Hamish Muir Lecture

Today we had an extremely interesting and inspiring talk/lecture from co founder (along with Mark Holt and Simon Johnston) of 8VO (a now defunct design collective) Hamish Muir. I had looked at his work when informed that he would be coming to speak and was unsure of what to make of the heavily layered and abstract typographic usage and layout used within his earlier work.

I found his career story particularly interesting, due to the number of places he had studied, the clients he had done work for and his overall work ethos and ethic (in particular his opinion that you don't need huge ideas, just small ones which you can work with to develop a good piece of design or communication). Also he discussed how important having a firm understanding of type in being a good designer. He also stated that he only uses a small number of fonts as there is no need for the huge number of fonts used by a lot of practitioners today. He named Akzidenz Grotesk, Univers and Futura as some of the few fonts he uses.

His earlier work with 8VO is very experimental and ranges from event publicity (Flux Edinburg music festival) and his on going work for Wim Crouwel (founder of total design in Holland) for the publicity and stationery of exhibitions held at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

The lecture covered so much design work and time that it is difficult to note it all here, however I will say that it was without a doubt the best guest lecture I have attended since starting the Arts Institute two years ago.


PPRD Hand In // Work Related Learning // Tutorial with Kit

Today was the deadline for the PPRD unit which I have mixed feelings about. Obviously, I am pleased its out of the way, however it seems to make sense to me to keep it running until the end of the year to enable a full recording of the year (something I plan to do anyway). However I was pleased to the standard I handed in the portfolio, CV and felt my blog was up to date, relevant and interesting (relatively...) and above all, represented my work over the year, including evidence of live and competition briefs.

I was glad that I didn't leave my PPRD to update later and kept on top of it for the majority of the year apart from a few spots (mainly the screen based unit). I do wish I had included more posts just on things that interest and inspire me however there is still time to rectify that within the blog over the rest of the day.

I also attended work related learning today which I am really enjoying, possible due to the small number of us doing the unit (five in all, myself, martin, jenny, siobhan and jamie). I feel it makes it easier to discuss the brief and also gives us plenty of time to work as a group with and without Kit and Neil to develop a decent plan and understanding between us of what we are all aiming to do within the unit. This means some of the visits and lectures can be generic and we can share the results and findings as results.

Hopefully we will secure some worthwhile visits and hear from some interesting people. I plan to try and get an online questionnaire to Experimental Jetset as they are favorites of mine in the design world due to the crisp clean work and work ethos.
Also we have discussed visits to printers, publishers, local and afar designers and other practitioners. All in all it looks to be an interesting and exciting unit.

Finally i managed to grab a tutorial with Kit today after work related learning which has pretty much saved my ass! After a brief discussion about why I had yet to do any work (I worry about starting? I don't know why? Fear of failing maybe?, anyways...). We discussed the brief and she reminded me of some very obvious but extremely important points.

1. Its my professional project its up to me and essentially I can do what I want (as long as it works within my learning agreement).

2. The fact that a grade won't get me a job where as a piece of solid work, which I like, could.

3. Advice from tutors is just advice, do what you like, as long as its relevant!

So all in all today has been a highly productive day, and I finally feel like I can get on after some brief discussion on my professional project, plus PPRD in terms of a unit is out of the way!


The Rest of the Year / Continuation of Blog

Well, just got the rest of the year now, 10 weeks or something ridiculous, in no time at all it will all be over! I plan to devote as much time as humanly possible to the professional project and work related learning units. I am particularly looking forward to the work related learning unit as it will allow communication with well known designers and industry involved professionals. Within this we plan to organize visits and attempt to get guest speakers in to discuss the working world/industry with us before bombarding them with an array of prepared questions.

As for the professional project, fingers crossed!

As I plan to focus on these two projects I imagine the blog cud take a dent in the amount of posts, however I will endeavor to keep track as before as I found keeping an online recording/diary of my working year has been of much benefit to me due to being able to recap on projects, consider the various things I have written whether it be feedback, research, inspiration or other, and develop on these things.javascript:void(0)

The Week Ahead

This week is going to be a very hectic one due to my own poor time planning and organization. I have yet to make a proper start on my FMP after having to work on my PPRD, but thats not really an excuse so I have devised a workplan which If I dont stick to its really game over due to the lack of time left.

Monday - Print all PPRD documents, blog address etc...
- Head to the library and jus research and get going on the fmp.
- Work related learning - produce a workplan.
- Try and get tutorial with Kit (which was ment to happen on friday but ran out of time)

Tuesday - Decide whether to go to london or stay in bomo and attend hamish muir and eden frankham lectures (probably the better idea).
- Finalise decision on idea for FMP. Begin developing an identity.
- Write up Londn Trip/Lectures for work related learning and research

Wednesday - FMP all the WAY!

Thursday - Go in for studio sessions, head to the library get on with work
- Attend rescheduled Lyme Regis Film Festival meeting.

Friday - Studio sessions/library
- work related learning and fmp!

Weekend - WORK RELAX WORK RELAX reapeat as necessary!
On with the show!!

Future Shorts Bournemouth

I attended a small film event tonight at Bournemouth Pier, Future Shorts. I had heard good things from housemates and peers about previous Future Shorts events and decided to go along seeing as I enjoy film generally but also to maybe salvage some inspiration from the beginning wreck of my final major project.

The night was hosted or presented first by one Roger Pratt which was an interesting experience because over the loud speaker they introduced him and I thought 'Who?'. However once he began talking about various projects he had been involved in as DOP (Director of Photography) which I was aware of including Batman, Harry Potter (nothing to be proud of :P), 12 Monkeys, Brazil, and Troy I became very interested in what he had t say. He also had a wealth of film set stories which were very entertaining.

Anyways, the screenings kicked off with Roger Pratt's showreel, an eerie series of overlaid and manipulated scenes and shots, with a truly harrowing soundtrack made up of a hugely transformed series of dialogues and sounds. The films which were presented ranged from arty, to crappy, to really good.

I particularly enjoyed the first two films, the first about two icelandic wrestlers who fall in love and the second about a women who meets arandom man in paris ends up spending the night with him, and falling in love, only to go out ot get them breakfast and to forget where her new love lives, so stuck with the mans dog who she took with her for the morning stroll to the Bakery she attempts to find her way back, which unfortuantely for her, and the dog, she never does.

There was also some student films and local films played which were very interesting particularly a film noir comedy which played off all the stereotypes and speech of the genre eg. She always wanted more dough (money), however on screen the femme fatale steals a jar of cookies from the main character at gun point. HA!

All in all a good evening but I cant help wondering what the other Future Shorts events must be like as I overheard so many people saying that "It wasnt as good as the last one". I plan to attend again if another one happens.

On the design side of things, this event could be so much bigger and better with abit of a design/identity. Currently they have a logo which is ok but their brochure design and overall identity could do with a rehaul. It would be a nice live brief actually. Anyways another event to mention in the FMP.


D&AD Pj's Smoothies

This has been an ongoing struggle as the four of us (Myself, Rob, Alistair and Ben) have had to find dates where we can all meet up an work on it, unfortunately our group really has not worked particularly well since beginning the brief as we have started ideas, thought of news ones and never really stuck with a single idea and finalized a set of visualizations so we have decided to lay it to rest due to the huge amount of other deadlines and project work which we are required to be getting on with (namely the extremely daunting FMP and the PPRD hand in next Monday).

Its a shame as although we had a huge amount of group discussions and work sessions on the PJ smoothies brief we never really got anywhere of note. Our idea was always aimed at the correct target audience of youth (students/young professionals), with focus on the competitor innocent, the sexual innuendos of innocent and how Pj's could play off that, which then changed to an idea in which PJ's became the answer to a number of questions, including, how do you relax?, how do you cure your hang over?, how do you socialize, how do you etc, etc...

The idea using sexual innuendos hit a snag when we discovered someone had already used this idea on the same brief, in a visually much stronger way than we had and decided to leave the idea. In hindsight I feel we should have continued with this idea as after we changed it we were always going back to it and swapping between ideas.

The second idea also changed heavily during the working process, from the use of human models combined with the PJ's pack shot positioned noticeably within the ad to create the rhetorical style question we were asking the audience and potential buyers of the product, to the same idea but replacing the human models with the PJ's smoothies bottle, making the product almost humanoid in the contexts placed. However due to the ever changing idea we only ever got two proper visualizations and upon reviewing our work we decided that they were definitely not strong enough to be entered into the student awards. done.

Here are the two images which got the closest to completion but are obviously not of a finished standard.


Working Related Learning Session (That I Missed!) / Upcoming Dates

This Monday, the Work Related Learning group scheduled to meet on Tuesday (Today) and discuss our plans for the unit. Somewhat annoyingly after ensuring I would be there I somehow managed to forget and miss the session, fortunately Jamie and Martin seem the forgiving type and managed to get some work done without myself, and Jenny.

They managed to contact one Edam Frankham, a dorset based designer/illustrator, who started a print company with his father. They were even good enough to put myself and Jenny's names at the bottom of the email even though we weren't present so thanks are in order for Martin and Jamie. Below is the email Jamie forwarded me.

Dear Eden,

As students of The Arts Institute at Bournemouth we were wondering if it was possible for a small group (4 students) to arrange a meeting in order to discuss the in and outs of starting your own business. We are in our second year of the Visual Communication course and as part of our Work Related Learning unit we are required to take a look at the industry with regards to future employment.

You were recommended to us by Kit Johnson, a Senior Associate Lecturer on the Visual Commincation course. If you are able to help us please could you get back to us with a date and time that is convenient to you.

Kind regards.
Jamie, Martin, Chris and Jenny

And the response recieved.


Yeah sure that sounds all fine, happy to try and help. Best day for me this week would be Thursday, or if it's easy for you I can do Monday / Tuesday next week. Any of those days I'm free all day. If you want, we can tie it in with the days your at college. If you want to discuss a time you can get back to me with this e-mail or phone me at 01202 729 100.


The plan seems to be meeting with Eden on Monday. Extremely pleased with that result, even though I can't take any credit for the organisation of the meeting.
A good start to the Work Related Learning unit with various other dates also on the calendar including Claire Blackmore on the 23rd March and somewhat annoyingly Hamish from Octavo on the 10th March (annoying because I'm going to London that day).


Portfolio and Curriculum Vitae

Previously this week I prepared an updated curriculum vitae and portfolio for the PPRD hand in on 9th March. I managed to have a short discussion with Neil Leonard about any changes or additional elements which need to be made. I was pleased that overall everything was in order with few changes required.

I've changed my identity somewhat from the 'CWGD' (Christopher Walter Graphic Design) to the simplier 'Chris' and included it at the top of my CV as I feel it suits my design better, presents my name and most importantly doesnt look too corporate like my previous logo.

Below I have included my CV and an example of two portfolio slides, one landscape and one portrait.

Work Related Learning Week 2

I attended my first (I missed the first session due to a timetable mix up) work related learning session today with Kit Johnson, Neil Leonard and the peers which have opted to take the work route as opposed to the bridging studies to continue onto the a third year in either illustration or graphic design.

As the group is so small the session was relatively quick and basically covered the requirements of the brief as well as some of the ways we can help build our research file for the brief. The final submission for the work related learning unit is a 2000 word report based around professional practice and the workings and running of design practitioners and studios which we will base around our findings from visits to studios and designers, and all the collected information put into our research files.

I plan to visit a variety of different studios local to Dorset and further afield including studios in London as I am in close proximity to the capital when at home. I also intend to attempt to get in contact with overseas practitioners and studios based on the continent to enquire about their business practice. Some of this may be completed in collaboration with my fellow peers if similar interests or career directions occur.

Overall this unit looks as though it could be of real benefit to me in terms of solidifying what I want to do after I finish the course, as well as gaining a better understanding of the professional design world.


Lyme Regis Film Festival Publicity Materials Brief

My self and Jim Mcmorrow have been contacted by Jo Donolly in regards to a live brief which could slot nicely into the development of our final major projects (as we are both focusing them around film or aspects of). The brief is to create some design (unsure of exactly what at this current point in time) for a Film Festival of sorts located in Lyme Regis. The plan is to meet with the cultural events organizer at the AIB to discuss what needs to be done.

The e-mail we received consisted of the following:

Hi James and Chris,
Further to our conversation regarding the Lyme Regis film festival, I have arranged an informal meeting for you both on Thursday 5th March at 2pm with Jo Gardner and Marcus Dixon.

This will be an opportunity for you both to see what the project involves and whether you would like to be involved with it. Jo is the AIB cultural Co-ordinator and Marcus is the Lyme Regis Film Festival organiser. They would like you to bring along a selection of your work and to discuss how to develop the marketing material for this event.

This is a really exciting opportunity and it would be great if you could make it. Please confirm if this date is convenient for you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

I am unsure whether I will take part in this brief yet but I will definitely attend the preliminary discussion to see what the brief is all about as it could be potentially extremely useful in helping me shape the beginning development stages of my final major project.


End of Course/Next Year?

After the portfolio session this week paired with the fact I have decided to leave The Arts Institute Bournemouth at the end of this year, I have begun considering my options as to what to do after the summershow.

Ideally getting some contacts at the exhibitions at the end of the year would be a great way of enquiring about internships, odd jobs or other relevant fields of work.
I would like to get a placement of sorts but am unsure of whether my work is strong enough. Getting some work at somewhere like a printers would be worthwhile as well to help me understand the processes and techniques in large scale printing houses.
Alteratively I could attempt to freelance, getting odd jobs and working on my own development and improvement in design, developing previous work and improving my portfolio.

My other option is return to the Colchester Institute where I studied on a National Diploma before the current FDA, to continue studying Graphic Design on the BA course run by David Jury. Currently I really do not know what I plan to do when I finish the course however I look forward to continuing on to something new.


Portfolio Direction / Lecture

Today I attended a one hour lecture from ex creative director from Dorset based studio Marketing Matters George Beverley, followed by a brief portfolio tips and discussion session with the creative director of Thinking Juice, Gellan Watt, an award winning design studio from Dorset.

I made it my business to attend both of these lectures as I felt unsure of the best way to organize a portfolio and I'm glad I made the effort to attend as the information and advice received at both talks was invaluable to me as someone who is planning on trying to obtain a placement or intern at a studio after the completion of this year. I written up a brief overview of each session.

George Beverley - Portfolio 101

For starters I was glad to make it into the lecture at all due to the huge amount of people who wanted to attend but due to the size of lecture to get a seat.

The guest speaker, George Beverly presented a brief set of points and tips which I felt hugely useful in the development of my portfolio but also the interview process and my confidence. I have listed the points he presented below.

- Be 100% happy with all thework you decide to include in your portfolio.

- Dont show other peoples work as your own! (I couldn't believe this but it happens more than you would think apparantly)! He spoke on this with first hand experience, with an interviewee showing George a peice of work he himself (George) had designed

- Know your own work

- About 8-10 peices of work. Quality over quantity, if you only have 5 peices of strong work, only inlude 5. Do not try to gain a larger body of work by including peices of work you are not happy with or have low standard.

- Use an A3 portfolio, transportable, presentable. (I have ordered an A3 portfolio box, I feel it is a nicer way of presenting the work over the standard ringbound option).

He also spoke briefly about the interview process, stating that you should go to an interview with confidence, while being yourself as it will take alot of the pressure off. Previous to an interview one should try and find out about the company, and their work. His final point was learn to take critiscm, and learn to extract positivity from critiscm, enquiring as to why, and become comfortable with critiscm as by reflecting on feedback work will improve. Be honest, use common sense, be on time, show personality and enthusiasm and talent.

Gellen Watt - Portfolio FAQ's and Advice

Gellen's discussion basically continued on from Georges, with more discussion on the design of a portfolio. His advice was to be precise, show work using the space avaliable to its best. Do not crowd portfolio slides and again, dont include any work your not 110% happy with.

Overall, the lecture/discussions were invaluable to me as I plan to prepare my CV and portfolio within the next week.


FMP Learning Agreement

Today myself and my peers handed in our learning agreements for our proposed study of work during the time span of the professional project unit. I have included my learning agreement below.

Name: Christopher Walter
Course: FdA Visual Communication Level: 2
Unit: Professional Project
Reference number: VCM209
Credit points: 45
Study hours: 450
Tutor(s): Sally Hope, Kit Johnson, Mike Ryan, Neil Leonard

Synopsis of Study

For my Professional Project I plan to produce a promotional campaign for a film festival. This will include producing an identity and other relevant pieces of design from the following list: posters, website, programs, schedules, tickets, invitations, flyers etc. The chosen theme of the festival will be decided as part of my research phase and will focus on a certain aspect of film and cinema whether it be a celebration of a specific genre, director, actor/actress or series of films.

First of all, I will underpin my work by completing some initial preliminary research into the cultural positives and impact on locations which host these types of event regardless of the size of the event (anything based around grouping people together for cultural ends is relevant research whether it be film festivals, art exhibitions or music festivals or local gigs). This will help me to anchor my reasons why I am focusing on my chosen subject.

The majority of my research will consist of the study of event publicity materials and existing film events as well as unrelated events, such as museum exhibitions and music festivals to gain a broader knowledge of design in this sector of graphic design as well as contemporary, professional practice and existing film related design such as the art of the film poster. I will also look at contemporary typographic practice to aid my design choice.

The reason for this choice of project stems from my interest in film as well as from my opinion that design for events of this kind are often too focused on a single audience and thus fail to appeal to larger target audiences. I also feel that film events could do with a more contemporary, refreshed design aesthetic to bridge the gap between the traditionalist nature of events of this kind and the need for a more modern appearance to retain a prestigious profile within the field of film, while using a design that moves with the times and appeals to the broadest possible audience.

I feel that an event of this type needs a modern aesthetic and style, which appeals to my target audience and beyond. My target audience consists of people within the film world, or who have an interest in the subject but do not practice within the subject area of film for example the everyday person/film go-er. This highlights the need for design, which will cater for this broad audience. The focus of the campaign could include specific subject based, and unspecific target audiences.

A1 To consolidate my creativity and practical skills in response to a ‘live’ or simulated professional brief.

A2 To develop my creativity and your knowledge and understanding of professional practice.

A3 To develop and produce a professional standard of creative work in response to a ‘live’ or simulated brief.

A4 To prepare myself for employment, freelance work or further study.

Learning outcomes:
LO1 Demonstrate a professional standard of creativity and practical ability, including:
• Work that is technically comparable to that made within a specified genre.
• Work that shows an awareness of contemporary trends, styles and
subject matter, within commercial contexts.
• Work that shows a high degree of creativity and aesthetic judgement.

LO2 Demonstrate a professional ability to plan your time and your work, including:
• Project time planning.
• Working successfully with others in the production of creative outcomes.

LO3 Respond appropriately to the demands of a professional/self initiated brief, including:
• Appropriate creative outcomes to industry/work related briefs.

LO4 Demonstrate readiness for employment, freelance work or further study with confidence in the level of your creative, practical and professional knowledge and skills.

Assessment Requirements
For assessment I will produce development sketchbooks, including research into contemporary practice particularly in the field of graphic design, typography and existing publicity materials for a variety of events, exhibition and festivals, leading to a set of final publicity materials 100%.

Assessment Criteria (specific criteria related to the learning outcomes and linked to the statement of generic assessment criteria matrix):

Evidence of understanding through synthesis and development - Research used to inform design decisions and communicate ideas (LO1)

Evidence of knowledge of concepts and contexts - Project work that shows creative maturity and direction within a commercial context (LO1,LO2)

Evidence of understanding through research and analysis. - Extensive research, and the application of it, used for the underpinning and final conclusion of project work (LO1,LO2,LO3)

Evidence of understanding through critical evaluation and reflection - The objectives of the research have clearly been identified and used to inform project work. (LO1,LO2)

Evidence of knowledge of technical processes – Knowledge of suitable hardware and software required for the planned project (LO1, LO2)

Evidence of realisation through presentation - Work is placed within a commercial context and appropriate methods of presentation used. (LO3)

Evidence of realisation through technical application and skills - A synthesis of creativity and professionalism is demonstrated in the conclusion of the project work (LO1)

Evidence of realisation through communication of ideas – Presentation of learning agreement and finished project (LO1, LO2, LO3)

Transferable Skills
Managing and responding to professional briefs
Project planning and management
Completing the learning agreement



British Film Institute - HYPERLINK "http://www.bfi.org.uk/" http://www.bfi.org.uk/
American Film Institute - HYPERLINK "http://www.afi.com" http://www.afi.com
Film Festival.com - HYPERLINK "http://www.filmfestivals.com/index.shtml" http://www.filmfestivals.com/index.shtml
Baseline Magazine Site - HYPERLINK "http://www.baselinemagazine.com/" http://www.baselinemagazine.com/
CMYK Magazine Site - HYPERLINK "http://www.cmykmag.com/" http://www.cmykmag.com/
Grafik Magazine Site - HYPERLINK "http://www.grafikmagazine.co.uk/" http://www.grafikmagazine.co.uk/
Typophile - HYPERLINK "http://www.typophile.com/" http://www.typophile.com/
Typographer - HYPERLINK "http://www.typographer.org/" http://www.typographer.org/
Design Observer - HYPERLINK "http://www.designobserver.com/" http://www.designobserver.com/

Type and Graphic Related Publications
Publicity Publications

Relevant flyers, handouts, posters and any other resources – magazine, events, exhibition, festival related design and publicity.

Screen Based Comms - Feedback

As well as having to hand in our proposed study in the form of our learning agreement we also received our feedback and grading sheets from the screen based communication 2 unit. I had worked extremely hard on this unit and learnt a great deal about web development software (Flash, Dreamweaver) and designing for the web in general (do's and don'ts, the importance of browser and resolution consideration, etc).

I received the grade of 66 (a high 2:1) which I am extremely pleased with. A first would have been better but I am still extremely pleased with the grade, and the feedback I received.

When looking at my website, there is a large flaw which makes me feel I was lucky to receive the mark I did. This flaw is the design of the site, it is boring, I don't mean the way it works and presents itself, more the dull colour scheme of black and white... It is just far too plain. I plan to update this alongside my PPRD.

Technically I think the site is sound and I was extremely pleased with the amount I learn't on the brief, especially the amount of detailed actionscript I work on heavily, even having to make a complete change of much of the workings. Annoying but helped me learn even more.

So... Overall pleased but wish I had jus used a stronger set of design elements, colours, typography etc.


Live Brief Completion//Presentation 18th February

Today myself and Ben Strowman presented our logo and identi-kit to two MAA associates who we explained our reasons for our design choices (colour, type, orientation) and our reasoning. When completing the brief we decided that the logo needed to be corporate to a degree while still being appealing and not looking like a construction company or a courier service identity. We chose a selection of blues with detailing and strapline in an orange. We felt these choices suited the location and the areas which would be involved within the MAA of Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole as it is a coastal area and although many colours would have been suitable we felt that the chosen selection would help the public relate as well as still being a strong identity with bold colours.

During the presentation we discussed our choices with the two representatives of the MAA, Kit Johnson and Matt Desmier. I felt that it went extremely well and am quite intrigued as to the piece of work they choose as after seeing various groups work, it became clear that the standard of work was extremely high. I think were in with a chance though. I have included the logo development and the our chosen final logo below. I feel it is also worth noting that I am actually really beginning to enjoy presenting and discussing my work, a skill which I think is very valuable to someone who plans to enter the professional workplace.


London Trip//Inspiration 16th Feb

Today I attended the rescheduled London Trip which was put in place to allow us to gather information for research and to be inspired. We arrived at the Tate Britain which was interesting but was not particularly relevant to my chosen proposed area of study for my Professional Project.

I spent the majority of the day with James Mcmorrow, Meghan Corkrill and Laura Foster. I found the day really productive and useful as we walked alot which allowed me to view and photograph various event advertising and publicity posters, and other advertising spaces.

We also walked to the BFI (British Film Institute) at Southbank which I found extremely useful as there is a never ending array of film festivals which take place at the location which is made up of a gallery, a small exhibition space upstairs (where I saw various pieces of film development (scripts, posters and some amazing examples of storyboards) for Kubrick's Barry Lyndon) and three screens.

I was able to look at a variety of posters, publicity materials and even managed to obtain various monthly programs for the BFI's exhibitions. Also it happens that the National Theatre is next to the BFI so I was able to obtain other examples of similar publicity examples.

I had actually forgotton how good London is for inspiration and a taste of culture. I am seriously considering moving to a city after completing the course as some of the larger places such as London, Leeds etc seem to literally hum with creativity. All in all a very useful (but long) day. I have included select photographs of the various advertising spaces and existing film exhibition publicity below.


One Minute Presentations - 12th Feb

Today the group presented our individual ideas/learning agreements and research sources to the rest of the group, Jo, Kit and Sally. Initially I was not overly thrilled to be doing a presentation lasting a single minute, however when I began working to prepare slides to present my idea for the day, I began to notices flaws and areas within my proposed idea which could be more solid in substance and working. Overall it turned out to be an extremely useful excercise in idea rethinking and development.

On the day we presented our set of slides, I was pleased to receive some good pointers and solid feedback from Mike Ryan, Sally Hope and Jo Donolly and my peers. I plan to ammend my learning agreement somewhat so it is more specific and relevant to my proposed area of study.


Professional Project Initial Ideas// 5 + 6th Feb

After considering the project over the last week between trying to work through a brief for the MAA with Ben Strowman, I have come up with various initial ideas for the subject of my final major project//professional practice unit.

My first idea was to develop and brand a t-shirt company, including designs and branding materials however after a lengthy discussion with Kit Johnson about whether it would be a suitable subject, I eventually concluded that this is something which I could work on as a personal project later on, where as for the professional project something with a bit more scope and exploration is more suited to the amount of research and preliminary work needed for a suitable subject for the professional project.

I have since had various other ideas including a type event (redesign Helvetica 50 event but for Helvetica 100?), a film poster redesign, or the branding and identity of an event or festival.


Live Briefs // Competition Briefs

I have not documented my progress on these two areas mainly due to the fact that very little progress has been made (if any at all). Since i last mentioned the D&AD briefs, I have changed project and joined a group made up of myself, Robert Houliston, Ben Strowman, and Alistair Blake. We are working to complete the D&AD Pj Smoothies advertising brief. Currently we are throwing around various ideas and have made some progress into considering visualisations.

The live brief although not running for nearly as long as the competition briefs is going well. Ben Strowman and myself have decided to work together to produce an identity and various other pieces of branding for the Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth Multi Area Agreement. We have made various logos and have begun working on website templates to present on the deadline of February 18th (hence the reason why the D&AD brief has been put off for the time being). The brief also requires us to think of a slogan and create other pieces of documentation such as business cards, letterheads and a newsletter (printed and digital).


Professional Project // FMP

We were briefed on our FMP on thursday 29th (a day which I was absent). From what I have gathered from my classmates, I missed quite a useful session, in which we considered our projects from a number of angles, I have chased up the hand outs for this session. The professional project unit consists of a self initiated brief, which will span across 12 weeks (concluding the second and final year of Visual Communication). The unit is worth 45 credits and currently, is extremely daunting.

The work load is really piling up, FMP, live and competition briefs as well as the looming submission of this blog, portfolio and updated professional standard CV, lots to do. The deadline for the professional project learning agreement is the 20th of February, the overall deadline for the project is 2:30 on May 8th. I will write more once I have considered what I want to investigate or achieve from the FMP // Professional Practise Unit


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #7

Final Week//Hand In//Evaluation (23rd January)
Been very busy up til today, working hard to complete the final stages of my website. I have managed to fix the animation conflict and my site has changed considerably since I last posted. The positioning and layout has altered to allow for better use of space with my new accordion style menu, which opens each main folder to show the sub categories of each portfolio section. I have used externally loading content to ensure quick loading times (no need for a preloader (although they seem quite fashionable as well as functional)).

I spent the final evening before the hand in topping up and finishing various peices of research and finalising the site (keywords, description, splash page etc). I was extremely pleased with the site I managed to produce (this seems a good point to say that I posted on actionscript forums heavily to get the site up and running). I feel the site is functionable, user friendly and relatively interesting to navigate through. What works so well about the use of externally loading content is that nothing is loaded unless it is selected to be viewed meaning that it selectively loads only the needed content.

The look of my site, particularly identity is an area in which I plan to work on further to develop a more coherent and concise style. That said I think the work displays well on the page and the images are big enough to provide a detailed enough view of the focal point of the website. One major annoyance to me was that I completed my splash page in somewhat of a rush, only to produce what is in my opinion, the best piece of typography (in terms of identity) within the entire site. I plan to use the altered logo design from the splassh page onto the resh of my identity as opposed to sticking with the CWGD type logo which I had been using prior to this point.

I feel my technical understanding in terms of web design, especially when using Flash has increased so much further than i expected to be able to obtain in the relatively short amount of time given to us for this brief. I am seriously considering the possibilities of getting a placement at a design/web studio in future if possible. Overall i am very pleased with this assignment but more my achievement of managing to understand a program so much better than I already did.



Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #6

Final Critique
The final critique today was quite a low key affair with small groups walking around crituqing the various websites. My website had not changed a great deal since the interim critique as I had spent the time detailing the various animations. The feedback I recieved was all useful and constructive criticisms on the aesthetic elements of my site, however I am particularly concerned with the animation and scripting side of things currently due to the fact that a website can look amazing but if it doesnt work then it is unsuccessful. I plan to push my efforts to both the aesthetic and the technical elements of my site for the final hand in on the 29th.

More Changes//Confliction in Code
I have run into some problems with the overall runnings in my website as the site is creating animation from the timeline in flash as well as within script on various movie clip instances, and as such is stopping the transistions working (As highlighted in the final critique). I have decided to backtrack in order to fix the problem by recreating the actionscript tweening upon the timeline as a standard motion tween with controlling actions. I have used transistions which work by using movie clips as forward and bacdward controls with applied actions. I also plan to include a smoother running menu than I have previously included within my examples.


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #5

Interim Critique
The interim critique today was with Kit Johnson and went very well I felt, I obtained some solid feedback which I felt gave me a solid direction to head in for the rest of the brief, something I was extremely grateful for as I was currently feeling somewhat lost on where to go with the website. I recieved some useful pointers about my identity type detailing, the overall look of the site as well as some reall creative suggestions about what else I could do or add to my site to make it a more user friendly, innovative piece of online design. Below is the flashsite to my interim critique group.

I have tried to develop my identity somewhat over the last few days and have decided to work with a bold, well known font. My initial decision is to throw caution to the wind and use Helvetica, however after looking at my various identity tests ad experiments I have decided to use the original inspiration for Helvetic; Akzidenz Grotesk. I have chosen to use this font for the time being as it is a recognizable, well known design font which hasnt been quite so overused as its newer counterpart, Helvetica.


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #4

After creating my previous tests I have worked almost solidly on getting the look which I feel will suit my identity and more importantly my work as a whole. I have scrapped the rough images which I was working with in the tests, and have begun trying to create a symbol or base image which can be used over and over for my various gallery pages. Below is what I have decided to run with. (The colours are not concrete yet). These folders will appear in sets within subfolders of my portfolio. The other pages and base of the overall look of the site will be very minimalist, white, blacks and greys. Uber simplicity!


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #3

Catell Ronca - Illustration//Freelance lecture (5th January)
Today we were given a lecture by freelance illustrator Catell Ronca, and to be honest when first informed of the lecture I was not particularly interested as I am not an illustrator. However, Catell was interesting and very helpful in giving us pointers on the world of freelance (illustrator and designer). She was also able to answer any questions we may have had about the world of freelance. I found the information she was able to give us on commissions, contracts and getting paid; very useful information for one who is considering going into freelancing (design).

After the lecture on freelancing, Catell showed us her current portfolio which features illustrations in a style she describes as "I would say that it is very colourful, a bit naïve and sometimes quite detailed. As it is all about colour my favourite subjects are people of different races who I see on a daily basis in London."Catell Ronca

Back to SBC2//Change of Plan
After considering my web idea further, I have decided that although the test with reset button works and was my original idea and concept, the fact that one has to click and hold to view the portfolio instance as well as the obvious need for a reset button have confirmed my suspiscions that there are far better ways of navigating a site other than this. I have decided to make a compromise and use some sort of relatvily generic menu system to allow my user to move familiarly around the webpage while still including some of my original concept and idea of a physical/digital online experience. After creating a rough layout, the main part of my site which I felt needed developing was an overall identity and style as well as a look and design for my gallery pages.


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #2

Reset Button//Image Test
Using actionscript tweening as opposed to timelime tweening (a newly aquired skill) I have been able to create a reset button, which wil return all the file folder instances to their original rotation angle, scale and depth arrangement.

this.swapDepths(9999);----------------> This ensures that the reset is always ontop
Reset.onRelease = function() { ------> on press of the reset button
myStart = drag2._y;
myEnd = 471.0;
myTweening = new Tween(drag2, "_y", Strong.easeIn, myStart, myEnd, .3, true);
myStart = drag2._x;
myEnd = 526.0;
myTweening = new Tween(drag2, "_x", Strong.easeIn, myStart, myEnd, .3, true);
myEnd = drag2.swapDepths(75);
myTweening = new Tween(drag2, Strong.easeIn, myStart, myEnd, 1, true);
}; ----------> return the istance to original position, rotation, x and y scale etc.


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #1

Well if anyone follows this regularly (which I have serious doubts about) then you may have noticed that it hasnt been updated, changed or anything for the last two weeks. Yet seeing as I suspect the readers of this blog are few and far between if not non-existent altogether, I guess it goesnt really matter... Instead of trying to break the last two weeks of development and reflection up into individual sections I have written up this rough account of the missed time since the 9th of January (My last post).

Screen Based Communication Tutorial (Before Xmas)
For the first review of the work we had done, I was able to present a working test version of my idea (a website with a handheld, physical, sifting through a work portfolio element) within Flash with test graphics. The various pages are all contained within a Flash movie, presented as a set of files within a folder. The user of the site would be able to pick up the various elements move them, put them down and pick up the next piece of work. This was a very basic first representation of my idea and concept. I have included a screenshot below.

The inspiration for this site comes largely from my own ideas, however after gettig a rough idea, a friend was able to point me to a similar website idea. This site acted as my first real source of inspiration once I had shaped my idea. Studio Vruchtvlees

Drag and Drop Code
My test design uses various action script code to allow a user to drag and drop the various articles. When each image is clicked it rotates and increases insize, when it is dropped these elements return to their original position and scale. The code for each folder item instance is as follows:

drag1.onPress = function() {
drag1._xscale = 170;
drag1._yscale = 170;
drag1._rotation = 0;
drag1.onRelease = function() {
drag1._rotation = -26;
drag1._xscale = 100;

To clean this area (reset the position of the folder elements) I will next work on developing a reset button. Also I will test the use of imagery in flash as I have never created a Flash website before.