Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Action Time

The referral work has now been resubmitted and I am feeling quietly confident this time around. The work I have done for A2 has already played a vital part in the development of the second web plan [A3].

Even though my referral work was started on the night that my official feedback was given, I still found myself coffee fuelled and still [only just] awake and working at 4:30am of the morning of re-submission [today]. This is just another late night amongst many recently.

This week has seen a very important lecture surrounding P.A.R.C. [Proximity Alignment Repetition and Contrast] possibly the most important acronym that we will encounter this year; the explanations of which are common sense when you think about it; however, sometimes it takes someone to point it out to you before you implement for the first time.

In addition to the above, we have also had our long awaited presentation feedback. I am very pleased with mine, apart from the occasional time, my stutter did not show through and my presentation [according to all the ticks on the review form] was a success.

We ended the 'in college' week with a progression of our image restoration. After realising that I had set my image to CMYK [Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black] instead of RGB [Red Green and Blue] the restoration process became much easier.

My 'self study' time this week is going to be once again very busy. Being as I am, after reading my assignments over again I feel that there is room for improvement and I fully intend to make full use of the remaining time before submission.

If I am being honest, I am really nervous about getting the result back for the A2 assignment a failure would be devastating for me at this time. Fingers Crossed

However, looking forward, I will concentrate my efforts on the assignments in hand.

We have had our first attempt at a timed project, a business card design. We had 15 minutes design times and 15 publication time; I must admit i thoroughly enjoyed the two tasks.

Although, this is more like the reality of working as a designer [tight time scales] I saw this more as a personal challenge over anything else. Even though the designs I produced still leave a lot to be desired, overall I am very happy with the results. I look forward to more tasks like this in the future.

Quote of the week

"You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind." - Source Unknown

Friday, 23 November 2007

Skin Deep

Hi Everyone,

As you are aware us first years are faced with the image restoration project. An obstacle we are all going to have to face is going to be the digital reference for a natural skin tone.

If anyone has any useful links, ideas and / or examples they would like to share can do so here.

Here is a useful link I have found. [I am also going to post a discussion on DasForum]

Let me know what you think...

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Practical Magic

Good Points

Once again the practical aspects of this course are beginning to shine through. With this weeks introduction to the third part of the A4 assignment, the image restoration project, my enthusiasm for the course has increased.

Although I have undergone image manipulation in the past, I have never tried to restore a photograph which has been this badly disfigured. Whilst this kind of restoration work isn't exactly ground breaking, the level of personal satisfaction so far is high.

Whilst the lectures are a necessity to our progression to the course, the practical side of things always appears to encapsulate the attention of the class on a much higher level.

Although I wasn't present for the lecture on Monday on the colour wheel, the notes which I borrowed from James Bell proved to be quite comprehensive (thanks James). The colour wheel is something that I had heard of but never really understood until now.

It is now apparent that with each week that passes that the intricacies of the course are unveiled.

I am looking forward to the next two weeks, not only because of the practical work we are currently undergoing but also because of the resubmission of A2. This might sound strange at first, however, I feel that I have a much clearer understanding of what is required to the right side of the marking scheme.

Fingers crossed :-)

Not So Good Points

The exclusion from this Mondays lecture was disappointing. Remaining ever positive, I am sure that this will be the last time that is happens; things like this are not intended as punishment, but as a wake up call.

Aside from the missed lecture, the only real 'not so good point' would have to be the late nights involved in bringing my referral work up to scratch and for the progression of the A3 and A4 assignments. I am sure that they will pay off quite shortly though and I will be back on form.


  • Maintain strong standards with regards time sheets; this includes the comments.
  • Continue with referral correction work.
  • Further progress the A3 and A4 assignments.
  • Read through this weeks lecture notes.

Quote of the week
“I said there was but one solitary thing about the past worth remembering and that was the fact that it is past - and can't be restored” (unless its a photograph!) - Mark Twain

Seminar Groups and Pre-submission dates

Ok so no one likes the pre-submission reviews often incurred during seminar groups; however, although the cause of much frustration for myself and my colleagues, I feel that they are a very necessary part of the course; particularly for my circumstances as without these pre-submission dates, I feel that for many people (myself including) the majority of the project work will be carried out in the latter weeks of the project and the quality would suffer as a result.

The toll of having now THREE assignments to complete, I feel, is now catching up on me. The referral work is taking up much more time that I had originally allowed for it. However, because I started this work early, I now have into the second week for corrections.

I can't work out yet if this is because of the referral in the first instance, (and the associated pressures and fears of failure of the first assignment spilling into the present) or the will to succeed that is driving me on? One of my largest fears is “Am I going to be good enough to make the grade for after Christmas.

Who know's... All I can say is that I do worry !!


Quote of the week…

Progress comes from the intelligent use of experience.” - Elbert Hubbard

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Compression followed by relief...

I have really enjoyed this week.

I have had the feedback for the referred submission and to be honest it wasn't as painful as I first thought. It appears that the majority of the issues were a miss understanding on my part of EXACTLY how something was to be done.

I feel really quite positive about the feedback I have received and feel that it will give me better direction for the future.

The more practical aspect to the course is beginning to come out now and I'm feeling really into it.

The lecture on image compression today made me feel right at home. File formatting, coding and optimisation are more suited to my academic background than anything we have done so far.

I know it sounds geeky but even entering the data from the image compression tests into Excel I felt right at home.

Following Monday's class, I feel that I now have a greater understanding of the time sheets. The lecture really put time planning and the time sheets in a format I clicked with. The only real challenge now will be to keep up the positive steps by ensuring that the production schedule and time sheets are adhered to.

The seminar groups have also gone well this week. Although much shorter than hour of last week (due to assignment feedback), proved very useful. The pointers for our assignments during these sessions could make all the difference.

All this with JB's 'monkey' business, this week really has been great.

This weeks targets;

  • Make headway with the referral work for personal review next week.
  • Refinements to be made to the A4, ‘Are we designers are we artists or are we both’ essay.
  • Complete Image compression essay.
  • Complete delivery requirements.
  • Complete competitive analysis – two sites.

I hope that next week will be as productive as this one.

Quote of the Week
“Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to practical use” - unknown source

Monday, 5 November 2007

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.


This week has been, so far, an emotional rollercoaster. Over the space of two days I have experianced anxiety, relief, pressure, reassurance and consolation.

First thing (almost) on Monday morning we had a well recieved and very open discussion about the previous term. I feel as though this really cleared the air and fetched everyone closer still.


Although perhaps I didn't let it show, I was a bag of nerves all morning. Will the presentation files work? Will I remember what I want to say? Will the nerves get to me?

Thankfully, in my opinion the presentation went well and almost exactly to plan. The only real concern was the fact that I went 3 minutes over. Perhaps a result of trying too hard not to rush? I am not sure.

Following the presentation and open floor discussion, I felt that my personal confidence and self-esteem was at an all time high.

The results...

The results are in not only for our first submission but also for the 'blogtastic' student of this half term and also with regards the email responses.

Being the opinionated individual that I am, I managed to post the most comments on peoples journal's with the total weighing in at 52 (20 more than the minimum required).

In addition to this I managed to come second with the email responses. However, whilst I have done well in some areas, it is evident that I have lapsed in others.

When I heard the words, "Sorry, but you have referred", as prepared for it as I thought I was I was destroyed.

I think that my body language gave me away to the other members of the group; and I apologise to everyone for reacting in such a negative way.

The Support…

Thank you everyone for the support. As I mentioned before my body language and sudden change in attitude was evident to all.

So much so that I was asked to ‘pop next door’ for one on one support. I honestly believe that I couldn’t have gotten through yesterday with the assistance that Steve gave me. Steve was open, honest, supportive and very easy to talk to. Not only did he help me with to deal with the news I had just received but also give me advice on many other aspects of my life at the moment, which may have had a bearing on my performance.

Thank you Steve.

However, the support did not end there. Upon returning to the class I was presented with the message below as a draft on my blogger account that I had left open whist I was next door.

"I need to cheer up and smile.. I know it's a bit of a set-back, but I definitely need to look at the positives and get past; then pass on the referral time! I need to not let it get to me and effect me too much, the group hates it when I'm unhappy as I am such an integral part of the group, and looked to for advice (being the granddad of the group) as people look on me as a kind of leader.. and have the generous nature to give people help and actually care.. & the group care about me

I should :]"

This coupled with overwhelming support from the rest of the class has put me right back on track. I couldn't have done it without you all.

Seminar Groups...

Welcome Andy and Greg. We have had our first seminar discussion this afternoon and I feel that it went great.

Just as I imagined we are all getting on very well.

I really enjoyed the lectu… no… discussion this morning surrounding “Are we designers or are we artists?”

This kind of activity is definitely more like the kind of things I enjoy. Andy and I, in the absence of Gary (the art connection) Benn, were intentionally tying to be controversial in the things we were saying and challenging responses where possible to fuel the fire of discussion. This again, I feel worked well.

Although an emotional one, I really have got a lot out of this week. It has been a lot to take in all at once but even still an productive one.

Quote of the week

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” - Colin Powell