Thursday, 31 October 2013


"Failure is not an option" - Fred Bates

Competition Websites:

RSA Student Design Briefs
Design Council

Additional Information:

Look at a variety of live briefs, competition briefs and collaborations.
Document all progress, and decisions from the beginning of each brief.
A minimum of 5 (fairly substantial) briefs to submit for hand-in (Semester 1).
Other smaller live briefs can be added to this.
Anything which is done, i.e. additional work for college etc, can be added to module as a extra live brief, i.e. designing business cards.
Be realistic when picking briefs, to allow enough time for completion.
What challenges am I getting from the briefs selected? What am I learning and developing from this brief?
Use questions from module briefing to analyse the brief, and to see if it is appropriate? (shown below)

When selecting and responding to briefs you will need to consider the following:
How do you balance what you want to do, design or produce with what the brief requires?
Do the briefs offer enough breadth and scope for the development of a range of responses whila at the same time allowing you to focus your practice?
What are the realistic timescales for completing the brief? Are you working to these?
Have you clearly identified what the problem is before you start?
Where is the challenge in the brief and what will you get out of doing it?
What do you need to present and how wil you present it?

Identify as many things as possible which I want to get out of this module:
Time Management/Deadlines
Developed Skill Set
Concept & Idea Development
Exposure: Self-Promotion & Publicity
Motivation and Encouragement
Being placed outside my comfort zone
Working on live briefs or competition briefs which will allow me to use my skill set and design aesthetics
Working with restraints and limitations
Collaboration - Develop team work/skills
Building New Skills
Delivering what is required for the brief
Brief Management/Analysis and Break-Down
Understanding Realistic Time Frames
Liaising with clients - Live Briefs (Effective Professional Communication)
An Award/Prize/Fame - D&AD etc
How to not get exploited (including pay, etc)
Work on a range of briefs
Identify individual practices/interests (areas of discipline to explore)
Creative Compromise - Not all about me. Who is the client? What do THEY want?
Coherent Portfolio Building & Development (build a voice of who you are as a designer, not just reflective of style as style can be limiting within graphic design).
Contacts, Networking and Opportunities - Keeping in touch with clients, etc, a starting point for when presenting externally, gaining live briefs, opportunities, internships etc.

Why do you think live and competition briefs will be useful?
Puts you outside your comfort zone
Builds new and existing skills
Personal interpretation of a brief
Builds a portfolio
Contacts, Networking and Self-Promotion
Collaborations and individual practice
Improving Professional Design Skills
The challenge of a professional brief
Showing professional interests by taking initiative (beyond university briefs etc)
Real world benchmarking - gaging work against other peoples/other students etc
Professional Responsibilities
Meeting a Deadline - Damaging reputation, you won't get paid, no credit, no prizes etc.
Confidence in being a designer - exposure etc
Professional feedback when shortlisted. Constructive Criticism.
Professional Experience - Freelance Work, etc

Why have I chosen the 5 briefs selected?

1. Type Directors Club:

Improves my design skills within typography and will broaden my knowledge further through more research. With this brief it gives me the option to design and build my own typeface, leaving room for creativity and progression. Type is something I haven't focused much on in detail since Level 4 Design Principles, and I want to take this opportunity to do so. The deadline is Jan 14th 2014, which leaves a substantial amount of time to work on this. I also feel that designing type is out of my comfort zone within design, so this will push my boundaries even more so.

2. Poster for Hair & Beauty Salon:

I have chosen a live brief as one of the briefs selected. I am familiar with the context of the problem, the salon itself, it's aesthetic and it's staff which will be invaluable for feedback. It is very straight forward and I want to show my design 'style' through my work. The client has asked for a specific style which I am comfortable designing and working with. The deadline for this is by December 1st for their Christmas period, so this leaves me with a month to research the context further, speak to the stylists and design an A3 poster to display.

3. Communication Design:

I have chosen this brief as it allows me to enter work into many different categories within graphic design and is open to personal interpretation. With this competition brief I can enter a strong piece of work, as well improving my design skills. 

4. International Digital Art Contest 2013:

I wanted to enter a competition where I can make use of my design skills when it comes to digital art and illustration, opposed to a strict graphic design field, such as logo design. I felt this brief was different to other briefs, and appeared straight forward and easy to work on as one of the shorter briefs chosen.

5. Communication Arts Magazine Competition:

I chose this brief as I feel with the deadline being due in May 2014 I can spend a large amount of time developing a response which again is quite open to personal interpretation.

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