Since last week, I have made small developments to all three of my main pieces: the CV, the online portfolio and the PDF portfolio.
In the PDF portfolio, I have added in the text and the images to each of the project pages, although one or two are still missing that I want to add in. I have made sure that they are the same images used in my online portfolio and that the brief and solution are the same too. I have added in navigation buttons on every project so that you can flick through the projects using arrow buttons and also return back to the home page. After a tutorial, I have increased the text size by 1 or 2 points because it was suggested that it was perhaps just a little too small. At the the end of my portfolio, I have added an extra page which is a ‘Contact’ page and also has an ‘About Me’ paragraph, similar to the CV.
For the CV, I have added in work experience and also written the ‘About Me’ section. Like the PDF portfolio, I have developed my CV so that it is now interactive too. It has icons which link to my social media profiles: Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I decided to exclude Facebook because my account is a personal one and I think it is important to keep my CV purely professional and not mix up my personal life with work. I have also added a link to my online portfolio so that employers looking at my CV can get to my work with one easy click.
On my online portfolio, I have gone ahead and removed the ‘Home’ page as I decided that it was not needed – my online portfolio now opens simply with the text saying, “Hello and Welcome!…“. After originally arranging the images on each of the project pages one after each other in a straight line as individual images down the page. I have now arranged them in a more designed layout (image below: I have taken a screenshot from one of the project pages as an example). I have also spread ‘The Solution’ paragraph between these images because I felt that there was too much text to begin with at the top of each project.
My next steps are to move on to beginning the Research and Development PDFs for my Subject projects: Persuasion, Penguin and Branding.
The last main piece I have to make for Digital me is the PDF portfolio, so that has been my next step to take.
I wanted to make the PDF consistent with both the CV and the online portfolio, so I created it in a similar way. I ensured that all the smaller details matched, for example the underlining of titles and the chosen fonts.
Wanting the PDF to be interactive, I created a home page with thumbnails of the six projects that I had chosen to include in my portfolio. From this home page, the user can click a project thumbnail to be taken directly to that project. Also, on hovering over a thumbnail, the image changes (as I have added a rollover image the same but with a white layer over the top with an opacity of only 50%) and the name of the project appears. The image below is a screenshot taken of the PDF portfolio home page – the ‘A Blank Space’ thumbnail shows what the hover over looks like.
I have inserted in all the needed pages for each of the projects and given them titles accordingly. I have then created the links so that each of the thumbnails on the homepage takes the user to the correct project. I have created a rough layout for each of the pages and my next step is to start inserting my design work. I want to have a column of text down the left side, which will include the title of the project and then the brief and my solution, and then the images of the outcomes will be positioned on the right.
Over the last few days, I have been working on developing my brand style ready for my first tutorial today.
I began with attempting to self-brand myself using my name rather than an actual logo. Finding a photograph of myself that was able to actually interactive with the ‘title’, I’m Amber, made me realise that this was the style I liked best. Unfortunately the photograph is not high quality enough for me to be happy with and I want to capture a better one, but this has at least helped me decide on a favourite style. I should be able to use I’m Amber in both ways, with and without the image of myself sat on it.
After testing out a few different fonts and style, and picking a favourite, I began experimenting with colour and of course I had to use my favourite colour orange (Pantone 144 CP) that I use in so many of my projects. After all, it is my colour, “amber”.
I have put together an initial rough CV layout that I think works well alongside my personality and overall brand. My next step is to begin creating the online portfolio layout in consistency to the CV. As my CV is not fully completed yet, I will be able to make changes accordingly if needed – I think it is necessary to keep myself flexible in the beginning ideas generation and design stages of this Digital Me project.
Although I had more or less decided that I would not use my pre-existing logo (used on some social media), I wanted to put it into my CV just so that I could confirm or disconfirm in my tutorial if I was choosing the right way to go. Sure enough, my logo was pointed out as being probably unnecessary, so I am going to go ahead and remove it. Although the logo is not needed, they agreed that it was a great touch to have an image of myself interacting with the title, I’m Amber, as a personal touch. In my tutorial, it was picked up on by my peers that the use of the key colour orange worked really effectively as it doubled up well as being the colour “amber”, just like I am, Amber. The typefaces that I have chosen are Bebas Neue for the headlines and Champagne & Limousines for the body text.
One of the hardest parts of beginning the process of this Digital Me project is branding myself. It is certainly much harder to brand yourself than it is to brand a client.
There are lots of things to consider when branding yourself – trying to ask yourself, “Who am I?” is a lot harder than I first anticipated. The first obstacle I have come across is whether to have a logo or not? I had previously created myself a logo to use on my social media (e.g. Instagram), but was unsure as to whether I should carry this through to use in this project or leave it behind.
After speaking to the lecturers in university, they recommended not to use a logo and to sell yourself as a name instead. Why not a logo?
What does a logo mean? A logo represents years of commitment, hard work, reliability, trustworthiness – it is a promise of professional skills. As a student designer, I do not have these years of experience under my belt yet so I would not want to risk a negative response of my logo from, let’s say, a director of a well-established design company, who has built their own business over many years and has worked hard to develop relationships with people who are now their clients – they have established a clear identity, a well-trusted, competent brand, and this is all shown through their logo. It is important for me to consider how you might respond to a newly-graduated student’s logo in order to make me realise that perhaps not having a logo was the best way to go for self-branding.
What is a logo representing? How might I want to reveal myself through using graphic language to include my human-scale skills, personality, ancestry, culture, interests, motives, awareness of graphic design? And how might I contextualise this graphic representation sensitively, perhaps discreetly into your house-style? This could potentially be quite difficult to show through a logo at this stage, and I certainly do not want to create something that simply isn’t very good. “If [it] is… terrible, I’ll instantly be put-off. Better to keep it simple… If [it’s] a great idea, it needs to be really great.” Mark Smith, branding specialist. This leads me agree that a logo is not needed and that my own name would be the best way to brand myself for now.
Things to consider when branding myself:
- Simplicity and clarity – have a single focus and don’t make it confusing.
- House-style and consistency – apply a well-developed visual consistency throughout all pieces (PDF, online and CV).
- Photography – use high quality images only.
Today I found the time to go in and finally complete my design that I created a few weeks ago but didn’t have the time to actually stitch it out.
I love how this one has turned out, although I think the simplest design would work best for the branding. However, saying this it was still good fun and interesting to experiment with the range of motif fills that were available. I used various fills that were made up of triangles. I tried to think about where I was using each pattern, for example the filled in one which looks darker because it a block-colour, I used on the back leg which would be in shadow. I used the same block-colour fill to separate the horse’s mane, tail and hooves.
I am interested in using textile techniques where I can in my further projects. I am thinking perhaps I could digital stitch into paper if the opportunity arises and fits relevantly with what I am doing or creating.
Today we displayed our five final touch points and had a review which involved peer assessing each other’s work. We also submitted two PDF’s – the first showing the five touch points and the second showing the research and development process that we took.
Research and Development PDF
For submitting, I created a PDF document which showed all of my research and development up to where I am currently with my final touchpoints so far, in order for the lecturers to fully assess both my final outcomes and the process of getting to that point. I used Adobe InDesign to create the document, using the columns and grid system to keep everything to a high and consistent quality. My research and development PDF covered areas including: about the brand, market research, competition, initial ideas, developing ideas, and finally, the solution. If we are to later update and resubmit this particular PDF, I would like to add more detail of the change from my initial ideas to the final outcome, of each and every touchpoint individually.
Final Touchpoints PDF
Again for submitting, I created a PDF which displayed each of my five touchpoints. This PDF was also printed out and displayed on the walls for our peers and lecturers to see and review – this is the piece that was peer assessed.
- Stationary (including business card, letterhead and compliment slip)
- Packaging and products
- Delivery van
My PDF does not contain too much detail as I did not want it to be an information overload for whoever was peer assessing it, particularly as this assessor would essentially be my client in a real life situation, who would only want and need short and relevant descriptions of each touchpoint. As well as a short paragraph on each of my touchpoints, I also included my colour and typography choices for the brand. The descriptions explain how I made each touchpoint fit to the client’s breif.
The Peer Assessment and Review
My brand was peer assessed by Greta Abelyte. Greta gave me a mark of ‘excellent’, which I am of course extremely satisfied with. She commented that my touchpoints were creative and connect with the brand well – she also made a note that my colour scheme fits and reflects well on a target audience with an “active lifestyle”, which I was very pleased with as this was a major change that I made to the brand earlier on in the development process. I believe that the most important comments made on the peer assessment sheet is the constructive criticism made as I can use it to improve and develop my work further again. That is why I am going to take into consideration fully the suggestions that my peer assessor has made and work on them where I can – for example, as Greta suggested, my brand could benefit from a shopfront touchpoint – I could also perhaps include signage in this. Even after receiving a very positive review made by Greta, my next plan is to make the changes that she has suggested before the final summative review which will take place over the Summer of 2017.