Unit 10 Children’s book: Week 11/submission.

(Unit 9 2.2)- As far as production went for this week, and since it was the week to be well on our way to finishing our children’s books or resources, I was essentially just ensuring that all aspects of my book were in place. This included: ensuring that my choice of typography was suitable for my age bracket; all illustrations and photo backgrounds were varied in proportion from feedback and lectures. I also made certain that all aspects of my book showed evidence of skills learned over the term,  feedback and research into designers, layout and (most importantly) target audience.

However, one element of my book underwent some changes during this last week but for the benefit of my book. I had initially intended to do a spot-the-danger activity at the end to engage the child’s knowledge on my topic but my tutor showed me a more intriguing piece in my eyes which was a factual page on how to stay safe at the beach and on the sea. We both agreed together that this kind of feature would be more appropriate than my activity idea since I had the ‘did you know…’ running though and my topic of sea safety was more ‘you HAVE to do this to be safe’ rather than ‘what do you think?’ I had an example posted on one of my last blog post’s feedback to show how it could be made child-friendly for my project. The example showed bright colours, bold and clear illustrations with very straight-forward information- all of which I applied to my own information page. However, I only decided to do the three dealt with in the story plus one more to avoid overwhelming the child with too many facts.

Here is what I created with reference to my given example:

265f833a4c7f7f9ee5fd74cf2a5839fbscreenshot

(Unit 10 2.2)-Although this did add extra pressure on my to have my storybook completed by my deadline, I ha my example and all the skills I learned across the term such as the image trace and layer mask techniques on InDesign and Photoshop to help me with completing this final page. I also decided to use features from within my book such as the characters’ hands and the style of the life-jacket so that the child still engages with it as much as the story and recognises the page as part of the book’s style itself.

(Unit 10 3.1)- Prior to completely finishing my storybook, I made a firm start on my final evaluation for this project which will cover: my final solutions against the identified target audience of young children and what my target audience actually think of my book, what they like about it and maybe what I could have done to ensure it meets their needs even more (typography, illustrations or the topics dealt with). I have sent a copy of my storybook to, like my primary research, those who I know have and/or know a child of my targeted age group to transcribe what the child has to say about my storybook.

(Unit 10 3.2)- I have made a start on evaluating and reflecting on my learning to inform personal development which involves: documenting my strengths and weaknesses of all kinds during my journey, new skills learned which I can transfer to my final major project. I will also analyse how I’ve resolved various problems that have occurred during this project.

Unit 10 Children’s book: Week 11/submission.

Unit 9 project (Greg): Evaluation

Unit 9: Evaluation (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)

For this unit, our brief was for us to explore a theme of our choice affecting the demographic of those aged 18-30 years old in two different formats as part of an exhibition. This theme was entirely up to and in any two forms we desire. The brief also stated that both our pieces will be aimed at the audience aged 18-30 years old.

Pitch (Unit 9 1.1):

First and foremost, I had to come up with a theme and two formats for my project. I decided to investigate obsession with the sub-themes of digital media- specifically social media and gaming. This was because I knew that it was a theme that could fit well into my chosen formats of photographs and an article and heavily applies to my target audience and even beyond. Once I had decided on this, I put together my project pitch which included everything I intended to carry out from my theme and sub-theme ideas, research methods, and all my pre-production plans. I pitched this to the class and after I was given feedback for what everyone thought of my ideas. Overall, I did receive some very useful feedback which included ideas for photo content and headline ideas for my article to attract the audience in more. For instance, Scott suggested that my photos should be in a complete separate format instead of my brainstormed photo-journal as a way to ‘show, not tell’ my theme more. I was given one photo idea for the gaming which was to have the gamers’ hours shown above them, all showing different hours. I loved this idea because I thought it could strongly implement the difference between healthy gaming and the obsessive relationship with it. (Unit 9 3.2)- However, I did feel that the pitch as a whole could have gone better primarily because of one comment I was given after. One peer told me she thought my project almost revolved around my desire to use photography and that was what I seemed to focus on the most which did make me consider my pitch and ideas as unprofessional. But it occurred to me after that I wouldn’t have chosen a theme if I knew it wouldn’t fit in well with the use of photos or if it wouldn’t portray my theme effectively.

Pre-production (Unit 9 2.1):

After my pitch, I took my feedback away and made some final adjustments to my production plans. One of this included feedback stating that I could have made my theme digital technology and have the obsession as a sub-theme since I seemed to talk a lot more about digital media more than the obsession. This was the feedback that was really beneficial for my project planning since it helped me arrange my research and final pieces accordingly and it didn’t change many of my original plans either. For this project, my pre-production documents included: a production schedule to plan weekly tasks to complete, blog post content and the criteria they all cover. This was a document I have completed for projects last year since they have been the key to meeting my deadlines and ensuring that every criteria was covered. (Unit 9 3.2)- However, during the production stages I did have to make some adjustments to the weekly tasks. I moved the vox pop interviews from the research week to the article writing week because they would be fresh in my mind for when I came to writing the article, even though I transcribed them too.

Research (Unit 9 1.2):

Once all my pre-production was completed I began researching my theme and formats. (Unit 9 1.1)- I announced during my pitch that my two formats were photography and an article, which is what a lot of my secondary research consisted of; researching the types of photos that show social media and gaming obsession, the content of them and even how they vary in the graphic nature of them to help me form ideas for mine on top of my pitch feedback. (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)-  Looking back at my photo research, the majority of them showed social media/gaming obsession in very simple but emotive ways; from rows of friends all on their phones ignoring each other to hands being chained up to laptops and gaming controllers. All of these gave me ideas for what to create to portray my theme. For the article, I had intentions to write in the form of an existing newspaper format to help me form a correct tone and structure to it. (Unit 9 3.1/2.2)- When I began research I had planned on producing my article for the i newspaper since it is very widely read by people in the 18-30 age range and is a simplified version of the Independent newspaper, ideal for students and young adults. However, I decided to switch my format to the indy100 which is an online version of the Independent and a simplified version, like the i newspaper to allow me much more flexibility with the article’s tone and my interviews too whilst still fitting in with my target audience. (Unit 9 1.2)- My theme itself also came under my secondary research and is what I feel to have made my article one of the strongest parts of this project due to the areas I investigated for digital media obsession. These included: various causes for obsession, how it can turn into an obsession and the consequences of digital media obsession. Because of this I was able to use the sources to add some more in-depth detail and psychology into my article to grab the audience’s attention yet still fit in with the style. It also allowed me to adapt my vox pop questions according to my findings too.

I also carried out primary research in the forms of surveys and vox pop interviews. I used these as a major part of my article because, like last year, I used the survey results as statistics to add more eye-opening facts and the interviews to add a personal touch to the article and make the topic seem more believable. (Unit 9 2.1)- Unlike the interviews which had a set date to completed, the survey was more ongoing until the week of producing the article because it allowed me to analyse the results as I went along in advance preparation for it. (Unit 9 3.2)- Although this ongoing survey served its benefits, it did make it more difficult to select the appropriate statistics for my article since I had results returning over time. For future work, I will ensure that I set myself a deadline for the survey responses so that I have enough time to analyse them more effectively.

(Unit 9 1.2)- Alongside all the research methods learned from last year, I was given an idea from the class which applied to my photos. This was to go out and about into the city at any time and to gather some anonymous shots of people in the town on their phones using social media or playing smartphone games to see how rehearsed photos differ from on-the-spot photos in terms of how obsession is seen here. Although I didn’t manage to capture any shots due to to few people I saw actually using their phones for this, I did see various couples in coffee shops with phones on the table- one couple were together but with one person on his phone whilst talking. This made me realize just how, if it was an image, how an unplanned photo could be just as emotive as a planned one because the audience may not even see how much reality in this theme goes unnoticed when you see how people naturally treat. It’s almost second nature in many people, specially the younger generation and this is what I told my class when I showed them my production work during one session.

Production (Unit 9 2.2):

Once I had all my research findings, I began the production of my two formats. (Unit 9 1.1)- I had decided to produce the photos firstly due to feedback of using the photos to help come up with ideas for my article headline and first 25 words. (Unit 9 2.2)- Using my research findings on existing obsession photos I began drafting some initial ideas I had also linking it to pitch feedback. I came up with 4 ideas including: people playing a video game with the gameplay hours above each one- all of them varying dramatically to show the extent of this obsession. I had the same idea with someone holding out a phone and text around it showing their daily activity on social media with others being people ignoring each other whilst on their phones and dozens of devices (phones, a laptop, games consoles and games) all laid out together. All of these ideas, I believe, all showed digital media obsession in a way that shows the extent of it but at the same time, not in a too graphic nature.

When taking the photos, I decided to do my drafts plus a few extra shots to see which ones turned out best and selected the four that best told my theme. I did my social media photos in college and use some of my class members within them  since social media can be accessed via multiple platforms and I could show the extent of this with them. The video games obsession had to be done at home though as I had easier access to the devices and games plus a more suitable environment for them. (Unit 9 3.1)- A few photos did go to plan but some were changed for various reasons. For example, the birds-eye view of a phone in someone’s hand didn’t work out due to poor lighting in college. This was when I decided to do this at home using my brother to ‘model’ for me, which worked out well since I did the gaming photos at home too. They all changed for the better when my brother suggested for the gadgets to be all scattered carelessly around instead of neatly for capturing the shot. This worked really well and was a great way to show how this obsession won’t allow the person to think about anything else at all. This process also allowed me to experiment with the focus lens on either my brother or the gadgets to see how focus on either one affected the audience’s view to obsession within it. The focus change caught one of my peer’s attention when he commented on how they effectively pin-point the audiences’ eyes on various parts of the photo which still show digital media obsession.

(Unit 9 3.1)- I didn’t manage to apply the hours of gameplay to the photo I planned but despite feeling disappointed with this I transferred this to the phone being held and applied various activities to it relating to social media- a photo I initially planned at the beginning.

(Unit 9 2.2)- After my photos were complete I used them as a guide to start my article with the headline and 25 active words. (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)- Due to having a wide array of sources covering everything about social media and gaming obsession, I was able to conduct a suitable structure for my information whilst making appropriate room for my survey results and interviews. Speaking of my vox pop interviews, I decided to move them to the week of the article rather than the research due to being more appropriate with organisation. This only delivered the benefits because I had questions already planned but changed them slightly to fit in with the information decided upon in my article. (Unit 9 1.2)- Because of how I made the questions open and neutral as learned last year, I was able to gather some detailed and valid answers which I trimmed down and applied to my article in the style of the indy100.

Final pieces (Unit 9 2.2/3.1):

Looking at my final pieces, I feel they both effectively portray my theme of digital media obsession in their own ways. Personally, I feel that they are both turned out very successful considering having to change my original plans along the way. Many of which have only made the pieces better: Peer/tutor feedback from my pitch and throughout on having the photos separate from writing allowed me to fully experiment more with angles, focuses and effects for them- most of which would have been ruined by the writing. (Unit 9 1.2/2.2)- Because I decided to switch article formats just before writing it, I now feel I could have spent a day or so analysing the style and fonts of the indy100 rather than scanning through it whilst writing it. However, I feel that it has benefited with more flexibility with the interviews and overall creativity with the style of it.

(Unit 9 1.2/3.2)- Another problem faced was the vox pop interviews; I didn’t manage to interview as many people as I intended to which made me concerned about whether I would have enough valid opinions to work with. But it occurred to me that the purpose of vox pops is to interview a small number of people with the same questions- exactly what I did. Plus, I still interviewed some people of the same age to see how opinions vary in the same age. Overall, didn’t affect the quality of the article at all, it only enhanced it!

Unit 9 project (Greg): Evaluation

Unit 9 project: final pieces (Greg)

(Unit 9 2.2)- Photo format:

 

(Unit 9 2.2)- Article format:

unit-9-article

Is our relationship with digital technology healthy?

Social media and the latest gaming updates means digital technology has become irresistible to our generation’s lives- to the point of obsession.

The increasing advancements in gaming technology and access to social media platforms means that our generation has never been so obsessed, with teenagers more likely to become intoxicated.

According to one study, the use of social media feeds a variety of uses from anxiety to pleasure. Although, this study also showed that anxiety can occur through not knowing about every event of that moment via social media.

People use it to gain self-worth and confidence as a substitute for not having real achievements or purpose in their life.

This data reveals that the ratio of anxiety to pleasure supports a 3:1 ratio with those under 35 or 40 to be more anxiety driven.

Based on a recent survey of 25 people, 16% of the total respondents spend 5 hours a day or more using social media. 100% of these people own a social media account with 36% owning four or more.

From loneliness, poor social skills and, in extreme cases, becoming so frightened to answer the front door, social media obsession poses a great risk to developing other mental health problems in later life.

In addition to these damaging consequences so far, Anna Almendrala for the Huffington post commented:

Peer influence is kind of agnostic; it can be a good thing, it can be a potentially bad thing.

Like social media, video games have also seen cases of obsession increasing each year.

Given the access from home consoles, smartphones, portable devices and endless technical advancements, it’s no surprise that we are seeing this worrying trend.

Despite no single contributing factor for gaming obsession being the case, the appeal of a fantasy setting and ‘levelling up’ experiences are two of many reasons for gaming obsession with evidence concluding that role playing games hold one of the greatest obsession potentials.

Obviously with casual games you run out of loves or you finish the level but with MMO or RPGs there’s no segment where it’s like ‘you’ve done this.

You’re supposed to invest in it and that whole monthly charge means they need you to be obsessed with the game in order to keep playing it.

 

Unit 9 project: final pieces (Greg)

Week 11 (Greg): Unit 9 project.

(Unit 9 2.2)- Since this week is the last week before the holidays and the last week before submitting the first draft of our unit 9 project, I have been  progressing on from last week regarding the article and applying the interviews I carried out.

Last week I had to postpone recording any interviews until this week because the people I intended to ask my questions to were both absent. However, they were both in this week and I managed to gather their views and opinions on social media and gaming obsession. I did also manage to gather some views from people outside college and who varied my target age bracket (18-30 years old) a bit. (Unit 9 3.2)- This process as a whole did give me some mixed feelings at the end; I didn’t manage to interview as many people as I hoped to but the purpose of vox pops- as learned last year- is to interview a small number of people with the same questions to gather their views on a topic. Looking back, this is exactly what I did and I did manage to, as intended, to interview two people of the same age to see how opinions vary with experience.

(Unit 9 2.2)- Despite the minor obstacles faced during the interviewing, I still managed to get some very detailed and psychological answers which I transcribed and selected the post vital pieces to fit in with parts of my article.

unit-9-transcriptions

 

Using these transcriptions, I have trimmed down the most vital and valid pieces for my article and apply them where appropriate. Here is my first draft of my article which is in-text cited so far:

 

Is our relationship with digital technology healthy?

Social media and the latest gaming updates means digital technology has become irresistible to our generation’s lives- to the point of obsession.

The increasing advancements in gaming technology (Addictions, Unknown date) and access to social media platforms means that our generation has never been so obsessed, with teenagers more likely to become intoxicated.

According to one study, the use of social media feeds a variety of uses from anxiety to pleasure (Rosen, L, 2014). Although, this study also showed that anxiety can occur through not knowing about every event of that moment via social media (Rosen, L, 2014).

People use it to gain self-worth and confidence as a substitute for not having real achievements or purpose in their life.

This data reveals that the ratio of anxiety to pleasure supports a 3:1 ratio with those under 35 or 40 to be more anxiety driven (Rosen, L, 2014).

Based on a recent survey of 25 people, 16% of the total respondents spend 5 hours a day or more using social media. 100% of these people own a social media account with 36% owning four or more.

From loneliness, poor social skills and, in extreme cases, becoming so frightened to answer the front door (Tufft, B, 2016), social media obsession poses a great risk to developing other mental health problems in later life (Tufft, B, 2016).

In addition to these damaging consequences so far, Anna Almendrala for the Huffington post commented:

Peer influence is kind of agnostic; it can be a good thing, it can be a potentially bad thing.(Almendrala, A. 2016)

Like social media, video games have also seen cases of obsession increasing each year (Addictions, unknown date).

Given the access from home consoles, smartphones, portable devices (Conrad, B, 2016) and endless technical advancements (Conrad, B, 2016), it’s no surprise that we are seeing this worrying trend.

Despite no single contributing factor for gaming obsession (Conrad, B, 2016) being the case, the appeal of a fantasy setting and ‘levelling up’ (Conrad, B, 2016) experiences are two of many reasons for gaming obsession with evidence concluding that role playing games hold one of the greatest obsession potentials (Conrad, B, 2016).

Obviously with casual games you run out of loves or you finish the level but with MMO or RPGs there’s no segment where it’s like ‘you’ve done this.

You’re supposed to invest in it and that whole monthly charge means they need you to be obsessed with the game in order to keep playing it.

 

During the rest of this week, I intend to have the article firmly completed and featured in a separate blog post with my photos to show my final pieces. (Unit 9 3.1/3.2)- I will also be completing my evaluation for the entire project covering the research, production and pitch stages of the unit including justifications for production solutions, any problems faced and resolved and the effectiveness of all choices made throughout. I will also be evaluating my safe working and professional practices- all of which will be in a separate evaluation blog post.

 

Bibliography:

Addictions. (Unknown date). Alarming Video Game Addiction Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.addictions.com/video-games/alarming-video-game-addiction-statistics/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].

Addictions. (Unknown date). Alarming Video Game Addiction Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.addictions.com/video-games/alarming-video-game-addiction-statistics/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].

Almendrala, A. (2016). The nucleus accumbens, highlighted in green, is the “hub of the brain’s reward circuitry.” It lit up when teens saw their own photos or “likes.”. [image] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/this-could-explain-why-teens-are-so-obsessed-with-social-media_us_574f7084e4b0ed593f134279 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2016].

Conrad, B. (2016). The truth about child video game addiction – TechAddiction. [online] Techaddiction.ca. Available at: http://www.techaddiction.ca/child-video-game-addiction.html [Accessed 21 Nov. 2016].

Conrad, B. (2016). The truth about child video game addiction – TechAddiction. [online] Techaddiction.ca. Available at: http://www.techaddiction.ca/child-video-game-addiction.html [Accessed 21 Nov. 2016].

Conrad, B. (2016). The truth about child video game addiction – TechAddiction. [online] Techaddiction.ca. Available at: http://www.techaddiction.ca/child-video-game-addiction.html [Accessed 21 Nov. 2016].

Conrad, B. (2016). The truth about child video game addiction – TechAddiction. [online] Techaddiction.ca. Available at: http://www.techaddiction.ca/child-video-game-addiction.html [Accessed 21 Nov. 2016].

Conrad, B. (2016). The truth about child video game addiction – TechAddiction. [online] Techaddiction.ca. Available at: http://www.techaddiction.ca/child-video-game-addiction.html [Accessed 21 Nov. 2016].

Rosen, L. (2014). Our Social Media Obsession. [Blog] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rewired-the-psychology-technology/201407/our-social-media-obsession [Accessed 11 Nov. 2016].

Rosen, L. (2014). Our Social Media Obsession. [Blog] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rewired-the-psychology-technology/201407/our-social-media-obsession [Accessed 11 Nov. 2016].

Rosen, L. (2014). Our Social Media Obsession. [Blog] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rewired-the-psychology-technology/201407/our-social-media-obsession [Accessed 11 Nov. 2016].

Tufft, B. (2016). Social media-obsessed teenagers are so frightened of real life some won’t even answer the door. the Daily Mail. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3501414/Social-media-obsessed-teenagers-frightened-real-life-won-t-answer-door.html [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].

Tufft, B. (2016). Social media-obsessed teenagers are so frightened of real life some won’t even answer the door. the Daily Mail. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3501414/Social-media-obsessed-teenagers-frightened-real-life-won-t-answer-door.html [Accessed 12 Nov. 2016].

Week 11 (Greg): Unit 9 project.

Unit 10 Children’s book: Week 11

Evidence in my design work the demonstrates an understanding of the topics taught over the past 8 weeks (Unit 10 2.2):

This week I have been continuing the production of my children’s storybook including using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to trace and fill in my character illustrations and using the colour fill and brush tool to continue work with the beach huts and other background areas of my photos. However, my tutor gave me feedback that related to the layout of my spreads and how they could be enhanced even more. (Unit 10 1.2)- This also tied in with my layout research I conducted the other week and after sitting down with my tutor and looking through it again, we saw that one thing in common with every spread was that one topic took up one entire spread and we both came to the conclusion that I should do the same for my storybook where appropriate.

(Unit 10 2.2)- However, I was soon shown a way of spreading out the photos a little bit by using a plain background- which I found an excellent way of carrying across facts about the beach safety flags. For instance, I had one photo montage on one side and the plain coloured background symbolizing the flag which also gave me the opportunity to add in a unique ‘Did you know…’ element to the book. Overall, this was a terrific way to add a variety of aesthetics to the book without it looking the same, even with different photos. Feedback from my tutor also stated that the bright coloured backgrounds really make it easier for the child to understand, especially since the safety information is on the page too. This also keeps hold of the child-friendly nature of the book for my assigned target audience.

spread-1spread-2

More alterations with my storybook was also regarding the illustrations and their positioning on the pages. This process referred back to our lecture on proportion in which different elements of a page or spread are all different sizes, such as the text and images being complete opposite sizes or other images being completely different in sizes. In some cases for my book this can mean characters leaning over the page edges to create a great proportion variation.

Last week, my tutor and I came up with the idea together of having a reoccurring infographic symbol within my book such as a life-ring which we both thought would be really effective and symbolise what counts as the safety information within my storybook in my storybook.

(Unit 10 2.1)- As for plans for next week, they all link into my SMART target of completing the entire storybook by the 17th December. As a result of this, my plan include ensuring that ALL illustrations are filled in and applied on to my spreads using my feedback and knowledge of lectures on proportions and various typography too. In addition to all this, I have also made a start on my final evaluation based on what I have completed already throughout this project. Both my evaluation and final piece will be uploaded on separate blog posts.

Unit 10 Children’s book: Week 11

Week 10: (Greg) Unit 9 project- Article

(Unit 9 2.2)- This week, I have been mainly focusing on my article format on social media and gaming obsession. I made a solid start on this last week using my secondary research and the indy100 news website as a guide to help me emulate the typography, style and tone of the article.

(Unit 9 2.2)- Completing the article was pretty much following on from last week and wasn’t too hard to get back to since I had already made a solid start with the social media obsession side of it and knew how to lead on with it well with my own survey statistics- which I featured in my article as well. However, this week I also completed the task of carrying out my vox pops I conducted during my research for use in my article. (Unit 9 2.1)- A few weeks ago I had originally planned to have all my box pops recorded and transcribed according to my production schedule but I decided to move it to the week of the actually article-writing because it made me rethink what questions I could ask my interviewees depending on how the article turned out regarding the topics and information structured in it. This was also when I came up with a few new questions I asked my interviewees including ones I originally came up with during my research:

  • What aspects about social media (Facebook, Twitter) do you think can cause obsession with it?
  • Which forms or genres of gaming do you think are most likely to cause obsession with it?
  • How could you tell if the use of social media or gaming can turn into an obsession for someone?

(Unit 9 3.1)- In relation to the responses I got for them, I was able to use them as the pull-quotes shown in the style in the indy100 and because I used my article as a guide for the questions I was able to trim down the vital parts of the responses and use them accordingly. However, I did face a slight problem interviewee-wise; two students who understand a lot about gaming and social media were both absent for my planned vox pop session. This was when I decided  to save carrying out this process until next week when the absent students will be back so that I can gather an reasonable quantity of data to examine for my article. (Unit 9 1.1)- However, up until then I can interview other people within my target age bracket (ages 10-30 years) such as family members and others I know who are familiar with social media and/or gaming. I will also keep to this when interviewing the people I didn’t get hold of this week.

 

Alongside finalising the first official draft of my article, next week will also be the week I complete my evaluation of this project and have all my final piece collaborated in one blog post in preparation for submission.

Week 10: (Greg) Unit 9 project- Article