Digesting Design

Design (just about) Digested

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I began my year out away from my graphic design degree at LCC way back in June last year and it has been one of hell year in all honestly. I’ve learnt so much not only about what I want to do, but also about myself as a designer, met some amazing people along the way and been involved in some fantastic internships, freelance work, exhibitions, projects and everything else in-between. The highlights have included:

BRAG/Firehouse weekend in Brighton, YCN/Becks Fusion Live Studio, Print Club, ongoing involvement with UK Street Art, YCN Live: 250 Shoeboxes, 1 Superstar, Blyk/YCN Workshop, NOISE Festival 2008 short-listing, Not Actual Size, the BBC ‘Big Mic’ in Berlin, eBoy, A Delivery of Typography, Deutsche Kinemathek Alfred Hitchcock exhibition, Pentagram Berlin, ContainerPLUS, Cunning, THIS IS Studio, D&AD Student Awards, G20 music video, Type Tarts, Tunnel 228, the Ghibli Museum, breakfast with John Maeda, Trashed, Pecha Kucha Tokyo, Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo, Banksy vs. Bristol Museum exhibition, Don’t Panic, Little Music Break to Paris, Wieden+Kennedy London, London Design Festival, Adobe Creative Bursary nomination and ideAporting.

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A massive thanks goes out to all the people this year who have helped me, discussed projects, taught me and lots more. Ron and Chuck from Firehouse along with Jamie, Rhys and everyone else at BRAG. Nick, Sarah and the rest of the YCN team. Fred from Print Club. The UK Street Art team, Mark and Tom. Dan, Simon and Stephen from Not Actual Size. Svend of eBoy. Anja and Barbara from the Buchstaben Museum. Justus, Uta, Josephine, Christiane and Nikola from Pentagram Berlin. Luise of ContainerPLUS. Aidan, Becca, Spencer, Olly and everyone else from Cunning. Barney, Dougal and Richard from THIS IS Studio. Vicky, Danielle, Richard and the rest of the KK Outlet team. John Maeda. Alan, Simone and Mark from Trashed. Mark and Tomoko from KleinDytham. Eric and the rest of the W+K Tokyo team. Joe from Don’t Panic. Sarah, Sandrine and Camille from We Are Social, Guy from W+K London and everyone else who I have met along the way.

I came into this year thinking I wanted to be an ideas person in either an agency or studio and I’ve come away knowing that I want to be and ideas based designer. My typography skills have improved greatly as well my computer software skills. I’ve developed a much greater appreciation for the finer details of design and I know that I will always work on projects that excite me. I’m now collaborating more and more with interesting people and believe it’s the only way to produce the best work. People know something you don’t and you know something they don’t. I’ve learnt and developed greatly this year and have had so much fun doing it. I start back at LCC today and I will take what I have learnt this year and use it to get the most out of my final year, as a graduate and beyond.

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For the immediate and long term future, I am currently working on ideAporting, which you can sign up for here, working on my dissertation which is based on the theme of Digital vs. Print and carrying on with my final year self-initiated project (watch this space). During my final year, I am hoping to continue the experiences I have had whilst interning, by working at a studio for 1 day a week, so I’m currently designing some self promotion and sourcing studios for that. I am also involved with a newspaper publication about student and graduate experiences with written and visual contributions that is soon to be produced. The project is being run by fellow designers Alex and Charlie. I am continuing to work with Pecha Kucha here in London, Trashed, UK Street Art, Don’t Panic and finishing up projects with Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo. I’ve also recently completed the identity for web based activists Turnfront which can be seen here and then finally, I have more self-initiated projects in the pipeline, both online and offline.

I now have a Twitter account so you can follow me at http://twitter.com/pauljenk and www.theshavedhead.com is soon to re-launch with a new design and new projects so watch this space. You can also continue to follow me on Flickr as well here. It’s been a pleasure to keep everyone updated about the last 16 months or so and thanks to everyone who has commented and emailed me. I’ve had 125 posts on the blog, documenting every creative thing I have done and over 20,000+ blog hits. I’m currently designing an outcome to summarise this year out so check my website for that soon. If you want to get in touch, drop me a line at paul@theshavedhead.com or on +44(0)792 166 7913. Finally, I will starting up a new personal blog soon so keep your eyes peeled for that.

That’s all, cheers.

Paul

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Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo Review

Posted in Internships by Paul on August 3, 2009

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I’ve now finished with Wieden+Kennedy and just about Tokyo as well, I head back to London on tuesday. I’m very very sad to be leaving the team, as I’ve had such a fantastic time, working really hard and learning lots from working closely with the creative director, Eric. The book I have been working on since I started, is now just about ready for printing with a final approval and paper choices to be made now. The web work is completed, and I will be finishing off the mobile project and T-shirt back in London which is great newsEric has taught me a lot about refining work to make it look the best it can be, as well thinking conceptually throughout the design process. He has been there and done that, so it’s been a interesting learning experience by a great mentor.

The W+K Tokyo team are a fantastic bunch of people to work with, all from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines which makes up the Tokyo melting pot, full of energy, creativity and a hybrid mix. So a massive thanks goes out to Eric of course, and everyone else; Sumiko, Jose, Kumiko, Naoki, Shingo, Hiromi, Akio, Phil, Andrew, Kenji, Yoshi, Shun, Yuko, Yumiko, Trish, John, Yohei, Tomoko, Mae, Kuki, Yuko, Shig, Keiko, Shane, Genki, Takeshi, Mark, Dai, Jorta, Shuhei, Michiyo, Yoko, Ayumi, Kanako, Nagisa, Chucky, Emily, Mag, Shinji and the other interns Andrea, Erika and Bobby for making my time at W+K so enjoyable. Apologies for everyone else, I’m good with names, but not that good.

July itself started off very quickly as I helped out on an all nighter which was a good experience to go through, even though I wasn’t of much help, I did a few bits here and there. This was then followed by the CLASKA Flea Market which I posted about at the beginning of the month. July kept up it’s pace, with the last two weeks, being long work hours, but worth it. Other highlights of the month have included when GRAPH came in. GRAPH are a design and printing company who specialise in high end printing techniques and production and brought in some amazing examples of work they have designed, as well as printing methods examples. Everything from heat sensitive paper for hair styling products to a book embedded into a cardboard holder. GRAPH gave W+K as well as myself some inspiration for further projects and showed just how far you can push printing and finishing techniques.

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Then on the thursday just gone, we had the W+K Tokyo Summer Party. The Tokyo based radio station, OUTTANET Radio broadcast live from the 4th floor as everyone hit the roof for beers and an amazing Japanese style BBQ; 8 beers later I headed back down to my desk to finish up some work! Check out the blog posts about the BBQ here and OUTTANET here.

So I’ve learnt loads being with W+K, and soaked up the culture of Tokyo as much as I could of since being here at the beginning of May. I will definitely be coming back in the near future and I wish everyone in the team the very best until I see them all again. Eric also gave me the W+K LAB Tokyo Ten and New Tokyo Life Style Think Zone books as a thank you and I left everyone a box of Yorkshire Tea and a book on how to be British (most of the time no one could understand what I was saying). You can see all of the photos I have taken since being in Tokyo on my Flickr page here.

www.wktokyo.jp

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www.wktokyo.jp/blog

http://blog.outtanet.com

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Wieden+Kennedy 1 Month Review

Posted in Internships by Paul on June 30, 2009

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This evening marks the end of my first month in Tokyo and with Wieden+Kennedy and as you already know the drill, yes it has flown by even quicker than everything else that has happened over the past year. But what a month June has been for me; I’ve settled down in Tokyo and I’m soaking everything up as it’s an amazing city and a complete culture change for me. In terms of W+K, I’ve felt like part of the team from day one and I’m learning lots working alongside Eric. It’s an amazing company to be part of, so I am relishing every moment I have here.

As per my previous post about W+K, the book I was working on is coming along nicely and is just about in it’s final stages and just like I did at Pentagram, by working on a book, it’s a great project to work on by keeping refining and carrying on with designing for a professional context. The web work and mobile phone designs are also nearing the end and I’ve just started on some t-shirt designs and I can’t wait for the new challenges that lie ahead for me in July.

W+K regularly have speakers in and there’s also lots that they are involved with inside and outside the studio walls. Eric presented to some other students from Asia so I sat in on that a few weeks back and it was great to hear about his story and just made me buzz even more off W+K. You can see the presentation on W+K’s blog here. Team ANSWR also popped to the studio a few weeks back to present some work to us and to let us know what they are up to. It was great to see another company based in Tokyo and what they are up to, and it’s amazing just how far ahead their thinking along with W+K’s is ahead of everyone elses. Click here to read about ANSWR’s visit. I managed to get some nice freebies and  a show reel from ANSWR. Then last Tuesday, me and Andrea popped by to one of W+K LAB’s video shoots about an hour away from Roppongi and it was interesting to see all the behind the scenes stuff. The LAB guys working on the video and all the design work to go along with it, have just a few weeks to get it all finalized so I can’t wait to see what the final outcome is. We convienently arrived at the time where the dancing girls scene was happening, and specifically the champagne spraying scene. There was only 3 of 4 ‘sprayers’ available so in hard times, I had to stand up for the cause. You can see a set of photos we took on my Flickr page here.

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Then, last Friday, and this will definitely be one of the highlights of my year out. W+K invited John Maeda to breakfast (he cooked breakfast before for our director, John Jay, so obviously we had to repay the favour when we heard he was speaking at a sold out lecture in Tokyo). If you don’t already know John Maeda, he is the current President of the Rhode Island School of Design, graphic designer, author and all around good guy and legend, being voted one of the most 21 important people of the 21st century. He was only in the studio for about an hour, but with a full spread of breakfast laid out by team ‘Wieden+Dining‘, it was a fantastic morning. He had some great stories to tell about being president and was a very down to earth guy. I did comment on one thing, but I got a bit star struck and not too sure whether he knew what I was talking about, but a fascinating hour. The team over in Portland were also watching via video link including John Jay. Check out the breakfast with John Maeda here. Finally, yesterday I got to take a look at W+K’s global book, which isn’t for a sale so a rare opportunity to check it out. And what a book it was, telling the W+K story from day one right up until the current day, including information about all the worldwide offices and teams, brilliant stuff! It can be seen on the W+K global blog here.

I’ve got lots more planned whilst in Tokyo so watch this space.

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First week at Wieden+Kennedy

Posted in Internships by Paul on June 5, 2009

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I’ve had internships so far with Print Club, Not Actual Size, Pentagram Berlin, Cunning and THIS IS Studio on my year out and now I am in Tokyo on my 6th internship at the creative and prolific agency Wieden+Kennedy. Now living in Tokyo along with being in Berlin previously have been and will be great learning curves looking back on London during my year out, which in a few weeks time, last year, was when it all began.

So I arrived in Tokyo last Thursday and the first week at W+K has flown by; Tokyo is really growing on me. The studio is located in Roppongi, generally known for being the sleaze area which come night is the case, but during the day it’s a great location to be working in. The studio itself is a behemoth of a five floored building and I am working in Eric Cruz’s (the creative director, who I set the placement up with) team on the first floor alongside all the other art directors. The rest of the designers are down in the basement which is a great space also. I am also working alongside Andrea, the other intern from Switzerland, so it’s nice being able to share my thoughts on projects and ideas with her as well.

This week I’ve been put straight into action which is great and what I hoped for, working on a cover and contents page for a book and mobile phone skin designs for W+K LAB (the music label run alongside the agency projects); something that I have never done before so it’s good to be learning about that at the same time. Today we had a massive new identity brief. The whole agency attended and I listened via a translator which was a new experience for me as well. I finished off the week with a quick design for a postcard for another client, presented already later in the evening. Like this, everything at W+K and Tokyo in general seems to go a million miles at once. I’ve got lots on for next week already.

I’ll have some more stories from Tokyo soon and of course the monthly reviews of W+K so watch this space. An ongoing set of photographs I’m taking including more shots of the W+K studio can be found on my Flickr page here, so enjoy. Finally, a blog entry about me and the rest of the new faces at W+K Tokyo can be found on their blog here.

www.wktokyo.jp

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www.wktokyo.jp/blog

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Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo Internship

Posted in Internships by Paul on April 7, 2009

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I’ve been keeping this quiet for a while now and this is the next stop on my year out journey (see THIS IS Studio review post); as I’ve been wanting to sort a few details out, but yes from June onwards I will be interning at Wieden+Kennedy in Tokyo for 2 months! W+K and Tokyo will be another great experience for myself and I can’t wait to get started with the design team over there and a massive thanks goes out to their Creative Director Eric for setting this up. I literally cannot wait! Flights are being booked in the next few days for the end of May, a guide book is on its way in the post as we speak and lots of other exciting things to plan. The Tokyo office runs a music label, ‘W+K TokyoLab‘ as well which I will be helping with designs on along with client work. Check out all of Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo’s links below and as soon as I arrive in Japan, I’ll be photographing and blogging lots so keep an eye out for this

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www.wktokyo.jp/blog

www.wktokyolab.com

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