Paul Smith

I love this Paul Smith Accessories brochure! The simple linear illustrations work effectively in their portrayal of the accessories, the quality and weight also reflects the high end market Paul Smith designs for. I plan on taking this brochure as inspiration and produce something which will be appropriate for the illustrations (which I will post soon!!) in my current project.

Journal Done!

Today was the deadline for our reflective journals. I happily finished mine yesterday so surprisingly didn't have a mad rush this morning to get it finished! I kept it very simple so the main focus was on the writing, I then had it thermal bound which gave it a professional finish. Another thing ticked off the list, now for the final slog, two and a half weeks left...best get cracking!


Russell Hancock- Graphic Design and the dotted line...

Russell Hancock came to talk to us about his experiences of being a freelance graphic designer after he graduated in 2006. Leaving university, Russell set up 'SOUP' which was a collaborative group who registered as self-employed. Having very little money the group worked for free to try and get established, however as Russel put it, they got 'shafted' as their first illustration he created got totally manipulated by 'Swell Music.' There were no terms and conditions in place and as the work was done for free they just had to let this one go.

The main point of the lecture was for Russell to give us some pointers in what to do and look out for within the industry:

  • Get money and signatures upfront

  • Getting people to pay for design isn't always easy

  • Be sure but be aware of your opinions

  • Assess free work carefully

  • Act professional and be treated professional

  • Ask your mum, i.e think about your design audience

  • Remember people and be remembered

  • Sometimes clients are bad

  • You need good interwebz

  • Become organised

  • Get out and socialise
All of these points are such important things to consider and Russell gave us prime examples to back these up which made us completely more aware that it happens. We also learnt how to 'price' ourselves in terms if freelance rates, Russell very kindly provided us with a set of documents including terms and conditions, fee proposal's, invoices and a cover letter which we can utilise if the opportunity ever occurs.

As well as talking to us about the above, we learnt of Russell's development within the freelance world. Most interesting was the take over of the art noveau 'Regal' cinema in his home town of Evesham. We were told of the rundown cinema owned by someone who wanted to let it rot in order to build flats on the land, Russell created a series of images which were to be used as simple decoration on the outside of the building. The work was declined, and Russell took the campaign  further by creating a very unique petition. To cut a long story short, he managed to raise enough signatures, the cinema has now been taken over and Russell is being involved in the entire refurbishment and re-branding of the cinema. Such a brilliant opportunity has come of this initially small, low budget campaign and it just goes to show if you want something really badly you will achieve it with hard work and determination.

A really fantastic lecture- similar to the 12in12 talk given by Craig Oldham there were many useful points to consider when we finally graduate in July. I felt reassured to learn that everyone faces difficulties and feel it is important for us to be shown the 'harsh realities' of the design industry. I relish at the idea of having my own company, so I found it a very insightful lecture and one which I am keen to take inspiration from for setting up on my own, finger's crossed that one day I will be able to make a successful career like Russell has done.

Some images from is campaign:

Portfolio Review: Craig Oldham

My first portfolio review was on Thursday at design agency Music over in the NQ. Before the meeting with Craig Oldham I was really anxious and constantly questioning my own practice and whether my portfolio was right, but I suppose there was to be no right answer. Previous to the meeting we were asked to email Craig, approaching him to give us the opportunity to have a review with him. Even though the sessions were guaranteed the way in which we approached was to be included in part of our feedback, in my email I talked about being familiarised with the work done at Music mentioning a particular piece. I felt that it was important to show I knew who I was approaching and their place within the industry. Craig metioned it was important to be personal on the email, including the actual name of the recipitant rather than just sir/madam. I had also made the right decision in attaching my C.V and few images of my work. Receiving positive feedback on my approach put me at ease and the rest of the review was an enjoyable and inspiring experience.

There were four of us in the review, each showing a totally different portfolio's and own methods of working which illustrated the establishment of our own developing practices. It was an insightful experience hearing how others presented their work and Craig's responses and feedback especially because throughout the year we have rarely seen the work of others on the course.

I had recently purchased a new portfolio, I had to because it had purple suede lining and I was excited to be able to show it off! I had kept the pages of my book quite simplistic and the images quite large although I feel it might need refining before we have to display it at the degree show. When it came to talking through my work, there were certain points when I just wasn't able to communicate what I actually wanted to say about the pieces, in particular my response to the brief, '100.' I had no specific reason why I chose to hand cut 100 ways to say hello on 100 postcards, other than because I wanted to. Immediately Craig told me if I didn't like a project and couldn't discuss my reasons behind it, then it simply shouldn't be in my portfolio, a very valuable piece of advice which I will take with me when assembling my portfolio to take to interviews. All in all, the feedback I received was positive and Craig pointed out my portfolio was illustratively strong with evidence of my training in design. It was pleasing to hear someone in industry hi light the areas of my work he felt were strong and the process in which I worked, providing me with some confidence to continue working in a way I choose and to stop doubting my own practice so much.

Sometimes it can be hard when your on a design course being up against some very talented graphic designers who work predominately with digital media, especially when your like me, and all about the hand-made and hand rendered techniques. I was really pleased I attended the session, I had many reservations surrounding the work I have produced up to now, but talking to Craig has reassured me that just because I do not have a graphically strong portfolio, it is still strong in other area's which will hopefully allow me to withstand a position within the industry.
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