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‘I call them baps to amuse my southern wife’ – D&AD 2012

…A quote from Anthony Burrill, who I contacted with questions for my D&AD Typographic Circle supplement project. Any ideas what I asked him for that response? Comment!

So, now that it is past the submission deadline I’m safe to share this because no one can steal it. I had a William Shakespeare moment about entering; to enter or not to enter, that is the question? But decided not to in the end because there was quite a lot I would have liked to change before submitting and also I want to focus on getting YCN right.

I did briefly mention which brief I was doing but didn’t go into that much detail so just to recap, I tackled the Typographic Circle brief set by Domenic Lippa of Pentagram. This required that we produce a supplement to accompany the Typographic Circle’s annual Circular magazine, with a strong focus on typography. We had to chose 3 designer/typographers who had spoken for the Typographic Circle and theme the supplement around them.

I chose Jonathan Barnbrook, Anthony Burrill and Angus Hyland. All have very different styles, attitudes and experiences so I thought this would make my content interesting to compare and help to give a strong character. I decided I wanted to produce 3 separate booklets so I needed to make sure the style of each was consistent but showed the different personality of each designer. I also wanted to make sure that my booklets didn’t have the same content available if you googled the designer, so I sent an email containing just over 20 questions to each and crossed my fingers.

First to reply was Anthony Burrill, who I had seen at Leeds Print Festival. Jonathan Barnbrook replied whilst eating his breakfast, which I thought was really nice of him – not sure I would reply to students during my breakfast! Unfortunately I received an email from Donna from Pentagram (on behalf of Angus Hyland) explaining that they have a policy in place that the designers can’t reply to students personally as they are too busy. I totally understood – I wasn’t sure if any of the designers would reply as I knew there would be a lot of students trying to contact them for the D&AD brief. Despite not being able to answer my questions, Pentagram sent me some mini books of their work and a lovely handwritten note – thanks Donna!

Undeterred, I selected another designer; Morag Myerscough. She replied even though she was away in Sweden – I have to say, I am really impressed by the designers who are obviously busy and have made time to reply to my questions. It really helped my idea work.

I have just realised that is a lot of writing and there has been no imagery yet! Sorry, you know how I love to waffle! Anyway… I won’t go through the whole design process in one post so here are images of the final supplements:

As you can see, my approach was purely typographic. I wanted to use an interesting format to compliment the simplistic style so I decided to use tip-ins to make the questions and answers visually interesting, trying to steer away from using imagery to ‘fill the space’. I chose to design everything in black, white and grey and team it with coloured stock to create contrast and different tones. I There are quite a few pages so I have done some quick ‘flick through’ stop motions:

Morag Myerscough:

Anthony Burrill:

Jonathan Barnbrook:

This project was completed WAY back in February so looking at it now is interesting and a bit cringey. There is a lot that I would change now and I am looking into re-fining them this summer. Minimalism is definitely the way forward with these as I sometimes went just a bit too far. Lesson learnt!

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© Natasha Nuttall | January 2022

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