Afterlife 4: Gareth Strange

Today for our afterlife session we had a local designer called Gareth Strange who works at the company Brand Sixty-Eight. In his presentation he discussed his experience, the process and also tips for us.

From a young age, Gareth always wanted perfection when he was doodling and sketching, he struggled with perfection but through help and practice with his Nan he came to embrace imperfection and started to admire the mistakes.

He was torn between illustration and graphic design when coming to study at Cardiff’s Atrium. But through freelance jobs along side studying, he came to enjoy Graphic design and communication.

After finishing Uni, he went around local designers in Cardiff with his portfolio to ask for jobs, and through this he found a job at Bluegg a company that was based on the bay. He worked there for few years and in those years he created unique typefaces by hand and then scanning it into digital. He left and moved on to another company called Brand Sixty-Eight were he used these typefaces an awful lot. But after couple years there this year he’s left and started his own company with his partner which is called John&Jane that focuses on Graphic design and illustrations.

After he gave us his experience and process he told us key tips which are quite similar to the other afterlife designers such as make your company your own, Exam yourself and only you can know how much money you can get for your work. H also told us that social network is your bill board  to advertise yourself and the company so make sure that we post and share our work.

Gareth Strange was very interesting because he was a local guy who’s been very successful in the field and also i can relate to him because, i struggle with imperfections and i should start to admire them.


Constellation Sustainability : Technical Perfection

This term in Constellation I’m studying Sustainability with Huw Williams. The reason i wanted to study this is was because i have a keen interest in sustainability and it’s a important field in the industry of design.

In this study session we looked at technical perfection, which is the evolution of a products performance. In the 1800s – 1900s was the years of industrial revolution and many products were born like the toaster. Throughout the years the toaster has evolved, In 1901 Toaster were only a mechanical product but in the 1950s were styling came into the line of manufacturing, The product changed from the exposing the mechanical workings to have styled designed body to cover and target the audience.

As we can see this was a way to get customers to buy a product. In the 21st Century we have toaster with colours and funky designs but there is a bigger market for them these days which make manufactures use different techniques to make people by the products. One of the biggest manufacturing techniques is planned obsolescence where products are built to brake within few years or be taken off the market by the next model after. This is used in washing machines were manufactures build the product and sell it cheap and in 2 years it will break and instead of repairing it, it would be cheaper to buy a new one. We see planned obsolescence in car manufacturing, not by building cars that break easily but building new models with new designs to take the old model off the market.

These Ford fiestas are all different, more performance and efficiency and all have different designs. By doing this Ford can aim to target other customers and start removing the older model out of the target market.

Another strategy is Anticipate technique, were companies design something that only can be used by the product that they want you to buy, like Apple Pay. Apple have designed this just to make people buy an Iphone to use it.

This session was interesting learning about the unique ways that manufacturing and design have come together to help make industry’s moving and evolving.

After Life 3: Lee Fairbrother

In the afterlife session we had a designer called Lee Fairbrother, who is a creative director of a company in London called Accelerate digital. In the company they design many unique things from illustrations of mascots too branding and advertising. Instead of giving his biography of how he came to creative director he gave us 25 key points to remember when working in the field of design.

  1. Make a plan  – Plan of action in design,etc work for company or freelance?
  2. Portfolio – Very important it’s your advertising tool to get a job
  3. Know the industry – Get to Know the company of work
  4. Never stop learning – Always keep learning, etc ADOBE creative studio tutorials
  5. Understand between idea and execution – Strategy and Purpose
  6. Never underestimate simplicity
  7. Focus on benefit – Create from the end perspective
  8. Scamping + Sketching = Strength – Attachment
  9. Pretotype then prototype
  10. Good is the Enemy of Great
  11. Build a network – make yourself know by other designers, linkedIN
  12. Find a mentor – Find a designer or someone with experience in the field to guide you
  13. Get yourself out there – Start selling, Website
  14. Make your job your own – Career/Job
  15. Biggest asset is your creative team – Let them flow with ideas, don’t interrupt
  16.  Present your work- sell your self and the work
  17. Be resilient – don’t back down make sure you get the last word
  18. Radical Candour – Be honest and give honest opinions on the work
  19. Choose your advice
  20. Should be payed more than just money – respect, popularity, job car etc
  21. Know when it’s the correct time to move on
  22. Procrastinating
  23. Don’t be a d**k – Always be nice and respectful for up and coming designers, give them confidence
  24. Work hard
  25. And finally make sure that you LOVE IT

There was a lot to take in but all very interesting and helpful tips for us students when it comes to getting ourselves out there in the field of design.

I feel grateful for this opportunity to listen to someone like Lee that gives us this useful information. The tips and ideas have made me think about my career in design and that i should start planning my way into the industry. One of my negatives is speeches, talking in front of people but with his tips and idea it will make me believe in myself and in this course we are given opportunities to talk about our work. So at the end of my 3 years here is should be confident in myself with my speeches. Another thing i need to do is create more stuff for my portfolio to sell myself in the field.


Afterlife 2: Matt Bonaccorsi

In this afterlife session we had our very own Matt Bonaccorsi who spoke about his life in the design industry.

His Career in design started when he was pushed into studying in collage by his parents, In his collage he discovered the craft of metal pressing and design used for coins and medals. After three years in collage he went to study the craft in university before getting a job. After meeting his wife he moved to Cardiff where he worked in the Royal Mint were he designed coins and medals. One of his biggest jobs was to design the Olympic medals for London 2012.

Now he has a family hes opened a small business doing big projects such as the Lord of the Rings coins and Dr Who limited edition coins for BBC. Also he does work for countries abroad in Europe.

The after life session was great because i never thought about designers focusing on coins and medals and it was an eye opener to know that our lecturer Matt Bonaccorsi had done all these fantastic projects.  The main tip he gave us was to take opportunities as they come and this is what i’m gonna do in my journey in design.

Related image

Image result for dr who coin

Field 2 week Project

We have all been set and split into different groups for two weeks to create a piece of work on specific person or category on the Civil War in Spain. I was set into a group of 5 which includes me and two from the Graphic Communication and 2 from Illustration. Our group were set a category called “Poems of Spain” which included some information on 4 key characters from Cardiff/Wales that wrote or volunteered for Spain in the Civil War.

In the information it gave us the background on the characters and how and why did they have something in common with the war. The first character was T.A.R Hyndman who was a prisoner in Spain because of bad behaviour in a political party against the Spanish government. In prison and while being in Spain for the three years up to the Civil War he witnessed mas murders and corruption by the collapsing government. In 1937 the year of the war he was released and he made his way back to London, before he left the government parties of Spain told him not to speak or write anything about what he witnessed. But after he came home he met up with his co-editor and then wrote a poem about the things he witnessed:

I tried not see,

But heard his voice.

How brown the earth

And the green trees.

One tree was his.

He could not move.

Wounded all over,

He lay there, moaning.

I bardly Knew;

I tore his coat.

It was easy

Shrapnel had helped.

But he was dying

And the blanket sagged.

‘God bless you, Comrades,

He will thank you’.

That was all.

No slogan,

No clenched fist,

Except in pain.

This poem and a collection of others were all selected by him and his editor to create book of a selection of poems that was named, “Poems of Spain”. In the book there was many of his work and many other poets that contributed to the cause. The poems of the war had an immediate effect on the public specially to a young teenager who lived in Roath, Cardiff. He was the second character we came across in the information booklet. Dannie Abse by now is well known for his work in poems and novels but all of his work all started by the effect of the civil war. He was a younger brother of 3, Leo and Wilfred Abse. Thanks to his brother Leo, this is were he got the gruesome information and stories of the war because Leo and his mate Sydney Hamm both discussed and wanted to contribute to the civil war. Sydney or “Sid” was two years older than Leo and with that he had the chance to volunteer to go to war with a party of 27 other volunteers in April 1937. 3 months into battle he was killed and on his body they found a letter he wrote few days before his death. In the letter he wrote about the horrors of war and the reality unveiled by the nineteen year old boy. Dannie Abse went to his funeral were they spoke of the letter and this sparked Dannie Abse to write about the gruesome war.

” There can be no victory without sacrifice”

Even though this was close to his heart and made him realise of the gruesome views of war, he wasn’t the first person to write about the war in Spain.  In the late 1930s ( 1938-1939)  a boy a year older than Dannie Abse called Mostyn Gibbs wrote a poem called “La Cruz da Espana” (The cross of Spain). This was one of the only civil war poems seen by the pupils because it was published in the school magazine. This poem also encouraged Dannie Abse to write a poem called “The Six Form Poet”.

With all this information we were set a brief to work in our group and to create a piece of work that will convey their story and also convey the relationship between Wales and Spain.

The first job was to meet the group and discuss ideas, four of us were there to discuss and in the discussion we came up with an idea to create 4 posters one of each character. I went with Mostyn Gibbs while the other three took David Abse, Sydney Hamm and Hyndman. They idea was to create a poster that included the quote of the poem that they did or were involved in.

These are my two designs, i wanted to make clear the Spanish them so i used the national colours red and yellow then designed the poster around the quote. As seen in the left poster i wanted the soldiers because the quote speaks of them and also the crumbling look that brings the brutal image of war. Then adding the outline of the World War officer is the symbol for Mostyn Gibbs because he went to the second world war. On the second poster i wanted a simple image of a galleon sailing to Spain in a piece before the storm image. Then like the other poster i added Mostyn Gibbs at the bottom which makes a heart felt image just by seeing the salute of the shadow. Out of the both i prefer the galleon poster because its simple but yet effective.

After coming together again we discussed our work in tutor groups to see what the thought of the idea. They liked the poster ideas and the agreed with me that the galleon poster is successful. But they believed there wasn’t a connection to Wales and it would be nicer to see it hand made. With the feedback we decided to do 3 posters and a booklet to show the poems and the information about the poets and their connections.

I decided to do the booklet because i had the most experience of book binding, while the other three did the three posters.  The deadline is on the 14th of February, and in the mean time i will keep updating the progress of my work and the group.


After many hours of cutting and sticking we finally finished our group Guernica.


The task was to create Picasso’s famous piece of work called Guernica but create it with our group manifesto in mind. The group manifesto was freedom of information, as a group we believe that we the people should have the chance to know the correct information in life either if its in newspapers or on websites and in the manifesto we show this by strong symbolism such as the reader on a puppet string and the person getting squashed by the information logo. Unlike the Guernica this is more clear and we wanted it to be because it shows the freedom and the clarity we want when looking for the correct information.

Protest and Propaganda

Start of the week we looked at Propaganda and different techniques in protesting. We looked at well know propaganda designers and artist which attack or repel against the governments such as Ai Weiwei and Banksy and many others.

At first we looked at propaganda throughout the years such as the women suffrage movement and how both sides of the argument used violent and strong graphic posters to promote themselves.

The poster on the left is a propaganda poster designed and made to fight against the suffragette movement o f women. The designer has purposely made the woman in the photo ugly to make people think that the women who are fighting for the cause look like this, which will make “mostly” men turn against them.  On the right there are two posters designed for the suffragette movement which contain very strong acquisition against the opposition.

After, we looked at propaganda posters designed for the civil war to attract soldiers to fight.

On the Left we have the nationalist propaganda to promote their uprising and in the call for more soldiers to join the battle for the nationalist. But on the right this is the response by the republic who believe that if the nationalist win they will be controlled by the Nazi Germany who which are helping them in the battle. Both posters try different tactics, one is promoting but the other poster is there to discourage the people. It’s a very strong image of the Spanish nationals holding the cloak of the Nazi showing a very uncertain image, specially with the skull face that reflects of death or doom.

We were given a brief for the day to create a protesting/ propaganda poster to promote our beliefs on the manifesto work we did last week. In our group we decided to change our manifesto and started looking at other problems in the world, so we decided to  promote and protest about waste pollution.

The idea we had was to go around the non-recycling binds to find rubbish then use the rubbish to create a mosaic kid of poster to show the pollution in the air, water and land.

We started off by sketching ideas, and i came up with the idea of a tree as land, fish as water and smoke for air Then after collecting the waste we sat down and started to cut up the rubbish to create the mosaic posters.

They were very successful in the presentation but if we had to change anything we would of added text, just a simple sentence to make it stand out more.