Week Eight: Mind The Gap

This week I actually made notes while watching the lecture material… SUPER useful and wow I wish I’d done this from the beginning, this is the first week I’ve come to the blog section and not had to rewatch everything… we live and learn.

Lecture material This week started with a cup of coffee and getting an insight from the now familiar faces that appear in our lecture materials. I was interested to hear the perspective of designers when it comes to what other avenues they would like to explore and where they feel they could push their practice. Sam Winston is becoming a big inspiration of mine, I liked the idea that being a designer gives you ‘the opportunity to play with culture’. I’ve always thought that being a graphic designer you hold quite a big responsibility in what you communicate but I liked the idea of instead playing through the designs you publish… it feels less scary. Regular practice also noted that the actual act of being a graphic designer allows you to do the things you want to do, I really relate to this, I think I have personally used graphic design almost as a vehicle to get me to the places I want to work… however, in doing this I have actually neglected some of the basics of the practice of graphic design which I am slowly building back up again. Julian House and Adrian Talbot spoke about “Getting outdoors more”… this is a HUGE one for me. I think it is what has stopped me in my tracks with work a few times in the past and led me down some strange rabbit holes. 

Side projects “Trust that giving yourself space is a way to find answers about stuff “ Sam Winston. LOVE THIS, it’s a good mantra to remind myself of, it reminds me of the Paula Sher documentary I watched back in week one or two, she described her process of working through a brief and it basically included walking up and down a big flight of stairs and going to the bathrooms to put on lipstick. The space that ritual gives her allows her brain the space to start thinking creatively which is hugely important. I enjoyed hearing Julian House and Adrian Talbot speak about the worry about running out of steam. It’s a very real worry and so relieving to hear two well established graphic designers talk about when that happens and how personal creative outlets can really aid that problem.

Brian Eno

I had a delve into Brian Eno’s cards that he created to aid creative block, I’ll be honest here, I’m cynical about these cards… I’m a great procrastinator myself so I would probably benefit from using them but they just seem like a bit of a faff. One takeaway that I thought was pretty cool was he described them as a way to ‘keep yourself human’, I like the notion that only the human brain can be aided by being thrown off course slightly. I don’t think this system is for me all in all, I think I have created my own methods to aid creativity by actually just getting up and walking around whenever I find my brain wandering and stagnant

Keep going: School of life

This was really enjoyable, motivating and cheesy. I could kind of relate to the notion of my taste being well ahead of my abilities. It kind of felt like watching a really short and predictable disney film, comforting in the notion that you know there will be a happy ending… and, there was! The narrative that uyou should forgive yourself for your first attempts at things and one day your talent will catch up with your is another great motto to have in the back of my head while working. Not so much to allow me to prematurely give up on concepts because I haven’t yet reached my full potential but more to know that things can only get better if I keep working at them.

Mind the gap

‘Consider everything an experiment’ This set of rules from John Cage is perhaps more suited for that of a design studio and a bit less of an inspirational quote that you see on instagram (sorry Peter Fischli and David Weiss).

Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better A playful and simple set of rules set out to help you work better, these rules were made as part of a wider set of work that is said to ‘offer a deceptively casual meditation on how we perceive everyday life’ (1)

John Cage: 10 rules for students and teachers.

Interestingly when researching these rules a little more I found an article comparing them to the Oblique Strategy cards of Brian Eno, it made me wonder why I think this is great and yet the cards I find a bit annoying? After a bit more pondering I realised the only main difference is that these rules feel less like an instruction than Eno’s. I must have an issue with being told what to do.

James Langdon: East Side Produce 

This week I’ve been looking at the work of Marwan Kaabour مروان . I’ve had the book Disobedient Objects since I visited the exhibition in the V&A back in 2014. It’s been a huge influence to me and yet I had never until this week checked inside the cover to see who had designed it. Marwan’s work is brave and exciting. Brave in that he tackles topics such as queerness in arab culture and is using his design to document and tell the story of these stories he is collecting. Mawan’s work has had a big influence on my final outcome this week.

This poster by James Langdon I found really inspirational. James has manipulated last years poster by printing over the top of it with the new information. It brings a whole new element to the design thinking process. I feel it is quite a progressive way to use design, instead of things always being crisp and new showing the life cycle of a poster and allowing the viewer to actually consider the amount of posters that are made daily leaving the previous days work almost useless. Regular Practice described this piece as a reaction to what already exists! I really like this statement and would like to consider this in my work moving forward.

Marwan Kaabour مروان 

<<< Skills I already have // Skills I would like to have >>>

  1. Curiosity
  2. Ambition
  3. Conceptulising Ideas
  4. Collating interesting material
  5. Adobe Suite practical knowledge
  6. Project management 
  7. Working to deadlines 
  1. Editorial design 
  2. Book publishing 
  3. Zine publishing 
  4. 3D / sculptural typographic skill
  5. Large format printing

The process to my final outcome.

For this week’s outcome I wanted to play with the title ‘mind the gap’. Taking inspo from the Disobedient Objects book I wanted to create a purely typographical poster. By justifying the text gaps appeared which I thought would be a good metaphor for the gaps in my skill set. The larger writing is the skills I feel I have and the smaller writing the skills I would like to acquire.


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