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Reflections: Creative Book Design Part 3

I've received my feedback for part 3 and after a troubled development process slowed me down during this section, I'm pleased that the results of my work are still received positively despite being long overdue. As I like do for each part to reflect on my work, I've responded to the constructive feedback from my tutor below.


Overall Comments

"You have submitted a thorough body of work and tackled all of the tasks well. As usual there is lots of thorough research, digital visual development and digital experimentation."
"You have creatively explored your application of experimental type. There are some really good examples were you have tested the scale of your elements within the space."
"Your self-analysis and explanation of your design process is consistently very good."

It is a relief to see these positive comments made and I'm glad that despite the pacing of finishing work being thrown completely off since part 2, I've still managed to keep my work and the recording of my creative process consistent. Feedback like this is always gives me a boost of energy when starting a new unit, so I'll carry this through along with the constructive advice on areas that I can improve.

"Your research for type samples is very thorough and you have made interesting observations. You have referenced appropriately at the end of the task but don’t forget to include references within the text if you are using quotes or summarising."

I'll usually make sure my references are covered well, but I'll give this section a review to make sure the formatting is correct for my quotes and summaries.

"You have shown a very good understanding of layout with your extension of double page spread with the coloured thumbnails you have drawn. By developing these digitally you have shown the importance of the roughs for the initial design generation."

The colour keyed thumbnails have helped me a lot in this section, and have become a regular feature of my notes going forward. Strong roughs lead to strong final designs and I'll keep up the detail to make sure my initial thoughts are well communicated on paper for me to refer to in later stages of development.

"For experimental typography you have shown some good sketchbook roughs that are considering space well. These are followed by plenty of digital developments that are experimental in layout.
"Putting your type in the murky water has also taken your work off in a different creative direction. This type of visual risk-taking is definitely worth exploring further in the remaining assignments."

The practical experimentation I did with the murky water was definitely one of the strongest positive points made in the feedback for this part. I felt at the time that part 2 lent itself more to DTP with the design on layouts, but I must not forget to keep a healthy balance of practical work on this level to balance with my digital explorations.

"Assignment 3 is grounded in appropriate research and you have produced two convincing outcomes that have tackled content in very different ways."
"How about showing your two final booklets next to some existing type-related books / magazines. If you do this you can then start to make some direct comparisons and decide if you need to make any alterations to make your work stand out more. You might not need to so you can also make that point if that is the case."

Directly comparing my work at the end of a project to similar works that I have looked at during the research phase is not something I often do, and could be a useful habit to start that can aid my reflections at the end of the larger projects and exercises that have been inspired by existing works.

"Remember, the type needs to be the ‘hero’. But, you could argue that you have used a lot of imagery on purpose to dominate the type content. You could probably get away with this if you made this clear as an intent with regards legibility…"

Although I originally intended to make a good book on bad typography, in some of my haste to finish this project there are a number of elements that don't quite work as strongly to push the text into the "hero" position on the page rather than the typography. On review, I think I will address this with some extra written context to show that I am aware of this, but I will leave the majority of the visuals as they were designed, as they still stand as examples of bad typography where visual mistakes both accidental and deliberate still meet the brief.

Action Points

"You could try putting some of your other layouts for experimental typography into the murky water and record them photographically."

This is an interesting thought and an Idea I can try if I have time to review it. The squid calligram in particular would look extremely fitting submerged in its natural habitat.

"There is still a bit of a jump from initial sketchbook ideas to the digital testing. Let’s see slightly more detailed analogue layouts, following the initial thumbnails, before you start the digital development. This would solve this gap in the design process."

My process for designing and recording my work has found a steady rhythm that I can rely on for structure, even when branching off ideas to experiment. I feel confident with thumbnailing quick initial ideas, but still need to make additional records of how a design changes between the sketchbook to the digital phase and to make sure this is reflected in my development blogs.

I feel encouraged to return to doing more analogue preparations and designs as I move into the tactile experimental exercises in part 4. As time is running short to complete the unit I'm especially keen to complete it briskly but completely, to give myself enough room for a fair approach to part 5. If I can avoid second guessing my decisions too much and justifying my thoughts in my blogs and reflections, I'm hoping that Part 4 will be a welcome palate cleanser so long as I continue to I trust in my own creative process.


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