Alongside my short film for World Press Freedom day, we were required to produce a print artefact that worked alongside it. I chose to create a short publication on the day itself, detailing the history, my message and the impact that the day’s awareness has had on the media the world over. Entitled ‘Today is May 3rd’, my hope for the content was to make it available to a wide audience, therefore appropriate language was used. I aimed to use it as a teaching tool so that individuals that might not be aware of the need for such a day could learn of it in a way that was personable and fairly informal. I didn’t go into unnecessary detail and I stuck to communicating what was factual and not largely based on a matter of opinion.

My main theme for the artefact was that of simplicity and distortion, but these related to separate aspects of the outcome. Simplicity was related to the entire piece, through colour scheme, layout, format, stock etc, whilst distortion was used only visually, as I didn’t want any of the information itself to altered in any way. Because of this, the copy was written in a way that allowed the reader to read through the broadsheet in any way they wished. Page 4 would work with page 8, page 14 would work with page 3.

I chose to keep my broadsheet containing type only, as this relates to my typographic short film. I also felt that the use of imagery can be subject to interpretation, which is generally less so with the written word. Plus, imagery was not needed in this piece.

Many of the layouts have relevant links to the subject matter of press freedom, with a regular use of arrow shapes to play on the theme of guided perspective, and a large number of text boxes that interact to distort the perception of the shapes made by the paragraphs. However, no decision was made that would compromise on readability of the information.

The use of folds throughout the artefact allow for a number of things. The reader is able to physically interact with the piece by searching for information under folds and being able to work out that when the folds are placed down together, the centre spread reveals a hidden image. However, there is no direct instruction to do this, as it’s left entirely up to the reader. The revealed image is a picture of the anamorphic type from my short film, (another link between the two outcomes), showing the message from it’s clearest perspective. This again plays on the theme of perception, as a suggestion that we as a public need to take action to improve the quality and the amount of information that is made available to us, which will give us a greater perspective on a number of matters.

The piece is A2 in size when open.

And I do apologise, I couldn’t help but make that rather wordy. As always I just had far too much to say.

At the beginning of my final year studying Graphic Communication, we were presented with the fantastic opportunity to work on a live brief creating short films for a World awareness day selected by us. I chose World Press Freedom Day and used anamorphic type as a tool to communicate to the audience how we may only be seeing one point of view in our national press. Of course this varies from country to country, but the way you look at a subject can significantly alter what you are seeing. Whilst one perfect point of clarity may not always be applicable, I encourage the viewer to consider the impact of perspective.

These are photos of my most recent project, ‘I shot the serif’, where I designed and then hand made a book exploring the basic rules surrounding the use of typography. By using interactive techniques and as little text as possible, I hoped for this book to have the tools to equip the reader with the basic understanding that I feel every designer needs when designing with type.

This is most definitely where my obsession with type blossomed into something truly frightening. 

For a brief entitled ‘Publishing and Narrative’, I was asked to design a broadsheet that was split into two sections. The first section was to be an exploration of the personal way in which I research and design. The second section had to cover one brand out of a selection we were given, discussing two particular points in their history. 

With section one, I chose to play on how structured and planned out my personal design process was. When I found that there were parallels between this and my gaming choices, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop this concept further. By using mouse tracking software, I was able to create a series of patterns, tracking my mouse’s progress throughout a game of Age of Empires (notorious for its need for strategy and planning). The resulting graphic was quite chaotic, which presented an interesting contrast. I also chose to present screen shots of my changes in body language throughout the gameplay, taken from the video recorded of myself. I found that there were further similarities between my design process and my gaming, as I went through identical visual stages as the game progressed. Initially I was calm and easily distracted, but as the game continued, I would get deeper and deeper until I was completely absorbed in what I was doing and unable to tear myself away. All this was apparent in my body language.

The brand I chose to explore in section 2 was that of Penguin Publishers, as I’ve always been a fan of their book cover designs since their very humble beginnings. I selected the specific topic of the initial political implications of Penguin, beginning in 1960 when they challenged a prudish Britain with D. H. Lawrence’s, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Investigating how Penguin as a brand influenced the change that the trial brought and how it reflected on them at the time, I then considered a more recent event which I felt was a direct comparison between the companies main ideals, then and now. Looking at the third occasion of Penguin publishing a blatantly fabricated autobiography, I hoped to explore what that suggested in terms of how their certain ideals may have changed and how that is reflected on their consumers.

I presented this all in a fold out broadsheet, as I wanted to have a narrative to the opening of the final piece. The colour orange was suitable seeing as I was exploring the brand of Penguin, (their trademark colours being orange, black and white), but also because I wanted to give the broadsheet a contemporary feel, almost hoping to drag it away from the medieval theme presented when designing with ‘Age of Empires’. The front cover presents my final mouse tracking graphic, printed on tracing paper in a way that created a fluorescent orange on a silver backdrop. The typeface is Baskerville and I kept a strict grid structure throughout.

In the middle of March, I was thrilled to find myself spending a week with the creatives at The Red Brick Road in Soho, London. I was asked to work on a live brief to design a new logo for Tesco’s Banks. The people at Tesco were keen to have something that symbolised strength and security, whilst maintaining a corporate but contemporary style. They wanted to have the main focus of the design on the fact that it’s for a bank, not a Tesco’s bank, but were willing to be flexible on type and colours used. 

With my final designs shown here, I hoped to fulfil the requirements of the brief by using a symbol that suggested support with the large circle almost cradling the smaller rounded square. Perhaps this could be related to Tesco Bank securely holding your finances. The colours were corporate and the 3D rendering of the logo added a contemporary edge. My final design was used eventually for the pitch, which was rather wonderful news.

Not only did I learn far more than I could have anticipated in that one week, but I also left with a beautiful USB shaped like a red lego brick. Yeah.

These are my finished business cards in all their glory. Lasercut and printed on 300gsm stock, they are my new babies and I may find it hard to hand them out to strangers. Particularly the mint green ones. I may sacrifice a few and just roll around in them once the sun sets, we’ll see.

This was my final piece for a brief given to us on Nostalgia. We had to focus on Nostalgia in terms of the past, present and future, and from there present the subject in a way that would cause the viewer to re-evaluate it. 

Initially, I found myself focussing on a Richard Dawkins quote,

If nuclear war destroys humanity and most of the rest of life, a good bet for survival in the short term, and for evolutionary ancestry in the long term, is rats. I have a post-Armageddon vision. We and all other large animals are gone. Rodents emerge as the ultimate post-human scavengers. They gnaw their way through New York, London and Tokyo, digesting spilled larders, ghost supermarkets and human corpses and turning them into new generations of rats and mice, whose racing populations explode out of the cities and into the countryside. When all the relics of human profligacy are eaten, populations crash again, and the rodents turn on each other, and on the cockroaches scavenging with them. In a period of intense competition, short generations perhaps with radioactivity enhanced mutation-rates boost rapid evolution. With human ships and planes gone, islands become islands again, with local populations isolated save for occasional lucky raftings: ideal conditions for evolutionary divergence. Within 5 million years, a whole range of new species replace the ones we know. Herds of giant grazing rats are stalked by sabre-toothed predatory rats.* Given enough time, will a species of intelligent, cultivated rats emerge? Will rodent historians and scientists eventually organise careful archaeological digs (gnaws?) through the strata of our long-compacted cities, and reconstruct the peculiar and temporarily tragic circumstances that gave ratkind its big break?’

This led me to spend hours obsessing over rats, illustrating my own impression of a intelligent rat race influenced by nuclear radiation.

I felt I was deviating slightly. So in keeping with the rat obsession I seemed to have developed, I then started to play with the idea of presenting rat history in a medium that others may find ‘nostalgic’.

I selected two contrasting events in rat history, and chose to influence the colour scheme, viewpoint of the event and general aesthetics by the negative/positive connotations of each time. I settled on the relationship between the Rat and the Hindu God Ganesh, where the rat is respected and thought of as a lucky, regal creature, and Rat Baiting in London where rats were of no use other than for blood sport.

So ladies and gentleman, I give you, my ‘Ratestry’.

My final outcome for my sendable and emailable portfolio. Whilst I had originally planned on hand cutting my name at the bottom of the page, a few wise people pointed out that lasercutting would be much more time effective. My initial worry was that lasercutting would leave burn marks and that I would loose that personal feel that can usually only be communicated with hand rendering, but with a few emails between myself and David the lasercutting man, all the questions I had were answered and I was able to conduct some tests. And here we are.

These are images of personally designed T-shirts that helped me purchase a plane ticket to Australia in the summer of 2011. What began as simple doodles developed into a friend asking for a hand drawn illustration on an old t-shirt of hers. From there, friends of my friend asked for their own. And from there, an eBay account was created selling them in a range of sizes for both girls and boys for only £10.

I sold 43 altogether, but had to stop soon after I began to sell them, purely because with the time needed for each illustration and the time I had juggling a job at day and a job in the evening, I didn’t quite leave enough time for trivial things such as sleeping and eating. 

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