Just completed my portfolio as part of my PPRD unit. I've made it flow from Graphic Design work through to Illustration to experimental. I believe it works well and am happy with it as my pdf portfolio.



Due to the (now annoying) snow this meeting has now been postponed to next week due to Marcus (the organiser) finding it difficult to travel down here.

Just received this email off Jo -

Good Morning Chris and James,

Due to the adverse weather conditions the meeting which we scheduled for today can no longer take place, as Marcus is having trouble getting here from Lyme Regis.
If it is convenient for you both could we meet at the same time next week? (That would be Thurs 12th March at 2pm). Please confirm if  you can make it.

Hope you are getting on well with your FMP!

Kind Regards,


I have replied confirming my attendance, just hope the weather is better!



After pretty much deciding to base my Professional project on Stanley Kubrick film posters, I thought there would be no better research than to go to the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the LCC. [link]

I was going to go today, but unfortunately when I phone to let them know that I would be coming it turned out that they were full! I however phoned back today and have managed to get a slot for next week Tuesday for myself and Chris. We are allowed to stay in there between 1-5pm, and I'm really looking forward to it.

From the website -
"The Archive of acclaimed film maker Stanley Kubrick arrived at the University in March 2007. Housed in the Archives and Special Collections Centre it has been open to the public since October 2007 and has received hundreds of visitors. The collection provides a unique insight into the filmmaking processes of Kubrick. Researchers can find out about a range of subjects including filmmaking techniques, photography, screenwriting and film marketing."

Sounds perfect for research, especially the film marketing section, but seeing the rest will also give me more of an insight into the films. I also want to visit the Vin Mag shop in Soho [link] as well, as I have heard it contains a lot of film and entertainment memorabilia, as well as magazine back issues. Fingers crossed it will be a good day.


I came across this book in the British Film Institute shop, whilst on the London trip. I had a quick flick through of it there and it seemed like perfect research for my Professional project.

After lots of shopping around on the internet I finally bought it for £25.99 off amazon. It arrived this morning and after another quick flick through it looks amazing and is going to give me lots of inspiration and knowledge into the design of film posters.

It has over 1500 international posters from 1945-2005 spread over 500 pages. The images of each poster is big meaning that I can see all of the details of the poster. One thing that makes this book stand out is that it is divided by design of countries. Looking at the different designs from Japan to Poland to United States to United Kingdom and even countries such as India is really fascinating. Another feature is that for some films it has a comparison of all the different designs from around the globe.
I can see myself finding this book really useful for research and inspiration, and I know that I will continue going back to it long after the Professional Project is finished.



Have been approached by Jo regarding a new live brief for the Lyme Regis Film Festival. Not totally sure what the live brief entails, but I can see this fitting in nicely with my professional project.

It appears that it is Chris Walter and I being put forward for this, and there has been a meeting arranged for us to meet the organiser and to see what is wanted of us.

Jo emailed me this earlier -

Hi James and Chris,

Further to our conversation regarding the Lyme Regis film festival, I have arranged an informal meeting for you both on Thursday 5th March at 2pm with Jo Gardner and Marcus Dixon.
This will be an opportunity for you both to see what the project involves and whether you would like to be involved with it. Jo is the AIB cultural Co-ordinator and Marcus is the Lyme Regis Film Festival organiser. They would like you to bring along a selection of your work and to discuss how to develop the marketing material. For this event.
This is a really exciting opportunity and it would be great if you could make it. Please confirm if this date is convenient for you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,


I replied confirming my attendence.



Unfortunately I missed the hour long presentation today with Gellan Watt (MD of Thinking Juice), due to the lecture theatre being overcrowded.

However he agreed to give us Vis Commers a more one to one presentation and guidance after his lecture. From this I gained this useful guidance -

- Have around 6-10 pieces in your portfolio (8 is a nice number)
- Only put in work that you are proud of (don't try and fill in spaces with lesser work)
- Know your work, so if you are asked questions, you know what you are talking about
- Do not overcrowd pages
- Try and have a running theme of how you present it through the portfolio
- Do not overcomplicate pages - let your work do the talking
- Include pieces (such as greeting cards) within your portfolio as they look better 3d rather than flat
- Have a pdf format of your portfolio to send out to companies
- But only have a teaser of your work in case they want to see your portfolio - they don't want to see everything they've seen before.

Now need to get my portfolio together for the PPRD hand in!



Just received my assessment record back for this unit, and it seems all the hard work has paid off! I got a 67, my highest mark on the course yet.

The feedback that I received is as follows -

LO3 - the final website is very you. It is easy to navigate and displays your work very well; the design compliments your work well. The categorisation of the work is good, but I might make the initial slide show less relentless. This does show a very good use of software and a range of design abilities.

LO2 - you've worked through the design part of the project very well. Many of your logo solutions could have worked well, but you made some good choices. Your planning is robust and has clearly aided your decision making and you've described your processes well.

LO1 - you've amassed a lot of relevant information that show you've looked at the subject broadly, through this gaining a good understanding that will serve you well in the future.

Overall, it is all very good feedback. Now to take this onto my Professional Project...


Today was our hand in for our learning agreement. Below is my synopsis of study for my professional project. I'm not completely set on a final idea though, so this is likely to be altered over time.

[Synopsis of study]
For my professional project I will be producing a series of six posters as part of an event for the British Film Institute. The British Film Institute is holding a celebration of cult classic films from the 20th century, and is holding a re-screening of six films. They have commissioned me as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator to produce a series of limited edition posters for these films, which will be shown in a solo exhibition as part of the event, and will then be sold in the Institutes shop. To accompany the exhibition I will also be producing an exhibition guide that will showcase and explain each individual poster and the reasoning behind each design.
I feel that as time has progressed the poster has taken a backseat role in the promotion of film, as trailers and TV commercials have become the major selling point.
Gone are the days of the iconic poster, consisting of exciting type and quirky illustration; leaving the viewer in awe not only of the film, but also the artwork. Modern film poster design now mainly consists of an iconic scene from the film in the form of an airbrushed photograph, with simple type and a simple layout.

My aim is to solve the commercial problem that has seen the poster no longer being major selling point to the audience, with the outcome being a series of iconic and unique posters.
I will be researching into previous poster design, and how different design movements, cultural issues and technological development have effected and evolved it. To gain a better understanding of today’s audience I will be producing questionnaires, which will act as primary research. I will watch and research into each of the films religiously to gain a clear understanding of each, which will influence my design, and the style and medium in which I produce it.
I will be experimenting with different mediums and design processes to produce the posters, as well as experimenting with different techniques to showcase the works, to make them stand out and be remembered by the audience.
My target audience will be large, as it will range from film fans, to appreciators of art and design across a large age range.



Just had a quick tutorial with Sally regarding my ideas for my professional project so far. My feeling before the tutorial was that I need to take my idea to the 'next level'. I have a good solid idea to produce a series of film posters, but I need to add another dimension.

One idea that was brainstormed during this tutorial was to maybe produce a narrative poster, such as on a big wall. An example of a big wall that could be used, is the side of the brutalist architecture of the British Film Institute and The National Theatre. Both provide a lot of possibilities, and both tie in with my project. I will need to research into how buildings can become containers for visual communication. I feel that this idea also links in with my strong interest in street art, and guerilla advertising.

I will be able to do some primary research around the architecture of the British Film Institute and The National Theatre when I visit London in a few days. I believe that this new twist on my project adds the extra dimension that I needed.



As time has progressed the poster has taken a backseat role in the promotion of film, as trailers and TV commercials have become the major selling point.

Gone are the days of the iconic poster, consisting of exciting type and quirky illustration; leaving the viewer in awe not only of the film, but also the artwork. Modern film poster design now mainly consists of an iconic scene from the film, in the form of an airbrushed photograph, with simple type and a simple layout.

You have been commissioned as a designer and illustrator to produce a series of 6-8 posters for a solo exhibition. Your task is to produce your own posters based on film from the past and present. The posters must link is some way whether it is genre, director or actor.

You are required to research into previous film poster design, and how different design movements and cultural issues have evolved it. You are also required to try and solve the commercial problem, which has seen the poster no longer being the major selling point to the audience. You mission is to make the film poster iconic again!



So good old theory started today. A project I dreaded last year, but ended up enjoying and getting my best mark! It seems like it's going to be more of the same this year. I'm not really feeling the theory unit, but I'm hoping it has a similar outcome!

Today we had a group hour session, where basically Anna took us through what she wanted of us. As with last year we are to produce a 2500 word essay, complete with bibliography and Havard referencing. After easing us into this new unit we were put on the spot and asked what we were planning to do our essays on.

I'm wanting to link this closely with my Professional Project so have decided to base it on how the film poster has evolved through the years and why this is. I also enjoyed looking into semiotics last year so will include an aspect of this also.

Anna gave me a few pointers to look into before the session next week. On my point of the poster being a dying art especially when coming to film, she told me to look into the use of graphic design as a marketing tool and how technologies have changed it. I was also told to look into how in the 80s when the VCR was first introduced, this was classed as the death of the cinema, and how this had a socio-cultural effect and impact on design. For my essay I would need to take some key iconic posters from different eras and reflect them against each other.



To help us get started with our Professional Project, Mike Ryan provided us with a presentation showing some of his students research work at Farnham. As one of their units they had to produce a presentation based solely on research of a chosen subject.

After watching the presentations it appears that they were split into these main areas -
- The problem
- What's out there (designers etc.)
- What is needed
- Target audience
- Presentation of work
- Language of design
- Conclusion (what you want to achieve - and how to implement this into the project)
- List of pros & cons (pitfalls of the project)

I found this presentation very useful as it will help me do more thorough research for my Professional Project, opening me up to more options and inspirations.


Whilst researching last night I also came across - WIWP Presents "Now Showing"
Exploring the Lost "Art" of the Film Poster. To put it simply it was an exhibition where designers and illustrators were invited to take a favourite cult film of theirs and redesign the film poster using their own style and interpretation. Or as they put it -

"40+ Creatives were given the task of creating their own interpretation of a Cult, Classic or Obscure film poster from the past, whether it be a literal or abstract solution. The result is Now Showing, an Art exhibition paying homage to more than 70 years of film, through the form of Prints, One Off Screen Prints and Sculptures."

Link to images on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/keepsmesane/sets/72157601618281265/

The results to put it bluntly are fucking awesome! The amount of different styles, techniques, typefaces, illustrations is just amazing. Really wish I had known about it when it was on as I would have definitely popped along. I'm really glad I stumbled upon this as this has really given me the motivation to do this myself, and hopefully I can produce something that would have sat proudly with these.

The exhibition ties in closely with what I had in my head as to what I wanted to do. It's a great starting point, and I am looking forward to moving on from this and designing my own.

My favourites from the exhibition are -


Faster Pussycat... Kill! Kill!

Blade Runner

The Birds

Creative Review produce a monograph for this show, and I already have it in my hand (thanks to Vicky Martin!). Can't wait to have a flick through it.



Whilst researching into previous attempts at redesigning film posters I came across the designer Olly Moss - http://www.ollymoss.com/

He has taken a minimalistic sort of post modern German-ism style approach and has used simple type and illustration along with just 3 colours of black, red and white. My favourites from the set being -

Die Hard

American History X

and Taxi Driver.


Today we had a class tutorial with Sally, and she took us through each of the Learning Outcomes for the Professional project and broke them down for us.

LO1 Demonstrate a professional standard of creativity and practical ability, including:
• Work that is technically comparable to that made within a specified genre.
• Work that shows an awareness of contemporary trends, styles and
subject matter, within commercial contexts.
• Work that shows a high degree of creativity and aesthetic judgement.

For this everything has to be included (eg. print specs.) Everything has also got to be in the right format.

We've also got to understand the trends with the chosen field (eg. colours, styles etc.)

LO2 Demonstrate a professional ability to plan your time and your work, including:
• Project time planning.
• Working successfully with others in the production of creative outcomes.

We need to plan our time management professionally. For example planning and making time for interviews, research. Also need to take into account time for booking workshops, and the delay between booking and the workshop taking place.

LO3 Respond appropriately to the demands of a professional/self initiated brief, including:
• Appropriate creative outcomes to industry/work related briefs.

This learning outcome is for the learning proposal and the final outcome(s). We need to make sure that everything is appropriate.

LO4 Demonstrate readiness for employment, freelance work or further study with confidence
in the level of your creative, practical and professional knowledge and skills.

This takes into account the whole body of work.
- how it has been produced
- it's documentation ( this needs to be really considered as this needs to be both professional and visual for portfolio)



After deciding to go down the route of redesigning film posters I have been brainstorming further to get a better idea of what I can do.

I could either take an old design of a film poster and show how it would be interpreted today, or I could flip that on its head and take a new film poster design and show how it would have been interpreted in a different era.

There is lots of areas that I am going to be able to research -
- design movements and how they affected poster design
- how type has changed within posters over the years
- different codes and conventions within each genre
- how illustration styles have progressed and into now mainly photography
- how technological developments have affected the design of poster

I have also got a lot of things to take into consideration for my project -
- style and scale
- media and how they're produced
- what films?
- what is the reason behind this project
I have a tutorial tomorrow which will hopefully be able to push me in the right direction. Before then, research...



Today we officially begun our Professional Projects. The unit that will either act as a portfolio piece to get us jobs if we decide not to do a third year, or the unit that will pretty much get us onto the third year.

Dan took the session, handing out booklets that he had made to help us prepare, and to start our initial brainstorming. The booklet had four main sections -
- What are your strengths/what learned?
- Preferences?
- Where do you want to be?
- What type of work do you want to produce?

I worked through these sections and it helped a lot. It made me see in more detail what I want to achieve, and opened me up to new possibilities that I may not have thought of otherwise.

I see myself as both a Graphic Designer and an Illustrator, and am looking to progress onto third year Graphics. Therefore I am needing to have mainly a graphic project, but I am still wanting to implement illustration in there somehow.

I felt that I was a bit of an all rounder when it came to strengths and weaknesses. I feel that my only weakness really was Flash animation. I believe my strengths include print (poster design, magazine layouts), branding, illustration, web, and theory.

Obviously it would be pretty much impossible to implement all these strengths into a project, so I am going to have to pick and choose. I feel that my real passion lies within print, typography and illustration, so I am going to have to think of something I can do with this. I also enjoy the theoretical side, so having a project that I can link in with my theory unit would be ideal.

Another factor to deciding what I want to do is going to be that I need to choose something that is going to keep me motivated over these next 12 weeks, and something that is actually going to take 12 weeks. I feel that if I combine my passion for design with another passion of mine I will achieve this. Better get thinking!



Screen Based Communication has been a fun, stressful and challenging experience. I’ve been looking forward to this unit ever since I saw the 2nd years doing it last year. It’s a project that we not only learn from, but is used to showcase all our work to a whole world of possible employers. It’s something that I have taken pride in and am really happy with the final outcome. All the swearing and clenching my fists has been worth it in the end.

The first part of the project was to research into what web is and its history and future. I’m a user of the internet every day, and found it interesting to actually understand how it was created. It was also interesting to read how technical everything is, and how many bits there are to actually make it all work. I enjoyed reading about the future of the internet, and it’s current state of web 2.0. There’s still so much potential in it, and with the ever-advancing technologies we are in an exciting time.

I then researched into existing online portfolios. When researching I noticed that they all either had a black background or a white one, so I split my research accordingly. It was amazing to see that so many different designs and layouts worked so well. There was so many ways to present the work, each being successful in its own way. For each site I looked at the home page, gallery page, about me/info page. I decoded each site, looking at the colours, the font, the layout and what technologies they had used to create their sites. I also tried to write five good points (+) and five bad points (-) for each site. This proved difficult on some, as I could find nothing wrong with the site, or on the other hand nothing much good about it!
I took all the good points and bad points, and used this to help me decide what I wanted on my site and how I wanted it to look. This helped a lot in my layout design thumbnails, and I found myself quickly choosing a favourite design that I was going to use. I went down the route of having a white background site, with black san serif text, as I felt this best represented me and it looked clean and professional.

Branding myself I found to be quite easy. I know myself as a designer, and I know my style. The first obstacle was to choose whom I wanted to be known as to everyone else. Since I was young I have had the nickname buddah, and I wanted to take this forward and use it as my creative identity. It needed to be shortened though, need to look like a designers alias. I quite simply just reduced the number of letters in the word, but making it still pronounce Buddha. I settled with buda. I felt this to be professional, and was good to work under a name that meant a lot to me.
Choosing a name was simple, but I did however have a major swap of logos, as I had to think about how I would be perceived to the outside world. Initially I went down the route of having a monkey head illustrated in my style, with buda written underneath in Helvetica. When this was taken forward to the crit, the point was raised that this style (having a monkey) would attract a certain client base, but cut out quite a big one. I agreed profusely, and knew this had to be addressed as I wanted to attract a large audience. Another idea I had was to use a symbol as a logo. I decided to use an ampersand (&), and have this placed before buda to create &buda. Ampersand is a symbol for ‘and’, a word which is used to connect two things. I personally am trying to connect to people with my work.

As I sat down to make my website I noticed that I had forgotten how to use CSS. This made me panic a bit, but I was pointed towards some online video tutorials - www.willgoldstone.com/learn/#http://willgoldstone.com/learn/#. I found these too be very easy to follow, as he took you through every basic, and detail, as well as showing you where to click. The site also contains some very helpful pdfs, which I had by my side when I was making my site.

I then progressed onto building my site. My layout design was a site consisting of 2 rows and 3 columns. I struggled to get this all to line up and sit right. I eventually researched into absolute and relative positioning, and using a mixture of these, with different sized margins, I was able to produce the layout as I had wished. This layout was to be used throughout my site, with just the content being change on each page.
After building this layout from my measurements, I however felt the site balance wasn’t quite right and the image for the gallery wasn’t big enough. After a lot of calculation, I changed a lot of the measurements, including padding and margins to produce a new look site. It was the same layout, but had a bigger image, a better balance, and in my opinion looked a lot more professional.

On my home page I decided to include a flash show reel of my work. I got this idea from http://www.thedesignersrepublic.com/. I found there show reel to be very eye catching. The speed of it meant that it was almost subliminal, as you could see the work, but it made you want to look into the site further, and explore the work further. I took this idea and also implemented it into my contact page, having my buda from my logo change colours. I also put in one frame of a picture of me for fun, that some people may not see, but others will be bemused.

For my work gallery I used swap image. I used text links, to swap the main image. I encountered some problems but after adding in some code to add a span and a class, it worked a treat. This meant that each piece of work only had one page, regardless of how many images it had. This would save on a lot of loading. To the side of the image I had a short description for each piece, something that wouldn’t take long to read for the viewer so they wouldn’t lose interest.

For the design of my curriculum vitae, I deliberately left in the printers marks, and I feel this shows my style of work, as I am a graphic designer who loves cmyk. I tried to keep my cv short and to the point, as I felt potential employers wouldn’t have the time to read a lot of descriptive text, and that it would be the images of my work doing most of the talking.

Finally I made sure that my blogger and flickr links were attached to the home page. Not only to show off more of my work, but to also produce traffic to my site, and bump me up in the google ratings.

I have learnt loads by doing this project, from css to better time management skills, and it’s great to have my work finally available to everyone in the world. I’m now looking forward to start my professional project, and feel that branding and maybe a website could be incorporated into it.


My online portfolio website is now live and can be seen here - http://visualcommunication.org/james_mcmorrow/index.html



Final crit for the website today, and good news all around. Kit and Neil feel that my site works really well and that the navigation is easy, and best of all the website represents me well. One thing that I have to change is to make the Sub Menu header stand out more by a simple colour change to Magenta. Need to get into serious work mode now till deadline to make sure that it all gets completed and that I get a good mark out of it :)



So far the building of the website is going pretty smoothly. I have encountered some problems though which have since been overcome.

The first being the site measurements. Once I had it built form the original site measurements I felt it to be unbalanced so I made a few alterations, making the main content area bigger, meaning I could have larger images of the work -



Another problem I encountered was to get my swap image to work. I wanted each piece of work to just be on one page so there wasn't lots of loading. Swap image usually works when an image thumbnail is clicked it will change the main image in the content area. However I wasn't using a thumbnail image I was using text all on one line. However when trying to use this as swap image it was selecting the whole line of text rather than each individual word. To overcome this I had to add a span class around each word to separate them and allow them to be used for swap image.

The final main problem I had to overcome was to make this swap image text to fit in with other links. As they weren't linking to another page, they technically weren't links and therefore couldn't have css applied to them. To get round this I tricked Dreamweaver by putting in a "#" as a link for each bit of text. This didn't load another page, but made Dreamweaver think it was a link.



Well after sitting down determined to start building my website, I realised that I've pretty much forgot how to use Dreamweaver and use CSS!

In my hour of need Brendon pointed me towards these video tutorials for Dreamweaver - http://www.willgoldstone.com/learn/#. I've just completed these and found them to be excellent, and I'm now confident enough to crack on with my website.

Image of my tutorial website below -



Taking my new identity forward I wanted to produce a cleaner site, with easily navigational sections.

The new site design is as below -

As you can see there are sections for each area of design, and within each section there is a further sub menu where each individual piece of work has its own page. Under the image there will be numbers allowing the viewer to flick between each images of that particular piece of work, without a new page being loaded. Another key piece of design is that my contact details will be on each page in the top right hand corner, meaning a potential customer wouldn't have to change the page if they wanted to contact me.

The feedback from the crit with Kit is as follows -
- The logo design is really good and represents me
- All work on the main menu should be above the about me and contact sections
- Print section - some people may mistake it for a print screen button? maybe have Graphics instead?

All the feedback was positive and I feel that I've pretty much got my final design and now need to get on with building it...



One thing that I've been thinking about a lot after the crit is my identity. I feel I need to become more sophisticated. So unfortunately the monkey has to go, as it wouldn't appeal to a sophisticated company, and therefore cutting my target audience. As well as this I'm going to drop the serif font as it's not working brilliant.

Another idea for branding that I had was to use symbols. After some research and experimentation I've chosen to go with the '& (ampersand)' symbol. It stand for 'and - which means a conjunction that connect two things. My idea being I'm connecting the client with their customers through the means of design.

Here's my experimentation with this idea -

The logo that I'm set on using is -



Yesterday we had a talk from freelance Illustrator Cattell Ronca. She broke her presentation into sections, giving us advice on everything we need to know to become a successful freelance Illustrator. This advice can also be used for a freelance Graphic Designer as a lot of it was general.

- editorial, design, greeting cards, advertising etc.
- what kind of illustrations/designs are being used?
- look at publications.
- record the names of art directors/editors (Get spelling right!).
- use directories - AOI directory, FileFX, Bikinilist. (Time saving but expensive)
- your work must stand out, original, memorable (i.e handmade or limited edition), must have value.
- demonstrate your way of thinking and communicating an idea.
- good concept.
- how special are you?
- think outside the box.
- use names you collect to make appointments.
- your portfolio must be impeccable.
- include work only relevant for client.
- commissioned work goes in front.
- only include work you're most proud of.
- experimental work in back.
- max. size A3.
- no more than 20 pieces.
- no sketchbooks.
- always bring business card.
- ask AD who else they can recommend.
- make it interesting.
- easy to navigate.
- must be available to everyone.
- with other illustrators.
- keep in touch with people you studied with.
- regular contact with clients - send postcards?
- organise exhibitions.
- confirm commission in writing.
- your name.
- do not give it away, offer a licence.
- read smallprint, especially where it says 'ALL RIGHTS'.
- what is illustration used for?
- how big is the client?
- how big is the budget?
- circulation?
- area and duration of the licence?

I found the talk to be very inspiring and helpful, and I will be looking back over my notes from the talk before I go into the big wide world! After the talk she showed us through some of her work which I found to be very good and interesting.