Science & Magic: Evaluation

Visual Communication

I believe my final product meets the needs of the brief as I have successfully illustrated a double page spread for a magazine using the New Scientist & Nautilus Magazine as inspiration into my final design. I have created one large portfolio illustration that fills up an entire page of the magazine article, and the magazine article I chose was ‘Of Illusion & Delusion’. I have used 100% my own design work and as this has project has been illustration based there has been no opportunity for copyright in imagery and also in the article as I have written the article myself.

I undertook secondary researching in this project in order to have a strong understanding of the two magazine companies that I am using as inspiration for. The reason for this is because I needed to know which techniques they use, what styles they have and any small things that I need to put in my final design to correlate with the magazine companies. I used the web for the majority of my research however a few of my peers had copies of the New Scientist magazine and so I was able to get a hands on feel of the magazine, of which I did take some photographs of and take inspiration from it.

The visual communication within my products is very clear and strong, the reason for this is because I used something we see in everyday life, wether it be us driving, walking, cycling or running was always see signs to direct us. My visual message of the large image was to say that there are two directions ‘religion’ or ‘science’ and both of which take their own complete different pathways. I illustrated this through use of semiotics, but bringing in the scientific elements (space, the earth, the galaxies etc.) but also with use of some religious symbols such as the yin and yang. The reason I used both scientific and religious references throughout the design was because I wanted the article to be seen as unbiased as possible, the reason for this is because the target audience would be larger instead of it being very narrow to certain people. As well as opening the target audience I wanted to reduce all possibilities to cause upset ethically, therefore needed to ensure that it was “fair”.

I do not believe that my products fail to meet the needs of the brief at all as I have successfully followed each step from the brief and completed every aspect that has been expect of me.

I feel as though the main strength of my final product would be the portfolio piece (large image) of the double page spread, the reason for this is because it attracts the eye of the audience into the magazine article. It has very vibrant colours and so brings in the readers eye. The illustration is also fairly basic and isn’t too extravagant, therefore allows the reader to have a clear understanding of the image and so the visual communication is almost impossible to be misunderstood. Another aspect of the final product I really like is the contrast between the left page and the right page of the double page spread. They are both extremely different, the illustration is very informal and almost child-like, whereas the article is very formal and professional. The reason I chose to portray this in this way was because I wanted the readers eye to be attracted to the magazine by the imagery, and then when they are reading the article they actually digest, approve and take the article seriously as the topic science and religion is extremely sensitive and I wanted to ensure it was factual.

The only weaknesses within this brief I feel would be the article itself, the reason for this is because I struggle to write professionally and formally, and so the article itself may not read as well as it potentially could if I were to have used a source from the internet. However this could cause copyright conflict which is not what I would want to happen.

Reflection of own working practises

When we were originally given this brief the deadline was fairly lengthy of which I was extremely happy with, the reason for this was because I had 3 different briefs/ project son-going at the same time. I had the charity rebranding project, a project for my charity and also this project, as well as small personal projects I work on in my spare time. As I had a lot of projects on the go at one time I was constantly working and I felt as though this helped me time keep as I had a strong structure of what I was doing and when, and when I needed to have things done by. Although in the middle of this brief we had an interim crit and I hadn’t done a lot of work up until this point therefore it may have come across as though my time keeping was poor and I hadn’t done any work, however this was not the case. The reason my crit wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been was purely down to the fact that I had multiple other projects on the case which had a much closer deadline and so I needed to prioritise my workload of importance. My charity had a tight deadline as they had to go live with the designs for the Christmas season, therefore the main focus was on that.

My understanding of the brief was crystal clear, I read the brief in-depth and had a strong understanding of what was expected of me. I had to design a double page spread using inspiration from the New Scientist and Nautilus Magazine, we had to choose wether we were going to do illustration or photography and also the article we were going to design for on the double page spread.

My research in this brief wasn’t as strong as I felt it could’ve been, however I undertook just enough research in order to have an understanding of the magazines that I needed to use as inspiration for this project. I would’ve preferred to have done a lot more research however I feel that because of the amount of projects that were going on with the charity and personal projects, I feel that this has let my research lack a little more in this brief.

I enjoyed this project as I am not as strong in illustration as I am photography therefore it was a different side of graphics design and I enjoyed advancing and improving my skills in this section of graphics design. I would really like to use illustration more in my work and will endeavour to improve over time, and I feel that Project X will be a great way for my to really test myself.

Recently I have been working very well at home which is a little out of the ordinary as I am generally distracted with my computer or TV in my room. However I have refurbished my room and moved furniture around and so as the room has a different layout and colour theme to it my mind thinks it is in a different environment and I have been working and focusing much better. The environment is very important for studying and that has been proven by psychologists and scientists.

‘Good Design’ Evaluation

Throughout this project I have been very sustainable, I have reduced the amount of possible prints are possible which is great. The way in which I reduced my prints was by doing a test print on poor quality paper originally in order to get the correct measurements, find any spelling/ grammatical errors and colour issues. After this I found a small error with measurements I went to the main print and everything printed out perfectly, therefore I minimised all potential upsets and saved myself some money with high quality printing costs.

I considered the ethical implications for this project and the main ethical implications was the conflict between science and religion. Religion causes a lot of conflict throughout the world we live in today, it causes war and science causes upset towards religions as they re being ‘proved’ wrong. The way in which I wanted to remove all possible ethical issues associated with this project was to ensure that my design was as neutral as possible, by having the same amount of points for religion and there were for science – therefore it couldn’t be unfair. Secondly I made sure that the illustration had elements of both sides within it to again make a healthy balance. Thirdly I ensured that every point in the article was factual, and also valid. The reason I thought about this was because I am a socially conscious designer and am always thinking about my future and how to progress and not just thinking about the design job (money) at the time.

For me I personally feel as though I have been more socially conscious in this project compared to previous projects as I have always been consciously thinking about ethical implications, how to prevent waste etc. I still believe that these projects are helping me more and more to become a socially conscious designer as each project I am improving.

My personal target in the future would be to always ensure that I am consciously thinking about how the audience could interpret my work, and to remove all potential upsets in my designs if need-be.


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