Thursday, 22 May 2014


end of module evaluation
I think this module has been vital in allowing me to constantly reflect and evaluate myself and my practice and therefore improve constantly.  This has been a module that has been really helpful in terms of getting a better understanding of the industry throughout the three years and has taught me things that I would of otherwise found daunting and unapproachable, such as contacting studios or going about setting up your own business.  One thing that I really enjoyed about the module this year was self branding, this was something I hadn't been interested in second year but I really enjoyed creating a brand for myself and trying to almost summarise who I am as a designer and what Im about through designing my own branding material.  I then evaluated the difference between my branding from last year to this year and there seems to be such a big jump in terms of thought and presentation, even down to photographing the final products.  

Something that PPP has constantly helped to improve is my presentation skills and just allowing me to gain confidence in what Im doing and what I want to be doing, I can speak more confidently about my work and reflect and evaluate on my decisions.  Before starting the course presenting would of been something I would of found really difficult and would bother me, however after being on the course and having to engage with crits and regularly present your work its something that I don't feel affects me in the same way anymore, and although I still need to improve I feel I've come a long way from the first time I presented at level 03.

Because of this module I have done a two week work placement at Feref, a brand activation studio in London.  When I first applied for this placement I was a lot more interested in branding and since then my practice has taken a lot more of a focused direction, however, I can still take very valuable lessons from the experience.  Whilst there I learnt a huge amount about what its like to work in the industry, what its like to work on a live brief and present your ideas to clients and people within the company.  

I think this module has been valuable in helping to organise my practice a lot better, my time management has improved this year and I think part of it is down to the PPP module, having to constantly plan and assess what you're doing has helped me stay focused.

Because of PPP I have been more engaged in graphic design events and going to certain exhibitions that are going to eli inspire me and further my practice.  I recently attended Pick Me Up, the London graphic design fair which was really beneficial in being able to speak to studios and new graduates about how they got to be doing what they're doing and what kind of opportunities are on offer after university.  Because of PPP I have been more engaged in certain activities and this has allowed for opportunities to arise and certain experiences that I don't think I would of gained without the help of this module.  I think generally the module has taught me the business side of graphic design, the areas you need to know about in order to progress.  I think the most important thing, besides allowing me to get a better understanding of design and what it means to me, is the motivation its given me.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


brief 01
This was one of my most enjoyable briefs and probably, in my opinion, one of the most successful.  I think in terms of research skills, especially primary, this brief has allowed me to strengthen that area.  It was a good opportunity for me to be able to contact some of my favourite designers and people from around the world to take part in the project, and because of that I felt really engaged with it the entire time.  This is a project I would like to continue doing after the course and possibly try and extend it further in some way.  I feel this brief embodies all the areas of graphic design I really love (editorial, photography, publication) as well as travel and culture.  I think the biggest skill gained here is communicating with a range of people to help build the content for my publication.  This was an on going brief throughout the year and so was something that I could keep coming back to and picking up.  There were a few problems that were out of my control, such as cameras getting lost in the post, however, apart from that I was pleased with the photos I received back and the overall project when it came together.  I feel this is one of the first briefs that I am happy with the final outcome and I think the journey of getting to the final point was a really interesting and engaging way to work on something which I will continue to do.

brief 02
I enjoyed this brief as, although the final outcome was only a film poster, the experience I got from working on a set and on various locations was a good opportunity.  Throughout this brief I was quite enthusiastic and engaged as I was working quite closely with someone.  Although the design element (the film poster) was designed by me individually the process of getting there felt like a collaboration.  I feel from this brief I can take a lot more  away with me than just the single poster designed at the end.  The reason for the process being collaborative is because on several occasions I went out and helped film some scenes for the short film.  This allowed me to get a clearer understanding of the film synopsis, the main character, the general style and aesthetic of the film and the directors ideas and what he wanted from the poster. With this brief I felt I learnt a lot about the importance of the development for a brief and also how to adapt and change some of my design to suit the clients taste.  Being on set and helping gave me a great opportunity to get some photographs that I could work with for the promotional poster, which was my original intention.  However it helped me progress with the design in different ways and I didn't end up using any of the photographs that I had taken on set.  Because of filming and being in close contact with the director I was able to understand exactly the design direction the poster should take and how it could successfully represent the film in a way that the director is happy with.

In terms of evaluating my design I feel I have improved on photoshop, I created the poster on photoshop which is something I would never of done in previous years as I would not of felt confident enough to execute it properly.  However, because of the design of the poster it benefited me to use the tools on photoshop which will be useful for designing in the future.  I feel because of the time spent on this brief before the actual designing took place and the understanding of the film I grasped whilst helping allowed me to create a much more successful design and allowed me to make far more informed decisions about the direction of the brief.

I think the final poster communicates successfully what the film is about without giving too much away.  With the feedback I received I was told the poster mirrored what the film is about in a still and that it was eye catching and left enough to the imagination.  I think overall I'm glad with the final design and have enjoyed the experience this brief has enabled me to have.

brief 03
This was a really enjoyable brief for me as I found the processes we tried interesting and the collaborative aspect engaging and successful.  I feel this brief massively helped improve my screen printing skills and I now feel a lot more confident in that area and a lot more interested in print all together.  This was a brief Emily and I were both keen to do because we wanted to try and improve our screen printing skills.  I felt this brief was a great opportunity to experiment with colour, print and imagery.  This brief taught me the importance of planning and preparing before hand, the digital design was the quick and easy stage, whereas preparing screens, preparing our image for screen print and the process of actually screen printing was a lot more time consuming.  We faced some problems during the exposing stage of the screen printing, when we thought we would have to clean and expose the screen again due to a technical mishap that wasn't down to us, however overcoming that problem made the brief more challenging and therefore more successful in the end.  As this was the first time I had really experimented with these screen printing techniques, I think the final outcome has turned out well.  This brief, probably more than any other brief I have collaborated on this year, showed the importance of collaboration.  I feel Emily and I worked well together and it felt motivating to have someone with similar ideas and thoughts work together on what was quite a time consuming and at times stressful project.  Collaboration, I feel this year has been quite successful, and Emily and I have collaborated three times this year, both being really pleased with two out of the three brief outcomes.  We would quite like to continue and make another series of colourful screen prints, which is something we will try and do after the hand in.

brief 04
This brief was on going from the start of the year when I started researching for it, however the final outcome was produced in the second part of the year.  I felt working over a longer time scale allowed me to develop the brief and take it in a different direction to what I firstly intended.  Originally the brief was to create some new branding and promotional material for the museum of childhood, however as the year went on and my practice developed I became more focused on publication design and so as I liked the subject matter of the brief I wanted to do something more linked with editorial design.  As part of my research I visited the museum of childhood which was good for initial ideas and to look at the different kind of exhibitions that were on and the curation behind current exhibitions.  After developing initial ideas with the branding area of the brief and looking particularly into the visual of childhood toys I gathered a number of sketches from individuals, ranging in age to get a contrast.  I wanted to use these original drawings as part of the design for the promotional material, however when the direction of the brief changed the brief became a lot more focused and I knew the kind of outcome I wanted to create.  My new concept was to propose an exhibition and design a publication that could either be sold or 

I think this brief has allowed my primary research skills to develop further, the entire content of the publication is made up from on going gathered research on peoples childhood memories.  This allowed the brief to constantly remain interesting which was important as it was considered over a long time period.  I think my concept/idea generation has improved as I had to think about ways I could make the exhibition proposal relevant to the museum of childhood as well as consider design direction.  This was a brief that enabled me to engage with people and therefore made the content of the publication more interesting.

brief 05
This was an on going brief that I felt really enabled me to develop something over a long period of time.  In terms of developing ideas and pushing the brief I felt this was successful.  This was another project that relied heavily on primary research to build the content of the publication, I found because I was engaging with people when collecting primary research it made the brief far more interesting and collecting this kind of information can be really engaging.  The brief started out with me looking at one individuals story in particular but the brief developed further and I ended up exploring a few individuals stories which made the project more of a success, I feel.  I enjoyed putting a wall display together which was later used for promotional material for the proposed exhibition, I realised I liked working on that kind of scale.  I feel the biggest skill this brief has taught me is research skills, this was definitely a heavy research brief from start to finish, firstly researching into one unsung hero/heroine but then broadening the brief and looking at several peoples stories.  I came across a lot of printing problems whilst trying to produce the final outcome, the images were either too dark so they ended up showing through on the other side or certain paper didn't print the quality of the scans well enough.  I overcame this issue by ordering some paper from GF smith which I was pleased with in the end because it made a difference to the final printed outcome.

brief 06
This was quite a quick brief in terms of the final outcomes but I enjoyed using my own photography, which was probably the first time in third year that Id started using my own personal photography for work and since then I have much preferred this way of working.  The designs are quite simple, but after Interrailing myself and coming across their promotional material etc.  I wanted to try and design something that looked a little more appealing for its target audience.  I was directing the promotional material at students/people in their twenties as I feel this is usually the age group interrail mostly attracts.  In terms of the digital design I am pleased with, however, after finishing other briefs further on into the year i have decided I will need to reprint these images.  Learning from experience, the paper from the library will not allow the colour vibrancy to show as much, however matt paper from the digital print room will allow the colours to be displayed a lot more, I think this will definitely improve the final outcome of the printed versions.  When I have reprinted them I also need to think about a way I can photograph them to look as professional as possible.

brief 07
This was quite a nice brief to be able to do as it focused on areas of design I wanted to create reflecting me as a designer.  I felt this was an area that allowed me to focus on points and beliefs that I found important and try and visually display them through design.  It was a nice summary in terms of things that I've learnt over the three years and allowed me to reflect a lot on previous PPP tasks that I have done over the my time on the course.  I was also able to bring in some theories from third year COP.  I think this brief was a way of summing up certain areas within design and just in general about all the things I'd taken from the course and the influences I'd collected whilst being on the course.

brief 08

This brief was quite interesting as I found the research, process and development to turn out quite different to the final outcome, a change of direction Emily and I didn't expect.  I thought throughout the early developing stages of collecting visuals and researching techniques we were organised and had a clear direction with what we wanted to achieve with quite a clear style direction in mind.  However, the brief was left as the intensity of COP heightened and we felt we lost our memento with it a bit.  We did manage to finish the brief before the December hand in which was encouraging, but the final outcome didn't involve the original ideas we had in mind.

The process ended up being a digital one rather than a manual, hands on approach that we'd looked into previously.  Although we weren't entirely happy with the end results I felt the brief allowed us to research into techniques that I didn't know much about before and that hopefully we can use on the second part of the brief.  We have decided to extend the brief and write up a spectrum part two for the next term so we can hopefully get results that we pictured originally.

In terms of the designs actually produced we found colour to be quite a difficult obstacle and eventually decided to keep the set of posters all in one colour as we thought this showed consistency throughout.  The end products resulted in four posters and four promotional postcards, one poster Emily and I were particularly happy with, however given the opportunity again I feel we would do things differently.

brief 09
This was a brief that originally I hadn't written up or intended to do but sort of developed and turned into one of my longer briefs.  I feel this was quite a significant brief in third year and changed the approach and feelings I had towards my final outcomes in third year.  I feel the outcomes from this brief were one of the first deliverables that I was actually happy with and I had to overcome some printing issues to get the exact outcomes I wanted in the end and because of this the brief spanned from before Christmas until afterwards.  I felt like I had quite a lot of freedom with this brief and the way I wanted to design it which always makes the brief more engaging and interesting.  I was working with photographs I had taken and looking at visuals that could represent the lyrics and the feel/atmosphere of the song.

I also enjoyed extending the brief, when designing the four sleeves it kind of turned into making a logo for the band which I then put onto tee shirts (screen printed) and made stickers of.  I feel doing this brief allowed me to improve my screen printing skills dramatically.  Compared to the outcome of my screen printed tee shirts in second year the ink has transferred a lot better and looks a lot cleaner and more professional.

brief 10
This was an interesting brief to do as its been the shortest one I've done this year and as it was a flag brief it was interesting to print on a different material as i've never really looked at printing onto cloth/material.  I also enjoyed the collaborative aspect of the brief and the limited time scale as I feel this allowed us to generate ideas quickly, act on them and design all within a few days.  Sometimes I find that refreshing as I can work on a brief for longer than I need to and it can sometimes result in me becoming frustrated with it or wanting to move onto something new.

For this particular brief, Steph and I had similar ideas of the kind of aesthetics we wanted to go for with the brief and the style, both in agreement that we wanted to create collages/photomontages.  I thought with this brief the concept was quite strong as we firstly listed visuals that we would quote like to incorporate into the design such as maps, compasses, birds (all these themes encompass travel or journeys which we thought were appropriate for a flag design.)  We then looked at how we could give the design a concept without just designing something that was visually to our taste.  We researched into bird migration and the types of birds that migrate in certain directions and whether they head north, south etc.  The research process in this brief was quite rewarding as I feel the research stages really helped develop the final design.   Through research and thought out concept generation we then designed the final flag which displayed e map in a compass diagram with swallows.

Overall I am happy with the final flag design, although the printed version is slightly pixelated due to the scale of the flag and the image size we used.

brief 11
This brief was something that contrasted with a lot of my other briefs as I hadn't done that much branding this year, however, I found this brief was enjoyable and although I wouldn't particularly favour branding as an area of graphics I would like to go into I did enjoy the process of this brief.  This allowed me to gain a lot of experience woking for a client, this taught me about designing to meet other peoples requirements and needs and not just designing for yourself.  However I did get a lot of freedom to take the brief in a direction that I wanted to, I found this to be a good balance between getting what I wanted from the brief but also delivering something to a client that they could be happy with.  Something that I found quite satisfying with this brief was bringing all the products together to photograph, which I have taken a lot more care with this year than in previous.  But bringing all the branded products together and photographing them as a collective allowed me to see how successful the brief had been as a range of products.  I was faced with problems that I would not usually of thought about as much when designing publications, which is what I have done for the majority of the year, such as stock choice.  I feel my drawing skills have improved from this brief as I drew the logo and then made it digital on illustrator.  I think this brief also allowed me to work on my concept skills as it was quite a broad brief in terms of where I could take it.  In terms of photographing the final products I liked how the photographs turned out but would of liked to of been more prepared with props, drinks etc. as I think this would of added to the overall image of the drinks club.  This brief was the first time I had duplexed membership cards which I thought really added to the design of them and is something I will try and do with my self branding.  Overall, for a branding project, something I am not strong at, I feel quite happy with the final outcome.

brief 12
I enjoyed collaborating on this brief, this was another outcome that I was happy with in the end, and learnt a lot from the printing experience. After collaborating on Spectrum Emily and I decided to collaborate on this as we work well together but didn't get the outcomes we particularly wanted from the brief.  I felt this was a brief where the outcome was successful in terms of taking the brief into consideration, not only with how it turned out visually but also with the concept behind it.  Emily worked on the visuals and I researched on how we could build a concept around it.  The feel and atmosphere of the song and music is what influenced the visual behind it, the lyrics are what influenced the concept, the song being called karmacoma, I looked into karma symbolism in various cultures.  This symbol (the endless knot) was embedded into the colourful and trippy pattern for a subtle result.  After doing this we extended it further as I looked at how type could be incorporated into the design.  I feel this brief taught me how to work to a tight deadline as the original design was done in one session.  The biggest learning curve, that seems to be a reappearing theme this year is printing.  When Emily and I first printed we were really unhappy with the colours, the design on screen involved a lot of vibrant colours which were dull and murky when printed on the stock we got from Leeds uni.

After asking James we learnt that his paper would had chemicals in that would allow the colours to be printed to a much higher quality.  Once the nets were printed and assembled we were happy with the final outcome.

Again, something that I've mentioned that is beneficial to the overall outcome of the work is the photography.  Again I used professional equipment in the photography studio which is something I'd never done before third year.  We then went onto make another version of the sleeve that worked as a pair, contrasting in colours.  Overall I am happy with the final result and I think the collaboration allowed us to create something we were both keen to try in terms off aesthetics.

brief 13

brief 14
This was a quick response for a brief written by Eve and Nathan to be involved with the dialogue exhibition which took place at the corn exchange.  Even though ultimately I didn't use the primary research I collected I still enjoyed the process of collecting it and I will use these techniques and extend the certain area I was researching for a different brief.  Originally my idea was to collect conversations and use this information to form a dialogue themed poster of random snippets of conversation.  However, the idea never developed far enough as I came up with a new design that I thought fit more appropriately for the exhibition.  I thought this brief was good in terms of having to work to certain requirements, because we have had the freedom to write our own briefs this year, most of the outcomes have been suited to the criteria I wanted.  This brief allowed you to work to A3 scale, black and white and either vector or half toned images.  Shockingly enough this was the first time I had learnt how to and used the half tone effect.  I feel myself becoming slightly more confident on photoshop, which is really encouraging because a couple of months ago I wouldn't of even edited photos on there.  Im learning, even though I am far more confident on illustrator, that some things are so much easier and effective when using photoshop.  The design itself I was pleased with in the end as I thought it depicted the theme of 'dialogue' quite well.  The photograph that I had taken fit perfectly for the quote that I found which really highlighted conversation/dialogue, from the catcher in the rye.  I also made a colour copy which I think I would prefer in my portfolio, as the original design had to meet the requirements of the brief set.

brief 15
This was a brief I enjoyed as the subject is something Im very interested in.  I feel this brief allowed m to improve on quite a few skills such as screen printing, film photography and book binding.  Lisa and I wrote the brief based on individual trips we were taking to Paris.  This really allowed us both to do a lot of primary research, which i've noticed based on all my briefs, seem to have better outcomes when informed by first hand information.  We explored a few processes, the most important being screen printing, which we did for the cover of the booklet, we also explored foiling which I thought was a good process for this brief.  In terms of collaboration it was good to work with Lisa as we both had similar ideas about how we wanted the visual outcome to look and the type of aesthetic we wanted for the brief.  I think one thing that really let the whole project down was the photographs of the final publication, due to bad time management the final photographs were rushed and do the final publication no justice.  This is something we will have to rephotograph for our portfolios.


improving self branding
2nd year
This was my self branding from second year, which looking back now looks really unprofessional and I don't really feel like it reflects me much as a designer at all in terms of my practice.  Even the way I've photographed it is pretty careless, I haven't paid attention to the backdrop or lighting and the range of products were not pushed very far.  I've also used a personal hotmail account for it which I think looks quite unprofessional, all in all not a great success.
3rd year
In comparison to second year there is such a huge improvement, in terms of every area.  The branding is more consistent, it looks more professional and has more deliverables.  I think a big lesson I've learnt this year is the importance of photographing your work, leaving yourself enough time to photograph it properly with the correct lighting, backdrop and camera is vital.  I feel this years branding reflects my style as a designer more, looks more consistent and I spent a lot more time on it this year than the previous year which I think is evident through the final photographs.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


primary research this year:
After looking back and reflecting on the briefs I have done this year I have noticed quite a few of the design outcomes have been based on primary research which has improved the overall quality of the design and the content.  My most enjoyable briefs consisted of gathering a bank of primary research which I then used for content in publications, the briefs included: the Museum of Childhood, Unsung Heroes and Heroines, Contemporary Culture and an Exhibition of Paris, which were either my most enjoyable briefs or the ones that I think were the most successful in terms of meeting criteria and outcome.

I think it was beneficial in a lot of ways but going out and getting the information first hand makes it far more interesting and engages you with current issues.  I think its important to interact with people to inform your design decisions as being a graphic designer is all about communicating a message and delivering an effective and well designed outcome.  Collecting the information first hand allows my outcome to be more unique and gives me a clearer understanding of what I need to try and communicate through my practice.

I think one of the most effective forms of my primary research this year was the contemporary culture brief, gathering first hand imagery to compile a zine that displays culture in different cities.  This was by far my favourite brief and I felt engaged and enthusiastic throughout, from contacting people to receiving the images to laying out the content.  As I have been trying to improve my primary research skills since first year I was aware of trying to incorporate this into some of my main briefs.

Now that I have completed all my briefs and can look back at the concepts and the deliverables I have found that the primary research has been the difference in the briefs that I have preferred and will look to continue this post extended practice.


self branding images:

Sunday, 18 May 2014


creative CV development:
For my creative CV I wanted to create a small booklet with a fold out of my manifesto on the back page.  I thought having my manifesto feature in my creative CV was appropriate as I think its a feature that ties a lot about what I think about design and in some ways the visual aspect of my design together.  The booklet will be A6 size and feature samples of my work and my education and experience.
To keep it consistent with my self branding my logo will feature on the front page using the stamp, on brown stock, matching the duplexed business card stock.  
The first page will have a statement about me as a designer, the same one that features on my self branding post cards.  Followed by qualifications and experience, typeface used will be Minion Pro, the same as my branding logo to keep the style consistent.
mock up/ testing format:
I mocked up my idea for the creative CV to see how the fold out manifesto would work, I also looked at how I could bind the final design and decided a good way to, considering the fold out page at the end would be to use binding clips.  I wanted to use the same stock as I had for the duplexed business cards to keep the branding consistent.


design context publication
I really enjoyed putting the context of practice publication together as I feel it was a task in summing up my ideas, inspiration and practice into the form of a book.  I wanted the design, style and aesthetic of the publication to reflect me and the areas of design that I like.  I split the publication into areas that influenced me, briefly touching on first year, followed by second year with the most focus on third year.  I looked at themes that have influenced my work and general areas that I kept touching on when looking back over my extended practice, these included 


I also looked at designers/studios that had impacted on my practice and influenced the style of my work, these included:

Studio Pyramid 
Caroline Aufort
Jim Dine
William Morris

This task allowed me to reflect on my practice and almost see it visually as a journey throughout the course and my design.  I also included my manifesto in the back on the publication as I felt this was relevant and almost summed up the booklet in ten points.

printed copy of of cop publication:
Influence & Inspiration