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Explore – Work Placement – Conclusion

Work placement has been a massive learning curve for me, I’ve learnt more about design, the industry and about what it means to be a designer. It has definitely exceeded my expectations of work placement. I found learning about the designers really interesting hearing their stories made me inspired to work for this. One thing that will stick with me from this experience is about creative; reading, listening and traveling as much as I can will help me to find new interests and with new interests comes new sources of creativity and inspiration. This will aid me throughout the rest of my studies because finding creativity recently has been difficult for me and know this will help me in the future. It has also exceeded my expectations by showing me that you learn when you’re working, they don’t expect you to be perfect and it’s a safe environment to throw ideas around.

Doing work placement has reaffirmed to me the reason why I decided to study graphics and has made my desire to work within the industry even stronger. From work placement I wanted to give myself an idea about where I’d possibly like to take my career after university. It has helped me see that currently I think I’d like to work within a studio environment rather than an inhouse design setting. I feel that this experience will change the way I approach my studies and has helped me to develop my own design process further. The ideas and work methods that I have used within the projects., will continue to aid me throughout the course of the rest of my studies.

I had a really positive experience in both my work placements, that if I had the opportunity again there isn’t anything that I would do differently. However, as mentioned before I have learnt many lessons from this experience about design and creativity that I will take these lessons away with me and continue to practise them as much as I can. I would recommend work placement to any students in the future because it has been one of the most useful experiences, I’ve had from being at university. I would say that it would be helpful to any student within the art school as it will help you to see what it’s like to work within your industry, university can only provide a certain amount of reality to the projects. Whereas it’s different when you’re working on a live brief.

Overall, I have really enjoyed my time on work placement it has inspired me to continue to work hard and gain the knowledge and understanding of graphic design. It has also shown me that it’s a continuous industry of learning, as a designer you are learning every step of your career and continue to do so. Over the summer period I am hoping that I can gain some more experience within the industry by finding some placements that I can do within my own time.


Explore: Work Placement – Week 4

For my last week of work placement I have been back at Girl and Boy Studio. I have learnt so much again in my last week of placement, and it has made me realise that I like working within a studio environment. I really like the studio culture and just being around other designers, made me feel creative and I think that this type of environment is where I would like to work in the future. Some of the discussions we had made me realise that I need to look wider for inspiration – read as much as I can, travel and watch things as much as I can. These wider interests might spark something creative something different. It’s also an industry where you can continuously learning, which is one thing that I really like about it, everyone is learning along the way.

At the start of this week I continued with the work that I had been doing in the first two weeks, bringing it together into a presentation like brand guidelines. This was a really useful exercise for me as I learnt about making sure that the brand marque is drawn correctly, with clean lines. Leanne showed me how to use invisibles and guides to insure that my illustrations are accurate. This is something that will help me moving forward when using illustrator for other projects. During this I also learnt more about Pantones, and how to choose/show a Pantone in a brand guidelines. I was able to learn how to show the CMYK and RGB numbers of the Pantones. I found this really interesting as I haven’t considered using a Pantone in my work before. I think in the future this is something that I should continue think about.



Later on in the week I was briefed in on another project that had come into the studio. This was another branding project but looking at brand proposition rather than the marque. I found this an interesting project to look at in my last week as I haven’t experience this type of project before. I learnt that it’s important to think about the words first, the essence of the brand, this will help develop brand language. When speaking to the team I learnt that this is something that really should be at the start of any brand project, start with the essence – what’s the brand about?

I was tasked to come up with some ideas about the language, look and feel for the project. After sitting down and discussing the core values about the brand and what they do, we then separated to think and develop our ideas before bringing them together I learnt that through doing this that I need to stop being so precious about my work, I shouldn’t run with one idea for too long, it needs to be a fast, get the idea out on the board, then move on, the more ideation at this stage the better.

I also got the chance to go to a client meeting with Leanne and Duncan. This was another useful experience for me as it was interesting to see how they work with clients getting shots to help aid illustration for part of the work that they are doing. It was interesting to see how they do this process getting the right angles and movements.


At the end of this week I was also able to sit down with Duncan and go through using InDesign. I found this useful as it showed me how to set up documents for print, talking about ratios, how you need to ensure that you’r working in 4’s when printing, different types of grids, master pages and much more. Overall these past few weeks working in Girl & Boy studio has been a real learning experience, I have learnt more about design, the industry, culture and me as a designer.


Explore: Work Placement – Week 3

Throughout this post I will be answering the following questions.

What have you learnt about yourself as you continue your placement in terms of skills, knowledge and about yourself?

How do you feel about the most recent experiences and have these feelings impacted on your work at any time?

In what ways are you now better prepared for each day in work?

Can you identify areas where you would like to improve your skills, and how do you hope to do this over your final days on placement?

This week I’ve been lucky enough to be able to join the Graphics Team within Cardiff and Vale Health Board. It has been a very different experience for me this week in comparison to the first two weeks, as it’s an in-house environment. This is a really valuable for me to experience this as well as working within a studio as I might one day end up working in this type of environment.


The team were really welcoming to me showing me around and showing me the type of work that they do in the hospital environment. It was really interesting to see what types of jobs they get coming into the department and how they work when it comes to designing. It was interesting to see other designers work, see there working methods and other processes. They have provided me with a various tasks to complete this week while I’m there on placement. Through doing this it will allow to experience everything that might come through the department, to allow me to get the full experience of what happens there. I have learnt through doing the placement in health board that my skills have to be used in a slightly different way to normal, the work is more formal rather than having a creative element to it. However, I think that these jobs that aren’t so creative can pop up in both environments.

The tasks I were set were mainly printed based posters and leaflets which was interesting as due to the environment in which I was working meant that there was a lot of type that needed to be placed, which was different from the other work which I have done. As majority of the task I was doing were print based, I was lucky enough to be able to go down to the print room on site where they print majority of what they produce. This was a really interesting experience for me too see how the take what I do on indesign and then change it into being able to print. I found learning about the printing systems and how they need to check that the colours set by the designers match the printers set up and the paper stock that they are printing onto. I think I’d like to have the opportunity to walk around a larger printers as well in order to understand more about there side of things. As a designer you spend time conversing with printers so to have a small understanding of the terminology used would be beneficial to myself.

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At the start of the work placement with the health board I was nervous that I wasn’t going to enjoy the atmosphere due to my own fear of the hospital setting. This would have initial impacted the work that I did at the start of the first day on the placement, however, as the week went on this didn’t impact my work at all. Knowing that I was strong on the first day of my placement allowed me to prepare myself for each day in work.

While I was in the team I learnt more about my ways of designing, and throughout the last days of my placement I am hoping to be able to learn more about using both InDesign and Illustrator. As I know there are things that I can learn that will help me when designing. I am excited to continue my last week of work placement  and continue learning more the industry.

Explore: Work Placement – Week 2

At the start of my second week on work placement, I am still at Girl & Boy studio in Barry. This week I have been tasked with creating some editorial page layouts using the branding I worked on last week.  Before coming on work placement I was really interested in editorial work, so I was excited to get set this task to learn more about how designers approach editorial design.

After spending the morning designing some spread I had a catch up with Leanne & Duncan who went through the spreads that I had done already. This was really useful as it helped me to see what elements of my editorial were working and which elements I might need to consider further. Part of this process was learning how to use character styles, these I had heard of before but never learnt to use. These basically mean that you can easily use the same point size, typeface and colour throughout the document. Learning how to do will help throughout the course of my editorial work and hopefully working in the industry in the future. Another thing them suggested to me was thinking about the furniture on the page. Not only have I learnt so much about how to use InDesign but I have also gained so much knowledge about the industry. I’ve learnt about new studios I hadn’t heard about before, learnt more about printing methods and about working methods. This has also taught me that I need to have more faith in myself as a designers and not be afraid to show what I’ve worked on.


Over the past week I have so many enjoyable experiences when it comes to learning from the designers at the studio and being able to listen in on client meeting to see how the designers work with the client to come up with ideas. I think I have been able to develop all my skills, in terms of design and communication in the past week, through the task I have taken on and the feedback I have received. I think that I can use all the knowledge that I have gained in the past week to help me improve my design work but also my presentation skills. (This is a key skill that I have to use throughout university).

I have really loved my experience these past two weeks and I think that it will continue to enjoy my work placement. I think because I have enjoyed working in the studio this has impacted the work I’ve created, it has made me feel more confident about my work and has made me feel at ease when sharing my work with the other designers in the studio. I am still keen to learn more about skills, about the industry and about design in general.

Explore: Work Placement – Week 1

For this first week of my work placement I have been at Girl & Boy Studio a branding, website, illustration graphic design studio in Barry.

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Overall this first week has been awesome, I have learn’t so much already and it’s only my first week. The studio has played a massive part in making this first week of work placement and amazing experience. This is my first work placement as a designer in university so everything is new to me and really exciting. I have been absorbing everything in, taking notes and understanding seeing the ins and outs of how industry works.

One my first day the team (Leanne, Alexis & Duncan) were really welcoming and showed me their current project they are working on. This was interesting for me to see because it gave me and insight into how different designers work and find inspiration, it will help me develop my own practice. Throughout the week they asked me to shadow and help on their on going project for the Goodsheds development in Barry. I am lucky enough to be in the studio at the start of this project which means I am able to see and understand the ideation process of creating the concept for the project. Through shadowing the project has enabled me to develop my Adobe Illustrator skills, which is useful as this is the programme which I have struggled with in the past. I have also had the opportunity to explore Adobe After Effects further through experimenting with ideas about how elements of the brand could be animated and used. This again as useful as I haven’t done much animation and I am keen to push myself further with ideas.

During my first week here I have also had the experience of few client progress meetings. It was really useful to see their reasoning behind the design descions as well as seeing all the considerations they made. I found it useful as well to see how they pitch to clients, selling their concept idea, this is something that I will learn for as I think it will help with my presentation skills in the future. Summing up, my first week on placement was amazing and I’m looking forward to continuing this journey. I’m pleased to be gaining more experience of branding and commercial side of graphic design.

First Person – Graphic Novel – Creating The Display

For the final part of the project we were given a space in the library to create a small display of all our work together. As a group we were asked to design the display to make sure everyones work compliment each other and was displayed appropriately. This was another way in which we have collaborated within this module, as well as being able to talk with our peers about the work we’ve produced, this allowed us to work collaboratively to produce a display.

The Final Display Cabinet

In the end I think that the display did showcase everyones work in a positive light and enabled each piece of work to shine in it’s own light. This is something that I have not done before but I think that it has taught me a lot about how to display a group of work together. This will be a useful skill to have when it comes to putting together future shows and displays of work.

I felt that my novel was displayed nicely in the corner of the cabinet, and was placed on angle to allow people to be able to see the back of it as well as the page that it was displaying. It’s placement complimented the other people’s work well giving it space to breathe and stand alone.

First Person – Graphic Novel – Reflective Statement

During this field project I think that I have learnt quite a bit not only about collaboration and the area of art and design, but also about myself as a person. As my project was based on four generations of my family, this meant that I had to look back through family albums/history to obtain the information I needed.  Not only have I learnt that family values have remained the same throughout, but I’ve also found that people share strong similarities appearance wise. Which is something that I’d never thought about before. As family history has always been an interest of mine, through this project I have been able to combine art and design with something that I am interested in. I think that this has enabled me to produce an outcome which is strong.

In terms of learning about creating a graphic novel/sequence of images, I think that I have learnt a great deal particularly about how to construct a narrative. The lectures and workshops that we have done has enabled me to think in more depth about how to construct a narrative. It must have a beginning, middle and end but whether that’s shown in chronological order or not is up to the author of the narrative. They are the masters of time in this context. Furthermore, I think that the project has shown me how I can combine skills together, it doesn’t always have to be digital it can be a combination. This is something that I should continue to remember when working on future projects so that my work isn’t always the same and I’m having variety of experiments before the final outcome.

Through research in this project I think I have found some new ways of finding inspiration which I might not have thought about prior to starting this project. One of these method was through visiting an exhibition, even an exhibition which might have a vague link to topic which you are working on. I’ve learnt that you can create inspiration from something that isn’t directly linked to the project topic, and it can help you produce a strong and well thought out outcome. This is an idea for inspiration and idea development that I will take back to my subject area, drawing on my experiences that might not be a direct link to the topic.

I have also learnt how collaboration can help even when you are creating an individual outcome. Throughout the course of project, I have worked closely with Meg, who’s initial inspiration/theme for her novel was similar to mine. This has meant that we were able to bounce ideas between each other and reach new ideas that we might not have been able to create working alone. This type of collaboration I think has worked well for me as it means that I haven’t be waiting just for the tutorials, I’ve been able to gain feedback throughout the course of development stages. Having the ability to work with these collaborative ideas has given me an insight into how a studio environment might work.

At the beginning of this project I didn’t think that I was going to be able to link this back to my subject area. I was nervous about the project as I initially thought that it would mean that I needed to draw characters which is something that I know I struggle with. However, I feel that I’ve been able to think about creating the novel similar to how I would put together an editorial piece. As the project started to develop, I found that I was getting into the idea and enjoying it more than I thought I would at the start. I think through having the chance to use photographs rather than drawings meant that I was also able to link it back to my A level photography learning, where we did a lot of narrative through imagery workshops.

I feel that during the project have been able to create an experimental graphic novel, even though it’s not completed yet, I think that the concept of the narrative is different and new. Through experimenting with mixed media, I think that it has enabled me to find new avenues of ideas to venture down. Throughout all the developments I think that the initial final outcome has potential to work if the novel was to be put into production.

Overall, I think that this project has enabled me to learn about a different subject area but has also given me skills and methods that I can take back to my own area of practice and use to develop my work. The project enabled us to set new rules, rules that we might not work in. It has offered me the chance to move away from my comfort zone, move out of the creative boundaries I have set myself for my own practice.


First Person – Graphic Novel – Development #5

As the project comes to a close there were a few things that I still needed to figure out and develop. Firstly being the name of the novel/narrative. This is something that I have purposely left until last as I felt that if I gave it a name it would effect my thoughts towards it hence why I have left it until last. I started to brain storm a couple of names including: Generations, Connections and Four of Us. However, none of these I felt linked to the context of the narrative, or what I had learnt through creating this book. I thought about the lines in the book and what they represent, these lifelines in the book show key characters. They are individual bloodlines of people, which is why the name Bloodline came into the conversation. Bloodline is to do with a set of ancestors and your heritage, which is essentially what the narrative of this book shows, how each generation came into being. I wanted the book to also have a small description on the back (even the mini mockup) which would give the viewer and insight into what the graphic novel was about.

“Bloodline explores the timeline of four generations. Inspired by a personal interest in family history, this novel delves into the key events which have shaped the family structure. Through the use of personal family photographs and mixed media Bloodline shows clear connections between the generations.” 

Furthermore, I also needed to develop the Marquette /mini version of the novel, which I felt was important because it would show how the book could work on a larger scale. Using kettle stitch binding method I was able to bind all the pages together using the method. When I presented my work I found that people felt that the size I had created the mini version at seemed the right size, they said that it felt personal and personalised, almost like it could fit in your pocket.

With these small developments to the project I think that this has allowed me to see my novel as though it could be put into production. However, I do like the handmade element almost as if its more of a one of artist book rather than something that could be put into production.

First Person – Graphic Novel – Development #4

Following the tutorial, I printed out some copies of the work (in black and white) with some of the developments that had been suggested to me. I managed to purchase some paint markers which were in different colours to enable me to be able to physically draw the lines onto the spreads rather than have them digital. I think that this works really well because it allowed each of the hearts to be different rather than all be too polished. I also think having all the lines hand drawn in the paint markers given them more resemblance to threads. I have also changed it so that the type is sitting within the line rather than on top of the line. I think that this makes the lines flow better and is easier to read.

Previously I had thought about the lines being different shades of the same colour, however, as the project has developed further I felt it would be more appropriate for each individuals line to be a different colour. Through doing this would allow the reader to be able to distinguish between characters easier throughout the course of the novel.

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I have also started to develop and created the section spreads; these I used a similar approach where I took a paint marker and showed all the individuals’ lifelines who were present in that section. I think that this works really well as when I was developing this digitally it wasn’t look right instead it seems as though the lines were too chunky; the paint markers are the better option.


Also, I developed the spread that shows the passing of my great-grandfather. As mentioned, before I was just doing to use the lines that flow throughout the book to show this. Initially I started by including the heart symbols within the lines, but on reflection the symbols were meant to show the person but as there’s no individuals to show as the spread is plain, I felt that this didn’t sit right. I then went on to develop a spread that used the colours of the line within out the hearts. Comparing these two spread it was clear that the plain lines were more powerful, and I think communicated the message better.