I think if I had designed this cover I might possibly think I would never need to ever design any piece of communication art ever again. Does Graphics get better than this? I’m just going to put this out there as a question. What if this piece of design is a better creation than the novel itself? I had a meeting with a TV company, my agent and my publisher Penguin Random House yesterday and we were in Foyles looking at cover design. I bought this book, which I read in 1984 and I probably won’t read again, (hate reading) it’s going in a frame as an artwork. Hey that’s also one of the chapters in my book.
It was that time of year again which I love and dread in equal measure. I love it because there is generally good energy and curiosity is high. I dread it because I have to do a creative exercise in an auditorium of 1000 teenage delegates and I want to make it really good and that’s hard! So this year I wanted to talk about modularity and tolerance as something important to consider when you design. I asked each delegate to think about creating a modular element which could link together with other similar elements in a three dimensional way to create a very large whole. The event is called ‘Inspired by Design‘, there were inspiring talks given by Suzanne Trocme, SeymourPowell, Anthony Dickens and Ben Wilson.I talked also about photographing work and making good layouts, then moved on to the creative exercise…here’s what happened…..
I work at Kingston University 2 days a week as Senior Lecturer in the Design School. One of the jobs I have been working on this year has been with the graduating students in Product and Furniture design on their portfolios. Often an afterthought to the making of artefacts, their portfolios are an important way of communicating how they think and make. We have been working together for 6 weeks, starting with a workshop then meeting once a week in small groups to have a look through the progress on their work. None of these students really love graphic design I would say, but these results show that they have started to love playing with how their work is communicated. This year the quality is high and every student had something unique and beautiful in their portfolio. Here is a selection of their work. I really congratulate them on the hard work they have shown in getting to the point where their work looks THIS good on paper, my photos are bad…taken quickly in my iPhone in the studio. It also really shows a range of attitude to how they present their work, if you need interns, junior designers or help then get in touch.
I am NOT a graphic designer, but I have started to think about designing another typeface. One of my favourite type faces is the one used by Macmillan for their ads. The detail is so beautiful so I designed something that I wanted. The base is Helvetica (ordinary) and then it becomes broken up or imperfect by using brush strokes (extraordinary). I just cant help myself.
The second set for the book is almost ready. The wall has been painted a really neutral grey colour, with Dulux flat matt emulsion, and I added a piece of grey carpet also. Anything placed in front of this wall jumps to life because of it’s desaturated mattness. The photo above shows one of the new pieces which will be extraordinaryised, I tried to make the colours very mute here to contrast with the result (which you’ll have to wait for)
I was delighted when my agent Greene & Heaton asked me to make something to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Their celebration took place last Tuesday 12th March at the Bush Theatre in West London. The space was a large grey and brick industrial space used for performances and I put together a 5 metre long bar made waterproof on the top surface by adding vinyl tape and then behind which was a big 50 graphic ‘birthday card’ I had really dedicated help from Chris Wellbelove who said that building the bar and making the decisions about the tape was the most creative thing he’d ever done. This made me very happy. We finished it just in time for him to get changed. One person from Greene and Heaton said that it was going to be the most trendy publishing party in a long while….but hey! I guess you’re only 50 once!