Events and Exhibitions

Graphic Communication with Typography at the Plymouth University Graduate Show 2017

After I visited the Illustration degree show, I went to look at the other creative graduate work around the Plymouth University campus.  This post shows my favourite pieces from the BA (Hons) Graphic Communication with Typography show.

Sophie Niman (Instagram)

Sophie had on display her zine SOS #1.  What I like about this zine is how noisy the graphics are, with a mix of busy shapes and active and bright colours.  The black and white checkered pattern is really simple but eye-catching, and looks really great with the black text on yellow “Welcome to #1” labels.

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SOS Magazine  – Zine by Sophie Niman
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Pages from SOS Magazine by Sophie Niman
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Page from SOS Magazine by Sophie Niman

Kaisa Koisti (Instagram)

Kaisa’s project included animation with spinning, flashing and other moving parts, and packets of stickers, to raise awareness of the lack of equal opportunities to female DJs.  I think the use of equipment dials and read-outs to demonstrate the issues is clever and I like how the poster colours make them look like gig posters.

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Equalise the Mix – Campaign poster by Kaisa Koisti
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Equalise the Mix – Campaign design by Kaisa Koisti

Eve Whitehead (Instagram)

Eve’s project promoting veganism has a soft and friendly approach with a powder colour scheme and white text.  It is almost the opposite of the approach taken by Kaisa above.

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The Environmental Impact of Veganism – Posters by Eve Whitehead
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The Environmental Impact of Veganism – Packaging and promotional design by Eve Whitehead

James Dodds (Instagram)

I really like the mixture of different text types used in James’s Analog Magazine, which includes handwritten words of different thicknesses and slopes, typed text, and text which has been printed or stamped.  The magazine looks really interesting and I think it would appeal to graphic designers as well as people who are interested in vintage creative equipment like old cameras and typewriters.

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Analog Magazine – Zine by James Dodds
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Page from Analog Magazine by James Dodds
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Design for Analog Magazine by James Dodds
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Designs for Analog Magazine by James Dodds

Timothy Pascoe (Instagram)

Timothy has created a set of playful images that are great visual representations of the different film genres.  The text is clear but unobtrusive and lets the images take centre stage.

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Great British Classics – Poster design by Timothy Pascoe
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Great British Classics – Cinema ticket design by Timothy Pascoe

Lucy Allen (Instagram)

Lucy has created a zine which draws attention to the design of really useful everyday items that we might overlook as great examples of design, but they are!  I like the way she has limited her colours in each picture to give a 3-d effect to her simple lines.

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Overlooked – Poster design by Lucy Allen
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Overlooked – Zine by Lucy Allen
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Page from Overlooked zine by Lucy Allen

Gemma Beard

Gemma has designed a set of alternative street designs that look at the sort of problems that might happen if we were to start modifying human DNA.  The signs have a dry humour to them and very clear messages that provoke thought.

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Modify? – Design by Gemma Beard
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Modify? – Design by Gemma Beard
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Modify? – Exhibition design by Gemma Beard
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College Work

NatSatClub Devon Dialect Project

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My final illustration for the word “zart”.

We have been given a project at our NatSatClub to choose a word from the Devon Dialect and then illustrate it.  I made a long list of words, some of my favourites are:

Snishums : Sneezing

Flink : To sprinkle

Zummit : Something

Drumbledrone : Bumblebee (apparently this one was inspiration for Dumbledore’s name!)

I chose to illustrate the word ZART which means “daft”.  I looked up the meaning of daft and its synonyms.  They fell into two main groups, one with words like “stupid”, “idiotic”, and other not very nice words.  The other group contained “eccentric”, “absurd”, “peculiar” and “crackers”, and I thought that this group had a more fun and friendly character, and would be good to illustrate.

I thought about this group of synonyms and tried to make a list of my visual ideas.  I came up with lots including Wonka, circuses, spirals, dizziness, wonky, uneven, twist, and drunkenness.

Next I made sketches with the letters in “zart”, trying different forms of the letters and playing with the sizes and the way they came together.

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My sketches playing with the letters in ZART

At this stage I had chosen a basic shape I liked.  I drew it out bigger and tried it out as an outline and a sort of silhouette version.  I started adding extra parts, like a Mad Hatter top hat and drunken bubbles popping.  I felt that these would give an eccentric dizzy feel to the illustration.

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Working with my sketches in a bigger format.

After I had a good idea of what I wanted I tried a sketch using a thick graphite stick to help me make the letters flow better and to be more expressive.  I played with this a bit erasing and adding to it, thickening the letters, changing the way they sloped and trying out stripes.  When I was happy I copied my design out in ink using my Pentel brush pen.

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Trying my design out with a graphite stick then in ink.

I really liked my design as it was but I wanted to fill in some of the stripes with the black ink to finish it off.  I haven’t coloured it yet but I think that this piece would work really well in a purple shade with either a green or an orange as a secondary colour.  The final black and white version is at the top of this post.

It is fun learning about different words and doing this project reminded me of the Devon Words art project by Caitlin Hennessy which I saw at last year’s Weekender exhibitions and which I wrote about here.  I really enjoyed this project and will definitely be doing more lettering and illustrating with words in the future.