FMP Project Proposal

This is my initial project proposal for my FMP.

Section 1: Review (approx 150 words)

Throughout the first six units of the course my desire to pursue graphic design has only been furthered and is recognized in the choice of the communications pathway. While I have never foreseen myself doing anything other than this, my skillset has been broadened vastly and practicing in all areas of art and design has been invaluable to me. Though this is the case, my work this year has frequently seen me drawn back to typography. My typographic work has always been something I have enjoyed, as well as featuring heavily in my projects. Stemming from this, my interest has subsequently been drawn to calligraphy, influenced heavily by some of my favorite designers. The course has lead me to a stage in which my passion and strength can be recognized in this area of design, influencing an immediate aspiration to pursue this in my FMP. Interestingly my exploration in calligraphy has made me want to limit the amount of digital work I plan to produce, with hand drawn design prominent.
Section 2: Project Concept (approx 250 words)
The concept of my design project is to produce a large scale calligraphic piece. My calligraphy work will no doubt act as the foundation for this project, informing the vast majority of what I plan to do. At this stage I envisage the design covering a large wall. This said, my intent will be to present my calligraphy in the most engaging way possible, extending this to working on the floor or adjacent walls is something I will certainly consider. This idea of finding the most affective way of communicating to the audience is something that could define the success of my piece, and research will therefore be placed towards this. The tools and materials in which I plan to use are something I am very much undecided on. Previously I have used cardboard cuttings as my tool with black inks for larger scale work, creating what I felt was a successful appearance. Whether this will still be feasible due to the fact this is the largest I will have worked remains to be seen, and among others I will need to explore the possibility of using brushes, markers, pens and spray paints. Experimental stages will therefore need to be taken to decide which medium I wish to use, though the likelihood is I will be required to approach this using a number of different styles. Ultimately the main priority will lie with the calligraphic style itself and the message it will present. Research with be heavily aimed towards looking at various calligraphers and typographers and their styles that I feel can influence my work. While this large scale design will be the most important of my work, at this stage I feel it will be effective to produce an accompanying item. Though I do not yet know what this will be I have envisaged producing a small book or concertina design, will smaller refined calligraphic designs inside.
Section 3: Evaluation (approx 100 words)
When reflecting and evaluating my project it will be essential to consider how the piece communicates with its audience. I will need to ensure it’s legible as well as the topic understandable. This said, the aesthetic elements will be important, too. The overall design will need to be attractive and hold its own as a bold and impactful piece.
Proposed Research Sources and Bibliography (Harvard Format)                                                                 
George Bickham, 2013. The Universal Penman. Edition. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Steven Heller, 2012. Typography Sketchbooks. Steven Heller & Lita Talarico. Edition. Thames & Hudson.

Seb Lester Presentation

For contextual studies I have produced a presentation on one of my favourite designers, Seb Lester. Seb’s calligraphic work has been highly influential for me, and I foresee it impacting heavily on my FMP.

Link to presentation:


Jewish Museum Berlin


The Jewish Museum in Berlin is one of the largest in Europe, covering two millennia of German-Jewish history. Very noticable is the shere size of the museum itself, and though I went through in just a few hours, a whole day could quite easily be dedicated to attempting to take in the vast amount of information on show. The architecture of the museum is very intriguing, too, designed by Daniel Libeskind.

Hamburger Bahnhof


The Haburger Bahnhof museum was one of a number I visited while in Berlin. The Hamburger Bahnhof museum contains a comprehensve collection of contemporary art, including that of Roy Litchenstein, Andy Warhol, and Anselm Kiefer, three of my favourite artists & designers. Formerly a railway station, the structure of the museum itself is incredibly impressive, with instillations spread out sporadically. In a seperate gallery area a vast amount of pieces are displayed, Andy Warhol’s works being prominent. Warhol’s work is a keen interest of mine, his “Mao” piece a particular inspiration, depicting the communist Chinease leader. The sizable piece hangs centrally in the gallery, with complementary designs of Warhol’s on the wall behind.

Illustrator Practice

NPG 6593(2); Graham Coxon by Julian Opie

In the initial stages of learning to use Illustrator we have looked at the work of Julian Opie. His simplistic portraiture acts as quite a nice template to try and replicate. Using his style we have tried to create our own designs of ourselves. Unlike Photoshop, I have used Illustrator very infrequently, and though there are many similarities between the two pieces of software it has still taken some time to get used to. The initial stages of my own Opie design can be seen below, and is one that I will continue to work on in the coming weeks.

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On Wednesday 12th I attended the UCAS fair at the Excel. It offered a chance to speak to tutors and students of courses I intend to apply to, while also learning about courses I wasn’t yet aware of. At this stage I have always been keen on applying to UAL, specifically to do graphic design at Central St. Martins. I spoke to both a current student and a tutor on the course. It offered a good insight in to both what the course offers as well as what will be expected of me as a student applying to the course. I do have an open day at St. Martins coming up very soon also, which will hopefully answer any further questions I have. A course like this will be very hard to get in to so it’s important from my own perspective to have a strong understanding of what they look for in their students. Also, I currently intend to apply to both Camberwell and Chelsea, to do graphic design and graphic communication respectively, and will attend open days at both soon. Similarly, Bournemouth Arts is somewhere I plan to apply to, having recently gone to an open day at the university. Though I didn’t necessarily learn anything new the graphic design course certainly appeals to me, and speaking to a current student enforced that. Much the same as Bournemouth, Brighton is somewhere I wish to apply to. Again my opinion on the course hasn’t changed greatly but it does seem like somewhere I would like to attend. I have an open day there in the coming month in which I hope to learn more. Overall, all five of the universities I was planning on applying to came across very strongly, therefore hasn’t particularly prompted any desire to change my mind. One university however I did feel took my eye was Swansea. Though I knew very little about the university I discussed the graphic design course with one of the tutors in which they explained the layout of the course and where it would eventually lead to. It came across as something that may suit me, therefore I plan to look in to the course further, with the possibility of attending an open day.

Richard Smith


This piece, by artist and photographer Richard Smith, is titled “Recovery”. Smith explores “unexpected interrelationships between everyday images through surrealist photomontage”. Smith photographs images from his own daily life and later incorporates them in to his pieces. He believes that beauty is everywhere, and using his very distinct black and white style, he transforms everyday objects and surroundings into very powerful and striking images. Smith unites usually un-relatable snapshots of things he likes into his various compositions, bringing them together through the use of distinguished photographic techniques.

Three different photographs are merged together in this digital collage. Firstly, what we see in the foreground is a glass clasped in Smith’s own hand. The glass itself is relatively bland and inexpensive but the element of light plays a big part in transforming it in to an attractive object. Using the contrast of black and white the sharpness of the light is accentuated, as the glass is transparent the light creates various shapes within it, overall turning it in to an aesthetically pleasing object.

The background within the piece is of the ocean at sunset, the photograph taken in San Diego. What would usually be a beautiful photograph placed on it’s own, is edited in to Richard Smith’s unique style and placed behind the other elements in the piece. Again the element of light is important, the reflection of the sunlight on the sea creating nice texture as well as depth. This photograph creates an expansive glow stemming from the back of the design.

The focal point of the design sits centrally in the composition. The original photograph is of a puddle within a car park and one which is a very uninspiring image. Smith however has isolated the puddle and placed it in to his design. Stemming from the sun which is setting the puddle appears to sit upon the surface of the sea and stretch downwards. The lines are very sharp and ever so slightly jagged, almost resembling lightening. What I like about this element of the design is that the audience will struggle to know what it is, leaving a level of ambiguity and also curiosity. The water stretches downwards and in to the top of the glass creating this idea of water being poured in to the glass. Much like the rest of Smith’s work the design is incredibly attractive and slightly abstract, his “surrealist photomontage” both a unique and impressive art form.

Vincent Mattina

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This piece by artist Vincent Mattina is named “The Deconstruction of City Hall”. The LA icon is used as the focal point of this piece and is part of his “Lost Angeles” series. Having moved to Los Angeles in the 1990’s his series clearly has a very personal element to it. His inspiration stems from an original photograph of city hall taken in 1959. From this starting point Mattina went to the same location and rephotographed it. He has edited his own photograph, the tip of city hall appearing the same as when the building was first constructed. However, the title of the piece presumably aims to convince the audience that it is in a state of “deconstruction” instead. Mattina states how he explores the “juxtaposition of past and future” and this idea is apparent in his piece. It leaves an element of visual interpretation as to what time period the different elements of this piece stem from. Introduction of other elements in this digital collage are notable through the use of the sea. Mattina also looks at the juxtaposition of the natural and man made, evident in this piece as these large architectural designs appear to rise out of the water. He also introduces the pier, which sits centrally in the piece. What is common with both pieces of architecture is they are both damaged. This brings about a theme of decay. Mattina comments on how much of his work looks at “social concerns” which is important as it makes the audience contemplate what his message may be. His design could suggest the temporary nature of man made objects in contrast to the natural world. Alternatively he could suggest the damaging impact man made designs are having upon the natural world. Overall what I think is best about Mattina’s design is the depth he manages to create. He manages to bring a manufactured setting to life and create a very real looking image.

Photography Practice

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These are a selection of photographs taken during a photography lesson where we were taught to use the DSLR cameras. Focusing on manual settings, looking at sensitivity, aperture, and shutter speed, we aimed to produce a range of in focus images, avoiding blur and over exposure. These photography techiques will become useful for a number of pathways in art and will be neccessary for photographing my own work.

ISO is the cameras sensitivity, an average setting for which should be on 100 to produce high quality photographs. The cameras aperture is how much light is let in to the lense. High aperture is necessary for light places to restrict light, low aperture is necessary for dark places to let more light in. Aperture controls the cameras exposure. Letting light in with low aperture can also be useful for certain types of photography. For portraits, the use of low aperture could be used to slightly blur the background while keeping important facial features in focus, such as the eyes. Shutter speed is the control of the time of exposure. For quick movement a high shutter speed should be used to capture something still. A very low shutter speed may capture an image slightly out of focus, thus creating an impression of movement. Tripods are a very useful tool for focus as they can keep the camera parallel, reduce any chance of camera movement and therefore remove any chance of unwanted distortion of shape.