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.