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!


Chitter-Chatter presents… Hat-trick

The penultimate talk of the Chitter-Chatter series yesterday came from Jim Sutherland of hat-trick. This is the second time that the 3rd years have welcomed  Jim to Lincoln – he gave a brilliant talk back in 2011 when we were in 1st year so the pressure was on to beat it!

From publications for the Centre Point building in London – 34 stories about a building with 34 stories (floors)…

… to identities for collections of collections (Horniman museum) they tackle everything with a simplistic idea executed to the highest standard.

Jim shared hat-trick’s identity design for ‘Action on hearing loss’ which was highly commended in the Design Week 2012 awards:

…and lead to hat-trick’s first advertising job – a campaign using tools to demonstrate hearing loss literally.

hat-trick created several billboard versions – some with quirks like the one below that was displayed in Camden:

A massive nail sticking out of the board in an ear – it’s quite brutal but that’s why it works. Jim said that ‘no one takes notice of the problem so the campaign needed to get attention for the cause’. It’s simple but unexpected and grabs attention.

hat-trick aren’t afraid to strip ideas back to basics and step away from their screens. When working on the logo for the Imperial War Museum they worked with print outs and physically played with the design:

The end result is simple, striking and modern without too much contrast against the historical content of the museum.

The simplicity is continued through work brochures for Prostate Cancer UK using pictograms with personality:

…and leaf shape patterns for KEW Gardens.

hat-trick love designing stamps – the challenge of designing for such a small area and they’re pretty good at it too! As part of London Design Festival they exhibited their favourite stamps, framing them with mini gold frames:

They then extended the project to create mini exhibitions in other venues including the V&A and bus stops using stamps appropriate to the location. It seems that there’s a focus on everything being big, so it’s refreshing to see something small and lovely:

Jim shared a photo of his sketchbook collection and gave the students advice, stressing the importance of writing notes, lists and doodles – they help you to think!

After his presentation, Jim kindly answered several questions and offered packs of hat-trick playing cards and books. Overall it was another enjoyable and inspiring talk – thanks Jim.

See more of ht-trick’s brilliant work here.

The final talk in the Chitter-Chatter series takes place at 2PM next Wednesday 15th May from Jonathan Barnbrook! For more info get in touch with the talks team – @lincolngdtalks.

Chitter-Chatter… The Finale

The talks team are finishing the Chitter-Chatter series on a high, and are very pleased to announce the last 2 talks from Hat-trick and Jonathan Barnbrook!

Hat-trick are a multidisciplinary studio who have produced excellent work for clients such as Land Securities, National History Museum and Royal Mail.

Visit their website to see more of their work (and to understand the poster)!

The talk isn’t too far off now – Friday 10th May at 2PM and tickets are only £3.

And to complete the series, a talk from Jonathan Barnbrook – founder of
Barnbrook studio and Virus Fonts type foundry. Jonathan is the creator of Bastard, Nixon and Moron and recently completed work for David Bowie’s new album.

Check out his website to see more of his work.

Jonathan’s talk on Wednesday 15th May at 2PM will be free, but priority will be given to those who have supported the Chitter-Chatter series and purchased tickets to the RAW and Hat-trick talks.

We can’t wait for both of these talks! Contact the Chitter-Chatter team for Hat-trick tickets on twitter @Lincolngdtalks or in the studio – look for Sam, James or Talveer.

Week #3

In the run up to Show Thirteen, we’re filming the day-to-day events of what it’s like to be a student on our course.This week – Students continue to work on the Russian roulette briefs, entries to D&AD student awards are submitted, the Show Thirteen website goes live, postcards begin to arrive for Auction 13, ISTD
submissions are packaged and sent off, Chitter-chatter presents… Tom Heaton from RAW’s talk, Dissertations are handed in and the hard work continues.

Chitter-Chatter presents… RAW

Today we were joined by Tom Heaton from RAW for the 2nd Chitter-Chatter talk.

Tom graduated from Lincoln in 2006, so it was great to have him back to share his experiences with us. He started by describing his experience of Uni in 3 words – Year 1: Alcohol, Year 2: Sex and Year 3: Design.

He explained that in his second year he decided to analyse his sex life for a project – which the tutors loved but some girls weren’t too happy about. A brave thing to do! Tom was successful in achieving both ISTD and D&AD awards…

… and then set up his own studio the day after finishing his degree. He spoke about the benefits and pitfalls of going it alone straight out of Uni:

… which he called time on after 2 years and landed a job at RAW. RAW have produced a great range of work from client briefs for the FA:

… to self initiated projects such as the Christmas by colour pantone cards.

Tom explained that dozens of students email him every week asking for a placement/job so it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Tom’s top tips:

1. Take a deep breath.
2. Be organised – ‘book early’ as he says.
3. Do your research – is it the right studio for you?

4. First impressions count – so make yours a good one!
5. Pay attention to the small details – spelling etc

6. Have a diverse portfolio – show off all of your skills…
7. … but go for quality not quantity – 5 in depth projects is Tom’s recommendation.
8. When you land an interview- be on time, be enthusiastic and bring biscuits! (Tom prefers chocolate hobnobs but also likes a gingernut!)

9. Get used to rejection – it’s a tough world out there…

10. … but work hard and you’ll succeed! Make tea, make friends and make the studio want to keep you. Remember, it’s a small industry!

It was a great talk, both humorous and helpful. Seeing that a graduate from
Lincoln has achieved success was inspirational and hopefully put things into
perspective for the current students.

Tom even stayed to do some portfolio surgeries:

A big thanks to Tom and to RAW for letting us borrow him for the day. Another successful Chitter-Chatter talk!

Passenger announcement

For the attention of passengers boarding the 2PM talk by RAW:

Some cool posters for the RAW talk next Wednesday have appeared around the studio!

Tickets for the RAW talk are available to buy from the Chitter-Chatter team for just £3. Get in touch with Sam, Talveer or James – find them around the studio or drop them a tweet!