Project Report This year came with an added pressure but also an added drive to make my best work to date. Initially at the start of the year, I proposed to do quite a few different projects, including book cover designs, editorial and publishing, as well as retail & packaging briefs as this is the sector of the industry I’d like to go into. The reason for this is that I usually choose briefs with a subject matter that I know I’ll enjoy working on. I’ve realised across the years how important this is to me. If I’m enjoying working on something, I have more motivation to do it and as a result the outcomes are usually better. There have been times however, that I’ve changed my mind or got a little tired of it midway through a brief, if I’ve been working on it for a lengthy period of time. This happened with the Folio Society Sherlock Holmes brief. The outcomes were produced in papercut and thus took a lot of planning and crafting. After two outcomes it became a little tedious and I lost interest for a while. I then carried it on at a later date and really enjoyed the process again. I seem to work best with shorter briefs and a quick turnaround – which I think is beneficial considering the industry I am going into. I’ve become better or more efficient even, at carrying out research. I used to really struggle with this side of things, but I’ve realised the importance of researching things like tone and audience as well as facts and reference material. One of the more substantial briefs I worked on this year was the YCN Street Feast competition. The brief was to create a campaign for their street food markets. I wanted to actually visit one in London but was unable to, so I had to resort to looking at their website and social media accounts. This was still extremely useful in showing me their current branding, the tone of their markets and the food that they serve, which I then used to determine the idea and outcomes of the project. I felt it was important to accurately reflect and promote the client especially within the context of advertising. Purpose is something I try to make a conscious effort to think about now. I have discovered that I find it easier to develop digitally as I can better visualise what it will look like, as well as being able to determine what is working and what isn’t. I use my sketchbook to rough out ideas and generally what I am going to be drawing and the rest happens digitally. I think this because I am now pretty competent at working with Illustrator, so I can make changes quickly and efficiently. I also find it useful to screenshot the process as I go along as sometimes the changes I’ve made aren’t as successful as something I’d tried previously. This is to ensure that I can make the outcome as strong as possible, having tried and tested sufficiently. Furthermore, I’ve realised the importance in attention to detail. Idea generation is one of the strong points within my practice, and I make an effort to thoroughly develop my ideas- thinking about every aspect and every detail. I think this is reflected in my self-initiated chocolate bar packaging brief (Choc-a-Bloc). Although it may not be particularly obvious as a first glance, I’ve thought about the way the images link together, the consistency in the amount of detail and colours, as well as the ideas behind it all. The images reflect attributes of the chocolate bar itself and the logo and name created represent the project as a whole, tying everything together. I’ve found that the slightest adjustment to something can make a huge difference, and the layering of ideas adds a depth to my work.
In terms of time management, I think Iâ€™ve improved this year. I left enough time to not have to rush things (though I can never fully avoid this as I always feel I can do more). I am a perfectionist and although most of the time this is a good thing, as it makes for a better outcome, it does takes its toll on my confidence and I begin to doubt myself and my ideas, sometimes causing me to change things halfway through, hindering the progression and delaying the completion of the brief slightly. I do feel I have an ability to work quite quickly though to ensure that the outcomes are still good, if not better than before. I have met all official deadlines and most of the deadlines I have set for myself, leaving time to take projects one step further in making mockups and photographing professionally (which are new skills that I have acquired). It was really useful to have made my final major brief a packaging design one as I now know that this is definitely what I want to go into in the future. I think I could improve on my graphic design skills as I usually just go off my own instincts for layout and type. Learning about the fundamentals of graphic design should now be a main focus for me, prior this course, to enable me to develop my practice further. I do feel as though I have made some of my best work this year.