Thursday, June 2, 2011

End of module evaluation

To begin this evaluation, I will look at the strengths of my work, before identifying the problems that I faced and the areas upon which I could improve.

Firstly, I'd say I moved significantly in the right direction in terms of learning about typography and how to use it professionally. The briefs that aided this the most were probably the Fashion Year Book and my context publication. The Fashion Yearbook taught me so much about prepping a document professionally and ensuring all the tiny details (including the placement of typography) are consistent for the best finish.

The context book acted like a type 101 and perhaps replaced the type module that I regret I missed. It gave me a perspective on how the industry view typography (some see it as an art form, some prefer to see it as a science... the industry is moving increasingly towards a community-centric response to the issues of plagiarism etc.) as well as taught me about the fundamental uses and purposes of specific typefaces. For example, I had no idea that Avant Garde was designed entirely as a display font for a magazine, but it does explain why it looks clunky and uncomfortable as body copy as well as why it is overly rounded.

I think also, I selected a series of good briefs to work with, and arrived at conclusions that really helped me identify where I want to be in industry. I really do want to work with the culture sector and the briefs selected were all geared towards that. I had some really good experiences: the music zine brief and branding Les Morts were creative and fun and I communicated with a good client in the Les Morts brief (long time collaborator, Daisy) and got to talk to some interesting people in the DIY music scene as part of the zine brief. I've had bad experiences: The fashion yearbook is a massively compromised piece that is made up entirely of dictatorial decisions on the behalf of Sue and Paul. The team's creativity was stifled, creative decisions were forced upon us etc. But ultimately, I still want to look at this field because it is likely I'm going to experience the good and the bad in the professional world and if I get a bad brief with a bad client, then so what? I'm likely to find a good brief with a trusting client at some point in the future too.

Now, what did I do wrong/what could I improve upon?

Well, firstly, my time management and ability to deal with problems that came up quickly and efficiently wasn't as strong as I'd like it to be, which is a shame because I'd made a lot of progress with that over the course of the last module. Essentially, once I was burgled, it threw my ability to plan properly off a bit. I think it startled and panicked me and I never really recovered from that dreaded feeling of 'Oh God, I have so much work to recover before I can even begin to move forward). I also think that I had problems setting realistic goals, because the final deadline was so far away from where we started out, it was difficult to set a deadline for when something should be finished and stick to it. Now this would be a serious problem for a Graphic Designer in industry, however, I think it's because there were no quick and sudden deadlines that it kind of stymied my progress. In industry, with a series of shorter deadlines, I think I'd cope more easily and be able to plan my time more efficiently.

The smaller details: I like to think I've progressed a lot, and got some really good work for my portfolio too, but I still need to focus on the fine details of what I do. Sometimes the typography can be a little unrefined, or little alignment details are off and I need to perfect this if I'm going to work in industry. On another note, my crafting skills are appalling. I can never finish anything to a fully professional standard by myself. I just have clumsy hands. I'm looking forward to being able to send briefs off to a printer and they will finish the job to a professional standard for me.

I could also have worked a lot faster, but once again, I think that the extremeley long period of time for an ultimate deadline meant that I procrastinated and it meant that I found it difficult to stick to deadlines that I'd set for myself that weren't, you know. 'real deadlines'. When it came to 'real deadlines' like the fashion yearbook, I managed pretty well, unfortunately the client was really slow at giving us the necessary information to complete that brief which made it a mad rush that was kind of out of our hands.

In conclusion, I do feel like a better designer and one that is definitely a lot more ready for the real world because of this module, however, I would say that I'm still not the finished article by any stretch of the imagination. Steps to take: I think getting some work placements over the summer would be really beneficial to me becoming a better designer. I would have liked to have got placements before but I've never had the confidence in my abilities until now. I'm also going to spend some time just having fun with typography through more self initiated briefs, maybe not even ones for my portfolio, but ones that just let me work with the fine detailing of typographic work in a very short space of time.

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