Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Year One - Latest Project

In the penultimate project of the academic year the first year students were tasked with both naming and creating a graphic identity for a range of unusual (yet strangely desirable) products and/or services that included:

Gluten-free food for Satanists
Roller skates for dogs
Wind-up television
Steam-powered ‘marital aid’
A horizontal, slow, roller-coaster
Robotic Barber/Hairdresser
A fun dissection game for the under fives
Fortune telling eggs
External hard drive that doubles as a toaster
A tuba that folds to the size of a briefcase

Language is a hugely important communication tool and this project was all about exploring its potential. A few, well chosen words can transport the reader on a voyage of delight, tapping into a rich vein of imagination and personal experience. On the other hand, unimaginative or awkward language quickly alienates and poor grama nd speling make U lk a rank amature (do you see what i did there)?

Let's have a look at what they got up to...

Shona Dixon and Amy Cusimano (both 21) produced an exemplary and substantial collection of worksheets in only three days.

Brainstorming in action - a detail of Shona and Amy's worksheets

Early design ideas from Julia Ivansky (21) and Natalie Faunch (21)
The final identity for a steam-powered 'marital' aid from Ivansky/Faunch (21)

Roller skates for dogs - another design from Ivansky/Faunch (21)

Non-alcoholic Absinthe also by Ivansky/Faunch (21)

Gluten-free food for Satanists also, also by Ivansky/Faunch (21)

Adam Peel and Lewis Gray (21) bring you a Robotic Barber

Also from the dynamic duo of Peel/Gray (both 21) is this identity for a ‘shoot ’em up’ computer game based in the world of soft furnishings

The Peel/Gray take on Gluten-free food for Satanists (they're both 21 by the way...)

It's a bit since we've featured any of Sophie Driffield's (21) detailed and thorough worksheets so lets rectify that now...

These are for an indoor cloud making machine

Evolving towards the final design...

Here's the final design

Finally, here's Sophie's design for a dating site for people who find Morris Dancers attractive

Monday, 25 March 2013

From the maker of The Kerning Game - 'Shape Type'

Mark MacKay the designer who brought you The Kerning Game has come up with another fiendish test of hand-eye coordination. It's called Shape Type and is a game that explores the proportion, composition, balance and rhythm of a range of fonts and letter shapes.
Let us know how steady your hand is and how good an eye you have for judging proportion...

Grillust™'s Dubai Correspondent Wins Award, Gets Promoted

Congratulations go out to Grillust™'s premier (well, only...) Dubai correspondent Mr Chris Hunt.

For Chris, who works for Memac Ogilvy & Mather in their sunny Dubai office, has won an award in the prestigious Dubai Lynx Advertising Awards and also been promoted to Head of Art.

You can see Chris' award winning campaign work for Rennie here and also explore the wide range of work that Chris has produced on his personal website here.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Wheels are for Wimps!

Here's a dramatic photo of H.R.H.T.T.R. (Her Royal Highness The Typographer Royal) Rhiannon Robinson (33) 'wo'manhandling a very, very, very heavy box full of Year 3 competition entries bound for this year's prestigious ISTD Awards, while the rest of the Grillust™ team just stood idly by and watched.

Now you're probably thinking ISTD - isn't that one of those things you can 'catch' off a toilet seat or 'get' by indulging in joyful sexual congress while not wearing a Full Immersion Floatation Suit?

No!.. You're thinking of sexually transmitted diseases... ...we're talking about the International Society of Typographic Designers.

We always do well in this annual competition - designed to promote and uphold typographic standards. We'll let you know how we got on at a later date but, in the meantime, it's 'fingers crossed' and 'good luck' to all our students who entered.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The End of Civilisation as We Know It - GRILLUST™ Cautiously Embraces Facebook

Here's remarkable photographic proof that those champions of all things 'old school' the Grillust™ team have finally bowed to the inevitable and expanded their empire to include the world of Facebook (a well known, social networking site).

The photo shows nominated Grillust™ operative Tony Peart (33) responding to a friend request from Bolivian pole dancer (and part-time coal miner) Ramón Alfredo Sánchez. Tony was also delighted to make friends with 1970's retail giants, Brentford Nylons shortly afterwards. "We could have seconds of fun with this" quipped the charismatic, thirty-something lecturer. His colleague Jim Millington (33) added "Hang on! Why aren't you describing me as 'charismatic'?"

Altogether, a remarkable turn of events for a group of throwbacks whose only previous opinion of Facebook is best represented by the following clip:

Year 1 Hardcore Typography (Part 2) - The Results

The plucky Year 1 students have just spent a further two weeks 'under the wing' of H.R.H. The Typographer Royal, our very own Rhiannon Robinson (33).

Part two was fiendishly difficult. The students were presented with a page of continuous text (riddled with deliberate spelling and punctuation mistakes) and asked to transform it into a two page, introductory chapter opening.

Using detective work and cunning they had to work out what was what (e.g. heading / running head / quotation / credit to quotation / introductory paragraph / body copy / relevant sub-headings for different paragraphs in body copy etc) and orchestrate the typographic chaos into beautiful and readable designs.

As always, the design was worked out on paper before the Macs were used to create the final piece.

Great typography usually looks effortless but please believe us, it isn't. The truth is, the better it looks the more blood, sweat, tears, technical skill and knowledge went into it.

They all learned a huge amount and if a picture is worth 1000 words then here are what seem like 1000 pictures...

Early days... Young Kimberley Gardiner (21) signifies approval in the traditional fashion while, in the background, Sam Rimmer (21) doesn't look so happy.

Lewis Gray (21) takes his designs on paper into the digital realm.

H.R.H. Rhiannon Robinson (33) grants Cameron Holland (21) a royal audience.



Above, is an example of the 'naked' text we gave to the students. Now marvel in wonder and admiration when you see what it became in their hands...
Adam Peel (21)

Aimee Stewart (21)

Aimee Stewart (still 21)

Cameron Holland (21)

Connor Palamino (21)

Derrian Bradder (21)


Josie Howker (21)

Kate Patterson (21)

Reece Crowder (21)


Josie Howker (21)

Tom Kiernan (21)

Jessica Julien (21)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

How's Your Kerning?

Kerning, as you all know, is the art of digitally moving type (at larger, display sizes) so that the spaces between the letters in any given word appear even and proportionate.

At a small scale (like this) irregularities are hardly noticeable but at larger sizes, and with problem letter combinations (like VA, AV etc.), kerning is often a necessity (see below).

Imagine our delight therefore, when our ever-faithful Dubai correspondent, Mr Chris Hunt (33) pointed us in the direction of a website devoted to the noble art of kerning. This is actually a highly educational and fun, kerning 'game' which even scores your feeble attempts out of a possible 100!  

Klick HERE to go to the KERNTYPE game.

Competitive as ever, the Grillust™ team immediately decided to hold a 'Kern Off', something we would encourage you to do with all of your friends and family.

The rules are simple. Don't practice at all, seriously don't; that would be cheating. Play with the introductory page all you like (to get your head around how it works) and then play the game. Make a screen grab (shift + cmd + 4 on a Mac) of your final score and let us know how you did in the comments section below.

You can go back and play as many times as you like afterwards but in terms of scoring, your first attempt is the only one we're interested in.
We'll trust you to be honest...

"How did we do" I hear you ask? 

Well, the graphic designers amongst us were slightly embarrassed when they discovered that the top score had been posted by an illustrator! Here's bearded, charismatic, Scottish illustration lecturer Dwayne Bell's (33) top score of..

Closely followed by beadred, charismatic, English graphic design lecturer Jim Millington's (33) second place score of...

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Brian Sanders–madmen ad

Mad Men though set in the world of 60s advertising has never promoted itself in a way that mirrors that. Until now. I was overly excited to read that English illustrator Brian Sanders had been asked to produce a series of works in an authentic 60s style. A resurgence in authentic 60s style illustration? Some of the old legends getting a moment in the limelight again? Let’s hope so. Full article here


Some of Brian’s work from ‘back in the day’, including onset pieces he created whilst working as set illustrator, charting the making of Kubrick’s 2001.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Grillust - now with added width

The Grillust blog has always been good. Indeed at times it verges on the sublime. Where else can you find soup reviews, scale model passenger planes made from Papier-mâché, pictures of tall hair, scathing reviews and truth bombs? We do 'em all.
But lately we came to a sudden and terrifying realisation. The Grillust blog just wasn't wide enough. Gasp, weep, swoon!!! Fear not dear reader (singular). With characteristic 'will do' attitude the Grillust boffins have, after countless hours of calculation, experimentation and deliberation, been able to add a mammoth 180 pixels to the width of posts. So don't be afraid of the sheer magnitude of imagery from here on in, do not recoil under the utterly overwhelming amount of picture bearing down upon you - be brave and embrace these shocking changes (which we can, kinda' verify as being more or less safe). Together we step into a slightly widescreen, XL, cinemascope type of new world (blog).

Here's what it means in practical terms...

Old Grillust. Limited to 'normal' sausages.

New Grillust. Jumbo sausage enabled!