Throughout the course of this module, I have developed a wide range of new skills, and now feel confident applying these for future briefs and within my own personal practice. In particular, learning how to use Dreamweaver to code a standard website was probably my biggest learning curve, seeing as I tend to struggle with the more technical aspects of graphic design in terms of software. It feels like such an achievement having designed and coded my own website, something I never thought I would end up doing, so for me, learning the Dreamweaver basics has now given me the confidence to start designing and building my own personal website for future employers. I also spent some time during this module, trying out new techniques and processes that I've always wanted to try out, but never had the opportunity to within a brief. Learning how to emboss, foil and use the laser-cutter has been quite a significant part of this module, whereas previously, I had a tendency to not really want to explore too much out of my comfort zone in terms of learning and experimenting with different techniques. I feel that by doing this, and spending time trying out different processes for each brief, it has enabled me to produce a more considered and successful outcome.
Overall, within this module I am most happy with my ISTD 'Not Just Fleurons' outcome, which was probably one of my favourite briefs so far. I've come to realise, especially with more time consuming briefs, how important it is to select briefs that I have a real passion and interest for in terms of the content/subject and background. Working on a gardening brief gave me the opportunity to really enjoy the background research into the brief as well as the design development and experimentation aspect. The enjoyment it gave me showed clearly through my work where I feel like I spend enough time to be thorough with all aspects of the brief as well as not having to rush anything at the last minute. This has definitely motivated me to take this work mentality and apply it to future briefs this year, in order to really push myself and get the best outcome possible, through exploring a range of techniques, processes and research methods. Using InDesign for the first time was another aspect of this module where I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone and not restrict myself to Illustrator for everything I do. I used InDesign to produce my print manual, and surprised myself at how quickly and easily I picked it up, which has given me the confidence to utilise all aspects of the Adobe creative suite in the future instead of limiting myself and making things harder in the long run.
In terms of the aspects I need to improve on, even though my time management and organisation has progressed since first year, I still struggle with last minute work which I always know would've been produced to a much higher standerd if I'd done it previously. Having the module running over the Christmas holidays definitely had an impact on my work flow and meant that throughout January I've felt quite rushed when finishing off some aspects of the module, particularly the website which took a lot longer than I realised. It would've also been good if I'd had the time to code the 'Not Just Fleurons' website homepage for the web aspect of ISTD, but due to a lot of last minute stress and pressure, I didn't get the chance to. For the next module, there's a few things I would definitely do differently having evaluated where things went well and where things didn't go so well. Keeping on top of blogging for this module saved my life and is something I will carry on doing so that I can get into good habits, but I need to do this in other aspects of the workload as well such as leaving myself more time for printing, binding and experimenting. I will also utilise my time better and stay at college for longer hours in order to get the work done, leaving me free time for when I go home so that I can relax and separate uni life from home life. I also feel that having been more vocal when asking for help from tutors around the college this time round, it has been a big help overall and something that I need to do more of in the future.