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Student Showcase 2020
  • Graphic Communication
  • University of South Wales
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Meet Kenneth, a 21-year-old Graphic Communication graduate who lives on a farm in Mid Wales. His specialism is branding but he is also a talented motion designer and always aims to communicate messages through a simple, stylised approach.

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

I specialised in branding but have a great fondness for motion design. Often, I strive to incorporate motion within my brands in order to create extra depth. I love life motion, it’s an incredible medium of communication.

Who inspires you?

Of course, my family has been a huge inspiration. Growing up on a farm as one of four boys, I was expected to take over the farm but my passion for design made it evident that farming was not the path for me. My parents have always encouraged me to “do what you love”. In terms of design, Noma Bar and Olly Moss are impeccable at communicating messages through a simplistic stylised approach, which I have tried to champion in my own projects.

Kenneth at home on the farm with his family.
Kenneth at home on the farm with his family

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

My project is quite an unusual one. It’s all about Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), a new medical condition which arose with the surge of new technologies. EHS is the sensitivity and harm felt from electromagnetic fields. Symptoms of EHS include headaches, fatigue and sleep deprivation, to name a few.

My project focuses on finding a solution as to how people with severe EHS can use technology. This involves creating a way to operate technology without being close to it, using notes from an acoustic piano to operate a computer. I also wanted to explain EHS to the public, so I developed an interactive awareness campaign which explained how our ‘Body is electric’. I did this with a simple light bulb circuit. The user would complete a circuit using their own body, offering justification for the condition.

Throughout the branding, I used a Canary bird, firstly because of bird song communication and secondly because people with EHS have been referred to as Canaries. Alongside the brand, I created the product, packaging, instructions, interface and all the items that would be used to set-up the Acoustic Keyboard.

What have you enjoyed most throughout your course?

What’s not to love? You’re in a creative space with like-minded people and lecturers who are passionate about what they do. Ideas and creative solutions are being fired around you every time you step into the classroom and if I ever need a coder, Illustrator or UX Designer, chances are I’ve met them on the course.

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

I would love to be a Creative Director, working closely with others to come up with concepts, brands and campaigns which actually solve problems.

What are the biggest challenges you perceive going into industry?

The biggest challenge is getting responses from design agencies. Agencies will often be up to their necks in projects, deadlines and meetings, so making time to respond to simple emails is often overlooked. You need to find a way to stand out from the others!

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

I found it invaluable to have a job on the side. Some people will work in bars and cafes, but why not put your course to good use? Advertising yourself as a designer and getting paid for your passion is an excellent way to both build up your portfolio and sharpen your design skills.

“My parents have always encouraged me to “do what you love”.”

Kenneth Rees

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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
    Number 4
    Craig-y-Nos Country Park
    51.8815° N, 3.4435° W