The design courses blog for BA (Hons)
and HND Vis Comm at Edinburgh College

Placement Talk

25 February 2011

Earlier this week HND 2 returned from their month-long work placements, and the feedback this year from the agencies has been phenomenal.

As well as writing up short reports on their experiences, the class are now hard at work on their D&AD projects, which are deadlined for March 11th.

Three HND 2 students - Sarah Crawford, Emma Hart and Natalie King - kindly offered to free up some time and give a talk to HND Year 1 about the whole experience of placement.

They talked about their experiences at a range of agencies including Navyblue, Multiply, Whitespace, Lewis and The Gate, and covered areas such as how and why to get a placement, how to organise your portfolio and CV, building up industry contacts, how the creative department in an agency operates, and so on.

This sort of event forms part of the internal mentoring and collaboration across the two classes. It also helps prepare the Year 1 students for their followup year, and allows the final year students to reflect on their progress towards becoming designers.

Well done and thanks to all who attended.

Burns Interpretations

20 February 2011

2009 was the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, Scotland’s greatest poet and an iconic figure in popular literature. In support of the Scottish Government’s ‘Homecoming Scotland’ celebrations, the NC Graphic Design students at Edinburgh’s Telford College were set a brief to realise a single Burns poem as a double-page spread.

Two years on, and this time around design tutor and Curriculum Lead David Wilson gave the Burns project to his Graphic Design HND1 class.

The brief :

"Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national
poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide.

Unfortunately in his home country Burns’ work is often seen as dated, clichéd and not
relevant to young Scots, yet many of his pieces are very powerful political and social
commentaries, with as much to offer as ever.

The task was to produce a piece of artwork that brings Burns’ work to a young, contemporary audience, using typography and imagery to create a double-page spread, interpreting one of his poems or songs. The imagery could be photographic or illustrative, but avoiding clichéd Scottish images such as thistles, tartan and the traditional portraits of Burns himself."

This time around the students got involved in the pre-press and production stages, setting the running order and organising the whole layout of the booklet, which runs to 40 pages.

Check out the results in pdf format.

Mentoring Programme Gets Fresh

16 February 2011

Edinburgh Telford's newlook quarterly newsletter, the 'Word' has just been published, and featured a nice article about our HND Visual Communication course, as well as an overview of the mentoring programme and some nice pieces of HND 2 work.

Check out the whole newsletter in pdf.

D&AD @ Glasgow School of Art

8 February 2011

This week Helena and I went to the D&AD Event at Glasgow School of Art. We took along eleven HND1 students. Other attendees included tutors and students from most of the Art Colleges in Scotland - the hosts Glasgow, ECA (Edinburgh), Gray's (Aberdeen), Duncan of Jordanstone(Dundee), and Edinburgh Napier.

D&AD's Director of Education Rhiannon James introduced the Student Awards and New Blood, and talked the group through the D&AD's new website and its resources. She also hosted a round of judging, allowing the students to get an insight into how submissions are assessed. The subject work was a series of ten submissions for a campaign for Nokia from the 2010 briefs.

The key criteria for judging is a mix of creative thinking, good execution and staying on brief.

This is invaluable advice to students, because the rewards for success at D&AD are huge - whilst the average graduate takes nearly 24 months to find work in the creative industries, 43% of D&AD winners gain employment within four weeks.

Franki Goodwin, founder of the Franki&Jonny Agency, and a former graduate of GSA, then gave an excellent followup talk about interpreting a brief.

Franki's agency specialises in cinema promotion, and a standout example of her work was a poster for the Todd Haynes movie 'It's Not There' - the acclaimed Bob Dylan biography - into which she managed to blend Mondrian, Andy Warhol and the four leading actors. During that particular project, her studio played Bob Dylan non-stop for about three weeks - a great example of what she terms 'immmersion' in a brief.

Another useful aspect of the event was the tutor meeting, where tutors got the chance to exchange ideas and thoughts on the current state of the industry and of education, and to discuss D&AD's continued efforts to promote and support both institutions and students alike. And it was heartening to know that the head of the committee assigned to this task is none other than Neville Brody.

The afternoon events included an Industry-led workshop with Simon Shaw, Creative Director at Navyblue, where, coincidentally, two of our HND2 students Emma and Andrea are currently on work placement (and managed to swing a day off to join us). There was also a Portfolio Surgery, where students got the chance to have their folios looked at by creative professionals, and an Industry Evening (held at Glasgow Caledonian) which we unfortunately were unable to attend.

And just for good measure, AVA were there with a stall of discounted design books, and of course these events all took place inside the architectural work of art that is the Rennie Mackintosh Building.

A big thanks to all the students who made it along to this event!

AVA Academia
Neville Brody

Very Good Liquid Gold

2 February 2011

Earlier this week HND 1 presented concepts for their YCN project to Helena.

The class was given the Glayva brief - to create activity that resonates with a new younger target, and that drives awareness of White & Mackay's self-styled 'best liqueur in the world' and how it should be mixed and enjoyed.

Looking through the work, this is probably the strongest all-round submission that the class have produced. A lot of the solutions are typographical, all of them feature genuinely original and creative ideas, and everyone has started to get a real feel for branding communications.

it would be great to post up some examples here, but the final submissions to YCN, which will be completely digital this year, aren't due until 25 March, so the bad news is we can't show any of the work online yet.

The good news is that the class will be able to take these works-in-progress along to the D&AD event next week at Glasgow's School of Art and hopefully get some constructive criticism from their peers and prospective employers.

YCN Glayva brief

D&AD Workshop Event

1 February 2011

D&AD have announced the full details of the upcoming D&AD Glasgow Education Day, to be held at the Glasgow School of Art on the 8th February.

The workshop event, held between 2.00pm - 4.00pm will be hosted by Navyblue's Creative Director Simon Shaw.

All the events are free, but if you wish to attend you'll need a ticket, which can be downloaded from the D&AD website. I'll organise these later this week for all HND 1 students hoping to attend.