Saturday, 27 February 2010

my new collage

Ok so right now I am working on designing some illustrations and collages for a brief I wrote myself for the website rainy city stories. Which is a Manchester based website dedicated to writers across the city who write short stories and poems about this great place. I have chosen about five to illustrate and this is my first design for one of the stories called Narcissus. The Double Daffodil By Anne Beswick. The story is set in the 60’s I think and is a moving story about a child growing a daffodil and it blooming into a beautiful double daffodil, but it has more layers than this and I want to show the nostalgic side to the story of second class living and how it’s the things in life which are free that are wonderful. So this is a collage I made to represent the story, I think this fits to the narrative and is not too obvious of a design.

Goodnight Urbis

On the 25th February It was the closing party of Urbis, and luckily a few weeks before I was invited because of one of my previous blog posts about the final exhibition.

The invitation is a gorgeous piece of design. Using a slightly embossed grey card with a turquoise blue type in the centre. The back of the invitation was a bold contrasting black with yellow type, using Rockwell for titles and Century Gothic for the general information. Obviously a lot of thought was put into this design and it shows, I think the invitation does justice to the event as the Urbis is sadly changing into a football museum and closed this Thursday for the last time.

The event itself was high class and welcoming. The night was sponsored by Lambrini and Havana Club, due to this I received two drinks vouchers for either a Moscow Mule or a cherry sparkling Lambrini. It was situated on the bottom floor of the urbis, entering into where the café was and leading into the main entrance and foyer of Urbis. The café was the bar and foyer had two dj booths, which I think instigated as the dance floor. On the ceiling where the dance floor was, there was a projection of images of all the exhibitions being shown. The night was a success and lots of people turned out for the event. Everyone seemed to have a great time and it was a star-studded event with numerous designers and musicians there to witness the end of a brilliant 6 years of Urbis.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Walls are talking: Wallpaper, art & culture, Whitworth Art Gallery

On Monday I visited the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. I went to have a gander at the wallpaper exhibition: Walls Are Talking: Wallpaper, Art and Culture

It was just wonderful, Iv always admired wallpaper design and think this exhibition really shows the talent and expertise that it takes to design these gorgeous pieces. Some I could take or leave like the section on human anatomy of the nether-regions, but others like the comedic David Shrigley and his warehouse designs made me giggle with pleasure. Others dates back to the 1800’s, this amazed me and stunned me at how intricate the designs are for that period in time.

The one I thought was just oddly fascinating were designs from a new upcoming company called De Angelis & Garner, one which was a digitally printed design of Leigh Bowery ( a punk performance artist). This design amplified his features and make-up to make this vibrantly shocking design repeated over and over. It overshadowed other wallpapers in proximity and glared into your eyes.


You can find more information at:

The first major UK exhibition of artists' wallpapers with work by over 30 artists including Andy Warhol, Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst.  Kitsch ideas of home decoration are turned upside down as artists subvert the stereotypes of wallpaper to hit home messages about warfare, racism, cultural conflicts and gender.

The exhibition is grouped around themes: subversion, commodification, imprisonment and sexuality. In Sonia Boyce's work Clapping, a feeling of claustrophobia and menace is strengthened by the repeated design of the black and white hand print. Zineb Sedira uses wallpaper patterns to illustrate social inequalities and gender difference from her French-Algerian Islamic perspective.  
Thomas Demand, one of the foremost conceptual artists working today, covers the entire South Gallery in his Ivy wallpaper - intricate pieces of paper cut out and photographed make up a lifelike work of imprisoning beauty. In stark contrast to this are popular commercial papers that reinforce cultural and gender stereotypes; from Barbie or the Spice Girls to the use of male symbols such as beer cans, football teams or idealised female bodies.

Whether amusing, like David Shrigley's Industrial Estate, or startling, like Bashir Makhoul's Points of View, the rolls of paper in this exhibition provide an unprecedented insight into a bold and progressive contemporary art form. Wallpaper has long been thought of as a backdrop to the main event. With so many prominent designers and artists using the medium as their primary method of expression, this exhibition provides a timely exploration of the possibilities and

Holden Gallery: D&AD Exhibition

At the beginning of February the Holden Gallery put on their third show of Manchester Metropolitan’s students work. This exhibition was for my class ‘D&AD’ third year. I was really impressed with the volume and quality of work up at the exhibition, as well as admiring that my ‘Silence’ work that was being shown there were also pieces made by some of my dear friends: Heather McDonald and Arran Murphy.

My silence work was a delicate little concertina book, which consisted of 19 pages of my interpretation of silence. I was proud to showcase this as I was passionate about this project and was delighted with my outcome. It sat happily next to Heathers gorgeous silence work, which also was a book, in a charming glass case. It looked so professional and enthralled my desire to design even more, so I can hopefully get the chance again to exhibit more work.

Sandra the curator of the Holden Gallery and dear friend did a brilliant job as always and her poster designs for these showcases get better and better. She has a real knack for these events and is a brilliant art director. 

Friday, 19 February 2010


Released 1984

It is a classic tale of teen rebellion and repression and features a enchanting combination of dance choreography and realistic performances. Its about a teenager ‘Ren’ and his family moving from big-city Chicago to a small town in the West, he's isn’t accepted easily and has a big culture shock. Though he tries hard to fit in, the streetwise Ren can't quite believe he's living in a place where rock music and dancing are illegal. Dancing and music was banned 2 years before when drunken teenagers were in a crash and so the minister and the police decided to prohibit what caused the event.

Ren cannot live without his beloved music and style and begins to rebel, the town doesn’t like him for mixing up the status quo and he is an outcast. But unbeknown to him the minister’s daughter ‘Ariel’ strives to be rebellious against her strict father and wants to join him in pulling the town back into colour. And bring back the art of dance and creativity, Ren has the courage to initiate a battle to abolish the outmoded ban and revitalize the spirit of the repressed townspeople.

This film is fast paced and concentrates on the ever-changing social acceptance of all walks of people, I think it tries to pick up on problems with the old American lifestyle of the era, but subtlety and not too abruptly to offend the viewers. It is very American in the way its directed but I just love the cheesiness of it all and how happy go lucky the ending is. I think Kevin Bacon is superb in his role, as he is not the typical ‘hunk’ we see nowadays, he was skinny and had a attitude problem but instead of being a ‘asbo’ riddled bad boy he shows his frustration through dance.

Ps I am So gonna learn the ‘footloose’ dance!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Never see much of

My sister works for them, so I know about them through her, but I rarely see any adverts for them, once on tv last year with a load of doors, but that was it.

I like this ad I found in the Guardian I think it was, type shaping out a key to instigate a hotel room. Using contrasting colours and gradient shades to make the key jump out of the page.


While I was looking for interesting articles for my project I came across this article about the infamous Weegee. I found it extremely interesting, learning how this photographer was so passionate about his work he would carry a police radio with him at all times, trying to find a story. He loved to stage his images too, he asked a model and an art student to ‘make love’ at the cinema, trying to capture real life in a ‘real’ situation. I think his idea of working is superb: Especially all those years ago. He inspires me to create a situation to capture and maybe I can incorporate this into my work?!


Weegee was the alias of Arthur Fellig (June 12, 1899 – December 26, 1968), an American photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography.

Weegee worked in New Jersey as a press photographer, and he developed his signature style by following the city's emergency services and documenting their activity. Much of his work depicted unflinchingly realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death.

Weegee published photographic books and also worked in cinema, initially making his own short films and later collaborating with film directors such as Jack Donohue and Stanley Kubrick.

“His nickname was earned because of his eerie ability to appear at the scene of the crime within moments – as if he was using an Ouija board. But in fact he traveled with a police-band short wave radio.”

Ford Advert

On Saturday I bought the The Times magazine and newspaper. While I was flicking through I saw this intriguing advert or ford. I felt compelled to read the whole advert, it made me chuckle a fair bit. And it only mentioned a car once in the entirety of the ad. I love this style of design and I think it is a really witty piece coming from Ford. Has a definite target audience and really connects to the viewer I think…… nice.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Alan Fletcher Exhibition at The Cube

On the 11th February I went to the Cube Gallery, to see the Alan Fletcher Exhibition.

Graphic Designer (1931-2006)

“Synthesizing the graphic traditions of Europe and North America to develop a spirited, witty and very personal visual style, ALAN FLETCHER is among the most influential figures in British graphic design as a founder of Fletcher/Forbes/Gill in the 1960s and Pentagram in the 1970s.”


Now I don’t know a lot on Alan Fletcher but I do know that he is a amazing man and had immense talent. He can put his hand to anything and achieve greatness. He intimidates and inspires me at the same time simultaneously. Seeing all his work in this exhibition was overwhelming and there was so much variety to his style, he creates type, print, packaging, logo design, image making, letterheads, posters, books and many more. His work was influencing and playful, he kept a happy medium with his work, light hearted and visually superb.

From seeing his work, you can see that he enjoyed every minute of it, I think that’s why he is so renowned for his brilliance, all his work was different but still conveyed him, from his fun, off the wall posters to letter heads for businesses. This exhibition really does make me panic and makes me want to up my game, and tells me I shouldn’t just stick to one medium, I should engaged in all aspects in design, push myself to the limit, because seeing his work proves it can be done, if you are dedicated.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


A few days ago I went to the Urbis to see its last ever exhibition, this exhibition was showing the best of there past exhibitions in pop culture.

Some of these are  Ill Communication II,   The Peter Saville Show, 2004, Punk: Sex, Seditionaries and the Sex Pistols 2005, The China Show 2006 Hacienda 25 The Exhibition: Fac 491 2007, How Manga Took Over the World, Black Panther: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution 2008, State of the Art: New York, Videogame Nation 2009.


As iv said in one of the earlier blogs my favourite of all these exhibitions is the Black Panther and Emory Douglas as it was more than just great designing it was showing history and politics, like the Hacienda exhibition, it was showing marvelous design work for posters, cd covers etc as well as telling the story of the hacienda for people who couldn’t see it all those years ago.

Seeing all these past exhibitions makes me a little sad that it is turning into a football museum. The building is made to appreciate art and culture not football in my opinion, though I am glad I have gone before it shuts its doors on the 27th February as though it is a great loss, I am proud to say iv been.

As well as the best of the past six years they were also showing two other exhibitons : home grown – hip hop and Manchester, Television & The City: Ghosts of Winter Hill.

I would of never normally gone to a ‘hip hop’ exhibit as its not my scene but while I was all nostalgic and sad for the ending of Urbis I thought I should go for it and it was really interesting, reading about how hip hop began and how England was a big part in the development of this music scene.

As well as this, the television and the city exhibit was more of a fun experience as they had made the 3rd floor into sections all decorated with living rooms from the 60s to the present. With ancient TV’s, bold wallpapers and warn couches,  taking us through the years of television and Granada productions.


Last month I found out that the people who were involved with Hacienda all those years ago are opening a new Indie Night club called FAC251 the factory. Which to me sounds amazing and I’m sure everyone else in Manchester or ‘Madchester’ will do too, I wish I was around the first time round, hearing all these stories and remarkable bands being formed in this great city. Iv always been fascinated in the Hacienda and went to the exhibition in Urbis about 2/3 years ago. But I know that this club isn’t going to be as ground breaking as the original, and I don’t think they mean it to be, I think their trying to give up and coming talent a chance against all these reality TV shows nowadays.

I love the flyer they have created for the club, maintaining the classic bold yellow and black, using a gloss sheen so it attracts your attention more so than any other flyer. Using Gill Sans typeface to keep a simple structure and not overcrowding the flyer with useless images, keeping us intrigued with a black back cover with simply the logo on. I think this is superb piece of design and I cannot wait to see the inside….

Here is a interview with Peter Hook from NME website:

Interview from

Peter Hook to help struggling bands with his new club FAC 251, opens 5th February.

Former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook has revealed that he is going to "help struggling bands" with his new club, FAC251Housed at the site of the former Factory Records offices in Manchester, Hook explained that "we're putting our money where our mouth is" to help the next generation of bands.

"When I was starting out I had so many problems getting gigs and it's the same today," Peter Hook told NME.COM. "I speak to a lot of bands from Manchester who say they struggle, as a lot of venues wont let them play unless they sell 50 tickets. They're getting very disenchanted with it all, and that's sad."

He added: "I've always found Manchester to be a very fair place and always wanting to strive and move forward and we're gonna be part of that, and we're putting our money where our mouth is."

Set to open on February 5, Hook also revealed that he is hoping that former Smiths' bassist Andy Rourke will be joining him, former Stone Roses and Primal Scream bassist Mani and vocalist Gary Briggs, to play as Freebass on the opening night.

 As well as showcasing new music, FAC251 will also be "pulling in a lot of favours" to attract established names to the 450-capacity venue, with some big announcements due to be made next week.

Having already confirmed DJ sets by the likes of Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder, The Charlatans' Tim Burgess, Little Boots, Mani and Hook himself, the hard work isn't over, with building work yet to be completed at the venue.

 "Being an independent club owner is tough, at the end of the day you're gonna stand and fall by how well you run it," Hook explained. "I'm hoping the experience I've had in the 16 years we ran The Haçienda will help and that [club director] Aaron Mellor with his business expertise will be the missing piece of the puzzle."

 For more information, visit

self promotion ideas and researching logos

self promotion

Im thinking for my final project at university I would base it on self promotion of...well... myself …..

So I thought of how to do this and researched what I can do to really put myself out there. I want to produce more than just a business card, so iv been brain storming 

and Iv come up with: individual business cards, website, packaging, calendars, flash advert, postcards, badges, posters and collages of my work. Maybe even tacky ideas like paper chains and gift ideas.

But besides these I need a logo that fits to my personality and conveys my style of design subtly and interestingly. So I have been looking through my logo designs books: LOGO by Michael Evamy and Logo Design volume 2 by Ed. Julius Wiedemann, so I can see what different styles work best. There are many different styles of logo design, which I was unfamiliar with as I was taught 

to keep them very simple and not too illustrated but these books have enlightened me to a wide variety of brilliant designs.

These books have informed me about a vast amount of things I can include in a logo, such as:Just type, handwritten, joined up, intertwined characters, incomplete characters, cropped, reversals and rotations, symmetry, stacked, 3D, illustrative, decorated, in squares, triangles, circles etc…, using crosses and arrows, speech marks, lights, flames, globes etc…

I have included some images from these books

 that I think work exceptionally but are so diverse to the common logo. Some are very commercial and business like while others play with the words and entertain the viewer.