Weeks One and Two: MA Project

Updated: Feb 5


Practice | Lecture 1 – Publishing Multiplatform




Firstly, it was fascinating hearing about Alec Dudson's pathway to intern. It wasn't conventional or linear, and he often ventured down some dead-ended routes. It reminded me a lot of my pathway to graphic design, which was reassuring!


The main points that stood out to me from this case study were:

  • Intern is based on the core belief that diversity in the creative industries is absolutely vital

  • The magazine began as print but now mainly only exists online.

  • Dudson (himself) interned at various magazines, which inspired him to start his own.

  • Began intern through a Kickstarter campaign.

  • For any independent publishers, direct online sales are a must!

  • Advertising can be done subtly.

  • A magazine is a brand; when building it, have a clear idea of your purpose, goals, and mission.

  • Expand into other media.

  • Always try to fill a gap in the market.

  • Be agile and flexible.

Image: https://intern-mag.com/there-is-a-place/



Practice | Lecture 2 – Social Change UX




Joseph Pochodjaz's lecture was really inspiring. He kicked off by describing how we, as graphic designer's, have the power to:

  • inform

  • inspire

  • influence behaviour

  • create transformational change

The notes I picked up from his lecture were:

  • We must understand the impact that our work has on the world.

  • Acknowledge that politics are no longer optional.

  • Look at who you are and where you've come from.

  • Listen to and engage with the "other" viewpoint.

  • Look beyond your own echo chamber.

  • Look around you.

  • Seek for the unseen, search for the other voices.

  • Uncover the truth.

  • Use archives.

  • Analyse language and break it down.

  • Publish your research.

  • Engage and participate.

  • Walk and discover.

  • Capture and design your research as you go.

  • How do you document and record your research?

  • Make it personal; your values and experiences have to be at the heart of the project.

Image: http://studio.joepochodzaj.com


Practice | Lecture 3 - Academic Creative Practice




The main notes I took away from Ben's lecture on academic creative practice were:

  • Practice-led PhD - make stuff as well as write stuff.

  • Writing -> making -> reflecting.

  • Research is questioning what we think we know.

  • Have structure.

  • Write in a critically analytical style.

  • Use signal verbs.

  • Use the thesaurus.

  • Grammar needs to be perfect!


Image: https://benevansjames.com/Imprimatur



Practice | Lecture 4 – Design Craft



This charming video was about rediscovering a lost typeface, taken from BBC News in 2015.

The notes I took on this video were:

  • Created type out own enjoyment and passion.

  • Found the type through reading old journals.

  • Being consumed by something is really hard work.


Image: https://typespec.co.uk/doves-type-history/



Theory | Lecture 1 – Theorised Making



This lecture from ben Evans James described how practice feeds into and sits alongside academic writing to create a research-driven practice.


The notes I took were:

  • Passionate about film.

  • Understanding different genres of film.

  • Film history.

  • Playing with truth and fiction (Yes Men).

  • The ability to spread falsehood and myth has re-entered pop culture.

  • Taking a lot of research which then defined through the making of the film.

I really enjoyed listening to Ben's lecture and found it very informative. What I really found useful was how he broke down how the film came into creation; which I've listed below:

  1. Interest within film and curation.

  2. A specific subject within film; fiction within a documentary.

  3. Para fiction.

  4. The four characteristics within para fiction.

  5. Created the film.

  6. Exhibition.

Although these notes are a little loose, they reminded me to keep my own project simple, to begin with, think about what interests me first and build it up from there.


Image: https://benevansjames.com/On-A-Clear-Day-You-Can-See-The-Revolution-From-Here-1



Theory | Lecture 2 – Research Led Report



Susanna Edwards hosted this lecture on a research-led report looking at A Workers' Inquiry with Bec Worth and Chris Lacey.

The notes I took from the lecture were:

  • A Workers' Inquiry was created through Bec, Chris, and others feeling disenfranchised with education and employment within graphic design.

A workers report is:

"A report, questionnaire, survey (or other) attempting to articulate emplotment, experience - and in turn exploitation - from a workers perspective. Workers are not only able to describe their conditions but crucially can transform them."
  • Critical reflection is essential.

  • First-person narrative-driven accounts are stronger than stats.

  • Transformative change is made possible by distributing reports and surveys, such as podcasts, films, exhibitions.

  • Reports can often be carried out through another agenda and don't entirely fulfil the purpose.

  • Graphic design is a young industry that is flexible to change.


Image: http://portfolio.smeech.co.uk/punchcard-economy/



Theory | Lecture 3 – Professionally / Studio/ Credentials Orientated Report


In this lecture, Alec Dudson gave a brief insight into Hawraf's Google drive documents, which can be used to explain how to set up a design studio.

The main notes I took from this lecture were:

  • Develop a script.

  • Set your price, but be flexible.

  • Legal documents put value on the work that you create.

  • Cover yourself!

  • Everyone's feedback is essential; use feedback forms.

  • Designers are not our clients, don't over-design.


Image: https://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/carly-ayres-the-end-of-hawraf-graphic-design-180319



Theory | Lecture 4 – Business Plan


Alec Dudson gave a pretty detailed guide on how to compile a business plan. Although I'm not considering a business plan for my project, the lecture was very informative and something I'll go back to at a later date; however, the main takeaways I took were:

  • A business plan is essential for starting a business.

  • You can learn about your strengths and weaknesses through a business plan.

  • A business plan is a guide/blueprint and should be altered as your business grows.

  • A business plan can secure funding and help with recruitment.

  • An executive summary should be short and precise.

  • Include a mission statement.

  • What's your background?

  • SMART analysis.

  • Go in strong!

  • What makes you different to your competitors?

  • Explore three competitors.

  • Look at the services and costs of your competitors.

  • Outline the benefits of your service.

  • It might be beneficial to show problems that could potentially occur.

  • A solid marketing strategy can make or break a business.

  • Business financials are often the most challenging part.

  • Look into cash flow forecasting.

  • Outline your team members and their credentials.

  • Sell yourself!

  • If you're asking for funding, explain how you'll spend it and make it back.

  • Include anything else that potential investors would request or would like to see within the appendix.


Image: https://magculture.com/blogs/journal/at-work-with-alec-dudson-intern-magazine


References


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/1013/pages/phase-1-%7C-introductory-practice-case-studies?module_item_id=58675 [Accessed 5 Feb. 2022].


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/1013/pages/phase-1-%7C-theory-lectures?module_item_id=58676 [Accessed 5 Feb. 2022].

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