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Last night I attended the CSM graphics degree show. All I can say is that it was amazing to experience it from another perspective.

Around this time last year I was taking part in my own show, in the same building and in the same space. During that evening I was excited and nervous about talking to ACTUAL designers about my work as well as giving out and receiving business cards.

Last night was very different. No nerves, just incredibly excited to see the work produced. I was lucky enough to speak to some amazing students (which I plan to do another blog post about) as well a speak to professional designers… Which I can now include myself in!

Overall it was great for me to attend the show, I felt quite refreshed afterwards. I’ve boosted my passion for design by remembering what I love about graphic design as well as what I love about Central Saint martins. The diversity in the work is incredible, from installations to beautifully created illustrations. Speaking to students who are passionate about their work is a great experience, I’m excited for them and where they will go next in their design careers.

I’ll be visiting again Saturday to look at the work in closer detail and hopefully see some more students there.

Another post coming soon!

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Wednesday I went back to Central saint martins to work as a student ambassador. This involves taking part in workshops and courses to help students who aren’t already on the course, decide or at lest show them what we are about.

Wednesday’s students, all bar two, I worked with in July so it was great to see them again. One student mentioned that they missed the building and that they were excited to start the workshops. Comments like that are great, they are exactly the kinds of things we want to hear.

My task was to help them set up a blog and write their first post. It’s interesting to see how they approach the writing part, some decided to post a picture, some were scared of the blank page and others just jumped straight in.

I really made an effort to reassure each one that anything you do isn’t wrong. Anything written on a blog is okay and that if you don’t have much to say that is ok too.

Just from that one session I found it really rewarding, helping and making the feel ok about what they are doing is great. Also I was being asked about my experiences on the course as well as in my internship. It’s great that they remember me from the summer and the discussions about my impending internship.

I am really looking forward to seeing the work they produce as well as the progress they will make, I am also looking forward to being a part of that and helping them as much as I can. By being a very recent graduate I have first hand experience of the kind of work that’s being produced in csm as well as the problems I struggled with (fear if doing design wrong, not making enough work, etc) but also things that are beneficial such as setting up a blog etc.

The next step for me will be to find out more about being a tutor and looking at how to make that transition from being a student. I am aware that there are programmes run by UAL and I think it would be great for me, as I enjoy being involved with this kind of work. Also it’s a good idea not to put all my eggs in one basket, working as a part time tutor and in a studio would be great, best of both worlds.

Today is the end of a busy week!
I have been helping out all week at college, taking part in the CSM choices course which aims to introduce college students to graphic design. They are usually BTEC students and have studied for two years, during this week we encourage them to apply to our foundation course or the BA degree.

We started out by discussing graphic design and what it meant to them. From there we read and talked about an essay. It was really interesting to hear their thoughts on what design is. The questions were difficult, for example – what does graphic design look like?
I can barely answer this question now, let alone trying before studying the course.

There was also a week long project. The brief was message to society. I have done the brief myself this year, and I struggled with it intensely. So actually it was good that I had already done it as some students were getting stuck and worrying about the same issues I was – nothing important to say, felt like it had to be a campaign or a significant ground braking statement.
I can now see that when I did the brief I took it far to seriously. Perhaps this was for the entire year, apart from the last brief where I started to do more of just what I wanted.

During this week it has also made me realise what an absolutely incredible job tutors do. After each day I was literally mentally exhausted, trying to help 20 people, feels like trying to do 20 briefs in one day. Until you have done this, it’s hard to understand the amount of effort tutors put in. It’s not just luck to be or have a good tutor, its because they put the effort in. They are there, fully engaged and there to inspire you. Also I think it takes a great amount of skill to know who needs help and when. I think perhaps I interrupted people too much, when I should of let them just get on wi what they were doing.

By the end of the week, the exhibition was fantastic and they should all be really proud of themselves. I feel lucky to meet such lovely people and really hope many of them go on to study graphic design.

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Also this week, in the evenings I have been working on some materials for London’s first mini makers Faire LCC at elephant and castle. This event was yesterday, it was good to see it all together. I helped out with the map and signage as well as some timetables in projectors. Unluckily I didn’t get to make my own maker badge during the soldering workshop as it was soooo busy but that’s also great that it was so full!

Now that this weeks over, it’s time to start something new next week – THE INTERNSHIP! Really excited to see what I learn.

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The degree show is nearly over. It ends tonight and tomorrow is when we have to take down our work. It has absolutely flown by.

The set up with stressful as there were a lot of miscommunication, lack of people helping and general disorganisation. However the Private View was fantastic, a ridiculous amount of people where there as I spoke to a lot of people who all liked the simplicity of my work. One comment was that it was a bold thing to do by having the piece so simple. However this is the only project where I have done these, but it has been beneficial to know that being bold has positive consequences. I did get one guy who wasn’t so positive about my work. He integrated the way I explained my project as well as the items I chose to brand. Eventually found of the guy is a film maker so I will take this ‘advice’ with a massive lump of salt.

Yesterday was the dreaded day of picking up our results. I received a B for dissertation and a B- for my studio work. Ultimately adding to a weak 2:1. I’m not going to lie, I am pretty gutted that I got a B- for my studio work as during the midpoint assessment I received B’s for things like technical competence, but in my final assessment that went down to a C. While thinking about the whole thing, I knew my work didn’t 100% fit the marking criteria, but I did work my hardest and this is something the marking criteria misses. No university grades you on how hard you worked or the effort you have put it, hopefully that reflects in your work, but sadly for me it hasn’t.

Feedback with my results;

Your engagement with the projects is outstanding and the rigour in your analysis and the critical thinking behind your solutions a real strength. Your no non-sense approach teeming throughout the work is a healthy one that we encourage you to continue developing as a strategy; However beware of it hindering you from exploring avenues that might not immediately show promising results. Suggest giving yourself some space to do things for the sake of it, simply to see new approaches and possibilities.

I feel like the points made are fair – such as doing things for the sake of it. As yeah most of the time I am too ridge in my approach and I won’t try something unless I know it will have some clear benefit before hand.

Pushing aside this, I know that my un-gradable skills will help me in the work place. Being organised, focused and hard working does amount to something when working with a group of people. It would all be well and good that you may have a 1st and have lovely ideas, but it’s no good if you don’t have the focus on self management to get shit done.

Now, after the doom and gloom of results. I have fantastic news that makes me go HAHAHA in the face of the marking systems. My blog has enabled me to become head hunted for a 3 month paid internship at SAS London (lovely website here) I received a email a few fridays ago about going in for a chat with my portfolio. I had the interview and an hour later I was offered a place. This for me, is wonderful. I really can’t wait to start and put into practice what I have learned as well as what I can learn for experienced designers.

I plan to keep my blog going about the internship. It will be probably vague about the projects due to confidentiality but I think its key to get out there what an intern does and what the experience can be like.

Some how the time between hand in for assessment and the degree show has zoomed past in a flash. At one time it felt like we had months before the degree show, and now its this time next week!

The images in this post are them weeks condensed down… Also realised I didn’t post any images of my wine final outcome. But they are all on my website – http://www.elizabethhamburger.com

I’ve produced some screen prints for my degree show display as I have a massive wall that I need to cater for. As well as this I have created a wine party kit, inclusive of invites, score cards, information booklet, bottle numbers and wine glass ‘charms’.

I used diginate.com to produce the white stickers for the chutney, cheese and oat cakes. I’m not really sure how it will all look once together… perhaps not much there.

Also popped into the guardian to do a one day project, it was intense in terms understanding what was needed to be communicated, but generally a good day and experience.

It is now a week after hand in! Therefore it is not long until the degree show.
In the week just gone I spent a lot of time trying to do nothing as I’ve been pretty exhausted from being at college until late.

I am quite content with my portfolio (which I can’t get back due to the examiners wanting to have a nose through it…) I feel that I have got a good range of projects that show I am not just a one trick pony, but shows that I can apply myself to all aspects of design.

While creating a portfolio, we had to also write a design statement. In this statement we had to condense our thoughts, opinions and principles as a designer, by writing this statement I can now clearly explain who I am and what I am about. Honestly I think it’s the best thing I have ever written.

Design Statement

“Be not afraid of being called un-fashionable.” – Adolf Loos

My work questions functionality and uses design to provoke and intrigue. My aim is to use design as a means of investigation as to whether graphic design can be based fully on purpose and reasoning rather than aesthetic values and trends. Consequently I am interested in the idea that “Form follows function”– Louis Sullivan. This idea of functionality has played a major role in understanding and developing my priorities as a graphic designer.

A functional approach has allowed me to reflect and situate my practice within information design. From this position my work explores the boundaries of information design and can cross over into other traditional disciplines. Therefore I am a multidisciplinary designer.

By borrowing aspects of information design, in particular treating content as data, it enables me to understand the complexity of information design and how it is more than information graphics. This was reiterated through experimentation within Rest in Pixels and Jam Project.

Using the form follows function rational I attempted to produce design that is authentic and clear. This concept was explored via my UAL Rebrand project. Clarity in design is important, as design should not be based on style or decoration that detracts from content. This approach was scrutinised at length within the Wine Label brief. The use of decoration within graphic design can render it superficial rather than a valuable practice.

Along with function, purpose is key within my projects. Without the aspect of purpose a project lacks its depth and relevance. This was experimented thoroughly within the Hate/Love project.

By having this piece of writing I think it will help others understand my values as well as understand the kind of work I produce.

There is only 4 weeks today until our degree show, meaning that I really need to crack on with what I plan to display. I feel that my wine project was most successful, plus it was the project I enjoyed the most (a coincidence I think not…) I’m not sure how to expand on it though. Perhaps I shouldn’t or maybe I could develop it more as a brand?

Also I have been looking at junior designer jobs. VERY VERY SCARY. I just need to find some self confidence somewhere and then I’m sure I will be fine. I have the ability but lack some confidence…

So I guess I will continue to blog right up to my degree show… perhaps continue afterwards as a documentation of my job searching.