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Graphic Repro

Repro; copying and reproduction of documents and printed material.
Graphics; creating imagery and visual material to communicate significance.

A friend once said, “you just do colouring-in for a living”. Yes, perhaps; but, as I have studied… the graphic Signifier will relay an idea that is Signified; in essence, this is what a Sign is.

As David Carson said, “Just because something is legible doesn’t mean it communicates”.

How can we make the most of a simple opportunity to say something?

“Can you just do a simple ‘One Way’ sign for me?” Or, a sign to ‘Science’… or a ‘No eating in the library’ notice?

Yes, of course, but what more can we do with that opportunity for signification?

We can add value to the everyday. Often print might simply have a utilitarian function, but that does not mean to say it can’t have added value, look smart, and reflect or reinforce the tone and climate of its environment. 

Can you just print me some signs saying ‘Textiles’ and ‘Graphics’? 

Yes, of course, but what more can we do with that sign?

The front cover of a worksheet, the postcard home, the certificate of achievement, or even the punctuality report; all of these can have added value beyond the initial function. Integral to their design, they can reflect and reinforce the values, visions and ambitions of the organisation.

This can be done in part by keeping the style and form of the organisation’s design elements consistent, and adding and repeating form and sub-content that promotes values and reinforces messages.

There’s more to it than that, but again as David Carson said, “It’s not about knowing all the gimmicks and tricks…”… You need to feel it.

As well as small repro works, I’ve recently overseen the creation of some large text signage for interior and exterior walls. 

Our aim was to reinforce ambitions using simple quotes from the school’s poetry canon. Yes, we could have gone bold and loud with colours and imagery. However, in this case it’s just the words themselves using simple consistent typography.

Inside the building the light warm grey colour is subtle and almost a subliminal presence (Expertly installed by Big City Graphics, Leicester).

Outside we’ve gone for a strong yet simple aluminium. (Expertly installed by Focus Signs, Leicester)

In the past, I’ve designed large wall-collage compositions, creating artwork for a local sign maker who installs murals to cover complete walls/rooms in primary schools. 

So, from a one off ‘sign for the loo’, to an energetic topical graphic statement…

Reprographics; reproduction of printed material and imagery that communicates meaning.

It’s part of what I do…

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Sign Club.

A friend put out a request – can anyone make this look nice?

It’s what I do… make stuff look ‘nice’, I guess. Not just nice, but I as graphic artist – I design the graphics on a page to form a visual that effectively relays a specific message*.

It didn’t take a lot to make this, become this…

Signs – Significance – Signifiers…

They run a British Sign Language ‘meet up’ club at M&S Thurmaston.

A so to further promote the message, we created a few flyers and posters, and a social media image…

It’s what I do.

If you know anyone in and around Thurmaston or Syston that may benefit from meeting up at Sign Club, just send Ineke a message!


*I have previously created a little project about Sign Language here. But that’s another story.

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Stories…

What’s in a title… ?

I’ve been making a list of the stories I have read over recent years. I am not a big reader, but enjoy the random process of discovering new characters and encounters.

Why do we read fiction? I have written plenty about the benefits of reading for pleasure. But, I wonder, where does all that data go? How nutritious can reading fiction be?

Some stories I have read have had characters I remember fondly, some titles were vibrant at the time, but I cannot remember the story at all now. Sometimes the events in the stories are real and tangible, but as time passes this seems to fade.

It seems the library angel sometimes delivers the right book at the right time (which is nonsense, but is a nice thought). More realistically, our brain seems to link up past and current thoughts and feelings, join dots, and equate meaning and pattern from chaos and confusion.

The act of reading fiction helps emulate meaning behind the concepts and notions that life throws at us. But how much we invest, digest and reflect from the experience is up to us I guess.

Stories…

Anyway, above are some of titles that I have enjoyed over recent years… not sure what this says about me… but here’s a link to a list, if you’re that interested;

List of fiction titles and authors that I’ve enjoyed.

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Brighten and enlighten…

At the school I support, reinforcing our visions and values is an ongoing ambition…

Here we’ve brightened some empty stair wells with some simple graphic ‘expectations’…

As the windows are conduits to outside, these graphics are similar to the signage installed on the scholars’ outside exercise spaces. The idea is that this mirrors the outside environment, making these empty stairwells more dynamic.

A simple project with a positive impact.

Graphic Repro – it’s what I do.

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Flora

It’s taken 10 weeks… from Late Feb to early May. The anticipation has been exciting. The result is an umbel of simple white flowers.

Today it’s Flora Day in Helston, in my homeland county of Cornwall, and it seems perhaps fitting that our VF’s flowering has peaked.

Below is just a simple record of our Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) flowering.

Searching online, there are numerous places that say unless you are an experienced grower you should cut off the budding stalk and not let it flower. Flowering can be exhausting for plant.

The advice above seems contrary to the natural order. Yes, growing a plant in pot in a kitchen window may be contrary to the natural order, but that’s another discussion.

Our plant has shown signs of exhaustion over the last few weeks. It seems to have put all of it’s energy into the flowering.

I’m not wanting to overdoing the analogy but, in our daily lives, we put a lot of effort in to many things; both the everyday demands and the extraordinary achievements that we are part of can take a lot of our energies. We require fuel and support to do these things, and after a specific period of effort and toil we may need time, space and fuel to recover.

Give yourself time, and be proud of your achievements, no matter how familiar or simple they may seem. Perhaps.

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What do you see?

Amongst other things, I’ve read three charming books this Spring…

Four vibrant stories that took me to imaginary places, and at the same time altered my reality…

The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain

The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

Geraldine Verne’s Red Suitcase by Jane Riley

(I also enjoyed Jane Riley’s ‘The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock‘ last year.)

Coincidentally, a friend recently asked “When you close your eyes and imagine something – a picture, an object, a place etc…Can you see it? Can you see these things with your eyes shut?”

It seems that some people don’t see things the same.
Aphantasia is a phenomenon in which people are unable to visualize imagery. Whow?!

What is y-our reality?

‘The things that we think/see {ellipsis} ‘, that’s our reality. We all respond to what we are presented with very differently. From waking in the morning, our brain takes over… “Fancy a… coffee, tea, juice?” #choice #difference

This spring break, we’ve been down to the tip of our island… Back to a place of ellipsis, where people leave out unnecessary stuff. A place of relative contentment. A place of elemental rugged rustic black and white. Sparkling mica, rolling waves, flourishing campions. A place of roots and wrecks.

Th edge of the land, and the edge of the sea…

Wasson? There’s so much potential in the gaps between words…

As we return from the edge, the foliage of consumer culture thickens. The rhythms and vibrations, the colours and mechanics that make up our world incite noise. We build signs and significance over and above the elements that made us. Words and pictures that distort the truth, glare and blind, intoxicate and enchant…

When you see things, what do you see? What do you imagine?

In addition to the above we watched a ‘charming’ film last night, that used hardly any words… Davidson and Warbeck’s The Man In The Hat #delightful 

Images…  May your day become exponentially effervescent…

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Contact Cards – ‘Chaplaincy’

Contact cards… “You talk, we’ll listen…”

Sometimes it’s good to just talk it out.

Many of us live a cluttered life, and juggling thoughts and emotions can prove challenging. A neutral shoulder and someone who might just be there to just listen can sometimes be just the tonic needed. 

A pal of mine spends time as a chaplain at a midlands shopping centre. Yes, those hard-working shop workers might need respite or solace too. 

Hope – Open – Shop – Hope – A springtime message…

“You talk, we’ll listen…” says the chaplaincy which provides a confidential, pastoral listening service.
The service is free for centre staff experiencing anxiety, grief, stress, struggling with illness, difficult decisions or overwhelmed by life.
It’s someone who will listen without judgement…

My small role has been to design some contact cards to spread the word. Interaction and leaving your details is still a great way to start conversations.

The last six months has seen three postcard-sized card drops.

The service started last year.
They dropped off a seasonal postcard in December.
And are delivering a Springtime thank you this month.

If you have a need for print publicity, if I can help, just ask.

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Grounded

Do you remember the feeling…
sitting on the ground, aged five-ish, or six, or seven? The tarmac gravel of the schoolyard, or the road outside your house? The little stone chips that stuck to your short-trousered legs or your palms. The smell of summer stone. Do you remember cleaning the scab that grew over the graze.
Do you remember the cut grass on your jumper? 
The sand in your hair?
The fire’s smoke in your clothes?
The sticky fingers from a currant bun bigger than your hands…
The sweet smell of Coke from a can…
The sound of the train or the plane in the rain as it roars past as loud as the loudest thing ever to pass by this way then… silence.
The birds, and a church bell.

Then… Concrete Cows, Grange Hill and Dallas…
Then thoughts took over from feelings, plastic took over the elements, we built stuff, and made stuff, our perspective changed as we grew up and away…

We were closer to the ground back then. Do you remember the feeling…?

Fowey School 1975 – Miss Edwards? Matthew, Danny, Julian, Kenneth, and John?

I make images… #julesprichards It’s “what I do“.

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One word, ‘pasty’.

Happy St Piran’s Day folks! (…and happy engagement day Mrs R.)

Loe Bar – Porthleven, St Piran’s Day 2003.

I’ve posted before about pasty withdrawal, and even carrots! But, no more nonsense, I’m a Cornishman and I was brought up on these things, here’s a recipe:

Six Homemade Pasties – ingredients

  • ~500g*, (6 x~80g) cubed beef  
  • pastry; OK, we could make it, but two packs of shortcrust ready-made pastry’s easier. (A 500g block makes three)
  • 3-4 potatoes*
  • 2-3 onions*
  • 1 swede* (which the Cornish call turnips)
  • pepper and salt

*Six handfuls

How to make ‘um:

I have found a 500g block of pastry will do three medium pasties. Cut a block into three, screw the slice up, and roll it out to a circle. Then put on:

  • A handful of diced potato,
  • A handful of chopped onion,
  • A handful of diced swede,
  • A handful of cubed beef (1cm sqs) ~80g,
  • Shake a pinch of salt,
  • Shake a good dash of pepper – a good pasty needs pepper!
  • Egg-wash around the edge.

Fold the top edge forward to the bottom edge and crimp.

Make the other one. One is never enough!

In a greased baking tin, egg-wash (or milk, or egg & milk) the top of thre pasties.

Cook on high 200° for an hour.

If it’s burning (cover with tinfoil).

Ansom!

Again, happy St. Piran’s Day! There’s more pasty stuff here: ‘pasty

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5,4,3,2,1…

This week was #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek, and at our school the Mental Health Support Team (Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust) have shared the video they’ve produced below:

They use this breathing and grounding exercise with the children and young people to help ease anxious feelings. Their work with pupils across Leicestershire is an invaluable essential part of a joint response to mental health awareness.

In response to the video shared above, I have produced these free to download printable bookmarks:

54321 bookmark

Print them on card, and they trim to 55.4mm x 200mm.
(5mm of the top and bottom, 10mm of the sides, and trim to 55.4mm wide)

These bookmarks read…

5,4,3,2,1
3 big deep belly breaths
In through the nose, out through the mouth
5 things we can see
3 things we can touch
2 things we can smell
1 thing we like to taste
3 big deep belly breaths
In through the nose, out through the mouth
Be Still

In a similar vein, you may also be interested in the ‘Five Mindful Minutes‘ bookmarks I created here: Five Mindful Minutes