Things I wish I'd done: Part One

It's simple, clever design like this that I strive for. Instant type and image relationship, such a treat.


Festivity _

We put on a Festive pop-up shop today to raise funds for the degree show. Here are our poster designs.

Alongside designing the posters, we also made a selection of christmas cards to sell as well as this 2012 year planner that's available in blue and pink. £5 each. Talk to me...


Yellow _

The final Ian Anderson workshop was group based and revolved around colour. We had to imagine that in the future, the world was governed by one organisation. The organisation was looking to brand itself and needed a colour. Each colour was owned by a separate company. We, as representatives of a specific colour, had to pitch to the organisation, explaining why our colour was the best choice. The winners of the pitch were the ones who could come up with the most convincing argument. 

As the representatives of the colour yellow, we went with the simplest statement we could think of; that yellow was bright. Since the brief was set in the future, we had the opportunity to shape what that future looked like. Therefore our future was quite dystopian and Blade Runner-esque. Our future was shaped through looking at things we knew could potentially happen so therefore weren't too far from the truth. We explained that our reliance on fossil fuels had led to the world being covered in a thick smog, similar to those seen in Mexico City and Bangkok presently. We shaped a future that was dark and gloomy, that way our colour would stand out above all of the rest.

Our presentation was perhaps hindered by the fact that we had to spend a large amount of time explaining what our future looked like which led to a lot of questions related to that rather than our colour. Having said that, we were quite convincing and responded well enough to questioning. Our key point, that yellow was bright, was also difficult to argue with. The other presentation of note was given by the red representatives who went with the idea that red runs through everyone's veins in the form of blood. This was a great way of uniting everyone across the world under one ideology. We don't as of yet know who won the pitch, we find out in a week or so. 

It was really interesting to see the questioning process. Normally during these sorts of presentations, every one is nice and doesn't often offer that much in terms of negative criticism. However, this time people seemed far more passionate about their colour and were desperate to come across as the best. Sometimes it was quite difficult to tell if people were more bothered about getting their own back after receiving a grilling themselves though...

The Ian Anderson workshops have often been the most difficult parts of the course, the expectations are a lot higher than they are at other times and concepts are scrutinised to a higher degree. This has meant that they've been the best learning experience too. I've learnt that a killer one liner to build from has far more impact than work that looks nice but that lacks any sort of strong concept, that you can't get it right every time and that evaluation is of huge importance. Above all else though, I've learnt that if a brief states that a presentation is involved, then that's what you must plan for and it takes precedence over the rest of the work. You might not have the best looking work, but if you can sell it in the right way, you're more likely to win the pitch. 


Throbber _

Apparently we're all too safe and none of us break the rules enough, so in a recent type experimentation day, instead of taking my 2 sentences from Ulysses, expressing what it said using a selection of three typefaces on a sheet of A3 in black and white, I took one part of my quote; 'long and throbbing' represented it using a sheet of paper that was 4 metres wide and printed it in a nice sex pink colour. I think it stood out quite well against the rest of the A3 sheets.


Me and You _

We recently completed another Ian Anderson project. After starting day one off by having to tell the group a joke, which was a hell of a lot scarier than I expected, we moved on to the actual project. Day one consisted of us being restricted to using Helvetica, an A2 format, black and white and just the words; 'Me and You'. We were tasked with creating a connection or relationship between the two words. Although most people went with the concept of them being the 'Me' and the outside world being the 'You', which created really interesting results, I went for a more 3rd person theme where I visualised a relationship between a 'Me' and a 'You'. The relationship being; 'You make me sad'. (It could equally be 'You make me happy', but it I particularly like how the word 'You' is all upside down...)

I was pretty pleased with this, but I think I was more pleased with the concept from day two. The second task involved using our ideas from the first day, but instead of using type, we could only use shapes and the standard colours; Red, Green, Blue and Yellow to represent our relationship. I went with a pretty standard idea of an eye shedding a tear, but, where I hadn't made the work from the first day relevant to myself, I felt this one was more relevant. 

I think that using shapes in an ambiguous way is pretty lazy design thinking, so to be forced into using them made me sad. The problem is, that I like the piece I've made, so I've contradicted my own opinion which is even more sad... 

However, the saddest thing really is that I didn't go with the idea below on the first day; The relationship between me and my pet Emu. Technically I didn't break the rules since I've used all the letters. Now to create a zoo of typeface animals...


Angst _

Been a bit slow coming and it's still a work in progress, but here's some of the visuals for my most recent Uni project entitled; 'Bang!'

After some experimentation centred around the word, I decided to create a typeface inspired by the small things in your day - such as a delayed train, or a traffic jam - that often lead to a big outburst of fury. As a metaphor for this, I created the typeface from a Chicken Cooking Timer... I completely took the timer apart and used the parts inside to create; Angst.

The second part of the project involved applying our experiments to something. I'm currently in the process of creating a publication that promotes the typeface and is also linked to a new blog devoted to the range of typefaces being created in the third year. 

As part of the promotion, I created this A1 poster design.

The rest of the work for this project will be finished soon, but for now I'm busying myself with 3 weeks away in London doing internships.


I've recently been involved in the third year publication; SEVN.

Seven of us were picked to be the pioneering group who kick started the magazine. Each issue will be designed by a new group of third years, each totalling seven (hence the name...) As the first group, we were there to set the guidelines that all future groups would follow. Obviously we've tried to be as ambitious and impressive as possible to set a high standard.

The whole issue can be viewed here:


There is also the potential to get the magazine Litho Printed, including a metallic copper colour, which would be awesome...


This Wallpaper _

Is blowing me away. It's going in my study, when I have one. And I can afford it.


Harriet _

Right now you are the bane of my life...


GBH Lecture and D&AD Poster Competition Result _

I travelled to Leeds yesterday to watch a D&AD Lecture from design agency GBH. I hadn't intended on going, but I'd been picked as a finalist for the poster competition so received a free ticket to the event, of course that meant I had to go, even if I had to travel alone...

In terms of the lecture, I'm so glad I made the effort to go as I was treated to a series of incredible pieces of work from a company who have worked on projects as diverse as Royal Mail stamps, to Virgin Galactic. One example that I particularly enjoyed was their work for SLS Luxury Hotels. The company wanted a regal, up market feel that matched the quality of the hotel. GBH, alongside Philippe Starck decided however that a mischievous touch would add to the over all effect. With that in mind, they created a quality brand identity but with a hint of mischief through the use of monkey's. One part of this were these monkey portraits that adorned the walls:

Like I said, the lecture itself was well worth the trip over to Leeds, but I was also there as a finalist of the poster competition. These were the top three. Unfortunately, apart from my own, I don't know the names of the people who created these posters:

After the lecture and the Raffle based Q&A, the winner was announced. I was very shocked to hear that it was me and to see my poster up on the big screen. As a prize, I received an A2 print of my poster to take home, and a year long D&AD New Creatives membership. So overall, a pretty good Wednesday evening. 


D&AD North Poster Entry

Here's my poster entry for the D&AD North lecture soon to be held in Leeds. It features GBH who have come up with a raffle based Q&A session where audience members will be able to win artifacts from past GBH design projects. 


Weekend Project _

We were asked to choose from a selection of well known pieces of design and, as a way of getting used to working on indesign again, recreate it. Rather than just copying something completely, I decided to use the original image as inspiration for a new piece. I took this image:

And created this poster. With thanks to an insightful quote from good old Don.

Alphabet Book_

I went to The Manchester Print Fair and bought this Animal Alphabet book from Lottie Pencheon. Lino printed and coptic stitched. Niice


To Do_Summer Project

Our summer project consisted of observing ourselves in macro detail. We were supposed to collect a large amount of information about ourselves daily that we could then collate and present in an interesting way. I decided to collect the information through 'To Do' lists. These lists are something that everyone does from time to time as a way of organizing their lives. I'm a keen list writer and it seemed the perfect way of recording what I was doing during the summer.

My lists were supposed to be written on any piece of scrap paper that I could find, just like they would be normally. As a way of storing the lists once I had written them, I made a notebook.

I went through the recording process for 24 days, by that time I had a number of lists featuring all sorts of tasks, some of which I completed, some I repeated and others that I avoided. I went through each list and took down as many statistics about them as I could. I then organized this information into a series of posters.
As a final part to the project, we had to create a teaser poster that could direct viewers towards our body of work.

Overall the project feels like a good way to get back into Graphic Design after a pretty relaxed summer. Ready to get started again, now that I'm a Third Year...


Carlos Magazine _

I'm a massive fan of Carlos; an in flight magazine from Virgin Atlantic for its Upper Class passengers. Simple one colour blue print and a little bit of foil blocking on the front of the odd edition, no photographs, just illustrations. It's just a shame I was never rich enough at the age of thirteen to travel in upper class really.


Apple Shampoo _

I've managed to spend the majority of my year, when at Uni, dicking around. Spent a lot of time making jokes and not doing any actual work, leaving it all until I get home. When the theme is Pokemon, however, it seems that all of a sudden, I take things seriously.

I worked on this album sleeve with my good friend Jonathan whose part of the band Apple Shampoo. The album's called Celadon City so, naturally, the only thing to do was to go to town on the Pokemon theme. The album's designed to look like a Poke-ball, opening the case becoming similar to releasing a Pokemon. (I'm trying to make this sound serious). We managed to design the album, create a packaging concept, and make 6 copies of the album in a day, which for us is proper hard work. I was actually pleased with how professional the final outcome looked all things considered.

I hope we don't get sued for using that image of Jigglypuff on the DVD cover, that would be terrible.


Editorial _

Designing the newest issue of Flux magazine. We were given the names of the people featured in the issue, but apart from that, we had free reign. I themed my version around the saying 'Meet Your Maker' since each subject featured had in some way or another bought something new to their profession. 

These are a few photos of the magazine I made to display my spreads.

This is the last project of our second year. It's a shame that I won't be doing Uni work for a while now, but I've got some exciting stuff in the pipeline over the summer to look forward to...