Last week I was given the opportunity to attend a short course in Graphic Design at the renowned art college Central St Martins. Almost 16 years ago I applied for a masters in the same course but only received a reserve placement. This time I was in, and only at the expense of £545!

The first thing I recall is the intensity of the week. I account for roughly ten briefs in total, some of which were given towards the end of the day. What did this mean? Homework! I wouldn’t want it any other way.

One of the very first projects involved creating a visual language to represent the following four meanings: hope, warmth, procrastination and uncertainty. The difference being, all had to use the Gestalt principles of perception.

I wasn’t aware of these particular principles, yet I often applied them to my logo work, so it was great to finally get some insight on what closure, proximity, continuation, figure and ground meant. I really enjoy the theory of design and where certain principles derive from, so it was a perfect start to a lengthy week.

Another notable theorist was Jaques Bertin. With his monumental work based on his experience as a cartographer and geographer, he is an internationally recognized authority on the analytic study of graphics. Marshall Mcluhan who is known for coining the expression ‘the medium is the message’ and for predicting the World Wide Web almost thirty years before it was invented, was also discussed, alongside other names, such as Thomas Maan and Richard Saul Wurman.

Another project included a visit to the Design Museum. I always enjoy getting out of the office besides the usual lunch break, there is so much art to see artistically, especially around London. The purpose of the visit was eventually revealed, a challenge was set: to tell a story of an object without showing it. I chose to create an invite for the Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables campaign, utilising clever production values such as various paper textures to represent the feel of the fruit and enhancing them with lemon and carrot odour paper. Simple, yet effective. Well, the tutor was impressed ;-).

One of the main attractions of the course was that it was a computer-free zone. This meant, no Google, no design blogs or PS4 sites. This is the part of the course I really enjoyed. It really got me working hard on the idea and its rationale, based on a brief with simple and clear directions. It also got me mocking up paper dummies, gluing, sticking, drawing, rationalising and presenting throughout. Overall, I highly recommend this course especially for post graduates and anyone who is starting out early in their career. For now, I need my computer in order to write this for our blog. Needs must, I guess.

Thanks to Olga Surawska and the other attendees for making the course what it was.


1 reply »

  1. Very nice. Your textured and scented paper sounds cool. Working without a computer can be a challenge! I try to have sessions away from it and come back to check things or get further info quickly.


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