In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?

My front cover visual communication meets the needs of the brief by representing the revival of the Teds. I have used a modern collage technique of found imagery and some of my own sketches of the when the Teds started out, to show the revival of them in our times. The found imagery used is in black and white which is indexical of the age, paying homage the to first subculture of the Teds, and the coloured rose showing the revival coming into the present. The main Teddy Boy I have used from on the cover is a famous photographed, well known Teddy Boy, I have also included signifying practices such as Teds jiving to rock’n’roll, a comb they all carried to fix their hair and a creeper shoe which they were known to wear. This was all included from beginning to explore theories of visual communication, such as the signifying practices, semiotics and icons, symbols and indexes.

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece fail to meet the needs of the brief?

I would like to see what more people’s messages they get from my final piece. I would hope that the wider audience would understand that I trying to show the Teddy Boys in a light that I believe the majority of the subculture are like. I have used the newspaper spiking out of the collage to represent the bad press the Teddy Boys were subject to. The rose collaged into the Ted’s hand is to represent the kindness of them, and also used to bring the Ted into present time from the use of colour.

I would hope people can understand what I’m trying to communicate through my collage.

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

I think I have created a striking and engaging piece of visual communication. I think the way I have researched about collaging and magazine publishing has allowed me to push my ideas to come up with my outcome. The mixed media style I have used I believe is a strength of my design as it is an appropriate and effective way to express my chosen subculture.

I also feel my double page spread is an effective solution to the brief. I think it looks and feels like an authentic Creative Review spread, and I have used professional publishing techniques to add to my spread so its not uniformed copy of a Creative Review grid layout.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

One of the weaknesses I feel of my spread is knowing what information to put into the double page spread as their hasn’t been a physical revival, so the type in the spread is more about my research of the Teds subculture, and trying to show them in a different light to what the media created. I chose to leave my spread black and white to pay homage to the imagery I had used dating back to the 1950’s, this was all in black and white and I was unsure whether or not to include colour to show revival which I had done in the front cover. The spread still looks professional and follows the CR style however I think experimenting with elements of colour may have improved the engagement of it overall.

In what ways could the piece be mis-read or mis-understood by the audience? Be specific about who the audience is.

I am worried about my cover being mis-understood by the audience. I have asked my peers what they understand from the cover, most got the idea the Teds would be shown in a good light from the rose in hand, the positive signifying practices,

(instead of things like flick knifes Ted’s were known to carry around, more as fashion statement than weapon). When asked about the newspaper effect people with prior knowledge to the Ted’s understood the idea behind it and said it was effective, however people who didn’t know could see where my thought process was coming from but they also said at first they thought it was just the mixed media feel behind it.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?

I thought about how my work could be improved at various stages throughout the brief and changed anything I didn’t think was working along the way. However I would of liked to experiment and improve the title of the front cover, I know Creative Review do not often feature titles on their covers but I wanted to incorporate one into my collage. I finished mine with found magazine type following the mixed media feel I was going for, however I think this could of been improved.

Reflection of own working practices:

How was my time keeping?

I feel my time keeping in this Subcultures was generally quite good. I think I spent enough time researching the Teds to get a clear, detailed body of knowledge about them which helped me a lot coming into idea generation. I underestimated how much time it would take to create an effective front cover compared to the double page spread, as once the fundamentals were in the spread it didn’t take too long to come together.

How was my analysis of the brief?

I frequently referred to the brief to make sure I was following what was needed from me. On the first day of the brief I sat down and annotated what I felt was the most important factors, this included things such as paying homage to the Subculture, showing its revival, for Creative Review, understanding my subculture,

How was my research?

I feel like I have completed sufficient research of the Teds to give me a clear and detailed body of knowledge about who they were, what their signifying practices were, media coverage and their views. This helped me with idea generation and understanding what design techniques I could use to represent the Teds and show their revival. In my research I used different sources, mostly from online websites however I found a lot of useful, personal information from Teds themselves in documentaries that gave me a clearer insight into the subculture.

How did I draw conclusions from my research?

I made a lot of notes whilst researching and a lot of what I found was bad press about the Teds which created moral panic about them, however through watching documentaries like ‘Here Come the Teds’ I found out that it was a small minority that made the bad publicity, and I don’t feel the rest of the Teds who were more about the music, dancing and fashion style of the time got the credit they deserved. This is why I have decided to use imagery that shows the Teds in scenes which are not causing violence but scenes such as dance halls and Teds posing for a photo on the streets.

How did I use research to generate and develop ideas

Using fast intelligent failure I used notes from my research to come up with as many ideas as possible, these ideas ranged from anti-establishment, creeper shoe adverts, clothing (then and now), newspaper article as spread and more to follow. My research played a vital part in this project and I don’t believe my outcome would be as strong as it is without the research behind it.

How did I use evaluations to help with my ideas generation and development?

Through my idea generation and development I have evaluated my ideas and outcomes with the brief in mind, does the idea show the revival? will the reader understand what I am communicating?

How did I use experimentation during the project? How can I make this more effective?

I done several pieces of experimental work both digital and mixed media. I experimented with quick fire sketches to come up with as many ideas as possible to help me break past the first few ideas I was coming up with. Sketching also became apart of my final cover outcome which I first had to experiment with to get right. I experimented on digital applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign with things like page layout techniques, illustration, cutting out image backgrounds and all of this experimentation aided me in my final idea development.

I could of made this more effective by doing more of each experimentation, more drawings, more mixed media work, more illustrations experimenting with different media such as charcoal, pen, water colours, ect. just to broadened my work.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time? 

I have thoroughly researched my subculture of the Teds referencing my sources when necessary and used this subculture research to explore theories of visual communication such as semiotics and signifying practices of the Subculture. I have developed a good understanding of these theories and applied them to the thinking behind my outcomes.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

The part of the project I enjoyed most was researching and learning about a Subculture that I had no prior knowledge of their existence, and how much the Teds played a vital role in the medias perception of teenagers in the 1950’s and how that can relate to teenage groups of todays times.

Learning about visual communication theories such as semiotics was also interesting as there is so much depths you can explore with this in mind. Looking deeper into found imagery using semiotics and icons, signs and indexes I could find more information then what was just on the surface, a transferable skill I have now learnt  and can apply to my future briefs.

What parts of the project did I enjoy least? Why was this the case?

One part of the project I enjoyed the least was in my research, where I found lots of different sources of information however there was a lot of conflicting details about the Teds, what they stood for, why they chose to wear the clothing they did and events that happened with different information, such as the Notting hill riots (1958) where Ted’s were said to have purposefully attacked Black people, however some sources said this wasn’t the case and suggesting rival gang fighting.

At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?

I found I worked the best when independently working at home when I had a quiet environment that helped me concentrate and focus on my my task at hand without distractions. Using headphones at college helped me avoid distractions when I needed to get work done, to make sure I work well at all times I need to concentrate on what I am working on and try to avoid distractions .

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case? How could I follow these up?

An area that heavily inspired my cover for this brief was looking into collage artist such as the well known Hannah Hoch, Richard Hamilton and Kurt Schwitters. This was where the real idea behind my collage came from for my subculture, from looking at these artists work I thought the art style could work well for the Teds and I’m glad I invested time into this research as I’m pleased with my outcome.

What areas were challenging or difficult?  Why was this the case?

Part of the project I found difficult was building my collage from a scan into photoshop then layering my sketches over. This was a learning curve for me as I had to experiment with brightness and contrast, blending modes, opacity and juggle many different layers at once to get everything consistent.

Experimenting with mixed media I also found slightly challenging as it is not something I often use as much as I’d like too. Thinking of materials to use that would work well with the subculture was hard at first but I feel I have used enough mediums for it to work well.

How can I go about developing and improving  the parts I found difficult?

Simply more practice would be needed for me in the areas stated above so I can learn more skills that I can apply to my work in future.

Do I need to develop certain skills? Do I need these now? Or later?

I would like to develop these skills both in digital applications and the mixed media side of my work as soon as possible as it is something that I feel I will be needing to use again for future briefs, and digital applications are a vital part of Graphic Design however I understand there is vast amounts of information and techniques to learn that will take time for me to fully grasp.


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