Practice 1: Reflection and Evaluation

This module has allowed for structured and streamlined work to be undertaken in relation to my research topic and current practice. I have found this module really enjoyable, and have experimented with digital and print-led processes in order to achieve a practical outcome meeting objective 4, as shown below. In addition this module has allowed me to make critical designs judgements based on research and previous exploratory work in order to meet the learning objectives.

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4. To prototype a range of design work targeted at 18-24 year old women, highlighting impacts of cross-cultural beauty/fashion trends on self-perceptions and body image.

East Meets West: A Sourcebook of Beauty Trends

During this semester, one practical project was undertaken, a sourcebook of beauty trends, looking cross-culturally at two contrasting cultures, Britain/the US and Japan, looking at and focusing on socio-cultural norms, expectations and ‘ideals’. This idea was derived mainly from my International research trip to Japan and my findings, which I found extreme in regard to Western culture and trends. Each spread reflects a trend with supporting blurb that has been written to explore and explain the trend whilst touching on self-perception issues, theory and ‘ideals’, relating back to my research and dissertation.

This idea was originally derived from a plan to design and construct a magazine, half of which would be English and reflect Western culture, and the other half in Japanese, reflecting Eastern culture and my research findings. I decided however, due to time and the workload involved in this to carry this out in Semester 3, under Practice 2, however this idea has once again changed slightly. I am now looking to produce a magazine which covers the research and interviews carried out as a more independent magazine, whilst working on promotional platforms to advertise and gain feedback/direction. This has been discussed more in my objectives and goals evaluation.

In relation to this semester and the practical work carried out, I feel that I have covered complex issues researched, which have been implemented in a visual manner which is suitable for either a male or female target audience interested in my research topic, as well as the beauty and fashion industries in general. I have found working on this project interesting in regard to experimenting with a range of digital collage and binding techniques, looking at different paper stocks and print methods, whilst also exploring layout and typography, strengthening my graphic design and editorial skillset.

By creating this book, it has enabled me to collate ideas and research findings in a streamlined and structured manner. I feel as I had collated such a large amount of visual and theoretical research, this module has enabled me to synthesise these together in an understandable and suitable outcome which is relevant to both my personal and professional practice.

As in Semester 1, feedback was gained from online sources, utilising Instagram to reach the specific target audience set out in my research topic, whilst also seeking editorial design-led feedback from designer friends and freelance clients.

In terms of binding, several methods were experimented with, whilst also utilising a professional printers in order to gain a hardback version for my professional portfolio of work. Even though I experimented with binding methods myself, I felt it was beneficial to source a professionally printed version also for my portfolio, being finished to the highest of standards.

I feel it has been of benefit that all 3 modules undertaken throughout this semester combined, with key theoretical approaches such as self-perception being applied to my practice continually. I have also found being aware of, and interviewing professionals and interdisciplinary/creative practitioners has added further context and support to both the aesthetics, format, content, context and tone of my work. Therefore, it has become apparent over the course of this module that these have become heavily intertwined, and that my research findings have directly influenced my practice.

I would of liked to of gained more feedback on the finished, printed and bound book however feel that this can be done in Semester 3 prior to starting my FMP as discussed briefly above.

For the submission, I have included design boards for this practical project, which includes in-depth contextual information supporting research and professional context in relation to my practice. This also showcases photography by myself, which has been taken in support of using these images on my professional website and digital portfolio going forwards, as well as being able to showcase this project in a more professional manner. The boards also include an evaluation on areas of improvement allowing for critical, future development going into Semester 3, whilst critical thoughts and problem areas have been flagged throughout the design process on my blog.

These boards can be found both on my blog and within a labelled folder within my submission portfolio.

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