BA (Hons.) GRAPHIC DESIGN Module Code
END OF MODULE SELF-EVALUATION NAME
1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them? The skills that I have developed are mainly centred around my professional practice; however, I have also developed some technical skills. Through this past module I have been working with clients and in a collaboration, both of which are new skills that I hadnâ€™t really learned or used before. Working for clients means that I have had to be as professional as possible, meeting every deadline, producing work to the best of my ability and acting as a professional rather than a student. I think my knowledge and professionalism has improved a lot over this module. Although I am not entirely confident, I know how to deal with and work with clients, how to correctly approach projects so that I will get paid properly and what to do if things go wrong. Working with clients has also provided the opportunity to make new contacts, some of which could be very fruitful in the future. Over this module I have made contact with a fashion designer, a creative advertiser and a surface pattern designer. This module has also allowed me to experience working to briefs written by non-creatives and submitting to competitions. Although I had submitted to competitions before, they had only been small. In this module I have submitted work to D&AD and YCN. This was quite a learning curve as I learned how insufficient and indirect the original briefs were and how regardless of the grandeur of the competition they still have difficulties. These skills can be applied in any future competitions brief I undertake.
2. What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process? I have developed several new elements to how I approach a brief, how I work on it and how I present it. When working with clients I believe it is important to have regular communication where possible. This ensures that any issues from either party can be dealt with quickly and with as much ease as possible. I work by producing a variety of different ideas which I then show to the client, they then choose their favourite and I develop it from there. Although this method of working keeps the client involved, I am not sure it is the most effective way of working. It means that I end up doing a lot of work, maybe more than the brief requires.
My approach to competition briefs has also changed. Whereas before I have just gone straight into them, I know take time to analyse and dissect the brief so that I know exactly what I need to produce and what they are asking for. A technical aspect that I have improved on over this module is my design and production of design boards. Before this module I would still thoughtfully lay out my boards, however, they did not have the impact that my submission boards have had through this module. Although still not perfect, I now know the best techniques to draw attention to the boards, ensure they have a big impact and correctly convey my idea. This improvement in my skill can be seen in my submission boards for my main individual submission – D&AD New Blood : National Trust.
3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these? I think my main strength lies in my concept generation. Although for some briefs the concept was very simple, they are always effective and fulfil the brief. I like producing work that is not only aesthetically strong but also has a strong concept behind it. This is best showcased in my D&AD submission and my entry for Secret 7”. This has been capitalised on as far as my Secret 7” entry was chosen and displayed before being sold for charity. Concept is something that is important to my work so I will continue to produce strong conceptual work where possible. Another strong element of my work is the process I undergo. I always produce a variety of initial ideas so that I force myself to make a design decision. If I went with the first idea that I came up with, I may miss something because I have been so focused on that design. Producing a variety allows me to think more broadly even if the outcome I choose is still the same. Another strength in this module is the experiences I have gained throughout. These experiences are both positive and negative but I have been able to learn from them all. Working on big competition briefs is something I had never done previously and the experience of working on those has changed the way I will approach any future briefs. The experience of working for clients has improved my professionalism and my confidence. Although we were repeatedly told that our collaboration would be difficult and we would fall out, ours worked smoothly, without any fallouts. This was an especially good experience as it taught me to rely on and work with another creative in a close partnership.
4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future? In this project I have identified several weaknesses in my work, technical skill and process. In terms of technical skill, I need to improve on my ability to mock up and render work to show how it would look in reality. Not only does this make the project seem fuller and more complete, it is also easier for the client to see how the work will look on their products, website, etc. I will address this in the future by producing more mock-ups where the brief and work allows it. The more I do it, the more my skills will improve, making the mock-ups appear more realistic. Another weakness is my consistency. This covers a range of different areas from development to aesthetic strength. At this stage in my design career my designing is still very inconsistent – some of my work is very good, whilst others are below par. As an example, my D&AD brief had a strong concept, was well developed and had a strong outcome, where as the work for SSC was well developed but the outcome was not very strong. This is something that is evident though out my work, some projects are much stronger than others and even some elements are projects are much stronger than other. Some work has a great amount of development whilst other have none and some work has a really strong concept or aesthetic outcome, whilst, again, others don’t. This is something that really frustrates me as in some projects there will be a really strong element that is let down by another part. I think this inconsistency comes from what the brief is, how much I am enjoying working on it and how much time I am able to spend on it. To rectify this I will improve my consistency throughout a project, which should improve the consistency across all projects.
5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these? If I was to do this module again the five things that I would do differently would be; 1. Choose more briefs that focus on areas I am really interested in. Although I engaged with all the briefs I worked on, I think I would have produced better, more thorough work had I been working in areas of design and interests I am more attracted to, such as editorial and fashion. 2. Choose a greater variety of briefs to work on. Although I managed to work on quite a few brief and still have some on going, several of them are quite similar and I think it would have been more beneficial for me as a designer and my development, if I had chose a wider variety. 3. I would have liked to have produced a more thorough and more developed series of boards that document my work. Although the ones I have produced succeed in that they show the progression through my work, they are not aesthetically pleasing or strong and lack much impact. Some are better than others but I still would have liked to improve them. 4. Have the confidence to charge more. Even at this stage in my career I would like to charge more for the work I am doing. As I am only really starting out, it is hard to gage how much you should charge for something but over this module I think I have undersold myself on a few occasions. I like the finer things in life and I will not be able to afford these if I undersell myself. To rectify this in the future I will more carefully price up a job so it is a true reflection on the time, effort, skills and knowledge that has gone into it. 5. Have better consistency throughout. As I have previously stated in the weaknesses section, I am not as consistent as I would like to be. I want to produce, where possible, work that has a strong concept, a strong visual identity that has come from considered research and thorough development. Improving my consistency will improve me as a designer.
6.How would you grade yourself on the following areas: (please indicate using an â€˜xâ€™) 5= excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = average, 1 = poor 1
5 X X
Attendance Punctuality X Motivation X Commitment X Quantity of work produced X Quality of work produced X Contribution to the group The evaluation of your work is an important part of the assessment criteria and represents a percentage of the overall grade. It is essential that you give yourself enough time to complete your written evaluation fully and with appropriate depth and level of self-reflection. If you have any questions relating to the self evaluation process speak to a member of staff as soon as possible.