The best way to make your work better? Feedback!

Creative Commons photo courtesy of diannehope via Morguefile.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of diannehope via Morguefile.

Graphic design can be a very solitary creative process. You’re working through your ideas as you create something. But most of the time, the ideas aren’t designed just for you, they’re designed for either a customer or an audience. Unless you’re a mind-reader, the only real way to know what that customer or audience thinks is to ASK! Even before a project is ready to show to the customer or present to the audience, it helps to ask an honest, trustworthy friend for some feedback so that you can make sure that your project is meeting its goal.

For your first project you have a few goals:

  • Clearly present the steps that you believe a graphic designer would have to go through to create a product. So the person who designed the look of my Pepsi can, what might she/he have been thinking or trying to accomplish?
  • You need to explain this to the class. In order for the class to really understand what you’re saying, you need to make it clear, complete, and concise. You want all of the relevant information in there, but knowing the attention span of some of your audience, you don’t want to make it too long. You certainly don’t want to make it too boring or people won’t pay any attention.
  • Think about what you want others to do when they present their information to you. What do you need to see or what do you want it to be like in order for you to really understand the information?
  • Make a good thing, whatever that thing is.
  • Then, mean old Mr. Robson asked you to make ANOTHER thing, just in case it’s better than the first thing.
  • The last, and perhaps most important step in completing your project, is to seek feedback. Find someone in the class who can give you honest, constructive feedback. Yes, it would be easier to show your work to your friend who will surely say that you’ve done a good job. But that doesn’t help AT ALL! You want to show your work to someone who is going to be able to give you honest feedback that will make your project even better, so if the first person you show it to says that it’s good and you shouldn’t change a thing, ignore that person and ask someone else!
  • You need to seek and include feedback from AT LEAST one honest, constructive source. You also need to PROVIDE feedback for AT LEAST one other person.
  • Your project needs to include an explanation of YOUR PROCESS in creating your project as well, so you’re explaining TWO separate processes, the graphic designer’s AND yours! In that explanation of the process, you need to include feedback from another person. I’ll also be looking for your name in someone else’s explanation, as well.

If you want honest feedback and are willing to share your work, let me know and I can share it with other people who can then provide feedback. In future, you’ll have no choice. Your work WILL be shared with the class, who will be asked to find any flaw they can in your work in order to help you make it better.

Once you’ve explained the TWO PROCESSES, IN GOOD DETAIL and IN AN INTERESTING WAY, and you’ve included honest, HELPFUL FEEDBACK from at least one other person, you can consider your project done and we can move on to designing your first product!

Tell Mr. Robson what's on your mind!