Friday, 30 November 2012

Type tricks

The other morning we presented our 3rd year students a range of display 'faces, a number of complicated rules and a very tight deadline (measured in hours, not days); and then we encouraged them to indulge in some speculative play.
They are a talented bunch so it was difficult to decide what to show you, but here are just some of the highlights...

Ieva Bureikaite (21)

Ashleigh Crighton (21)

Claire Evison (21)

Megan Hyslop (21)

Ollie Malone (21)

Friday Songs...

...dedicated to Davy Rees.

If you can guess the theme of this week's selection, write your answer on a stamped addressed postcard and then throw it away.

and, just in case you need to name it twice...

Now Davy, enough questions about the New York trip already!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Manchester Musings…

We’re just back from the annual Design Your Futures event at Manchester’s MCCC. This is a specialist Art & Design related careers event.

So, what’s a specialist Art & Design careers event all about you ask?..

Pens, mostly… …and badges… …and bags, lots of bags. There’s also a plentiful supply of sweets, rubbers, pencils and last (but not least) prospectuses.

Underlying the plethora of ‘free crap’ are the nation’s Universities attempting to sell themselves and their courses to prospective students.

We had an incredibly busy two days, running out of prospectuses on the first day. It was ‘full on’ from start to finish but we met many, many lovely people (some of whom we’d met before when we’ve visited their college).

Here are some photos to give you a flavour…

UK Recruitment’s very own Eleanor ‘The Human Dynamo’ Missen and Fine Art’s one and only Professor Robert ‘The Prof’ Williams pictured psyched up and ready to roll.

The MCCC, yup it sure is big!

Busy, busy, busy… It was like this all the time.

Here’s former Grillust™ operative, Danny Aldred (33 - he looks younger) who now teaches at Winchester School of Art in far away Hampshire (somewhere to the South of Manchester he assures us – probably Didsbury way…) His course has a lovely blog here (although sadly, it doesn’t seem to poke fun at its own students and staff as relentlessly and mercilessly as we do).

The University of Brighton forced a pair of their students to paint a mural over the two days. Cruelly treated by the Brighton staff, denied sleep, and told they weren’t going home “if it isn’t finished”; the resourceful pair gained sustenance by cadging Haribo off the visitors.

The University of Wales provided the ‘elephant in the room’.

Both Professor Robert Williams (33) and Grillust™ operative Tony Peart (33) have offspring who love ‘free crap’. As they had no time to go on a ‘swag raid’ a solution had to be quickly improvised. Pictured above are William and Elle, visitors from Lancaster and Morecambe College. Both were happy to accept orders to find as much free swag as possible and “return within the hour!”

Here’s what William and Elle managed to snaffle. You see, it is all about pens, badges and bags!.. Thank you both.

Graduation 2012

The University of Cumbria, Faculty of the Arts graduation took place last Thursday 22nd November, in the suitably splendid Carlisle Cathedral. Sadly it was a pig of a day, with strong winds and torrential rain denying the graduates an opportunity to collectively throw their mortarboards skywards.

That aside, there was much joy, merriment, drinking (a complimentary glass of wine) and catching up to do. Here are some snaps from the day…

Grillust™ operative Dwayne Bell (33) brought along his mother to help arrange his robes and clean his cheeks with mum spit and Kleenex.

Grillust™ operatives Captain Simon Davies, Dwayne Bell and Jim Millington (all 33) pictured in the Cathedral Fratry, using their new Where’s the Nearest Cathedral? Apps to plan a route to the ceremony.

The 97th Archbishop of York, the Most Revd. and Rt. Hon. John Sentamu (33) meets someone just as famous as himself, 2011-12 undefeated Blog Tart Dylan Sewell (33).

Former course Head Girl and Head Boy Dani Knowles (33) and Hugh Leoidsson (33)

Illustrator Jenny Coxy Cox (33) discussing Berol Pens with illustration tutor Dwayne Bell (33)

Bessie mates, Jen Bows and Claire Wood (both 33). Claire now works for Tigerprint in Saltaire, West Yorkshire, whereas Jen’s love of pargeting has drawn her inexorably to Ipswich, Suffolk

The Shrewsbury Biscuit, Claire Wood, Jen Bows, Elly Carthy and Stephen Arthur (all 33). Don’t they all scrub up well?

Dylan Sewell pictured (left) as a 21 year old and (right) at the age of 33. Can you spot any difference?

Finally, a winning smile from former Czech (now naturalised Cumbrian) Petra Bláhová. Petra’s love of Kendal Mint Cake was instrumental in her accepting a job at Kendal design studio Lavahouse.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Friday Songs (on a Saturday)

Grillust™ loves its pop music to be at the energetic, 'shouty' end of the spectrum; that's why we love Glasgow's late, great, Dananananaykroyd.

Yes, sadly, this sextet of enthusiastic, talented and loud musicians are no longer performing together.

Perhaps the world just wasn't ready for two lead singers, two drummers, two guitarists and er... one bassist. 

The unspellable, unpronounceable and unGoogleable name probably didn't help either.

Here they are at their peak, performing a session hosted by that Clint Boon from off of/out of the Inspiral Carpets.

Listen and smile...

Friday, 23 November 2012

'The Biscuit' Crumbles? No Way!

Never ones to need an excuse to 'roll back the rug and pull on their dancing shoes', the vast majority of last year's 3rd year returned yesterday for a swanky graduation ceremony followed by a serious night out 'on the lash'. So, we were somewhat surprised to see a bright eyed, bushy-tailed Shrewsbury Biscuit [aka Gary Nicholson] (33) bouncing into the studio this morning, looking non the worse for wear!

While tucking into fish and chips followed by a triumphant Friday Crumble (apple/no custard), 'The Biscuit' informed us that he'd not 'taken it steady' but had actually 'beefed-up' his ability to hold his liquor since going to work for Take Off Studio in London.

Gary Nicholson (33), a Vicar's Son. No fear in the face of a crumble.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

bikes and wine

We are now, indisputably, the course of choice for a healthier lifestyle
  1. We have worked with the Ulverston WalkFest for their branding of the 2013 festival (winning design by Toby Garland)
  2. Live illustration brief with “Singletrack” a life-style bible cleverly masquerading as a cycling magazine (winning and printed illustration by Tom Softly)
  3. Branding for the inaugural Muckle Toon Adventure Festival – an all running/mountain biking/walking/cycling festival in Langholm 
  4. Dwayne Bell published work over the last year in Singletrack/The Ride Journal/Cycle Sport/Cycle Week/Cycle ActiveGrace Neal (Yr3 2011-12) secured permanent designer post at Singletrack
  5. Louise Hubbard illustration featured in Singletrack magazine very soon
However we feel that our students need to somehow find a balance to all these physical jerks...

DRINK! here are some examples of the re-branding we have just done for the Swallow Hill vineyard in sunny South Africa – with its Cumbrian connections, it's our wine of choice...

Megan Hyslop (21)

Rob Marshall (21)

Jade Wall (21)

Ben Walton (21)

Ieva Bureikaite (21)
Now when is that crate arriving?

Violent crime slashed!

Q: What tool would you use to slash violent crime?*

A. safety scissors
B. Swann-Morton No.2 scalpel with 10A blade
C. a light-sabre
D. a machete

*all respondents agree to undertake full psychoanalytical profiling

Monday, 12 November 2012

Picture of the Week

What exactly is going on here? Answers on a postcard please...

First Years, Fourth Project - Film Posters

Regular blog readers will be well aware that the first years have just produced, directed, acted in, shot, edited and 'soundtracked' (N.B. a newly created verb © Grillust™) their very first film 'epic'.

In what was a fairly logical move, we slipped in a 'quickie' four day project that asked them to design a poster to advertise their newly created magnum opus.

Recent studio lectures have focused on: composition; colour; tone of voice/personality; hierarchies of information and a very basic introduction to typography. This was the first opportunity for these techniques to be explored and applied to a piece of design work.

Here's a small selection of the posters we saw at the studio presentations last Friday...

First up, Cameron Holland (21) has produced a poster for his Chopsocky masterpiece:

Jhon Bedoya (also 21) offers you two alternative posters for his French New Wave drama, Mal Compris (Misunderstood).


Christie Davies (also, also 21) knows all about gritty, Northern reality. Not because she's from Workington; simply because she's just made a Kitchen Sink drama involving the old 'eternal triangle'...

Kianna Poskitt (20 year and thirteen months) continues to scare us rotten, by producing an appropriately frightening poster for her Japanese horror film.

Derrian Bradder (36) [actually she's only 21] made an experimental movie and here's one of her equally experimental photographs to complement it.

Finally, Julia Ivanszky (vingt et un) offers you various alternative posters for her French New Wave epic L'amour Informe (I love informality).

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

the strange return
of “strangest thing
of the week”

This week’s ‘Strangest Thing of the Week"’ is brought to you by the all-dancing Adam Reid of year 1 graphic design. Now unbeknownst to us, Adam is a keen aviation enthusiast, or at least we must assume he is because when recently asked to create a piece of work celebrating type he obviously thought “No, sod that, I’m building me a passenger jet, out of papier-mâché”. Just look at the sad lump. Soaring through the heavens has never looked so unlikely.
Note – Adam, luckily, has a sense of humour and was more or less unable to deliver the work in a coherent fashion due to laughter.
Note – we passed him on his research and development work which, thankfully, bore relation to the brief.

Monday, 5 November 2012

First Years, Third Project - 30 Second Movies

It's only six weeks into the course and already our hardworking first year students have completed three (yes, three!!!) projects.
For their latest brief we asked them to research the basic film making techniques, then study a specific movie genre (pulled at random from a hat*) and then finally create a 30 second visual 'distillation' in film of said genre. Oh; they also had to produce a detailed storyboard before they started shooting any live footage. We generously allowed them two whole weeks in which to complete this massive challenge.

Did they succeed?...

More than in our wildest dreams!

We can't remember a feedback session in which so much excellent work was presented and so many high grades were awarded.

But hold on a minute... Graphic Designers and Illustrators making films? Are we mad?

No, quite the opposite. As technologies merge (these films were all made in Photoshop by the way!?) and, as TV and streaming media expand exponentially, who will be there at the cutting edge, producing well designed, intelligent content? Designers and Illustrators, of course

This project marks the start of a journey for those students who have a strong interest in exploiting video, film and animation as their chosen media. We'll be exploring further aspects after Christmas so stay tuned.
In the meantime; put you feet up, turn down the lights, open a carton of Kia-Ora and scatter popcorn down your front as you enjoy the fruits of their labour...

Kianna and Jenny Make a 30 Second Japanese Horror Movie

Sophie and Adam Make a 30 Second Swash Buckler

Catherine and Eilidh Make a 30 Second Sci-Fi Movie

* The hat was actually an envelope