Sunday, 8 September 2013

OUGD 502 Evaluation

1. What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them: 

I'd definitely say that this module has been the most beneficial and enlightening, it has taught me many things about my own practice, and where I'm situating myself within the graphic design industry. With this in mind I've managed to co-ordinate and present myself in the industry through interviews and enquiries, this has helped me to respond with relevant questions.

I've developed my networking skills through social sites such as 'LinkedIn' and 'Behance' this has allowed my personal professional practice to start developing, getting my work out there has allowed me to join critique feedback groups etc. 

Working collaboratively during the 'Life's a Pitch' module really nailed in that we were in this for business, we all had to pull our weight. If one of us wasn't pulling our weight, action had to be taken. Looking at this from a business POV really showed us that it wasn't just all about designing but it was about co-operation, allocation, SWOT, etc. 

2. What approaches to methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process 

My train of thought has broadened when it comes to visualising how a brand can be permeated, for e.g. making key rings and liquid filled business cards that you tilted so the ink revealed the logo. Regarding studios, I undertook lots of research and enquired about further studio's, reviewing these design studios has allowed me to develop new and fresh ideas relating to my own practice. I have also found within this module that I can step away from the computer a lot and focus my attention on talking to professionals and visiting studios which inform me of experiences, doing the university work is important, but it's more important to solidify a job proposition after. After numerous contact with studios, I gained valuable insights in response to my questions, however most of them only accepted graduates! Despite this I've still managed to secure a position at an International firm called DAMMS, working within their marketing sector helping out on brochure's etc. Although this isn't what I want to do when I'm older, it provides me with a very good insight into the industry and a chance to build up contacts.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

My ability to evaluate and reflect on my own professional practice and understanding of the industry has become a possessed strength during this module. Initially I was wary of putting anything online, thinking would my work look good enough? but I've learnt I'm never going to know, unless I move forward. Now that I've got my work online, I can start to begin thinking about improving my online portfolio. Furthermore, my self branding wasn't final and was acting as a stepping stone for my identity, despite this I still produced a strong identity that was successful for the time being. 

I can recognise that my strengths lie in branding and identity along with event organisation i.e. Exhibitions. I've capitalised on these through the developments of my concepts, and permeating conceptual thinking throughout each task I undertake. 

Despite everything that's been happening in my life recently, I recognised that the PPP module was a very important one that I couldn't afford to miss out on, I contacted studios, enquired about work placements/ visits, asked important questions and also created an initial self branding identity, potentially all of these that would benefit my enquiries during 3rd year. With this in mind, I think I'm on my way to discovering a studio I find synergy with.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future ?

Because of mitigating and unforeseen circumstances, I've not had the chance to complete this year as I would've liked to. Time constraints meant I couldn't push my identity to print, or code my website. I was also dissapointed at the fact that I couldn't actually go on a work placement due to being bed ridden, I managed to work around this and potentially secure an easter work placement.

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?

I would've created a portfolio to send off to studios as oppose to just creating an online portfolio this would'e given studio's to see my work with ease, especially busy studio's.

I would've gained more experience and personally benefitted more from working with different people than I did, during 'Life's a Pitch'. I felt it wasn't taken as seriously as it should've been and I would've enjoyed setting up something that could be carried on.

I wish I'd considered contacting studio's earlier because of the personal situation I was placed in at a later date. 

This module has taught me to consider target audiences in detail that considers what sector your design should be aimed at, personally I don't think I applied this knowledge as successfully as I could've (especially during life's a pitch).

Manage my time so that I'm regularly tackling parts of my personal professional practice and moving forward with my progress, I should start creating goals for every 2 weeks that I must complete successfully. By doing this I won't end up with too much too do with too little time.

Attendance - 4

Punctuality  - 5 

Motivation - 5

Commitment - 5

Quantity of work produced  - 4

Quality of work produced - 4

Contribution to the group -5

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Personal and Professional Practice 2/ 10 Minute Presentation

I'm unsure why, but while I was decreasing the file size of my PDF to make it accessible on 'Issuu', different parts of my feature designs began to look distorted and as a result the joins on some of the sections don't look perfect. However this is not the case in the original file, as you can see from the screenshot below...
Moreover, some of the larger images also look distorted when they're crystal clear within my own file. This has proven that I should seek alternative methods to uploading or different methods of decreasing file sizes

A Design Presence

Focus / Type Manipulation / Stephen Maher

Theme / Powerful Ideas

Communicate / Illustrative & Branding interests

Idea : design a character through the manipulation of type, i.e. SM logo.

This should not only include my logo, but also signify powerful ideas... while representing my creative interests.

After designing my primary logo of SM, I decided that it was a very cliche approach to simply combine my initials, so sought on creating a logo that was more interesting and had a bit more depth to its communication. 

I used components of my initial logo to create the face of a bear (significant of powerful 'ideas') which I then designed into a badge which could be used among letterheads, envelopes, stamps, business cards etc.

The idea behind my business card was to combine a matte background, with a spot varnished Logo.

To make the business card seem that bit better I designed a potential sleeve for the business card, however I think this is impractical and unnecessary.
Online Presence...

Despite my self identity looking visually pleasing and filling the criteria I set out designing for. I'm not really happy with it, I feel it takes too much emphasis away from my work and contains far too many elements. I aim to rebrand myself in the near future, simplifying my identity, using less colours and creating a stronger conceptual approach.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Communications/ Gaining Work Experience

I've kept these emails for future reference because each one gives me a different insight into how I should approach a work placement and be remembered while I'm there.

I emailed numerous design studios, but I've learnt a valuable lesson, I should create a final self identity/ promotional pack, and send off various examples of work as oppose to relying on email. I suppose the only reason I was holding back in doing this, was the fact that I wasn't entirely happy with my self branding at this moment in time.

I managed to secure a work placement in the marketing sector of DAMMS international, however I've had mitigating circumstances over summer and been hospital bound for a large proportion of my summer so I just haven't had the opportunity to pursue work experience which I'm very disappointed about. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Research into Creative CV's

After collating this research, it's made me realise my branding should speak for itself, simply, so the attention is primarily on my work. On the other hand my creative CV and promotional pack should feature innovative solutions to presenting this work and break from standard formats. At this period in time I didn't want to  rush my branding and designed something that I was comfortable with at this stage...however I intend to do a mass overhaul of my personal branding and make it, simpler, cleaner, bolder and more functional for its purpose, i.e. a stronger concept behind it.

At the moment my branding was based around the manipulation of my initials, I thought this was too cliche so I turned to creating a picture with this manipulation of letters. Thus creating a bear face which represented my illustrative capabilities and also portrayed the message of... Powerful ideas.

Benjamin has created a line of craft-paper bags filled with locally-roasted coffee and screen printed them himself. The coffee bags feature his skills, qualifications and represent Benjamin’s artistic philosophy.

“I wanted to grab someone’s attention. People take design too seriously, especially when searching for jobs. I basically wanted to say “Hey, I know that you are busy and have a team full of great people, but I can get the job done too.” - This is a strong point that I'll keep in mind when it comes to producing a creative CV that I'll actually be mailing out, (as oppose to the one I'm doing at the moment which is used to arrange and gather my information, ready for future self branding development.)

Miguel has created his genius milk carton resume specifically to get a job at a Wieden + Kennedy, an advertising agency in London. He’s still waiting for the answer.

My advice to myself in light of this research is; Don't be cliche, don't try and make an idea better, Make something you think of.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

What do 'They' do? - Study task 6

Identify a large, medium and small company from a sector or service that reflects your interests within the creative industries.

Small: Freelance designer; Paul Currah

Medium: Design Studio; Studio MikMik

Large: Famous Design Studio; Elmwood

  • Large range of clients
  • Big client groups
  • Experience
  • creative freedom
  • award winning
  • processes and techniques
  • quality work
  • variety of designs
  • opportunities
  • Interactive design
  • Large scale design
  • Environmental design
  • Professional portfolio
  • Independent
  • Well suited and effective design

It is difficult to find weaknesses with Paul Currah as he has so many clients and experience already before he started to work as a freelance designer. He specialises in a wide variety of practices. If I had to pick on anything I would say that they doesn't seem to be a lot of web design and environmental design which isn't necessarily a weakness, just something that they choose not to focus on.

  • Up to date & Crisp Design
  • Branding and identity
  • Vector Illustrations
  • friendly and professional 
  • Print and Publications
  • Sustainable design
  • clean and professional designs

  • Small client groups
  • digital media
  • Standard format designs
  • interactivity.

Elmwood is a large design studio that boasts a very valued and large range of clients. Their vision is to be bold and have firm foundations within there history. "What we call our mission keeps us on track and shapes what we’re like, along with what we value". They simply help brands uncover what’s special and different about themselves and tell the world about it. There’s the thinking and words in brand strategy and brand language through to the visual magic of corporate design and packaging design. Due to their professionalism and high standard of work, it would be an amazing studio and experience.

  • Large client groups
  • well respected
  • well suited and effective design
  • professional design and communication methods
  • strong brand vision and identity
  • high end studio
  • committed
  • range of processes and techniques used
  • award winning
  • range of mediums
  • promote them selves well
  • international designs
  • International connections


Again it is difficult to find weaknesses with  Elmwood as they are well respected within the design community and have so many clients that are international and seen by many. They specialise in a wide variety of practices. The only flaws I can point out is their under use of web design.


After reviewing 3 different types of designers/ design groups, I have acknowledged that the studios have a high focus on print and environmental design. They always seem to push there designs to create that inventive approach to everything they do.

I think that from these 3 companies, especially the smaller ones, there is a need for more creative and interactive print that strays away from standard sizes and solutions that are very common within graphic design. From a personal perspective I feel I would initially like to begin working surrounded by an atmosphere and multiple learning curves, then when I was confident enough in my abilities, turn my hands to a different approach. I feel that starting off as a freelance designer is a risky decision unless your somehow familiar with EVERYTHING you have to do, if you mess up, you've only got yourself to blame. 


The following points below display where I think I am situated within graphic design, and also where I want to be within the future.

My chosen areas of practice as of now;

-Branding & Identity
-Conceptual thinker and event/ exhibition developer.

My main strengths as of now; 

-Research collation
-Conceptual thinking

My identified weaknesses as of now;

- Simplicity
- Developmental work
- Balancing work with my social life

My main goals;

- Visit design studios
- Design a set of branding for myself (initial design)
- Submit work to design competitions

- Submit design work to competitions and WIN
- Design a final set of branding & also create my website
- Produce work in the public domain

- Earn a good living, doing what I love.
- Live life, travel the world, bringing my experiences into my work.
- Be successful
- Work amongst friends

My ambition is to secure a job in a respectable design studio, here I will put the hard work in, and hopefully move up the hierarchy. Once I've understood all aspects of the business and gained a large amount of contacts, I will look toward hopefully starting my own thing, whatever that thing may be.

Who am I, Who are they? - Study task 5

Graphic design is within the tertiary sector, the service industry and I feel in terms of client groups - most of the client groups also belong in the service industry within the private and public sectors. Some of these client groups that commonly use graphic design are:

List of client groups within graphic design:
  1. Retail
  2. Publishing
  3. music industry
  4. fashion industry
  5. food industry
  6. web design
  7. education
  8. Sport
  9. animation
  10. film industry
  11. theatres
  12. personal buyers
  13. retail packaging
  14. Brand and identity
  15. advertising
  16. tourism
  17. digital medias
  18. radio
  19. television
  20. government
  21. Charities

A client group I feel best suits me and my creative ambitions is mainly within the retail client sector. However this is only something that I have recently sat down and thought over, nothing at this stage is definite in my life.  It is hard to pin down one client group at this stage in my practice as I'm interested in quite a lot of these areas and also haven't fully experienced working for such a client group professionally.

I think a skill that I need to develop for my work to be more successful in this area is audience consideration. When I'm designing I need to consider more the needs and opinions of the customer rather than what I personally like. This is a very important aspect to develop as ultimately it will determine the success of the design. Being able to attract the correct consumers to create interest around an item and have something desirable that they will want to buy. I would also like to learn more about the cost of products and how much it is to produce certain things, this also links with the audience and would they be willing to pay a higher price for a better quality item.

My professional and creative aims going forward link very strongly with the skills I want to develop, relating to gaining knowledge on how to appeal to different audiences. This also goes into the placements of products within a shop and where in context will the item be most successful. I would also like to cover a larger range of aspects regarding the retail sector, for example packaging, point of sale, promotion and the design of the product itself. I think by increasing this range will create a stronger body of work.

What skills / interests you have and how they relate to the needs of your client group?

Skills & Interests

The idea of something being simple and effective that has been printed to help inform people a swell as gratify them. I have a range of skills that I believe will help me relate to the client group that suits me best, such skills involve illustration, layouts, developmental skills & conceptual thinking. I believe these skills are needed as producing effective designs must incorporate such skills. This is important as you want to produce a relevant, original design that stands out to your target audience. I also believe that having such illustrative and editorial design skills is a key asset within my chosen client group as modern design is moving to more clean, precise designs that are not overly complicated. Having knowledge within print and how a publication would be printed will be very valuable as it will allow me to produce designs that will be correctly printed without costing excess money. A key skill that will allow me to produce most of my design would be working within softwares such as Illustrator and Indesign, as these are industry standard I would be expect to be and expert within these.

What skills are needed and what skills do you want to develop?

Many skills are needed within the client group I have selected, such as Time management skills which will be essential for organisation and managing various clients and jobs. In terms of the Retail industry this will mean that a large  amount of material will be needed as well as content. My time management skills at the moment are good however I think within  the industry they will be a lot more pressure and responsibility which will mean improving my skills and making sure I practice this throughout my practice currently.

Presentation skills and confidence is needed within industry, this is an essential skills that you will need to develop when talking to clients and presenting work effectively. if a presentation isn't understood or presented well the clients will not listen and most importantly will not remember you. First impressions are always good and this comes with confidence. My communication skills at present are not great, i have come quite far with this since the beginning of the course. However with little experience when communicating with professional clients and organising meetings etc i believe i will need to improve a lot more. This however is an area which would develop itself and has to, any experience obtained beforehand will be incredibly useful and create a better first impression.

Print skills and Proofing is another skill that I need more work in. I have knowledge within printing and various processes and techniques that are on offer to me. However I feel that the preparation and organisation of a printed document is something that I am lacking skills within. Working with print restrictions is a down fall and within the retail industry this is something that will be needed and a process that will be commonly used. This is something that I have learnt within the course however I haven't had much experience within actually going through the process of printing professionally and sending work off. Proofing documents is a major concern within my work, I have many mistakes within spelling and prununctionation, which within retail industry this could be a concern and make me look unprofessional. 

What are your professional/creative aims and how do they relate to the needs of the client group?

My professional and creative aims are to develop a professional portfolio which explores the work within the areas of graphic design that I see myself working with in the future. Within the areas of graphic design such as editorial, publishing and promotion, I aim to  experiment with more hands on approaches and innovative and inventive formats and installations. I also want to experiment with unique layouts and develop my own style through doing this using variety of different grids and scales within my designs. I aim to improve with my illustration skills as this is something I really enjoy and think would allow me to create more personal and profession designs in the industry. I want to keep pushing the boundaries within the briefs I receive and extend the brief producing work that the clients do not expect. This will make sure the clients know you are engaging with the brief and going that step further.

I feel that the client group will look for professional and innovative designs that will stand out from what is already existing. Fresh new ideas is what alot of design agencies are looking for. I also want to develop my skills within a range of processes and mediums such as print and web. Creating unique and inventive design solutions which challenge the format and the topic is something i aim to develop professionally.

The main thing I need to do is develop my concepts... trends are temporary and originality is key.

Investigation into the four P's

  • Key principles to understand within marketing 
  • Marketing- understand a range of factors that satisfy trends and requirements driven by success
  • What is a market?
    "The management process is responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers requirements, opportunities, profitably and success"
    Chartered Institute of Marketing 2010 
  • Based on predicting the market
Marketing Roles

1. Identify customer needs to develop new products
2. Develop pricing strategies
3. Promote products to a target market
4. Identify distribution networks
5. Add value to your product through customer benefits
6. Monitor the performance of the products

The 4 P's
The 4p's- basics of any marketing- produce, price, promotion and place 
  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Place 
  • Product- A product is seen as a item that satisfies what a consumer needs and wants. It is a tangible good or an intangible service.  
  • Pricing- the price is the amount a customer pays for the product or the overall cost of a product
  • Overall cost could be impact on environment, social and political 
  • Promotion- represents all of the methods of communication that a marketer may use to provide information to different parties about the product 
  • Place- refers to providing the product at a place or in context 
  • Underpins everything in relation to marketing
  • Relationship between what is needed for success
  • Collaboration- successful practice 
  • Comes with a better understanding of the market
  • Relationship between studios and freelancing 
  • Nearly 70% of professionals operate at a loss or under 5K a year even if the work is busy 
  • 87% of design businesses employ less then 10 people
  • 16% of design companies are in North England
  • 57% of design companies say they collaborate with other companies or practitioners on clients briefs
  • 28% of designers are free-lance 
Income patterns in the visual arts

These diagrams and visually informative and reveal the findings of the ways in which artists spend their creative time and also shows their income levels. This may be quite depressing and shocking to use as graphic designers but this also allows us to see and understand the different sectors and the limitations they have in there careers.

  • What is a creative entrepreneur?

  • Only 16% of adults in Brazil are entrepreneurs. 
  • Only 6% of the people in India are entrepreneurs
  • United Kingdom the figure is only 5%.
  • Need an understanding of all aspects to be successful 
  • Knowing you can offer specialism to the market 
  • Different ways an entrepreneur can work 
  • Comes with experience 
  • 5% entrepreneurs in the UK 
What kind of creative are you?
  • Thinking about the person I am and the individual skills I have- how can this be applied/developed for the market 

  • Evolutionary/revolutionary
  • Manager/opportunist 
  • Cautious/risk taker 
  • Where do you sit in this?
  • Ideas and opportunities
“Great minds discuss ideas. 
Average minds discuss events. 
Small minds discuss people” 
Eleanor Roosevelt 

  • understand and control both for success 
  • Great minds discuss ideas 
  • Must develop this for successful practice/career 
  • Ideas can happen anywhere or at anytime 
  • How you act upon these 
  • Enthusiastic to push ideas forward- perseverance and work to push them 
  • Success comes from ideas failing 
  • Opportunity- need to recognise them- come from right situation- grab it 
What is an 'Idea'?
  • Can occur at anytime 
  • Can occur to anybody 
  • Can happen anywhere 
  • Can be inspired by anything 
  • Is generally random 
  • Seldom materialises 
  • Rarely succeeds
“In the realm of ideas everything
depends on enthusiasm…
in the real world all rests
on perseverance”
J.W. Von Goethe

What is an Opportunity?
  • The People are Right 
  • The Place is Right 
  • The conditions are Right 
  • The Time is Right
  • Right place, Right time.
  • PEST analysis- political, economic, society, technology 
  • Positives and negatives
  • All need to be considered and recognised 
  • Design strategy 
Where do opportunities come from?
  • Trends 
  • Technical developments 
  • Political change 
  • Economic boom and slump 
  • Human need 
  • Problems 
  • Research
Assessing the competition
  • Think about competitors and your relation to this 
  • Assessing the competition 
  • who are they?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  •  what haven't they thought of? 
  • what worries them? 
  • what can I improve on or avoid?
What are they good at?
Why are they good at it?

What are they bad at?
Why are they bad at it?

What don't they do?
Why don't they do it?

What could go wrong?
Why could they fail?
  • SWOT analysis- strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats 
  • This analysis can also be applied to yourself. Somthign that can look at within any company, service or sector. 
  • Competition can become collaboration 
  • Internal environment 
  • Micro environment 
  • Macro environment 
  • Assess quality of opportunity 
  • For me- for the customer- for the planet- for other stakeholders 
  • Relationship between is needed and to be in balance with one another 
  • Works in a circle/cycle with the meaning of marketing and its roles first looked at
  • Marketing basics: PEST,SWOT, 4P'S

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Samples of Work - Study task 7 / Part 1 & 2

Part 1 - Identify document and evaluate a minimum of 10 examples of professional designer's and/or design studios who have used a range of media and formats to distribute samples of their work. You should aim to select a range of examples using a rage of media.


Ranges of media used; Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Blog, Company Website. In a technological age, the company has taken advantage of the modern culture and used digital networking to broadcast their presence.

Facebook allows a larger range of people to see imagery and status about the company. They also have the ability to like and comment on pieces of work that the studio has created.



Variety of platforms promoting their work. Accessible, consistent identity. Large client groups, well respected. Professional design and communication methods, strong brand vision. Reputable, Award winning, International designers.


None of their work is visible across their networking platforms, these appear to act as simple promotions for the company and keeping their agency within the public eye. They don't seem to delve much into web design.


Representing themselves across a wide range of platforms allows them to target large audiences that may not get the coverage any other way, bringing in new custom. The use of modern technology and keeping up with trends also lends itself. Their reputation gains them respected jobs and larger payments due to their known experience and large design team.


Reputation means the company will be charging more money for their work, based on the fact that they're known for high quality outcomes, meaning they could be limiting their target audience to higher end businesses, whereas smaller businesses might approach smaller studios. 


Bostock & Pollitt

An independent creative agency with more than 20 years experience, they work closely with clients to understand their ambitions and define their direction - creating communication that achieves results.



Friendly and approachable, Large client groups, small studio = successful. Clear and concise website. Work across various disciplines. Ambitious ideas. Work across various sectors. Personal communication methods.


Based only in London limits their clientele options, and approaches to bigger projects. Public recognition might be quite limited. Smaller company going up against bigger more reputable companies such as Elmwood.


Opportunities to treat clientele with respect and form personal relations, building up their reputations and thus forming close relationships with their clients and future work as oppose to bigger firms which look at each simply a job because there main concern would be keeping on top of all their projects effectively. Whereas a smaller studio like this has the potential to form relations.


Larger companies taking clientele and pushing smaller studios out of the market, such pressures could result in studios outputting work in competition rather than business.


The Consult



Easily accessible information, existing clients can view a portfolio of work. Works published across different platforms including behance.


There isn't much other information really available about them, meaning you don't have the broad scope of review that other design studios possess, This means you'd have to make a judgement about the studio based on how they've presented themselves.


Online portfolios provide different types of audiences with the information they need, which could result in further clients and even collaborations.


Being a small studio could mean they've got a lot of competition in terms of other small design studio's all trying to work up the ladder.





Work samples across a vast amount of platforms including social sites like twitter. Documented work professionally across all. There's a large amount of information available about this design studio which would obviously draw in clients that are quite sceptic about who to work with.


More focus on printed material rather than a broad focus.


Opportunities for expansion due to their wide range of online platforms publicising themselves.


Their focus of printed material could possibly limit their clientele and type of work they could be producing in the future.





Practical work ethics, Personality really shows through their type of work


Could do with a larger variety of promotional material


Potential to be recognised for their personality in design, could be a unique selling point?


None so obvious





Good quality images of all work samples across a vast amount of platforms. Documented professionally. The networking side is quite prominent across behance and twitter. They've come up with a very unique way of strengthening relationships with clients by sending out work that is based around special occasions.


Strong focus on print.


Could adopt a more personal approach across the way their website is portrayed etc


Work standard is quite similar to a lot of other studios already out there.


I love dust



Practical pieces and a large range of work displayed across different mediums makes them stand out a lot more against the prominent print based studios. Strong promotional materials.


Visual style only really shown on a creative CV rather than through the work.


Creative CV provides something different while still being creative, able to be easily mailed out.


Their aim to be different could become a target for opposing studios, they could take this USP and develop it further.


Bell Pottinger



Professional documentation, business card provides an insight into the style of Bell, uses the same colours across platforms.


Stronger focus on printed material


Potential for a blog, this would apply a more personal approach to his visuals.


The colour scheme is a love or hate thing, for myself I don't like it, which has instantly put me off his work, this could be a valuable point for myself when it comes to designing my own promotional material, keep it simple.

About Me

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Leeds College of Art. Graphic Design.

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