Final Reflective Post Before Hand In

Looking back over the year and putting together my PDP presentation has made me realise just how far I’ve come in terms of my development as a Graphic Designer. At the end of year one I stated a few aims that I wanted to develop throughout year 2 and on reflection I feel that I have most definitely achieved them and some.

One particular one that I wanted to address was my general Graphic Design knowledge including designers, print processes, terminology and production knowledge. I think that I have managed to achieve this, especially when it comes to the production and print processes side of things. Both the Catalogue brief and Digital Publishing Modules have helped further my knowledge of the different features that are available in design packages especially InDesign and its Digital Publishing Suite add on. Using them to create the final pieces has meant that I have learnt further how to use the shortcuts to make designing quicker as well as how to use more digital methods of design for digital publishing including adding buttons and links. I have also furthered my print production knowledge by the undertaking of the recent Fashion Catalogue. This catalogue has involved the use of a Pantone colour which has in turn require the printing process to be changed. Developing this catalogue has meant that I have gain further knowledge about how extra and specific colours are printed as well as the time and production costs that are involved.

Another area I wanted to address was the idea of being more experimental with both layout and typography. I think that this is especially evident in my Broadsheet layout. I decided to use a grid but instead of the titles going straight across they went in a diagonal format making the design really dynamic and also allowing a lot more information to be fed onto the page. During year one this type of idea would have been one that I shied away from however my confidence as a designer has grown considerably allowing me to feel comfortable being more expressive and experimental.

The final major area that I wanted to develop was myself as a more of a professional by creating a sleeker looking blog and broadening my portfolio. I think that I have been successful in this as well because I have made certain changes. One is being my blog, although my blog was sufficient for last year I felt that it lacked a designer feel and needed to feel more connected to me. One way I addressed this was by changing my blogging platform from tumblr to WordPress. This allowed me to further personalise my blog making it more relatable to me as a designer as well as “branding” it as my own. It no looks more like a website and something that I would be happy to share with people. I also think that my writing has improved with this. I have made a conscious effort to present my posts but at the same time I have been more aware about my wiring style and the sorts of things that I am putting out in the public domain. I have also widened my portfolio not only by doing the work that has been set for project briefs but also by undertaking live briefs such as the fashion catalogue as well as work for friends and family. I hope that this in turn will lead to further work and further portfolio work and refinement.

I have also grown in confidence not only as a graphic designer but also as a person. My recent essay presentation has show that I can present confidently in front of people and that it is not something that I should worry about because I have proved I am capable of doing it. This leads me on to my essay, although I haven’t had my results back I do feel confident that I would have progressed in my writing ability and been able to communicate efficiently my views and points towards the role of art and design within education. This makes me look forward to both getting my essay result back and starting the research and reading around my dissertation topic which is something that I want to address towards the end of the summer break.

Although I am happy with my development I do always feel that there is room for improvement so I have identified the following things that I wish to achieve from year 3:

  • Further knowledge of artists and designers- especially historical as I feel I focus quite heavily on contemporary
  • The use of more photography (especially my own)- have branched out and used illustration now as well as photography but it would be nice to feel confident enough to use my own.
  • Further print production knowledge and getting things ready to send to print- have touched upon this but this most definitely does still need some more development as there are lots of processes that I haven’t thought about or looked into.
  • Developing blog- making it look and feel more like a website and updating all online portfolios as well as designing a more design lead CV that I would be happy to show to potential employees.

To conclude I am really happy with my how I have developed over year 2. I feel really confident with the pieces that I have produced and feel that they are beneficial to my portfolio. I also have further graphic design knowledge and terminology which under my belt which is also beneficial to me. I now look forward to doing my presentation and showing my work to my fellows students and gaining feedback.

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