Friday, April 27, 2007

The pressure is on!!!

This ­­week has been extremely hectic as time is fast running out to get things done. I feel that this has been a reoccurring theme with my blog entries over the past few weeks and this is something that I can see myself still worrying about right up until the deadline! I do hope however that this time next week I will be feeling much more confident about things and will have been able to get quite a lot done.

On Wednesday I was quite disappointed to learn that the corporate colours that I had chosen and that were used in all of my designs were not compatible between all media. This was a huge problem and I spent several hours trying to correct this and find similar colours which would be compatible, because I was doing this it meant that I was unable to crack on with more pressing matters which at this stage of the assignment is quite unfortunate. I feel that this happened because I had not really put much thought into the colours when I chose them in the design process and simply picked colours that I thought looked effective, it did not even enter my mind that they may appear differently in other media and this is something which I will definitely put much more thought into next time around. I will be determined not make the same mistake twice. I do feel however that this was a good experience because I now have a much better knowledge of what will and what won’t readily transfer between different media.

On Thursday we had to bring in all of our sketchbooks so that they could be quickly assessed to see if any improvements could be made between now and the deadline. I was quite confident going into this because I have always tended to evidence anything significant in my sketchbook as we have always been told that if we don’t evidence things properly then it is going to be extremely difficult to prove that you have actually done it. I have also made a conscious effect throughout the whole of the first year not to forget about that assignment even though we were working on several others at the same time. The main area of concern that I did have was the “Cultural Contexts” section which I tended to spend quite a long time researching into but never really got the results that I was entirely happy with. I did however manage to find something of relevance eventually as I stated in my last blog entry. Even though I have tended to worry about this assignment more than I should have I do feel that it has been really advantageous as sketchbook work is going to be even more important next year so will be a key skill to have.

By the time I return to college next Wednesday there will only be two weeks until the deadline so I will be striving to get the style guide and everything finished so that I can fully concentrate on the design of my CD!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Time to knuckle down!!!

I can’t believe just how quickly this Easter break has flown by and going back into college tomorrow there is now very little time left before the deadline, it is certainly time to knuckle down and get things done!

I have always thought that this assignment was the largest and possibly most difficult that we have had to do so far, I do feel that this is really advantageous though because Steve has never hidden the fact that there is going to be quite a step up next year so the experience of doing an assignment this large can only be to our benefit. I am under no illusions however that the work will be more difficult and the grades will be much harder to achieve in our second year.

As the assignment is so large I had hoped to have got the majority of the work out of the way over this holiday period and to a certain degree I am quite happy with what I have been able to do. I had planned to have completed the style guide website by tomorrow but I have found that my efforts over this holiday have focused more on actually creating the elements that will eventually go into this e.g. letterhead, business card etc. I have been able to create several ideas for each of these elements which all follow a certain theme to achieve the consistency between each of them. I was able to do this by deciding on my corporate colours, fonts and sizes before I started any creative work which I feel has really helped and stopped me just designing things “off the cuff”. If I were to do this again I would definitely use this method.

Even though I haven’t finished my style guide website I have managed to create the template file from which every page will be created. Due to the problems I had with my last site where I had to start afresh as the deadline was not far away I feel that doing a template will certainly enable me to create the site in a relatively short space of time when I have all the content ready. Hopefully this will be completely finished by this time next week so that I can concentrate solely on the CD design in the final weeks before the deadline.

I feel that throughout this break I have spent quite a large chunk of time researching into several elements of the style guide as in some areas I had limited knowledge or no knowledge at all. This was particularly relevant to the press release and the HTML email template. I do feel that I have really benefited from this though as I did not really know what a press release even was several weeks ago never mind how to create one!

One big worry of mine over the break was that I would still not be able to find anything of any relevance for the “Cultural Contexts” part of out SketchBlog assignment. Before we left for the break we discussed in our group feedback sessions just what could qualify for this criterion. One of the areas we discussed was how accessibility is influenced by different cultures and whilst researching into this I found the book Designing Across Cultures by Ronnie Lipton, I feel that this is extremely relevant to us as this contains several useful quotes and examples. One example was that an image of a rice bowl with upright chopsticks has been used before and in some Asian culture this means death!

One useful quote was also:
“You can't assume what's culturally relevant to an ethnic group (or subset of that group) that you don't belong to -- and, that it's not even safe to assume it for a group you do belong to”

I also found a review of the book and found it available to buy on Amazon.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Approaching the run in!!!

I am quite pleased that I have been able to get quite a lot of work done in this last week and I certainly feel that everything is now starting to come together. After completing the template for my Style Guide a couple of weeks ago I have been able to focus on the content that will be going into it.

As I began to create each of the items it quickly became apparent on how much worked is involved with the “full creative development process” that is stated on the assignment brief. When you consider that this can take around two hours for just one idea then it is easy to see just how large task 2 actually is.

I am quite happy that I have been able to get my email template for Ambient World finished this week as it is something that I have no real experience of. Because of this I decided to research into different types of HTML layouts and more importantly how they are created and used! After spending a couple of hours browsing several different sites I started to design my own template. I feel that if I had not done this research I would not even have known where to start and I feel that I have now got 3 decent ideas which be appropriate for Ambient World. I have posted these ideas on the bottom of this entry and I would welcome any comments that you may wish to give.

I can’t really believe that it has been 3 weeks since we were last in college and it has certainly flown by. I am grateful for the break though and I think that I have managed to get quite a lot done so I now feel enthusiastic about the run up to the deadline and the end of the first year of the course!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Busy in the break!!!

I have quite enjoyed having the little break from the work so far but after spending the first week relaxing and not really doing much I have decided to dedicate a large chunk of the next two weeks to getting things done.

I stated before I went into the break that when I came back into college I wanted to have everything to do with the style guide finished allowing me to focus solely on the design of the CD when I return. This is still something that I would like to have done but bearing in mind just how much work that has to go into this I may not be able to get it as complete as I would like, this is why I have decided to spend quite a lot of time on it during the remainder of the break so I can get as much done as possible.

Over the last couple of days I have spent quite a bit of time creating the rules for my corporate identity such as my corporate font, corporate colours and logo usage. This has then allowed me to make a start on the other things which will go into the style guide by using these rules. At the bottom of this entry are a few rough business cards that I have come up with and I would welcome any comment that you wish to give.

So I can certainly see myself being really busy over this next couple of weeks and hopefully I will be in a good position when we all return on April 25th!