Tuesday, 31 May 2011


1. Personal Reflection
2. Work Influences
3. Project Reflection (Creative Meaning / Student Set Project)
4. Sustainability Statement
5. Self Evaluation
6. Curriculum Vitae / Covering Letters / Curriculum Vitae & Letter Rationale
7. Evaluation Sheets
8. Portfolio Visuals
9. Colour Management
Personal Reflection

Since beginning my time at The Cardiff School of Art & Design I feel I have learnt a lot, academically and personally. I feel I have grown up, gained more confidence in my work in regards to designing, gaining new creative abilities and presenting while always realizing that I am able to get better and not losing my creative hunger to learn more. All this has been done by never turning down constructive criticism from others and always taking other peoples opinions on board, as I feel – to be a creative these are very important things you need to remember to become a successful designer.

One of my largest developments since beginning this course at The Cardiff School of Art & Design, is most definitely my thought process. Now, whenever I am briefed, to tackle the creative/communication problem, I will always start to tackle the problem correctly with a pen and paper. My design process will not even begin until I have created a multitude of mind maps and scribbled notes as I feel this is the best way to get the best outcome. After making all my scribbles I will then always get a second opinion and discuss my idea thoroughly whether it be with a friend of a tutor, as long as I get an honest opinion on my idea I feel confident that I can move on to begin the design process with a strong concept backing the format that I’m creating.
In regards to my personal development as a person I feel there is a lot I have learnt and done, and there is also a lot of improving to do. Now, when presenting, I am always a 100% confident with what I am showing, I will always make sure that my work/concept is strong enough to have my confidence before even considering sharing it with an audience. One very important piece of advice I gained off the tutor Olwen Moseley was to always sell your work with confidence and never point out any weaknesses within what you are showing. I’ve found that a very important piece of advice that I now I follow whenever presenting a final outcome. Even though I’m a open perfectionist, I do understand that perfection is never achieved which I feel is a good balance and attitude to have while being a creative, as I feel you will never leave a job half hearted, so you will always put a 110% effort behind it to get it looking the best it possibly can, but you also understand that it will always be able to be improved.

A huge part of my personal development is the work and opportunity’s I’ve done and been given outside of the course, and together I feel they (as a learning process) have helped each other. Throughout the summer I worked full time as a junior designer at the Bridgend based design agency Pentagon Design, this was a huge opportunity and expanded my portfolio majorly, filling it with projects like designing a full re-brand for 2 large companies, and then being given charge of the design of all the stationary that went with the new logo. As well as these projects I also designed multiple business cards for different agencies and websites. While working on these, as I was always getting feedback and constructive criticism, my confidence was growing not only in my standard of work but my usage of the applications on the computer as well. All this was a huge part in my development of understanding how the industry works in the “real world” as I was also given the opportunity to sit in business meetings and see how things are printed and proof ready correctly when handling large expensive prints.

My second opportunity was when I was working with Peacock Design in London over the Easter. I was very much involved in the production, and given the responsibility of the animation of the television commercial advertising Hugh Laurie’s debut album.
During my time with Peacock, this was the second brief I'd been given by the TV Graphics team - (But I had to keep quiet about it until it was officially released, to avoid anything getting leaked).
As well as it being a huge privilege, it was also a great project to work on, and even though at times I found it challenging, with the help from the guys in the studio, I was still constantly learning new things which helped me feed my constant hunger to improve and maximize my current potential.
I'm extremely thankful that Peacock gave me the opportunity to work on something so big, as well as helping me through the process of boosting the quality and quantity of work within my portfolio by showing that I'm very capable of creating interactive outcomes to an industry standard as well the print and web based pieces that all ready exist within my portfolio.

Overall I am happy with my development as a person in general while my time at The Cardiff School of Art & Design is drawing to a close… I plan on always learning more about design and life in general, and I am now taking Ian Wier’s advice and planning things ahead so that when my time with the course is over, I will not be sad to leave but excited for a new beginning, always remembering what I have learnt here.

Work Influences

Over the summer I worked as a full time junior designer with the Bridgend based design agency Pentagon Design as well as half of the Easter break with them and the other half with Peacock Design in London. During my final couple of weeks with Pentagon before returning for my final term at The Cardiff School of Art & Design a brand new 27-inch iMac arrived at the studio followed by a handshake and a "Welcome to Pentagon Design!" I officially have my own desk and a place waiting for me at the studio when I graduate. This is very exciting for me and is a good starting point in my career as a young creative. Now, rather than leaving the course with the worry of trying to find a job and supporting myself during the process, I have something to look forward to and a good beginning to actually start learning about design in a real life situation rather than in an academic surrounding. Even though the course has helped me tremendously, and has changed my whole thinking process and view of design, there is only so much they can offer you before you go out into the real world and start making your own mistakes and learning from them. As well as this Pentagon ad Peacock design have come to an agreement that I will travel back up to London to work with Peacock during the times that things might be quite in Bridgend. This is very exciting news as Pentagon see this as a great opportunity for me to learn new things to bring back to the company and also gives me the chance to get the best of both worlds.

Project Reflection

Module: Creative Meaning (Site Project)
For this brief I was asked to research and analyse a self chosen site in order to come up with a final outcome of my own accord.
My answer to this brief was to choose my bedroom bin as a site.
While researching the bin I recorded my thoughts on how I felt when using the bin, as well as what content was placed in the bin, the different ways I threw rubbish into the bin as well as the history behind the bin and any stories that came with it.

Module: Student Set Project
For my 'SSP' (Student Set Project) I wrote myself a brief that would challenge my creative abilities as well as the communication problem of revealing the stereotypical male student house, housing 6 different characters from different backgrounds.
After thorough research into each character it was clear to see I had to reveal the different relationships between each housemate as well as the group dynamics and how 6 different characters from different backgrounds have all come together to form a strong bond while living together throughout their time in university.
My answer to the brief was to create a fly on the wall type documentary with a twist, by including narration and animation as well as the natural footage caught on camera during the production of the project throughout, to give a sense of wit and emotion whether it be happy or sad.
I'm happy with my final outcome and had great fun making this project, even if it did get tricky at times I put it all down to experience.

Sustainability Statement

Sustainability is (these days) an important part of life. To today’s youth it is something they should grow up with and feel natural around, where as I feel personally this wasn’t the case for me. I first became aware of sustainability a few years back when my parents started separating the tins and the paper, and then over the years the number of bins in the utility room grew and the contents become even more separated. This is just one of many ways of being sustainable.
During my second year we were given the brief of promoting sustainability to clients that were experts in the field. As I feel I had a very limited view on the scene in comparison to how much we can actually do to save this world and be sustainable, it made the communication problem that little bit more challenging. 
For this brief we had to create a print based outcome for a client, that would send the message on how to be a sustainable designer’ out to to an audience.
We chose to give the serious almost boring message some ’snaz’ and ‘wit’ by telling them to double check the briefs given to them by clients to see if there was any way to create a design in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
We used a pun on the word ‘Brief’ to make it a more fun and light hearted.
The message is delivered in a little box that is built using no glue to keep it sustainable and to give the audience a more interactive experience.
It was designed with a minimal look to engage the audience and make them want to look at ‘the package’.
Inside the box you were given a number of goodies, which included a set of briefs with the ‘do your briefs fit’ logo on them, a recycling bag to get you started, and a booklet containing, facts, and info on the best way to be a sustainable designer.
The client was very impressed and a self confessed HUGE fan of the final outcome.
This was our team effort to help bring design and sustainability together, and add the little contribution to such a big worldwide effort.

It was after this brief that I realised how important being sustainable is and how we as designers have the advantage to contribute to the problem.
Even though the underling problem of global warming etc is much larger than paper and electricity it is never the less a small positive for a designer to contribute with the support of sustainability within the work place as well as in the household.
Even though our efforts might be minute in the grand scale of things, it is still important to remember, every little helps and it is just another way of tackling the situation.

Self Evaluation

1. What have you enjoyed the most about the course?

a) One of the biggest enjoyments I’ve gained from the course has been the change within my thought process in regards to the concepts I produce for the communication problems delivered within my set briefs.

b) Another enjoyment is finding people that work well with me as I feel if I have good surroundings and helpful feedback my projects always come forward to a higher level outcome than if I was to do it with no feedback at all.

c) In regards to the modules my most enjoyable and probably most stressful and time consuming was my Student Set Project, where I created a documentary about the student house of 225 Macintosh Place. The feeling I had when I saw the feedback, comments and reactions to the final outcome was enjoyable to say the least.

2. In what ways do you think you have developed or changed in the last year?
 Write about personal as well as professional issues pertinent to becoming a responsible, self-motivated student and becoming a creative and original designer.

a) When I started off on the course I was always confident with my technical skills on the computer (Which at the time was all I thought I needed) but I soon learned that wasn’t the case and began to put more thought within my work and always tried to communicate through my designs, by doing this I become more confident in challenging my creative abilities, which is something I’ve attempted to do with all of my projects this year.

b) Within the academic side of the course I really had to push and motivate myself to do well, as it is a very weak part of my work abilities. The dissertation helped me do this especially since I had an opportunity to research and write about something I’m passionate about. This also helped me along the route of research with other projects on the course as the dissertation asks of so much research and effort.

c) Since the beginning of this year I have been motivated to be experimental with my work but I’ve found it very important to keep the attitude that if I’m going to do something I haven’t done before it’s important that I do it well and not be half hearted about the format / outcome.

3. What do you think your strengths are in relation to Graphic Communication and becoming a designer or working/training in a related area?
Think about such things as creativity, appropriate working methods, skills and media, group and individual abilities, study skills etc.

a) Personally I’m quite proud of my capabilities of getting my work handed in, on time in full to a high standard. I feel I do this due to my hunger to learn all the time as well as always aiming higher and working to be the best at what ever I’m doing.

b) Within a team things can become stressful and frustrating, and personally I feel I take quite a confident and comfortable role as a team leader, as I’m always willing to listen and take constructive criticism, but I also have the ability to see what will work and what wont work.

c) As a creative I always try to keep myself aware of the most recent design trends, but I feel it is very important to set the trends not to follow them, because once you begin to follow, whether you’re an excellent designer or not, your just are cutting yourself short.

4. What has hampered your learning?
This should include things that are to do with you and who you have been with, as much as about the course itself.

a) During the first year, I had to undergo a knee reconstruction. This lead me to be bed bound for a few weeks and also left me with the pressure of learning to walk again with my right leg. Even though I tried very hard to keep up with my work and handed in all my projects, I didn’t do very well with my CCS essay which dampened my spirits a little.

b) Another thing that affected more my way of thinking than anything else, was seeing everyone getting work placements. Even though I tried extremely hard and sent out loads of portfolios and CV’s no one seemed to be interested in giving me any work experience, and when I saw others on the course were getting placements in the places that I had tried with, it made me question my abilities as to whether I was actually any good.

c) During the beginning of year 3 my relationship with a former girl friend ended, and even though I made sure to leave it outside of the course and not ever let it effect my learning etc I know it did slightly, but even though this happened I’m still confident I didn’t let it effect my work in any noticeable way as I believe it is important to keep personal life and work separate.

5. If you work outside college (voluntary or paid), what skills do you think you have gained or developed through doing this? 
Name of organisation/workplace: Pentagon Design / Peacock Design. Skills gained or developed:

a) While working with both agencies, I have developed multiple amounts of different skills, from sitting in on meetings with important clients, to little helpful shortcuts on the keyboard for different programs.

b) I was given the responsibility to animate a job for the debut album from Hugh Laurie, while working in London with Peacock, later to have the advert broadcast on National television.

c) I have also been in charge of many successful company website designs as well as rebrands and other form of design work that meant working with important clients.

6. What plans do you have after you finish the course to continue your development as a designer or related profession and make further progress in your field?

a) I have been offered a Junior Designer position at the Bridgend based design studio Pentagon Design which I will start after graduating.

b) As well as my junior design position at Pentagon, I have been invited back up to work with Peacock Design in London, as a Junior TV Graphic Designer when things are quiet with Pentagon. (Pentagon thought this was a great opportunity for me and released them of the burden of having me there if there wasn't much work for me to do.) - So I get the best of both worlds.

c) I intend on going to America at some point, as it’s something I have always wanted to do. I’m keeping my social networking up to date (twitter, linked in etc) and hopefully gaining contacts and building networks that will help me creatively when going over to the USA.

Curriculum Vitae

Click on images to enlarge:

(Page 1 - Front)

(Page 2 - Front & Back)

Covering Letters

Click on images to enlarge:

(Letter 1 - Front)

(Letter 2 - Front & Back)

Curriculum Vitae & Letter Rationale
For the design of my curriculum vitae and my cover letters I went with a corporate design style using Black White and Magenta.
The concept behind the design consists of 3 dots, 2 the same colour and 1 different, but always using the colours of the corporate style. 
The reasoning for the different colour dot is that it represents me as a creative individual that keeps me standing out from the crowd and the rest of the creative’s in the same position as me as a graduate.
The corporate font used for the designs is DIN. Any of the weights can be used as long as the typeface does not change as well as the colours.

Evaluation Sheets
Click on images to enlarge:

Portfolio Visuals
Here are some visuals from my current portfolio displaying 4 pieces of work that I have created during my 3rd year on the Graphic Communication course.
Click on images to enlarge:

Colour Management

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