Darren Leader Studio


Opening up the Studio Review

I’ve wanted to create my own publication for a while, as I wanted to experiment with a document that was large format and loose-leaf. But also there was a project that I wanted to explore further which could be of interest to other designers. Last year, while working on a heritage project with Unlocking the Archive I discovered that from the many renaissance books we found, there were parallels with contemporary graphic design; the origins of typography and composition.

I also wanted to place Andi Sapey’s amazing photos of these books in a contemporary setting, within a publication that could be separated, revealing large scale images in a poster format. The paper was also an unconventional choice, using a light-weight, smooth coated stock which added to the tactile experience.

To keep costs down, each copy was folded and assembled by hand.

Studio Review will be an occasional series which expands on the Studio’s discoveries and work.

More on Studio Review issue one here.

Read the original blog post: Out takes from the Archive. 

NUA Graphics 2017 – in film

Working with the graphics department at Norwich University of the Arts has been a whirlwind of activity this year. From assessments to building degree shows and ultimately graduation,  it is always a buzz; I love being a part of it.

Here is the short film featured at this year’s graphics degree show. Brilliantly shot and edited by Will Reyes with creative direction by Nigel Aono-Billson. It stars a fantastic cast of Year 3 students, working toward their private view.

In_form – NUA graphic communication degree show poster-zine

The BA Graphic Communication course at Norwich University of the Arts has put together a superb publication for their upcoming degree show. This year’s show is entitled, ‘In_form’ and outlines the various forms of communication which define the spirit of the course and the multi-displinary skills of its under graduates.

The publication is a poster-zine which opens to reveal a playful course of connected single words.

I was flattered to be asked to write a foreword, which features alongside written pieces by my colleagues Martin Schooley and Nigel Aono-Billson. Here it is:

Information. Communication. Engagement. The skills of Graphic Communication graduates are applied beyond the purely commercial. They endeavour to understand and define the identity, meaning and message of all sectors of business and public life. Cultural. Political. Educational. Strategies are devised which prompt questions and debate to broaden our worldview. Awareness. Understanding. Action.

Analogue. Digital. Physical. Our graduates move with the times, by respecting past practice and investigating the potential of new technologies. Always learning, skill-sets expand to maintain a contemporary edge which shape the character of communication. Intuitive. Trustworthy. Experience. Curiosity is fuelled by expanding knowledge where language and content is supported by cool visual aesthetic. Typographic. Photographic. In-motion.

Thinking. Discussion. Expression. It is my privilege to work with Graphic Communication students; together we talk-it-through, develop our criticality, test our ideas and define the Inform-ation. Creative. Collaborative. Independent.

NUA graduates 2017. Bon voyage.

Pick up your copy at the NUA Degree Shows, 27.06–05.07 – not to be missed.