OUGD603 — Module Evaluation

Reflecting on this academic year I feel like this has been the most exciting, scary, busy, stressful, but most fun of my life.

Looking back at my original action plan for this year I have hardly stuck to it in the slightest. Only two projects have been completed that were on there and they were both live.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this year because of the flexibility and freedom that we have been given as a year-group to spend our own time doing what we feel is important and right for our future and career-path. For me this has meant abandoning self-initiated or not-live briefs and concentrating on real work with real people that is getting used in real life.

This has shaped who I have become as a professional designer, developed incredible network contacts, and worked in my favour to allow me to effectively freelance for a year while also getting assessed on the quality of the real work that I have done. I feel like the experience I have gained this year is second-to-none and that I have become as professional as possible while still practicing at university, givjng me a head-start when the course comes to end and I begin working as a freelance designer or working in a studio.

The briefs I have completed this year say a lot about me as a person, the influences of modernist, effective and functional design, along with quirky illustrations, and focused on beer and cycling has fulfilled my personal requirements and aspirations of loving what I do as a creative professional and learning how to sell myself to the right people.

The reality of the amount of work I have done this year is far more intense than what I have documented, but due to time restrictions have chosen not to document it all if it they are shorter briefs that cant be effectively pushed forward, or simply art-working jobs that have developed my software knowledge.

This module has allowed me to explore what I want to be first hand by letting me focus on my own work and creative practice, pushing my portfolio into a collection of work that represents what I am passionate about as well as a realistic presentation as my skills as a creative, be that design, photography or film.

Working collaboratively throughout the academic year has taught me a lot about time-management, feedback, and working as a unit rather than working individually around a table. This has impacted the way I work with people in a more positive direction and generated a lot of excitement and amazing memories with the professionals that I have developed alongside. This has also prepared me for real-life work in a studio, I know look forward to every time I go to freelance at The Lift Agency because of the amount that I can learn in just a day from talking and working with different creatives.

This module has shaped who I am as a professional and feels like it has been the conclusion of this whole degree. I have been given the freedom to find who I am as a professional by working in different situations on different briefs with different people and I have found my methodology in designing professionally, but most importantly, enjoyed it too.

OUGD603 — Brief 12 — Restrap Link Campaign - Boards


The Link campaign is the most successful project I have ever completed. Working with Restrap again, my job was to plan, design, and execute an entire campaign for a potential product that Nathan was looking to fund through Kickstarter.

The target for this project was £7,500 to fund all of the workshop's necessary tooling and all the minimum quantities of materials plus a little extra to make it worth the efforts and as it wasn't a definite paid job unless the product was funded, this pushed me even harder to both make Nathan confident that I am willing to put my all in but also because he offered to give me 10% of whatever the figure ends at if it is funded.

The success of this project was entirely down to the marketing of the product and I spent my efforts making it as perfect as I could to get as much out of it as possible for a brief, my portfolio and also to help earn some money for when I finish university.

Currently as I write this evaluation it has reached £37,565 which equates to 500% of the original target.

This campaign has allowed me to freely work on all elements of the campaign to make it as successful as possible in every angle ranging all the way through the product's brand, the video and the promotional images.

OUGD603 — Brief 11 — Woodrups & Restrap TCR Film - Boards


Thanks to the work I completed at the beginning of the year for the Halleycat event, Nathan asked me to film and cut a film that documented a project they were collaborating with Woodrups called the Transcontinental Project.

Using my existing skills in photography and the base knowledge I developed in film from documenting the Halleycat event, I spend six days filming different processes of the total bicycle build and used it to create both a promotional teaser for the video as well as a full-length film to promote both Leeds based companies.

I learned a lot of new skills in this brief which I am very thankful for, my filming has become a lot more professional and the quality of the final film edit is leagues above my first. This shows a great progress in just two projects with almost seven months between them. Since completing this project I have also been approached by another company enquiring on my filming work which shows that it has reached a state of professionalism that is good enough for businesses to take an interest in.

This is a great development in my practice as it adds another skill that I can provide for clients alongside my design work and photography which opens up my opportunities even more for freelancing.

OUGD603 — Brief 10 — Process - Boards


The Process brief was a very fast turnaround project that was initiated thanks to Mike Williams from the Brewers Design Society for inviting me to take part. The brief was an open creative invite to submit to the exhibition that would be held at Tall Boys Beer Market, a shop I spend a lot of time at due to my interest well made beer.

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to network with like-minded people and take part in my first exhibition before the end of year show.

This was a brief I really enjoyed doing and used as a break from more intense and demanding projects. I used my skills in illustration to create a selection of scenes within brewing finishing at Tall Boys. 

When I was at the exhibition, the people that own the shop approached me and asked if we could take it further and get it printed on hand made tote bags for the shop because they loved it so much.

OUGD603 — Brief 09 — Yearbook - Boards


Pitches and presentations have always been a downfall in my creative practice. I find it really hard to speak in front of large groups of people, even in front of close friends I feel anxious and nervous so it was going to be an expected struggle to pitch a concept in front of the tutors, and all of our competition.

I feel like these struggles have been pushed aside and even though I still feel nervous, I can deal with it a lot better and power through discussing my opinions, thoughts, ideas, and work. This has shown in our successful pitch that won the opportunity to work the yearbook this year. I have developed a lot of confidence thanks to this brief and become a lot closer to my colleagues while working with them on it.

The conceptual development of the response to this brief is something that I am extremely proud of, using well informed research, and inspiration from an event that happened in Leeds, we have worked together to think of something unique, functional and exciting.

It is unfortunate that we haven't been able to work this further for hand-in and we have only gotten to the art-working stage but the group voted to hold it temporarily to get everything else finished to a good standard and to hand this in as a winning concept.

I am excited to get back to work on this project and deliver what we hope to be the best yearbook that our programme has ever had.

OUGD603 — Brief 08 - Tokyo Fixed Jersey Kit - Boards


This brief was extremely rewarding to work on and finalise with the Tokyo Fixed team. Being approached by a client of this caliber was a new experience for me that has increased my confidence and professional practice along with an amazing project that will look great in my portfolio when the physical product is made.

I have never done pattern design so I was surprised to be asked to work with it as a first brief from Tokyo Fixed but it was exciting and a really useful process that I have learned how to work around.

Having the opportunity to not only develop a full pattern for high-end luxury cycling jerseys but also given the freedom to design the actual jerseys myself too was a valuable and enlightening process which has been really interesting to work through with professionals that have been doing this for years.

I found it a real shame when it was made clear that they wouldn't be made in time for submission as that would be an amazing product to submit, but experiencing the whole process has showed me how long-winded it is and how it needs to be reworked again by a fashion designer to be sure it all works together consistently.

I am really proud of the outcome of the pattern and the jersey mock-up, as even though it is not the sort of thing I would personally wear, I could imagine a lot of my friends to be interested in them and seeing professional riders race with them will be an amazing feeling.

OUGD603 — Brief 07 - Restrap Packaging — Boards


I would consider this brief to be one of my most successful in the three years of the programme. Working with Nathan on the Halleycat branding proved to him what I was capable of and since then I have been hired as their in-house designer which Catalogue were doing before I was asked.

This brief has allowed me to rework existing packaging and develop completely new concepts for a real-life business who's products are sold all over the world both online and in retail shops.

My skills in art working with existing brand guidelines has improved drastically thanks to the amount of work I have done with Restrap, as well as my experience in packaging development, design and setting up for mass-printing.

One of the things I have found out about myself from this brief is one of my favourite parts of graphic design is watching the work you create come to life into physical products and every time I have seen a new piece of packaging go from notebook sketches to finished built packaging solutions I have felt a great sense of pride and excitement.

Nathan at Restrap has become a professional contact that will continue to be a great friend and one that I hope to work with for a long time on keeping the visual elements of Restrap up to scratch.

OUGD603 — Brief 06 — Capital North - Boards


I found this brief extremely challenging during the time it was set and completed. The group I chose to work in consisted of Abigail Nelson, Sophie Abell, Laura Tomlinson and Danielle Yearsley.

To begin with, I thought the idea was really exciting and there was a lot of scope to push the project as a whole as the opportunity of briefs like this aren't every-day ones. I feel like we made a bad decision to work together as a team because we each had a lot of other projects happening that took priority over this, such as me and Laura were hard at work on the yearbook, and I was also developing work for Restrap and Tokyo Fixed which were more important to me. As a group we failed to meet up regularly or push each other to complete tasks on time. There was a lack of motivation and we weren't working very well together as a team which ultimately made the work suffer.

We eventually pulled our fingers out and got to work on our own jobs within the brief once I had developed the logo and visual identity. Issues that followed were that people refused to come in and work together when we had the time and therefore when all the work came together, everything looked disjointed and different. This really emphasised to me how important it is to work together even on individual jobs as it keeps the visuals consistent and finalise as one piece of work that functions cohesively.

If I was given more time on the brief of another go at completing it I would make sure that the team working with me would be in working on it together as well as dedicate a lot more time and attention to the brief as a whole.

Considering the circumstances our presentation went very successfully even though none of us were very confident with the work. We got some really good and motivating comments from the DBA team and put a lot into perspective for me about working in groups.

OUGD603 — Brief 04 - Design Publication - Boards


For the past year I have been so busy with live briefs that have required a lot of attention and hard work that I have unfortunately had to abandon projects that have no live deadline other than the module submission until the final month.

Even though I gave myself little time amongst very big briefs that were going on at the time, I am really happy with my concept and outcome as a piece of print that documents me, my journey through the course, my achievements, and interest in cycling all in one piece of A4.

The idea was to create a very low-fi racing map that told my story of 'the ride' through the BAGD programme using bold and contrasting colours, illustration, print and my interest in riding my bike. The idea itself was developed after a group critique with Tony Broomhead where I had nothing to bring but merely wanted to discuss the idea of fusing the publication with my love for cycling, a few ideas were thrown around and I pushed it into a full concept from there. This was a really useful critique that served well as a conversation about my ideas and how it could be pushed further, it was a reminder of how good it is to talk to others and have a different perspective on things.

The execution of the concept was very quick and hands on, a process I have not had much of this year due to the briefs I have worked on professionally. It felt good to create everything by hand so it had a more worn and DIY texture to it.

If I had less work to do this year, this publication could of been entirely different, but due to the amount on, I had to work quickly, efficiently and in an organised manner that reflected the time available. For this I am very pleased with my outcome and believe it works perfectly for it's purpose.

OUGD603 — Brief 12 — Restrap Link Campaign - Live Campaign

As the campaign is live between the 30th of April and the 1st of June so that it hits as many Sundays as possible (the international peak day of online-spending) and two pay-days, I will only be able to document three weeks of the campaign before the module deadline, however I will continue to document it in this blog post until it is over for the interest of external audiences.

Week 01 —

07 / 05 / 2015 — £18,751 raised / 250% funded / 541 backers.

We couldn't of asked for a better week really. Half way through our first day we became a Kickstarter Staff Pick. We hit our target on the evening of day two. On the third day we were featured on pedal consumption. On the final day of week one we became Kickstarter's Featured Project in the Design sector. And we reached our stretch goal of £18,000 which will allow us to afford to get each buckle injection moulded to present the Restrap logo.

Week 02 —

14 / 05 / 2015 — £28,174 raised / 375% funded / 800 backers.

As we had such a great first week, we needed to some-how keep the escalation on the progress and the only way we could do that was through further promotion. Nathan spent his efforts contacting blogs, local clubs, and possible press opportunities while I kept up to the visual promotion through updating backers and generating social media assets. The graph shows that we haven't failed in this as it has retained a very slow bending line rather than going flat or not moving up far. We have started to average at £1,878 a day which has allowed the campaign to go even more beyond what we anticipated.

Action plan is to continue with promotion efforts and try to reach £35,000 by the start of our third campaign week.

Week 03 —

21 / 05 / 2015 — £37,188 raised / 495% funded / 1,048 backers.

With 10 days to go, we were on a very good run. We have somehow reached past the 10,000 backers checkpoint and raised nearly 500% of our target. Nathan has stopped promoting the campaign other than his social network pages as his last kickstarter project is in the product manufacturing stage in his workshop and his time is limited. We have been featured on another couple of blogs such as Supercompressor and Singletrack World.

The only way from here is up and even though this is my last update before the module hand-in tomorrow, I will update this post on the day that the campaign ends for the interest of external audiences.

I am absolutely blown away by the support and funding that this project has gained, it has definitely put my work on the map and I am so excited to see the result of how much further it will go in just short of another two weeks.

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