Friday, 29 October 2010

Oil and Water DO NOT MIX!

(source: Creativereview/blog)

I was looking through a few blogs and found this on the Creative Review blog and thought it was a lovely piece of design that makes something positive out of one of the worst environmental disaster ever seen.

"For a project cooked up by media agency Happiness Brussels, Anthony Burrill has designed a limited edition poster made using leaked BP oil harvested from the beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana. All the money made from the sale of the 200 signed and editioned prints will go to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana..." CR

OIL & WATER DO NOT MIX from Happiness Brussels on Vimeo.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Dissertation Research

Over the summer I began to start collecting research for my dissertation. I decided to get in touch with some practitioners that I have previously met through portfolio visits to ask them a few questions about how important they still feel printed artifacts are. I think it's really important now I am in my final year that I keep in continual contact with designers and agencies for design related issues and other things. It will also help me a great deal for my dissertation to get first hand answers to some of the direct things I want to know.

Craig. O

7x7 Book Launch

The book Launch took place at The Cornerhouse in Manchester. We took around 60 books which we deemed sellable but had to drop the price as a result of the quality! Mike and I both got there a little late due to traffic so missed our thanks off Robert Graham who was heading the presentation! Each writer read a small extract from their story (a few weren't there so others stepped in for them) Whilst the readings were happening the images from the book that matched the story were projected onto the wall, unfortunately there were some pretty heavy technical issues which meant some stories didn't have the visuals. This further created problems for the short video's that the 2nd year illustration students had created, which was a shame.

After each reading R.Graham had a small interview with the attending writers and for some of the images our illustration students were asked for comments. The evening felt relatively successful, we shifted a few books, there was free wine and it was great to put some faces to some of the writers names. A nice way to end a brief and close a project. Many thanks to all involved.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The 7x7 reflection

Now that the 7x7 project has finished I decided to jot down a little summary of how I think the project has gone.

It ended with me traveling down to London to meet the printers to collect the books. The meeting was very brief and quite rushed and once I had managed to squeeze the books into my suitcase before I knew it I was on my way. I had a very quick look at a sample and all seemed on the surface okay. It was only until I arrived back at college to look at the other books that we realised the finish was very disappointing. Unfortunately as this was a book that contained a range of illustrators work there were some people pretty unhappy about the quality of their images, which was completely understandable and the ones taken to the event were certainly not up to the standard we had hoped for.

As sad as it was to not see the book executed in the way it could have been. It has been a huge eye opener to a very realistic problem which occurs all the time and more importantly understanding the correct way to deal with a problem like this.

Generally the whole process has been a brilliant learning curve with not only learning how to deal with other students, staff and professionals but also understanding what both Mike and I are capable of under pressure and to a tight budget and deadline. More importantly it's been an enjoyable process aswell, it was important for me to get back into the rhythm of university and third year as soon as possible and this threw us back into being creative and having to work hard and quickly, straight away. The opportunity was really good and hopefully we can maintain this way of working throughout the year.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Gastrotypographicalassemblage – at the Kemistry Gallery

(Source: Art-o-mart)

I am just journeying home after a short 24hours in the big smoke. While I was popping down to collect the 7x7 books from the printers I managed to squeeze in a quick look at the Kemistry Gallery that is currently exhibiting work by Lou Dorfsman who was the art director of CBS aswell as a fantastic designer.

"The exhibition centres on his most notable creation, the 11-metre wide handmade wooden typographic wall that he named Gastrotypographicalassemblage. Created during an era when designers were both artisans and well-trained communicators, the wall is the largest modern typographic artefact in existence, described by Michael Bierut as ‘an irreplaceable piece of design history.’ With custom type created by Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnase, the wall contains almost 1500 individual characters.

With over sixty original examples of Lou’s art-directed work for CBS, featuring contributions from Al Hirschfeld and Milton Glaser, the exhibition serves to demonstrate Lou Dorfsman’s skill in defining a brand to over 200 million people. Featuring historically significant print spreads and a half-scale two-dimensional reproduction of the wall"

(Source: YouTube | carlmarxer | August 22, 2008)

Friday, 15 October 2010

IN THE CITY - Manchester

(Source: Anonymous)

IN THE CITY is a sort of mini festival that runs for 3 days and is based in the heart of the northern quarter in Manchester. The festival plays host to hundreds of upcoming and unsigned bands, djs and artists over the multitude of venues in and around the northern quarter, aswell as holding a string of conferences and talks throughout the days.

ITC has been a huge success in Manchester for many many years and this year was no exception.

Some of the highlights:

As well as performances and talks there were a variety of films played over the 3 days one of which was

The Beat is the Law

"Eva Wood documents the end-of-the-century British music scene through the eyes of Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley and other sheffield natives. These post-punk musicians journey through Thatcher's politically charged 80's and, by accident or design, end up at the epicenter of Dance and Britpop"

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

7x7 - Anthology of short stories

At the beginning of 3rd year after a lengthy summer break Mike and I were asked to design and make a book which combines 7 short stories written by Manchester Met students who graduated earlier this year, with a series of images created by 3rd year illustration students from Stockport College. The brief had a strict deadline with the book being sold at its launch on the 20th of October at the Cornerhouse and would also need posters and invites to promote the event.

The project was given an editorial team which we met regularly in the initial stages of development to discuss idea's etc. The direction Mike and I were heading towards was to make something that existed as a piece of art/design instead of something that would just contain the information we were given. We looked at the book made from the previous year and saw how much potential we had with making something different. We spent alot of time looking at points of reference and finding publications and styles of editorial design that we liked or felt displayed information in a different way, and relayed this to the editorial team.

Something we found early on was due to limitations of the budget and the amount of books required, sacrifices would have to be made in either the size, paper stock or colour of the book. We were keen to stay away from glossy paper (which is the cheapest) and quickly realised that reducing the book down to a 2 colour job from a full colour job would be the only real way to come within budget.

This was a difficult time within the project as alot of the illustrarion students were not happy with having to adapt their images, which was completely understandable however it was something that needed to be done for the benefit of the book as a whole and by the end of the project most of the students liked the rhythm and continual flow the book had all being blue/black (the colours chosen).

We were able to secure printing with a London based printers, Blackbox Press, whose lovely printing style we spotted on a publication of theirs, Crimson Hexagon. They very generously agreed to come within budget for us and are ready to collect as we speak. It has been great experience to work on a live brief which requires communicating with not only other pathways but printers aswell. Both Mike and I both feel like we've learnt a great deal about the pace of turning around a job like this. Now fingers crossed they turn out okay and the launch is a sucess.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Come Design With Me

'Come Design With Me' was an idea born from our tutors to bring back a few graduates from previous years so we can pick their brains, have a look at their work and generally get a sense of what to expect when we finish. The night was only two hours long from 6:30-8:30 and was divided into two halves.

The First Half

There was around 13 graduates that came in so we split the room into two seating areas with half the graduates in each. The week running up to the evening we had been asked to submit a series of questions to the organisers of the night who were Lucy, Laura, Ashley and Jay to be read out to get the night started.. The emphasis was for the evening to be a relaxed environment and to try and make it as least bit awkward as possible, which can sometime happen in situations like that!

The questions were a great way to kick start the night. Within our group we asked them to give us a brief description each of where they work now or what they are up to so we knew a little bit about them, and as the hour went on the questions started to flow more fluidly. At the half way point of the eve we tucked in to lots of food which had been kindly prepared by the event team which was a great way to break up eve. It would have been nice to be able to swap groups so we got to speak to the other graduates or even spend a bit more time asking questions as some of it was really interesting. One thing that really stuck out was the brutal honest within our group about how hard it is to get and maintain a job, which is really what we needed.

Second Half

The Second hour of the evening was spent looking at some of the work the graduates brought along, mainly portfolio's but some people brought digital work aswell. This was great to see some of the work that they consider their best work. It was also really interesting to look at what the 3rd years from lastyear brought as we saw quite a few of their portfolio's at the end of last year. so there development was a real eye opener.

Overall the evening was very successful and if anything it was a shame there wasn't more time to look at more of their work.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Black Box Press

(Source: birch studio)

"Established in 2008 by Birch, Black Box Press provides a not for profit platform for designers, writers and artists to publish their work and further collaborative projects. Black Box Press aims to develop working processes by supporting projects that address the issues of contemporary printed, digital and verbal communication"
(Blackbox press)

I came across Black Box Press whilst looking a inspiration for the 7x7 book. One of their publications (Crimson Hexagon) stuck out from the rest of the things we were looking at. The style of the book is really impressive, following a very screen printed style with overlapping and overlaying of colour and text. The stock of the paper was something we really liked too and as a result ended up contacting them directly to get a quote. We were over the moon when they said they would print it for us! I am heading down to their London studio to collect them just before the book launch.

Their website, also shows the different publications they have worked on. Check it out!!

Source: (Black Box Press)