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

Our 'A'mazing YCN Winners

29 September 2011

Abbie Macpherson and Sarah Crawford, YCN winners 2010/2011

Earlier this week, YCN staged their annual Student Awards in Shoreditch Town Hall, London.

I attended along with fellow Design tutor Alex Gunn, and two of our three winners - Abbie Macpherson (White & Mackay brief) and Sarah Crawford (Boost brief). Unfortunately Gill McColl (Ted Baker brief) was unable to make the trip down, but we were still able to celebrate Edinburgh's Telford being the only Scottish College or University this year to pick up commendations.

YCN put on a great show and had guest presenters Johanna Lundberg and Elin Svensson (a.k.a. Åh), Sam Green, James Gilpin, James Chambers and Tom Judd (of Chambers Judd), Hattie Newman and Daniel Frost, presenting the commendations. Each guest also presented a short animated film about their work, in collaboration with Plastic Horse. One great example came from digital agency ChambersJudd - with their '22 ways to kill a cowboy' App -

Designer Philip Oakley presented the custom-designed 'A' award to Student of the Year Dominic Mckenzie, of Cambridge School of Art (Open University brief), and the evening was nicely finished off with an after-event party at the Strongrooms, just around the corner from YCN's HQ in Rivington Place.

A selection of photographs by Owen Richards and Elinor Jones can be viewed on the YCN website, with more to follow.

Meeting Our New Mentors

26 September 2011

mentoring portfolio surgery
Talking to the Line Agency's Rufus Spiller - our newest Mentor.

Well done to all who participated last Wednesday evening as our new Mentors for 2011-2012 came along to the Design Studio to meet HND Year 2.

Fuelled by wine and an excellent buffet, the mentors enjoyed our famous speed dating ice-breaker, and then settled down to watch Steven Brown, Zia Vest and Nic Cameron present their solutions to the 'Conspiracy' brief. A feedback and advice session followed on portfolio and project-work.

The Mentors also underwent a short filmed interview for our archive. Ian Lauder and Ian farmer were unable to make the session, so they'll have to face the cameras at a later date.

Helena gave out the first mentoring brief - a typography project to design or modify a typeface - and as part of the research gathering for the brief, the students interviewed their mentors with a set of carefully prepared questions. This project will be presented in three weeks time.

mentoring gettogether
R310's 'Design Process' mural gets the critical treatment.

A special mention must go to HND student Terry Smith, who is recovering from a serious medical operation, and managed to make the event, bringing his portfolio along on his iPad.

The Mentors for 2011/2012, in no particular order -

Ian Kirkby : Lewis Agency
Ian Lauder : Redpath
Ian Farmer : Upright Creative
Graham Neish : Neish Design
Kirsten Murray : Children 1st
Alan Lennon : Lennon Design
Veronica Ferguson : Heedi Agency
Rufus Spiller : Line Agency

Taking The Proverbial Even Further

19 September 2011

It's been a whirlwind summer for HND Graduate Gill McColl. As well as a stint at the Touch Agency, and starting up a successful freelance career, Gill's final project 'Take the Proverbial' has become real commercial success.

History ReTweets Itself

Take the proverbial images

Gill's work - a series of contemporary proverbs in retro-typographical styles - now has its own e-commerce website, and a distribution deal in a number of high profile shops and galleries, where the prints have been selling well.

Take The Proverbial recently made the pages of the Scotsman Supplement, and this week is featured on the influential Computer Arts Magazine's blog, where Rob Carney, the editor of Computer Arts, posted a great review of the work and included some nice quotes from Gill herself.

Take The Proverbial@Computer Arts Blog

Conspiracy Project

17 September 2011

HND Year 2 have just submitted their first main project of the year, 'Conspiracy'. The brief was to choose a well-known conspiracy theory and develop an integrated promotional campaign to raise its profile with the general public.

One standout example comes from Steven Brown, who chose the NASA Moon Landings, and based his idea around the strapline 'Reasonable Doubt'.

Steven mixed condensed sans serif type with some great vector images to produce a memorable set of visuals, includingposters, ambient media, packaging and a 30-second TV Ad. Steven also expanded the subject area to include a few other famous American conspiracy theories, including the shooting of JFK.




Three of these projects will be selected for presentation next week to the 2011-2012 Mentors, on their first visit of the session to the Studio, and a full project gallery of all the class work for this brief will be posted up shortly.

We Love Amazing Design Events

13 September 2011

This is a very busy time in the world of design and education.

Towards the end of this month I will be attending the annual YCN Students Awards Ceremony in London, to see two of our own (recently-graduated Sarah Crawford and current HND Year 2 Abbie Macpherson) pick up their YCN Commendations. I'll also be collecting the third award on behalf of Gill McColl.

We have just renewed our D&AD University Network membership, and D&AD are currently involved in a number of events this month in London to coincide with the London Design Festival, which runs until 25th September at the V&A.

D&AD have also announced that their annual educational tour, where they travel the country and present workshops, lectures and seminars, will include a visit to Edinburgh this year. Last year's event took place in Glasgow and was hosted by Glasgow School of Art.

The venue this time around has yet to be confirmed, but the date for your diary is Thursday November 17th.

Finally, it's typography heaven as TYPO - Europe’s most successful annual three day design conference - returns to London during October and features a bunch of A-listers from the world of typography, design, film, publishing and education. Speakers will include Neville Brody, Michael Bierut, Erik Spiekermann, and Gary Hustwit (the director of the HELVETICA documentary). Wow.

Check out more at the typolondon website.

Induction Week

2 September 2011

The Design Team brought together all the graphics classes for this years' induction, and created a schedule of short ice-breaker events to get the groups working and thinking together in the studio.

HND1 and HND2 were involved in a speed-dating session followed by a one day team-based project, both of which were led by HND2 student Michael Kerr. The teams then presented the following day to both of our new NC Graphics + Digital Design groups.

Later in the week the NC groups got their chance to get involved by teaming up with HND students on a 60-minute Guerilla brief. The task was to promote plasticine to an older audience. In seven teams, comprising between 5 and 8 members, the students armed themselves with some A2, a fistful of marker pens, a sketchbook and a packet of plasticine.

Each team then pitched their concept - presenting and talking in the studio to around 50 students and two tutors. This was a great introduction to the design process for the NC students, and a chance for everyone to contribute and have some design fun.

The winning idea came from the 'Moldy' group, who were inspired by the recent Paris post-it wars, and presented their plasticine idea on a pane of glass. Awesome.

Three merit stars in the HND project feedback.

Michael Kerr and Abbie Macpherson lead the pub quiz.

Team 'Awkward Silence' pitch their plasticine concept.

Very well done to all. A fantastic achievement, and a great start to the 2011-2012 session.