Organisations, Policies and Exhibition Spaces

Today I have been reflecting upon my professional practice in regards to organisations and polices which support my practice as a Graphic Designer, as well as looking at various exhibition spaces whereby I can show my work and further promote myself also.

I have always found it very important to self-promote, and by doing so across a range of platforms (website, portfolio, networking events, social media) I have built up a client base surrounding my freelance practice, however, over the duration of the course I would really like to use this opportunity to engage more with local organisations as well, in addition to collaborating with interdisciplinary artists to encourage and share new ideas with new audiences. I have already been in conversation with several fellow MA students about potential collaborations in the future – Bobbi Rae, Harriet Spowage and Scarlett Carson. Each has a very different practice, however through conversations with them to date have already established various common interests or links between disciplines we would like to explore. I feel this would really be a new and exciting challenge as working as a freelance Graphic Designer is quite an isolating practice unless working on a photoshoot, for example.

I have noted a list of possible Exhibition Spaces below which are in the local Leeds area which I would like to look more into at appropriate times throughout my MA studies.

I am also signed up to newsletters about such venues so I am also aware of upcoming events and exhibitions, allowing for meeting further interdisciplinary contact and collaboration too.

  • The Gallery at Munro House
  • Lady Beck Studios and Project Space
  • The Brunswick
  • The Old Red Bus Station
  • The Bowery
  • Sunny Bank Mills
  • &Model Gallery
  • HEART
  • Leeds College of Art Exhibition Spaces
  • Belgrave Art Fairs

I have always been aware of the Exhibition Spaces in Leeds due to living here several years and attending many events, however, due to the nature of working in studios and agencies for several years, and then now freelancing within an Industry which is going more digital, I have found digital galleries a much better place to curate my work, brand and promote myself, whilst showcasing my work. I have found this to reach a larger audience, working with clients all over the world (Sydney, Saudi Arabia, LA, New York, Florida, Las Vegas, Kuwait, for example) and due to the international nature of fashion and beauty trends have found this to be personally much more effective to my freelance practice. However, I would like to try using ‘real life’ exhibition spaces to see how this can not only advance my professional practice, but to also showcase with a new and intimate audience.

  • Instagram
  • Behance
  • Twitter
  • Personal Website
  • Blog
  • Adobe Portfolio
  • The Dots
  • Big Cartel Shop

The following organisations are local, national and international, and are relevant to my practice as a Graphic Designer regardless of working within Fashion and Beauty Industries. Each in it’s own right has its own policies, regulations and rules per say which allow for fair competitions, equal rights within advertising and industry standard design training to take place. Even though not all of the below are relevant to my practice at this moment in time, nor am I always active in competitions for example, but I am always aware of what is happening incase a viable opportunity of interest arises, such as the D&AD Exhibitions and Fashion-related Competitions. I have also worked inline with some of the policies of Clear Channel whilst working with previous employers, ensuring that advertising is fair, contains the correct terms and conditions and also that the content complies with national and international standards further ensuring fair practice.

  • D&AD
  • YCN
  • ISTD
  • International Design Awards
  • Clear Channel
  • Penguin Posse
  • AIGA
  • ioc-D
  • Design Council
  • Creative Guild

In addition, I have also found that there are various magazines and websites which I find very relevant to my practice of Graphic Design, as well as within the context of the industries I work within, Beauty and Fashion.

  • Grafik
  • AdWeek
  • i-D
  • Debut Magazine
  • Drapers
  • The Business of Fashion
  • WGSN

I find the above much more useful at times than the organisations listed above as they apply specifically to my professional context, and also showcase other practitioners on an International level, whilst also allowing myself to be constantly aware of the newest technologies within the industries, ‘hot topics’ within advertising campaigns, career prospects and vacancies, as well as press releases and articles about industry collaborations, product launches, trends and advances for example.

Furthermore, based on my research question I am aware of other policies surrounding issues such as model welfare, social responsibilities, government regulations and awareness strategies. I am hoping over the next few months through further research and talking to my connections (ASOS for example) about these topics, I can understand how they fit in with Graphic Design, Fashion and Beauty and how this could potentially be applied to my own professional practice, by constructing a set of my own personal guidelines based on my ethics and beliefs.

  • ASOS Model Welfare Policy/Social Responsibility
  • Model Alliance
  • British Fashion Council
  • B-EAT
  • EDAW – Eating Disorder Awareness Week
  • UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image (APPG)
  • Government Equalities Unit
  • Equalities Ministers Advisory Group
  • Clients – do they have any policies in place?

The issue of clients and policies is sometimes an issue within my practice, often with start-up businesses or small/local/national brands using in my opinion, models whom are too thin, showcasing their collections, and have often found that in comparison to ASOS many haven’t considered such topics/issues. I do think sometimes this can push the boundaries of what I am comfortable and not comfortable working with, however feel that it is interesting when comparing to international brands such as ASOS in regards to how regimented they are and to if a brand or not has policies set in place.

This itself can be a controversial topic, as start up brands often do not want to limit themselves or their audience, nor want to be seen to have too many rules and regulations making them ‘awkward’ to work with as this can stipulate the people they can access or book for instance (models and photographers) or could challenge opinions, due to having a pre-determined style, even if a healthy one. For myself however, it can be a hard decision to make as a fairly new freelancer as to whether I would set up my own policies now due to the need to build a client base, and not wanting to ‘scare’ anyone away with a bullet pointed list of do’s and don’ts. Therefore, I would like to potentially test this idea if at all possible, and research into more brands whom have policies to see how they work, and if they are effective for the business but also if it benefits the end user.

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