Laura & Ellen were doing typography workshops at the college building for students in Extended Diploma. While they were doing it I was asked to pop down and take some photos for them before our interim submission. I had finished all the work and was well prepared for the submission so I was happy to help them.
I follow Drew Millward on instagram and I heard that he was delivering a lecture here at Leeds College Of Art for the illustration programme, so naturally - me and Danielle decided to turn up.
Drew began the lecture with the statement "Your childhood and your up-bringing shapes what you become interested in and what you do for the rest of your life". Studied Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan 15 years ago and fell in love with the city so stayed. Drew started putting on gigs in Leeds because of his love for music but not being able to play it. These gigs then needed posters so it fell into place and he began to draw graphics for posters. Once these gigs were successful, other people started asking Drew to do the posters for their gigs too. "If you have an interest in something, use it to your advantage and work your work around that"
Starting to design posters for American tours meant outsourcing the printing, this meant restrictions of print abilities were lifted and Drew was able to refine his drawing skills.
Drew moved to digital working because of the space in his studio/spare-bedroom. The transition was remarkably quick and the style he had developed, changed rapidly. Drew's final element of advice was:
When it came to asking questions at the end, I remembered him saying "Find a printer you can trust" — so I wondered who he used as it would undoubtedly be in the area.
I asked and he told me that there are tonnes of shit printers in the UK so he was happy to say who he uses.
Tommy Davidson — Prints of Thieves is apparently fantastic at what he does and if prints were ever needed, he'd be the one to do it if you couldn't do it yourself.
As a group we were invited to the Neubau Forst Lecture at Huddersfield University to here Neubau discuss their most recent project and give us the opportunity to ask questions. I used to live in Holmfirth and Huddersfield was the nearest town so I helped direct everyone to the university building's canal-side west lecture theatre. Upon arrival it was quite bewildering how many of us there were compared to the Huddersfield uni students. There was still 96 places left held for their course students when we arrived which is almost more than two entire year-groups put together on our course.
I found the talk very interesting as they discussed such a vast project which has taken them five years to complete. I left feeling inspired and motivated to get my own work completed because of how amazing potential outcomes can always be if you are passionate and hard-working for something.
At the end of the Halleycat event, we all went to Nation of Shopkeepers for a few drinks and I was pleasantly surprised that event though I told them not to pay me, they gave me £20 and a £50 bike lock as a thank-you for doing the work. For reference, view the video below.
Nathan then went on to ask me questions about my creative practice in respect to what I do and specialise in. He said that he has made a very good business relationship with the design agency Catalogue and they do everything for him design-wise but he currently needs some simple infographics made for a new product he is going to sell and asked if I'd be interested. It felt good to know that through doing some work which I thoroughly enjoyed with people that I got on with, landed me more work that was paid. We organised to have a meeting about it to develop a brief at the Restrap HQ in Leeds which I am looking forward to.
I have recently been part of the Halleycat Event team as their graphic designer. This has been a really enjoyable job and has given me the opportunity to meet some interesting people with creative backgrounds in the cycling world. Halleycat is one of the UK's most iconic fixed gear cycling events. It is held on Halloween and consists of a series of different competitions and a ride through the city. See the project's development on my Extended Practice blog - here. I organised to meet up with Tim & Nathan (the two event organisers) over a beer at Nation of Shopkeepers in Leeds and to then go on a ride with them. Tim Pulleyn works in digital marketing and runs The Broken Line - a online cycling blog.
Nathan Hughs is the founder, product designer & maker at Restrap - a Leeds based cycling accessories + clothing company. Nathan was a speaker at the Bespoke event hosted by Creative Networks last year.
A friend of them, Mark Windsor was also there whom after introductions, I realised was the founder and product designer at Full Windsor - a company focused on designing products to create solutions for cyclists such as more effective multi-tools and clip on fenders.
We all discussed the event, what else needed to be organised, designed and produced and before we knew it, we'd missed the bike ride which we were going to tag along with. Tim then went home but I was invited to another couple of drinks at The Social with Nathan & Mark. After all of the Halleycat stuff was discussed and sorted, we had a really interesting conversation about the design industry and what the best way was to journey through it. Nathan and Mark had some really great advice about how to get myself out there, how to network with the right people and again, how to keep in touch afterwards. Speaking to a couple of people who have had years growing in the creative industry was really useful and interesting.
I was happy to receive an e-mail this morning confirming a two-week placement at Analogue between the 19th - 30th of January during my assessment break. I am really excited about this and I can't wait for it to come along. I have a good feeling that I will learn a lot about the creative industry in those two weeks and I will hopefully provide a substantial amount to the studio in those two weeks.
Upon arrival, Billy, the Digital Director of Analogue welcomed me in and introduced me to the team behind the studio including Jake the Design Director. They showed me into their briefing / meeting room and offered me a beer before they avidly started to ask me about my work. It was great to have a couple of professional creatives speak so passionately about my work and how I create at the same time as giving me some great feedback on my current projects I am working on.
Because of following Analogue's work since I moved to Leeds I was really interested in how they approached briefs, how they worked together and what they were doing behind the scenes at the moment. Overall they were really friendly, interested in the way I work, the course I was on and where I was wanting to go in my career. Towards the end of our conversation, Jake was called into their working area to deal with a client they are working with in China (Pizza Express). Billy then asked me if I had done any internships or placements yet and if I was interested in doing one. I told him how I have spent the last two years in hiding developing my creative practice until it was professional enough to represent my abilities and interest but I am currently looking for a placement for this year. He went on to tell me that they haven't ever had a placement student before as they haven't really been interested in doing it but Billy & Jake have discussed it between themselves and they would be really interested in taking me on as their first. They told me that Easter would probably be the best time for them but they needed to get the go-ahead from Barry, the Managing Director before-hand. He told me to e-mail him the dates I was free this year and he would work on getting me in there. This felt absolutely amazing and I was so happy I was called in to see them. The studio itself is an amazingly inspiring working environment and the team within it are friendly and down to earth. Everything seems to have fallen into place perfectly.
I have been a huge fan of Analogue's work since my first year of the degree programme. Their branding work is outstanding and has always been an inspiration to my hard work ethics. I was nearing on getting in touch at the end of last year but they moved their studio and I didn't want to catch them while they were busy with that. However all of that changed today. Instagram is such an amazing social networking platform for creatives in my opinion, it allows you to show your work and life through the format of photos taken on your phone. Very recently, I took the attention of the digital director at Analogue who proceeded to 'like' all the photos involving my current project for the Halleycat event (found here). I bucked up the courage to ask him for his email address on a photo he had 'liked' and he immediately invited me to the studio for a chat.
This gave me a massive confidence boost and sent an email right away. This lead to the invite to go to their studio on Friday 10/10/2014 at 3:45 for a beer and to talk about their work and my work too.
This is huge for me because of how much I love their work and how long I have too. Can't wait to go and see how they work and the space they do it in too. I might even get some advice on my work and possibly a placement too.
I have developed quite a large following on the social network Instagram. I find it great because it is completely image based and rather than seeing immature bickering on Facebook it purely consists of nice looking pictures of what people are doing / working on. Luke O'Brien is a BA Graphic Design graduate from LCA and has followed me on it for a while. Tonight, when I uploaded progress on the branding I am doing for this year's Halleycat he added a few comments and then gave me his number to keep in touch.
When I sent him a text to give him my number too, I asked about where he was working and we conversed for a bit until he told me to hit him up if I ever needed anything.
Being in quite a rush to get to a print slot, I unfortunately fled my workspace where i had all of my sketches and completely forgot about them, by the time I remembered I fear they have been thrown away. Nontheless, I never documented these but the development of my site was very fast. For my online presence, I wanted something reliable, cheap and convenient. I hate the idea of updating so many areas of web in respect to social networking and blogs. This gave me the idea to check out two prospective hosts, cargo collective, and behance pro-site. After some reviewing and research, I decided on Behance pro-site because of the convenience to publish work on there and have it automatically feed to my professional platform. This also gave the option to use both template features and custom css and html. The price was also a good factor as it only costs £6 a month (less than netflix!). Using a fixed grid system of three columns, I developed a homepage which reflected my brand as well as my printed media. I didn't want to use a template because I didn't want mine to look like anyone else's so I started with the basic layout and then customised it to my plans. Following suit with my branded colours, I kept it to blue and white until the user hovered over the project. This highlighted the project with it's true colours.
My about section is a resume in a sense which describes myself and my name. This is the backbone of what needs to be on there. Over the next coming months I plan to develop more pages such as a personal work blog, and more about my outside interests.
Upon clicking on a project from the homepage the user is greeted with a list view of images from the project, a description in the column beside it and then links to the other projects beside that. Right at the bottom of the page you find the footer from the homepage with all the social networking links (Facebook is not personal page, it is a page for design work).
Designing books is something I have gained a lot of experience in whilst at university, but not once about myself. I found this particularly challenging however I realised I learned quite a lot about myself by doing it. This also gave me the chance to evaluate some of the work I am most proud of.
I wanted my business cards to fit into a low budget but make a big impression too. I have become a big fan of good quality stocks and felt that GF-Smith Colorplan fit the bill perfectly. After ordering the duplex royal blue and pristine white, I designed my cards appropriately, with my logo in white on the blue side and then my details in blue on the white side. Using so much contrast really makes the logo jump out of the card.
I wanted to brand two different kinds of envelopes that I would use to send both my portfolio book as well as my letters and invoices. This creates a stream of consistency over the same media in different scales. To do this I presented my logo in a box in the top left corner, the opposite traditional side of a stamp placement. This would give enough space to write the address as well as place a stamp.
The invoice was actually the first thing I designed when I was preparing some work to send to a client I had worked with when they requested an invoice. Even though this was done rather quickly, it followed all of the same grid rules as my book and had all of the necessary information.
The letterhead came after that and followed complete suit with it. Removing the financial details and replacing the breakdown with letter content.
Finally, the contract was the last thing that was completed in this layout. This spanned over two pages detailing all legal and financial elements of work that was involved in transactions.
Once my stock arrived, I created the positives for my screen printing. Business cards, book cover and envelopes.
Once these were sorted I got preparing and printing straight away.
Everything came out perfect apart from the occasional dud where the ink bled or wasn't cropped properly. If I was a working professional I would have money, and if I had money I would of gotten all of my business cards printed at letter press printers for an upmost professional finish.
The biggest problem I had out of production was an unfixable issue with the studio printer which couldn't print double sided and aligned to the other side, this made certain pages lose/gain margin space or warp the centre. Otherwise, everything would of been perfect.