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

Pure Editorial DPS

17 December 2012

On Friday our final year class presented their Pure Editorial projects. The brief was to create a masthead, cover and three articles for a chosen subject under the theme of 'pure'. Subjects included economics, politics, the arts, exhibitions, food, travel, technology and families.

For this project, our students worked in collaboration with their counterparts in HND Photography, and the work was designed to be published to tablet format.

We previously posted a sneak preview of work by Michal Grazewicz, and now we've put together a gallery of selections from ten of the resulting folios. A 'folio' in this context is a collection of articles, assembled into a single file using InDesign's Folio Builder, and published using Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite. Check the sample work out here.

We Love Review Nights

13 December 2012

Our 12.12.12 review night was another successful get-together for our students, former graduates and mentors. With the class all set to go out on placement early in 2013, this was the perfect opportunity to get feedback on their work, and to find out more about what it's really like out in the creative industry.

As well as a great portfolio surgery session, we were treated to inspiring talks by mentor Ian Farmer, student designer Jonathan Walton (currently being mentored by Ian), and Equator's Creative Director James Jefferson.

Upright Creative's Ian Farmer kicked off by talking about his long involvement with our course, and how the sorts of designers we are producing now (and the awards they are winning) are proof that our curriculum and teaching approach has responded well to the daunting pace of change in the industry. Ian also made it clear that working as a mentor is a lot of fun, and a continual source of inspiration for those professional designers involved in it.

Final year student Jonathan Walton did a nice presentation featuring some examples of his projects, and he showed how the direction and intent of the work had been positively influenced by mentoring input from Ian.

Our guest speaker James Jefferson then gave a passionate talk about his experiences in the creative industry, from the founding and rise of his agency Equator, to the pitfalls of applying for jobs, doing interviews, and the general approach a designer needs to take to be a success. He also made the point that industry needs solid connections to education - our mentoring programme being a very good example of how it can work. James finished off with five off-the-wall gifts of advice, including a really classic final one - 'Don't Design, Do Remarkable Things'.

The evening finished off with a short set of presentations of advice and tips from our former graduates, all currently working at various Edinburgh-based agencies, and all keen to pass on the benefits of their experience. The event was filmed and hopefully we'll have it up on vimeo soon.

James Jefferson in full flow.

Portfolio Surgery.

This looks like nice work.

Graduate Advice.

Discussing a project.

It's Easy With Hindsight.

Pure Preview

11 December 2012

The Final Year students are busy preparing their portfolios and work samples for tomorrow night's review event, but they also have a big deadline for the end of the week - their tablet editorial designs.

The format and workflow for this project uses the InDesign CS6 Folio Builder and Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite, which is great news for their future prospects and should make for some exciting presentations on Friday. As a taster, here's a sneak preview of 'Pure Exhibitions', by Michal Grazewicz, featuring his masthead, cover and contents pages, plus two articles.


Getting Festive

9 December 2012

The last full week of term promises to be a busy one and will hopefully reflect our festive review theme for 2012 -

Inspire, Create, Enjoy, Believe

On Monday we are visiting Edinburgh zoo, to look at exhibition space and to discuss a possible live project for Semester Two.

Wednesday is our annual review night, held in the main college lecture theatre. This event is a celebration of design education, and gives our current final year students a chance to network with former graduates and mentors. We'll also have some excellent speakers, including stalwart mentor and all-round inspiring creative Ian Farmer, plus a special guest talk from James Jefferson, the founder and Creative Director of award-winning Glasgow-based digital agency Equator.

To promote the night we invited visitors to the blog to construct their own layout for our event poster. The plan was to choose the best one and use it, but we received so many versions (upwards of 60) that we've decided to use them all.

Finally, on Friday, the final year class will be presenting their 'Pure' editorial project. This is a collaborative project with HND Photography, and requires a cover, masthead and three articles, designed for iPad and built for Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite. We'll be posting a full gallery of the work online.

Unsung Heroes and Heroines

29 November 2012

We had some great presentations today by our HNC Year for their 'Unsung Heroes and Heroines' project. This was a typography brief issued by ISTD, asking for a typographic celebration of person or persons who provide a sometimes unrecognised and heroic service to modern society. Subjects included ghost writers, the Samaritans, the NHS, the Emergency Services, and War Veterans. The last presentation of the day came from Ross Turnbull, who put together this inspired movie clip for his unsung heroine - his Gran.

Stuff We Saw

16 November 2012

Just some stuff we saw in London.

Design section in the Tate Modern Shop.

Tanks Expo - Interactive Wall, Tate Modern.

Graffiti, Southbank.

Print job at the Color Company's 24/7 Reprographics store, Mayfair.

Typography Exhibition, Gallery 27, Cork St.

Kerouac's 'On The Road' Manuscript Exhibition, British Library.

Catapults, YCN, Shoreditch.

Design Your Future

As part of our London Visit, we took the students along to London's ExCel Exhibition space out at Docklands, near Canary Wharf, to the annual UCAS Convention. The 'Design Your Future' exhibition featured more than 100 Higher Education institutions offering courses in areas such as photography, art, graphics, architecture, animation, fashion and 3D Modelling.

As well as some great stands, the event also hosted a number of seminars and showreel viewings, as well as lots of advice to students on applying to University and choosing the right course.

Our YCN Visit

As part of our London Trip, the students made the short journey from Russel Square to Shoreditch to visit the YCN Studio, where Project Director Kezia Clark gave a fantastic talk about the YCN Awards and about working in the Creative Industries. YCN's founder Nick Defty also took the time to pop in and say hello.  Inspiring stuff.

Read more about our visit to YCN on their website.

London Week

6 November 2012

Level 5 at Tate Modern.

We've just about finalised the itinerary for our London trip next week. A total of twenty-one HND 1 and 2 students will be going, along with tutors Alex Gunn and Chris Hughes.   The group are due to arrive in London on Monday afternoon, and will be staying in Russell Square. The schedule is planned as follows:

Monday PM - British Museum.
Tuesday AM - YCN Studio visit and Agency talk.
Tuesday PM - ColorCompany's 24/7 Print Studio in Mayfair.
Wednesday AM - Design Your Future - UCAS Convention.
Wednesday PM - Tate Modern and South Bank Centre.

The 14th Annual UCAS Convention, held at ExCel near Canary Wharf, is an opportunity for students hoping to study art, design, media, fashion, architecture, ceramics, and photography at University. Many of the UK's top Art Schools and Universities will be there to talk to students about the courses they offer in these subjects, within a live exhibition environment.

More Info:
UCAS Design Your Future
Tate Modern

Hidden Desires

2 November 2012

A recent collaboration between HND Graphics and HND Illustration students, 'Hidden Desires' was a project requiring a masthead and sample cover pages for a digital supplement for the iPad. Stefano Coccia (design) and Caz Levack (illustration) came up with a nice twist on original sin which we really liked.

Raw Deal

12 October 2012

Two nice examples from our recent  'Raw Deal' project.  We asked the students to investigate a subject in our everyday lives that gets a raw deal, and which would benefit from a campaign to persuade people to change their attitude about it.  Subjects included obesity, Comic Sans, Traffic Wardens, Smoking, and the two shown here, Schizophrenia and Buckfast Tonic. As part of the design process, this project involved input, direction and assessment from our Mentors.

Katy Johnson - from Raw Deal to Real Deal.  
Mentor - Veronica Fergusson (Heedi).



Jody Hogg - Buckfast Stimulating Cocktails.  
Mentor - Jen Wood (RAPP).




Creative Brief-In

11 October 2012

D&AD have just announced their autumn roadshow dates, which includes a visit to Edinburgh.

These visits to colleges and universities across the UK are a part of their Education Network programme, and feature a series of inspirational talks and workshops for tutors and their students. The Edinburgh date, scheduled for Nov 16th, will take place at Edinburgh College of Art. Full details on the D&AD site at dandad.org/education

Bringing Back Arena

5 October 2012

Some sample work from our HND2 class who were tasked with relaunching the seminal 1980's men's magazine Arena. The original title, launched in 1986 by Nick Logan (and designed by Neville Brody), eventually folder in 2008.

This brief is the last-ever design project set by tutor David Wilson, before he leaves his post later this month for pastures new. The brief involved creating a new masthead for the title, and producing a cover and a series of spreads focussing on Arena's key themes, celebrity and style.

Arron Gillespie

Ali Kerr

Jody Hogg

Rowan Campbell

Jonathan Walton

We Love Success

1 October 2012

Photograph by Natalie Brown. 

On Thursday 27th September, we celebrated with our HND graduates at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.  It was the final graduate ceremony under the banner of Edinburgh's Telford College. As of this week, we are now part of the newly vested Edinburgh College, along with our colleagues at Stevenson and Jewel & Esk Colleges respectively.

The event included an amazing recital by the NYCoS Training Choir, followed by a fine address from acting Principal Julie McCran, and some inspiring words from Jim Donaldson CBE, (Chair) and Prof Roger Mullin (advisor to the Cabinet Secretary on College Reform).

The pic above shows three of our grads showing off their medals, alongside tutor Helena Good. There were quite a few celebratory drinks afterwards, but it wasn't a late night - all three were due into work the next day. Terry Smith (left) has just taken up a creative position with the Union, Michael Kerr (centre) is a junior designer with Newcastle's meandalan, and D&AD nominee Steven Brown (right) is part of the creative team at Heehaw Digital.

Well done to the class of 2012.

Rare Sight

25 September 2012

HND1 have just presented their 'Rare Sight' project - a campaign promoting an exhibition at Newcastle's Baltic, celebrating unusual visual themes, or rare sights, natural or otherwise.

A standout submission came from Emils Blums Blumanis, who experimented with a red filter layering effect in Illustrator and came up with a pair of posters each featuring two overlaid images, where the second image becomes visible when you put on red filter glasses. A great concept, nicely executed. Difficult to capture the interactivity in still images though, but here goes -