Summer Project brief

Year 2 summer project 15/16

Investigating Specialist Areas


During Year 2 through a series of studio based projects and other activities, you will experience four specialist areas of Graphic Media Design practice. This will help you to begin to test and apply a variety ways of working and to begin to navigate and establish your personal design practice.

Your second year upon GMD starts now

Summer projects are delivered to ensure that you are continuing to engage with your subject outside of taught delivery. It is important that you engage with this project, as it will act as a solid starting point for the first assignment of term one.

The four specialist areas are:

1. Digital Exploration (and the ‘democratization of technology’)

2. Information Environments and Branding

3. Social Design

4. Typography (applied, expressive, form and function and so on)

Task A:

Explore the four specialist areas above. Consider: definitions, practical testing and experiments, applications, case studies, contemporary agencies and practitioners and the critical dialogue surrounding contemporary design practice. Make notes and work towards collating, editing and presenting your findings.

Task B:

Once you have researched the four specialist areas listed above, select two of them to combine and create your own simple project. The subject, theme or purpose is entirely yours. The list below is an interpretation of the specialisms, which may make them easier to understand when formulating a project brief.

1. Using Adobe AfterEffects

2. The communication of Information – 2D and/or 3D

3. Using design to improve the world (locally/nationally/globally)

4. Using typography

Remember – use two of these in your project. It is also important to write a project title and simple explanatory paragraph outlining your project, its purpose, focus and function.

The outcome is up to you. It could be a series of final designs, a short film/moving image, made artifacts or typo/graphic images etc. Be ambitious – test, explore, think ‘graphic design is a communication medium’ – as this project represents the start of your second year. Invest time to generate quality work that will feature in a small pop up exhibition during the first week of term.

As well as your final outcome, produce a 12 pages research document evidencing Task A and Task B showing clearly how you explored, tested and applied these areas. Your document may be designed for print or digital [PDF]. Please ensure though that your document is created by using InDesign and sympathetic to paper/screen size and ratio (type size, legibility, line length etc.). If you create a PDF you may wish utilize features such as embedded video and hyperlinks.

Final Outcome

1 x Body of work showcasing two specialist areas combined

1 x 12 pages Research Document print or PDF

Evidence of your engagement with After Effects CS6 software (see page three for further details)

This work must be completed before the first day of term. 

We will be in contact in early September to give you a day, room and time for your first day back in GMD.

Body of work – a definition: The production of work generated using different research methodologies (primary, secondary, tertiary etc.) that can encompass a wide range of practical and theoretical applications. This work aims to establish the role of critical thinking to support the development of an engaged design practice. As well as the usual ideas generation through mind-mapping etc. it should include models of design analysis such as semiotics, semantics and discourse theory, communication theory and other systematic approaches. By engaging in these approaches the design work produced will be rigorous with the emphasis on the ‘why’ we do what we do and ‘how’ we can be sure it is effective, through making, testing, developing, getting feedback and exploring beyond the surface of our initial visual vocabulary.

Adobe After Effects:

Within year two you will all use Adobe After Effects software. If you do not implement this within your two specialist areas in the tasks above (Specialist Area 1 Digital Exploration) you would be well served to explore it. Please use workshops and tutorials. See also the attached AfterEffects guide.


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