Introduction to picking the hellmans brief

So today we got to start an exciting new project, which is a live brief. We all had so many briefs we could choose from, and I had to consider a lot of different aspects and choose the one. Some of the briefs I looked into were:

  • Book Illustration competition 2018
  • Hellmans project
  • The Grown Up Chocolate Factory

I looked into each of the briefs and summarised them, to decide which one I want to pick. I also listed the pros and cons of each project, to see which one had more potential, and which one I would enjoy more.

Book Illustration competition 2018

This brief was a brief from the House of Illustration, collaborating with the Folio society. For this brief, we have been asked to produce 4 illustrations for the Sherlock Homes stories, one front cover, and three illustrations for three different stories. On the website, they have a summary of what the Book Illustration competition:

“Each year entrants are asked to submit three illustrations and a binding design for a book chosen by The Folio Society. The winner receives a highly sought-after commission, worth £5,000, to complete a total of nine illustrations and a binding design for the book, which is then published by The Folio Society. Five runners each receive £500 cash.”

Alan Marks 2016 winner who produced the images for Mansfield Park by Jane Austin:

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After reviewing this project, I decided that this wasn’t the project for me, as I don’t have much of an interest in the book itself, so it would be an unwise decision. Plus I wanted to choose a project that would allow me to explore with different mediums, and I feel that this project would allow me to do this.

Hellmans Project

The second brief I looked into was the Hellmans brief. The brief reads:

“Create a Hellmann’s branded device, publication or service that addresses the issue of food wastage. Your design should be a response to a point in the supply chain where food is often wasted – this could be in the home, such as leftover food that’s overlooked or left behind when people go on holiday, or in restaurants or stores, when over-ordered or expired goods get binned. Choose either the home, the store, or the restaurant as the focus for your solution.”

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In a nutshell, the brief asks to address food wastage, branded by Hellmans. I really like the sound of this brief as having restaurant experience, I know about this concern. I also like how broad they are in what they want you to produce, and they also give you the option of using two different mediums which really like.

The Grown Up Chocolate Factory

The brief was to create a new packaging design for the latest range of ‘free from’ chocolate from The Grown Up Chocolate Factory. Also this brief sounded really interesting, in a way, I didn’t like that there were so many limitations on the packaging you could do. From the size, to the type faces used, everything was very structured and limited. I did possibly think that this brief would be more suited to a graphic design student as there was a lot more arrangement of txt and imagery, as opposed to actual illustration.

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I think this brief is a little bit too structured for me personally, and I don’t think I would enjoy it as much as I would a different brief, so I decided I wasn’t going to carry on with this project.

My chosen brief:

The Hellmans Project

So I decided to choose the Hellmans brief in the end, as I felt this brief had more potential for me, as I am particularly interested in lifestyle illustration and what is going n in the world, so I think this type of project would be a really wise choice. I will next update you with my ideas for the project!


The poppy appeal event – the British legion

After we had finished our illustrations, we were asked to stick around at the event for questions, photos and to speak to the British legion about what we had done in our illustrations. It was a lot of fun and it was great for the college to get involved in such a good cause! 

Here you can see my friend Kate supporting the college and the British legion, accessorising the poppy! To check out some of her amazing work go to her Instagram page: 


We also got to see some of the amazing work done by the other students at the college. This absolutely stunning piece not only represents what the poppy standards for, but also brings in the environment that it surrounds, and adds a bit of a graffiti look, which blends in with the skatepark and the youth culture of skating.

After we had finished our illustrations and had all of our photos taken, we were able to get some videos of the skaters in action! As well as doing some amazing tricks, they added a little bit of the skate culture to our illustrations, adding in track marks from their scooters and skateboards etc. This gave the illustrations a lot more ground and really incorporated in the message we were trying to get across, and got the younger generation involved in the day. We also got to speak to the skaters to see what they thought about the poppy. ​​​

One of the skaters quoted 

‘It’s scary to think that you can go into the army so young, and it’s not just older people who have fought for our country, but at the same time it’s awesome that young people are dedicating their lives others.’ 


We also got to meet some really interesting people, including veterans and the British legion themselves which was amazing. We were also asked about our designs and we got to explain what rememberance day meant to us.

It was an absolute honouring meeting all of these great people, and also doing work for such a good cause! 

You can find more images of the day on the Hereford College of Arts website, definitely go and check them out!

The poppy appeal event – our work

After a lot of hard work, the day of the poppy appeal event has finally come around. We went down to the skatepark fairly early, first of all to plan out where each of our illustrations were going to go on the actual park, and secondly to make some frames for our stencils to stop the spray chalk from spraying onto other parts of our design. I wanted to give myself enough time to finish my illustration before the British Legion had arrived, so I could enjoy the event as well. 

As you can see, we were given an allocated spot in the park, but we wanted to incorporate all of the designs in with each other. We also wanted to link in the bits of graffiti in the park, as these are one of the elements that makes the park so youth orientated and unique. But we had to work in a way which would show we hadn’t done those designs ourselves, so in this case, planning was crucial. 

To do my design, I had to follow numerous steps: 

  • First of all, I had to draw the rough shape of my badge onto the concrete, so I could get the sizes and proportions correct. 
  • Next, I gathered all of my stencils together, and decided which stencil I would use for each of the different poppies and leaves. I did different stencils as I had different sized poppies, so rather that doing one big stencil design like others did, I did separate and then used he individual stencils to great one design.
  • I then started with the white poppies, as these would be easier to be overlapped with the red. Working from the top down, even though I did struggle to keep my balance! I did the larger and the smaller poppies at the same time. 
  • After, I went around using the red stencils to do my red poppies, repeating the same process as the white ones. 
  • I then used the small leaf stencils to do the leaves for the poppy.
  • Finally I went around using black charcoal to add in the centre of the poppies, and the black outline work.

Here is the finished piece itself:

The next post will be about the event itself, and what the British legion were doing at the skatepark etc, and about the different people we me. 

my final design

Here is the final image design I did, in order to have a feel for what my final illustration would look like. As I couldn’t use the rifle cap badge as a centre piece for my poppy, I decided to do a badge covered in poppies. The reason I wanted to use the badge, was because of its strong links to Hereford. I also wanted to use different parts of the poppy, so I could use the flower itself and the leaves to fill in different components of the badge. This was a rough of the design I had in mind, and I will use this as a guide to recreating my poppy on the skatepark.

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using the spray chalk

The first thing i did when practicing working with the spray chalk was cutting the stencils to spray my poppies. These were quite basic on a small scale, mainly to see how much detail could and couldn’t be picked up, using the spray chalk.

I did two separate stencils, one for the poppy, and one of the rifle cap badge, as I wanted to use the as a centre piece for my poppies. I then stuck the stencils together to create one stencil that I would us for my experiments.

I then used my stencils on some concrete outside of the college similar to the concrete we would be working on at the skatepark. I tried to do as many practices as I could so I could make an assessment of how well the stencil would work.

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I really liked how the stencil was sized and shaped, and I think it worked well, however I concluded that for my project, I would need to use a basic stencil, as opposed to a more detailed stencil, as the chalk would define the lines as much. I also decided that putting the cap badge shape in the centre of the poppy was going to be too detailed, so I have decided to find another way to incorporate the badge into my design.

After doing my final stencil tests, I started working on a final design for my image.

The Ferrous festival

The day of the festival! We all went into town where the festival was taking place, and first went to the live forging area. From what we could gather, the BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing students from Hereford College of Arts, were teaching people to forge, creating leaves to go on a bench to be placed at the St Michaels Hospice. The whole event was a charity event. The had different stalls set up and different things being sold, as well as people photographing the event.

We didn’t manage to forge anything as there were so many people who wanted to learn the craft, as you can see from the images below:

We also went to visit the exhibitions that were held in the Art gallery in the Hereford Library, and in Hereford Cathedral. Speaking to Theo who was working at the exhibitors, he took us on a tour around the exhibition. There was work from forger’s all around the world, ranging from agricultural equipment, to small, box like Japanese houses which were beauties! Unfortunately we couldn’t get any pictures as no photography was allowed of the exhibitions!

We were however allowed to display our zines on show at the exhibition to sell, as you can see, I put my copies in the exhibition. All of the money I raise from selling my zines will also being going to the St Michaels Hospice charity!

The exhibition is on for another 2 weeks so I would definitely recommend going to visit, as the work presented was amazing!

more poppy experimentation

I also started to do some experiments using stencils. I don’t normally use stencils in my work as it isn’t a medium that I particularly like using, however I wanted to do some experiments so I could get a feel of the sizes of the stencils I wanted to use, and the actual process itself.

The first type of stencil work I did was cutting out stencils in in my actual sketchbook, and then doing some watercolour patterns underneath. I really liked how these images came out, as I like how clean the edges of the flowers were. I especially liked the two colour first image, I though this worked really well and doing the image as a stencil meant I could blend the colours better without having to break up different bits.

I though the image in the top corner on of the right image didn’t work as well, but I think this was more to do with the colours I used, rather than the actual stencil itself.

The second image I did was a stencil print with block printing ink. I felt like this didn’t go as well as what I wanted it to, mainly because I wanted the lines to be a lot cleaner, whereas the ink had spread too much underneath the stencil. I also felt like the image went a bit streakier than I wanted to.

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The next type of experiments I did were using the spray chalk itself, using stencils i had made and seeing how the spray chalk come out on the concrete.

Poppy experimentation

After doing my poppy research, I started to do some experiments of my own, trying to use as many different mediums as I could. The first experiments I did were continuous line drawings using coloured fine liners.

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I tried to do different angles of poppy, and different elements as I have previously said. looking line and colour, but not adding in any block colour. I really liked how these came out and how loose they were, and almost like just rough sketches. Although I did really like these, we were focusing more on stencil making and using block colour as we were using spray chalks. So I had to think more down the lines of doing block colour piece, as opposed to just using line, because of the material constraints.

So I did begin to do more colour filled images, this time with no line.

The first image I did was a watercolour image, showing the poppies in different angles. I really enjoyed working with the water colours, as i found it enabled me to be more loose and relaxed with my work, and i like blending the different colours. Working with the blending was really useful, as we were able to do this with the chalk spray. I thought this experiment worked really well, and although there is no real solid line in the images, you can see the outlines.

The second image however doesn’t have any definitive line, and it is more of an image as a whole. I really liked this image, as I was able to add in different shades of red, to give the poppy a little bit more of a shape. Although I didn’t really like the stalks on this image, as I feel they could have been more incorporated in the image, rather than just a straight down stalk. This would be a huge area of improvement for me.

These next two images I did using coloured chalk. This was really useful as it enables me to get a feel of what material I would actually be using for the final project.

I really liked using the charcoal in the first images, doing the poppy bulbs. But I really liked the red and green poppy I did using stencils, and doing some over printing, almost like doing stencil print, but using chalk instead. I like how the the colours merge together and how you can see the edges of the greet chalk and the red chalk and it gives the image a 3D look almost.

I also did some more experimenting with stencils as a practice which I will talk about in my next post.

final zine images

Here is the final image I took for my zine. I also did the front cover and the back cover for it. Each of the different elements have represented different stages in Theo’s work.

I also made copies for Theo, and made some to exhibit and sell at the Ferrous festival.

Geometric shaping

Other elements I did for my zine included looking at colour and geometric shapes. For this piece here, I worked on an A5 sheet of paper, and folded the paper to get different sized geometric shaped. The outcome followed as below:


I really liked the different shaped I was able to combine together, and the different ways i could fit the shapes together. The reason i wanted to add in this component, was looking through Theo’s research, he really managed to capture the geometrical shapes, and this influenced how he took his work from line work, to curved shapes, which progressed onto his final piece.

I also used some other research, looking at geometrical imaging in metal work:

I can see where this type of work has influenced his design processes and thoughts. I really like the lined sculptures, as I do prefer working with just line, and the 3D sculptures with just the line give that extra see through element, so you can see all of the sculpture which I find really aesthetically pleasing.