critical assessment

From my freshman year to now i grew a lot as a Graphic designer. Every semester and each class refined me as a future established and accomplished designer.  During those two years, I have shaped my mindset a lot . I have discovered things about myself that I never knew were possible, and i’m now capable of so much more than I had ever thought before. And i’m also very positive and optimistic about the future unlimited number of knowledge i will get. As a perfectionist person , i’m really aware of the fact that the only way to achieve my goals is to get inspiration from others , thus always try to learn new things.

When i look back at my previous work, i just realize how much my work is being refined through time, and this gives me hope for the future me. With an impartial eye I would say my greatest strengths are attention to detail, myself criticalness and overall my culture. In fact as a native from Ivory coast a west African country, i grew up in a very diversified and colorful environment that shaped me as the opened minded person i am today. It is very important for designers to keep their work pay close attention to detail because as my dad use to say “the smallest detail makes the biggest difference”.

I have chose three projects that, together, will expectedly show my work and skills evolution: my symbol methodology project (Graphic Design I) , my cognitive map (Graphic Design I),  and my final Mark for Zilker Park (Graphic Design II). I have chosen these three projects specifically because I consider them as the most representative of my capacities. I wouldn’t consider one of them as my best work , but as the most demonstrative of my skills with adobe softwares. they have each been stepping stones and have sparked improvement in my design skills. Through the projects I decided to highlight, I will show how these different processes helped me to create something sophisticated in the end result.

The first project I want to bring to the surface is the symbol I created for my Graphic Design I class.  This project was the first project that was requiring me to use Adobe Illustrator. No need to say how proud I was of my accomplishments. A the beginning of the project i had no clue of how this software was working. I felt really lost and out of topic compared to my classmates. Tuan really inspired me with his 10000 hours goals but also with the self motivation he was teaching us. After that I began to work hard , by watching youtube’s tutorials in order to lean new techniques and enlarge my capacities on illustrator.

During my process of self learning I discovered a lot of thing as much as in class as out of class. I also learned how to develop a process, and I spent a lot of time doing my researches. I was really excited to share my roots through my design work and I wanted to make sure I the outcome would be as communicative as I was expecting it to be. Ultimately, I learned the defining differences between symbols and logos and that changed the way I thought about Design. In fact my perspective on designing symbols, logos, and branding has radically changed. I learned the defining differences between symbols and logos and that changed the way I thought about Design. This project was a “game changer” for me and it inspired a lot me to work harder.I definitely give myself more time to do research, and begin to create iterations of my work (and more iterations). Design is a process. In order to create sophisticated work you have to have follow some sort of process. It doesn’t only help for immediate projects, but for overall development and growth as a designer.

Another project that I think really reinforced my perception of  the principles of design  was the Cognitive Map that I created as part of a Mapping Project. Here, I used the skills and techniques that I had learned during the creation of my symbols and designed a map. I enjoyed the brainstorming and process work that I worked on corresponding to each Map. At the time of the project, I had read a few articles about the best places to visit in the world. Since i’m a travel “Loveuse”  I have always been interesting by discovering new places. What gladdened me most about my Cognitive Map was that it showed me that I can create things that will communicate information; What is very important in the graphic design field. It made me realize how much I could actually do with my design practice, even as a student.I also learned how to develop a process, and I spent a lot of time doing my researches. I was really excited to share my roots through my design work and I wanted to make sure I the outcome would be as communicative as I was expecting it to be.

Finally, I want to mention the Mark I created for my Graphic Design II course in which I have been developing an identity for Zilker Park. I’m still working on it and perfecting it; I have learned and keep learning so much from this project. One of the most important thing i’ve been learning with this project is that  a designer work goes through a lot of step in order to have a satisfying work, he has to keep refining again and again his work . And this is the key to a Designer success , perseverance and hand hard work. Designers need to identify a persona, a user, an audience in order to create a brand that is universally successful in communicated and reaching that specified audience. It takes more than designing things that are “nice,” it takes empathy and understanding of the world and groups of people that are being targeted.

At the end of this 3 years ,I over passed my expectations. I have learned more than I ever thought I would about design as well in class as outside of class.  Today I feel more prepared and ready to handle design projects on my own; overall My inspiration is now unlimited and i will always keep digging into my roots for my inspiration and also keep learning and improving my work .

Symbol Project

Cognitive Map

Zilker Park Pester

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