Friday, 30 November 2012

Visiting Professional//Joe Gilmore & Qubik.

Notes from today's talk with visiting professional, Joe Gilmore of Qubik, who I was fortunate enough to spend a day working with a couple of weeks ago, and gain further insight into his design practice.



* Ultrasound- Letting the content poster, 2005, determine the grid.
* Concept derived from content.
* Soundhacked app- converting sound files as RAW images in Photoshop- treats the data as an image.
* Glitch book visualises data through an InDesign file.
* Tauba Auerbach- Experimental typography (studied as a sign writer).
* Joe's image blog, Void, collective images and inspiration from an art perspective, has also helped him to gain contacts and work through mutual interest and followers.
* Carroll/Fletcher gallery, designer...branding to be clean, conservative and corporate. Outcomes include catalogue, invites, signage, designing for every exhibition.
* John Wood & Paul Harrison catalogue and metallic spot varnish invites (costing around £2 each...).
* Pulp notebooks created (similar to Muji style), Paperback paper supplier (Dice pattern created for 1,2,3 and 4 notebooks).
* Matt Smith- pulp board cover and bronze/copper foil, printed type.
* Chromatologies materials (the study of colour), colour gradient throughout the text on high-gloss stock.
* Chums Exhibition (cover, all the images overlaid in the grid system of the book- representation of the contents of the book on the cover).
* Sharmen (Newspaper printers, and also uses newspaper club.
* Radim Pesko, Amsterdam- based typographic designer (owner of type foundry).
* Colophon, designers of Apercu typeface (foundry).
* Designed website for LCA Fine Art lecturer, Sheila Gaffney (Head of Fine Art), Used InDexibit as a content manager, good for artist's portfolio.
* Algorithmic drawing, computer-drawn, slightly different angles of lines.
* Fuse by Neville Brody- with floppy disks (experimental typeface journal from the 80s).
* Lulu Printers.
* Swiss font foundry- Greer (?) type... GT Wallshine (Good for Alex Warren Architecture Branding... approx $40 per type weight).

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Professional Development III//Work Featured In Stylist Magazine.

Very pleased to ~announce~ that earlier in the week, my work was featured in the Etsy Christmas Gift Guide 2012 supplement of Stylist Magazine, as circulated around London.
After being contacted by the admin at Etsy, I found out that with an estimated audience of 1,000,000 around the UK, Stylist is the UK's largest free women's magazine, and have already started to see the result in regards to sales in my online Etsy store since the magazine's publication and release.

The picture taken below (of my Harry Potter Christmas cards) was taken by my friend, Jack, who works in London, and has kindly said that he will send me a copy of the publication. Can't wait!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Professional Development III//Lee Goater Industry Contact.

Towards the end of last week, tutor Amber Smith sent along an open invitation to the BAGD course to apply for a potential placement opportunity with Graphic Designer, Lee Goater. With a truly impressive  portfolio, working with some great brand projects and local clients such as Leeds Inspired, I was definitely interested in applying, and sent along my details for the one-day-a-week placement.

However, over the weekend I confirmed with two studios I have been in recent contact that I will be spending more time with them in an internship capacity over the next six months, and felt it would be unfair to potentially commit to working with Lee and then not be able to commit to my existing plans, or vice versa.

I decided to send an email over to Lee apologising, and got a very kind reply and advice for my future internships ("Make lots of 'T'!"), so hopefully he'll still be a contact (and someone's work to admire!) for the future.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Professional Development III//Professional Printing.

Documenting my freelance practice for this month, I am currently working towards preparing stock for the 1st December Christmas Reetsweet craft fair, and considering my options in regards to the amount of stock I will be taking with me on the day.
Last year, with more time available to me, I prepared the vast majority of the design work from home (with plenty of late nights of cutting and printing to show for it), and over the two-day event, I felt as though I had made a substantial amount back, and was happy with the sales. However, this year, with less time at my disposal as a third year, as well as having plenty of other added commitments, I have decided to use this to my advantage, and to seek out professional print methods to ensure that my work is of a higher standard, and can then take this forward also to my online sales.
This month I have printed with Awesome Merchandise and Moo, as reliable/local sources, as well as being very cost effective. With a total order from other print suppliers of a combined £244.12 (inc. VAT & delivery), I hope to make a profit return of £794.88 through retail sales in both the shops which I stock, including online stores Etsy and Not on the High Street, hopefully putting this profit towards improving my design portfolio through high- quality design production throughout my final year and module (FMP) on the course.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Professional Development III//Not on the High Street.

Really happy that yesterday I got a notification email through from online retailer, Not on the High Street, to let me know that I'm finally live on the site, after being approached by them initially last summer, and going through a great deal of editing in the process of getting my page and products published.
Although there is still a great deal of changes I hope to make, particularly in regards to the branding, which was a very quick placeholder job, I have been fortunate enough to have already made two sales in the past twenty-four hours, and really hope that this can lead onto something really profitable for me, both in economic and industry/networking terms.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Professional Practice III//Reply from Praline.

This afternoon, I was lucky enough to receive an email reply from Praline, a London and Paris based design studio that I had recently contacted in regards to going down for a potential portfolio review and/or studio visit.

Really happy that the studio are keen to see me within the next couple of weeks (the first thing I did was order myself a good PAMPA A3 portfolio... now I just have to design the work to go in it...), hopefully I'll negotiate either the 4th or 6th December, the days of which I am next free.

Praline have a seriously impressive design portfolio and 12-year history in the business, along with working within many of the culture, architectural and entertainment industries I am myself interested in both in my current student design projects, and the ones I hope to pursue in my professional career upon graduation.

Really looking forward to it, and, hopefully, gaining some constructive feedback, and more potential industry contacts.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Professional Development III//London Studio Visits.

Another busy night of contacting more studios with the view of potentially gaining some more industry knowledge and insight through studio visits and potential placements, by contacting some of my favourite and acclaimed studios in London, and, in the case of ilovedust, also contacting their Hampshire office (my childhood county) in regards to potentially meeting for a portfolio review and informal chat.

Although, of course, I don't expect too much (some SERIOUSLY talented and acclaimed studios, here...) it would be great to even get some feedback, and anticipate a reply in, hopefully, the not-too-distant future.

Professional Development III//Reply from Touch Agency.

I was really pleased yesterday to have recieved a very prompt reply from Martin at Touch (Agency), a studio I contacted on Sunday evening, up in Edinburgh, in regards to a potential studio visit with them, and have asked as to when I might be interested in visiting.

I also found out that friend and fellow BAGDer, Kirsty Alderson, had contacted Touch in regards for going for a visit in the summer, but unfortunately couldn't at the time due to financial reasons. So, proposing that we go up in the New Year (with a student loan to help us along), it would be a great opportunity for us to both go and visit the studio for an informal chat and potential portfolio review, which I'm sure would be fantastic for us both in regards to professional development, but also a slightly less intimidating one with a friend close by!

More blog updates as and when news/dates are confirmed.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Professional Development III//Placement at Qubik.

On Friday I was lucky enough to be able to spend the day working alongside Graphic Designer, Joe Gilmore, of Qubik, in his home studio assisting him with work on editorial design for a magazine.

I had a really great day working in the very calm, and friendly home environment in which his lovely wife and one year old daughter would often pop up in during the day, as well as Richard from Pressision print, whom I had contacted in regards to organising a visit earlier in the year, but hadn't had an opportunity to talk to properly yet, so that was a great piece of luck that Joe was expecting a publication delivery that same day.

I had a great time working on something completely different from the usual work in my design portfolio and practice, and feel as though I've already learnt a great deal (who knew what a Colophon was?) and have got some great inspiration for my own developments throughout Design Practice III (particularly the magazine/portfolio for Jessie Leong Photography- see my Design Practice blog for design developments) which I'm really excited to try and execute over the next couple of days.

Professional Development III//Reetsweet Christmas Fair.

Come along to the Reetsweet Handmade & Craft Christmas Fair on Saturday 1st December, 10-5 at The Corn Exchange, Leeds... I'll be there selling my printed goodies... and I might even bring some sweets... if you're lucky.

Flyer design courtesy of the wonderful Steph Baxter (

Professional Development III//Reply from Effektive.

Boo- bad news from Effektive. Worried that I probably didn't convey my intentions/hopes for just a visit well enough, but still a positive that I've made contact with the studio, and, thankfully, received a reply within a short space of time (nothing worse than being left hanging, hoping for a reply at some time or another!).

Hopefully potential for contact in the future, I'm a big fan of the studio's work, and will be sure to keep an eye on the development of their new and additional projects publicised within the near future.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Professional Development III//Contacting Edinburgh Studios.

This evening, I set about making contact with me three favourite Scottish Graphic Design agencies, Effektive, Tayburn, and The Touch Agency, in regards to potentially arranging a studio visit, and a potential portfolio review to try to make network connections and even to possibly create a working relationship with the studios in the near future.

As I've started to seriously consider the future of my career, and my plans upon graduation, Edinburgh, in particular, is somewhere that I'd be really interested to look to for work and to live, and I'd love to start making connections with the design industry in the area, so fingers crossed that I'll receive some positive responses and develop communication links soon.

Professional Development III//Work Featured in Stylist Magazine.

Fantastic news as I found out this weekend that my work will be featured in Stylist magazine throughout the Etsy sale supplement. I'm really excited about my freelance work being seen by an audience of up to 1 million readers throughout the UK, and hopefully to be reflected within my sales for a very prosperous and successful festive season for my personal design practice.

More to be blogged when the magazine is published!

Professional Development III//Illustration Book Contribution.

This morning, I was sent along an email from New York-based Illustrator, Whitney Sherman, with a request to potentially work with some of my existing blog work as part of a written contribution towards a book which is being designed to give advice to illustrators.

Intrigued to find out a little more, I hope to potentially work with Whitney in the future, and it would be great to see what I've learnt and applied to my own work in a very different context, and helpfully to help teach or encourage others in the future.

Really excited to see where this project could potentially lead, more info as and when it comes in!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Design Practice III//Placement with Qubik.

Very pleased to confirm that I will be starting my weekly placement with Qubik's Joe Gilmore from this Friday, going in one day a week to develop my design work, and, more importantly, to gain some really important feedback and insight into both my personal and professional design practice with Joe's knowledge and experience.

I'm really looking forward to developing my editorial design which is, of course, Qubik's specialism, and feel it will really help me with a variety of my printed outcomes throughout the Design Practice III module (for more information see my Design Practice blog).

Monday, 5 November 2012

Professional Practice III//Contacting The Consult.

Contacting brand design specialist studio, The Consult, based in Leeds this evening in the hopes of potentially organising a studio visit and/or portfolio review.
For a long time I've been a real fan of the work that the studio produce, and, in particular, the work created for Stack Architects (a new discovery, thanks to fellow BAGDer, Luke), and the branding design for the Tockwith Beer Festival, with a playful and illustrative-driven design which really appeals to my skills set and current interests. 

Really anticipating a positive response hopefully within the next few weeks to organise a visit, and hopefully strengthen both my future design portfolio and my contacts within the industry.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Professional Development III//Placement at Glad Creative (Pt. II)

My weekly diary from my second week spent at Glad Creative, up in Gateshead, from 29 Oct- 2 November, accounting the work undertaken and experience of my time in the studio, as well as selected examples of work executed during the week.


Development of dot-to-dot Christmas cards, submission to V&A

Development of illustrative technical diagrams for the 'Invasive Weed' company.

Editorial design and concept development for the 2013 Scottish Chamber Orchestra programme publications (Edinburgh & Glasgow, Jan-May 2013)




After arriving in Newcastle yesterday afternoon, checking into the hotel and having a visit to The Baltic (which the last placement I was at in Newcastle, ‘Founded’, designed the brand identity for- including bespoke typeface, point of sale, wayfinding, signage, etc.) and the city center, I was ready to start again at Glad for my placement week this morning.

Again, feeling a little nervous about heading back (something that I don’t think will ever leave me!), I was relieved to settle back in pretty easily and start the studio routine back again, which felt great to feel so welcome and “natural” in the studio environment.

Sadly, for me, Sam is taking the week off this week as annual leave (purely because I felt we got on so well before, and his feedback was always so constructive and useful), however, it’ll give me a little more opportunity to get to know and work alongside Dave and Ant (the latter of whom I didn’t get much opportunity to work with before), which will be fantastic.

Today I largely working on developing some more dot-to-dot designs for the proposed Glad Christmas card range, which I had been working on during my last time at the studio, as well as helping to organise some of the Glad Rag t-shirt and baby grow designs that had been printed and sent through this afternoon, ready for a photo shoot tomorrow, which is sure to be exciting as the designs go live and ready for sale to the public.


Today, as now expected (of course!), was another great day in the studio, which went by all too soon.

The day started off on a really happy and playful note with Creative Director, Dave’s wife, Heather, coming in to the studio along with their four lovely children (all around five to one years old), for Charlotte (the youngest at sixteen months) to come and pose for some photographs for the Glad Rags ‘Kern, Baby, Kern’ baby grow/onesie, which, fortunately, was a perfect fit. Along with the kids, three models, Sarah, Rich and Jen (Ant’s partner) all came in to model the adult size t-shirts, and produced some fantastic images which will hopefully be added to the Glad site when it’s re-launched and live on Friday, along with the Glad Store (which I’m sure to be promoting, no end).

In the late afternoon and morning I was working on publications for the new year for the Glasgow and Edinburgh concert hall programme prints for The Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Although I was, essentially, at this point, working on maneuvering the existing type and layout, and adding new copy, it was great to be able to try out something new and a little different (particularly in reflection of the past placement work I’ve executed), and will certainly help me as I go on and try to develop my design work within my Design Practice III module and ongoing University projects.

A fun day, and looking forward to hopefully gaining some feedback from the work so far tomorrow and developing the publications further.


Another great day in the studio- this week is going so quickly, already I’m wishing that I could stay longer.
Today I managed to get quite a lot of work done, and quite a variation too, which was fun, and again pushed my existing design knowledge and experience a little out of my comfort zone which was really exciting.
Firstly, I developed a vector-based line drawing for the Invasive Weed company, which was quite industrial and formal (though, of course, with a playful twist that Glad are now known for), so was, of course, quite different to my usual style of work.
I then went on to do some simple editorial work for the HAS Interior company through Photoshop, and finished the day returning to work on the conceptual and visual development of the publication for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with the proposed tagline of ‘The Key to a Happy New Year’ (see what I did there), which should be exciting to carry on with tomorrow and hopefully develop a range of proposed outcomes for feedback from both Ant and Dave.
More than anything, spending time at Glad makes hope that when I graduate I can find a studio just like them to employ me. My time spent with them so far has been so fantastic, and has completely changed my outlook on my personal and professional design practice. I can’t wait to become a real part of it someday soon.


Today I started work on developing the New Year publication for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra further, a long standing, and high-profile client of the studio, so, naturally, I was really excited to start developing some concepts and design outcomes for this live brief.
Essentially, the publication is for the events and evenings as hosted in Edinburgh and Glasgow by the orchestra, but, true to Glad form, there’s always something conceptual and clever about everything they produce, no matter what the digital/printed outcome, whether it be ‘Get closer to the music’, or ‘Resolutions’, the latter of which was the theme for their last year publication. So, throughout today and this evening I’ll get working on developing a strong concept to hopefully have a finalized cover and DPS for presenting to the client ready for tomorrow.
Busy day!


Another week over at Glad, and, again, all much too quickly for my liking! Again, I had another great last day filled with 90’s dance music (the Friday afternoon tradition, which, if I ever set up a design studio of my own, I must carry the torch for…), and a lunch at a bar called ‘Eye of the Tyne’ where I had another feedback review with Dave and Ant and got to chat a little bit about the studio, and what I hope to get out of my time spent there for another week, and my plans for the rest of the year and upon graduating.
Perhaps more importantly (a little less so for my stomach, however…), I carried on developing the editorial and publication work for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra today, which was great to be able to push my ideas and concept for ‘Take Note: Advice from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’ (crammed with music-related puns such as ‘Look sharp’, ‘Keep in time’, etc) further, and from the feedback, Dave said he liked how my ideas had developed, which, of course, I was really pleased about.
From my time at Glad, overall, I would say that the thing I’ve learnt the most is how to apply concepts to visual outcomes, and conceptual, and simple, yet effective branding is something I really want to push further in both my personal and professional design practice, and I’m really looking forward to executing this in my University projects throughout the next year.
With a pack of Glad-made Christmas cards and one of their typographic t-shirts, and not to mention a whole wealth of experience, I left again, and can safely say, once more, it was one of the best working weeks of my life.