Andrew Stevens Royal College of Art London United Kingdom – I Used to Be a Design Student

BRITISH

Andrew Stevens

STUDENT YEARS

7

A PIECE OF SOUND ADVICE + A SINGLE WARNING TO A DESIGN STUDENT

Learn the basics of good type, layout and colour – it won’t make you a mundane designer. It will give you a foundation and a better chance to get a job + Don’t forget there are students in other departments – you may find yourself working with them after college

FAVOURITE FOOD THEN

Rigatoni Siciliana

YOUR MOST VALUED POSSESSION THEN

Sony Walkman

YEAR OF PROJECT

1990

STUDENT PROJECT BRIEF

Invite a speaker to college and design a poster for it. I chose the photographer Paul Reas

COLLEGE

Royal College of Art, London (United Kingdom)

TUTOR(S)

Margaret Calvert was head of course then, Derek Birdsall was head the previous year, but mostly I spoke with peers on this project

TECHNOLOGY

Litho and silkscreen

TIME SPENT

2–3 months

TYPEFACE

Snell Roundhand (an unrefined vision of refinement)

WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS PROJECT?

I grew up when photographers like Paul Reas, Paul Graham and Martin Parr were working, photographing the dusty corners of places, rather than the Henri Cartier-Bresson traditional black-and-white approach to the world, and in that work I could see a Britain that I recognized. This is something I also try to do with my work, and that is very much present in this project: observation, reference to the vernacular. I also like the use of the typeface Snell Roundhand – a very unrefined vision of refinement.

WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT IT?

The overprinted typography should dominate more; it should have been stronger. Also, I kept the box white so that the images would read better but that wasn’t necessary, and in retrospect I see it was a compromise. I should have left it brown, and just printed onto it as it was.

FEEDBACK

Some posters fell down during the degree-show exhibition and the cleaners binned them, so I guess that’s a negative feedback. My peers liked it, although I don’t think it has much commercial appeal.

PROJECT SIMILARITIES THEN AND NOW

Physicality, reference to the vernacular, mixing rawness with graphic things.