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Carlos Valencia


Carlos Valencia

ABOUT ME I’m Carlos Valencia, a british-born Colombian guy trying to get this graphic design degree diploma in my hands and go re-design the world. While that happens however I’m spending my time coming out with really personal responses to the briefs that I’m set in all my modules, and looking to imprint all my work with not only my visual style but my way of thinking. It’s important for me to create outcomes that are ‘extensions’ of what I believe in and can represent some of the things that make me not only British but a Colombian too. I hope this comes across in my work, and now you‘re welcome to leaf through this book.

Buen provecho.

ABOUT THE MODULE Creative Industry Practice is a module that got me and all second year students thinking about their roles in the industry when we graduate and work as graphic designers or illustrators as a profession. It’s designed to bring us into contact with workshops that can give us the skills that we need, all the while delivering visits by designers and practitioners that have carved their own path into the industry and tell us their stories and motivations. Emphasis was put on the completion of challenging tasks to a timescale, and lots of presentations that involved you showing, explaining and justifying your design decisions and approach to briefs.

TURN OVER FOR... DIALOGUE Narrative Mapping 1.0 Narrative Mapping 1.1 Applied Arts Marathon The World Is My Grid Hands-On Type Project 1: Map of Me Project 2: Google Engage Project 3: Movements CREATIVE INDUSTRY PRACTICE Thoughts of the Week Pastiche 1560 Market Ready Kickstarter CCS CASE STUDY EXHBITIONS, TALKS & VISITS


Dialogue is a dynamic studio that uses both and occupies the space between analogue and digital, that encourages understanding between the user and the curator, by way of many mediums. Through briefs that place us not only as designers but as a person or a citizen, we are encouraged to develop visual dialogues that promote validity and reasoning and explore the user and their experiences.

25 locations dot image from Narrative Mapping 1.1 workshop

NARRATIVE MAPPING This workshop aimed to explore processes associated with mark-making themes, patterns and types. By recreating images and creating new meaning we started to build up an expressive depth to our narrative themes and gave our work an alternative to literal representations. I took photos on my phone and proceded to create one line drawings for each that focused on the emotions or activity found within the image.



NARRATIVE MAPPING We created a map of London different to all other maps of the city, as it’s one that tracked the places we’d visited. After 25 or more locations, what resulted didn’t look much life a map. Together with a scanned image of our hands, and some words taken from a magazine, I created a little collage relative to me, that veered ever so slightly from the brief...


A3 Hand scan, initial image for the collage outcome.


APPLIED ARTS MARATHON In this workshop we were tasked to create 50 (or as many as we could) digital illustrations that use more than just digital applications. Each outcome would have to explore a different process and yield a different outcome. We had to combine processes and aim to produce work that showed a variety of thinking and well execcuted implementation.

Photograph taken as part of the ‘Counterintuituve Beauty’ task.


Photograph taken as part of the ‘Counterintuituve Beauty’ task.

THE WORLD IS MY GRID Through photos each student took of the architecture in the areas around the campus, we found and highlighted the grids that create the image. We explored the link between physical spaces and grids, the relation between grid/ type and how they support each other to create a stronger and more dynamic design/layout.


Riso printed outcome.

HANDS-ON TYPE A really playful workshop in which we were encouraged to look at type differently, not by clicking awat at it and editing it through a screen but with our hands and tools that encouraged expressive outcomes. The letters we had to play with were drawn out of a hat, but allowed us to really dedicate time to the ones we had and create tangible outcomes.



This project encouraged us to take into account sequential narratives and make a prototype of a mobile app with this as the fundamental concept. We were encouraged to formulate themes, ideas and outputs in both screen and print. Through the outputs the main aim was to show a clear understanding of project branding and consistent communication via digital applications and analogue processes, all while taking the user through a narrative individual to each student’s response to the brief. A number of workshops both in analogue and digital form were made to aid us in finding our own approach to the brief, while following a consistent process of ‘Research, Develop, Outcome’ that allowed us to generate, polish and create original output. Our outcomes included a Project Logomark, a Visual Identity book designed in InDesign, a Map of Me App prototype and a video walkthrough of the app that showed the user’s experience while navigating the app’s interface and content.


Mindmapping and Idea Generation

First Proposals for Logo, App Icon and buttons

Developing the Menu

Initial Prototypes

Some final in-app screens

Final App Icon

Final ‘About the App’ screen

Carlos’ Hand


Carlos’ Hand Typeface created for the project.

Key starting points were questions such as what do you want to see as social change?, what’s your passion?, what do you or would you like to see changed?, what is Digital Out Of Home? and where do they currently exist and where could you put something new?, and what Google products will help facilitate your idea?


The complete title of this project is ‘Google Engage: Data powered creative to drive social change’, but it’s merely an introduction into a project brief that allowed a massive amount of legroom for different outcomes. We were tasked to, through the use of the Double Diamond design process that consists of four stages (Discover, Develop, Define, Deliver), showcase the power of Google products powered with live data. The aim was to inspire and incentivise social change in the local community, at relevant moments, locations and audience mindset.



The vast possibilities of the answers to these questions meant us students took this brief to a very big spectrum, with no two outcomes the same. Through consistent work and summative assessments, our final work was improved by the Double Diamond process.

L l l A e r #We A



L ND RE S Motion Graphic development screens

The ‘We Are All London’ campaign encourages an accurate portayal of modern day London, aswell as more faithful representations of foreign-born Londoners, through the use of language and music playlists that bring pieces of their culture to them and all Londoners in their daily commute.  The campaigns’ main focus and intention is Social & Cultural education, and to give the often ignored foreign community a space in day-to-day spaces like Underground stations and bus stops, where interaction with Digital Out Of Home screens can be more personal and memorable.

Motion Graphic campaign video in-situ


For our last project of the year, we were tasked to create a series of expertly crafted outcomes that show an exploration of a chosen Design Movement from the 20th Century (1900- 2000). Each student was encouraged to research about lesser-known design movements, and through identifying the characteristics of each movement, create outcomes from workshops such as Layout and Grids, Letterpress, Type in Motion and Screen Printing. Each workshop allowed us an opportunity to produce an outcome that reflected our research and exploration of the design movement we chose. Even so, before each workshop we were encouraged to prepare by formulating ideas and processes we wished to explore before undertaking each workshop task. Throughout the tasks we had to provide evidence of a distinctive approach through research, development, practical skills and critical understanding. We learned how to work freely and loosely between both screen and print, using both analogue and digital processes to produce our final pieces. Our final outcome comprises of a professionally designed portfolio of work ready for display at the final year exhibition.

Minimalism-isnpired Stencil screen print



Grids & Layout workshop outcome

Screenprinting workshop outcome


Type in motion workshop outcome

Final fold-out poster proposal



A stack of Neatpads, part of the Market Ready project.

Massimo Vignelli A good typographer should know that typography is made by the space between and around the characters, like how music is made up by the space between its notes.

Kate Moross Her style comes out of what she enjoys: patterns, geometry, colourful and unbounded. She even dresses and presents herself faithful to her style, and always brings her touch to all projects she’s involved in.

Alan Fletcher A celebrated designer through many decades, he assumed the role of curating a publication as one of filtering through one-liners, reassembling them as ‘collages’, and thought starters that keep you turning the book.

Paula Scher Her work has earned her enormous popularity, because it straddles the line between fine art and pop culture. It’s relatable but also beautiful, always meaningful and enduring.

THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK As thought starters for the cip classes, we were given the names of certain artists and design entities that would somehow link to the main theme in the class. We then had to watch a video of them or see their work and gather ideas about the way they approacjed their work, their style and other things that could guide us

PASTICHE 1560 To imitate the style of (an artist or work). “Gauguin took himself to a Pacific island and pastiched the primitive art he found there”, based on late Latin pasta ‘paste’. We created a 15-60 second video clip that demonstrates our critical thinking about someone of major personal creative importance and/or influence.


EL LISSITZKY El Lissitzky (1890-1941) was an artist, designer, photographer, typographer, polemicist and architect. He was an important figure of the Russian avantgarde, helping develop suprematism along with his mentor, Kazimir Malevich. Through his formation as an architect, he developed a style and body of that greatly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, and he experimented with production techniques and stylistic devices that would go on to dominate 20th-century design.

Lissitzky announced a new type of artwork that he called a “Proun” (pronounced proo-oon)—an acronym of the Russian phrase meaning “project for the affirmation of the new.” He did many of these but this one caught my attention. When I look at it I see pieces of card being folded, I can perceive the three dimensional qualities and the movement each piece makes, and thought this would be a pretty faithful reproduction of what Lissitzky maybe thought it would look out of a two dimensional format.

Proun. Gouache on paper. 28.7 x 22.9 cm by El Lissitzky.

MARKET READY An exercise in creating a brand: in a group made for us we created the Neat stationery brand, basing the Unique Selling Point on notebooks and notepads that can be customisable, from cover to cover, with different paper designs and colours, to suit your needs. Neat won the right to present their products in the Christmas Market at the Old Truman Brewery.

Image taken by Tatiane Giusti-Rodrigues


KICKSTARTER Taking the brands we created in our groups for the Market Ready project, we brought them to the public through a campaign on Kickstarter. These campaigns need a very solid brand identity, a very clear direction, very well thought out pledges and a clear and exciting video shwocasing the product and inspiring people to back it.


ALBUM COVER ART In 1940, the first album with designed cover art was released to the US public. A repackage of ‘Smash Song Hits’ by Rodgers and Hart, the design was made by one Alex Steinweiss, the creative director of Columbia Records who took it upon himself to change the plain cover packaging that had been the norm until his intervention changed that. The combination of visual stimuli escorting the musical content of the record caused a considerable increase in sales of records up to 885% compared to previous pressings with un-designed album covers. Columbia Records had hired Alex Steinweiss as its first art director just two years before, in 1938. He is credited with inventing the concept of album covers and cover art, replacing the plain covers used before with original designs that added value to the record. “They were so drab, so unattractive,” said Steinweiss, “I convinced the executives to let me design a few”. After his initial efforts at Columbia led to a boom in sales, other record companies followed his lead. By the late 1940s, record albums for all the major companies featured their own colourful paper covers in both 10 and 12-inch sizes. Some featured reproductions of classic art while others utilized original designs (before this records had been packaged in brown paper or cardboard sleeves that were made from easily deteriorating acid-based paper.) Steinweiss would sit down and create original designs and art that would be faithful to his design ideals:

In the 1950s, Blue Note Records’ album releases started becoming collector’s items due to the strength of the visuals in their album covers. Their releases featured black and white photography that would place you in the intimate gigs their jazz artists played and the use of both heavy and light typefaces in bold colours. These characteristics came to define what jazz ‘looked like’ visually, and was an early example of how album covers can create an identity to their musical companion. Through their cover art, Blue Note immersed you into an intimate jazz gig and showed you what the artist looked like in their element, and many of these covers have become hugely iconic. In the early 70s too, with the birth of punk, the releases of punk bands brought the visuals of punk to a wide audience. They were loud and in your face, such as Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols, with its cutout-style typography


In this day and age it would appear almost obvious to us that the simple change from brown paper to intricately designed, four-colour album covers for each record release would add another dimension to the musical record, the largely ignored until then visual dimension of music. It’s noted now that through Steinweiss’ designs the Columbia Records company increased sales substantially, and now people weren’t buying the albums just to hear and tuck away until the next time; they collected the album covers and the fine art that they could purchase along with the music, as the companion of the music on the records and also on its own right a beautiful cover to look at. We can conclude then that album cover art at its birth was for a commercial reason, one that record companies were happy to pursue and let their creative directors fill with collectible art to increase value and sales. But even though cover art was in its inception a commercial solution, it evolved through the ages and with the birth of new genres that reached audiences worldwide.

Here I talk about Album cover art, about its inception and the way it has signified a commercial positive, an identifying aspect for the consumer and a colector’s item through its art.

using colour, composition, lettering and photographic montages, he would begin each process with a detailed sketch of what he wanted to achieve, later followed by an unscaled painted and airbrushed composition, which he would then show to the printer so the colour he intended to use could be matched. He respected the artist’s intention with their music, and as such tried not to interpret his subjective interpretation for the music. Since four-color process engraving was still in its infancy (and as such extremely expensive), for practical purposes album cover art was limited to three or four flat colours, with halftone in one or two plates. This way of designing album covers became the blueprint in the early days of LP covers, and the style developed at Columbia Records by Steinweiss and later Bob Cato would be followed by most record companies for the next few decades.

and black on yellow type with a pink logo with the letters in yellow. The cover art was the medium through which a punk fan would identify themselves with what the cover represented and would see themselves identified in the tastes of the musicians. Some punk covers too were placing you in the mayhem of a punk concert, like The Clash’s London Calling, itself a parody of an Elvis Presley album cover but placing Joe Strummer in the middle of a frenzied guitar smashing, body bent over in a show of energy. This aspect specifically, the energy, came to define what was new about punk to the audience, and the covers by punk bands issued then showed an untidy and handmade approach that punk fans heralded and identified themselves with. Album cover art in this sense then can also play a role in defining identities, not just for the musicians showcasing their music but also to the fans that can see elements in the album covers that speak to what they believe in and what forms their personalities. In the late 60s, during the huge wave of Pop Art that played on consumerism that took over America, many the release. The Velvet Underground’s self-titled album features artwork by famous pop-art artist Andy Warhol, which immediately tied them to that artistic movement and its concepts. Album covers can therefore also be parodies or even tools of marketing, to link bands with products or even parody themselves or other bands that by doing this ‘sell out’. In the digital age, the importance of album artwork has been put in question. Most people that consume music do so on-the-go, and the artwork is limited to being displayed on a small square in your smartphone screen. The ever evolving role of the internet too has allowed bands to be able to contribute to their own visual identity through social media and music videos, and cover art is now not the important deciding factor in this it once was. Yet with the resurgence of vinyl in the digital market, that’s surely a sign that many people still form connections through music the traditional way. Album cover art is a very handy tool to add value to a product, to show an identity for the music and band, and to advertise themselves and in its most pure form even just as a work of art worthy of display. Even with the abundance of marketing tools available nowadays, the album cover doesn’t seem to be going anyway anytime soon.

Albums mentioned in the case study, in order they were mentioned: Plain LP packaging (pre 1939) ‘Smash Song Hits’ by Rodgers and Hart (1939) ‘Midnight Blue’ by Kenny Burrell (example of a Blue Note album cover) (1963) ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’ by Sex Pistols (1977) ‘London Calling’ by The Clash (1979) ‘Elvis Presley’, self-titled (1956) ‘The Who Sell Out’ by The Who (1967) ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’ by Small Faces (1968) ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ by The Velvet Underground (1967)

Hea th er’ s Stu dio

G eff ry e Mu se um

Crossroads Art Festival

Naom i Gam es

Zareena Hussain

The Barb ican

Sc ien ce Mu se um


Russel l Weekes

Through photos each one of us took of the architecture in the areas around the campus, we had to find and highlight the grids that create the image. Through this exercise we explored the link between physical spaces and grids, and the relation between grid and type and how they support each other to create a stronger and more dynamic design/layout.

Ru sse l l We eke s

Tat e Mo der n

Desig n Muse um

Kath erina Tudb ul l

Sofia Clausse

G F Sm ith

Edua rdo Paolo zzi

My face afte r all of that.

Creative Industry Practice 2016/17

Collection: Carlos Valencia  

A collection of workshops and projects created during 2nd year of my BA (Hons) Graphic Design studies at London Metropolitan University.

Collection: Carlos Valencia  

A collection of workshops and projects created during 2nd year of my BA (Hons) Graphic Design studies at London Metropolitan University.