Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Evaluation: DFGA Yearbook

When I originally agreed to work in a group, we where proposing ideas for the Graphic Design yearbook. It was something that excited me as I was interested in expanding my editorial skills whilst increasing my abilities to delegate responsibilities and compromise on design decisions. I was pleased with what our group, consisting of myself, Naomi, Rob and Steph, submitted. However we then found that we did not get the BAGD yearbook and where instead assigned the DFGA one. I was initially apprehensive as I didn't even know fully what this course entailed. I was even more deterred when Steph said she no longer wanted to be part of the group, and there was a moment when I considered leaving as well. However Maya then joined the group and we arranged our first meeting with Mike, which personally opened my eyes to what this brief was all about. And I'm glad I decided to stay part of the group.

It quickly dawned on me that this brief would not be about me doing what I usually do. I wouldnt be able to just sit in a little bubble and draw all the random stuff that pops into my head. Most importantly this had nothing to do with 'pop culture' the driving force behind pretty much every one of my other briefs.

Instead this brief would be about teamwork. It would be about working as a group, trying to resolve our problems in a way that satisfied each member, making sure not one of us felt left out, or as if our creative input was being ignored. This took a while for me to get my head around but once I did I felt much more involved in the brief.

In regards to my contribution to the brief I feel I was perhaps the most design driven. I certainly didn't take on the 'leader' of the group role. It wouldn't have made any sense for me to do this, as it's not my personality to organise other people and set meetings and basically do all the 'official' stuff. However, just because I was not the project manager does not mean I didn't have an important role.

I was pleased when my double page spread layouts where chosen for the final publication. In regards to the final outcome I'll admit that I was slightly disappointed with the quality of the resolution. I think there was a lot more potential for experimental designs and a more playful layout, however this is the main problem when working with a client. There where moments when I wholeheartedly disagreed with what Mike said he wanted, and it took everything in me to design around his specifications.

If this brief has taught me anything it's the importance of curbing my personal design preferences and listening to what the client wants instead. Even though this may not always be the right direction to go in, it's important to remain tactful and try to combine both approaches to come up with a design that suits both. I think this was achieved with out yearbook. Though if I had the option of doing it again... I'm not sure I would.

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