Saturday, 28 November 2009

TeeTwelve.™ self initiated tshirt project

12 days of christmas
12 illustrated tshirts

The concept for TeeTwelve.™ came about when I received an edition of my monthly tshirt subscription from Sweden. That particular day I happened to be fresh out of clean tshirts, and because I hadn't seen the design or had been told when it would arrive, I was overjoyed at receiving and wearing it.

With Christmas coming up I thought it could be an exciting project, to make tshirts to replace the usual chocolate in an Advent calendar.

Art directed by Adam Brandon, Annabel Stevens and myself we decided to focus on the twelve days referenced in the infamous song of the same name, with it's wealth of visual possibilities.
Other contributors include Jack Boulton, Emma Brown, Jacqueline Williams, Nia Banwell and Katrina Currie.

If you would like to receive a copy of any or all of the 12 designs, we will be doing two live screen printing events at Manchester Metropolitan University (dates tbc).
We will have white tshirts in S mens and M mens and paper for posters, but we welcome you to bring your own tshirt/bag/sweater/paper/etc. Please keep in mind we will be printing in black ink though, so the lighter the stock colour the better.

The set could make a fantastic christmas present that can be worn all year round, as the illustrations don't directly reference the holiday in the usual way.
We will publish pricing costs shortly. All profits will go towards the third year degree show.

It must be stated that we as individuals, are not anti-religious in any way, the designs are not intended to be offensive, merely light hearted satirical commentary, of the themes from the song.

We hope you enjoy wearing the tshirts as much as we have making them.



visit the TeeTwelve.™ facebook page here

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

New York silence experiment

Whilst in New York I set myself a brief that I had come up with during the preliminary stages of the Ian Anderson workshop, which was to take photographs with the lens cap on the camera. To illustrate the image that had been taken, I had to provide annotations of the place, subject, time of day and image orientation.

As I am interested in the fragility and difference between personal memory and collective memory, I figured New York would be a perfect place to do it, because even if you have never been there, chances are you know the landmarks from television, film and photography.

The choice of subjects vary, I have photographed friends on the trip, whom the viewer of this piece will likely not have seen, and made vague reference to the area and angle which the photo is taken, bringing the viewers own assumptions and imagination into play.

I admit the format for presentation and language used in the annotations are not developed enough yet, but I definitely feel I am at a checkpoint in the brief and a tutorial would not go a miss. Keeping this idea of annotated blank imagery in mind, I would now like to explore the possibilities of pamphlet formats and folds, as the brief states the output must be a direct mail concept and/or poster.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Teacup window illustrations

Did some window fitting work for John Walsh this evening, over at teacup cafe in the Northern Quarter. Emma Brown and Nia Banwell did some lovely illustrations on the main window whilst me and Kat worked on the inverted lettering above the door. We did the outline of the lettering with a print to trace from pasted on the other side of the window, although we did have some coverage issues. The poska pens were giving a very streaky effect as you would expect. Solution? We squeezed lots of ink out of the pens onto a tray and using a roller, smoothed over the scratchiness of the original pen coverage - ace. (thanks to Gary for the tip)

Lucy Schofield bookbinding workshop 13.11

Paper has a memory.
As professional designer's we can't just work on the screen then send it off, have to consider stock.
The correct way of folding is important otherwise you get 'creep', when the pages begin to skew like a block of cheese.
Grayboard is good to use for covers.

Double saddle stitch is the same as a pamphlet stitch.

Perfect bind is when you knock the paper up and glue across the end.

Check out an Australian company called 'Third Drawer Down', they do artists one off books and small runs. They did Louise Bourgeois' handkerchief piece.

A book is a great way of expressing a journey, pacing the reader. In a gallery or online it is difficult to estimate how the visitor is going to navigate the material. Lucy says she likes the way that the designer can control how the reader interacts with a book.

Also look at Bracket Press in Rochdale.

They did a book for Alice Smith, it begins pacing the viewer from the start by having a lace you must untie to open it. The images are lightly glue tipped inside which adds to the delicate intimacy of the piece. The stock is A4 joined together with a lap joint.

Nick Morley's beard book is another great example.

It is lighthearted and fun, and the simple, springiness of the concertina reflects this appropriately.

At this point I'm beginning to get a sense of where the Silence brief could go for me. I've been considering the fragility of personal memory and a collective memory, much like the theme expressed in Nineteen Eighty Four. I could source some materials, folding techniques and bindings that reflect this in a sympathising way.

A piece by Emmanuel Wecker was done by ironing wallpaper for three hours straight.
She illustrated a map of her domestic life then printed it onto the wallpaper through her inkjet printer. A great example of form and content in harmony.

The Mermaid Turbulence is a small print shop in Ireland.

The Society of Revisionist Typographers, London.


Every machine made paper has a grain, just like wood, whereas home-made paper does not. Knowing this can effect how long your book will last under humidity and time.

The grain of the paper must run from head to tail to be correct.

To find out the grain of the paper, roll it lightly under your finger, the side of least resistance is the natural grain.

short side = short grain
long side = long grain

Sometimes you can tell by holding the paper up to light.
Also another method is to lick the edges, if it stays firm it is the right way, if it doppels it is the wrong way.
How many times have you seen christmas cards do this on the fireplace or window sill. This is because the manufacturer has not considered the direction of the grain beforehand.

When folding large paper down to make a pamphlet, cut two thirds of the way up the page to allow breathing space for your pages. Otherwise you will get clumpy crease marks in the corners. This is referred to as 'knocking up the book'.

GOOD TIP: Always measure twice, fold once.

It is common knowledge that any size piece of paper can be folded up to a maximum of seven times, no more.

When making a pamphlet the opposite page numbers should always add up to one more than the total number of pages. i.e. if it is a 16 page pamphlet, every two pages should add up to seventeen.

A good way of preparing to sew is to thread your cotton through the eye, then pierce it with tip and bring it down the needle, it will form its own knot at the bottom.



New York

Wow, so much catching up to do, got back from New York on wednesday and have been working like a dog on the dissertation for the draft hand in tomorrow, figured I would give myself a break and get some updates done on here. I have far too many notes from exhibitions to type up as of yet so I will do that later. All I will say is New York was incredibly overwhelming, to stay there six days and not get even 25% of what I wanted to see and do done, is crazy. Anyhow here is a selection from my favourite images.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Graham Jones Self promotion Lecture

Graham Jones is a full time graphic design tutor on the course at Manchester Met, he has taught me skills in adobe creative suite over the past two years so I'm well aware of his work specialty, I look at his latest work through Flickr and facebook on a regular basis.

He was asked to come in on the 27th October and give a talk on self promotion.
The four main areas he stresses as important are identity, portfolio, website and printed material.

Firstly giving yourself an abstract name is much more interesting and memorable than say Arron Tierney graphic designer for example.
One of his promotional pieces when he first set up the company 'Via' in the northern quarter was a stationary pack based on found objects in the building. The colour scheme was taken from two pots of paint left by the previous tenants, and a pattern on the back of letterheads was sourced from an odd looking stripy carpet they found. If you join the three different letterheads up an image would join on the front, which was a photo taken of the rafters in the office, graphic design is all about the small details.

Business cards are your primary weapon, if you give your potential clients a choice of business card you can be memorable without being annoying. The set he made when freelancing under the name Gman was available in six different colours.

Self identity should come down to even stickers on envelopes, as crazy as this may seem it adds an extra element of professionalism and presence.

The secret to being freelance is that you should be looking and getting work in even when you are busy with other work, otherwise you will end up bankrupt.

You should keep an extensive client list, and include people you may have only even spoken to not just the ones you have done work for. Keep a database of people who need graphic design work, send an email out every few weeks keeping them updated on what you have been up to, this will remind them you are active.

You have to tell clients you are available and willing to work, tell them you have done some exciting work recently and to check out your website.

Another good tool is to send out christmas gifts, office materials are always a winner if they are of use to the client.

One year Graham sent rulers out with paper sizes on, explanations of file format and colours profiles, etc so that clients would find it easier dealing with the agency. They also produced window stickers, one which said Northener in proud swish lettering and adorned with the agency name beneath for promotion.

Your identity is a way of showing not just what you do but also what you like. Your personality needs to come through.

Personalisation is essential when sending out things to clients, flatter them with your knowledge of what they do and why you would love to work with them.

One method Graham adopted was a tea token flyer, where potential clients were invited in for a free cup of tea, it was no big deal if they could not afford the services or were not interested as what is the cost of a cup of tea compared with an expensive bulky promotional packet.

An excellent example of a promotional device was by Sellsell called 'Freeday Friday'. This was a campaign for the public to take a day off work and share what they would do on that day with the online community. It had no literal relation to the agency except for that it played around their personality and was very sucessful in raising awareness of who they were.

Another nice option is to create limited editions of posters or products, clients like to think they are being given something special and singled out as important in your associates.

READ - Business Cards 3: The Art of Saying Hello

You can view Grahams work at