Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Final Portfolio

I have finally settled on a design for my portfolio. At this moment in time it contains purely imagery from the previous module, something I will address at the end of the Final Major Project. It is the portfolio layout that got me a two week placement at Hallmark through the 'Creative Milkround' event organsied by the college though. So it can't be too bad.

With the portfolio I have tried to combine a few different projects to communicate the different elements of design that interest me. The first section of the portfolio has image shots of several packaging briefs I have worked on. I think the images show my crafting skills, as well as my fondness for illustration and colour combination. It also communicates how I am willing to work with different materials and my fondness for vectorised artwork.

The second part of the portfolio features a few stand alone poster designs I have worked on. I think it's important to include these as it shows I like to work with simple, flat compositions as well as the more complex packaging items. However, the most important thing about the last section is that it reinforces the idea that I like to work with popular culture, and reference things such as films and television quite frequently.


Throughout the PPD module I have struggled to promoted myself and my design practice. Perhaps it is due to my lack of confidence that I neglected responsibilities such as self branding and creating promotional material. Whenever I look around the studio I see people improving, getting better day by day. It's incredibly disheartening to feel as though I am the one being left behind.

My two weeks at Hallmark where a shock to the system. I had always considered myself a 'mac monkey', someone who likes to be told what to design. As long as I don't have to think up a clever concept, or propose ground breaking ideas then I always assumed I'd be happy. However, after sitting at a desk for two weeks illustrating non stop I realised it wasn't the career path for me either. It was a rude wake up call, and I still don't think I have recovered.

Nevertheless I am lucky to have several resources at my disposal, including screen printing equipment, and therefore intend to continue to design, but only in my spare time. I am not driven by money, or status, I simply want a job that I am content with, something that makes me happy. I personally feel working 9-5 in a graphic design studio is not that something.

In conclusion the PPD module has been useful in terms of discovering my limitations. I have used it to gain a real insight into what my future prospects look like, not 'pipe dreams' or unrealistic expectations.

Final Business Cards

Below is a screen shot of the business cards I was using during the second year of the course. I remember desiging them and feeling a little disappointed. I hadn't quite achieved what I had wanted to. I liked the colur choice, and was happy with amount of negative space used, after all a business card can never be too simple. But there was just something missing, and the text layout was WAY off.

When designing my business cards for the third year I wanted to do a few things differently. Firstly I wanted to change the format, and go with portrait rather than landscape. Other reasoning behind this was the shape of my logo, and flipping the composition would allow for a slightly bigger version. I also wanted to reduce the amount of information on display, and use a typeface that was much less decorative and purely functional. I took the primary colour approach I had settled on for the logo to create three different variation of the card. The flip books below show what my final business cards look like. I think I am pleased with them... it's always hard to say. Even if I was head over heels in love with what I had designed, I will probably hate it in a few months. Ehhh, you can't win.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Finalised CV

If I'm going to be staying in Leeds I figured I would need an up to date CV. Being someone who has never even held down a basic, minimum wage job my entire life it was a challenge to find enough material for a CV. I realise the CV itself is design related, and may not be of great use if I am applying for a menial job just to earn money to live, but it's a start. Now I have a basic template I can continue to add and other experience I may gain, or remove any stuff that seems dated.

I decided to turn my branding into a one colour design and place it in the top left corner of each page. It adds a sense on continuity and certainly won't let the person reading the CV forget my name or what my logo represents.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Gateway, Leeds

YAY!!! Today was the day. The day when I officially signed a year long contract to move into 'The Gateway' apartment complex in Leeds.

The images above show the exterior of the building and a few basic shots of the inside. I have signed for the year long lease with a friend who recently graduated from the University of Leeds. We both originally come from Wigan and didn't much fancy returning there after spending three years in Leeds. Even though the links to Manchester and Liverpool are fantastic in Wigan, I knew I would have to move back in with my parents and I just couldn't face that.

After having a few 'real world' realisations, particularly in the last year, I knew it would not be an option for me to return home. I would fall back into the routine I was in before I left. I would allow my parents to take control of life again, and I wouldn't be living it the way I wanted.

Living in Leeds, for the minimum of a year, will allow me to explore what I want to do in the 'real world'. Admittedly I am incredibly naive, having been in education since a very young age. I thought three years for a degree would be easy, at one point I was even considering a year long masters specialising in a specific design field. I now know this was a pipe dream, something I was considering to postpone living in the real world for another year. Well, I bit the bullet. I will be in Yorkshire for the next year, I best get my shit together if I'm going to make anything of myself.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Design Strategy Presentation

Today we had our design strategy presentations. I was incredibly apprehensive about the presentation, most probably because I didn't feel as though what I had to say would be worth listening to. Especially by John and Lorenzo. It's not that I didn't have anything to say, it's just none of it was positive.

Nevertheless I prepared a presentation, but I didn't feel like writing a script this time. If presenting on multiple occasions has taught me anything its that you can't write word for word what you intend to say. It never works. You start to read then look away from the page, before you know it you're looking back and you've lost your place. You start to stutter and basically make a show of yourself. Instead I wrote a few bullet points for each slide, and trusted myself to freestyle. I think it worked and a few people told me I seemed relaxed when presenting. This was exactly what I was going for. I didn't want to it seem as though I wasn't interested, I just didn't want to make the people watching me feel nervous. I think doing three years of PPD has had at least one positive effect; I'm much better at public speaking.

There where certain parts of the presentation that I felt where more important than others, certain points that I wanted to stress more. These where primarily the fact that I have realised my own limitations whilst on the course. This may seem a little pessimistic but it allows me to look at my future with a clear head. I am never going to be a 'creative director' or have people working under me. I will never want to be in charge of a 'team', the thought alone scares me to death. I am not that way inclined. But I personally feel there is nothing wrong with that. I realised I like 'mindless' design a while ago, but was told this wasn't

Another point I wanted to stress in my presentation was that London is NOT the place for me. I can't stand the South; the fast paced lifestyle, the traffic, the people, the stress, the weather, the noise, the buildings, the accent... I could go on for a while. I've always felt you have to incredibly driven to succeed in London. They don't just hand out opportunities, you have to really strive for them. I realise this is the case everywhere, but if I'm going to be working 24/7, I want to be in a place that I at least enjoy. A place where I may actually look forward to the weekends. Also, I know a lot of graduating students from this year will be venturing to the South, so I guess that leaves less competition up here.

After spending two weeks previously on placement at Hallmark in Bradford I was feeling incredibly down. I had spent 14 solid days drawing, and to be perfectly honest I was sick to the back teeth of it. This was pretty shocking as I went into the experience thinking it would be perfect, I'd come out the other side greatful ofor the opportunity, desperate to do some freelance work. This was not the case. It was incredibly disheartening, and it kind of affected the rest of my module. This was something I wanted to express in my presentation but felt may be a little too pessimistic. So I tried to put a positive spin on it. I think I did.

The slides from the presentation can be seen below.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Dave Perillo Interview

Dave Perillo, another designer who I came across whilst searching through the Gallery 1988 archives, I was struck by his playful character depictions. Additionally, his choice of colour is always on point, and his compositions are always humourous.

The piece below is just one example of his work, and one of my personal favourites. There's something about the way it draws your eye around the page, finally settling on the eccentric character in the middle effortlessly. I also admire how Dave combines his fantastically fun illustrations with type, something I often struggle with. I find it hard to find a typeface that is legible and fits with illustration so perfectly, but it seems Dave has no problem! More of his work can be found here.

Sent: Thurs, February 9, 2012 11:32:26 AM
Subject: RE: Quick Interview?

Hi Robyn,

Thanks glad ya dig my stuff. Here's some answers to your questions, hope that helps and good luck at school.


What’s your background?
I have a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design, but I have always been fond of illustration and cartooning.

Describe a typical working day.
I currently work full-time as a illustrator for a medical trade magazine were I do mostly editorial and occasionally medical illustration. In the evenings is when I get to do my fun freelance work like what is seen on my blog.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Finding enough time to create all the art I do and the inspiration to do it.

And what’s the most enjoyable?
I think the reaction of others to my work and having them like it, makes me feel like I've accomplished creating art people enjoy looking at.

What do you hope to achieve in 2012?
I will be doing a two-man show in September with fellow artist Tom Whalen at Gallery 1988, so that is what hope to be a great achievement for 2012.

How did your first collaboration with Gallery 1988 come about?
They contacted me about 3 years ago to be in their Crazy 4 Cult 3 show and I've been doing shows there ever since. Probably the best gallery for artists like myself to get exposure and out in the public eye. Because of them I've had the opportunity to do so many really cool projects.

What would be your ideal Gallery 1988 exhibition to contribute to?
What i'm doing in September for them is really an ideal show for me since we were able to come up with the theme, unfortunately I can't reveal that til later this summer.

Are there any films/games/music artists etc. you have always wanted to design for?
 I am a huge Doctor Who fan so I would love to do something involving that.

Are there any fellow artists/designers you have been exhibited with at Gallery 1988 that inspire you?
I really enjoy the work of Olly Moss, Kevin Tong, Scott Derby, Scott Campbell, Nathan Stapley, Israel Sanchez & Tom Whalen.