Thursday, 16 February 2017

Sarah Hyndman - Type Talk to Visual Communication students

The second careers week event staged in the Visual Communication department has been a Type Tasting talk by Sarah Hyndman. An experiential typographic studio founded by Sarah four years ago, Type Tasting explores the psychology of typefaces and multi sensory typography. Sarah works on collaborative studies with the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford and her work includes:

• Explorations of typeface personality and typographic perceptions leading to conclusions related to cost/prestige, identity, motivation, openness, trust, skill, mood, emotions, energy. 

• Analysis of the impact of the form of type, including serifs vs sans serifs as well as deconstructing shape associations. 

• Innovative exploration of multi-sensory (cross modal) typography, focusing on perceptions relating to smell, taste and touch. 

Sarah's Type Tasting talk was enjoyed by Visual Communication students 

"My aim through Type Tasting is to change the way people think and talk about type. I am quantifying the experiences of the type consumer to create language that describes the experience of type, which does not require the terminology of design experts. 

Research into the perception of typography underpins the Type Tasting approach. I am quantifying the type consumer experience (or user experience) to provide information that can inform design decisions, nudge behaviour in a positive way, and increase awareness of the impact typefaces have in our everyday lives." said Sarah 

For more information on Sarah’s work

Sarah's latest book How to Draw Type and Influence People will be published in April.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

LE GUN Art Collective Visit Visual Communication

Visiting Wolverhampton Visual Communication students to give a talk and workshop, art collective LE GUN have shared their approach to creating idiosyncratic imagery blending punk, occult, pop and surrealist influences, to achieve a distinctive aesthetic. 

Established in 2004 LE GUN collective 
consists of five artist illustrators (Bill Bragg, Chris Bianchi, Neal Fox, Robert Rubbish, and Steph von Reiswitz) and two designers (Alex Wright and Matt Appleton) who met as graduates at London’s Royal College of Arts. The collective are known for creating large scale collaborative works, often in the shape of 'walk-in drawings' or narrative environments, where all five members will work on the same drawing/painting/sculpture simultaneously.

LE GUN presentation to Visual Communication, Fine Art and Fashion and Textiles students, was by Robert Rubbish and Steph von Reiswitz and included innovative techniques to stimulate group drawings. The results of this exciting workshop can be seen below:

LE GUN also producer a self-titled magazine, the group is internationally recognised for their enigmatic installations, design projects and art shows. For More information on LE GUN visit here

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Graduate Success - Lisa Wilson

Visual Communication graduate Lisa Wilson was winner of The Daler-Rowney Prize for Excellence in Graphic Communication as well as The Sheaffer Prize for Use of Language in Graphic Projects. She was also shortlisted for The Penguin Random House Design Awards shortlist 2016 – see more about her entry here.

Lisa has a passion for paper cutting and is about to run paper cutting workshops 

“In 2013, I used paper and a scalpel for the first time to produce a ragged self portrait. Yet despite my humble attempt, I soon realised that this basic material had endless possibilities and my journey with paper began.

My work uses a combination of digital design with handcrafted papercuts and multilayered illustrations. This is where my artistic heart lies — fusing the past with the present to produce imaginative and expressive results.” Said Lisa 

For more information about Lisa’s work and her next workshops visit here

Friday, 3 February 2017

Lisa Barrett - Graduate Success

Designed with Ryan Dean-Corke
Visual Communication Alumni Lisa Barrett works as a freelance graphic designer based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and her work primarily focuses on branding and brand development 

“I particularly enjoy working with independent brands who share my love for honest craft & good values.” says Lisa

“I was working full time and freelancing evenings and weekends and even the planning for the planning to work for myself was going out the window. I was beginning to think that I would never be ready to take the plunge and become self employed. By not planning I was disappointing myself when in reality I should have just gone for it. In Summer 2015 I quit my job and have never looked back. Right now, I have freedom, I have more time for life, as well as more money to live and I am feeling happier than I have ever felt.” Lisa continues.

To see more of Lisa’s work look here and to read her online journal including her guide to freelancing, look here

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Macmillan Prize for Illustration 2017

This prestigious prize has been running for over 30 years, and past winners have included many of today’s most successful and well-loved illustrators. The prize is a real highlight in the publishing calendar, and with the number of submissions continuing to grow year on year. 
The submission dates are 18th-20th April 2017 inclusive.

All entrants must submit:
1. Pencil roughs or sketches for a children's picture book – cover to cover – including text or a clear indication of the story line.
2. Finished artwork for at least four double-page spreads, or at least three spreads and a front cover.
Entrants should bear in mind what is appropriate for the child reader.

Macmillan accept entries both in physical portfolios, and digitally via the website. (Please note that if shortlisted, hard copies of digital entries must be supplied suitable for exhibition.) 

All details for this year’s Macmillan Prize for Illustration, including rules for submission, can be found at

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Poster For Tomorrow - Competition

Poster For Tomorrow announces its 9th annual call for entries for social communication poster designs. The project has been running its yearly contest since 2009, and for the last eight years poster for tomorrow has focused on basic human rights, from freedom of expression to the universal right to healthcare.

The theme for the 2017 edition is Freedom of Movement.

In last year's brief we talked about "a world where boundaries are becoming less and less meaningful. Now more than ever, we are one people. No matter where we live, we are all equally powerless in the face of war or environmental disaster." 

We still believe this, but electorates in the Western World responded by voting to close borders and build walls to keep foreigners out. A violent rhetoric of hatred and fear is being constructed around people who's only 'crime' is to be born in a foreign country. We want to refocus the debate around immigration to what lies at its heart: people. 

An entry to the competition consists of a portrait format poster addressing the proposed creative brief. Posters may be designed by a single author or by a team. Designs submitted to the contest must be original artworks previously unpublished. Designs must consist entirely of the authors' own work and must not include any copyrighted material. Participants may submit up to 10 different posters.

Designs must be presented in vertical format. Entries must be submitted as JPG files of 2953x4134 pixels at a resolution of 150dpi (corresponding to 50x70 cm in printed size) saved in RGB colour space.

There is no entry fee.

Open to designers and design students from all over the world.

Poster for Tomorrow will reward the best 100 designs, as selected by the jury, by including them in the Freedom of Movement exhibition as part of an event called "a day for tomorrow", that will be held in a series of cities around the world on 10th December 2017 to celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.

A book about the exhibition will be published. The selected participants are entitled to a copy of the book free of charge (but are asked to cover the postage costs at their own expense).

More information can be found here

Monday, 23 January 2017

Student Showcase - Chris Cooper

 Second year Visual Communication student Chris Cooper has been using his own experience as a busker at the Edinburgh Festival to influence his design for a programme for the Edinburgh Fringe. Utilising his own photographs combined with lively colour and illustration Chris's design captures the excitement and variety of the Fringe.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Student Showcase - Richard Henning

Social media security is the topic of Richard Henning's project, investigating and highlighting the ease of harvesting personal data from social media accounts with inadequate regard for security. Richard's design features anonymised, real life case studies, re-envisaged as leaflets. His work will ultimately be presented as part of Information Overload, a third year Visual Communication exhibit, to take place in the Bessant Gallery of the School of Art from 9-20 March.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Student Showcase - Toby Sexty

'In a Parallel Universe' is the title of third year Visual Communication student, Toby Sexty's project on the theme of information overload. This project is inspired by Alvin Tofler's 1970 book, Future Shock, and looks at the human side of tomorrow, presenting a disturbing analysis of emerging society and how to come to terms with the future.

Toby's project enters a parallel universe and re-writes the invention of texting to predate the telephone call. Toby's design shows an early, imaginary texting machine, accompanying advertisements and design blueprints. His final work will be exhibited as part of Information Overload, a Visual Communication exhibition in March and also part of Artsfest.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Sketchbooks showcase with Heath Park School sixth form students

The Visual Communications department has welcomed Heath Park School sixth form students. 

Visitors were inspired by looking at undergraduate sketchbook work, shown here being presented by Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication, Ben Kelly. A range of work was discussed, including narrative illustration, editorial pieces, design with typography, collage, drawing, painting and three-dimensional designs. Inspired by seeing these examples, Heath Park School sixth form went on to undertake two workshops linked to their coursework, printmaking, responding by their interest in pop art, with subject leader of Visual Communication, John Clementson, and typography referencing the designs of contemporary graphic designers with Visual Communication Artist in Residence Josh Grice.

Visitors met Lisa Law from the University Careers department who discussed employability and placement support offered by the University of Wolverhampton as well the importance of arts graduates to the UK economy.

After lunch students were given an introductory tour of Wolverhampton Art Gallery's current Roy Lichtenstein Artists Rooms exhibition, including a contextual presentation tracing the origin of pop art.