The BA Viscom yearbook is an annual publication that is released during the Leeds College of Art Degree show. Its main purpose is to showcase the work of the final year students on BA Viscom.
This was a collaborative project with Rob Scargill. As we were both final year students on the course at the time this was a very personal project to us and we wanted to make sure we did a good job of it as our clients were essentially our peers and our tutors. The course has had some bad press over the years as it focuses more on content and ideas rather than form as many of the other courses in the college do and many people believed that the work produced by the students was not of high formal quality.
We fervently disagreed with this statement and wanted to prove with the yearbook that the work of the students was of high quality both in form and content. We therefore went for quite a slick style in contrast to previous yearbooks. We also went to speak to the printers face to face to make sure we could get highest quality production out of our budget. As well as showcasing the students' work we also wanted to exhibit the unique style of the course and the amount of variation of practise within the course. With this in mind we asked our photographer friend Izzy Biggs to photograph each of the 3rd year students in their usual workplace. I felt this added a really nice personal touch to the yearbook whilst also highlighting the range of practise within the course.
Everyone was really pleased with the outcome and it was really popular at the degree show. It was a very fulfilling project as it was great to create something that our peers can treasure forever and may help them find employment opportunities. I hope it also played a role in promoting the course.
A collaboration with Beth Taylor, we were asked to create the logo and branding for the project, ‘Feminist Archives, Feminist Futures’. The project looks at the gendered histories of archives and their relationship to history making and feminist activism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In particular, it is interested in the histories of Women’s Libraries and Feminist Archives, and their role in shaping women’s lives both in the past and in the future.
We wanted to create branding that reflected this positive, indirect form of activism. This project was not about taking to the streets with violence but rather with knowledge. In order to do this, we took the less intense colours of the suffragette movement and created a colour palette of our own. The shape of the logo reflects the archive files or books they may use for reference. The loose order creates a movement to suggest this project is about changing the system but we chose a typeface to show that this was a positive rather than aggressive form of activism.
It was brilliant to design a brand for a feminist project as it is a movement Beth and I fully support.
‘Izzy and Beth were fantastic to work with and made the process so easy due to their creativity and expertise. We are very keen to work with them again and would recommend them most highly.’
Sharon Hooper, FAFF
Captain Flatcap Album Design
Captain Flatcap describe themselves as an Electro-swing / Ska-step / Filth-folk / Ghetto-funk / Squelchedelic band. They asked me to create the cover, cd and leaflet design for their debut album using a character and a logo that had previously had created. I went for a minimal look on the front cover to focus attention on the logo and the character but inside I wanted to reflect the band’s personality and unique sound. I created various backgrounds inspired by the band’s tie-dye t-shirts they wear on stage. I also created a collage of photos of many of their previous gigs to show the liveliness of their performances.
It was a real joy to create the design for this album as I know the band members very well and so it was a pleasure to create something for them so personal to them.
Just wanted to say, I’m super happy with what you’ve done. The whole thing’s awesome, I’m so happy with every aspect! Big up!
Chris Rotherham, Band Member
Life Through Lenses Photobook
Fran Tredget and I were asked to create a photobook for exhibition ‘Life Through Lenses’. This photographic exhibition, by photographer, Karen Rangeley, focused on the charity, Community Links, and their service, ‘Positive Pathways’. This service provides support for people who need to find suitable housing or are having difficulty managing where they live due to issues connected to their mental health. The exhibition documented the relationship between the volunteers and the service users who are involved in the charity.
We were on a very tight budget so we did a lot of research on creating printed matter that is cheap but also beautiful. We went for a minimal design to create a professional look but also to show off the photographs within the book. We worked with the volunteers, the service users and the photographer to select the photos that would go in the book.
It was a very interesting project and I learnt a lot about the charity. It was nice to do a project that in some way benefited the local community.
‘Your helpful contributions to the editing workshop and especially in designing the photobook and responding flexibly to our feedback, are very much appreciated, especially at this very busy time of year. Your attention to detail and critical eye will be something I’m sure future employers will notice.’
Karen Rangeley, Photographer of Exhibition
EAT NOTHING Exhibition Branding
Branding and promotional material for BA (Hons) Visual Communication Exhibition, ‘Eat Nothing’.
The work displayed in this exhibition focused on food and the city and the issues that surrounds this subject. A large majority of the work was quite controversial and questioned the way our society deals with food and cities so I wanted to somehow incorporate these things into the promotional material. I took inspiration from the work of Adbusters to come up with the finished result. Chose the literal topic of supermarkets and the mass waste this so frequently causes. I wanted to create something immediate and shocking that would draw people into the exhibition.
Daily Mail Zines
I am interested by the idea of freedom; what it means and the way it is used in western meritocratic societies. We are so often told that we live in a ‘free country’, that we should be proud to be part of it yet many people do not agree with this statement. It is believed by many that, perhaps even more so now, than ever before, the only really free people are blessed with status, money and power.
One aspect of this so-called ‘freedom’ is the UK’s free press which Owen Jones states is ‘a very sophisticated political lobbying operation’. I am intrigued by the way proprietors, that often have shares in many corporations, use freedom and free speech to direct readers to certain ideologies and prejudices, creating what could only be viewed as a less ‘free’, more restricted society.
I wanted to create something that would respond to this issue in some way. I have begun to create a series of zines which do just this using the Daily Mail as inspiration for subject matter. My zines highlight the real agenda of papers like The Daily Mail by focusing in on their tactics to get a higher readership, looking at their biased view of certain situations and revealing that there are often two sides to the stories presented in the paper. I have done this by incorporating theories from my own research into these zines, quoting certain authors and theorists and contrasting this with the content of the Daily Mail from the past two weeks spanning subjects of race, sexism and the idea of freedom. Through my zines I want to urge people young and old to have more conversations about our society, the way it is run and how we can create positive change.