Monday, 29 March 2010


Excellent Book Covers and Paperbacks - Smashing Magazine

I particularly like 7, 27, 36, 40, and 53.

The end.

My Easter "Break"...

...involves me sitting here for the duration of the 3 weeks we have "off" from university.

To do:

- Finish my ISTD '100' brief.
- Finish my Alan Warner book design brief.
- Finish my book binding brief.
- Start my research and idea generation for Flux magazine brief.
- Compile my journal notes and start designing the layout for it.
- Find a day to visit London to see some exhibitions.


Saturday, 27 March 2010


During my Book Binding workshops, we were set a brief to create an edition of 10 single-sheet structures. I chose my book structures to be beak-books, and I wanted to incorporate the idea of the structure into my concept.

With this I began looking at words, and how they can be manipulated to be illegible. I started with the word "unfold", reducing the letter spacing so that only an intriguing symbol made up of the layered letters was visible. I gradually unfolded the type to reveal the actual word, and this journey is portrayed when turning the pages of the book. I repeated this process with variants of the word "unfold", such as "reveal" and "evolve".

The book itself evolves - it's pages turn, it opens, it closes, the shape and structure of the book changes and it unfolds to form a single sheet. I will look further into this by exploring different definitions and ways of presenting the type on the page.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Judging my books by their covers.

My current project is to design book covers from a series by the author Alan Warner. Here are my first tries - I'm still yet to start designing for the fourth book but you get the jist. A lot of work yet to be done!

Morvern Caller:

These Demented Lands:

The Man Who Walks:

So like I said, still got a long way to go but I'm quite pleased with my first few attempts.

Monday, 22 March 2010

work (and play)

Alan Fletcher: Fifty Years of Graphic Work (and play).

A month or so ago, an exhibition of Alan Fletcher's work was displayed at the Cube gallery in Manchester.

Alan Fletcher is one of the most prolific graphic designers of our time and his legacy continues to influence global trends in graphic design. The exhibition, which I visited one cold and gloomy day, included original sketches, posters, objects and archive footage celebrating fifty years of the designer's work.

I found the exhibition to be really stimulating; a vast amount of his work is exactly the style/s that I find inspire me most. I had seen a lot of his work before, but had forgotten the impact it had and still holds. I particularly enjoyed his collage-style pieces that incorporated witty puns. This is a technique that I keep on referencing in my work. I can't describe why I love it so much but I find it so inspiring.


I literally just received some exciting news!

John Walsh, art director of Flux Magazine (an international graphic design magazine), has featured one of my designs in its latest edition!

This is big and exciting, mainly because I never thought it would be possible. I'll keep you posted on when it comes out :) - 77,000 copies heading to the printers as we speak!

Thanks John!


So this is a little old now, but here are some images of the exhibition I and 14 other students held demonstrating work from the first term of the second year.

Invitations, laser cut from red perspex.

The set-up; taking on the idea from our project title "restriction" we wanted to restrict the visitors by reducing the size of the design work. Magnifying glasses were provided, so that the viewer had to involve themselves in the work by looking at it close-up.

Me, looking quite awkward posing next to my work. One for the family album. I think not.

"The architecture makes me cream my pants."

Over the weekend I visited my boyfriend in the lovely city of Bradford. It rained. I was kept awake by numerous police and ambulance sirens. I suffered the delights of being forced into a conversation with a drunken man on a train who, when describing northern architecture to me, explained how it makes him want to "cream his pants". What a lovely image.

Edd was intent on showing me some of the nicer parts of the area, and I have to say - despite my stubbornness - he succeeded. We visited one of the largest old cloth-mills in the area - Salts Mill, in Saltaire village. Through the drizzle and the gloom loomed this magnificent building, and I have to say I almost agreed with the drunk man on the train.

The mill is no longer in use for its original purpose, and only a small fraction of the original building is being used now. It has since been converted into a shopping, dining and exhibition space; featuring the work of David Hockney.

This was really interesting, as I have admired his work since my GCSE art studies. I particularly enjoy Hockney's "Joiners" - photomontage pieces that portray scenes through various different perspectives. It was also fascinating to see the range in his work; from paintings to collage and from photomontage to poster design. I enjoyed the exhibition greatly.

What I loved most about the visit though, was the numerous juxtapositions within and surrounding the building. The old versus the new; the derelict versus the newly refurbished; the industrial versus the beautiful. A really interesting experience!


I've been taking part in a series of book-binding workshops, hosted by Hilary Judd.

It sounds pretty tedious, but I have loved every second of this process. Book making is such a fine craft; I love how hands on it is. We spend the majority of the sessions cutting, measuring, gluing, and stitching, often frustratingly, yet I find it all quite exciting. Will the book stay together? What will it look like? That's part of the fun.

Here is a selection of the books I have made/sweated over in the past few weeks. Although pretty simple, a lot of work goes into them all. I particularly like the pale green hardback notebook.

One Hundred.

I've just (semi-)completed a brief set by ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers). It was called "100" and the aim of the brief was to produce a piece of design that somehow represented the importance of the number 100.

The number 100 has a certain aura about it; it is a special number. It denotes a whole: one hundred percent. It holds historic significance; a century is a pivotal time frame. The Romans would organise their troops into centuries, with a centurian in charge of them.

There is a town called 'Hundred' in West Virginia, in the USA. I became fascinated with its story; the town gained its name from the story of Henry Church and his wife, the first settlers who lived to be 109 and 106. In the late 19th century, Church would sit on a rocking chair on his porch near the train station. As the train came into the station, people would say "There's old Hundred," referring to his age. Eventually the name stuck and the station, and later- the town- became known as Hundred. This got me thinking; why do some people manage to outlive others to reach such great ages? And is there a way of living that will increase your life span?

This led my research to nurses forums; on which nurses and doctors had posted various different (and somewhat 'cheesy' in most cases) lists of "ways to reach the age of 100". It was this idea that led me to my final response.

I compiled an accordion book, featuring 100 designs that illustrate a selection of some of the tips the nurses had posted on their forums. Although not fully serious, I felt that they were a quirky and somewhat intriguing idea; the idea that the book would inform its audience with ways of improving their lifestyles but in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.


Here is my blog then. Got lots to sift through and organise so here is the place to do it I guess. I will try and keep this up to date with my current works, inspirations and research.