• (PDP) Development Plan

    Throughout Promotional Design, we have had to keep a journal of how we wished to develop ourselves as designers, discuss future prospects and plans and think how we would go about this. It has definitely been worthwhile writing it, and it has really got me thinking. At the start of the year I was confused, I had no idea what it was I wanted to do, what area of design I most enjoyed, and neither did I know what kind of designer I was. The only thing I did know was, I was really unhappy with my portfolio, I wished I could have work I could be proud of, I felt there was going to be no jobs available after university in design, and I even questioned if I would make it into the industry. In general; I had no confidence at all within design, and I felt like nobody was there to talk to for advice about this, or that nobody would take me seriously; especially my personal tutor because I had it in my silly head that he only appreciated ‘good’ designers. In fact, despite managing to get a few marks off a First, I almost did not go back for my final year, because I felt I was not getting what I wanted out of the degree, and that I wasn't good enough to be a designer.

    During our First seminar of the module, my lecturer asked each of us in turn which area of design we would like to specialise in; came my turn, and I genuinely had no idea. Instead, I chose to make something up, and a few minutes after, once everyone had been asked, I announced I had once again changed my mind. I can only imagine this would have been frustrating for my lecturer, but I wanted to make it clear at this point, that I was confused.
    I knew coming to study a degree would not teach me how to be a designer, or automatically get me a job in this sector. This year has made me realise what kind of designer I am, developed my confidence, and made me realise exactly what I want to do once I have finished university. I have done this degree because I want to be nothing else than a designer, and I have learnt so much about design, and it has been really worthwhile being surrounded by others on my course that have completely different styles and are intending to go into different areas of design, or some even choosing to not be designers.
    A few weeks ago, I was sorting through my hard drive and I staggered across some of my old college work. This was actually the break through moment of realisation I had long needed, looking at this work had finally made me realise and understand how much I really have developed over the last three years, I had never looked at this work until now and it really was quite a shock to take in.
    When I look back now at my old second year work, I can see a big development in my work again, and this is the main reason why my portfolio only contains key work produced this year. It is not the most fantastic work and I am not overly proud or precious over it; but mainly it is a working portfolio which I wish to continue developing until I am in the “perfect” job. Yes, perfect is quite a big goal to aim for, but I will not settle for anything but this, because I truly believe if I work hard enough, I will get what I want in life.
    The briefs I chose to do through Promotional Design; Starlight Walk, Nestle Packaging, Kingsway Exhibition Poster, Sugar, Self Promotion and NSS Poster were not only based on what was ‘missing’ from my portfolio as stated in my Personal Development Plan, but ones rather to the areas I felt needed improving the most in order to find out the kind of designer I am. I really enjoyed all of my chosen design briefs, in fact I never really seen any as ‘hard work’ I just found each of them exciting to do. I must admit though, towards the final week I wished for university to end fast, because I had got to that stage where it was getting too stressful and getting my designs to look good, just hit the big impossible and the last resort of stepping away was no longer an option.  But overall, I really have enjoyed every bit of it.

    Next year, I am continuing on to postgraduate level, choosing to investigate further within a specific area of Branding (mainly the values). This is part time, so I am able to work at the same time. I am definitely looking forward to it, but at the same time; I must admit, I am really looking forward to stepping away from any academic thinking for the next few months before my return. My brain needs some rest.