Digesting Design

Design (just about) Digested




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.




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.




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.



Wieden+Kennedy London Work Crit

Posted in Everything Else, Talks/Lectures by Paul on September 5, 2009

I’ve been attempting to arrange a bit of time to go in and see someone at W+K London for a while now and so on Thursday I got to spend the morning talking to London’s head of design, Guy Featherstone. Many thanks to Guy for taking the time out to see me. We talked about what I’m about and about my year out, the design and advertising industry in general as well as the future of digital design. We went through my portfolio and Guy gave me some great advice for the future and how to improve my book and I’ll be staying in touch with Guy in the future.



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Pecha Kucha Tokyo #64

Posted in Talks/Lectures by Paul on August 1, 2009


Pecha Kucha is Japanese for ‘chit-chat‘ and is the idea of Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture, based here in Tokyo. Presenters are allowed to use 20 slides, which are shown on screen for 20 seconds each. It equals a 6 minute, 40 second presentation. If you’ve ever sat through a boring presentation with the presenter rambling on and on and on or reading to you exactly what is already on the screen, then Pecha Kucha is something to check out. It started back in 2003 in Tokyo and since then has spread to 219 cities worldwide and has become the biggest offline social network.

There are no events coming up in London, and as I’m in Tokyo where it all started, what better place to present, and what better subject to present about, my year out. Next thing I know, images are submitted to KDA and I’m sitting at the front of Super Deluxe where the event was held ready to go up and present. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous, with about 500+ people I would say, all waiting to hear each speaker’s presentation.

My presentation went very smoothly, and with a few guys from W+K attending, apparently I sounded calm and collect, so bring on the 1000+ audience presentation. From BRAG to Not Actual Size to Pentagram to eBoy to the Delivery of Typography to THIS IS Studio to Wieden+Kennedy to breakfast with John Maeda, I picked out the best 20 things that have happened so far on my year out. 20 seconds per image was plenty of time, but at the same time, just not enough, exactly what Pecha Kucha is all about. The evening was fantastic with a variety of speakers, from illustrators, architects, fashion designers and even to a tooth pick artist! I was also given the Pecha Kucha book to add to my hoard I’m bringing back from Tokyo. For all the night’s speakers and their links, check out the Tokyo #64 event page here. If you haven’t already been to a Pecha Kucha event, make sure you go to the next one in your city, and better yet, present!

As there are no upcoming events in London, I spoke to Mark about this as it’s something I would really love to help set back up. There have been Pecha Kucha’s in London in the past, but it seems as if people in the capital just want to make money off the event, rather than sticking to its true origins, something which I completely hate.

So a meeting and a presentation later with Mark at the KDA studio on friday as well an explanation of where Pecha Kucha is heading for the future, I will be staying in contact with him and KDA and will be contacting the rest of the London team when I get back to get things rolling again so watch this space. I’m very very excited to be involved now. You can see the rest of the photos I took of the night here.




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Creative Show+Tell #2

Posted in Everything Else, Talks/Lectures by Paul on May 15, 2009

Classic_Roam_Clock_Face_by_a_lemonheadLast night also saw after the ECCA lecture, the second installment of Creative Show+Tell. I think a change of location is in order as the BFI seems to be the worst place when you’re wanting to discuss creativity as it’s such a busy atmosphere in the evenings so this will be the case from next month. And with about 7 of us turning up this time, the seed is growing slowly. We had some chats about degree projects, deadlines and other bits and pieces. I won’t actually be here for the next two meetings because of Tokyo, but I will leave things in the capable hands of Amy and see you all again in August (Sayonara). The Facebook group can be found here.

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ECCA ‘Freelancing’ Talk

Posted in Talks/Lectures by Paul on May 15, 2009


Last night I attended another talk hosted by ECCA, ‘Working as a freelance graphic designer or illustrator‘. I am currently working on a freelance project which will be posted up soon, but the opportunities of freelancing seem to be always there. It is something I would consider doing once I graduate but I think it would probably be alongside a studio role as well. Anyway, there were three speakers at the lecture; Astrid Chesney, a freelance illustrator, Fig Taylor, a Consultant from the Association of Illustrators and Leah Harrison Bailey, one of the partners from Happily Ever After.

Astrid talked through her jounery as a freelance illustrator from the RCA onwards with some nice examples of characters and book covers and explained that deadlines can be as tight as a few hours (one she did for the Guardian) when it comes to editorial commissions. Fig from the AOI has some great advice on portfolio reviews and techniques (she sees a lot of them!) including making in situ photographs looking as realistic as possible as well as practical advice on work choices and focusing on your strengths. She had a quote that will stick with me, “Take out work that you make excuses for (from your portfolio)’ And finally, Leah also explained her journey from a desk under a bed to her soon to be new studio in north London and the pros and cons of working in a partnership – most were pros however though! She also showed lots of great design examples including the ongoing identity and catalogues Happily Ever After create for the RCA graduate shows.

Some interesting advice on freelancing from the speakers and some great projects on show throughout as well.






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