Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Emma Parry - Sandwich Placement

Visual communication student Emma Parry is spending her next academic year on sandwich placement before returning to complete her degree from September 2018. Graphic designer Emma is on placement working for Fleet Design specialists in vehicle livery designs. Emma's role involves working in social media and branding for the company. Congratulations Emma.

Emma's placement was arranged through the Universities Careers Enterprise and the Workplace department

Research - Books Across The Sea, Beatrice ward and May Lamberton Becker

With support from a Centre for Print History and Culture, Visual communication lecturer Jessica Glaser,  has contributed to ‘Information and its Communication in Wartime’ a London University conference part of the AHRC-funded project ‘A Publishing and Communications History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46’. Her presentation, ‘Books as Weapons: Beatrice Warde, May Lamberton Becker and Books Across the Sea’ introduced the transatlantic book exchange founded by the respected Monotype Corporation publicity manager, Beatrice Warde and her mother, journalist and writer, May Lamberton Becker.

The conference brought together a range of international researchers with shared interests in communication in wartime. Many contributors discussed and presented images of British printed ephemera from the Ministry of Information during World War Two and pieces frequently featured typefaces promoted by Beatrice Warde for the Monotype Corporation. Although typography as an aid to communication was not specifically dealt with by the conference, links with the Monotype Corporation and Beatrice Warde, were indicators of Warde’s promotional success as well as the influence and significance of Monotype at this time.

At the outbreak of World War Two Books Across the Sea was established as a vehicle for two-way transatlantic communication and information exchange, revealing Warde and Lamberton Becker’s interest in increasing mutual understanding and goodwill through printed books as well as their desire to repair the moral, intellectual and physical damage inflicted on books during wartime. Functioning with the approval of the Ministry of Information in Britain, Books Across the Sea also had the approval of the Office of War Information, in Washington, an agency that brought together U.S. government information services to deliver propaganda in America and overseas. Initially established with a gift of seventy new American books, unpublished in Britain, chosen and sent as a gesture of encouragement to American and British friends, American book enthusiasts took part in a nationwide correspondence on which the choice of titles was based. By the end of 1941, guided under the chairmanship of T.S. Eliot, the first Books Across the Sea group, known as a ‘circle’ was established in London and attracted widespread interest in the collection which had quickly grown to 700 titles. A corresponding ‘circle’ was established in New York allowing books to pass between both countries in the luggage of friends of Books Across the Sea with transatlantic passage. Speaking metaphorically Beatrice Warde described the organisation as ‘A game of goodwill tennis with the Atlantic as the net’; she believed it allowed books to ‘serve as GOODWILL EMISSARIES, as WARRIERS against the common enemy’, and as ‘EXPONENTS of the genius and traditions of each country’ restoring ‘the prestige of the Printed Book and respect for the Visible Word’.

As a personal way of exchanging cultural understanding, in 1941, Books Across the Sea also established a scrapbook exchange. Initially made by adults and children, books ‘vividly portrayed the day–by-day scenes of life at home and at school and national holidays’. By 1945, the scrap books were popular and in conjunction with Messers Roy Publisher in New York, Books Across the Sea held a competition for the best school scrapbook written and complied by ‘juvenile ambassadors’ with the winner published; there were also plans to exhibit scrap books in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Scrap book covers by U.S. and British schools. Part of the Books Across the Sea scrapbook exchange scheme, from a display in 1944. (Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham

At the end of World War Two, Books Across the Sea established a London reading room as part of South Audley Street Library and also became part of the English Speaking Union where it remains today, continuing to promote cultural understanding through books.

Monday, 24 July 2017

World Calligraphy Day

Students across the West Midlands are being encouraged to write themselves into Birmingham’s history books on the launch of World Calligraphy Day. The event, which occurs on Wednesday 16 August, will celebrate the best of calligraphy as well as triumphing the history and artistry of pen manufacture all over the world. As the craft takes the world by storm, you are encouraged to put themselves firmly on the Midlands map, as the second city’s Pen Museum becomes the epicentre for all activity happening on World Calligraphy Day.

Pick up a pen during the summer holidays and get involved with the inaugural event.

Charles Stockbridge, Managing Director of Manuscript Pen Company, who are organising the event said: “World Calligraphy Day is a collaborative and exciting event that we’re really looking forward to launching.

“We hope that our talented cohort of students across the Midlands will want to join us to celebrate calligraphy and writing on Wednesday 16th August.”

On the day, all visitors to the Birmingham Pen Museum, will have the opportunity to take part in a selection of free workshops on the art of calligraphy, as well as the opportunity to have your treasured pen valued by an experienced auctioneer. The free event, which takes place between 11am and 4pm on Wednesday 16th August is open to all ages, with event to encourage young and old to put pen to paper and start their calligraphy journey.

To find out more about World Calligraphy Day, visit or follow Manuscript Pen Company on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Emily Cooksey - Institute of Directors Success

Illustration Student Emily Cooksey has created bespoke, hand-rendered illustrations for each of the winners at the Institute of Directors (IoD) West Midlands Awards held at the Warwickshire County Cricket Ground.

The IoD West Midlands region covers the counties of Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire, as well as the urban areas of Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and the Black Country and is made up of over 1,800 directors and senior decision makers.

The University of Wolverhampton sponsored the Large Company Director of the Year Award 2017 which was won by Ian Graves of National Grid. 

Emily, designed each award based around the achievements and successes of the winners’ individual business.

Sue Hurrell, Regional Events Manager at the Institute of Directors West Midlands, said: “We were delighted to commission Emily to design the trophies for the Director of the Year Awards. Each category winner was presented with a stunning, bespoke print which they would be proud to display and treasure.”

Emily said: “I was personally asked by my tutors to design each of the awards for the ceremony. It was an enjoyable task for me as even though it was my first commission, I found it an interesting and stimulating challenge.

“Researching into each of the companies was a big influence for my ideas as I wanted to encompass all of the attributes each winner had shown and personalise the designs with a balance between their company and personal interests. My work is mainly hand-drawn using traditional materials, and so for the trophies I decided to create nine vibrant and eye-catching pieces.”

Congratulations Emily

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Wolverhampton School of Art Visual Communication students at New Designers 2017

Wolverhampton School of Art Visual Communication students have been at New Designers this week. 

The show has been busy and lots of interest has been paid to student work with many contacts made and promotional cards snapped up. Congratulations to all graduating Visual Communication students exhibiting.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Three Graphic Design Positions

The University Careers Department has three graduate graphic design jobs on offer:

Location: Birmingham
Position: Graphic Design
Display Salary: Based on experience
Expiry Date: 10 Aug 2017
Vacancy Type: Graduate - full-time

• Work simultaneously on 5+ projects based on current client workload
• Put together different elements of a design created by another professional such as the icons, photographs and other components necessary for a menu.
• Create images that identify a product or convey as message
• Create designs either by hand or using computer software packages
• Select colours, images, text style, and layout
• Present the design to clients or the Art Director
• Incorporate changes recommended by the clients into the final design
• Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them

Job Overview: Graphic designers create visual concepts, by hand or using software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

To apply, please send your CV to Parveen at

Closing Date:10th August 17

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Visual communication Graduation Awards 2017

Congratulations to this years Visual Communication graduation award winners. Thanks must go to the organisations presenting prizes this year, The Express and Star, The School of Art and Sheaffer.

The Express and Star Award for Best Digital Editorial Design in Graphic Communication 
Sasha Wood 

Wolverhampton School of Art - The Visual Communication Department Prize
Tom Lavin 

The Sheaffer Prize for Use of Language in Graphic Projects 
Jerome Wooton 

The Sheaffer Prize for Outstanding Work on Live Commissions in Graphic Communications 
Georgia Perrin 

(New this year) The Sheaffer Prize for Dissertation in Visual Communication 
Rhiannon Powell 

Awards will be presented at the graduation ceremony at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton in September. 

New Sheaffer Award for Visual Communication Dissertation

Sheaffer are generously presenting a new graduation award for excellence in Visual Communication Dissertation. In recognition of scholarship, research and analysis, the first winner of this award is Rhiannon Powell, for her dissertation Curses, Towers and Perceptions: How is the theme of entrapment visually represented in Disney films. Rhiannon's writing compares early and modern films, exploring if and how representations have been linked to society.

Rhiannon says
"The representation of physical and mental entrapment has been achieved in Disney films through physical objects used for trickery, versus magical powers reflected by settings and emotions. The theme of entrapment has and will continue to be a significant aspect in Disney films, reflecting context and history."

Congratulations Rhiannon and a big thank you to Sheaffer for presenting this new award.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Halesowen College visit Visual Communication Final Show

Halesowen College staff and students have visited this years final show. The group enjoyed all areas of the display and were particularly pleased to meet up with and talk to graduating students who are alumni of Halesowen College. The group took extra time to examine displays of developmental work, examining the process behind design for Visual Communication.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Award Nomination for Excellence in Enriching the Learning Experience

John Clementson, subject leader for Visual Communication has been nominated for one of the “Vice Chancellors Awards for Staff Excellence.” John has been nominated via the student survey responses for an award in the Enriching the Learning Experience category.

In both the surveys of the undergraduate students (not in their final year) UK Engagement Survey (UKES) and the Postgraduate Taught Survey (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey) participants were asked: 

"We are seeking nominations for the Annual Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Staff Excellence. Would you like to name an individual or team who has demonstrated their commitment to enriching the learning experience? This could include through creative and stimulating teaching, learning and assessment methods; use of innovative technology; entrepreneurial opportunities or through innovative research" 

Congratulations John