Collection: Reflection


Part 3


In this period I continued working on the exhibition project and caught up on other work, including creating documents - evaluation for example

Picking up on the project work there were a number of issues I came up against which affected progress. Theses included

  • Trying to come up intentionally with bad designs was more difficult than I thought because my natural reaction was to strive for good ones. This prolonged that exercise.
  • When I went on my photoshoot for examples of bad design I thought it would be relatively easy to find and photo examples. I had to extend that part of the work in order to find sufficient numbers, which used up some of  the time available for other activities.
  • Due to time constraints my typeface was not, as I originally wanted, a new one but an existing one that has been manipulated. I was  disappointed to have to do this but it was necessary.
  • I knew, when starting the allocation or attribution of pet peeves to each letter in the alphabet, that some may not be possible, and that is also how it turned out although I came up with solutions. I spent a lot of time working on that aspect which affected the amount of time for other aspects.
  • In working on the project I found myself frequently challenging the effect what I had done or was planning to do. I suspect, like most others, I found this difficult and it was time consuming.
  • Overall time constraints did affect me, as the above comments suggest, although I think I managed my way through in the end.. 


Tutorial with Will


 Initially we discussed the assessment requirements with especial reference to workflow. This was followed up by a peer assessment exercise in which my work to date and plans for completion were reviewed by some of my peers, who raised queries, and discussed my objectives and possible outcomes. Whilst this was constructive there was nothing particularly material which could have led to a change of direction in the project. Afterwards there was an exhibition discussion, and a display  of work through all areas of graphics

In the afternoon I carried on with exhibition work and also had a tutorial with Lucy.

Easter Break

Worked on and finished the app design, with potential areas for further development or improvement, as mentioned earlier, being glitch transition, ensuring the 'breaking the rules' theme was a strong theme, and to explore other ways of designing toolbars to break norms. I also had plans to create more gifs, but didn't have time to do so.

Following on from the work on bad design  I went down the route of finding practical images of bad design, also editing them and planning to put them into a booklet. Whilst there appear, from the photos, to be many examples of bad design it did take some time and searching to find these examples in our local area. 

Decided on a possible flip book, or set of cards, that reflected bad design features for each letter - K for kerning based on some of the research I had carried out at the start of the project. I found it difficult to find a pet peeve for each letter, so am considering either doing a typeface based on one pet peeve, or a couple of letters per pet peeve. I may well need to do more research on this point. 


Had a one to one tutorial explaining and discussing the concept for the  exhibition project, which is the creation of a typeface in which each letter would be the first letter of a ‘pet-peeve’ in graphic design. One difficult challenge in this would be the attribution of a peeve to each individual letter, so this would need to be kept under review as to what is practicable.

 As an alternative to a poster showing all the letters, the publication could either be in the form of a ‘flip-book’ or of a set of cards as these would, I believe, provide a more interactive experience for the viewer


Following on for the design of the mirrors and board, with not enough time to come up with a website, this day was spent in using the projector and coming up with photos and the outcome as shown in the sketch book. Overall I think the effect was what I was looking for as the impact of the mirrors was quite stark. Given time I feel that maybe coming up with a video would have enhanced the result of the exercise.



For the one day project, spread over two days, I was looking for another way of showing the 'breaking the rules' idea, possibly interactive and could include animations. What I came up with was to have a random series of triangular mirrors fixed onto a board, and then projected designs , some of which I had come up with previously, and one designed specifically, onto the mirrors.  

The process of construction was to cut the wood support into an A3 sized square, and to paint it black for enhanced effect; then to cut out the triangle shapes of the mirrors, and to fix them with  90 degree brackets onto the board.  As mentioned, in addition to those already existing,  I also came up with a design to be projected onto the installation.



Worked on the outline for the user journey, based on the app to be used for 'breaking the rules of graphic design'. Apart from the designs shown under the 'initial idea',  areas to address which occurred to me whilst I was designing the screens and toolbar included the need for glitch transition (when clicking between designers and effects), maintaining a strong theme throughout on 'breaking the rules', and exploring other ways of designing toolbars in order to break norms.

During the period I also continued  the scaling experiment based on the idea of white space, with one manual experiment filmed. There was also one version which I decided was not worth filming in which I went to the extreme of having too much white space, but considered it too simple.

I also e-mailed a number of graphic designers with a feedback request on their pet peeves with typography so that, hopefully, I could incorporate some of their reactions in my project. Where I had responses I have used them.

I carried out some gif experimentation  where the focus was to to show what users might come up with, and to then show the before and after effect of applying the rules. Among the pet peeves or hates in the feedback were badly proportioned typography, use of default fonts (calibri being a prime example), and just using too many fonts.


Held the progress tutorial with tutor, and decided on the idea of expanding my "Breaking the Rules of Graphic Design" project, continuing  with the idea of annoying  graphic designers through a new medium.
The idea is to come up with an app that helps artists/ designers get past creative blocks, and helps them feel less restricted both  by the way design ‘should’ look, and in accordance with the rules. I also need to come up with a way of showing what their designs would look like if they broke the rules. It could, as well, feature a part which makes their (the designer's) work more inspired by different artists or designs - e.g. David Carson's rebellious look.
The app would take a picture of, or upload, the design and then have features that involved individual rules or options. Basically it would be an app that makes work ‘ugly.’


Drafting and then refining a new project concept.

I initially decided on trying to reinterpret my initial brief of "provoking an audience emotion" by coming up with an app that helps to guide people towards their chosen goal by breaking down their tasks or requirements into manageable chunks and then, in turn, encouraging them to have a more positive outlook. However, after discussing this with the teacher, it was felt my previous interpretation of annoying graphic designers through bad design was an interesting concept which could be further explored, or in different mediums. 


This scaling exercise was a way to challenge ourselves by creating both small and large outcomes. Some of the examples given in the presentation were of varying larger sizes such as billboards and designs on buildings, however we were limited to A10 and AO sizes. I decided to experiment by continuing my “Breaking the Rules of Graphic Design” Project. 

For my first A10 task I used the newspaper white space poster I had created previously, photocopied and enlarged multiple times inspired by

I had done something similar with an artist at Southampton Uni.

Ideas for my A0 poster included, using white space to either extreme (too much or two little) or focussing on the idea of legibility. After consultation with the teacher it was the option of writing legibility multiple times until it was illegible that was considered to be the best approach.

For my A0 outcome I decided the purpose was to subverse the rule of legibility literally. I decided to use repetition of this word to create a completely illegible piece. The process to create this involved repetitively writing the word legibility until the word was illegible. I decided to use ink to make it more opaque; this also changed the overall texture of the piece, as the over saturation of ink started to separate into other tones. I also had the idea of using white space impracticality, either extreme of using too much or too little. 


Had crit - potential improvements suggested included using a more random technique to create worse designs (randomly scrolling through fonts), instead of subconsciously making decisions.

Introduced to Scaling presentation. Of the presentations included the one that appealed most to me is titled World's Largest Letter. The next question was how to apply scaling to this, which led on to the legibility suggestion.

28/02/18 - 01/03/18

Snowed in.

I decided to do more work on other potential areas -  legibility, kerning and white space. This involved

  • Legibility - texture making. I tried using acetone to transfer ink which was unsuccessful, and also failed in using other materials to do that, so ended up with stencil making (putting letters over and under paper).
  • Kerning -  experimented with ripping, and found that taking copies and scanning of the original didn't have sufficient definition to show the ripping effect completely in line with the original.
  • White space- printed on newspaper.

For each of these I did digital designs. I would have liked to have done more but, in the end given the time restrictions,  I could only do posters. If given more time I would have aimed to do a booklet. 


Discussing ideas of my project with potential directions and matters to be considered, including looking at brand identities, possibly subjecting them, looking at earlier typographic rules - possibly from the 1800's, considering from what angle I wanted to come - ironic, comedic or to annoy, whilst accepting my background was that of a student with limited knowledge in this field. 

I then did a one day task where I made a draft of how the front cover could be by cutting up typography and collaging them - this was easy to manipulate into bad design and also gave a cluttered unfinished feel.


Presentation of our group commune in front of class.

I wasn't in so completed the task of coming up with ideas for the first project from the research I had conducted during the commune. I decided on doing a project on annoying graphic designers by teaching the unwritten "rules" of graphic design through bad design. Although not entirely related to my commune experience I felt it would be a starting point reflecting on my brief. 

21/02/18 - 23/02/18

After Commune I gathered all the research done by my partners, and asked them to fill in the final questionnaire. I will be using that research to inform my project as I would like to create work based on the idea of creating a product or experience that evokes audience emotions and responses. This is building on the projects I’ve already completed in ‘Made to Persuade’ where the aim was to make people think, act, smile, laugh or cry, and in “App Store’ where the requirement is to develop a client-led concept. I liked the clear distinction of a commercial product in Made to Persuade and this brief should enable me to come up with a variety of different approaches to it. The information I receive from the questionnaire and the drawings should help me narrow down my options.

We also prepared our presentation as a group which proved more difficult as I seemed to be the one with the most documentation of our commune experience and Celine decided to use her workflow to present.


Last Day of Commune - Neena's Day

We started the day off by checking out of our accommodation, then visited the Sea Life centre and Brighton Pier, and, in the afternoon went to Brighton Marina. At each destination she (Neena) wanted us to do our dare. For me this was saying yes all day, and then beating an insecurity. I also asked them to complete the drawing and thoughts tasks for that day. We then travelled home.

I finalised the questionnaire to be completed, which turned out to be a longer and more detailed task than I thought when starting it. I found that, to come up with a series of questions that gave me the detail I needed for my analysis without including duplicate questions, took a number of versions. Even when I had come up with, what I considered was my final version, I found, when completing the answers myself before issuing it to the others as I was part of the review, that there was need for more changes both to the number and content of the questions. It was important to me to have a clear and unambiguous set of questions, not only to get the answers I was after, but to avoid annoying the others completing it and risking a lowering of the quality in their responses, for instance with unnecessary questions and duplications. This was a lesson learned for future questionnaires.



Second Day of Commune - Celine's Day

We woke up and had breakfast together (part of our manifesto). Celine had chosen to visit the Hove museum and,  after lunch, we visited the library. In the evening I asked the others to complete the drawing and thoughts tasks for that day, and I spent more time in putting together the questionnaire. 

Celine required us to complete a booklet of sketches, as her brief was for us to immerse ourselves in an experience and reflect on what we have achieved, and how it has affected us. She also posed the questions to us of whether or not we felt fulfilled that day and why.


First Day of Commune - My day

We arrived in Brighton, went first to the Brighton Pavilion and the Art Gallery & Museum, later looking at the Gluck exhibition. We  spent the later portion of the day before we could check in to our accommodation looking around Brighton. In the evening I asked the participants to do their first page of sketches and thoughts, and spent some time on building up a questionnaire to give to them on the final day/after commune. This will help me complete research similar to the App Store and hopefully find an area in which to explore for my project.


We had to complete a day planner - paying attention to practical considerations, deciding how and when your plan would be shared with the group, what  the activities will produce for you, and how can you make use of it in the first project of Unit 7. A lot of these points turned out to be redundant as the spontaneity aspect of the manifesto meant we had to pick what we would be doing each day out of a hat on that day. 

Also, as a group, we had to show the class our manifesto. This received mixed feedback as some people found the points unclear, or somewhat unachievable. We will need to change the manifesto slightly. 


We formed our Commune groups, then discussed/planned each day in detail, taking into account factors like location, skills, interventions, ways of working as a collective, and duration. We also finalised our manifesto - statement of intent, practical, social and methodological points etc.