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Student Showcase 2020
  • Graphic Design
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David
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Ben Ballantyne is a 21-year-old Graphic Designer based in Swansea. Born in Brisbane and making the move to the UK in 2005, Ben is passionate with an Australian twang to his personality! He enjoys a range of specialisms, with a keen focus on problem-solving.

What’s your specialism and why do you enjoy it?

I really enjoy projects that allow me to find solutions to problems. These are usually branding, packaging, web design and campaign projects. It’s incredible to see how graphic design can bring an idea to life, especially when your own creations are put to good use. For instance, Swansea Bay Records put up their banner with my logo on, so it’s really cool to see something that I designed on the front of their shop.

Swansea Bay Record Branding by Ben Ballantyne

Who inspires you?

My visual style can vary but I mainly look to Boneface and Olly Moss for inspiration in my illustrative artwork. CEO and Founder of The Futur, Chris Do, is generally who I look to for inspiration with design layouts in print, and digital design when I’m in the midst of branding and campaign projects.

Inspiration does not always have to be from an artistic designer. I listen to lots of music and when working on a project I’ll choose a playlist, album or instrumental piece that’s relevant to the theme of my work. For my Airline Branding project, I listened to lots of different boarding music that airlines tend to play when you first step onto the aircraft. Strange, but it really gets me in the zone.

What inspired your final project and what is it all about?

I have so many projects to talk about, but my Australian Bushfires project was the most personal and inspired. The event was brought to my attention before it reached the mainstream media. As an Australian, I felt people were not aware of the severity of the damage the fires were causing to wildlife, environments, and local communities.

I felt the need to create a campaign that would highlight these issues. In response to the brief, I designed an infographic and produced a book that acted as a Guide to the Australian Fires. This led onto a fundraising campaign, with merchandise proceedings going to the charities involved.

Australia Fires Book - Mockup
Australian Fires Project - Ben Ballantyne

What have you enjoyed most throughout your course?

I’ve found myself enjoying things that I didn’t expect to, such as experimenting with printing, photography and using scraps and inks to create interesting artwork. Having the opportunity to experiment with letterpress and linocut allows me to be in a world of design outside of the computer. As my Lecturer Gavin once said, “It adds character to the character”.

What job role will you be looking for now that you’ve finished University?

I would love to work in a Graphic Design studio environment that solves problems with design solutions. I work best with people around me because it keeps the morale high and allows for engaging conversation around the project in hand. At university, we worked collaboratively and transferred the group scenario to Zoom when lockdown began.

What are the biggest challenges you perceive going into industry?

I think due to COVID19 job vacancies will be limited and competition will be very high. Though not ideal, I do see it as a positive too. It pushes me to think further outside the box and challenge my own boundaries.

What advice would you give to students going into their first year in September?

Take every single opportunity available and experiment with absolutely anything you want to try! Make a mark on your work and leave a mark on the world around you. Oh, and “RTFB”(Read The Flipping Brief), to quote Gavin again.

“I work best with people around me because it keeps the morale high and allows for engaging conversation around the project in hand.”

Ben Ballantyne

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    There’s a rustle in the Welsh woods that has been whispered about for generations. They believe it to be Blue. They say it’s not sasquatch, but Stag. All that’s been spotted is the odd antler in the overgrowth or hoofprint on the forest floor.

    We’ve taken matters into our own hands and set up a series of cameras to try and locate Seb the Stag for ourselves. Brave visitor, can you help us in our quest to unravel the mystery and marvel at the myth?

    Launch forest cam
    Live
    Time
    18:34
    Date
    ..
    Camera
    Number 4
    Weather
    13°
    Location
    Craig-y-Nos Country Park
    51.8815° N, 3.4435° W