Archives for category: Summer Projects

As well as going to the Saatchi Gallery on Wednesday, I insisted we (me and my friends) went to the Exposure Gallery, which was very close to Oxford Street, where we intended to spend the late afternoon shopping. The reason I wanted to attend the gallery, was because one of my close friends had his work exhibited there. Jack Stocker, who I know from our passion for trainers, is an 18 (soon to be 19) year old creative from Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. I have known Jack for over a year, and we have many many things in common, such as our love for all areas of design and the sneaker and streetwear culture. I first saw Jack on Instagram, under the name ‘Freshlystocked’, where we both appreciated each other’s collection of shoes and the design work we chose to put on Instagram. A few months ago, Jack decided to start a series of Sneaker Illustrations for his college his course. Each design he uploaded onto Instagram, and he had a huge sea of amazement from all of his followers and the wider community. Web blogs started to see his work, and featured him on their sites, such as Hypebeast, Highsnobiety, The Daily Street, Size? blog, iLL Sessions and many more!




DSC_0180At first, Jack created six illustrations, based on six of the original Nike Air release – the Air Max 1, the Air Max 90, Air 180, Air Max Light, Air Huarache and the Air Flow, all in one of their signature colourways, and went on to print an exclusive range of 30 prints for each design, which can all be brought online. As a huge fan of these shoes, his minimalistic style just made the pieces even better. Using no curvature on a shoe made purely out of curved lines and making it easily recognisable was probably such a hard task, and I’m so proud for Jack that his work has been given the credit it deserves.

This exhibition is up for the rest of September, so I advise anyone reading this to go to Oxford street and check it out!


On Wednesday 11th September, me and two friends from Uni travelled down to London once again. Our main intention was to head to the Saatchi Gallery, as I had heard (and seen) many great things from friends. I researched into the exhibition online before I went, and saw many of the pieces photographed online that were in the exhibition – which ruined the excitement a little, but there were also many I hadn’t seen online! The exhibition was titled ‘Paper’ and I thought that this could come in very hand with us as designers as it could easily inspire us to use some of the techniques we saw in our own work. We walked through the gallery chronologically – one of the many good points about the Saatchi (design wise) was that each room was labelled and the position of each room and the signs guiding you around, made it so easy to seamlessly walk through the whole gallery. Gallery 3 saw my favourite artist of the entire day; one which I hadn’t seen online, and their work amazed me and both of my friends.  Yuken Teruya (the featured artist) was born 1973 and is based in New York City. Teruya was born in Okinawa, Japan, and he works in a variety of media and often references consumer culture alongside traditional craft techniques. Featured in the Saatchi Gallery, were his series of McDonalds and high-end designer store bags, into which Yuken Teruya cut intricate tree shapes that are then pushed through into the interior of the bag, creating an enclosed environment. The pieces were so stunning to see – we spent a good fifteen minutes in that room (more than any other artist). The level of detail put was incredible – and the way each tree sits perfectly in the bag was just absolutely mind blowing.




DSC_0044The second artist I am going to show you is Marcelo Jácome. After looking at the Saatchi Website, I had already seen the piece of work being exhibited by Marcelo Jácome. It was really unmissable, and I’m sure you will understand why when you seen the pictures after the break. The piece, titled Planos-pipas n17, was used as the main ‘imagery’ for the exhibition, and took up an entire room (Gallery 7) of the Saatchi. Made from Tissue paper, bamboo, fibreglass and cotton thread, probably measured over 50ft in diameter, and probably 15ft in height.



DSC_0083Like you can see, the piece was stunning. I was speechless when I saw it in person. The shapes created combined with the variety of colours is incredible. Each different angle you stand you see something different – a different composition. Thousands of paintings could be created from this object of beauty. The object is so photographic, much like the work by Yuken Teruya, as you can see above in both sets of images (which I took myself).

I thoroughly loved the Saatchi Gallery, and I would not hesitate on going to see it again – whether or not it was the exhibition on paper. The Gallery was so well designed and set out that it was so lovely to go around. The fact we went in midweek after all the schools and colleges went back helped a lot, giving us many opportunities for photography without people getting in the way.

I would suggest the Saatchi Gallery to absolutely anyone. My favourite exhibition I have ever been to.

On Saturday, me and a couple of Uni friends travelled down to London to visit the British Library to see an exhibition called Propaganda: Power and Persuasion. As a huge fan of Propaganda Art, I was looking forward to our trip very much in the weeks approaching our trip. The imagery for the exhibition was the iconic ‘Uncle Sam’ from the famous ‘I want you’ posters that were used in both the first and second world war. After talking about Alfred Leete & James Montgomery Flagg in a previous ITAP blog post, I was intrigued to see which other pieces of Propaganda art were being exhibited.

The first piece I noticed on display that I really liked was an Occupy poster titled ‘Fightback Worldwide’.


With many pieces of Propaganda Art being created by Governments and Organisations, it is hard to find any real solid Information about the pieces, so I will have to give my opinion and delve in to what my thoughts mean. I really like the above piece; my attention was drawn to it because of it’s comic-illustrative style, which I very much like and one of the reasons I love Propaganda Art. The way in which the artist has drawn the hands overlapping the main title really gives the piece a element of power – with the female figures being central and very bold, and the strong two lines of title type, which our eye is immediately drawn to. The subtle lines of type, such as ‘Capitalism is the crisis’ and ‘The 99% have no borders’ give the reader more information. The colours of the shapes and background in the piece also contribute an awful lot to the feel, such as the warm, subtle changes from orange to yellow in the detail and the yellow swirling circle – that could represent the sun.

Moving around the exhibition and into the third section, I saw the pieces of artwork by James Montgomery Flagg. Being the head image of the whole exhibition, I was expecting to see this piece somewhere in the exhibition, and I wasn’t shock to see it as a huge metre long canvas.


One of the most powerful pieces of Propaganda Art ever, this piece is probably known by most of the people in the world – I know upon telling my non-design friends about my trip and when I told them about ‘I want you’ they all immediately knew what I was talking about. This artwork (as I have previously talked about) used the piece ‘Your Country Needs You’ (by Alfred Leete) as huge inspiration, and this only adds to the story of it’s use in propaganda. The above piece (in my opinion) is a better poster for recruitment as it more powerful due to its colour and composition. This probably is because the original by Alfred Leete was first printed on a Newspaper colour and was single tone, and was then developed into a poster by the print company using a second single colour. These were obviously printed in multiple colour – and the use of the bold red on the cream/white background really makes it stand out and eye-catching to the viewer. Again, the use of the strong figure, in this case Uncle Sam, engages with the reader and pushes the point a lot harder than if it was a random model.

The third piece I wish to describe is an ad for the US Government titeld’ U.S. Needs US Strong’, which is advertising ‘food’.


Originally, this piece and a single colour piece in the American Weekly, 1943. The image features Uncle Sam once again, which with the last piece of artwork, shows how highly the US people thought of him and what a huge figure he is in terms of the Propaganda. The poster was remade using the patriotic colours of the US flag (Blue, white and red). The piece also features a family of the two parents and a small child; another effect from the US Government to play on the readers heartstrings to engage them to listen and take in the advice of the poster. Something else I noticed on the original, was a line of type in Futura Italic – which has now become a greatly-used typeface in Propaganda, by names such as Barbara Kruger and Shepard Fairey (Every day, eat this way).


This again shows how the current day and past years propaganda is hugely influenced by the older piece of Propaganda by Government organisations nearly 70 years prior.

The fourth and final piece of Propaganda art I wish to show you is a piece titled ‘Road Accident deaths to Children and Teenagers in 1960’.


The hard-hitting infographic shows the amount of deaths of children aged 0-15 (which was 747) and then the amount of Teenagers ages between 15 and 19 (which was 787), is hugely informative poster that would really make the reader think about what they can do to stop and prevent deaths of Children and Teenagers. After recently doing Infographics for an Australian Steel Company as Freelance work, I was intrigued to find out what elements the designer has used to give this strong, bold impression. The answer to that is as I thought; nothing! He has kept the general design so simple and clean – that the viewer can gather all the relevant information without having to even look for it – it is all really important, easy to understand information. The use of colours, such as the bold yellow/orange as the fill on the graph shows the peaks of the graph and helps to emphasise the difference when the graph gets to the age 15. The red line on the graph also gives this bold, strong feel, and people will always class the colour red with death and blood in topics like this. The designer also keeps the type very clear by giving each block it’s own clean, white background for easy reading and navigation.

After looking back at the British Library and my visit around the exhibition, I can safely say I really enjoyed looking at the many different types of Propaganda Art and would definitely go back to another Propaganda exhibition. My only negative remark about the whole day was the amount of people in the actual space. It was very cramped in certain areas, and this made people feel uncomfortable and left people stranded to look at a small paragraph of informative text if was person was in the way. I am looking forward to my next gallery visit next week, and it’s blog post will be up in good time.

On 1st August, whilst at my summer placement at Connect Advertising (in Wolverhampton), I met up with my friend (from the course) and we went to the Wolverhampton Art Gallery during my lunch break. I had heard off a few of my colleagues at the placement that the exhibitions featured at the moment were very good, and many of them had visited the gallery themselves in the past days/weeks. Before entering the gallery, I had a vague idea what was exhibited, but I didn’t know the exact artists or genres featured. The first piece of art we saw was a piece by David Mach called Likeness Guaranteed (1956). Composed of 1,850 metal coat hangers, this was a portrait of the TV presenter and rock singer Richard Jobson, who was known for his ‘typical Scottish features’. Mach as an artist, gathers everyday objects such as tyres, magazines and containers to create monumental works of art.

IMG_20130801_130735The first artist room we entered was of Pauline Boty, the pop artist. One of my favourite pieces by Boty was a piece called ‘Colour Her Gone’ (1962). Boty identified with Marilyn Monroe and was devastated by her death.

IMG_20130801_131400The image of Monroe was taken from the cover of Town Magazine; smiling vividly. The rectangular abstract shapes either side signify the female sensuality. Like many pieces of Pop Art, at a first glance, I was confused to the ‘meaning; of the piece. After reading the caption next to the piece, I found out Boty made this piece to show the female form and the beautiful nature of the famous Monroe.

A second favourite piece by Boty was titled Buffalo (1960/61). It is evident in this piece that Boty was influenced by the Dada collagist Kurt Schwitters (who I featured earlier in my ITAP work). “… things I just pick up like cigarette packs and milk bottle tops and matchbox tops and rifle range targets…”. In this piece, it looks like the artist has used dancing figures, a cigarette packet and varied explosions of paint.

IMG_20130801_131453Moving on to the second featured artist, Ron Mueck. There is no doubt Ron Mueck’s work is absolutely outstanding. Mueck creates lifelike figures (of humans) in poses and situations known to the average human. Inside the room, were 4 pieces of art – some ranging in size from 30cm tall, to (probably) 12ft+! My favourite piece was one titled ‘Youth’, from 2009/11. The caption next to the image read nothing but the title, so I don’t know much about it, but the figure is pictured below.

IMG_20130801_132259The level of detail in this figure is absolutely outstanding. The little things, such as the wet (glossy) paint on the cut on his ribs, or the (Levi’s) red tab on the back pocket of his jeans, all make this figure outstanding. It was my favourite piece at the entire exhibition – purely because it was so cool! It was such nice piece of art for the average viewer to be amazed at.

Into the third room at the gallery, was an assorted room of arts, with pieces by Conrad Atkinson, Willie Doherty and many more. The pieces of art I wish to feature are by John Keane. ‘Black, White and Orange’ (1990) and ‘1690 and All That’ (1990) were two Linocut’s exhibited together.

IMG_20130801_133504The pieces look both to be political-based scenarios – the first of a group of people; protesting or marching with a flag through the town/city – a reference to the Orange Order; the protestant, loyalist organisation founded in 1795 in N. Ireland. The image also shows the flag of ‘King Billy’ whilst police helicopters fly overhead. The second piece of art is about the importance of history and tradition in forming the attitudes and identity or Irish protestants. I really like the visual feel of both images; during college in Fine Art I created many different linocuts and prints of different methods, so traditional imagery and techniques intrigue me.

I really enjoyed visiting the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and I would definitely go back again; even to visit the same event. I am really looking forward to visit more galleries over the summer – hopefully to visit two more exhibitions I have never been to, to see new environments and types of Art.

In attending the graduate exhibition after I had received my end of first year results, I gained a huge insight in to the work that the graduates were producing. A lot of the work I saw was brilliant; I was thoroughly enjoying looking through the many different pathways the final year students had chosen to investigate and study. One of our summer projects is to choose three graduate students whose work we liked and write a blog post explaining why, and also make contact with the students directly and ask them a few questions

After looking at many students work (from Graphic Design, Illustration, Architecture etc), there were three (Graphic Design) students that stood out to me; the first was Mack Stevens. As well as looking at each students work, I picked up each student’s business card I could – to look at their work in detail later on. Mack’s business card is one that immediately stood out to me. The card is printed on a very high quality silkcard, which gives the card a really nice smooth texture whilst keeping the thickness and quality. The card features Mack’s personal logo in a white fill on a green background. The rear is information-based and includes four ways to contact Mack; through his website, his email, his telephone number and his twitter. Mack uses a green accent throughout the type to show categories and headings, which I really like.

After looking at Mack’s site, the first thing I notice is how well designed it is. After now studying his web design work, I would say that he has designed/manipulated it himself, and got it looking exactly how he wanted. The first project which gained my attention heavily was the branding project for Back Yard Bike Repair. The logo Mack created is made up of the letters B, Y, B, R (the initials of the brand) and manipulated them into the shape of a bike. This looks visually stunning, and the way he has arranged and designed the letters makes you really question and investigate the hidden message. The business cards, clothing and social media skins that were created for BYBR all look fantastic; they are all clearly designed uniformly – unlike some branding projects which I have seen that jump styles from a poster to business card.

Another piece of work by Mack that I love is his work titled ‘The Crux’. A quote from Mack reads: “This brief challenged the creative to produce an identity for a gallery in the new Birmingham Institute of Art & Design building. I believe that the work being displayed in the gallery is the outcome of the students work and the most significant aspect. Therefore, it is ‘The Crux’. After I decided on the name of The Crux, I went on to develop a number of accompanying visuals.” The logo for this brief is outstanding once again; the phrase ‘The Crux’ is in perspective like a building; which works well with it being for an exhibition space. The logo looks very architectural – as if it was a building drawn by an architect, like a building plan. Mack also created a series of different colour schemes and phrases for this logotype, and he then implemented these into lifestyle situations such as billboard designs. The final piece I love from The Crux project is a magazine (cover). The imagery/photography used is stunning; a great way to engage the viewer, and he has the hierarchy spot on; the text is placed brilliantly to eliminate the blank space without drawing attention from the image.

The final thing I loved from Mack was the web design that was featured in his portfolio. After being at a placement all summer with Connect Advertising in Wolverhampton, I witnessed both creative and digital design and my interest in web design has grown. Mack took the time to design screens responsively for desktop and mobile (and I presume tablet, even though it was not included on his site). The design uses a wide Carousel that rotates with images from the exhibition, along with a grid below. I would love to see the site live (or more pages) to investigate it further, but at a first glance, I am really impressed with the work Mack Stevens has produced.

“I’ve been trying to think about a piece of advice I could give you as a student about to enter their second year. When I was going into my second year, I was still very unsure about what I wanted to specialise in and I had no real style. From looking at your site (Some great work by the way) it seems to me that you have adapted a distinctive style with a good use of typography and imagery to convey your ideas which is great to see. If I were you, I’d start to read books on the areas of design you are most interested in. I didn’t do this until I had to start researching for my dissertation this time last year. From improving my knowledge in Branding and Brand Design, I began to understand what a brand was and how it related to an audience. This then informed my ideas and concluded in an overall stronger outcome. Basically be as knowledgeable as possible about your area of design and it will only enhance your creative ideas.”

The second student I chose was Daniel Cooper. Daniel’s business card also featured his logo; a D and a C in a serif typeface, which crossed like earring in an earlobe. The simplicity and elegance of the logo stood out to me immediately, as the intersections of the letters are at the thickest and thinnest points of the letters – so when the D is thick at the top of the curve, the c is thin at the height of the letterform. Unusually, Daniel’s business card is portrait rather than landscape – which Daniel has designed well, but I think when I design my own personal branding, I will design for a landscape canvas to start, as I prefer the more traditional landscape feel.

Moving on to Daniel’s portfolio, again I was really interested by the first piece of work I saw – a project titled ‘Uni Portfolio’. At first I was a bit confused to what it actually was, but after studying it, I found out it was less of a ‘project’ (creating new work) and more of an outcome ‘branding’ (taking old work, collating it, and making it all better). Daniel created hand screen printed boxes for his work to go in, his final outcomes were professionally printed onto 150gsm flecked/recycled paper and collated everything together to look like a series and not individual pieces over his course. I think this is a great idea – it really shows how he has consistently designed to a high standard in all of his projects.

My second favourite project of Daniel’s was his B-hive digital design entry. The final outcomes looked stunning, but I particularly like how he has included the scamps and grid sketches of the web pages that he created prior to moving on to the digital side. The final webpages look fantastic; an elegant, simple user interface – which looks easy to navigate around and suits the contemporary feel students will be after when surfing this web page. Finding live projects like this inspired me to look for the same when I start my second year; and even look earlier over the summer for things to do when I am not ‘busy’ with Uni work or placements.

The third and final designed by Daniel that I will mention is a little project he did with his work books. After earlier mentioning I really liked the ‘DC’ logo (as featured on the business cards), this is only re-enforced by this self-branding project. Daniel had screen printed his logo on to a series of sketchbooks, which I presume he used for his Uni projects. I think that doing this is such a nice little touch to your make your work book(s) (RVJs) more personal and more professional. I think when I solidify my own personal logo and branding project, I may investigate in to getting my own stationery printed/made.

“The best advice I could give is grab as many opportunities through uni and off your own back as you can. Don’t just rely on uni projects to get you through the course, do self-initiated projects and try and get some freelance work that you can use in your portfolio, this will stand you out from the others.”

The final student I chose to feature is Olly Sorsby. Like the previous two, I really like Olly’s business card. Printed on a recycled card, Olly combines textures and vector sharp lines and shapes which create a lovely clash of the old and the new – the retro and the vintage, and the phrase ‘digital craftsmanship’ which I think sums this up perfectly.

Moving on to his portfolio, and again the first thing I notice is the general design. Olly’s website features a header image of Olly in his own workspace (on his mac), which as you scroll up and down, the visible area moves like a clipping mask, so we see more of the image the more we investigate his site. The layout of the site is also very clean and simple – a perfect example of how I think a portfolio should be.

Having looked at Daniel Cooper’s project on B-Hive project, the first project I was drawn to of Olly’s was the same brief. Just like Daniel, Olly had included high quality photos of the scamps and ideas of the logo; which I really like as you can see the full thought process rather than just the final outcomes. Olly then created two varied colour schemes using cream and brown and a constant honey like colour, which is a nice link back to the ‘Beehive’. He then went on to included branding, such as designed letter heads, pencils, badges etc, which all looked fantastic. The next image looked to be a brand guideline brochure, that after inspecting closely, it was a joint project by Olly and Dan (the previous featured student); which explains similarities in the general design. I think in my second year at uni after the summer, I will investigate into what B-Hive 2014 ‘is’.

Another project by Olly that interested me greatly was Olly’s personal branding. This is something which I keep on mentioning that I want to create for myself (but never have time with Uni and a long summer placement, along with finding it hard to design for myself). Olly started with showing us his original sketches – which you can see the start of the final logo very easily. We then see a variety of different colour schemes and variations using type and his logo. More items were featured, such as wood block stamps, branded work books and mini disks. This logo/design was then used on a final workbook showing ‘pretty much everything’ that Olly had designed in his Uni course.

The final project of Olly’s I am going to feature is a ‘Friends of Vis Com’ project. As a Vis Com student myself, the title would obviously attract me. Created was a type-based logo where the c and the o are connected in a shape similar to the infinity logo. This logo was then applied to a variety of subtle, textured photographic backgrounds relating to Vis Com. Again, photographs of Olly’s notebook were included. These are again stunning to look at, as you can see many many ideas that were not used, but all influenced the final outcome. Olly then applied this logo as branding on letter heads and business cards.

Unfortunately, after emailing Olly, I never received a reply. I will try again, and see if I can find him on any social media sites and update this post accordingly.

In conclusion, I was really impressed by the work I saw at the graduate exhibitions and I’m sure I will visit again next year, and maybe some of the other local Uni’s, as I have found I gained a much greater insight into what other students are doing, how they think and how they are getting on in this industry.