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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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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

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Spiced Banana Cake, with Ginger.

So, we have a ‘Banana Cake’ thing going on at the mo,
(more details of why & where in due-course)
but for posterity, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients for our Spiced Banana Cake, with Ginger;

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1.25ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 2.5ml Salt 
  • 75g Unsalted Butter (If you’ve salted butter don’t add the salt above)
  • 150g caster sugar (for a different dark cake, use dark sugar!)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • About 4 bananas (~450g if weighed with skin)
  • Mixed spice
  • Crystallised Ginger – chopped.

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease & line with baking paper a small loaf tin.
  3. Mix the flour, bi-carb & salt together.
  4. Peal and mash the bananas.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  6. A little at a time, mix in the eggs and some flour mixture.
  7. Add as much mixed spice and chopped crystallised ginger as you fancy.
  8. Stir in the remaining flour and mashed banana.
  9. Pour into your lined tin & bake for 60-75 mins or until a knife comes out clean.
  10. Cool for a few minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.

Nice!

As mentioned, the reasons for our Banana Cake adventures will be released in due-course.

For other cobbled together recipes (many Cornish), search ‘recipes’.

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More joy…

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been reading Ingrid Fetell Lee’s  ‘Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness’.

Kitchen roselette

I tend to make notes of things that resonate as I read, and below are a few more nuggets from IFL’s book. My musings may be just academic, but for some of us thought play is a ritual… 

IFL’s book‘s about being open to joy*; those glimpses of experience that really vibrate, move, grow, sparkle… sometimes extraordinary, but more-often-than-not, quite ordinary seemingly mundane moments. 

On my commute to work, pre-dawn almost every morning, in the same spot, at the top of a hill by the lamppost, I exchange a friendly “morning” with an elderly man drinking a can of larger – it’s strangely life affirming – for me at least.

As IFL reflects, ‘Mary Oliver writes, “Attention is the beginning of devotion” the moment that something captures our attention, we cease to become detached from it.’

‘to intensify the moment, we need to amplify the contrast’… ‘when wonder overlaps with awe… our mind-set becomes more fluid and more accepting of difference…’

How can we recognise and celebrate joy more? Perhaps joy is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Celebrating joy might ‘wash away from the soul the dust of everyday living’.

Joy tends to happen in the ‘gap between our cognitive understanding and the sensory reality before us’.

IFL reminds us, ‘Eden Phillpotts once wrote, “The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” Wonders never cease, as long as we are willing to look for them.’

When we glimpse joy it can surprise us, it ‘intensifies emotion, and acts like a magnifying glass, imbuing small moments with heightened significance.’

Look up at the sky ‘the universal province of dreams’, ‘being in nature liberates our senses’ it ‘evokes a response that is simultaneously joyful and calming’

IFL says joy ‘has a way of showing up when we least expect it’… ‘harmony lies not just in the perfect, but also in the perfectly imperfect’… ‘from the seeds of our own joy, a whole world can be reborn.’

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world,” Anne Frank

For all the joy that we might find in nature, colour, music, art, and science, the moments that really make life sing are when people interact… I feel that confluence needs to have a foundation of joy if it’s to be truly shareable. An honest quality of purpose is vital to human well-being and growth’

The ideas in Ingrid Fetell Lee’s  ‘Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things…’ are about creating habits and habitats ‘that truly support human flourishing’.

A nobel ambition.

*Where IFL says ‘joy’ I think true ‘life’, not that shallow cultural polished plastic giggle, but that real breath filled energy the reminds us we are alive. Or if you’re more cynical, then as Oscar Wilde said “the secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.”

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Joyous Delight…

I have been reading recently about indescribably hopeful brightness…

“Colour is energy made visible…
A vibrancy that helps us thrive, learn, be productive, and grow, become more alert… more interested.
Bright colour stirs us out of complacency…
Colours prompt an unconscious change in people’s relationship to their environment: from fight or flight to stay and grow…
Bright colour operates like a stimulant, a shot of caffeine for the eyes. It stirs us out of complacency.”

I’ve been reading from Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness’ by Ingrid Fetell Lee

Ingrid talks about the idea of “reversible destiny”; an idea that we can prevent stagnation by recognising and embracing stimulation in our environments on a regular basis. She suggests we “resuscitate the childlike wonder we feel in a world full of novel sensation” 

Our world is full of color, texture, and pattern but often we don’t realise it, but we sometimes suffer from a “sensorial hunger”.

Ingrid writes; “…the word “gaudy” has roots in the Latin gaudere, “to rejoice” or “delight” in something, which happens to be the same root that gave us the word “joy.” As Diane Ackerman writes, to live not just the length of our lives, but the width of them as well.”

And so on a recent ride home from work I took a route through Leicester’s city centre rather than through the city park, and discovered these joyous delights!

You can find out more about Leicester’s street art here: Leicester’s Street Art

An extra variable in the cocktail that is my cultural infotainment, I have recently been greatly enjoying Will Smith and National Geographic’s ‘One Strange Rock‘ (Disney+).

In the last episode ‘Home’, astronaut Peggy Whitson talks about seeing our Earth from a different perspective, and a psychological phenomenon referred to as “the overview effect”. Taken out of the familiar macro routine environment we live in daily, astronauts like Peggy get a unique perspective when they look back at our world. Looking back at our home, astronauts are significantly struck by emotion; feelings we could perhaps call… an indescribable hopeful brightness, an energy made visible… a vibrancy that helps us thrive, learn, be productive, and grow: a joyous delight (?), if we choose to recognise it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthrise
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Sign Language – revisited

Where am I? I just wanted to revisit this little project/exercise I started back in July 2020; a study I’ve called Sign Language below:

It’s very me… though to others might seem like nonsense, to me resonates still – can you hear the reverberations?

Language and our cultural behaviour controls our consumption, what we eat and drink, when we work and create, or relax and holiday, it chooses what and how we love. It takes our wealth and builds monuments to its glory. Our culture is there at birth, death, & every important time between. It consumes all it can, and our culture discards what’s not needed.
Our cultural ‘Images’ breed ‘Assumptions’, which in turn create ‘Motivations’… I AM…

As a student of Art and Performance, with a view to creating and ‘discovering more’, I was taught to deconstruct. Deconstruction is useful, it helps us to discover the links between the ‘object’, the ‘subject’, and it’s ‘meanings’. But deconstruction can leave us with piles… piles of stuff that mean little. Stuff without value.

But we need some form of meaning, we need purpose…

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Imagined…

I like to reimagine things… (like I did here back in 2018; The Lane )

A quick reimagine…

I work near the towpath of the River Soar in Leicester City Centre, close to Leicester Castle Gardens, but until now I’d not take the five minute trip south to Castle Gardens and what remains of Leicester Castle.

Unless you look, you never know what’s around the corner!

As I say, I like to capture imagesGraphics, it’s what I do.

As it’s the end of another year, and the start of a new one. Here’s 22 random images from my camera roll to nurture a new year, 2022….