Tuesday, 25 November 2008


My confidence has slightly dwindled over the last couple of weeks.

A referral on the first assignment has got me down and is an unwanted distraction from the start of my website plan. Hopefully I can learn from my mistakes with A2 and remember to check references more diligently. I'm starting to realise near perfection is required to just pass.

Although I referred it was slightly comforting to know I was not the only one. The majority of the group referred with the same major mistake as me. I must remember to check for creation/modified dates on reference sources!

The start of the web plan is going well, although I'm starting to realise it's not all as creative as I first thought. A lot of academic work is still required to succeed. I’m hoping this will help to continue the improvement I’m seeing with my SPG.

I can't wait to start my screen designs. Hopefully I will show some of my design flair. The promise of more creative work will hopefully give me focus and encouragement to get this less enjoyable side of the assignment out of the way.

Over the next week I'm going to make sure I'm in a position where I can focus on the creative side of the web plan, this I'm sure will go some way to rid me of my current disillusionment. To do this I must polish my Competitive analysis along with the other written parts of the web plan.

I must not let the setback of A2 get me down, I've got to dust myself down and get back in the saddle.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The mechanics of a business design

An industrial visitor in college is a rare thing; something we were told to make the most of.

So when Dave Pannell and Craig Burgess from The Design Mechanics came in I listened intently to what they had to say.

It was a long presentation with lots of questions, but I found it fascinating to hear how this particular company and two of its individuals worked. When I heard that a logo design would have to be completed in just two hours (maximum) it made me feel slightly uncomfortable, has in my current work, I feel I work under quite tight time restraints but nothing as unforgiving.

The set price structure they use to entice clients on a budget is obviously appealing, especially in the times we live in, in fact their business seems to be thriving.

The unexpensive prices and time they have must put them under enormous pressure to produce work both fast and of a high quality.

Clients must fill out an extensive fact finding sheet. The Design Mechanics then develop only one design to show clients. This cuts out a lot of the back and forth in the design process. This surely cannot always be the case as there are never 'perfect' clients that are happy first time; they recognise this. That is why they set out strict design procedure terms and conditions, which must be signed.

This way of working must have a negative effect on the creative process to some extent.

I can see that The Design Mechanics is run very much as a business. This is something Dave Pannell emphatically expressed to anyone thinknig of setting up on their own one day.

I agree with this principle. But taking shortcuts to make sure you meet a deadline you have put in place because of an attractive price list can surely sometimes lead to sub-standard results, with creativity suffering. Unless of course you’re an extremely talented designer as is the case with The Design Mechanics..

Would I cut the mustard at a company like The Design Mechanics? I'd like to think I could eventually raise my game.