Well, for this blog post I shall be evaluating and reflecting on my Final Major Project for my HND 2 Graphic Design course before concluding it by submitting it.
What are the strengths of the designs I have created? Why is this the case?
I would say that all of my designs are very strong and highlight what could be achieved with the rebranding of the Range Rover promotional items. They follow a consistent theme, an example being the monochromatic cover images that direct the eye onto the car. The designs also look professional and I have received very pleasing feedback on them.
Brochure: I was delighted with how this design turned out. The printing courtesy of Blurb, really bought out the excellent photography from the Land Rover press pack and the colours are represented as they should be.
My design really shows the Land Rover brand off well, and highlights the premium nature of the Range Rover, and how it has moved into a new audience sector. I was also really pleased with the size of the brochure I chose, as it is not too large to cause the audience to have to scan across the pages when reading, everything is conveniently placed.
I showed people the final result at college, and was very pleased with how the design was received. I got all positive feedback with people astonished at how professional it looks. People have said that they would not know if someone gave them my design and said it was the actual Range Rover brochure, which makes me very proud indeed.
Leaflet: The main strength here was that it continued the identity across from the brochure, and is also of a premium finish, reflecting the Range Rover well. I am pleased with the information on there, it entices the audience to follow Land Rover for further news by giving them the details they need, but is uncluttered, allowing for the information to make an impact rather than get lost by being in a long passage of text.
App Design: Using another medium of design helps to show how flexible my design is, working for both print and digital. Having a well designed intuitive app that the audience would appreciate is very handy to have with the rise in smartphone usage. A large sector of the audience now demand to interact with products using apps such as the one I have designed, and I feel I have met those demands.
What are the weaknesses of the designs I have created? Why is this the case and how could I improve it if I did this project again?
Brochure: I think the only small thing I would change with the brochure I would have made would be to have found a way of better organising the vector illustrations on the ‘Key Data’ spread. I had to make a compromise there, and I think a better solution could have been found if I had more time to have thought about it.
Leaflet: Printing was the only thing here that was less than ideal. I had originally planned to use a certain paper stock, but when this failed, I used a back-up option I had, which produces a perfect print quality, but was only one-sided, so I had to spray-mount the two sides together, making it thicker than it would be in reality. Again, with more time, I could have sourced different paper, although I did have an sample order placed through college for some paper that did not get processed due to an admin error, and I do think a suitable paper type may have been in there.
App Design: With more time, I would have been interested in seeing how the app could have functioned when the phone was in landscape mode, as well as creating a version of the design for a tablet. I could have also explored an Android app potentially, but I felt that due to the different style, that could lead to a whole project itself.
My working practice:
How was my time keeping been throughout this project? When did I work best?
I think my time keeping has been good with this project, especially considering I have never undertaken a project of this magnitude before. I have had to juggle this project more than any other due to time considerations regarding the printing of the brochure. Every deadline has been met along the way, most with minimal hassle.
This project has seen me work far more independently than before, allowing me to work productively at home for a lot of the project. I found going into college was only really needed for feedback and to print my leaflets. Other than that, it was more of a distraction than it has ever been before.
Was my brief realistic? Did I ever think I had asked too little or much of myself?
Well, I would say my brief was realistic as I have managed to achieve everything I set out. This was helped by setting a reasonable open brief, as this could alter according to my research to ensure that my project was relevant to the audience of the Range Rover.
I do however think I asked way too much of myself for this project, and should have done one less element, and focused on the others more in-depth. I didn’t realise how long the brochure would take to design, and with it needing to be sent off earlier than I expected for printing, it put unnecessary pressure on me.
How was my research useful to the project and/or myself?
Research was incredibly useful, as it allowed me to tailor my designs to what was required, as well as understand who I was designing for. The Range Rover audience is very varied and I wanted to create designs that could cater for everyone. Researching the competition allowed me to assess the standards I needed to meet and/or exceed.
How did I experiment and create ideas for this project? Was this effective?
The first forms of experimenting came through sketches, mind-maps and lists. However, I soon founded I wanted more realistic forms of seeing my ideas come to life so soon started designing on-screen as such and experimenting there. It set me on a good path which I continued throughout. Overall though, evolution was the key factor here, as once I established the initial designs and was confident they would work, then I spent most of my time on refining everything so it was perfect. If I had a idea, then I would just try it out and see where it took the design.
What parts of the project did I enjoy? Why was this the case?
I have to say I have really enjoyed this project, as it focused on one of my favourite interests and is something I would like to specialise in as a designer. This really gave me the drive to push on no matter what and create some great designs.
What parts of the project did I not enjoy? Why was this the case?
Dealing with the time pressures, I found I had to work harder than expected for the whole duration of the project, and I had to make some snap decisions that I wish I could have taken time on. However, this is part of being a graphic designer, and with more experience, this issue will reduce.
How did you make sure feedback gained was effective?
By asking people something I knew they would be able to answer. For example, when collecting feedback from audience members, it was very different to that of asking other students in the graphics group, or even tutors. So I would ask the audience members whether they felt the information was clear, understandable, did the aesthetic match what they thought of the Range Rover etc. while I asked the tutors and other members of the graphics group more about design specifics.
As this is the final project of the HND course, what thoughts and targets do you have that can be carried over to the BA course?
I would say this project has been my strongest yet, and finally shown to me I can design effective automotive material. I have always wanted to design professional brochures for a car manufacturer, and have finally achieved this ambition. I have really enjoyed being able to work on a brief I created as well.
It has also been incredibly satisfying to see the positive reactions to my designs, and it helps to give me confidence in my abilities.
Looking forward to next year, I will be aiming to build upon the momentum gained this year and advance my design skills further. Over the summer I will be most likely taking the chance to create a couple of independent portfolio pieces, as well as learning new skills, as I have found the more I know, the more freedom I have when designing, which results in a better end design that is more original in concept and more expressive.
I would also really like to progress my blog over the course of the next 12 months, to make it look more ‘designed’. I have also got some ideas as to how I may present work on the blog for the BA in a way that is easier to follow…