Thursday, 22 January 2009


This project has most definitely been a challenge from start to finish. I started off having no idea what I wanted to brand myself as or what I would be happy being represented by, thinking it would be the easiest thing in the world. Just goes to show, nothing is what it seems. For starters I didn’t actually realise just how different all my work was so it was hard to design an identity for myself which would cover all the bases. The logo I was most happy with, and still am, is the cartoon head from ‘PegLegs’, however that, so I’m told makes me look more like an illustrator. I know I am not just one thing, and this is where I’ve always had a problem as I’ve grown up being a very creative person in all areas. I always want to pursue something in all areas however I know that I need to narrow this down, and if I don’t do that, I need an identity that will clearly state I am not just one or the other.

Once I had laid all my work out in front of me, I found collage popped up a few times across a few disciplines of design, such as packaging and illustration. These collages were scanned in and worked with on screen. As this was the most common way of working for me, I chose to design my identity based on this.

I think it is more successful and in my opinion it doesn’t pin my name down as one or the other, it’s left open. I want clients to know I work in different ways across a broad range, which is why I decided against producing a split personality, which I initially thought about doing.

I believe my website is successful, I think it works well, it’s simple to navigate, and everything is clearly separated. I have tried my hardest to stick to a minimal number of clicks in order for clients or viewers to see what they are looking for. I have made each image load up on the same page using swap image, to reduce loading time meaning people will be more inclined to wait for the information to pop up.

My home page is a mosaic of thumbnails of my work, so when my site is visited, they can see that I work mainly with bright colours. This also makes it look more attractive. I have chosen to use cropped thumbnails so the entire piece isn’t shown until my portfolio is visited. The ‘home’ icon is deliberately at the end of the menu bar as it will start here, but people mainly click from left to right, if this is the case, after contact they would end up at the group of images so they stick in the viewer’s head. I have carefully designed my website to make sure that if the viewer wants to go ‘back’ at any point, it’s a simple click somewhere else on the same page, they do not have to keep visiting ‘home’ in order to start again.

The portfolio pages are pretty self-explanatory. Each image, when hovered over shows a little speech bubble saying the title of the project, and once the image is selected, a very brief explanation appears at the bottom of the screen.

My contact page is kept simple and colour co-ordinated to make it easier to navigate. My e-mail, blog and CV are all linked to open in separate windows so that the window can be closed when finished with and my site will still be up and running.

All in all I like to think I have covered every base and no one has any trouble navigating around my site.

At first I found this project a real struggle at times, but it was all made easier and put into perspective once I took an online tutorial at

I was then able to begin planning and organising measurements. It helped looking at other existing websites, and I have noted important elements from a few (see sketchbook). Any advice given I have taken on board and made the necessary changes.

This project has become successful even though it started a shambles, and I feel I have come a long way. Looking at my website now, there are probably lots of elements I’d change but that’s because I’ve been staring at it for so long. I’m very happy with the work I have produced. If I were to change anything I would probably continue to work on my identity more, however in terms of navigation and ease, I am satisfied with the results.

Friday, 16 January 2009


Final critique for the website today and I was really pleased to hear I had very little changes to make. Infact the changes suggested were going to be the things I hoped to work on next :) so that was a bonus!
Other than that Neil and Kit seemed to think it worked well and was simple and clear to understand, so now all I need to do is finish off various bits and get on with the sketchbook side of things.
Although I only started the main assembling of it yesterday I am really chuffed that I have managed to do all this work in this short amount of time, and better yet I understand what I am doing! :) So yesterday morning I hated it, now I'm really enjoying it. Hopefully this will show in my work. Now it's just full steam ahead to the finish line.

Thursday, 15 January 2009


Ok so once I had finished my workings out and made my images the size they need to be and web safe, I was now onto to tricky part of building it. I won't lie, there were a lot of times I was pulling my hair out, however towards to end of the day I was getting the knack of it, learning new little tricks and processes every step of the way.
The best part is, that now I understand what I am doing, it will be easy for me to keep updating when needs be. I hope to finish this by the end of the week *fingers crossed*.
I've seen a few websites now, they are all looking really good, and it's so interesting to see just how different everyone's work and style is. Definitely gives a good variety on our course website.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Finally finished the tutorials, but still have no idea how I'm going to make the website I want based on what I produced during the tutorials?!!?
This is what mine looks like after tutorials off the internet:

Not the best in the world but it's a start :)

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


As I am incredibly rusty on the whole Dreamweaver program I have been engaging in some online tutorials to help with the basics for now. Some things make sense but feel I have a long way to go before I produce what it is I want!!

Friday, 9 January 2009


I found this critique pretty useful as it was a small informal talk with Kit, who hasn't necessarily seen our work since the first year, but knows who we are. This helped in the sense that she would be able to give us an unbiased opinion on how our website looks and would work.
As I want to be a designer, not necessarily graphic or an illustrator I had to produce something that would reflect the different kinds of work I do.
With the design I chose to put forward, I took relevant colours from my graphic work and the stylised collaging from my illustration work. I want to have a professional looking website, and I think we all agree that this looks better than my first designs!
As I am a bit rusty with dreamweaver, I have decided to design the website first before trying to produce the code for it so I know exactly how I would like it to work.


  • 'Print' - consider calling this something else, e.g. Graphics or Design? The word 'print' can be misleading.
  • The order of work, put most important at the top and follow down to the least important. Design and Identity tie in together so these should be at the top followed by Illustration and Photography.
  • Consider how you can include colour on the contact page, every other page has lots of colour.
  • Put portfolio before bio in the menu bar.
I found the feedback very useful as I could see exactly where Kit was coming from with her advice. I will be making these changes shortly!


After a good day yesterday with finally being able to make my website more like 'me and my work', I was able to crack on with it today and feel a lot more positive about things :)
To overcome my initial problems, I dug out my work and spread it out selecting what it is I wanted to display in my portfolio. This made things 10 times easier to find a running theme between all my style of work. This seemed to be collage, therefore decided to grab some newspapers and cut out letters displaying them in a way that would make my name work. At first I was a bit hesitant to use my name, however when presented the right way I feel a lot better about it.
As I seem to use black, white, grey and pink quite a lot, I thought it was appropriate to use these somewhere in my work.
I seemed to have gone straight to the complete opposite end of the scale from 'Peglegs' to this:

I have my critique in 10 minutes, so will update when I've had feedback :)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


So it's been a long long time since I last paid any attention to my blog, and I think I now need to get on with my work! 
I have felt extremely unmotivated for too long over the Christmas holidays now, and need a fresh start and kick up the backside in order to achieve great and wonderful things :)
I already knew what I needed to do, but it was the inspiration I needed, and after the talk on Monday from Illustrator Cattell Ronca I was deeply inspired! So now I need to bring this into action.
I felt she gave a lot of good advice, and somehow even if you weren't an illustrator to start with, I came out wanting to be one after the talk. It all sounded so interesting!
She broke her presentation into sections, talking us through things we need to consider when making it as a freelance illustrator (however this can be interpreted as a graphic designer also), before showing us examples of her work.

  • editorial, design, greeting cards, advertising etc.
  • what kind of illustrations/designs are being used?
  • look at publications.
  • record the names of art directors/editors (Get spelling right!).
  • use directories - AOI directory, FileFX, Bikinilist. (Time saving but expensive)
  • your work must stand out, original, memorable (i.e handmade or limited edition), must have value.
  • demonstrate your way of thinking and communicating an idea.
  • good concept.
  • how special are you?
  • think outside the box.
  • use names you collect to make appointments.
  • your portfolio must be impeccable.
  • include work only relevant for client.
  • commissioned work goes in front.
  • only include work you're most proud of.
  • experimental work in back.
  • max. size A3.
  • no more than 20 pieces.
  • no sketchbooks.
  • always bring business card.
  • ask AD who else they can recommend.
  • make it interesting.
  • easy to navigate.
  • must be available to everyone.
  • with other illustrators.
  • keep in touch with people you studied with.
  • regular contact with clients - send postcards?
  • organise exhibitions.
  • confirm commission in writing.
  • your name.
  • do not give it away, offer a licence.
  • read smallprint, especially where it says 'ALL RIGHTS'.
  • what is illustration used for?
  • how big is the client?
  • how big is the budget?
  • circulation?
  • area and duration of the licence?

All great things to consider, takes alot of work but I'm hoping one day I'll be successful using this advice!

Monday, 5 January 2009


I'm still completely undecided on how I want my website, and what I am going to be called?
I'm interested in everything, so maybe instead of calling myself a graphic designer, I should be a 'Visual Communicator'?
Should I produce two alter egos and show my split personality through design? Or should I keep it all under one name?
I feel my work might clash, however if done properly, it shouldn't...right?