Audrey and Mary (both are Texans at Portfolio Center) posted about their critiques yesterday and inspired me to post comments on their respective blogs (see sidebar for links). As I was leaving a rather lengthy comment on Mary's, I figured maybe I should write about it on mine as well.
It was my 7th and final critique at PC wednesday night, but it was the first one that was strangely different than the previous six. Maybe it was because 3 of the 4 panelists knew Lyndsey and I had a baby three weeks ago, maybe it was because I was the first presentation of the night, or maybe it was because of the work.
I have always completed all assigned work and only twice not finished a day early, the other time was when I had Hank's class 5th quarter. The biggest compliment they had was that it was amazing how I could complete the projects from 5 classes after such a demanding event in my life. First time I had heard that. The other thing was that they could tell I was passionate about my work and that I clearly stated the objectives, goals, concepts, and solutions for my pieces. That's the one thing I had heard everytime since first quarter, great presentation and communication of ideas. The thing that surprised me the most, which was my goal for the quarter, was that some of the projects actually worked! That I had good ideas AND good execution, craft included. I couldn't have been happier and this couldn't have come at a better time.
Then came all the bits and pieces about unreadable type on a dark background, and type cut across a spread, and maybe change this part of the poster or refocus some of these things. Ok, ok, fine, whatever, I understand, if I had another week I would have changed that. But the ideas actually worked? That's amazing.
With the 8th and final quarter looming, my previous projects quivering in the basement hoping to get revamped for my portfolio, I finally get the feeling I'm ready. That I've actually learned something and can put it to good use. Finally, after seven quarters, I have the critique I always wanted. It's constantly being said that Design is about the process, the plan for creating something. My entire experience at Portfolio Center has about the process. And they've created a monster.
Of course today I realize, my Phaidon Online Strategy Brief was just a presentation of my idea and not a fully functional website. The Coca-Cola/Beijing Systems book was researched and worked on by all 8 people in our class, the book itself laid out by Mr. Typography himself Brice Beasley. My Choice book wasn't even read by the panelists, just looked at, which is kind of good because I messed up the page numbers in the text bigtime! And I had some illustrations that a panel of designers really didn't care much for, only Michael Goodman, the bookmaker, mentioned an appreciation for my New Yorker cover. Really, it was my Typeface Design that was a good idea and a great execution. Which is fine because I spent 10 hours a week on that one...but, I digress. Onwards to 8th Quarter!