I recently received feedback from my tutor for assignment one. I was very pleased with how thorough and detailed his suggestions were.
He was pleased with the quantity of work I produced and said that I produced “well-resolved pieces of communication”. He said that the postcards succeeded in telling him something about myself and my interests in design.
He then gave me a number of suggestions, which I have listed below with my comments.
- Printing my work for assignments
- Making use of typography
- Demonstrate my learning
- Take the Introduction to Studying HE course
I had thought a little about printing my work, but wasn’t really sure if this would be practical. I am also still confused about the technical side of things. I know that I need to include bleeds, for example, and I have read about how to add them, but I’m still uncertain about the details. I also get confused by the different types of printing available – the use of spot colours, etc. is pretty baffling. After reading Stephen’s comments I have decided that this skill is essential for me, and that as I tend to learn through doing, I will attempt to print my next assignment professionally.
Initially I was confused about the range of printing services available, and perhaps I still am. I was advised by others to seek out a local printer, however, living in London this is harder than it sounds. There seem to be different types of printing companies and I’m not sure exactly what type I am looking for. Can I use Moo, for example, or is that not something that professional designers use? My local printers don’t look especially appealing, I think they are more focused on local businesses. As luck would have it, I was reading Creative Arts magazine last week, and there was an article on printing at home which listed online companies as an alternative. The suggestions I will be following up are: TradePrint, Route1Print, OnlinePrinters and DWJColourPrint.
With regards to research, my tutor was referring specifically to the history of postcards for the assignment. Whilst I admit my research for this was a bit thin, I think a bigger problem it highlighted for me was that I didn’t document what research I did do. Which brings me to the final suggestion about demonstrating my learning. This is something I find quite difficult to do. I often do a lot of reading about subjects but don’t document it. When I make notes, they are more to aid my concentration as I read. As I am keeping a blog for the course, there is another barrier, as I tend to blog after the fact. I’m still figuring out how to best do this. Because scanning my sketchbook takes a long time, I prefer to do this in bulk, and so will often save up my blog posts and do a few at once.
With regards to typography, I have been reading various books and studying letterforms for the past year, however, I still find myself nervous when it comes to using the correct typeface in my work. Which is why, in two of the postcards, I used my own writing. I am therefore challenging myself to seek out and use appropriate typefaces, so that I become more comfortable with them. I am continuing to practice my lettering skills (I have been posting some of these in my personal projects category) and am reading Baines & Haslam’s Type & Typography, which is an incredible resource. It has answered a lot of questions I had about the history and classification of type and I am looking forward to the next section on manufacture and design.
My tutor recommended I take the Introduction to Studying HE course, which I have since done. I will write about this in a separate blog post.
He also gave me some final pointers for the next part of the course:
- Research broadly using a range of sources
- Consider the use of typography – words, language and layout
- Continue to build on your strengths with illustration and design
- Make adjustments to your postcards
I’m looking forward to following up on his suggestions.