Thursday 28 October 2010

Graphics Project blog

As promised here's the link to the new blog for the Tallis Graphics project. This is where you can find out how the designers are responding to the brief and contribute your thoughts and ideas about the development of the wall graphics and signage for the new school.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Designers Selected

I am delighted to announce that we have selected Gilles & Cecilie, in association with Nina Ansten, to be our designers for the new school graphics and signage. I met with four designers last week, all of whom had strong portfolios and great ideas. It was a very difficult decision but I made the selection based on several criteria:
  1. Did the designer(s) understand our ambitions for the various spaces?
  2. Were they willing to collaborate closely with our Design Group?
  3. Did they have good communication skills?
  4. Were they enthusiastic and sympathetic to the spirit of creativity at Tallis?
  5. Did they have relevant experience?
  6. Were they able to cope with the scale of the commission and within the time constraints?
We have arranged two day long design workshops in December at Tate Modern. I felt it was important that the Design Group (a mixture of staff and students) was able to work offsite, uninterrupted and in an inspiring space. As you probably know, Tate Modern has made use of its various circulation spaces to create engaging and interactive displays that support the work exhibited in the main galleries. The first workshop will focus on developing ideas and a general concept for the wall spaces and signage. The second, about 3 weeks later, will be an opportunity to review the initial designs and provide feedback to the artists. They will then have about a week to create the finished designs. This Thursday the designers will meet the architects, the building contractor and signage company and visit the new school site.

I will create a blog specifically for the project so that we can keep the whole community informed about the progress of the designs and gather useful feedback. Watch this space!

Thursday 14 October 2010

Graphic Designers

I have contacted four graphic designers to see if they are interested in working with us creating images for the walls of the new school. Here are the links to the websites of those designers or collectives so you see what kind of work they do:

Le Gun
Gilles and Cecilie
Simon Vince
J P Hartnett

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Nice typography

I spotted this today at Stratford Station. I really like the use of typographic illustration in public places, especially this kind of vintage type. It reminds me of the sign paintings of Bob and Roberta Smith. This could be an interesting approach in the new building and would certainly be cost effective.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday 10 October 2010

Tate Modern wall graphics

I visited Tate Modern today and was again struck by the use of wall graphics in the corridor spaces between galleries. The art history timeline, a combination of painted plasterboard and vinyl stickers, is a relatively inexpensive solution to covering a large area. I like the handwritten text, especially when it meets other signage in the Tate's own corporate typography. It occurred to me that we could use a similar strategy in the huge atrium spaces of the new building, perhaps using a mixture of famous names related to the disciplines in a particular learning space and inspiring or thought-provoking quotations.

Perhaps we could get existing staff and students to produce the writing so that they are represented on the walls and can spot their handiwork when we move into the new spaces.

We could then use a more expensive digital wallpaper in areas like the cafe and sixth form common room. Again, perhaps these images can be collages of existing students' work or the result of a design competition?

Any thoughts?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wall graphics for the new school

I've been playing with a new thinking tool today called Cognition. It's an application that you can download free online and is designed to equip the user with a set of thinking tools called Cogs. On Friday I discovered that we have about six weeks to come up with some design ideas for the interior wall graphics for the new school. I decided to use Cognition to help me think through the issues. I chose the '17 must ask questions for planning successful projects' Cog. The above image shows you what the interface looks like. Once you have identified your project, the Cog presents you with a series of questions to prompt your thinking. You can find both the questions and my responses below (the final mindmap is exported as an .html file which can then be read in a word processing programme.)

Although I might have been able to think this through without the help of Cognition, the sequence of questions was really helpful in supporting the logic of my thinking process and causing me to reflect on the most significant information needed to make the project a success. I now have a clear plan of attack and know what issues need resolving before the project can proceed.

I'm going to try the Edward de Bono 'Six Thinking Hats' Cog next time. There are a number of free Cogs and more that can be downloaded for a small cost from the website.

17 Must Ask Questions for Planning Successful Projects
Plan for Success

What's the name of your project? : Wall graphics for the new school

How would you describe Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Decorative and educational resources to enhance learning

What are your goals and objectives for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : To stimulate learners. To represent our specialisms. To surprise and delight. To provoke thought.

Who will benefit from Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Teachers, Students, Parents, Members of the local community

What products, if any, will you be creating for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Vinyl text/graphics Textured wallpaper

What services, if any, will you be creating for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : N/A

What methods will you use for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Employ a graphic designer

What kind of schedule do you anticipate for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Six weeks approx.

What partners or collaborators will you need for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Convene a design group (teachers, students, parents, member of SLT) Collaborate with Modulex and the architect

What specific information or advice will you need for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Go-ahead from SLT. A clear brief (who will create this?) Authority to make decisions

What special systems or equipment will you need for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Design meetings. Time. A means to share ideas (Facebook?)

What special tools or templates will you need for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Exemplars from other schools/public spaces (e.g. cultural institutions)

How will you evaluate the success of Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : The community enjoys and is stimulated by the finished designs. They don't exceed the budget

Who needs to review and approve decisions for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Not sure?

How might Wall graphics for the new school evolve over time?
Your thought : Need to check lifecycle plan. How often can the graphics be replaced/renewed?

For Wall graphics for the new school who will be responsible for what?
Your thought : Design: design group, SLT, architect, Modulex Upkeep: FM contractor

What risks should you plan to manage for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Overspend. Insufficient time for design process. Lack of community support

What open issues remain for Wall graphics for the new school ?
Your thought : Who creates brief? Who has veto over decision-making? Who will be the designer? How much can we spend on design development?

Saturday 9 October 2010

Meeting on Tuesday

On Tuesday 12 October we will be meeting the other students attending the Creativity World Forum trip to Oklahoma. We've been asked to make a small presentation to them describing our views about the Pop Up School. Can you give this some thought prior to our planning meeting on Monday? I'm happy to put something together - a short film or Prezi, for example - on Monday evening based on our discussions but I'd be even happier if one or more of you was able to do this. Can you all make sure that you have read the OKLDN blog posts and made some attempt to contact your colleagues in Oklahoma (either via the Ning or on Facebook) before Tuesday. We will be Skyping with Howe High School at 2:30pm on Tuesday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone