High­lights from Shilling­ton’s grad­u­ate show, plus the Sum­mer Screen Prints movie poster ex­hi­bi­tion

Bring­ing our 2015 de­sign grad­u­ate show cov­er­age to a close, Nick Car­son pays a visit to Shilling­ton’s bustling Shored­itch fi­nale to meet another tal­ented batch of freshly-minted cre­atives

Computer Arts - - Contents -

Those of you who picked up our New Tal­ent spe­cial last month will know CA has been trawl­ing the coun­try since May to find the best de­sign grad­u­ates. The fi­nal event in our tal­ent-scout­ing cal­en­dar came cour­tesy of Shilling­ton, with a packed show­case event in the heart of Shored­itch.

Fast-gain­ing trac­tion in the in­dus­try as a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to full-blown univer­sity cour­ses, Shilling­ton of­fers two op­tions: an in­ten­sive three-month full-time course, or a nine-month part-time al­ter­na­tive. Ei­ther makes an at­trac­tive choice for ma­ture stu­dents look­ing for a change of ca­reer di­rec­tion: an in­tense, vo­ca­tional burst with­out the time and cash in­vest­ment of three years at univer­sity, where it’s also pos­si­ble to hold down a job. One such ex­am­ple is Lia Sher-Gill, who has worked at Lon­don’s Nat­u­ral History Mu­seum since grad­u­at­ing from War­wick with a History of Art de­gree, and con­tin­ued to do so dur­ing the course.

“It was def­i­nitely in­tense – when peo­ple ask, I say it’s ‘graphic de­sign fat camp’ – but I rel­ished liv­ing and breath­ing de­sign for three months,” she grins. Her aca­demic back­ground in­forms her ap­proach, with in­flu­ences from art and de­sign history weaved through her work.

One of Sher-Gill’s Shilling­ton briefs was to brand a bou­tique florist in a non­tra­di­tional, con­tem­po­rary way. “I made a set of rules to en­sure the brand was dis­tinc­tive from its com­peti­tors,” she says.

While her nam­ing re­search ini­tially led her to­wards god­desses as­so­ci­ated with flow­ers, Sher-Gill dis­missed this as be­ing too tra­di­tion­ally fem­i­nine and opted for a more sci­en­tific, botan­i­cal route in­stead – even­tu­ally set­tling on ‘An­ther’ as a name.

“It’s part of a plant, but I also liked the fact it’s an­drog­y­nous,” she ex­plains. The logo is formed from ma­nip­u­lated hexagons, ref­er­enc­ing plant cells – with four dif­fer­ent sea­sonal it­er­a­tions.

While Sher-Gill set out to ap­ply the more ab­stract, aca­demic back­ground of her first de­gree to a com­mer­cial in­dus­try, fel­low grad­u­ate Alma Mos­quera chose a to­tal ca­reer change. Orig­i­nally hail­ing from Panama, she shifted from psy­chol­ogy to graphic de­sign, and de­scribes the course as “pleas­antly in­tense”.

Like Sher-Gill, she ac­knowl­edges that her back­ground helps in­form her process: “At the mo­ment I hit that dead-end wall of ideas, be­ing trained in psy­chol­ogy can be very handy,” she smiles.

Mos­quera’s hand­crafted ap­proach to de­sign is par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent in The Lit­tle Prince, an il­lus­trated book pro­duced while at Shilling­ton. Af­ter brain­storm­ing the emo­tions she ex­pe­ri­enced while read­ing it, she se­lected three key­words: ‘Alone’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Ad­ven­ture’.

“I used a fish bowl to rep­re­sent a mind, with all the main char­ac­ters in­side it,” she re­veals. “The in­ter­pre­ta­tion of

the il­lus­tra­tion is that to solve prob­lems some­times we should let our­selves, dream; imag­ine; be a child with­out fear,” she adds. “We can ac­com­plish more like that than by act­ing as adults 24/7.”

A third grad­u­ate, Jim Oliver, worked as a se­nior brand man­ager for a greet­ings card busi­ness in a pre­vi­ous life. “I’d had a great ca­reer in mar­ket­ing, and was lucky enough to work in a cre­ative busi­ness, but al­ways yearned for a cre­ative ca­reer for my­self,” he re­calls. “I didn’t want to look back on my life and re­gret never try­ing.”

Oliver rel­ished the chance to tackle a di­verse range of briefs, and par­tic­u­larly en­joyed cre­at­ing a brochure for a BFI Fash­ion-Film Fes­ti­val. “I felt there was a very ob­vi­ous style I could have gone with, but tried to push my­self to take it some­where orig­i­nal,” he ex­plains. “My con­cept was the idea of film shin­ing a spotlight on the fash­ion in­dus­try, re­veal­ing as­pects we might not nor­mally see.”

He has noth­ing but praise for the fi­nal show: “I have been bowled over by the level of cred­i­bil­ity that Shilling­ton seems to have gar­nered in the in­dus­try, so it was re­as­sur­ing to see lots of op­por­tu­nity pre­sent­ing it­self,” he con­cludes.

“It’s also a cel­e­bra­tion of a lot of ef­fort and achieve­ment, all in a crazyshort amount of time.”

Is­sue two of the Shilling­ton Post news­pa­per

The Lit­tle Prince, by Alma Mos­quera

Jim Oliver’s brochure for the BFI Fash­ion-Film Fes­ti­val

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