become a little less rigid and allow myself to go back and forth between initial ideas, development and considering an outcome. This will hopefully make my process more organic and create a more developed final outcome as I will ideas and merging them to create an outcome that uses the best elements of everything I have developed throughout the brief. 
  3. Explore my analog process and a posed to just using the computer as a tool for both development and production/creation of a final outcome. For example paper craft has also been a passion of mine yet I have never considered it for any of the brief, however in the future if I felt it was appropriate to a brief to explore analog methods of image and type creation I will explore them. From this I expect to gain a more innovative and unique response to a brief. 
  4. Use my blog as a tool for analysis, it is more and more evident that when annotating my blog I should not only be discussing how I have produced work or developed work but also why I chosen to do certain things. Asking the simple question of why will enable me to consider how effectively the decisions I am making about my work are and perhaps to better understand what is working and what isn’t within my work.
  5. Look for new places to gain and gather research and inspiration, it is all to easy to rely on the internet for as a source for inspiration and I am guilty of it. However there are a plethora of other sources in which one can gain both knowledge and inspiration and in particular one if the library which is a resource I neglect as a place for inspiration. From considering alternative places to gather inspiration hopefully my work will be more thorough and present a varied design landscape rather than just that of current graphic design. 

Attendance: 5
Punctuality: 5
Motivation: 4
Commitment: 4
Quantity of work: 3
Quality of work: 5
Contribution to the group: 5

It's Your Choice: Final Packaging Shots

It's Your Choice: Post Crit Development

Within the find crit for the OUGD406 module, in which the blogs and the most current brief 'It's your choice' were critiqued, the main feedback that was given towards my designs for the packaging were the patterns within the box are strong, however this is not translated well to the outer packaging which looks bare in comparison, therefore it was suggested that these patterns were included in the outer sleeve of the packaging. Therefore I decided to to include the patterns along the sides of the packaging. As well making the packaging looks less bare, it also communicates more efficiently what is inside of the packaging, as before the audience would have to read whats inside the packaging however it is now clear what seeds, nuts or fruits are inside each pack. 

It's Your Choice: Final Packaging

Outer Sleeve

Inner Box Background
Inner Box

It's Your Choice: Developing & Testing the Net

I created a net using Adobe illustration, the net was a basic template that when printed would from a net which could then be made into the inner box, however to ensure the dimensions were correct and the net fitted together and worked correctly I printed a prototype of the net to test how successful it was and if any changes needed to be made.
The net for the inner box, is too small to fit inside the outer sleeve, to calculate the dimensions I made the net 2mm smaller than the outer net on each side, however it was a too much of a decrease in size, therefore the net needed to made 1mm bigger on each side to create a tighter fit between the sleeve and inner box.
Additionally the tab system I designed simply didn't work effectively they didn't fit together well and left an unclean and untidy corner to the inner box, the shape of these tabs needed to be changed. 
Furthermore the positioning of the slit in which will guide me where to cut a line for the ribbon is positioned on the wrong side of the net and needs to be on the side behind the one shown above. 
I took the net back into illustrator to make the needed changes for the net to functionally more effectively, most notably is the change to the shape of the tabs which should now fit together more easily and leave a crisp and clean edge to the inner box.

It's Your Choice: Developing Imagery Digitally

I initially explored a range of typefaces that could be used to communicate the proverb, my main ideology behind typeface choice was a heritage, serif typeface, which would give the design prestige and create a sense of quality. Furthermore this would also communicate more effectively to an older target audience. 

Using my design sheets I translated some of my hand drawn ideas into illustrator and began to experiment with the most effective designs. I considered the style of illustration I would use for the imagery, I explored thicker, filled in illustrations that were simple and also a outlined illustration style. After comparing the two sets of imagery I felt the line drawing were more effective, as they were more subtle and less obtrusive to the rest of the design. The line drawn illustration worked well with the composition of the packaging whereas the solid, filled in illustration made the design heavy and overpowered the typographical proverb. 

Additionally I explored with ways to draw the user eye towards the proverb as this is the primary piece of information being communicated and the imagery is secondary. However the outlines box separated the composition so I decided to use lines to space the content - which created a vertical flow to the packaging. 

I explored colours schemes and how different colours worked as a set and on their own, the initial colours I choose didn't effectively communicate well as a series as they are all very individual tones, I therefore decided to worked with a closer colour palette, the colours I chose were also more representative of the fruits, nuts and seeds packaged inside again creating another visual aid that communicates the contents of the packaging. 

I experimented with composition and positioning of the chair to most effectively communicate the falling and standing of the chair. i decided to use the design on the left as I felt this more accurately portrayed a falling chair, whereas the other design looks awkward and unnatural. 

It's Your Choice: Visualising Proverbs

This was perhaps one of the hardest of the proverbs to visualise, as both wisdom and wonder are hard to visualise with imagery, I have therefore tired to consider more metaphorical meaning within the imagery I have explored such as the tree and the stairs to the door so wisdom. However out of all of the design the hands I think are most effective as the hand imagery symbolise the opens hands wanting (wonder) and the closed hand symbolising the wisdom that has been gained from wonder. 

These designs are perhaps the most fun and comical of the proverbs as many of the design focus on god handing down this nut, and comical image, however I feel this may cheapen my design and lose the sense of quality i want to create in my product. These I think the stark yet simple contrast between the nut and cracked nut works most effectively here. The composition also work well with the proverb in the middle, this could be something carried across into the final design of the packaging, to bring the series together as a set. 

Within these designs I have relied on existing imargery that we associate with positive and negative like the + and - symbol, however I have considered the face as an expression of positivity and negativity, as the face is what is used to express these emotions, I think that design is the most successful as the other designs are similar and have been done before.  

There was room for me experimentation within this proverb, although the proverb mentions stepping stones I have also explored other visualisation of what the proverb actually means, many of the designs are focused around this idea of a movement and graviton from failure towards success. The stepping stone imagery I still feel is the most effective as it represents a human journey (the balloons are a path not taken by humans), which is the primarily goal of this proverb. 

I have explored the use of type more within these designs to visual the proverb using typography rather than image, or image and type. The ladders work effectually in it represents the stand up and progressing further but not signify the falling down, however the chair I think does this is a simple yet comical way, I think it is the most effective is shows a clear contrast between the two chair, but also everyone is aware chair should stand up and not be fallen down, there instilling this motivation into my audience through the proverb and the imagery. 

It's Your Choice: Exploring Format

In my initial presentation within small crit groups I suggested that my goal for this brief was to explore how the format of a traditional mail shot could be explored, modified and adjusted. Here I have explored a range of different formats that could become a mail shot. 

Moving forward with my designs I have started to consider how I could packaging seeds, fruits and nuts so that the mail shot instead of just informing about a proverb actually becomes a functioning product that offers and product and contents, I have explored above a range of formats in which these products should be packaged. 

It's Your Choice: Exploring New Proverbs

I have also researched into foods that are considered to be motivational and provide and energy and then narrowed this list down into items that I could potentially package.

It's Your Choice: Defining a Concept

It's Your Choice: Initial Ideas/Exploring Possible Briefs

Stamp It: Evaluation

Systematic Approach
This is based on systematic collection and modification of components, characteristics and means of expression, such as by structuring and restructuring, enlarging and reducing, combining and extracting, replacing, adding, mirroring or reproducing.

Stimulated Approach
This is a conscious or subconscious search for inspiration from an external repertoire in the surroundings, media, in discussion, libraries etc. The main concern is with the development of analogies and associative approaches, which are then further developed into individual solutions.

Intuitive Approach
This is the development of the thought process which is primarily based on internalised perceptions and knowledge, that is to say an internal repertoire. This type of thought process may occur spontaneously without being evoked specially. This is actually a systematic process that take place subconsciously.

The first process I always begin with after receiving any brief is to begin mind mapping my own ideas that have occurred from reading the content of the brief, this would be classed as an intuitive approach to the brief as I am using my internal repertoire of knowledge and to the manipulate and find the knowledge appropriate to the brief, this information is then collected together on paper in the form of a map which places knowledge together under certain reference points. The way in which I begin to think about ideas, then leads my brain to spontaneously create new meaning and ideas as part of the process. As a direct result of the this I then use a systematic and stimulated approach to begin research on the brief. I used an external repertoire of information, mainly the internet to gained further knowledge about the ideas I have developed myself and to also develop new ideas as result of new found knowledge. The systematic approach takes place in that I am viewing a number of websites and sources and I read, evaluate and process this information as I go though it, I am then manipulating this information to advantage to encourage the ideation process for the brief, I am adding and taking bits away from the information I am finding to make it appropriate and relevant to brief. For example my research process involved looking a series of environmental issue as I used the internet I found information and placed it under the relevant categories of information. I again used a systematic approach when it cam to my initial design, using the knowledge I have gather I began to reformat this information into visual ideas which communicate the written information as well combining this knowledge with my own ideas generated as a response to the brief. After developing a series of initial design I begin to consider and evaluate which designs are working and which are less successful and begin to consider which ideas I will develop further this process would be an intuitive process as I am using my own repertorie to asses the quality of my designs. I again use a systematic approach to my designs when working digitally and I am manipulating components considered within the initial design change but working with them in different ways to experiment with how they communicate my intended message.


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