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A small, professional binding company in East London.

A small, professional binding company in East London.

Stumbled across this neat little binding shop whilst wondering the streets of London. Was amazed by the intensity of the work that was going on here. It had a unique feel about it which retained many of the traditional techniques and processes of book binding. This place really felt pure, honest and unspoilt, where the workforce consisted of both young and old craftsmen and women, all working intensely on single, one off jobs. I mentioned this place to nick at ODD, and he mentioned that they work quite closely with this book binders, especially when they need one off promotional items made for a client.

An oppertunity for young designers and free lance designers to gain work.

An oppertunity for young designers and free lance designers to gain work.

Whilst waiting for my mate to finish shopping in the London Graphic Centre, I noticed this pin up board that was home to an array of business cards and flyers that advertised designers of all ages from around the country. I found this quite fascinating, and spent a short while checking out some of the online portfolio sites featured using my Iphone. The environment in which this point of self advertising was situated in seemed appropriate for attracting the type of people that might be interested in hiring out free lance designers for example, however because of the current situation that the design industry finds itself in, I’m not sure this would attract much employment opportunities.

Me and my housemate visit ODD one year later...

Me and my housemate visit ODD one year later...

On Wednesday 15th April, myself and a housemate also studying towards their honours degree, set off to London since getting in contact with design agency, ODD. Having moved about a block away from the old studio, we were informed that since our last visit, the original design team had been bought out by a much arger product design company who had worked with ODD in the past, in particular, when working on designs for the self service machines for the high street cosmetic chain, Boots.

Uniqlo seemed to be one of ODD’s biggest clients, a relationship that was just emerging when we visited during February of last year, and were told that because of this, the work in which they had been supplying the multinational clothing company with had become more and more experimental and fun.

During our visit, we spoke to Nick Stickland, head designer at ODD and also one of their junior designers named Mark. The current design team at ODD is made up from two groups of friends, graduating from the same universities and colleges. I certainly got the feeling that there was a definte ‘design community’ in the surrounding area, with SEA located just down the road. We were asked about our current projects and how we felt about graduating soon, and it was agreed that some arrangements could be made for possible work placements in the near future providing we both send the company copies of our portfolios and link to our websites that are currently under construction.

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Negitive reply from Spin's PA, Natasha Day.

Received an email today from Design group, Spin\’s PA. Negative reply unfortunately, they were fully booked on the day when me and Kubby were planning on taking a trip to London.

Graphic Design company based in Bristol.

Graphic Design company based in Bristol.



Wire Sky
have a much broader range of clients, from stationary items for Zurich to promotional point of sales for Freeview. Their client list seems more established, not sure whether this is because they have a large team, or simply because they have been going a long time? Their website is fully functioning flash, and it even functions in a way which reflects their company profile: ‘We take it out, turn it upside down and inside out. We look at it in the light and again in the dark. We get excited. Then we tell your story from the inside.’

A Graphic Design company located in Bristol.

Graphic Design company located in Bristol.

Qube design associates Ltd are located on the Western side of the city, overlooking the river Avon. Their portfolio is relatively local, having dealt with clients such as South West screen and Bristol water. However, I personally like the work they have produced thus far, and their website is scarily similar to a design that I had in the production line. Might have to reconsider this if I end up making any further contact with Qube!

A guest lecture by type designer Hamish Muir on the 10 March 2009.

A guest lecture by type designer Hamish Muir on the 10 March 2009.

Hamish Muir, formal pupil of the Bournemouth & Poole Institute of design and the Basel school of design, Switzerland held a presentation in the main lecture theatre on the 10 March 2009, commencing at approximately 1045 hours on the Tuesday morning.

He covered many ideas in design, particularly in typography that I found personally, very interesting. His earliest pieces of design were completed using purely hand crafted techniques. Muir worked from a small, shared office during the early 1980’s, without the digital technologies that we take for granted today. He expressed how in 1989, himself and a colleague bought their first Macintosh computer which set them back a massive £9,000. This price included a basic software package, with programmes such as Quark 2 and a hard-rive that was just 20 mb in size!

One particular concept that Muir expressed was his belief of ‘how little you can possibly do as a designer in order to be most effective.’ This idea was evident most predominantly in his typographical work, especially throughout the International Journal of Typography of which he was a co founder in, Octavo (meaning 8 pages, otherwise known as a signature.)

He also talked about how not everything within Graphic Design has to come from a ‘big’ idea, and that sometimes, a response to something quite insignificant, has the potential to be as equally powerful.

Ist attempt at re creating an idea I had for part of my personal stationary.

Ist attempt at re creating an idea I had for part of my personal stationary.

Initial mock up of what my ‘logo model’ might look like. I still feel it accurately represents the type of designer that I am and reflects a style that be seen in alot of the work in my portfolio to date.

I will consider more professional techniques when crafting the final model. Was suggested making a personal visit to local printers, S P S print, located in nearby Ferndown http://www.thespsgroup.co.uk/index.html. Might be able to get quotes here for high quality print jobs using various paper stocks, ideal for model making.

In terms of personal promotion, my model could be something that is sent to the potential employer as a kind of memento gift, along with my CV and other items?

My next steps are to experiment with where I chose to photograph the model. The location of its whereabouts could be the strength and uniqueness behind my personal identity here which makes me stand out from the crowd?

Email reply from Nick & Simon's PA at ODD.

Email reply from Nick & Simon's PA at ODD.

This is the email received from ODD, after myself and a colleague on my course attempted to contact the design agency for a possible visit in April. This was the first time we had contacted the London, design agency since February of last year hen we were successful in arranging an Industry visit with them as part of our career planning section of the course. Nick and Simon, the head designers of the agency, PA was quick in replying to us regarding our initial email, and offered us some time to come up and visit them in their new studio anytime on the 15 April.

Portfolio presentation by the Managing Director of 'Think Juice', Bournemouth.

Portfolio presentation by the Managing Director of 'Think Juice,' Bournemouth.

Today, the Managing Director of Bournemouth based Advertising agency, Think Juice made a formal presentation based on preparing the portfolio. I found it a refreshing and rewarding presentation that put me into the right mindset to take action and update my portfolio ready for interviews in the near future.

The presentation outlined 5 major fundamentals related to preparing my portfolio:
1. Be 100% content with every aspect of my portfolio.
2. Avoid showing the work of other designers.
3. Remind myself about the pieces of work I choose to include in my portfolio by remembering at least two things to talk about for each.
4. Aim for approximately 8-10 really polished pieces of work to be included.
5. Demonstrate my thinking. The employer is always looking for that ‘diamond in the rough.’