PPD Blog Review
I am now nearing the end of my first year as a design student. Accordingly I have been asked to write a short review of how I think my blog has progressed throughout the last eight months.
My blog is comprised of three main areas; my main Blog, Who I be? (grammatically incorrect but an honest introduction to me and my journey to where I am now), and my Portfolio (which uses an add on gallery to show images). My main blog area is then divided in to four categories; Blogs, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Design Work and Photographs. It seemed important to have an easy way for people to navigate around the blog and find what they are interested in.
For me it has been a time of change and intense growth. My learning curve has been steep and I believe it shows in my blog. My first few weeks were a shock to the system as I learnt that I would need a twitter account, an iPhone and interesting bits of information to post to the world through the Internet. Here you can see one of my first posts, it shows that I have tried to be as honest as possible with my blog in order to document my feelings towards learning as well as design work.
Before choosing wordpress.org it was important to research other blogging platforms. Blogger and Tumblr, although popular, looked a little less professional. I thought it was important to have a site that can be redesigned and change to suit my needs. I now know that wasn’t the best idea for someone that has no idea about CSS or anything code. I explored a number of different themes until Blogum 1.0 by WPshower was found. The simple black and white with three columns style was perfect. It is important the theme does not over power the images so the simple layout and colour was great.
Here are a few of my most important blogs:
22nd November – PDF workshop. As my blog has evolved it’s possible to see a change in the narrative as well as the quality of the images in the posts. The text in this entry is pretty poor but it’s an important step and shows clearly the improvements I have made in a short time. The images are small and have been cropped to different sizes. My newer posts (I hope) are more concise, more interesting, and show a higher degree of technical knowledge regarding my blogging platform.
23rd March – LBi post. This was my Industry Partner assignment. I worked in a group with two other students at the LBi offices on a concept idea for an Olympic app. This project educated me in ways that cannot be achieved in the classroom or by self-initiated learning. In this post you can see how I was full of hope after a lot of very positive feedback from the LBi employees. It’s also the first time I realized that creative ability is not just about what you can do with Adobe.
25th April – Anatomy of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Logo. This post shows not only the evolution of my blog but the improvement in my work. This was my final outcome for my Mapping project. I worked very hard on this assignment and encountered many ups and downs along the way. To finish with a physical product that will look great in my portfolio was amazing and really useful. The photographs used in this blog post were the same images used in my final PDF, they were taken on a table with an infinity wall. The pictures would have looked better if I had used a soft flash but that’s a minor point. The comment on this post is also interesting and I’ve had a lot of private interest shown in the outcome.
9th May – Letterpress. I made a short time lapse video to show the letterpress technique being used by my fellow student Robin and I. Again this entry shows an evolution in my blogging style but also in my design education. Eight moths ago I had never heard of letterpress, leading, kerning or time lapse. Now I am doing all four and posting them to my blog! The photographs in this entry are also of a higher quality, as is the narrative. I discuss the importance of a technique rendered obsolete by modern technology but hint at the importance of understanding the obsolete in order to expertly use the modern standard.
My blog is very much a work in progress. I see the importance of having it and understand that an internet presence is important for a new designer like myself. Equally it’s a place for experimentation and a way to keep my finger on new trends and ideas on the net.
The area that needs the most work is my portfolio. I don’t like the cheap looking layout of the photo gallery, the images are thumb nails and need to be clicked to see them, it takes too much time and simply doesn’t look good enough. I will be creating a new portfolio hosted by another platform and linking it to my domain and this blog.
In hindsight I would have used a simpler platform to host my blog, that way I would have been more inclined to post when busy with other work. Worpress.org although designed to be customizable is less intuitive and more work than other platforms. Overall my blog has been an education and interesting to do. It has helped me understand modern design and my place within it. As I evolve as a designer so will my blog.
Presently I am averaging about 180 visitors a month.
30% are return visitors.
Britain seems to like my blog the most with a massive visit average of 120 a month, but I have visitors from all over the world. USA averages 23 a month, whilst this month Philippines has 5 visits, Australia gets 4, Sudan has 2 and Romania gets only 1.
Theomayers.com and been seen in 16 countries world wide.