July Update

Wow, does it feel like a long time since my last blog entry!

As far as a record of my activities, this has been rather sparse lately. Yet this does not meant to say I have been taking it too easy on myself! With the unfortunately premature ending of my internship with DJS, I have since had the opportunity to get more involved in a couple of small scale projects that I have been promising myself.

The most prominent of these was to give some deserved TLC to the microbrewery whose fine beverages I have the pleasure of being design-involved with!
As well as creating some sassy labels, social media assets and imagery, I have also been giving thought to further creative scope. Seeing the updates of the brewery finding its feet are very encouraging, and I would love to get stuck into some photographic documentation of their first offerings!

I have also been charged to design a ~30 page baby keepsake/records book for a family member’s fast approaching addition to their family. I know I regard my own book with some fondness, so theres no pressure here at all..! With the design based on the decorations of their nursery, at least an inspiration springboard has been provided, with plenty of characters, patterns and little decorative quirks to translate into digital assets. Still, Illustrator and I get on rather well these days and some concentrated drawing might provide respite from all this unexpectedly oppressive sunshine.

The search continues for a new and inspiring place to continue gaining design experience, of course. But there is only so much sitting in front of a computer anyone can take in a week, so today’s lunch break will be spent seeing if I can fill a day next week with interesting and unusual exhibitions to see in London. I might just use the ‘pin in a Timeout’ trick for added random inputs, to get me away from my usual museum haunts!

Until then, hopefully with something new under my belt (in either capacity)…

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May Update

This last week has provided a veritable plethora of food for thought. Amongst applications and keeping an eye on the Clerkenwell Design Week events planner, I have become involved in an exciting opportunity regarding the design aspects of a brand new microbrewery, in the process of startup. Beer and design? Surely the ultimate combination for extra curricular weekend research? I’m certain I would find no shortage of volunteers to help me gather materials, if only the sun would just come out of hibernation!

During my initial week formulating design ideas, I have been reflecting hard on the conversation with the brewery owner and have realised the freedom which I have been afforded! Under a single company appearance, it is intended that each beer would have its own design characteristics.

Working through these by way of 3 core styles of beer, it has taken on a schizophrenic appeal that touches base with the company mark but allows the distinct personalities to come forward in different shapes and styles. Having just come from a place of uniformity and cleanliness, the free form, all embracing creativity and enthusiasm is most definitely infectious! In particular contrast, I have been enjoying the variety and liberation that a scratchy ink pen, hand rendered type, chunky paper and ink blots, can provide.

Unfortunately, like with all good things, my exploits have been brought to a temporary halt with the arrangement of an interview for tomorrow, for a 3 month internship as a creative junior artworker. After New Statesman, I was bolstered in new ways and feel that combined with the variety of work carried out at this new location, my experiences will create a good platform from which to continue developing into a more experienced and ‘studio trained’ designer.  Fingers crossed…

Pompeii and Herculaneum

Black Coffee meet Caramel Waffle……its ‘Pressing time.

Over the last couple of weeks I have continued my interning at New Statesman, which continues to be interesting  as well as challenging in unexpected ways. Towards the end of this week I have been getting my teeth stuck into some graphic tasks to supplement my introduction to Quark. In addition to an in-magazine subscription renewal card (for which I have had the dubious honour of ‘breaking the mould’..!), I have been given the task of designing a small type/logo/graphic for use across a series of articles discussing ‘What Makes Us Human?’. An intriguing prospect. The more I think on it, the more angles I consider might need representing across the different contributing authors. At the moment my ideas are focussing around the scientific arena: DNA, double helix, molecules, brains, thumbprints etc, which can uniquely be described as human. Conversely I feel that this does not represent the spiritual or emotional side of this discussion that will inevitably raised at some point. The type arrangement I am favouring at the moment is distinctly Natural History Museum-esque and may be the source of my favouring this angle however, so I shall try re-imagining this on my notepad very soon.

On a more cultural note however, I was lucky enough to book tickets for the weekend just gone, to see The British Museum’s ‘Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum’. Being a little worse for wear with an inner ear disturbance, I had forgotten to pack my notebook which proved to be a fatal mistake! I am by no means an expert reviewer of exhibitions and this one certainly gives a lot to reflect on in life and death, so I shall stick to my preferences and instead focus on the design elements which most caught my eye.

It seemed to be an exhibition of 2 natures, with a recreation of a villa providing the layout and context for which objects could be displayed to the viewer. This really was a brilliant device that enabled visitors to immerse themselves in a familiar aspect of the past and brutally confront the consequences of the natural disaster that took place. The reconstruction itself was loose and airy, making the most of the blackout materials around the walls of the museum’s inner space and leaving visitors able to gaze up at the expansive dome far above. Perhaps the nicest touch in the heart of the exhibition was a reconstruction of a small columned atrium whose low walls to a projected water pool, served as a seamless point of rest for visitors. Continue reading

New Internship, New Statesman

Just over a month ago, I interviewed for and was successful in securing a month long, full time internship as a design intern at the Blackfriars office of The New Statesman. It was a surprise to say the least! Considering the profile of the magazine, I had expected to be overlooked by sheer volume of applicants, and consider myself lucky that I trusted my spur of the moment/if you don’t try you don’t know attitude paid off…. it hasn’t always! Continue reading

Absolut Treasure

Finally, a sneaky little blog post that I can really get behind!

For the last few years I have made it my mission to collect as many different flavours of Absolut vodka as I can. Yes, this is a questionable design related hobby and is exceedingly studenty, but give me a chance to redeem myself! After having seen a modest collection back lit behind a bar only once, the effect has stayed with me, prompting me to make my own. Since then, my quest has taken me to a few interesting locations at home and abroad, and I’m still finding new ones on the shelves!

Put simply, I love Absolut style, ethos and branding. I suspect it is their simplicity and colour that attracts me, although to me, their advertising is in a league of its own. With a history of distinctiveness and being an ‘alternative’ brand, some examples of interactive campaigns and events are truly inspirational as well as enviable. Which is not to say anything of the print campaigns!

But as for me, grabbing my own piece of a brand I love? Its all about the bottles.

And I’ll consume all I can get my mitts on. Which could realistically kill me but I’d be happy.

While I would love you introduce you to them all at the moment, tonight I will have to settle for the second newest: Absolut London.
Continue reading