Monday, 6 May 2013

OUGD401- Self Evaluation

 Module Code   

 Module Title
Context of Practice 1


James Keefe

1.  What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

I now have a better understanding of how to write in an academic format. I had never written anything like this before so I found the essay a challenge. I am much better at analysing images and writing a descriptive response to express my opinions in detail. I have improved my time management skills by scheduling my time better to make sure I meet deadlines.

2. What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?

I have learnt how to review my research and apply it to my own work to express my own opinions and ideas. This informed my layout and aesthetic for my publication to reflect the context.

3. What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

I think I have developed my ability to design with simplicity to clearly communicate a message. I enjoy designing modernist informed work and hope to make this my signature in the future. I want to further develop my understanding of minimal design to improve my designing skills.

4. What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?

I would like to improve my research skills to further explore a subject to reach the best possible outcome. I need to not rely so much on the internet and source different methods of research. I’ve started to use the library more, which has been really helpful, however, I need to explore more methods of generating research.

5. Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?

Experiment with different binding techniques.
I relied on a shop to bind my publication that messed up the order of the pages. This lead to me having to compromise my design to compensate for a mistake, which wasn’t my fault. If I had looked into binding it myself I could of prevented it happening.

Source different methods of research.

I relied too much on the internet and used a select amount of books to collect my research. If think I need to use different sources to fully explore the subject.

Focus my writing.

When writing my essay I talked about a lot of different areas, where as I now know its better to focus it on two or three subjects and talk about them more in depth. I make sure I do this next time I write an academic paper.

Get someone to proof read my work.

Unfortunately I found a typo in my publication. I read it over and over to make sure they were no mistakes and after I got it printed I found a typo. If I had got someone to read it as well, I possible could have prevented this.

Improve my note taking skills.

I took notes in all the lectures but struggled to keep up with the speaker to write clear understandable notes. I need to think of a better system of how I document the lectures so I can refer back to them if needed.

6.How would you grade yourself on the following areas:
(please indicate using an ‘x’) 

5= excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = average, 1 = poor







Quantity of work produced


Quality of work produced


Contribution to the group


The evaluation of your work is an important part of the assessment criteria and represents a percentage of the overall grade. It is essential that you give yourself enough time to complete your written evaluation fully and with appropriate depth and level of self-reflection. If you have any questions relating to the self evaluation process speak to a member of staff as soon as possible.

OUGD401- Studio Brief 2- A Brief History of- Final Design

Digital Book Version 

Physical Book 

OUGD401- Studio Brief 2- A Brief History of.... Development


The structure of my publication will be broken down into five sections:

  • Modernism
I intent to briefly touch on modernism to give the publication some historical context to show where the initial philosophies derived and the factors that contributed. For example, the progression of technology and experimental use of new materials, the idea of using design to improve society and the introduction of the machine to produce goods for the masses. 

  • The Bauhaus
The bauhaus had a big impact on the modernist movement and promoted functionality of a design over the form. The phrase 'Form Follows Function' is most commonly associated with the Bauhaus and became the philosophy behind their designs.  

  • Dieter Rams 
Dieter Rams is an industrial designer from Germany who describes his approach to design as 'Less but better.' I want to suggest that his philosophy has evolved from the ideas of the Bauhaus and progressed with time and technology to better suit societies needs. 

  •  Braun
Ram's worked for the electrical company 'Braun' and created many influential designs that are still relevant today. 

  • Apple  
Finally, I want to compare the designs of Jonathan Ive at Apple to Ram's at Braun, to show the success of his philosophy within current design.

To summarise, I want to communicate the progression of modernist philosophies and show the success of functional design and its ongoing presence within design. I will communicate this through the use of quotes, images and text used sparingly to reflect the ideas of function.


From the research I conducted, the most common format within modernist publications was a simple square. I have decided to use this format for my publication because I think its relevant to the content as modernism favours simple geometric forms. 

Im using 'Neue Grafik' as a reference for my publication because I want to achieve a similar clinical, functional layout. 

I have chosen the following dimensions for my publication:

Dimensions: 180x180mm

This will give me plenty of space to layout the content whilst still being able to utilise the negative space to achieve a clinical aesthetic.


I have decided to bind my publication using the wire bound technique because it reflects the ideas of truth to materials and it will allow the publication to be opened flat which reflects the ideas of function.

I have chosen to print my publication on water paper stock because its a nice off white colour and thicker than paper which will be beneficial to the structure as Im wire binding it. 


To begin, I have mapped out some rough layouts to start to give me an understanding of how I'm going to structure my publication. I want to layout the contents in a functional way to guide the eye round the page by using hierarchy with type and image, experimenting with size and colour to draw specific focus.


The thumbnails with a dashed box around are the ones I will develop further when I come to constructing my publication. The ones I have chosen, I feel best reflect the context however, they are a rough guide at the moment and the body copy may inform the layout once its added. 

Progress Crit- Presentation

We had to create a presentation for the progress crit to show our concept, development and resolution.

The feedback I received was useful and has given me a clearer sense of direction to allow me to move forward with my presentation.

To achieve synthesis, it was suggested that I strip it down the bare essentials to reflect the idea 'less but better.' The amount of body copy was questioned and suggested that it didn't need a lot of copy. It was also suggested that I use colour to create hierarchy within the text, particularly heading and subheadings. 

I agree with the suggestions made however, the modernism/historical section will need to have more copy to give context. I am going to use two colourscyan and magenta, throughout the book to high light areas.


I used an eight field grid for my document because I like proportions and the amount of possible solutions it allows. I used the same dimensions on the top, bottom and outside margins (10mm) and (15mm) on the inside margin to allow space for the binding.

I decided to just have the phrase 'less but better' on the front cover because I felt any more text would defeat the purpose of the idea. 

I decided to put a quote by Dieter Rams on the first page for impact and to enhance the meaning of the quote.

I decided to put the subheading 'A Brief History of...' on this page instead of the front cover with a precise statement of what the book is about.

I didn't change the contents pages layout but I introduced the two colours that feature throughout the document in the dashed lines.

I kept these two pages the same layout as the thumbnails because they worked when the body copy was added. I had to experiment with tracking and point size to get the copy to fit properly. 9 point size worked the best with 11pt leading. I will use the same throughout for continuity and function. I like how the Utopia heading is on the right page because its reflects the idea of harmony and balance.

I had to rethink the layout for this page because I wanted the size of the headings to be the same throughout and it wouldn't fit on the page how I'd originally laid it out. This made me think that the headings should all be on the left page apart from the Utopia heading to make it stand out.

I was going to have an image of the Bauhaus but decided against it as I felt it wasn't necessary so I replaced it with a quote. I laid out the body copy to reflect the symbols positions on the left page to create a balanced layout.

As well as using colour, I used the thick block lines as a means of hierarchy. I laid out the copy on this page to lead the eye diagonally across the page because its a two part section.  

Here I used magenta to highlight the word 'Interpreting.' I did this because the text on the following page in the same colour is the interpretation of 'form follows function.'

I simplified this layout to one column of copy that is central. I decided to use cyan for the Ram's sections as he is the main point of focus.

This is the first page of the '10 principles of good design.' I tried the numbers on a large scale like the original thumbnail but I think it was too over powering. I made it the same size and the same positioning as the images so your eye looks at the number then the image then down to the text. The following pages of the '10 principles',  will have the same layout.

I decided to position the image on the right page to coincide with the photo of Dieter on the previous page.

This layout hasn't changed much apart from I decided to leave some negative space towards to inner margin to let the eye take it in better.

Same as before, I kept the layout similar to the Dieter page as they are the main subjects, keeping it centred. However, I broke the copy into two columns because the left column is about Apple and the right Jonathan Ive. I think this works well alongside the image to create balance.

I decided to rearrange the images to work alongside the heading. It opened up space for the copy which fits nicely alongside the straight line of the heading.

I decided to end the book with the same quote at the start, highlighting certain words to make a statement and to sum up the publications message.

Digital Book Version 

Physical Book 

Once I had got my publication printed I took it to a shop to get it professionally bound. The guy that bound it put the pages in the wrong order so some of the pages had the holes punched on the wrong side. I had to make a decision to get the rest of the pages hole punched on the right hand side and left the front and back cover to try and incorporate it into the design. As a result, the lettering on the contents page got punched but apart from that I don't think it looks too bad.