Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Bah humbug!

Since the referral on the A2 brief, life has been a bit hectic. I managed to find another job, but they pay is considerably less than previous, therefore I am having to work more hours.
To add to that, the arrival of Christmas has just made things even more intense, as this time of the years is the busiest in the cheffing trade. I just hope it doesn’t affect my college work.
You could say I am Looking forward to getting Christmas out of the way, so I reduce my hours, and focus more on college, once my financial situation is stable again.

On a light note, I got my result on Monday for my A2 referral, and was delighted to find out I had passed. The mood in the studio was a bit more serious than usual, some more apprehensive than others, as we waited for the results.

Apart from that, the last few weeks have been really interesting at college. We have had lectures on certain design fundamentals, like the grid system. We have looked at the principles of the acronym PARC ( Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, Contrast), and lastly we had an introduction to colour theory, which the HNC and myself are doing a presentation on next week. All these principles mentioned above are essential, and are implemented in all aspects of design. Im looking forward to using and applying them more in my future work.

The A3 project seems to be going okay at the moment, but there is quite a bit of refining to do on my competitive analysis, which has been harder than I anticipated, however I have gained
much knowledge on the subject, which will prove beneficial long term.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Last Monday we received our results for the A2 (Journey of a 1000 miles) brief. Unfortunately I got what I feared, a referral. At first I was disappointed with the result, and annoyed with myself. I thought the project was perfect on submission date, however, after the feedback it was obvious there were things I had missed, which just goes to show no matter how many times you scrutinize your own work, you may still never notice the errors. It also proves, that it always pays to get someone else to proof-read your work, as well a yourself.

After some discussion, and sharing my result with other class members, it turned out, I wasn’t on my own, and most of group was in the same boat. In a way, this alleviated my embarrassment, and made it easier for me to accept my mistakes made.

The deadline for the A2 referral is on the 1st December. I have amended what needs to be done, I just hope it will pass this time.

The A3 (Sounds like a plan) brief is the latest project I am working on. At first I found it quite hard to digest what was required, but now things do seem to be falling in to place. This brief not only builds on what we learn't previous, but educates us on building and proposing a website for a client, for example: project schedule, goals, requirements, competitive analysis, and screen designs, etc.

Apart from the referral, everything at college seems to be going okay at the moment. Outside of college things are not going too well. Dues to cuts backs at work, I lost my job two weeks ago, so I am currently seeking employment. Its just a case of finding a job that fits around college hours. Hopefully something will come up soon.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Industrial visitors

Last Monday, the director of the Design Mechanics Dave Pannell along with his employee Craig Burgess came in to the college and gave us a presentation. The last time I was in study we never had a presentation from an outsider, which I found disappointing, so you could say I was looking forward to the visit. From what I have heard its very rare such people visit colleges.

To be honest I was expecting two suited men, a formal presentation, and not a great deal of advice, however, it was quite the opposite. Dave was Craig were casually dressed, the atmosphere was relaxed, and both were more than happy to tell us about their work, explained the running of a design business, and answer plenty of questions, which we all had prepared in advance.

I was quite surprised by the amount of work the Design Mechanics turn over, the cheaper rates they charge, and how varied their work is. At a time when many design businesses are struggling or folding, Dave’s seems to be thriving, so it appears the credit crunch has gone in the his favour.

I found their presentation and advice very helpful, especially when researching, pleasing the clients, and not been so precious about our work, which I have been guilty of, on many occasions. It was great for people with industrial experience to come in and tell us the reality of the design world. This is what my last course lacked in. Hopefully there will be more visitors in the future.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

First brief done..

After submitting my first brief today, I do feel a little more at ease. Last week we had our we first taste of pressure on the course. A few of us have experienced pressure and working to tight deadlines before, however, after finding out how many students passed last year with the same brief, some of us are dreading the referral. Fortunately for us though, we were given more time than last years students.

I feel handing in the first draft a week before the deadline helped, in terms of time management. This gave me more time (“tinker time”) to go over my work and amend things such as hyperlinks, SPG, and referencing, also it gave me time to become more familiar with Adobe Indesign, which is new to me.

The referencing took longer than I expected, but the most challenging aspect of the brief was putting some of the languages and protocol definitions in to “layman's” terms, however, I do feel this assignment has benefited my knowledge of computer terms considerably and will compliment future studies.
I am quite satisfied on how I tackled the brief, however, some parts I could have been a bit more methodical in my approach. I think this is because I have been out of education for a while, but already I can see myself progressing. Now its just a case of waiting to find out the results.

I was kind of expecting our first brief to be a design brief, but now I realise, and appreciate that these briefs are there for a reason. It is part of the learning process, and you don't get any where by jumping the gun.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


When starting any new course, I have always experienced some form of apprehension. My first hurdle, like many others, was settling in and becoming familiar with other group members. We had a number of ice breaking exercises which helped a great deal, also some members have made the effort to organise team bonding activities such as go-karting, unfortunately I was unable to attend, hopefully I will be there for the next activity.

So far people seem to be mingling well, the atmosphere is pleasant and everyone seems to be happy. There seems to be a good balance in the group, in terms of age, background, knowledge and software skill. I feel this will make us a stronger team in due course.

Another concern was balancing my college work with my full time job, and in the first few weeks, this proved to be harder than I anticipated, so I have had to reduce my work hours considerably. My situation is a bit of a catch 22, I need the money, however I can not work forty-two hours a week and perform well on the course. Instead, I will adapt by working more shifts during the summer break.

Everything else seems to be going fine. We have two briefs on at the moment, one is a glossery, to compliment our future studies, and the other is a visual diary which will continue throughout the course. I am aware the work load will increase, but having now settled I feel more ready for what is to come.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Where I’ve come from; where I am now; where I’m going

My creative path started ten years ago, when I enrolled on an Art and Design Course at Bradford College. We were encouraged specialise in two areas, I chose Illustration and Graphic design. It all looked promising until the second year when three design lecturers left and were replaced by fine artists. Because of this, when I graduated my folio consisted mainly of fine art, and not enough design. After, I made the decision to go back in to catering again, which still is my trade, in my spare time I worked freelance as a designer, building a stronger folio.

Eventually I landed a job as an Artworker for Shawk, a company based in Leeds. The work was mainly prepping packaging for print, and after a year it became quite monotonous. A friend set up a design company called Surface, based in Ilkley and offered me a position, which I took. However, several months later Surface folded.

Since then I have done the odd bit of freelance, but still working as a chef. So nine months ago, I decided I wanted to go back into education and better myself.

As I have some design background, and I find the web very interesting, I decided the logical thing to do was look for a Multimedia Course, also that's where the work seems to be these days. Earlier this year, when browsing the web, I came across the Multimedia Course at Wakefield College, the HNC seemed to offer what I wanted, with tutors having commercial experience, contacts with local agencies, and most importantly students finding work in the industry after graduating.

I'm confident this course will provide me with the skills and knowledge I need to know, hopefully, the end result being a job in the industry I want to work in.