Saturday, 6 December 2014

OUGD405 - Studio Brief 1 - Final Crit

Today we had our final critique sessions for Studio Brief 1. The brief went really well. I received some really positive feedback and plenty of constructive criticism to take away and consider. I missed the first week of this brief and had to catch up quite quickly, but I am really pleased with my final ideas, as I feel they have a really strong concept behind them. One of my main influences for this project was the collage artist John Stezaker. His collages of portraits are very unusual and he creates optical illusions through subtle fold and layering of various photographs, that's what I attempted to achieve through my digital manipulations. The group got the concept and said it worked really well which I was pleased with, because I appreciate that they are very wacky and quite abstract designs. I wanted to take this route, because I found that many of the designs that exist in the market place are very very dull. They lack excitement. I wanted my designs to have an impact, be recognisable, memorable and ultimately less disposable. Photo frame backing paper design is disposable design, but I wanted to create something that people wouldn't instantly think of throwing away.

The group said that the three designs are brilliant as individual pieces and work as a set of three even though each design is so independent to the other. The women's' lips that appear on each of the designs brings them all together, it is the consistent element within the concept. To make the three designs even more consistent I could have considered using the same pair of lips for all three 'faces', but a part of me wanted each design to be unique and that is why I chose to use three different images of women's lips.

My peers commented on the type choice and layout quite a lot. Admittedly, these designs were fairly rushed, but for me the concept excuses the slightly rushed resolution. When I asked for feedback, people generally said that the typeface works well. I used Microsoft Y Baiti, is sleek Sans Serif typeface. I chose this because it's clear and contrasts well with the highly abstract slightly chaotic background imagery and pattern.

People in my crit group said they really liked the size of the font on my second design, the 7 x 5 photo frame. In fact they said out of the three this was the most successful in terms of type layout and composition. The positioning of the 'or' acts as a nose for the face created. and I agree. For the other two frames, they said that the layout of the type needs tweaking to make it easier to read and to add further consistency to the designs. In my first design, the 6 x 4 frame, the text at the bottom of the composition is cropped off by the frame. This is down to me not paying too much attention when laying out the text, and not thinking about how the final printed design would look in a frame. Again I completely agree with this feedback and I will take it on board and make adjustments in time for module submission. One person also suggested I try making the font a different colour, perhaps a dark pink or red to link in with the lips. I could try this, but I think that the type works well in white as it allows it to stand out nicely against the grainy background.

People said the monochrome colour theme is effective and edgy. They really liked the striking contrast and the grain within the design. They liked the textures and the patterns created through my photographic manipulation. One thing that does need improving is the contrast within the third design. This was my least successful one in term of composition, This one will definitely need improving in time for submission.

When designing, I knew that I wanted my designs to be targeted at a young audience. Roughly in the age range of around 18 - 40. In my mind my designs would suit shops such as Paperchase or Habitat or another quirky store of a similar, stylish nature. I'm quite glad that nobody said that it would look good in Urban Outfitters, because I feel like the photo frames that you get in there are a bit pretentious and too on trend for my liking. One person in my crit group said that they could see my designs appearing in a shop like NEXT. I was pleased to hear this, as I hadn't even considered it before.

The group liked the fact that I had used all of my own photography in my designs, as it showed personal meaning in the work. They also liked the fact that you wouldn't necessarily know where the place is, yet it is somewhere. The designs ask the audience a lot of questions and they liked the fact that you have to look deeper at the design to realise that there are 'faces' in amongst the collaged imagery of the various buildings and places. One person said that the designs have a very post modern feel to them, and Simon described them as 'post-post modern'. This made me happy as I love post modern influenced art and design and I was trying to make them stand out and appear hand crafted and certainly edgy and unconventional.

I received some really positive feedback and I am pleased with the amount of work I did in such a short amount of time. I am also pleased that I decided to run with a spontaneous idea rather than drag on my initial ideas and create a piece of design that to me would seem generic and boring. I came up with these designs very last minute and I couldn't be happier that I did. I know that they need a lot of pushing about but the ideas are there.

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