Hello! My name is Lauren and I am a Graphic Design student at the University of Leeds. Originally from Essex, I got the travel bug from a very early age and to say I jumped at the opportunity to take a year out of my studies and do a 6-month internship with VBAT in Amsterdam is an understatement.
I never did a gap year after finishing secondary school and often felt that this was something I missed out on. So this was the perfect chance to experience living and working abroad, whilst also gaining valuable real-life experience of the industry I hope to one day form my career in. I hope to sample as many different areas as possible in my year out in order to gain a really good insight into what the different areas of the industry have to offer. I’m enjoying the chance to push myself outside of my comfort zone and try new things, meet new people and enjoy new experiences. I have now lived in Amsterdam for just over a month and I am extremely pleased with the decision so far. It seems to only take a short 5 minute stroll down a new street to find 5 new reasons why it’s such a great place to live.
My tastes in design are broad and varied, however I have a particular soft spot for bold type and bright colours. My background originates in fine art, and I still enjoy utilizing my drawing skills in my work from time to time, however I jump at any opportunity to improve my digital designs skills. This interest has also lead to me taking night classes in coding in the past, in order to gain a stronger understanding of what it means to design for a digital platform such as an app or website.
I also enjoy experimenting with different print methods in my projects, for example this poster I created for a charity club night in Liverpool using risograph printing.
Risograph printing can achieve a really interesting and gritty texture, which I took advantage of for a project I did called ‘53.8008º N, 1.5491º W’ (the geographical co-ordinates for Leeds), the book provides a visual journey through the places that have had the most influence on my experience so far in Leeds. Providing accurate geographical details as well as photography that embraces the raw beauty of the locations. These vary from areas I have lived, worked, eaten and learnt and are of personal significance to my university experience.
A lot of the work I have created so far has been in traditional poster format, with a successful example being this poster which featured in Manchester Design Festival 2018 for an exhibition called I Shout for the Fall Redux. Every submission featured some of the many lyrics of the late Mark E. Smith, which I used as an opportunity to use typography to express the energy behind this particular lyric.
Further examples of work where I have used a similar technique was a print ad design to promote the BBC homepage website (this was a live brief I took part in at university) in order to communicate the breadth of articles and services available on the BBC website.
Finally, I have more recently begun dipping my toes into the world of illustration with one of my second year projects illustrating the poem ‘If You Forget Me’ by Pablo Neruda. Each illustration represents a separate stanza and demonstrates the power of one person’s power over another’s very nature, both in manipulative and encouraging ways. Parallels between nature and humanity are common in Neruda’s work so this theme seemed fitting. The illustrations were originally presented as a trip-tic, and later were used as artwork at the Leeds Human Rights Journal’s 2019 edition launch event.
And so concludes a short summary of me and my work prior to starting at VBAT. I’m looking forward to the new skills I will gain through working here and making the most of my time in Amsterdam.
I’m currently enjoying that the future for me is in many ways the great unknown (emphasis on the great hopefully), as in many ways I’m open to letting myself go where the opportunity flows.
But for now I’ve landed in a gorgeous and exciting city with plenty to keep me busy.