Friday, 22 March 2013


Today we had our concept criticism for the 'Speaking From Experience' brief. We each took turns to stand at the front of the room and present our three proposal boards. 

After the pitch we received verbal feedback from the third year students, as well as written feedback from everybody else. 


  • The third year students liked the concept.
  • I need to make sure that the outcomes engage the audience.
  • I need to be wary of time management, as the screen printing process can take a while.


  • Keep organised over the holidays and stick to my time management sheets.
  • Need to move the project along quickly as the print process can be time consuming.
  • Check when print room is open.
  • Create a mock up of the game, do a trial run and record results.
  • Make models of the packaging, how will it hold the elements of my design?
  • The game could be embarrassing for students who cant draw, how could I solve this? 

I found todays criticism really helpful. Pitching my idea to the group has helped my with confidence when presenting, as this is something I have had problems with before. We were also briefly introduced us to the third years who up until this point I haven't really interacted with, it was good to get their viewpoint on my project as they generated some useful feedback. Finally, I received helpful, constructive feedback on my project that I feel will help me develop the outcome. 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


Today we participated in peer feedback sessions. First the group was divided in to two, then we each took turn to present our initial proposal, and research collected up to this point. After we finished presenting members of the group gave feedback which was noted down on our progress crit sheets. 


  • To improve my research I need to collect more secondary research regarding the content of my article. At this point in the project I have defined my target audience as middle aged people who would usually ignore street art, this has defined the content and form of my publication. Additionally, I also defined four points of focus that will be discussed in the article to help communicate the intended message. It was mentioned that to progress I need to further inform myself about these four points of focus.
  • I should email street-artists and try to conduct a email based interview. This will enable me to define what street artists think about their work and its effect on society.  
  • It was stated that my concept is strong, as I have defined my target audience and thought about what I want the publication to achieve.
  • I should consider a personalised cover design that is relevant to the outcomes content.
  • I mentioned in the crit that I considered printing my outcome on black stock, the group urged me to do this which got me thinking if it would be possible with the amount of time left before the module submission. 

Thursday, 14 March 2013



Firstly, upon receiving the brief we were each given a randomly selected animal, this would define the focus of our article. However, the content would still be defined by us after collecting a body of research into the animal. Animals were selected for each person from the randomizer, when my name was called out the cheetah selected and so became my point of focus. I was happy with this selection as cheetahs are fascinating animals.

I collected the majority of my research from secondary sources such as the National Geographic website and wildlife books from the library. The National Geographic website they have various information heavy articles on the cheetah which I found really helpful when gathering basic information on the cat. Additionally, after looking through their archives I discovered a really thought provoking article which would come to influence the content of my article. The story titled ‘Cheetahs on the Edge’ talked about the struggle for survival that the species is facing and touched upon the modern trades that are affecting the cheetah population, one of these was the illegal cheetah pet trade in gulf states such as Saudi Arabia. I found this section of the article really engaging as I was previously unaware of this trade and its effects. Therefore, I started focusing my research on this trade.

After collecting a strong body of research I started writing the article. I wanted to create the article before designing layouts so that knew how room was needed to place the article on the spread. Moreover, I wanted the article to have a formal tone of voice, and inform and educate the readers about the illegal cheetah pet trade. The article included facts and figures regarding the low number of cheetahs left in the wild, and presented the audience with statements about how the pet trade is affecting the dwindling numbers of wild cheetah. My aim is to shock the viewer by presenting them with such information to reiterate how serious this matter is. It is mentioned on the brief that the article should be at least 500 words long, the final word count of the cheetah article was 854 meaning I have met the briefs requirements and have a substantial body of text to work with.

Once the article was finished I started designing thumbnail variations of possible layouts the article could use. When designing these I was thinking about considerations such as how I wanted the readers’ eye to flow round the page, and how I could guide it using the elements of the article. In my research I initially looked at creating a generic wildlife spread, similar to the ones found in National Geographic. These designs have a large background image relevant to the articles content; the elements of the design are then placed in the negative space left by the image. This is an effective way of displaying high quality imagery of the animal. However, the brief states that we have to use three images or more, and placing images on top of a larger background image can make the composition look too busy. Therefore, I focused on designing a formal spread that delivered the information in a straightforward fashion.

After refining and selecting a layout the design was digitally produced using InDesign. Unfortunately, due to a lack of access to zoos and animal parks I could not collect any primary images of my animal. So had to rely on images found on the internet. This proved to be a problem as most of the images that were directly relevant to the article were really low in quality and highly pixelated. The initial images I chose worked really well as a set and showed a young cheetah cub that had been found starving, wandering the streets. Despite their direct relevance I could not use the images as their resolution was terrible. I wasted a lot of time trawling through the internet looking for relevant, quality images.

After reviewing the magazine spread I made some small design changes. The first was a change of typeface. I had chosen to use Arial, a really formal quite boring font, when looking at the spread it didn’t have any impact. Therefore, I chose to change it for a bold display font called ‘Bebas’ which was more engaging for the viewer. Other small changes were also made to the design to improve its overall aesthetic quality.

Finally, the design was created for a demographic of young adult readers who already have an interest in nature, wildlife and world problems. The target audience defined the tone of voice in which the article took, as to engage these readers it had to be formal and have a journalistic nature. I think that the article achieves this by presenting facts and figures alongside the shocking nature of the story. Moreover, the formal nature of the article is reflected in the design of the spread. There is a basic colour scheme used so that no focus is taken away from the articles content or imagery. Moreover, design decisions were made to help guide the audiences’ eye around the article so that the article is read first which is the supported by the three images. Finally, I think that the article is effective in how it communicates its message and suited for its target audience. 

Monday, 11 March 2013



Firstly, as a group we were given the subject of 5-a-day. To generate a wide range of ideas the group split up, in doing so this enabled us to think of ideas uninfluenced by input from other group members. Spider diagrams were created of possible directions the project could be taken in. We reviewed the possible outcomes in more detail, considering the target audience and most effective method of delivery. After further discussions we decided to produce the 'stay creative' concept because it was a strong idea with a specific target audience.

As creatives we were all aware that creative block is an issue that affects us all. Our target audience is creative students from the Leeds area. Therefore we collected primary research by asking students from around university if creative block affected them. Almost everybody we spoke to has suffered from creative block in the past, so it was obvious that staying creative is an issue. Moreover, Leo also created a questionnaire which was disseminated around University asking students how they personally overcome creative block. After the problem was defined we collected secondary research into the functionality of different outcomes. 

At this point of the project the group was divided on what form the outcome should take, some members of the group wanted to produce a calendar with the daily tasks and others wanted to produce a magazine. Therefore, I collected a body of secondary research exploring the functionality of calendars and magazines for our project. The research enabled me to see a problem with format, we could not display 5-a-day tasks on a calendar unless we produced a monthly calendar with a page for each day. 

It was decided that the outcome was going to take the form of a magazine, so I collected a small body secondary research into creative magazine layouts. The aim of this was to give me an informed idea of the functionality of a magazine outcome, and how this could be adapted to suit our outcome.

Additionally, when thinking of ideas for the content of the magazine, I suggested that we email a few inspirational designers and artists to see if they would like to have a featured interview in the magazine. I emailed illustrator Drew Millward, who replied saying he'd love to do it, and could even meet us in Leeds to do it face to face. I met Drew on a Wednesday and collected Primary research for the magazine in the form of an interview. This was useful as it gave us content for the magazine and also presented me with the chance to ask a working professional how they overcome creative block.

Moreover, I also collected primary research from possible places of distribution. The magazine is aimed at creative students from Leeds, so the best distribution point will be in colleges and Universities. Therefore, I walked to Vernon street amongst other places looking at where the magazine could be distributed. Moreover, I also collected flyers and booklets regarding creative events in Leeds as we planned to have a creative events section for our audience. I believe that we could have improved our research by making a questionnaire that asked the audience if they would interact better with tasks that engaged their creativity, or simply tips and tricks that could be quickly read.

I found divining the workload hard, there were specific tasks that everyone wanted to have input in, like the logo for example. Three members of the group made a range of logos, although this gave us a breadth of choice, we could have saved time by focusing on individual tasks.

Firstly, one problem we encountered was time management. I created time management sheets to help us keep the project on track, however we were unable to keep to the schedule as we didn’t have all the elements for the magazine we needed to progress. This resulted in us printing the magazine later than expected which left us with less time to check for errors and to distribute the magazine, undoubtedly missed some, like the page numbers on pages 17 & 18. Moreover, the overrun of time also affected our presentation as we had little time to spend preparing it. I believe that if we divided the work load up better and were stricter with meeting deadlines the project could have been a lot more successful.

Moreover, I think that the magazine was successful; we distributed it around university and generated some audience interaction online. However, I think that we could have improved our outcome, and the audience interaction if we had organised ourselves better as a group. This would have allowed us to spend more time checking the magazine for errors, and given us time to properly prepare our presentation. Moreover, I think that the magazine could have benefited from having tips to staying creative, rather than daily tasks. Students from Leeds College of Art are busy (this may not affect students from other universities), so finding time to complete 5 daily tasks could prove a task in itself.

Finally, we were asked after our presentation if we were going to carry on producing the publication after the end of the brief. I think that creating a publication is a great way to meet artists and get involved in the industry at an early stage in our careers as designers. Despite this, I don’t think that I personally would continue to produce 5 magazine, as I think that the concept and ideas need developing further.  However, being involved in producing the magazine has got me thinking about possible concept for a magazine that could be produced in the near future. 



Firstly, as soon as I had decided what artist I wanted to create the cover for I made my time management sheet. As the brief was only a week long it was important that my project progressed in time for my final to be submitted. The sheet helped me keep my time organised, which in turn gave me time before the deadline to refine my final design.

Moreover, when I was generating ideas I was thinking of the typical straightforward solutions, like Flavour Flavs clock or the revolution hand holding a mic. In this project I spent a lot more time generating ideas, this enabled me to think of a few solid ideas to carry forward to the development stages of the project. This benefited my outcome massively as without spending the extra time generating ideas I would have developed a weak design.

Despite creating a time management sheet I still didn't leave myself with enough time to develop my five visual variations digitally. I think that developing each of the five visual variations would have benefited my project, as the designs could have been visually engaging and aesthetically appropriate after being digitally rendered.

Finally, I am happy with my overall outcome, I think that the illustration is a good representation of the messages communicated by Public Enemy's song.  Moreover, the limited use of colours made the design aesthetically engaging. 

Monday, 4 March 2013


What makes me me?
What makes me a designer?

We started the session by getting into the groups and then splitting into pairs. Next, using the images collected for last weeks task, we identified the personal and professional images from the mixed up pile given to us by another pair.

 After sorting the images we had to create two statements about their personal and professional practice. This was interesting as we had to write the statement judged on how we interpreted the images.

Abi's professional images.



  • She likes illustrative work, produced in quite a free flowing style.
  • She is interested in contemporary editorial and publishing design.
  • She has an interest in typography, particularly hand-rendered and printed type.
  • Finally, she likes producing printed outcomes.  

Abi has a keen interest in illustration, work that inspires her is full of colour and is often created in a flowing floral style. Moreover, she is interested in contemporary editorial and publishing design, which is also linked to her interest in printed outcomes. Finally, Abi is also interested in typography, specifically hand-rendered and printed type.


  • Interested in animation films such as Finding Nemo.
  • Fun loving and family orientated.
  • She is outgoing and is interested in the outdoors.
Abi has a a fun loving, friendly personality, and has the up most admiration and respect for her family and friends. She is outgoing, and is interested in the outdoors (when its sunny). Finally, She likes animated films such as finding nemo.

Issy's Personal images.



  • Issy is interested in geometric and patterned illustrations.
  • She is up to date with popular culture.
  • She has an interest in printed media such as magazines and clothing design.
  • She likes clever/minimal packaging design.
  • Issy likes a limited use of colour.
  • Finally, she has an interest in branding and identity.

Issy has a strong interested in geometric and patterned illustration. Moreover, she also has an interest in printed media, specifically magazines. This could be derived from her interest in popular culture and the high class magazines that surround it. Additionally, Issy also likes minimal packaging design that uses a limited amount of colour. Finally, she also has an interest in branding and identity. 


  • She is messy.
  • She likes rain.
  • She is interested in strange words.
  • Issy enjoys quality alcohol.
  • Finally, she has an interest in personal fitness/dancing
Issy can be messy and is sometimes unorganized. She likes the rain, and dancing, and maybe some days singing. If we put that all together then we have a musical! But, she isn't interested in musicals. (i think)

We then read the statements to each person and asked them how accurately we portrayed them. We were pretty much 100% correct with our statements for Abi. Moreover, we only misjudged a few elements from Issys images, such as the vodka bottle, and interest in strange words.

Finally, we discussed associative communication.

When selling ourselfs (as designers) we should be aiming to come across as a product. People can understand something more clearly if they can associate it with something they know.