BBC Placement

I recently went on placement at the BBC’s Graphics Department in Cardiff and thoroughly enjoyed it!

I went in not knowing what to expect other than knowing there would be a large focus on motion graphics – something I am not all that familiar with. Nonetheless, I went in with optimism and excitement.

Throughout my time there I was able to work on numerous projects for the print department and even had work sent off to clients and approved for printing. This made everything feel very real and made me feel like I was making a valid contribution. One of the briefs I was given was to develop a poster for a general knowledge quiz on BBC Radio Cymru. I developed four versions of the poster for the client to have numerous options to choose from. Below are the designs:

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In the end they decided to opt for the question mark design. Being told that a design I created was approved for printing (although may be something quite small) felt really good.

What I realised most was how different working in the BBC was compared to a smaller design agency. This is because the BBC is already an established brand and therefore there are quite a few brand guidelines that must be adhered to when doing any new piece of work. This does limit you to a degree in my opinion, but also challenges you to be creative within that. I also came to learn quickly from watching Sarah (the print designer) deal with the number of requests and projects that seemed never ending at times. The amount of work she would complete in such small spaces of time was impressive to watch. It provided me with a sense of the reality of working in industry – something you don’t get within a University environment.

As well as print, I did get to spend some time in News Graphics. Here I was taught some After Effects and shown what it entailed to work within the News Graphics Department. The change from general graphics was mind blowing, the whole way of working is completely different to the way I have ever been taught or known to work. They are given a number of different headlines that require graphics to accompany them and have a few hours to think of the concept and produce a final product ready to be aired on the 1:30pm news bulletin. It is an extremely high pressured job with people coming in and out all day requesting work to be done. But not only are they required to develop the graphics, they must work with the post production unit to animate the graphics live on air.

As I was told, the difference between general graphics and news graphics is that with the work produced in news graphics, you are able to see the work go from birth to final product in the same day and once the working day ends, there is no work to think of or still do, the next day is a whole new fresh day. Whereas general graphics have longer deadlines and the working day is not necessarily the end of the day.

Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at the BBC, I learnt a lot about the reality of working in industry and I could see how well both news graphics and general graphics worked together as a team. I realised that they relied on one another as each member has their own strengths to contribute. I could see how I did not need to be good at everything, I have my strengths and it’s okay to use someone else’s strength’s to help with a piece of work. It is all about collaboration and working as a team. Without it the work created would not be as strong as it is. It was also a bonus being able to create work that was being approved for printing and used.



Creative Review: Jigsaw’s Advert Campaign

Scouring through Creative Review, I came across an article looking into Jigsaw’s (a luxury British fashion brand) latest advertising campaign. The campaign titled ‘Heart Immigration’ made a rather bold and political statement into the often complicated issue of immigration.

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What I love most about their new campaign is their direct and to the point approach. There is no hidden message that can be debated – it is clear that they are in favour of immigration and without it they would not be the company known today.

It shows that sometimes being direct without waffling and having hidden messages is the best way to be. It has potentially to cause a stir, but if it gets people talking about the issue of immigration in a positive manner rather than the usual negative manner then they have achieved their goal. This bold campaign will definitely turn heads and for this makes it a very successful advertising campaign in my opinion.

The Yes Show!

On 26th May, I went to the private viewing of the third year’s degree show, called; The Yes Show!

I didn’t really know what to expect, but was immediately amazed at the work created. There was such a wide variety of work on display, with different areas explored.

These were some of my favourites…



This piece stood out to me because of the high level of detail and quality that can be instantly seen. Each element has been carefully considered and appears to have a purpose in the magazine. I also like the typographic nature of the editorial. I think that it has (like everything else) been thought of and considered carefully. It feels sophisticated and mature.



This was another favourite because of its typographic nature. It stands out and really does pull you in. I like how it flows down the wall and the hierarchy has been well considered. The message is concise but still tells the reader exactly what it’s about. I also like its interactive nature, whereby people could write on little stickers and stick them too the wall. And the question cards, which make you really think about elements surrounding the subject of technology and connecting. They’re both fun, and also brought you back to reality about moments that occurred in your life and things that relate to you.



This piece really stood out to me because of the typography and illustrations. Although it isn’t instantly clear what its about, just from looking at the shapes and illustrations, it is obviously about place. I like the use of watercolour because it gives it some texture and the different styles of typography help to break up the large amount of text. I feels like there is a narrative taking place simply through the typography.

Overall. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the degree show. It gave me a real insight into the sort of thing expected to come for when my time comes. One thing that was clear was the high level of quality within the work that we are expected to reach. It demonstrates the level of hard work and dedication that is required. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to seeing what lies ahead and the areas that we can explore within our work.

Changing Faces Editorial Design – Further Research

In light of selecting which article I am going to be working with for the duration of this project I have tried to create some initial ideas and although I feel I am developing a concept, I am struggling with thinking of what medium to use to create the imagery. I have therefore done some further research exploring examples of what artworks, typographic work and even photography work have been created surrounding the idea of truth/ deceit and confusion.


I have selected quite a range of examples to help give me a broader scope of ideas to work with. What I do notice in quite a lot of them is the use of layering – both physically and digitally. I think it works really well as it creates confusion to the reader and requires them to draw out the relevant information – it makes the reader work at the piece. I particularly like the bottom left image because I think that it has a level of art to it also. It is has depth and is dark – as if visualising deception.


I chose these images because I like the level of playfulness and manipulation that has taken place. I like how the first image plays with traditional portraits – it would be obvious to include a photo of Donald Trump himself – this therefore allows the idea of a portrait to still be used, but allows the balloon to become symbolic. I like the centre two images because they again play with traditional portraiture through the use of layering and replication. This to me symbolises that a person has many faces and it is difficult to know which is being used. I chose the final image because of its creativeness, the cutting of the pages in the book means it cannot be read coherently. It is difficult to pull out any information from the sea of random words that can be seen – I think this almost acts as a metaphor to Trump and the media in general. With so much information being put out into the world, words become lost and almost meaningless.

Fine Art:

These are the final two images that I selected and I chose these because I like how abstract they are. Figures and elements na be made out in both paintings – the second more than the first; but both play on the idea that things may not be what they seem and what we are presented with may not be absolute. This I therefore think relates to the article and President Trumps statements – what he says may not be the truth. You have to study what is said – just like these paintings. I like how the second image combines text with the imagery – this is a potential avenue to explore.

David Carson:

I am particularly fond of David Carson’s work. I like how playful and experimental he is with typography. The use of layering makes the text difficult to read, only certain words can be pulled from the images. I really like this idea for my chosen article – there is definitely a sense of confusion within each of the pieces above – and that is the mood I am trying to depict.



Changing Faces Editorial Design – Research

Below are examples of editorial designs from books to magazines and other sources.

With this design, I like the contrast between the black and the white, especially with the composition of the elements on each page. What I find particularly interesting is the cover, two of the letters cannot be seen, depending on the angle you look at it from, it plays on the viewers perspective. This completely changes what the title says, with one angle saying ‘Funfairtown’ and the other, ‘Unfunfairtown’ and with that the perspective of the context of the book. It plays on both positive and negatives connotations. I also like the centre, left image due to the alteration made to the image. By simply placing a white rectangle over a section of the image it completely changes how the image is read and forces to viewer to question what it could be. I think this design uses simple design principles effectively and understands the impact caused. Simplicity is definitely key here.

I think that this is a particularly strong design because of the experimentation of type (as can be seen in the top right image) and the use of imagery. It is titled Made of Shade by Jacob Bang and although I haven’t read the magazine, there is a clear correlation between the design of the content and the title. I think that there is a strong consideration to the negative space and the placement of type which helps to control the pace and the direction of the path of the eye. I particularly like the bottom right image of the two faces facing each other. What I like most about it is the deception behind it – they aren’t shadows of faces, but scrunched up pieces of paper with light being shone on them at an angle to create the silhouette of a face. I think it is clever to create a sense of deception within the design. Along with that I like the composition of the elements on each page, each page clearly follows a structure that allows it to develop a visual identity.

I selected this editorial design because I liked its simplicity and clean style – particularly in the top two images. The type used works coherently with the style of the images. The consideration to negative space definitely helps to control the pace, it is calm and refined. However, I particularly like the double spread in the bottom image because I like the way in which the type layers the images. Although there is some bold text shouting towards the viewer, underneath there is more to be uncovered. I think that layering definitely works effectively. I like how key words have been italicised to stand out, creating a key focus on the page, this in turn will draw in the viewers attention.

I think that this is a clever design, I like how the idea of a word search is embedded into the design – It holds the idea that what we are given a lot of information but have to dig for the important things. It is as if the bottom right image is the solution to the top right image. I think that the contrast in the negative space and the amount of elements on each page really help to control the pace of the pages and therefore has more of a narrative and context attached to it. I think that the bottom left image has been designed well to control the path of the eye, this being created with the differentiation in weights and size, this also creating a sense of hierarchy.

Although I haven’t read this book, even from first glance it is clearly relating to climate change through the choice of imagery. I like how they have used a leaf, and focused on its skeleton to depict the issue taking place. I also like how short and simple the statements are on each page, contrasting with the large numbers, that instantly pull the viewers attention. It has a very simplistic style, whereby anything unnecessary has been removed and almost feels like the page is running out of elements – like it’s reflecting the earth. I think that the style, layout and lack of colour scheme all reflect the content of the book. The lack of body text and elements also means that the overall pace is quite slow, it’s like it is asking the viewer to study the page and really absorb the information.

This magazine is a lot bolder and colourful in comparison to the other editorial designs, however, I like how they have taken an image and really played with it and manipulated it. The whole magazine feels much more experimental and playful. The placement of type pushes the boundaries of what is usually perceived as normal and tests the rules of legibility. Nonetheless, what I like about this editorial design is that each page is exciting and bold, it really knows how to grab attention and keep it throughout. As it looks into beauty, I think that the design of the pages relate well to the content, it clearly expresses the imperfections within the beauty industry.

These are not all from the same magazine or book (apart from the bottom two images), these are just a few pages I came across that caught my attention. I like the top right image because it can give the impression of deceit, with some information being given and others hidden – this is similar to some of the previous editorial designs I have explored above but uses colour rather than just black and white, which is definitely something to consider. With the top left image, I like how the words are not clear to read due to the use of layering and pushes the boundaries of legibility. I also like the bold type and the use of colour, it is definitely striking and loud. As for the bottom two images I like the ripped effect on the page and the change in weight of the type – it feels like information has been revealed and is no longer hidden.


Grooming and Radicalisation

We were given a lecture by Revd Dr Paul Fitzpatrick who works in the counter terrorism unit within the university, works with the Home Office and is a Dr in Psychology. The lecture was focused on grooming and radicalisation.

It was a very intense lecture that explored the results of grooming and pointers to look out for. To sum it up, grooming is preparing for abuse.

Abuse Pre-Determines:

  • Vulnerability
  • Isolation
  • Insecurity
  • Injustice
  • Intolerance

Grooming works because it restructures the way we think. Through this alteration it makes it more difficult to undo the damage.

When looking at memory and identity; identity is based upon narrative. With memory it can be altered by the individual, for example; after this lecture everyone will have a different memory of it. Therefore our memories are not fixed, we play with them and alter them.

Whatever has taken place in a person’s life is their narrative and they all build up together to create that persons identity. When that becomes at risk, radicalisation can take place. It begins with a perceived injustice. This leads on to a need for identity. Finally there is a need for belonging.

As human contact is crucial, this need to belong isolates people and makes them vulnerable. Qualities groomers look out for in individuals.

Students are at particular risk as they are altering their thought patterns and are therefore open to more risk of Developmental Grooming:

  • Cognitive Opening then
  • –> Religious Seeking then
  • –>Frame Alignment – changes the way you think gently (by around 2%) then
  • –>Socialisation then
  • –>Commitment.

We should also be looking out for not only the choice of words used, but also the way they are being said and the tone used.

One of the key points behind this lecture was to not only become more aware of the dangers of grooming but to also be aware of the content that we as graphic design students use within projects. As sensitive or explicit content is illegal and contact with a lecturer is essential before undertaking the work. There is a connection between graphic design and radicalisation and grooming because they are tools that can be used to slightly alter peoples perception or view on a subject.

Overall, I thought it was an very interesting talk and a subject area to bear in mind not only in general, but also within my graphic design work. It is clearly a serious issue that is constantly taking place within the UK. But what I found most interesting was the Psychology behind it all, learning about how the brain works and processes information is all very interesting to me because having an insight into people’s minds and the way they work can influence the way I behave or influence the work I do.

Afterlife – Elbow Grease Magazine

For this week’s afterlife, Elbow Grease magazine came in to talk to us. We were introduced to Tom Sydenham; Art Director, Josh Gabbatiss; Editor and Jon Sinfield; Business Manager. They are all currently based in Bristol – as is the magazine.

I thought it was nice having all three come down to talk to us rather than just the Art Director as that gave more scope of things to discuss and gave a truer insight into what it takes to create a magazine. As much as it is about the design, the business and editorial elements are crucial and are things that need to be considered. I especially think that the business aspect is important because business is incorporated into the creative industries and is something that we should be open to and begin to learn a little about.

It really gave an insight into what it takes to create and develop a magazine, beyond the design element. It was also nice to see the dynamic that all three had with one another, it shows the importance of good teamwork and communication. One thing that they brought up was that they struggled with deadlines, which at the start worked in their favour as they were really able to concentrate on the voice and tone of the magazine. But after the initial process, deadlines are crucial to ensure that demands are met and that progression occurs –  this is quite interesting as it made me think of benefits of having deadlines but to also not have them depending on the circumstances.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to the team behind Elbow Grease come in and give a talk about magazine design and also introduces us to the idea of integrating business into the creative side.