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

Ali's got the edge

26 February 2014

It was an interesting timeout today from coursework for HNC student Ali Muir, who presented logo ideas to a live client in between his design classes. Ali showed off a wide range of inventive marks to Edge Textile Artists Scotland - a collective promoting excellence in all aspects of contemporary textiles. The client had a tough choice whittling down the selection to the best two, which Ali will then develop a bit further. This model of employer engagement provides invaluable experience for our students, and is something we are looking to develop further next year.

Lyons Coffee Packaging

25 February 2014

NC Graphic and Digital Design presented their latest project this week - to re-design Lyons budget-brand ground coffee packaging. The brief was to retain the low-cost, good quality brand position, but to attract a more affluent consumer to choose Lyons. The coffee comes in three flavours - Gourmet Italian, All Day and Good Morning.

A standout solution came from Zsofia Elek who created a sophisticated design that suggests a high quality product, and uses icons to reflect how and when you might choose to drink each flavour, along with a mixed vintage/modern theme that ditches the primary colours and script font on the current labels for a set of organic tones and a sans serif typeface.

Red Card Finalists

Earlier this week two of our NC students were shortlisted for the Show Racism The Red Card creative competition. The NC course is an introductory course to the two-year HND Visual Communication, and students Charlie Law and Kim Louden both submitted their entries to the Sectarianism brief. Charlie commented 'I was surprised to find out about the Red Card competition, as I felt other members in the class had much stronger concepts!'

This creative award is sponsored by the SQA and the Scottish Football Association, and the prize-giving is held annually at Hampden Park in Glasgow. Each year there are more than 2000 entries across all categories, and this will be a fourth successive shortlist success for our students. The winning work will be used as part of Show Racism the Red Card's anti-racism publicity throughout Scotland in 2014/15, and the artwork will go to all schools, colleges and councils. Judges this year included former Scotland Manager Craig Brown, and Scottish novelist William McIlvanney.

Charlie Law:

Kim Louden:


6 February 2014

Back in mid-January we hosted our second Mentor Evening of the year, with 7 mentors and the Final Year students enjoying some great employer engagement.

The session included speed-dating,  a D&AD project surgery, a 30-minute brief, and a mentor/tutor discussion. As usual, our resident photographer Derek Anderson was on hand to document the evening, and you can check out the picture set on our Flickr.

Pop-Up Gift

5 February 2014

As well as a fistful of excellent posters for the studio, we brought back a copy of Marion Bataille's hugely successful pop-up book 'ABC3D', purchased in the bookshop at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart.

Herbert Bayer @ bauhaus archiv

4 February 2014

Our visit proved to be a highlight of the Berlin trip. The archive's permanent collection boasts an amazing range of design covering architecture, furniture, photography and of course graphics. But the real attraction was 'Werbegrafik 1928-1938' - the work of Herbert Bayer, a former Bauhaus pupil who went on to become one of the most important graphic designers of the 20th century.

Bayer studied under Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy, and became director of advertising at the Bauhaus in Dessau. During this period he designed the geometric sans-serif Bayer Universal, and a serif called Bayer Type, both of which feature prominently on the posters, pamphlets and magazine covers in the exhibition.

Also on show are some of the banknotes Bayer designed during the Weimar era of the early 1920s, when Germany suffered hyper-inflation. These included a 2 million, 10 million and a mind-boggling 50 million Mark note.

In 1928, Bayer left the Bauhaus to become art director of Vogue magazine's Berlin office, and the exhibition focusses on his advertising design from this period, all featuring brilliant typesetting and inventive colour and composition in the Bauhaus style. More controversially, we also get to see examples of Bayer’s propaganda work for the Nazi regime, such as “Das Wunder des Lebens”, (used as this exhibition's promo poster), “Deutsches Volk, deutsche Arbeit”, and a 1936 book cover for the Hitler Youth movement. The exhibition ends with posters from the Gebraushgrapik, a festival of design in 1938 which featured his final pieces of work before he emigrated to the USA.

The only disappointment about the show for us was that the Bauhaus don't allow the use of cameras, but we did manage to take Bayer outsider for an unofficial photo-shoot!

A good Herbert Bayer Gallery (on pinterest)
Herbert Bayer Werbegrafik 1928-1938 Bauhaus Archiv, Review - (New York Times)


2 February 2014

We managed to get the group all together in one spot at two very different locations - Checkpoint Charlie and in the Pergamonmuseum.

You can check out our Flickr photostream and view 170+ pics from our trip.


1 February 2014

On Friday we visited one of Berlin's newer galleries, Berlinische, where we met up with one of our former graphics students, Viktorija Kravcova, who spent six months at Landor in Hamburg and is now pursuing her design career in Berlin.

The gallery hosts work that includes Constructivisim, Dada, the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) and the Eastern European avant-garde. The art of the divided and reunified city of Berlin is also explored in photography and multimedia.  Berlinische has an excellent website too which covers the whole collection.