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Monday, October 29, 2007

Socially Aware Design?

German artist Christoph Ernst project 'Windmove' aims to make wind farms more acceptable. He explains the reason for most complaints arise from the notion that "Wind energy plants disturb or divide the landscape and the view". His solution is to give the wind farms a more lovable 'personality' and be more aesthetically pleasing. To find out more about the project have a look at the 'Windmove' website.

















On a slightly smaller scale, but still another good example of how design can improve the world: recently my friend Jake had been searching for a job, with no avail. I offered to lay out his CV for him. I created him a clean and professional, yet fun and striking CV, which landed him the next job he applied for! At Harvey Nichols, the classiest high street shop in town! I was doubly pleased with this, firstly because it simply shows what good design can achieve, and secondly because he owes me £80 and I'm more likely to get that back now!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Socialist Cinema

Richard from the Leeds College of Art & Design Socialist Society recently asked me to design a logo for the society, and a poster for one of the upcoming socialist cinema events that they hold regularly. They haven't had any design input previously, so I had a blank canvas to work with. I decided it would be a good idea to make them a poster template for all their cinema events. This has several benefits: using it repeatedly will help build their visual identity. It is black and white making it easy and cheap to photocopy. Because it is a template, the actual event info can be written on by hand, meaning they wont have to wait for me to do it every time they want to advertise a new event. It features their new logo in a large prominent position helping to associate these cinema events with other events they are organising.
Will probably upload this onto the main part of the site when I have time. Highfive! xx

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sex tips for girls!

Got an email late last night from the guys over at shut magazine. To follow up on their 'sex tips for boys' article last issue, they are now doing a guide for girls too. Written by Icelandic suicide girl kitty von sometime, who apparently, is really good at being really good in bed. Ace! Anyway, here is what I came up with.
It probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it goes well with the text I think. Not sure if it's really a portfolio piece, but it was quite a fun project! Ahh the beauty of independent press.
Right anyway, I'm off to a swimming pool themed house party!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Competitions & Compton

Ok, so I made a submissions for the friends website I mentioned before.
I am currently holding hands with a fish and a naked women. Good stuff.

Also found about this design competition being run by FREITAG. I'd never heard of them before, but they make completely recycled bags and rucksacks out of old things from trucks and lorries! Using the printed designs found on truck tarpaulins they make stylish, original and extremely durable bags. They are running a competition to design a truck tarpaulin that will be used on a truck for five years, then cut up and made into bags.
Might have a go at this. It's an interesting idea, judged by a panel of international designers, with a 2000 euro prize!

Final... found this. Erm, don't really know what to say. Haha, who said graphic design wasn't cool?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekly round-up: the good, the bad & the ugly!

Ok, so basically this is a round up of all the things I've seen or done in the last week.

First up is typography. There is an exhibition on at Leeds U
ni, which I think is by their first year design communication students. Each student was given the task to produce a large poster about a specific typeface, its history and cultural relevance. The work isn't amazing, but it is quite interesting and well worth checking out seeing as it doesn't cost anything.
Also found out about this guy!
He used to work at a train station somewhere in Japan. During some refurbishment work, the station signs became either misleading or incorrect, so he decided to take things into his own hands and make some DIY signs with gaffer tape. Apparently now he has a job making temporary signs at different public buildings across the country! Good stuff.

Also this week I went to the northern premiere of the Nike sb skateboard video. I find it reassuring that despite having a gigantic budget they still can't get it right. Overall concept, filming, production and music all fell below my expectations. Still nobody can touch the quality of the Girl film from a good few years ago.

Review of gigs I've been to in the last week or so...
Ian Brown was so awful I couldn't actually believe that anybody with a record contract could sing that badly. Also his fans were into singing football chants and throwing beer everywhere between songs. loverly. Happy Mondays were equally as shit. The Editors were mildly entertaining, but at the same time instantly forgettable. Mark Ransome put on a good show, and everybody on stage really looked like they were having a good time, but I couldn't help but think that they reminded me of the sort of band you expect to find on a cruise ship. Not that I've ever been on one, but you get the idea. Enter Shikari were a strange mix of 90's rave and I'm-angry-because-my-parents-are-middle-class-core. A bad mix, which just like a tuna and mayonnaise sandwich, didn't smell good. Last but not least was Jose Gonzales, who, is probably best described as really really good, with an added twist of ace.

Oh, one final thing...
If your excited about illustration you should probably fill this out and upload it to this website. I think I'm going to try and do that this week. You should too!
Later on, xx

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sorrell Foundation!


I've decided to apply for the Sorrell foundation 'Young Designers Project'. Fingers crossed with that one, I'll keep you posted.

For more info check out their website.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Heros, unhelpfull people and Wankers

As part of my send and receive brief, I decided to send some designers and illustrators who I liked some quick questions about their opinions of their own work, and how it related to their personal morals and the 'first things first' manifesto.

I appreciate that these people, in the most part are extremely busy. So I wasn't really expecting that many people to reply... But you would think if somebody was going to take the time of day to send me an email back they would at least try to be helpful.

This is how a very famous designer who often talks of people losing their souls answered one of my questions...

Q. Do you think it is even feasible to work entirely on non-commercial design, or is it about striking a balance?

A. No Comment

How can you possibly have no comment on a question like that?

Anyway, else where in design their is still community spirit riding high, Jon Burgerman got back to me with some really thought provoking answers. Stefan Sagmeister has a really good student section on his website. And designers are wankers is something I think everybody on this course should be involved in, good stuff.

highfives all round, merlin xx

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My website!

After signing up for the web design2 module I decided I should probably take some of the web tutorials that Christian posted on moodle...
I got a bit over excited and made a whole website with dreamweaver, it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, took a day to learn how to do it and publish it.

check it out, merlinmason.co.uk here!
merlin x

Welcome to my blog.

This blog is acting as the critical diary for my VisCom year two 'personal development' brief.
It is a place I can research and record visual influences; experiment with my own visual ideas, and define and investigate exactly what is I want to do.
Yeah!