Grids: Feedback and Improvements

In this group crit my designs were received well and I was praised for my bravery in attempting minimalist designs which are often hard to do well. The feedback I was give consisted a few minor changes. The text throughout all three designs needed to be reduced in size as the leading was very tight. Furthermore my first design (1-2 large images) needed a drop cap or another graphic device added to the right hand side page of the spread in order to add some visual interest. One major change that I did have to make was to redo my last design (3-5 small images), this was because the images were too small on the page and got lost in the empty space. For this design it was recommended that I looked at large scale photo books for inspiration.

To begin improving my designs I visited the library and collated a large body of research into layout design by photographing spread layouts from large scale photography magazines. The magazines pictured below include Foam, Source magazine, Parkett magazine, Art Review and American Destiny.

   I then revisited some of my previous designs for my 3-5 small images design.

The text handing down from the text creates an interesting layout on the left however the page on the right is too similar to the design for 3-5 medium images (seen above)

Breaking the grid on the right gives a refreshing break from the previous designs which all work within the confines of the grid, the image on the left page however may be too large for the 3-5 small images design

Final 1-2 large images design: A drop cap has been added to the body text, the body text has been reduced in size and the background colour has been made stronger to show up when printed as previously it was not visible when printed

Final design for 3-5 medium images: A faint colour has been added to the background to make the paper off white as the paper before was a very bright white

Final design for 3-5 small images: This layout is a combination of the two previous designs I was looking at. By breaking the grid on the right it ensure that the design is not too similar to my 3-5 medium images design, therefore giving the spreads flow and diversity. I have also included the text hanging from the image on the left which creates an interesting composition.

 

Creative Process

To help develop my creative process I have decided to make a checklist which I can follow and edit when working on a brief. This checklist will help to speed up my creative process as I will have a clear plan to follow, it will also help to ensure that I don’t miss or spend too little or too much time on certain activities, therefore compromising my project.

Briefing

  • Analyse the brief
  • Identify what is required from the project

Initial ideation

  • Mind map initial ideas
  • Identify initial subject matter
  • Brainstorm ideas/feelings/emotions/etc. associated with that subject matter which I can use to inform my work (for example if my subject matter was dreaming my work could have an ethereal and confusing feeling)

Primary and Secondary Research

  • Research any references suggested on the brief
  • Research any requirements of the brief that I am unfamiliar with
  • Research my subject matter
  • Research how other designers have approached that subject matter
  • Research formats
  • Primary research about methods, imagery, formats, production, etc.
  • Browse my collection of work saved on Pinterest and Tumblr for inspiration

Informed ideation

  • Develop my initial ideas based on my findings from my primary and secondary research

Roughs

  • Roughly design my final solution
  • Identify and plan for any potential issues that may occur during the production of the final solution

Production, Refinement and Final Solution

  • Design my final idea
  • Using appropriate traditional or digital techniques produce my final outcomes
  • Mount/photograph/present my final outcome if appropriate

Critique

  • Present my final solution during a group critique to receive feedback from the tutors and my peers

Post critique amendments

  • Make appropriate changes based on feedback given during the critique

Semester 1 Assessments

Portfolio

In preparation for our semester 1 assessments we were given a list of work to present and how it should be presented. The work to be presented is as follows:

To present our work all of our layout pads should have cover sheets, held together with bulldog clips or another appropriate binding technique, and on each cover sheet should be a label. These labels should also be attached to any cover sheets for mounted outcomes, archive spines and on the reverse of final outcomes.

Finally to accompany our work we had to complete a self-evaluation sheet for the semester, write a cover letter explaining the work presented and any tutorial and critique note sheets.

For my semester 1 assessment portfolio I attached black cover sheets to all of my layout pads, which I held together with black bulldog clips, and to any work mounted on boards. By having all my cover sheets the same colour it allows my portfolio to easily be identifiable as a single body of work. Any final outcomes that weren’t mounted were printed onto good quality paper and had a label attached to the reverse. When collating all of my work at the end I realised that having my cover sheets as black was a very suitable choice as many of my final outcomes are black and white, therefore adding to the theme throughout my work.

The labels I created were based on the label I produced for my presentation board several months before, although it is not the most ground breaking design it does contain all of the appropriate information and is consistent throughout. Furthermore as I designed my labels several months in advance I did not want to redo the labelling on my work and risk damaging the prints or boards.

Semester 1 Reflection

I believe my work at the start of the academic year was not as strong as it could have been as I was settling into new ways of working and gaining new skills. Towards the end of the semester however my work developed hugely as I had a better idea of what was expected from me and could apply the skills I had been learning. Reflecting on past projects now I can now see how they need to be improved by applying the skills I have learned. Due to time, I cannot revisit and improve every project to the level I would like, therefore for my year 1 semester 1 assessments I improved those which needed it most. The new skills and knowledge I have gained through semester 1 however has put me in a strong position for the start of semester two.

Not only have I gained new skills and knowledge from semester 1 but I have begun to enjoy my work more and am eager to take on more personal projects. My goals for semester two are to create a series of online accounts on various websites to promote my work, to develop and explore my transmogrify project more, to explore experimental photography more which was inspired by let there be light, and to possibly develop my own font inspired by my handwriting. I would also be interested learning and experimenting with vector illustrations, an aspect of graphic design I have been eager to explore for a while but lacked the initial technical knowledge in Adobe Illustrator.