27 May 2014, 2:00pm
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Graphic Design – Art

In the first step, which is defining the task, I have spent a lot of time trying to make it visual and interesting. I incorporated the words in there, so that it all looks as it is one. I played around with the words to and images to clearly show what I was talking about, but also make it a bit fun when looking at it. This part of the process generally gave me an idea of what my designs are going to look like, as we had to include a lot of things, and I did not want to make my design look like everyone else’s, so from the very beginning I had my head wrapped around very uncertain ideas of how my Handbook cover would look like. Overall I spend a fairly long amount of time making this part of the process visually interesting, as well as I also figured out what I liked to do with letters and images. I somewhat was looking for my own style. This is how the first part of the design looked like (only the top half of the page):


The second part of the design process, which was Research, I spend a shorter amount of time on, because personally, I don’t get inspired by others that often. I am the type of person who either creates something by myself or copies. I researched a bit about how to make a good Handbook Cover, for students and just normal Handbooks, as well as how to make a good book cover. I stated a couple of things in bullet points, but overall I did not spend a lot of time on this stage as it did not help all that much. I still made is somewhat visually interesting. You can see the page on the image above (bottom half of the page).

BrainStorm. This was also a short stage for me as all I did was stated a lot about how I have to organize my handbook cover to make it looks good. I stated that I have to have good use of negative and positive space, to keep the balance good. The colours were probably one of the most important to me. This whole stage was just basically brainstorming ideas that have to be used while creating the actual cover.


Stage four, sketching, This was my favourite stage, as I got to show my creative side, making different designs that I could possibly use. I created many different designs, ending up with 9 in total. I was happy with this and this was definitely my strongest stage, as I got to do what I liked. From the 9 designs I chose first top 3, by going around to people and asking which ones they liked most. And then after  the top three were chosen, I asked my table mate (May) to tell me which two are best and ended up choosing two sketches ones with May’s advice. I spend a long time on this stage as I wanted to have as many possibilities as there is to be able to make the best design.


Design Direction was a slow stage, but I did not enjoy it. I just redrew the two designs I chose from the sketches in order to see how they would look like in more detail. I was not impressed with the drawings and I sort of gave up on it. This was the part though where I got a lot of feedback on my designs and from there I chose my final design look. The feedback was really helpful and I was thankful to have good and honest friends.

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Tight sketch was even slower than the Design Direction. I do not enjoy redrawing my own drawings. The tight sketch did give me a good idea of what I had to improve on, in order to have a good cover. That was a strong point in this stage as I really got to see what does not work for me and what has to be changed. Besides that it was a very slow and boring process for me.


The client review really got me to see what I have created. Although the client review was done on the Design Direction Sketches because I  did not have my tight sketch done yet, I got good feedback on it and had a lot to think about. This stage was a great wake up call, about that I have to make this cover appealing to everyone and it has to have the least amount of flaws as possible.


Finalizing the product was by far the longest stage. It was very frustrating to make what I needed and to get things to look the way I wanted it to. I have done a lot of research on how to use the tools on Photoshop and I did my best not to get too annoyed, but at times it was hard. This was a great learning stage, I got to know myself better, and my skills. I learned a lot about Photoshop, and that I have to take things slower from time to time. Although I am not that happy with my final product, I am proud of the effort I have put into it.


My final work is a very simple design. I decided to keep it with simple colours. I used only the colours that were used in the school logo to create my design. And because I have done so, I knew that the colours would match, as the logo has matching colours, and is balanced. My colour scheme was mono, as other than using black and white, I used only one colour, which was red. I used a different tint of red as well, but it is still counted as mono. I only chose one font, which was Helvetica Neue, Light. The other letters which are seen in the word “Student” I have drawn and written myself. I think that my composition is good, there is a good sense of balance, and it uses the positive and negative space well. I had to make the background something other than a plain black solid colour as the letters were already plain and solid. I also had to vary the background colour a tiny bit, which resulted in making the middle of the page a lighter shade of grey. My design has very little spacing, which means that it is all grouped in the middle, and the dragon which spaces the design out. I think that the spacing in my design is exactly what I hoped it would look like. The spacing and placing is also what sets the mood of the design. As the Student Handbook is mainly aimed at MS and HS I decided to make it serious, with a touch of something playful. I thought that was a great idea, because in when you join MS you are still very playful, but you start to get serious, but in HS you are always serious, but looking for a playful moment. That is also how I made up my mind of who is my target audience.


The feedback I got on my designs was very useful to me, as it was the basis of how I changed my design. Although my friends feedback was all positive, without any negative comments, or comments on improvement, the client review and one on one peer evaluation helped me a lot with making my final design. I read through the feedback and looked at what people were looking at in my design, what they focused on and what they liked. I took all the feedback and decided to combine it all into one making my design “better” as maybe I did not like it as much as I wanted to, but my friends and my client definitely said it was better that way. I think that the feedback really helped me improve my design in many ways.


I learnt a lot through making this design, mostly about how peer review helps me to improve my artwork. Other’s opinions mean a lot when you have to make something that everyone has to somewhat enjoy looking at. I learned a lot about how to make graphic designs and that graphic design is not only about what you like. I did not have any questions that remained unanswered because  I made sure to ask questions and form them in a way that I get answers for many things throughout one opinion. This unit was a great learning opportunity for me.

My final Product:

Student Handbook Cover




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