Field Reflection Blog Post

For field we have been asked to go back through the last year and feedback on our thoughts and opinions of field within level 5. I have submitted 1500 words explaining field and how i feel that it has helped me as a designer within level 5.

Term 1:

Within Publish I felt that I had learnt a lot about the different ways in which I could create an interesting piece of editorial work. With the large project that we were given we were able to utilize all of the skills that we had been taught in the first few weeks and apply them to our own piece of editorial that we could create, so as long as the publication had purpose. I decided that for the final piece I wanted to create a large piece of editorial. I wanted to be able to show that I can use different techniques to create a full editorial that is interesting and unique. However, within the time frame we were given and alongside other projects we were given the project within quite a short space of time.

 

As the outcome that I wanted to create was quite full on I felt that the best way to complete this to a high standard would be to form a group to create the piece together. As a group of three we were able to separate and allocate the work out, this gave us more time to be able to change layouts and create something different to the normal editorial. The piece of editorial we decided to create was the graphic communication prospectus, we wanted to be able to ease the mind of new possible students who are looking to come to the university and study graphic design. We wanted a friendlier approach to the topic as we felt that this could really encourage people who are nervous or anxious, to apply.

 

At the time of submission, we felt that the images that we had used weren’t as good as we had hoped and that we could have created better high quality images if we had been given more time. Our aim before the project was finished was to be able to print using the different paper weights and styles to really show the thought process that we had undergone to create the work that we had originally wanted.

 

Although the project seemed to be within a short space of time we created a piece of work that we are all proud of and that we feel works well as a piece. If we had been given the time we could have made the changes above within the project. However, since completing the project and reflecting back we have made these changes within our work and created a piece of work that we all feel is worthy of being printed and used.

 

I really enjoyed taking publish as a topic, I felt that this topic has allowed me to progress within editorial and really understand the elements that go into place in order to create a piece that is a strong editorial. I feel that in the future of this topic terminology could be used further and pushing the boundaries of InDesign. As a graphic communication student taking this topic I found that this was a simplified version of the course as it wasn’t including terminology to the students and wasn’t overly pushing the boundaries of those whom had used the software before. However, I do feel that the course itself allowed for other students outside of graphic design could experience and understand the process in which we undertake within Graphics.

Term 2:

In the significance of information field group, I found that was immediately pushed out of my comfort zone, having never worked with infographics before, however it was apparent that the course would provide a challenging experience using your own strengths and abilities to create the best possible outcome for the project. I found that the course was extremely well laid out and that this was obvious as to where we were meant to be at what time. I felt that the course allowed us to explore new areas of design not only for other members of the school but also to the graphic communication course. It allowed us to research into infographic history and channel new and difficult subjects in which were normally off limits within the design work.  The guest speakers that also were arranged to talk to us allowed us to really understand where we can use infographics and how we can utilise them to create story lines and to instruct someone to do something.

Choosing my topic for the three-week project became extremely difficult when it couldn’t find a piece of work that I felt was narrow enough to take on as my topic. However, after plenty of research I knew that I wanted to create something different to everyone else’s editorials. I wanted to create something that would be different and unique. I decided to look into women’s rights specifically laws that were sexist against women. I wanted to create a piece of work that would be shocking and provoke a feeling. The work that I did create was 20 double sided learning cards that has infographics on one side of the card and the law on the other.

If I was able to do this project again I feel that I would have done another creative editorial, using different paper weights and ways of working to show the versatility within my work as well as my skill set.

I found this project however specifically useful as it challenged my adobe illustrator skills and made me think more about how the images could be perceived. The field project also allowed me to create a large project on its own. I am normally quite scared off when it comes to creating large projects within a short space of time on my own. I feel that I can worry too much about the work that I am creating and whether it is good enough for the project itself. However, after completing this project I feel that I have really grown as a designer and would not be afraid to take on more controversial topics within my work, execute the project alone.

I feel that if this topic was to run again that it could possibly give a barrier in to which you can choose a topic. With the specification being so broad it was hard to pick a topic and made the process of my design quite slow at first leaving me little time to execute the final piece. However,I really enjoyed this topic and it has really allowed me to develop my skills as a graphic communicator. It has made me understand the rules of simplicity and how it is key to differentiate what you are talking about without being too direct.

Overall reflection:

With field this year I feel that being able to choose the topics is a real game changer. I feel that because you can choose the topics that you want to study you are more likely to turn up to lecturers and want to apply the process of the learning to your work within subject. I projected what I have learnt from field straight on to my subject work this year. Taking two graphic communication courses has enabled me to expand my design knowledge and create a large amount of work that can be put within my portfolio.

 

The work that I have created this year compared to last year has been extremely influenced by what I have learnt in field. After the first year field project I was skeptical of what was to come within field this year as I was worried that it wouldn’t be worth it and that I wouldn’t use the work that I had produced. However, the way in which both of the field subjects that I took have been set out has allowed me to learn new and more interesting techniques that we have not covered within graphic communication so far and has allowed me to expand my knowledge.

 

The field groups within level 5 I have noticed are better where attendance is concerned, this made small group projects easier and we were able to see a significant amount of work difference from 1st to 2nd year. If I was to change anything from the layout of field this year it would be the first term.

 

I felt that first term was too much on top of other work, within graphic communication we had two projects on going alongside field, which made finishing the project to a high standard at first quite difficult. As in previous years the first term field is normally on going alone the lecturer for Publish was unaware of the timetable changes and therefore we had a lot more work than we had previously thought alongside a heavy branding project and a live brief. I feel that in the future of level 5 field one, it should be an alone subject meaning that this should be the only thing timetabled in like second term. This would mean that more could have been arranged such as workshops and guest speakers and we could have learnt other techniques that are used within the editorial sector.

 

Although first term was slightly rushed I feel that field 5 was a necessary part of the year and that this really did help provide new techniques and challenges that would have not been taught within my subject. I felt that the work that I created helped develop my portfolio and inspire me to take on more work as a designer. I look forward to field within third year and I hope the outcome of the work is the same quality as the work within this year. I am looking forward to see what the work next year has to offer.

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Digital Me: Persuasion Research and Development PDF.

For this project we have been asked to return to our projects from the beginning of the year in order to progress and document any of the development stages made in order to submit for the final assessment. 

Persuasion: 

for the persuasion this was a simple documentation of the work that we had created last term. With persuasion there was not a lot of changes that had to be made before the documentation of the final piece. The only part in which was changed to the editorial was the front covers of the booklets as the the large imagery of the logo did not work as well as i had hoped and when printed for the client the imagery came out slightly distorted and made the booklet look less professional.

I decided to change the front cover by removing the large image and keeping that specific side of the booklet white. This gave the more clean and finished look to the editorial and as a pack made all of the piece come together.

Here is a before and after picture of the cover:

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The cover when initially printed went blurry and didn’t work together. 
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The cover with the new logo and a simplified cover. 

I also changed the logo what i hadn’t realised as that throughout the editorial i had used the old logo, where the outline of wales in the logo was thin and wasn’t as prominent. I have now gone back through the work and changed the logos to the new ones to create a more finished look.

Creating the PDF: 

With the PDF file i kept to the same theme that I had previously used through my other PDF files, i felt that this added unity to the work that i had created and made a theme work across three very different pieces of work.

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Digital Me: Penguin Development

Since the hand in date for the penguin book cover competition i have decided to change the idea that i have submitted, before the final hand in date. I feel that since the submission date for penguin i have developed more Adobe Illustrator skills that will allow me to create more interesting and unique imagery. 

Outcome 1:

My progression with penguin has not been an easy ride as before Christmas with the first official date to view the work i felt that i was limited to original ideas and whether i felt that they would work well as an effective front cover. I didn’t feel as though the work that i had created before Christmas was worthy of submission and i wasn’t proud of the work that was in front of me.

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Some of the elements of this piece i really liked such as the blocked ‘O’s in cold blood and capote, I used this to indicate the bullet holes of the clutter family and the deaths within. However the execution of this cover is not working for a final piece and i knew that this had to change before submission.

Outcome 2:

I then went on to change the cover again, keeping with the same typeface, and coloured background but changing the imagery and the body text. After looking at this original design for a while i did like the concept of hidden metaphors and felt that this would be an idea in which i could develop more the submission. I decided that i liked the idea of keeping Truman Capote within the centre of the cover and decided that possibly using a side profile image that i could create on illustrator would be more appropriate showing that capote had two sides of him but would only allow one side to ever be seen. I also decided to add in the concept of the death of Perry, i did this by using yellow feathers to represent the yellow bird within Perry’s imagination. I felt that showing the feathers within this would portray the fact that Perry is dead along with the bird in his imagination.

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This is the book cover in which i submitted to the penguin random house competition. I feel looking at this again now that this really doesn’t grasp the full concept of death and that the idea i had was originally too abstract for the competition. I feel that looking back on my thumbnail ideas for penguin that i should have gone with my gut instinct, which was to create something dark, dingey and little different.

Final Outcome:

For my final Piece I decided to go with my original gut instinct, i have create a piece of work that i am very proud of and that i feel works as a book cover and creates a professional look that grasps all of the points that penguin were looking for. I decided to encapsulate death within an image of a noose, keeping the imagery simple and line drawn by myself gave it a more authentic feel rather than using photography. I then also changed the typeface, i felt that the original typeface was too modern and didn’t work with the story line so i changed the typeface to a hand written typeface that together with a simple body text typeface trebuchet, it worked well together.

I also changed the colour scheme, i felt that even though i had originally said i didn’t want to do a red and black colour scheme i do understand why it is used within this specific context. However i still decided against using the read and carried on with the yellow from the feathers within the previous Cover.

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Now looking at this final piece i am happy with the outcome that i have created. I am sad that i didn’t produce this before submission date as i feel that this piece of work would have been a much better contender than the previous. However i am happy that i have created this cover and that it is a large improvement from the first initial idea and has shown progress, not only within my mental creativity but my software skills throughout this year.

Overall Reflection:

I have enjoyed this project as it has allowed me to challenge myself within the digital illustration sector where i normally would feel particularly uncomfortable, however i feel that i have made progress with this project and i am starting to see a development within my own personal style as a a graphic communicator. I feel that this project has allowed me be more creative as a designer and hasn’t kept me within a certain barrier which i felt has allowed me to have the development pattern that i have and to challenge myself within different software.

I look forward to completing this project again next year, hopefully looking at creating something stronger and more powerful as a creative piece that i have this year.

Digital Me: Penguin Research and Development PDF.

For this project we have been asked to go back through the projects that we have completed and create Research and Development PDF files so that our tutors can see the full process of the project and understand any changes and developments that have happened throughout the project. 

The First project that I decided to put into a pdf was Penguin, i felt that this was one of the most freshest projects that i have done as i recreated the file just after submission. I felt that the work that i had created was not how i had originally wanted and therefore changed the document ready for the final hand in date with our tutors.

When it came to the layout of the PDF I decided to create this using indesign, i felt that this software would allow me to create interesting yet a structured pdf file that would show my process and still look good. I decided on a 6 column grid for this particular project as i feel that this would give me plenty of different layouts and allow me to have a consistent feel to the work.

For the PDF file i decided to keep the PDF file as simple as possible, keeping the front page as a simple title and designer name as well as the logo of the project client. I felt that this was the best way to indicate the project clients and look professional without being too over the top. I also added a simple lined box on each page of the PDF i feel that this added a touch of colour and consistency to each of the pages and helped indicate what project it was.

Here is the PDF file that i have created for the Penguin Project: 

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|Digital Me- Who Am I?|

 

For this project we have been asked to publish ourselves as designers, this includes creating an online portfolio of the work that we have created, as well as creative CV, PDF portfolio and PDF file documents ready for our final hand in.  

Who am i? 

Who am I, this a question that I have been frequently asking myself throughout this project.  I understand what type of person I am and how i would like to be considered within the design world, yet i know that who i am to friends and family and who i am to businesses and tutors is a different story. It isn’t that i change my entire persona but i understand the importance of professionalism and making a good impression

As a person in general I can come across in two different ways, i can either be quiet and quite conservative or loud and confident, both are ways in which i have been able to adapt within different settings but showing the differences within my personality is hard when branding myself as a designer.

As a designer I am direct and conceptual, a forward thinker, organised and able to complete to a high standard whatever is thrown at me. However as a myself i am still under construction. I grow as a person and as a designer everyday, i change and develop, make mistakes, have successes, I’m still learning and i think that needs to be addressed within this project. We are still growing, in fact i don’t think we actually ever stop, we are constantly progressing through life taking new challenges and this influences who we are.

Asking Who am i, is a question that can never really be answered, as a designer i am what people see me as, whether this is on paper, on screen, in person or through word of mouth.  these perceptions will all be different, they won’t be the same because i don’t just have one side to me, i am not a two dimensional character,  am a three dimensional, walking, talking person that has feelings, emotions, i cannot contain who i am into a typeface.

Over the last few months I feel that i have lost the certainty of who i am, which has also made this project extremely difficult when it comes to branding yourself. I am unaware of where i want to go after my degree and with the pressure of this project and branding myself ready to start employment after next year has really made this whole process become very real, very quickly. This itself has made me question myself and where i want this degree to take me… am I really a graphic designer? am i good enough for industry? where will i go?

It terrifies me that I have no certainty for after my degree and this project in particular has made me think about this a lot. 

I decided to take it upon myself to find myself again, I went home for the weekend and made plans with old friends that have known me for a very long time, i decided to ask them what words and how they felt that i am as a person.

This has helped me gain my confidence back and look into the future with a more positive light, the people that i have around me from back home and within university have helped me find myself over this project and really show me who i am as a person to the outside world.

 

Digital Me- Typeface and Identity

One of my main issues with this projects has been finding a typeface that incapsulates my personality and creates a sense of identity over my Website, CV, and Portfolio.

Choosing a typeface to represent me was hard, I found that I was torn between a simple and clean sans serif typeface ‘Avenir Light’ or ‘Playfair Display’. both of these typefaces represent each side of my personality which i found difficult to narrow down. Where i originally had the serif typeface ‘Playfair Display’ I found that it made my website look too formal and didn’t look like a design portfolio which made me question myself.

Tutorial With Neil Angove: 

Today i had a tutorial with Neil to discuss my progress within this project, one of the main things that Neil asked me was whether i felt that i had a particular house style and whether it fitted my personality. My reply to this question was very uncertain. I have many conflicting views about branding myself as a typeface.

I understand that this is what is asked of me and that i should complete this and allow it to correlate to the work that i have produced. However i also feel that the work in which i create does not represent me as a designer. Yes, the work that i have created is created by me but I don’t believe that the specific typeface i have used within a project defines me as a person. The work that i create is not to reflect me as a designer but is there to serve a purpose and be tailored to the client not to myself.

When i suggested this to Ian and Neil they felt as though if i can complete other projects using a serif typeface that could also reflect the professional side of the personality that i originally wanted to show that that would be acceptable. However when it came to delving further into this sector of the project i found that i wasn’t very found of the serif typeface and it wasn’t showing the rest of the personality that i also show. I felt that this needed to change and started to look into typefaces that were clear, clean yet simple sans serif fonts and whether i felt they were appropriate for what i wanted.

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I decided to go with this branding, a simple Avenir Light that worked well as the heading for all of my personal files. I feel that this typeface allows for versatility and structure to create my brand identity.

 

Why Abbie-Louise and not Abbie-Louise Small? 

I decided to use only my first name within my brand identity, my name is quite unique and is striking without being too in your face. I like the subtle use of the surname within my social media, mainly within my LinkedIn, I don’t feel that the surname is entirely necessary and would be too much for the brand identity itself.

What tone is Abbie-Louise?

I have decided to set a tone throughout my brand identity, mainly within my portfolio pdf, my cv and my website, i wanted them all to correlate and I’ve decided to go with a more playful and friendly vibe to my website. I don’t want to be non-relatable within my online presence and i believe that using a playful wit will also add personality into the brand identity without adding colour.

Colour Scheme: 

With my colour scheme i didn’t want anything too loud and felt that the best way to do this would be to keep it simple and just stick to the black and white. This has allowed me to have my work as the main focus throughout the online presence and not be looked over by a bright distracting colour or image.

Overall Reflection: 

I feel that this the typeface along with the colour theme and tone that i have used does replicate myself as a designer. i feel that this all tied in together will work really well as a set and is going to look professional with the right execution.

 

|Dissertation Proposal Reflection|

We have been asked to write a reflection post on our dissertation proposal this term and how we feel that we have developed as an academic writer and applied the skills that we have learnt over the last 2 years to our dissertation. 

When it comes to large pieces of academic writing I am the first person to run in the opposite direction. I enjoy writing and have done ever since i was younger but with academic writing i feel that i don’t have enough confidence within my writing to achieve the best of my capabilities. With this proposal i decided to start early, i started thinking, researching and reading before Christmas, i thought that that way then i would have long enough to get my head around my idea, the academic reading that i had to complete and the depth of work that had to be completed.

I started off with an idea that i had spoken to my work placement about, i was happy to be tailoring my dissertation to a business as i thought this would help me get noticed more within the design world and extend my knowledge further. However when it came to researching particularly into the topic given to me, i found this difficult. I had already learnt about this topic through work experience but i was afraid that my knowledge within it wasn’t as strong as it could be. i felt that this would have given me an unfair advantage when it came to writing the proposal.

After handing in my dissertation request form and had my first tutorial with Ashley Morgan i began to realise further that the topic i had chosen wasn’t suited to me and that i should delve into a subject that i deemed as interesting and something that i knew a fair amount about.

So i decided to look at social media, particularly the effect that it has upon luxury brand loyalty. Finding sources of information to look at actually became quite simple, plus having a meeting with Martha (librarian) allowed me to source information that is specific and more direct within the content matter. I feel that if i hadn’t have gone and spoken to Martha then i would have been stuck doing a simple search and not getting the full amount of information that have found. She was really welcoming and helpful which made me feel a lot more at ease with the proposal itself.

I started to piece together information on “post it notes” and put them int specific categories, this allowed me to break up the information to put within my Lit Review and make the piece flow together as one. I read a lot during this project, looking at different elements such as perception and the human eye, social media and marketing strategies, to brand loyalty and luxury brands. One of the most interesting topics that i looked into was marketing strategies such as mallows hierarchy of needs, Aristotle’s seven causes of human action and Aaker’s brand loyalty pyramid. I’m looking forward to analysing luxury brands against these strategies to see how each differ and work together to create luxury brand loyalty,

Relating social media to branding and marketing has allowed me to gain particular knowledge within the subject that I didn’t have before, it has increased my expectation of social media and allowed me to realise the importance of it within the digital age. In the 21st century all media is becoming digital and online, this has increased marketing values and allowed for many companies to grow to an extent of becoming viral. I feel that as a graphic designer it is important to know that most of the future design work will be more upon screens and online than within traditional media. Understanding that the online trend is here to stay and it is only ever developing and advancing is fundamental as a designer.

Academic writing is a lot more difficult that i was told and sometimes i question whether three pieces of academic writing is enough to put you through a dissertation. I am on an understanding that people pick up different skills within different time frames, but as a student that before university hasn’t written academically, and the extent of essay writing was in GCSE’s, which were in 2012 for me, i found that 3 essays is not enough to help learn academic writing.

I worried a lot within this proposal, I’m very hard on myself to create perfection which i know is near impossible and that i should be more realistic. However i feel that my end result is a piece of work that i am proud of, I spent a lot of time with the handbook, referencing guide and a template given by Ashley and over the course of 5 weeks i feel that i have made a lot of progress creating the outcome that i have. I have started to believe in my academic writing capabilities more and look forward to putting these new techniques to use when writing my dissertation.

Even though at first i was not feeling positive about my Proposal, overall i feel that constellation over the last two years as helped me develop as a designer as well as a writer. it has taught me to look at the world differently, and be able to hide further deeper meaning within my subject work, as well as explain it within my constellation work.  I am proud of the progress that i have made within constellation and how it has helped me my confidence begin to increase within myself as an academic writer and Graphic Designer.