Today Neil gave us an introduction to the Digital Me project where we collaborated with first years. He started by discussing that ‘Graphic Design is the last thing the world needs’. At first I didn’t quite understand what this statement was suggesting as I thought it was slightly controversial. Although, throughout the day I soon began to understand how the importance of design is understanding and forming your own point of view before doing the ‘graphic design’. This is because the design profession is changing and more people are beginning to realise the power of design and how it can be used to make a difference.
What do you want to do in graphic design and why?
As a group we began to discuss our own personal opinions on, what we want to do in graphic design and why? It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between members in the group. Whilst I think that all of the points we discussed are important, there are a few which stand out to me more. The most important point for me is the way that graphic design can be used to make a difference and communicate issues. This is because I think it shows how powerful graphic design is, as a tool to try and provoke change. Some issues which I feel strongly about is equality, poverty, abuse and health. And the way that graphic design can be used to try and raise awareness and educate is very important. I also think that it is critical to create design which has a purpose rather than just making something look nice. This is because not only does it give design more meaning, but it can also provoke change in society to help make a difference. I think that this backs up Neils discussion of the way that the design world growing is moving away from the industrial revolution.
What are good characteristics to graphic design and why?
In our groups, we then began to discuss what we collectively thought good characteristics to graphic design were and why. I think it is very important to be passionate and have strong opinions, as these can help to form a coherent message within design. I also think that by believing in the message you are communicating, gives you more motivation to work hard on it as you want to make difference. Another important point is understanding who your audience is, this is because you could be communicating the same issue, but the target audience will engage and respond differently to the design approach that you take.
Portfolio and CV
It is important that when critically thinking about other design work, you are able to do this within your own work to create the best portfolio and CV possible. I struggle when doing work for myself as I find its more difficulty to critique my own work than someone else’s. I think that this is because when critiquing someone else’s work you are looking from an outside perspective. Whereas, with your own work, you have created the work and understand the message being communicated so may find it more difficult to see what is successful and unsuccessful about the design. Although, I think that within the digital me project this is something which I am forced to do, so will hopefully improve. I think that it is very important to make the portfolio and CV very personal. This is because you are communicating to the audience who you are as a designer and your best abilities. Therefore, it is important to show your best work rather than a large amount which lacks in concept and design skills. Another essential part is creating consistency throughout, this is so it shows a strong visual system throughout.
Whilst researching into some existing portfolios and CV’s, there were a few which I felt were good and bad. The Pollen London digital portfolio is one of my favourite which I have come across. I love the use of moving image and the way that when you hover over the images they begin to move. By doing this I think that it creates an exciting experience for the audience to explore the portfolio which suggests that they do exciting design work. The use of a black and white colour scheme throughout creates a strong consistency, but it also looks visually striking and modern. By creating a house style in the portfolio begins to suggest what type of designer they are. I also think that by having a black and white colour scheme makes the colour in the work stand out more. This is something which I would like to explore within my work.
As I liked the use of the black and white colour scheme and would potentially use this as inspiration for my portfolio and CV. I thought that I would compare it with a portfolio which uses the same concept but I think is unsuccessful. I think that Paul Politis Photography portfolio is very disengaging and has a poor use of hierarchy. I think that this is down to the large amount of text and the long line lengths. This makes it difficult for me find the focal point in the page, which causes me to flick through the page and not engage with anything. I think this is also because there is such a large amount of content with the same layout throughout, that the pace doesn’t vary which makes it quite boring. I don’t think that the black and white colour scheme is as effective because the majority of photos are in black and white so the whole portfolio looks very flat and under designed. This has shown how if I am going to explore a black and white colour scheme within the portfolio and CV, the design systems have to be very well thought out to still show personality, as this portfolio lacks hugely in personality.
When looking at creative CV’s I think that it is important to create a visual consistency throughout your portfolio and CV. The example I have used I like how they have taken the time to design it and think about layout and hierarchy. This suggests that the person is a typographer and creates a personal aspect. By doing this is suggests to future employees what type of designer you are.
Throughout my research into creative CV’s, something which a lot of them use is visual representation of their skills. For example 1 to 5 stars on how confident they are on adobe software. Whilst this does show that you can use them, I also think that this shows where your skills lack. Because of this I know that I do not want to use this. The example I have used of a bad CV, whilst it does have a clear layout. I also think that this design is very similar to all the other CV’s that I have researched online. Therefore, it shows how it lacks in personality. By noticing this through my research, I want to try and stay away from this way of designing a CV, as I expect employers see a million of these sent to them so would not stand out that well against the rest.