Visits // Days out

Last weekend I visited Colour World UK with my sister. Colour World Uk is an event that welcomes hundreds of colourists to an event designed specially for hairdressers of all ages and stages. The event focuses on inspiration, learning techniques (by watching accomplished colourists at work), and sharing ideas to grow a colour business.

My sister Katie is one of the most talented, focused and knowledgeable hairdresser of her age you’ll ever meet. To keep up to date and to maintain this fantastic skill set she frequently goes to events and talks throughout the year. As as any good sister would, I accompany her.

These events are an absolute joy for a graphic designer to attend, especially when discussing the process and the technicalities of colouring.

Many of us at university are told, design does not live in a bubble. You must engage with other things in life to become a more well rounded designer. This becomes easier said than done when you’re interested in beautiful type, colours and layout. However if you look hard enough you will find that you can gain so much from talks/events/visits that you would not instantly think have any connection to graphic design.

Vidal Sassoon

On Sunday the lecture that inspired me the most was by Edward Darley –
UK Colour Director from Vidal Sassoon. Incase you’re reading this and have no idea who Vidal Sassoon is here is a brief history.

Vidal Sassoon was a male hair dresser in 50’s and is possibly the single most influential hairdresser – ever. He was a forward thinking hairdresser who took inspiration from the Bauhaus movement. This inspiration and cross over between architecture eventually created one of Vidal Sassoon’s most iconic hair cut – the asymmetric bob


Vidal’s process and values are heavily installed into his team and this was very apparent during Edward Darley’s lecture .

Colour Theory

Darley spoke about the use of colour theory and how this knowledge can allow you use colour to create shape and balance within hairstyles.

By referencing the likes of Johannes Itten and his most famous book ‘The Art of Colour’, the lecture instantly became accessible to anyone who uses or deals with colour. It is easy to forget that not only graphic designers deal with colour, therefore was pleasantly surprised and fascinated that there was this strong connection between hair and design.

Throughout the talk Darley spoke convincingly about colour theory with real life examples. Not only did I learn and reinforce my exsisting knowledge surrounding colour theory, I also was reminded how to important it is to be great at public speaking. Darely spoke with such passion and integrity that it was impossible to leave the room without feeling inspired.

This was just one of the many inspiring talks from throughout the day, there were plenty of discussions and presentations that looked at collections, the ideas behind them and the creative process. All of these events relate back to design; we all use ideas and have a creative process the only difference is the medium.

Even if you are not interested in the subject of hair, listening to those who are speak and discuss hair with confidence and creativity can only benefit you as a designer.


Today I was very fortunate to go on a one day course of sign writing. This was a great Christmas gift from my sister and boyfriend, and probably the best gift I will ever receive!

The class can be a two or one day event and is run by a great guy called Nick (you can find all the information here

We started off by understanding about sign writing, things to consider when spec’ing up a job, also things to battle with – the British weather!

We then jumped straight into tracing various letters and also practiced a few free hand letters, I went for Gill sans 3. By the fifth repetition I think I nailed it.

We chalked up our letters onto the wall and then began painting, it was really fun, but intense, I think I concentrated so hard I gave myself a headache! That or it was the fumes of the enamel / white spirit!

Now I have had this taster session I really would love to do another class in a few months time after I have had time to practice more and develop my technique.

If you have any interest in type, letters, painting in general I can’t recommend this course enough!

2015/01/img_1437.jpg By Ron, a professional sign painter

2015/01/img_1441.jpg My letters!

2015/01/img_1439.jpgNick’s wonderful ‘O’





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.


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.





Back at university!!! and so far its been pretty slow. So far i’ve had to hand in some of my dissertation, gate crashed a tutor trip and went on a trip today with my group but unfortunately no tutor.

I’m sure once the feedback has been given for the dissertation work in progress the projects and things to do will mount up, but at the moment its nice and relaxed.

So yesterday the new tutor group & myself went to the design museum to see “Design to Win” which runs 26 July – 18 November and it “celebrates the ways in which design and sport are combined, pushing the limits of human endeavour to achieve records and victories of increasing significance and wonder. From the design of F1 cars to running shoes, bats, balls and bicycles, the quest for enhanced performance and function is endless.”

The brief we was given before this visit was to visit the design museum, specifically “Design to Win” and go through the exhibition in two minds, that of a visitor and that of a designer.

In terms of a visitor the idea was to look at the objects and how you experienced the exhibit, also we had to figure out what the themes were within the show and the political implications of these themes.

As a designer we had to think about the way in which we show was navigated as well as the various channels of communication used. Also the text and image ratio, things that were missed and how it could be improved overall.

As a visitor I would say that there was a sufficient amount of content to look at, enough to feel like it was worth going but not too much to get bored. Experiencing how it works? Well it works as you walk around and read bits about each piece? (Not really sure what kind of question that is meant to be)
The themes within the exhibition are sport, technology advancements, performance, fashion and safety as well as fairness.

All of these pieces of design that are used to enhance performance are regulated. This regulation is in order to keep the sport fair, so that no one person had an advantage over another.
I guess the political implications come from the fact that sport is very patriotic. A country is represented through one person or a team of people. Sport can be used to influence democracy. For example sport can bring people together in an attempt to break down social barriers.
However it can also be a negative, for example the 1936 Olympics, hitler used this event to project his ideologies. Hitler apparently believed that sport was a “way to weed out the weak, Jewish, and other undesirables.”

As a designer I felt that the exhibition had a clear structure in the way you was meant to engage with it.
When entering the room there was a numbers on the floor next to each side room. Naturally you always start at number one. This was quite a subtle way to prompt the visitor to look at the content, without making it obvious with arrows. I feel there was three channels of communication, interactive, audio and visual (text). In terms of hierarchy the text was top, then interactive and audio together.

The text to image ratio was even / I wouldn’t say I missed anything, some people felt that seating would be nice to have.

Ways to improve the exhibition would be to change the way in which the text was printed. On the small cardboard signs the text was glossy which made it difficult to read if stood at the wrong angle. Also it did seem slightly a bit too dim. Slightly more lighting would be great.


After this visit we had to create a A4 PDF as “boring / neat ” as possible. It should feel like it is from a exhibition surveyor. Can include images or visuals.

Seems like a easy task. But its not!

So this is what I have come up with. I would say this is pretty boring. Apart from the sheer excitement of using bold… so that maybe too much. But I have gone for the system of using the visitor and designers as two columns. The bold is the subject and the medium text is the explanation/answer. I used meta a type choice as this is a typeface used on forms, so as this is a kind of survey, I thought that would be an okay choice. Plus its not to “in your face” . I think its pretty neat, All the spaces are either 6mm, 12mm, or 24mm. Same for the typeface, 12pt, 24pt, or 48pt. so its all nicely related. I’m probably over thinking what is wanted of us. But this is it for now.

Easter Holidays. Work Experience.

Twitter is a fabulous tool! If you don’t have a twitter account, you should get one. It is a great tool for coming across great opportunities.

I came across Puck Studio  last year at Pick Me Up, but only recently followed them on twitter. There was regular tweets about their excitement and preparation for the exhibition, so when they asked whether anyone wanted to help out, I jumped straight at the chance!

So far I have helped out on the Private view and one day at the weekend, and its been great! I’ve learnt about Gocco prints and meet some lovely other illustrators who have also been helping out Puck Studio.

 I would say out of the whole exhibition, that this is my favourite part, not being biased but it is actually great. I love all of the prints! And if you haven’t been to Pick Me Up, then you must go!

Smaller prints that you can purchase incase you don’t feel up to buying a full on screen print.

Third image in, is the work of Robbie, one of the guys who is in Puck Studio

“Pure Evel” by Dave also in Puck Studio, produced on the gocco printer.

Follow Puck studio at – @puck_studio

Above is one of my favourite pieces from the exhibition, all of the typography is created out of paper.

I also really liked this, I would of actually bought it framed if I could justify the money. I love Gemma Correll’s work, she also has an instagram account that she photographs her newest work, which is even better as you see great images of her pet pugs too!

Screen Printing Workshop. One Day.

Today was my first lesson in how to screen print. Before I had only done printing from a premade screen or a stencil.

The day was pretty long, however there was a lot of waiting around and we only had half an hour to create prints.

As it was only a day induction we didn’t get to experiment fully with the four colour process, only mixing inks directly on the screen.

I will make an effort to go back again and try to screen print more often as its a great facility to have as well as getting back to creating images by hand rather than creating screen based work.

Day trip in Paris.

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This was one of the first stations we went through and it was the best looking one! The titles are amazing and literally cover any available wall space. According to Wikipedia;

” Concorde is distinctive due to its décor; the tunnel for line 12 is decorated with tiles spelling the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen.

Ezra Pound‘s famous Imagist poem, In a Station of the Metro, was inspired by this station.”

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All of the stations have a distinct character, all the stations look the same, and they all have the vintage feel to them. There is some modern signage but that is not placed on the walls.

Its nice to see the metro have a continuous look, not like our stations in the underground.

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I visited Paris with my friend Becky (a fellow graphics student). We literally walked for miles and miles. It was a great day, the weather was fab! Even abit of sunshine at times. There was also a lot of christmas markets which was great to get you into the festive spirit!

Xmas trips may become an annual event…