Perception Magazine – My Final Major Project
by Evie Williams, Final year student
Following your dreams, is something we hope to do in life.
What a pleasure to work with Evie in her final year, as she has journeyed through her life experiences, passions and knowledge. She has drawn them together and followed her dreams to make a dynamic, innovative, exciting final project.
I am sure she will go on to thrive in industry and I look forward to seeing her career develop and dreams unfold.
Lindsay Pressdee, Course Director, BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication.
I’m 23, just about to finish uni and go out into the real world. When I first started the course, I never dreamed of pursuing a career in journalism or PR in London. Now I have the confidence to do this! I also want to make my Final Major Project a reality, but I’ll tell you all about that in a moment! First I have to tell you why I created it.
I’ve been asked a few times how I came up with the idea and I think subconsciously it was because of what I’ve been through…
When I was 21, I was suddenly taken ill and ended up being admitted onto a stroke ward, which was really frightening. Whilst I was there, I was lucky to receive regular visits from my friends and family, who bought me plenty of magazines to read whilst I recovered. Why wouldn’t you? It’s a perfect thing to bring for a Fashion Student! However, my illness meant that at the time, I found it difficult to concentrate properly and it was very hard for me to read the magazines. I remember feeling incredibly frustrated as I just couldn’t engage with the magazine content.
So fast forward two years to when I started to plan for my Final Major Project. I started to think about what would make an original angle within fashion communication that I could focus on. It was my personal experience in hospital that helped me find a unique approach. I decided to create a new fashion magazine for the visually impaired…
Deciding to create a magazine for the visually impaired was incredibly challenging to put together, but it was totally worth it!
My dissertation was all about Fashion magazines, so I already had some really good primary research and some great sources. Whilst doing my initial research I discovered that young people were completely disengaged with traditional print magazines, instead connecting to the digital formats, so that’s why I decided to create an app to go with my magazine.
We had about 10 – 12 weeks to complete the project, which didn’t seem to be that long. I researched, contacted and collaborated with a variety of people in order to make the magazine come together. From a Braille company in South Wales (where I live – I commute by train everyday), to a braille printer, photographers, graphic designers, app designers and a visually impaired blogger, who told me of her struggles and the fact that she felt she was missing out.
I wrote 14 of the articles myself and sourced support from others to complete the rest. Most of the pictures are my own original imagery and the contributors I sourced are all external working professionals. I’m very grateful for everyone’s collaboration and have learned so much about producing an external publication.
I really had to think about how I could put this type of magazine together. I think normal magazines use a size 8 font as standard, so I used a size 14. For those users who are completely blind, I used braille markers throughout. These markers displayed page numbers, important quotes, titles and also, where readers could find the corresponding braille page in the back of the magazine. Yes, I created the back of the magazine completely in braille! This section used verbally descriptive language in order to paint a picture. I also used laser cutting techniques to add texture to the pages.
I featured a section on materials, as when I was doing my research I discovered there are about eight standard materials commonly used in the fashion and textiles industry. I placed a strip of each of these materials in the magazine so they could be touched! I also added a QR code onto them so they can be scanned using the accompanying app. The app would then read care instructions out loud about each piece of material, such as washing temperatures.
The hardest part of the project was time management. There was no room for error; everything had to be done on time. At one point I realised the braille print delivery wasn’t going to arrive on time, so an impromptu two hour drive to collect it ensued! That was a prompt lesson into the world of magazine production!
I couldn’t have finished this project without the help of my tutors, Adele and Lindsay. They helped me with my research and pointed me in directions I never thought of going. They put me on the right path. If you put the effort in, they do too. I’m extremely grateful. I really don’t think they could have done more for us.
And so for the future, like I said, I’d love to go to London and see what happens. I’ve applied for a few internships, so fingers crossed. But ideally, someday, I’d definitely love to launch this actual magazine. Maybe in the not too distant future I will. I never thought I’d be able to pull it off, but I did and I’m unbelievably proud of it.
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