Self-Promo Evaluation-Qaiser Raza
I found thinking about myself quite hard; it’s not easy to consider what Ones strengths and weaknesses are, especially if one is going to use their findings to help sell themselves.
I started by considering what I was good at my (USP’s); I looked at previous University work and talked to those closest to me. I then started to brainstorm the points and felt quite enlightened about the fact I had quite a lot to offer and stem my self-promo from.
I found it extremely helpful to research into what clients and employers want from rising Graphic Designers; I particularly enjoyed looking at job specs and reading recent blogs and articles. My questionnaire and research into industry also helped me with my promo. We really enjoyed working collaboratively and composing our questionnaire; this was a good opportunity to find answers to many important questions. Although, I might add, getting an answer was not easy at all!!
I found it helpful to create my CV and use this at plan and working document for my self-Promo. Also I decided to get my letter of application done quite soon and I kept altering and adding to it as and when I made new revelations about myself!!
My favourite part of this work has to be the logo design. From the outset I knew I wanted something simple but all embracing. I started with some free-hand experiments in my sketchbook, mainly including my name and initials in some shape or form. After feedback during tutorials, I decided to stick with a bold, and uncomplicated deign which was green in colour. Green because it is one of my favourite colours and represents freshness and purity, just like my design and ideas. I am very with my logo.
I did start with an idea related to culture and background. I began to stem this from my USPs as having a wealth of culture and tradition vested inside me. I thought I would be a good idea if I used my origins as a self-promo tool; this brought me the idea of using an airplane. At this point I did stall somewhat as I was not sure what route to go down now. I knew I wanted to come across as reliable and value for money. This is what brought me to realise that I was most comfortable with the purposive approach because it helped me remain focussed and gave my target audience the correct message; that I would meet their requirements. The strapline ‘created to create’ was thought of to emphasise my dedication to purpose. If manifested, I would have used this line on teddy bears and baby products; the kind presented at birth to newly born babies. After tutor feedback however, I was advised to stick with and develop the airplane aviator glasses idea, which I did.
Metaphors and connotations have always been a great part of my creativity and design. I drew the connotations of high flying, transport, comfort and punctuality from the airplane. Likewise, I drew connotations of style, vision and reflection.
I have had fun in creating and experimenting with my final self-promo pieces. I love the strapline ‘launch me’ as it fits in very well on the plane and has enabled me to use the medium of typography on my piece. I am really excited about using laser cutting to create my work. I found it extremely useful to create the prototypes using cardboard first, as it gave me a realistic insight into how my work would look.
All in this entire brief has taught me the importance of knowing what I know and ensuring that others know what I know and what I can do. I look forward to using the skills acquired via this brief in future work in University and industry.
A short report on the Graphic Design industry;
An insight into the real world of Design by
Qaiser Raza, Hodeffa Ezzeddin and Ajmal khan
Embarking on research such research, has not only provided a substantial insight into the design industry, it has also strengthened my desire to be a part of it.
As a starting point, I thought it would be a great idea to consider all of the things that I did not know about and felt I should know because of two main reasons; decide if this role was for me and if it was then, what tips could I use as a head start?
I, together with some fellow students compiled a list of questions and formed a questionnaire for ‘renowned’ graphic designers/organisations to complete. Most, if not all were ‘too’ busy to see us at appointments and meetings, so we were compelled to send emails with the questionnaire attached.
We received about seven responses and we have compiled this report that follows;
Apart from the obvious qualities in Graphic Designers, such as creativity, flexibility, computer skills and communication skills, what other skills would you deem necessary now that you did not think were important before?
In the main, Designers thought that in order to be a good graphic designer one should have ability to:
Be highly motivated; People who found motivation in the challenge of the task would be successful.
They believed that one has to like challenges and advised that one should not shy away from the challenges new jobs would bring. They also said that curiosity and persistence would get you far way in this business.
One thing that was very close to my heart was the advice to be ferociously honest. Most designers advised to ask the right questions throughout the creative design process. Designers said that one should be ready also for Self-criticism if necessary. They advised to step back if needed and try to see what you could have done/do differently.
Something that most people, designers and otherwise, find extremely difficult is to take Criticism! Most designers vouched that it was not personal but mere business. All designers believed that you can learn a lot just by listening to clients. One Designer placed much emphasis on continuous learning and said that one never stops learning! I liked the idea of keeping the knowledge flowing because this was a very dynamic business. Most said that it was quite easy to always find new things to learn about.
Most designers upheld the skill of how to manage you time effectively. They said that time management could make you or break you in this business. They advised not to take more than you can do. They also said it was best to be honest and realistic with yourself. It is better to tell a client to contact you again if months than not deliver the material in the time frame promised.
Something that I found surprising was that Designers said it was OK to say No to a client. If you, as a Designer, feel that is not the project for you, don’t be afraid to say NO. Maybe because of time, money, and different set of skills… it is ok to say NO in a polite manner
How do the Designers in your organisation plan for a project; from inception to completion?
Here is a collective outline:
Phase One: Research and Planning
Branding material - logo, colours, and other assets.
Similar project and their solutions
Analyse current design (if applicable)
Phase Two: Design
Create an initial design mock-up
Run by client
Run by client again
Client signs off (approval)
Phase Three: Develop
Depending on the type of project this can vary greatly.
Phase Four: Test
It was emphasised as very important! Again, depending on the type of project. Most Designers said this could be any and all of several things including: split testing, using heat maps, usability testing, browser testing etc. They said testing was the key!
Phase Five: Launch
Most Designers thought this was a cool part; seeing your project up and completed. They said this was where most projects end but one should really do further testing at this point, which I thought was good and safe advice.
Phase Six: Evaluate
Most Designers said that it was important to ask if you met your goals and if not, why not? They said it helped one to not only see what you did well or poorly but also try and do things differently next time around.
For me creative success is a subjective goal. How does your organisation/you measure such success?
Most Designers said that a happy client was the best trophy a Designer could get. They said a happy client showed them that they were successful in the business and also that content clients always had referrals for you.
Leeway in the creative process or limited in scope? How important is creative freedom in your opinion?
Most Designers said that creative freedom was important; however a Designer needed to learn how to work under the client’s guidelines as well and be ready to advise them on how to proceed regarding parts of the project. They said it was important to strike a happy balance. They said that if one keeps the focus on the client’s needs then one should not find issues with creative freedom.
What are the basic pre-requisites for a successful/satisfying project?
Before starting a project, they said it was important to have everyone on the same page – Client and Designer.
They said to ask lots of questions and make sure client and Designer agree on a budget so a plan could be in place.
What has been the organisation’s most favourite/successful project? What kind of projects does your organisation generally work on and enjoy?
None of the Designers had a favourite project. They said every new project posed a different challenge and it got them excited every time.
Do you look upon limited finances and low budgets as detrimental hindrances or as a creative challenge? How
All designers said that low budgets should not be of detriment in a project. They thought that a Designer should be clear and honest with the client regarding what they can get for a specific price. They also said that sometimes clients can have really high expectations but it is the Designer’s job to explain and to give the clients some options; show the client the cost/benefit of the project.