OUGD503 Responsive: Self-Evaluation AbbasMushtaq_Level05_BAGD The responsive module in Level 05 has been the most enjoyable module of Level 05 for me, not just because of the variety of briefs and the freedom of choice in basically doing whatever design you want but also the opportunities and learning experiences from the module. Along with the good, there have also been some struggles throughout the module. One of the biggest positives from the module was the opportunity to present myself to a client and to work on a brief with a real-life outcome. My first live brief was a competition for Hyde Park, to design a poster for horror movie Santa Sangre. I managed to win the competition, which was a huge turning point for me - it raised my confidence and the opportunities that have stemmed from simply winning a competition and having contact with Hyde Park Picture House have been enormous. Without this module, I probably wouldn’t have entered the competition and all the positive situations that has come out of it wouldn’t have happened. Another aspect of the module I’ve enjoyed is the freedom of choice, the ability to do quick turn-around briefs is a form and process of design I really enjoy and feel creative in. The idea of simply reacting to a brief and cracking on with a concept is refreshing and a nice change of pace from thinner modules and more long-term projects carried out parallel to the responsive module throughout Level 05. It has given a nice break from a brief I may have spent over a month on and need a break from. This module has also been in line with the first time I’ve been in touch with clients and competition organisers as a professional graphic designer. Doing so has allowed me to gain confidence in networking, emailing and remaining in dialogue with contacts I’ve made and fulfilling a clients needs.
These are invaluable skills moving forward as a designer and into the industry. One of the primary struggles I’ve come across during the module is during my individual practice brief, which was Ted Baker for D&AD. Having a long-term brief requires you as a designer to remain focused and to not sway away or forget your original concepts, it’s best to keep it simple and streamlined. I found this out the hard way as although I had spent a large amount of time on the brief, the hours spent probably won’t efficient. I looked deeply into the fashion industry in Japan and almost treated it as a research brief for around a month when that time could have been better spent elsewhere. I lost focus of the concept and my initial aim and found myself a little lost in the brief. It forced me to step back and reaffirm my ambitions and concepts within the brief. I’m not 100% happy with the execution because of this but it allowed me to realize what I was doing wrong and the struggle allowed me to make sure this didn’t happen in the collaborative brief. An early struggle within one of my early briefs was miscommunication and disagreements with the client. I later learned it was partly due to my own inexperience and stubbornness. For the Black History Month Leeds Uni event branding I tended to go against exactly what the client wanted and instead trusting myself more than the client, but I was disregarding that the client is the boss in the end and the client still has useful opinions even if they don’t “study” design. The confusion and lack of direction lead to way more time spent on the brief and way more variations and back-and-forth dialogue than what was needed. When I did decide to listen and discuss with the client, the finished work involved concepts brought forward by the client and was stronger than it originally was. Moving forward I learnt to listen and reason with
the client, to first focus on fulfilling the clients needs and if I have my own ideas to present that along with exactly what the client wants. Instead of doing what I want and not bringing what the client wants to life at all. One of the high points of the module has been the collaborative brief with Eve, I realized my weaknesses in terms of presentation of work and thought process when struggling with the Ted Baker brief so a reason for working with Eve was her strengths in this area. We had clear and concise logic when working through the BBC brief and it was all the more enjoyable and efficient. I feel we didnâ€™t lose focus and having a partner you trust and can rely on and agree with in design style has been great. Not only to keep me on my toes and to not let a partner down with an assigned task but to share and bounce ideas off and to most importantly stop me going on a tangent, as I did so much with Ted Baker. I realized this worked and took this forward with the short collaboration with Seb on Heinz ketchup for The Dieline Awards which was also efficient and logical in its execution of concept. In retrospect the responsive module has been a thoroughly enjoyable brief to work on and taught me a lot about design and carried on the theme throughout level 05 involving being completely independent and self-driven and organized. It has taught me key skills, most importantly difficult periods have taught me what doesnâ€™t work so I know what does work for next time. It has lead to fantastic opportunities and high points throughout the year and key work for my portfolio. It has given creative freedom and an element of fun Iâ€™ve sometimes been wishing for with other modules. Key lessons in design process, networking and collaboration will be taken forward onto the rest of the year and Level 06.
Published on Apr 17, 2013