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    Charlie Patterson: The Creative Club

The Graduates 2013

The Graduates 2013: Chelsea's Charlie Patterson combines craft with great ideas

Posted by Rob Alderson,

And so we’ve almost reached the final curtain for our Graduates class of 2013, with just two more young talents to introduce to you. But turn that frown upside down dear reader because there’s no let-up in quality, as proved by penultimate graduate Charlie Patterson. Having studied graphic design at Chelsea, Charlie has a predictably good grounding in the fundamental skills, but where he really stands out is through his playful and interesting ideas.

The Creative Club was a project that rewarded design professionals for their skills by handing out charming personalised merit badges (and acted as a heck of a networking tool to boot), while Charlie’s LEGO ads for the YCN briefs really tap into the toy’s imaginative potential. Working with Jasper Van Den Bosch, Charlie also won the Southbank Centre’s BOOST programme for their simple, stylish, geometric bike decorations. Enough of us blathering on though, let’s meet our 11th graduate…

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    Charlie Patterson: The Creative Club

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    Charlie Patterson: The Creative Club

Why or who or what made you go to art school?

I was never pushed in any direction when choosing to go to art school, I would say I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and if I didn’t do a foundation I probably would have gone into product design or carpentry. It was more luck that I went to Chelsea to study graphic design as I was never really shown what true design was until I got to art school.

As a boy I spent hours with my granddad in his shed, coming up with ideas and making stuff which helped me get into art school. Making anything and everything out of bits of wood on the foot pedalled band-saw made me always want to use my hands and get stuck in with anything involving physical objects.

What’s the best mistake you made when you were studying?

The best mistake I made was leaving my part-time job at Selfridges to work for a branding agency run by a customer I had sold a cardigan to. At first it was great as it payed more and I was learning more about design but eventually it fell apart and I was left owed a lot of money with no contract to take them up on.

If you could show your work to one person, who would you choose and what would you show them?

I would love to meet the late Josef Albers – he was a genius and had some serious drawing skills. I would like to show him my sketch book and endless bits of paper with all my perceptual illusion scribbles and optical artworks. He has been a great inspiration and I’d love to pick his brain on how he came up with them in the first place.

Can you give us one prediction about your work for the next year?

Hopefully I will be doing a lot more making; the more time I can spend using my hands to make and build the better. I’d love to work on any projects to do with product design, interiors or making things as big as possible.

What’s the best thing you saw in the last three years?

The best thing by far has been watching Phiney Pet’s collection go down the catwalk at GFW last month. Seeing the amount of effort and incredible talent go into her super colourful and playful collection makes me feel privileged that I have been given the opportunity to know such a wonderful person. Her genuine modesty and inspiring work ethic give me the determination to push my own ideas and brings out my own full potential.

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    Charlie Patterson: Lego advert for YCN 2013 briefs

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    Charlie Patterson: Lego advert for YCN 2013 briefs

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    Charlie Patterson: Lego advert for YCN 2013 briefs

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    Charlie Patterson/Jasper Van Den Bosch: Vector Designs

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    Charlie Patterson/Jasper Van Den Bosch: Vector Designs

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    Charlie Patterson/Jasper Van Den Bosch: Vector Designs


We are very pleased that The It’s Nice That Graduates 2013 is once again being supported by Represent Recruitment who are themselves celebrating being ten years old this summer. The graphic design recruitment specialists have developed a peerless reputation working with designers of all levels and matching them up with the right positions in some of the top agencies around. Represent’s support has helped us grow the Graduates scheme over recent years and we are thrilled they have partnered with us again in 2013.


Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

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