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

Talking Soap

28 November 2014

Nice video shot by our in-house film team covering our recent employer-engagement project for Scottish Soapworks.

Semester Review

27 November 2014

On Thursday we hosted the second of three mentor sessions held during each academic year. In attendance this time around were designers Walter Hamilton (Whitespace), Kate George (Kate George Design), Iain Lauder (IL), Michael Heins (Lewis), Sheryl Newsome (Story), Gregor Matheson (Realise), Graham Neish (Neish) and Sean Kinnear and Scott Burns (both from Blonde).

As well as reviewing the year so far, including our successful Scottish Soapworks packaging project, the students got the chance to get some useful advice on their current project - the ISTD Typography brief - and the upcoming D&AD New Blood Awards. The tutors also managed to talk everyone into doing a 30 minute brief on one of the Roses projects. Finally, we also announced that our end-of-year show in May 2015 will be held at one of Edinburgh's foremost gallery spaces - the Fruitmarket Gallery.

Here's a short documentary shown on the night about the recent employer engagement project, the one week brief for G.F Smith papers.

#oneweek Teams

22 November 2014

Our resident photographer Derek Anderson caught up with the One Week teams midway through their project work for G.F Smith Paper. Derek visited Edinburgh agencies Story, Whitespace, Lewis and Neish, and you can check out the full set of photos on our flickr.

Team Neish l/r - Joanna Swieton, Rachel Cameron, Sarah Wilson, Jakob Sebanski

Team Story l/r - Linard Andins, Alisha Horn, Dan Plunkett, Craigh Robertson

Team Whitespace l/r - Adrianna Matecka, Ally Muir, Emily Hubbard, Simon Griffiths

Team Lewis l/r - Sarah Diver-Lang, Kris Kubicki, Saulius Stebulis, Kinga K., Steph Dalzell.

Pitching #oneweek5

19 November 2014

Today the five design teams who worked on the 'One Week' agency project will present to the client, Paul Scharf of GF Smith papers. Paul set the brief two weeks ago, and along with one of our longest serving mentors, Iain Lauder, and Art Director Sheryl Newsome from Story, we'll see what each team came up with during their week. After the pitches the work will be exhibited in the college. Check out our flickr account for photos from the week, taken by Derek Anderson. You can also read our storify stream. Artwork samples from the project are also on our pinterest boards.

Re-imagining The FACE

7 November 2014

It's a tradition on our HND course to set the editorial project during October, and for the last couple of years we've concentrated on digital publishing.  This year the brief was to design a contemporary treatment for a relaunch of the FACE, the seminal 80s/90s culture magazine created by Nick Logan and designed by Neville Brody.

The assessment criteria for the project combined typography, art direction, user experience and digital imaging, plus a strong concept behind the styling, theme and tone which would meet the client requirements - a big challenge given the iconic provenance of the title.

Saulius Stebulis

Dan Plunkett

As well as a new masthead and cover, each student had to design a range of articles featuring interactive content such as animation, audio, video and kinetic type.  The work was then published using Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite for the iPad. The results look a little bit like this -

Sarah Diver-Lang - The FACE 

Alasdair Muir - The FACE 

Zsusi Slezak - The FACE 

Simon Griffiths - The FACE 

You can check out a selection of the covers on our Pinterest boards.  The full set of designs are published to the Adobe cloud and each student can share their publication on request.

One Week #5

5 November 2014

Our fifth 'One Week' project kicks of next Monday, and four Edinburgh based agencies - Lewis, Neish, Whitespace, and for the first time, Story - will each be taking a team of student designers into their studios for the week.

The client this year is GF Smith, the  Hull-based independent British company which has provided the creative community with quality paper since 1885.  GF Smith have sponsored our Visual Communication course in the past, (including the supply of Colorplan for our award-winning graduate show Say 2014), and the company's Specification Sales Manager Paul Scharf visited the studio today to meet the student teams, show off some samples from an amazing new line of paper, and of course set the brief.

We'll be documenting the student experience over the course of the week, and all the teams will pitch their solutions to Paul the following week.  We can't hardly wait.

Heins Sight

3 November 2014

Michael Heins, one of our mentors and a digital designer at Lewis, popped in to the studio on Friday to talk to our HND students. Lewis has been one of the key employers we've been lucky to worth with over the past six years that the mentor programme has been running, and a number of their team are regular mentors to our final year students. Originally we'd asked Michael to come in to talk about workflow, but on the day he delivered a much broader talk called  'Things I Would Have Liked Somebody To Tell Me When I Was A Student'.

Slide - Michael I. Heins

Michael, who has studied in Bremen, Istanbul and Edinburgh’s ECA and was lucky to benefit from a wide range of great teachers such as Erik Spiekermann, focussed on the key areas around the everyday activities of a designer. A central theme running through all of the points in his talk was the concept of 'Mise-en-place', a French phrase meaning literally 'putting in place', and referring to the set up a chef uses in the kitchen - selecting and sharpening their tools and organising the workspace, ingredients and resources. Michael sees this the perfect metaphor for the various strategies a designer should employ to get organised, to be able to eliminate distractions, and to allow multi-tasking, version control and time management, so that the creative process can flow unhindered but efficiently and to a given deadline.

Slide - Michael I. Heins

After the presentation, Michael took questions and really personalised the session with honest insightful answers that the students clearly found inspirational. He also talked at length about his extra-curricular activities, which include experimental digital media art, typeface design, running, and of course cooking.