15 5 / 2013

As I’m packing up 4 months of my life here back into the suitcases I arrived with I can’t help but be so grateful for the opportunity I have had here. Its been a fantastic experience, like no other, and I have met and formed friendships with some truly great people who welcomed me into their lives (and parties).

I have learnt a lot about myself, definitely a lot about typography and have some great memories that will last forever. If I could, I would relive this whole trip in the blink of an eye, it really has been an amazing experience. I feel cheated of my time now that I look back and wish I had done more things, like immersing myself in the art/design scene more, getting a job or an internship, gone skiing one more time…but all of these things are only from looking back with hindsight really and when you are living in the moment, suspended between what is happening right then and there, these things don’t cross your mind so much.

Saying goodbye is a surreal experience. Mainly because I don’t feel that I am going anywhere, this is my life now its the home I have made for myself. I think the reality won’t hit home until maybe a few weeks from now and I realise that I don’t live in Vancouver, that I was a visitor there and not permanent…

Will I return? Its likely. Even if it is a few years down the line. Even if it is just to say hello to everyone again and stay for a holiday. Who knows what the future holds. A year ago I would never have predicted that I would spend 4months in Canada, you never know which way life will lead you really. Hopefully someday it will lead me back here to this beautiful city in this amazing country.

07 5 / 2013

Not been up to much lately, the sun is shining and its glorious. Here is a picture of when I went to Gaby’s (my roommate) home town of White Rock. We jumped off the pier and it was freezing.

Not been up to much lately, the sun is shining and its glorious. Here is a picture of when I went to Gaby’s (my roommate) home town of White Rock. We jumped off the pier and it was freezing.

20 4 / 2013

Preparation for our film screening ‘Start Where You Are’, painting signs and photocopying flyers… also a little shot of the ‘exhibition space’-the red van, AKA The Latte Limo….

20 4 / 2013

This weekend I am putting together a film screening in collaboration with Jess and Georgie, the other British exchange students here in Vancouver. We have titled the video installation Start Where You Are and will be transforming the back of a red 1960s metro van into a cinema for one evening. The exhibition embodies the notion of travel and mobility, with each of the films screened drawing upon the importance of location and culture. The above video is the film I have created for the screening, had a lot of fun learning how to use Premiere Pro and feel like it was a great excuse to play around with that program. It was interesting putting the clips together and trying to set the right tone for the video, whilst also injecting a little bit of my own personality into it. More pictures of the exhibition prep and location to follow soon, and some of the screening as well after Sunday. Enjoy! 

17 4 / 2013

For one of my projects we had to create a booklet to demonstrate our website design concept and progress through the project. I created this booklet in collaboration with another student using the brand style we had created and a 6 column grid. Although this was quite a corporate brief we managed to apply some style to the booklet and it was interesting to design something that needs to have certain boxes ticked and be clear and understandable, but also well designed. More pictures of the printed bound version to follow soon.

16 4 / 2013

A little sample of what I have been working on recently for my type class. This is a short story that is type set for digital viewing like and eBook on an iPad. The title is The Hunger Artist, my concept follows along the lines of internal narrative and the layering of the text as the story goes along reflects the disintegration of the Hunger Artist’s mind. More to follow.

06 4 / 2013


Some really great branding for a tea shop on 4th Avenue in Vancouver. This place is beautiful from its packaging to its shop layout and interior. Really simplistic and minimal, and it feels very calming and relaxing inside. The perfect atmosphere for the appreciation of good tea from across the globe. They also had a great selection of ceramic works for sale, and that they used themselves. Just lovely.

05 4 / 2013

Another one of my major classes here is an information design project. I have been mainly failing at this one, mainly due to lack of process (no sketchbook) and commitment to the project in general… (its not very exciting) The requirements for the outcome is either an animated info graphic, an interactive pdf or website, or a info graphic poster. At first I got excited and tried to create an animation. It failed, but at least I got a chance to experiment with After Effects and realise how much work and planning it takes. I won’t be uploading examples of that because its frankly embarrassing.

Then I attempted an interactive pdf. which was a struggle and a learning curve and I’m not really sure if I have picked up that much because I still can’t make it do what I want to. Anyhow the design was pretty tragic, so I did it again. Then it was still pretty average. 

And then I stopped messing around and trying to create something pretty based on all those infographics out there that I am quite envious of and stripped everything back and took away the frills. I have been using the Adobe Illustrator graph tool to generate accurate shapes and graphs (you can input data and it creates graphs proportionally for you) so I changed my graph styles and simplified the colour scheme and created something a little better looking. I’m still not totally happy with it, but I feel like it has more potential than my pervious designs. I’m still attempting to add some interactive elements, but so far still can’t get it to do what I want… stay tuned.

05 4 / 2013

Just thought I would post a few more examples of what else I have been working on this semester. I altered my previous blog design work for my type class and produced a website re-work for a local Cheshire company called Happy Beef. It is still a work in progress, but tried out two different directions to experiment with. I eventually want to re brand the company as a whole, so this is almost a starting point for that…

Both of these ‘websites’ are currently only working interactive pdfs, but they are very simple and could be easily translated into dreamweaver to form a website.

05 4 / 2013

    So far I haven’t really been updating that much on one of my major projects here at Emily Carr. Its a collaborative one that works with a live client and has involved various stages of development. Its only in the past couple of weeks that we have actually started to produce some examples of web layout that are starting to look more finalised.

    The whole process has been a really interesting one, as we are actually design for more of a system solution, not just something that looks good. The idea is to create something functional and user friendly for the client. It has been a new experience for me to learn all new language of interactive designers and web design in general, things like user flow, wireframes and ideation didn’t used to feature in my vocabulary so it has been an adjustment of communication as well as skillset. 

We originally designed a website based on the extensive first hand research done with the clients (group sessions to learn about the users) and then translated this into rough wireframes sketched out in a notebook.


    We then translated this onto the screen and created really basic photoshop files that looked like blue prints. Really simplistic white lines on a blue background, to focus solely on the navigation and the concept of how the user would operate through the website. It was only when we reached this point that I truly understood how many files it takes to create a website in this style. For every dropdown or button highlight or page change you need a different jpeg. Needless to say I got bogged down in it all, but I soon (out of necessity!) had to develop a successful way of naming and organising files for easy access and editing. My computer is still so overloaded though (thank god for external hardrives).

    After this point we began working on template styles for the website. Things got really interesting at this point for me, as it all felt very corporate but I also felt very behind at this stage. I’ve never created a piece of work anything like this and it was actually quite good to start getting a feel for how to pull a set of items, icons, shadows and boxes together on a page to create an effect web layout. Thankfully I have the guidance of my group to help me out and show me the ropes. I feel like I have learned a lot in this space of development and definitely produced some stuff that I never thought I would be able to. Nice to have a little taste of professional web design really, honestly feel a little satisfaction at being able to put together something that looks clean and professional. 

    I feel like these are basic skills that most Communication Design students are expected to know or be taught at university, but I can easily see how sometimes focusing too much on these skill-sets can take away from the creative element of design. Although I feel like at Edinburgh there is perhaps not enough attention on the basic technical skills, and the focus is definitely on releasing the creative inside you. Studying at Emily Carr has really given me the chance to get a taste of both sides of the story, I’m still undecided about which is the best system because I feel like it depends heavily on what kind of a person/designer you are and want to be. There are strong arguments for both approaches, perhaps finding a good balance depends on the school of design you choose.

    Alternatively maybe I have managed to (briefly) get the best of both worlds by going on exchange here…Even though I have learnt a lot here and progressed technically, I still feel like I am very far behind the students around me and I do wonder if that limits me in some aspects. Its all very well having big ideas but being unable to execute them can be a frustrating experience.