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.

Friday, 11 October 2013

PPP3 : PPP presentation (start of year)


This is my presentation to start of the year. It goes through how I spent my summer, which was mainly getting things out of my system that I won't get the chance to do this year / didn't get the chance to do last year. This included knitting some terrible socks, playing with paper mache to make a piggy bank, painting a bottle to make a vase,  used old design sheets / scrap paper to make sketch books for the year and did some illustrations. Among this I also sorted out my design presence setting up a behance, Linkdin, cargo collective and etsy account. The presentation also includes  my statement of intent for the year and all my briefs outlined and briefly summarised. This presentation was a great way to warm up to the year and outline what is to come. I now feel more confident pursuing briefs and preparing for the year ahead.


finalise briefs
write up briefs
time table briefs
begin briefs

Friday, 4 October 2013

PPP3 : why am I here - What do I want to learn?



Why Am I Here? - What Do I Want To Learn?

Identify and explain five reasons why you chose to study on this programme...
  1. After studying for one year a BA graphic design course at a different institute i have something to compare this course to and when i was talked through what BAGD at LCA is all about i was very impressed, I also went to both instututes end of year graduate show last year so i could compare the level of work and the presentation of the work which I think is a very important factor in Graphic Design and LCA graphic design graduates stood out alot more to me and inspired me more which shows to me that genrally only great things come from this course
  2. Studio culture. The studios are always full of life which is something that did not happen on my last course, which i missed. There is constantly a creative buzz and drive which you cant help but feed off.
  3. Its hard work. I want to be on a course that pushes me and stretches me to the very brink I want to find it hard and I want to make mistakes so i can learn and develop as a designer.
  4. 'Strict' in the sense of there is a great importance on punctuality and attendance, i experienced this on the foundation at LCA and I feel it works as it gets everyone to the studio and makes 'students' act as 'profesionals' getting us to act proffesional and disaplined from the very start is a great thing and is a wake up to the real world.
  5. The fact that the tutors were and are so pationate about the course made me feel really good about it because their passion will be fed into our learning, and makes you feel equally pationate about the course.
Identify and explain five things that you want to learn during your time on the programme...

  1. Everything, I literally want to learn everything my brain is like a sponge right now and wants to suck up as much knowledge as possbile
  2. I want to learn the differences of working for an agency or freelance and which one would suit me best, I want to learn where i fit in the design communitiy
  3. If there are any 'rules' in graphic design and if so i want to learn them and then through that i will learn how to break them.
  4. I want to learn how to manage my time efficiently.
  5. i want to learn a large rage of ways of applying graphic design be it in the technique or the actually outcome.
Identify and explain five skills that you think are your strengths...

  1. I enjoy researching and coming up with ideas and concepts and then developing ideas and coming up with outcomes 
  2. Problem solving
  3. Colours i feel i have a good eye for them.
  4. Broadning my horrizen by looking at praticing designers. I have a terrible memory for names so if you asked me who ive been looking at i wouldnt be able to say but i am constantly look at what different kind of work is out there finding insperation and drive through doing this.
  5. Drawing. I wouldnt call myself an illustrator as i couldnt really imagine myself sitting down and drawing the same thing over and over and over again until it is perfect, but i love drawing and feel it is a skill i have always had.
Identify and explain five skills you want to improve...
  1. Adobe, illustrator in particular.
  2. Have more confidence in typography and layout design
  3. Screen printing as I want to become very advanced in this.
  4. Talking about my own work clearly. Also talking infront of class in presentations.
  5. Knowledge of graphic design.
Identify five questions that you want to find the answer to...
  1. Where do i fit in the graphic industry?
  2. Whats the best way of getting your work out there?
  3. How many graphic designers or companies are there in Leeds?
  4. Do you think graphic design will end up being very digital and lose the print element in the near future?
  5. do you think networking is esential or do you think your work should sell its self?

Identify and explain 5 ways that you will evaluate your progress...

  1. Feedback from tutors.
  2. Feedback from fellow students in the form of formal crits or just genral chit chat about work in the studio.
  3. Self evaluation.
  4. Looking back on blog to see developments.
  5. Asking for opinions from people outside the graphic design community.


Using the online resources that you have been introduced to in the module briefing and based on questions raised in the studio workshop and experiences of the first 2 weeks of the course:

identify and explain 5 reasons why you chose to study on this programme.

I chose to study on this course firstly because of the reputation it holds. There is a really high success rate for graduating students and the level of work that they produce is outstanding compared to other courses I witnessed, which I noticed when comparing end of year shows.

Another reason I chose to study on this course is due to the fact that this is a pro active, studio based, intense course which I believe are all key things you need in a course to be successful. When you leave this course you don't just leave with a piece of paper saying you have a degree, you leave with the knowledge and attitude to be a designer.

The college resources are another reason why I chose to study here as they cater to your every need, such as extensive macs, print room, two library's, two screen printing rooms and copious amount of studio space. As well as that there is also knowledgeable technician support, people who know everything about their area and will help you, which is very important.

When on this course you are treated professionally not like students and are therefore expected to act professionally back. This is a very important factor to the success rate of the students as they have been treated as professionals and taught how to act professionally back once they graduate they know how to engage and act within the professional area and will therefore be more Likely to gain a job or placement as they don't need time to adjust from student to professional, they are already there.

The tutors are another reason why I chose to come on this course. When on my interview I could tell how passionate and proud of the course they are, they have confidence in the course and there students which gave me confidence that this was a the right course for me. They want to teach and want there students to do well and be successful so make sure we are taught every little detail we need to know to ensure that we do succeed. This is something that is needed as there drive and passion rubs of on us students and makes us wok hard.

Identify and explain 5 things that you want to learn during your time on the programme.

I want to learn more about print production as this is something that I feel is vital for when we graduate as print is such a major part to graphic design and with out the knowledge it would jeopardise jobs and waste time after graduating trying to learn about print. On this course we have an opportunity to learn in detail about print process which is something other courses don't offer so I want to take advantage.

Another thing I want to learn on the course is how to communicate in a professional way. This is something that seems quite small but it is a skill that will aid in finding jobs and also in the production of jobs, knowing what language to use when talking to printers for example, or when talking technically to other designers. It is a skill that will stop you from looking a fool and not being taken seriously, which in return will open doors of opportunity.

Web design is something that has become more important as the digital world is so large and expanding. It is a skill that may set you aside from other designers as not all graphic designers other the skill in their practise. It is something that I have had brief workshops on before and enjoyed, but can't remember. So I would like to begin to solidly learn web design so that it stays with me.

Being able to self promote is a vital skill, if you don't know how to go about getting your name/business known then you wont get very far. I want to learn the skills of promoting myself such as networking, presentation skills and portfolio preparation. To be able to learn how to confidently self promote would be a skill that once again will mean gaining opportunity's.

I want to improve and advance on all the skills I learnt last year such as type and grid, colour use etc. We were taught the fundamentals of graphic design and I want to continue to improve on the skills we were given as well as advance and take full advantage of the new skill we will be taught this year.

Identify and explain 5 skills that you think are your strengths.

Something I feel I do well is research. I enjoy researching things, delving deeper and deeper into the subject or going off on different relevant paths. I find it exciting learning about things that we might not necessarily of learnt about before, such as the ' A history of..' brief, which is something that happens in the professional world, as Elmwood described it, when your a graphic designer you have to be able to become a professional in any job or subject matter, they explained about having to design a Thomas the tank engine stamp and how they had to become an expert in Thomas the tank engine. You have to fully emerge yourself in research and also learn to enjoy it which is something I do.

Due to the fact I enjoy researching I feel it ables me to be innovative with my ideas for projects. I always try to think outside of he box with solutions. I try and be as creative as possible with my approach to products and this way it means that my outcomes and ideas stay fresh.

When using colour I feel I have a good understanding of it. I know what colours to use to enhance the message of work, and what colours to use that compliment each other. I feel confident applying colour and using it in my work. From last years workshops I am now more aware when I use colours of how colours react differently when placed next to other colours.

Another skill I feel I have is relating to audience. I feel like it is important to be able to relate to different audiences which can be achieved through research. If you can relate to your target audience successfully your work will be more relevant and effective and is one of the most important factors to consider.

A skill I feel comfortable with is image making, through a variety of ways such as illustration and photography. I enjoy drawing and find it a useful way to convoy my ideas and a useful skill I can call upon when  the brief suits.

Identify and explain 5 things that you want to improve.

I want to improve my blogging skills. Blogging is a really good way of evaluating, developing and documenting my work. I want to improve how effective my blogging is and make sure that everything I blog is relevant.

To make sure my blog is up to scratch I will also have to improve my time management and organisation skills. I need to allow time to blog and organise my work for the blog such as taking photos etc. I also need to work on my time management and organisation skills in all aspects. If I can manage my time better I feel my practise will approve.

I also feel I need to improve my writing skills. By doing this I will be able to blog more efficiently, feel more confident when contacting professionals and be more successful in my context of practise essay. I will do this by taking advantage of the help that is available in the learning support.

Another thing I want to improve is my knowledge of graphic design. Design is such a huge disciplinary with so many aspects, it is ever changing and evolving and I want to be able to expand my knowledge and keep up with it, so that my design work is relevant and key.

Another area of graphic design where you can never know enough is software. I want to improve and further my skills across all software. When you get into the professional world you are expected to know how to use software so I want to ensure my skills are at a good standard.

Identify and explain 5 ways that you will evaluate your progress.

There are a number of ways to evaluate progress of work such as through crits. Crits are a great opportunity to get direct feedback on your work and ideas on things like whether the concept works if the message is clear if the audience and tone are correct etc, and after crit it gives you a chance to evaluate all the things that were flagged up and allows you to alter your work and improve things.

Another successful way of evaluating progress is through peer feedback. The beauty of being on a studio based course it that we are constantly surrounded by designers, who are also our fellow students, and by asking simple questions about work we can easily gain legit and helpful feedback,

It is very important to constantly ask ourselves questions about our work, such as, who is my audience? what is my concept? what is my context? by doing this it ables us to stay on track and evaluate where things are going. We are able to do this through our blogs. The blogs allow us to jot down all the self evaluations we make of our work and all in the same place so they are easy to access for further evaluation.

Tutorials are a good source of progress evaluation as the tutors know in terms of the course how we are progressing and as the professionals can evaluate us. Tutorials are important to let us know how we are getting on and more importantly how we can improve.

The body of work we produce in short amounts of time is quite outstanding and hard to re evaluate and digest this is where the blog comes in as it acts as an archive to hold all our work from level 4 to level 6 so whenever we feel like looking back we can and can therefore self evaluate the progress we have made.

Identify 5 questions that you want to find the answer to.

What area of graphic design do I lie?
How do I get a work placement?
How do I promote myself?
What is the best way to manage time?
Where do I want to end up working, independent studio, freelance, corporate company?

Identify and explain 5 things that inspire you.


Identify 10 examples of design that illustrate your fields of creative interest.

- Branding / identity


- Editorial magazine


- Book


- Screen print



- Fashion


- Promotion


- Clothing

- Poster


- Music