Feedback Champions

Fostering a Supportive Feedback Culture

How to Become a Graphic Designer in 48 hours

Posted on July 16, 2015 by in Blog

It’s the third week of my internship working with Laurence Georgin on the Southampton Feedback Champions project. Last week constituted days of plugging away at Excel spreadsheets full of qualitative interview data for both Laurence and me. The purpose of this exercise was to extract and compile examples of good feedback practice recorded in interviews with staff and students, as well as pick up on areas for improvement. I’m not unhappy to say that I finished this process on Friday.

This week, I’ve been presented with a whole new (and much more exciting) challenge: how to display our findings in a way that the University community would a) find useful and b) actually see amongst the myriad public information material plastering the walls of Avenue and Highfield. This is no mean feat considering that I had, prior to two days ago, no experience in creating publicity material aside from a GCSE B in graphic design- which is basically an officially recognised qualification in potato printing. So, how do you create attractive informational material with none of the requisite skills? The answer is: Photoshop, YouTube tutorials and an appreciation for a Mount Everest learning curve. And coffee. Coffee is important.

However, there’s another element to the challenge which involves significant brow-furrowing. It’s a visual Catch-22: Do you follow the University of Southampton’s branding and imagery policy by the book and face the likelihood that your work will fade into the obscurity of a corridor wall, or do you bend the rules and design something that genuinely stands out, but at the risk of jeopardising an entire University’s brand? By talking to other student interns and consulting the University’s marketing department, I hope to find a middle ground which will let my work stand out to students and staff- but for all the right reasons.

James Tepper
Second Year, English and History

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