Wednesday, 26 November 2008



This project has overcome a range of feelings and emotions as I feel like I have applied myself 100% more than last year. 

I particularly found the first project hard, as I wasn’t really expecting to be left completely alone by my tutors and expect to know what I was doing without much guidance. However after a day or so I got my head together and realised that I really need to learn how to be independent and make my own judgements and decisions. I think I took this quite tough at first because I was used to so much guidance in the first year, and wasn’t expecting this sort of treatment so early on. Despite this, I am glad I was dropped in at the deep end so early on, as I managed to pull myself together and use my initiative.
I think I particularly surprised myself when it came to critiques as this is always something I have shied away from, but once I realised we were on our own, an alarm bell must have triggered for me to grow up and start acting professional. Without even realising it, I found myself being one of the main contributors to critiques, and in doing so I have managed to train myself in constructive criticism, something that is very important in the design world.
As for my project, I wanted to take a different approach to what I normally would have gone for, and produce a completely typographical piece of design. I was quite nervous about this, as I have never attempted anything like this, and thankfully it turned out quite well. I believe I used every critique and tutorial to my advantage and applied any necessary changes in order to work to the highest standard that I could.
Right at the end of the week, during the final critique, there was debate between two versions of my poster, and it was a tough choice to have the final say. This gave me great practice in using my initiative, but also realising that most of the design world is based on opinion. Nothing is right or wrong.
Even during this week of poster work I found my computer skills had improved and my confidence was built in all areas, giving me a great foundation to start the year with. 

Out of the three different projects, I definitely found the greeting cards the most enjoyable and satisfying. Although I struggled slightly at the start with ideas and putting my thoughts to paper, once I had my character designs I was on a never ending journey. I was constantly inspired and interested in this project from start to finish, and even throughout my third project as I believed my characters can go further than just greeting cards.
Ideas were always floating around my head during this project and I got really excited seeing it all come to life. Despite only having to produce 6 greeting cards, I went on to produce further work such as 12 Christmas cards, a gift bag, gift tags and wrapping paper. The list could go on if I had more time to complete this project.
Once again I found critiques really useful and always respected what suggestions people had to say about my work. I have been consistent in making any necessary changes after critiques and tutorials in order to improve my work as much as possible.
As I had chosen to go down the route of typography in the previous project, I now chose a more illustrative idea. However this soon turned into using materials to create my characters before scanning them in. This ensured that the materials wouldn’t become tatty over time, but also captured the texture of the materials.
In my opinion this is the most successful project of the three, as I have been constantly entertained with the development. I believe that final pieces always look better when presented to a high standard. I have tried to do this by making some packaging for my products.

My final two sections of this unit proved very different to the other two projects. The first part of our project was to work in small groups to design and produce a pdf presentation reflecting our concepts and rough designs on how we initially want to pursue this task. I worked with Emily, Milla, Dan, Martin and Lianne to create a presentation (shown in A4 folder). We worked really well as a group and constantly bounced ideas off one another in order to approach our concept, ready to present to Neil and Claire at the end of the day. Like all of the other groups, recycling is the way forward, a route that we as a whole group wanted to take. This could be recyclable materials from the sports equipments, or materials such as cardboard and grey board. Alongside this, we thought up ideas to use bits of tyre or wetsuit, either that or make rubbings to capture the textures they give. Initially we wanted the outside of the box to reflect clearly the chosen extreme sport. I think our presentation went well, and once again I surprised myself as I was the one to be the spokesperson. Something I would have never done last year.

Once we completed our one day group project, we had to branch off on our own to produce a piece of Animal packaging. We had two choices here, we could either focus on what we had agreed on as a group and put our own style on it, or use the group work as initial research and progress on to a different idea. I chose the latter of the two choices.
I still focused on what we had learnt as a group and extracted various information to apply to my own work. For example I kept the recyclable materials. I chose to use corrugated cardboard, as this is strong, recyclable and printable. The template I chose was designed to flat pack when not in use, and slot together using just one strip of glue, making the folds and flaps an important characteristic. The design was strongly influenced by my previous work in my editorial illustrations last year, a flyer and a website I came across called I thought the design in black and white on a brown background and using just one colour was effective and easily adjustable to appeal to both male and female audiences. 

My chosen target audience was young adults aged between 18-30. Initially I wanted to aim towards a more unisex design, however during my design processes, this quickly changed to a separate male and female box. I found my tutorials and critiques extremely useful during this project as I felt I came up against a number of hurdles, however once I was able to get the opinions of my peers and tutors, my mind was soon settled and I could see clearly how my finished result was going to look.

Overall, throughout this whole unit I have felt constantly motivated to strive to achieve the highest standard that I can, straight away proving how much I have matured since last year. I am beginning to see, think and sleep design and forming a passion for this subject area, something I lacked in last year. This has been particularly helped by my growing confidence and the ability to make my own decisions, no matter how big nor small. I have developed a much more professional attitude towards everything I have been challenged with, and this alone is going to help me through the next year. Although I feel as though I am constantly working, I am however enjoying every minute despite how stressful it can get. It's all part of the learning.

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