For this blog post, I will be reflecting and evaluating on the St. Luke’s Church book project, focusing on what did and didn’t go well, and thinking on a wider scale how this links into personal development.
What are the design’s strengths? Why is this the case?
The book conveys through text, archive photos and recent photos the history of St. Luke’s Church, in a simple, well formatted style. It is not difficult to understand the layout of the book and how it is structured, and is interesting to read at both a glance and in-depth. The design is very suitable for the audience, I have received positive comments about the book, which I obviously appreciate.
I would also say that Blurb have also printed these really well, and that quality helps the professionalism of my design to be visible.
What are the design’s weaknesses? Why is this the case and how could I improve it if I repeated the project?
Some of the photography I took could be improved if I had a greater knowledge of this field and better equipment. If I was to repeat this project with better equipment, then I would spend much longer focusing on taking good photos without the need for so much editing.
Seeing the printed copy, the only thing I noticed was looking at the back cover, because the background is registry black, whereas the image features pure black in parts, there is a slight mismatch in tones, but nothing that takes away from the design.
My working practice:
How was my time keeping? When did I work best?
Time keeping has been good generally, with the project coming in comfortably by the deadline, no doubt helped by having to send it off to Blurb by the 13th, when the college deadline is the 24th.
As usual, for when I needed to really get on and put together the design I worked best at home, but I found it incredibly valuable to work at college when I needed feedback as I strongly believe that by asking others what they think, it can help to progress a design.
Was my brief realistic in size and focus?
My brief was realistic as I managed to achieve everything I set out. The brief was very open in how I could achieve my target so this helped to give me some flexibility. Unlike other projects, I have done before, I don’t think the size of the project was excessive, so this shows progress in understanding how much work can be done in a set time.
Was my research useful?
The project just simply would not have existed without research into the subject, as I would not have had a suitable understanding. I learnt so much, it was really very interesting.
As for researching into design, I was surprised not to find much out there that really caught my eye, or suited the project I was working on, but I have to say it was still useful to see how others approach such tasks and what their final designs are as I can learn from them.
How did I experiment and create ideas? Was this effective?
Not many sketches this time actually, I only used them to get ideas out of my head before I forgot them. Ideas were more focused on experimenting with designs, there was an enormous amount of trial and error until I found what I was looking for. That meant most work was conducted on-screen with my best ideas.
What parts of the project did I enjoy? Why was this the case?
Once I settled on the layout for the book, I would say I enjoyed placing all the content in and sorting out the finer details. I also enjoyed editing the photos used throughout, it was very satisfying to see the enormous improvements I could make.
Also the subject matter of the project was most interesting to me, I really enjoyed patching together bits of information about the history of the church and uncovering information to use in the book.
What parts of the project did I not enjoy? Why was this the case?
Working out the order of the book and editing the text to be concise and fit into the aesthetics of the design to a certain degree. It was very frustrating to get everything into place.
How did you make sure feedback gained was effective?
By asking people something I needed the answer or an opinion for. Targeting questions also worked differently depending on whether I was speaking to audience members or tutors/students. For example, when collecting feedback from audience members, I focused on readability and a understanding of the book’s contents, whereas with the other designers I would focus more on aesthetic features of the design and typographic features.
What to think about for future projects?
I think I have produced a strong piece of work that meets the needs of the audience more than ever before. This progress is very pleasing as producing books, brochures and magazines is an area I am thinking I would like to specialise in.
I also feel I am building increasing confidence as a designer, and able to be mostly independent save for feedback, which pleases me. I was able to get past the hurdle this project of trying to overcomplicate things, as before I have always been concerned that if the design looks simple to make, then less thought has gone into it.
Less is more! (Sometimes… 😀 )