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Another year has come to an end (and another birthday is fast approaching; I'll be 24 on NYE. I can feel the arthritis kicking in). I know I've been pretty neglectful of this blog as of late, but a lot has happened especially over these past few months. At least it meant I only had to look back a few posts to see what I wrote for my 2016 year end entry...

I said at the end of my 2016 blog post that I wasn't sure what lay ahead in 2017, and that I had no specific plans other than to work on my portfolio and see where it ends up after another 6 months. I don't think I could have guessed 2017 if I'd tried! In a similar fashion to the 2016 post, I'll sum it up very quickly in bullet points:


  • Mr Snuffles the hamster joined the family; the cutest, most doziest, docile hamster I have ever met

  • Bought another car, nearly as fun as Bert (if you don't already by now know, Bert is my other car - a classic Fiat 126) but a little bit quicker...

  • I got a fantastic opportunity to go on a work trip to America, where we visited Boston and I also combined it with a trip to New York - was amazing but very tiring!

  • I took my next step in the career ladder and joined a design agency as a Graphic Designer which meant leaving Autodesk, my first job out of uni. Admittedly I didn't think the right job would come along until at least early 2018, so everything happened very quickly!
And here we are. If I had a time machine back in 2016 looking to my portfolio now, I'd probably be a bit disappointed as on the surface not much has been added (to my online portfolio anyway). I realised though perhaps a little later than I should have done, that developing and progressing as a designer can't be measured by how many projects/design pieces you pump out in a year. You learn from doing of course, but the results of what you have learnt aren't always gleaming pieces to put in your portfolio - I found I've learnt a lot from even the quickest and smallest of projects. I've picked up skills over these past few months which are essential for creating better work. Straight forward stuff that can be overlooked such as little things to look out for when checking print-ready files. Even just setting up the files, something which is hidden from the final product; I've learnt more efficient and better ways at creating an organised file system so that revisiting work will be a doddle, even if it's months down the line. I've also been increasingly reading advice, debates, and blogs daily, including how to refine my skills as a designer and to increase my awareness of what new technologies/software updates are on the horizon. Overall compared to 2016, I can say I'm far more confident now that anything I add to my portfolio moving forward will have a better, more organised underlying foundation in terms of both thought and physical structure (that isn't of course to say I'm anywhere near perfect, just improved upon from last year!). 

For 2018 it would be great to write a list of things to aim for (so I can reward myself with gold stars and chocolate); I learnt from my time at Autodesk that something measurable and realistic will make you far more likely to end up achieving them. So over these next couple of days of 2017 I'll set about making a list, then this time next year I'll be doing the next end of year post - have a great New Year!

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It's the end of the year which has a terrible habit of landing on my birthday. I've wrote this post in advance and scheduled it so I don't have to type all this on my birthday ;)

2016 has been deemed by many 'the worst year ever'. I've seen people sharing memes saying how 2016 has been rubbish for them. Back in January I said it was going to be my hardest year yet given it was my final year of uni, but it was going to be amazing afterwards. And it proved right.

I initially began typing this post as a huge essay on what I'd done through the year, but that would be tedious; I'm not one for enjoying essays that much after all (dissertation, anyone?).

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Finally wrote my dissertation (2 days with only 4 hours sleep). Death had never been so appealingGot a letter from the Vice Chancellor saying I achieved the highest mean mark at Level 4 out of Graphics and Photography - Level 4…

Graphic Design Festival Scotland Poster

I designed a poster a few months back, an illustrative representation of Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement:

Done as a spur of the moment thing, inspired by a symbol we see on a day to day basis, I decided to enter it into the Graphic Design Festival Scotland competition - the competition brief was open to anything. I found out 2 weeks ago it is through to stage 1 of the selection process! So for the next stage I was asked to post 2 copies of the poster and in 2 weeks I will find out if it's through to the final round, and therefore exhibited at the event in October. The final 3 winners will be announced at the exhibition on the opening night.

Fingers crossed the poster makes it through to the next round, it would be pretty cool to see it in an exhibit! I don't often enter design competitions, in fact I think this might be the first one I have entered? I had fun making this poster either way, as well as this poster I also created to advertise the exhibition:


Dropbox's new branding has caused a stir in the design community. Popular opinion is generally unfavourable towards the new branding, but I have seen some split opinions. For me, the branding leaves me a bit confused - or does it? Click this to see the branding page.
The new logo is a good step forward I believe, and hasn't been the centre of debate in the design community so I'm not going to touch on it other than showing the before and after:

Dropbox also have a new typeface with their rebrand, called 'Sharp Grotesk' created by the type foundry Sharp Type, inspired by the late Adrian Frutiger. In my opinion, the typography is a mixed bag. Some of the fonts of their new typeface are ok, but the typeface has an ametuer feel which shows upon closer inspection in the stretched iterations:

Conversely, I find the stretched iterations actually seem to work reasonably well when presented as headings in isolation. However, I found they looked disjointed when presented alo…