Monday, 30 April 2012

PPD//Industry Experience//More studios for consideration.

Researching a few more studios to potentially add to my contacts/industry experience list- largely looking at the Leeds area for practicality and expense, as I will be spending a great deal of my summer within the city, and studio visits will be realistic and manageable. If studio/industry placements are also offered I will, of course, aim for these opportunities also.

I originally found 'Six' through researching one of my favourite branding designs, for watch manufacturers and retailers, 'Uniform Wares', which was both minimal and sophisticated- two features that I would really like to work upon, and reflect within my own design practice. Their portfolio is consistently really strong, and very impressive- specialising particularly in branding, something which I feel I could benefit from a lot more experience within.

ADDRESS: The Loft.
20 Narborough Wood Park
Desford Rd, Enderby
LE19 4XT

PHONE: 0116 238 6555

EMAIL: (Re careers)

Analogue is a Leeds-based design  company who specialise in branding, packaging and e-marketing designs- all areas of which, I feel, I would benefit from considerably in terms of developing more experience and knowledge within, and would be a great asset to learn from- whether it be industry experience, or a studio visit alone.

More information and contact details are posted below.


PHONE: 0113 341 0330

ADDRESS: Analogue
City Mills
Peel Street
LS27 8QL

CONTACT (careers):

UNIT is a central Leeds-based Graphic Design company set up by designer Si Billiam in 2010. Although the company is still in it's infancy, it has achieved great success throughout the entirety of Europe, with some very high-profile and respected names on their client list. 
UNIT work across a wide range of disciplines from 3D design to Print, to Typography, to Web... and have certainly inspired me to find out more about their company, and, hopefully, get the chance to visit their studio in the summer, as I certainly hope to contact them as part of my PPD and personal development work.

ADDRESS: LG3 Studio,
30-34 Aire Street,

PHONE: 07968 844 061

EMAIL (careers):

Sunday, 29 April 2012

PPD//PPD Presentation Prep//Ambitions for the summer.

A short list, starting to brainstorm my ambitions and plans throughout the summer in terms of my design practice, and things that I hope to achieve. Also looking ahead to Tuesday's PPD session with tutor Jane to inspire some discussion points, and show that I am actively engaging with the PPD Presentation that will (I know!) be here sooner than I know it.


- Re-design/photographs Etsy page.
- Get website live and fully functioning.
- Open up Big Cartel store online.
- Have my Notonthehighstreet store live and fully functioning.
- Have at LEAST one industry experience placement.
- Have at LEAST five studio visits.
- Continuing creating and stocking new work for retail outlets TestSpace, Etsy, Nook & Cranny, and secure retail sales with Bird's Yard.
- Sell at at LEAST one craft fair (Reetsweet, 2nd June).
- Get my work exhibited at LEAST once (19th May, Cafe 164/Split).

Saturday, 28 April 2012

PPD//Industry Experience//SMILE.

Found a great looking design studio today, 'Smile' looks like just my cup of tea (even down to the colours for branding!). Located in central Birmingham (not too far away from my home county of Shropshire), Smile work within branding for both print and digital design, with a friendly, hard-working and research-driven ethos within their work which suits my own wants and needs as a design practitioner wonderfully.

Really pleased to see from their opportunities FAQ page that they regularly take on interns and like getting post (me too!), so I will actively be contacting them within the next couple of weeks!

PHONE: 0121 773 4851
180-182 Fazeley Street
B5 5SE

NOTES: They like post! BE CREATIVE

PPD//Business Cards//Moo Samples.

A couple of days ago I received my ordered Moo sample pack through the post, and was quite impressed with the variety of print methods and design outcomes that can be achieved, with a variety of stocks, die cuts, print finishes, etc, available- of which I will certainly consider when I get round to (finally!) redesigning my business cards and self promotional materials(s).
Although Moo really is very reasonably priced, preparing my own business cards would inevitably be cheaper, though, of course, more time consuming- certainly need to weigh up these two factors when I come round to having my finalised design ready for print.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

PPD//PPD Presentation Year II//Notes from today's briefing.

In today's module briefing with Fred today, we found out a little bit more about the content of our PPD Presentations that will be held on the 6th/7th of June. Here, a few quick notes to get me thinking about content, and getting ready for what will be a good project to get into (I do love PPD!):

- Entire learning to date, focus on the second year.
- Strengths and weaknesses.
- Professional influence to date and how this has influenced my work.
- Practice I am looking to develop in Level 06.
- Industry aspirations over the summer, and what I've done to work towards this so far.


Monday, 23 April 2012

Image//Final evaluation.

My full, written evaluation to finalise my Image module- reflecting on what I feel comfortable with, my strengths, and what, ideally, I would have liked to improve, given my time to work on the module again.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Personal Development//Studio Visit//Fedrigoni Showroom.

On Tuesday, I took a trip (whilst on my week break in London with my partner to celebrate his birthday/the chance for us both to take some time off!) to Hatton Gardens, just off the Farringdon stop in London to visit the Fedrigoni showroom, something that I have been quite keen to do for a long time, and, of course, wasn't dissapointed.
There, I met a couple of the staff who kindly showed me around the showroom office area, and allowed me to have free reign over a few shelves of their printed work (which were, luckily for me, crammed!) and their stock sample booklets (which seemed to be infinite). As well as gaining an insight into the Fedrigoni portfolio, it was great to see how calm and confident the office was in what I assumed could be quite a stressful or demanding job in the heart of the city, and it was great to talk to someone even more passsionate about paper than I am!
I was lucky enough to be given a quite a few samples to take away from the office (and felt the weight of them in my bag for the rest of the day!) including paper samples, a magazine, a few business cards, greetings cards, and a photographic portfolio of some of their white stocks. Really great stuff.
I'm really glad that we decided to visit, and met the staff at the showroom, showing just how relaxed and sophisticated an office can be!

Personal Development//Yorkshire Graphic Design Exhibition.

Really pleased to ~announce~ that my work has been chosen as one of the lucky eight designer's (portfolios) to be shown at the Yorkshire Graphic Design Exhibition at Cafe 164 and the Leeds Gallery from 14th May-23rd June, as prompted to enter by a designer I met at Reetsweet, Oli Bentley, who runs Leeds-based Graphic Design studio 'Split'. 

Really happy to have one, and it will be the first time since college that my work has been exhibited (with the exception of Papergirl Leeds last year) to the public (but this time on a much larger scale with a much wider audience/viewing potential), and I'm looking forward to seeing a few of my design pieces in a public space within the city.

PPD//Letterhead research.

Having taken a book out of the Uni library before the Easter break, I finally got an opportunity to look through the Graphic Design publication, 'Letterhead 6' for some inspiration for my own design developments in the way of my self promotional printed brand and identity materials, with a wide variety of design ideas, formats, and stocks used throughout which have really inspired me, and certainly opened me up to some more potential design ideas, and a little more variation from my original ideas. Some of the logos and icons, in particular, have really focused my imagination, as I know this is something that I have particular problems with, and will look forward to explore more within the next week or so as these designs develop.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

PPD//Studio Research//More studios!

Found some great new design studios in Leeds, Manchester and London over the past couple of days- here, documenting a few more details about the companies, vital contacts, and so on. Looking for studio visits, and, potentially, work placements (though studio visits are more likely to happen in Leeds and the North...for finance purposes!).

The minimal content on 'Golden's' website certainly works for me- now very intruiged about their design studio and their company, and I would love to find out more about them. From reading several reviews and blogs online, they seem like a really modern, and very successful, award- winning studio. I really love the simplicity and boldness of their website, and if I go by judging a book by it's cover, then I'm certainly interested to find out more.


(Creative Director?): Francis Carolan
ADDRESS: Golden, The Penthouse, 42 Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 6DT
TELEPHONE: 0113 245 1338

After following me on Twitter, I decided to look a little bit closer at Cheethambell JWT to, and was really surprised to see a long established (twenty years!) Manchester design company with a focus on branding and advertising- two fields which I don't have a great deal of expertise or knowledge within, but am, of course, always interested to find out more about. Could be a great day trip to their studio, and would certainly be a real eye-opener into a really established, global company as opposed to the small-scale studios that I am currently more familiar with.


TELEPHONE: 0161 832 8884

Whilst doing research for my Image module, I came across these stunning Czech-advertising inspired designs for the 2010 film, 'Black Swan'. I was really impressed by their bold minimalism, and having a style that I really aspire to having myself one day. I was delighted to find that they came from design studio 'LaBoca' which specialise in art and design for the film, music and fashion industries (all particular interests- especially films!).
LaBoca is definitely one of my top contact priorities now!



ADDRESS: La Boca Ltd
231-233 Portobello Road
London W11 1LT

TELEPHONE: 0207 792 9791 ext. 3

Friday, 13 April 2012

Personal development//Exciting news!

Exciting news time!

After being contracted through my Etsy store by the shop owner, I am very pleased to have met an agreement to stock my printed designs in Leed's 'Bird's Yard' in the very near future.

My prints will be found on the first floor in the boutique 'Life's big canvas' along with hand crafted jewellery and printed designs such as greetings cards, tote bags, postcards, etc (they currently stock the work of one of my favourite illustrative designers, Gemma Correll, so I'm very flattered!)- more posts as developments... develop. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Personal Development//D&AD Student Designers Magazine/Stephanie Bonner.

I recently got sent an email from designer Stephanie Bonner in regards to being featured in her Student Designers editorial design which will be showcased at D&AD this summer. Today, I sent over images to be used along with question responses. Looking forward to seeing the finalised publication- I will be at D&AD, one way or another!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Personal Development//Kendal Calling Festival & Reetsweet.

Really excited today to have become a confirmed seller (as stocked by Reetsweet, who will be representing me with a stall at the event) at the Kendal Calling Festival, in which the likes of musicians such as Maximo Park, Feeder, James, Dizzee Rascal, and many more will be performing at.
The event has a low-key community vibe which has shown evidence of becoming increasingly popular throughout the years, and although I sadly won't be able to attend in person, I'm really excited to become involved in some small way. Now that my deposit is paid, it's about getting all my stock ready for the July submission deadline to be sent to Reetsweet organiser Becki and ready for the event (can't wait to hear how it goes already!)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

PPD//TASK VI//SPREADING THE WORD//Pt. II Online Professional Network.

Pt. II//Online professional network

Starting my research and analysis of existing social networking and online media platforms which I currently use to promote myself and my online portfolio as a designer, plans for the future and what I need to do to improve these methods of communication and networking capabilities to date.


Having used Behance since last summer, I have found it a great means of showcasing my portfolio in a semi-professional digital environment, amongst a wide range of designers from a multitude of disciplines. Despite such an enormous range of design projects available to view on Behance, it is also possible to directly source, and search for individual designers portfolios.
As well as showcasing my work (which can also be quickly and easily linked to Twitter and Facebook accounts for free advertising and publicity), I have now developed some great contacts thanks to seeing the fantastic portfolios of others, and hope that the interest and networking capabilities continue to grow.


As well as advertising and networking possibilities through showcasing a selection of retail designs (as if in a portfolio), one of the major benefits than Etsy provides is in terms of financial possibilities. I have been fortunate enough to have relative success with Etsy sales throughout the past year that I have been an active user on the site, ordinarily selling around an item a day, which has certainly helped me to fund living away from home, along with my student loans/grants.
Throughout the summer I will be really focused on expanding my current Etsy stock, and, hopefully, therefore, generating much more variety and increased traffic potential, as well as expanding my current design portfolio.


Although very informal (and, therefore, not quite as professional a platform as I would ordinarily aim to utilise to showcase my design work), Facebook "fan" pages, I have discovered that it can be a very effective method to introduce people to your work whom may not of otherwise been actively looking for it- whether it be direct friends, family, or other Facebook users following links seen on contacts pages, and so on. 
Although informal, Facebook contacts have successfully lead me onto a few commissions and online sales which I may not of otherwise had, and, in my opinion, networking of any kind is always beneficial. Even if it generates one more industry contact than you initially started with, that's progression- networking should never be underestimated.


Originally used for publishing my photography and portraiture work, I began actively using Flickr throughout my time at college around four years ago. As a global networking and image sharing device, the traffic of the site and individual portfolios can be quite phenomenal. With devices such as sets and group sharing, this provides an even greater audience, with the capability to add each individual photograph to around fifty groups (which can then go on to be seen and shared with hundreds of individuals). 
Although primarily photographically focused, there is still a good networking platform to be had in terms of illustration and graphic design on Flickr, with many established designers such as Robbie Porter, Mr Bingo, and Always with Honor, being active users, and fans of the site.!/sophindisguise


Twitter is, in my mind, undoubtedly one of the simplest and most effective means of social networking and self promotion online to date. With millions of online users, particularly with creative networks (such as freelance designers, advertising agencies, and design studios) actively using the site as a form of social networking, there is great potential for networking and self promotion with the aid of the site, along with the ability to link portfolio sites to the account to, again, gain a wider traffic and audience elsewhere.
For me, twitter is a great balance between formality and informality- and alongside my more playful and fun mentality and design portfolio with my own personality, this is perhaps why I find it so useful and effective as a networking and self promotional device.




I was originally introduced to Student Designers by it's founder, through, of all places, a social networking site (Twitter)...a little evidence and proof when it comes to the power and effect of social networking media. Student Designers is specifically aimed at... student designers (no surprises there, then...) so is a great platform for networking to directly source the portfolios from specific industries such as Illustration, Graphic Design, etc. Although Student Designers does not yet currently have as wide a networking base (more on a national than a global level, at this current stage) I can imagine it really taking off amongst young designers. Really easy to upload and share projects, Student Designers, I believe, is a more low-key and simpler version of Behance, and would provide a good introductory platform in terms of networking and online portfolio sharing for any designer.


Intended plans for the future, and social networking and promotional media that I need to work on to improve my national and global reach to a wider, online audience.


At the end of last year I registered for a Cargo account to showcase some of the design work that I had been working on throughout my degree in the past year. However, at this point, having only studied Graphic Design for a year, I wasn't especially pleased with the outcomes I had produced, and didn't feel confident enough to publish them online. Although I do feel a little more pleased with the resolutions I have created this year, and my design outcomes on the whole, time has certainly been more restricted this year, and getting round to uploading items on the site, along with the other networking and portfolio platforms I use, hasn't been a great priority.

Although I am happy to have a Cargo account, and would still like to add to it in the future, again, it doesn't feel like a massive priority. Returning from the Easter break, we will be working a lot more closely with Dreamweaver and learning about the basics of Web Design to potentially create our own live website. I'm really hoping that this will be a positive experience in which I can learn a great deal, and be receptive to this- to then go on to personally design my own site, therefore, not necessarily needing to use Cargo, and having more control in terms of the layout templates and typefaces available- but still very much kept as my "reserve" website/portfolio.


Although having signed up to LinkedIn last year, and currently having an active account with the site, it is not one that I have given much attention to or utilised to it's full potential. For me, LinkedIn, though obviously popular and proven successful in creating strong business and networking links, is very sterile, and, in my opinion, not at all engaging. In terms of sites such as Flickr and Twitter, one of the key attractions for my is the user-friendly nature of the layout and design of the site, as well as the ability to very easily share information. However, LinkedIn (to my understand) is far more complex- and the site pages being very text-heavy are quite dull and uninteresting.
I will still undoubtedly go on to give LinkedIn more focus and attention, it is not a site that I will be heavily dependant on in the future of my self promotion and marketing/advertising networking.


Along with my Etsy store, in which I am currently selling printed designs, I am very interested in setting up my own BigCartel store to expand my traffic and sales potential. At this current time I don't know a great deal about BigCartel, but am very keen to get started after seeing the great success achieved through the site from some of my fellow designer friends, and hope to get another online store fully running and live by the end of term (pre-summer break).


I was very flattered to have recently (a few weeks ago!) been emailed by the team at Not on the high street with a request to sell on their website as a freelance designer, as represented by the company as a whole. Having paid my initial admin fee and being officially signed up as a seller with the online company, I now have to complete my CSS profile before being approved and going live with a nod from the administration team. This will include creating a few new design pieces to print and photograph for a consistent finish to both my profile and in fitting with the existing website images.