semiotics crit – 8-5-17

I just finished my crit for the semiotics brief. It was interesting to see the different avenues everyone has gone down and how they’ve interpreted semiotics. A lot people had chosen to do “classic graphics” and work with branding, fonts, everyday objects that we recognise instantly and other signs and symbols. A couple of us had looked more into the human body and physical semiotics. It was really helpful for me, as I had started with my initial idea and hadn’t really expanded on my thoughts so having people give me the feedback and help my generate further ideas was great. There were a few options people suggested, including taking loads of images and having different chapters of my photo book, for example, positive marks on the body, negative ones, ones from strangers, ones from family members etc. I was worrying a lot about how I could make images Ive taken in a very set up, studio type situation look similar to those of images I’ve collected out and about in less professional looking situations, so this chapter idea would allow me to have a different editing style for each chapter so therefor overcome issues around image continuity.

Another idea I’m interested in looking into was how people try and hide or cover up marks on the body, as someone in my group mentioned they have a scar on their finger which they hate, so they are planning on having a tattoo done to cover it up. Another person mentioned when they get tired they have a black eye, which they cover with concealer. I’d like to collect the stories linked to these marks and maybe include them in the book, some images with text, some without, so people can have an insight into which marks are important or stand out to individuals which you

personal made public/creative publishing brief – 2-5-17

Today we received our final brief of the semester. I think I’m leaning towards personal made public and it is very open ended and basically consists of us exploring a topic we find interesting and create a brief from that. I see it as a personal project that I can make fun and interesting but still have it count towards my assessment. My initial thoughts are to actually focus on the idea of personal becoming public, as thats a theme I’ve been thinking about recently, specifically around the topic of mental health and vulnerability when it comes to sharing feelings.

I recently watched a series called Happy Man, where comedian Jack Rooke looks into mens mental health. He explores a few different mens approaches to dealing with their depression and anxiety. It got me thinking about how everyone has different coping mechanisms, some that work, some that are more habits than mechanisms, and how can we differentiate a mechanism from a habit. I’d like to explore this idea, and I’ve kind of touched on physical habits as a result of anxiety in my semiotics project, and I’ve really enjoyed that so I’m excited to continue this exploration.

semiotics project progression – 26-5-17

Last night I had a bit of a brain wave about my project. One of the topics I was initially interested in exploring was the signs of emotion. I got thinking about signals on the body that communicate emotion. Every single body is different and some people show emotions in different ways, and imperfections on the body are one way emotions can be communicated. Some imperfections are universally known and linked to certain emotions, for example, puffy red face/eyes usually communicate that someone has been crying, and that can be linked to either sadness or sometimes happiness. Although certain imperfections sometimes only trigger attention from certain people. For example stress/nerves can trigger me to itch specific points on my body, and only someone who knows me can tell when I am particularly stressed or anxious by how much these patches have flared up. This has intrigued me to delve into finding out how other peoples body imperfections/ticks communicate certain emotions. I’d like to photograph these marks on peoples bodies and potentially make a photo book, or even create a video but I’m not sure what that would look like at the moment. I’d also like to look into scars and how they have stories and memories behind each one that some people know but others don’t.

hitting a wall/semiotics brief – 25-4-17

Today I have fully hit a wall. Coming back from Easter break has hit me hard, my procrastination levels were horribly high and my motivation was close to none so I lost all drive when it comes to producing work. I’ve returned and I knew I had a lot to do, but it’s really hit me now, and my response to that stress is usually to just avoid my work by procrastinating some more. I’ve spent the most part of 2 hours looking for an article for my grid systems project, as I’ve lost motivation when it comes to my skate fashion article and just need to get it done as soon as possible really, so I can get feedback and make any changes needed.

The semiotics project has been a lot for me to take in. I’m just a bit overwhelmed by all the choices we have, and having all of these options on top of what feels like mountains of work to do is making this project another thing to put off. I think I just need to sit down and mind map all of my thoughts relating to the semiotics briefs and try and pluck some sort of idea of out it.

cardiff met exhibition – 28-03-17

Today I visited my brother at uni. He is currently studying graphic communication at Cardiff metropolitan university. The purpose of my trip was to not only see my brother, but he had a group project of his in an exhibition. The exhibition consisted of work from graphic designers, illustrators and animators. They had all been doing field work, where they had researched a cause and made a campaign about that chosen cause. My brothers group did theirs on dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. Their project was one of my favourites, I’m not just saying that because he’s my brother but they’d really thought about their subject, and got their point across clearly and professionally. To be brutally honest, I wasn’t impressed by a huge amount of the work. A lot of it was work I would have expected to see at the beginning of a project rather than a final outcome, and seeing as the groups had 6 weeks to produce something, I wasn’t blown away. But saying that some of the ideas and final outcomes were interesting and I could see them improving with more time given.







vertical project show – 24-02-17

As a result of the vertical project, an end of project show was arranged. Everyone had the chance to exhibit their current final products and it was a bit of fun for the first and second years to mix a bit more. Me, Jonny and Holly were able to show a first draft of our embarrassing stories zines and I think they went down quite well, people seemed to pick them up and have a chuckle. I really enjoyed seeing how others had interpreted the brief, as it was quite broad. Some people had taken a childhood memory and represented that by recreating something or chasing something from that time. Others had chosen to portray serious, sad memories the stuck out to them, and some had portrayed some more light hearted, family memories.

Some of my favourite outcomes included:

-a period starter pack, that included some chocolate, a little info book, spare pants and more.
-a video review of different childhood chewing gum
-a recreation of a teenage bedroom

I think I liked all of these so much because they resinate with memories I also have.

In terms of the outcome I showed at the “exhibition”, i feel it is definitely not as good as it could be. I’d like to play around with backgrounds and fonts, print it a little bit bigger, and maybe Japanese stitch a little book.








barcelona – studio visits – mayuscula + slow art works – 1/2-03-17

Whilst visiting studios, I wanted to spend time listening and engaging, and not spend all my time writing stuff down with pen and paper, which would have been very time consuming. Instead I made very brief quick notes on my phone of things I wanted to take from the visit, be that some advice, something that inspired me or things going on in art and design that i should research and keep an eye out for.

Following are the notes i made at Mayuscula:

-Be brave / no pain no gain
-Pressure makes different work /focus / time waste
-Serious branding for companies, their livelihood is in your hands so don’t fuck up their business
-Multi lingual projects
-Laser cut notebooks
-Don’t stick to your comfort zone and then your skill set will be expanded
-Don’t be scared to propose things
-Consider culture in design
-Consider timings with projects – complexity – is it achievable??
-Of festival
-Continuity – fluid design
-Small details (hexagons throughout companies branding)
-Branding is business – helping people communicate and sell
-Don’t disregard the clients wishes and ideas – show options where you’ve considered it and talk them into your options
-Mainly use Illustrator / (editorial) in design + illustrator
-After effects for animation
-Client relationships last years – connections
-Patrick Thomas
-Fill your portfolio – fake/selfprojects
-Planning increases the chances of success

Here are my notes from Slow art works:

-Do not be defined to one practice
-Define your own creative area / more than copying – taking inspiration and working alongside ideas rather than taking other ideas
-Our point of view is individual and unique – that cannot be copied
-Be nicer’ written on the bottom of mac screen
-There is no easy road leading to Glory’
-Don’t just stick/start with the computer
-Instagram gives a mix of individual taste and professionalism
-Everything is in the details – card type, feel it and think ‘wow’ 100% cotton card
-Tomato collective
-Personal projects are important
-Learning new things and documenting them – not majorly linked to design and illustration
-Lengthy projects – continuous
-More than one logo – one can get boring, they get tired of it easily. ‘Liquid identity’ don’t let one thing define you
-Make internship applications personal – don’t pre write emails, Skype?
-Tapias museum
-Boxer union (reminds me of jollies socks)
-Jason lee

I also had a slot for the Hey studios visit, but the group I went with lost the rest of the group and got completely lost. We were walking around in circles for 45 minutes and only realised we’d actually walked past the building twice already after the group had finished their visit. I was frustrated as this was my first choice, but i was still able to have a peek at the goodies they gave to the tutors for us to take back to Brighton.

Over all the studio visits were really impactful, and I left feeling very inspired and had more of a taste for what working in a design based company could look like.

andy vella tutorial – 20-03-17

Today I had a one on one tutorial with Andy Vella. I went into it with a lot of starter ideas about what I wanted to do for my Art of Accident project. We focused on the drawing to music ideas. It was interesting to talk to Andy as he has done a lot of work for musician, creating their album artwork. He had loads of helpful advice for me, especially what to do in order to take steps towards a final outcome. Heres some of the notes I had following the tutorial:

  • Research Jean Cocteau (line drawing)
  • Work in larger format, blast music and go for it, have a set up and go mad.
  • Draw with eyes closed and just feel the music
  • Use the same tool for different songs and see what lines/textures are created from each song
  • Outcomes – A2 fold out magazine? 10 small books with different covers?
  • Print out lyrics and draw over them, large and small type
  • Letter press
  • Books within a book, contained pages in a smart, slick front page
  • Wrap lyrics around front page
  • Little tracing paper playlist incorporated in the book

Whilst researching I have found a project on behance which is very similar to the vision I have for my final outcome. Books within a book, with type incorporated. You can see it at the following link:

My following steps will be loads of experimenting with larger format, using the same tools for all of the songs, to create a consistency in colour but different textures and marks on each piece. Also experimentation with incorporating text/lyrics into the drawings.

BIG briefing day – 27-02-17

Today we received 5 briefs, a lot to take in but I’m quietly excited about them all, apart from the workload coming all at once.

The first brief was Mastering Grid Systems. This project requires producing a lot of work, but I have always enjoyed doing editorial/magazine style work, but I’ve never followed a specific grid before. Interesting, different, contemporary page layout was one of the main things that drew me to graphic design, and I’ve always appreciated flicking through a well manufactured magazine with really lovely paper and a layout that makes me want to read the content. A lot of the time its the page layout that makes someone purchase a magazine/journal before actually engaging in what the content is. So I’m excited to create my own interesting layout. In terms of the article, Ive had an edge to look into skate lifestyle and fashion, and its something thats always interested me, so i’d like to find or even write my own piece around that subject. I’m also interested in incorporating my own images into the article, potentially taking urban street style type images with a film camera of some skate style around Brighton and Bristol.

The next brief we received was the kerning exercise. I have tried to kern before but I’ve not got much experience, so I’m happy to be teaching myself this skill as I’m sure it will be extremely useful in the future. Im excited to hopefully print some really nice, crisp final images of my kerned words. I have a feeling its going to be a lot harder than I’m anticipating so I’m gunna try and not leave this until the last minute.

The next 2 briefs were our new archives. The first one titled “Graphic Formulas” and the second called “A foot in the door”. Both seem interesting but will be a lot of work. One of my main fall backs last semester was the fact that I left my archives until the last minute, and they weren’t as rich as they could have been. I hope to put aside one day a week t work on my archives to avoid history repeating itself, especially as “A foot in the door” could be extremely useful for me in the future, so I want to put a lot more effort into it than i did with my colour and type archives.

The last brief we were given was The art of accident. This brief seems very broad to me, which is good because its given me an outlet to experiment with ideas I’ve had for a while. I like the thought of creating work that isn’t as planned as usual and celebrating the mistakes that I make within the experimental process that is pushed in this brief. The themes I’m interested in are things like encapsulating a moment of time, present moment, visualise what you cannot see, if walls could talk and a few more. The formats I’m interested in are mainly the different book options, like an accordion fold book, books within books and experimenting with paper engineering. I have book arts on the 17th so I’m hoping to start experimenting with paper engineering then. My initial ideas are to incorporate drawing to music, an idea I’ve been wanting to play with for a while, with a lot of experimenting with various different mediums. Or potentially incorporating the many screen shots i take on FaceTime to my family members, and trying to work in the theme “visualise what you cannot see”.

Overall, a lot of work and a lot to think about, but also lots to be excited about and get stuck into.

barcelona – drawing sessions – 03/17

Whilst in Barcelona we did a few impromptu drawing session. It was so nice to just sit down after a rushed metro or fast paced walk to a studio visit, and just draw. My favourite time was when we sat down, in the sun, outside the design museum on the last day and a few of us did collaborations, where each of us would start a drawing very simply, usually in black and white, and then we’d swap and add to each others drawings. I loved doing this as I have a tending to get really picky about what I draw, and usually hold back cause I never know when the line of being done and going to far with an image is. But what’s great about these drawing sessions is they have no purpose really, other than fun, so my pickiness shrinks and I tend to just draw whatever I’m feeling. And some of the drawings turned out really well!