Creative Futures 2013

In creative futures week on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 am

Here i will talk about the Creative Futures Week 2013 at Glyndwr University in the week commencing Monday 4th of March to Thursday 7th March. Overall the week was pretty impressive and had a lot to offer all in the creative sector. I feel that the chosen speakers really opened my eyes and made me think more about planning my future within my field of graphic design.

There really was something for everyone

Day one of Creative Futures Week 2013 brought the opening of the event.

Dr. Stuart Cunningham

Dr. Stuart Cunningham

Dr. Stuart Cunningham, Head of Creative Industries at Glyndwr University opened with a loud and dramatic start to a very education week. He started by explaining the week’s events and the reasons to why we have these events. He shed light on what the future hold for students due to graduate in the next few years and the importance of making ourselves employable in the creative sectors.

Although he’s field bends more towards computer sound and music, he has a trust worthy and experienced number of degrees, which supply us with advice across the creative industries. His key points of advice during the talk were to be unique, set yourself out from the crowd, be diverse in your skills to be more successful in employment during this recession.

Next speaker

Sarah Mair Gates, Manager of CC Skills (Creative and Cultural Skills) Wales, followed on from Stuart to talk about what CC Skills job is in supporting creative industries. Founded in 2004 with the goal of enabling creative and cultural industries to reach their economic potential through skills and training programmes.

There  work includes:

  • Supporting the creative sector to take on apprentices through our Creative Apprenticeships programme
  • Providing information, advice and guidance for creative careers through our Creative Choices programme
  • Providing research and analysis in to the skills needs of the industry through our Creative Blueprint programme
  • Supporting the creative sector to set the standards for high-quality work in the industry through our Professional Standards programme
  • Providing specialist rehearsal space and training for the live music and theatre industries at The Backstage Centre in Purfleet, Essex.

Not really for Graphic Designer but do a good job of helping young people find apprenticeships within the performing art sector.

Here a youtube videos of the progress and benefits of CC Skill:

Next Speaker

Gwawr Hughes, Director of Creative Wales was our next speaker. Whose Company’s objective is to also support creatives reach their potential within the arts. With the right skills and training, for creatives and business to maintain the UK’s position within the creative industry.

They  offer:



Career opportunities



Computer Games


Fashion and Textiles




Photo Imaging




Gwawr talk of fact and figure to the benefit of such scheme and it positive effects on the economy, our sector is after all worth 36 million per annual to UK economy. Indefinitely worth funding and supporting if you ask me.

I was really impressed but these two supporting schemes really makes you feel positive as a young freelancer or agency creative. When you think of how much of the economy depends on our sector not just financially, but it is our job as creative to design a better future for the people of the UK. Without us you wouldn’t have well design branding strategies or

Next speaker

Professor Paul Haywood Painting over the cracks…

paul haywood

Professor Paul Haywood creative educator at Salford University is an inspiration artist who has taken his love for art and people to another level. This talk really inspired me to mix all my passions together to create a career that I love and will end up happy doing. Haywood inspired me because of many reason but let start with what he does as well as a fine artist. He mostly collaborates with other artist, designers, educators and community governance professionals and volunteers but with main focus of using art as a stimulus for enterprise and citizen led creative and social innovation. An objective that uses art to bring people together in the Manchester area.

Effective social enterprise stimulations

Educational Values in his work

Bridging the gap within the community.

Some of the public art scheme he is involved in:

Guns to Goods (

Guns to goods

Guns to goods

Guns to goods

Guns to goods

A Community project, which uses the guns collected by the greater Manchester police department within the Mosside area, where gun crime is pretty high and mounting up in storage where they then become useless clutter of government property. The concept is to recycled guns removed from the street, by melting and transform them into good, given them social and commercial value. The profits from the sales get invested into training, work experience and apprenticeship programmes.

To give incite this year so far Greater Manchester Police have found 220 Guns and Replica weapons and seized 910 Guns and Replica weapons, totalling Guns 1130

Heywood and his collective of artist decided to help raise funds and make use of this project.

Show Metal (

Show Metal Cothing

Show Metal Clothing

Another commercial output related to Guns to goods and gun crime within fashion that saw money-making for community with well illustrated t-shirts and things alike. By wearing SHOW//METAL, you’re playing an active role in breaking the cycle of negativity by promoting the good being done to combat crime in the U.K.

Colour Edge (

Colour Ground (

Local art project run by Paul Haywood and Maxine Kennedy with a concept of using the local landscape to create a selection of bespoke colours and hues for projects ranging from exhibition work to architecture. These projects saw the community getting involved, by sharing their view and experiences of their landscapes. This exploration will capture the daily diversity of the colour landscape and harness the rich natural and social heritage of the places. They intend to produce a colour palette and swatch that will reflect on the identity of Littleborough on the Pennine Edge.

Art exhibition get pictures

Salford red brick colour selection building project output saw a building built and painted inside and out with the range of different coloured red bricks from the Salford area.

They even tried to take the colours from these projects further by making limited edition

Nail Varnish

Hair Dyes

Water Colours

Paints etc using these colour palettes and even tried turning brick into oil paints. Something’s didn’t work but the community spirit and the drive for a relative common ground for the people really is what drove this project and had me enticed from the start.

Paul Haywood is a great example of art and designs purpose to inform, educate and rebuild society and he really does that through all of his ventures. I would like to be involved in some of these projects and on talking to him after the talk about possible ways I could get involved. After retrieving his email address he informed me that he had a few contact to more graphic design based work.

Next Speaker

Robert Ball – How not to be as graphic designer…

Rob Ball talk really inspired me and a designer he’s work shows outlandish approach to project with a title like “how not to be a graphic design” just goes to show what his point in the talk was. Think outside the box and take on jobs that challenge you or that you hate. It surprising what you may get out of it. I can respect anybody who opens an a talk with a few funny juxtaposition of the does and dont’s of communication. a Alan Fletcher quote from the book the art of looking sideways.

Alan Fletcher - insert from the book 'The Art of Looking Sideways.'

Alan Fletcher – insert from the book ‘The Art of Looking Sideways.’

for example a sign with ‘fresh eggs’ hand painted on it looks natural, but a sign with ‘flying lessons’ hand painted on it wouldn’t seem so trustworthy. Really made me chuckle as not everything has to be designed in a modernist aesthetic. our approach to design is based upon a  number of things, for instance audience, brand voice and ethos is visually represented within the branding strategies.

So who is Robert Ball?

Robert Ball of The Partners a brand strategy, design and innovation agency

Robert Ball of The Partners a brand strategy, design and innovation agency

Well he is a well-respected and passionate creative who’s work show a lot of thought with clever outcomes. Ball is best known as the Creative Director at The Partner and his award-winning work for D&AD and the New York Art Directors Club n a young man he was a great illustrator and joined The Partners in 2000 and became Creative Director in 2009. His work consists communications and advertising including copy writing. The work of his that really stood out for me was his work that was for The National Gallery.

Firstly the powerful play on words for the galleries identity, which was inspired by the publics experience of the gallery. The concept was to put the public’s experience of the paintings at the heart of all Gallery activities. They beautiful thing about this project was that it shows a positive push towards moving away from the generic gallery advertising strategies that show pictures of the work it showcasing plastered all over the internet and the promotional material which does question why one would even visit if they can look on-screen or in a book.

The Partners - the National Gallery

The Partners – the National Gallery

With the success of this work The partners also got commissioned to help raise awareness for the permanent collection at the gallery, which brought about the ‘The Grand Tour’ concept. The idea was to create an opportunity to encourage Londoners to engage with the collection, by amazingly hanging 44 full-scale, high-resolution prints in replica frames around the streets of London taking the gallery to the people.  By downloading or picking up map from the gallery you could see London and the paintings. The project was a huge success and no wonder, I really wish this was my idea! It really inspired me to want to do things wrong but for the right reasons. Really stand out in a country full of such great creative talent. Break the rules and create new one and never stop learning.

The Partners - The national Gallery

The Partners – The national Gallery

His advice to us

How not to write a CV With hobbies, people do stuff we get that.

Don’t put sketches in portfolio, no probes, just keep  it simple.

Find stuff that isn’t online, get inspiration from outside source.

Don’t be afraid to share and collaborate.

look at the portfolio sandwich technique.. which is this ideas of smartly laying out your portfolio so that the employer  will remember you from the rest.

          Put your 2nd best work at the front.

          Ok work to the middle

          Best work at the end.

The co-founders of The Partners Beryl McAlhone and  David Stuart wrote a book ‘A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design’. Which is a book about the exploration of humour, irony and playfulness in graphic design, both an inspiration and educational book and really what the company is known for. The funny thing about the cover is that it was designed by a student placement. cool uh?

'A Smile in the Mind' Witty Thinking in Graphic Design by Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart,

‘A Smile in the Mind’ Witty Thinking in Graphic Design by Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart,

This talk really inspired me and got me thinking about what sort of designer i aspire to be. I want to be a Robert ball of firm like The partners. I would like to have my own firm one day where I write the rules and boundaries to inspire others that come and go working for me. I have a lot to learn within design field whether I work in advertising, editorial or about successfully building brand strategies.

Next speaker

Business Start up Support by Judith Alexander

Firstly I have to say before going to this talk I felt I was in good enough shape to freelance myself for a while get a job in a studio for a bit and then start my own studio with my side kick Steven Sparrowhawk, we have a partnership that worth making a business for. Having said that we have a lot to learn about the business side

This Talk by Judith Alexander went straight over my head, all this talk of, annual change, profit margins and tax revenue including different types of business groupings was hard to comprehend. But what did ironically interest me was the Enterprise programme put forward by ……….

They offer 6 classes over a lengthily period on the core values to any successful business.

  1. Taking the plunge

An over view of what is required in starting a business enabling you to assess whether I/you to be a success.

1. Sizing up the market

This involves market research; knowing your competitors; understanding your customers; know where to get information and what techniques to use.

2. Winning and keeping customers

A guide and support in developing your marketing, identifying your customers and getting them to buy your products or in my case services. Also gives you an insight in pricing your services to maximise your profit or cash flow for your creativity.

3. Managing your business effectively

4. Pricing profit

5. Managing your finances

There are 3 types of trading

Sole trading – working for one’s self

Partnership – working with two or more people generally small businesses

Limited Company – A larger company that has a few locations and of a larger scale when it comes to employees.

She was also informing us of the type of loans and grants available to us within Wales from the Go Wales Groups  even gave us pointer on how to successfully get a business loan from banks. It all about going in with a clear point to your business, have a good knowledge of your competitors in the area and really know why you will stand out from the crowd. Also a success in lending is to have money to begin with. Also make sure you show a keen aspiration on achieving your goal by saving, budget your money and keep receipts so when you own your own business you never not be able to show the tax man your reasons for spending. New computers, printers and software for example

Day 2

How to Motivate Yourself – Denise Chilton

In this lecture Chilton started out by telling us how became a motivation coach. She talked about her stints at different job, how un happy she was and even that she ended up taking a job she hated so much that it would motivate her to really get what she wanted. She succeeded! Yes her first year was slow and yes it was bad that it even made her question her point to having a business but all of this experience of good times and bad times is really what has now made her a motivational mentor.

After her introduction of her life she went on to do some exercises with us, which at I was not up for. I couldn’t even motivate myself to think about how my last week had been but after a while I got into it. Funnily enough this lecture was more than I expected it to be really showed me and taught me a lot about myself as an individual. Her motivation skills and the way in which she find your passion and dream by a few simple questions was astonishing in her example with a design student. This lecture really made me think about my aspirations and goals and it was definitely an eye opener.

Chilton made us think about our goals and how to take action by focusing on positive steps along with this acronym SMARTIES

S – be Specific and positive

M – measurable and meaningful to you,

A – achievable and state in the present

R – realistic and right for you.

T – Time, Targeted and Thrills

I -‘I’ as in my

E – Exciting

S – Sensational

She asked us all to write a list of our positive things we have done or enjoyed in past few weeks, with the idea of focusing on the positives to harness their full potential. She explained that a lot of the time we see other people’s positive characteristics then compare them to our negative characteristics which makes us think less of ourselves. She then told us to give ourselves the same advice we’d give friends, as we are usually much more supportive of them.

Chilton then had us do a little activity project in the lecture. She handed out sheets with a wheel on them with 8 branches sprouting from the centre of the wheel. These 8 branches each represented something: Friends/ Family, Physical Environment, Health, Career, Relationship Status, Fun, Personal Growth and Money. These branches had ten notches in them and we had to grade each of the branches out of ten for how well we thought we were doing in that particular field of life.
We were then asked why we graded ourselves low in some fields of and how we think we could make the grade better. Then we were asked why were we not making them better? This really made me think and was a very simple concept but very realistic looking at the things I am less happy with and find a way to make positive change. Like getting a degree and pursuing a job as a designer being a post degree aspiration, which is my first goal and focus. All the rest will slowly figure itself out.

Next speaker

Sian Saunders – If only i had known

Sian Saunders is the founder of Day Dream Designs a small family run creative agency which thrives on handcrafted bespoke designs and although small business are a full service creative agency. Saunders started out by working on her own doing a few jobs from home as a web designer. As the work load got bigger she started to as a person here and there to co create her vision. Now they have a

project manager

graphic designer

couple of illustrators

couple of web developers

lots of freelancer for big work loads

few copyrighters

They get there clients form there bespoke style that really defines them, illustrations and great colour palettes. A approach that isnt for everyone but works for them.

Real Ale Trail

Real Ale Trail

Bexton Primary school

Bexton Primary school

Split the Difference VW Split Scream Hire.

Split the Difference VW Split Scream Hire.

As you may notice this style of design isn’t your average modern approach and they handcraft all of their designs and really are making a name for themselves even as a small business, they still get big clients. Her tips were as follows:

1. Stand out from the crowd and design with personality

2. Were hard-wired to notice only what’s different

3. The customer, we listen! understand your customer and manage their expectations and give them what they want, as it is all about the customer.

4. Live by design not by default

5. Perspective learning how to do things differently

6. Go the extra mile

7. Sometimes its good to be freelance

8. Do tester to prove its worth the money and you will make more

9. Don’t give up on a price and do exactly what they want for that price.


My over all thoughts on the week

What the whole experience has taught me is that I should never get stuck doing something I hate and really do what I love. Find the things that really drive me and make a career out of that. Look at what are my strong points are and how do I use them to my advantage? I love people and the coming together of the community, so think in the near future I should think about pursuing freelance community project like that of Paul Haywood, stuff that really help the community and even charity work seem like a nice place to start. It may not make me much money or any for that matter but really is something I want to do. But I do also want to establish myself as a creative, of course my intentions are to aspire to be and do as good as Robert Ball. Most definitely I will think outside the box, dare to be different and get clients to believe in and commission projects that sound crazy and outlandish, why wouldn’t any young creative not want that for their future.In terms of motivation and business start-up I really feel impressed by the support and funding there is for people keen to be entrepreneurs with classes, grants and loan i may have to apply myself to and have my own agency one day.



Random findings that i like…

In 1 on January 13, 2010 at 1:02 am


Check out this amazing hookup between DC and chilled beat masters Groove Armada. The shoe utilizes the lively techno colour theme from Groove Armada’s merchandise and graphics on the popular Volcano model. With a bright colour palette set, Groove Armada have taken this shoe to another level and used a mismatch execution, with the left and right shoes each featuring slightly different colour blocks. Features: Velcro fastening top. Highly abrasion-resistant sticky rubber outsole.

My best friends is rocking them right now and i got to say i love them. music, art and fashion in the mix:

Noma Bar: Negative Space

gun crime                                                                                            the big squeeze

Noma Bar recently creative book Negative space which at a second glance provokes the viewer. in his book he tackle global warming, race relations and national identity and has that of a ‘design of dissent’ nature against war, crime and power. It features many examples of editorial work for The New York Times, The Economist and The Guardian. Referring to his editorial work as a form of “pain relief” against issue in some of  his articles

With these to example i am inspired by his use of the negative space using the background more wisely to also have a visual purpose. this image within an image is one that does provoke the viewer and get you looking and thinking longer, which to any artist or designer in key to a good piece of work.

Persue Graffiti artist

Persue is an established graffiti artist who has been spraying walls since the late eighties. his work consists of lettering and illustrations with great detail. His tag is Persue written per-sway he represents COD[children of doom] from the Bronx, Stick up Kids, The Seventh Letter, Bunny Kitty, Transcendental, Bloodclots and SBA, which are his spraying crews that take on a global scale.

What interested me about Persue  is his work he’s done off the street and into the fashion, graphic design and business world. He’s was involved launching DC shoes, Osiris shoes, he was the talent behind the name and logo for Circa footwear. Persue has done countless amount of designs for T-shirts, Skateboard and Snowboard for brands like Special Blend, Dub, Tribal, Droors, Forum and Evol. He is currently President for Vox Footwear a Skateboarding shoe brand based out of Vista, California. Managing the company and design footwear with his loyal friend B House. He got involved in the industry around  early nineties but Skateboarding was not as big back then but evidently as it grew so has Persue reputation as a talented artist. As he would say it putting ‘flavour’ into skateboarding art. Running a Shop also with his brothers with the name ‘Home’, which originally was a place where any average person could eat, drink, and mingle with some of the biggest names in entertainment. It was also at Home that some of the biggest names in entertainment could again feel like any average person. People like the legend John Lennon was one of the many faces that came to House back in day. Run by Richard Ross and with the help of his brothers connection with the stars it got a beautiful history. Persue being the nephew of Richard Ross has in recent years turned Home in a clothing store in the northern San Diego city of Encinitas, California.

Here are some of his graphic design works:

His work is a fine example of what logos are looking like today. Especially in sub-cultured fashion of the youth and extreme sport culture. The graffiti like, illustrative logos work well within theses areas and give the companies a more creative edge, which Persue work is all about weather it be a mural on a wall, T-shirt design or side of a shoe. As ‘street art meets fashion’ is big in todays society we see many of graffiti artist work taking new direction in this way.

Korg Kaossilator Dynamic Phrase Synth

the KAOSSILATOR is a new instrument that liberates synthesizer sounds from the keyboard. It gives keyboardists, guitarists, and DJs a convenient way to add fresh new elements to a band performance or to a DJ set, while allowing untrained musical enthusiasts to enjoy an entirely new level of musical involvement and expression. Thanks to its ultra-compact size, battery operation and hooks for attaching a strap, the KAOSSILATOR makes it easy for you to start creating music whenever and wherever inspiration strikes you.

Main Features

A portable synthesizer delivering maximum flexibility in an ultra-compact body, with battery operation that allows you to jam anywhere.

* Synth, sound-effects, and drum sounds, for a total of 100 powerful sound programs.

* 31 scale patterns let you easily play a wide variety of “always perfect” phrases.

* 50 types of gate arpeggiation help you perform complex rhythmic patterns.

* Loop Recording allows multiple phrase overdubbing to create complete grooves.

at a recent event i went to this girl Alice was rocking this synth whilst jamming on guitar and made some interesting raw basement bashing music. Was a very interesting experience also being able to join in the fun have a mess around, but on a serious note in music industry this is a must have.

charity work-shock advertising

In 1 on May 18, 2009 at 10:34 pm

ever since i realized things were unethical, lacked equality or just seemed damn right wrong i found myself extremely interested in working for charity. wether that be the street team or most defiantly on the creative team. i know that most charities use different agencies on different subject but i would like to have input in help out these charity getting noticed for what they’re doing to make the world a better place here there and everywhere but more importantly make visible the devastating issue people are facing all around the world that people cannot see or acknowledge.

it all about shocking the viewer, creating a stir and curiosity with in the public realm with disturbing in your face imagery. this type of advertising has a love it or hate it audience, as people can either be hurt, traumatized or over exposed to things they wish not to acknowledge in their day to day lifes, or you get the people like myself who take notice, want to know more and help out as much as possible. all of this creates a huge amount of publicity, debate and sometime a ban depending on the intensity of the shocking imagery.


i was recently looking a Erik Vervroegen work he did for Amnesty International human right in china:

Amnesty international- Human rights

Amnesty international- Human rights

this ad was based on the olympics in china as it was happening at the time, so using the olympic sport to express the torture and truama people face in china, with a caption saying after the olympic games the fight for human rights must go on. Amnesty International to me have a amazing adverting style, so shocking and really catches your eyes wether you feel it good or bad.

Erik also did a great ad for aides:

Aides-aids as

Aides-aids ad


Aides-aids ad

Aides-aids ad

these two ad caused a stir, for one they are a little pornography in the sense of nudity and the acts of pleasure but i feel they get to the point using insect which are poisonous to get the message across. Once again Erik has used shocking yet powerful imagery to open the eyes of the views to express the importance of using a condom. 



although United Colours of Benetton are a clothing company, they still use shock advertising to help sell product even thought they are not a charity they still touch on important issue that people are subjected to globally. in some ways this is wrong using it to sell products as it does not address the product purpose but grabs the eye of the potential buyer of the produce making discuss and debate the ads with people. killing two bird with one stone. getting people to buy his product yet addressing important issues on equality, sexuality, aids etc:

this ad expresses equality in a awesome way. using hearts to deliver the message that no matter the race we are all made of the same things, we are all human. yes its a little gross and a little shocking for using heart but this is the perfect way to deliver a message.


United Colors of Benetton

United Colors of Benetton

Sorry to say this image has been taken away from me as it apparently violates the right on but the image has coursed a mass of debate and the world went crazy as a black woman feeding a white baby is shocking, wrong to many people and confusing when you see this it never leaves your mind, is odd and rather outrageous especially for a clothing company.


United Color of Benetton-Aids-David Kirby

United Color of Benetton-Aids-David Kirby

this image of a man dying of AIDS, surrounded by his family, shows the terryfying sight of a body devasted by the HIV virus. A way to denounce the dangers of AIDS and a means of continuing the battle against this terrible disease after the death. this ad was created in 1992 baring in mind that at this time people associated with aids or HIV where labelled with that of a quarantine idea. people dare go near them. so this image at it time really shocked the world and started to question the ways they used to feel about AID and the stigma attached to it. so for that i am greatful.


anmesty International- it not happening here but it happening now.

anmesty International- it not happening here but it happening now.

this ad won a D&AD award last year and you wonder why it a great way to engage the audience in understanding what is happening around the world but also shocking then by putting in to there scenery extreme well thought of by the switzerland creatives. one of best campaigns to date, well for me this blew me away and made me want to work for charity making issue visual to people unaware or put in the faces of those who chose to ignore it. 



Do charity work is about understanding Diversity:

Diversity means more than race and gender-each individual is different and unique. I realised that diversity is treating people as equal, people are equal in their right to dignify and respect but not in their abilities. there is no doubt that Britain is become diverse, where people  of different cultures, ethnicity’s, abilities, sexual orientations and styles working together and dealing with one another on a day to day basis. Diversity asks us to have an open mind to not just accept differences but to have value and to celebrate out differences.

         Some diverse subjects:

  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Experience
  • Belief


As a designer I will produce work for a global market. By valuing diversity and keeping a constant open mind to all. I will be better equipped to meet challenges presented by global competition. Valuing diversity will help me have a better working relationship with colleagues, clients and even in everyday life.