Friday, 20 December 2013

PPP3 : Catalogue


I decided to outreach to catalogue to gain an insight into their opinions on things to do with creativity,  design process and graphic design in general. I have been friends with Ollie for some time now but we rarely discuss things to do with graphic design even though I really respect and admire the work that Ollie and Tom do, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to get some of his opinions.

As I know Ollie and Tom it was more of a friendly email rather than a professional one that I have been sending out to other designers, this is not how I would email a new acquaintance. 

The response was great and I really appreciate Ollie taking the time out to email back. I feel I am learning more and more about the workings of creativity within graphic design each time I get a response. 

Hey, not worries palz, short but sweet answers:

1. Our thought process when approaching a brief is more methodical than mechanical. We receive the brief, talk it over and start generating ideas. Once we've visualised a few we cut them down to a few we really like, polish them and send them to the client. 

2. We do think creativity is important within Graphic Design, even the most commercial brief can benefit from a little creativity. We would never pin point ourselves as being "creatives", but subconsciously good designers are creative people and it is important to try and inject that into all your work. 

3. If we ever hit a wall, the best way we deal with it is to do something else. We then come back to it with a fresh head the next day. We don't practice any unusual methods, we just don't push it too hard. If you can't get anymore ideas out the chances are you don't want to, so a break is necessary. 

4. We try and have a neat, tidy, minimal space. It certainly helps being in a nice environment, but you could say that about any job. We tend to have a lot of nice books around and good music on, but the only way it would ever influence us is because it's a nice, relaxing and open.

They ok? Sorry if they're shit. 


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

PPP3 : DR.ME Correspondance


I decided to contact Dr.Me regarding my COP3 and for PPP3 as they have just put on the exhibition of the flags for us and I feel this would be a great opportunity to thank them for holding an exhibition for us and also a great opportunity to engage in a conversation with a studio that I have respected and followed for a significant time.

I really enjoyed Dr.Me's talk that they gave us a few weeks back as it was a great insight into how they run their studio and their way of working, but i wanted to learn more about how they function and generate ideas as a process and also how they view graphic design and creativity and if they fit together. Their work is always very inspirational in the way that it doesnt conform to your stereotypical graphic design mould, but I think that is what makes them stand out.  There is always a lot of energy and power in their work and it comes across as very visually strong.

Hey Suzanne,

Thanks for reaching out, this served as a nice break from some work we're doing :&), glad you enjoyed the workshop, we had such a great time with you all!

Is the process of creating an idea mechanical or is it more of a moment of inspiration what is your process for approaching a brief?

It kind of depends on the brief, normally we try and come up with as many ideas as possible, play around with them and they normally narrow themselves down quite naturally. It sometimes helps to send them off to the client as they will have opinions on which path to take and it helps them to feel a bit more involved, that's not for everyone, some people hate clients getting involved but we like to work closely with the people we work for.
Do you think creativity is important within Graphic Design are there any specific areas of design where creativity is most necessary?
A monkey can be taught to use creative suite, your mind is the post powerful and unique gift you can ever bring to a piece of work regardless of what area of Design you're working in.
If you hit a a wall on a project do you have a specific method for untangling the problem and furthering your ideas, do you have any unusual methods of stimulating creativity, do you see any benefits in learning some? 

ABL - Always Be Learning.
Just keep reading, watching, tasting, looking, picking things up, stealing things, all of the time. If you have an opportunity to learn something new then take it, you never know when it could come in useful. Find a book tonight (not a design book), go and read it over Christmas and tell me that in someway it doesn't effect your work. Books unlock the imagination. Aside from this, try taking your mind off the problem if you're really stuck, running is good for that, sweat the problem out.
Does the design of your studio space influence the way you work?
I'd say so yes, it's funny, we moved from our old studio to the one we're in now over the summer and promised ourselves a new layout to freshen it up. After a day of arguing, moving things around we settled on an incredibly functional, balanced layout that we all felt comfortable with. Had we re-created our original studio layout? Of course we fucking had. That aside though, being tidy (not that we are particularly) really helps with creativity, you'll be surprised how taking 5 minutes at the end of the day to tidy your studio will effect you in the morning. Look into feng shui, some of it goes a bit over the edge but we agree with the whole not having your back to the door, ain't nothing more distracting than that feeling that you're going to get stabbed.

Have a nice day,


+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 




A:   Studio 104
      1st Floor,
      Islington Mill Studios
      James Street
      Greater Manchester
      M3 5HW

T:  +44 (0) 7578568061

This response from Dr,Me has been very useful for both PPP and COP it is once again really lovely that designers that I respect and admire have taken the time out of their day to reply to me. From this discussion I feel I have gained a greater insight into the inner workings of professional graphic designers. And once more it has shown me how great and passionate this industry I am entering can be.

PPP3 : Alex Witjas - conversation

Alex Witjas

Alex Witjas is designer who I have a lot of respect and admiration for so I decided to contact her as part of my COP3 and for PPP3. Alex Wijas work is visually very exciting, she does a lot of work for fashion promotion which is something I am interested in and editorial work which I am also interested in. Her work is very contemporary and really speaks to the desired audience. I contacted her regarding the topic of creativity and innovation, as I thought by using my dissertation topic I could engage in a conversation rather than just emailing to be a pain.

Hi Suzanne,
It's nice to hear from you. Thank you so much for reaching out! You're doing great work over there at Leeds, very nice stuff.
Hope these answers are helpful.

Is the process of creating an idea mechanical or is it more of a moment of inspiration what is your process for approaching a brief?

I find that it's a mixture of both. A lot of times an idea can just come so easily and organically upon first hearing a project request. This can be amazing when the idea is right, but a lot of times it can be the wrong direction and then it's hard to shake that initial idea. I find it's very helpful to always try and rationalize the idea, figure out the root of what it needs to communicate. Most all of the work I do is strongly visual and tactile and there is no need for a clear cut message, like in the advertising world, but it really helps to elevate your work if you can take the time to think it through conceptually rather than acting initially on an aesthetic direction....

Do you think creativity is important within Graphic Design are there any specific areas of design where creativity is most necessary?

It absolutely is. But truthfully, it isn't necessary. Graphic design at it's essence is technical, if you know how to use the programs you can be a graphic designer. When creativity is introduced, that is when you get books, or invites, or posters, or magazines that start to feel like art objects in their own right, and not just vehicles of communication.

If you hit a a wall on a project do you have a specific method for untangling the problem and furthering your ideas, do you have any unusual methods of stimulating creativity, do you see any benefits in learning some? 

Talking it through is the best stimulation I've found. I've been lucky enough to work with a lot of people I respect and who are amazing designers. Being able to have a conversation with them about the project, and my concerns or issues, is always helpful in sparking new paths of thinking. Sometimes it's really necessary to get out of your own head in order to work out a solution to a problem.

Does the design of your studio space influence the way you work?
Definitely. The current studio I work at (Li, Inc.) has completely transformed the way I work, my aesthetic, and my process. I've learned so much and continue to learn here everyday which is an amazing thing.


This response I got from Alex was really enlightening, it was a great feeling engaging in a conversation with a designer that I have looked upon for a long time, I did not expect to get a response and it was very promising to hear back from her. The conversation we had was very useful for my COP3 and also for PPP as I am very interested in the topic of innovation and how individual approach design and where they value creativity within graphic design as it is something which I feel is very important. Getting a response from Alex witjas has spurred me on to contact more designers as it has been so beneficial.


Contact more designers

PPP3 : Jack Grafton - correspondence

Jack Grafton is a recently graduated friend of mine from foundation. He graduated last summer from Edinburgh school of art and has since been interning like a mad person and achieving some great placement opportunities which have lead him onto a job as a graphic designer at burberry. I have decided to reach out to him to find out his opinions on graphic design from the point of view of a recent graduate who has been at many studios this year and so will have encounted many different experiences of graphic design. As we are friends the tone of the email is slightly different compared to the emails I have exchanged with, with professionals who I do not know :

Hey Suzy Moooooore!

My pleasure – sorry, this are going to be shity…

I think that it's a combination of the two, I have almost like a checklist of things I do when approaching a brief, brainstorming and building up a library of relevant inspiration and research. I guess you kind of hope inspiration strikes at some point along the journey.

Creativity is important in that its the backbone of all design. I think an individual who works in the creative field who isn't creative, in some sense of the word, will struggle to make anything of value. I think that everybody is creative in some way.

If I hit a wall with a project or direction, I always try to over compensate by doing a million variations, sometimes it works and others it doesn't. The best thing for me to do is to seek the opinion of someone who has nothing to do with the project, often they say something which you can use as a trigger or notice things you hadn't seen before.

I like to have a very clear space when I start and finish working, I reckon the space actually influences you more than you'd think. Architecture, music, company, books and other ephemera must surely have a bearing on creativity and productivity.

Let me know if you need any more or to elaborate man!




Jack Grafton
+44 7541 304130

Friday, 13 December 2013

PPP3 : DR.ME Flag exhibition

Flag Exhibition :

Dr.Me kindly set up an exhibition for our flags to be hung that we made in their workshop. This was a really great opportunity to exhibit some of the work we have done and was very kind of to set up. It was nice to see everyones work up as a collective and a great social get together for the course with a nice turn out. It was great to get to know Eddie a bit more and gain some more advise about life after college about how to set up which is pretty much work hard and be passionate.

Above is mine and gretas flag which was developed by playing a game of finishing each others sentences which we named 'thats what she said' as it is a well know joke which will get people attention even though we have used the phrase in a different context. The phrase we got from finishing each other sentance was ' The pillow is very big and it will explode' which will illustrated through making a pillow explode. I really enjoyed this live brief  and the fact that it actually become something and was seen in situ. It was also really great to see where Dr.Me work and get a feel for islington mill which seems like a very social creative hub of studios.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

PPP3 : Who am I - research


What do I do? That is one of the things  I struggle with when people ask. I loose all words from my head and usually blurt out something about posters..and t-shirt (?!?) I find it hard to describe what graphic design is and entails to people as to me graphic design is pretty much associated with everything, but i can't say that without sounding a dash pretentious so I have decided to do some research into how studios describe them selves in their about section :

From looking at different ways that studios label themselves it is clear to see that there is not just one way to describe what graphic design is and what you do. What I like about Graphic design is that although I struggle to name what i done concisely, I can show people and I think once they see what I do and how I do it they will understand which is where the beauty of a website comes in handy so if the aunty of a friend of a friend ever asks me again I will be able to show rather than tell.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

PPP3: Evolution Print

Evolution Print

Evolution print came in for a visit for the second years which third years were invited to. I decided to take the opportunity to go to this talk as it was a good chance to recap refresh on the logistics of print just to make sure I have a full understanding.

I have written down the points from the talk for a  useful reference. It was good to listen in and make sure I haven't forgotten anything from the print module we did last year, which I was happy to realise I have remember pretty well since i remembered almost everything that was discused, but again it was beneficial to recap on everything. 

PPP3 : The beautiful meme - Breifing

The Beautiful Meme -


The brief the beautiful meme have set is to create a new flag for the UK for the hypothetical situation of if Scotland vote to leave the UK. In the briefing there were a number of things discused like the different ways the flag is used in the uk such as:

- Merchandise - the flag is used on sporting goods, events like the olympics, iconic pop culture, military, fashion etc

The  effect and connection to the flag was also discussed which were :

- Patriotic, political
- The flag is used in other flags in the world what would happen to them?
- industry / tourist

It was discussed about how you could approach this brief using either Evolution of Revolution as the backbone. Evolution seems like the most logistical approach, if you go for revolution you need to have a very good idea and reason to back it up, which could produce something really exciting.

Don't get too bogged down in research, but gain an interest in bran equity

Think about what do people associate with  the uk. Think about Wales, they have never been included in the flag.

Brand Equity

Think about how a brand is represented , its reputation, feel of the company. Think about the Uk as a brand.

Brief Requirements

- Digitally print flag on A2 boards
- could be crafted
- spend time researching
- get down ideas
- create a number of ideas
- develop ideas

What do you want the uk to be, how is it going to be used as a flag. Explain all decisions back everything up. Pay homage and represent the UK


This is a very exciting brief which has a lot of interesting points that could be developed. I am unsure if I am going to undertake this brief though as I really want to crack on with my own briefs for now and make sure that all the briefs I want to do this year are laid out and planed time wise and whilst I am doing this I don't think it is wise to start a new project. Hopefully when the next live brief is set I will fully organised and ready to make room for more briefs.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013



Dr.Me is an independent studio from Manchester. The talk they gave was really useful to learn how they became the studio they have become and  the morals they carry. They are really inspirational guys and I have a lot of respect  for what they do. Their talk was really good to learn that it is possible to set up and be successful if you try hard the advise they gave was:

- Get a website
- Get a business card
- Work with friends
- Get a studio
- Write down your goals
- Don't say no
- Learn through play
- Make friends , not network
- don't be afraid to contact heroes
- take opportunities

This is all really solid advise which I will take forward and bare in mind. Meeting people like Dr.Me and hearing about how they approach graphic design as a profession really inspires me and is useful to keep in mind that this industry we are entering into is/can be a very exciting, inspirational and friendly.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

PPP3 : Freelance presentation



With the client their should be a backwards and forwards relationship where there are ongoing discussions about the project. With the client you should discus

- brief requirements
- estimated time that will be spent on the brief / deadline
- Don't give a quote a direct quote.... estimate costs with wiggle room.
- Estimate what the costs with will be and set payment terms

Now enjoy the project, now you know what they want and the brief requirements etc. If the client wants any changes do it over email so that their is a written evidence of the changes they want and date etc . You must also let them know that if they ask for further changes it will cost them.


on the invoice you must have:

- Order number which correlates with the invoice (job one etc)
- you must send the invoice to the accounts
- include date
- include reference number
- Make sure that total cost is clear and itemise everything.
- include terms and conditions.
- to stay safe include copyright, but professional businesses shouldn't mess you around too much

You must enjoy the work you are doing, but you also have to make money so you must weigh up the brief  and decide if it is worth it, which if they are decent and nice clients  and you believe in their brand there is no reason not to do the work even if it a bread and butter project.

Always read contracts confidently and clearly means their are less ways of clients coming back to you with issues .

Friday, 8 November 2013

PPP3 : Time table


Below is the original plan that I wrote up  in the weeks before the pitch. It is very basic and I needed to make it more thorough before the pitch so that I have a clear plan.

Sunday Best = 6th dec - 31st Jan

Lotions and Potions = 20th Jan - 10th Feb

Face in't Mud = 22nd Nov - 5th Dec 

Adopts A Band =  Ongoing 

Dog Theft = 20th Mar - 31st Mar

Chalk LCA = 2nd dec - 16th dec 

T.R.M = 11th Nov - 21st Nov 

Tamarillo = Ongoing 

Looking For trouble = 28th Oct -13th Nov 

Celebrity Worship = 3rd Feb - 5th May

D&ad  = 18th Feb - 19th Mar

Now that I have done the pitch and have a clearer understanding of the logistics of time before now and christmas and we have been set the five briefs to hand in before christmas I think I am going to have a reshuffle and push some briefs back, like Face in't Mud as I think this brief will take longer and I don't want to rush it so I will replace this one with a short one day brief that lizzi has set the class. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

PPP3 : Pitch


This pitch was useful to create a proper timeline that I can follow and know. It is a very good way of organising the year at this early stage. I think it will be beinifcial to write this timeline up so I will do this in another post. So far this year I feel like I am on track, although some briefs are taking a lot longer then I originally set aside like 'Looking for trouble' which I stated I wanted to be a two week brief, but it is developing into a much larger brief / it is a bigger brief then i imagined, so a few of my timings may be effected. In the pitch it was mentioned that five briefs must be completed by christmas time which was not part of my original plan as I wanted to concentrate on my COP3 dissertation as i know i am going to really struggle with it, but I will rejig some briefs so that I can complete the five briefs as I do agree that having five briefs done by christmas will be beneficial.


The plan so far is to

- write up a time table
- rejig my briefs to figure out 5 I can complete before chirstmas
- Prepare for the christmas hand in board etc

Thursday, 31 October 2013

PPP3: Design Manchester

Design Manchester

Design Manchester is a design event that has taken over manchester's town hall with a wide range of events from talks to exhibitions. I decided to go to the talks for one day as i thought they would be very beneficial for both my own practice and also for my dissertation to hear designers talk through what they do.

The day event was centred around the theme of longevity, touching on topics of design that has staying power, creating relationships which last and work which is simply timeless. Each guest speaker was asked to talk about themselves to this theme.

Andrew Shoben

The first guest speaker was Andrew Shoben from grey world. Greyworld is a studio which focuses on doing work for public spaces, making interactive location installations which people are invited to interact with, it is public art for the real world, which is accessible for all. Andrew talked about looking for urban spaces to create moment of creativity that can be shared in the public space. The work that they create is very interactive which Shoben claimed leads to fantasy play, the audience does not expect the environment that they live in to have anything different in but then there is an element of surprise when something different is there, especially something that allows you to question what is real and what is not. The last messages Andrew left us with were,
- have a very direct message, cause and effect.
- Without audience there is nothing at all
- clever names = alienation
- staying power = routine , clever
- Simplicity can work better than complex
- approach things differently

The Clockwork forest (2011) from greyworld on Vimeo.

The above is a really interesting project that andrew showed us where they transformed ordinary trees into objects of a fairy tale. If you turn the key on the tree it plays music. Taking an ordinary object that we are used to seeing such as a tree and adding a new purpose to it is a really interesting concept and a good way to break down barriers and connections in the brain as this is questioning the norm and attaching new meanings to a tree.

Kate Moross

Kate morose runs Studio Moross based in London. She describes herself as a jack of all trades and says its not what you say you do, it's what you do, which is a very proactive way of thinking which i think is beneficial. Kate spoke about how you cad no anything you want to, it's about being active. You have to appreciate things and understand them so that you can communicate. Kate Moross spoke of her passion of wanting to make music look good, she see's working with band and musicians as more of a collaboration and likes it when the artist is heavily involved. She also spoke about not getting to hung up on vinyl as there are other exciting ways of promoting music, such a promo cd's , radio, shops, labels, tapes, just treat them all like they are vinyls. Moross says that it is important to build a relationship with the band or artist as it is very important to gain the trust of them. Another topic that was covered was about music videos, she stated that you should make music videos that connect to the sound of the music at the same time as expressing the sound of the music.

Kate Moross gave some really inspirational advise about what happens after college, she said make your own luck, as that is what she has done.
- Have no fear, except that you may fail
- FAIL its good to learn from. learn how to do things  
- learn how to do everything, use youtube teach yourself. 
- don't listen to old rules, learn them then break them. 
- improvise 
- Be open communicate with clients 
- connect with people
- be confident
- over deliver and on time DON't BE LAZY

Colophon Foundry 

Colophon Foundry is a design studio that was set up in 2008. They are a hard working type foundry who create typefaces, in a very long and drawn out way, everything is done by hand, it is for them a labor of love. They are a small studio as they are just a duo, but they collaborate and expand when needed depending on the jobs they have on. They gave the advise that
- you should design for your self / clients / briefs not for trends,
- make things physical not just files.
- interested in putting ideas out there they are keen on acting like a platform, so people can trade with them say a magazine could use  one of their typefaces if they agree to advertise them / they are excited by what the magazine is about.

Mark Farrow

For Mark Farrow music came first, it was his passion, but he couldn't sing, so he turned to design. He was interested in doing his own thing. He spoke about his journey as a designer and the stages things happened in his career which was interring to hear about how he has withheld a long and successful career in design. He advised that the perfect amount of people in a studio is 3, more than that it becomes too much pressure and not the right environment. Farrow also advised that you should have a driving ambition if you want to succeed, you need to work hard on every project.

The Q&A

At the end of the day their was a Q&A session and the following is some of the points that I picked up from it.

- Labels don't matter any more, you don't have to be labled 'a graphic designer'
- Context is funamental to ignore the space is to ignore the audience, who respond to context.
- Drive is more important than money
- Invest time into something you believe in
- Work while learning.
- Don't design with a finish in mind or with one idea, allow things to develop
- open mind use different ways of achieving things
- Measure if a project is 'working' not by how it looks but by how the audience respond to it
- question the brief


This event has been really useful to go to as it has been a great opportunity to gain an insight into the opinions of successful designers who have made their way in the design world and create their own studios which is something that I find very interesting and useful as i am interested in either working for a smaller independent studio or ideally i would like to set up my own and this event was very encouraging that it can be done through hard work and passion which I have both of. The advise given was very useful especially coming from professionals so I have highlighted it throughout so that i can easily refer to it.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

PPP3: The Beautiful Meme - studio talk

Beautiful Meme :

Beautiful Meme is a creative agency with a strong focus on linking copywriting with graphic design, to create strong concepts which work visually as well as through the written element. The Beautiful meme is very passionate about creating a creative environment in their studio, they want to grow and develop to house more and more creative projects and aim to one day have a studio robot.

During the talk the beautiful meme gave us they told us 10 points to follow to do with copywriting and designing.

1, Brands are idea. Ideas Need words

2, You need words to sell stuff

3, Copy & Design challenge each other.

4, People like well written copy

5, Words make our brand human

6, Hierarcy is everything

7, Your job is to challenge every word

8, Discus and articulate positioning before you do anything

9, Good designer can spell, great designers can write

10, Be generous, work together step back.

This talk was really beneficial to gain an insight into how different studios work. This is a design studio that prides itself on creative insight and the use of words. Treating the words just as importantly as the design if not more so, which makes their work stand out as it is thought out and clever in all aspects.