RCA: Communication Art & Design degree show

We went along to the Royal College of Art’s SHOW Two yesterday. There was some great work to be seen; here’s a selection of some of the best bits from the Communication Art and Design exhibitions

We went along to the Royal College of Art’s SHOW Two yesterday. There was some great work to be seen; here’s a selection of some of the best bits from the Communication Art and Design exhibitions…

Daniel Frost‘s exquisite pencil crayon drawings warranted a closer inspection. Frost, who seems to have a penchant for horses, has also illustrated several moments from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Lovely stuff – here’s a few examples:

We also really liked Mónica Naranjo Uribe‘s atmospheric series of buildings and empty rooms:

And Jean Jullien‘s paste-up installation offered up lots of examples of his visual games:

Really liked this one:

Simon Jacques-Dara‘s work, painted onto tiles and newsprint, was great:

Here’s a close-up of some of the strangeness:

While Adrien Parlange‘s series offered a 360º take on the conventional portrait:

Or perhaps an insight into what someone might be occupying someone’s mind:

Owain Thomas undertook an interesting project in 2009: to produce an image each day based on a news story. Here are two examples, the top one referencing the Kraft takeover of Cadbury. Thomas is now working on one image a week for 2010 and you can follow his work, here.

Jack Gilbey‘s work was also intriguing. Essentially, Gilbey has taken the text of Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics stories and converted it into a series of different typefaces that reflect the movement of the narrative (they are “context-sensitive”, he says, no longer a “series of static visual forms”).

Indeed, the clever bit is that the change between two different faces isn’t dicated by a paragraph break – the typefaces change as you read, flowing effortlessly from one to another, as here:

Gilbey also produced an experimental typeface created by layering up striped panels to deliberately create moiré effects:

Also of note on a more experimental level was this printing project by Xavier Antin. Interested in the modes of production (particularly ad-hoc production methods) Antin displayed a manual on how to recondition various desktop printers to achieve different effects. Fixing paintbrushes to the front of the unit to get a watercolour effect, or feeding a continual loop of paper through the machine so it builds up layers of ink and instigates Printer Burn Out, for example:

Here are some pages from his Printing At Home guide book:

And his book, Production, showing the results of some experiments:

Lastly in my post, Grégoire Alix Tabeling‘s work, which looked at the personal information we store online via social media networks, online stores and email accounts. I liked the tone of the writing here and how, just by placing all these observations on paper, the carefree attitude we have to corporate control of our personal data seems all the more misguided:

More RCA work coming up in another post…

Details on SHOW Two on the RCA website.

Thanks to Cali Blackwell for helping with the images.


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  • Grégoire Alix Tabeling looks like a very bright prospect

  • AJ Le Fave

    Owain Thomas’s work is a bit like Martin Wilner’s ‘ocd style’ image a day based on news – it’s a great idea!

  • Felix


  • Josh


    Your right to question it, but you must keep in mind that Communication Art & Design projects are not meant for exhibiting in a gallery. They are never going to ‘communicate’ the same way in a big room with white walls; they need to be seen in the correct context… So a little imagination when looking at shows like this helps.

  • i am also doing Communication Design Degree.. an in Final year.
    Nice to the Work with traditional medium.. Loving the work
    This Show case is great

  • Jack Gilbey’s moiré typeface is a touch of class.

  • Agreed Mr. Stevens. Gilbey’s moiré typeface is wonderful.

  • @Josh, Felix:

    This is an interesting point. Do you think that the work should be shown in context in the exhibition? Shown as they were at the RCA, I had no idea of their context in many cases, and therefore no idea if they worked as communication pieces.

    That’s not to say I didn’t like their presentation; I did. But i wonder if we need a little more….

  • David W.

    big yes for jack gilbey!!

    + jean jullien’s hello head example is a nice idea