Jake Colemans collages take us to the unique grasps of his imagination

Jake Coleman is a multi-disciplinary designer from Chicago, currently working in London. Whilst Jake balances his life across two continents, he is a freelance creative director at Haight Brand, a music and film management company out of Chicago. He assists in everyday design tasks that range from tour branding to web design and merchandise. Jakes way of working often varies between each project, frequently switching up his techniques and experimenting, though he is most well-known for combining hand-rendered techniques with digital executions.

Most recently, Jake has been working on tour flyers for Towkio, a Chicago based rapper. These individual show fliers are for the first leg of a 3-legged tour across Australia, Europe and North America. Jake explains Towkio’s new album ‘WWW’ or ‘Worldwide Wave’ was the first album to drop in space. His cover shoot, shot on an iPhone by Marcus Hyde, assisted to visualise this new transcendence. The contrast that’s built between the astronaut suit and the Mayan Pyramids is also used to aid in illustrating that point. So, for each of his four European shows, a simple execution of ripping and masking printed paper behind the artist was needed. This can be interpreted in many ways, one of them being an un-layering of the surface. Another showing the artist entering a new dimension that’s represented by the specific city.


Jakes handmade collages delight in the unique grasps of the imagination. Looking at his work has an immediate impression on the viewer. The constant pushing of his practice allows Jake to constantly evolve, look for answers, avoiding a defined ‘style’, and present us with something new with each project.


You can see more from Jake at http://www.behance.net/jakecoleman

Product Designer Nathan Hulman on Upcycling and Sustainable design

Nathan Hulman is an upcoming and talented product designer, specializing in upcycling and working with found materials, which he brings back to life by giving them a new purpose.

Nathan graduated from Nottingham Trent University, having studied a BA in Product Design and has been working as a product designer since. Nathan explains, whilst he always loved fixing and creating things, deciding his career path was a difficult choice.

“I’ve always been interested in creating new things and solving problems but took a while in deciding what career I wanted to go down. Having taken applied science, geography and product design as my A levels, I ended up doing an art and design foundation course before deciding on going to university to study product design full time. Since then I’ve helped Constellations, a furniture and interior design company, come up with new ideas for their range of storage products through a graduate internship.”

Bits ’n’ Bulbs Was Nathan’s final project for his foundation course. The idea behind this project was repurposing and upcycling to create usable lights. Upcycling is a way to transform old things in a way that turns them into something new without breaking the product down into its raw materials. Instead, upcycling gives new life to an old object, and this is exactly what Nathan achieved with his Bits and Bulbs project.

Bits ‘n’ Bulbs
Bits ‘n’ Bulbs
Bits ‘n’ Bulbs

In today’s society, more and more young designers are diverting their focus on to sustainable design and recycling/upcycling. Sustainable design is a new method of designing objects, the manufactured environment, and services to conform with the philosophies and values of social, economic, and ecological sustainability. The purpose of sustainable design is to reduce the harmful impact on the environment through clever and thoughtful design. Sustainable design must use renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the environment.

Bits ‘n’ Bulbs was Nathans first upcycling project so he says he had difficulty adjusting to the organic way of working and not having entire control over the finished product.

“I already had the components to use and hadn’t much control over what the finished product would look like, so it was a fun play on “form follows function” since it was reversed.”

Bits ‘n’ Bulbs
Bits ‘n’ Bulbs
Bits ‘n’ Bulbs

Nathan adds the challenge was balancing the aesthetics of the components in a way that works functionally and had to overcome challenges to ensure the finish product not only looks good but is fully functioning.

“One of the lamps uses a kettle as the lampshade which was too heavy for the base, so I used the wire from the bulb to anchor it in down which actually worked well aesthetically. I learned to be a bit looser in my design projects and see where any mistakes or unintended outcomes take the project.”

Bits ‘n’ Bulbs inspired Nathan to continue his investigation in to Upcycling when he got to university and kept on working loosely without restricting himself. He explains how embracing mistakes can work in your favor, how you can capitalize on them.

 “I was prototyping a desk lamp using foam, and halfway through I completely changed the design. A dent in the foam looked as if it could be a nice visual cue that the base is touch activated, and the loose stalk gave me an idea for how the lamp could be adjusted. In the end it turned out much better than I expected, and I found the unintended outcomes in finding a solution that don’t seem ideal can actually really help with coming up with new ideas.” 

Touch Lamp Prototype
Touch Lamp
Touch Lamp
Touch Lamp
Touch Lamp

You can keep up to date with Nathans work at https://www.behance.net/njhulman

Student wins international award for sustainable toy design

A product design student from De Montfort University has scooped an international award for her sustainable toy design.

Elly Skelton designed a durable scooter, called ‘1 Toy for Life’, which is plastic-free and suitable for children from the age of two all the way to age 12. The toy was initially designed for the RSA Student design awards.  The RSA Student Design Awards is a global curriculum and annual competition for higher education students and recent graduates run by the RSA. Each year the Awards challenge emerging designers to tackle a range of design briefs focused on pressing social, environmental and economic issues.

Elly’s design is a result of the ‘Fair Play’ brief set by the RSA, which focuses on creating a sustainable toy. Given the finite resources of the planet and increasing rates of consumption by a growing population, current levels of waste are unsustainable. Just ‘using less’ and recycling is not enough. Designers need to completely rethink the manufacture and life cycle of products and their components, and design them in a way that eliminates waste. Sustainability is becoming a huge issue in todays society and young designers are having to learn how to adapt and develop their work in order to ensure its sustainability.

Elly’s design can be adapted as the user grows, so it can last for their entire childhood. She was inspired to create a scooter by her childhood memories of playing on scooters with her brother. The third year Leicester university student won £2,000 by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce after winning the Student Design award.


Elly from Milton Keynes said: “It’s amazing to have won the award. It is such an honour to be nominated and it was a great experience to go down to London to the RSA headquarters and present my design.” The toy is made from aluminium, which complied with Elly’s design brief.

She said: “I started looking into materials I could use for the circular economy and I thought of aluminium because it is so recyclable, 75% of aluminium ever created is still in use today, which is amazing.

“For both of my projects this year I have wanted to move away from plastics.

Elly aims to use her skills and experience in design to focus on sustainability and implements it in to other projects she’s working on. “My other major project is about eradicating plastic bags and hangers from retail stores. It all feeds into the anti-plastics sentiment.”

The  21-year-old was named as one of three winners in her category.

All the winners have been invited to an award ceremony in London on 27 June.


Copyright: De Montfort University, Leicester


Artist Joana Linogao utilises perspective, shape and form to create a sense of tranquillity

Using a combination of dynamic brush strokes and geometric shapes, artist and designer Joana Linogao creates exciting, bold and playful prints full of vibrant colours and abstract shapes. Joana, born and raised in London now working and living in Texas, USA creates her prints through a combination of digital design, photoshop, and traditional medium and craftsmanship, such as painting, stencils and experimentation.

pattern to print2

Joana states her prints are her “way of expressing her artistic vision”, as well as expressing herself. Using a strong colour palette and a strong sense of shade and tone, Joana utilises perspective, shape and form to create a sense of tranquillity through her designs. Traditional geometric shapes are made contemporary through Joana’s unconventional and striking colour palette.


Her distinct compositions are unique in their combinations of intense colours, bold forms and expressive shapes, which allows Joana’s design to lend itself in to fashion products. Joana embraces her passion for the use of colour and she takes her inspiration from observing various environments. The combination of textile techniques utilized by the artist, include dyeing, printing, painting collage and stitch, and she works on both paper and fabric. The unique quality of her work comes from a desire to explore colour and its impact on various media, surface and technique and combine this with fashion.



Textile designer Vanessa Lam creates safe haven with organic installations

Vanessa Lam is an artist and textile designer based in Manchester you should definitely know about. Aiming to create a safe space for the viewer by focusing on his /her wellbeing, her work is a response to the contemporary fast-paced environment governed by high levels of stress.

Lam uses unconventional materials in her designs, which she produces using machine knitting techniques to develop three-dimensional structures similar to the ones found in nature. She allows them to develop organically in order to reflect the environment as naturally as possible. “I allow these materials to dictate the movement and form of the pieces”, Vanessa said.

Vanessa Lam – Bruntwood Commission

She wants to aid the person who is observing her art to connect to the world around us with visual and tactile properties. Thus, she doesn’t just make designs, she creates experiences for people to help them deal with their emotions, simply by interpreting the shapes that form our world.


Vanessa Lam – Cluster
Vanessa Lam – Cluster

Cluster, her latest installation, which is currently exhibited at Manchester craft and design centre, has a fluid movement rendered by the unusual material adorned with delicate patterns. The pale colours dominating the piece have the purpose of bringing relief to the everyday human stress and enveloping the viewer with a sense of calmness.

Vanessa Lam – Cluster
Vanessa Lam – Lighting

The installation “Lighting” is shown until the 1st of September.

See more of Vanessa Lam’s work here. 

Illustrator Parys Gardener aims to highlight the voices and narratives of Black women

Parys Gardener is a Bristol based illustrator and digital designer who has produced work for GAL-DEM magazine, a creative collective comprised of over 70 women and non-binary people of colour and worked with Black history month Bristol.

Her style of work could most easily be described as contemporary pop art. With her work, Parys aims to highlight the vioces and narratives of Black women and other WoC (Women of colour).

Parys works mostly with colour, tone and pattern across digital mediums and is passionate about communicating theories surrounding identity and culture. She often takes inspiration from her own background and family history, particularly her grandparents.

” I’m massively inspired by the strength and the legacies of my grandparents, particularly my grandmothers who were part of the Windrush generation. The more I learn about their lives, the more I become inspired to work hard. I’m also extremely proud of my heritage and I find the theories surrounding cultural identity. Those themes are always subconsciously influencing my work.”


Working in portraiture and the human figure, Parys combines traditional and contemporary formats of illustration and motifs with modern modes of representation. Parys’s strong use of powerful colours forces you to confront the issue she is conveying and presents it in a unique yet relatable manner.

One of Parys’s goals is using her work to reclaim the voices of Black women and other WoC (women of colour) and inspire others to make women of all backgrounds the centre pieces of their own narratives.

Office Romance

With her work, Parys aims to break down stereotypes and use it as a platform to support women of colour. Her work reclaims the voice of black women by challenging stereotypes and presenting society with a new, alternative and far more accurate representation. Using her work as a platform and voice, Parys hopes her work will normalise the image of black women and other WoC being seen as active figures in a range of narratives.

Lady Like/ To Sit Like a Lady

You can see more work from Parys at @Parysgardenerart on Instagram

Feelings Towards Caribbean “Cultural Heritage Sites”