Week 2: Challenge

Brief

Task 1 – Design Practice

  • Select three practices / businesses you feel summarise your city today, in terms of design practice;
  • Take a photo of the exterior / entrance / signage of that practice;
  • Collect their company statement;
  • Collect a link to that company / studio website and geo-tag the location on the map platform (on the next page);
  • Tag it as a place of ‘design practice’;
  • Summarise in a paragraph the type of work that studio / practice does eg XYZ studio create brand identities for social enterprises in New York: founded in 2008 by… and has 20 employees;
  • Upload each element of Task 1 to the Ideas Wall, with a link to your blog demonstrating further reflection.

Task 2 – Design Production

  • Select three places for design production in your city (letterpress, screen printing, web development, litho printers, 3D manufacturers, commercial printers, Risograph printers, bookbinders, signwriting, laser cutting, video production, audio production etc);
  • Collect a link to their website, list what they do and geo-tag the location on the map platform overleaf; tagging it as a place of ‘design production’;
  • Upload to the Ideas Wall, with a link to your blog demonstrating further reflection.

My first walking gathering photos for the geomap. It was wet.

Design Practices

Dalton Maag

Address: 9th Floor, Blue Star House, 234–240 Stockwell Road, London SW9 9SP
Website: daltonmaag.com
Sector: Type design studio
Office presence: London, São Paulo
Company statement: “We are an independent type design studio. Behind Dalton Maag is an international team of 40 type designers, font developers, creative directors, software engineers and support staff, spanning 20 nationalities and speaking 12 languages. With an agile team structure and workflow, we can reliably handle custom font projects that are both sizeable and complex, in collaboration with global brands and against tight deadlines.”
Own thoughts: The number of employees has consistently been around 40 people for a number of years, with growing numbers in finance and operations, which make up about 15% of the headcount. That seems, to me, a relatively small company given the huge projects that they take on for multi-national companies. They are very involved with education work, which appeals to me, as they open up their industry to new designers from different backgrounds.

Interesting work: Lush Handwritten typeface, Nokia Pure typeface


Faber Futures

Address: 12–16 Blenheim Grove, Peckham, London SE15 4QL
Website: faberfutures.com
Sector: Biodesign futures agency
Office presence: London
Company statement: “Faber Futures is a biodesign futures agency integrating design thinking with biotechnology. We believe that answers to some of the biggest challenges facing this planet can be found in nature. By learning from living systems and integrating design, biology and technology, our mission is to generate holistic models for sustainable futures.”

Own thoughts: A little gem hiding in a collab-working space in Peckham! This such an interesting cross-disciplinary company that I’ve covered later in the module because I love the way they are working with scientists to create new technologies to ecological problems.

Interesting work: Colour Coded – a bacterial pigment extract to be used to dye textiles using less water


Jelly

Address: 9–10 Charlotte Mews, London W1T 4EF
Website: jellylondon.com
Sector: Production company & artist management agency
Office presence: New York, London
Company statement: “We are an award-winning production company & artist management agency… [for production services] With studios in London and New York, we are able to play time difference to our advantage – our small experienced team will respond quickly, wherever you are. Our services include: Illustration, 3D / CGI, Animation, Character, Type. [for artist management] We curate a selection of global artists, designers, and animation directors producing work for clients around the world. No matter your brief, we’re confident our talented Artists & Directors will be able to deliver truly brilliant creative work. We believe in supporting creators starting out their careers and with our expertise at spotting and nurturing new talent – we represent the very best new talent in the industry.”

Own thoughts: I love the concept behind the Game of Thrones tapestry, partly as a marketing project, and as a way to bring old creative technologies. It’s a great use of jacquard loom weaving because it fits with the fantastical theme of the show and links back to the Bayeux Tapestry. The story is literally weaved into is own fabric, with Northern Irish embroiderers adding details by hand.

They have also created their own production studio to work on their own projects and to work with the artists that they represent, giving everyone more specialised skills and more creative control.

Interesting work: Game of Thrones tapestry and stained glass windows


img_20190610_191634708951306731303449.jpg

Alan Kitching

Address: 19 Cleaver St, London SE11 4DP
Website: thetypographyworkshop.com
Sector: Practitioner of letterpress typographic design and printmaking
Office presence:  London
Company statement: “In 1973 Alan began his own design practice in London with Colin Forbes. In 1977 he partnered with Derek Birdsall and Martin Lee at Omnific and started letterpress printing there in 1985. He began letterpress workshops in 1986 at Omnific Studios, Islington, London. He then went on to establish The Typography Workshop in Clerkenwell (1989). From 1994 he worked in partnership with designer/writer Celia Stothard (later his wife). In 1999, in partnership with designer and teacher, Celia Stothard FRSA, Kitching purchased a large collection of theatrical wood types, now named, ‘Entertaining Types’ and housed in Kennington, Lambeth, South London.”
SOURCE: Wikipedia
Interesting read: Interview on It’s Nice That

Own thoughts: I’m not sure you can get a more iconic modern-day typographer: Kitching perfectly bridges the gap between typography and art. I’m used to typesetting for mono books, and to see his use of bright colour to really shout the type’s message is refreshing for me! He runs workshops that I would really love to go to one day.

Interesting work: Royal Mail Millennium Stamps, The Guardian front cover


Design Resources

The Type Archive

Address: 100 Hackford Road, London SW9 0QU
Website: typearchive.org
Sector: Letterpress archive
Office presence: London
Company statement: “The Type Archive is home to the art of printed words. We hold an amazing collection of letterpress fonts in metal and wood which celebrates the joy of printing: the craft that has served as the fundamental basis of modern civilisation and graphic design. […] While modern type foundries are entirely digital (Monotype.com) the Type Archive’s collection spans the nearly 600 year period when the foundry cut letters in steel, drove them into brass blanks, and cast lead type from them in molten lead.”

Own thoughts: After the transition to desktop-publishing, I’ve heard stories about how cases of type were disposed of because they weren’t needed and companies could not longer see a use of keeping them. Now, with letterpress making a resurgence, some people are kicking themselves for putting a case of Johnston in the skip! This archive is vital in retaining the centuries of technology used to make type and educating designers (like me!) how movable type was made and why we typeset today in the way that we do.


Design Production

SLAUGHTERHAUS

Address: Vincent’s Yard, 23 Alphabet Mews, London SW9 0FN
Website: slaughterhaus.net
Sector: Print Studio
Office presence: London
Company statement: “… an independent artist-led printmaking space, shared by a collective group of artist printmakers. Our vision is to create a supportive environment that encourages experimentation, collaboration and engagement with print. We run a varied programme of artist and specialist talks, classes and exhibitions, and award an annual student prize, giving recent graduates access to equipment and mentoring. We are open to, and welcome new ideas for exciting projects that expand beyond traditional views of print and printmaking today. The studio offers access to specialist printmaking equipment for experienced printmakers, professional opportunities for artists, and a wide range of artist delivered courses in printmaking, drawing and book arts. The studio is open for members access, courses, workshops and exhibitions, and you can drop in at any time to see members prints for sale.

Established in 2010 by artists Michelle Avison and Alex Le Fevre, SLAUGHTERHAUS Print Studio set out to provide a purpose-built print studio where artists could come together to explore and develop ideas and find new ways of working. Six years on, we have built up a core membership of artist printmakers, and attract numerous visitors to our series of events, workshops and talks which all provide opportunities to find out more about prints and printmaking.

Near to the Type Archive, and the house that Van Gogh lived in between 1873-74, the studio is located within a 19th Century mews, originally an animal hospital, circus stabling and abattoir – hence the name.”

Own thoughts:  The people who use the print studio come from a wide range of disciplines, from design to architecture, and the owner finds the relationship between artist and print-maker fascinating. With the design world being so digitised, and printing often being done thousands of miles away, rebuilding an old connection between two roles seems to be at the centre of SlaughterHaus’s principles. 


img_20190611_073945-14470944505611059853.jpg

Folio Atelier

Address: Arebyte Studios, Unit 4, Burgess Business Park, London SE5 7TJ
Website: bespokebookbinding.co.uk
Sector: Bookbinding
Office presence: London
Company statement: “Folio Atelier is a place to collaborate with artists, designers, independent publishers and many more creative individuals to fabricate their bespoke books, limited editions and boxes. [The founder, Marie] was recently awarded a Qest scholarship for further training in fine-binding and gold tooling with masters in the craft”
Own thoughts: Even as we are moving towards digital, we appreciate the craft that goes into high-production books, including the binding. Where once hand-binding was the only technology available, hand-binding is seen as a way to complement and add value to the content within the book.


3rd Rail Print Space

Address: Unit 107, Peckham Levels, 95a Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST
Website: 3rdrailprintspace.co.uk
Sector: Screen printing
Office presence: London
Company statement: “3rd Rail Print Space is a brand new 4000sqft open access screen printing facility combining paper, t-shirt and fabric printing located in Peckham Levels, the refurbished multi-storey car park. The aim of the space was to build a comprehensive print hub and modern learning environment to make screen printing accessible to a new audience whilst providing a wealth of equipment for those already working in the medium.”
Own thoughts: A print-space that is different to SlaughterHaus, it is more focussed on education and outreach in a “cool” environment. The Peckham Levels carpark was saved from aggressive redevelopment several years ago, and is now a bustling hub for creatives and small businesses.

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