On Thursday 2nd of June our Design Director, Ryan Stanfield, and Head of Brand, Lynsay Spence, got the opportunity to have a sneak preview of the annual University of Ulster Graphic Design and Illustration Degree show! Invited to a lunchtime industry private viewing, they screened the creativity and sketchbooks on show. On mass, the whole Kaizen Brand Evolution team popped down to the main event on Friday 3rd June. Never ones to miss a slice of inspiration, we took the liberty of stopping off at the ‘Dazed and Confused’ exhibition as part of Belfast Photo Festival in Writer’s Square en route.
On site at UUB, it was a pleasure to catch up with the course tutors Liam McComish and Jill Spratt, they helped facilitate our current recruitment drive – we are always on the look out for fresh talent emerging from final year! Like the previous years, the work was at a high standard and we got to see great work in all aspects of graphic design and illustration! The course is now different from when some of us did it, so it is refreshing to see up and coming illustrators along side graphic designers at the show. Straight away it was clear to see how much work the students had put into their show, it had an excellent vibe – with the added touch of a DJ playing this year! Ryan took an interest in the fantastic range of typography projects, he annually scores for the International Society of Typographic Designers. We where instantly drawn to Matthew Lavery’s Royal Ballet project – his attention to detail and skill level was outstanding. Another student that stood out to us was Craig Norwood, his typography and art direction was inspiring – we just loved the chocolate packaging! We also got to see the work by our very own Gaynor Gordon who has been working with us while studying in her final year – we could spot her black and white themed projects a mile off! We got the pleasure of looking at ‘Hand Made Font’, a book designed by Stephen Hanna, this was a really interesting project and unlike anything we have seen at the shows before. There was a lot of work that really stood out to us and we definitely could identify a few successful up-and-coming designers! We can’t wait to see what next year’s students will bring to the table. We wish the class of 2017 success in the future and thank you all having us down to be part of it!
We have asked each designer in our studio to choose their favourite piece of work at the show and explain why it stood out to them:
Lynsay: “A lot of projects stood out to me so it is hard to choose one! One of my favourites was an ISTD book designed by Shannon Tierney, this was awarded membership (well done!). I loved the use of screen printing and I thought it was a project that stood out because it was so fresh.”
Ryan: “A great show all round! It is hard to choose one project but I loved the Belfast Design Week Beer brand by Rachel McCullagh. Great use of illustration and I would definitely pick this up if I seen it on the shelf or in a bar!”
Alex: “It was great to see the show after graduating from the same course last year! There was a big variety of projects but the typeface designed by Elliott Lyness stood out to me. The animation to show the typeface was outstanding – like something you would see on fontsmith!”
Lizi: “I loved the Spice Girls typography project by Shannon Quinn, this was so original. It was very entertaining and a great typographic interpretation! Oh and one of my favourite things was the cat illustration on Gaynor’s business card of course – so cute!”
Shaleen: “There was a lot of inspiring work, I loved the illustrations by Gillian Warren, I would like one for my wall at home! Well done to everyone at the show and good luck for the future!”
Gaynor: “It is hard to say what my favourite piece was as I have worked with everyone all year and I have seen every project develop from start to finish! But what stood out to me was the amount of detail put in to Katri’s ISTD project – Her book was beautifully crafted and the content she curated was very rich. She wrote about the story of her family jewellery shop in Finland. I loved the typographic jewellery pieces she had made to go with the book and I thought the typography was very inspiring!