Friday, 7 May 2010

Unit Editions - Adrian Shaughnessy and Tony Brook

After meeting
Adrian Shaughnessy, myself and fellow class mates attended his and Tony Brooks talk regarding their recently published book Studio Culture. I was unaware of the book until a number of colleges introduced me to their copy. Although I was only able to have a quick look through it, I was intrigued to know about how and why it was produced. As Adrian had published a number of books in the past (including How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Loosing Your Soul), I was certain Studio Culture was an important booklet to my collection. As the talk began, Tony Brook introduced himself and explaind a brief background to his working history. He explained that he was fascinated with graphic design and feels inspired and motivated by just talking about the subject.

In his words, Tony described himself as a ''Design Addict''. Tony was co founder and creative director for design studio Spin, which is now highly regarded as one of the best agencies in the country. He explained that he has always felt upbeat and highly motivated with a book. The design and feel of a particular paper weight or how the cover is printed inspired him greatly towards publication. Tony explained while designing the book Logo, Spin had lost profit when being published. Tony felt this was a learning curve but was intrigued to produce more publications.

Adrian began to explain his background and how his involvement with Tony had begun. Co founder of Intro in 1989, the London based agency had mainly worked on Music sleeves. Clients such as Bobby Newton, Fabric and Depeche Mode helped Intro become a high class agency. After fifteen years, Adrian had got restless and explained that he found it difficult to work on projects with guidelines and demands from other people. Adrian explained ''I got frustrated with no information to people on the grubby areas in design. What do I do if a client hates six weeks of work and refuses to pay?'' After publishing his first book Sampler: Contemporary Music Graphic, he then went on to publish How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Loosing Your Soul.

As both Tony and Adrian had relative careers, they had ironically met in a pub, which led to them both discussing publication and the areas they could both explore. From here, Unit Editions was slowly coming together. They explained the book is about how studios all around the world are organised differently. They document twenty eight leading studios with interviews from creative directors and designers and the book documents how studios work and how organised they are within deadlines and dealing with briefs. Unit Editions , founded by both Adrian and Tony are currently developing more books to be published in the future.

Adrian Shaughnessy - Q and A

Around two weeks ago, D&AD announced that graphic designer and writer Adrian
Shaughnessy was holding a talk at the Printworks in Manchester. Before hand, it was arranged by design agency Thoughtful for twelve students to attend a forty-five minute question and answer session at a local bar. As Adrian arrived, their was a great anticipation for what his advice would be from our questions at hand. The experience of meeting an inspirational figure for everyone involved was a great opportunity I was looking forward to it. Adrian began by talking about students getting a job and what next steps to take when leaving university. He advised that contacting agencies, sending letters, making personal phone calls for a one to one chat and perfecting e-mails was just the first steps towards gaining an interview.

When showing your work, Adrian suggested that leaving the designer to go through your portfolio by letting them touch and feel the sleeves was key as it leaves you to explain each project however fast they want to look at it. When contacting an agency, Adrian advised that getting a name was a great first step to building a relationship up with yourself and a designer who in the future, could possibly lead to a job. One important area when writing a letter or e-mail was to never use sir or madam. Adrian explained that your message is sent to a particular individual and without one, it could be easily ignored. Explaining who you are and what projects you have been recently been working on was useful but do not over do it. As the designer will only be reading your message very quickly, keeping your text short and informative is significant.

Making a list of the design agencies you wish to work for was another area the group discussed. When you graduate, Adrian explained that you are part of the design world looking for a job. Standing out in the crowd was the most important area to think about and besides improving your portfolio, sending your CV in a unique way gained many advantages. Adrian told a story of when he was at Intro (his design agency in London), a package was delivered with the words Bomb on the cover. The building was evacuated and caused a huge scare within the workplace. On a closer inspection, the package was infact a recent graduates CV. When sending some samples of work, putting together too much may be straining on the designer looking as they have very little time to evaluate your ideas.

I decided to ask a few questions regarding placements and if they are vitally important towards getting a job within a high standard agency. Adrian explained that when offered a placement, ask yourself if it’s right for you. Will the agency pay for your travel costs? Will you learn one vital area of the industry a day? Are they taking the time for at least five minutes to explain what they are doing? Although I feel placements are vital, Adrian advised that sometimes agencies take advantage of an eager graduate unaware of certain areas within the industry. When on a placement however, showing a willingness to help out around the studio reflects to how well you wish to achieve with that company. Once again, Adrian told a story of how a student on an internship at Intro lifted over thirty heavy boxes filled with paper from one area of the building to the other without being asked. Showing a determination to do any job and show a willingness to help at any level sets good impressions towards the people above you.

Manchester City Advertising - Thank You

Today, it was the final deadline for the final major project. I have completed the identity for the National Football Museum with a new logo, two end-stings (ten second animations), a teaser poster advertising campaign, a guerrilla advertising campaign, a book, stationary and flyer. It was a hard but rewarding project and I feel proud with the finished pieces. Today, it had come to my attention from surface designer Jake Platt, that Manchester City had posted an ad which thanked their supporters for the past season. What struck me greatly was the similar typography to the Pride in Battle banners located on the swirly walkway at the ground. Designed by Music, the similar idea of using the involvement of every season ticket holder within a series of advertisements and messages works greatly and shows a consistency throughout.