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

Say Something Tonight

29 May 2014

Our Industry Night and Show tonight at Creative Exchange promises to be our biggest and most successful yet. With more than 150 Industry people representing 58 different agencies expected to attend, we are just hoping that our sponsors Cutty Sark will have supplied enough free drinks to go around.

As well as 18 HND Final projects to exhibit, we also have our 'One Week' projects to show for Cutty Sark and SAMH - two live briefs in collaboration with Edinburgh agencies like Whitespace, RAPP, Multiply and Lewis. Competition work for D&AD, YCN, ISTD and The Marketing Society Scotland will also be featured, and this year we have also installed a series of digital HD  projectors to display work on the Creative Exchange's amazing interior. If are are coming along, please use #sayshow if you are using Twitter to share the evening.

Future Travel

26 May 2014

Motion Graphics have become an increasingly important aspect of visual communication, and are now a regular feature of project-work on the HND Graphic Design course. The example here, by HND student Emils Blooms-Blumanis, demonstrates how versatile the medium can be as part of the design process.

Earlier this year Emils completed a work placement at Skyscanner, working alongside former Edinburgh Telford design graduate James Ferguson, who is Head of Design for the Edinburgh-based travel comparison specialists.  One task Emils was asked to do was to mock up a proposed design for a forthcoming Skyscanner project 'Future Travel' - a website showcasing Skyscanner's vision of the travel industry in a decade's time, 2024.  Using illustration, SVG graphics and wireframing, Emils put together this inventive demo in Adobe AfterEffects to simulate parallax scrolling for the website.

Using the demo as a guide, the Skyscanner team then set about developing the idea into a real product, and you can check out the remarkable results on the actual site, which Skyscanner launched recently at http://www.skyscanner2024.com/

Emils, a YCN winner in 2013, is currently working part-time at The Union, and his work will be on display at our Graduate Industry Night and Show at Creative Exchange on Thursday 29th May. More details can be found at www.etcshow.net. You can also get a sneak preview of work from the Class of 2014 on our Pinterest boards.

Say You'll Be There

20 May 2014

The print invites go out today for our Industry Night & Show, being held on May 29th at Creative Exchange in Leith.  The campaign concept came from HNC students Saulius Strebulis, Adriana Matecka and Dan Plunkett, with Art Direction from one of our longest-serving mentors Alan Lennon of Lennon Design.

We've had a fantastic response so far, with well over 120 industry professionals and designers saying 'yes' via our online invite form at www.etcshow.net. Every one of those nice people will get a couple of these print invites through the door over the next couple of days. We're still expecting a flurry of extra attendees, and if you are amongst them, you'll be able to pick up the invites on the night at the reception!

(A5 Colourplan by GF Smith, printed by Inkspotz).

Scotland's National Airline

19 May 2014

Samples from two nice hand-ins from the NC Major Project, featuring branding and campaign ideas for the Airline brief. This brief was to name, brand and promote a new Scottish Air Carrier, assuming a 'YES' result in the Independence Referendum being held on Sept 18th.

Hannah Johnson : Air Alba

Rhys McGeary : Air Scotia

Industry Night & Show 2014

8 May 2014

Massimo Vignelli once said that 'Design is a conversation with a situation'. As we head into the degree show season, our situation is that 18 HND Graphic Design students will be graduating this year, and most of them will be looking to move into industry as junior designers. Some of them are already working at agencies part-time, and all of them will be exhibiting projects that are the culmination of two years of dedicated design education and a lot of hard work. So our 2014 Show is themed around the conversation that graduates and employers should be having with each other about design, creativity, potential, and success.

Last year we hosted a one-night-only event aimed at getting as many of our friends and colleagues from industry in one place at one time to view the work of our graduating students.  The show took place at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre Bar, and subsequently won a Commendation for Best Educational Event at the Scottish Event Awards.  This year we've tried to build upon that success, and can announce that the Industry Night and Graduate Show will take place on Thursday May 29th at Creative Exchange in Leith, from 6pm till late.

The event will be sponsored by Cutty Sark Whisky, and GF Smith will be supplying the paper for our print-based promotional media. To find out more, visit www.etcshow.net and let us know if you want to say yes and be a part of the conversation.

Something Worth Schering

7 May 2014

On Thursday of last week Helena and I caught the train through to Glasgow after work to attend the latest LongLunch talk. The venue was Glasgow School of Art's new and extremely impressive Reid Building, and the speaker, introduced as the designer who needs no introduction, was Pentagram's Paula Scher.

Scher is amongst the most influential designers of the Twentieth Century, has been at the forefront of graphic design and design education for the best part of 40 years, and in her opening remarks claimed that she 'still looked good from a distance'. She then went on to deliver an engrossing and brilliant talk, taking the audience through many of her most famous projects, including the High Line, Public Theatre and the Windows 8 branding.

Scher described her career as having been through three distinct phases - a 'stylistic' period during the 70's and early 80's,  mostly involving experimental typography and postmodern pop-cultural ideas, then a 'large scale' period during the 90's (when she applied huge typographic-based murals onto buildings), and finally a socially responsible period, dominated by ergonomic signage and large-scale external and environmental visual communication. She also talked about her painting, modern technology, artistic inspiration, and the politics and economics of working at Pentagram.

It was great to see a significant number of our current and former students in the audience, and some were brave enough to ask Paula questions in the Q&A afterwards, including Emma Hart (currently a designer at Edinburgh agency STUFF), who asked what Paula's favourite typeface was and why. The answer came back as 'I think that Futura still has it. It still does look really great, even if the ascenders and descenders are a fraction too long'.

After the talk and a huge ovation, Scher signed posters and accompanied the LongLunch team, and our own group, to the CCA bar, where she chatted and posed for numerous pics and even took time to have a look over first year student Craigh Robertson's logotype design for his end-of-year project. A class act.

Pentagram / The High Line
Pentagram / Public Theatre
Eye Magazine / Paula Scher interview


5 May 2014

According to the CBi's Creative Nation report, the creative industries now provides a 'central part of the UK’s global appeal' and subsequently underpins much of the UK economy. The key action moving forward that the report highlights is that 'to cement its position as the world’s leading creative hub, the industry has to take steps now to build on existing progress'.

One big aspect of this is the 'synergy' between the various disciplines and areas - the need for collaboration and a sharing of ideas to ensure that all the underlying industries involved have the foundations in place for long-term success.

Our HNC groups have been investigating this situation as part of their Creative Industries projects. This year Film & TV, Radio and Graphics all worked together on a series of outcomes based around exploring, documenting and disseminating information and ideas about the current state of the Creative Industries. This includes how studios and production companies recruit and manage teams, and control workflow, budgets and copyright issues.

Working in Film & TV and Radio collaborated on an infographics project, which was written as a radio or film script, and then either broadcast or shot as video. Graphics then provided art direction on publishing this work, either via blogs, social media, or more traditional channels.

Tutor Conor Wright explains the process' "Earlier this year the college launched an initiative called 'Creatives Connect' - basically a social media space where creatives from all the courses could organise collaboration, share best practice and generally get into the habit of networking. So with the emphasis on cross-collaboration and a multi-disiplined approach to creative work, we felt that the groups should emulate this working style, so that their investigation of synergy in the sector was itself an example of that synergy".



Employer Engagement - One Week

1 May 2014

We previewed a new 4-minute documentary about the the course last night at 'Rewind' - our annual Graduate Review night.  This event is where we invite past graduates and mentors to catch up, look over the work of our current students, and generally celebrate our extended family of creatives and designers.

The film, shot and edited by film student Adam Cosgrove, features an interview with Multiply UK's Charlie Boyle, and documents our One Week collaborative project for Cutty Sark.