Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Talks, Time and Terminology

My head has been crammed with a lot of new information since my last entry. With the new assignments we are now undertaking there comes a lot of new terminology and techniques. Some of the lectures, especially Colour Theory, really opened my eyes to how much I don't actually know. I have nearly filled a sketch book already on notes alone.

This trend is getting easier to follow but the work is now piling on. I have a deadline in the pipeline and I know it will be hear a lot sooner than I anticipate. Planning my time is as important as handing in the assignments and it shows in the finished article.

Some of the mini-assignments we have been given on Tuesday afternoons have been very energetic. I was unorganised with time management, again, and had to rush towards the end of the day. I have found that I utilised my time more effectively and for the second assignment I was able to construct a more efficient work pattern. Slowly but surely I am learning to use my time efficiently.

Another big event was giving a presentation on contrast, part of the proximity, alignment and repetition (PARC) fundamentals. Nerves were factor and it didn't help that I fluffed the putting together of the PDF file. I didn’t feel uncomfortable talking to the class but I did feel embarrassed. I think a dry run with the group might have been in order before hand would have help dramatically.

I was also relieved this week to find out that I pass, with a referral, our first assignment. It was good to find out that everyone had passed and there was a definite relived ambience in the group. At least now I can put this behind me and learn from the experience.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Referred But Not Deterred

It’s been a hectic fourteen days. There have been two new assignments to consider on top of one ongoing and one referral.

Receiving the referral didn’t come as a shock as knew I had made a mess of presenting the information on the CD that was required. What was a shock was the amount of other things I had done wrong or simply not addressed. I felt quite stupid when I was told and a little embarrassed that I was unable to follow instruction. I think this may have been reflected in the group as most received the same feedback. I suppose it gave me a bit of relief when I found out I was not alone.

The referral has done no favours regarding time management. It’s increased my work load and stress. I’m still pretty nervous about handing it in again. I will be reading, trying to get others to read and reading it again before I hand it in for the final time. I have taken the opportunity of going into college out of my scheduled time this week as it will give the chance ‘crack on’ with my work.

Receiving feedback on the eCard project has also increased my confidence this week. I’ve just found out that I, along with a few others, have been shortlisted for the final design. So I must be doing something right.

Our new assignments have been interesting this week. I’ve enjoyed working on ‘thought processes’ and sketching frantically to develop ideas. I think I may have missed instruction at one point as I took too long on the second development stage. It’s becoming clear to me that I need to understand what is being asked of me and not to just say I know. The result can be catastrophic.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Industrial Insight

I was fortunate enough to be enlightened on the ins-and-outs of the industry I have chosen to pursuit. Two people, Dave and Craig, from The Design Mechanics gave their views and practices they have encountered while working in this field.

The information presented before me hit home and mapped out just how much work is ahead of me to succeed in the future. I was shocked to learn that designs take less than a week to produce from initial brief to final draft. A very short time frame to produce a large quantity of work is frightening but this is now what I should expect to be able to cope with. No questions.

Learning that the company had just started to generate profits in the last two years (within a period of ten) definitely gives me perceptions about where to aim my focus when I complete this course. I thought it would be a walk in the park going straight into a freelance type job or setting up a business but listening to Dave speak has put this into perspective.

Being able to speak with Craig also gave the opportunity to seek out how the industry works for the employee. I found it interesting that several briefs will be juggled at any one time and that works, not excuses, are expected on time and to satisfaction of the client.

I shall use the advice given and set personal goals to meet the standards of a professional manner at all times. This is paramount if I am to ‘make a name for myself’ in this field.

I’m sure I will hit snags along the way and feel like I could have done more or approached a situation differently but this will mold me into a more prominent designer in the future.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

ITC Bauhaus

Bauhaus is of German origin and is roughly translated as Building House. The name was also given to the institute that ran in Dessau, Germany from 1919 until its closure by the Nazi regime in 1933. The Bauhaus produced works in a variety of fields such as art, design and typography.1

The font 'ITC Bauhaus' was developed by Edward Benguiat and Victor Caruso in 1975. It was developed on a prototype designed by the Bauhaus designer Herbert Bayer he created in 19252 named Universal.

The family itself is considered Linotype as it was used by the Linotype machine3. It is now available for use in five styles: Light, Medium, Demi Bold, Medium Bold and Heavy. The heavy version of the family was originally meant for display purposes only along with, the now redundant, outline typeface.

Bauhaus font

A free version of the font can be found on most up to date computers (running Microsoft Windows) named 'Bauhaus 93' and differs little from the version created in 1975. There are also other versions of the family: Blippo, based on the original 1925 design and ITC Ronda, similar to Bauhaus’ work with a few distinguishing characteristics.4

The font uses geometric shapes to produce a robust, clean type face that is easy to read and art deco in feel. Its use shows in industry such as media. Examples of this font family can be seen in the credits of American TV sitcom 'Roseanne'5 and, in recent times, used by Adidas on the back of their sponsored football shirts.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

A Journey Of Six Weeks…

I don’t think I have done as much work in these last six weeks as I have done in a very long time.

A few issues with time keeping have cropped up while progressing over this time period, which is something I drastically need to change. I realise that the work load from now will be greater as an eighth of the time available has been used and we’ve only completed a sixteenth of the work required!

My first assignment has proved to be awkward. I feel that I planned my work effectively and completed it to the best of my ability. My downfall was with the deadline as I relied on someone else to bring a vital piece of work for me on the said date.

It turned out that this person was late and, consequently, I frantically had to recreate this item in minutes. I managed to hand the item in (with fifteen seconds to spare) but feel that the presentation was meagre. I now fear I may receive a referral for this first assignment.

I think the lesson here is do not rely on anyone but yourself to do tasks regarding your own work. I can say that I will definitely be the only person involved in my own work from now on.

It hasn’t all been turmoil. I have immensely enjoyed collecting pieces of design inspiration and commenting on why I feel they deserve recognition. It has helped me get back into a learning mode and use my brain, which is something I haven’t done in a long time. And to be in an environment where everyone is working towards the same goal is quite a new experience for me. I feel this is definitely more constructive than anything I’ve ever done in the past.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Hindsight Now Developing

Over the last three weeks I have had two assignments presented to me. One I am enjoying thoroughly and the other not so much. The latter is purely academic and is probably the reason I am loathing it as such.

Reverting back into the learning mode has proved more difficult than I anticipated. But I am slowly adapting to my environment and the work seems to become more natural as I progress.

I am also struggling to ‘find’ the time, although I have more than most, to sit down and complete tasks at home and be strict with my learning away from college. This, I feel, is just a phase and I will feel a lot happier once I receive feedback from the first assignment (A2) and have a clear picture of what I am doing and what I should be doing.

I have had to restrict my social life by a considerable amount and decline offers to join in a house share with friends due to fact that I know I will never get any work done. I know this is the right decision as I will be able to strategise my time more efficiently.

There are plenty of resources available for to me check my progress as I continue this assignment and future assignments. And the people on my course all seem to be pulling in the same direction which is really helping me with my motivation and confidence. I actually enjoy coming to college which is something that I have detested in the past.

I think my next step is to keep on top of time keeping. Both at home and at college.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Where I've Come From; Where I Am Now; Where I'm Going

Hello. This is my first ‘blog’ and is set out to try and give you a little background about myself. Here it goes...

I finished school with good GCSE results but had no idea how to apply what I knew to the outside world. After three or so years I managed to attain a job working at a school, which I significantly enjoyed. After three or so years, again, I felt that I needed a change and decided to go traveling and reassess my position in life once back.

I am now currently in employment that offers no real benefits as such and does not offer the use of my potential. This is something I want to change. I know that what I am doing at the moment in employment will force me to look elsewhere in the future and I know that I cannot keep doing this. It becomes harder and a little more disheartening each time I find a new job.

So last year I decided to enroll on this course and train to do something I enjoy. I know the work ahead will not be easy by any means but I am willing to progress my understanding in this industry so that I can enjoy what I do for a living.

I hope the course will challenge me and drive me to use my full potential. I want to excel in this given area and one day be able to share my knowledge and skills with like minded people. I need to use this course to help me secure a job and to be able to flex my creative desires. Working along side like minded people will hopefully give a taste of what employment in this industry is like. I see this course as an investment in my future.