Know Your Allies

The idea of a placement is that you get hands on experience in a real work environment. Though this perhaps could mean that there are no safety nets, you are also open to a lot of helpful people, but you need to learn who they are. In my placement so far, I have found that just because someone had a specific job title and you are an intern, it doesn’t mean that they (a) have the time to explain something or (b) are good at explaining things.

I have learnt a lot in the past few months but the biggest thing I have learnt so far, is who to go to if I need a hand in a specific field. Inside the office, there are specific people that are available to me when I need to ask questions. Though I have almost two full notebooks already of ‘how to’s’, ‘advice’ and ‘reminders’ it is clear that by the time I get back to university I will be better at asking for help.

As an independent and proud person, I have always struggled to ask for help, but here, there isn’t much of an option. Though I do some research outside of the work place, an internship is for asking questions, learning and applying knowledge. Perhaps the main focus of an internship is not necessarily teaching someone skills, but perhaps it is more for encouraging and learning how to apply skills as well as learning being a humbling experience.

By asking questions, you not only learn how to do things, but you can also build key relationships with members of staff. Here at BWAR, I have manages to gain a lot of insight in not only how apps and websites are built, but also a lot outside of my field. On a daily basis, I not only deal with customers, but I can also be learning about how to adjust simple CSS and so on.

The staff here are encouraging and understand that everything is a learning curve. Everyone here has multiple job roles and can do many diverse jobs in one day. From tech support to app creation, there is a lot that each member of staff can do. This also means that should one individual be busy, as this is a quick paced environment and also only a small business, someone else can help me. Though I am still learning, I aspire to be like them. A diverse job role, such as this one can aide in future prospects.

With no two days being the same, the learning potential here does not have a limit as such, the limit is merely in what questions I ask. As the weeks go on, I know that I will never stop learning, whether it is the meaning of key words or how to deal with an awkward customer.

Placement Year Update

In recent months I have been settling into the company I have managed to secure a placement with: BWAR!. The company itself is only small but is fast paced and has meant that for myself, no two days are the same. Based in Staffordshire it is lively and a place and will offer me a lot to learn.

In the beer garden after work with some amazing people #internlife #guinness #spoons @jdwetherspoons

A photo posted by Ruth (@scarletruthmargaret) on Jun 5, 2015 at 10:01am PDT

My initial few months have been an eye opener and curve ball. I have been thankful of the amazing team I am surrounded by and the support they have given. The training I have been through so far has been clear and will help me in my future endeavours. My actual job title here is one that is flexible. Although I am a Graphic Design intern, I also take on other roles. Most specifically, I also write content and slightly delve into customer service. I feel like working for a smaller company will offer me a more rounded experience due to the fact I have many different job roles.

BWAR! are host to other companies and have many resellers. The company sells website, apps and print work to various companies, mostly to tradesmen and small business. From a day to day basis, I could be calling many different clients, or doing work for many different clients. I could be calling a client to ask questions about their business so that I can write the content for their homepage and about us, the next I could be creating the graphics for an app. The limitations of my job role seem non-existent and that is why I feel that this placement year will enlighten me.

So far I have made what feels like a hundred logos and other graphics as well as written hundreds of pieces of content for various companies up and down the UK. I know that for everything that I have done, though my name is not next to each individual piece, I have helped someone. This job is rewarding, knowing that my artwork and writing is out there.

Stuff for work #internlife #evapes #vintage #tattoo

A photo posted by Ruth (@scarletruthmargaret) on May 26, 2015 at 2:13pm PDT

Though naming client I have worked for so hard, whilst being a part of the team here are confidential, I know that I can display certain aspects of the work I do and what I learn whilst I am here, including the work I do internally.

Since working here I have learnt a lot and I know I will continue to learn whilst I am here, whether I am working with clients, or the company itself. I will also learn humility, the same as I did when working in sales. Sometimes a client will not like what they see, on other days, you will see banners and logos you create out in the big wide world that though you are not happy with, the client is. It is key in this job to remember that not only is the customer is always right, but also that it is ok to ask questions.

Placement: BWAR!

I am in love with my internship. The people I work with are so nice and helpful. I think I am going to enjoy my time here.

Essay Poster Trial 2

After recent feedback, I opted to change my essay poster drastically to reflect on not only the theme of my essay but also to become more about the aesthetics than the actual essay. In our industry, we must focus on the final outcome more than anything. The idea of this project was to create either an info-graphic or a graphical/artistic representation of our main essays.

Please find my second version below.


Lonely Humans

Last lecture we learnt about a few theorists and artists, the main names being Don Newman and Kristine Niedderer. This lecture followed on from our first year programme series on phenomenology.

Alice Twemlow claims that graphic design is more than just drawing pretty pictures and, due to post modernism, it has broken it’s own boundaries to create a new definition. With this in mind, Kristine Niedderer created many artefacts. These said artefacts needed interaction and a form of social convention in order to be used. For example, there is a cup that has ergonomically placed holes in so that the user must place his fingers over them in order to have a drink without it draining. Therefore the cup and human have to become one, in one sense. The other, as pictured below, is a series of cups that cannot stand alone and need each other in order to stand as they connect.

In looking into this closer and analysing the series, it hinted at three possible perceptions.

1) Is Niedderer attempting to replace human interaction?

Perhaps but how would she drink alone with multiple cups?

2) Is Niedderer therefore just lonely or single?

The semiotics in these pieces will always be questioned, but I believe that these artefacts reflect her as a person. The cups above that need each other in order to stand show that she has a desire to not drink alone and wants to be in a social environment. The glass at the top hints at the fact that because she is not on a social group, she drinks alone, but desires interaction and therefore replaces it to have a relationship with the glass in order to suit her needs through the medium of alcohol.

With point two in mind, over the past few decades, interactive and user experience design has not only been established but is growing. Is this because the human race is lonely? Perhaps it is in fact the case, as linking back to another lecture series, the need for interaction comes as the most needed part of life according to Maslow’s theory the hierarchy of needs. Human interaction starts at the basic human need of reproduction. It is inbuilt.

Design group Droog, designed a bench that is economic in space. If a person sat on it, they would automatically move so they are next to a person who is already sat. This hypothetically would aide in the basic human need as the users of the bench would be forced to interact, even a little, even if it’s just to apologise for the intrusion of personal space.

So is it true? Does interaction design exist because the human race feels lonely in it’s crowd?

Final Cereal Box

Having finished with the rough prototypes, this is the final, printed on card design.

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In looking at it in the photographs, my conclusion to this project would be, firstly I wish it could have been bigger and secondly I wish that I could use a craft knife a little better. Having seen the physical product, I would be happy, if I had perfected the cutting out and scoring processes, I would be happy to pitch this.

The original idea was to allow children to picture themselves as the super hero or even to be able to play with the box after. As we all know that on Christmas day most children (or big kids) prefer to play with the box than take interest in the present. I even trialed this idea on my young cousins, who loved it.

With all the workshop/thinking and practice module now complete, I can focus on the main projects ready for deadlines, mid may and the start of my internship just after.

Cereal Box Design: Prototype

Creating prototypes is a key step in creating anything 3d that is for commercial use, not only to get colours right, but also to make sure nets work.

My net was custom, so it had to be adjusted a little after I had made it up after printing. These are the pictures of my net, and two prototypes.