Wednesday, 10 December 2008

A Tale Of Typography Tasks

The first of the short typography tasks have begun over the last two weeks. I really feel that things are moving in the right direction now as these tasks have taught me a lot about design. They have been the most enjoyable part of the course so far as I was able to put all the learning into practice and test my own abilities.

I have always been sceptical about drawing millions of rough sketches before moving into a design as I tended to always have a couple of ideas in my head, and go with them. During these tasks, however, my opinion has been changed. Through the sketching and development of my ideas I found that I was coming up with much more suitable and appealing designs, which in turn is making me a better designer.

We have also recently begun
typography tests in identifying fonts. I was very suprised when the first test happened and it made me a little uneasy. In not having a home computer for the last few weeks, font revision was something I hadn't been able to do at all. The lack of work reflected in my first mark of 5 out of 22. This really told me I needed to get learning, but without a computer I didn't get a chance before the next test. A last second look through some fonts bumped my score to 12 which i was happy with. I know now I have to crack on and get learning different typefaces asap.

There is a certain sense of relief at the moment because most people have found out they have passed the A2 referals and also the christmas break is soon upon us. It's making for a nice relaxed atmosphere which is a lot more enjoyable to work in.

Saturday, 29 November 2008


The tempo has picked up over the last two weeks of the course. With two new assignments, and the realisation that my first assignment isn’t quite over, the first feelings of stress set in. Just like most of the group I was disappointed to have failed the first assignment. I felt, however, that it helped to bring me back down to earth, realising that the course wasn’t going to be plain sailing. The feedback I received was helpful in allowing me to produce a perfect piece of work, pointing out the errors I made and explaining how to change them.

With the referral fresh on my mind I found it difficult to focus on the two new assignments at first. I found myself a bit lost and wanting to ask far too many questions, but as the tuition and the step-by-step planning proceeded I soon began to understand what was expected of me. A couple of weeks in and I am back on track with both new assignments.

The parts of the course I was most looking forward to was the designing aspect. I was relieved that we finally did some layout designs and it made me feel happier now we were moving more towards designing. I also now understand why we learnt some of the other topics that I originally thought weren’t relevant. I now have a much greater background knowledge of the subject and it has allowed me to understand more of the words and phrases used in designing. This has made me feel a lot more comfortable on the course.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Truths About Web Design

Dave Pannell and Craig Burgess from The Design Mechanics managed to change
my preconceptions of a ‘lecture’. They produced an informative, interactive presentation that taught me a lot about my future in web design, during and after college.

On starting this course my hope was to eventually start my own business. I found the talk very helpful in this aspect of my ambitions. Dave put forward how important it was to build a business from the bottom and look at it as a long term expansion. This teaches me not to be overly eager for instant success as the web design industry is a process that is learnt over time.

A key aspect of the talk was about employability. Dave spoke of how employers are not just looking for web designers; they are looking for employees with the whole package. Each stage of the design is vital, and this relates to my current studies, in that I must be able to master each course assignment in a similar way to increase my chances of employability.

When working as a web designer, the ability to draw vast amount of detail and ideas from clients is crucial. You must learn everything about them as far as there hobbies, likes and dislikes. From this information a suitable design brief can be put together and only then can idea generation begin.

In a similar way, you must gain as much client criticism on discarded designs so you then know how to go about making amendments to them. This taught me that a lot of background research is required on clients and then designs must be developed through this information.

Overall I found this presentation extremely helpful. It has managed to fulfil my perceptions on web design and gave me more confidence in this course.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

The History of a Font: Fette Fraktur

1Fette Fraktur is a Blackletter typeface derived from an original Fraktur typeface. The word Fette is a German word and means bold in English, and makes the English equivalent of this font, Bold Fraktur. This evolution of the Fraktur font was not used much for text purposes but for advertisements. 2The Fette Fraktur was originally released sometime before 1842 by the Joh.Peter Nees Company in Offenbach, Germany. Blackletter typefaces, also know as Gothic scripts, were used mainly in Germany well into the 1900’s for the German language. 3Another commonly used Blackletter typefaces is Textura, which was used in the first ever Bible. There is also Bastarda and Rotunda faces.

The typeface was typically used for books and newspapers during the Third Reich, where it was preferred in favour of sans-serif faces. The approved use of Fette Fraktur by the Nazi regime continued until January 3rd, 1941. A man named Martin Bormann, who was the director of the Party Chancellery , issued a direct discontinuation of the Fette Fraktur typeface. This was due to the alleged involvement of a Jew in the early development of the face. During World War II the German Allies also banned the font due to its illegibility, as the troops struggled to read it.

To this day it is one of the most commonly used Blackletter faces and continues to be used in advertising and packaging to communicate a sense of traditionalism in places such as Austria, Bavaria and Germany. The Fette Fraktur font has been confused for the Blackletter script often mislabelled as Old English script, and is now very popular in the world of Hip-hop music and fashion.


  1. Fette Fraktur,, Accessed on 04/11/2008
  2. Fette Fraktur,, Accessed on 04/11/2008
  3. Fette FrakturTM Regular,, Accessed on 04/11/2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

D Day

The first deadline has been and gone, in what has been a fairly relaxed beginning to the web design course. Time management was less of an issue than I possibly would have liked. I found myself being able to get on with this assignment in a comfortable, casual manor. This made for a good start to the course with minimal pressure, allowing the group plenty of time to gel. I am now comfortable with the people around me making it a more enjoyable experience. If I were to do this again I would have managed my time to complete the assignment earlier, leaving me even more time to check and correct.

I noticed around the room there were a few anxious faces when the deadline was looming, and it sparked others to question there own work. I managed to pull myself away from this and stayed relaxed up to the deadline. It definitely made me feel much more comfortable with the work I had done and ensured no unnecessary stress.

I am feeling a lot more comfortable with the course and look forward to future assignments because I have more of a feel for the way things are done. The steady start was a great way to integrate us into the course; however, I do feel that I am slightly unaware of the pressure that will be placed upon me through these next few assignments, making me slightly anxious.

Overall I now have a positive outlook on the course, and I am more satisfied that I am heading down the right route.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Le Debut

It was a pleasing start to the course for me. To my surprise I started to feel a part of the team very quickly despite missing the induction week.

I quickly realised there were other students that had a much greater understanding of web design than I did. This made me feel a little behind other students from the off, however, it gave me a larger incentive to get my head down and learn more about the web design. I found it difficult hearing different words and phrases being used, that I had never heard before. Through asking I found that everyone was happy to expand and I have already learnt a lot of new things within these first few weeks.

In the past I have often been poor at asking questions but the college forum has allowed all my questions to be answered, and allowed me to progress on the assignment much quicker.

I have always found myself guilty of doing things last minute. Within the first week I realised if I was to carry on like this then the course would become very difficult and I would find myself missing deadlines. I now have a much greater understanding of time management and am allowing more time for work during my week.

All in all I have a positive impression of the first few weeks and still look forward to learning new skills and developing my abilities, although I know there are many more challenging assignments to come.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Where I’ve come from; where I am now; where I’m going.

In starting the HND Interactive Media course in Web Design at Wakefield College, I know I have a lot to prove to myself. Going back to the very beginning of my education I was considered to be at a higher level than student of my age. Subsequently I was moved up a year and continued to be in the top group excelling in maths and science and art. Personal problems during the later end of my education made learning difficult and these reflected in my work and my results. I still managed to achieve three A-levels with a C in maths, however, I still feel I can now achieve closer to my full potential through this course.

After finishing my A-levels I took a year out to decide upon what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I first landed a job as a transmission engineer; quickly realising this wasn’t right for me, I began looking at new options. I had always been interested in computing but my previous college had a poor I.T facility and I thought the lack of qualifications would make a career like this impossible. I began to look for I.T apprenticeships and as I was doing so, a friend actually pointed the Web Design course out to me. After inquiring I found out I had sufficient qualifications and I realised it was something I really wanted to do.

I have already dabbled in design work and coding, including the design and editing of my band's web page, but not to a high enough standard. My aim for the course is to be able to make a career out of web design. Therefore, I want to be able to master each section of the course so I can be employable to a wide range of businesses. A hope for the future is also to become skilled enough to set up my own business.