John Smith’s Compeition: Design Published!

In an earlier post, I mentioned that John Smiths were in talks to publish my design along with the winners and I am happy to announce that they have!

My design is now being sold in John Smith’s stores across the UK. This news was of course great to hear considering how many other designs had entered this competition and mine had gone so far.




End of year Exhibition {UN}LUCKY

On Thursday June 20th our end of year exhibition had began. Before guests started to arrive, we began by having a group photo shoot directed by Kevin Furlong to commemorate the big night.  With everyone unaware of what to expect on the night, the photo shoot was enjoyable to loosen us up and get us all in a good frame of mind.

Degree Show 2013 Group Photos-293

The night was a big success, a large turnout of guests to see all of our work and offer encouragement to our futures. I was amazed and happy to hear such pleasant remarks about my work displayed, especially from past lecturers who I hadn’t seen in over 12 months.

Degree Show 2013 Group Photos-415

Degree Show 2013 Room 057-119

My Final movie poster designs, up and ready for display on the final show.

Degree Show 2013 Room 057-242

To see more works from the final show, the virtual tour of the exhibition can be found here:

Competition Brief: John Smith’s Bookshop

Today was the day i went in to pick up my cheque for the competition brief.
It was a bit exciting to say the least since i had no idea what was going to be said about my design.

Upon my arrival the staff were waiting for me with an A3 copy of my design with the cheque and took a picture of me. After having a chat about the competition they told me they were in talks of selling my design along side the winners. I was a bit overwhelmed since i thought my design wouldn’t be used.


They all told me that they would’ve preferred my design to win, however they want to see if they can sell it in their shop and others. I was happy to hear the news that my work would be shown in the shops and that they were pleased with my design overall.

Competition Brief: John Smith’s Bookshop Results!

After a few weeks of waiting, i had received an email this morning notifying me that i had been picked as runner up for the competition! although my friends who had seen the design previously and gave me a lot of support and said i had a strong chance, i didnt believe i did!

I was unhappy to see that i didnt win the full prize, however i was really happy to see that my design had been recognised and i had the runner up prize of £250 to show for it!














Competition Brief: John Smith’s Bookshop

With the deadline approaching, i wanted to make sure that everything was perfect to the requirements they had asked for. I applied my design to a notebook template i found to see if it looked smart enough and it did. Once i had finished the rationale explaining my concept it was ready to send and all that was left was to do wait and hear back on how i did in the competition.

notebook copy

Competition Brief: John Smith’s Bookshop

As i mentioned in an earlier post, i was now ready to start applying the illustration i had made to my background. At first it took a bit of resizing and moving around before i was happy with the final position.










With the illustration in place, i played around with adding the same design on again but making it look like a shadow on the background. This outcome worked well and i decided to keep it in the design. Later i then noticed how plain the top looked and decided to add in some music notes to the background but make them faded with a low opacity so that were wouldn’t be too distracting with the main illustration.



Competition Brief: John Smith’s Bookshop

After much sketching and planning out illustrations for the competition, i finally came up with a suitable illustration i wanted to use in my final design.








I didn’t want my illustration to be too overwhelming so i tried to keep it simple and only add in colours to certain areas and keep it neutral to students. So i only added colours to the hair, the headphones, and then clothing and kept the rest as a plain silhouette.

The next part of the development was to begin applying this to my background design and plan out placement and size.

Competition Brief: John Smith’s Bookshop

To start getting the ball rolling on the design for this competition, I first started designing a background pattern which the main design would sit in front of. Since i was basing my design around music, I didn’t want to make a pattern that was too distracting so i started playing around with shapes.

After much thought and testing, i finally came up with a pattern that i was comfortable with and would be subtle in the background.


To go along with my music concept, i had decided to also design the notebook with rough qualities especially since notebooks are used to scribble and doodle down notes and drawings, i thought why not show this on the cover? overtime a notebook will have scratches, bends and marks. Why not add some of these to the background as part of the design?


At this stage i had my background finished and ready, but i still needed to add my main concept and begin sketching out ideas on how to fill the remaining space.

Competition Brief: John Smith’s Bookshop

Earlier this year it came to my attention that the university bookshop was holding a design competition.
The brief seemed simple enough: Design a limited edition notebook cover for the 2013 JS Stationery range.
This seemed like a simple task if you look at the current covers with Banksy designs, it seemed like they were asking for much. However the concept of this brief was to reflect on what’s hot in 2013.
This made the brief much more wide open, making it difficult to design for since 2013 had not long begun.


Since the brief was wide open and there are no boundaries for students to be creative, i thought it would be best to do a bit of basic research around what trends emerged at the end of 2012. With my searches bringing up mainly fashion, i thought it would be better to go out and find something with my own eyes.

To my surprise, this method worked. Whilst out in the town centre minding my own business, the thought came into my head that nearly everybody including myself was listening to music rather than walking in silence. This made me look closer and it brought to my attention how on ear headphones had grown massively and more and more brands were being released.

The most popular I noticed was the use of ‘Dr Dre Beats’ which originated in 2011, but now seem to be everywhere and are advertised a lot more.

Dr Dre beats dre_beats




With all this in mind, I decided to make this my concept for the competition and begin sketching and writing down ideas.


January 2019
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