Branding the University's first online only degree show

11 June 2020
Zak Haddock, Year 6, BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Each year the University invites final year students to pitch to a design brief for the end of year show. Zak Haddock, BA (Hons) Graphic Design, won the opportunity to provide the concept for branding the Leeds Arts University Show 2020.

Here Zak outlines the thinking behind his concept and how he adapted as the show moved from a physical exhibition to online only.

Image: Zak Haddock, Leeds Arts University 2020 design proposal, 2020

The concept for my Leeds Arts University Show 2020 branding proposal highlights the observant eye of the audience and the many responses and opinions that the arts provoke. I created an eye icon as a simple motif that works on its own or as part of a group. Different colours are used to distinguish between different levels of study, for example, green for the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design show and pink for the undergraduate courses.

As a result of lockdown, the original brief shifted from material that would support a physical exhibition, with way-finding solutions, invitations and posters, to one that is online only. I had incorporated a digital iteration that allowed the concept to come alive with movement and blinking of the eye, controlled by the viewer’s mouse. This has now become a major feature of the branding.

Image: Zak Haddock, Leeds Arts University 2020 design proposal, 2020

My original poster design featured a configuration of ten eyes, representing the ten undergraduate courses in the show with each eye having a different colour iris. Exhibition information was included in a box aligned to the top left-hand side of the poster so as not to dilute the impact of the bold colours of the eyes. The intention was to enable the design to transfer across media and scales and this can be seen in the print adverts that have been produced and elsewhere.

Image: Zak Haddock, Leeds Arts University 2020 design proposal, 2020

This work reflects my unique idea generation within graphic design. I like to merge media and approaches together in order to create new things and possibilities, across digital platforms and in print. When I applied for the Graphic Design course at Leeds Arts University, I didn't really know where it would take me. Now I feel confident in my design work and skills. Winning the competition to brand Leeds Arts University Show 2020 has allowed me to come full circle and finish my 3-year course on a high. I feel privileged to have this opportunity and I hope it is the beginning of further success.

More of Zak's work is included in Leeds Arts University Show 2020 which launches on 1 July.