An Endless Supply is a graphic design studio based in Birmingham, UK, organised by Harry Blackett & Robin Kirkham.
This week we’ve been talking with Robin Kirkham about his work in Graphic Design using technology.
BCA: What does a typical day look like at the studio?
ROBIN: A typical day at the studio isn’t particularly exciting, we normally work a 9–6 day, five days a week. A usual day consists of getting into the studio and simply getting on with projects that we have on. With there being two of us we tend to split jobs between us so will update each other on progress some mornings.
I personally make a list of all the jobs I want/need to do that day when I get in (even really small ones just so I can tick them off quickly). The reality of an average day in the studio means sitting in front of a computer, which is something we’re trying to change (or at least break up) by working in a much more visual way, putting things up on the walls, looking at and talking about things that aren’t on a screen.
We share our studio with a fabricator so it is really useful to break up work a bit with seeing what he’s working on.
BCA: What project are you currently working on?
ROBIN: We are currently working on 2D exhibition design (essentially all the graphics: way finding, interpretation and all printed matter to accompany the show) for a touring show with the Crafts Council which starts at FACT, Liverpool in June. The exhibition is called Build Your Own and is about contemporary designer-makers working will old and new craft techniques towards socially progressive ends.
BCA: What technology have you used as part of your project?
ROBIN: We have been developing the graphics on standard design software: specifically Adobe Indesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. We have been working with BCA to use their Laser Cutting machine to cut out acrylic lettering and will be working with manufacturer to laser engrave some further signage.
BCA: What did you learn?
ROBIN: It has been a useful process for learning more about the materials involved as we haven’t done any work with acrylics before, so talking through possible processes with BCA and other manufacturers was a really useful process. We are learning more and more that the research required for using a process/material you’re unfamiliar with can be one of the most time consuming aspects of a job. This has also shown us the value of prototyping.
BCA: What advice would you give an aspiring young Artist?
ROBIN: Make stuff and get in touch with people you’re interested in. Be active within the scene you want to be a part of. In the early days of ESP (Eastside Projects’ associate scheme) we went to most events and got involved in any opportunities they offered. We’ve been running as a business for nearly four years and essentially any success has come from the support that scene offered initially. People are your friends.
BCA: What skills do you look for when taking on a graduate for work-experience?
ROBIN: Unfortunately we don’t have the capacity to take on people for work-experience or internships. However if we did I imagine we would look for someone who was engaged in the field of design we work within (the arts), and someone who didn’t take it too seriously. Neither of us studied design and we’re self-taught, learning by doing, so we aren’t particularly interested in academic credentials.
BCA: What do you think about BCA and what they do in education?
ROBIN: It’s exciting to see BCA’s engagement with education being so hands-on, offering students the opportunity to really work with a process to understand it. Also it makes sense to filter the learning process through real-world projects/applications.
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