Thursday, 16 March 2017

Reflections on a lecture regarding entrepreneurialism and innovation and a recap of the presentation requirements for some attentive fulfilment!

We are now in the final phase of this module. The output of the work over the last term will be to produce three artefacts. The first being a portfolio website, the second a reflective blog and the third critical reflective summary presentation based on the assessment criteria overall. It is necessary to actively edit and generate the content for all of these items now.
With regards to the E-portfolio, this is an online platform to present evidence and ideas of group collaboration, including a devised group identity, research and research methods, generation of innovative ideas, thinking and user experience, research and commercial authorship where appropriate, together with substantial evidence of professional engagement in the chosen project.

In reflection of our own site, (which is a Work in Progress) I'm confident that it covers all the criteria pretty well;

With regards to the website, it is necessary to structure it according to the suggestions based on Dr Bailey's recommended tasks at the beginning of the term. This is what will be presented at the summit of presentation which for our own group, (the Rotor group) will be provided on 22 March 2017.

With regards to both this presentation and our own individual blogs, it is important that one should consider the moments of planning and how my feeling was throughout the progress of the project. I need to further define what I have been experiencing and how this relates to my own experience from working with people generally but also in particular of the specific group dynamics of my team that I have worked with over the last three months. This will include identification of where real collaboration has taken place but will also detail any conflicts and difficulties that I have overcome. In essence, the reflection serves to define obstacles and opportunities regarding growth, or for change.

As I have developed a significant body of work based on my existing blog entries over the past few months, it is worth considering whether I should identify key passages or critical blogs and highlight them to Dr Bailey for her specific reading. I recall the quote "Sometimes 'more' conceals the chaos beneath" that Dr Bailey made.

The use of the Share-Point facility in the University's Microsoft Office 360 domain has proved invaluable in team collaboration activities;

The written / output requirements for this module is based on the total output of approximately 9000 words or equivalent. By breaking this down into segments, this would suggest 3000 words on the presentation. 3000 words on the blog as personal reflections. And 3000 words within an E-portfolio is a collaborative works site.

I need to consider the presentation criteria carefully and how we have investigated and analysed the elements of the project concerning the tasks that we have been asked to perform. In this sense, the initial research questionnaires that we completed as individual contributors to the Rotor group discussions come into play. I also need to consider carefully how I have used primary and secondary research, primary research being through interviews such as those conducted by Grete and Adam which were recorded, our own questionnaires and our own group discussions on the Rotor group exhibition.
With regards to secondary research, the group has been very productive, and we have individually supplemented each other's readings with our own research findings by gaining other artists inputs on affected subjects and themes similar to those being expressed and curated by Dr Liam Devlin, together with other cultural inputs and influences.

I also need to explain and delineate the evidence of understanding, particularly in a commercial view with regards to understanding the clients, and the user's needs. The BBC symposiums and workshops have been very useful for us to create material as evidence which can be reapplied here to demonstrate our proof of research and understanding.

I see the presentation next week as being an opportunity to showcase the development of the project.  I need to keep in mind how I can communicate the relevance of our work to the client (Dr Devlin) and showcase what we have done in, for example, the memorandum of understanding.  I created that document for Dr Devlin to comment upon before our presenting anything to him that our initial presentation at the beginning of the month.

Finally, I must not lose sight that everything must be referenced according to APA six edition.

The final date for submitting the E-portfolio and the blog archive is Friday, 7 April. This will be provided to Dr Bailey through the Turnitin mechanism that the University of Huddersfield users for submission of students papers. The links to any E-portfolio and blog can be defined through a simple Microsoft Word document with all the necessary identification of course and student details placed on them.

And finally it is worth re-visiting some of the previous Master's degree students at the following websites
Christina saw
Together with other online resources. Generally, all of the best presentations for previous Masters degree work contained;

  • Research evidence
  • knowledge of the audience
  • awareness of the client and their needs
  • knowledge of the subject, ideation and ideas generation (this is key)
  • a series of identified likely outcomes or possible results.
  • They all confirmed to the assessment criteria.


In essence, all of this work is about creating evidence! But it is also about defining working processes too! Working in collaboration means clearly articulating and allocating jobs to individuals with clearly defined timescales. It is worthwhile carrying out some form of strength weakness opportunity threats analysis?

I think I might also insert details for areas for improvements and any observations for further development of my own skills and possibly those of others that I have worked with as a group.

I must avoid descriptive narrative both in my presentation on my blog.

In the reflection of the lecture, it is critical to consider the assessment criteria and use that as a checklist to ensure that the progress of both the project and any presentations or blogs conform to the requirements initially recommended.


(These notes and reflections are based on a lecture/workshop presented by Dr Rowan Bailey on Wednesday 15th March 2017).

Monday, 13 March 2017

Reflections on a lecture and workshop on the Adobe product "in design" by Dr Juliet MacDonald, Friday, 10 February 2017.

The application InDesign holds its key concepts based on the original trade of mechanical printing. Within this practice, various ways of working, nomenclature and phrases have transcended into digital design.

When considering any form of printing in the digital age, it is important to firstly examine whether the output from your work will be a fixed layout or a dynamic design. A fixed layout is suitable for printed matter whereas a dynamic layout is suitable for digital graphics presented on some form of screen. Further considerations of image resolution and/or the need for scalable graphics comes into play too. With regards to printed outputs, consideration of colour reproduction mechanisms reside within the four traditional inks used in modern printing, which are cyan, magenta, yellow and black often abbreviated to CMYK. In the case of electronically or digitally rendered outputs that will be projected (or presented on some form of screens, such as plasma or more modern variants liquid-crystal displays), the colour management is not through negative pigment manipulation such as CMYK. Instead, it is managed through additive manipulation of colours of light itself, namely the primary colours of red, green and blue. The final essential consideration of the outputs is simply a question of dimensional format which traditionally has been called landscape (that is where the horizontal dimensions are wider than the vertical dimensions), or portrait (where the vertical dimension is greater than the horizontal dimension).

As mentioned previously, Adobe InDesign's origins are based on the idea of the printed book. The format of printing, from the original Guttenberg Press and the subsequent Bibles and books printed from those early machines, were combined reproduction with artworks. Originally such artworks were hand painted or hand drawn such as those which can be found in the book of Kells and other early manuscripts. The ways of thinking about these artefacts have pretty much remained unchanged for over 600 years.

It is only since the end of the 20th century that electronic and digital printing (commencing with any form of growth in popularity, initiated in the early 1980s) emerged with the notion of the digital bitmap to mathematically position dots of ink based on a concept of a matrix or grid. Early pioneers of digital drawing and manipulation together with textual reproduction were born in such software applications as QuarkExpress (particularly for page layout design) and CorelDRAW amongst many others. While these early competitors took emerging market share within the industry, it was not until the American company Adobe began to gain dynamic market presence through the 1990s and into the early 21st-century.

In regards to artists portfolios, being substantially different to traditional format books (which tend to be what is known as "single spreads"), these artists portfolio presentations do not translate quite as well to the digital format. However, as portfolios can now be easily displayed through electronic means, portfolio presentations are now becoming much more popular.

Outputs from the digital context of reproduction are in continual change. For example, some of the myriad styles and formats can be found in
-digital magazines
-digital portable document format (PDF's)
-interactive online documents
-web design (through the use of other Adobe applications such as its sister product Dreamweaver).

The fundamental difference of web design is that it requires dynamic layouts rather than fixed layouts, whereas an output intended to be printed as a hardcopy or portable document format is of course of a fixed layout.

Other considerations of printing however still remain the same and include image resolution and the need or otherwise, for scalable graphics together with the document format of landscape or portrait; the printing and presentation outputs of subtractive pigment management through CMYK or additive light colour management of RGB.

We then conducted an exercise to familiar ourselves with the InDesign product. This included a short workshop on how to open new documents and through selecting the various intentional outputs such as printed matter, web-based or digital publishing. Also discussed were the early identification of a language that has transcended from the mechanical printing age, including the phrases such as "bleed and slug". Bleed is simply the extra image overlap which will be cut off from the paper to create a clean edge of multiple copies of paper when presented in a book or brochure format. Whereas 'slugs' are the crop marks and edges which are used as reference points in preparation for the practical cutting or guillotine operations to create the clean edge of books.

With regards to page layouts, the concept of InDesign is to use "frames" which is a very different notion than perhaps the more immediately familiar methods used in word processing.

By using the tool palette within InDesign, one is able to draw frames within a master document to create a fixed and standard layout which can be replicated easily throughout the book. Once an arrangement is established with the frames button, it is possible to then import, or 'link' files and images of text and pictures through pasting. This is usually done by the use of "placing an image" by using the selection of the keys 'command' and 'D' (on Apple Mac devices) or 'control'+ 'D' (in Microsoft Windows systems)

When in the selection mode (and a black arrow is displayed on the screen), it is possible, by double-clicking the black arrow on the particular choice to change such selection into what is known as "direct selection".
To visually check the aesthetic representation of formats, it is possible to insert various online text through generators, or random language, or alternatively, use the built-in 'traditional' printer's method of selection of Latin text commencing with the words Lorem ipsum.

In typographic design, consider the grid concepts as setting the definitions for aesthetic presentation. See the book by  Josef Mülller-Brockmann, a German publication entitled "Grid Systems in Graphic Designs; -a Visual Communications Manual for Graphic Designers, Typographers and 3-D Designers.

Lecture and workshop on the Adobe product "in design" by Dr Juliet MacDonald, Friday, 10 February 2017, at the University of Huddersfield.

Josef Müller-Brockman (1999), "Grid Systems in Graphic Designs; -a Visual Communications Manual for Graphic Designers, Typographers and 3-D Designers. This is now in its 9th edition, 2015 by Niggli Verlag (Publishers), Sulgen, printed by Drückerei, Kossell GmbH, of Germany.