Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Listening Week...

This inaccurately labeled "reading" week has proven to be very different; and I don't just mean from other reading weeks, I mean from anything I have experienced before!

I have always used music to set the tone to suit the circumstance; for example working environment, driving, etc. but never before has it been the focus of my activities.

From talking to some of the other students I am fortunate in that whilst it is not exactly my taste, the music I had was very similar to the 'Chilled Euphoria' albums that I have have in my collection.

My sketchbook is now filling up nicely boasting around ninety annotated logo's and three mood boards. I think that everyone's reactions were very similar this morning ... "Mood Board?!" but after a quick group discussion and some advice from the ever artistic Gary Benn, we were all on track.

From the work I have undertaken with logo's so far, I have found that as a general rule of thumb, the simple logos are much more affective and often more attractive. Logos like the ones belonging to 'Intel', 'McDonalds', 'Coca-Cola' and 'Volkswagen' to name but at few are almost intently recognisable with just a passing glance.

I am looking forward to the self study task(s) this week if it is in keeping with that we have done then we certainly are onto a winner!

The developmental process we have undertaken here is very different to methods I have adopted in the past. It is very interesting to see how even just mind maps and mood boards allow you to interpret your own understanding of what you do and break it down to its rawest and simplest entity - only then can you begin to move forward.

Thanks for reading.

Quote of the week

"Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding." - Ambrose Bierce

Monday, 10 March 2008

Music that speaks for itself...

The relaxing, soft tones pulsating are almost like a massage for your mind. Drift off into your own little world and explore new levels of creativity and imaginative play.

The warm, welcoming and almost hypnotic instrumentals, combined with an at times tribal feel makes this album a must have for any collection.

This easy listening compilation is perfect for anyone wanting to clear their mind of distractions and allow their concentration to be focused on the task at hand. The album can slip seamlessly into the background of almost any thought-based activity.

Each track blends almost seamlessly into the next allowing your mind to focus on other more pressing issues.

The soothing and tranquil melody takes full advantage of the featured creative use of silence and neutral repetition; this album would be an ideal alternative to the sounds of nature to aid problematic sleep patterns and / or high levels of stress and unease.

The almost tantric sounds emitting from your speakers will take you away from the ‘hustle and bustle of modern day living; making this the first choice for anyone relaxing after a busy day in the office.

If silence is bliss… then this is the new silence!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

A6 - Evaluation

A6 – Evaluation

Good Points

This has been once again, a fantastic unit for me. The levels of creative opportunities and levels of excitement in the class have been unmistakable. Following the quite theoretical based units, A2 & A3, it has been a refreshing change to get much more involved with the mechanics of the design process with A5 & A6.

I am pleased to say that the use of the time planning sheets during the timed tasks has greatly evolved in comparison to previous tasks, and have proven to be a real asset when ensuring that all submissions are met on or even before time.

Whilst I still feel that the majority of the work that I have produced for college is a little on the ‘safe’ side, I am very proud of the work I have done so far; each perhaps for different reasons, but proud nonetheless.

I have intentionally included the timed projects in the ‘Good Points’ section as I feel that they have been the reason that I have enjoyed these units so much.


My initial thoughts when were handed the 'Hokai' brief for this project was that we were restricted in the space we had, the text to be shown and the face that it had to be showed on, so … how many solutions can there be? Many as it turns out. Whilst some of the designs were similar, the majority of the class had taken a much different approach to the same brief.

Jonathan Gee

Following the ‘Hokai’ small label adventure, the much larger (A5) ‘Jonathan Gee’ article added a different flavour to our design pallets; perhaps the variety if tasks that we’ve undertaken during this term has kept things interesting and dynamic.


Regrettably, I absent for this task; however, much of the work I have sampled from other students looked fantastic.


The ‘Grid’ task was the first part of our final timed assessment of this period. The way that the design was split into two sections helped to show us the importance of establishing a solid grid (comprising of columns) before entering the content; but most of all, sticking to it.


The ‘Story’ task was, in my opinion the more technical and enjoyable of the two sections. My initial thought was that the second part of the task was going to be much easier and it was simply a case of positioning some pre-written text; however, by the end of the task, some hour and a half later, I had a great sense of pride from implementing the practices I have been taught to date. By amending the tracking, leading and kerning I was able to ensure that both the top and bottom of each of the three columns was aligned perfectly. To aid in my manipulation of the text I opted to use a pull quote; the practical use of the pull quote also provided the design with a break in the text which, in my opinion may make the piece appear more attractive to read.

Zuzana Licko Presentation

I got a lot of personal satisfaction from the research for the presentation. Until recently, I never realised how much thought and effort goes into the production of a typeface. Inevitably, whilst researching Zuzana, my path crossed with many other famous typographers in brief. It would appear that as with any kind of design, typography, and typographers, are subject to quite harsh criticism and a thick skin is part of the job description.

Areas that could have been better

Whilst the application of time planning has greatly aided my development during the timed tasks, I regret to say that they have been some what neglected this time during both the A5 and the A6 assignments. I believe that in many ways this can be credited to the condition of my health through this unit; however, I do not feel that it is an excuse as if anything, I perhaps should have used to opportunity to make the time planning work harder and suit my circumstances.

I feel that due to my unfortunate illness and subsequent absence, I am at a disadvantage to many of the students. Whilst I have successfully caught up on the lecture notes, there is no substitute for actually being there.

Although, as I mentioned before I am very proud of the work that I have produced (each for various reasons), I do feel that the designs could have been more adventurous. An increase in the amount of inspirational work in my sketchbook may give me give me an confidence boost to stretch myself just that little bit further.


Although my attendance and health has not been quite what I would have liked it to be, I have really enjoyed this set of units. I feel that my skill development and technical knowledge has increased fourfold since the beginning of the course. My only regret is that my opportunities to follow up lectures notes to obtain a greater understanding are currently quite sparse; however, this issue certainly is one that I have already put measure in place to address.

Based upon the rate of my development so far, I cannot wait to see what the next term brings!


- Improve time planning.
- Increase amount of self-directed learning.
- Increase the sketchbook work.
- Be more adventurous when designing.
- Get some rest during this half term.

Word Count: 906

Thank you for reading.


Quote of the week

“Don't mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified it is not criticism, learn from it.” - Unknown Source.