Monday, 7 December 2015

E. H. Shepard. War Drawings

The E.H. Shepard exhibition at London’s House of Illustration is simply superb. Most of us will be familiar with his Winnie the Pooh drawings, but I, for one, knew little of his output beyond this. I was simply amazed at how effortless his work appeared to be in respect of creating beautifully fluid lines that captured human form, manner, and mood so accurately and so gracefully; even those sketches dashed off under the conditions of war. I was always taken by Shepard’s ability to capture so much with so little, evident of the Pooh drawings, but one can easily see how this skill was something developed early in his career. A beautiful and poignant exhibition.

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Friday, 25 September 2015

Type Hunting

“Look!!! Typography!” #typeintheenvironment #typography #typeallaround #gravestone #graphics

A photo posted by Sancha de Burca (@sanchagdp) on

 

Yesterday we took our HND Graphic Design students out on a little typographic tour of their college town of Tonbridge. We wanted to stress the point that we spend our lives bombarded by messages and thousands of these are typographic. As such the purpose of the walk was to help enable students to reconnect with type at a more conscious level; thinking about its style, location, purpose, context, what it’s made of and whether or not it’s good or bad, etc.

As well as the usual high number of ugly plastic shop signage to be found in every high street we found some little gems, one of which was finding professional sign writer, Ollie Stone, at work in a local pub. It was perfect timing for us but I suspect Ollie was not expecting so much attention!

The images collected will form part of their research for a current poster project and next week we’re heading to Bexhill to gather more whilst visiting the De la Warr pavilion.

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#typography #gravestone #lettering #lettercutting #m #scriptlettering

A photo posted by Tim Bones (@mrtimbones) on

 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Thinking About (design) Thinking

Shoe tower
Designers with souls!

So begins the new term at West Kent College and this week and my colleague and I have been introducing the new students to aspects of design thinking. We’re keen to stress the importance of thinking and approaches to the design process, trying to reiterate that using a computer as the exclusive means of problem solving is not what design is about. Yes, Google is great and so is Photoshop but so are our brains along with our ability to communicate and it’s these that need exercising as much learning how to make slick designs on a Mac.

We want to demonstrate—or rather have the students demonstrate to themselves—that planning and discussion are essential in design and for them to appreciate the importance of remaining open and receptive to new ideas and to be able to develop the means to explore approaches to thinking and the range of possibilities that such thinking can yield.

This little group activity requires the building of the tallest and most elegant tower of shoes possible. In doing so the participants discuss, build, take down, rebuild, and essentially explore possibilities. It sounds and looks a bit quirky but if it helps students consider that design is about possibilities, communication, interaction and collaboration then maybe they will rapidly appreciate that this unusual activity serves a very meaningful purpose.

And the winner is…

 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Graphic Design Show 2015 West Kent College (University of Kent)

Another great year for our HE Graphic Design & Illustration students at West Kent College (University of Kent). Well done to all. Here a a few of the works exhibited along with a brochure put together by yours truly.

Brochure Graphics Spread
Click to view document (if using a Flash incompatible device click the PDF version below)

West Kent College offers a range of creative Higher Education courses including Graphic Design validated by the University of Kent (West Kent College):
http://westkent.ac.uk/university-courses-in-kent/he-art-and-design.html
http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/additional/#!k-college

Images from clockwise:
Hayley Eldridge, Hayley Eldridge, Fred Sirman, Hayley Eldridge, Matt Wyles, Dave Sexton.

 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Typography e-book

Typography by Tim Bones

In the summer of 2014 I wrote series of blog posts for the Interactive Design Institute (IDI) on the theme of typography and typeface design. The posts are very much aimed at those wanting to gain an insight into the fundamentals of type and some of the approaches to its design. IDI have now collated these writings and put them into a nice little e-book which is available for all to read on Issuu.

spread 2

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Crystal: A model for sustainability (and exhibition design?)

The Cystal 2

Well, this is something of a hidden gem.  I’m not alone in saying I’d never heard of The Crystal. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to says they’ve not heard of it, even those teaching design in London! Having been there I left impressed and feel like spreading the word particularly given that The Crystal is the “World’s largest exhibition dedicated to urban sustainability.”

Having been tipped off by a student who stumbled across it, my teaching colleague and I decided to organise a visit. This striking building in London’s Royal Victoria Dock in east London contains a permanent exhibition about sustainable development. It is owned and operated by Siemens and is an exemplar of sustainability in architecture. The Crystal “is one of the world’s greenest buildings” and it emits an impressive 65% less carbon dioxide than other comparable office buildings and consumes 50% less energy. But as well as being of interest as a model of sustainability part of our reason to visit The Crystal was to see how had been it is designed as an exhibition space and how it was presented in terms of display graphics. The same student who told us about the building mentioned that the exhibition graphics were good and he was right. Typographically the building contained a real mixture of design that the materials and surfaces must have provided the graphic designers with as much pleasure as they did challenges. (These can be seen below.)

The most important thing was that I took something with me when I left. This was both a mixture of hope and a slight dread for the futures of the coming generations. The exhibition was a great way to drive home the importance for planning and anticipation as well as an acute need to reflect upon our needs and our behaviours.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Lettering Workshop with Sean de Burca

Sean_de_Burca_Artwork

Sean de Burca is a former design student of West Kent College (University of Kent) who completed his graphic design degree with us several years ago. Since then Sean has established himself as a designer with a niche angle. As well as being an accomplished musician, producing the artwork for his own albums, Sean is gaining popularity as a designer with other musicians who are appear to want designs with a personal, more organic look rather than a slick, digital feel.

Sean’s work is meticulously crafted and our students had the pleasure of watching Sean deliver a talk and demonstration, during which the students emulated his approach. As someone who is familiar with a number of lettering techniques I can’t recall seeing an approach like this. The process that Sean has created and honed is one that allows him to work at an impressive speed given its intricacies.

Using this tried and tested method of creating lettering guides Sean then builds up his lettering in pencil adding any embellishments as required, and once satisfied with the drawing this is then taken into Illustrator for digital drawing and refining. Lastly the designs are further worked on within Photoshop where he can try a variety of treatments to obtain the right feel for the musician and their music.

It’s always fascinating to observe the subtle nuances of different lettering artists and once the students got to grips with Sean’s method of creating the lettering guides they soon became immersed in creating their own letters. As well as being interesting, some of the students are already considering how they might utilise this technique in their projects.

Sean’s artwork can be seen here.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

K College Summer Shows 2014

O'Reilly's Whiskey flavoured drinks design by Jamie O'Reilley
O’Reilly’s Whiskey flavoured drinks design by Jamie O’Reilly

A
s ever the HND and BA (Hons) Graphic Design students of K College pulled off yet another another successful end of year show. The show was well attended and the feedback was great, with some students getting interviews for jobs and internships. Some of the work can be seen on our Pinterest page. One  of our BA students, Alex Greenhead, put together a good little review that cab be read here.

Well done to all and best of luck for the future.

Book of quotations by Liz Owen
Book of quotations by Liz Owen
students 2014
Some of this year’s student sensing the relief of a job well done!

shoe 2014

 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Designs of the Year 2014

Design of he year 2014

Having been at the briefing for the new ‘Design Factory’ at the museum’s tutor bruncha briefing for an annual Higher Education competition—my colleague and I were then invited to take a look at the current exhibition: Designs of the year 2014. As ever, the work was a mixture of the fun, the utilitarian, a mixture of the two and as one might expect the design there were highly innovative solutions to very specific problems. I felt that this was the best collection to date and wanted to share just a few of my personal favourites.

‘Chineasy’, a design by ShaoLan Hsueh and illustrated by Noma Bar is a illustrated method of helping people learn Chinese. Bar’s illustrations incorporate the Chinese characters helping make the connection between glyph and visual definition. It’s beautifully simple concept and following tests has been further developed into both a book and animation.

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 10.58.48

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 10.59.09 Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 10.58.59

As someone with a lifelong fascination with handwriting and the construction of letterforms, I was particularly drawn towards Type Family commissioned by the primary school head of Castledown Primary School, Neil Small and designed by Colophon Foundry designers, Anthony Sheret, Edd Harrington and Rupert Dunk. The requirement of the font was make reading easier, particularly for dyslexic children. The typeface has been used as the school’s signage  and another developed to assist with the learning of handwriting. Given the frequent talk of handwriting’s demise I was glad to see that it’s future was still being considered within the most innovative and forward thinking design solutions.

Typefaces_Children_3 Typefaces_children_2

The next design I felt was pure genius.  Dr David Swann designed ‘A Behaviour Changing (ABC) Syringe’ This syringe is designed to help deter the reuse of syringes among those who are at risk of doing so. Once a syringe has been taken from its packaging it and exposed to air it begins to change from clear to red. If removed from its packaging it is unlikely to remain sterile for long. This at least gives the potential user a visual indication of its potential sterility.

syringes

There were many great designs here; too many to put into this post. There was the Chair 4 Life, a wheelchair that can be modified and adapted to suit the requirements of a growing child. One of my favourite illustrators, Chris Ware had a piece here. A graphic novel about life in a building.

Chair 4 Life. Designed by the Renfrew Group for the NHS Innovation Centre
Chair 4 Life. Designed by the Renfrew Group for the NHS Innovation Centre
Designs 2014_2
They do exactly what it says on the boards!