Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Wednesday 22 March - Applicant Visit Day

Today was a rather busy but fun Applicant Visit Day here at The University of Cumbria Institute of the Arts.

Potential students, keen to experience some 'quality time' with our staff and students, came to spend the day with us.

The programme involved various talks, tours, slap up Cumbrian lunch and a couple of specialist workshop sessions in our big studio.

These were lead by our very own 'Queen of Typography', H.R.H. The Typographer Royal, Rhiannon Robinson (33) who had our guests experimenting with cut up letterforms - we provided the paper, scalpels, glue and first aid!

Everyone seemed to have a splendid time and we collectively thank them for coming and hope they had a safe journey home.

H.R.H. in action (the sceptre is obviously used as a white board pointer).

 Lunch - time for networking and tray bakes.

 "How do you spell Carlisle?"...

In the background we see (from left to right) Year 3 students Marisa, Sarah and Chloe assisting our guests. Chloe is good at hiding - can you see her?

 And finally, here's a small sample of the work created during the workshop.

Lett's Diary

Yesterday, 2016 graphic design graduate Shona Lett (33), popped in to Grillust™Towers to show us a little green book; the Favourite Design 2016 Annual...

...and what a bumper edition it is too, with Shona featured not once, but twice in its hallowed pages.

You can find more of Shona's work at

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Creative Typographic Experimentation

Here at Grillust Towers we believe in the benefits of 'creative play' and experimentation with analogue techniques and materials, as well as developing digital skills. The First Year students are currently working on their second typography project with HRH Typographer Royal Rhiannon Robinson, where they have been asked to create a set of experimental letterforms before incorporating them into a layout for a poster. The studio is awash with an array of materials being cut, frayed, plaited, woven, folded, glued, stitched, pierced and pleated into some weird and wonderful type. More on how these are transformed into arresting poster designs next week...

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

From the Drawing Board

Tom Foster is a 2000ad art droid. If you don't know what 2000ad is, hang your head in shame. Tom's precise and meticulous work draws (ha!) inspiration from legendary art droids such as Cliff Robinson and Brian Bolland. In this short film, Tom takes us through his process. It's a must watch for aspiring comic book artists and illustrators in general.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Grillust Enters the University Boat Race 2017!

Sunday April 2 isn't too far off and with the Cambridge crew refusing to compete due to them not winning for the last six years straight, it's time for The University of Cumbria to step up to the mark and enter its own elite Grillust crew.

We're taking training very seriously and have even been doing a little practising...

On the big day expect to see us emerging from Barnes Bridge about ten lengths clear of the Oxford crew!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Hoops are just so in!

3rd year Graphic Designers, Tom Selwood (21) and Chloe Farsi (21), have come to blows over this year's cutting-edge Breton hoop fashion. Thin hoops or thick hoops? White hoops or blue hoops? Spaghetti hoops or Alphabeti Spaghetti? Both look confident before taking ten paces, turning and firing...

...we'll bring you the result next week!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Watermark 2017

In collaboration with students from a number of Arts & Humanities courses, including Creative Writing, Photography and Wildlife Media, etc., our own 2nd year Grillustasi have been extra busy over the past week putting together this year's Watermark publication. The publication is designed as an accompaniment to the International Keswick Literature Festival "Words by the Water" which starts tomorrow!

Working under the editorial direction of Senior Lecturer in Media, Tony Randall (33), Graeme Guthrie, Victoria Smith, Elizabeth Sharples and Sian Whitfield (all 21 and all from Year 2 BA(Hons) Graphic Design) have been putting in the long nights, getting ready for the print run, scheduled for 8.15 am this morning at CN Print in Carlisle.

Illustrative elements were produced courtesy of 2nd year BA(Hons) Illustration student, Hazel Mason (21), who's efforts have brought another dimension to a publication that has, in the past, been dominated by photography and type.

The Student Editor was Rebecca Gibson from BA(Hons) Wildlife Media.

Well done to all involved!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The First Year Students do 'Hardcore' Typography!

The first years have just completed the first of what will be two, in-depth inductions, to the technical and precise world of quality typography. The feedback sessions on Friday kicked off with a typography test, designed to test their growing expertise, conducted by our very own Rhiannon Robinson (33) a.k.a. The Typographer Royal.

 "What's the hole in a letter called?" muses Becky (21) - N.B. It's called a counter...

H.R.H.T.T.R. reveals the answers to an eager audience. Eager because prizes were on offer to the day's top performers!

Jasmine (21) the day's top performer (in both the typography and copy test) clutching her TWO!!! prizes. No expense was spent in obtaining these bars of quality Aldi chocolate.

As always, we design on paper before working on the Macs...

...producing various alternative designs...

 ...before presenting the final pieces.

 Here's Isabel (21) victor in the afternoon type test.

 Rhiannon explains where all the typographic and punctuation errors are to the afternoon group.

 More carefully considered typography from the afternoon group.

Monday, 20 February 2017

photoshop play

Year two illustrators, under the watchful eye of photoshop blackbelt Dwayne 'Miyagi' Bell (33), have just finished a week of intensive Photoshop play, focusing on a few simple basics such as resolution, scanning and selections. It's amazing what they've managed to produce in a week. Here's just a few of the examples.

Harry 'Assos' Ward (21).

Tab Walby (21).

Rebecca Graham (21).

Hazel Mason (21).

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Scenes from the Life Room