Part 3 Typography students en route to Ravensburg
Erasmus-supported Teaching Fellow, Sara Chapman and nine of our Part 3s spent Week 6 in Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW) in the mediaeval town of Ravensburg, Germany.
Students from both Reading and Ravensburg were working on the same ‘New Blood’ briefs from the D&AD 2017 competition.
Everyone enjoyed a very creative, inspiring and positive week away, during which both students and teachers were able to share skills and approaches.
After an intensive week working together in the shared studio space — sometimes up to ten hours a day — each student made a short presentation to the group about their project.
Students from Reading found that the Ravensburg emphasis on idea generation and conceptual thinking generated some unusual responses. Solutions tended to include a wider variety of multi-media outputs such sculpture, installation, and film making, as well as graphics. In comparison, the Reading approach was more pragmatic and decisive; we have a tendency to identify problems quickly, and use quite tight processes to solve them.
Whilst the Department has enjoyed an individual student exchange relationship with Ravensburg for some years, this was a new development in that a greater number of students could experience a short time in Germany, that complimented their degree studies. We hope to invite German students on a return trip, and also to repeat the collaboration in Spring 2018.
We are grateful for the support from the Ernest Hoch fund for covering the students’ competition entry fees and IMAGINE for covering the students’ travel costs.
We were very pleased to welcome alumni Craig Melvin to the Department during our recent Part 2 ‘Data Visualisation’ project.
Craig Melvin from TDL London giving feedback to Part 2 Students
The Part 2 brief was to create an awareness-raising poster and short animation about some aspect of either ‘Climate Change’ or ‘The Refugee Crisis’. Students presented found data using a combination of graphs, charts, diagrams, tables, maps and infographics. The challenge was to tell a story and find ways of engaging interest whilst being accurate, factual and informative.
Craig graduated from our BA course in 2014 and went to work for TDL London, a design agency founded in 2005 by MA Information Design alumni, Oliver Tomlinson. TDL London specialise in using diagrams and design methods to transform information. They use a combination of Process Charts, Explanatory Diagrams, User Journeys, Illustrated Storyboards, Maps & Locations, Data Visualisation and Interactive Diagrams. Craig spent the day giving insightful feedback to small groups of students. He also showed some of his recent work for a refugee charity (pictured below), and told students about his experience of moving on from the Department into the world of work.
Chris Washington-Sare and students working on the brand proposition for There4Reading.
Alumnus Chris Washington-Sare (1985-89), from Pentatonic Marketing, joined us this week to deliver an all-day workshop on ‘How to help charities develop their marketing proposition’ for Part 3 students, as part of their current practical project, ‘Not-for-profit branding and design thinking’.
Learning through a series of short presentations, group work and practical exercises, students were able to develop a marketing strategy for real charity clients ‘More than Food’ (a Trussell Trust food bank initiative), Team Berkshire (a initiative of Get Berkshire Active), There4Reading (Youth Volunteering in Reading) and Kileva (Helping communities in Kenya).
Students gained marketing insights on brand values, the importance of a vision and mission, how to understand and present the functional and emotional benefits of an organisation, how to identify the points of differentiation, and the brand personality. The day ended with a session on social identity and the use of semiotics in branding.
Our students loved it:
“I found the branding workshop very informative and worthwhile. It was useful to look at the project from a marketing perspective rather than as a designer. This gave me and my team a clearer understanding of our competitors, target audience and our charities vision.”
“The day was structured well, as we went through the process right from the beginning to the end. This gave chronology and a greater clarity to how the brand develops from initial research to a vision/mission/values which begin to hint at the imagery of the brand.”
Typography has a special relationship with many of our alumni. We very much value their contributions to ensure that our current students can see where their experience at Reading might lead.
Student competitor analysis for ‘More than Food’ looking at Points-of-Parity and Points-of-Difference.
Students present a brand proposal for Friends of Hlekweni, fundraising charity for training and education organisation in Hlekweni, Zimbabwe.
Coinciding with a celebration of the work of Ken Garland and in the spirit of the First Things First manifesto, Part 3 students took on five not-for-profits and social enterprises to ‘brand’ as their last project of Part 3. Thirty-seven students worked for five clients: Charmian Allright from The Luton Hoo Childrens’ Book Festival, Don Rowe from Friends of Hlekweni — a charity fundraising for the Quaker Training Centre in Hlekweni, Zimbabwe, Nikandre Kopke from Mazímas — a roaming restaurant to showcase the cuisine of socially marginalised women, Lucy Colbeck and Owen Everett from Watford Food Revolution — a food coop campaigning for the benefits of local food, and Simon Chapman from Notmymum.com — a student accommodation swap.
The project lasts for four weeks, and brings together skills learned over three years. It is an opportunity to work on a relatively open brief from a real client, in any direction that students think appropriate, and plays to their particular interest or skill areas — for instance, the Childrens’ Book Festival inspired students to make their own illustrations, one of the Mazímas groups made a bespoke typeface, one of the Watford Food Revolution made their own video, and one of the Notmymum.com groups coded their own interfaces for a website and app. More images of their work here.
Students present branding proposal for Mazímas, roaming restaurant to showcase the cuisine of socially marginalised wome