Friday, 30 October 2009

Sheila de Bretteville

A Feminist/writer/designer/teacher? I want that job. Mack posted this name on the blog and when I looked her up the interview was really inspiring. I don't deliberately try to find women designers, but for me it is even more inspiring when it's a strong woman! This woman really has accomplished it all - professor of design at Yale! That's pretty impressive. Reading what she says makes a lot of sense - sometimes it feels difficult to find your own style and briefs when your at uni because we do get set with the same stuff everyone other graduate does. It's a great time to be influenced by people around you and learn as much as you can from what already exists, but when I leave and have to produce my own work I really do want to create stuff that says something and has a purpose and message. I'm not sure the perfect job for me is just to be a straight forward designer - I enjoy the people/client/presentation/concept/ideas/research side of everything far more than the execution and deliverance, but what I do know is that I want to work on stuff that matters.

'I work to help our students acquire a solid basis from which they can each shape their own professional body of work, perspectives and life, rather than replicating mine, or those of their faculty and critics. I agree with Rob Storr that ‘it’s time for the post post-modern generations to make up vocabularies and metaphors of their own.’

''All environments and experiences affect us, so our work is to make the patterns of power clear and keep communication open. If we do the hard work of asking and listening, not hiding what we think but rather being as clear, transparent and conversational about what we are doing and why, we have opportunities to change a pattern that is hierarchical;''

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Let the right one in

I hate scary films - hate blood and gore and everything that's jumpy and i'm afraid of the dark. I have such a vivid imagination I can never sleep or stop dreaming/imagining things afterwards ever since I was little, so I generally avoid anything like this on screen. I'm not at all squeamish in real life but for some reason I can't stand it on screen.

Tucked in jumpers, Fake snow and blood aside however... this was a great film and I actually quite enjoyed it. I have come to expect a high standard of films on Kino4 night now so this was no surprise.

It was about half way through when I started to wonder if the girl was real or not. I think I kind of concluded in my mind that she wasn't - that it was the boy doing all those things and she was in his imagination to help him to get through the bullying. There was a few points through the film that made me think that - the conversation about her killing because she has to and him killing because he wanted to. Then at the end when she rescued him from the pool, the closing scene when he was on the train doing Morse code to her - that was strange?

I don't know if i'm right or not... There were obviously lots of things that suggested the girl was real - the guys in the cafe said the man who moved in had a child, and the woman who was bitten... I don't know... but in my mind that's what I was imagining. This film reminded me quite a lot of Pan's labyrinth.

It was a great film though, a good one for halloween. Quite a touching love story really! I think the bleak Swedish council estate was the perfect backdrop to the film. The children were so pale, like they were as pure as the snow. One thing I couldn't get over was how good the children were at acting. The story centralised around them and they're acting was flawless, so emotional and just so far beyond what most established adults could do. The intertwining story lines addressed - Oscars father and mother, the bullies and Eli's 'carer' made this a much more complex film, raising so many questions and emotions.

Self promotion

Self promotion has been on my mind for a while but I haven't really done anything about it yet... I didn't really know where to begin or what I wanted to promote. Myself obviously, but I wasn't really sure what I wanted to say about myself.

I found this book at the Whitworth gallery book sale called Marketing your creativity - new approaches for a changing industry by Matt Perry and Ant Melder for £3. Admittedly its a little outdated, it was written when digital was still relatively new and not the norm, but it's an easy read with lots of advice from people in Industry (Mother, Cake etc.) and what it does is kind of simplify the importance, avenues and approaches to self promotion and 'The brand of you'.

Then we had a talk from Graham on Tuesday which was very helpful. I liked how he explained the ideas behind the self promotion and how he uses it. The Via stuff that took inspiration from the buildings, colours and textures around them was really lovely example of how to make self promotion. Attention to detail is also very important - to go the extra mile. Self promotion be a consistent brand the same as any other which represents your personality and style.

I put off doing anything before because I didn't think it was necessary yet and didn't know where to begin - now I'm starting to piece together ideas about what I can use and what I want to say. This summer I have become much more sure about what it is I want to do, and researching the kind of places I might want to work, so feel that i'm ready to start designing 'the brand of me'. I am now brimming with ideas!

off on a tangent

After my wacky week tutorial with Mack and a quick chat with John Walsh I'm moving my project on finally. I made a great start with it, but the last week has been a bit stagnant and I was struggling to move it on. I realised that I 've been so close to it I started to find it difficult to see new potentials in my work. At first when Mack told me to try scanning some stuff in and experiment with it just to see what happens I wasn't sure that would take me where I wanted to go, but then when John said a similar thing but in a different way, I realised they were both right. So I'm not going to play with the photocopier just yet =) but I have realised I need to let my concept go a bit and push it in any direction that comes. Then I can explore just how far my ideas can really go! I admit that I am no photographer - I like photos but I'm not great at taking them and although I want to do some experimenting and let go I don't want to do things i'm not good at just for the sake of it...

So a break from Silence to finish of my Kino posters (more on them later) for the review has given me a welcome break and I feel refreshed for a weekend of tangents!!

Some cool stuff

poster by McCann Erickson - Manchester

This website - a collective of graduates who give good advice, post competitions and job opportunities and also cool stuff. Well worth a look!

And on that website I found this amazing animation by creative team Blu and David Ellis...

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Droga 5

Droga5 is an agency which I came across in Campaign over summer. The company was set up by Dave Droga, an Australian, and they currently have an office in Sydney and New York. They work a lot with charities and on political and government campaigns. And they don't specialise in any particular media or visual style.

This is a link to work they did for the Obama Campaign in America which is everything that you wouldn't expect it to be. It's quite controversial and I have to admitt when I first watched it I was surprized something like this had been created for politics. I guess I always thought of America as being behind the UK when it comes to forward thinking, especially in Politics, but I actually think they are way ahead of us in terms of innovation in their voting campaigns. This campaign is based on great problem solving and it feels so much more honest (even if it's still a political ploy deep down) than anything I have ever seen in Britain. I have been getting really interested in political work lately, and am thinking or changing the slant of my essay to research further into this area.

Droga5 is an agency which I came across in Campaign over summer. The company was set up by Dave Droga, an Australian, and they currently have an office in Sydney and New York. They work a lot with charities and on political and government campaigns. And they don't specialise in any particular media or visual style.

Below are some posters done for Unicef 'Tap' water campaign that went across print, viral, web and much more.

''My objective isn’t to build the biggest agency in the world or the most creative agency in the world—I want to build the most influential agency in the world.When I first launched the agency three years ago, I made a statement that I think people thought was just a throwaway thing, but I really meant it. I want us to get involved with things that matter.''
Dave Droga

To end up working at an agency with similar values to this one would be an amazing accomplishment for me!

studio 8

Why Haven't seen this work before?? Ooh it's so lovely.

''Studio8 Design is an award-winning independent graphic design studio with a reputation for delivering intelligent and engaging creative solutions. Based in central London, Studio8 was established in 2005 by Matt Willey and Zoƫ Bather. Working with clients both large and small, in the UK and overseas, Studio8 produces a diverse range of work across multiple disciplines. The studio's team bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to every new project and offer a scope of capabilities that includes editorial, exhibition, signage, corporate literature, websites, and brand identities.''

The name rang a bell when I looked this up but for some reason I hadn't looked into this agency before. Looking at their work I find that it's all great stuff and I enjoy it, but they have a very specific style which doesn't really deviate. Its nice type, nice imagery and beautifully put together. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing or not- the work certainly hits the spot, it seems quite conceptual and I like it that they work for charities and meaningful subjects as well as more commercial stuff, but I guess i'd like a little bit more variety!

Nicholas Felton

''Nicholas Felton spends much of his time thinking about data, charts and our daily routines. He is the author of several personal annual reports that collate countless measurements into a rich collection of graphs and maps reflecting the year’s activities. He is the co-founder of, a site for counting and communicating daily data, and regular designer of information graphics for numerous publications. His work has been profiled in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Wired and Creative Review.''

Another find from the Data Flow book - Nicholas Felton. This work gave me a whole new look on the Journal and essay sections and refreshed my thinking of how I can approach them. Looking more into his work and his website it seems that his work is mainly consists of visualising data and information graphics. Although I don't see myself going into information graphics in the future, I like the style of much of it, though I'm mainly interested in how I can use this style to convey deeper concepts and ideas for different purposes. What I do love about information graphics is generally the clean, meticulous functional aesthetic. I like the purpose behind it.

Felton's work has got me cooking up some interesting ideas about my trip to New York and Journal!

Marian Bantjes

I came across this woman's work in the Dataflow book, it was an inspiration map which caught my eye and I decided to look further into her work.

Bantjes is a Canadian artist who has worked with typography, graphic design, book design, worked for her own design company. She has worked with Stephan Seigmeister, Pentagram, Print Magazine, wired, The New York Times, Wallpaper, The Guardian and Young and Rubicam.

The more I explored her website the more this woman was amazing me. She not only designs, but writes articles and essays, teaches, gives talks and speeches. This sounds exactly like the kind of job I want!! I want it all.

In the 'about me' section, there's an extract of her CV and it is just incredible. It's hard to imagine that one person can have accomplished so much and such a wide range of things.

Rather than the typical 'about me' section, it is made up of lots of different bits and pieces - including a piece she writes about herself. I could relate to what she was writing so much, it was so refreshing and genuine. I think I may have found a new design heroine!

Below is a link to an article that she wrote for the AIGA essay series. Its about her life and regrets and coming to terms with what she's done and how she's chosen to spend her time. I think this pretty much sums up how I feel all the time, wondering if I should have done things differently, and whether or not i'm making the right decisions. She talks about how she wishes she went to university to get a solid foundation knowledge of art and design but that she probably wouldn't be where she is today if she hadn't gone travelling instead.

This is definitely one woman who's job I want, so to take the advice from Clinton I'm going to see if I can find out how she got to where she is today. I think that concentrating on people and agencies that I aspire and relate to and finding out more about how they have got where they are and who works for them will really help me to direct my work and decide where I am going.