D&AD submission sheets

I’m pretty happy with the way my final submission sheets for D&AD are looking at the moment. I think another couple of hours with a fine-tooth comb and I can confidently pack them up until submission day. Unusually for me, I’ve blitzed the design in one day and seem to have unconsciously come up with a grid that fits the exact maximum numbers of images I need to display! I really like the look of these pages and have taken the precaution of making spaces for page numbers so I can print them out if needed in the future.

At 140×150 dimensions, I imagine they would also look quite striking mounted on black board and set on the wall. Perhaps an ideal display option if the binding idea falls through? At least I’m making more headway on this submission which frees up headspace for 2 more endeavours I am about to embark on!

If I had told first year me that I would voluntarily take on extra projects, I would have fainted. Now? I’m making sure I’m breathing deeply…

Images, ideas – Quick reference images for D&AD

Source: flavorwire.com via Nina on Pinterest

Architectural plans from the Coutts pack. 2.5 metres. Natural paper, textured, very thin, highlight with yellow spotlighting? Gold wire to form frame. Building contents, mirrors, facing outwards, Use samples of text to silhouette against walls? Handwritten fragments.  Interior lit with white LED. Gold paint detailing on front?

Tumbled velvet from reverse, hung from ceiling. Projections onto bowl of fabric. Red velvet, white, heavy draped. OR v.light pale fabric, move in breeze of passers by. Easier to project silhouettes.

Scale up. completely.

Coutts D&AD – ideas catch-up – Locked until post submission dates

Boy do I have a need to catch up on my D&AD blogging!

After getting stuck in (on reflection) quite a horrific thinking rut, I spoke to the newest tutor at Uni and was reminded that there was much more to this display than just the details. What about scale, drama, feel of it? Its meant to be an installation, its meant to put down roots and immerse the viewer, take over some of the spaces in which its planted!

I’m meant to be presenting information but I’d managed to get myself thinking in the plotting of it. I’d managed to train myself out of the thinking in spectacle that I enjoyed doing a few months ago. And I know why I’ve started thinking like that, which as Hugh pointed out that might not be the best/natural thing for me. But I can feel myself get back into the swing of it now. Especially if I use the prompts Sue gave me to think about my installation in respect to exhibition or gallery design. There seem to be some marked similarities between the Audio Visual means of exciting, creative and relevant presentation to the public at large and a more selective audience.

Think scale. They don’t have to like all of it, they can still like the concept and adapt parts of the physical presentation as they see fit. Think props. Think setting a scene. Think projection. Think making a surface impression but sustaining closer inspection.

I think detail is a luxurious thing. Sounds fall into that too I think, which makes it all the more immersive. In its most extreme incarnation, my current favoured idea is a little odd to say the least, but very intricate.

At the moment I’m hooked on an idea surrounding a breech of the past into the present. A fireplace is situated against a wall with a mirror hanging above it, a white (or red velvet?) sheet is draped in such a way as to conceal one side of the set. (ISSUE: concealing, in place of intended revealing?)

On the mantle surrounding the fireplace there is a clock, a pair of spectacles and a bundled sheaf of papers stacked upon a book. Quiet ticking can be heard, chiming on the hour. On the floor the drape pools out next to stacks of hardback bound books, some up to a metre tall. On the spines of these books is a year inscribed in gold type (With the relevant name of the Coutts family member serving as head of bank?) Amongst these stacks there is possibly a chair or low table as prop.

As the second picture here builds on, the theatre can be increased when the relevant information and images are projected into place.

Primarily, photographs or illustrative drawings of the archive objects can be displayed through projection onto the open double page spreads of large books, set on top of the stacks. These would most likely be set at an angle, to allow the best viewing opportunities. Two or three of these display surfaces would be made available, each showing a slow slideshow of different items from the archives. Intending to appear as part of the books themselves, the accompanying information regarding these images/illustrations could be incorporated into a double page display for each book, or limiting surfaces to pairs, 2 corresponding surfaces of text and image. Acting as a fixed spotlight, the projectors alone would provide most of the lighting in a dimmer environment. To highlight aspects of the display, additional spotlighting may be required to suggest atmosphere.

In another variation to this idea, a cloud of loose leaf pages/parchment is suspended in flight above the work. Would this appear as falling or rising, however? Given the placement of the intact books below them, I would think that it would look more similar to rising- but I have been very wrong before… There is also potential for a solid layer of these to be formed and projected onto, in place of the book surfaces.

On the otherhand at the most tame level of my idea, the fireplace, mantle, sheet and scattered stacks of books have been removed. More simply presented, 3 surfaces of open book pages will be placed in a cluster and use the similar methods of photograph and illustration projection. In this case, informative text would be displayed upon one of the double spreads while the remaining surfaces displayed the images.

Ideally, natural or artificial spotlighting above the work would create a dappled light around the work. There may be a problem with its interference with the surface displays.

Misc. points

Ledger paper faint on ‘paper’ surface? A3-A4 size per single.

Stacks cut like book stacks- smooth stone/marble effect, with gold text on spines, matt ‘pages’

Stacks made of plain cut stone/heavy solid material- smooth sides, with matt ‘pages’

Projection from within unit or from outside? Eliminate interference if inside. Page turn effect…? *bleurgh*

Less history but smaller, more compact.

As always, the sketches continue. Scattered and unorganised, waiting for me to make a decision with ‘safe’ or something a little bit ‘out there’. Theres a boring simplicity to the tamed idea and the wild one seems more appealing because it is just that- a little but mad.

I keep trying to think realistically and of what they want or might be looking for. But I’m going to be pitching me, how I see things. I know I’m not going to win because I’m not going to be submitted, so it doesn’t actually matter what I present at the end of the day. What I can make sure is that what I do present has integrity and has a solid concept- even if it is a bit mad. Because if this was a regular project for Uni, I’d have no second thoughts about rigging up that first crazy idea in a spare room, and carting in mirrors and mantlepieces from B&Q.

Maybe I’m being a bit too timid about it altogether? If ideas have personality, the first one is going to be more talkative than the last. And its easy to tell talkative people to be quiet, more difficult to ask quiet ones to speak-up. Think I might talk to Ruth on Friday, hi-jack her to get a fresh take on my ideas. Or for a quick boost of conversation. Who knows. At least I’m moving now, and thinking.


I like thinking in more than one dimension, but making these align even roughly is giving me a headache

The print out isn’t too far out of balance either- not bad for a late night mess around.

As much as I love them, no amount of etched acrylic is going to make these appropriate.

D&AD – ‘Exceptional’ Coutts

For my D&AD submission choice, I was the only student in the year to choose the brief set by Coutts bank. While this contributes to my theory that I am not the “normal” embodiment of skills and attitudes  the course is intending to produce, the brief is as follows :

Design an installation that reflects the exceptional nature of Coutts and their unique heritage in a contemporary and engaging way. A copy will be installed in every one of its 43 branches worldwide.

The piece could be interactive or static, 3 dimensional or flat, but should fully engage the viewer and immediately convey a sense of unmistakable, but perhaps surprising ‘Couttsness’

Given the nature of it, I can’t say I’m surprised it had me champing at the bit to dive into the file of 67 very high quality photographs of artefacts (letters, medals, watches, hats, snuff boxes, spectacles…) that had been supplied with the intention of being used to base a response upon. I should add that this wasn’t so much stated, rather implied in the language as the basis for a more successful response.

Consequently, I am reinforcing my understanding of the underlying values and history of the brand by examining the materials more closely. In particular, the letters to/from members of the Coutts family  to the great and good of the ages, might provide an edge to the very human narrative that seems to run through the bank and its beliefs.

Theres something about the lines, the calligraphy of all the handwriting samples that I keep coming back to. Something fragile and old underscoring something much stronger?

Trust, security, stories of life and death, wealth, words, promises. None of these things really exist- money isn’t the gold it represents in a government vault somewhere. Even more so with electronic banking- we’ve moved right past a physical presence of finance and skipped to waves and blinking numbers on a screen. But that still counts for something, because someone has told us that those numbers could still be exchanged for bits of gold that we could put in our pockets. All these promises to ‘pay the bearer’ are insubstantial.  Foolishly, the only assets that don’t apply to this would be land or property, or maybe artefacts. Yet aren’t they worth only what people will pay for them or what people deem they are worth?

The word of this bank seems to be underlined by a core interest in the individuals behind the assets, both in their founders and clients. They seem to want to present a very human face to their organisation. Listening to their requirements and catering to them, speaking about personal and socially admirable traits such as generosity and responsibility. Their word seems to be golden.

Now THAT is ludicrous. That is the economy.

We’ll see. I’ve already done some running ahead of myself for the material and form of the proposed piece, which was probably a bad idea in some respects. I should be approaching the content with an open mind instead of making it fit into that-great-way-of-cutting-and-hanging-paper-that-I-saw-in-the-library.