“Today I have got my ISTD project which is part of the student assessment scheme, which is part of the International Society of Typographic Designers. They set briefs for students to answer.
They are quite open briefs. The one I chose to do was about picking a historical text and reinventing it with typography for a modern audience, whilst still showing the roots of the original ideas.
I was looking at John Locke’s Essay of Human Understanding, which is about knowledge. He had quite a radical new philosophy that was about knowledge and experience informing us, rather than God putting ideas into our mind. That was the theory, which was around before that and has been around for a long time. His new idea was really crazy and radical and powerful, which was why I chose it.
I was inspired by 17th century printing, which was when the text was first published. I was trying to show the roots by some of the type I used. Some of the design was inspired by a printing book I found in the library, from the 17th century. It was really inspirational looking at the layouts they used and trying to reinvent them in a modern way. Then I screen-printed them in the print room, so it’s a layer of digital printing then screen-printing over the top. I chose to use fluorescent colours. I like the idea of layering and the way philosophies would layer over the top of each other, I presented that through the printing process.
I am hoping to meet lots of new people, which has happened, get an internship and get lots of advice on jobs and see other peoples work too.
The most useful thing I learned was about having strong concepts, do proper research and approach things with some thinking behind it, not just an interesting visual outcome, but something that is really conceptual and has a journey behind it I think we have learned that that is the more important bit, the journey you go on and the things that happen along the way, rather than a polished outcome, it is more about your ideas.”
I think the briefs have been really good; the tutors are so open with everyone that you don’t feel constrained in anyway. Just because it’s Graphic Design you don’t have to make a book or something, if you want to do something really different you can. Having all the other departments at uni, you can talk to anyone from any specialism. I think that is really helpful in expanding the way you work and for not to tying yourself down to one discipline. It has been really varied, which has been really good.