Tag Archives: Graphic design

RSA Vaults Portfolio Review Night

Each year, we have the privilege of hosting a Portfolio Reception Evening for our final year students. Traditionally, this falls in the last 4 weeks of our teaching year – just ahead of the students completing their work and submitting it all for assessment.

The event was held earlier this year due to a changing timetable at our end, the lateness of Easter, and was disrupted by the fallout of mindless Terrorist attacks, but was no less valuable for all involved.

The venue has (for many years now) been at the RSA Vaults building in central London, and our ‘portfolio evening’ is now affectionally known as ’The Vaults’ in the minds of the designers who attend each year.

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It’s a significant time for a number of reasons – the opportunity for our burgeoning designers to rehearse talking about their work and respond to feedback from some of the UK’s leading agencies. It also allows industry the chance to see up-and-coming designers in their prime and to take the opportunity to build key relationships that lead to placements, internships and – occasionally, the first job offer.

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Our course has always been based on the premise that – at the end of the day, both the design ‘industry’ and design ‘education’ is very much about people, with names and faces and stories to tell, and we have worked hard over many years to build connections & relationships that have weathered many-a-storm. We continue to value everyone who gives us their time and support each year, and this feeds directly into our students’ experience of studying with us, complimenting the regular support they receive back on-campus at University.

At the end of the day, the event is at it’s most rewarding at both the beginning, and end of the evening. The beginning, as you watch nervous faces anticipating the next four hours ‘Can I do this?’, ‘Will I make a fool of myself?’,  ‘What if no-one likes what I’ve done?’, and then the end, as those same people are literally set-to-burst with the knowledge that they’ve been there, done it, and got the reward; ‘I can…’, I didn’t…’ and ‘They loved it…’.

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MA London Trip

This March, as part of their Curate & Build module, the MA Communication Design students travelled up to London to attend a number of exhibitions and workshops. Highlights included the Fear & Love exhibition at the Design Museum, a tour of V&A’s Rapid Response Collection with curator Corinna Gardner, and a trip to the St Bride Foundation to explore their vast typography library and collection.

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Special thanks to Lauren Bassam, Corrina Gardner, and Mick Clayton for hosting us!

 

Various Writings + CAST

Various Writings is an art- and design-based research project initiated by Maria Christoforidou, Lizzie Ridout and Dion Star. It is both a research platform and programme of projects investigating acts of writing.

In February Maria, Lizzie and Dion were invited to undertake a short residency at The Cornubian Arts & Science Trust (CAST), an educational charity based in Helston, Cornwall. The residency was an opportunity to explore what writing is and what writing might become, through the creation of a taxonomy of writing acts and gestures. Various Writings asks the question, how do we write in the first place and why? What are the tools and surfaces that we find ourselves using? How do we define the media that we write with and how does that media, in turn, define us?

As a result of the CAST residency, many of the tests, responses and critical observations have been developed into workshops for a Collaborative Practice project. Various Writings: Collaborative Practice is a four-week project in which Stage Two students elect to work in conjunction with staff on specific research projects.

Acts of Writing

Dion, Lizzie and Maria will deliver a collaborative performed presentation in April at Please Specify!: Sharing Artistic Research Across Disciplines, the annual international conference of The Society for Artistic Research. This year the conference will be held at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland.

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In July they will also be delivering a paper about their research and collaboration at MIX2017 – Writing Digital, a conference to be held at Bath Spa University and examining the intersection between creative writing, storytelling, media creation and technology.

www.mixconference.org


Dion Star is Stage Three Coordinator and Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Graphic Design, Lizzie Ridout is a Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Graphic Design and MA Illustration: Authorial Practice and Maria Christoforidou is a theory lecturer across Fine Art, Illustration and Graphic Design at Falmouth and Plymouth Universities.

Graduate Day March 2017

Our annual Graduate Day is a special occasion on the Graphic Design calendar, when graduates from previous year’s cohorts are invited back to Falmouth to recount the experiences of their first formative period of professional working.

This highly valuable event allows current students to learn of the successes and challenges that are all part of the journey in achieving that important first rung on the career ladder. Whilst it’s great for the students to hear of the amazing achievements of the group, they also get to hear the reality of the motivation and sheer hard work that follows the completion of their degrees and the importance of perseverance and developing a thick skin to help achieve one’s goals.

We were delighted to have welcomed the group of nine young designers to give short talks in the main lecture theatre in the afternoon. The group also ran seminar discussions in the morning with final year students to share stories of ambition and encouragement for the last period of their degree study.

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Importantly, the selection of graduates for the day is made to paint a broad picture of career direction and opportunity, with design destinations including work at Penguin Books, The Partners, Oxfam, B&B Studio, LPK and GBH.  The selection also includes other strands of stepping stone after a degree, including going into Design Management and also following more academic routes, by going onto Postgraduate study on our own MA Communication Design course.

Thanks go to graduates Alex Bride, Cassy Bull, Matt Caldwell, Matt Churchill, Fraser Donaldson, Dan Prescott, Georgie Rait, Rosie Stevens and Queenie Wong.

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The central narrative

Each year, our first year students embark on a project that explores the idea of storytelling – the foundational premise upon which most graphic design (and arguably communication in general) is based. Understand the place of storytelling in our craft, and you are likely to build strong, believable visual narratives.

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We explore pace, flow, rhythm and tone of voice to aid the engagement with (and comprehension of) a given story or message. We encourage the students to begin with a personally authored piece of writing, to then research within and beyond graphic design (film, poetry, creative writing, photography, and so on…) and experiment with a wide variety of visual responses. The hope is to nurture diverse and experimental approaches to narrative and move beyond conventions of (in this case) the traditional book.

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At the end of the module this year (as is our practice), we created an exhibition of the work and invited the rest of the course to share in the fruits of the first year’s efforts (and scare a few second and third year students in the process!). Of particular note this time around was the care in production of many of the books (thanks again to Megan Stallworthy for the workshops), and the time spent considering the initial stories – many of which dealt with sensitive or poignant moments. The samples shown here were all produced by our first year students (who have been with us for just under 20 weeks), and they wrote, designed and hand-made the books in just 5 weeks!

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Coming up!

Industry engagement in central to the course and this year has been no exception. In November second year students selected from the study trips arranged by the course.

In London, students received presentations and industry insights from some of the leading design studios, including Biblioteque, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, B&B Studio, Brand Union, The Chase, Design Bridge, Hat-trick, JKR, Lewis Moberly, Kessels Krammer, Made Thought, NB Studio, The Partners, Pentagram, Someone, Sea, Thomas Matthews, UsTwo and Weiderman Lampe.

In Amsterdam, alongside cultural visits to the city, the Stedelijk Museum and Design Museum Breda, students too visited a broad selection of studios. These included the advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy, AKQA, LUST, Silo, De Designpolitie, Trapped in Suburbia, Vandejong and 72andSunny.

The course continues to attract influential figures in the world of design to deliver talks and workshops for our students. So far this year we have had Pentagram partner Naresh Ramchandani, Phil Carter of Carter Studio, Art Director of Monotype’s magazine Luke Tonge, Simon Manchip from Someone and Chintal Darjee from The Future Laboratory. Other speakers and visiting tutors in this field include artist Gordon Young, publisher Anna Gerber of Visual Editions and museum curator Sarah Brin.

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Forthcoming events in March

Graduate Day. This yearly event invites graduates from the previous year back to Falmouth, so current students can hear the stories and challenges of life and work outside of University

Creative Career Journeys.  Creative Director Jamie Ellul of award winning Supple Studio, will be running a day of seminars and portfolio ‘drop-ins’. His lecture will tell the story of his career journey to date, working and learning with some of the most highly respected graphic design studios in the UK, including Hat-trick and Magpie.

Graphic in Motion. Ideas today are delivered across many platforms both digital and analogue and the course is pleased to welcome motion graphics, TV designer and director Mark Chaudoir who will talk about his exciting career on screen.

Portfolio advice event in London. The connections we have deliver critical stepping stones to career success and the portfolio review evening at the Royal Society of Arts in London is vital for this. The capitals’ top creative directors and designers are invited to discuss student portfolios, offering advice and a little extra polish, before the final degree show in May.

Preparing for placements. The course has a great track record of providing placements for students at many of the UK’s most respected studios. These world renowned studios generously support our period of placements at the end of the second year, enabling our students to get a real taste of working in highly creative and successful studios. We normally expect to place between 60 and 80 students at this period of study. The final year who will be preparing final portfolios at this time, also make use of our extensive network of contacts, so they can begin to set up there own placements and first steps into the workplace upon graduating.

D&AD New Blood in July. As well as our portfolio evening, the course shows student work and hopeful winners at the industries top central London show. This is great shop window for the course and student work, with many introductions made as top studios shop for the years’ new talent and potential employees.

World class is a phrase often loosely banded about in higher education but in the field of Graphic Design Falmouth can justifiably make that claim”. Ben Casey, External Examiner and Founder of The Chase, (one the top creative design consultancies in the UK)

STUFF Student collections Moth Design & Death + The Studio Society

Following on from the Staff STUFF Collections, which were exhibited at the end of last year, students from the School of Communication Design were invited to exhibit their personal collection of STUFF. This collection could be one which has been added to over time, bequeathed to them, multiples of objects accrued as a result of habitual buying, a chance encounter at a boot fair.

MOTH: design & death has been interested in working with staff and students instigating projects which encourage enquiry using objects and artefacts as triggers for hidden memory, micro/macro, parts and whole, constructing and de-constructing, a passion for ‘rejects’ and fragments. This projects extends into The Studio Society which seeks to promote opportunities for the community of the Graphic Design Course to share, comment and contribute to the course beyond the curriculum.

Over the last four weeks students have shared some of their collections, giving insight as to why they have this STUFF and what it means to them.

Collection_01 | Jocelyn Affleck | Story Book

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‘Everybody has a story to tell, but it’s tricky to find it. I take this book with me everywhere as a conversation starter and from there on people feel like they are part of something – part of this wide network of stories all held within the broken binding of this book’  Jocelyn Affleck

Collection_02 | Louise Osborne | Royal Memorabilia | Victoria Boyle | Black Cat & Socks | Chris Rees | Keyrings

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‘No amount of frills, ribbons or official crests can disguise the naffness of these objects. Such an ornate form of tat, they are simultaneously beautiful and hideous. Quite an impressive combination in all honesty. Essentially I find them amusing, a completely bizarre thing to have in your home. However for such a simple object they open a variety of discussions and memories’ Louise Osborne

Collection_03 | Su Lee | Eating Habits | Sylwia Cwieczek | Trophies | Ciaran Saward | Calendar of Blades

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I could never even think about my trophies as a collection. You can’t buy those objects, get them as a gift or find them in the middle of the field. Even though you might like their shapes and colours it’s not why you own them. You don’t decide to collect them, they’re actually only a side effect, a proof, something that reminds you what happened.Sylwia Cwieczek

Collection_04 Friday | Charlotte Skerratt |Sea Glass | Lucy Carpenter | Bottles | Armelinda Beqiraj | Imperfect Images

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‘I’m so in awe of how nature has managed to create something so alluring, turning our waste into beauty. Although mere fragments of glass, they’re special to me as they remind me of happiness, the feeling I got when I found a special piece or rare colour. The people I was with, how the beach looked and sounded one evening. Within each piece is a snippet of time holding years of history and wonder.’ Charlotte Skerratt

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