Butcher's Hook make their mark
Three graduates sought to introduce their new studio to locals via a neat bit of window dressing, providing passers-by with unique prints – and a business card
Butcher's Hook is (or perhaps that should be wil be) a three-member design studio and gallery based in an old butcher's shop in London's Portobello. The studio has been formed by Benio Urbanowicz, James Coltman, Josh Blanchett and Dan Jones, students from Kingston and LLC, all of whom graduate this summer.
The threesome have vowed to spend 10 per cent of their time working on local community projects and to this end plan to operate a 'walk-in studio' once a week, where anyone can walk in with any sized brief, "which we'll be over the moon to work on", they say. "We would like to become a design studio for people. All shapes and sizes of different people."
In order to introduce themselves to the local populace, Butcher's Hook set up a digital display using an old Nintendo Wii remote, custom made Infa-Red yellow pencils, a wireless doorbell, a printer and a few extra ingredients.
"We gave away free art made by the user themselves, with the option to receive a digital copy sent to them," they say. "We had a great weekend, where over 150 people got involved, through their own choice... and every single one went home to find our business cards printed on the back of their own masterpiece."
As well as launching their studio, Butcher's Hook has also entered the project into the D&AD Student Awards in response to the brief Make Your Mark.
Regular readers may recall that Urbanowicz also won our recent BFI competition to design a book cover.
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A really fantastic idea, great execution and a fine and noble sentiment behind the whole enterprise. I sincerely wish them all the best of luck, but I suspect they won't need it.
this is brilliant
Great work. Look forward to checking out the gallery space when it opens.
Ingenious. Always I am working on a computer, trying to create beautiful things, but never do I think outside the box, like these fellas. Very inspiring!
What Ed said...
"Ingenious" ? It's a cheap gimmick, and doesn't mask the fact the have no experience and no work. This coverage only perpetuates the creative industry's 'graduate hysteria' which essentially celebrates out-of-proportion, the first tiny, mediocre steps of designers without the maturing pressures of deadlines, clients or briefs.
What Ed said...
Tom - cheap gimmick?! Firstly, I doubt this was cheap - if you have ever started your own businesses then you will know that the start-up costs are far beyond what you initially imagine and budget for. And this doesn't seem to be a gimmick whatsoever it looks like a lot of thought has gone into how to engage themselves in a new community. Plus it was a massive risk which takes guts.
And I think you have clearly failed to notice that one of these designers was featured not long ago in Creative Review because he won a book cover competition, so it's not just hype they're actually putting the work in and getting recognised for it - twice now by Creative Review!
I think you will be eating your words in a few years time Tom.
WOW. I used to work in that butchers shop in 1968. I was 14 years old. It was the reason I went veggie. Its great to see it used as an outlet for art. Although much of the area is very run down and abundant with trendy cafes I have been back to Portobello many times. It has mixed memories for me as a child. Art lifts life!
That's probably the most bitter and cynical thing I've ever read. How's that working out for you?
Brave or Stupid?
So cynical..... its an interesting piece of design, if they fail, they fail but they will learn from it, just as when you fail you learn from it.
Emily - By 'cheap' I mean figuratively cheap. The fact that this probably quite expensive makes it even worse.
Also, I don't remember the formulae for good design being: coverage = quality. Creative Review isn't gospel.
Ed - I'd hope that there was a place for cynicism in this forum. Since when was design criticism about sucking each other off every time we made some special edition screen printed poster of a circle?
Good Luck Butchers Hook. You deserve it after this brave cool venture. We will post your vid on our facebook page.
Tom - the most coverage you get is from your anonymous blog which has all of 5 followers. When was the last time you won a national design competition or were covered by a highly reputable publication?
Might want to get back down the job centre or actually put yourself out there. Now you're only known for being an anonymous cynic who puts people down and lacks optimism.
Well said Emily.
Tom a.k.a "another graduate" reminds me of other cynical/ambition less individuals I've met that expect the design community to accept them with open arms when they aren't even able to express their own passions (except negatively) towards design and their bitterness towards only being able to gain poorly sourced intern jobs. Possibly all due to a lack of hard work and dedication in their own portfolio.
There are ultimately NO bad comments to be said about this project - constructive criticism maybe, but it looks like you have none to offer Tom.
Good luck Tom. (sarcastic)
and good luck to all those that worked hard and devoted time to this successful project (sincere)
I feel sorry for you, your clearly jealous and bitter.
Good luck guys it looks as though you have an amazing space to work with and I'm sure you will find success with your work
I know Tom and she is just upset because she was born without any bits - just like Action Man. Let's not compound her miserable existence any further and instead we could all get together and give her a great big group hug :)
Another graduate and Tom -
Although I agree that without knowledge of your industry, there is not much hope, I disagree with the necessity for experience!
As I am sure you well know, trying to gain internships and work experience, often require experience in the first place...so why not create your own?!
Surely there is no better experience to learn from than the experience you have created yourself.
What's more, media coverage and social media are sure to attract clients from further afield than those you might encounter trying to gain experience with another design firm?
What Butcher's Hook are doing shows innovation and initiative and the coverage they are receiving for it is just the start of what could potentially be a very successful design studio...and if it does fail (which I highly doubt), it will have provided them with more than 6 months of experience in the industry, true?
Tom - You seem to have a passive view towards attaining success, you want to wait until the perfect moment to embark upon your dream job until you have enough 'experience'; which seems to me like your stalling, scared of failure, when you should be embracing it. Stephen Bayley says 'very few things are certain about creativity, but a fixed point in any definition is a commitment to disruption. Plus an appetite for surprise as well as courage, energy, enthusiasm, a hardened response to CRITICISM [my own highlighting] and an unassuagable appetite for doing it differently.' Success is that very small part of life that is not a total cock-up and to try to demotivate these guys in the way you have is embarrassing; something I hope you come to realize in retrospect when you've gotten wiser.
I think everyone should back off tom a bit. Its scary and unnearving when a new, young, fresh generation of exciting designers make such a mark and get such coverage with such little experiance. And maybe some other designers who have been in the game for years, plugging away endlessley and have got not as much to show. Maybe a hint of jealousy? Maybe hes just bitter ? Either way its out with the old and in with the new. WATCH OUT
Sounds like bitter jealousy to me Tom. Criticism is good, but not when it's not constructive. You can tell these guys have worked extremely hard to make this lovely idea come into reality and it's obvious that the community are accepting it wholeheartedly. Just because it's been done by students doesn't give the project any less merit. It seems you're concentrating on who did the project rather than the work itself. I'm sure if someone more established had made this you wouldn't be so cynical. Don't put down hard work just because you're threatened by it.
Fantastic idea - really refreshing to see.
Emily, take another look at Tom's blog. That total of 5 comments includes 3 by Tom himself. So sad. :-)
Surely we should celebrate initiative and hard work - and clearly these young designers have demonstrated both. Good luck to them - I hope we see them going from strength to strength.
thats great, I like that you set up your own shop and didnt wait for some job to come along I really respect that!!
What Tom said
Good ideas come from the unexpected juxtaposition of seemingly unlinked ideas. The idea, for example, of having your drawing pop out through the letterbox is a perfect example.
The oxford dictionary of gimmick is;Tricky devise,esp one adopted for the purpose of attracting attention or publicity. Job done I'd say.
Spelling mistake in the article; the students are from LCC, not 'LLC'.
That aint my blog ya'll
Setting aside any aesthetic or conceptual problems with this project for a sec, don't you think it's in any way commendable for brand new grads to set up shop on their own (physical studio space too, not just online collective), engage their immediate local community and set about drumming up business?
Personally I think it's brave and exciting. Also, remember, the concept is in answer to the D&AD Student brief so is limited by whatever the terms of that category are.
I'm not necessarily trying to persuade you or even argue the case, I was just curious about your objections.
Well I think anyone is bonkers for criticising people for trying to generate their own employment. Any experience gained is good experience in my view and as a recruiter I would be more interested in someone who has shown this kind of initiative than in someone who moans about other people.
No negative commentary is acceptable in my opionion.
Go for it!
Well said Emily......
Tom stop sucking on those lemons, far too BITTER!
Butchers Hook....genius! Can't wait to see where you lads take this....lets watch this space!
Wishing you all the very best
Aren't there four graduates working on this project?
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