Field Reflection

Overall compared to last year, field in my experience has been an exceptional improvement. Unlike last year, I have been able to work on projects and go out on a work placement completely relating to what I am studying. I know it is good to try different things, but when they are very different to what I am studying it was all a little hard to relate to, which was the case last year.

I think this year was instantly better than last year because I actually had a choice of what I could choose to do, and thankfully there were projects relating to Graphic Design.

The first Field project that I undertook, Publish, was very similar to what I was doing already on my Graphic Design course. Our end goal was to produce a published material on any topic of our choice. I thought this was great because of instead of it being many week of sitting around and not producing anything to a great standard because of how disorganized and uncoordinated people were last year, I was able to do something that I enjoyed and came here to do, while producing a good piece of work, which I could potentially expand upon and develop or even use in the future.

My second field module was work placement. This was easily the best thing I have done all year. I gained so many skills in terms of direct design skills, and also people and team skill as well. By going on this placement it means that I know how the working world works full time, and this wont be a shock to me when I start having to hopefully do something like this for real. Because of this I feel I have been going from strength to strength, mainly because of the new technical skills I have acquired, making my work so much better than what it used to be but also because of the huge confidence boosts I got from myself after all the praise and compliments towards my work while on this placement. Out of both Publish and Work Placement, the work placement has had the most benefit for me as a person and a designer. I can’t reiterate enough how much more confident I am in my work and my practice now because of the skills I had learnt and the people I had met on placement, on the down side all I can say is that I wish I was able to do the placement for longer. But don’t get me wrong, Publish was a good experience as well as designing editorial published material is a skill I enjoy having and one I wish to develop further.

But as a whole from both projects I have taken skills I can take forward, both technical and social and every bit of field this year was far better than anything I did in field last year.

 

 

Advertisements

Review of my field placement

During my time on placement I met a range of people and completed a range of different tasks which have now benefited me massively. The benefits range from improvement in social skills, to advances in my technical with programs such as Adobe Indesign and Illustrator. Not only that I now I have a clear idea of what I would like to do after university.

During my placement my expectations were met, and higher. Having already had a placement with Burningred during my A-Levels I already had a fair idea of what to expect in terms of set up and people. The one thing I wasn’t expecting was to do so much with them, which is why my expectations were more than met. By working on a huge range of diverse projects like photography shoots to promotional posters meant I got a real taste for the design industry.

During this field project I have learned about myself that I am capable of working in the design industry after I graduate, and that I should me confident with my designs and skills after the professionals at Burningred even used some of my ideas and outcomes, which was a huge confidence booster for me.

Specific skills I have learned while being on placement are things such as improvements on tools such as Indesign and Illustrator. This means I have a better understanding of how they work and feel more confident while using them in my practice to the best of my abilities. I also learned some basic camera skills and how to use lighting correctly to get the best image possible. This was extremely handy as I have to take a lot of my own photos during my time on the course. I wish that I could have developed these skills further and spent more time doing photography work, this is because as a graphic designer, if the starting image is good quality then there will be less work later on when it comes to editing.

If I was to do it again, which I am sure I will as they have already offered me time there again on work placement and some paid roles as well, I would just simply ask more question to increase my knowledge of the industry and get a bigger foot in the door as people say, and in addition to this take some more notes, in particular when doing technical things so I have them to refer back to when needed.

The placement has certainly confirmed that working with an agency is what I wish to do when I graduate. By working with an agency I have been able to work on such a range of projects meaning life was never boring there, something very different to an in house graphic designer in my opinion.

By going on this placement I feel it will impact my studies as I have got into the habit of working longer hours. This is something that I should do as it will vastly improve the outcome of my work. The only thing I wish I could have changed about the whole experience was that I wish it was longer and that I was still there now.

Writing a Blog post for Burning Red

Last week I was tasked with writing a blog post for Burningred, not something I expected to do but it was still interesting. I had free range on what I could write about so I decided to write about the importance of going on a placement if you are a student, and I wrote this from my personal expedience here. Writing it made me realise why work placements are such a benefit if you take the time to do them.

 

“Going on a work placement may seem a bit of a bore to a fair amount of students my age, a chore that seems unnecessary and pointless as you will be working for most of your lives anyway. That is a valid point, but by going on a work placement you already give yourself an advantage over the rest of the playing field for a number of reasons, the first being you already have an insight to the world of work.

Getting an insight to the world of work has been useful. It has shown me a good glimpse of what life will be like after education, so will be less of a shock when the work happens for real. I have found that you tend to have to work at a fast pace as well as being thoughtful with your designs when working here in the design industry. Additionally, I have found out that some clients can be rather picky over elements with a design but at the end of the day we have to cater for them and what they want. I am lucky in the sense that I want to do a job that is creative when I leave university, so I know it will not be as monotonous as other places of work could be as well.

The second great thing about a work placement is that you learn new skills within the trade. You might think you are great in whatever trade you are working towards, but by going on a placement with experienced designers I have picked up tips and other useful information and skills that I now know  will be able to help me in my future practice. For me this has ranged from improving my computer skills on Adobe Illustrator to having a better understanding about camera work and photo shoots.  An improvement in skills can be applied in wherever you go and whatever trade you do, or are interested in. This is one huge benefit of a work placement, and I would recommend in trying to develop your skills as much as possible while working with professionals. 

Contacts, are also a very helpful element that you may gain after the placement. If you make a good impression, the people you are working with during your time on placement can easily give you links into the industry or even write a positive reference about you, adding to your employability after education. In addition to this, an obvious point, but still an important one, because of your experience you can tell future employers on your CV that you’ve had this previous participation and will immediately seem more employable to them over anyone who has no previous experience.

A less obvious and final point is that by working with people I have never met, I have improved my techniques when it comes to social interactions with strangers, a key life skill that everyday occurrences will throw at you. Anyone without a decent set of life skills will find it difficult to progress in life and what they wish to achieve. 

Hopefully these points can show you the importance and benefits of a placement, even if you have to get up early in the mornings and miss a couple of nights out”.

the-importance-of-a-work-placement

 

Business Cards for 769 inc

One task which I really enjoyed at the end of last week was to design and revamp some business cards for 769 inc and Gareth, who is involved quite a lot for them. They specialise in selling used outdoor and exploring kit. Because of the branding project I did last term, I already had a good idea about layout and what to include on the cards, making it one of the easier tasks I have done here. But that is a good thing as it has just reinforced my knowledge and different techniques when it comes to designing business cards in the future.

The original design I was shown was bland and plain, looking very out dated. This was mostly due to the lack of colour and boring looking fonts.

I came up with two different designs, one horizontal card and one vertical.

First thing that strikes me with this design is the clear hierarchic values. The word mark is the first thing that stands out when you look at the design as it is the biggest and boldest element of the design. The rest of the design then nicely follows on, including vital information such as the contact details and the name of Gareth. On this note, I changed the fonts as well, to bolder and more modern ones, making the outdoor brand seem more adventurous.But on the other hand the issue with this design is that it is still a a basic layout and not the most interesting, despite the good clear structure.

The second design on the other hand I feel is more interesting due to the layout and the logo bleeding off the card. The way I have designed it, it is almost like the logo is folding around the business card. It follows a similar structure in terms of hierarchic values as the first design, as I felt that worked well. In addition to this, on the mock design I added a slight grain, for me, making it look even more an adventurous and an out door brand.

All in all this project was only a short one but as I said earlier has enhanced my thinking and knowledge for when it comes to doing something similar in the future.

Social Media Headers for Denbigh Army Surplus

On Thursday 02/02/2017 my task was to create some social media headers promoting the brand and specific items that they were selling. This was a good task as it was something that I have never really done before, design stuff for social media consumption, so in this case it was tricky at first to get an understanding of layouts etc but was also beneficial as I now have experience in this area of design.

The first header was for a 58 Pattern Webbing’ from the period 1958- 1989. This was probably the hardest header to design as it was difficult to find stock photos from this period. This is where I came up with a solution and underlying theme of having a green overlay. This made the images slightly unclear, but also I used the colour green because it is a common colour that people associate with the army. I believe that the lines also add to army sort of feeling as well.

artboard-2artboard-1

In terms of design and layout I prefer the first image with all of the text on the right hand side. The reason behind this is because viewers can see more of the image, so get a better sense of what is happening in the image. The first one would also be better for a Facebook header, or cover photo because the profile picture on their website is placed on the left hand side of the image. The 2nd image would be more suited to twitter, but it is harder to get a clearer vision of the image because of the text. I don’t think this is a massive issue though. This is because I wanted the text of ’58 pattern webbing’ to pop out first, and I feel it does because I slightly lowered the opacity of the DAS logo, giving it a lesser hierarchic value.

artboard-2artboard-3

The top image is quite possibly my favorite that I have designed during this project because the balance between text and image works really well. In addition to this, the solider in the image is actually wearing ‘95 pattern personal load webbing,’ so all of the army equipment guru’s will be happy with this accuracy. Similar sort of story as the images above, I have made the product name slightly more vibrant giving it a bigger hierarchic value. While writing this blog post I have realised that these two designs may not be suitable for a Facebook cover photo, so depending on where they wish to use them, they might have to be changed, because in both some of the elements of the design will be covered by the Facebook profile picture.

The other images also follow a very similar theme, green overlay with the same style of bold text, jumping out to the potential buyers of the equipment, while hopefully looking professional at the same time.

Also all of these variations means that DAS can use them and apply them differently on different platforms, while still getting the same message across.

My Time So Far

With just over a week left this is a reflective post about my time spent here so far, and what i should come to expect during my final week here.

While being here I have learnt a fair few things ranging from new Illustrator and Indesign skills, that I didn’t even know existed, new life and social skills when  it comes to working with strangers, being part of a team and interacting with clients and that I can work under strict time constraints when called upon.

My most enjoyable moment so far has been working on the image for the Red Dragon poster, promoting the Centre during February half term. This reason behind this is because I love creating images with nice manipulation techniques and creating visual metaphors. I believe I enjoyed this project so much is because my idea and image is actually going to be used for a real life published design. (Still for obvious reasons I can’t post the final image here).

Moving on, my most beneficial experience has to be learning about some more in depth tools and skills on Adobe Illustrator, in my opinion, the tool I am weakest with. I sat down with one of the creative designers, Gareth, in which he gave me interesting demonstration on how to get the best out of it. I can now transfer these skills to my own practice, making my work look even better.

I wouldn’t say iv’e had least enjoyable moment but moments where I feel I had little to offer. The best example to this was a particular team meeting in which I sat in on. They were reviewing 2016 and explaining what they could do better for the future, but it was difficult for me being an intern to have much input into this lengthy meeting. Looking back though, it was interesting to see the dynamics between everyone, and how hey all collaborated.

I haven’t really developed a particular job role, but what I can say is that I have been doing a lot of image work. Some of this you have seen such as, the red dragon image, the veteran icons, the image of me for the mail shot and some Denbigh Army Surplus headers for social media etc (which will all be featuring in a later post). This constant working on image has been really great for me as it is my favored aspect of design, meaning I have been developing my skills in something I love.

During my time here the one thing I would love to improve on is not design related. I wish to improve on getting a more structured routine so I can be even more focused and on top of my game. This routine should mainly consist of of times I should get up and go to bed so I am not too tired part of the way through the day. I think this is something that will just come with time though.

The total experience as a whole has been an amazing eye opener and has only strengthened my passion for design work. To be able to work at a place like this in a fun and relaxed work environment would be an amazing achievement after education. This has impacted me to become even more determined to succeed in what I do so after education I can work in a great place and on a range of different projects.

 

 

 

Creative Image for Mail Shot

Burningred have a mail shot which they send out to clients etc on a fairly regular basis, just to keep in contact and to show businesses what stuff they are/have been up to. I was asked to produce a creative image of myself as I was going to be featuring on this month mail shot.

The photograph of me came from when I was at the Rant Media shoot a week or so ago, which was very handy as it is a high quality image, meaning I could edit it how I pleased. My idea was simple, makes it look as if the photograph is being torn to reveal a secondary image underneath. For the image underneath the tear, I chose a picture I had taken of the Wales Millennium Centre, an icon build in Wales that I pass everyday to get here, the reason for me including it in the design. I also wanted to include it as I feel it has been a key part on my placement, often walking to that area when on my breaks.

In terms of quality and execution of the design I am very pleased with the outcome as I only had about an hour to complete it. But this was beneficial as it has shown me some of the short and quick time frames I have to get used to working under after university. The detail looks crisp and it stands out massively because of the colour image of the Millennium Centre over the top of the black and white image of me, hopefully, directly drawing the attention of the viewer.

The only problem I have with this is that I would have liked to have spent more time on it making it look even more realistic. I feel I could have experimented more with shadows and different blend options if I had time, hopefully adding to the realism of the rip across my body.

All in all I am very happy with what I achieved in that time, but at the same it is something that I would like to improve on and can do that just by working on quick short designs that need doing for the agency. But I am still extremely happy that I will be featuring on some of the agencies work.

me-for-mail-shot