Digesting Design

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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Phil Baines & Catherine Dixon Lecture at LCC

Posted in Talks/Lectures by Paul on March 11, 2009


As part of the ‘Changing Face of Letterpress‘ schedule of events in the past week, I went to the ‘Letterpress Beginnings‘ lecture last night at LCC with speakers Phil Baines and Catherine Dixon. The two designers are the creme de la creme when it comes to typography and letterpress and both currently teach at Cental Saint Martins, where they both were educated as well.

The lecture comprised of how their early works and visual styles took shape through typography and specifically letterpress and how their styles and work have evolved over the years. Phil’s ‘Thesis‘ were an epic series of images with some of the best type setting I have seen, with an incredible amount of detail and care put into them. Catherine’s work seemed more experimental and I especially loved her ‘type documentation‘ pieces of work. It was great to listen to a pair of experienced designers on their journeys to get to where they are now. Of course some amazing work examples were on display throughout the lecture as well. I also got a few ideas on how to photograph my projects from their presentation as well.

Beck’s Canvas/RCA Collaboration

Posted in Competitions by Paul on July 26, 2008

After being contacted by James Fell from Online Fire, a creative online PR agency, he has asked me to blog about the recent art competition launched by Beck’s, ‘Beck’s Canvas‘. This in turn, is part of a whole campaign of art & music by Beck’s including the live studio creation I did for YCN.

The basic rundown is that students from the RCA (Royal College of Art) were asked to design the new beer label for Beck’s which will be judged by a panel from the RCA and the winning design will be put on 27 million bottles nationwide from August. The labels will first be seen at an exclusive exhibition at the RCA.

The 4 finalists are Ritta Ikonen, Tom Price, Simon Cunningham and Charlotte Bracegirdle. Previous artists who have worked on the Beck’s’ beer label include Tracey Emin and Tim Noble.

Full details about the Beck’s Canvas competition and the 4 finalists can be found on the Beck’s website here.

Simon Cunningham (with Becks Canvas Bottle) London 2008

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