Master’s work – first 2 modules…

The last 6 months have been busy with things starting to open up again and working hard on my Master’s degree. I thought I would share some of my thoughts and work here, so you can see what I’ve been learning!

The first module introduced many different aspects of graphic design, looking at ourselves and our practices, where we are now and where we want to go in the future. I enjoyed looking at my practice from a different angle, the kind of work that I would like to produce and the designer I want to be. I particularly enjoyed looking at the core values of designers, and how I work in particular, quite introspective work. We’ve been encouraged to be very experimental with our work, these are short quick projects (one a week) and do not have to be final polished pieces, so I have used this opportunity to work outside my comfort zone, whilst also exploring what I want to do within my career.

I’ve found a new passion for design, specifically from looking back at the history of graphic design and how it has affected the world, socially, politically and environmentally. I have been looking at how graphic design can help save the world, the work that can be done to improve things for people, change views and opinions, and educate and inform.

I’ve discovered the Situationists, noticing the ignored, and looking at things differently. I have looked at some incredible data visualisation, some beautiful work within nature, and some fantastic typography. I have tried collage, new type arrangements, using my face as a canvas, and some really abstract ideas.

I’ve read about different methodologies, for research and design, and how these can improve my practice. I’ve thought about how I work, and whether it works well, or whether I could improve these methodologies. I’ve thought about what I’d like to work on in the future and where I’d like my practice to go.

Finally, I have discovered trends, and how this fits into my practice. Looking at the world holistically, at problems and projects in this way, and discovering global trends and community trends and how these can help inform solutions and designs. I have particularly enjoyed speculative work looking into the future, and using this to try and solve problems of the present.

My second module was all about working in and creating your own studio. We looked at the many different roles and environments a graphic designer can work in, as a freelancer, working for a specific company, in studios working in different sectors, and in collectives. Our project included a speculative plan for a studio, including the business plan, legal side and marketing as well as the actual work and branding for the studio. We also had to come up with a service or tool to help designers, and a final project on which we would like to work on, and how we would plan, quote and work on this project.

My degree didn’t touch on this side of graphic design, and it can be quite overwhelming to graduate with no idea about how working in the industry would actually happen. Whilst I found this module difficult, and not as engaging as the first one, I still found it useful to look at and inspect my own practice, finding ways to change for the better. I have discovered that I enjoy service design, design for the better, data visualisation and research, rather than the obvious graphic design route of going into branding and marketing.

I have put some of my work from these last 2 modules on my portfolio – please have a look and see what you think!

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