Thursday, 14 May 2015

Graphic designers dissect robotic robins in visiting lecture

Our Graphic Design students were visited by artist and researcher Lee Nutbean as part of their interactive project – Teach Me, Learn Me, Promote Me.

Lee is an interactive artist working at the interdisciplinary intersections of art and participation, across academia, research and the creative industries.

He is currently completing a PhD to explore the potential of smart networked technologies – topically described as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) – to map and evaluate the movement and relationships of people and resources across geographically distributed communities.

“This workshop with Lee will hopefully open our students minds to the interactive world and how technology can be used in design,” said Andy Way, BA (Hons) Graphic Design lecturer.

Lee had an artist residency at Plymouth artspace KARST last year and also took part in Tate’s Hackathon – where he worked through the night in the famous Turbine Hall to make a piece of digital art using data.

His current project entitled “Zeeeeup: A fist full of dollars” is a wireless flock of electronic birds that contain a variety of bespoke sonic and sensing communication technologies. The word Zeeeeup is a descriptive term for a robins call - and references the projects low cost, hacked manufacture approach.

“I found it exciting looking at how design is used. Lee’s work is not paper based, its not digital, its this whole other level," said Allie Couch, Year Two Graphic Design student.

Lee explained, “The robins playfully respond in both chorus and light to public interaction.
“Perched on traffic lights, garden fences, within urban trees and parks, these small electronic interventions interact through the mundane to reveal a hybrid layer of ambient intelligence. That waits patiently for public engagement.”

The visit involved a one hour talk from Lee about his work ethos and current projects followed by a workshop, with students making the interactive robins which they could place around the college or keep for themselves.

“I found it exciting looking at how design is used. Lee’s work is not paper based, its not digital, its this whole other level.

“It’s physical and interactive, it speaks to you. And its not stereotypical of usual graphic design,” explained Allie Couch, student on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design programme.

The level of interactions with the robotic birds vary, from curiosity to physically interaction, with Lee describing how one of them was attacked by a magpie!

“The robins are a cool way of using technology that is low-tech to make interactive objects,” says Lee.

Jamie Wynn, BA (Hons) Graphic Design student said: “It’s good to have an external source viewpoint as they interact with the industry and are often collaborating with really interesting artists, which is always cool to hear about.”

The day resulted in the students placing their robins in the trees outside of the college as a flock, with the hope that they will start chirping away to passers-by.

“The interactive flock works well in its location at Plymouth College of Art and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the graphic design students today," said Lee.

“They were attentive and fully engaged in the workshop with questions, collaboration and enthusiasm.

"It was an absolute pleasure, and I would gladly return at any opportunity in the future.”

Dalton Maag holds workshop on the science of typeface design

Plymouth college of Art Graphic Design students were treated to a two day workshop with font studio, Dalton Maag.

The font makers are known for their work with handmade cosmetics company Lush, as well as working with international companies such as Intel, Red Peak and Burberry.

With more than 35 students attending the workshop, Damien Collot and Eleni Beveratou from Dalton Maag discussed custom fonts, font modifications and logo refinements.

They let the students in on the font creation process, “we draw, discuss, design, check, engineer and hint” and tasked them with configuring their own font by taking the first 2 letters of their first name and surname and creating a brand logo out of them using typeface.

James Usill, third year BA (Hons) Graphic Design student said, “I find design theory fascinating and having Dalton Maag visit is great as its always been something that I wanted to hear about from an industry angle.

“I like the technical aspect of it all and the design rules, font design is something that strongly adheres to that.

“The Q&A session was also good as it meant I could ask more direct questions and its great to get ideas and advice from professionals in design.

“They discussed their various processes for different projects and I found it interesting how each project can be on completely opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of timescale.”

Dalton Maag spoke to students about the design of the Lush font and the importance of researching your client.

With Lush they modernised their branding but kept the handwritten style Lush is known for. Before this digitised font Lush used to hand write labels and then scan and print them.

They have also worked with Red Peak, a design agency in New York, to redesign Intel’s font. Intel wanted a font that worked on screen and that wouldn't look dated for at least 15 years.

Damien explained how sometimes clients don’t realise the importance of the font, but after their work for Intel a video was made to demonstrate the new font and the effect it is having on the company.

Second year student Megan Rouncefield said: “Damien and Eleni talked about the different languages they had to create fonts in and it really enlightened me on what is involved in typeface design.

“It was interesting to hear that they have native speakers on each project to make sure everything makes sense.

“And the fact they sometimes just edit their own fonts rather than creating a new one for each project was a great approach to hear about.”

Photographs taken by BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Allie Couch.

A new logo for the Design Hub

The Design Hub at Plymouth College of Art has launched a new logo.

The studio’s brand identity has been revised to reflect the growing diversity of the work Hub members undertake.

The work was done by Year Two graphic design student Max Burke who reviewed the Hub’s regional and international clients, and range of past and current work.

He said: “The scope of the  Design Hub is very broad, ranging from community based projects to international collaborations and projects, so the brand had to be flexible when applied to such a wide range of work. 

“The Design Hub is a well known and popular company and it is important that existing customers be familiar with the brand by association. 

“From this I decided to design an identity that is clear, simple, and familiar to everyone who knows the Design Hub.”

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Graphic design student Megan in the headlines

Design Hub pitches for Sherford new town design work

The Design Hub team is pitching to produce the identity and design work for Sherford, the new town being built on the outskirts of Plymouth.

Initial sketches have produced and the team meets the Sherford consortium next week to present its ideas.

Jamie and Allie of the Design Hub working on the preliminary designs

Introducing the new Design Hub team

Here is the team who will be running the Design Hub for the next two years.

Six members from the second year of the Plymouth College of Art Graphic Design (BA Hons.) course have joined the group with third year student Tatsunori Ishikawa.

Project Manager
Name: Jamie Wynn
Age: 25
His design speciality is publishing and illustration, and his outside interests include fitness and photography.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Graphic Designer Gethin Oliver scores top in sports infographic competition

Graphic Designer Gethin Oliver has scored big and won £1,000  for a live brief competition set by Opta Sports –  the biggest contributors of sports data in the world.

Gethin was presented with the 1st prize of £1000 at the Opta HQ in London by Alex Edney, Senior Graphic Designer at PERFORM Group

Ash wins prestigous Sky prize at New Designers Show

PCA graduate Ash Henderson clinched a prestigous prize at New Designers - the London graduate show for aspiring illustrators, artists and designers of the future.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Team completes redesign for Plymouth's Clubhouse

The Design Hub team was invited to pitch for a redesign project for the Student Clubhouse, a professional-standard student residence in Mutley Plain, Plymouth.

The company asked the team to create advertising flyers to make the Clubhouse, which has a mix of 4 and 5-bed apartments, studio flats and an 8-bed loft, more appealing to students. 

A vector-based design was successfully developed, which will be continued for the rest of the project.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Team designs Fashion’s Look Book for second year

After a successful collaboration project last year, PCA Fashion Programme Leader Alison Braybrook and the rest of the fashion department asked The Design Hub to create design solutions or this year’s Look Book, posters and invitations.

After working on several different ideas, it was agreed the concept would be to use a fabric pattern throughout, with the main colour theme being yellow.

With this as the brief, a number of solutions were considered. The Look Book was eventually developed using newsprint, with the Design Hub team having creative control on the document size and on imagery used throughout.  

The fashion team decided to use our concept for more visuals for award certificates, projection slides, wall vinyls and also two different flyers advertising the fashion course and the new fashion, media and marketing course.

These flyers were taken to Graduate Fashion week in London June 1-4, and will be used at other events over the next year. 

The feedback from the fashion department, students and lecturers was positive and a number of the Design Hub members have been asked to help with other tasks for students such as looking over portfolio layouts.

Tatsunori Ishikawa was asked to help with photographing the collections of two students as well as creating a stop motion video using these photos.

The Look Book team was Claude Compere, Tatsunori Ishikawa, Eliot Sleep, Zara Walker, and Sam Donohoe.