Thursday, 5 February 2015

OUGD406 - Brief 01 - Secret 7 Interim Crit

For the interim crit, I printed off seven various designs that I had been developing since Monday when we were briefed for Secret 7. These designs were mock ups of the designs that I will be developing further for module submission and for the closing of the competition. Some of the ideas stand alone, but others are quite similar and have a running theme to them. 

I laid out the printed designs on one large A2 sheet of paper and wrote down several questions to be answered by the crit group. This crit was a blind crit, in other words, I wasn't there to explain the concepts behind the work and justify the various design decisions made. The feedback I would receive was therefore a lot less bias and honest. The questions I asked are as follow:

  1. Which design is the most/least successful? Please justify the answers you give. 
  2. Is design number 1 successful? Should I take it forward and develop it into something of the same standard as the other designs?
  3. Are the colours used aesthetically pleasing? Are they appropriate for the song and the audience that will listen to this type of record? Please describe and justify your responses
  4. Can you tell which song these designs are for? If so why? If not, could you suggest what I could do to make it more obvious in any way?
  5. Are the typographic decisions appropriate? Does the type work with the rest of the composition? If so why? If not what could be done to make the typography work with the rest of the design? 
  6. Are the designs too safe or obvious in your opinion? Could they be made more playful, inventive and witty? If so how, if not what is it that makes them unique and exciting? 
I received a lot of constructive feedback which was really good. This style of critiquing was new to me but effective as people could be as subjective as they wanted and as blunt as they needed to be. Honesty in crits is sometimes difficult because you don't want to be offensive, but writing it down was a lot easier.

'The jaunty composition of the designs reflects the personality and feeling of the artist St. Vincent really well'

I experimented with pixelated fonts and bitmap fonts and someone commented that this was appropriate and fitted well with the context of digital worlds.

People said that all of the designs made them feel slightly uneasy and on edge, which is exactly what I was going for, as the lyrics make me feel this way personally. They make people feel unsafe and anxious, confusing like the song. Perhaps the designs are obvious, but people commented that you have to really think and look quite deeply at them before it becomes apparent what they are all really about which is what I think is most successful about my design treatments.

People said that my colour choices were appropriate, but in some cases people said they are harsh and a bit of an eye sore, however this reflects the nature of the song in my opinion. They said the colours work well with the high levels of contrast and remind them of static TV screens but in colour, this is interesting and I like this feedback. The brighter colours are the most appealing and catch your eye instantly.

People commented that they knew instantly what the song was without me having to tell them. I think this is an interesting point to take from the crit. I looked over previous years designs that won the competition, and some of the most successful designs don't instantly relate to the song on first glance, some could actually be totally unrelated to the song, and this is interesting. With this brief I had complete creative rein and could have gone in any direction that I wanted, I could have been as abstract and minimal that I wanted, I could have made my designs completely unrelated and not as obvious, but I think that my designs actually reflect the song on quite an abstract level but not in a blatantly obvious way. I wanted to communicate the deeper meanings within the lyrics and how they impact me when I hear them.

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