Thrust SSC

APP1: Reflection and Evaluation

For this blog post, I want to discuss the project that I have just completed, and to focus on what I did well, and what I can improve on for future projects.

The Designs:

What are the strengths of the designs I have created? Why is this the case?

I would say that the two posters I have produced are successful at highlighting the adventure that is the Land Speed Record. They bring to the forefront information about the vehicle that will interest the audience. But the main focus is the vector illustrations that allow the audience to take in both the wider atmosphere that the Land Speed Record was set in, as well as being large enough posters with a good level of detail that allows the audience to pick up on factors that interest them. They both are strong designs that can be displayed solely, but have a consistent style that allows them to be displayed well together as part of a set.

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? 

I think that the printing could be considered to be a slight weak point for the final pieces as the results were not what I quite expected. With more time and money thrown at the problem, I think it would be resolvable.

My working practice:

How was my time keeping been throughout this project? When did I work best?

Time keeping has been good generally, with the project coming in comfortably by the deadline. By re-focusing the project, it helped to keep it manageable and allow me to keep good time.

I found I worked best at home for when I needed to really get on with the work I had, but I found it incredibly valuable to work at college when I needed to try new ideas and experiment as I was able to ask the opinions of my tutors and peers when I needed other opinions. I strongly believe that by asking others what they think, it can help to progress a design.

Was my brief realistic? Did I ever think I had asked too little or much of myself?

My brief was realistic as I managed to achieve everything I set out. This was helped by setting an open brief, as this could alter according to the progress I made throughout the project. However, like I did with the Range Rover FMP project I did last year, I do think my target of producing nine posters was ‘excessive’ in hindsight as I never realised the level of detail I would end up going into to make sure everything worked out to a very high standard.

This is disappointing, but it is more experience gained, and I now feel I can prevent this from happening again, although I feel I am still developing in terms of accurately predicting the timeframe of a schedule.

How was my research useful to the project?

Research was incredibly useful, as it allowed me to tailor my designs to what was required for the audience, as well as assess what other excellent designs were out there that I could draw inspiration from. There is a lot of exemplary illustration work out there in a variety of styles that all helped to provide inspiration and feed into this project.

How did I experiment and create ideas for this project? Was this effective?

Lots and lots of sketches, mainly in the earlier stages, just to get the thoughts out of my head into a visual format, even if sometimes they repeated ideas. It helped weed out a lot of weak ideas. Then I could work on-screen with my best ideas, and develop them from there. Experimenting with styles of illustration helped me enormously to find out what was the best style for the project.

What parts of the project did I enjoy? Why was this the case?

Seeing how good the posters looked in the latter stages. It is very rewarding when things work out and remind me why I love designing. The subject matter, while automotive, was one I have little knowledge of, but an ever growing interest, which meant I researched what I needed to know on a very comprehensive level.

What parts of the project did I not enjoy? Why was this the case?

Gradient Mesh. Not an easy tool to use, and I wish I had more time to get to grips with it. It bogged down the project for too long. However, I am pleased with the eventual results I produced using this tool. I now have a much better understanding and have added to my skill set.

Also, the poor quality of many of the reference images made it difficult to create an accurate representation of the vehicle, especially when images conflicted each other. I think in hindsight, I should have taken more time to focus on what was right and wrong at the beginning of the project, so I did not need to make so many changes throughout.

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.

What to think about for future projects?

I would say the designs I have produced have been some of my strongest yet, and is my best piece of vector illustration work. This is very pleasing as it is an area I would like to specialise in. I also feel I am building confidence as a designer now, and able to make many more decisions independently, which pleases me.