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Redweb Lecture

October 20, 2010

Had a great lecture today given by David Burton and Damian Proctor from Redweb. Having worked with David during work experience I knew the layout of the organisation quite well, but it was good hearing it all again. I bumped into them before hand and had a little chat about things which was good, and they remembered me which I guess means I made an impression. They are a very useful contact to have within the industry and it is great to hear that they are doing so well. Although web design isn’t the area I am most interested in as a career move, I would love to be a part of Davids innovation department. The creative freedom he is given, and the backing he has by large team of developers is a dream come true career, and I hope one day I am fortunate enough to land a position like his.

The idea of the brief was to say thank you to someone in a considered, original way. After deciding that my personal theme for this would be music, I chose Alexander Graham Bell to say thank you for developing the first electrical speaker. I toyed with many ideas but ultimately decided that my way of delivery would be to use the latest in surface sound technology to turn London into the worlds largest sound system. Surface sound technology enables the user to turn any flat object into a speaker that distributes sound evenly through vibration. Placing these objects all over London on various landmarks, vehicles and buildings, you could theoretically bring the city alive with music and sounds. I decided to theme the events dependent on the current situations arising at the time. For the royal wedding that is approaching, celebratory music could be played with orchestras and anthems filling the streets. For the 2012 Olympics, world music could be played including national anthems. A festival could be created where by London is transformed into an alternate reality using sound effects from the countryside or 19th century. With a the uprising of students in protest about the educational cuts and fees rising, sounds could be played to calm the aggressive mobs. The possibilities are endless.

Here is the event poster for the event which I named ‘London Alive’

I feel the outcome is inventive and original in its delivery, the logistics of it are ambitious but possible, and considering that the brief was to explore any out come with no limitations, I consider this to be an interesting concept.

I began this academic year with the intention of doing as much live work as I could find. The aim was to construct a portfolio of work that went beyond that of an ordinary student work program, finding as many clients as I could that could help get my name out there as a professional graphic designer. I began looking on sites like freelancer.com and gumtree.com to find clients that required some kind of digital artwork.
My search lead to a business looking for a logo design for their online audio equipment store. I approached him with an email and after looking at my already substantial portfolio, he decided I would be good for the job. I was given very few specifications, just that it needed to look professional and include the word ‘spectrum’. It needed to be aimed at the male audience and fit in to the desired industry alongside some of their main competitors such as Maplin and Purewells. I sketched furiously and researched the demographic looking at colour, shape, connotations derived from his competitors branding and other key factors that would help produce something that worked. I created around ten different options for my client to peruse and see if anything hit his requirements, fortunately one stood out to him and he decided to go with it after a few minor alterations.

This is the result;

Spectrum logo

I asked the client if a full branding document was required along with business card design and letterheads but this wasn’t needed yet but was told that my excellent design was perfect and would more than likely lead to further work in the future. Here is a client testimonial;

“I had been after a graphic designer, to create a new logo for my company for some time, though none could really put what I needed onto paper to meet my needs or tastes. From the outset design brief I knew I was in good hands with Ben. After a quick chat about the company, he created a logo which fitted nicely with our client base and with a great turnaround time. Ben turns thoughts into vision – Needless to say we are very happy with the results and will be using him again in the future.”

– Pete James, Spectrum Sound and Broadcast

I volunteered my services as a second year student to be a part of scheme to help first year students with any issues they have with the course. Having found the sessions useful when I myself was a first year I felt that it would be a good thing to get involved with and a great way to network and meet new designers.

We undertook a few training sessions to teach us how to deal with group learning, how to keep people engaged and how to lead groups using various exercises and activities. These sessions were useful for developing public speaking skills and the role play exercises were a good way to simulate the sort of environment we were going to be in. We discussed our concerns and worries about how the first years may respond to us as an authoritative figure and found ways of overcoming these. The thought of it is a little intimidating but all in all I feel confident that I am capable of leading a group of students and help guide them through there first year of studies.

Magazine Layout

October 1, 2010

Last year at University I produced a magazine layout for photographer Bruce Connew. Over the summer holiday the course was split into groups and were asked to combine our layouts to produce a magazine which was consistent all the way through. Meaning that we needed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses in each of our layouts and select which would work best. 3 members of the group had a similar colour scheme of blue and white so being the odd one out had to change mine. There were a few minor issues that needed sorting such as page sizing, positioning of certain elements etc.

This was all resolved nicely and here is the updated layout I produced.

Magazine layoutMagazine layout