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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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.

 

WCIA – Client Presentation

In order to show my final designs, I was required to present the outcome to the client along with the rest of my colleagues in my group.

Positives:

In reflection to the presentation I think I presented my work confidently and spoke clearly. I also think that the overall pace of the presentation was consistent and wasn’t rushed, presenting key ideas at a pace the client could absorb the information given.  Finally, I think as a group we spoke equally and did not interrupt one another, respecting each others part in the presentations.

Improvements:

I do think that I could have prepared a little better for the presentation as I did stumble on my words occasionally and felt it was not my strongest presentation. I also realised that I did not say my name when I introduced my work, nor did I conclude my presentation by saying something like ‘thank you for listening‘ or ‘I’ll be happy to answer any questions should you have any’, which is slightly unprofessional and therefore does not come across well – this was also something that the client pointed highlighted. Finally, I think as a group we could have worked together a little better to work out the introduction of the presentation, as that was a last minute delegation and came across slightly unprofessional in my opinion.

Client Feedback:

Susie was a great client and spoke very highly of all our work and seemed pleased with the outcomes. She said that she like the consideration to the various audiences, such as the students and teachers on the global learning page. She did suggest that the navigation bar could be bolder and stand out a little more. Finally, she liked the side bar that appeared on the pages but wondered how well that would work with large amounts of text and that it would perhaps work on the top under the main navigation bar, as a sub navigation bar.

 

 

WCIA – Final Outcome

After taking on board the clients feedback, as well as the feedback received from my colleagues and lecturers. I felt my initial design was too dated and although was clean and much more refined, was not very contemporary. I was also told that using a plain colour circle on the sub pages lacked life in the design and that I should consider changing it to an image, like on the home page. I will also change the typeface, as the one I have used (Lemance) is very dated and does not feel right for the site itself.

Here is the final outcome:

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Altogether I have created a homepage, a page for each theme, a more in depth about page and a get involved page. I have therefore covered each of the pages from the navigation bar and gone down another level to show what people would see if they clicked on one of the links on the page.

I am pleased with the overall design, it feels much more contemporary, moving from rectangle buttons to burger buttons, has made a huge impact as well as changing the typeface to Open Sans immediately creates a friendlier and more modern design. The use of negative space gives each of the elements on the page room to breathe with the use of key text aiming to avoid any confusion from visitors who wish to know who the WCIA are and what they do.

On the Global Learning page I have included a button for teachers and another for students as one of the requests from the client was to consider how the information could be presented for the two different audiences. Therefore by adding a button for each target audience, it allows them to know instantly where to go to find the relevant information.

I have intentionally kept the same style running throughout the design to keep consistency and prevent confusion occurring with visitors on to the site. I have therefore differentiated the themes by colour, which I think works well as colour resinates longer with people than text, which will make it easier to navigate and find required information.

I do think that there could be a little more consideration to the about page, as although it is a text heavy page, there could be more used to break up the text.

Overall, I am pleased with my overall design, I think I have met the client brief and have worked hard to develop a design that is informative, clean and clutter free. I have tried to keep the user in mind at all times and remembered the variety of people that may use the site and have therefore kept in mind the GOV.UK website and how easy that is to navigate through.

 

WCIA – Client Feedback

The client feedback was immensely positive. She thought it looked clean and was an improvement on the current design. She liked the refined navigation bar and thought the concept with the masked circle and text emerging from the circle worked well.

Some things she got me to think about was the possibility of designing for different audiences, ie.e a section designed for teachers and a section designed for children/ young adults – how would this work and how might it look? She suggested that some of the links can be embedded into the pages themselves rather than on the navigation bar, but this will require thought because good web design means the fewer clicks required to get to the destination, the better the design. And finally in regards to the marketing material she stated that there should be something for the overall charity and one for each area.

The biggest issue I now face is working out where the sub content will sit within the website and to ensure that it does not become cluttered or messy. The focus must always be kept on the user and their experience. Nonetheless, I am pleased with the how the client meeting went and I feel I gained valuable feedback to take forward. There are still some logistics that need to be resolved, but in regards to the design itself, I feel I am on the right track.

 

WCIA – Initial Ideas

My initial ideas to answer the issue of the website was to completely strip it back and only place what’s needed on the website. There is a LOT of information to go through, but I have tried to create a simple layout that is clean and easy to navigate.

Home Page:

Layout_01_Page_1Layout_01_Page_2

For the home page, I decided to remove most of the content because I felt it looked cluttered and was simply not needed. I took inspiration from the Size of Wales website and liked the idea that when people landed on the home page, it would instantly say who they are and what they do. This theme diminishes any confusion surrounding the charity – a key issue they are currently facing and want to solve. I also decided to remove a lot of tabs from the navigation bar because there are far too many on the current and it again looks cluttered and confused. I stuck to the three main areas along with a ‘Get Involved’ button so people know where to go if they wish to get involved. Taking inspiration from the Oxfam website, I decided to use images of people, but thought that masking it in the circle found in the logo created that connection and allows the logo to play a larger role throughout the website, emphasising who they are as a charity. The idea behind having the text emerge from the circle was that if the organisation is the circle, this is what comes from the organisation – the circle. I have stuck with the pink for the home page as I am aware the logo is pink and that is one colour that cannot be changed – I therefore think it makes sense that it remains as the base colour for the brand.

Global Learning page:

Layout_01_Page_3

This is the what the audience are greeted with when they land on the Global Learning page. I have again used the circle, but decided to keep it as a solid colour, again with the text emerging from the centre – following on from the home page in order to create a sense of consistency. This text also defines what Global Learning is, to again reduce any instant confusion.

The overall design has also been greatly inspired from the GOV.UK website for it cleanliness, minimalism and ease of use. It keeps the user at the centre of focus and also takes into consideration the diverse range of people it will be used by.

I am still currently working out what colours to use alongside the pink, as colour is key in defining the tone of a brand. I am unhappy with the green used above and will explore this further. However, I am pleased with the shape this design is taking, but I still have to look through their website and decide what information is essential and what is not. I will then decide how it can all sit on the website.

I will now present this to the client to gain feedback to see if this is the direction she is happy with taking.

Persuasion: Campaigns

Despite having already looked into various campaigns that were highlighted during the briefing. I have looked at other adverts and campaigns to try and develop more ideas and see the different avenues that could potentially be explored within my own campaign.

Drink driving campaign.

drink_driving

I chose this because I like the different approach that has been taken through using packaging design to deliver the message. It is simply a car printed on the exterior of the bottle lid with the words ‘DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE’ on the inside. What makes it clever is that when the lid is on the bottle the car is in tact, but when it is removed with a bottle opener, the car appears damaged. A simple design using something that is very familiar and goes without a second thought but is transformed into a powerful message. It acts as a constant reminder whenever someone goes to have a bottle. The power is in its simplicity.

Ricola sore throat advert.

sore_throat

I also chose this because of its approach. Ricola create sweets/ lozenges to target sore throats and I therefore think this approach works on a multitude of levels. The use of the sweet instantly relates to their products but the design on the packaging anchors what their products do. By unwrapping the sweet, you are relieving the character from his/ her sore throat, thus communicating that the sweet is the key to relieving a sore throat. Despite being very small, they are extremely fun and engaging and therefore resinate longer with the user. The illustrations of the characters are amusing to look at which add to the fun element of the design. They also communicate what they do very clearly and I believe it is the combination of these that makes it an extremely successful piece of design.

UN women’s equality campaign.

women

This campaign is an extremely well known and well recognised campaign – and it’s clear to see why. The concept of the design is very clear with very few elements used. It relates to women’s equality and how women do not have a voice. The use of the search bar with the suggested results shows what is considered to be the ‘norm’ when it comes to women. By placing this over the woman’s mouth it instantly creates an impact that women are not treated as they should. The style of the photograph is also well considered with light being focused in the centre, on the face, with the surrounding area being darker. You are immediately drawn in to her eyes and feel as if she is looking at you intensely. There is also an impact created with the scale of the image in the frame; the woman’s face takes up the whole space, making it prominent for the viewer that this is regarding women.

Anti-harassment campaign.

harrasment

I chose this piece because of the clever use of negative space to create the image of the woman. When I first saw the advert, I immediately understood that it was relating to harassment from the facial expression of the woman and the placement of the hands. The hands highlight very sensitive areas of the body which create a very uncomfortable feeling, which is one of the reasons I think it is successful, because it conjures an emotion within the viewer, which is how change occurs. It is immediately recognisable and communicates the message very effectively, making it a successful piece of communication.

Anti-smoking campaign.

smoking

This is another piece of packaging design, however, this illustrates the effects of smoking in a more engaging manner. Rather than placing shocking images on to the packaging, it animates the loss of teeth that occurs from smoking by making the cigarettes the teeth and as they are removed from the packet, the teeth are lost from within the mouth. As this makes the individual interact with the packaging, it makes it more memorable meaning the message will remain with them for longer, creating more of an impact.

Creative Equals.

creative-equals-international-womens-day-logos-pringles_dezeenhero

creative-equals-international-womens-day-logos-dreamworks_dezeen2

These are a series of animated logos created by Creative Equals to illustrate inequality between men and women. The organisation have re-worked a series of well-known logos that contain male figures and created female versions to highlight the issue of the lack of equality between men and women and highlights how it is even found in some of our most beloved brands. This brings the question of who made these decisions and whether they reflect the gender typically found at the top of the pyramid. It is a clever, yet simple concept that engages the viewer with the issue. It is a design that will engage more than just designers because the brands are so well known with millions of people that the connection will be instant.

Overall, I think that what these campaigns share is that simple thinking is the most effective way of getting a message across clearly. I also feel the ones where the user has to interact with the design to be the most memorable because they are engaging. I think that this is the avenue I would like to explore within my own campaign as I feel it is the strongest way to engage students in an issue where a change in behaviour or thought is desired.