“At the beginning of November, students were given the opportunity to produce a publication for the British Art Show 8: an annually touring exhibition that took place in Southampton this year. Ending up as a team of 5 students, we closely worked alongside one of the show’s ambassadors throughout the project – artist and photographer India Lawton.

Our brief from India was to create a publication and a poster that celebrated her delicate memorabilia of family photographs. Whilst preserving her family traditions, India also wanted us to take creative influence from Ciara Phillips, an artist exhibited at the BAS8. Her works often incorporate vivid colours and a repetitive use of shapes. The use of the Risograph, found in the Publisher Hub where all of our project took place, became vital to this project as it allowed us to recreate these bright colours like Phillip’s work, whilst also being able to mass produce the project as necessary.

Our goal was to keep each page simple, and for each photograph to convey a different story. Simplicity was the key for us; so therefore we decided to use minimal amounts of small-scaled shapes for each page of the publication. We came to this design decision collectively from our briefing sessions with India. We realised that being memorabilia, these images were very fragile and personal to our client. Therefore, we took to the case of making each image stand-alone on its own individual page. This allowed for the appreciation of each moment. The minimal shape layouts compliment each of the images, making them more distinct. From our own design motive, we were able to produce something that differentiated us from Ciara Philips, allowing for our work to be original. Through many exciting late nights in the studio, we produce 50 A5 book and 400 A3 posters, printed onto high quality GF Smith paper. The whole project lasted about 6 weeks which is equivalent length to the projects we are given as part of our degree. However, going through the whole production process of the initial design stage to selecting paper stock to printing, folding and binding the books was an experience that allowed us to learn the skills that we were limited to achieve within a university environment and could only be achieved from doing a live brief project.

A month after presenting our work at the ambassadors’ late opening night at the John Hansard Gallery, India told us the great news that the book and poster was being exhibited at the Southampton City Art Gallery. The project was such an exciting thing to be a part of, and none of us had ever imagined that our work would be part of an exhibition.”

Guest post from: James Aspey, Lowena Hoskins, Alice Kumagami, Curtis Rayment & Aisling Sam

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