Due to the project coming to its conclusion a lot of the last 2 weeks have been similar in terms of content in what had to be completed. Therefore I have outlined and summarised what has been completed over weeks 7 and 8 together.
What has been done over the last two weeks? (Unit 8 3.1, Unit 8 4.1)
Over the past two weeks I have completed the majority of the work needed for my final project in terms of my final pieces. I first finalised the review layout adding in all relevant images and the article itself that I had written and redrafted based around feedback. In order to add the images in I had to first acquire them. Due to the nature of a review piece I needed very specific images, therefore using my own personal copy of Fallout 4 I played through and took HD screen shots of different sections in the game that I thought would fit with my article. I took the screen shots taking in mind what content was discussed in the article as well as bearing in mind the overall layout of screenshots from the original source material as well as in keeping with the darker colour scheme relating to the game in general.
Once the review was complete I focused my attention towards the gamesTM layout in terms of applying appropriate images, I then referenced these images accordingly in my production log. Following on from this I then added my finalised article once it had been proof read and redrafted accordingly fixing any grammatical and syntax errors and fixing some quotes through minimal rewording of certain phrases, due to feedback, in order to clarify the interviewees point. Part of completing this layout required me to make a section for the table on the second page. I decided the best way to put this section to use would be to highlight 4 games that had recently been Greenlight and a brief overview outlining the genre, expected release date and the current state of the game. This required minimal research which was done through the Steam Greenlight website and I simply went to the ‘recently Greenlit’ section and read up on the games and took one of their images/screenshots of the games in question. I then referenced this accordingly in my production log.
(Comparison image above for reference)(PC Gamer, 2016)
Then starting on week 7 and following through to week 8 I worked solely on creating my front cover. Creating the front cover was created in a slightly different way to the layouts. Firstly due to the fact I was using PhotoShop rather than InDesign, as well as the fact front covers are much more visual orientated compared with the layouts. Therefore it was not imperative to completely recreate the cover to millimeter accuracy. Due to this there were some design changes I made to the overall layout of the cover, different from the source material in question while still in keeping with the overall aesthetic. Due to the nature of a front cover design (especially in regards to PC Gamer and keeping the target audience in mind) the design was partially impacted by the front cover game chosen to be used. In order to link the front cover to my review piece I thought it fitting to make the cover image one of the box art of Fallout 4 due to keeping an overarching theme. It is likely what PC Gamer would do for the release of such a highly anticipated game as the review would have been highly anticipated by the target audience and it would draw attention. Some design changes I made were to omit green circles with small images inside as I thought there were too distracting and detracted from the overall aesthetic which was quite dark and somber with a very mechanical feel due to the nature of the image; I felt overcrowding the layout would compromise this. As part of this I excluded the image of the top left of a green hexagon and instead found another PC Gamer graphic from their website and altered it accordingly by spot heal tool over both the website and logo due to those not being necessary for the cover image. I also rounded out the image and neatened up the edges to give a more rounded feel, as the main image was very rounded and circular based. The only other two changes I made were to change the colour scheme of light brown for the top section due to this being based on the colour scheme used in the main image itself, therefore I simply selected a background colour for the appropriate sections. I received positive feedback to these changes and omissions and was told it suited the overall theme much better than the source material for my particular cover theme in general going with a much more grim-dark and tidy layout rather than the populated and busy source material based cover. While the overall process was very time consuming it was definitely worth the final outcome. I did face several issues while doing this due to having errors with Photoshop such as the quick select tool not selecting whole sections of an image I wished to cut out and therefore I had to do this manually (which took upwards of an hour to do to the quality I required). Also the feathering and smoothing tools were both quite difficult to acquire the desired results however through perseverance I was able to finally gained the effect I needed.
Was everything completed on time – if not why? (Unit 8 3.1, Unit 8 4.1)
Everything was easily completed on time and has left me in good stead for the final week next week leaving me with just final proof reading and slight alterations as well as the overall evaluation. Having an entire week to do this will be easy to accomplish and I am predicted to finish early. Despite several setbacks and time consuming tasks for the creation of the front cover I was able to compensate for this due to rescheduling of my time and committing extra time externally to my contact hours at college. Also due to last week putting me ahead of schedule these obstacles were diminished as a result.
Next weeks itinerary (Unit 8 3.1)
- Complete over arching evaluation of all work completed taking in accounter the original aims of the project; the end result; problems faced; how those problems were overcome; each criteria and how it was accomplished and to what level of success
- Make any final changes
- Proof read and ensure quality of work
- Submit under a final blog post comprising of links to all appropriate pieces of work
Skills practiced (Unit 8 3.1, Unit 8 4.1)
Over the past two weeks the skills involved were focused essentially around practical skills and the implementation of these skills as well as time management.
Firstly there were the skills associated with picking images for the layout, this required analysis in terms of what images were relevant with the article and overall theme and aesthetic of the layouts. This had to take into account the colour scheme and what the target audience want to see and would find stimulating, for gamesTM for example images of the games the interviewer mentions as well as images that give context to the article (such as the Steam Greenlight logo) which give inclination to the theme of the article. Whereas with the review it is essential to include only images specifically from the game in question being reviewed as this is what the target audience are expecting from PC Gamer reviews.
Secondly the skill set in terms of mathematical implementation of design elements. By this I mean that measurements of the source material must be used to give an accurate idea of a basic skeleton layout to be worked around. For example with the front cover, while I did not take exact measurements in a table format such as with the article layouts I did still take measurements. I implemented this information by creating guidelines in the document to give me areas in which to work in for each section so I could size images and text accordingly to keep everything in proportion while giving some leeway for design choices and changes. Being flexible in the design process in a vital skill to element in the graphic design industry especially relating to layouts and front covers for publications; this allows for changes to be made on the fly at the request of the employer.
Naturally as with the entire project time management has been a vital skill, thanks to good time management over the previous weeks. This meant that despite several issues and setbacks this did not affect me much in terms of completing self set deadlines or endanger the overall project’s deadline. Again this skill is vital in the journalism industry in all fields from photographers taking current event images and getting them sent in for editing and publishing in a timely manner, as well as with writers completing an article for publication. This is an especially prevalent skill for online journalists due to the competitive nature of the online industry where all sites are in direct competition to produce content before the other. Therefore having certain contingency plans are essential for completing a project on time, in this case it was having other pieces to work on while certain issues happened or giving myself extra time allocated just in case anything took longer than expected.
Front Cover. (2016). PC Gamer, (291), p.1.