Archive for the 'Literature' Category

Yr1 ComDes London Study Trip 07-10 December 2015

Term 1 | Session 2015/16

1st Year Department of Communication Design

London Study Trip

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Image / Steven Gribben, Yr1 ComDes

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A long time ago (only week 12 of Term 1) there was once a poor group of Year 1 Communication Design students from The Glasgow School of Art. They lived in a little village known as Glasgow. They often heard stories about a far away place called London where everybody was rich and the streets were paved with gold. Then came a great storm but the students were determined to go there and dig up some cool practitioners to share thoughts and inspiration. When they reached the big city, they found their own accommodation, navigated hundreds of people on the underground, arrived at all visits on time and asked relevant and insightful questions.

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Here is the list of noble practitioners who entertained us /

Tuesday 08 December

VISIT 10.00am

SCRIBERIA

35 Tileyard Studios, Tileyard Road, London N7 9AH

http://www.scriberia.co.uk/

U Caledonian Road

Contact / Giulia Vaccari

t 020 7278 7976

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Big thanks to the Scriberia team who have a unique offering of visual communication, illustration and animation. Kamilla wrote the following piece /

Blood, Sweat and Tea(rs)- offers the neon sign above Scriberia’s kitchen area cheerfully-
There is a certain welcoming and inspiring, yet very busy atmosphere at Scriberia, permeating the whole illustration studio as we step in from outside, placing our jackets (all soaked up with rain) on the sofa. Scribellings and sketches on the walls, freshly served tea on the table, bookshelves packed up with all kinds of illustrated publications – all these – enthralling for our “young delegation” of ComDes students.

After the first attempts to get back to Earth from this ecstatic visual state, we are then invited to a round-table discussion about the company and the role of being an illustrator nowadays.
Chris shows us some of their recent projects, tells us the company’s creative approach, and gives us some advice on future illustration work while we listen to him mesmerised.

The discussion is cheerful, the studio is well-equipped and with this joyful first impression of a “bit of creative London” we are then heading off in high spirits, bearing the secret thought in mind that it would be indeed very nice to work in an inspiring environment like this.

Kamilla Hu-Yang, Yr1 ComDes

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Wednesday 09 December

VISIT 10.30am

Fran Gordon

The Royal College of Art

Dyson Building

1 Hester Road

Battersea

SW11 4AN

frangordon@hotmail.co.uk

frangordon.co.uk

U South Kensington and a lovely walk

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Fran gave the students a tour of the impressive printmaking facilities in the Dyson Building (very shiny and new). She has started the first of two years at the RCA and is loving the freedom to make images. The course is full on and she is loving the new challenges that come with being completely self motivated. Fran was kind enough to show the students some of her sketch books which were considered and quietly powerful. Very interested to see how her work develops when she travels to Canada in 2016. Thanks Fran.

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VISIT 2.30pm

FUEL Design & Publishing

33 Fournier Street, London E1 6QE

http://fuel-design.com/

U Aldgate East

Contact / Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell

t 020 7377 2697

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Fantastic studio in the historic quarter of Spitalfields (just off Brick Lane). Stephen and Damon were chatting away with the students when I arrived (took a wrong turning). Gilbert and George opposite and Tracey Emin just along the road. FUEL were founded in 1991 and are famous for their work in print (see Russian Criminal Tattoo series). They have also produced and directed short films, identities, film titles and TV commercials (see Levis twisted to fit). Great insight into a working process that relies on discussion (very few scribbles) – it has to sound right before they commit to visuals. Working with Tracey Emin presented its own challenges in that she does not like the design to detract from her work – design elements have to complement in a clean and understated way. Engaging, humble at times, generous and warm.

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Thursday 10 December

VISIT 10.30am

HEART Illustration Agency

Top Floor, 100 De Beauvoir Road, London N1 4EN

http://www.heartagency.com/

U Dalston Kingsland

Contact / Darrel Rees

t 020 7254 5558

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An illustrious list of names on the door buzzer raised the anticipation for this visit. Up a flight of stairs to an open plan loft studio including Eye Magazine and a number of notable creatives. Darrel met us at the top of the stairs and chatted to us at a large table in the middle of the studio. A lovely space with just the right amount of activity going on in the background to create a murmur, not a distraction. Valuable knowledge from the professional world of illustration – where commissions come from, how to put together a portfolio that resonates, how to keep busy when the phone doesn’t ring, managing workflow and the advantages of having an agent. I like the way Heart operates like an extended family with social events organised to bring all the illustrators on their books together to chat and share. Darrel has the overview, ensuring cohesion between illustrator and client. The printed samples provided were a mixture of promotional pieces and publications – The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge being a beautifully printed example (look out for other examples of Beat produced by Heart Illustration Agency). Darrel sent me an email a few days after the visit — “Hi  Michael, Just wanted to say it was a pleasure to meet you (again) and your very nice bunch of students. I really hope the visit was of some interest/help to them, even if it’s just seeing inspiring work.”

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VISIT 4.00pm

FITZROY & FINN

Studio 1, Albion Buildings, 1 Back Hill, London EC1R 5HT

met at Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3BL

http://www.fitzroyandfinn.co.uk/

U Farringdon

Contacts / Paul Finn and Alistair Hall

t 020 7833 4110

An outstanding hour of chat (starting off in the Betsey Trottwood) with Paul Finn (of Fitzroy & Finn) and Alistair Hall (of We Made This Ltd) then moving across the road to their bijou studio. They share the space with David Pearson the absurdly talented book designer who was out on business unfortunately (David designed the audacious Penguin cover for Nineteen Eighty-Four, you know the one? — the title is cleverly redacted). As I glanced around the studio I could see D&AD annuals (hot off the press), other classic Penguin Books, design guidelines for the BBC website, A Practice For Everyday Life‘s “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy”, a book about Brazilian concrete poets — all lovely stuff. It turned into a quality double act with Paul and Alistair trading stories about their work and philosophy. The best bit was a 5min, 4min, 3min, 2min, 1min countdown of their greatest hits described in a brilliant non-stop duologue. Heartening to see that with a bit of passion and skill, small can still be beautiful.

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See the Yr1 typographic safari HERE

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Open!

One of my favourite journals – Open! – which recently ceased in its print form due to funding cuts by the Dutch government, has only gone and reimagined itself in amazing website form.

The Spirit of Revolt exhibition

As a possibly very interesting source/archive, an interesting exhibition, and, via the video above, an unintended assault on any of the conventions of video-making, The Spirit of Revolt exhibition, presenting one hundred years of Radical Presses Clydeside, and protest literature, photography and recordings at the Mitchell Library this week, might be worth a look.

Devo-ID

Stumbled across this project that is being curated by Graphical House.

I thought it held quite a bit of relevance in subject matter and continued on from the LUST feral studio workshop that some of us attended, which certainly threw up some interesting opinions and work on the same subject.

http://devo-id.tumblr.com/

and this somehow seems relevant

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jVoroHx3IU

Little Libraries

Little Libraries and Tactical Urbanism on Design Observer is a really interesting article mulling over the recent past of small independent ‘library’ initiatives, the library as institution, and the varying roles these play in ‘information culture’.

“Libraries are about much more, of course; they exist not simply to store and provide access to information. Advocates argue that libraries continue to serve crucial civic and social functions, and their tenacious faith is reinforced by a flurry of recent street-level library activity. The last few years have seen the emergence of myriad mini, pop-up, guerilla and ad-hoc libraries, which are part of the phenomenon that Mimi Zeiger, in her Interventionist’s Toolkit series for this journal, calls “provisional, opportunistic, ubiquitous, and odd tactics in guerilla and DIY practice and urbanism” — to which I might add, librarianship.”

Image: Reanimation Library, Brooklyn.

Undercurrents

Undercurrents is a collection of current 4th years dissertations, edited and compiled by Christopher MacInnes with layout and cover design by Seb Howell (vis-com-des person). All profits go back into future productions.

Graphic Scotland

Graphic Scotland is an independent Community Interest Company aiming to bring together Scottish-based writers, artists and publishers in international collaborations to create diverse and innovative new graphic fiction.

http://www.graphicscotland.co.uk/

Present Ideas

This BBC Imagine programme – Books – The Last Chapter? – is available to view until Wed, 28 Dec (at 12:39 to be ultra precise about it). Highly recommended as an overview of a pertinent topic which is also covered here (Form of the Book Book) and here (The Unbound Book), and the subject of this book and this book which were recommended to me by Edwin. And also relates, if you’re really really interested, to the ramblings of an armchair enthusiast.

And as it’s nearly Christmas, if you’re looking for books to spend book tokens on, a quick reminder that the book of the week archive is here, for perusal.

Cover Looks (Strangely Familiar)

The latest print incarnation of the Serving Library is out.

Talks this Week

Talks this Fri (18th Nov), 2nd Year Studio, 4pm: Good Press and Adrian Searle. All students and staff very welcome. Details of all talks here.

Tristram Shandy and the Internet

“Tristram Shandy is not only significant in the cultural canon as a non-linear forerunner to Joyce, Woolf, Beckett, Godard, Eno, Greenaway and Tarantino, but playfully and brilliantly constructs and deconstructs the conventions of narrative. It makes use of multiple media as devices to tell its stories, and, in actively soliciting a dialogue with its reader, it demands a creative participation from its audience. Tristram Shandy is the direct antecedent of contemporary hypertextual and non-linear, convergent media experiments”.

via Asterisk at Shandy Hall | The Laurence Sterne Trust.

The Serving Library

The Serving Library is online, and the first edition is out in print. Making the articles available online as PDF’s, and by print then post distribution, in parallel, (and with an online document of those recently ‘served‘) questions are raised about the false dichotomy of analogue vs digital. On a purely practical level, students (or others) with zero budget (but a functioning network connection) can download and read/print some very interesting design/art/media documents. Below is a beautiful picture of me interacting with the Serving Library through the arcane/bizarre/logical aesthetic and anti-perspective quandry that is iBooks.

More on the Serving Library statement of intent here.

The Unbound Book

Loads of interesting reports now online from the Unbound Book conference. Some in Dutch, some in English. Dare-say video’s may follow.

ZINE FAIR at The FH 57

News of a great looking ZINE FAIR at the Free Hetherington.

Momus aka Nick Currie

Hi, my name is Dick Murray, and I have a total hatecrush on Momus. And he’s written this stupid book. And he even writes (or wrote) for these idiotic magazines and blogs; WiredViceIndex MagazineAIGA Voice, and Design Observer.

Summer of Hate

Currently top of my personal summer hate-list* is the fusing of the word ‘twitter’ with other words to create new twitter words – ‘twestival’ etc… (I’m with Cameron on this one).

But kudos has to go to West Port Book Festival’s literary twestival for the most audacious yet: Project Twutenberg.

Edwin—any thoughts?

* I don’t really do a summer hate-list.