Digital Me – Finishing Touches

Our final deadline for the Digital Me project is on Tuesday so I am just adding the final finishing touches to all of my submissions before then.

I am feeling confident with the way I am heading and I have not got a lot to do before handing in my finished work for the deadline on Tuesday. I have completed my Research and Development PDF for Persuasion and am currently finishing off the one for Penguin. I have already got a Research and Development PDF for branding that I created last year after completing the Brandworld project, so I have just got to add and change this one accordingly to my further development since then and my newer final outcomes.

For the finishing touches of my CV, online portfolio, PDF portfolio, I have edited some details to add to the overall final look of the finished pieces. After a tutorial with Neil, we spoke about how underlining titles, historically, was not considered needed after ‘bold‘ was invented. Although I have decided against using the bold version of Playfair Display as I think it ruins the beauty of the contrast between the thick and thin lines in the lettering of the typeface, I have removed the underlines of the titles and the overall look of the CV is much cleaner without them. I have done the same thing on my PDF portfolio by removing the underlines of the titles. Removing these underlines have actually added to the consistency of my overall project, because I noticed that the website does not have underlined titles. There is enough definition between the title and the body text because they are different typefaces – the title is serif and the body text is sans serif, the title is in orange and the body text is black, and there is also a big size difference between the two.

To match the removal of all my title underlines, I have edited my ‘I’m Amber‘ logo slightly as well. I have removed the underline below the text, but kept the line above as the image of me is sat, resting on it. I have adjusted the weight of the upper line to make up for it’s staying though.

Digital Me – Further Development

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.

screenshot - project layout.png

My next steps are to move on to beginning the Research and Development PDFs for my Subject projects: Persuasion, Penguin and Branding.

Digital Me – First Tutorial

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.

name ideas

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.

cv first idea

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.

Oriel Davies Gallery

Over the Easter break, I volunteered at the Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown in order to gain some work experience.

The Oriel Davies Gallery

Originally founded in 1982 as Oriel 31 in the nearby town of Welshpool, the gallery expanded three years later to the Davies Memorial Gallery in Newtown which had been built in 1967 specifically to be a gallery and community centre. This gallery was built with the legacy left behind by the well-known Davies sisters, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. During the sisters’ lifetimes, they lived in Gregynog Hall (not far from Newtown) and collected works of art, including art by: Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Pissarro. The two sisters are now recognised as Wales’ most influential collectors of Impressionist and 20th Century art. On their passing, their collection was entrusted to the National Museum Wales, in Cardiff. Between 2002 and 2004, the gallery closed for refurbishment and upgrading, and then reopened with the new name, Oriel Davies Gallery in recognition of the Davies sisters.

The Oriel Davies Gallery now has three spaces in which it shows a range of works throughout the year, from: major exhibitions of national collections; newer work by established artists; to more experimental work by emerging artists. Aside from the gallery rooms, there is also a café and a shop, as well as there being workshops, courses, talks and other events held regularly.

oriel-davies-gallery


During my time at the gallery, I did gallery guiding and worked on the front of house desk. Aside from meeting and greeting people and showing them around the exhibition, I also had to keep on top of other things such as: making sales from the shop; maintaining the cleanliness of the children’s resource area and the shop; handing out visitor questionnaires, etc.

The Exhibition: Vanishing Point

The exhibition that I was gallery guiding for was called, Vanishing Point, and was a display of new work by Cardiff-based artist, Kelly Best. The exhibition was created by Best specifically for the Oriel Davies Gallery space, meaning it was created to fit and suit its habitat exactly, and it offers a response to the architectural and physical space of the Oriel Davies’ galleries. Her works feature interconnections between sculpture, painting and drawing, which work together to consider the site, space and surface.

Personally I loved her steel sculptures the most, some of which towered over and above you, and some of which you could actually interact with such as stepping over and through. Best works in a range of media, including steel, watercolour and coloured pencil but tends to always manipulate the piece’s perspective, scale and light. I found with many of her pieces of show, particularly the steel sculptures, that depending on where you stood in the room and from what angle you looked at the piece from, the appearance changed. Although her work is rather minimal, which lead to some people being put off and unsure of what to think, the processes that she must have taken to reach the outcome of each piece is what I find particularly interesting when thinking about.

Although her pieces seemed almost too ‘basic’ at first, I really admired how simplistic and graphic they were. Her ‘zig-zagged wall’, as I called it, was a wonderful piece that looked amazing at both a distance and up-close. I loved how no two A4 pieces were the same – every single one was unique – and when looking more closely at the piece, you could see how the watercolours blended together, probably where Best had not washed her brush before changing colour. This process has meant that there are specks of blue left in the red and specks of red left in the blue, and where the brush has began to dry before being dipped back in water, the paper shows through creating a seemingly effortless aesthetic. You can see her experimenting with this drying out brush technique in some of her other pieces too. Really, I loved how something so simple could be so beautiful.

The pieces below really summed up the name of her exhibition, Vanishing Point, particularly the red one in which it feels you can look deeper and deeper into the painting to find the piece’s ‘vanishing point’ to they eye. Each of these nine pieces were individually quite psychedelic – getting as close as possible to a piece so that the painting filled my whole view, created a great intensity and perspective.


Overall, it was great to have the work experience there at the gallery, and was also fantastic to meet people involved in and interested in the creative industry. I feel that it was definitely a really worthwhile experience for me and I look forward to hopefully going back and working there again, perhaps over the Summer.

Final Outcome and Presentation

Today we gave presentations of our final outcomes of the Persuasion projects in front of our clients and tutors.

Before giving our presentations, we had previously created and rehearsed our presentation which we intended to give today. However, earlier in the day today, before our presentations at 2pm, we had some difficulty putting our animations into the PowerPoint as several of the team’s videos were not completed until very last minute which meant we were not left with much time to import the animations into the presentation. Personally, although my animation was complete, the way in which I had rendered and then exported it meant that the file size was much too big to go on the presentation. After adjusting the quality of the animation, hoping to reduce the file size, I exported it again and although the file size was much more appropriate, the quality had been so much decreased that the on-screen text during the animation was pixelated and barely readable. In the end, due to being rushed for time and the presentation deadline fast approaching, I decided to instead simply show my original final film, which was too large to actually be inserted into the presentation, as a separate file directly from the desktop. Other members of the group ended up doing the same.

Even after these initial obstacles, during the presentations, everything went smoothly. Our group made sure to introduce ourselves to our audience before beginning and then spoke about our project title and the organisation that we were working for, and the mission statement and key aim of the communication that we set out to achieve. Next we went on to each taking it in turns to give a short introduction on our own animation and showing it.

The presentations concluded with inviting our clients to view more of our work, such as the storyboards and other development pieces, and to discuss our animations further. Although our client was unable to stay for long due to her own circumstances, we were able to briefly talk about each of our outcomes with her. She spoke about what she really liked in our pieces, claiming that she really likes ‘Steve’ in my own stop-motion animation, and we were also able gain any more constructive critique and where we could go from here. I am really pleased that they still wish to continue working with me in creating the other three videos for their 4-part video series on the topic.

If I were to do the presentations again, I feel that if we had made sure all of our group member’s animations were completed fully in advance – we could have used the extra time to actually insert them into the presentation, rather than have to navigate off of the presentation to get to, open and play our animations. This would have created a more overall professional looking presentation.

Personally, I also feel that I spent too long looking at and speaking to the screen projection, rather than looking out at my audience and speaking directly to them. To improve, I would engage more efficiently with my audience, and client in particular, by having eye contact and by being a little animated, such as using hand gestures to make myself more inviting and to involve the audience.

I felt that I became slightly nervy during the presentation, partly because of the minor panic of getting the animations onto the presentation beforehand, and although the clients and audience had not witnessed this, I think that I ended up rambling and stuttering more than I would have liked to – next time I will consider using cue cards to keep me on track so that I remember exactly what it is I want to say and when to say it.

Digital Stitch

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.

Client Meeting and Tutorial

We have one week left until we present our final, finished outcomes to our clients next Thursday 30th March.

Yesterday I had a meeting with my clients in which I showed them the stop-motion scenes that I had filmed so far over last weekend and have put together roughly in iMovie. Before actually showing my clients the animation so far, I had to explain what stop-motion was as they had not seen it before. I was unsure if they would like it beforehand because I was aware that it was in a different style to what they had asked for. Whereas the other members of my group had gone for a vector-style animation created on AfterEffects, my animation is a stop-motion which is very different. However, on showing both of the clients my animation so far, they really enjoyed watching it. They liked how the rough voiceover that I had produced so far was lighthearted and friendly, so not too serious and heavy. Rather than making the viewer scared of the food risks, it just makes them aware of them and that although they are serious, it’s okay if you know how to handle them and obviously, that’s what the video series that I am creating is here to help do. In the voiceover, I have lightened the topic by including short phrases, for example, one particular line in my script is: “…you are more at risk of getting food poisoning, but don’t panic – this is Steve, he’s here to help.” Here the ‘don’t panic‘ works to comfort the viewer, and then the introduction of a helpful character (‘Steve‘) adds to this. The clients admitted that they were at first unsure of the idea of using a character in my animation when I had previously told them this, because they knew from their market research that the viewers from Velindre Cancer Centre had not liked watching and listening to personal stories and actual people talking at them from on-screen. I was aware of this when I decided that I wanted to use a character to create a sense of journey, which is why I chose a stickman. On watching the video, the client agreed with me that my use of the character really worked and they liked how ‘Steve‘ was not human-like: his body (as well as the other stickmen in the animation) are made of single geometric shapes, he has no real facial features – no nose, no mouth – except for a pair of vertical lines for eyes. He is simply an illustration, so is more cartoon-like than human.

At the end of the meeting, I agreed with the client that for our presentation next Thursday, I would finish off the first video, “Food Wellbeing during Chemotherapy”, and have it perfected to present to them next Thursday. I also agreed that I would have all four storyboards finished too. This way it means I can concentrate on getting one video to an excellent standard, rather than having four completed to a rough and poor standard.

Below are a few screenshots taken from my stop-motion animation so far that I showed to my clients today:

Today I had a tutorial with Neil Angove who was really helpful to talk to after my client meeting yesterday, because he gave me several ideas to help improve my stop-motion. He noticed that there were a few long blank spaces in the video which had no visuals, just voiceover. This was because I had had to add in some time where the animated parts of the video had not been quite long enough to fit my voiceover. He said that I could think about my audience, such as viewers who could potentially be hard of hearing – I am going to back up my voiceover with on-screen text, which will also help to fill these blank spaces. Obviously it would better if my text was handwritten and part of the actual original stop-motion, but because this is already completed, I am going to have to add it using other software such as AfterEffects – I am going to attempt to make it as close to hand-written as possible though.