OUGD303 Evaluation

Posted: Friday, 3 June 2011 | Posted by Adam Townend | Labels: ,

My rationale was 'Typography and Layout focused delivering high quality design for print across a cross a range of media for the commercial, publishing and editorial sectors'.

The final module comes to an end. I come away proud of what I have achieved not just in this module but in the last three years. I've worked myself into the ground, and at times pushed myself physically and mentally to limits I didn't know I had. I know I work hard and get things done, and I am organised but that has been challenged by the amount of stress and strain I have put myself under for this module. To say I have been tested in every area is correct. However, I have been in control the whole time so discipline and rules have evidently been a strong factor within my approach.

Looking back at past evaluations I have always questioned my decision making and experimention involving the actual design process and the format a piece takes. In the past I have said I would like to experiment more with typography and layout, which I see now as the core of my practice. I feel this module that I have enabled myself to do that, as well as factor in new skills that I thought would help me beyond the course and in industry.

The quality and depth of my work I think has been replicated in this module as I set a large benchmark in the last one. I think what makes this body of work much more significant is the attention to detail and the introduction of print processes and stock choice. I was all too happy to use what was in the digital print facility in the last module but this time i have taken a much more industrialised view and designed with stock choice in mind and in some cases as a strong factor in the communication of the work (Anna Swingland identity). I pointed out in my first evaluation of the year that I needed to research into stock and I felt I did that during this brief.

My blog once again has been consistently strong and has enabled me to plan accordingly and shows a clear development of where my work has taken me. During the whole three years I have always put emphasis on how important it is to my practice.

I still know there are weaknesses in my work, and at times I felt that through taking so much work on, I felt like I couldn't sit back and reflect on my development as much as I wanted. I did, however, write evaluations throughout the year at key points. Perhaps the level of finish and attention to detail has been lost at times at the expense of me putting aside time to think before moving forward. The pace in which I have worked at has been consistent but I still think my final execution can be improved in some areas, when compared to some of my peers.

I have really enjoyed working as part of a collaboration and on live briefs as they are the ones that test me. I would not have been happy to do a few competition briefs or all self initiated briefs because of the kind of work I see myself doing beyond the course. I wanted to design for subject matters I knew nothing about because that is what half the job of a graphic designer entails. The collaborative practice saw me take a leadership role which I believe I performed well in. Liaising with clients and setting up meetings was something I felt comfortable with. I also enjoyed the art direction side to the collaboration as the other group members had ideas that we could all mould into something none of us would have thought of (A classic example was doing the type installation for the year book). As individuals we would have never done that.

I have digressed enough here, and I feel this evaluation could go on for too long so I will now bullet point things I have learnt during the module.

- I can finally see why collaboration can only be a good thing - more ideas, more development = more arguments but it also makes for a better outcome. At the start we all didn't want to give an inch because we were possesive about our ideas. In the end we rallied and made the right decisions.

- It's frustrating when people don't get your ideas but if the group members didn't the client would not either.

- Collaborations can involve a mini crit regularly. - we had a massive crit for the profile spreads which epitomised our approach.

Live Work and working with clients
- Having my first taste of clients has given me encouragement but has also brought out qualities I didn't know I had. I can be very persuasive in my approach, and sometimes get annoyed but also talk through ideas sensibly to convince the client.

- Clients are generally a nightmare. I had evaluated earlier in the year about how much clients frustrate me, but the experiences I had were all valuable. Here is a post evaluating what I found with some of my clients. blog post on clients

- Working and liaising with printers was an experience. Obviously every printer has their own requirements for artwork so getting in touch with them was really important. You really can't design in a bubble and expect the results. Seeing the process and the finals hot off the press was really rewarding.

I think the lessons I have learned from this module have put me in a good position to progress. I have won competitions, worked in collaboration with talented people and I have worked on some real projects for clients that were both very controlling and others that allowed me to express my opinions. All that, and I have stayed true to my design practice and rationale, which has evolved but the core of it has remained in place since the beginning on the FMP.


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