Friday, 28 May 2010


After a lot of hassle and work the Design and Art Direction Degree Show is now online at Grafik mag. Working with the Publication Team (Adam, Jackie, Thea and Jen.C) and Sarah.B the design and copy came together to promote our degree show - and I am very pleased.

The work we chose was at random as we wanted to celebrate the various designers on our course, but as a whole the work does us justice as it looks great! Well done guys.

I think a big thank you needs to go to Adam who has dealt with all the design and images.
A big thank you to Sarah.B for the copy


As we are in the second to last week of this term/year, I have been working on finishing and tweaking the poster series taking the taglines. I have developed the concept again and another poster design I had was to great a sign off from Metro - taking the form of Metro literally signing the poster declaring themselves as true to their world.

Speaking to other peers I think that this idea will be my final design as it has potential and although it is a traditional design it has a modernistic approach that makes it more noticeable.
Here are my designs for the sign off, it has developed massively in the space of three days so I am really pleased.

The final posters still have minor tweaks as I have not been working on them for a day or so - I thought this would make me more reflective and subjective to how they will be interpreted.
Any thoughts welcomed!

So the final three posters series are as follows:


After speaking to Liz I wanted to push my designs into a new direction, and getting out of my comfort zone to produce more energetic design was a must!!!
I have decided that a typographic approach is more suitable for this type of campaign - as it has to visually cut through the everyday noise, it needs to be bold, seen and eye catching!
I have developed the concept into various styles to generate more creative design so that I can assess what direction I want to take!
I have tried to add more of Metro's personality into the campaign and using a background image that directly relates to where the commuters will read the paper e.g. Bus and Train stations.

This poster directly relates to the distribution of Metro throughout the UK, the key decodes the different cities - whilst the shapes are in scale to the size of how many papers are distributed in that particular city. For example London has the biggest distribution, Scotland/North West and the Midlands follow.
I do like this design - more fresher than my other designs, also quite contemporary! It celebrates the newspaper and the success of it rather than just telling the viewer how great it is!!


Over the weekend I have been working on trying to complete the Metro brief.
Whilst debating my initial concept I began to think that the approach I had taken was not what I had originally intended so taking a look back over my research I realised that I had overlooked why Metro is Metro!

Metro - USP is bitesized information, so with benefit led advertising could I create a campaign based on one element that shows why people love it so much? With a bit of creativity I began to look at Metro differently and wanted to promote the guessing game taken from the Quiz section of "Who Am I?". For example, "I'm small, but big on information" & "I save you a seat".

Although a great concept and tagline it didn't visualise the way I wanted it to and I found myself over-thinking (as usual!) and trying to create something that truthfully it may never be!!
Then I had a mental breakdown and stupid ideas of "who farted in parliament - Metro keeps you up to date", and "If you can read me in thirty, you'll think it's dirty"!!!

I Finally came to the conclusion of a rhythmic tagline that was slightly more professional and suited to my target audience!!!

"Find me at the station, I am the paper of the nation"
"Find me on the train, I will ease the morning strain"
"Find me on the train, I will always entertain"
"Find me on the bus, we sure have a lot to discuss"

"Read me on your break, I go perfect with cake"
"Take a load of your feet, I've saved you a seat"

I am much more happier and confident that this concept promotes all that I am saying, it is answering the brief...and more!!
Here are my initial visuals:

My visual aesthetic is not there yet but with a bit more work I am sure I will crack it.


For this project, I have designed a series of two posters complimented by a research book that will have specific quotes/advice I have found to help any young designer! The book will represent and encourage designers to question their own role and responsibility within design and will make them make their own decision....Design Responsibility, You Decide.

The new version of the posters are as follows, the branding and colour theme will run throughout the series.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


The other project I have been working on these past three weeks is Metro.

The brief :
- create a strong cutting edge campaign that cuts above the visual noise of the everyday commute
- TA 18/44 urbanities who have a higher than average income, they are savvy tech!
- Promote Metro as the number one morning newspaper, creating more personality for the product rather than the brand.

This type of commercial brief has been perfect for me, it has been fun and challenging something which I need after having quite personal projects on the go, it will also look more diverse in my portfolio!

My initial concept for the brief was to base the design on creating more personality for Metro, so I came up with several ideas and the main one being the different ways you can interact with Metro e.g.

eat with metro
play with metro
hide with metro
shelter with metro
learn with metro

This then quickly progressed into a further stage - after discussing my project in tutorial it was said that I needed to focus more on the USP of Metro, which is BITESIZED news.... something that other competitors do not have.

An other idea I had was 'Metro will take the blame for your stupidity', for example...
you missed your stop, because you were reading the paper, you were late for work...again!
I visualised my idea but don't think it is as strong as could be!
Definitely needs developing.


One of my favourite projects this term I have been working on is my Design Responsibility project - and I am so close to finishing it, I now just need to re-adjust the final posters designs and branding so that it is ready for my book I will design in the coming week.

Liz pointed out some key points that I will take into consideration, and hopefully get them finished over the weekend. But here are the initial poster designs:

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

What to FINISH !

With two weeks and three days to go - there is plenty to finish off.
I have to finish :

- My Design Responsibility poster series and book
- Metro Brief

- Sort out my self promotion and get printed for the degree show
- Redo my portfolio ready for after graduation

- Redo my Deaf Awareness Campaign
- Sort out my new design for my mouths and animations.

A lot to do but will more than likely get it all done...

Its been awhile....

Since I did some blogging.....

Like many of you I've been working on journal and making sure it was finished on time - I did leave enough time to finish the copy, do layout and then print. But like always - what should take two days...took four!!! But its been worth it - and I actually enjoy the whole process, I feel content that I put in more than enough hours over the past year, and enjoyed working with the design this year.

Here is my documentation of the past few days, including my new best friends!!! :

The final journal - fully printed and bound, it did take longer than expected but like anything, you have to allow for minor problems to occur, so I wasn't that bothered that I finsihed just in time.

I am really happy with my design - it represents an easy to navigate and concept that is based on the three primary colours.

For the chapter pages - I used acrylic blue/red/yellow sheets behind each different chapters these three colours do represent three elements which I have based my journal on, including how I have reflected and evaluated this past year.

Friday, 14 May 2010


As part of a longer project I have been working on in the last term - I have been researching into Design Responsibility and how the work we produce can affect the intended outcome.

What I have realised is that Design Responsibility comes in many forms - it is not just about the message or design of a poster/campaign, it is about how you as a young professional can be in control as it is your decision. Its up to you to decide what path you will take.

The intended outcome for this project will be a typographic book including all the inspirational and important bits of advice I've found when researching and a series of posters to creatively emphasize two very different elements.

So far I am near completion of the posters, I now just need to design and select the quotes/advice to suit who I am aiming at and why - this then will hopefully influence and make young designers realise their role within the Industry.

Just some thoughts I'd leave you with:

DR.ME : An Apple a Day Exhibition

Eddie and Ryan had their opening exhibition last night - I went along to support them and to have a free gin!! The exhibition - 'An apple a day' was using elements of apples (stickers) bringing them into their design work and using the theme of apples throughout everything, including the promotion work.

The boys had sponsorship from Umbro and Bombay Sapphire which was incredible, so well done!! It was really good, and for them to gain the contacts now before we graduate is also a bonus.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

LECTURE : SEA : Bryan Edmondson

As we coming to the end of the year I think this will be / was our last lecture, and it was a very good - inspiring - interesting lecture.

Bryan Edmondson is the co-founder of the design company 'SEA' created in 1997, they are a small agency never employing more than 10 people! They work on creating pure and simple design for large / small agencies and over the thirteen years their clients have just got bigger.

They base projects on simple ideas - executed well, and it was clear than he was a 'no fuss' designer who knows what he likes and why. His work he was showing us was the history of the last eighteen years and there was some really nice work. I in particular loved all of the GFS Smith work - really nice layout and colours, very bold and experimental.

They have also worked on Grafik magazine, which I was most impressed about as they worked on the issues from 08/09 which in my opinion had the most creative covers and stock used (not mentioning the redesign of the crappy paper of 09/10). He did say that it was the most difficult thing to do - after 10 cover issues he couldn't be bothered any more!!

The work for K2 Printers including the redesign identity for the company was beautiful - the use of the screen printing technique to create the identity transformed each batch and made it more fun. He has also worked for Matthew Williamson, Bruce Norman, Sansaw and OQO all highly creative and visual identities that are individual and relate-able to that company. He also talked about his own inspiration as a designer, which was nice to hear as not many lecturers include it in their presentations.

The lecture was an inspiration to do simple and well executed design work. I do sometimes over look the most simplistic ideas/concepts as I am always trying to push and create more, but this lecture made me realise that steeping back and getting inspiration does work for me and I should continue to work like this. His use of colour and layout also is evident in everything he does - it makes it more fun and exciting! But I also realise that he has the budget from the clients to create amazing work, but in University I do feel restricted to what you can produce, so when I do get a job / work experience I want to be more involved with this process.

PORTFOLIO CRIT : Adrian Shaughnessy

As part of the portfolio crits organised by Hitch I was very pleased to have one with the fabulous Adrian Shaughnessy!! A great experience personally - he is a genuine designer who like Johnny Hardstaff actually wanted to guide and advise us. With four peers in my time slot we actually had a very positive and complimentary crit where he spoke to us individually on how we can improve and as a group.

The main advice I took was:
-How you present and talk about your work is crucial
-If you send a CV/Cover Letter through the post - make the envelope interesting, how can you stand out more? Address it to the correct person and hand write it = makes it more personal.
-Include a sample of your work in an email - links are ok but pdfs are better (no more than 3 samples of work)
-It is valuable to have a website
-How you approach someone is vital - ask to meet, get to know them, show them your work = it quadruples your changes of working with them in the future
-In email your email essential to put a few sentences about what interests you in the company and why.

Before I went in I had heard several other peer responses to the feedback he gave them - it was great advice so I took it on board! He liked to be presented too = which makes sense!! You are showing him your work let him view it! He liked my book, was very complimentary of it - which is always nice to hear. His advice to improve was to re consider how I presented the images, e.g. make the images larger, small images don't impact. Put into situ my posters etc, agencies love to see them live. He also commented on the fact that I put white on white which he said is a no no! I need to show the contrast. He also liked my opening page - more so because it literally told him what I did (and mine is really boring)!! Overall a positive experience.

More advice on what book he prefers :
-He hates ring binders
-Shove your portfolio in their face
-Make your portfolio a statement about you!
-Likes divider pages - it allows the person to know when a project starts/ends
-Tell the person what going to see - then turn the page
-Explain, make things clear
-Have physical objects to show them
-Should have some web based projects in portfolio

-A portfolio should never be finished – it is like a full time job it needs constant attention

-If you apply for a job and don’t get it, find out why – you may hear something that makes you a better designer.

I enjoyed it, I also liked being with different peers (which I hadn't wanted!) but it was great to see their work and how they presented. He really liked Jo's portfolio case as it looked more professional and it lay nicely on the table. This is something me and Sarah have been considering so I will definitely be ordering a new one!!

Saturday, 1 May 2010


Alessandra's most recent Holden Cafe Exhibition included students from Print Making.
The actual exhibition included screen printing, zinc etching and animation and I went along to the open night. The work by second/third years worked really well within the space, (it happens to be a really great exhibition space as people can sit surrounded by the art work).

Alessandra and her team do work really hard, and I can add that it really does take longer than expected to put up the work. MY favourite was the prints of the folded piece of paper, as a series of 5 images each one told a different story - the printing was also perfect!

Well done ladies!

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