Friday, 9 March 2018

Nick Loaring of Double Dagger and The Print Project Inspires Visual Communication Students

Staff and students from Wolverhampton School of Art would like to thank Nick Loaring of Double Dagger and The Print Project for visiting, showcasing his distinctive letterpress designs and giving an insight to the origins of his business and his creative inspiration.

Nick's early influences included skateboarding, zines, punk and vinyl records and resulted in his ‘do it yourself’ attitude which lead to studying graphic design at art college. In the 1990’s Nick became a printer and learned to work with paper at a time of change in printing. In 1997 he bought his first case of wood type and having always had an enjoyment of type, progressed to also buying his own 1 tonne, printing press. Letterpress printing became an obsession and in 2012 he received a major commission from Glastonbury Free Press.

It was Nick's work for Parenthesis, the journal of the Fine Press Book Association that triggered his interest in working with pattern and shape, constructing designs in modular form from 12pt letterpress ornaments cast on a Monotype machine. His limited supply of letterpress stimulated experimentation with laser cutting and laser engraving printing blocks from MDF and finally lemon wood. His success drew him to experimentation with overprinting using a range of bright colours, an approach that has become characteristic of much of Nick’s work.

Nick has produced 2 issues of Double Dagger, a journal about and for the printing community. Its content and unusual tactile qualities have resulted complementary responses, motivating audiences increasingly attracted by exploring ideas through letterpress print and ‘having fun’. The next issue of Double Dagger, out in September 2018 will have national distribution as well as being available to buy online here

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Employability and creative workshop experience

Students from Sandwell College came to the School of Art for workshops in Visual Communication, Fashion and Textiles, Fine Art and Photography. Experiencing innovative drawing projects, use of large format cameras, projects to inspire fashion designs and screen printing linked to Pop Art, students returned to Sandwell College with work and new ideas for their portfolios, as well as a first hand experience of life in the Art School. 

"I just wanted to thank you to you and the rest of the Art and Design staff for a very enjoyable and informative day. The students came away saying it was a positive experience.
said Caroline Dickson of Sandwell College

Their day began with a talk from Lisa Law of the Careers Department on how the University helps with practical support at all stages of career planning and job applications, including investigating student careers options, and developing important skills needed to make career plans and ambitions happen. Lisa also discussed the School of Art 96% employability rate within sixth months of graduation. More information about the Careers Department can be found here

St Thomas More Catholic School visit during careers week

Students from St Thomas More Catholic School have visited Wolverhampton School of Art. Visitors had lots of questions on life at University and graduate teaching assistant Sarah Byrne was on hand to share her experiences of studying at the University of Wolverhampton. There was also much interest in the School of Art 96% employability rate as well as the wide variety of possible employment options within the creative industries. 

Teacher, Christopher Hackett has highlighted the positive impact of this visit

"I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of the students and the staff for today, it was great!
All pupils came out of the workshops thrilled and have already started to ask how they can use the techniques within their work."

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Naomi Games and Joanne Lee - a day of talks in the Visual Communication department

Students, staff and ex staff from the Visual Communications department enjoyed a great day of talks with the graphic designer Joanne Lee and Naomi Games, designer, writer and curator of her father, Abram Games’s, archive.

From Lee’s first talk on the amateur and the fettler in graphic design, to the amazing insights into the work of Abram Games, one of the most important British graphic designers, both speakers emphasised single-mindedness and confidence as the key qualities for students to emulate. Stimulating and inspiring the Visual Communication department also showed off its long, illustrious history, through an exhibition of ephemera from the School of Art. The highlight of which was the 1952 College of Art prospectus with thanks to Abram Games who gave a talk to the students here in Wolverhampton in 1951, the year that his symbol for the Festival of Britain made him a household name.

Ephemera from the School of Art
Joanne Lee talks about The Fall in her presentation on On the skills of amateurs, generalists, fettlers and the work of other curious types.

A wrapt audience listened to Naomi Games’s presentation 'Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means’ The Abram Games Archive
Naomi Games also showed the first TV moving ident made for the BBC by Abram Games in 1953

Karl Binder of creative technology agency Stickee - graduate success

Returning to the Visual Communication Department to speak to final year students, Karl Binder, graphics alumni shared examples of work by Stickee. Karl is CTO of technology agency Stickee, that specialises in creating enjoyable, memorable and immersive software and digital experiences for audiences.

Karl and his team provide development and support for organisations including ASDA, Carphone Warehouse and MoneySuperMarket as well as often assisting clients with digital creative & marketing campaigns to help them make the most of their new websites.

“Through explosion in mobile device usage over the last decade, we’ve mastered building mobile and tablet apps that are cross-platform, and which deliver a consistent user experience across all screen sizes and device capabilities .” said Karl “As keen technologists, excited to try the latest and greatest in technological developments, we’ve become well acquainted with Virtual Reality (VR) and have recently run a campaign for NatWest and their Cricket World Cup sponsorship.” He continued.

Find out more about Stikee here

Alumni launches Yellow Magazine

Graphics alumni Oreoluwa Ayoade (Abi) has returned to Wolverhampton School of Art to share some of his latest work with current Visual Communication Students. Abi who works in advertising has also recently launched Yellow Magazine with his sister. 

Yellow is a magazine of journeys, ranging from childhood to maturity; in its pages, ethnic minority artists have the liberty to recount and reflect on their working process, focusing on what makes them artists, and where it all began. Beginning with the marginalisation of artists of colour, Yellow creates a space where their work stands tall, is normalised and emboldened.

The first Issue of Yellow focusses on Illustration and is receiving much press coverage and critical acclaim.

Abi and his sister intend to maintain and build on the space they have created and are hope to organise and curate events to expand on the current print and online platforms; “we are looking to create physical spaces where our featured artists can exist.” In particular, they are organising two exhibitions to coincide with the launch of the second issue at the end of April, which will focus on photography.

Yellow can be bought here and is also on sale at the Tate.

Read more about Yellow on 'It'snicethat'.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Le Gun return visit

Collaborative Arts group Le Gun have returned to Wolverhampton School of Art for an exciting workshop."The theme of work produced was character" said John Clementson senior Lecturer in Illustration. "Students worked with and on each other’s drawings and constantly rotated to prevent sole ownership, it was a really enjoyable session with students from across the subjects and levels within the School of Art"

Find out more about a pervious Le Gun workshop here

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Norton Canes School - enjoy a creative day in the Art School

Staff and Students from Norton Canes School have made a return visit to the University of Wolverhampton School of Art, visiting the library, careers department as well as enjoying creative workshops. 
Norton Canes has a thriving art department and pupils have recently exhibited at Wolverhampton Art Gallery as well as having five students successfully submit work for the Stafford Shopping Centre – Shire Hall Art competition.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Moseley Park School Get Creativity Down To A Tee

Sixth form students from Moseley Park School made their mark during a visit to Wolverhampton School of Art. Year 12 and 13 students spent the day at the University to learn about the importance of the creative industries and the scope of employment in this important sector.

Mrs Holland-Bright, of Moseley Park School said “It was an invaluable experience for pupils studying BTEC Art and Design, giving them a first-hand insight into careers in the creative industries and higher education courses.”

Friday, 15 December 2017

Cabinet of Psychedelic Curiosities

A mind blowing Psychedelic Exhibition being held in the Visual Communication department of the School of Art is all set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

The exhibition of literature and culture, brings together Illustration, Photography, Humanities and Visual Communication showcasing ground-breaking 60s visual design. 

In the first of a series of planned exhibitions, curators Tom Hicks, Librarian for Faculty of Arts, and Jane Webb, Head of Department (Visual Communication) have assembled a collection of objects, posters, album covers, books and magazines celebrating the year 1967, the Summer of Love which represented a revolutionary moment in popular culture that saw an explosion of wildly experimental thought in literature, music and design.

Pieces on display include Beatles memorabilia, art designed by Martin Sharp, a significant 60s artist who created iconic album covers and posters featuring musicians such as Jimi Hendrix as well as clothes, toys and ceramics from the era.

The ‘Cabinet of Psychedelic Curiosities’ will be on display from Wednesday 6th December until Friday 12th January 2018 on the third floor of the George Wallis Building, Wolverhampton School of Art.

Including loans from the University Library, the exhibition includes OZ magazine, the seminal underground magazine that provided a showcase for eye-popping psychedelic graphics and illustration, as well as showcasing key works by artist such as Martin Sharp.

Tom Hicks, curator of the exhibition, said: “The exhibition is split into three distinct areas focusing on art and literature that inspired the psychedelia movement, then exploring the sub-culture as it developed through to how it transcended into mainstream culture.

Most of the material was donated by Faculty of Arts lecturers at the University and we have also used valuable collections from the library to creating an exhibition which will give visitors an insight into how this significant movement evolved into one of the most revolutionary periods of the twentieth century.

Psychedelia was a relatively short-lived phenomenon but its influence permeated the worlds of animation, advertising, fashion and popular culture. Whilst the 60s witnessed many design sub-cultures, psychedelia has had a lasting influence that and is now commonly used as visual shorthand to represent the entire decade.” 

Gerry Carlin, Senior Lecturer in English at the University who has donated his personal collection to the exhibition, said: “We teach a 1960s module on our Popular Culture course which focuses on psychedelia and the hippy underground movement.

“This was an extremely significant time for youth culture, in particular, as it was the first time young people were able to express themselves freely across a broad spectrum of areas including music, art and literature. The resulting psychedelia movement represented a powerful awareness of consciousness based on regained innocence and freedom.”

The exhibition is open to the general public with free entry. Please email Tom Hicks to register your interest: