Over and out

It was 5 months in the making, but now Show Thirteen is all over. From this..


(Photo Credit: Natasha Nuttall)

to this…

(Photo credit: Charlie Urmston)

It was a lot of hard work by 76 students and 18 staff members but Show Thirteen was a great experience showcasing the Graphic Design talent of the future. On the Private View evening, the studio was buzzing:


(Photo credit: Charlie Urmston)


(Photo credit: Charlie Urmston)

There were toasts, speeches that will be remembered forever (“She has been a good ship” – B.Tullett 2013), thank yous…


(Photo credit: Charlie Urmston)


(Photo credit: Charlie Urmston)

… and congratulations. The following 2 weeks we received great feedback, reached new people…


(Photo Credit: Natasha Nuttall)


(Photo Credit: Natasha Nuttall)

… and a lot of our business cards disappeared (there have been placement and job offers!). It’s been an experience that none of us will forget. Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way – the tutors, families and friends.

Congratulations to Show Thirteen – we’re the last class of Thomas Parker House and the future of Graphic Design. Who knows where we’ll all be in 10, 20 or 30 years but we’ll always have that one unanswered question in our minds…


(Photo credit: Chris Algar)

Who stole that Mars bar in first year?

Watch out industry, we’re on our way! (Not to steal your mars bars though, don’t worry.)

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Week #14 – The Private View

This week – Show Thirteen is here! Just the finishing touches – adding the business cards, applying the way finding, sorting out the portfolios, adding the curated elements, a spot of hoovering, adding the portfolio cover photos, previewing the curated show reels, adding the group photos, a bit more hoovering, sorting out the window display and finally enjoying the private view! Lots of guests, speeches, toasts and awards.

We’re open

After a great opening night, Show Thirteen is now open!

Yesterday was the first full day and it was lovely to see so many visitors and hopefully that will continue:

After 3 years of hard work and 14 weeks of preparation the we’re ready to share it with you. Show Thirteen is open at Thomas Parker House until the 14th June between 10am – 4pm (except Sundays) so come and see what we have to offer!

In it to win it

Last week we received some great news – Show Thirteen students had achieved success in the YCN and D&AD student awards and the ADAA (Adobe Design Achievement Awards).

Stuart O’Flynn has been selected as a YCN winner for his Forestry Commission campaign:

and Chris Algar has received a D&AD student awards nomination for his work on the V&A hoarding brief:

Great news guys – congratulations!

Also well done to Chris Algar (again), Amber Hadley, Sunjay Morar, Talveer Uppal, Ash Watkins and Sam Weston on reaching the semi-finals of the Adobe Design Achievement Awards.

It’s brilliant to see Show Thirteen students getting the recognition they deserve! We’ve all got our fingers crossed for Chris to win a yellow pencil 🙂

Week #13

This week – Show Thirteen begins to take shape as students hang the final panels with precision, Jack is on trimming duty, Chris fixes the portfolio clips, Portfolios are complete, Vinyl is cut and applied, Philippa and Barrie decide on the curated elements, finishing touches are made to panels, students had their work in (including a handshake with Barrie!) and the studio closes for assessment:

Chitter-Chatter presents… Jonathan Barnbrook

The Chitter-Chatter series ended on a high Wednesday, with a brilliant talk from Jonathan Barnbrook.

Students were really keen to hear Jonathan talk about his work and he didn’t disappoint. He began by talking about ethics in Graphic Design – something he has very strong and interesting views on. He believes that ‘big budgets don’t make good work’ and considers how intellectually beneficial a project would be for the studio before deciding to take it on.

He also discussed the effects of a recession on Graphic Design, explaining a
recession is an opportunity to be part of a massive change in society. Which lead on to the identity work for Occupy London – they began with a pastiche of a
underground symbol:

Jonathan’s pitched logo stayed clear of cliche imagery whilst being simple and dynamic. He explained that his response ‘wasn’t the most amazing logo ever designed, but it does the job as a logo should’. All pitched logos were put to
public vote and Jonathan’s was victorious.

The logo was used on banners:

This simplified version gave it a raw, organic feel and Jonathan explained that the logo was designed to work in this method. Two students started up the Occupied Times using Jonathan’s font, Bastard saying: ‘We didn’t buy it, we occupied it.’

Jonathan explained he was so impressed with their initiative and passion, that he employed both of them!

Next he spoke about his work for David Bowie. Describing music as his ‘main driving force’, he said that working on the Bowie cover was great but a lot of pressure – ‘the thought of 5 million people looking at it thinking “well that is shit”.’

The cover for ‘The Next Day’, which uses a white square over the top of Bowie’s Heroes album, has been met with both criticism and praise. He talked us through some of the opinions expressed by the public, one ending in: ‘suggests a 1st year art student trying to be all that.’ – harsh!

But on the flip side, the white square became an brilliant advertising tool and icon:

Used over the top of other albums and spreading on to social networking:

Jonathan talked about keeping the Bowie album a secret – he couldn’t even tell the rest of his studio and had to use codewords when talking on the phone!

Jonathan then showed the development of the corporate identity for Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. Meaning 6 trees in Japanese, the logo was created by 6 circles and encased within the type:

Interestingly, the branding was taken so seriously that it was even drawn onto cardboard boxes used by the street cleaners:

To finish, Jonathan discussed some of his most popular work – his fonts. From Mason to Exocet:

‘Typeface design is not for everybody, lets be honest. Typography is not about grand gestures – it’s about detail.’

Jonathan explained the reasons behind his fonts, from being an expression of language to improving our society. He showed the inspiration behind his letterforms, using the past to create something new:

As well as some of the odd situations he has found his fonts being used – Disney and a menu:

It was a thought-provoking and insightful yet entertaining talk – a massive thank you to Jonathan. He even signed the Barnbrook Bibles that the boys had brought with them:

Afterwards, a group of students gave Jonathan a tour of Lincoln’s Cathedral and he kindly treated us to a drink, offering more advice and anecdotes about Bowie. Next time we’re in London, we owe you Jonathan!

Thanks again to Jonathan and also to the Chitter-Chatter team (Sam, James and Talveer) who have organised a great series of talks. Sadly that is the end!

Week #12

This week – Work for the Show Thirteen panels is submitted, Auction 13 reveals an extra 8 postcards, the final touches are made to the studio, Jonathan Barnbrook visits for a guest lecture and the tutors decide the structure of the show and with panel spaces decided, work starts to be pinned up and finals printed.