Fun times today! We have been working on logo designs! First of all though…

I love these guys

Every week the lecturers give us a website or blog to look at and we then each have to find some images on there which we love. This week we looked at TypoJungle. Each Tuesday 2 of us then have to present our findings to the rest of the class. Today it was Miranda and my turn to present. Miranda has already shown us some really cool stuff but today she presented some work done for Super 8 magazine by Milan-based designer Marco Nicotra:

Miranda explained how she liked the mix of grayscale with the bright neon colours over the top and the collage-like feel of design. It looks awesome. If you want to see more, Marco Nicotra is also on Behance.

After her presentation Miranda also showed me a fantastic blog called ‘Things Organised Neatly‘. It ties in a bit with the work I’ve been doing on my food & wine festival brief. When June and Yuniko saw the blog, their reaction was classic – sheer excitement! I think designers are known to have a touch of OCD because we do like a bit of the grid system, tidy alignment & pay attention to detail so as you can imagine we all really like this blog:

Then it was my turn to present my findings. I found the design studio ‘Heydays‘. I liked the concept they had for an annual report for Antony B Nilsen which they did in 2009. Anthony B Nilsen wanted to present the most important asset of the company, their employees, but rather than just putting photos of all the employees into the annual report, Heydays decided to look into the pockets of all of the employees and show the company from the inside that way! This was the outcome:


Another cool project by ‘Heydays’ was the ‘Design Versus Music’ poster which they did for the Insomnia Festival:

I like how they intentionally wanted to capture some of the parts of the other posters underneath the layer of their own posters. To me, it’s eye-catching and interesting and something a little different. Heydays also mentioned how they were partly inspired in this project by the Swiss designer Muller-Brockmann – a classic! We learnt about this ground-breaking designer in our first week of the course:

Mark Staples – Our Lecturer!

Today, one of our lecturers showed us his own portfolio. It was impressive and inspiring! Because I am a huge fan of the classic Mini, I loved the work he did for Rover. To mark the 40th birthday of the Mini at the ‘Design for Life’ exhibition at London’s Design Museum celebrities such as Sir Paul Smith, Kate Moss and David Bowie were invited to interpret their vision of the Mini. Mark worked on a solution for Bowie which was to to Nickel plate then Chrome the entire car!

I also liked the bespoke prolypropylene CD case he did for Bjork’s retrospective album entitled ‘Family Tree’:

Mark has also designed the website for Sandro Sodano, exclusive photographer for menswear designer Paul Smith. This led onto a discussion of Paul Smith and his book, well-worth reading apparently so I look forward to getting my hands on a copy:

Logo Design

Today and tomorrow we are designing logos for start-up businesses. We have been given 5 businesses to choose from. I’ve chosen to design a log for a naturopath. The other choices were a bar, a magic shop, an opticians and a choice of your own business! We split into 2 groups and discussed each other’s initial research for the brief. Here are some things that came up in our group’s discussion…

Some good places to go for inspiration are Dover Bookshop and Magma, both in London:

Take a look at the DVD ‘Water for Elephants’ for typographical and circus or magic style inspiration. Please note: we seemed to all be in agreement that the film looks like a cheesy one in the poster but it actually turned out to be a good watch!:

Noma Bar & Escher are known for their fantastic illusion images, so some our magician logo makers may also look into their work:


Speaking of illusions, the recent IBM ads looked really cool too:


For us naturopath logo designers, we were discussing the meaning of Qi (mandarin for the circulating life energy that in Chinese philosophy is thought to be inherent in all things; in traditional Chinese medicine the balance of negative and positive forms in the body is believed to be essential for good health). We also discussed the word Zen (of 12th-century Chinese origin, teaching that contemplation of one’s essential nature to the exclusion of all else is the only way of achieving pure enlightenment).

For me, the general outcome of our group discussion was that lateral thinking (as opposed to literal thinking) is a good thing and something we should be doing! Out of the box!


And to finish off, I just wanted to mention an awesome book which Daniel gave me which was mentioned in TypoJungle, our ‘I love these guys’ website for this week! It’s a great book because it allows you to get into the minds of the designers a bit and it’s an awesome read and visual treat, really inspiring – I highly recommend it and am going to read a bit of it myself now!:


Thanks again for reading!

Much love, Gx



As we learn so much each day at college, I thought I’d start posting on the blog daily. So, here goes…


Today we carried on with our food & wine festival brief and when we shared our adverts at the end of the day I was v impressed by the work of all my colleagues – there’s some impressive stuff going on in our studio! One of the features we had to include in the ad was a map, so we learned some basics in map design using Illustrator. Here are a few beautifully stylised maps which I’ve just found through Designspiration:

And a beautiful heart-shaped map of the New York subway system done by Korean graphic designers Zero Per Zero:

And something which made me smile, a new series of map-based illustrations by Christoph Niemann:

Food Fotography:

My Mum was a food photographer back in the day and when she saw my blog post about food photography she emailed me to say:

“Noma is a cook book that is a must see for food presentation! It is maybe the best restaurant in the world and in Denmark … Mike gave me a signed copy of the book”.

Mike is my Uncle who manages to get these amazing books signed for us! So, I’ve just had a look at the Noma cookbook (online, not in real-life – sigh) but it’s very cool & I’m looking forward to seeing the book in real life when I go back to see Mum and Dad! The photographer is Ditte Isager:

My Mum being the amazing cook that she is, has many other great cookbooks. One that her friend gave her recently is Angele Adoree’s ‘Vintage Tea Party’, beautifully designed and illustrated by Adele Mildred. I couldn’t put this book down for hours when I read it!:

Jessica Hische – Inspirational!

And last but not least, for those who don’t already know her work, I’d like to let you know about the work of an awesome designer who I’ve just discovered through this course… Jessica Hische. She is inspirational and what I like about her is her creativity, her kindness towards others (check out this cool charity project she’s involved in), and her advice & opinions (if you get a chance to check out her blog I’d highly recommend it!). Oh and she’s also an incredible designer!…

   <– That’s Jessica Hische, designer extraordinaire!

And in case you’re after temporary tattoos, you might like Tattly (one of Jessica Hische’s many clients):

Anyways I am now going to go and eat some smoked mackerel, potatoes and broccoli (yum) and then must get down to some homework for our next brief which is based on logo design. And probably some more staring at my new Kupka poster. Daniel gave it to me this weekend. It’s a poster of Katedrála done by Kupka in 1912-13. It’s beautiful and something I’m going to treasure forever. Just wanted to share the Kupka love with you too:

Thanks again for reading and I’ll be back tomorrow!

With love, G x


Amazing to think that we have just finished a month of the course. So that’s 1/3 of the way through now. Here are some cool things from the past few weeks (for more info on any of the images, please click on the image itself):

The start of my love affair with typography:

Word as Image by Ji Lee:

Daniel emailed this awesome periodic table (notice Helvetica is number 1!):

Speaking of Helvetica, we have been told about the Helvetica film, which I can’t wait to buy soon!:

Awesome Guest lecturer Timba Smits:

We were v lucky to hear a talk given by Timba Smits, incredible illustrator and designer who studied at Shillington 10 years ago. He told us about his 12 Principles which are so inspiring to me:

1. Be original and show your individuality.
2. Do what you love and love what you do. Talent is nothing without passion.
3. Be persistent. Persistence against all odds. Things take time.
4. Patience is a true virtue. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen.
5. Procrastination is a shit emotion. Never complain that something is too hard or it’s going to take too long.
6. Working hard pays off. Work harder than anyone else and it will pay off.
7. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The greatest things can happen out of mistakes.
8. Leave your ego at the door. Listen carefully to what others have to say about your work and your progress.
9. Quality beats quantity. Don’t try to over-extend yourself with too many clients but do an awesome job for each one.
10. Know the people you work with.
11. Get away from the computers and connect with people and real life. This is where you’ll find true inspiration.
12. Take chances! Thinking about shit is not enough.

Then Timba showed us some of his work, which blew me away:

 <– That’s Timba Smits, although he now has a big beard!



Food & Wine Festival Brief

We’re working on brief in class at the moment involving an ad for a food and wine festival. An awesome photographer that our lecturers pointed us towards is Petrina Tinslay:

Another food photographer that I love is Carl Kleiner, whose photography you may have seen in the IKEA catalogue!:


Our lecturer pointed me towards the book ‘The Geometry of Pasta’:

and illustrator/designer Si Scott:

Other interesting sites I have found during my research for this brief include:

Now Ware studio who have done stuff for the Hairy Bikers:

The Charleston Food & Wine Festival have some interesting posters (the one below was done by Jessica Crouch):

And a brilliant website to help with Illustrator, http://www.methodandcraft.com:

And last but definitely not least, here’s a website that I’ve been using loads to source cool images, Designspiration (the ‘Search By Colour’ section is sweet):

That’s all for now but thanks for reading and happy designing!

With love, Gx



Thanks for joining me here! These past 3 weeks have opened my eyes to a whole new world – one which is filled with art & design. And what a beautiful world it is! I feel very privileged to be here and am enjoying every minute of it. I’ve met some awesome people and am learning an incredible amount of new things. For those of you who don’t know, I started a 3-month course in graphic design at Shillington College on 3 January 2012.

It’s been an adventure getting here and I’m now very much looking forward to the next part of the journey. Here are some of the things which I have been taught/which have been inspiring/which caught my attention on the first day of the course…

The Visual Diary

The concept of the visual diary was introduced to us eager students on our first day of the course. June, John, Mark and I hopped on a bus to Cass Art at the end of the first day of college to buy our visual diaries and other art supplies and stationery (mmm stationery).

I’ve been cutting and pasting and writing and drawing things in my visual diary since then and it has been a revelation. It’s a great way to explore design work in general (ads, brochures, posters) or just anything else that inspires you (photos, postcards, letters, illustrations etc). It’s good to annotate and critique some or all of the things which go in your visual diary. I find this makes me look at design work more closely and appreciate all its qualities (or not as the case may be!).

Some cool studios mentioned on Day 1:

Pentagram – a world-renowned design company, one of the biggest:

Big Fish Studio – did the amazing packaging for Dorset Cereals:

Bruce Mau Design – did web designs for town planning in Africa:

A book to look at:

Designers get their bit in film!

American Psycho

Online Visual Bookmarking Resources



The London Tube Map

Designed by Harry Beck in 1931, London’s Tube map abandoned geographical accuracy to create a more easily-navigated mental map of the tube routes across the city. Mark Noad has designed a 21st Century version, somewhat more geographically accurate!

A few cool quotes from our lecturers:

‘Graphic designers are visual communicators.’
‘The best design is transparent, like a crystal goblet.’
‘Be an aware designer, take notice of the things around you.’


There’s this cool system in our studio where we get to recommend music to listen to whilst we work. On the first day of the course, 2 songs which strike a chord with me (pun!) came on. The first was Antony & The Johnsons ‘Hope There’s Someone’ – a beautiful song played at my Granny’s funeral so makes me think of her and the rest of my lovely family who have always loved and supported me and enabled me to get here.

The other song that came on was The Black Keys ‘Nobody But You’ which reminds me of Daniel, my best friend & the love of my life who has believed in me and inspired me to get to where I am today – that happy place :] Thank you for you…

So all in all a great first day! Thanks for reading & I’ll be back soon with a bit more.
With Love, Gx.

P.S. The image in the header of this blog is from a section of ‘Cosmic Spring I’ painted by the best artist in the world… František Kupka (hm, maybe that’s contestable). For those who haven’t heard of him though, he was part of a cool little art movement which has been termed Orphism. Orphists explored the relationship between art and music and came up with colour theories. Love Colour!