FMP: Preparing the Space & Hanging Work

Last week we spent preparing the exhibition space ready for work to go up. Luckily I sent my work to print early and so could help to prepare the space most of the week. I knew where my work was going and I am delighted with my spot and can’t wait to get the work up now! It feels so strange to be preparing for my own degree show; it doesn’t feel long ago that I was visiting other degree shows in preparation for applying to university.

With the space all prepped and my work collected from the printers I could begin hanging my work! I had 6 banners (three flat to the wall and three hanging in front) and three books to go on a shelf next to them. The banners have a tendency to curl and so rather than hang them using nails, I attached double sided tape around the perimeter of the banners for them to be stuck to the wall. The three hanging banners have been hung around a bar close to the ceiling and also attached to the ground using fishing wire.

David and Ian were absolute life savers when it came to hanging the show, I think everyone could agree. There is no way we could’ve done it without them and they have dedicated so much time to helping all of us. There is not one single chance in hell I could have stuck those banners to the wall perfectly straight without David!! In fact, Ellen and I did try and fail to hang some of them from the bar, which failed miserably and meant David had to redo our shoddy work! Once again, we are so lucky to have the team that we do, who believe in and feel passionately about our ideas and our vision for our work. I hope they have all had a rest this weekend!!!

I took some photos of my finished exhibition space, as seen below:


I am so proud of my space and I really do love it. I have found this project to be a journey more than any of this year and have had complete highs and lows. There were points where I really didn’t think my space was going to be good at all, and I was really concerned about this project and felt really disappointed in it, but it has all been worth it now. I think my project makes use of the space and (I hope) will attract people to look at it when them come into the space.


MISSING FROM R&D: FMP: Magdalene Laundries

So OF COURSE nothing can ever just go smoothly. No matter how long I spent on my submission files, no matter how long in the easter holiday and no matter how many late nights after long days at uni, there was always bound to be mistakes I only found when it was too late. *Sigh*

In my Final Major Project research and development file, I titled a page “research – Magdalene Laundries” because I researched Magdalene Laundries for my project right at the start. However, when I looked back at the file tonight, following the submission, I saw that this page was blank. How I managed to miss that after the amount of times I read and reread the file, I do not know. I remember writing it!!!! But there it is: blank.

So if it means anything at all, I put it here:

“Following conversations with David about my initial idea, I had lots of research to do. One interesting topic we got onto was the use of Magdalene Laundries, or Magdalene Asylums, in Ireland from the 18th to late 20th Century. Late 20th!! That was only 20 years ago! Magdalene Laundries were “institutions of confinement, usually run by Roman Catholic orders” which houses “fallen women”. When looking for the definition of a ‘fallen’ woman, I found the following:

“In the late 18th century, the term “fallen women” primarily referred to prostitutes, but by the end of the 19th century, Magdalene laundries were filled with many different kinds of women, including girls who were “not prostitutes at all”, but either “seduced women” or women who had yet to engage in sexual activity. These “large complexes” became a “massive interlocking system…carefully and painstakingly built up…over a number of decades”; and consequently, Magdalene laundries became part of Ireland’s “larger system for the control of children and women” (Raftery 18). Women and “bastard” children were both “incarcerated for transgressing the narrow moral code of the time” and the same religious congregations managed the orphanages, reformatory schools and laundries.”

It was estimated that 30,000 women were kept in these institutions in the 19th and 20th Centuries in Ireland. That is a HUGE number, and feels completely shocking now, despite the last Magdalene Laundry being closed down within my lifetime.

Something I read that I found interesting was the following:

“In 1993, a mass grave containing 155 corpses was uncovered in the convent grounds of one of the laundries.This led to media revelations about the operations of the secretive institutions. A formal state apology was issued in 2013, and a £50 million compensation scheme for survivors was set up, to which the Catholic Church has refused to contribute.”

The existence alone of these places demonstrates the strict nature of religion and its disregard for women in the way in which is enforces it’s beliefs. This relates directly to the fact that abortion is still illegal in Ireland – arguably a disregard of women’s decisions over their own bodies.”

FMP: Final Reflection

I have definitely found final major project to be a journey with real ups and downs. I really struggled at the beginning with coming up with an idea that I felt was worthy of final major project and had enough ambition to represent me as a designer in the show. Once I got out of my head and settled on a project, I actually really began to enjoy designing and working on one of my favourite types of work – expressive typography.

I think that the outcomes I have produced are a successful answer to my brief and are effective in conveying the message that I wanted to convey. I feel that, with the support of the tutors, tackled issues along the way well and adjusted my work accordingly without sacraficing the overall aesthetic. The biggest change to my work was probably when I had to change my colours, as it would not be possible for the printers to print neon colours. I changed these to pantones, which actually looked almost neon when printed.

Having put up my exhibition, I am proud of what I have designed and I think my space looks great. David was an absolute life saver when it came to hanging my work and it would definitely not have looked anywhere near as good without his help. My space looks better than I thought it would and I am excited for the exhibition to open! I have created work that I am proud of and that I think it worthy of the show, shows ambition and represents me as a designer, and so I have to consider this project a success, for me.

FMP: Assembling My Books

Alongside the banners in my exhibition space, there will also be book versions of the speeches. I decided that these will be folded and bound in french folding style and hand stitched. I collected the printed and trimmed spreads from the printers and stitched the books together which took HOURS but looks so good now that they are finished.

I actually think hand stitching books is like child birth (from my position of zero experience) because when I stitched my ISTD I hated doing it and said I never would again and my hands felt like they were going to fall off afterwards…but the overall look of it finished was so gorgeous I decided to do it again for FMP. But now that I have stitched again I can confirm it was as awful as the first time and my hands are throbbing from the whole experience. Here is an actual pic of me stitching the final book that my sister took of me while on FaceTime to her:


Loving it, clearly.

Having said that I’m sure I would do it again in the future given the opportunity – it does look lovely when finished!!


Front Cover

Due to the french folding technique, I could not ask for the front and back cover to be a thicker stock than the inside pages. David suggested I look at using grey board, as I had made the type on the inside shades of grey. This would thicken the front and back cover while leaving the bind exposed and a strip of colour down the side. I found projects on that utilised both neon colours and grey board in their work.


I cut grey board into rectangles and spray mounted them to the cover I had stitched on. They look even better than I had thought they would and I am happy with the result now they are finished!


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FMP: Prints!!!

So I have picked up my prints and they look SO GOOD!! As I have said, I had to change my colours from neon to normal pantone, but the colours actually do look quite neon – especially the pink and green! I very last minutely added the three full colour banners for the wall with powerful quotes on the topics of the speech and I am so glad that I did this. I think that the added block of colour behind the white banners will make the overall space look far more dynamic and will add depth and movement. I am excited to hang my work now and see the show come together!


FMP: Colour Issues & Show Mock Up

Monday: So OF COURSE I’m having issues with colour. To be honest, this one felt like it was coming since I changed my colours to be neon, as I knew they were going to be a pain to print and expensive if even possible at all.

But turns out, it’s not going to be possible. I called four printers and enquired about the size of my work and about printing neon and all of them said the size of my document was fine to print, but the neon colours would not be possible. My work is almost 3m long and 28cm wide and so it is an odd size but I am glad I will be able to print it. I changed my colours to the closest pantone and while I am disappointed about not being able to use neons, I still think my colours will be vibrant and bright.

My new colours are below:

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I am now just working to get my project ready to send to print. I always like to send to print early because the closer it gets to the deadline, the more stressed I become. I know that when I have got projects printed in the past they have only taken a few days but obviously things can always go wrong and I would much rather be prepared for the worst to happen to avoid a Complete And Utter Meltdown!! I am aiming to have sent my banners to print by Wednesday so that they can be done before the bank holiday weekend.

Tuesday: Today I printed out and mocked up my show area for the tutors to see and give me the okay to send to print, or make any changes. I am SO glad I did this because it made it so easy to spot mistakes. An essential element of my project is my use of space and the legibility of the type. Because of the size of the document, I have been designing it on smaller spreads and then pasting them together onto the whole 3m document. This means I can work on how the type on the same page interacts with one another, but limits me in designing the whole piece. Because of it’s size, I can’t look at the whole thing in detail at the same time on screen.


Ian and David were busy in tutorials with first and second year all day, but David managed to have a look in between seeing people. He suggested I make it bigger, adding almost a metre to spread out the type more, which would aid the readability. I also had to consider the words that I made larger than the rest and how they would read together. As can be seen in the image, the large words “hole” and “raped” being next to each other wasn’t really going to work…

At this point I feel so nearly there and I am getting really excited about the show. There is always nervous anticipation when waiting to collect prints and I will feel much more relaxed when I have them and all that is left to do is to prepare my space!


Dissertation Design: Progress

At the criticality deadline, this is what I handed in in terms of dissertation design:


There were some pages I really liked, but I definitely knew it needed more work for the proper deadline.

I began looking at ways of printing my newspaper and the printing techniques of newspapers. I found that there needs to be a border around the perimeter of the page and so I applied this to my design. I added page numbers to every page (an achievement for me!!) and tried to be more playful with some of the typography. When I decided to use neons in my final major, I revisited my colours here. I experimented with using red and baby pink, but nothing worked as well as this combination. I thought the use of black and white primarily with pops of neon pink worked better than any other combination I tried, so I decided to stick with it and carry on.