Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Earlier this year the Designers Republic was victim to the economic down fall and ever present recession, so when i read about a new company born from two previous members of tDR I was immediately interested and felt great that something positive had come out of the closing. The company is based in Leeds at a 'pent-house style' office space. The link below to their website has a great introduction movie but the sight is yet to be up and running fully.

What Design agencies look for...

Today we had a big chat in lesson about what we think designers look for in a student doing work experience, what was really interest is personality attributes such as enthusiasm, punctuality, passion were acknowledged as the key ingredient to success and actual skill came secondary. I found this really interesting and something to bear in mind.

Brainstorm item

For Ashley and Anthony's interpretation of the % brief they decided to give everyone in our class and the 1st year class one of the percentages to go away and think about for a week then bring something they think represents the percentage. All the objects would then be placed on the floor over the word 'graphics' taped on the floor. My word was brainstorm and it was worth 2%, straight away what sprung to mind was political correctness and how the word was changed from 'brainstorm' to 'though shower' so not to offend people with brain damage. I liked this idea and thought about ways i could present this. As the object had to be larger than a matchbox and smaller than a brick i knew i wouldn't be able to use a real umbrella to highlight the idea of a shower, so i used cocktail umbrellas and wrote 'thought' and 'shower' on both. I didn't spent too long on pushing the idea because of the volume of work i have for other briefs but think it was a qwerky response.

Unfortunately during the process of placing the items on the floor one of my little umbrellas was squashed!!!

% Sound presentation to 1st/2nd year graphics.

Today we presented our sound piece to the 1st year graphics group and later to our own group. We wanted to present the piece solely as an audio but had concerns that the audience would get distracted with other things in the room, or other people. Our fist idea was to have the room in darkness, but when i went to review the location, several problems came up. Fire safety lights were in place that could not be turned off and the monitor the sound would be played from could not be turned off either. We decided that blindfolding our audience was the best option, and also thought that it would bring a new experience to the piece, making it a little more intense and abstract.

Presentation to the 1st year graphics group

We got some interesting feedback from the 1st years, many recognized that the sounds were from objects and machines used in the everyday life of a designer. I took the opportunity to explain to them our aims for the brief and the decisions behind how long certain noises were.

Presentation to the 2nd year graphics group

Overall i think, in regards to how long we were given to compile the composition and edit it down to something all four of us were happy with, the performance was a success. Had we have had more time on the project i would have definitely tried to define the different sounds better in regards to their percentage and record a wider variety of sounds.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


From looking at a few bits and pieces of modernist type and posters etc, i have decided to not change the style too much just emphasize the height of all the letters, so still very much a working progress.

'Change the thought' posters

I came across these posters whilst looking at some different typefaces and thought they were both very different yet quite interesting, i like the way the type and colour overlap on the 'We not me' poster and thing the arrangement of the type in the other and the choice of colours is great.

Typeface Research

After getting some feedback on the typeface i had come up with so far, i started looking at some modernist type and the style in which they used their typefaces. I like the idea of the long stem of the letters so will look to develop my type further to see how tall i can make it, and see what other opportunities it throws up.  Above is the typeface used for the Bauhaus, school for arts and crafts in Germany in 1919. 

Typeface Research

I came across this on Daniel Eatock's website while i was looking at research for our 'before and after' brief. I love the idea of creating the alphabet on the tape, i think it's really effective and executed brilliantly. I also really like the typeface, really simple, made of the same tape it eventually becomes.


Today were given a brief to create our very own type faces. The website we used allowed us to easily create different letters by using a combination of shapes linked together. At first i hit a bit of a brick wall, i wanted to come up with a type face that was clean, interesting and attractive, but found starting really hard with so many options and outcomes from the shapes. I finally created the 'A' from the typeface above and instantly liked the long legs the letter took, so i decided to base my ideas on that and the use of the circle.

Monday, 28 September 2009

A2 poster development

Ash and I have been working though some design ideas for our A2 poster, above shows a few of the different stages we reached and the one final product we have so far. We have been exploring the different ways to link together certain pieces of information with her story, yet tackling the problem of keeping the design simple and minimal. Its been great working with Ashley, we both seem to be on the same wavelength with where this project is going and how we want our final poster to look. We interact really well and always discuss possibilities with each other before making any final decisions. What also is really beneficial is Ash is a lot better at using the software than i am, and is teaching me a lot of quicker and easier methods to do things, which is great and has helped me loads throughout this brief.

Before and after brief

We have been set a project to find something dirty, take a photo of it, clean it then take another photo of it. below are some initial idea's.

Book Covers

I was having a look through Monogram, which is a small book that comes with Creative Review and found these pictures of book covers, what i like about them is not only the style and designs but the fact that i used to cover my own books in school, not quite to this standard though.

How to deal with a client.

Since spending the day at Thoughtful i have started thinking more about the client/designer relationship and came across this extract of Adrian Shaughnessy's new book Graphic Design: a user manual. I think it highlights some really important ways to go about dealing with clients and is something to bare in mind for the future.

Friday, 25 September 2009

The Photography Annual

Within this months Creative Review is the Photography Annual and i have selected a few examples of photographs which i have found particularly interesting. Both were included in the 'Personal/Non-Published' category with the image of the manikin head with the orange dripping down its face making one of the 6 selected photo's to make the front cover.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

ESOPUS Magazine

We have been asked to bring something to a group session that we have found or that we like and find interesting, this could be a piece of design, an article, a piece of music, whatever. I have decided to talk about Esopus Magazine. Esopus is an independently run American magazine for arts, culture, photography, literature, craft and a whole range of other categories. It prides itself on its non-commercial funding and ability to interact with its audience. It is run twice a year in spring and autumn (or ‘fall’ as the Americans would put it) and each edition is unique. Esopus strives to push the boundaries of what a magazine can contain. Each issue is crammed full of different paper types, textures, rip-out articles, and collected ephemera with one issue including a pop-up page. It seems the goal is to reinvent itself with every new issue and with the flexibility of having no commercial adverts it has full reign on the outcome. It isn’t a surprise only two a year are made, as the attention to detail and craft is impeccable. I first came across Esopus Magazine when I lived in Bristol and was working on a project studying Independent Magazines and spoke to the editor, Tod Lippy of its growing success. It has no doubt been a different experience reading Esopus to other leading art magazines, and a definite refreshing change.

Click here for website


From looking at Robert Brownjohns influences i have looked at some of Laszlo Moholy-Nagys work.

Robert Brownjohn

For an exercise for Critical Studies we have been asked to research an artist and their influences, I chose to look at Robert Brownjohn, not only has he done some fantastic Graphical work that incorporates whit, humor and intelligence but also because his talents stretch over several different mediums, most noticeably for his title sequence for Goldfinger and From Russia with Love. Delving into his past, it is clear his main influences came from Laszlo Moholy-Nagy his tutor at the Institute of Design in Chicago, people directly link Brownjohn and those title sequences with similar pieces of work made by Moholy-Nagy in the 1920's. Robert Brownjohn was also a lover of music, in particular jazz, and also drugs. He was part of an outstanding design group called BCG, compiled of himself, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar in New York in the 50's and returned back to London during the 60's working for McCann Erickson, on the Bond title sequences and later with the Rolling Stones on the album Let it Bleed.


Design process - A2 poster

Theses are some initial ideas of how we want our back ground to look, we are keeping in mind the use of colours in regards to screen printing the final piece. we want to experiment with what paper to use, maybe use brown paper to print on. We've also looked at how we can tint the other images to make them more interesting.

Super Furry Animanls

I have included some SFA video's because not only do i love the music, the animations are great.
I have always admired Pete Fowler, who is the genius behind most of their album covers, i love his
use of colour, style and random caricatures

John Gay Blackpool Photographs

For our A2 poster we have been looking at imagery to resemble the life of our character, as she lived in Blackpool i have started to look at photographer John Gay's collection of Blackpool photo's. I came across his collection at an exhibition at the Lowry in Manchester called the ' The Myth of the North' and thought his work captivated the essence of Blackpool in its heyday.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Screen Prints

When i started thinking about the possibility of screen printing the posters for our final envelope piece i began to look back at some poster research i had collected during 1st year. Mainly looking at work by aesthetic apparatus and the small stakes at their screen printed music posters. i looked at how they incorporated imagery with the overlaying of colour, and how some were best left minimal and others busy with lots of imagery and lots of colour. i picked out some examples that could help me with the arrangement of information when i come to do my poster.

% Brief - Sound

For the % brief, we decided to try and create a piece of music that would be made up of a collaboration of sounds made from objects that we believe replicate the percentage themselves, such as recording the scanner, the printer, sounds from the computer, below is an image of a 3rd year Graphics group having a tutorial, which we recorded. This we thought could resemble 'interacting with people' we felt it would be beneficial if the interaction was about design. Also the image of me recording very close to a very steamy kettle.

After we recorded a collection of sounds we were told that the sound piece had to be finished by the end of the day so we piled into the Multimedia suite to start editing the clips together. i found the initial editing of the clips very easy, I imported them into quicktime which allow me to easily chop them up, then cut and paste them into a new piece of audio, these were then pasted into Premiere and with a little help from some Multimedia whizz-kids we were able to create an abstract piece of audio which we hope the 1st year graphic student will find interesting when we perform it to them next week.

Below is our final composition which at a later date we will be performing to the 1st year graphics group. we have thought about how we will play this to the class, and want as minimal distractions as possible so we are exploring the idea of making them wear blindfolds to listen to the audio.