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Overall Reflection on Field

Overall, the Field module this year for me has been really positive and I’ve really liked it. After not enjoying the module hugely in first year, I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was this year. I feel that not only have I enjoyed it the projects that I took part in, I have also benefited from both of them.

Both projects, Publish and Significance of Information, have allowed me to push myself and develop my skillset. One of things I enjoyed most, was working as a small group on our Graphic Communication prospectus as it allowed us to create something bigger and better – without the opportunity of working as a team, I am sure that I would not have been able to achieve the outcome that we did if I had worked individually on the project. I was lucky that the other members of my group all had similar ideas of how we wanted the finished prospectus to look and what we wanted the content to be, which meant the we were able to create a consistent prospectus which we were all very happy with.

Although I worked on my own, rather than as a small group, during the Significance of Information project, I was still happy with my outcome. I was able to show my own personality and humour through my final video outcome, which was rewarding. I had a lot of fun with this project and although I treated it seriously and wanted to create a professional looking documentary-style film, I added a spoofy spin which was a really entertaining aspect of both the design and creating stages, and the final outcome. If the opportunity arises again for me to create another video, I would love to.

It was also great to work with students from different courses within Cardiff School of Art & Design as I was able to experience how different subject areas work and it encouraged me to visit other areas of the university to carry out work. For example, I was inspired by some of the work of the Textile students and decided to visit their studio and work area. This certainly affected the direction of my studies, as I went on to take part in a digital stitch workshop in the Textiles area and used it to further my research and development of my branding project in the Subject module.

Both of my Field projects allowed me to advance my skills in two completely different design areas – firstly editorial, and then video making. I am glad that I was able to pick and take part in two projects that were so contrasting, especially as I enjoyed both so thoroughly.

Beautiful Systems – The Review

Today was the deadline for our Beautiful Systems project that we have been working on in groups for the past week.

After continuing our stop motion film that we started on Friday, we finished it and had it ready to hand in this morning at 10am. Although the process was quite slow, we still got it completed faster than I had initially expected that we would – my group mate and I worked really well together as a pair and got the job done in good time and to a great standard of quality.

The process involved us moving the laces bit by bit and taking a snapshot after every small movement in order to create the frames which then create the film. The procedure was fiddly at the best of times – it was often a real struggle to get the laces to stay where you wanted them to stay. The pie chart was probably the most difficult piece to create, but from then onwards, we seemed to have gotten the hang of it and we were away on a roll. Apart from laces, the only other objects we used were ripped scraps of white paper in which we wrote the shoe style, the school title and the data percentages on – we felt that these were needed in order to add clarity to our finished piece, enabling viewers to see exactly what each segment of the charts were percentage-wise. We hand wrote them onto torn pieces of paper because we wanted to keep the film fun, informal and playful, with a homemade feel to the whole thing. The final thing we had to add to the film once we had exported it was to add music. We used AfterEffects to do this, and chose a song that we felt would fit perfectly: These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, Nancy Sinatra – the song is fun and lively and of course, it’s about shoes.

Below is the final outcome of our stop motion animation:

The feedback that we got from both David and the class was very positive – they loved how ambitious we had been with the small project, particularly as we were the only other group that had created an animation/film; all of the other outcomes were purely posters. They approved of our use of shoelaces, commenting on the fact that the viewer knows an understands straight away what the data is about: shoes. Finally, we were praised on how colourful and fun the piece was overall. The only minor point that David pointed out was that in the pie chart, the “boots” and the “heel” segments are perhaps too similar in size and don’t show a clear enough percentage difference – fortunately we had the hand written labels which prevents them from becoming completely undistinguishable – but of course, if we were to do the project again, we could certainly make this more clear by repositioning the green lace to make the “heel” segment smaller.

Personally, I was really proud of our final outcome that we handed in today – I really enjoyed the process of making the stop motion and was really pleased with how the finished film turned out. I think the brightness and contrasts of the colours really add to the piece, making the movement even more energetic and fun. Overall, I really feel like we have created an imaginative, adventurous and creative information design – it’s really effective.

Reflection on Field – Publish!

For Publish, we had the opportunity to either work individually or in small groups of our own choice. Of course, I jumped at the chance to work in a team, especially as I could pick people to work with who I knew that I could rely on to all play their part and share the workload between us equally. I found being able to pick our own groups made a huge difference to being put into groups, especially after having a previously bad experience working in a group that I had not personally chosen. We knew that working in a group would allow us to take on a heavier workload, as there was obviously more of us to share the work between – this meant that we could really push ourselves to create a great project that we were all proud of.

We chose to create an editorial piece that could potentially benefit and be used in the real-world – we decided on creating something for the University and students, and more specifically for our own course of Graphic Communication. We started looking into the idea of creating a new prospectus – there is already an existing prospectus for the whole of Cardiff School of Art & Design and after noticing that some of the other courses within CSAD have a prospectus for their own individual subject, we were surprised that the Graphic Communication course did not currently have one. We had found the gap that we wanted to fill. Finding a gap in the market was a great way to decide what we wanted to create and I am able to take this way of working into my other projects – I can look at what is already out there and more importantly, find what is not already out there, so that I can fill that gap myself.

We wanted to play with form and layout, so decided on creating a multi-layered cover in which we played with size and positioning. It turned out to be much more challenging than we thought, but this was exactly what was so great about this project. Through being experimental and pushing ourselves to try and create something outside of our comfort zone, we have learnt something new and can now reuse this skill in any of our further work where it may be suitable. This is something that I feel I have been able to do a lot more this year, rather than being restrained by tight briefs, we have been allowed to be experimental and playful while challenging ourselves to become overall better designers. In order to get the prospectus’ cover correct and aligned properly, I created several paper mock-ups until we were happy with how it was looking. Making mock-ups was undeniably helpful with a project like this – it helped us to get a full hands-on visual of what the final outcome would look like in the end and to see where corrections and modifications had to be made. Doing this was much more telling than just looking at an InDesign file on a computer screen and I believe that if we hadn’t actually printed mock-up trial runs of the piece, we could have ended with a disaster when we came to print the finished piece at the end. Creating this cover was definitely a stand out learning experience within this project for me.

We made sure to be experimental throughout the prospectus. Every page, from the important course information and entry requirements, to the fun quotes, portfolio tips, and interview with David, was interesting and eye-catching. Overall, I was so pleased with the outcome of the editorial piece and it has really inspired me to get into doing editorial more as I really love doing it and I feel that this project has really helped me to develop what strengths I already had in the area.