Designer in Residence Workshop
On Wednesday 3rd April, GCSE D&T students took part in an engaging and challenging branding and graphic design workshop with our new Designer in Residence for 2019, James Collins at JC Design.
James Collins is the founder and creative director at JC Design, a design studio based in Newbury, which specialises in branding, identity, web design and graphic design. James has worked for many top-tier global brands and has more recently worked on projects including branding for reality TV star, Mike Thalassitis’s restaurant, The Skillet, The Training Park gym and Bablets interior décor.
James started the workshop by challenging students to think more creatively and set students a creativity test where students had to identify as many different uses for an everyday object as possible – in this case, a paper clip! Students had 60 seconds to think of as many ideas as possible and got students really thinking in a different way. James explained that the average amount of ideas that people come up with is around 4 and anything above this would indicate that a person is particularly creative. Interestingly, there were a number of students that reached this or more and seemed to show that our year 9 and 10 D&T students are a creative bunch!
Later on James talked through a current project he has been working on for Newbury Youth Choir, who he was approached by to create a new brand design. James talked through with students the process that he went through when he was given this brief, which gave students an exciting insight into how to approach a design problem in a critical and thoughtful way; something which will be very beneficial for students going into their GCSE D&T coursework. This really got students thinking differently about design briefs and led onto some creative thinking when set a design task.
Students finished the afternoon by beginning to work on some graphic design ideas for the live brief which James is currently working on for Newbury Youth Choir. James discussed with students the progress he had already made with this project, including changing the name and brand image and got students to think in a more critical and analytical way about what the client and brand needed. Students worked under the guidance of James using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to develop their digital design skills and begin designing a new poster for this brand, where students experimented with different design ideas and showed off their creative flair, with some excellent outcomes seen already. It is excellent for students to benefit from this industry insight and gives students a taster on what opportunities there are in design related careers.
The students were highly engaged with the workshop and produced some excellent design work as a result of James’ expert guidance; a huge thank you to James for his time working with the students. We look forward to welcoming James back later on in the year for students to present their final designs.