Studio 2: The New Hybrids

Studio philosophy

This studio challenges students from both graphic design and illustrative perspectives to form new and exciting hybrid creative design outcomes, exploring and reevaluating the transformations and creative opportunities now offered in the areas of print, typographic design and illustration – as we experiment with traditional, current and emerging techniques. 

By combining and applying editorial approaches and free experimentation sessions to text and imagery, plus a major self-directed project (Level 6), we will focus on the relationship of image to text and how content, meaning, narrative and communication shape and are shaped by the design intention, materials, printing and production processes used, from books to installations. 

Creative theme

Following David Carson’s seminal retrospective End of Print in 1995, the use of expressive type and type as image has influenced a whole generation of design students. In many ways, Carson’s work, though for very different motives, could be seen as the anti-design, punk rock of graphic communication in the 1990s, reflecting and embodying the zeitgeist of the late 1980/90s. 

The debate that engaged with issues of legibility, meaning, motive and audience that Carson and some of his followers provoked has now moved on significantly. Many graphic designers now see Carson’s work as a welcome, yet fleeting, episode and as a consequence a new interest in content and structure has emerged – a ‘new formalism’ in graphic communication, with modernist values being reinterpreted and merged with the expressive approaches of Carson et al, creating a hybrid visual language – for example in the work of Irma Boom. It is this exciting ‘hybrid’ territory that we will explore in this studio. 

Students will be using a range of image making and narrative techniques including visual research, drawing/mark marking, photographs, drawing, typography, type design – indeed all forms of illustrative practice to develop your ideas and outcomes. 

Creative projects will embrace a range of audiences and creative scenarios in both artist-based and commercially driven collaborative projects and the details of these will discussed as the studio develops over the weeks ahead.

Large Concept Project – Level 5 and 6

Based on ideas of André Malraux and his Galerie (Musée) Imaginaire in which the students will create a variety of small personal and larger scale, more significant outcomes. The resulting galerie imaginaire will be the collective culmination of the work in the studio over 30 weeks – also with the intention of forming the core of the studio’s 2014 summer show. 

Design Projects: will include: 

Creative Directions – Personal Student Manifesto (Level 6 FMP proposal)
This will be a planned and designed document (and archive/log) of an individual student's work and emerging creative directions (crucial Level 5) and form one of the assessed outcomes at wk 30. 

Mapping ‘the london-scape’ –  Level 5 and 6

This will include students working together on several projects, with various aspects of the urban environment, psychogeography etc and perhaps include engagement with The Cass Lea Valley Cross School Project (possible live brief connection). 

‘Pulling up the roots’

Deconstructing accepted approaches in type/typography and illustrative practice at Level 5 and 6.

The iconoclasts

In-depth team projects with small groups (three to four people) working on visual research around designers and illustrators, creative figures etc, connected with key topics of the Studio, outcome: presentations to the group plus document.

At regular reviews, you will present summary of work in progress, including reflection upon intellectual and practical development.

Final deliverables: highly finished printed piece(s) – various. The actual content will depend largely on the nature of the project and form selected eg books, magazines, posters, broadsheets, typographic pieces etc. 

All of the above will be sufficiently professional, finished and detailed so as to convey the overall design concept and details of the level of finish will be explained further, as the studio progresses. 

Attention to typographic detail, layout and the overall aesthetic standard of the final design is key to high quality. Remember, text matter should be consistent and appropriate to the concept.


Carmela Blandino
Sam Golin
Jack Donaldson
Ina Niutis
Michael O'Grady
Ahmed Terro
Jessica-May Wright
Mehwish Ahmed
Yasmina Aslam
Leon Bartholomew
Claire Bastian
Zainab Butt
Michael Costa
Alex Courtenay-Brown
Kirstin Helgadottir
Virginia Hodge
Catrin Fraser Jones
Joe Katende
Khayam Khan
Emily Morris
Julia Noorsoo
Fisayo Oniyide
Wynona Ross
Dominik Sinkevic
Iqubal Uddin
Korinna Mei Veropoulou
Elecia Williams
Agostina Dorin Yacubowski

Photo by Adam Bidwell showing graphic magazine covers with the Queen on yellow background


Course Graphic Design BA (Hons)
Illustration BA (Hons)
Tutor Bill Brown
Bruce Ingman
Laura Carlin
Where Studio 2, 6th Floor Commercial Road
When Tuesdays, Fridays