Wednesday, 22 January 2014

One Song, One Student's Response

Just before Christmas we gave the first year students a project that attempts to demonstrate just how crucial personal involvement, emotional response and passion are in producing truly memorable, powerful Graphic Design and Illustration. 

The project is deceptively simple. The students are given a song (at random) and are asked to design and make a bespoke CD cover for it. The difficulty is that they are asked to create a design that is as emotionally engaging as the original song.

The level of emotional involvement needed to produce good design and illustration is not too dissimilar to that encountered in the worlds of film and theatre. To totally convince an audience, an actor has to research the part, 'feel it', inhabit the role and then totally commit to the performance.

It takes design students years to develop the skills and emotional maturity necessary to work in this way. This project is just the start of a long, long journey. However, we were more than delighted to see the way our students committed to the task in hand.

One of the songs was this:

The Testimony of Patience Kershaw is based on the harrowing account given by Patience (yes, she was a real person) to a commission looking into the worker's conditions in Coal Mines in 1842.

Patience's life was one of unimaginable toil and brutality, she was only 17 and was described by one of the commissioners as follows: "This girl is an ignorant, filthy, ragged, and deplorable-looking object, and such an one as the uncivilized natives of the prairies would be shocked to look upon."

A serious subject requiring a serious response...

Year 1 Graphic Design student Jessica Plant (21) was more than up to the challenge. Here's just a small sample of the work Jess produced during the two weeks allocated to this project. We should also point out that the photographs are all self-portraits created with an auto-timer and that no make up was used. That's real coal you're looking at!

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