Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Evaluation - what is good

1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
I have learned so much throughout this module... just not necessarily applied it. It's such a broad subject and I 've only just scratched the surface, but the trip to Team really opened my eyes and I loved what I saw. I've never been aware of things like hot foiling and spot varnishes and this module has given me a new set of medias to really strengthen my work.
The workshops with Mike I feel have been more than beneficial and I now understand more about file formats, checking for mistakes in Indesign and I feel I have developed my skills more in this way.
However, I'm not really sure I have applied much of what I have learned very effectively. I just feel this brief didn't go as smoothly as I wanted, things went wrong countless times and having to correct them has slowed me down and I have been unable to fully explore designs for packages etc. 

2. What approaches to/methods of research have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
By learning more about print processes, I have now been able to identify various print processes and fully appreciate the work gone into pieces of design. This in turn, has made me see how possible and easy it is to apply processes such as embossing, spot varnishes etc to really enhance my work.
The trip to Team was a really good research trip and this helped my thinking in terms of costings and the true cost of printing. 

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?
I really aren't happy with the way this brief went - things just went wrong, so it is hard for me to identify strengths in my work. I think the potential is there for me to re do the project to create some really strong pieces of portfolio work, but right now I can only see that there is work to be done. 
However I do feel that I am now testing and experimenting slightly more than I have before - various stocks, processes etc - particularly with the logo and the masks.
4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these more fully?
As you can imagine I think my weaknesses lie in the final products - what I handed in is all on different stocks - the colours vary greatly - this is down to time and things that went wrong. I spent way too much time on experimenting with the masks which was a lengthy task and therefore didn't leave much time for exploring with packaging and designs. I just feel that I've not been that committed this module - I've really felt the pressure of learning so much and trying to test and apply everything along with battling problems at home and trying to work to pay my bills. It's no excuse but I realise I need to sort this out - it's just going to take a bit of time to adjust. 

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
1. Allow more time to create the products to a good standard - I didn't allow much time for this and when I'd printed things, I saw mistakes and needed to reprint, this in turn meant I ran out of good stocks that I wanted and the 'finals' if you can call them that just look awful.
2. Not spend too long on one aspect of the project - I feel I spent way too long trying to get the masks right which meant I haven't explored the packaging aspect as fully as I wanted to. 
3. Sit in the studio for ages... I know I've been at home in Hull when I've not 'needed' to be in and I feel this is my downfall - I'm going to try being in the studio lots over the next module - because when I did, I felt I got a lot done. But like I say I've having to sort some financial issues and personal problems at home and it is a real struggle at the moment.
4. Ask for opinions and help more. Think is pretty self explanatory. 
5. Spend more time preparing to craft - the package - the screen I prepared didn't turn out as well as I hoped so I tried to make the best of a bad situation due to time, if I spend more time preparing screens properly this hopefully won't be the case next time. 
6.How would you grade yourself on the following areas:
Attendance: 3 
I know my attendance hasn't been brilliant this module due to the fact I've had to go to work and been so ill.
Punctuality: 5
Motivation: 2 - I feel I've struggled to connect this term and get back into the swing of things particularly as I'm battling other issues.
Commitment: 2 - partly down to me being motivated and not connecting - feel this is making me less committed to things.
Quantity of Work Produced: 3
I feel like i have designed quite a lot, maybe too many final resolutions which in turn made each one a lower quality
Quality of Work Produced: 2
I really don't like what I have produced this time round and feel that over Christmas I will redo the project - purely because I think it could have great results and I want something nice for my portfolio.
Contribution to the Group: 3 - I feel this module I have been able to express my views more clearly and felt I can tell people what I think in a constructive way.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Enterprise Lecture 5 - 10 Steps to a Future You

Be Proactive.
Highly effective people make decisions to improve their situation through the things they can influence rather than simply reacting to external forces.  Ineffective people spend far too much time paying attention to things they cannot influence.
Circle of influence - change what people do. Proactivity - encroach / break barriers into circle of concern.

Develop a vision of your future
Create a principle-centred personal mission statement
Extend the mission into long term goals
Clear explanations  to people
Speak in their language; not yours
Talk about benefits ; not processes
Think – who you are talking to
Create – clear messages
Inspire – people with your creativity
Put first things first
Keep a proper balance
Stick to your personal mission

Think – win/win
Seek  outcomes and relationships that are mutually beneficial
Do a favour to gain a favour

Kohlberg's theory:
Pre-Coventional - generally concerned with themselves. Deal with short term results.
Conventional - conforms to social norms.
Post - Conventional - question social norms.


Pause to listen – give all your attention. Give yourself to the moment.
Empathise, walk in someone’s shoes,
Don’t re-iterate or interpret – just listen.
Do you really know how they feel or are you just saying how you feel? 
See first to understand ; then be understood
Learn from your differences


  • Consistency
  • integrity
  • Reliability
Synergy multiplies your talents
Work with other experts outside your field to achieve greatness
Sharpen up – bolt on , get new stuff,
Rest – renew, re-vitalise
Explore - challenge, excite
Extinguish your fears
Exude confidence
Instil faith

Monday, 15 November 2010

What is good - crits

  • 20/10/10
So... today we represented our research and spoke about our rationales and where we feel we are headed with the brief.
This is the feedback:
Arthur and Pav:
Look at existing festival dressing up 'tribes' and origami - possibility for jailed animals - unfold to release.
Love the dressing up theme and you have a clear audience which is good. Make sure you experiment loads with origami ideas / research exciting paper based dressing up.

Chris and Paul:
How to put them into categories - could be themed animals i.e. cold / warm, mammal / reptile etc
Create a randomiser? -generate random elements of animal costumes i.e.


(although I like this idea, it's not really what I am after, as I don't want people to dress as mutant animals - it's not what the Zoo is about and not really something I'm after doing).

So from here I now need to create an action plan  and really decide on what it is am I packaging and designing.

To do over reading week - start to finalise what it is I am packaging/ designing and begin working up imagery / ideas / and a possible brand.
For now - get all research finished up along with what has been suggested in the crit.
I really need to experiment with stocks also - just because the product is 'paper' doesn't mean it has to be just printer paper!

PPD - Group tutorial prep

1. What is Industrial experience?
To me it is gaining knowledge of the graphic design industry by visiting creative professionals, studios, print factories, emailing / writing to professional to get a better and more importantly a first hand understanding of what it is / where it is I want to work. It becomes an important way of creating contacts and create networking in order to gain work.

At present, I've only visited 2 print places - Trident in Hull and Team in Leeds - it was a real eye opener and really great to see first hand the process of print.
Aside from that, I've been to a few talks from professionals, one being the four designers conference in London.

2. What can you learn from industrial experience?
  • See what the competition is - what skills you may want to improve on or styles you like. 
  • Example - the print place - Team - really learn what the process is - from costing a job right through to packaging and sending out - was great to learn how expensive some print processes really are - will aid me in the future when thinking about a clients budget. 
  • Understand what it's really like to be a professional - hear horror stories about horrific clients - help you deal better in the future. 
  • Have the opportunity to make contacts.
  • Build relationships - e.g. with printers.
3. What form/format could industrial experience take?
  • visiting creative professionals
  • Visit studios, 
  • Visit print factories. 
  • Emailing / writing to professionals.
  • Attend exhibitions, networking events. 

4. What areas of industry are you interested in?
  •  Heavily interested in the music industry, really want to make designs for bands - but I still want to be involved with the band etc - would want the contact - don't want to work for a huge company - would want the musician to feel like I care about them so to speak.
  • Editorial designs
  • Art Direction - photo shoots etc. 
  • More print based as opposed to digital design. 
  • Something ethical - animals, sustainability etc - I know I don't want to compromise my ethics and every work for McDonalds.

5. What are your concerns about industrial experience?
Although I know that experience will strengthen my confidence, at the moment I have massive concerns about industrial experience - I have trouble talking to my tutors, nevermind a stranger - I just have this idea that they won't care about me - be interested in my work or even want to talk to me - I know in the majority of cases this won't be true, but I don't know, I just think I hold some designers in such high regard - particularly as their work is out there - and it just makes me nervous talking to them. Think I'll have a massive problem when trying to put together a PDF portfolio to send out to them and actually hitting the send button! Yikes!!

Enterprise task 2

Personal Values
  • Environmental
  • Traditionalist
  • Vegetarian
  • Activist
  • Social Change.
  • Software
  • Hardworking
  • Team Worker
  • Initiative
  • See the funny side
  • Direct (value also)
Ten words that potentially could describe me - e.g. on the back of a business card.
  1. Change
  2. Future
  3. Sustainability
  4. Punctual
  5. Inquisitive
  6. Focused
  7. Receptive
  8. Methodical
  9. Innovative
  10. Efficient

Write a short 50 Word statement about the way I work - without using I preferably:

PPD - what do I want to achieve...

...This academic year?
  •  Have an understanding of what it is I want to do / which type of industry I want to go into.
  • Produce more work of a better quality standard.
  • Be able to manage my time well to not let my financial situation get in my way of producing well finished work.
  • To take on extra / competition briefs. 
  • To have the confidence to be able to speak to professionals.
  • To enhance my photography / illustration skills. 
  • To have visited some studios / print places etc - aiming to go to one in NYC when I go over the summer.

...By the end of this course?
  • To have graduated.
  • To have a strong portfolio.
  • To go away with the confidence to know I can be good and be a professional designer.
  • To have been to lots of studios. 
  • To have developed a style. 
  • To have better craft skills.
  • Potentially walk straight into a job.

...In my career?
  • Live abroad or in London. 
  • Have worked for some amazing clients.
  • To be happy in my work.
  • Never compromise my beliefs / ethics.
  • Work for a big brand (yes I know that statement might conflict my last).
  • Create recognised pieces of work. 
  • To have worked for clients all over the world. 
  • To have continual work.

Enterprise lecture 4 - How to Promote yourself in 6 easy steps.

Marketing Communication Mix:
The 10 Basic Marketing Methods to make up the communication mix.

If you do nothing - you produce no results!

  1. Get There Attention!
    •Memorable business card
    •Radio interviews
    •Write articles
    •Run a blog
    •Exploit social media
    They have to be interested in what you do, then get to know you and they have to trust you.
    Be visible! Attend networking events and introduce yourself to people etc.
  2. Build their interest.
    Let them get to know you.

    •Web site


    •Information packs



  3. Convince them!
    As their interest grows they will become more aware of my work and the benefits I could offer to them. They will want to know more about values and what other people think:
    •Artist statement
    •Community engagement
    •Professional bodies
    •Charity events
  4. Make your offer irresistible. Persuade people your's is the best.
    •Value Proposition
    •Pricing strategies
    •Try before you buy
  5. Close the deal!
    Summarise the benefits and ask them questions such as have I missed anything? There anything else you need? Does the price fit your budget? Etc.
  6. Reinforce.
    •After sales service
    •Public Relations
    •Maintaining contact
    •Building relationships

Consumer Segmentation.
•Geographical factors
•Media Usage
  Think about when targeting various market segments.

Enterprise lecture 3 - The Value of Your Creativity

Maslow's Hierachy of Needs:
 Shows our greatest needs (at the bottom) and builds on them - the most money will be spent on physiological needs.

Where is the money?
 Showing what most money is spent on - physiological needs and things to help society develop.

To apply to creativity - look at the human need of the product being designed to understand the potential market segment. You can then understand the value proposition.

What is a value proposition?
  • Clear statement - how product / service benefits the customer. 
  • Short and concise.
  • Specific about benefits to the customer. (How my skills / work will benefit)
  • Use customer language.
  • Make them sit up and take notice. 
Value Proposition - also known as a mission statement. Will state the overall aims:

Enterprise lecture 2 - Ideas and Opportunities

  • Evaluate ideas before you launch them - rather than waste money and time and then find I've made a mistake. 
  • Be aware of events happening locally, nationally and globally.
  • Read news sheets / magazines
  • Do you have an interesting idea?
  • Is it an opportunity? 
Differences between idea and opportunity:
  • Everyone has ideas but they don't always come to light / reality. Occurs at any time, to anyone, randomly.
  • Opportunity - environmental factors merge, the right conditions, the right place at the right time.

P- Political Changes - local issues to national and international issues.
E - Economic changes - unemployments, currency exchange rates.
S - Social changes - trends, behaviour patterns etc.
T - Technological changes - what has just changed.

Evolutionary (adapts current situations, products / designs to gradually change)or revolutionary (do everything to make a change)?
Manager (look after existing situations - make more effective and efficient) or Opportunist (seek new opportunities and hope someone else will help to make it work)?
Cautious(give the market what it wants) or Risk Taker(give the market something it didn't realise it needed yet)?

OWNER WORKER - pros: in control of every aspect of your practice. Cons: Income limited by health, interruptions etc.

OWNER MANAGER - pros: more diverse role, meet more people. Can develop talent in others and produce more income (more people - more work) Easier to control quality.
Cons: less time to do own creative work. Think for others.

OWNER ENTREPRENEUR: pros: direct creative work or others, can have lots of clients to keep income coming in and keep afloat. Cons: sometimes the opportunities do not bring income in. Risks can end in disaster.

•Technical developments
•Political change
•Economic boom and slump
•Human need
•Project management
•Know how to find the right people
•Know where to source stuff
•Can work with a team
•Gets along with all kinds of people
•Communicates well
•Look at your competitors
–How many are there?
–How well are they doing
–What do they do well?
–What could you improve upon?
The internal environment in a business / practice
This may just be you. Or may be 10 people who work together
The Micro environment
These are the stakeholders who are just on the periphery of your ‘world’
They are affected by your success or failure
The Macro environment
These are stakeholders or factors which are beyond your control
They are not directly affected by your success or failure but by the cumulative effect of  many successes and failures
You may be significantly affected by these factors beyond your control.
E.g. Leeds Art Gallery
S - Strength
W- Weakness
O - Opportunities
T - Threats.

Enterprise task 1 - Costings

Enterprise Lecture 1 - How to get yourself out there

Main points from the lecture:
  • Check the Design Council regularly - they gather research into what's going on in the field of design - where the work is coming from, income levels, new thinking approaches to design etc. 
Interesting trends:
  • 1.87% of design businesses employ less than 10 people
    2.16% of design companies are in the North of England
    3.Only 23 % of design companies are in London
    4.57% of design companies say they collaborate with other companies or practitioners on client briefs
    5.28% of designers are free-lance.
    (Good knowledge to have for when it comes to me thinking about what companies to look at for "placements" or whether to go freelance.)
    Also check artscouncil.org 
    Income patterns in visual arts:

    Marketing Roles:
    1.Identify customer needs to develop new products - identify the needs of customers, be aware of local, national and global trends and keep ahead of their needs by being aware of new technologies that will create demand.
    2.Develop pricing strategies - be aware of pricing levels so you can price your work that represents the right kind of value for your customers.
    3.Promote products to a target market.
    4.Identify distribution networks - understanding how to get your work in the best place to be accessible to your target customers.
    5.Add value to your product through customer benefits
    6.Monitor the performance of the products - If you monitor your sales patterns over a year of 5 year period you will be able to see  what your customers do and don’t like about your work.
      A schematic to demonstrate the development cycle for new products.
     Feedback is vital in order to grow and move forward with my practice.
    Diagram showing a range of issues to consider when putting together a value proposition.
     Technology: what kind of technologies can I use and can I use them differently? 
    Methodology -  plan work and communication with people.
    Products: what are the features? what are the benefits?  When describing benefits , you must define what type of person is benefiting. Identify the user to understand the benefits. 
    Solution: Innovative or adaptive? Radical or evolutionary? Etc...
    Alliances: Who do you know? Get contacts! 
    People: people in business - the skills, experience and expertises they have.
    Services: additional services such as offering free advertising to my clients on my website will help differentiate my practice/company from others.
    1.Make it short
    2.Be specific
    3.Use your customer’s language
    4.Pass the ‘gut feeling test’
    Another approach to writing a value proposition:
    Describe what skills, values and ambitions you have (internal) and then describe what customer needs you are interested in addressing
    Detail you past experience including any awards, exhibitions or testimonials.
    Outline your key ambitions or future directions you will take in your work.

    Gallery openings, trade fairs, craft fairs, art markets. 


    Graphic Designers work with small to medium sized businesses such as churches, clubs, shop owners, solicitors and small manufacturers.
    Your business selling services / goods to another business. 
    Services, on the other hand are ‘Intangible’. You cannot touch, weigh or measure the things you buy from service organisations. You cannot touch or smell an education, nor put a massage in a carrier bag, You cannot put the creativity in an advertising campaign, nor wallpaper design on the weighing scales. These are all services and what they do is change the condition of people, places, experiences, businesses and goods but you are not always left with anything tangible after you have benefitted from the service." (E.G. Google, HSBC)

    Basic principle of marketing: 

    Product - whether you're providing a service or supplying goods - describe the features and benefits to communicate the value to the product to customers. 
    Price: Be aware of market values by seeing what other companies who offer similar products set their prices at. Do not underprice!
    Place: Point of sale needs to be in the most convenient place for target customers. 

    KNOWN AS THE 4 P's

Enterprise Task 1 - Cost of living

Excel Sheet showing how much I need to be earning now basing it on monthly and annual costs of various aspects in my life that I spend money on:

Saturday, 5 June 2010

PPD Presentation

Just going to generalise this is an overview of my year.

Wanted to start with what weaknesses/ mistakes I feel I have had this year – get that out of the way first so I can focus more on what I can capitalise on next year and things I can work on. Don’t want the presentation to focus on the negative, but rather the positive as one of the things I’ve realised about myself is that I obviously am still learning and this year has been a massive learning curve for me, I will make mistakes, but can learn from these – which is an aspect of my design practice I’ve struggled to come to terms with as I try to be too much of a “perfectionist” and this course has really helped me see that I can’t always get things right every time. An example here of something I wasn’t hugely happy with when it was finished just because I felt I should have spent a little longer on it.

Sometimes, I’ve gone with an idea that at the time I thought was good and then later come to see it’s turning out not how I expected, this in turn has shown me that a simple idea can work just as well and my ideas don’t always need to be so complex. For example the cover design for the speaking from experience brief change numerous times and just wasted so much time.

Above - progression for the front covers for 'Speaking from Experience'.

Photography was always something I wanted to learn but thought I would never be able to take good photos. The visual language workshop really helped me think about trying it for the 100 brief and this was a turning point in how I now work. Not only did I find it a quick method to produce final visuals, but it was very easy to create lots of visual variations. This wasn’t what I ended up with but I wanted to show how I produced variations.

Letterpress was something I never imagined of doing but despite it being a lengthy process I think the outcomes are stunning than computer generated type – and I think I am quite appreciative of it because it does take so long.

Layouts are another thing I am getting to grips with, it is something that I have obviously learned at the end of the year, but I think it was something that really helped me creative visuals for the speaking from experience brief – these are some examples of what was produced.

I feel that a lot of my work has predominantly been produced on the computer and what I really want to do is spend more time using some of the skills I’ve learned this year, such as letterpress / screen printing / photography etc to create more unusual and interesting imagery. I’ll admit that my time management and decision making hasn’t been brilliant this year and that using the computer to create images seemed a bit easier and quicker.

Something I’ve really enjoyed doing at the beginning of this year was looking at typography. I think that if I continue looking at typography I could turn into one of the these type ‘geeks’ but I really think it is something I could be good at – maybe not actually creating fonts, but more about applying typography effectively.

After the few collaborative and group briefs I have encountered this year, I don’t yet feel I know who or what type of person I can work with well, or in fact what type of skills I want from someone I work with, I think this will come when I truly know what design path I want to go down, which I think I am nearing. I think another factor is people don’t yet realise what I can offer to the design process as I know this year I have put myself down and been some what reserved in offering opinions to groups.

Time management / decision making / leaving things until last minute and not having enough sleep! Obviously these factors have a knock on effect to not getting enough sleep, and in turn my work isn’t as effective. This is something I’ve definitely learned from and won’t be making the same mistake next year.

It shows that if I had continued with the original design instead of trying to over work it, I ended up with pretty much the same thing. But I realise it takes confidence.

Although I didn’t do very well in my elective, I did really enjoy learning the art of print and being able to explore new techniques. What I’ve loved about the course is every taught session has served a purpose for me, which I don’t feel I’ve had in the past, I now feel I am learning more about the technical side of graphic design which is helping me start to produce ‘better’ work – for example if I had not learned about type and grid I don’t think I would have tackled a magazine for my speaking from experience brief.