Design Manchester _ 31/10/13


On thursday this week, I managed to get down to Design Manchester which is an originative week-long festival, celebrating creativity, collaboration and inclusivity in the worlds of art, design, illustration, animation and photography.

It was held within the condiments of the beautiful architecture of Manchester Town Hall, which made the event all that more special. The event was curated by ambassador Malcolm Garrett, and consisted of a series of inspirational talks, interactive workshops and evening events, on the theme of longevity, held within the town hall. The festival was kindly supported by GF Smith and Design Week which meant free goodies was on offer too! 

I was looking forward to the event as I was interested in hearing the opinions and stories of some highly recomened designers such as Mark Farrow and Peter Saville (my all time favourite designer) as well as some advice from upcoming, current and exciting designers like Kate Moross & Colophon Foundry. 


The theme for the fetival was "Longevity" and was looking at how design can be built to last. Timeless.

Andrew Shoben of 'Grey World'

Andrew Shoben is the founder of Grey World who create interactive Installations within the City. Here's a vide of him talking about it, like he did to us....

He was talking about how he liked "Public Art" and the fact that you have to break down the gulf and class separation in communicating with the everyday public, which is much like graphic design in general.

He thinks everybody should be generating quick ideas and ways to communicating and interacting with the public without a massive budget.

The audience is not un-educated or educated - ITS EVERYONE!

Park Bench 

He commented on how he liked working with park benches because thats the staple part of the public. You sit on it, eat your lunch, and the entire city is engraved on the bench.

He also talked about how people pre-determine what public art is. Public art is a bronze statue, something that represents history, but this needs to stop! and often if he's been commissioned a piece, the people have already pre-determined a "cross" on the floor where it will go.

Grey world is named after the "grey" places and creating work for them.

He likes the idea of making this random connection with strangers.

Interactive Public Art needs to have a clear name also to interact with the audience.

To create work that has longevity it needs to be clear, really simple and instantly connect with an audience.

Kate Moross

Kate Moross is an established graphic designer, illustrator and art director in her own right. She describes herself as a jack of all trades! and likes to keep pushing herself, experimenting, learning new things. "Blagging It" a bit. 

She believes you should do anything and everything you want to! Just do it! 

She mentioned how Myspace and MSN Messenger was the first thing that got her into coding and design. You could hack myspace and design it to anyway you wanted to. Which is true because this is the platform that i had first contact with coding and design for web if you like. 

She likes to "Make Music Look Good" and as she revolves around the music industry, she finds that this is her job title. 

She encourages Collaberation all the time! Thats the future! 

Promo CD's are the current way forward in music. Everyone needs a promo magazine. Not evenyone can afford to produce vinyl - it's expensive. 

She also has moved into creating music videos for artists and "visualisers" which is basically a music video with no people in. 

The Insect video she made or Simian Mobile Disco cost around £350 to make. 

Both music and Design is about "illusion"


Have No fear, Failure is Important. 
Sometimes things don't happen for you, just keep going! 

If you don't know how to do something, LEARN IT! why not? nothings stopping you. 


Be open with clients and collabertors. Let them know exactly what you want to do and give them your ideas from the start. Be honest!  Put it all on the table. 

Your not a STUDENT, Your a DESIGNER!

Over-deliver every time and consistantly. Smash it! Don't be lazy! 

Artwork becoming an exhibition and part of the surroundings (good for interactive briefs)

Colophon  Foundry 

Their name means "The Friendly Understanding" which represents each other and their clients. 

Collaborators are:

Benjamin Critton
Studio Mackgill 
Alsion Haigh
Anthony Burill 

Relative Faux - A Monospace Typeface (each character is same width)

Pitch 11, 12, 13 which means how many characters are in an inch. 

Each letter from Light to Bold takes up the same space, just gets darker and bolder. 

Apercu - First Full Type Family 

Apercu is inspired by Gill Sans, Franklin Gothic, Johnson.  They take this classic fonts and hint at something new by remoulding them. 

Creating a small spec catalogue was important to create some sort of physical way of displaying rather than just a typeface digital download. 

Apercu Type Spec book. Really nice! 

Type Spec Books with Type measuring guide and a pack of 'things'.


Typeface based on stencils - Monsten - Monspaced Stencils

Based on the Plastic Stencils you get as a kid. 

Laser cut massive floor rug with the idea of kids ruining the floor underneath. 

Idea to make "Hidden" typeface that can be printed with pop out stencils - GOOD IDEA!

Value Sans & Value Serif - Value Serif is based from drawing over the top of value sans to create a new typeface.

Castledown - an alternative to comic sans - a typeface for children. based on joined up handwriting aiming to learn kids how to write. 

Mark Farrow 

Teenage hobby of collecting tropical fish. He used colours found on tropical animals that you wouldn't normally put together to create colourways in design - Interesting Idea. 

His interest in music come before his interest in design. He worked in record stores that people like tony wilson and peter saville used to nip in - got into it that way. 

Formed alliances at the record shop and was asked to do a record sleeve for "Stockholm Monsters - Fairytales" 

- for this he found old typefaces in books in the library and cut them out and merged together. Made a couple of letters himself that he couldn't find. 

He says theres no rivalry between him and Peter Saville - there never was.They was four years older so he sort of looked up to them. 

He wasn;t cut out for college and learning - wasn't cut out for working in a studio that didnt belong to him. 

He worked for a bit at some studios in london  with the idea that he'll do the work much better than anybody already there. 

Got a Pet Shop Boys link through is first job. He went against the grain of what was happening at the moment by creating a plain white cd cover with minimal packaging. 

PSB - YES was fundamentally made for an iphone and itunes logo so had to be not intricate. simple in design. 

Each box represents a different track. 

Created this idea of medicine through music. Cd's was popped out of a big pill packet. this all stemmed from the quote 

"Music is medicine for the soul"

He could have fun with the copy and stuff for example "IF this docent work try this (another album)"

Self Branding _ Business Cards

I recently made some Business Cards myself as a last minute effort before visiting Design Manchester, which is a new Design Festival in Manchester, which I figured might be a great place to network and that's impossible without some sort of Business Card to hand out.

As I'd changed my self-branding from last year, I wasn't comfortable in handing out my old business cards, which is why I created these. They are triplex printed on bright white and pure black stock. They are laser printed which is not ideal, but okay for a last minute job. I don't want to spend a lot of money getting my business cards sent out to a printers, just incase I fall out with my branding before now and the end of the year, so these will do for now.

Triplex Printed


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