- 10 things that you have learned about yourself as an individual and as learner. These should reflect your personal development and individual journey since the start of the programme.
I have a better understanding of myself as an individual in relation to what makes me happy. Since recently turning 25 I have found that I don't feel the need to go out all the time. I much prefer to work hard and keep on top of my work, then reward my self with a night out. I find it I have a much better time and feel refreshed and focussed ready for my next task at college.
When I was college at ND level I found it difficult to form close relationships with my peers as the age distance was vast. Since starting the course I have met some really nice people that I respect professionally and personally. I think forming relationships and networking will be beneficial to being successful in this industry.
I still feel like I have a long way to go to reach the level of confidence I would like to project. However I feel I am improving the more time I spend time with my peers. I have anxiety issues that effects the way I communicate because I feel very nervous when talking to people, especially making eye contact. I want to find the balance between being professional and serious, whilst having a laugh and connecting with people at the same time. This is something I am hoping to achieve by the time I finish my degree.
I find it takes me a while to get comfortable enough with people to allow myself to fully relax, be myself and come out my shell. This is something I would like to address and improve because in the industry I wont always have the luxury of time to get to know the clients and form a relationship.
Although I have really enjoyed my time so far in Leeds, I feel by the end of my degree I will be ready to move on to some where new. I would like to move to London or possible Manchester as I feel it could be the best place for job opportunities. I am also open to working abroad to see different cultures and gain some experience. I am an Australian citizen so that could be an option, however I would like to go some where different as well to soak up as much as I can.
I have learnt to work in groups with people from different backgrounds, with different opinions and that have different styles of work. I have never done this before so it was a bit intimidating at first but I now enjoy the challenge and the discussions that arise when trying to solve a problem. I find being around creative people really inspiring and enjoy bouncing ideas off each other. This makes me want to better myself as a person and a designer.
When I first started the course I used to worry to much about the quality of my initial ideas, I wasted a lot of time making things looks neat when really its the idea thats important. The refinement comes afterward when you have fully explored the ideas and have made a decision on what is the most successful resolution.
At the start of the course I used to panic when I first received a brief. I've now learnt to relax a little and enjoy the process because the work develops naturally as you inform yourself through research, time to reflect and feedback from crits. Saying this, I still have the odd day where I feel I'm struggling to progress but I think this is unavoidable and a part of life, the important thing is to keep calm and stay positive which keeps you motivated.
I have found that asking the opinions of my peers has been beneficial in distinguishing the flaws in my work that I might not of thought of on my own. It has helped me to address the problems and move forward to achieve a better, more informed outcome to better fulfil the mandatories. Im not saying my work is perfect because I believe there is always room for improvement but it helps to gain a better understanding of the target audience.
Response to feedback
I have come to realise that my own personal taste isn't always the best solution for the outcome. Particularly in the last brief I found I became too attached emotionally to my work and found it hard to accept negative feedback from my tutors in the final crit. This was a real eye opener for me and made me realise that everything I design wont always be right for the client. With this in mind I feel I am better prepared mentally to accept criticism and use it positively to improve my work to better fulfil the briefs.
- 10 things that you have learned about yourself as a designer. These should reflect your growing awareness of your own interests within graphic design as a subject, discipline and profession.
Being introduced to modernism has had a big impact on my interests in graphic design. I love the functionality, simplicity and overall aesthetic associated with the movement. I was interested in negative space before I started the course and liked anything with a minimal aesthetic. Learning about modernism has given my thoughts and interests a context and better understanding of where it derived.
I find design with a limited colour palette, usually consisting of two to three colours appealing. This is why I think I could be suited to branding and identity. I like the simplicity of the designs and think it would be fun to solve the problem of creating a design to work across a variety of media and creating a recognisable, strong identity that reflects the ethics and ideology of the business and brand.
I find layouts in editorial design exciting which makes me want to learn about grid systems and layouts. This ties back to the modernist influence. Although being interested in columns and type, I don't always agree with the strict boundaries associated with modernist design. I'd like the opportunity to experiment with different layouts and typefaces depending on the appropriation to the content.
The last brief I did I had the opportunity to produce packaging for a product. I really enjoyed the process of understanding and developing the functionality of the net design. I feel I only scratched the surface with this brief though because of the other factors that need to be taken into consideration. For example the cost of materials and sustainability, health and safety; my book packaging had sharp edges which I imagine could be an issue when being displayed in stores.
I didn't realise how important typography is in graphic design. I now feel I have a better and more informed understanding of type and how to utilise it to communicate whatever message needs to be said. For example, a rule of thumb is to keep to three fonts per design, hierarchy of words to illustrate a message, point size, and general refinement, such as kerning and tracking. I now know the different categories of type, Gothic, Roman, Script, Block and what they are used for.For example, Block is used for headlines.
I am still a little baffled by colour theory but I feel I'm starting to gain a better understanding of the discipline the more I work with it. I still have a hell of a lot to learn but I have been introduced to some interesting theories and ideas that I need to further explore in my own time. This will be beneficial to becoming a better and professional desinger. Having the theory to back up the ideas will put me in a better position when looking for employment, presenting work and making general design decisions.
I have been thinking about the importance of the internet and ways I can use it to promote my work and myself as a professional designer. For example I have set up a Pinterest account, twitter, behanced, tumbler and linked in. I use these to follow design studios, designers and general creative practises. I keep a visual diary of design I find interesting whilst observing what is current in design to see whats on trend, which in-turn informs the design decisions and possibly predicting new trends and ideas. Eventually, once I have generated some work that I am proud to share I will start to build an online portfolio to get my name out the the right people within the industry.