Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Module Evaluation

1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?
I have improved my skills on Illustrator in this module and I think I applied them to fairly good effect on my poster designs, although I think I could have pushed myself to use Illustrator in a slightly more creative way. I have really improved my skills with Indesign in this module, using it to layout my A2 boards for the “what is good” project and my A3 spreads for the Colour 4 print brief, I have grown to really like the program and I think I can use it quite effectively. In a way I think I have stayed within my comfort zone a bit too much during this module, sticking to things I already know. For my next module I want to move away from Illustrator and relying on my computer so much.

2. What approaches to methods of research have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?
I really treated the summer brief as a research project which I really enjoyed, it allowed my to take loads of photos using my film camera which I learnt a great deal from. I also did things like recording all the songs I played over summer and documenting typography from all around my house. Unfortunately we weren’t able to use a great deal of this research to inform the development of our designs as we moved on so quickly. I also carried out questionnaires to gage people’s views on politics for my “good” brief. I made a lot maquettes to research and inform the development of my point of sale. I spent a great deal of time reading and researching different print methods, colour models and the costs of printing. That was really useful and informed the development of many of my designs especially in terms of the use of colour.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?
I think that I am good at using type but I have definitely further improved my skills in this area during this module. I think I am also quite good at dealing with fairly complex issues and ideas that other people might shy away from in their projects, such as political policies and creating a questionnaire to help people learn more about politics, that was quite difficult. I think I am fairly good at identifying my target audience and being able to make work appropriate to them.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these more fully?
It is very easy to stick to what you know and do best, which I think I may have done to a certain extent during this module. In the next module I intend to move away from the computer screen a bit and use a lot more photography and things like that, I want to push myself to experiment with new methods and techniques. I can be a bit indecisive when it comes to making important decisions about the direction of my project, which I think can slow the progress of my work down a lot. Towards the end of this module I had become better at quickly making good decisions about which direction to take my work in, I hope to keep this up in the next module.

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?
1. Not use Illustrator vector graphics so much, I don’t think I am especially talented at using vector graphics but I always seem to come back to them because they are easy and usually look pretty good. However things like photography and typography may offer a more appropriate and visually effective solution.
2. Be more committed from the beginning of the module, so I don’t have to rush so much to get it all together at the end.
3. Try to time manage better so that if two deadlines clash again I will be more aware of it and more prepared.
4. Be more effective with my decision making so that I don’t waste so much time wondering if I am doing the right thing, I would be more effective with my time and get more work done.
5. Work harder, although I have worked very hard this module I think there is room for me to more constantly put in the hours.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Your Vote is Good

These are my final A2 layouts for the what is good brief

Saturday, 22 November 2008

First Things First

This is the 500 word essay I wrote for my critical studies presentation, I think it expresses my views on the First Things First manifesto quite well.

Michael Bierut 10 Footnotes to a Manifesto

Michael Bieruts essay 10 Footnotes to a Manifesto is a response to the First Things First Manifesto 2000, which was published by Kalle Lasn and Chris Dixon in Adbusters in 1999. First Things First 2000 itself was an updated version of Ken Garlands 1963 First Things First manifesto. The journalist Rick Poyner rewrote the statement updating the references and sharpening the argument but keeping the original sentiment largely intact: that graphic designers should reverse their priorities and instead of using their talents to generate demand and sell commercial consumer products should focus their attention on projects with a more worthy social cause.

Michael Bierut breaks down his critique of the manifesto into footnotes. In his second footnote he picks up on the overall make up of the 33 signatories to the manifesto. Most of them have made their reputation doing cultural work at the fringes of commercial graphic design, for clients like museums and publishers. Specialising in work for the cultural elite, they have resisted manipulating and selling to the average man. Therefore Bierut (2000) stingingly points out “A cynic, then, might dismiss the impact of the manifesto as no more than that of witnessing a group of eunuchs take a vow of chastity.”

First things first says that graphic designers shouldn’t waste their talents selling commercial junk however Bierut (2000) counters this by saying that “Good design is not simply an esoteric ideal but a tool that can be used to ennoble the activities of everyday life” In fact the history of graphic design is full of people who have transformed humble products into something beautiful and intelligent.

The First Things First Manifesto 2000 states that “too an extent we are all helping to draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse” by this Adbusters (1999) are referring to “a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact.” Bierut (2000) counters by saying that “humans have always used the market place as a place for communication and culturalisation” he backs up his point of view with a quote from Susan Nigra Snyder and Steven Izenour (1999): “If your model is the cultural mish-mash of the everyday landscape then commerce is the very glue that holds it together” Micheal Bierut makes the point that if the best designers where to be removed from this landscape what would happen? And who would benefit?

Matt Soar (2002) calls Michael Bieruts response to the Manifesto “ stinging and facetious” I believe that the only reason it could be seen as stinging is because of the weaknesses and over simplification of the Manifesto. Monika Parrinda (2002) says that “(the manifesto) is ultimately reductionist in the way it sets up socially responsible work as something separate – something in opposition to the commercial sphere of graphic design”

According to Micheal Bierut the biggest promise of graphic design is about common decency and identify and treating the ultimate end user of our services, the public, with respect. Soar (2002) actually concurs with this viewpoint “at the very least designers should perhaps work to address their many audiences as citizens rather than consumers.”

Monday, 17 November 2008

Paul Rand

I have been reading Michael Bieruts book seventy nine shot essays on design. I read about Paul Rand who I'd never heard of but apperently is godfather of american graphic design. I had a little search around the internet to find out a bit more about him and i came across this video, in which he says some pretty interesting stuff about graphic design.

Nice monochrome prints by Crush