Thursday, 30 October 2014

Words amplified by typography - Freda Sack

An observation on the 'typographic link' between designers and their audience – illustrated by The Foundry and commissioned typefaces – with a commentary of quotes from typographic friends and heroes. Typography is our common language – that bond between the arrangement of letterforms on a page and the intended communication. All information is filtered through the medium of typography, curiously its disciplined structure allows endless variations in the expression of ideas and facts – the grid is fundamental – adhered to, or broken. 

Good design often appears effortless in the making – importantly it should be effortless in the using. As designers we need both skill and intelligence to transmit the writer’s words in such a way as to be easily, and correctly perceived. Effective design is the result of a process of simplification and refinement – essentially to make a connection, that 'bridge' or link between the reader and the writer.

Freda Sack has a passion for letterforms and enjoys ‘making things happen typographically’. She studied typography at Maidstone College of Art, School of Printing. An increasing interest in the letterforms themselves led to her career as a type designer – working for various font manufacturers and involved with groundbreaking font technology. Freda co-founded The Foundry in 1990 with David Quay to develop their own range of typefaces. From 2001–2013 with her company Foundry Types, she managed The Foundry™ library, and continued with commissioned fonts. Now The Foundry™ typeface library is licensed exclusively by Monotype. Her bespoke typefaces include: WWF, NatWest Bank, Science Museum, Cossette, Yellow Pages, Swiss Airlines, Brunel UK railways, and Lisbon Metro. Currently Freda lives and works in central London as a design consultant, education advisor and mentor. She is a UCA Board governor (University of the Creative Arts) and ISTD Board director (International Society of Typographic Designers).

6 November 2014: 1730-1930: Birmingham City University, P350 Lecture Theatre, Parkside Building, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham B4 7BD

Book a FREE ticket here

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Cities Methodologies - Howard Read

Visual Communication lecturer Howard Read is exhibiting his PhD research at Cities Methodologies the ongoing programme of events and exhibitions dedicated to presenting, sharing and experimenting with new methods of urban research. 

Each iteration takes a new form. Audiences encounter an eclectic array of approaches to the analysis of cities worldwide.
Venue UCL, Slade Research Centre. Previous shows have also travelled further afield, including Bucharest in 2010.

The exhibition opens next 28th October at the Slade Research Centre in Woburn Square, London.

The audio guide to Cities Methodologies can be found here

Monday, 27 October 2014

Craig Hancock and Katie Collins - Visual Communications Success

Following the success of a pilot project, second year visual communication students will be working on live branding projects set by Ian Hayes and David Cooper from Happy Giraffe, and the best student responses will be rewarded with paid internships.

Marc Austin, course leader for Graphic Design worked with second and third year students on sample projects from Happy Giraffe last year and is delighted with the quality of work and professional responses from participants.

“The importance of working with real clients of this calibre is not to be underestimated. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Happy Giraffe. Their professional expertise, enthusiasm and reputation will help to create invaluable opportunities for our students. invaluable addition to the course. We are lucky to share the same professional philosophy, approach to conceptual development and commitment to promoting  design talent the Midlands.”  says Marc Austin

Originally, Happy Giraffe offered a single paid placement as a prize to students tackling the project briefs, but the quality of work submitted meant that 2 winners were given the opportunity to engage with internships at the thriving Stourbridge company - Craig Hancock (now studying on the Masters programme in Digital and Visual Communication at The University of Wolverhampton) and Katie Collins who is now in her final year of the Graphic Design course were deserving winners amidst excellent competition from their peers. 

Ian Hayes, Senior Brand Creative at Happy Giraffe said:

“We have really enjoyed the internship collaboration both Craig and Katie have been brilliant, a real credit to the University. They have worked hard and contributed to our busy studio. Katie is still with us part time for two days a week, she doesn't want to leave!”

Friday, 24 October 2014

Radio 4 - Germany Memories of a Nation

In the new BBC Radio 4 series Germany Memories of a Nation, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, explores 600 years of Germany's complex and often challenging history using objects, art, landmarks and literature.

The programme broadcast on Friday October 24th is called Bauhaus: Cradle of the Modern. The programme is 15 minutes long and focuses on the Bauhaus school of art and design, founded in 1919. Its emphasis on functional elegance is visible in our houses, furniture and typography today.

Download your free podcast here

This series also includes Gutenberg: in the Beginning was the Printer - highlighting the continued influence of the 'The Book'

Words at Play II : Tangible Typography

The relationship between writing and design is often underestimated. Writers use their creative abilities to imagine spaces and paint pictures with words in the same way that designers interpret words and contextualise meaning through aesthetics; the two disciplines should be inseparable.
"In this second year of collaboration between Creative Writing students from Manchester Met and Graphic Design specialist Visual Communication students from the University of Wolverhampton, this relationship is explored and brought to life." says Marc Austin, Course Leader for Graphic Design
"The visual responses in this small exhibition demonstrate a conceptual approach to the typographic interpretation of the written word.
Visual Communication students received, reviewed and selected poems, short stories and examples of experimental writing which were analysed in order to generate ideas relating to the concept of tangible typography - and whilst most of the resulting work is in the format of flat printed material, all of these pieces have a tactile aspect in their construction." Marc continues

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Meet Milton Glaser - in the Guardian

You're probably familiar with designer,  Milton Glaser's work, even if you don't know it. Glaser is the man responsible for creating the ubiquitous 'I love NY' logo that adorns T-shirts, coffee cups, bags and caps across the world. 

Glaser created the logo in 1976, when New York wasn't the tourist haven it is today. "The place itself had become so difficult to live in," he told the Guardian's Ana Terra Athayde.
"I wanted to say 'I'm gonna stay, I love this place, I'm not gonna be defeated, I'm going to make it better'."

Now 85, Glaser runs a studio in Manhattan and has a body of work – which includes Brooklyn Brewery logo and a poster for Bob Dylan's greatest hits album – that has made him a legend in his field.

His latest project is his most ambitious yet – in collaboration with New York's School of Visual Arts, he has launched the campaign 'It's not warming, it's dying', in a bid to raise awareness of climate change.

Ana Terra Athayde - The Guardian
Find out more here

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

STATIC Still Life Reconsidered - BMAG

26th July 2014 - 31st December 2014

STATIC Still Life Reconsidered concentrates on the common theme of still life in a broad sense, bringing together a wide range of artistic styles and mediums from the late 1800’s to the present day. 

The exhibition concentrates upon different artist’s approaches to Still Life as a common subject matter, looking at their approach to different materials and arrangements and how artists have touched upon the genre of Still Life through painting, printmaking and sculpture. The exhibition includes works from artists including Henri Fantin-Latour, William Nicholson, Girogio Morando, Mary Fedden, Patrick Caulfield and Jane Harris.

New acquisitions from contemporary renowned artists Jess Flood Paddock and Donald Rodney will be showcased as a centre piece for the exhibition. These artists have both used inanimate objects in different ways incorporating food as a subject matter, using this as either a material or as a metaphor for commenting upon issues pertinent to contemporary culture.

The Waterhall Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery. Free entry.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Graduate Success- Alex Wattley

Alex Wattley  graduated with a degree in Graphic Communication summer 2013. Since then he has been working at Design Jazz, an agency based in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. "I was ‘head-hunted’ during the degree show" says Alex
"I started in August last year on a temporary contract, expecting to only be there for a few months, but the director felt that I sat well within the team and my skills meant that he wanted me to continue working there. The company was expanding and I was delighted to be kept on! I've been promoted to Senior Designer and I enjoy every minute of it. I've even had my own intern who has shadowed me." Alex continues

Find out more about Design Jazz here

Thursday, 16 October 2014

InkTober 2014

31 Days 31 Drawings
Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month. InkTober was created in 2009 by illustrator Jake Parker, as a challenge to improve inking skills and as an aid to developing positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

Anyone can do InkTober, just pick up a pen and start drawing.
InkTober rules:

1) Make a drawing in ink (you can do a pencil under-drawing if you want).

2) Post it on your blog (or tumblr, instagram, twitter, facebook, flickr, Pinterest or just pin it on your wall.)

3) Hashtag it with #inktober

4) Repeat

Note: you can do it daily, or go the half-marathon route and post every other day, or just do the 5K and post once a week. What ever you decide, just be consistent with it. INKtober is about growing and improving and forming positive habits, so the more you’re consistent the better.

Arena Collaborative Theatremakers working with visual communication students

Visual Communication Students arriving at the Arena Theatre with Marc Austin

Second year visual communication students are working with the Arena Theatre's Collaborative Theatremakers (ACT). This is a new initiative from the Wolverhampton based theatre, designed to engage theatre artists across the city and beyond. The scheme allows emerging theatremakers a live platform to present their work at the Arena, working with the theatre team to develop their practise. 

Visual Communication students are working on a range of designs bringing type and image together to highlight performances.

ACT nights begin in October 2014 and will see a number of new works performed for the first time in front of a live audience. 

21st October
Table Reading of It’s Easy To Say I Love You, Isn’t It?’ by Kristina Gavran.

5th November

Rehearsed Reading of Agent Whitewall by Lindsay Wright and Gavin Wright. A story of spies, deception and double crossing, not for the faint of heart.

25th November

Rehearsed Reading of A Shallow Brook by Amarjit Nar

Performances begin at 7.00pm and are free to anyone with an interest in performing arts.