Monday, 9 December 2013

OUGD504- Final Web Crit


In the crit today I asked for the following questions to be answered:

-Is the language appropriate; does it explain the theories clearly?

-Do the colours on the Gestalt Principles page work together?

The feedback I received was fair although I don't agree with some of it. I don't think the roll-over buttons on the homepage need to be the same size as the text because there part of the design and would make the page look empty . However I agree with the comment about the text being justified because there are some noticeable rivers in the body copy. Im going to change this so its justified to the left to avoid the rivers. I think the point made about the navigation bar was interesting. I might try them centered to see if it works better. Apart from that I was happy with the feedback and how my website is coming together.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

OUGD504- Final Print Crit

Questions I wanted to know:

Peer Feedback

The main points to come from the feedback I received were:

-Change the order of the content: Screen print come before letterpress and emboss/deboss
- The orange and yellow stock is to bright compared to the others

I agree with these comments and will change the order of the process to:

-Block printing
- Lino-cut
- screen print
- Letterpress
- Emboss/Deboss

I think this order makes more sense to have Emboss/Deboss at the end as it can be seen more of a finishing process as well as print.

The stock suggestions confirmed what I was already thinking and I have ordered some more samples with the orange and yellow toned down to work alongside the other colours. Apart from that I am happy with were I am at with my book and feel like I can proceed. Once I have received my samples I will make a decision on ordering stock and I need to go talk to an external printer to talk about the printing production of my book. I am wanting to get it screen printed professionally for a high quality finish.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

OUGD504- Web Crit

Today I had a crit for the web brief. The feedback I received was really useful and beneficial for my design to be successful. I had thought about how the all the pages would navigate as a whole which Simon pointed out. I need to have the links at the top of the page on all pages to allow the user to navigate from one section to another without having to go back to the homepage every time. I think I will have an introduction underneath the links so the page doesn't look empty. I hadn't realised this point, so the crit has helped me to progress.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

OUGD502- PPP2- Task 1

1. Reflecting on my time over the summer period, I found the most memorable event to be my holiday to Ibiza. I find that music is an important factor to my work as I like to listen to it when I'm working. I find it helps me to focus and get into a rhythm helping my workflow. Being interesting in minimal design and geometric forms, I find electronic music informs a lot of my designs.

2. I have made one contact over the summer and at the start of the second year. It is a small independent company called R.A.M publishing based in Oxford. I have been asked to create a visual response to iconic hip hop quotes for a book about the history of hip hop. I think this will be helpful to gain some exposer with the opportunity to gain further contacts. With personal gain aside, I found it to be a good experience to be in conversation with a commercial contact to gain a better understanding of how to conduct myself in a professional manner.

3. The contact got in touch with me through Behance after seeing my work that I entered into a competition on Talent house. This made me realise that entering competitions can be a good way of networking and making further contacts that could benefit me in the future.

4. Although I made this contact I feel I should of pursued more opportunities to go visit some studios. I am wanting to do some placements next summer so if I can get the wheels in motion now it would be a good start and take some of the pressure off for next year. 

5. Methods of contacting creatives:

- Email
- Written Letter
- Behance
- Linked-in
- Send a Promotional pack 
- Telephone
- Skype 
- Lectures/talks
-  D&AD
- Competitions
- Visits 
- Exhibitions 

What would you ask/talk about?

- If I can come for a visit to see how a professional studio environment works
- What inspires them
- Tell them what interests me 
- My design ambitions and why I am interested in them
- If they could offer any general advice on the industry 

Friday, 18 October 2013

OUGD502- Review- Level 4, 10 things I wanted to learn

In the first year we were asked to write a list of things we wanted to achieve whilst on the course. I am going to review the list to see if I have achieved any so far.

5 things that you want to learn during your time on the programme.

- How to think creatively 

Being able to fine tune and understand how to intentionally raise my creativity would be an invaluable skill to have. I have a tendency to panic at the start of a project if it doesn't happen straight away, even though I know its a natural, unpredictable process. 

I now think that its not the case of intentionally raising my creativity, its more to do with the process and concept. Each stage informs the next which is vital to creating an informed good piece of design. I have definitely improved on not panicking at the start of a brief because I now have the experience of completing a brief from start to finish. 

- To work as part of a team

Being able to work as part of a team is essential. Especially when I would like to work in a studio environment.

I didn't think I would enjoy working in a group as much as I have. I really enjoy the discussions and exchanging ideas. I have noticed, depending on the group, two different ways of working. The first is sometimes, the group all work together and the second is, delegating tasks to individuals. I think it depends on the people in the group but I prefer to work systematically by delegating tasks. This improves productivity and allows you to cover more grounds in my opinion.

- Software skills

I enjoy working on computers and would like to be fluent in as many programs as possible. 

My general knowledge has improved a lot on Adobe software, in particular Illustrator. I feel like I know more than the basics but not quite to to say my Knowledge is advanced. To improve this I need to learn more functions by completing tutorials. I haven't used Dreamweaver before So Im looking forward to learning the software.

- Articulate ideas

It frustrates me when I cant explain my thoughts clearly.It is something I am going to need to be able to do when pitching ideas to clients.

From presenting in crits and group work my communication has improved a lot. However, I struggle when presenting in front of a large group. My nerves get the better of me and I struggle to fully explain my thoughts. I am hoping the more I do the easier it becomes. 

- Professionalism 

The more professional I can be, the more chance of employment I will have. I want to be known for being reliable  and doing a good job.

I put a lot into my work and I definitely think I am reliable and able to work to deadlines. Im still wanting to improve how I present my work, in terms of documentation e.g. photographing final pieces, visual presentations.

5 things that you want to improve.

- Drawing skills

Drawing is a good way to generate and explain ideas. I would like to improve my drawing to add substance to my design work.

Drawing thumbnails has helped to generate ideas and I have learned to not care as much about the quality of the drawing as the idea is at its rawest state. I created a lot of my work digitally last year, I realised that drawing isn't one of my strengths, so unless its something simple or a texture, I don't think adding drawings to my designs is beneficial.

- Confidence

Confidence is something I lack at the moment. Being confident reassures people of your ability to preform and get the job done. 

I feel a lot more confident within myself and my abilities. As I mentioned before I am still wanting to improve my confidence when speaking publicly.

- Public speaking

The abillity to confidently speak in public will be benifical in a working environment. It will help in meetings, pitching ideas and general social situations.

The answer above can be applied to this.

- General knowledge of the industry

Having a good understanding of the industry will help me to secure employment, design to trends and gain a better understanding of my target audience.  

Im a lot more informed about the different disciplines within design. Through PPP1 tasks I learned about the main areas of graphic design; Information/way-finding, Product/packaging, Publicising/editorial, Brand/identity, Retail/promotion. This has helped me to have a better idea of the areas I want to further explore. I am looking forward to working on live/competition briefs.

- Pace/Work flow

I want to improve the pace of my work flow without losing quality in my work. This will be useful in a fast pace environment with a quick turn over.

I found the first year pretty intense with the amount of briefs we had to do but this helped me to push myself to meet deadlines which I think has improved my workflow. I have also realised not to rush the process and enjoy it more.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

OUGD502- Studio Workshop 1

We were put into groups and asked to make a list of ten things that were successful from the first year.
  1. Blogging
  2. Money Management 
  3. Time Management 
  4. Print Process 
  5. Presenting Work
  6. Confidence
  7. Listening to Feedback
  8. Thought Process/ Development
  9. Software Development
  10. Sourcing External Resources 
As a class we agreed on a list of ten that are the most important.
  1. Presentation skills
  2. Feedback
  3. Workshops
  4. Independent 
  5. research/ development
  6. Understand time management 
  7. Work in/ with groups/ specialisms 
  8. Confidence/ motivation
  9. Theory/ context
  10. Style/ signature
For the following lesson we have been asked to make a list of ten things that I want to be successful at this year.
  1. I want to improve my confidence generally but mainly in presenting my work.
  2. I need to improve my organisation and time management to allow me to create the best design work I can within the deadlines.
  3. I need to improve and be more specific with the feedback I give people in crits. 
  4. I want to improve my workflow. At the moment I tend to take way to long thinking about things opposed to actually starting and letting it develop naturally.
  5. I want to improve my research skills. I struggle with primary research and tend to find stuff just for the sake of having primary instead of finding sources that will inform my work.
  6. By taking a more hands on approach I want to improve my finishing skills.
  7. I need to document the design process better to show development and decisions that are made.
  8. My academic writing skills need ongoing improvement as I think it is my weakest area. This will be beneficial when contacting studios for placements etc...
  9. I want to improve my social skills so I can start to network with working professionals to open new opportunities.
  10. Finally, I want to keep up my motivation and keep on top of my work. This will in-hand teach me how to keep a good balance between work time and personal time to gain a good life/work balance.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

OUGD402- PPP1- Self Evaluation

 Module Code 

 Module Title



James Keefe

1.  What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

I now have a better understanding and appreciation of graphic design and the different fields within. I have learnt to take inspiration from non-graphic design related sources and apply it to my own practice. I have a clearer idea of what kind of learner and designer I am and the areas of design I want to further explore ready for my second year.

2. What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?

I have improved on designing a range of products that work together as whole, keeping continuity across media. This has made me think I would like to further explore branding and identity.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

I am much better at analysing images and articulating my opinions and ideas to communicate, which then informs the design designs I make.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?

I feel I am starting to create an identity within my designs. I think this is a good thing but I need to be careful that it doesn’t hold me back in exploring different techniques and ideas that could possibly limit me to a specific audience making me less versatile, therefore losing potential clients.

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?

·       Blog tasks straight away
Just so I don’t forget things that we have done in the lesson so I can refer back if needed.

·       Look at more design studios
To start to gain a better understanding of what is available, the type of working environment I would like to be a part of.

·       Look at a wider variety of design work
I need to look at design that doesn’t necessarily appeal to me because I think I can still learn from it and possible be inspired to try something new.

·       Re-visit task
As my opinions and ideas of design have changed I think I would of benefited in updating my blog to show the progression in my tastes and work.

·       Allow more time for self-reflection.
I think self-refection is important to progress and need more time to fully think about to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your design practice.

6.How would you grade yourself on the following areas:
(please indicate using an ‘x’) 

5= excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = average, 1 = poor







Quantity of work produced


Quality of work produced


Contribution to the group


The evaluation of your work is an important part of the assessment criteria and represents a percentage of the overall grade. It is essential that you give yourself enough time to complete your written evaluation fully and with appropriate depth and level of self-reflection. If you have any questions relating to the self evaluation process speak to a member of staff as soon as possible.