completed: foundation diploma, CCW UAL
studying: graphic design BA, Kingston University
I’ve just finished reading a post on the CR Blog about the Kingston third year’s mobile degree show. The graduates are touring the capital to showcase their work. I think this is a great idea- a lot of people won’t make the actual show (at the Dray Walk Gallery from July 5-9), so why not bring it to them.
The outside of the van is covered with velcro patches, allowing for interchangeable graphics/messages.
The blog for the show is also really nicely laid out. The shows title ‘take shape’ is mirrored in it’s layout… with gradually ascending pictures giving the effect of the page beginning to take shape.
Whilst browsing the website, I came across Cat Saunders work, which commented on the 2011 London Riots. This caught my eye, having researched and developed a project of my own on the London Riots for my FMP (see a few posts down). It was interesting to see somebody else’s take on the riots.
Yesterday I went to the starting out in visual communication talk, hosted by artsmart, at UAL students union. I would say 90% or more of the people there had just finished their BA’s, so I felt a bit odd sitting there having not even started mine yet.
There were four speakers at the event, all UAL graduates:
Morag Myerscough: ‘you’re only as good as your last job’
Morag gave a quick summary of her early career, pre 2002, where she worked for various people such as Lamb & Shirley and Michelle De Lucci. I also found it interesting when she talked about having done a lot of illustration work in her spare time, for freelance jobs. It was good to hear about how she juggled being employed and self employed.
She then moved onto talking about the studio she set up with a fellow student, Jane Chipchase, Myerscough Chipchase. Here Morag spoke about the benefits of working with other young people- as you grow together, you’ll employ each other and it will open up opportunities for more jobs in the long run. She also said how it’s important to get to know people in other creative disciplines, so your work isn’t stuck in the typical graphic design boundaries. For Morag, it seemed that architectural and spacial influences play a heavy role in her design work. For example:
Morag often spoke about how she is heavily influenced by the people she meets and how they keep her practise fresh and new. The industry is always chopping and changing, so she advised graduates to be as open minded and adaptable as possible to the way in which they work. This I thought, was the most valuable advice Morag gave.
Next to speak, was Alex Spiro, founder of publishing company Nobrow who ‘work with talented illustrators from around the world to produce books and prints.’ I was surprised to hear that Alex didn’t start out with a creative mindset, and it was only after completed a history degree at Oxford University, that he decided visual communication was more for him.
Alex spoke a lot about money and I think, although not the be all and end all of life, this was important because all graduates want to ultimately be successful and make a living out of their careers. He explained how cheap printing was possible, by using spot printing and only two colours and asking printers to produce their books with the minimum paper wastage possible. It was in fact the economical two tone printing that allowed Nobrow to establish their style.
I really liked the aesthetic appeal of the spot printing technique Nobrow use, and I’ll definitely be having a look into how I could perhaps print in that way myself in the future.
Nobrow 1: only two colours were used for this first issue, as it was all they could afford
Next came Adam Dudd, who works for Tate Design. Adam being the youngest of all speakers (having graduated from LCC in 2007), perhaps had the freshest view on how to make it in the current climate.
He spoke about how it was important to make the most of opportunities and to constantly try to get your work seen. He gave an example of how he entered a piece of work for the design festival- it didn’t win, although they liked his style and asked him to create a t-shirt for them.
He said that big breaks like these gave him a lot of exposure, and helped to push his career in the right direction. He recommended selling your work at small art fairs, such as Pick Me Up and Poundshop.
A few other usual tips that Adam gave were:
The final speaker of the day was Domenic Lippa, who is part of the Pentagram group. Being the oldest of the speakers, it was interesting to see how he’s worked his way up so greatly in the design world.
He graduated from LCP (now LCC), specialising in typography. He spoke about how, despite his parents both being creatives, he was rubbish at drawing and therefore he found his niche in type. He started a partnership with Harry Pearce in 1990, calling themselves Lippa Pearce. They did lots of advertising and packaging and ‘everything was about the work’, not the profit made. I thought this highlighted Domenic’s great passion for design and how much he enjoyed his practise.
In 2006 both Domenic an Harry joined Pentagram and Domenic spoke about how every partner works in a different way (graphic, architectural and product design). He said how your portfolio is crucial- it’s how people see and judge you.
Domenic has recently designed the new-look identity for UAL, which has received good (and bad) reviews- see Creative Review:
The main tips Domenic gave were:
Overall I found the talk very useful. Much of the advice wasn’t relevant to me right now, but it will certainly benefit me in the future and (I hope) give me a head start in my career.