Assignment One: Feedback and Reflection

I have to admit putting the cart before the horse on this particular Assignment as although I had the notes, I hadn’t typed them up to tie in with the completed Assignment, which was extremely bad practice on my part.

So I don’t lose my thread I’ve broken down the feedback into manageable sections. My responses are in blue.

Project: Sending and receiving

I couldn’t see the picture charades exercise you were asked to do on your blog. – For some reason, the rough work didn’t show up on my Category list – Lesson check and double check. I cleared all the Categories and Tags, relisted and it worked. Me and technology don’t always see eye-to-eye. That said this was an input error.

Feedback on assignment

You had some really fascinating ideas and points of reference in this submission and this is a very good start to the course. However, I think what is missing is some structure in your process in how go from these initial thoughts, to exploring them in terms of research before feeding these into developing a set of ideas from which you can pick some final ones to develop. I must keep up with my notes and sketches. This is a key point as coming from a photographic course I now have to adapt to a new way of learning. It also reiterates the point that ideas in my head are from useful if they remain there. Also, it shows my paths of work development from initial thoughts to research. A very important in the world of design. Then I must get into the habit of scanning it too.

Some of your final outcomes could have done with a lot more development, with some more questioning and analysis feeding into creating more fully formed pieces. A broader interrogation of research points, and exploration of a greater number of ideas would perhaps give you more polished final outcomes. – Swot up Skipper, learn and consider. I’m getting there slowly, and thoroughly enjoying the process. All being well the first book reviews are soon to follow. 

I can see you are very thoughtful in your reflections, but I would like to see you be more structured and analytical in terms of what you are trying to achieve as a goal in answering the brief. – Apply the Who, What, Where, Why and How principles here.

You have the beginnings of some great research although there needs to be more of this and a greater range and variation. There are some rich reference points you have here, and you are clearly someone who is informed as a visual practitioner. I was particularly intrigued by your interest in the formalistic religious art of major religions, Arts and Crafts movement, Bauhaus, Dadaism, the abstract works of early Soviet National Socialist Propaganda and mid 20th Century Western advertising and fashion you mentioned as well as some of the images of Arab revolutionary street posters you included.

However, you need to be explicit by showing us what and how exactly they influenced your work by visually showing us, whether that is with mood boards or more in-depth analysis. – NOTES!!! Show the journey.

Your ideas sort of came out of nowhere – there is no documentation of initial sketches or an evolving process of development, you should demonstrate to us an overarching creative journey. You should also develop a broader set, refining and filtering out as you go the ones that are not working and reflect on their individual strength or weaknesses to distil down your ideas until you have final idea that you should finesse rather jump to create a final piece. – Chart the journey. I’ve started to do this now and will ensure I keep it up. 

It is actually a very common trap that many students fall into by jumping too quickly to develop a solution – this isn’t anything to be worried about and is actually quite common, which is why the OCA have a created a video on this called “Jumping to Solutions” which I think would be useful for you to watch.Watched this video and its brilliant and I wished I’d watched this sooner. I was able to appreciate how important it is to map my ideas development. Don’t jump to solutions, and in fairness, I’ve now started to keep accurate notes.  (

This very apparent from some your final outcomes in which not all of them feel fully formed. The key thing to take away from this is you will not always have an idea that is immediately viable as a final solution, and much rarer an idea that is refined enough immediately as a final solution. – Identify, experiment, develop, I’ll write this in the front of all my note books!

Having said the above there is some nice and creative work here with some good visual qualities.

Of the four final pieces the strongest one you had was the first one which had a nice vintage collagey quality. – I have to admit I did enjoy this one the most.

Good Design

I am not sure the typeface used is 100% there, but I think if you had developed this more by trying a few more layouts and different typefaces as well as blending into the layout and playing with different colour palettes you would have perhaps got a more polished piece. – Something that may well get revisited…

The second and third card isn’t original work you have produced for this course, as its work you have already done – you should be creating new pieces for this course, so I won’t comment on these but going forward please do create original submissions that have been developed for this course in specific. – Be original… again I got carried away and my Hubris got the better of me.

The last typographic card as an idea in principal was very interesting, but I am not sure firstly how it relates back to you as a person? It also demonstrates how more thorough research could have produced a more satisfying outcome. – A lack of clarity about my intent is my responsibility. Time to review practices and how others have produced unique visual messages. 

Overall this is a good start though Ben and I am confident that if you address your creative process and take a more thorough approach to research and development you will be in a good place for the course. 

Always room for improvement in my academic and professional practice and these comments have helped drag me onto the straight and narrow immensely.

Below Ash’s key points and my responses are in blue.

Learning Logs or Blogs / Critical essays

The format of your learning log is good (The penny has finally dropped) but remember to document all of your work as you go – even if it is thinks you might try that don’t work it is still work that you should evidence to us as its part of the working in developing your ideas. I would also think about how you organize your work, break things down into sections with titles so it is clear to someone reviewing your log what you are trying to communicate.  – this is a very important point for me and was mentioned in the video “Jumping to Solutions”

Having said this you had some really interesting contextual inspiration which was nice to see at this early stage, but you should be more expansive and include a broader range of research points from a greater variety of sources and visually include them in your log. It was also good to see you note down your references properly and is good -practice. – There are always more schools of thought and practice to review, but I seem to be dogmatically stuck in a period from 1850 to 1969. Time to break out of the comfort zone!

The following study guides below provide pointers on how best to do this.! 

Suggested viewing/reading I think it would be beneficial for you to look at “Grid Systems in Graphic Design” by Josef Mülller-Brockmann (Purchased)– it is seen as a bible for graphic designers in terms of using grid theory to organize layouts and will give a bit more structure and logic to your work. The maths of grids can be difficult to get used to – I use a plugin called Grid Calculator Prowhich makes it easier to experiment with in InDesign. – Thankfully Affinity are on the case – Time to swot up and learn.

The other book that I think would really help you with your typography which is weak is ‘Thinking with Type” by Ellen Lupton (Purchased). I would also have a look at the website TypeWolf– This is an awesome website:  as it is an especially good resource for getting a sense of typefaces that complement each other as you tried to do this in your last card, but it perhaps lacked the sophistication we would want to see. – All over this. What a great resource? 



Assignment One: Introducing Yourself

What follows are the designs and back of card information I completed for Assignment One: Introducing Yourself.

Good Design

The iconography of Graphic Design, Ben Skipper, 2019

My name is Ben Skipper and I’ve recently started Graphic Design Core Concepts. My interest in design, and Graphic Design in general, has grown over the past couple of years.

During my experimentation with photography during Express your Vision and subsequent research I Started to see how photography could be used in new ways of communication. I don’t have a particularly strong illustrative background, so influenced by the work and thoughts of Cartier-Bresson in particular, I started to see the photograph as mobile studio.

The more I’ve investigated photography as a form of visual communication I have found myself investigating and drawn more toward the world of Graphic Design.

Culturally, I have been influenced by the formalism of the religious art produced by the native Jewish, Christian and Muslim practitioners. Whilst these maintain a beauty of their own, their dogmatic roots have ruled the roost leading me to seek something different and new.

I am drawn to the flowing beauty of the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as the detail and discipline of the Bauhaus and Dadaists. I am also attracted to the abstract works of early Soviet National Socialist Propaganda and mid 20th Century Western advertising and fashion.

The design above hopefully echo’s my love of the iconic, the dynamic whilst tipping a nod to the work of Berger.

Harkila 1

Numnah Sponsorship Print for Event Rider Sammy Oliver, Ben Skipper, 2017

What does this particular design mean to me? It was my first commission, for British Event rider Sammy Oliver. The finished design featured three elements I had designed and one that was supplied by clothing manufacturer Harkila.

It was a moment for me to develop my own Graphic Design skills, but also to learn the importance of following the clients brief. Of selecting the right colours, font and image.

The leaping horse and oak tree images were slightly modified generic downloads, chosen for their visual presence as much as the supporting power of the individuals they were representing.

I placed the leaping horse over the names to deliberately echo the many jumps found on an eventing cross-country course.

This was also a moment for me to experiment with various font, choosing one that best matched the client as well as being the most dynamic.

Overall a great experience in which I learnt a lot and to see it in the flesh so to speak was a great moment.

Spirit of 07

The Spirit of 07 (Help for Heroes), Ben Skipper, 2018

This design is part of my latest commission  for a charity (2007 being their founding year). I was lucky to work as part of a group with each artist and designer responsible for a particular task. In this case mine was looking at clothing branding.

I was heavily influenced by the ‘68 clothing range campaign that Triumph Motorcycles ran a decade ago featuring the actor Steve McQueen. I wanted to create something dynamic both visually and aesthetically that worked with the brand culture, but also extended it beyond the norm.

For me this design is not so much about the finished piece but what it represents. Collaboration, experimentation and learning.

It was designed in Photoshop with the colour palette dictated by the corporate colours.

By playing around with the designs fonts, sizing and spacing I came up with this design, which could be attached to a fabric tab on an article of clothing or as a stand alone logo.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working to a brief, with a team and hammering out a design using font, layers and colour as well as learning a few new skills along the way.


The Language of Style, Ben Skipper 2019

What is Graphic Design without Type and Typography? Or Colour? Or imagination? How can it be utilised to convey the message? Is it fit for purpose? How is it constructed? Does the design work?

A lot of questions come to me around design and the more the merrier as they say. I’m attracted to design visually and aesthetically, looking at fonts work with images, striping the design down to its layers and considering its form.

For me this particular design is a moment to use fonts to pass on a message not only literally but also figuratively, I couldn’t resist Beauty.

I looked to use a variety of communication forms, including a simple rebus element. This exercised allowed me a moment of play and whimsicality, to let loose and use font as tool to shows its beauty, uses and structure. I was planning on using stylised sets of angles to portray the curves and flows of Typography, but found them a little too fussy and felt they detracted from my intent a little.

As much as I would love to claim credit for the centre Typography anatomy feature, this came from . This was found as a result of research, a facet that I thoroughly enjoy in my studies.

As well as using Photoshop I used Affinity Publisher. I’ve found the Affinity package straightforward enough and look forward to using it over the duration of my studies.

Resources Accessed

Detail of Comrades go to kolkhoz with us! Available at: (Accessed 13/09/2018)

Anatomy of Typography. Available at:  (Accessed 11/02/2019)

de Soto, D (2018) Know your Onions. Amsterdam, BIS Publishers.