Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Scenes From the Life Room

We Like These: The Aesthetics of the Russian Constructivists

Alexander Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova, Naum Gabo, Kazimir Malevich and El Lissitzky (or 'El' as he is known around here) are just a few of our many design heroes and heroines. They are synonymous with a style of art & design known as 'constructivism'

It's wonderful that an idealistic art that was forged in the heat of a genuine revolution (Russian) and was designed 'for the people by the people', still echoes on down the decades. It feels as 'modern' today as it did when it was first produced nearly one hundred years ago.

Our only regret is that it's no longer used to induce the workers to increase wheat production or warn of the dangers of the decadent, bourgeois capitalist system....

Here are two 'modern' takes on that dynamic, angular aesthetic pioneered by the Constructivist Artists and Designers all those years ago.

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out by stevanhogg

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Don't Try This at Home!

It's with heavy heart that we have to report that charismatic Illustration lecturer and illustrator Dwayne Bell (33) has (probably) broken his hand. As we write this he's away at the hospital to have it checked out.

Our thoughts are with him and we wish him a speedy recovery.

It's well known that Dwayne leads an actively energetic 'outdoors' life, both as a man of the forest and as a dedicated downhill mountain biker. You may well assume, as we did, that his accident was probably the result of a 'chainsaw malfunction' or a 'bike meets tree at velocity' scenario but if you did you'd be very wrong.

Dwayne with his friend Neil (left) in a small forest yesterday

Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction
and in this case the truth is strange indeed...

Although Dwayne has perfected a seemingly natural, windswept look, it can only be achieved by the liberal application of 'product'.

This morning as usual, Dwayne was applying a quick burst of 'Harmony Hair Spray' to his fringe whilst in the confines of his shower cubicle. Tragically, the spray mechanism of the can jammed open, turning the enclosed shower space into effectively, a perfumed gas chamber.

Disorientated and groggy from the fumes, Dwayne accidentally trod on a bar of
Cussons 'Imperial Leather' soap, slipped and tumbled out of the shower. His hard landing on the tiled bathroom floor, resulting in the probable broken hand.

Strangest Thing of the Week (Amorous Rock Stars Part II)

We've already brought you the jaw dropping image of Ronnie Wood 'puckering up' for his old pal Rod Stewart.

Not content with that, Rosie Leather (Year 1 Illustration), brings you
Mancunian motormouth and general all-round bad boy Liam Gallagher (formerly of Oasis), smooching with a certain Ms. Kate Bush!

There must be something in the water up here...

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Scenes From the Life Room

Emma - Year 1 Illustration

Stephen Arthur - Year 3 Illustration

Ami - Year 1 Graphic Design - works part-time for a coal delivery business...

Jasper VLB - Year 1 Illustration

Lee - Year 1 Illustration

Louise Hubbard - Year 3 Illustration

Sam's double-snazzy sneakers!

The result of a hard afternoon's work.

The First Years are Introduced to 'Hardcore' Typography

The Typographer Royal (with full regalia) dispenses words of wisdom to Jake Thompson (21)

It's that time of year when The University of Cumbria's very own Typographer Royal, H.R.H. Rhiannon Robinson, spends a lot of quality time with our first year students.

Rhiannon was crowned Typographer Royal by our very own queen, H.R.H Elizabeth II, in an elaborate ceremony, held in Typographers Hall (City of London) in June 1990. The position of Typographer Royal is not to be underestimated and Rhiannon takes her official duties very seriously. Her role behooves her to undertake the following:
  1. Banish poor letter spacing, leading and tracking from all four corners of the kingdom
  2. Seek out and destroy all 'widows' and 'orphans' in documents near and far
  3. Challenge all developers of Microsoft Word Art to single, mortal combat
  4. Round-up, imprison in Newgate and finally hang by the neck until dead, all look-alike, generic fonts and that evil malefactor, known to the wider population as 'Comic Sans'
  5. Teach kick-arse typography skills to students of The University of Cumbria

The Queen helps Debbie Nixon (21) finesse her design

The induction commenced last Monday with a deceptively simple brief to turn some 'naked' text into a black and white press ad. The students quickly learned that what seems an easy task , is in fact fiendishly difficult. However with Rhiannon on hand they are learning fast and will quickly develop a sound understanding of the basics of good typography.

We'll post their efforts next week...

Things appear to be going well for Luci Ormrod (21)

Jen Sproat (21) in combat with an awkward line length

As always, we design on paper first...

Meanwhile... Adam and Katy (both 21) work on ideas for the concurrent 'Twins' project

Monday, 23 January 2012

Dan Sutherland - New Website

While we're featuring the successes of our ex-students (see the post on Ryan Young below) we thought we'd bring you up to date with 2005 graduate Dan Sutherland

Dan, who has featured on the
blog before, graduated to a job at MTV in London and subsequently moved to RED in Brighton.

Dan has now gone solo, creating his own company The Desire Path and we at GRILLUST™ would like to take this opportunity to wish him every success in this exciting new venture.

Be sure to also check out his Vimeo channel as Dan has made a great video, or two, or three, or four...

Visiting Lecturer - Ryan Young of Sell! Sell!

On Friday we were treated to a visit and illustrated lecture from ex-student Ryan Young who now works at the dynamic London agency Sell! Sell!

Ryan - who comes from Newtonards in County Down - graduated in June 2008 with his job at Sell! Sell! already in the bag!

It was good to see that after all these years of living and working in Hackney and Shoreditch - where, let's face it, fashion and hair crime are a daily reality - Ryan's sense of style remains resolutely true to his Northern (Irish) heritage (see photo below for proof):

In a packed lecture theater...

... Ryan not only featured lots of Sell! Sell!'s intelligent, witty and engaging advertising and design work (see below):

Fentimans Victorian Lemonade Commercial from Sell! Sell! on Vimeo.

 Commercial from Sell! Sell! on Vimeo.

...but also passed on his top tips for success, both as a student and as a graduate (some of his key themes are illustrated below):

Following cries of "well said Sir!", "huzzah" and a generous round of applause, Ryan adjourned to the studio to offer practical advice to students.

Ryan gives advice to Year 2 student Steph Stilwell (advice not pictured).

We should also advise you that Ryan is one of the tallest students we have ever had the pleasure of teaching. In fact we thought he might be THE tallest, so before he left we thought we would compare him to our current 'loftiest student' Appie Carr (21). As you can see Appie, at 7' 4", came out victorious. However, we can now firmly state that Ryan (33) is the 2nd tallest student we have ever had the pleasure of teaching.

Appie & Ryan strive for vertical supremacy (Tom Cruise included to give a sense of scale)

From everyone in the GRILLUST™ empire, we'd just like to say thanks a million Ryan and please feel free to come again anytime.

The smile of success...

Friday, 20 January 2012


Yr3 Graphic Design student Sarah Swanton (21) recently featured on top packaging blogsite The Dieline, with her range of retro Lindt chocolate packaging.


the best website
in the whole world

If you've been wondering which is the best site in the whole wide world, look no further because we've found it here...

Thursday, 19 January 2012

computer arts #197
featuring mica connelly
of 3rd year

Perennial studio favourite and self proclaimed biggest digital art magazine in the world, Computer Arts, this month features an illustration modeled for by third year graphic designer, Mica Connelly (21), and created by lecturer Dwayne Bell (33). Of the exposure Mica has been quoted as saying that she "won't forget her roots or the little people who put her where she is today". She has recently been spotted stepping out with the girly looking man-child from that 'band' that are semi-famous this week. She is also hotly tipped to make an appearance on whichever reality show is in popular favour as we go to press.


As the second year illustrators embark on some good old fashioned drawing, here's a very very nice example of a good old fashioned drawing by American illustration legend, Bob Peak (it's of Marlon Brando).

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

What Do You Mean, You've Not Seen...

The films of Peter Greenaway

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Scenes from the Life Room