Alongside launching the Graduates 2010 feature this morning we interviewed Simon Memel, a graduate from Camberwell College of Art and part of the Graduates 2009 feature who designed this year’s identity…
You graduated last year, what have you been up to since?
I’ve enjoyed life without college, I thought I’d miss it. Without the pressure, I feel that a genuine enthusiasm about my work and the work of others has been able to develop. I’ve done some work at the ICA including an internship with Sarah Boris the designer there, that was an interesting place to be. I’ve done a couple of jobs that were very boring and badly paid, lesson learnt there. I’ve done some work with a couple of friends, some for a couple of friends, a couple of signs. I’ve also been working at the South London Gallery.
I’ve also just returned from India which was very inspiring. The distance allowed me to reflect on my situation back home and to make plans for when I returned. One of these plans was to really immerse myself in my work and to get work done with lots of different people. I think I was feeling very differently a year ago; I think I just wanted a bit of a break from it all.
What was the idea behind the identity for this year’s graduate feature?
I was in India when I first heard from you about it, and being there was surrounded by Hindi. I was fascinated by the type but found it difficult to focus on individual characters. The main reasons for this being that there are (I think) 36 consonants and 14 vowels, of which many are ligatured, and also that each word is grouped by a horizontal line running across the top. Instead of entire characters I began to pay attention to particular sections and shapes.
Thinking this way allowed me to work similarly when I started on the Graduates type; by having 2,3 or 4 sections to work with for each letter, I found I was being led less by how it was supposed to look as a whole, and that I could focus more on the options open to me for each part. I thought that keeping these divisions and having each letter fragmented worked well with the Graduates feature; the bringing together of a group of people from different colleges and disciplines, who’s work is all varied.
What advice would you give to those students graduating this year?
That panicking about getting good marks is not only futile but that it will also make getting good work done more difficult (and that’s the bit that matters). After that stage I guess just try and commit time to your work if that’s what you want to be doing. It’s easy to make excuses about not having enough time after the ammount of time you’ve had to yourself over the last 3 years, but there are still plenty of hours in the day.