Our guest reporter, Callum Peters, paid a visit to the University of Chester's degree show, Untitled, which is running until June 28 at the University's Kingsway Buildings. Highlights of the show include some grow-your-own typography, a rethink of the traditional CV, and Interflora redesigned for men.
Nichola Watkiss had some really interesting ‘natural' typography on show, as part of her 100% ecological publicity campaign - Buy Nothing Day - encouraging people to grow their own fruit and veg rather than going out to buy it. nicholawatkiss.blogspot.co.uk
These eye catching vintage-inspired typographic posters by Lorna Evans are part of her Cars & Comedy project, which uses quotes from famous comedians to illustrate people's stereotypical attitudes towards different drivers. ldecreative.blogspot.com
Thomas Morris' CV caught my eye, positioned on the back of his portfolio. Bucking the trend of the traditional CV he uses some detailed infographics to illustrate his skills and experience, as well as his interests. It shows that paying attention to your CV is just as important as having a tidy portfolio.
Emma Wilson's rebrand for Beaumaris sweet shop The Penny Farthing is a fresh and endearing take on the traditional pic ‘n' mix. The bright, youthful colours and simple logo make a refreshing change from the usual traditional sweet shops that are sometimes hidden away on our high streets.
I was intrigued by David Yates' project for Interflora, making flowers an acceptable gift for men and challenging the stereotype of them being something exclusively for women. He has designed more masculine packaging as well as a new name - Floriography - specifically for the male market.
Hayley Miles' typographic film posters for the Wizard of Oz were refreshingly different to many of the over-processed movie posters we see today, with each one referring to a different character from the story.
It was interesting to see how Laura Edwards' Site Seeing Cities illustrations have been applied to other products such as pens, tea towels and notebooks. Laura has a really nice illustrative style.
James Matthews tackled the problem of design students failing to engage properly with typography. His solution was Hype for Type - an interactive workbook based around the principles of typography, to highlight its importance to first years.
James Bingham created a complete Japanese Picnic range for M&S, including attractive packaging for Watermelon Lemonade, Sushi and Pumpkin & Honey Cake. It manages to fit perfectly with the M&S brand.
Simon Farmer's quirky typographic quote prints were created for the Three Sides of the Mersey exhibition, celebrating football around the Merseyside area including Liverpool, Everton and the often forgotten Tranmere Rovers, situated on the Wirral.
Leigh Woosey's project aims to make gaming more accessible for those with impaired vision, through use of other senses such as touch. He created an instruction manual for an iPhone game to appeal to the target market, with audio instructions and high-contrast visuals.
Alex Franklin's self-promotional work was intriguing. He branded water bottles to give out to visitors entitled Refreshing New Thinking. The tagline on the rear of the bottle is a witty touch - "freshly sourced from Alex Franklin's Kitchen Sink".
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I can't stand to see projects based around self promotion in degree shows; students should be encouraged to showcase their most interesting and exciting work about topics in and outside of design, not sell them selves
Nick - give us a break, these kids are heading out into a saturated market in the most depressing market since the war. Their degree show is perhaps the only chance many of them will ever get to 'sell themselves'.
A degree show should absolutely be about selling themselves.
The self promotional bottles was actually part of a sports active advertising campaign (not photographed)Instead of standard business cards, the designer chose to keep the style of this running throughout and designed some water bottles that can be taken away.
Nick - Seriously? This end of year show is a chance for the designers finishing university to promote themselves, and you're saying that we should NOT be doing so? Get a grip.
In this world you should take every possible opportunity to sell yourself.
Went down there today and it was shut. Banner outside said it ran until the 27th not the 28th as this article suggests.
Firstly I would like to say my comment was not meant as offensive to any of the students here; they have clearly worked hard and produced solid work, however surely a design student can manage to 'sell' themselves and catch potential employer's eyes through their own, unique work rather than showcase some form of self promoting CV or business card (which obviously an employer will see enough of everyday).
It just seems as if design degrees are becoming less and less about educating designers; teaching them how to think, teaching them skills and encouraging them to ask their own questions of the subject and the world outside of design and more about tidying the edges and make them look somewhat employable
Nick - the degree show isn't about reflecting the nature of the educational process. A well orchestrated degree will do all the things you suggest, the show is, and always has been an opportunity for the graduate to show off.
You seem to be judging design degrees/design education based upon the arbitrary images shown here.
I didn't imply that a degree show should reflect the nature of the educational process; however surely it should show the product of this process (i.e. strongest, most innovative work the student has produced of which the student would not have been capable of without this process)
What I am trying to say is that the graduate should be 'showing off' in an effort to get noticed, however through unique work that will be completely new to the potential employer's eye rather than self indulged work which has ultimately been done a million and one times before, that looks nice and professional
I am making no conscious effort to judge this degree itself; although as a prospect student for a design degree in 2012/13 I did look at this course, amongst many others, to find them less than fitting of what I believe £3,000 per year is worth (or in my case £9,000!)
I'm fairly sure it was due to be on until yesterday (Thursday 28th) as it opened on Thursday 21st - normally runs for a full week. Perhaps the dates were changed at late notice. More about the show can be seen on Lorna and Nichola's blogs if you take a look at those.
Stop squabbling about Design guys! What about Fine Art and Photography?! That's where the real talent is at! What do we think were the stand out pieces?......
I understand what Nick is trying to say, that students should not be producing design work purely on the basis that it should reflect them as a designer in order to secure employment. Nick is saying that a degree show is a place to show off the work you are most proud off and that the work should not be about promotion because if the work is good it will promote the student without the promotional effort placed on the work. I do however think that part of the work should be used for promotional purposes and the thought crosses my mind that when i leave University (next year) that i will not be just competing for a job against people from Chester but the whole United Kingdom and also that Graphic Design is about making beautiful eye catching pieces that you can really be proud of but its a job after all and needs to pay the bills. Thats what the harsh reality of design has become.
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