Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Craft of Cursing - exhibition from Louise Fenton

Dr Louise Fenton, Senior Lecturer Visual Communications, has curated this year’s exhibition at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall. Titled ‘Poppets, Pins and Power: The Craft of Cursing’, the exhibition brings together Louise’s research over the past few years. It is displayed in sections to consider the social history behind the use of the poppet, the doll with pins in, as well as more everyday objects such as shoes and clothing. Louise has been researching these objects to find out their stories and the hidden tales they have to tell. The exhibition is open until October 31 2017 and then on occasional weekends until early January 2018.

Louise will be giving two talks at the Museum in August (5th and 26th, small cost) and a guided tour of the exhibition on Friday 25th August 2017 (museum entrance fee applies).

For further details of the exhibition and the Museum can be found here

Thank you to Marc Austin, Course Leader Graphic Design, who designed the marketing material and the panels for the exhibition this year.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Inspired by the power of the vote and the upcoming snap General Election, please visually interpret our tagline ‘Turn Up’. You can be as funny, serious, irreverent, or off the wall as you like - there’s  just a few caveats:

• You must include the tagline  ‘Turn Up’. Use it however  you like - integrate it in your  illustration or typographically, whatever works for you!  We just need some space left  in the layout, on the bottom  right hand side, for us to add  the #TurnUp logo and the  relevant call to action to vote. 
• Your artwork should be an A3 portrait size (either vector or 600dpi jpg), plus square for Instagram. 
• All artwork will be credited where possible, especially on social media. Please include your details and handles alongside your submission
• There is no restriction on the colour palette. 
• You should be party-neutral where possible. 
• You should not include any nudity or profanities (unless you insist, which is OK! However, please note that we cannot run these in any outdoor media).

How to submit 
Please send us your finished artworks to: 

Time is of the essence! Anything you can have complete ASAP, please send right away. The absolute final deadline is 22nd May 2017. 

By submitting artwork, you kindly agree use of your image in any media we can get our hands on in the run up to June 8th – please let us know if you’d prefer online use only. Copyright remains yours, of course. We’re all joining forces for this cause and pulling in friends and favours. If you think you can help, or know others that could, please get in touch ASAP!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Young Package Competition Success: Tom Lavin

Model Obaly a. s. has announced the shortlist for the 22nd year of the Young Package competition. More than 700 students and young designers from 57 countries competed this year, and BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Tom Lavin is shortlisted for one of the 8 prizes.

The theme this year was ‘Open & Play’, and the project idea that Tom developed certainly lives up to expectations. In discussing his approach to the project, Tom says:

“For this project I wanted to explore concepts of reusability, sustainability and recycling. The Re:Play kit is designed to allow the user to make models, toys and sculptural forms by recycling packaging materials. Starting with the ‘pop-out’ elements included in the package alongside the supplied tools, Re:Play users are encouraged to use creative thinking and playful experimentation as they explore materials and get inspired by their own creations.”

Graphic Design Course Leader Marc Austin said, “Tom deserves recognition for his hard work and innovative approach to problem solving. The Graphics team have seen Tom go from strength to strength during his 3 years with us, and we are delighted with this news.”

Tom will find out which of the prizes he has won when he flies out later in May for the award ceremony taking place in the DUP 36 club in Prague.

Good Luck Tom!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Typefaces can encourage healthy food choices

The Times newspaper has published the work of Wolverhampton Visual Communication, Special Visiting Lecturer, Sarah Hyndman, on responses to typefaces for tinned food labelling and discusses Hyndman's ideas on the influential role of type in making food choices. Typefaces used for food packaging can help towards healthy eating and cutting obesity says Kat Lay, health correspondent of the Times. Read Hyndman's ideas below:

Monday, 17 April 2017

Sarah Hyndman - How to Draw Type and Influence People

Visual Communications Special Visiting Lecturer Sarah Hyndman, has written and illustrated an activity book that asks readers to bring typefaces to life through drawing, colouring and thinking. Published by Laurence King, How to Draw Type and Influence People encourages people to delve into the words they encounter subconsciously every day and think about how they might look, feel, smell and sound.

"I want to show that it is part of people’s everyday lives and it’s fun – it’s about the first record you fell in love with, the first sweet shop you went to as a child. Our written language is formed of letters that have taken on all sorts of shapes and styles over centuries. It is a visual code that is a mirror to our lives." 
said Sarah.

In partnership with Laurence King, Design Week are asking readers to take part in a competition to stand the chance of winning a free copy of Sarah's book. Design Week would like you to take part in the mash-up challenge by thinking of two typefaces with very different characteristics and personalities, and combining them to create a new, hand-drawn one that showcases the best – or worst – qualities of both. Email Design Week at with your mash-up creation, along with a name for your typeface by 19 April. They’ll pick their favourite one, showcase it on their site, and send the selected winner a free copy of How to Draw Type and Influence People.

To read more about Sarah's new book and for more inspiration for this competition click here

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Freefont Kanit

Kanit means mathematics in Thai, and the Kanit typeface family is a formal Loopless Thai and Sans Latin design. It is a combination of concepts, mixing a Humanist Sans Serif motif with the curves of Capsulated Geometric styles that makes it suitable for various uses, contemporary and futuristic. A notable detail is that the stroke terminals have flat angles, which allows the design to enjoy decreased spacing between letters while preserving readability and legibility at smaller point sizes.

In Thai typeface design the formal loopless Thai typefaces have more simple forms than the conservative looped Thai designs, and this simplification has to be done properly in order to preserve the essential character of each letter. Sizes and positions of vowels and tone marks need to be managed carefully because they are all relevant to readability, legibility, and overall textures. 

Kanit is available inn 18 styles and can be downloaded free from here

The Kanit project is led by Cadson Demak, a type foundry in Thailand.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Embracing Our Differences Competition 2018

Art is a powerful tool to evoke social change. Without uttering a single word, artists can enlighten, educate and effect change around the world. Embracing Our Differences invites you to participate in creating a world where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated.

The mission of Embracing Our Differences is to use the arts as a catalyst for creating awareness and promoting, throughout our communities, the value of diversity, the benefits of inclusion and the significance of the active rejection of hatred and prejudice.

The centerpiece of Embracing Our Differences is an outdoor juried international art exhibit featuring 45 billboard size images (16 feet wide by 12.5 feet high) created by local, national and international artists, writers and students. The display reflects the artists' interpretations of the theme "Enriching lives through diversity".

Your original art may be any size and in any medium; however, you must create or scan and submit it as a high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) digital file (JPG, TIFF, PDF, PSD, EPS, GIF, PNG, or AI). Your digital art must measure exactly 12.8” (325.12 mm) wide by 8.8” (223.52 mm) high. Art must have a horizontal orientation.

There is no entry fee and there is no limit on the number of entries.

Artists, photographers, professionals, amateurs, teachers and students are eligible. National and international submissions are welcome.

A total of 3,000 USD will be presented in the form of three separate awards: 1,000 USD each for Best-in-Show Adult, Best-in-Show Student and the People’s Choice. Both Best-in-Showawards will be granted by a three-judge panel of art professionals. The People’s Choice award will be determined by visitors to the exhibits.

The exhibit is displayed during April and May each year in Sarasota's Island Park in Southwest Florida (USA).

Deadline January 9, 2018

More information can be found here

Friday, 10 March 2017

Information Overload Exhibition

Information Overload is an exhibition of work by third year Visual Communication students, produced in response to Alvin Tofflers 1970’s book Futureshock which pointed to the effects on decision making resulting from excessive quantities of content.

The work on display explores themes of data excess, fragmented decision making and graphic malfunction in the 24/7 information economy. Headline statistics such as 90% of the worlds data has been generated during the past few years and contemporary views of neuroscientists, learning researchers, marketers and creative artists, contribute to voices supporting the debate about the effects of informational multitasking. The evolving data economy has also been an influence for artists and visual communicators. Information Overload is on display in the Bessant Gallery of the School of Art and Design until 17th March. This work will also be exhibited with Artfest 2017

Collectivism Magazine

Visual Communication technician Julian Gwinnett has been working with colleagues on the design for 10th edition of Collectivism Magazine. Focussing on the arts, community and social action, this issue of Collectivism honours International Women's day and the inspiring women of Wolverhampton.
"This is an opportunity to celebrate the many female led initiatives and projects throughout the city that are positively impacting our communities and changing perceptions of Wolverhampton" said Collectivism Editor Kate Penman.

"International Women's Day publicises the unresolved, global issues affecting women directly. Wolverhampton's independent charities do fantastic work supporting women and families affected by these issues." she continued.

Collectivism is crowd funded. You can collect your free copy at the School of Art and Design, Lighthouse Wolverhampton Art Gallery and from other outlets in the city.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Little Riot Press - Post Merz Post Haste workshop

Little Riot Press
Post Merz Post Haste workshop
Phil Eastwood and Chris Dunne visited the University yesterday to run a workshop for students with an open mind, enthusiasm for experimentation, scissors and a glue stick. The work that Visual Communcation students produced will form the contents of an edition of the Little Riot Press magazine - POST MERZ POST HASTE. The theme of the Wolverhampton edition of POST MERZ POST HASTE Magazine will be POST-TRUTH

Post-truth has been designated the word of 2016 by The Oxford dictionary.
Post-truth can be defined as : ‘Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Norton Canes School Visit School of Art

Staff and students from Norton Canes School have been welcomed by the Visual Communications department.

Visitors met Maggie Ayliffe who discussed the importance of arts graduates to the UK economy and life at University.

After lunch in the University refectory visitors from Norton Canes went on to undertake workshops linked to their interests in art and design, including, a Visual Communication printmaking session, with subject leader of Visual Communication, John Clementson, Andy Roberts and Josh Grice, Fashion and Textiles with Sharon Watts and the Fashion and Textiles team and Ceramics with Paul Mcallister. Examples for Norton Canes fashion designs are shown here.

"Our students really enjoyed sampling life at University, learning about different art and design disciplines and were particularly fascinated by the technical aspects of printmaking. We've all had a great day at the School of Art and are looking forward to returning to see the Degree Show in June." said Alexina Evans, Art teacher at Norton Canes School. 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Sketchbooks Showcase and Screen-print Workshop with Dudley College Students

The Visual Communications department has welcomed Dudley College students. 

Inspired by Visual Communication student sketchbooks, visitors discussed a range of work was including narrative illustration, editorial pieces, design with typography, collage, drawing, painting and three-dimensional designs. Dudley College visitors went on to undertake a screen-printing workshop with subject leader of Visual Communication, John Clementson, Visual Communication Artist in Residence Josh Grice and expert screen printer in charge of the print rooms, Andy Roberts.

Dudley college students also enjoyed workshops in Fine Art, Photography and Fashion and Textiles.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Howarde Read & Dave Colton - The 9th MMU Postgraduate Research Conference

The 9th Manchester Metropolitan University Postgraduate Research Conference focused on the theme of Changing Lives. 

Visual Communication Senior lecturers, Dave Colton and Howard Read, contributed work to the art exhibition at the conference. 

Dave Colton's work was developed from his research into chance driven creativity and was entitled; The Luckybag of Life: Can we appropriate William Burroughs’ aleatory cut-up techniques to gain insights into our personal lives 

Howard Read's exhibit focused on his PhD research on the role of drawing in the regeneration of urban space. A previous post on Howard's research can be found here and his drawings can be seen online here.

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 on Fabriano paper 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