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COP3 - Evaluation

What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

I feel that this module has really helped me to inject theory into my practice more so than any other previous cop projects. I think by putting a lot of research into specific theories has really helped me gain a greater understanding of, and in turn allowed me to create a practical response which is a legitimate response from a general design point of view, but also from a theoretical understanding. I have been able to gather various sources which have been both theoretical and visual in order to produce a synthesised appropriate response.  The research skills also give me a better understanding of targeting an audience specifcally and also create something that was an appropriate format. My practical was appropriate in the fact that is could exist realistically as a branding template for a business, but also  uses methods which I investigated and found throughout my written element.

I think my writing skills have improved dramatically naturally, as a dissertation is a next step up from any previous pieces of writing I have produced before. I feel like my researching methods and planning around writing was something that was new to me at first, but something which has probably improved and increased the most throughout this module. I now feel confident in researching particular subjects and analysing, using various theories and other writers views along with triangulation methods to create a finished piece of writing which i'm happy with.

What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?

I think the fact that the practical element was based sorely on theory was something that I have never really worked with so intensely before. I felt that, in order to show true synthesis in the work, it was important to show that I understood the theories which I had investigated enough to be able to use them within my own work. 

As i was essentially creating propaganda through branding, this was putting myself out of my comfort zone which I feel changed the style of my design a lot so that it would make sense and fit the theory. At first i found this difficult as designers are always naturally trying to design for designers and to what you think looks good. However, by basing your design purely from theory, this allowed me to, in a way, forget more about the design visuals to an extent, in order to let the theory sorely inform the design. This is certainly something I have never done before, and therefore this method of design and production was important throughout the project and to my practice in general.

I also feel that by taking part in more primary research throughout the written element also helped inform both my written response and then in turn my practical response. I think its important to get hands on with your subject, and although this was hard for me to do with the kinds of things I was researching, I think by doing a lot of initial theoretical and visual research in turn helped me create something that was well formed and synergised.

What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

I would be the first to admit that theoretical writing isn't necessarily my strong point, and this is die to the fact that I'm a designer and therefore spend most of my days designing. However, I feel that by choosing a subject that interested me personally, this helped me have the ambition to go out and research in depth around the subjects and theories related to them. This in turn not only made my writing stronger, but also helped inform my practical. 

I think that my practical side is a lot stronger than the written element itself, and obviously I will capitalise on this in the future by trying to constantly improve my design skills. I do feel however, that now I have created a synergised project between theory and design, I can now develop this further into trying to inject this kind of theory into my everyday design and looking at things more from a theoretical point of view rather than constantly determining something through visuals. I think this style of research will really help strengthen the concept and application of the practical work. 

My organisation skills have definitely improved throughout this project. I realised early on that I needed to get my self organised for this as it was important for me to try and bring the standard of my written work up to the same standard as my practical. I feel I did this by constantly keeping track of my research, quotes and references through using my blog and constantly annotating the quotes to how they could fit within the piece of writing itself. I carried this level of organisation from the written side through to the practical, in making sure that I knew exactly what products needed to be research, developed and created and keeping track of this through my blog also. 

What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?

I feel that, although my practical is pretty extensive, I could of improved this by giving myself slightly more time to create the physical products. As I wanted to really show the concept of the theory into practice through a variety of products, I didn't leave myself enough time to create everything that I would of wanted to. Although I am happy with the DIY Propaganda Pack and the Brand Guidelines booklet, Propaganda Posters etc.. I probably would have liked to create something digital that worked, such as a website, and also more physical elements. I'll improve this by making sure that my timetable leaves more room for craft and making towards the end of the project.

I also think that my blogging could of been a little better. As throughout the written side of the project, I was using blog posts to keep track of references and quotes and annotations which was good for me, but not necessarily good for an outsider looking at it and trying to see my documentation. I feel the documentation of my practical is a littler easier to understand, but my research could of been organised for view within blogger a little bit better.

Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?

1. Extend on Primary research in order to gain a greater first hand experience on the subject.  

2. Leave more time towards the end of the project for printing and crafting purposes, and also plan the list of products into a calendar in order to get more done systematically. 

3. I would try to display the development and organisation of my research for the written element of the project, as although the blog posts were extremely useful for me personally, they may not read well for  people not aware of the project looking in. 

4. I wish I would of got more feedback on the practical side of the project before submission. This could of been achieved through a self-initiated crit, instead of rely on just the one-on-one tutor tutorials. Although this was really useful, its always good to get various peoples views. 

5. I would like my product to be used for something. Although it is specifically for Greenpeace, I would love to actually try this experiment to see if these kind of Branding and Marketing techniques would work on a small business in help gaining a bigger reputation. This maybe something that I could develop by using an existing business that would be happy for me to help re-brand them in this was, as an experiment for myself and them in order to try and gain more attention and a bigger success.

How would you grade yourself in the following areas;
(5 - excellent //  1 - poor)

Attendance: 5
Punctuality: 5
Motivation: 4
Commitment: 4
Quantity of work: 4
Quality of work: 4
Commitment to the group: 5

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