What I Saw At The Degree Shows Part 1 : Liverpool John Moores

I kicked off this year’s Degree Show Season with a visit to the Liverpool John Moores University show. The variety and quality of work was really impressive, and I thought the way everything was laid out was simple and effective. I’ve also enjoyed seeing dissertations displayed at all the  universities I visited, and the John Moores selection was really interesting and well presented.

And so, what work did I see?


image of type made from thread and torn paper

Jenny Stuttard’s ‘Covert’ typeface instantly appealed to me. Its tactility, combined with the almost secretive aspect of the hidden type, was a good example of how type design can be pushed from 2-dimensions.

thick hand-bound book with grey cover with red illustrations

I’ve been wrangling with the Risograph printer recently as Buro is prepared for launch, and was pleased to see Charlotte Brzozowski’s ‘1 + 1 = 3’ making use of a huge selection of Riso test prints for this publication. I found the thickness of the actual book quite striking as well, expectionally considering the method of binding.

hand bound green book with white centre band

I spent a little time browsing the dissertations displayed at the show, and thought it was a good opportunity to get an overview of the design and theoretical interests of the year group. Vicky Ledsom’s ‘The Future Is Handmade’ was based around ideas quite similar to my own dissertation subject, and it was nice to see an updated view of the future for DIY and hand making. I have to say, the way inwhich the subject was reflected in the design and making of the finished publication made me wish I could go back and re-bind my final dissertation!

newsprint sheets pinned on board showing black text and green photographs

Another piece of Risograph printing that caught my eye was Holly Gleave’s ‘The Print Project’, a publication centred around Britain’s independent print scene. The combination of rigidly set type and hand-drawn accents made for satisfying layouts, and the photos looked seriously striking in the teal ink.

After looking round the final projects I had a good flick through the portfolios displayed around the exhibition, but I soon ran out of time. There was so much work on display I could’ve easily enjoyed two or three visits, and it left me feeling excited for the work I’d see at the next show.