Don’t be so Graphic…

Did you know I was actually studying a Graphics course?

I ask, only because you would, under no uncertain terms, be forgiven for thinking I was an illustration student. I think it’s something to do with the total lack of organisation, adoration for comics and drawing…”things” and my total inability to draw straight lines.

And The fact that I’m not sure I’ve mentioned the word “grid” once since setting this site up over a year ago.

Well I am. It’s a mixed course admittedly, and there is certainly a heavy emphasis on image making and illustration too, but I wanted to, very quickly, dispel any myths that I am no good for anything but the world of the wibbly.

The current project is all about layout. And I’m finding it a challenge and a half. Here is the, incredibly ugly, induction timetable for first years to my University.

Yes we are actually an arts and design school. The irony is not lost on me.

See, this what happens when you leave all the admin to the Humanities Campus.

But I digress, we’re currently taking part in a series of short exercises in redesigning the above ugly thing, into something considerably less ugly using a set of strict restrictions and rules (One typeface only, one colour only 3 type size only etc). Just to clarify, this is by no means a practice of making something “beautiful” in the traditional sense. This is about creating order, making structure and making use of positive and negative space, type weight, type size and a hell of a lot of Swiss inspired graphical magic.

So, so far these are  how I’ve gone about getting my Bauhaus on. Don’t worry about the text. This is about the overall effect of the page, the information itself is borderline irrelevant.

      Mmmmm…delicious, gridded neatness.

I have a whole bunch of these, with tweaks here and changes there. Things most people wouldn’t notice in the slightest. It’s got to the stage of adjusting it pixel by pixel in a worrying display of Design Induced OCD.

I wanted to chat about these, I suppose just to remind everyone that us people-creatures don’t have to be pigeon holed as much as we often are. Yes I know it’s all in the same sort of area of design and creativity, but I am just one little person who happens to define herself as an illustrator of sorts. That it what I love, how I make a little moolah, and what I devote a lot of time to. But there is always room in my little noggin for different things. Things that require me to think differently and consider how I see things differently, and I think it’s pretty cool that we have the capacity to do these different things at the same time. I think that I, like so many others, can lose sight of that when life gets busy and sink back into the comfort of what I know I can do.

But I’m really starting to get into these little layout majigs. They’re challenging for a messy art bug like me, and I’ve definitely not cracked it yet, but with every new design I make, I see new promise and get joy from the structure of it all. The Organisation is SO pleasing.

I’ve literally gone from a fanatic of this:

Dave Mckean; Wolves in the Walls. A STUNNING book.

To This:

Joseph Muller Brockmann: Swiss magic



Shaun Tan. Cool guy and badass illustrator.


Jan Tschichold

Learning is fun 🙂