For the Major Project for my Visual Communications Degree and Show, I wanted to show the breadth of my abilities within art, design and craft. My strengths are in ‘ideas’, and in the production of craft-based work within a range of designs in a project. This New York pattern project was an ideal subject to explore and develop designs within a theme. The initial approach was to take photographs around Manhattan, and write notes during the seminar we were invited to at the studio of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv in West 24th Street, New York – a graphic design firm specialising in the development of trademarks, print, web and motion graphics, exhibitions and art in architecture.
The idea came to me that as we were in one of the busiest places in the western world, I felt safer taking photographs looking down at the ground – taking shots of manhole covers, pavements, litter, fire hydrants, etc. As I reviewed my photographs each evening, I realised that the beauty of the mundane was becoming important to me when I saw the beautiful patterns I had captured.
When I got back to the UK I did some research into the history and manufacture of all of the items I liked the most Including the Manhole Covers, Fire Hydrants, Tree Paving, Empire State, Fifth Avenue Paving, Central Park, and Yellow Taxis. The idea came to me to design 'repeat patterns' based on the street furniture I had seen, and produce a Pattern Book based upon observation. Design for advertising included a visual map of the journey to New York City, and the time we spent as a group. This chronological record of our 5-day stay would form a graphic communication guide for others visiting the city. My guide became a series of posters displaying our daily activities, which I planned to animate.
Other outcomes included digitally printing the 7 repeat prints onto fabric and foil-topped tissue paper for soft furnishings, giftware and stationary.