Tuesday, 13 May 2008


And, as if my magic, all the work was done……. if that were only the case! As I now find myself finally in the position to reflect over the first year of the HND Interactive Media course I realise what a massive undertaking it has been. The year has presented more challenges then I could ever have anticipated and the shear volume of work has been immense. Not only that but the, expected, professional standard of presentation has meant revising and refining all of my working practices. So, it is not with relaxation and ease that I reflect over the past seven projects but more with a definite critical eye, ever keen to develop and refine these skills further. Particularly now as I look back and realise how far I have come but also how much further there is to go. In order to make sense of what has now passed and it’s implications for future development I will now reflect on each individual project, finally summarising with targets for next year.

A1 Sketchblog
The ongoing sketchblog has held a unique position of both generating a great deal of pleasure but also a quantifiable amount of pain over the year. Initially it was somewhat of a novelty to be working in a sketch book again and my enthusiasm to push the opportunity to its full potential was high. Equally the initial journal entries were an unusual but enjoyable addition to my weekly tasks. This enjoyment of A1 extended for many weeks as I explored the potential for creativity in both areas. However, as the saying goes ‘all good things come to an end’ and my desire to strive for perfection, particularly in journal entries, put considerable pressure on my time management.

After a discussion with Steve I decided to try to be more ruthless in my journal entries, purely recording the factual information of the week. Initially this was a struggle as I found it difficult to adapt my working methods. However, as I persevered I gradually became re-conditioned and my entries were more instantaneous, if not a little uninspired. This proved to be a valuable lesson in determining a hierarchical structure of importance for the tasks in hand.

In fact, upon reflection, a very similar scenario can be applied to my relationship with my sketch books. However, I am yet to achieve a suitable balance in this aspect of my studies. Predominately my sketchbooks begin strongly but deteriorate as the pressure of the assignment build and ideas and information begins to be filed rather than analysed. This causes obvious problems nearing the end of the assignment when I find myself re-visiting several pages trying to fill in the gaps. Once again this brings about a realisation that I must become more disciplined even in creative tasks ensuring assessable details such as notation, references and dates are included at the time of creation. Although this will initially disrupt my natural work flow it is a discipline that I must adopt in order to achieve maximum efficiency in the second year, bearing in mind that ultimately the work load will increase.

Developments in terms of using the Sketchblog next year are firstly to be more systematic in my documentation of tasks and secondly to fully utilise it’s potential in terms of receiving and providing feedback on designs. Although overall I feel both my collection, response and generation of feedback has been strong throughout the year at times it has been inconsistent.

A2 That’s the Plan
My recollection of A2 is somewhat hazed due to the seemingly vast expanse of time which has passed since its completion. My resounding memories are that it created a land mark for both the quality and quantity of work that would be expected on the course. In particular the competitive analysis and delivery requirement sections of the project posed the greatest challenges, mainly in the fact that I was more intent on creating the actual design of the website and did not anticipate this more academic approach. In hindsight both the delivery requirements and competitive analysis played a vital role in producing coherent and justified screen designs. However my approach to those tasks was somewhat less structured and could have severely encroached upon the quality of my screen designs. Thankfully my previous design experience counter balanced these difficulties and enabled me to complete all elements successfully within the time scale.

A3 Back to Basics
Completing the previous web-plan in A2 greatly assisted my progress in A3, as I was able to replicate the prescribed structure with more efficiency and attention to detail. Therefore this already signified a definite development in my working methods and time management. This proved to be essential as writing the content for the site proved to be very time consuming as I was unfamiliar wit most of the computing terms we had to define. Equally this more disciplined approach allowed me more time to explore the creative section of the project and familiarise myself further with using Adobe InDesign. The through target audience research I undertook in this project once again significantly informed my design ideas and I was extremely satisfied with the design concept I created for the website.

A4 Image Rights image compression
Completing A4 along side A3 created a well needed balance between academic and creative focus. A4 presented the opportunity to explore what I would consider my strengths of image manipulation and idea generation. I feel the assignment definitely developed my appreciation for the creation and application of imagery in design, both in a technical and aesthetic sense. Overall I feel I produced a strong body of work which demonstrated my flexibility in idea generation something which was later pushed to its limits in A6.

A5 Builder
Out of all of the assignments I approached A5 with the most trepidation. I knew the project would take me out of my comfort zone and it would be the first test to see if I could adapt to being a digital designer. My apprehensions did not go unfounded and although my high levels of motivation ensured a steady start frustrations often ensued whist using Adobe Dreamweaver for the first time. On reflection I feel the website, the first one I had ever built, demonstrated a competent level of skill and was accurate to my proposed screen designs. However, I feel the interactivity between the interface and the user could have been greatly improved with the use of Javascript, to create better transitions between elements. Once again completing the assignment alongside A6, which was more creative based, also raised time management issues.

A6 Revert to Type
The fast paced, high pressure timed task element to A6 probably provided the most realistic scenario in terms of working in industry. Thankfully this was an element I greatly enjoyed and I felt it enabled me to push my creative idea generation work to its limits. It also stressed the importance of attention to detail when working for a client. The presentational aspect of the assignment was something I was confident in my ability to deliver. However, the sheer volume of work at the time meant I significantly neglected the preparation for this task and I was greatly disappointed with my performance. Equally, in hindsight, the design of the presentational slides themselves were somewhat overcomplicated, something which had overlooked. Gaining global feedback across all areas of this assignment could have eliminated this problem instantly.

A7 Wailing Whales
Probably the most design based project of the year A7 proved to be more demanding then I had initially anticipated. In particular the seemingly simple task of designing a logo created numerous problems and several revisions of designs had to be made based on feedback. In fact across the board the ‘straight’ forward design tasks proved to be more complicated and time consuming than I had anticipated. This was mainly due to trying to keep consistency between interrelated elements. In terms of using the appropriate software applications effectively and creatively I feel I successfully fulfilled the criteria.

In conclusion I feel I have made significant developments in several areas over the year. Primarily, I feel my design ability both in my creative idea generation and understanding of the design principles has increased considerably. These are definitely areas I did not expect to develop so extensively, as I felt these were already my strengths as a designer. Less surprisingly my ‘creative’, or at times ‘chaotic’, working methods have also undergone distinct refinement. However, these still require considerable adaptation to ensure a smooth transition into the second year. In terms of my knowledge of web design this has obviously improved vastly but also needs considerable development to cope with the demands of year two. Finally it is important not to loose sight of the ultimate goal, making myself as employable as possible for this time next year.

Goals for next Year

  • Gain more extensive feedback on all design work
  • Designate structured, rigid time slots in self-study
  • Create a comprehensive and professional On-line portfolio
  • Devote time to self initiated learning of coding languages and scripts.

Word count


Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Thoughts of a Juggling Monkey

Today I’m feeling a great bond with my computer as we are united in our inability to cope the masses of data pouring into our comparatively feeble brains. So as my well loved, yet undesirable, p.c struggles to complete it’s disk clean up I will, in harmony, struggle to write this weeks journal. Yes today, bizarrely, instead of feeling on top of things and skipping around in the summer sun I’m struggling to crack a smile. With the humble cup of tea as my only salvation. This pitiful mood is not so much a product of the up and coming deadline but more the inevitable frustration of being a juggling, tightrope, monkey surviving on peanuts. When really all I want to do is swing through the trees with the other monkeys, enjoying their creative leaps from branch to branch. Of course I am a product of my own creation but this doesn’t stop me feeling sorry for myself every now and then! Have I lost the plot? Perhaps, but at least this entry is serving the purpose of some form of therapy all be it short lived and perhaps highly in appropriate!

So, to re-focus, yes the end is in sight. Overall I’m on track, I’m currently working on the advert for the album’s release, which I hope to be posting shortly, if my computer allows it’s completion. I have also evaluated all the sections of my work which are complete to date. Therefore, much of what is required this week is transferring all of the sections into a comprehensive InDesign document, then referencing and working back into sketch books. I hope to do this successful without slipping off my rope.

There are, however, so many other things I want to be creating such as both a print based and web based portfolio. Yet there has to be many more peanuts made over the summer. So strangely I'm not welcoming the up and coming break.

On a single note of positivity it is fulfilling to see all of the work fitting together and I’m sure I will be in much higher spirits next week.


Complete Display ad for the wire magazine
Transfer all sections of A7 into one document
Index sketch books
Provide referencing [merit & distinction evidence]
Work into sketchbooks

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Fine Tuning

Strangely, I’m in a very different position and mood from what I anticipated to be in on this Tuesday afternoon. As despite falling behind last week I feel I’m almost back on track! This is due to sacrificing a beautiful day of sunshine on Saturday to get on with my CD artwork, now if that’s not dedication I don’t know what is. Having the creative freedom in this part of the project has really lifted my motivation and drive, which had started to lag with all the corporate identity elements. So finally everything is coming together and the focus is now on making sure everything is finished to a professional standard. A demand which I now realise was somewhat lacking from my previous courses, especially in terms of technical considerations for commercial printing.

As you can see I’ve already found myself starting to reflect on the year and the progression I’ve made. A class discussion about the second year of the course, and my personal development session with Steve all helped to solidify this thinking. I certainly feel I’ve learnt a great deal over the course of this year, particularly surrounding design principles. This is something which has been most refreshing to me, as things which I have been doing intuitively for years have now been explained and fine tuned. This fine tuning will hopefully allow me to reach my full potential in the design units next year. In terms of the structure of the second year I have to say I really can’t wait to begin. I feel it presents a superbly balanced programme, both in terms of creative and technical challenge. However, before I become too involved in thoughts of next year I better focus on finishing this one though!

So, for the remainder of this week I need to concentrate on finishing my Digipak to a professional level. I’ve decided to develop design #1 [see previous entry] although please still feel free to continue to add to the feedback. Ive been looking at the design of the cd inner and cd body today[see above]. Also I need to check all of my work against my corporate style guide, to ensure all the corresponding elements are consistent. I’m hoping to have all the work completed next week, which will be the first time ever I’m in this position! I’m sure something will go horrible wrong in the meantime but I’m hopeful!


  1. Refine cd outer
  2. Develop cd inner and cd body
  3. Check all work for consistency against style guide
  4. Complete Pre-flight document
  5. Design poster for 'The Wire' magazine

Saturday, 26 April 2008

CD Artwork

#1 - I've been working on the concept of mans impact on our environment for my this cd artwork. The music had an uncomfortable mix of natural and synthesized sounds, woven together in a multitude of layers. So, this is what I've tried to reflect on the cover.

#2 -This image is based on the concept of internal unrest. The music evoked feelings of anxiety, confusion, vulnerability and deep distress. The repetition of the image reflects the magnitude of the emotion as it becomes overwhelming.
#3 - This image is designed to reflect sudden movement, a shift in focus, confusion and a delusional state of mind. I felt the image is intricate and strong enough to speak for itself. However, I believe this artwork may not fulfill the specified criteria because the manipulation was created at the point of capture.
#4 - This is a multi-layered image of photographs I've taken, it is based on the same concept as the above image.

As always some feedback would be great, thank-you!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Business card feedback please

I just created a few business card designs and some feedback would really help, thanks!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


This will be a rather short entry as illness has rather impeded and is still impeding progress. However, I've got the revised logo design nearly complete just need some feedback on its final layout and colour scheme.

So variations with the border;

Equally colour scheme 'a' or 'b'? [see below]

These are obviously high-tech versions the standard design is shown below;

I'd greatly appreciate any feedback so I can get the logo finalised and applied to the promotional material. I will also, hopefully, be posting some artwork ideas nearer the end of the week.

  1. Complete Style Guide
  2. Push development of Artwork for feedback

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


As the title suggests the productive flow of creativity and development I had almost became accustomed to came to an abrupt holt this week. As my logo became a nogo the inevitable frustration crept in and what seemed to be a strong concept fell apart at the seems. Okay, possibly this is a slight exaggeration but to act on the constructive criticism I was receiving about my logo meant to alter the fundamental concept of the design. Equally the originality of the logo was severely lacking as the idea of emitting waves had been utilised in most of the groups designs. However, I did attempt to incorporate the suggestions into a refined version but the original spirit of the design was lost, as was I.

So, as the new week commenced I already felt behind schedule as I was lacking a rather important element. However, I knew it was important not to waste time so I decided to crack on with the CD cover artwork. After spending the morning creating some ink sketches, to overlay with my photography, I regained my focus and felt more positive about the task in hand. Once again it was important to step back and regain perspective. Even though the design of the logo was an important element of the current project, it was not the crux of my universe, so I had to look at its creation objectively and simply fulfil the project criteria. After looking back over my initial ideas and a discussion with Steve I decided to move forward with one of my former ideas.

The new logo idea had evolved from looking at emissions at their basic level, around the concept of molecular reactions. The logo is designed to replicate a molecular structure, it is suggestive that the brand will create a reaction, that is experimental and it consists of only fundamental elements. The placement of it’s elements is based on the formation of dots for the Braille representation of the letter ‘E’. It also has the addition of a lowercase ‘e’ within one of the circles to emulate the copyright symbol. I have chosen to develop this design as I feel it has an original concept, good presence and will be easily recognisable.

To be continued..