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.



Graphic Design in Japan 2009 Exhibition

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on July 14, 2009




Graphic Design in Japan is a yearbook that was first published in 1981 by the Japan Graphic Design Association. Ever since, the annual publication introduces a selection of work each year spanning from accessories, books, packaging, logos, posters, advertisements, websites, videos, spatial design and everything else in-between. This years exhibition was being held at the Midtown Design Hub in Roppongi, about five minutes away from W+K’s office so I popped over to take a look at lunch today and I’ve been looking forward to going to this exhibition since I arrived in Japan. I was definitely not disappointed.

Luckily, there was no assistant when I went today so I managed to photograph everything that caught my eye and it pretty much was nearly all of the exhibition. There were posters hanging from end to end of the room and books and other 3D design positioned just on one wall making it a really great exhibition to soak up.

The exhibition was a really interesting insight for myself as foreign designer in Japan, as I could see variations of styles, illustration and typography from the fast moving country that is Japan. All works were from a variety of backgrounds, from previous exhibitions to personal projects. The standard of work was extremely high and just like everything else seems to be in Tokyo, very professional, on the ball, cutting edge and challenging the norm. This is definitely one of the top exhibitions I have visited whilst here in Tokyo.



The pictures I’ve included here are my favourite bits and pieces that caught my eye, but be sure to check out the rest of the exhibition on my Flickr page starting from here. The exhibition’s online link can be found here.



Ghibli Museum

Posted in Everything Else by Paul on June 27, 2009



If you think about films like ‘Spirited Away‘ and where they have come from, well Studio Ghibli is the answer. In an area called Mitaka, again in north west Tokyo just before I visited Nakano, is the Ghibli Museum and what can only be described as ‘magical‘. With obtaining tickets like trying to get into the Kremlin, the Ghibli Museum is the public’s chance to get to see what Studio Ghibli do and how they work creating such epic animations like Spirited Away, Prince Mononoke and Yadosagashi (the second animation in the video) and one which has now become my favourite. It can be seen here.

The museum itself felt like stepping into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory but for Ghibli, with three floors and sky walkways and an exciting atmosphere so apparent in everyone’s faces. On the first floor there was a wonderful series of studio rooms, with original drawings, photograph folios, ink colours, old film strips, boxes of used pencils, celluloid drawings, and quirky items for the people to see. This was followed by a trip right to the top of the museum to visit the Ghibli guardian robot which was the best photograph opportunity as unfortunately you weren’t allowed to take photos inside, I did manage to get a few sneaky snaps however.

I headed upstairs to the ‘Ponyo on the Cliff‘ area of the museum where there was lots of interactive flip books, film clips being shown, models, and probably the best bit of it, a glass case, well I say case, I mean more of a cargo hold’s worth of all the drawings and storyboards stacked on top of each other that made the animation. The space was probably about 12′ x 5′ x 4′ high! I then took a look at the Wallace & Gromit section. I’m not sure whether Ghibli had involvement with the hit animation, or whether it was taking a look at the future of animation, but again there was some great things on display.

I then went onto to take a look at the museum shop and separate book shop, which, as you can imagine was packed with people lapping up Ghibli memoribilia. I bought a Yadosagashi short book. There is a great cat bus play area for kids which I wish could take adults on it as well as it looked so much fun and then finally onto the screening of Yadosagashi down in the Saturn Theatre. Just a wonderful and simple animation that has everything you’d want in it. A quick walk around the outside sections of the museum and it was time to leave. If you are ever visiting Tokyo this is a 100% must to see! I have also contacted Studio Ghibli to see if I can take a look around the actual studio, but that may be harder than getting into the White House; we will have to see.

You can see some more photographs of the Ghibli Museum and what else I’ve been spotting in Tokyo on my Flickr page here.





Osamu Tezuka ‘Message for the Future’ Exhibition

Posted in Exhibitions by Paul on June 22, 2009



Osamu Tezuka was the pioneer of Japanese story manga and the founder of TV animation leaving behind a huge legacy of 700 manga and 70 animation works. He not only influenced people of his generation, but also contemporary culture, the arts and sciences. On Saturday, I went to visit his 80th anniversary exhibition, ‘Message for the Future‘ at the Edo Museum. There’s only really one word that could of described it, wonderful. Saturday was the last day of the exhibition and there were crowds of people inside and waiting to get in the exhibition, from small children to very old people, all touched, myself included, by the master that is Tezuka. He was well known for the creation of ‘Astroboy‘, pictured above, but also for other works such as Jungle Emperor, which is actually an uncredited influence for the modern day Lion King and Black Jack, an illegal operating surgeon.

On display were lots celluloid pieces of work, original sketchbooks and story boards, work from his school and college days, as well as 3D props, robots and his actual drawing desk, chair and glasses. Everything created by Tezuka, is a work of art and was just amazing. He was influenced and was a major admirer of Disney, but his own ideas and bringing his characters to life made Tezuka’s work extra special. Astroboy is also being developed into a movie to be released in 2010 so Tezuka’s legacy lives on. This was definitely one of the best exhibitions I have been to for a while.


Ctrl.Alt.Shift Film Shorts National Premiere

Posted in Everything Else, Exhibitions by Paul on May 16, 2009

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On Thursday evening I attended the Ctrl.Alt.Shift short films national premiere held at Shoreditch Studios. The evening marked the culmination of a national competition launched by Ctrl.Alt.Shift back in 2008. The competition invited aspiring filmmakers aged between 18 and 25 to write a treatment based around one of three key issues: ‘War + Peace‘, ‘Gender + Power‘ and ‘HIV + Stigma‘.

The five winners were given the opportunity to bring their treatment to life on the big screen and in addition to being provided with a budget and cast, the prize included mentoring by some of the UK’s best directors such as Aoife McArdle, Chris Harding from Shynola, Kinga Burza, Paul Andrew Williams and Jim Threapleton. The five winners showing their films at the event were Tim Travers Hawkins, Joe Patrick and Tim Woodall, Fern Berresford, Ben Newman, Alex Monro and Sheila Menon. And the results of these collaborations were some brilliant, creative and engaging shorts; ’A Thousand Voices’, ‘HIV: The Musical’, ‘Man Made’, ‘No Way Through’ and ‘War School’. Some of the cast in the films included Julian Barratt (Mighty Boosh) and Martin Freeman (The Office), and also specially recorded soundtracks in the shorts by Young Knives, Chipmunk, Shy Child, Metronomy and Jesca Hoop.

I have to say my favourite of the five was the first one shown, ‘War School‘. It role reversed (like a few of the other films also did) a school here in England to one where child soldiers are trained to fight in wars. Some very powerful imagery and camera shots made this by far the best short in my opinion. Children training with machine guns in their PE lesson, military chanting of “we are the future” and a single school boy who pays the ultimate price for being made an example of, his life. A creative and thought provoking evening overall and their were some amazing posters designed to go alongside the five shorts which I am now frantically trying to find out who designed them. Check out Ctrl.Alt.Shift’s blog below which should have the evening posted on it soon as well as their (great designed) website. I knew a little bit about Ctrl.Alt.Shift before but I will now be keeping a closer eye on things with them.