Reflections: Creative Book Design (Part 1)

I've received my feedback for part 1 of Creative book design and as with my previous unit, I'm returning to my reflections to see where I could improve both overall and in how I've approached specific exercises.

Overall Comments


"Overall your response to the first part of the course has shown variety with your selected content and an appropriate design process. Your sketchbook shows relevant annotated research and initial ideas accompanied by quick thumb-nails of ideas and layouts. This shows a good understanding of these parts of the design process and demonstrates that you are tackling briefs with a creative and inquisitive outlook."
"Your blog is very clearly laid out and contains all the relevant information for each exercise. It is very well considered."

This a good start to the unit and reaffirms that I'm still on the right track with my presentation skills an demonstrations of my creative process for each part.


"In the next body of work try and show more design development before you move on to your final designs and layouts. At the moment this part of your design process could still be developed."
"Try not to jump to a final solution too soon and do test lots more options before you get to that point."

This is a reoccurring and fair criticism for an approach that I've also had issues with during exercises on my previous unit. I do have a tendency to enter tunnel vision towards moving towards the final leg of the design process too fast when my need to finish a project outweighs the need taking the time to stretch my creative legs to explore other potential outcomes first.


When working from home especially, the need for me to complete some projects can also come from the frustration of having an open brief but no immediate clients or target audiences to discuss my ideas with. In projects outside of my degree learning, I'm more motivated to create a wider number of choices for project outcomes ready to be discussed with whoever had commissioned me but this is something that I'm unable to do in some course exercises.


A potential solution for me to try and remedy this is to be more conscious in imagining that I'm developing options for a real client during the middle of the design process an pause more to look at my options. This way I can hopefully keep up the natural momentum needed to reach a conclusion naturally, rather than rushing ahead for the sake of completion.

Exercise 1.3: Alternative Publications


"Alternative Publications shows a creative use of type and image in a collage style. I would maybe display them with a little bit of white space around them so that they are easier to view in isolation to each other. With the b/w versions you could try them out on different paper stock – for example, how would they look on neon / dayglo yellow or orange paper?"

These are some good points on easy changes that I can make and I'll return to this exercise to make some adjustments. Looking at how well the black and white images read on coloured printouts is another interesting experiment that I could try.


Exercise 1.5: Research & Development


"You have demonstrated a creative approach with your idea combining the prince / frog and the book. That is an interesting interpretation of the theme."
This is a creative approach to the image generation using your own photos. You could still show more visual experimentation with the theme and testing other ways of combining type and image together.

I'm glad the prince and the frog illustration was well received after initially having some issues with the concept and I'm pleased that returning to explore further ideas with the page layout in the later 1.7 exercise was also a successful move.

You have started to do this in Ex1.7 Visualising, Editing and Critiquing so that’s good.

Exercise 1.7: Visualising, Editing and Critiquing


"You have shown lots of relevant and varied research across the exercises. There is also evidence of relevant analysis across the exercises. Where you analyse and adapt your previous work in Ex1.7 Visualising, Editing and Critiquing this shows very good self analysis."

Revising layouts was a rewarding experience that benefitted this exercise and my final assignment, but in future I should generate more layout options in this way during the initial exercises too as part of my regular development process.


Assignment 1: Your Zine


"Assignment 1 contains a lot of information that has been presented in a playful way exploring a number of different layout styles and mixed media approaches."
"You have demonstrated effectively how some of the previous exercises / research have influenced your design process. This is great to see."

The approach to learning that this section took of all the exercises directly feeding into the final assignment was new for me, so I'm glad to have accumulated all that content into my final zine in an effective way and I'm proud of my booklet.

"In your planning of the layouts for Assignment 1 you could still test a greater variety of layouts and alternative zine structures and proposals. This would explore presenting the content in a number of different ways before you get to the final solution."

The reiterates the main points for improvement that I mentioned before and I intend to do more design explorations as I continue into the next part. There are some interesting looking exercises in Part 2 that I think I could do well on so long as I keep an open mind with idea and layout development to see where a project could lead before jumping ahead too soon.


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