In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?
I believe I have fulfilled the brief effectively, displaying the food in it’s most appealing state in order to generate interest from my target audience. I had identified the target audience to be students, and from my research, I concluded that the book should be image heavy with minimal text to sustain my audiences engagement with the book. It functions well as both a piece of art, and a cook book, stimulating debate about healthy budget dieting amongst students.
What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?
I feel like my strengths lie in photography. I’ve shown that I’m able to effectively compose and expose images, whilst also showing strong image editorial techniques. It speaks to the audience in a way that is easy to read and follow. There is clear structure throughout the book, making it easy to navigate. I also like the typeface I ended up choosing. Originally, I looked at using a script font throughout the design, thinking it was relatable to students. However, after a short period, I chose to use Gotham, which gave the design balance and neutrality. This also gave the images the chance to shine for themselves, without distracting too much from the focal point of the page.
What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?
I chose to use quite a stripped back approach to generate interest. I feel like I could have maybe added more stylistic elements, and given more space in other areas of certain pages.
In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?
Perhaps to complete the design I would add a contents page. I would also like to have given my lifestyle photography a bit more variation on setting. However, I wanted to use natural light and the perfect position I found was in my kitchen by a window. Perhaps I could have used more props, or a wider variety.
How was my time keeping?
I think considering I’ve had numerous other projects alongside this one, whilst also having outside professional work flooding in, I think I’ve worked tirelessly to produce an effective solution to the brief. I think this project has allowed me to follow the design process through constructively from start to finish. It allowed me time to explore my audience thoroughly, studying signifiers to implement in my design.
How was my analysis of the brief?
I felt this was a key stage that I may have missed in previous projects. I was able to analyse the learning outcomes and construct my own brief tailored to my strengths in photography and the food industry. My analysis of my target audience, students, allowed me to target what they would like to see in a cook book. Budget meals was one area that I wanted to focus on, simplifying the dishes to just a few ingredients, but making them healthy.
How was my research?
I started my research by looking at other cook books, looking at what audience they were targeting, and the style of visual communication I felt as the reader. This gave me a good foundation to move forward and look at my audience, which I heavily analysed to identify what they would like to see from a cook book.
How did I draw conclusions from my research?
I was able to identify and target my audience with visual signifiers. I used thumbnail sketches plan the layout of my design, though this later changed in the design process when I moved to the digital design.
How did I use experimentation during the project?
I continuously changed the design, saving various different versions with different typefaces and layout structures. I gathered opinion specifically from peers at college, as I’m lucky to be amongst the target market already, and have a good understanding of student life.
In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?
I used my blog as a tool to demonstrate my design process from start to finish. I continuously referred to the learning outcomes, ensuring I had covered each one throughout my blogging.
What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?
I’ve always enjoyed food photography, and loved the editorial side too. This project has allowed me to set me own parameters and work to my strengths. I’ve most enjoyed being in the studio and working along side the photography technicians, who constantly offer advice when they’re not busy. Utilising the amazing 105mm macro lens and the full frame camera has been so useful too to get amazing results.
At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?
I think I work best whilst I’ve been pushed to a deadline. As previously mentioned, I’ve had other projects running alongside this one, and have had to ensure I complete the work to the set deadline. I’ve done so with days to spare. I also think I’ve worked best when I’m editing the image. Although I enjoy the photography side, It isn’t the most convenient process at college and takes a lot of effort sometimes.
What areas inspired me? Why was this the case?
One book the particularly inspired me was Joe Wicks – Lean in 15, which also followed a simplified principle. However, his target market was of all ages, and was necessarily very cheap to produce. I wanted to focus on another angle, but I was able to take elements of his design and use them in my own. Particularly the style of typeface and structure of text. I felt this was an effective way to layout text to inspire my audience, minimalise the bulkiness and focus more on the imagery. I also took a lot of inspiration from my peers, listening to what they like to eat whilst having to budget. This allowed me to gather research quickly and efficiently.
What areas were challenging or difficult? Why was this the case?
I found sticking to a design very difficult. I was constantly changing my mind on layout of images, and this took a lot of my time. I think being decisive is something I need to work on, and perhaps attention to detail can sometimes be my downfall.
How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?
In future projects, I want to up the pace of my design process, and make decisions quickly so the project doesn’t go stale. I need to be more conscious of time, so I’m not rushing in the final stages and perhaps defect the final product