Monday, 21 October 2013


10 Things I want to learn/improve this year;

  • Laser cutter - The laser cutter is a print method that has recently really caught my attention as the results that can be achieved using this method are really impressive. Therefore, this year I want learn to use the machine so that the technique can be applied to some of my outcomes.
  • Screen print - I successfully developed my knowledge of the whole screen print process last year, I attended insightful workshops that went through how to print on both paper and fabric. This year I want to develop and apply this knowledge, although I experimented extensively printing on paper I never printed on fabric, so this is something I would like to try this year. 
  • Time management - Moreover, my independent time management is also something that I would like to improve this year. Although I was pretty on top of my time management last year I still think that there is vast room for improvement. I am aiming to develop this skill by starting work and study tasks immediately. Furthermore, I will also spend a consistent amount of time on projects every night to prevent a large build up of work from occurring.   
  • Typography - Last year served as my introduction to typography, I developed skills and knowledge by sketching letter forms and learning about the basic principles associated with type. I want to develop this knowledge further over the coming academic year by continuing to develop typographic sketches in my spare time, I found that this is a good way of leaning about letter forms and how they interact with each other. 
  • Illustration - Although not immediately important to design, illustration is something that is very important to my practice. When appropriate, I have always taken a very illustrative approach to design, and therefore the standard of my illustrations is something that I want to improve. This in turn this will help develop the aesthetic quality of my outcomes and coincidentally improve my design practice  
  • Craft - As a designer I have a very craft driven practice, I am fascinated by different print techniques and how these can be used to improve and push the quality of my graphic outcomes. Over the coming year I want to develop my knowledge of craft related techniques and apply these to my work.  
  • Finishing techniques -  Finishing techniques such as 'foiling' and 'embossing' can give outcomes a really nice upmarket feel, as a designer my practice predominantly focuses on printed media. Therefore, I want to use this year to lean about the various finishing techniques, when applied correctly they will give my work a new dimension and improve the quality of my outcomes.
  • Research - A lot of my research last year was collected via secondary internet sources, I want to improve this aspect of my design process by collecting more of my research from primary sources. Not only will this help to improve my research, but it will also get more more involved in projects as I will be physically interacting with different sources of information.
  • Confidence - Something that I personally want to improve is my confidence within myself, both when presenting work and talking about various topics in class. Public speaking is something that will only improve the more times I do it, therefore this year I will push myself to have more verbal input during debates in class. Moreover, I will make sure that I am well prepared for any presentations to ensure I am confident and informative when speaking.
  • Aim high! - Finally, I want to improve my self confidence, over the last year I developed a negative attitude that lead to me doubting my abilities as a designer and student, its not the 'positive' frame of mind that I should have as an up and coming design student. Lacking confidence something that I believe held me back from applying for work placements over summer and is something that needs to change. This year I will focus on improving my attitude and push myself to overcome any doubts.

Next, I reviewed the list created at the start of last year, I wanted to see how successful I was in achieving my set goals.

  • Firstly, I want to widen my knowledge of typography, as I believe this is one of my weaknesses as a designer.
  • I also want learn technical terms within typography and graphic design and widen my design related vocabulary.
  • I want to learn new printing techniques such as letter press printing, this is something I have always aspired to try but unfortunately never had the facilities to do so.
  • Additionally, I also want to learn about the business side of the subject, so when I finish the course I am fully prepared for the outside world. 
  • Finally, I also want to learn about programs that I have not had chance to work with before like 'fontographer'.

Firstly, I can safely say that I achieved all of my goals to some extent. Through the design principles sessions I massively improved my knowledge of typography and how it should be applied within design. Furthermore, the same sessions also introduced a lot of the technical terms associated with typography, when creating my booklet for the '10 Things a Designer Should Know' brief I reviewed these again, which I believe helped cement the information in my brain. With regards to learning new printing techniques last year was a great success, I experimented with a variety of printing techniques which helped my love for print grow. This is clearly reflected in my design ethos which if focused on creating graphic outcomes for printed media. Although we were briefer introduced to some business aspects of design we didn't really cover anything in a great amount of detail. Never the less, it is something that will be covered in this years PPP sessions with John. Finally, I briefly used 'fontographer' last year when we were working with out alphabets. However, this is a program that I would like to use more this year to help me develop a deep understanding of how the program works.