Friday, 29 April 2011

Ben Tranter catalogue design

Wolverhampton Graphics enthusiast, Ben Tranter is delighted that his design for a 32 page catalogue is going to be featured within the July issue of Combat & Survival Magazine. Ben who is on Sandwich year placement, says 

"We expect the magazine and its catalogue to reach over 40,000 people in all, so I would say it is the 'biggest' project I have worked with in my short career so far. Its a very exciting project to be involved in and I can't wait to see the end result."

Look out for Ben's design in all major stores, including WH Smiths, who will be running a special promotion to publicise this issue.

Graduate Aaron Fairclough's new job in Malaysia

Graphics graduate Aaron Fairclough's trip to Malaysia has turned up trumps as he is now working for a production house who service Leo Burnett amongst other ad agencies. Aaron is working hard on casting for talents, location casting, video editing and other exciting projects. The production house he is working for is 
This weekend Aaron is looking forward to his first TV ad shoot. 
Congratulations Aaron

Photography exhibition at The Lighthouse

Light House Gallery in Wolverhampton introduces a new exhibition which encourages us to question what wefind in the archives. The Street by Andrew Jackson and Dean Kelland takes archive photographs, interviews and film and explores historical and contemporary debates on immigration in Britain, using racial tensions of the 1960s in Smethwick as a starting point. The Street exhibition will be showing in Light House’s Main Gallery until Friday 17 June. As part of the exhibition there will be a talk by Pete James, Head of Photographs at Birimingham Library who will be talking to Kelland and Jackson about their exhibition and discussing the role of archives, on Thursday 16 June, 6.30pm. Admission is free to the exhibition and talk. For more information visit  

The Street presents stories, memories and photographs from two culturally different perspectives. By interpreting what they have found in the archives, combining fact and fiction throughout, Jackson and Kelland encourage the audience to question what they see, hear and understand in the exhibition. This exhibition playson our faith in archives, photographs, history and documentary and asks people to come to their own conclusions.

This is the first time the two artists have worked together and is the first showing of this exhibition. Andrew Jackson is a documentarian and graduate of the MA Documentary programme at the European Centre of Photography, Newport. Dean Kelland is a contemporary artist currently undertaking a PhD in Fine Art practice at Central St Martins. Both artists have exhibited extensively around the UK. Kathryn Kliszat, Light House Curator said “This show is a little different to our usual exhibitions and we are challenging our audience who are used to seeing more or less “straight” documentary work in the gallery. The artists Dean and Andy want visitors to interrogate their exhibition and not take everything they see at face value.”

Friday, 15 April 2011

Jonathan Barnbrook at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Graphics students have attended a thought provoking talk by Jonathan Barnbrook concerning his political designs. Barnbrook, who’s most current work responds to the politics of Northern Ireland, was in Wolverhampton to visit the specialist Northern Ireland collection at the Art Gallery. He later went on to the Lighthouse for a graphics and music night.

Barnbrook began by setting the scene “The definition of graphics has been very narrow” he said “as a means of commercial cash generation. However, good design can be a unifying force. As a graphic designer, I felt I should be responding to what is happening in the world politically”.

Some of the first designs show, were his responses to the first gulf war, using juxtaposed visual cliché to express his thoughts

Barnbrooks slightly later projects have included work that deals with the situation in North Korea. He described his intrigue of how the regime uses classic Stalinist slogans at every opportunity. His work he describes as “showing an outsiders perspective on the absurdity of the situation”.
“The point of my work, is to hold a mirror up to our own society, When the Soviet Union existed, there was an alternative, but now there is no such contrast”

Barnbrook talked of “The book of Laughter and Forgetting” by Milan Kundera, as being particularly influential to him.

“There are no longer any political ideologies, only commercial strategies” he said. “I still question my work, I’m still insecure about what I’m doing”

Barnbrook went on to show his designs Olympukes, that present an alternative set of pictograms released at the time of the Athens Olymics. These designs can seen or downloaded from:

Barnbrook talked about his memories of 911 and showed designs that responded to this event.

Finally, his Northern Ireland work, still in development, was showcased. Images of hand lettering from political murals, was discussed as forming the basis for future typographic expression.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Lisa Barratt wins IIE Innovation Award 2011

When presented with the chance to work on a real company brief, Graphic Communication student Lisa Barratt grasped the opportunity and is now the designer of the Bradleys visual identity.

Bradleys roots are in leather work wear, but in recent years they have diversified into the lifestyle market. Working with both leather and textiles their goods, including, gardening, household, handbags and accessories, are wholesaled to small independent retailers, and retailed through web sites and high profile shows such as the Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court.

Lisa's design work, featured previously in this blog has just received this years IIE Innovation Award  - Well done Lisa.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

D&AD Trail membership – FREE

A message from D&AD
Old guard? Or new grad? Or somewhere in between? 
Join us for six weeks, for free. 
Information, inspiration and invites, connections and community will be yours. We won't commit you to anything, but beware, things may never be the same again.
Sign up on from next week.

D&AD – The best new talent

D&AD, with the support of HP and TAG, have launched The Graduate Academy. A five-day 'creative bootcamp' that will help the brightest talent to shine. 100 attendees will be trained and tested to the limit by inspiring creative practitioners. The top 50 will be matched to 50 of the UK's leading creative organisations for a paid placement of up to three months. They'll also have the chance to win an HP Workstation featuring all the latest software.

Sign-up now to stake your claim for one of the creative superstars of the future.

Find out more at: 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Call for entries - 786432PX

Graphics MA student Fred Munnelly is staging an exhibition entitled 786432PX. Fred is asking student to submit designs in response to his brief.

"The true secret of happiness lies in taking genuine interest in all details of daily life." William Morris.

'A designers world is based on pixels." says Fred; whether we work digitally or on paper, all of our work is still ultimately produced in pixels. Pixels have become a portal to the world around us - think of blogs, websites and even items of print. Surely design goes beyond pixels? In order to create something extraordinary, does there not need to be a concept, a theory? Without emotion, does a design have meaning? 786432PX will be an exhibition reflecting designers’ personality, an exhibition, that expresses the exhibitors differing views on life.

"I want to inspire people to break away from the shackles of convention to become designers of the future."

Find out more about exhibiting by visiting Fred's site:

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

‘Type Writing’ conference at Birmingham City University

Jessica Glaser has recently participated in the ‘Type Writing’ conference at Birmingham City University. Her paper explored the connection between the visual and verbal language of typography.

The overall event focused on the link between the typographer and the writer of words, be their texts literary, commercial, instructional or inspirational; whether they have been produced by a professional writer, graphic auteur or the casual passer-by who has simply given form to his thoughts.

As well as Jessica, other speakers included:

Gregg Bernstein, Georgia State University, USA; Henrik Birkvig, Danish School of Media & Journalism, Denmark; UK; Borja Goyarrola, Graphic Design Associate, Will Alsop at RMJM, London, UK; Juliette Kristensen, Kingston University, London, UK; Alex Lazarou, Designer, Editor, London UK; Mathieu Lommen, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Rachel Marsden, Artist, curator, Stafford, UK; Sarah Maxey, Artist, Wellington, New Zealand; Steven McCarthy, University of Minnesota, USA; Kathryn Moore, Birmingham City University, UK; John Neilson, Letter cutter, Wales; Ben Waddington, Historian, Birmingham UK

Jessica’s paper will soon be published on the Typographic Hub web site:

Jonathan Barnbrook talk at the Light House -14th April

Jonathan Barnbrook is a renowned graphic designer and typographer and runs one of the most well-known creative studios in Britain. The studio’s team of designers specialise in producing innovative books, corporate identities, CD covers, custom fonts, websites and magazines. Clients range from international museums to charitable organisations. They have worked and won many awards in the area of motion graphics working for clients such as the BBC and Grey Advertising alongside producing self-initiated projects. Barnbrook also releases original fonts through VirusFonts that are used extensively worldwide. Barnbrook’s contribution to graphic design was recognised by a major exhibition at the Design Museum, London in 2007 and most recently the inclusion of his typeface Mason in New York’s Museum of Modern Art’s acquisition of 23 digital typefaces for its collection.

Light House presents an evening with cutting edge design studios Barnbrook and We Make Art who will showcase some of their latest audio/visual work and discuss current trends and developments in the world of graphic design. Followed by a music/VJ set from Manchester electronic artist Swansong.

Join us for an informal talk about the changing roles of graphic design at 8pm followed by VJ sets by Jonathan Barnbrook and We Make Art, and a set by Swansong at 10pm.

Out of hours is a regular socialising and networking event for people who are based in the West Midlands and are in interested in the creative industries. It’s a place where you can make new contacts and keep up to date with what’s happening in the region.

Cost: £1.50 on the door or reserve a place by emailing