Monday 29 March 2010

Contacting Professionals...

I have sent out e-mails to a number of different companies and designers that I want to include within my design context publication. I am hoping to get some strong, interesting and varied responses to my questions that will help me to understand the print industry better.

I phoned the companies before sending the emails, so that I could get a direct email for a designer, and so they knew what to expect. The majority of people were really nice, and said they were happy to help.

The emails are something along these lines..

Hi Lucinda,

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to speak to me! I really appreciate all of the help I can get from experienced industry professionals.

My research project is about print design in it's broadest sense, and I am hoping to gain insight into how the designers (rather than consumers) feel about print. Please feel free to answer these yourself, or pass them onto anyone you think could help!

These are the questions:


Studio/Agency Name:

Areas of work within print design:

Please answer the following questions with regard to your personal design practice

The term 'Print' is broad and can refer to anything printed - packaging, layout, type for print, illustration for print, hand crafted print etc. It is whatever you understand print to be.

Why is print successful in communicating an idea/concept?

Why do you use print design as a communication tool?

Considering your own experiences of designing for print; what do you consider to be the best/most enjoyable thing about the print design process?

Do you think that digital media or screen-based design will ever fully replace the printed medium?

The print industry is large and contains a lot of diversity. What makes printed material appealing (to yourself and consumers)?

Why and for who is print design successful? Please specify clients.

Do you design for print and screen? Are there cross overs, and if so how do they work?

I am very grateful for your time and help, I am hoping that I will gain a lot of insight into print and how the diversity within the industry is working. Thanks again,

All the best

Alex Bucktin

Fingers crossed I get some responses soon!

Thursday 18 March 2010

Poster Design...

I have been thinking about the design for the advertising poster I am going to produce for the Orion book covers. I am currently struggling with the overall 'shape' of the design, and how to approach it. I am looked for a few inspirational designs that will help me to produce something strong and eye-catching, but hopefully a bit different to the current poster that you see in book stores.

I found these posters at Design Reviver:

1. The main reason I have chosen this piece is because the main focus is a large illustration and the type is secondary, but still very strong. I like the use of the lines that divide up the information, and the use of different type faces (I have used varying typefaces within my book cover designs). The way the type is set and aligned is also nice, and makes the type a focus and a collective set of information

2. I am interested by this piece because it is set at an angle. The design is very simple, but still strong, and the information stands out. I do not think that angled type is appropriate for the book posters, but the simple way the information is presented might work well.

3. This design is very busy around the centre, but simpler around the edges. The whole design is focused around drawing the eye to the type. The type has a shadow on it, which makes it look like it is standing away from the illustration behind, and making is the first thing you look at. The shadow element creates stronger hierarchy.

4. This design is so simple and crisp. I really like the way the photography is used, and that the type is laid over the whole image. The poster makes impact because there is space and air around the type and the image, the colours also contribute because they are so strong and eye catching. The type is in a grey colour, which is softer and friendlier than black, and sits much better with the bright colours in the photograph.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Books posters...

I have managed to find these two posters advertising books online. It is proving difficult to find anything better than these, books advertising seems limited. Anyway, these are quite different in a. what they are advertising, b.who they are aimed at and c. what they are informing you of.

The Lost Symbol; is a very stylised poster. The type is mixed up, with at least 4 different type faces used, one of which is very stylised and swirly. The overall feeling is of something quite exciting, but it is all so over the top and a bit mashed together. The information is obvious and clear, everything is there, it just looks a bit crap.

Harry Potter is much more about the retailer. The promotion is made clear, the type is simple and clean. The book image is repeated, but that doesn't seem odd, it sort of implies popularity and wide distribution. I know that this poster is for Sainsbury's, but there is no Sainsbury's logo or information regarding the retailer. Very different from the first poster, but it is advertising a totally different aspect of the book.

Saturday 13 March 2010


I visited a company called Concept yesterday. Concept are a paper product design company who work from an office in Brighouse (near to Halifax and Huddersfield) I was lucky enough to visit them for a morning and have the opportunity to see what they make and how they work. Concept are a small team, 5 permanent members of the studio, with freelancers being brought in to produce more diverse and specialist design work. They produce a wide range of gift wraps, gift bags and gift accessories for a number of high profile clients including John Lewis, Tesco and Paperchase. It was really inspiring to see this small team of people producing products that are sold in huge quantities all over the country.

I asked a few of the designers some questions, to get an idea of how they work and what they most enjoy about their part in the print industry. I was also allowed to help make some mock-ups and pack up some prototypes that were being shipped off to a buyer for approval. I think that the best thing about the whole day was being able to experience the initial stages of how gift products are designed and produced, because it is an area of design that isn't particularly well documented or exhibited.

Thank you to everyone at Concept for their help with my work and for being so nice!

Thursday 11 March 2010


Homework are a Warsaw based poster design company. I found their work on Grain Edit and was impressed with the diversity within their design. They have an exhibition running in London at the Kemistry Gallery which is on until April 17th, which means I can visit during the Easter break. It is also free, which I like! I want to contact Homework for an interview about Print design because they have a very focused design practice (they only design posters). Hopefully I will be able to contact someone who speaks good english, otherwise I could be rather tricky!


I have been looking for designers to contact for interviews to use within my design context publication. I have found a great website called Grain Edit - their blog still site showcases work from current designers, as well as showing vintage design work. I have come across lots of interesting designers on this site, many of whom I am going to contact for an interview/email exchange. The great thing about the designers on Grain Edit is that they are so diverse and spread out. Most are based in the US but a few are UK based and I have come across several that work from Europe. I am looking forward to hopefully getting some good feedback from these people, and being able to use their opinions and experiences within my design context.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Book promotion...

I have been advised to produce the promotional material for the Orion book covers that I have designed. I have searched online for some hint of inspiration for the types of materials that I should be producing, but any has so far evaded me. I have managed to find a few photographs of various book shop displays, which provide a little insight into the types of design I should be working toward.

This display shows an illustrative images of the book in the centre of the window, with repeated banners either side in bright and eye-catching colours. The books are exhibited on the raised platform below, each relevant to their suspended banner. A very eye catching and strong display, showing the books and their content accurately.

This display is a rather more subdued design. The size makes these more difficult to make out, but the overall feeling is less exciting and more sensible. Still, the banner is large and easy to read from a distance, which is a necessity for any information displayed.

This window design is exciting and bold. There is no single theme here, but a variety of offers and genres of book displayed. The design is interesting and draws the viewer in with the mix and match sense of design. The signage is hand drawn onto blackboards, large and easy to read, but less regimented and styled. This allows the variety within the window to shine through.

This signage is shown within the store; varied and engaging. The designs show diversity, along with clear and defined information. The way the books are displayed is innovative to an extent, and tries to engage the viewer with more than just words or cover design alone. I am impressed with the humour and freshness of these designs.

Tuesday 2 March 2010

End of Year Show 2009...

This is the promotional material from last year's end of year show. It was designed by a 3rd Year college student,Merlin Mason. His design has a theme - The End of the Beginning, which sums up the idea of the students ending their time at college, but moving forward into their careers.

His design is very illustration based, and uses a limited colour palette, which is quite striking.

He has designed a leaflet that folds out into an A2 poster, an invitation to the private view, signage for the outside of the college building, an exhibition guide and a web button for the college website.

The promotional material is well designed, but I think that it doesn't represent the overall college. The use of the paint brush is very limiting, and does not represent the majority of the courses that will be exhibiting at the show, which I don't think that the students were particularly happy about. I want to produce a design that is more general and represents the theme I chose, rather than representing an 'art college'.

Graduation Show Pro-mo...

I have found these examples of promotional material for degree shows. They are all quite diverse and different from each other, which is great to see because it will encourage me to do
something quite interesting and quirky.

Type seems to be the main focus of these designs, which is important because all of the information is included, and integrated as part of the design. Some of the shows have a theme or title around which the show and therefore promotional work is planned and designed. I like the idea of giving the show a theme or title to carry across all of the promotional material, and represent the essence of what the show is about.

The use of imagery seems to be limited in the sense of actual art work. The main idea seems to be to represent the show and all of the participants, rather than choosing an individual and putting their work on to pro-mo material. Obviously this is really important because the idea is that the show provides diversity.

Looking at these pieces here, I can see the importance of including certain aspects of information, and also the hierarchy of the information.