Monday, 29 August 2011

Notes from Meeting with Matt Owens

Be versatile

be able to dip in and out of projects, spending two hours on one and then jumping into another and doing this over 5 projects a day.

Socialise outside of design, designers will rarely need you, but other creatives and people will. Also it keeps you informed of other creative disciplines and keeps you creatively inspired.

Have something narrative on the side, a healthy form of self expression and something to do other than work.

Have a working website and have a jpg in an email as a taster leading to the site

have 8 to 12 pieces of fully explored and resolved work. With all angles explored

don't do a website for the sake of doing a website and app

don't waste time with internships, trying getting some actual work be in in house or freelance.

don't chase fame or celebrity, work because you love what your doing.

jump in with both feet and exhaust all possibilities when getting a job

one of the guys from hinterland just walked in and handed over his portfolio and got an interview on the spot and emailed and emailed until he got the job, he chased it down.

be articulate, be able to express design direction vocally

be a work horse

Sunday, 28 August 2011

correspondence with Michael Dyer

This was probably one of the most inspirational visits in NYC, and I sat and talked for nearly two hours with Mike. I learnt that he tries to keep only to print based design and rarely delves into webdesign though he did show me a website that he had done but it was all photoshop layers that were sent to a web developer. We also shared an interest in Architecture and dutch graphic designers such as karel Martens. He also offered to send me valuable contacts for placements if I was interested in coming back to NYC to work after I graduated.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Present work in portfolio more extensively for example have four or five projects spread over two pages looking into each project more in depth and exploring more aspects.

be knowledgable in code

have the ability to work digitally as well as print

have experience in a small shop and a big shop, and see which one suits you better.

Monday, 1 August 2011

visit to VSA partners New York


Work digitally more

print industry is quite minimum now and websites/apps are cheaper and more accessible.

A recent redesign of an annual report saw them not print a single sheet of paper, everything was done digitally.

I came away from VSA really inspired and he later emailed me saying that he had forwarded my portfolio to a friend at a small studio and his former boss at BBDO ad agency.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Meeting with Randy J Hunt, designer at Etsy

Went to visit Randy J Hunt at Etsy headquarters in Dumbo, Brooklyn on the 28th of June NOT July and was invited to stay and have lunch which turned out to be taco tuesday. We sat down with the head of Mobile who turned out to be the former head of mobile at Twitter and a few other creatives. It was good to see a work environment that concentrated on keeping everybody happing and having a space that was constantly creative and lively.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Zut Alors

Definitely the most interesting studio website I've come across so far, very colourful and interactive.
The work is not bad either.

Zut Alors is a new and small (a marketing expert might say “boutique”) graphic design studio in New York City. They are focused on creating work that is thoughtful and unique, for anybody.

Comprised of CEO, Creative Director, Office Manager and secretary Frank DeRose and sometimes an intern, the studio is born and raised in New York City and strives to make the nice stuff. Whether this is via the written word, or some images, does not matter.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Citizen scholar inc.

A really interesting studio with some great work, and a good design philosophy.


Citizen Scholar Inc.

Like you, we’re wholeheartedly invested in improving the world. We believe design can help address the world’s most pressing needs and make valuable information accessible to everyone.

We strive to do more with less, using practices that nurture communities and the environment. It’s our responsibility to get the job done without wasting resources.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Ougd203 module evaluation

This module has been a great learning curve for me and my practice, competing in live briefs whilst also collaborating with someone else was an experience that I can take a lot from as well as designing for web, something I never thought I'd enjoy or even understand.

Skills Acquired/developed//

The Ycn brief helped me to improve my communication and collaborative skills and has encouraged me to collaborate more with people which I did do. (I collaborated with a 3rd year fashion student to design and print hand-made t-shirts in the college pop-up shop) It has made me realise that I in my professional practice I want to incorporate collaborations and utilise other designers skills that I don't have whilst applying my own skills. With the final brief of the module (P/R/D) I discovered that I was confident with the solutions I was producing with the branding aspect of the project and developed this further by creating two logos for the main company and one for their publication. A skill that I'm slowly developing is type and layout, it's something that I thought came easy and I was a bit naive to think this and it wasn't until my tutorial with Fred, where he in not so many words told me I didn't know what I was doing that I realised that i didn't have the basic knowledge of layout. It sounds a lot harsher than it was but this was a huge turning point and a realisation that I can't just pick things up quickly but I was determined to learn the fundamentals of layout and I still am, it's definitely something that I'm going to work on i through the summer. Web design is a completely new skill that I've picked up and after only being introduced to the basics of web design several weeks ago understand the principles of that area of design, theres till a great deal to learn but I feel that I'm at the right stage to experiment and explore this discipline in design.


The first brief (YCN) was a chance to finally collaborate, I'd been looking forward to this for the whole year. I really excel when it comes to idea generation, bouncing ideas of one another and building strong concepts and ideas from different people. It was also interesting to work with someone that I hadn't really talked to before and even know I had seen Meryems work and liked it, I hadn't a clue how it was going to be to work with her. However it turned out we had a few things in common and that helped to generate ideas for the brief which we had chosen because of our interest in Fedrigoni and specialist papers. I also did well with been allocated specific roles in the design process and enjoyed managing type and layout which gave me a chance to explore that area of design more thoroughly and creatively. I found that in the Product/range/distribution that I could confidently design the identity to a company and feel that this is something that I should explore and improve this summer as well as type and layout.

 Even though it is vastly improving my time-management is still a concern and something that I'm going to have to discipline. I felt that after designing for a live brief and collaborating with someone else that I wasn't as motivated in the Product/range/distribution brief and in hindsight I wish I had of written the brief so that it was a live brief and contacted real companies/people/organisations to give it a more realistic dimension so not be designing for a fictional company with fictional ethos. This is something that I hope to achieve in the 3rd year and hope to involve my practice in the 'real world'.


Theres a good deal that I want to do in the summer and in my final year, I intend to learn/experiment/develop the following skills and processes in the following months;

Type and layout
Web design
Design for Print/publication

How I would grade myself on the following areas:
5= excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = average, 1 = poor

Attendance 4
Punctuality 4
Motivation 3
Commitment 4
Quantity of work produced 3
Quality of work produced 3
Contribution to the group 4

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Reply from Volumeone

Really excited about this, I've been a huge admirer of Matts work for a while now and it's great to hear back from him. Can't wait til I'm in NYC!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

correspondence with Massimo Vignelli

I was so happy to find out that Massimo Vignelli had not just read my email but also critiqued my portfolio. I will definitely try and meet up with him when I get to New York. 

Thursday, 5 May 2011


This module was really helpful in providing me with new knowledge in terms of the business side of the design industry. Quite often in design modules we don't get to see the non design aspect and it was a good insight to what we might expect when we go into the industry. I got the feeling though that this was aimed at students wanting to go freelance or set up a business, or that we were being encouraged to do so. With my personal practice though I want to work in for a studio or agency but some of the information was useful such as SWOT analysis on professional studios, which got me into the habit of critiquing potential internships and jobs.
The group presentation gave me the chance to have key responsibilities within a team and develop communication skills both to my group members and an audience. My area of research for the presentation was competitors to our business and information relating to premises and location. It also gave me the challenge of applying all the processes and skills that I'd picked up from the 5 enterprise tasks. This task made me explore the pricing and cost involved in buying property for businesses, including business rate charges, property value, functionality and convenience of location and rent. Looking into the competitors I applied the SWOT and PEST analysis to each off their businesses.

I feel we could have done a bit more in terms of research but on a whole I think our business plan had good potential and was a lot more realistic than a few other groups.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Sunday, 1 May 2011

research into business rates

After locating a suitable location for our company I set about finding out what business rates would be applied. 116 cheltenham road turned out to cost us £2078.40 which was reasonable for the space, location and value of the property.


Friday, 29 April 2011


Baby Cakes //
> Baby cakes is a Manchester Based online t-shirt company, it's USP is the iconic image and colour palette that is uses across they're apparel.

Johnny Cupcakes.... the perfect business model? nearly. starting from the boot of his car Johnny 'Cupcakes' (insert real surname here) progressed to the online apparel trade and now has 3 store fronts in the USA and a newly opened store in London. He has created an iconic and unique brand which has an ever increasing following.

> The market leader in online t-shirts, selling t-shirts with designs from illustrators, designers, artists and even user generated content.

> Limited edition t-shirts at an average cost of £25

Tuesday, 8 March 2011



Volumeone LLC
190 North 10th Street. #305
Brooklyn, NY 11211
T. 212.851.6074

Volumeone is a design studio that brings a multi-disciplinary approach to the creation of visual solutions for print, motion and digital media. Founded by Cranbrook Design graduate Matt Owens, Volumeone strives to synthesize visual exploration and smart design solutions while maintaining the highest level of design expertise and freshness of approach. All design challenges involve a dialogue between client, creative and the needs of the project and Volumeone works to illuminate and open up this dialogue in an effort to develop the best solutions possible.
Currently, Matt is a founding partner of Athletics, a design collective in New York City. Athletics is comprised of some of today's best and brightest talents in their respective fields. With skill sets ranging from graphic design, illustration, art direction, motion graphics and video directing to web design and development, Athletics members have come together to leverage their talents and energies for a wide range of clients and projects. Each Athletics member brings unique insight and expertise to the collective. From publishing books and records, playing and recording music, producing and directing videos, and running art galleries, Athletics members have a strong commitment to creative thinking and a broad range of experience on the front lines of cultural production.
Matt has spoken internationally and his work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, American Center for Design, the AIGA and multiple domestic and foreign design publications.



Hinterland, LLC
241 Centre St, 4th Flr
New York, NY 10013

T 646.216.8160
F 646.274.0824

Hinterland is a New York-based multidisciplinary design studio. We create books, magazines, brochures, identities, packaging, illustrations, and more. We believe that the best work comes from a close collaboration between client and studio. We have a passion for solving design problems and for integrating all project elements—from overall concept to specific detail—to present a unified message.

Before founding Hinterland, Scott Buschkuhl had two years experience working at the international design firm Pentagram. The team at Hinterland is flexible and able to adapt to projects of any scale.

Monday, 7 March 2011



Triboro Design Solutions
239 Nassau Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222
Phone: +1 718 389 7163

Triboro is the husband and wife team of David Heasty and StefanieWeigler. Triboro creates design solutions for clients in publishing,art, fashion, music, lifestyle, and for cultural institutions.
The studio excels both in building inspiring brands from the ground-upand in shepherding established brands into new territories.
Triboro’s partners have won numerous industry awards and their work hasbeen featured in publications and exhibitions around the world.


Zago are a multidisciplinary studio that specialises in branding. The explore interesting solutions and experiment with 3d elements such as sculptures and installations.


New York
392 Broadway, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10013
phone: + 1 212 219 1606
fax: + 1 212 343 8001

Thursday, 3 March 2011




10 Jay Street, no. 309b 
Brooklyn, New York 11201 
+1 718 233 4389 

Thumb is a Brooklyn and Baltimore-based graphic design office that was established as a partnership in 2007. Thumb works on public, private, and self-initiated projects, usually in the areas of architecture, art, design, and culture. Office founders Jessica Young and Luke Bulman both received Master of Architecture degrees from Rice University, in Houston, Texas, in 2002 and 1998 respectively.

Orange you Glad

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A Dear Friend//New york

A really type based design company, I like the range of books and printed materials and the use of traditional and experimental type.

Monday, 28 February 2011

About Me

Graphic Designer with a keen interest In typography and layout, traditional print processes and branding.

Self Branding Experiments

>I based my designs on one of my favourite geometric shapes, the decagon; a ten sided polygon. After this decision it made it easier for me to experiment with simple shapes and line.

> I took inspiration from the watch on my wrist; a blue 'color coded' swatch watch. I researched more into the watch and the 'color coded' range and sampled colours from each watch to create my own swatch range.
The Design process//
>After experimenting with shape, line and colour I finally came to this design. I decided to use Dutch as my brand; most people know me by this name and I think it will catch peoples attention more than just a usual name. However I did place my real name below so that all associated work and blogs all linked together and lead back to this identity. I still see it as a work in progress and I plan to re-visit this later but for now I'm happy with the direction that I'm going in//