Evaluation and Reflection of Experience

Through both the Curation of Ampersand and work in progress for the Graduate Publication, I engaged in multi-tasking, working to deadlines, working as a team, setting roles and targets. Staying positive. Representing not just a personal goal… considering public and industry engagement and understanding as well as how we come across as a creative collective.

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Visiting ‘Joyce of all Trades’

I had rediscovered Joyce’s work after looking back at past NUA degree show catalogues and dropped her a visit at her Norwich based Soul Church studio to have a chat about both my idea for my personal ‘INTO_VERDE’ publication and about the design of our Illustration 2017 graduate catalogue.

I had a really encouraging discussion with her around ‘Design for Publishing’, the course she graduated from a few years back. As a former NUA student, it was really good to hear about what she had been up to since graduating – a particular worry for me!

In terms of our catalogue, she recommended creating a template to follow for us to easily slip-in any information we desired and for it to have a coherency and running aesthetic. We shared a few examples of page design we liked and she helped point out what the designers had done. She gave me a nice reflection on the background to some of her projects and gave me encouragement for the production of my work into the future…

Curation Team Initial Meetings & View of Dove Street Studios’ Space

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Draft Manifesto for the Ampersand project

Initial discussions within the curation team covered various elements we needed to consider for the end show/Ampersand exhibition at the end of the project. We gave consideration into what areas of the organisation we felt best suited each member’s strengths/practice. For me it was the visual identity/design for print and publication of the show…

After visiting the Dove Street Studios’ space, we were able to make a start on various ideas. We realised the inevitable variety of  the type of work created would create challenges. For example, flat/print work and publications would need a different sort of space to 3D and installation work. We had knowledge of the targets of some work (including our own) and had to consider our options of displaying these forms. We analysed the space available to us and began to envision what type of work could fit where…
– Navigation within the space – leading our audience through our work (spiral stairs – direction of up/down?)
– How do we direct our audience’s vision – do we create levels within our space, or spaces within our space?
– What is our visual identity? – thinking about colour palette (red, grey and white were mentioned)
– How does our work have a life outside of the exhibition space?
– How do we document our event?

– Systems of display for the work
– Maybe we give groups a space to work within between them, rather than allocating 1 space for each person?
– Text consideration – how do we incorporate it? – we need a consistent system for the group to follow to be coherant.
– Find out about possible budget

Curation Team: Mood Boards

Following our initial meeting and discussion, the curation team members recollected to share their research into ideas for areas including

– Colours
– Possible Fonts
– Hand out/Poster Layouts
– Examples of Systems of Display – consistent
– Examples of Films/Sculptures/Installations that are interestingly displayed in a space
– Ways of displaying Names and Titles of each groups work

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In order to make a more mutual decision on favourite elements and ideas, we cut up and created new ‘mood boards’ for further development and consideration for our own show. In terms of the visual identity and design for print/publication of the Ampersand project, a colour scheme of red, white and black was chosen. It felt bold and graphic as a palette to work with and complimented various motifs within the Dove Street space (such as the spiral staircase).

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We also picked out other elements of the space we felt we could connect to design elements such as the directional beams on the ceiling of the main space and along the sides of both the main space and areas of the lower floor. The shapes and colours within the space themselves inspired us to make our project not just a temporary exhibition, but have a relationship with the space it inhabited.

The ‘Visuals’ mood board (see far below) became the major reference point for our next step in creating a visual identity for the show – important for the promotional work and general anticipation for the event. Social media and the creation of a website felt important facets of this and both needed the creation of visual identity to get started. After contacting the previous year’s publication/web design team, we managed to obtain their login details to renew both the @nuailustration Twitter and Instagram feeds. We felt it was a good opportunity to gain existing interest in the course and carry on the hype from last year’s graduates onto this new year.

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We considered the impact of large, bold forms on poster designs and the function of text and typographic elements. We decided it was best to go for a more graphic aesthetic to the visual identity – the illustrated approach to the course has meant typically ‘illustrated’ aesthetic did not feel right and would not represent the full group’s work. We all knew what we liked about our selected favourite poster/visual designs below and the visual team and I set about our next step….

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Visuals Mood Board

CURATION : Visual Identity Development

Reflecting upon our ideas following the creation of our ‘visuals’ mood board, we began a process of designing our graphic posters/banners for social media and website…

We followed upon our ideas for bold graphic forms and decided to play around with a more calligraphic approach to the bold, graphic shape of the Ampersand (&).

We also gave thought into a more dynamic and interesting design and display of our poster, in tune with the angled beams and shapes within the Dove Street Studios. By creating a central fold to our posters, we envisioned them being displayed on/in corners of walls, creating a visually interesting slanted distortion to our design…