/ Year three / Kino4: Rollerball

 Rollerball (1975) Directed by Norman Jewison

The story follows Johnathan E. (James Caan,) the star player for the Houston Rollerball team. He's the highest scoring player in the league. Fans adore him. He never loses. And the executives are frightened by his celebrity. Rollerball is designed to be an outlet for violence in society run by mega-corporations whilst also demonstrating the futility of individuality. Johnathan's success enrages the executives at Energy, the corporation that fields the Houston team, they are pressing him to retire but he refuses as rollerball is the only thing that keeps him going. 

I found Rollerball to be an enjoyable film, i think the thing that interested me most was the sharp contrast between the scenes of dialogue and the scenes of rollerball being played. i think that the calmness of the predominantly dialogue scenes is what made the Rollerball scenes so exhilarating to watch.

/ Year three / Summer Brief: Kino4

KINO4 Live Brief
KINO4 is to be the new weekly screen club of classic ‘Arthouse’ films, animations and cultural documentaries, run internally for the course.

A logo identity is required for Kino4’ and a poster for the first few films 

Produce either or both

1. A body of experiments in any media and final Poster designs for one or more of Octobers featured films

2. An identity for Kino4

* This work will be pinned up in the new studio and discussed on the first week back

 October films ( see the blog for more details ) 

‘Good night and Good Luck’ Directed by G.Clooney 
‘The Corporation’ Directed by Jennifer Abbott and Mark Achbar 
‘IF’ Directed by Lindsey Anderson

The Andrei Tarkovsky season’


 Since i hadn't seen many of the films that were listed i decided to focus on creating a logo design that would be fitting for most 'Arthouse' films, rather than watching the films and spoiling my experience of Kino4 to get posters that would fit the individual films.

/ Year two / Summer: Personal Project

Over the summer i decided i wanted to work on my skills with After effects. I started to mess around with the Trapcode Form plug-in. Here is one of my experiments, an abstract Music video for Afx237 v7 by Aphex Twin.

/ Year two / Lecture: James Torry

Based in Manchester, James is part of doodledoMotion who specialise in creative motion graphics, animation and pre & postproduction for TV and corporate clients. He is also an ex MMU D&AD student. He showed a selection of his motion graphic work including TV spots and Title sequences.

This was an interesting and very relevant lecture for me not only because he is an ex student but because Motion graphics is an area of design I would like to pursue.  After his lecture he gave a short tutorial on some of the capabilities of After Effects and demonstrated how to use the puppet tool. This is something that no lecturer has done before but I think it was worthwhile and useful information. I also managed to talk one-to-one with James and ask him some specific after effects questions in relation to one of my projects, which proved very helpful.

/ Year two / Lecture: Si Scott

He is a graphic designer from the Uk who is originally from Leeds but has moved around the country quite a bit. His work is mainly innovative type work with an illustrated feel. He went Leeds College Of Art & Design (Where he is now a part time lecturer) to study a BTEC in Graphic Design and then a foundation in Visual Communication, before going to Buckinghamshire Chilterns University to study a degree in Graphic Design.

In the lecture he gave us an insight in to his design career and explained the different steps he went through to get to where he is today. He also talked about his third year final project at university for which he received a DN&D award. Si took a much less formal approach to the lecture making it very engaging and appealing. I am a fan of his work and was glad I was able to meet him.

/ Year two / Lecture: Paul Farringdon

In his lecture Paul talked about his experiences in the design industry and showed examples of his portfolio work. Studio Tonne is a multi discipline agency but specialize in interactive web based design. It is clear that Paul finds a great deal of his inspirations in music and sound design. They design games, which the user can interact with to make music or just play with different sounds. I checked out their website to play on a few of these games and spent quite a lot of time mucking about with them, Very entertaining. Overall an interesting lecture, it showed me how important and useful interactivity can be in certain types of design.

/ Year two / Lecture: Steve Smith

Steve Smith who works under the name Neasden Control Centre is a London based artist whose output is not confined to one medium or message. He can be found drawing and painting his way through work encompassing illustration / design / typography / motion graphics / installations / art exhibitions and one off projects. He works with many different companies / artist groups / friends and so on and collaborates with a small network of like-minded freelancers from project to project. I particularly liked the motion graphic pieces he showed in the lecture, they have a very obvious hand made aesthetic but there is also a lot of computer graphics used, a nice mix.

/ Year two / Lecture: Mack Manning

In this lecture Mack talked about Our Book cover design project. He also talked about his hometown and how as designers our heritage can influence our work. He showed us work by a number of different designers and enticed us to try and push the boundaries whilst we were creating out book cover designs. He also showed some of his own work and described parts of his design process. I enjoyed this insightful lecture as he covered some interesting designers some of which I had never heard of before which made me go on to research them further.


/ Year two / Lecture: Matt Pyke

Matt gave us a very interesting lecture in which he showed a selection of his works to-date and talked about his working process.

Based in a log cabin studio in Sheffield, Matt Pyke is a painter / photographer / artist / curator / designer / animator / director / producer / lecturer and is the only full time designer of the company he formed in 2004, Universal Everything. Pyke brings together other designers / Programmers / musicians and artists to collaborate and utilize their specialist skills to bring his initial ideas to life. Matt’s work is very unique and inspirational. A lot of his work is created using programming to set parameters, then some kind of input such as motion or sound will trigger the Designs to self generate, making them unique every time.

Before the lecture I was selected to attend a Q&A session with Matt. This enabled me to ask a lot of questions in a more informal environment. He seemed like a really nice guy and showed me that any idea can be created no matter how ambitious and if you don’t have the skills to create it yourself, you can find people to collaborate with who do have the skills to help you realize it. I have followed Matt Pyke for quite some time and was honoured to have the chance to meet him.

/ Year two / Lecture: David Crow

In this lecture David talked about Semiotics. He talked in depth about how language is made up of a series of signs. He covered subjects such as: the origin of the term, official language/unofficial language and the differences between them, signifiers, anchorage, detonation and connotation. I found this lecture to be interesting and useful as it gave me a better understanding of Semiotics and made me question my previous knowledge of the subject.

/ Year two / Lecture: Patrick Young

In his lecture Patrick talked about a number of different design projects that he has worked on. He went into detail about what he had been commissioned to do, the people who were involved in the projects and he explained the creative decisions and processes along the way. During his lecture Patrick talked about a skateboarding company which he co founded in Liverpool called East, I found this part of his lecture particularly interesting because I have used East equipment before and I spent a lot of time in the shop Lost art in Liverpool which he talked about. I really enjoyed Patricks lecture and found the design tips useful. It was an interesting insight into a successful designers working process.


/ Year two / Workshop: Modern Myth Lab

During this term I also attended a workshop hosted by Sue Platt about image, text and the associated narratives that can be implied through formats, media and process. First I learned how to make a beak book, the task was to create a double sided book to illustrate one of the following subjects; Masculine and feminine, Success and Failure, Reality and Myth, Feel and Live/Touch and Live or Knock Knock, Who’s there? Next I was given an induction into using the stop-frame animation suite, then asked to produce a thirty second animation with these new skills.

For the beak book I went for masculine and feminine as my subject. My idea was to photograph the graffiti that appears in men’s toilets and I asked a friend to photograph the graffiti in women’s toilets. The point of this was so that people could compare the graffiti and look for similarities or differences in the subject matter hopefully making an interesting and comical little book. For my stop-frame animation I wanted to experiment with using computer game character sprites, so I decided to create some sprites of myself and put them into a computer game world made of sweets. Although the animation process is fairly tedious, I had a lot of fun creating it and I like the unique, spontaneous feel achieved using stop-frame. I can see myself using the stop-fame suite in the future.

This workshop took me away from working on the Mac and out of my comfort zone, it enabled me to get my hands dirty and experiment with design solutions that are hand made.

/ Year two / Project: Live Brief

Ian Anderson set a Live Brief that simply said, “Send me something I would want to keep forever.”

This is by far the most open brief we have received this year. I struggled to think of something I could send, then I had some inspiration to create a game using some bits of wood I had left over from a piece of IKEA furniture, which I needed to modify. I designed an instructional poster to go with a set of wooden blocks, each of which has a letter of Andersons name. The aim of the game is to stack the blocks to match the diagrams in the poster, nice and simple. The poster is an A2 Screen print.

/ Year two / Project: Competition Brief

The Brief I chose to attempt for this competition brief was one for Becks Fusions. I worked together with my flatmate Belle Stevens to come up with our concept and create it.

This is probably the project I have enjoyed working on most this term. Belle and I didn’t actually decide to work together on this brief until quite late on, I was originally working on a concept for the 3 minutes brief but after we were both struggling to come up with anything exciting we decided to team up. Our concept came from the idea that Becks initiates creativity. We drew up some ideas, firstly involving some shot glasses that would fill up and empty in time with music to act like an equaliser. We then moved onto an idea involving the passage of time and how Becks breeds’ creativity in people, this involved me sitting on a ledge for a time-lapse sequence with the Manchester cityscape in the background. I would be moving small amounts at a time to give a stop frame effect to my movements. I would have then added multiple elements to the sequence in After Effects. While we began working on this idea with time-lapse and stop frame in mind when we had another idea that we both felt fitted the brief more effectively. This idea was to have a time lapse of an urban but green area, then a group of friends would start having a BBQ all still in time lapse, until someone accidentally knocks over a bottle of Becks. What spills out of the bottle is not beer though… it is lots of bright coloured summery objects and music related items, a metaphor for creativity and what Becks Fusions is all about.

We are very pleased with how the final animation / time-lapse worked out. I feel Belle and myself made a good team as we have different skills that we both utilised to complete this brief

Becks Fusions from SapB on Vimeo.

/ Year two / Project: Team Presentation

For this project we were put into groups of six and given a list of competition briefs to choose from. The Brief we ended up choosing was one for Kleenex tissues, the aim of the brief was to make Kleenex tissues more appealing to men aged 15-29.

I enjoyed working in a group, as we were able to bounce off each other’s ideas and come up with many concepts fairly quickly. Working with the people in my group was not difficult, however I do think group work is more efficient when the people involved have chosen whom they will work with. The Final concept we decided to present was for a light-hearted set of TV adverts using the tag line “There are loads of uses for Kleenex, this isn’t one of them.” The idea being that the ad would start fairly normally and then a person would pull out a Kleenex tissue and do something totally ridiculous with it, all the while acting completely un fazed. Then the Tag line would be said at the end making sense of what went on before.

As a group I think we were all pleased with our final concept and our presentation seemed to go well. Our slides for the presentation could have been better; the edition of some colour and some closer views would have made it more appealing. I also created a short stop-frame animation for this project, involving a tissue with a mind of is own, finding is way back to the box. In hindsight, this was not really relevant to our final concept but as it had already been crated it seemed a shame not to show it.


/ Year two / Project: Book Covers

This Brief was to design a series of covers for at least 4 books from a list of book sets provided. We were to consider the relationship between content and audience, and begin to work in a more self-directed manner.

I found this project to be quite challenging, mainly because all of the books in the sets have very strong visual ties and it is hard to avoid these clich├ęs, but also because I am not a huge fan of reading and many of the books are still on my “to read” list. For the concept behind my design I chose three colours for each book inspired by their narrative. I then used acrylic paints to create unique abstract paintings for each cover. From studying the other book cover designs on the market I noticed that they often use the book title as the main element. At first this seems like an obvious design choice but I think that it is not all that necessary. When books are as iconic and well known as the ones listed, I believe that people who are familiar with the books will recognize them from the quotes I have used, those who are not familiar or have pre-conceptions about that title will be intrigued and pick up the book off the shelf and find the title on the spine.

I am pleased with how my book cover deigns turned out. I think they work well as a set and I like how individuals will interoperate the abstract paintings in different ways.

/ Year two / Project: Police Campaign

For this first project back after Christmas, A live brief was set by the Greater Manchester Police to re-invent their campaign to reduce crime against students.

For this project Adam Brandon, Jack Boulton and myself decided to group together to come up with an interesting concept as we have worked well together in the past. We began by generating concepts that we thought would capture out attention, as we are part of the target audience. Our concept centred around the fact that most robbery’s are committed by opportunist criminals when students give them an easy access route to their property, e.g. an open window or a door not being locked. We decided that a moving image piece would be a better way to capture students attention as it could be distributed on and around popular video sharing and networking websites. The idea behind our motion piece was that a students belongings in their flat/home are given labels of their worth in price and sentiment, then as the student pops out briefly, (i.e. for milk) all it takes is those few minutes for all of their valuables to be gone.

I was fairly happy with our final concept and I think it would genuinely work as a campaign aimed at students. However I think the way we have presented out idea does not fully show its potential.

/ Year two / Project: Interpretation

My fourth project was about Interpretation, I was given the quote “Go to where the silence is and say something.” by Amy Goodman. Using my interpretation of the quote I was required to design one of the following; an a2 poster, a2 spread, 2 a3 spreads, a4 booklet or a5 concertina books.

I began this project by generating as many ideas as I could to capture my interpretations of the quote. I then went on to research about Amy Goodman and the context in which the quote was said. After finding out that it was in reference to the duty of journalists and the media I decided to go with one of my original interpretations as I thought it would be more fitting for this brief. The idea behind my set of beak books was to take the quote in its literal sense but show it in a subtle way. I am happy with the final result of this project and how the books are presented. I found it was an interesting exercise for me to make the presentation box for the books, as I have not done this before.

 This project gave me the opportunity to enhance my interpretive skills and develop a more subtle approach to solving design problems.

/ Year two / Project: Magazine Spreads

For my Third project I was asked to design four spreads taking inspiration from one of ten selected words. The word that I chose was “Zero”. I was also given certain limitations such as colour; only two colours and stock were allowed. Typeface was also limited; only three variants of Helvetica were to be used.

This project gave me the opportunity to work within set guidelines, which emulates the design limitations most companies will have in the industry.

When I began working on ideas for this brief I struggled to come up with many motivating and intriguing designs. After further researching the word “Zero” I came across the concept of “Zero Point Energy” which I had only heard of in computer games. I decided to challenge myself and investigate the blurred line between science fact and science fiction. In my layouts I aimed to give the reader an insight into “ZPE” and how science has influenced computer games.

During this project I was able to improve my researching abilities, practice my typography skills and get used to working within set limitations. I also learned not to set an overambitious goal for myself, trying to fully understand Zero point energy and quantum mechanics when I only have limited knowledge on the subject was probably a mistake. The amount of time spent trying to get a reasonable level of understanding meant less time for experimenting with layouts.