First Brief - Truth.

We were assigned to

Take a statement (a proposition) and convince us graphically that it is true, or at least likely to be true. So, for example, "it rained at the AUCB on Wednesday 13.09.09" might be presented as a sheet of litmus paper that was left out on 13.09.09 thereby providing evidence of rainfall, overprinted with photographs and documentation of the event.

After a few failed routes of exploration, an idea hit me and stuck. Extremity. To be impressive would have to mean being slightly on the verge of ridiculous. I thought about putting dots on a sheet of paper first, but then thought simply writing the sentence "I will not have wasted my time". Analysing it afterward, the sentence actually meant a lot more than just jumping into my head.

I started on the Friday but because of my part-time job Friday and Sunday evening, I had to plan a few nights of staying up. It was more a mental challenge than a physical and there were definitely a few times when my brain was broken before my arm. Three pens later I now have a sheet of paper as long as my house filled with the sentence. Statistical analysis and photographs to come when I can bare to look at it again.

Friday Tutorial - Martin

This Friday tutorial was for us to bring in our work (although it seems that other groups were told not to show anything but verbal say where they want to be) to give the tutors a flavour of where we've been and then say where we aim to head. Martin picked up quickly that I'm a bit of a typenut and said it's actually quite good to be so focused early on. He did ask about any agencies that I could work for and I said the big-league obvious Underware and House Ind but on a smaller scale I have no idea, he responded with a few that I've never heard of.

This kind of proves a point that although I'm slowly getting my footing into what I like I don't quite know where to put it. Realistically, if I do an MA I don't know where I could go with that and going straight into industry has a blurred edge about it that un-nerves me. I like the freedom of university and being able to follow up tracks that interest me without having to think too much about a mortgage or whether I will be feeding myself next month (most of the time anyway). If I do decide on a few companies to work for I can tailor my portfolio for that. That's logical. But, I can't be too certain if a 'portfolio' is what I want to be presenting for my direction in life. Anyway, deep thoughts and lots of rubbing chins required but something that clanged me on the head was the amount of things I've left unfulfilled.

After saying I have a rough quide for my FMP, Martin rightly asked "why not just do it now?". Why not? There's a few things that have been left after an 'official' end has passed but they would definitely still be better produced to the full effect. This spurred me on to go as far as I could with the first brief we received.


A New Era of Theory

Today we went into the main studio for a briefing on the theory unit called 'Investigative Study'. With the option of going for (in simplified terms) a little essay and a big final project or a big essay and little final project, I originally set off believing that the smaller essay would have been better for me. After the talk however and remembering that on the essay for last year I discovered some key texts within the last few days, I've since swayed to doing a larger essay.

The major relation to the future is the decision for doing a further MA or going into employment. I quite like exploring the academia behind the things we're learning and the relevance of it all. I'd love to immerse into the nitty-gritty of it all, learn the theorists and movements within culture and society that pinpoint to where we are now and then possibly where we may be going or what will be needed for where we're going.

I put forward my plan of researching the relativity of handwriting in today's technological culture (a title that's still very shaky) and it went down well with Kirsten. As well as being able to get into cognitive linguistics and a bit of graphology this would set me up well with solid research for when the FMP comes around. There's also a joint exercise with Dublin Arts Uni due to happen at which the editor of eye magazine (quick googlewhack: John L. Walters?) so that'd be incredible to present something and looking at topmost outcomes, get it published.

I've got stuck into my copy of 'While You're Reading' by Gerard Unger. It's s brilliant starting book as it's simple (so far) and written from the same perspective (Unger is a designer with an interest in typography) so it's easily digestable. I also tried to read a bit of 'The Stroke: Theory of Writing' by Gerrit Noordzij and instantly fell over because of not being able to understand his terminology. Specifically, "translation" and "expansion" and their relation to "running" and "interrupted". But well, still needs more time put it to it I guess. I read a bit more of 'Lead Between the Lines' also. It documents the initial stages of research projects revolving around typography. Namely Tao Lin's stood out — 'Can text messaging be considered as a form of communication revealing social patterns within speech?' because of it's relation to my first essay. Also read Despina Kannaourou's 'Can the shapes of the Roman alphabet illustrate what they allowed to happen in the first place?' and it's a nice thought to think of a more accessible phonetics representation using the characters we have to better instruct upon dialect variances with the english tongue. It's a similar thing to what my FMP could be but more about speech than the written elements I've been thinking of.

Plan-wise I'm compiling a list of possible routes and books for this so I can get some reading done before we have to decide on which route we're taking and close off some options that are already dead or worked to death. I'm sure I'll update with my list soon.



New Academic Year, New Academic Course...

Long time no speak Derrick!

Today was the 'official' beginning of the true third year. As far as progression goes, the jump from Vis Comm FdA to Graphics BA should (fingers crossed) be a successful one. I couldn't sleep last night as it'd be the first time to meet the graphics lot and all the childhood first day at school dreams (no trousers, late getting the bus) came surging back with a vengeance. Thankfully, I managed to dress myself although I did oversleep, probably because it took me so long to nod off.

We had a talk through the structure of the course to echo the short bridging talk we had on Thursday and also got our mits on the first brief which is the familiar double-edged sword of being very open and free. Great to get my teeth into though.

There was also a short exercise to make sure we understood the variance in work and differences between self/other and open/closed briefs and how these criteria work more like a pair of axis. I was a little confused as to what exactly was needed but compensated with some long technical jargon (cartesian coordinate system) and a bit of a pretty presentation method for something quite simple.

It seemed like a 'lets make sure you understand this' exercise, but it was nice to even know a few faces from the 'natural' graffers. Also when I get confused about words, swapping to statistics or numbers helps me rectify the different shades of meaning. It also explains why when I'm flummoxed I can explain the most uncertain methodologies or outcomes in ridiculous percentages. Bit daft.

Anyhoo, I'm off to enjoy my pre-birthday. Twenty-three. What a fogey already.


FMP/PP - 99% Complete

Well my FMP/PP is all handed in now. Why only 99% finished? Because I still want to do more to it. There was slight problems with the book which make it just not quite as professionally looking as I wanted. I want to rectify these and also extend the typeface to include several weights based on a cross-stitch grid (normally measured by holes per inch). It will mean that for larger displays the letters can be alongside smaller weights but hold more detail. I'm sure more sketches and plans will come soon.

I've still to upload more behind-the-scenes photos as I've been a little distant with the project post hand-in but now feel like getting back into so should make a new post soon.

Here's the shots taken to be in the final boards at both Bournemouth show and D&AD London.

See large here
See large here
See large here
See large here


The Playground Magazine

See full size here.

Recently got something I wrote a few years back input into issue two of The Playground magazine. See website here, although it only features a download of the (shoddy) issue one.

p.s. the illustration is not mine.


Ina » Getting Out There

The legend that is exljbris (Jos Buivenga) creater of the Museo typeface, has found and posted my poster preview on See it here.

I've also started a critique thread on the typophile forums. Give me some crit here.



I haven't been posting because I've been beavering away with my FMP/PP.

Here's a preview of the poster to promote it:

Click here to see it large.