So, this is the final project of the year. Because of this, we have been asked to reflect back on the year. The brief for the project is ‘to create a piece of work that demonstrates and embodies what you have learnt this year.’ The work for this project could be in any format, as long as it’s personal.

I started this project by trying to think of everything I think I’ve learnt. I chose to not focus on any technical skill that I might have learnt because I thought these were less important that the general things I’ve learnt this year. I came up with 9 different things, which are:

  • Meaning behind design is just as important as how it looks.
  • Experiment! It can lead to new, good ideas and different techniques give different results and different meanings/connotations.
  • Confidence makes a huge difference.
  • Confidence in ideas.
  • Confidence in presentations.
  • Confidence to speak up.
  • Confidence outside of graphics, social situations.
  • Everything has connotations!
  • Idea generation is as much of a skill as technical ones are.

After doing this, I started mind mapping, which is what sparked my idea of doing postcards. I thought this would be a good idea because postcards gave me lots of possibilities and different routes to go down.

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I thought about possibly doing something like Mr Bingo’s Hate Mail with the 9 things I’ve learnt, where I had each sentence written out in a nice style with an illustration to go with it, but then I had a better idea. I thought I could make the postcards very personal by making them seem as if I had been writing them home all year, handwriting each one. I really liked this idea because I thought it fit the brief very well.

To make the postcards even more personal, I had the idea of screen printing the designs on the front because the screen printing workshop was my favourite workshop from the first term. This meant the designs would have to use simple, blocks of colour and stick to 3 or 4 colours for each. This is where I started to think of what the designs would be of.

One of the biggest things about coming to CSAD, for me, has been getting to know, and falling in love with, Cardiff. I felt like I should try and show this in the designs, which is why I tried to think of places in Cardiff that mean something to me. The subjects for the designs that I decided on are either things which I take notice of a lot or things which hold a meaning for me. Here are some of my initial thumbnails:

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After deciding on the subjects for the designs, I took a trip to town to photograph as many of these subjects as I could, to help me with the design process, to make sure the designs were accurate. As the deadline got closer, I realised that my idea of screen printing my postcards wasn’t going to be feasible, but I liked the idea of very simple designs that used block colours, so decided to stick with this.

Here are my designs, with the reasoning for each:

BBlockB Block – This was the view I had when I would get distracted and daydream in Term 2 Constellation lectures.

BusBus Station – This is the platform at the bus station that I get the bus back to halls from, so I’ve seen this a lot.

JengaDrinking Jenga – This is to represent an aspect of the social side of student life, as drinking jenga has become a party favourite game.

JLewisJohn Lewis – This is the structure in town, outside John Lewis. I can’t help but look at this thing every time I walk past.

LondonLondon Eye – This is here because of our 4 Designers trip to London. I haven’t picked the Eye just because it’s an iconic landmark of London, but because I remember meeting up with people on the third day in the McDonalds below it.

PlasPlas Gwyn –  This is the view of Plas Gwyn that I have from the bus stop opposite, so I’ve seen this a lot!

SophiaSophia Walk – I see this street sign every time I catch the bus into town, and every time it makes me laugh a little.

StadiumMillennium Stadium – One of my favourite sights in Cardiff. I love how these supports look on a sunny day, with a really blue sky behind them.

TableFootballTable Football – I’ve put this in because it reminds me of the graphic’s studio and how fun it’s been to play with others on the course.

The writing for the backs of the cards was a challenge for me. I’m not a very good, or very a confident writer, but I think that what I wrote work well. I think I’ve managed to make each piece sound believable and I’ve managed to work one thing I’ve learned into each, while still making it sounds natural and not forced. I spent quite a while practicing my handwriting for this too because, although I wanted the writing on the back to look like handwriting, I needed them to be legible, which my normal handwriting isn’t. This practice also helped me realise that I had to edit a few of them down, for them to fit on the back of a postcard.

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I’m very pleased with the work I’ve produced for the project. I think the designs of the postcards are of high quality and the writing on the back works well, but they’re not what I am most pleased with about my work. I’m most pleased with the idea. I think my idea of postcards that have been sent home fits the brief very well, as they are an interesting format and easily personal way to display what I have learnt. I’m also very happy with how personal I’ve been able to make this work.

Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed this project. It has given me the chance to properly reflect back over this first year and look at the biggest things I am taking away from it. I also think that this is the best piece of work I’ve produced this year, which feels like a very nice way to end it.


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