Creative Show

As the 3rd Year Graphic Designers it is our job to design all the posters, invitations and signage for the Creative Show.  We each made a poster and then everyone voted for the best.  The winning poster looks brilliant and everyone’s entry was really good, it was hard to choose between them.  My entry was not very good, partly due to the fact I hadn’t put much time into it and I’d has a bit of a mental block.  However, since the judging I have designed a new poster which I am quite pleased with.



So as you can see I decided to go with the idea of a brain for creativity, I also liked the idea of electricity so gave it a neon feel.  (I used my Wacom Tablet to draw the brain).  The brain is made up of seven colours each representing a different subject being exhibited.  The signage for each area would be written in its specific colour.


M Cubed

i’ve had quite a busy week so having to do a bit of a catch-up now.  Last week we had a talk from Martin 23, a software designer who runs his own company: M Cubed.  Martin works alone and so can work whatever hours he likes, so far he has created 5 applications.  Software designers can work in a range of industries such as finance, medical, office suites, mobile apps, websites and games.

Martin told us that creating Apps is easy, you just have to think of problems and find solutions to them, the best way is to solve your own problems.  The most important aspect of making Apps is User Experience – is it simple? fun? fast? does it work? look nice?  Packaging is important as is where you sell your product and customer support.  Then once your App is launched use User Feedback to improve it

This isn’t an area I want to go into, i don’t enjoy coding, but it was interesting to hear about Martin’s success and the business side of things.

Jo Ledger

Yesterday we met Jo Ledger, a freelance graphic designer who has worked mostly in retail.  Jo studied packaging design at Sheffield University and was offered a job straight from uni in graphic design.  She was involved in a  bit of everything for 3 years before deciding to go in a different direction and becoming a fashion art director for a magazine.  The job involved casting models, hiring photographers and designing page layouts, it also meant a lot of traveling around the world on photo shoots. 

However after a few years Jo decided she missed packaging design and so got i job at Asda in Leeds designing all the seasonal packaging and promotional material.  After 3 years she moved to Morrisons in Bradford where she stayed for 9 years.  Jo was the Design Manager for Morrisons and handled the recent Morrisons rebrand.  This included the logo, in-store layout, lorries, packaging and stationary.  The main changes made were to lighten up the logo and make it more modern and to redesign the packaging into coherent groups.  For example, the Bettabuy range changed from red to yellow to be more inkeeping with the logo.  Also when Morrisons took over Safeways they incorporated their Best range and ‘Morrisonised’ it. 

Some important tips Jo gave us on packaging design were to consider how the items will be displayed when on shelf, such as how much will be visible, what is the most important part for the customer to see?  And to think about the amount of writing that will need to be displayed, what should be biggest?  what are the shortest and longest titles being displayed?  During the rebrand Jo was involved in a lot of food photography, she told us there would be a Food Stylist who prepared upto 10 products to be used in different ways.  Jo also designed a range of Kids Stationary and Kids Toys and Halloween costumes and decorations.  The job took 6 months and then 18 months rollout. 

At the end of Jo’s talk we were able to question her, we asked which bits she most enjoyed designing and she said the more aspirational packaging was more fun and easier as she could be more creative.  She also said, when questioned about the repetitiveness of redesigning the same brand, that it is important to see each new project as an oppertunity and to be enthusiastic and passionate about it.  Jo now works as a freelance designer but still works with Morrisons. 

I enjoyed Jo’s talk and found it very interesting to hear about working closely with one company, I also learnt a lot about packaging design!  It was good to hear how Jo was able to move from one area to another without too much difficulty as I enjoy many aspects of Graphic Design and I’m not sure I would be happy doing just one all my life.

United by Design

Yesterday we had a talk from Owen, the owner of United by Design, a graphic design agency based in York.  Owen started the business himself and came into college to tell us about his life and how he’d got where he is today.  Owen did a Foundation Diploma in art at Harrogate College and then a degree in Graphic Design at Bath Spa University College.  The main focus at uni was getting ready for commercial work after graduation.  At the end of the course he and his classmates held a show in London which they funded and organised themselves. 

After uni owen stayed in north west england and rang round all the local design agencies letting them know who he was and what he could do.  He was hired by The Engine Room in Bristol and worked there for 4 years.  The Engine Room was a small company of 4 designers; their clients included Loreal, Chewits, The BBC (working on the Fimbles, a children’s tv show; Walking with Beasts and The Naked Chef) and Baco. 

After this he worked freelance for 6 months in Leeds before landing a job at WPA Pinfold where he stayed for 4 years.  The benifits of working freelance are flexibility, higher, hourly pay and getting to visit lots of different designers and studios, however the downside is no sick pay or holiday pay, it’s also less reliable to find work rather than being in a settled job.  WPA Pinfold was voted one of the top 10 design agencies in the north shortly before owen joined; their clients included N Power, Hook Norton Brewery, Dickinson and Morris Pies and Theakston Brewery. 

In 2007 he started his own business United by Design which is currently just him and his secretary.  The name simply means that designers are united with each other and also with clients.  His clients include SLOEmotion gin, York Mansion House, AJ Community Care, Lulin Teas and he has also started up his own venture, Citimaps.

I found the talk with Owen very interesting as an insight into the design industry.  his main point was that it’s important to network, who you know is becoming increasingly important.  This is something i will try to do in the coming months before i finish uni.  The thought of finding a job after uni is still a little daunting but Owen made it seem managable and i am excited to get out there and do real commercial work.

a little bit of background…

so it is now half term at york college but i’m still working hard.  the first project of the year is a calendar design to be entered in a competition.  the brief is to create an innovative design for a 2011 calendar, the calendar should promote a company or cause and should reflect the companies ideas and values.  more on that later. 

the new project is a stamp design competition for the rsa, i have chosen the theme ‘fashion’ which should celebrate british fashion and promote nationl pride.  i’ve already made a start but not sure if i’m on the right track yet so i’ll say no more.

and of course, being a third year, it’s time to write a dissertation.  i have decided to look at how changes in technology have influnced image making, particularly illustration, however this is a broad topic and needs to be refined.  luckily after art, english is my favourite subject so i’m actually quite looking forward to writing it, at the moment.

right that is a brief overview of the first month, but i will post some pics up soon to show what i’ve been working on.

Hello world!

hi there, my name is rebecca bullement, i’m a graphic design student at york college in my third and final year!  this blog is my reflective journal for the year where i will talk about projects and anything interesting in the graphic design world.