Digital Me: Portfolio, CV, Cover Letter, Manifesto & Online Presence

As part of Digital Me were asked to write a manifesto, CV, cover letter, create a portfolio and an online presence based on who I am as a designer, considering my values and visual style. Being in second year this is more than likely going to change as I am still figuring out who I am as a designer.

Manifesto:

Manifesto_Maris

This is my manifesto and the key area discussed is visual perception and the importance of considering that within my designs. I believe that developing an understanding on this topic is essential in being able to communicate as effectively as possible to the audience. It also discusses the type of designer I am and how I enjoy using a range of material, combining materials and techniques to create new combinations.

Cover Letter:

cover_letter

This is my cover letter aimed at Matt Baxter from Baxter and Bailey. It is an agency I am truly a fan of and would love to complete a work placement there, therefore this email is directed and personalised towards them.

Online Presence:

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marislatham.myportfolio.com

I have created an online portfolio of my work in order to reach more people and to increase my digital presence. I also have a twitter and Instagram account dedicated to my passion for graphics to again increase my presence and to also create links to my website in order to reach more people.

Portfolio:

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Here is a digital PDF portfolio of my work that I would send to agencies in order to gain valuable work experience. It is a sample of my work shown in the strongest way possible.

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Persuasion: Updated

Equal Pay.

Reflecting on feedback I received, I went over my work in order to refine and improve it. The key area of development was to utilise the mask used within the design on the touchpoints, showing the woman wearing the mask.

Cups:

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cup_hand

Based on feedback I received to alter the poster and GIF to highlight the female wearing the mask, I have changed the illustration on the coffee cooler on the cup by adding in eyelashes to give it a more feminine feel and to highlight that it is a woman wearing a mask. This illustration now sits across all three platforms giving it more consistency. I have also amended the text on the cups so that they don’t curve downwards – a small change, but one that was needed.

Poster:

poster_equal_eyelashes

Based on feedback I received, I have changed the poster with the image of the mask to cover the face of the woman. This is to highlight that the mask is being worn by woman – giving more context to the poster. It also brings it to life and is more symbolic.

GIF:

GIF_slower

Again, following feedback I received, I have made it more prominent that the mask is going over the face of the woman to give it more context and to again make it more symbolic. This also helps to create consistency across all three platforms.

Full Campaign:

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WCIA.

Feedback I received from WCIA work was that I did not create a user journey in order for people to understand how they would navigate through the site. Based on this advice, I made a simple animation showing how the site would work. This then takes the viewer on a journey, essentially creating that user journey.

I do think it makes a difference as it brings the website to life and makes it more real. People are able to see how it would work, understanding the features on the site itself.

On Display: Updated

Following feedback based on my work, I have gone back and refined it in order to improve the brand system on the whole.

Posters:

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A3_Landscape_info

For the posters I have included more information in order to make it more realistic and enhance the use of hierarchy within the design. I have applied the same treatment to the landscape poster in order to improve and refine it. I have also changed the strapline from; ‘A journey of the unkown’ to; ‘A journey into the unkown’ based on feedback received. The strapline now sits alongside the context of the exhibition better, as it makes more sense.

Signage/ Wayfinding:

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For the signage, I have made two different versions for the directions, one with an arrow head and the other without (for both left and right). This is because both are potentially strong, however, one is more clear in its communication than the other. I have also redesigned the male and female toilet signs by using a continuous line style illustration as I feel it works more in line with the visual language that sits across the brand.

Exhibition Space:

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I have refined the concept development through designing the comment card wall better, using text on the wall to give the individual more context. The individual can also do what they like with the comment cards, giving them more choice. With the cards being thrown on the floor as well as placed on the wall, it pushes the idea of the personal connection contrasting the volume of cards – as discussed on the previous page. The cards may then be found throughout the entire exhibition – rather than just on the wall itself. I have also included wayfinding on the floor to continue guiding them, as well as placing a sign to direct them

Pl{us} Show

This years degree show was called Pl{us} and it was made up of a range of work, no two being the same. It was very inspiring seeing the work that was created and really demonstrated the beauty and power graphics can create. Probably my favourite part of the show was seeing everyones designed dissertation. They were beautiful pieces of work that really celebrated the hard work put in to writing a dissertation.

There were some stand out pieces in the show in my opinion being…

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This piece was a favourite of mine for its stand out typography, expressive colours and the topics it explored as they were current and topical, allowing discussion to be created. I also liked it for its display, it was not a standard format of placing a poster or snippet on the wall, it was out of the box and allowed it to stand out more in relation to the other pieces in the space.

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This is another piece that stood out to me because at first I didn’t understand what it was trying to communicate, which caused me and a friend to stop and try to work it out. When we read that it was exploring the issue of chronic pain and that the symptoms are never seen I though having the white vinyl on the wall was a great way to display that. The words were difficult to see at first – which meant I took more of an interest to try and work it all out. This in itself makes it a successful piece in my opinion as it stopped me in my tracks and got me interested. It also got me talking about chronic pain.

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This is someones dissertation piece, but was one of my favourites for its bright colours and untraditional format. Its not a design that would come to mind when thinking of an editorial, but I think this is a clever way of instantly dividing up the contents of the dissertation in a visual way, breaking it down into small, sizeable sizes, making it less daunting for someone to pick it to read.

 

ADZ5888 Reflective Writing

For field I completed Mind Your Own Business and the Morocco field trip. They were both very different projects that allowed me explore areas beyond graphic design, such as product design in Mind Your Own Business and textiles and illustration in Morocco.

Mind Your Own Business allowed me to work both specifically on my practice and in areas beyond it. I have never attempted to set up a business before and was a challenge to do within five weeks. I was assigned team leader and head of branding and marketing. Being team leader allowed me to go beyond my comfort zone and work with new people and direct the project, ensuring we stayed on track and avoided any conflict of interest. Being in charge of the branding and marketing was an area I was familiar with and allowed me to put what I had learned in subject previously into practice. It allowed me to develop my branding skills but also pushed my marketing skills, developing a tone of voice and visual style that reflected the company values. It was a challenge to do within the tight time constraints we had. However, I also learned how to write a business plan, work with a product designer on the making of our products and also review finances. Learning about all of these meant that I came back into subject not only feeling more confident about one aspect of my discipline, but also with the knowledge and understanding of business, skills that I will be able to take forward into employment – as it is a business at the end of the day.

Going to Morocco for the second field project was an amazing experience. Marrakech is such a bustling city filled with tradesmen, bread and terracotta coloured buildings. From that trip myself and my group worked together to create a book exploring the senses of Morocco. It brought together fabrics, dyes, spices, illustrations, sound and photography to create a colourful, textured book that people could interact with through touch, sight, sound and smell (unfortunately we were unable to express taste). We brought together our knowledge of textiles and editorial layout together to build the artefact. This meant I was working with textiles as a medium for a book, meaning I was exploring ideas I would not have thought of had I stayed within my discipline. I was able to see and understand the value textiles can bring to a project – predominately touch and texture. However, I also worked on developing a typeface inspired by Morocco and Arabic calligraphy. This allowed me to create work specific to my discipline and pushed me to learn how to even design a typeface. It was something I had never done before and meant I was again able to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn a new area within graphics.

Overall, I believe Field has pushed me to explore other disciplines, whilst also being able to develop my own practice and myself as a designer. Mind Your Own Business allowed me to come back into subject with more confidence regarding branding whereas Morocco allowed me to come back into subject with skills surrounding type design as well as being open to using a wide range of materials to communicate my message. I have thoroughly enjoyed both field projects this year and I believe they have been crucial in allowing me to develop as a designer not only within my own practice, but through other practices and seeing how they can be brought together. I have been able to work with some great people who I now see as friends which has shown me how powerful collaboration is, when it goes well.

 

 

Zenith Media: Print Centre

On Wednesday 23rd May I went on a visit to Zenith print studio. It was an extremely interesting visit, giving an insight into the printing process. I learnt a great deal throughout the day, about paper stock, the printers themselves and the journey from customer inquiry through to execution.

There are a tremendous number of steps in place before the product is made and it is clear that each part is crucial in being able to complete the order for the customer. It has definitely made me think more about the process of printing and the importance in building a relationship with a print studio in order to talk through what is needed for the best end result. I also realised how it is essential not underestimate the length of time a print job can take and therefore not to leave the order to the last minute.

Overall, it was a very insightful and interesting visit that has opened my eyes further to the printing world and as a designer, what I am required to know

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Digital Me: Level 4&5 Collaboration

We have been tasked to work collaboratively with level 4 students to think about the things we care about and what makes good design to think about who we are as designers.

What do you care about?

  • Having a good career I love
  • Happiness
  • Making connections
  • Exploring the world
  • Equality
  • Progression
  • Unification

Why do you care about these things?

  • It makes it worthwhile
  • To keep you healthy
  • Don’t want to be isolated
  • Draw inspiration and gain experiences
  • Progression is great
  • Constant development

 

What makes good graphic design?

  • Has a purpose
  • Well researched and factually correct
  • Legible and understandable
  • Always thinking of the target audience
  • Knowing the appropriate format
  • Breaking boundaries
  • Consideration for ethics
  • Collaboration
  • For the greater good
  • Sustainability

Why do these points make good graphic design?

  • Allows people to connect with the design
  • Gives substance to the design
  • Avoid redundancy
  • Making sure the message is reaching the right people
  • Shows understanding in what you’re trying to communicate
  • To display progress

 

Finally, we looked at various portfolios to see what makes a good portfolio and what makes a bad one. We looked at multiple examples and drew out some key points.

What makes a good portfolio?

  • It has a personal quality to it
  • Showcases their best quality work
  • Considered the viewer and the user experience

What makes a bad portfolio?

  • Doesn’t showcase the work immediately – does depend on the context of the designer
  • Lack of context
  • Feels too corporate
  • Useless information

 

What today has done is get us to think about various things that make us who we are and to think about the qualities and characteristics we have as designers. It has made me think more about my place in the world and who I am as a designer. It was a valuable day to begin thinking about these questions, which will help determine the direction our portfolios and CV’s take. It was also interesting working wth level 4 as it gave us a chance to get know each other a little.