Sunday, 18 January 2015

OUGD405 - Module Evaluation


OUGD405 has been a great module; I have thoroughly enjoyed each brief from start to finish. I found the briefs and study tasks in this module far more engaging and challenging creatively than the briefs in the first module and I feel I have been able to push my practice and produce really exciting work that communicates what I am about as a creative. I feel I have been much more motivated and positive about the work this module and in the process have enjoyed doing the work.

Brief one was all about developing skills in Photoshop, which I had a lot of prior knowledge about. This brief asked us to reconsider the backing paper for photo frames, which on first inspection sounds like quite a dry task, but in fact this brief was very interesting. I did primary and secondary research into various designs used by a range of shops selling photo frames. I found the majority of the designs very average and plain boring, so this inspired me to create a set of designs that were unique, sophisticated, eye catching and memorable. This was my interpretation of the brief. I thought to myself, why create something that is conventional and is probably destined to be thrown away? I wanted to create a design that would stand out and change the disposable nature of these pieces of paper. We had to consider shape in this brief, this was the main focus. I didn’t want to play it safe and go down the obvious route of shape (geometry, line, block colour etc.) I wanted to experiment initially with using type to make shapes. I started out by aiming my designs at a predominately male audience, as I felt that a lot of photo frames are targeted at females (discovered this through my research). I developed these initial ideas for a while, and then two days before the brief was due I had a complete change in direction for this brief and came up with my concept of ‘face or place’. I used images of places I had visited whilst travelling in 2014 and created compositions that resembled faces. I used my own photography to create shapes and then inserted large feminine lips over the tops to add a splash of colour. I received plenty of positive feedback and I am genuinely really impressed with my own development in this brief. I think my final designs are successful because they are unusual and ask the audience questions. They are abstract and tackled the brief in a different way to the way most people would probably approach it.

Brief two was focused on researching. We had to collect 20 images, 20 facts, 20 opinions, 20 words and 20 statistics based around a collection that we may have. Earlier in 2014 I purchased a collection of over 500 35mm slide transparencies from eBay. This is an acquired collection. The images on the slides are completely un-related to one another and are random. I found them intriguing as they are other people’s memories and lives yet I had acquired them. I found some aspects of the research easy, such as collecting images and opinions and words, but finding stats and facts was slightly more challenging. I collected all of the research and formatted it into a slide show to present in the studio. I enjoyed this brief and gathered some really great content to use in the following briefs. This project helped me develop my research skills further. It was also quite a relaxed brief as we had the festive break to be getting on with it.

Brief three was one of my favourite briefs to date. This brief was all about communicating the gathered research in the form of double page spreads. We could do this however we saw fit which was exciting. Before taking part in the inductions for Adobe InDesign, I had very limited knowledge on how to use the software let alone go about producing a publication. The tutorial sessions were very beneficial and thorough. I have now got a great grasp of the very basics of InDesign. Creating the booklet was really fun. In terms of design it was challenging to format the research into something that looked great and that was engaging and entertaining. Initially I planned to make the booklet colourful and have quite a postmodern tone to it, my main influence was David Carson’s Ray Gun magazine. I soon moved away from this as the design process continued. I utilised the formal and informal crit sessions in the studio which aided my decision to chose to go with a completely monochromatic layout, which in the end worked very well and gave the publication a very sophisticated feel. We could run wild in this brief in terms of layout, but I opted for consistency which I felt worked really well. I have received some positive feedback on this brief which I am really pleased with. Considering I had never used InDesign before brief 3, I think I did pretty well in this brief and produced work that communicated my own artistic interests. In terms of design, I wouldn’t do much differently if I could. If I had chosen to use colour it would have been sparingly which would have worked but I am happy with my decision to keep things simple. 

Finally, brief 4. This brief was the most exciting for me. We needed to identify an issue in our research and create a product and packaging that solved the issue. My issue identified from my research was that people of a similar age to be don’t really know/aren't aware of what 35mm slides are or what they do. I still regard them as relevant objects. They hold so many secrets to the past and are fascinating physical objects. My solution to this issue is a photography gallery exhibition and supporting events. This was my product and the packaging was the promotional materials in the form of posters and flyers. I experimented digitally for the most part of this project, and if I were to do it again I would look at using a wider range of mediums and practices to develop my design process. However, we didn’t have very long at all to complete this brief, so I think I did well in the time frame we had. I devised a short time management plan at the beginning of the brief to help me manage my time and this worked because I stuck to it. I think my final posters and flyers look great, they are sophisticated yet speak to a young demographic. I used the crits to full advantage and got some really constructive positive feedback. Overall I have loved OUGD405 and look forward to the next briefs.

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