Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Year 2 PPD Evaluation

1. Reflect on the relationship between your portfolio of work and your creative ambitions as a designer.

My portfolio is very type based. There are examples of work in my portfolio that demonstrate me working with graphics, simple illustrations or with photography, however in all of these there are elements and of typography. While I want to learn more about type and head in that direction as a specialism, I want to show that it isn’t just type I work with, so it was important for me to include this in my portfolio. It is also mix of work that is print and digital based, which again, is something I wanted to show. The design for digital module this year was my first real forray into working in a digital medium, and is something I really enjoyed and want to expand upon next year, learning more about moving image and screen based design. However, having said this, as a designer I am aware that alot of jobs are still going to require me to design for print, I just don’t see it going away any time soon. I would like to further inform myself with this side of design, mainly by looking into print finishes, such as using screenprinting for posters.

2. Relate your own work to specific examples/areas of contemporary design practice.

My ambitions as a designer and career wise is to work in a relatively small, independant design collective that is able to deliver a ‘whole package’ to a client, be this posters, booklets, websites, animations or TV adverts. This sort of role may have me working in a specilist area, such as typography, but would need me to have an understanding of various aspects of graphic design as I would be working alongside designers who’s job could perhaps be a different specialism, but would need to work collaboratively with them to provide the typography, or provide them typography to work with, etc. An example of this would be Airside. Though they have quite a big reputation, they are still a relatively small design studio. On their website there are biographies in the ‘About’ section that detail what they do. I guess in my work I have tried to demonstrate the ability and understanding to do this, aswell as making my specialism a feature in all too.

3. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses against identified intentions and areas of contemporary practice.

My strengths lie in my type skills and my understanding of software. While this isn’t a skill in itself, I want to capitalise on this and use it to get to grips with some software packages that will allow me to produce work I just didn’t know how to do before, aswell as being more employable in industry. These packages include Dreamweaver, so I can create websites, Flash, for animations and games and to supplement designing for web and Final Cut Pro, as a more professional video-editing option, as well as to supplement what i’ve learnt this year in animation, it will enable me to supply and create video for animations, aswell as bring final animations into Final Cut to combine with video themselves.

My weaknesses lie still in my project management. I feel that this year I have improved my geneal organisation as outlined as a weakness last year in PPD, I attend more sessions, and turn up to them on time, I know when and what is going on and haven’t missed a hand-in this year, however I don’t do justice to alot of my projects by losing track of time and not having a clear plan for the project. Next yearI am going to timetable my projects, look after these timetables ammend them in needed. I will write todo lists and stay ontop of what I’m doing. Hopefully this will improve the quality of work I am producing by keeping me organised and on track, less underwhelmed, but it should also make the process less stressful and more enjoyable, not ending up in late night work stretches and having more time to myself outside of my design work.

4. Clarify areas of design, skills development and proffessional concerns that you aim to investigate further from this point forward.

In my third year I want to learn more on typography, understanding the ‘hardcore’ side of type, and complimenting this with an increased focus on layout. I also want to get more into screen based design, looking at websites and other avenues to digital based media aswell as looking at screenprints, mainly so I can start to produce more posters and display work, which has been fueled by the project i did for ISTD on music lyrics. I am also going to take the time to look at more designers work for inspiration. What is going on in the industry and where my work fits into that. I will be using the library to read the journals they have there, such as Creative Review and Computer Arts, as well as keeping a more up to date blog with more regular posts. This will serve to inspire, motivate as well as educating me towards being a better designer.

5. Briefly clarify the relationship between your creative practice and your proposed dissertation.

As a designer, it is going to be near-on impossible to get through a career without being asked to advertise something. For my dissertation I am going to look at advertising from a marxist viewpoint, but more importantly look at how advertising has changed and how it is being used to fund certain businesses, such as TV networks and websites, that because of that funding, can supply free tv programmes or free content on the web. I want to find out if this can be viewed as a posative from advertising from that marxist viewpoint.

Sunday, 7 December 2008


innocent make badass smoothies, but also, their company branding is really what i like. it fits their image and is very, laid back, natural, friendly and feels more 'home-made' than corporate. i think that the use of rounded fonts, simple illustrations and a colour palette inspired by the colours of the smoothies and their ingredients, coupled with the off-white backgrounds (as oppose to the standard pure white) helps them achieve this.

what most caught my attention though is the campaign they run at winter called 'the big knit'. it is done in co-operation with the charity age concern, to help older people with hot meals, blankets and keep warm in the winter. a noble cause but from an advertising point of view, innocent have spinned this very well. as you can see in the photos, during winter time innocent put little bobby hats on the tops of their bottles and run interactive bits and bobs alongside this to get people involved, like 'hat of the week' and a group on flickr devoted to people's photos of the hats.

though their smoothies are a little spenno, it seems other companies could benefit from taking a few leaves out of innocent's book. check them out here.


deadlines? late nights? yeh, yeh, we all know. caffeine. and lots of it.

i personally prefer coffee. and black at that. however relentless isn't such a bad drink and their cans aren't to shabby looking either. they make brake a few design rules in under some eyes, but they definitely stand out in the fridge. all 3 of the different flavours carry a definitive brand association and the different quotes on the back of each can, from grand people's such as wordsworth and lord byron are a nice little addition. the front of the can is big and bold, with a gothic script font that is more than clear enough. my favourite part perhaps is the subtle digs at other energy drinks that sell there products in apparently 'measly' sized proportions.

"no half measures"

nothing wrong with a little bit of pretentiousness is there?

refreshing indeed

it's nice to see some no bs (of sorts) companies producing great products packaged greatly. original, cheeky and great typography work. a great choice of typeface for the product and simple but effective grid layout to produce a very cleanly presented product. i can't really fault original source, apart from i would of liked the shampoo and conditioner to fit together more like other brands do, as if they were 2 halves of the same bottle. but that's purely subjective of course.

great brand identity and a different but eye-catching shelf presence. i highly recommend you try their stuff too - it's the nucking futs.

give'em some love. originalsource

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Design For Print: Evaluation

Before the start of this module, I was only aware of CMYK, RGB and grayscale. During this module I have learnt how to manage workflows in different colour modes, as well as properly setting up documents to be sent for commercial print. Learning about how to work with spot colours and duotones has helped me expand what I can physically do with software, and it seems to me to be an essential part of what you should be able to do as a graphic designer in the industry.

The workshops we had in InDesign have opened up new ways in which I use the program. Though we covered InDesign in Level 1, I was still unsure of what I was doing and what could be done. I now know how to properly set up documents, use master pages, manage links and print booklets successfully from the program. This enabled me to produce a 16 page booklet for this last project quite competently and without too many technical issues.

For this project I did some quite extensive research. I directly contacted companies for specific information, bypassing the internet as a gateway. This is an issue that I have fell down on previously, causing me to run into problems related to lack of research along a project. This extra research helped me to better define variables such as my audience, and also requirements such as expected level of design, etc.

One of my major weaknesses on this project was time management. Being such a long project, I easily lost track of time, where and when I should have had things completed in time. Though I like my final design, I think it is the backup work and the ongoing evaluation that has suffered as a cause of this. This is something that I do need to work on, while I am quite comfortable and focused on week or so projects, this sight is lost on lengthier briefs. Week plans and more committed timetabling on my behalf is what I need to address in the next module.

Monday, 3 November 2008


so tomorrow is the start of the 22nd leeds international film festival and as per last year, still haven't got any tickets like i said i would and the festival is on for just less than 2weeks (4th-16th november). does anyone have any recommendations of films to watch? (leave me some suggestions in the comments below!) night of the dead sounds good but tickets have sold out...


fear and loathing in steadmanvision.

at the moment i'm looking at gonzo journalism for critical studies, and i've been meaning to upload some of this fellow's stuff for a while so it only seems fitting to do it now.

ralph steadman is a british illustrator who is most known for the work he did with the good dr. hunter s. thompson. his artwork is (for me) the illustrative equivalent of hunter's writings, and himself as eccentric as thompson too - there was an apparent noted change in steadman's personality and work after befriending the dr. and engaging in his more influencing pastimes.

check his website out or head over to the britishcartoonarchive where they have over 100 of his scanned images up.

welcome back...

whoa, long break over the summer from blogging, need to get back on the wagon. check back for regular (hopefully) updates, with hopefully a whole wealth of interesting postings. also dudes, (is anyone actually reading this), where's the discourse? leave me some comments and i might even return the favor!

Friday, 6 June 2008

what is graphic design?

firstly, i'd like to start with...

what isn't graphic design?

well, this isn't:

though geek designery humour it is. so...

what is graphic design?

to me, graphic design is the process, is the art of communicating visually. be it image or type, posters or videos, hand or computer made. the list is near endless. so...

what separates design from art?

the age old question, and may many flame wars ensue. for me, it is not the content or the media used to create the work, it is the function and context. design, by definition has to have a real-world purpose to some extent. art is usually created for the artist's own wishes, whatever they may be. though the lines blur, for example designers creating personal work that has no function, and artists whose work may have a political or social impact, it is this fundamental difference that separates the two. what the initial intent of the work was.

you sick at photoshop

its that time again folks...

regular drill. check out some of their other shows over at mydamnchannel.