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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Graduate Show 2013 Photographs

It feels like an age since I have been able to blog without the nagging fear of time constraints hanging over me! But my internship at Dowling Jones Design has been going well since I last checked in. Aside from getting myself enrolled in the office corporate run around Battersea Park in a couple of weeks, my time has been mostly painless. Of course I say painless, but the last time I ran 5 kilometres was (near exactly) one year ago in July and I severely doubt my ability to this time around! Hopefully the weather will be reliable enough for some practice later on this weekend, and I shall make a special effort to shift myself in a respectable starting time.

So without further delay to my original intentions for this entry, I have uploaded some of my photographs from the UCA Maidstone, Graphic Design: VisCommunication Graduate Show at the Rag Factory in London. Although now a couple of weeks back, I thought it would be nice to still put up a fraction of the work on show… giving credit where credit is due, too!

The pieces I have included here are by (l to r approximately): Nejib Ben Ayed, Jenna Williams, Sarah Knight (x3), Caz Church (x2),  Laura Kennard, Caz Church (2 images portrait), Charlie Michael Whitehouse, Amy Clipsham, Danielle Homer, Daniel Forni, Connor Hudson, Debbie Caplan, Soumbul Qureshi (x2), Jack Witcomb, Sasha Giles (x2), with Specturm flyers and GD:VisComm/Graphic Media course Publication.

Mixed Bag Updates

A micro update in the face of a busy weekend and unexpected sinusitis (not altogether a good combination!):

– Last week I dropped into the UCA Third Year GD show, at The Rag Factory. The display was fantastic, filling one of the largest spaces available, next to Illustration and Graphic Media students. Hopefully I shall be able to upload and sort through my photographs from the evening, where I also bumped into a couple of my old classmates and tutors. Suffice to say time really does fly, and it was lovely to speak to and compliment some of the creators. I know that given how grim I felt about life after graduation, a nice word about the work I had just slaved over for months, would have been very well received!
A small snapshot of the evening booklet to be going on with…

– I also received word from the art director on the the New Statesman, that the supplement I laid out and designed the cover for, is now in the shops! Very exciting of course, but I did notice an error present in an older version of my in backpage infographic. A shame, but the piece still retains its integrity in spite of it! I could not resist dropping into a WHSmith to see which cover the client had plumped for, but will be happy to wait for my copy to arrive in the post.

– My first week at DJD went very well, learning quickly, filling notebooks and discovering more CS shortcuts! Busy busy busy, I must remember to sleep when I can and soften the blow of The Dreaded Commuter Flu so until next update…

New Internship at DJD

Capping off my blogging streak this afternoon, I can announce that next week I will be starting a 3 month junior artworker internship at Dowling Jones Design, in Fulham London, specialising in interiors and property/estate agency services.

The variety should be building on the formality of my time at New Statesman with the intrigue of a new area and subjects. However, knowing my propensity to write everything down for future reference, and judging by the size of my last one, 3 months is going to need a bigger notebook…

I’m really looking forward to starting work with a new team, on new challenges in a new location. Hopefully  it will develop into a longer term position, but I’m not keen to tempt fate anymore than strictly necessary! Blog posts should drop off a little steeply until I settle into a working rhythm, but at the end of this week I shall be visiting Spectrum,  the 3rd Year Graphic Design: VisComm show at The Rag Factory. I’ll be looking to finish off this lull with a flurry of photography! So until then…

New Statesman Internship – overview at the end

After a small extension to my placement, I have now completed my internship at the New Statesman.

Totalling up the days, it is no wonder that the time has flown by. Taking into account office breaks after the centenary edition and my unfortunate day of sickness, the weeks were a little fractured to begin with and I had initially thought that I would struggle to ever get my body clock into the swing of things! However, once into the regular flow of office rhythm it provided an extremely useful view into the nuts and bolts of magazine publishing on this scale.

I have had the opportunity to work on more projects that I anticipated, from the large at the end to the small icons and daily tasks that help to keep the office on the same page- literally and metaphorically! My research had already prepared me for one of the regular design intern tasks – which was sort of cheating, no? – but I definitely felt pushed out of my comfort zone of existing knowledge and experience. Picking up Quark Xpress definitely fell into that category, as did becoming so accustomed to Windows that I would take 10 minutes to readjust to shortcuts on my small cluster of Macs! Continue reading

Pick Me Up 2013: Midweek Wonderland

Having spent a promising morning commute wondering whether I would be able to fit in a visit to Pick Me Up this year, I was pleasantly surprised when I was encouraged to take a couple of hours out of the office around lunchtime and visit the graphic arts festival at Somerset House.

The walk from Blackfriars to Somerset House could not be faulted in the glorious weather, and I was confused to discover that contrary to my discovery last year, there was no queue of any kind at the entrance! As I was to discover, the galleries inside were just populated enough to create a good atmosphere but not so much that I couldn’t press my nose against a piece and worry whose view I was blocking. It was just as well that I could take my time to soak up the work however, as unfortunately, I had neither a notepad or  decent quality camera to document pieces that I liked! Luckily I rummaged long enough to find pen and note some artist/collective names on the back of some postcards.

Continue reading

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