A couple of days ago I received an email from Anna at Gratterpalm, Leeds, one of the design agencies that I applied for industry experience at a couple of weeks ago. In the email it says that the agency are currently moving, though they'll keep my details on file, so hopefully something to look forward to in the future! More applications and emails to send out over the next couple of weeks I think!
Friday, 29 June 2012
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Today I got an email through on my Etsy account from a member of the UK Press team in regards to a press event that they are putting together in London to showcase the Christmas selection of products available, after they saw my 'Harry Christmas' card, and were interested in potentially showcasing my item at the event, to hopefully gain more publicity both for Etsy and my own personal store sales. I'll send my card down next week, and hope for the best!
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
My reading list for the 2012/13 Academic year, and final year of University. As I have been meaning to, for the past two years, but have held back due to financial reasons, I definitely want to subscribe to Computer Arts magazine this year. I NEED to. I definitely want to improve upon my software skills, and will ensure that I keep up to date with my software tutorials over the summer, and attempt to do at least one a week to keep my knowledge fresh, and ensure that I am constantly learning new things so I don't "use it or loose it" over the summer.
Monday, 25 June 2012
Module Feedback and grade outlines from the last studio module, OUGD203 (Design Practice II), from which I gained a 2:1 at 67%.
Although this is, disappointingly, my lowest grade of the year so far, it was almost expected, to be honest. The first half of the module, with the YCN collaboration, I particularly didn't enjoy, and throughout the entirety of the module I found myself tired and feeling half-hearted about the work that I was creating.
In hindsight, I should have experimented a great deal more with processes and print finishes, and concept development. Certainly from this module I've learnt a lot for preparation for next year, and, hopefully, it won't effect my overall grade for the year too much, and, hopefully, I'll still be able to achieved an overall first.
The feedback from the Enterprise & Innovation Module received on Thursday last week, with an overall grade of 75%, which, again, I'm very happy to say gives me an overall grade of a first for the module, which, naturally, I'm very pleased with.
Again, this module, unlike, unfortunately, the main Graphic Design studio modules, was one of my favourites for the year, as I felt it has positively affected the way in which I approach my freelance work, as well as making positive business and marketing decisions within my own design practice, and whereas it may have not developed my design skills to as full an extent as I may have liked, it has certainly developed my theoretical knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in successful graphic design practices and marketing oneself effectively.
Module Feedback from the OUPD201 PPD Module, as received on Thursday of last week. Quite happy with the overall feedback given, and the module grade of 74%, which I'm very pleased with, as it means I have achieved a first overall.
Undoubtedly this year PPD has been my favourite module, as I feel that I have achieved and gained the most from it in terms of networking, building my portfolio, and gaining confidence in terms of talking to industry professionals and making those all important links to industry for potential studio visits and placements which are, of course, crucial.
Really looking forward to applying what I've already learnt throughout the summer, and hopefully using these skills to benefit me throughout the future of my design practice.
The updated version of my Creative CV which I printed with a front cover, and double sided work/play sides to take with me for my interview at Pearlfisher in Hammersmith last Friday.
Still working very much towards my original design, layout and monochromatic colour scheme, but updating a few of the written details, as well as small changes such as updating to the new Twitter vector logo, and so on.
In the interview itself, the CV proved really useful and the interviewees Jason and Sophie seemed to take a good deal of interest in reading it at the beginning, so I'll certainly ensure I print more copies and prepare more samples for any future placements, interviews, portfolio reviews, and studio visits.
The revised 2012 edition of my design portfolio which I took along for my Pearlfisher interview on Friday. For me, this was a chance to add some updated projects, such as my self branding, to the portfolio, and also to give a small snapshot of my work, as the studio had already seen my work in PDF version, but this would serve as a reminder as to the style of work, and projects I had been working on.
Although I'm not entirely happy with the way in which the work has been laid out, or the structure of the work in general, it was a quick-turn around solution in one afternoon, as, unfortunately, things had been left rather last minute as a portfolio I had ordered came in the wrong size, and I had some difficulty on that front.
In time for my Elmwood portfolio review/interview, I look forward to putting together a far more polished and finalised body of work which clearly demonstrates my abilities and ambitions within my design practice.
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Along with going along for my interview in Hammersmith (at Pearlfisher) yesterday in London, I also combined a trip to Ladbroke's Grove to visit the Innocent HQ, Fruit Towers, something that I've wanted to do for five years, as my friend puts it "I have smoothie running through my veins". For me, this was a great opportunity to get a little more insight into the company I have always wanted to work for... plus, a potential to gain some information for my dissertation (of which Innocent is a case study) to boot.
The visit was great, and had some very fun and friendly people introduce to to the "office" (it's too fun to call it an office, really), hand out a smoothie or two and give me some insight to the company. Plus, I've been able to pre-confirm a time to interview one of the sustainability co-ordinators in order to get some insightful and structured interview Q&A session(s) booked to help towards my dissertation research, which I hope to carry out in August.
A really brilliant day.
Yesterday, I took a day trip to London (Hammersmith and Ladbroke Grove), primarily to visit my favourite design studio, Pearlfisher, for a portfolio review and interview that I had previously been invited down to. The night before I had encountered a few problems regarding my portfolio with printing, and the wrong portfolio size being delivered, so, after a mild panic, I decided to simply take down the design sheets and CV... and hope for the best.
After getting slightly lost around Hammersmith, but, true to form, getting there ridiculously early allowed for some leeway in terms of finding my way.
The interview itself was quite short, around twenty minutes, with designers Sophie and Jason, in which I showed them, and talked through my portfolio, and we chatted a little about both my, and the company's background- learning about how the company is run, and some of the perks of the job.
The studio itself looked amazing- with a library and pool table to boot, and, in Brook Green, in a beautiful, quiet area of London, which was really different from my past experiences of life in the city.
I've sent a follow up email this morning saying thank you for the time they offered, and, hopefully, to speak again soon.
Right now, I'd love nothing more than to work with them. So excited and nervous (in equal measure)!
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Really overjoyed today, after sending the studio an email just yesterday, to get a reply from Glad (Creative) in Gateshead, asking me to come along for work placement. Very, very excited! Even better still, they asked me how long I'd like to be there, when, and told me that they'd happily support any costs that I have to come into the studio. Amazing!
I feel really blessed, and am very thnakful that they were so kind to get back to me, particularly with such a quick turn around time! The work that Glad produce is so suited to the work that I want to achieve with bold vector based type and photographic imagery that focuses on branding and promotional design- definitely the sort of work that I am hoping to produce throughout next year and after graduation.
I've organised to work on the week of the 16th June, as my friend and fellow BAGDer Steph has kindly said that I can stay with her in Northumberland where I can easily commute in each day, and they have again, very kindly offered to pay my train expenses.
So, so, excited! Need to keep up with my design work until then!
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
After a moderate, though not overwhelming response from Design Studios contacted, I once again sent another small batch of emails out again today, once again, looking for some of the best studios I'd found, and ones that I felt reflected my own work, tastes, or ambitions for my future design practice.
Studios contacted include:
The Vast Agency, Leeds
Design Bridge, London
See links for websites and more information below:
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Yesterday afternoon I formally visited the Leeds College of Art end of year Graudate show, after working the opening night on Friday, and only catching a few glimpses of the show (when escaping from handing out drinks tokens for a minute or two!), of which I was, of course, very impressed with.
As per usual, I managed a good pillage of business cards (shown above and below) of some of my favourite designers work, and branding itself that I was really impressed with (having decided that this is a route that I would more firmly like to pursue than any previous ideas for my future design practice).
The show, as expected, on the whole, was great, and I naturally had a strong bias towards the Graphic Design department, which, as always, looked clear, smart, considered, and really presentable. I thought, again, like last year, the surface pattern design show area was also great, and I really admired the vast array of illustrative skills and methods in the graduate designers.
Another great year- I can't believe that my work will be up there within a year's time! Very scary stuff.
Finally managed to see the Papergirl Exhibition for this year that my work was submitted to, with thanks to organiser, Laura Jordan, uploading images onto the Papergirl Leeds Facebook page, after I unfortunately wasn't able to visit the exhibition whilst it was on.
For the show I submitted my A3 'Birds of a feather...' feather-rendered type poster which had received good feedback from the Image session that the typeface was originally created for.
Again, like submitting my work last year, it felt really good to give away a print for free, and hopefully it will have gone to a good home (to a member of the Leeds general public, after prints are distributed on a bike ride around the city), and I look forward to hopefully submitting my work for many more years to come yet!
Thursday, 14 June 2012
Another design studio email reply, today is my lucky day!
I was very fortunate this afternoon to get not one, but two emails through from Leeds- based branding design studio, Elmwood, of whom I was fortunate enough to "meet" two of their designers, Rob and Chris when they came in for a visiting professionals lecture.
In my first email, from Katy in recruitment, she told me that unfortunately all of the placement opportunities were booked up until September, though if I would like to be considered for some industry experience after this date, then she'd be more than happy to pass on my details, to which I responded, of course, positively, and told her that would be brilliant, and I would be more than happy to send some more current, updated work at a later date.
The second was from Chris, which was a very pleasant surprise- saying that, as I was from a more illustrative background, it would be worth me coming in for a chat about how I can develop my work, and the direction that would be suited for me to go in, which we will hopefully be arranging for sometime in July.
Really pleased that I'll get a chance to talk to Chris, and hopefully learn a little bit more about the studio and branding itself so that I can go on to develop my skills set and interest in this area, and also to see if it's an area of Graphic Design that I could potentially fit into.
This morning, I woke up to an email from Hove-based design studio, Burst*, which I contacted RE studio visits/placements. Really pleased that I'd heard back from them, particularly letting me know that I will hear back in the near future (...or not) whether or not I've been selected for an interview for a potential week or fortnightly placement. I'll keep my fingers crossed!
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Yesterday, I went for a meeting with Sacha, Kai, and James- the two Editorial Officers and head of the Student Union at Uni for a meeting about the first issue of the student magazine 'Nest', which is going to be published in September, for which I have been asked to be a featured designer (interview), and also to design the first front cover.
Here are a few notes taken from the meeting, and a little to-do list before the second week of July, at which point the magazine will be going to print.
- A5, no bleed
- White, black (colour afterwards, perhaps)
- 'Nest' in feather typeface, incorporate the 'Nest 1', 'Nest 2', 'Nest 3', etc into title- need to design feather # series!
- Send Sacha x2 exhibition images and 1 of my feather typeface for interview.
- Tagline with info about me to send, 'Sophie Wilson, Graphic Design, Year III' ?
- In for 2nd week of July at the latest.
- Hand rendered, if it needs to be vectored at a later date, it can be.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Image source: www.mobilemonday.nl
Yesterday evening, I was fortunate enough to have gone to the D&AD Lecture North event, as lectured by "Futurist" and Editor of Wired magazine, Ben Hammersley, after being directed to the tickets by design tutor, Amber.
Starting at 6.30- 9.00, the lecture was an insightful and inspirational talk about our responsibilities in terms of design, and how we need to evaluate our use and purpose for digital technology. Below, a few notes taken from the talk.
- Ben Hammersley, Editor at Wired Magazine
- Prime Minister's Ambassador at Tech City
- Futurist- "Makes stuff up for a living"
- Consult, Write/Publishing for the Government
- The future is already here- it just isn't easily distributed.
- You need to understand the forces that have effected us as people in technology.
- Moors Law- Microprocessor designer, 1958- designed microchips. Cost of microchip doubled every 12-18 months, this remained the case for years. For the same cost, computers get twice as powerful every year.
- Technology enchances so much that it becomes inexpensive, and easily accesible.
- Fundamental shift in the way that technology develops... "You don't use a horse to design a faster horse".
- Doubling of power every year.
- If it can be turned into a formula, it will be- if you can be replaced by a computer, you will be. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE is more efficient, easier, cheaper. If you can be replaced by a programme, you will be.
- The week that Kodak was declared bankrupt was the week that Instagram was estimated at 1 billion... this is not a coincidence. Technologies are easily replaced. Moors Law pushes society on.
- Metcalfe's Law- Every additional person who joins a network effectively doubles the value of a network.
- Social constructs of the past 10 years- Structure of Western society- Hierarchy- Network.
- Two social tech groups, pre 1989, and post 1989... Cold War, No Internet, Nato, USSR/Hierarchy.
- 1989, Cold War finishes- first web server turns on. Geo politics have changed- no enemies.
- Social networking and internet allows you to share with everyone, the lines of hierarchy start to fall away.
- Two completely separate mindsets.
- The Daily Mail, for instance, isn't wrong, it's just "on a completely different planet".
- To a pre- 1989 person, the sense we develop from the need to check technology is bizarre. "Phantom vibrations".
- Quiet and noisy technologies.
- "Mentally noisy"- curiosity, a need to check messages.
- Fundamenta, physical closeness- "at one with your phone like no other technology".
- This becomes a habit, part of your mind.
- We no longer have to remember facts, but merely pathways- IMDB.
- Every new technology has backlash.
- Not having signal is the modern equivalent of being drunk.
- As designers, we have to start looking at how we pay attention to digital tools- or they will change us in ways we don't necessarily want to be changed.
- We're not shaping the internet- it's shaping us.
- We need to design it to shape it the way it shapes us.
- "Smart cities"- HP, Fujitsu, etc- Combination of laws- taking sensors to gather data and publish data (infographics) as an app, people can use that data to optimise their lives. Can see things moving in real time, making life better for everyone- everyone lives are optimised by the Smart Cities technology.
- Whatever the community wants to optimise is cultured by the ideology of the people that make it- fundamentally political (and ideological).
- What we design has to truly represent the values of whom we are designing for. These devices become part of the way you live your life- be careful how you change the way people live.
- Become aware and mindful. As a country, we have to discuss what we're making, and how it effects the way in which we live.
- We need to start looking for displaying text and information which isn't interruptive. Distracted every 15 minutes- distracted from work by technology. If you get interrupted, it takes around 15 minutes to get back into work- CONSTANTLY CONFUSED.
- Email and open plan offices are killing creativity. TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS... Can be damaging for the design process.
- We have to learn about the application of these communications and which are most appropriate for certain situations.
- Etiquette doesn't evolve at the same time as technology- consider the tech for the person and the situation.
- Simple > Complex > Simple... Designers all want allotments (ish)... Hype cycle... Tastes in technology, wanting something that is tactile and "real".
Yesterday evening I sent an email along to Gratterpalm, an award-winning Leeds-based design and advertising agency of whom I was lucky enough to meet one of their design team members whilst working at the Reetsweet Craft Fair on the 2nd June, earlier this month.
After researching into the company, and discovering some student designers who I admire have gained placements and industry experience there in the past, I was really keen to send along an email with my CV and portfolio to find out whether they were potentially interested in me, my work, and possibly offering some industry experience in terms of feedback, studio visits, and/or a potential placement at their studio. Looking forward to hopefully hearing something back soon! Feedback and replies have been quite limited, so I will certainly be looking for more studios and designers, as I really want to try my hardest throughout the summer to develop these all important contacts.
Yesterday, I signed up to the Behance Student Show network on the Behance website to, once again, try and get my work more seen, receive more feedback, and develop a clearer understanding of the direction of my work, and what my strengths and weaknesses are in terms of my design capabilities, and also developing an insight into the work of other student designers.
Overnight alone, I received eight more appreciations on my work (usually working on a twice-daily "appreciation" statistic rate), so things are looking positive- and I'll keep on working to ensure I can make the most out of being part of the network!
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Because 9 forms of publishing your work online clearly just isn't enough, today I got a Pinterest account. In the past I've been reluctant to get one as it, on occasion, has been a minefield for copyright infringement, and I've personally been sent links to my work on quite a few occasions which hasn't been credited or sourced back to me, but things seemed to have improved and I'm a networka-holic. Here's to an exciting new networking platform future!
Friday, 8 June 2012
Send an email along to the course administrator, Shirley, this morning, to send onto Photography students RE a possible year-long collaboration in which they would help me professionally photograph my work for my portfolio- offer a small cash incentive, or, preferably, a return in my own skills (potentially branding) for their service, therefore both getting a return for what we are offering. Although I feel reasonably comfortable with my photography skills, and I know that will a little research and practice could achieve something quite good, I would love this opportunity to potential develop connections with other courses, get a little more experience, and, potentially, develop my own portfolio with more diverse projects too.
On Thursday I completed my designs for the advertising and promotional print media needed by my client (Charlie LeBeau, owner of Crybabies Piercing Parlour) to advertising the grand opening of the parlour on Saturday 9th June, which arrived down with Charlie this morning just in the nick of time. Although the design was very simple (and done from an hours worth of sleep the previous day...) and I would have ideally liked to have done more with them, they work well with the rest of the brand material and are kept consistent, particularly with the existing business card design, which also has the pink/white colour reverse on each side, as these promotional print items also have.
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
The finalised self evaluation for the OUPD201 PPD Personal and Professional Development module for the Level 05 programme- reflecting upon, strengths, weaknesses, and my overall perceived performance and ability throughout the various task projects.
Finalised flyers and posters ready to be printed tomorrow and then sent down to the Midlands ready for the promotion of the opening of Crybabies Piercing Parlour this coming weekend. Initially, I was worried that they might look a little plain, but some existing idea mock ups made by the client were far too busy with lots of photographic imagery that didn't sit very well with the type element of the design.
However, after making a quick mock up with this short turn-around time, the client was happy, and it will ensure that the design is kept consistent with existing materials and printed designs, such as the business cards printed and now being distributed by the client.
My FINAL copy of my presentation for tomorrow's studio session to present to my fellow BAGDers and tutors for the Personal and Professional Development module. Slight edit from yesterday's post, which I assumed was my final design- now having to make edits in regards to transparency issues on Page 9 with my type. Still not perfect, but still legible and readable.
Also, the presentation has now been moved from a basic PDF to a Powerpoint file in order for me to use the presentation mode, and, therefore, keep an eye on the time that I am taking on each slide and topic.
This evening I have also pre-recorded and practiced my presentation to listen to over this evening and have the confidence to discuss my presentation tomorrow without the need for prompt cards.
Monday, 4 June 2012
My finalised PPD Level 05 End of Year Presentation, to be shown to tutors and my fellow BAGDers on the morning of Wednesday 6th June.
Keeping consistent to my minimalist design approach, and hopefully keeping well-branded, engaging and considered.
Unfortunately, due to the use of opacities in the enveloped distort brush that was used to create the illustrative type on page 9, the image isn't show properly in this PDF copy (and as a result is too faint, but cannot be flattened properly), however, it should be fine and clear in the presentation itself.
Now just memo cards to make for the presentation, and website mock ups until I have finished my PPD module for the year.
A quick selection of photographs from the printed self promotional media that I have worked on so far throughout the PPD module (not including my portfolio and CV, which I hope to redesign and print in the very near future). Ideally, I would of liked to have had a lot more ready at this time (invoice and letterheads), and although they are designed, I've been experimenting with various stocks for print, and not entirely happy with what I've used so far, so not quite finished yet.
Printed media includes:
- 600gsm Mohawk Superfine Quadplex Business Cards (translation of ‘Hello’ available in 12 different languages- English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, etc)
- 80gsm Online Sales Receipt Slip (translation of ‘Thank You’ available in 12 different languages- English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, etc)
- 80gsm Customer Compliment Slip (translation of ‘Thank You’ available in 12 different languages- English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, etc)
- 120gsm Reverse Ampersand ‘S’ Brand Logo Stickers
More examples of printed media and updated photographs to be added in the near future.
Image(s) to be added to my PPD presentation to be delivered on the morning of Wednesday 6th June, 09:30am.
Continuing to work with piercer Charlie Remy LeBeau as her piercing parlour, Crybabies, opens in Wolverhampton this coming weekend.
Working on putting together promotional designs to advertise the parlour in the way of flyers, posters and social networking media (Facebook and Twitter pages).
Again, keeping the designs really simple, and replicating the designs for the business cards already made, and going for the bold, flooded pink spot colour we have previously worked with, and a simple, typographic format (using Gotham, as shown in the logo) to ensure the design is eye-catching, and to the point. Having the flooded pink will also act well to replicate the business cards, which are two sided- pink and white. Once the Twitter page, along with Facebook, is completely set up and ready, I'll get these printed and sent down ready for the weekend's opening event.
This afternoon, I got a reply from the London-based Illustrative design studio, La Boca. After my initial disappointment in my reply from Taxi in Bristol, I've definitely become more relaxed with the idea of ~rejection~ from studios, but had a very pleasant reply this time, and again, am very appreciative that they took the time to look over my portfolio, despite not having any internships or placements available at this time. After Uni has finished for the summer within the next couple of weeks, I'll ensure that I send out another batch of emails in order to hopefully gain a few more studio visits and potential placements over the summer period.
Sunday, 3 June 2012
Finally got round to setting up a big cartel shop this evening to hopefully increase my online awareness and potential sales. It's been something I've been meaning to do for a while, and after yesterday's Reetsweet craft fair, inspired me to get a move on, and make a way for people to easily purchase goods online without having to sign up to Etsy, or have any type of commitment on that front.
After a quiet week on Etsy, hopefully this'll help to increase my sales, and therefore be able to invest into new projects, prints, and more ambitious design ideas.
Saturday, 2 June 2012
Photo from today’s Reetsweet Craft Fair at Leeds’ Corn Exchange, forgot my camera in an early-morning rush, so here’s a picture of my Ron birthday card that Reetsweet head honcho, Becki took.
I am in the background… in the denim… ish.
A bit of a slow day (weather/bank holiday/the time of year), but I still made my money back that I spent, with a little profit, which is always good. As this was my third Reetsweet, I feel like I'm definitely getting into the swing of things now, and look forward to getting more made, professionally printed, and proper displays to show off my work more effectively, and, in general, just to look more engaging and eye-catching. Always fun though... I'm looking forward to my next Christmas Reetsweet in December!
KEY DESIGN DETAILS/CONSIDERATIONS USED
Type// Helvetica-Arial-Sans Serif
Colour Scheme//White- Black- 30% Black
Rollover bars- 30% Black
Highlighted project bars- Black with reverse out white type
PAGES// Home (Index)
Again, quite disappointed that I didn't get to do more at this time, but I still have lots of ideas that I am eager to get down, and will start actively pursuing within the next couple of weeks as I look more closlely at my professional design practice and showcasing my design portfolio.