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Art School Cliché Spotting

Art School Cliché Spotting

A tongue-in-cheek take on stereotypical art and design school clichés as often found at degree shows.

Art School Cliché Spotting was a fun project coinciding with the 2010 degree shows. In a tongue-in-cheek fashion it pokes fun at common patterns as experienced both in my own work and the work of my peers as well as the crowd-sourced opinion from people around the world. The aim was to produce a humorous and engaging iOS capable web app that enables visitors of art and design summer shows to find out which work is “ticking the boxes” and calculate the cliché ranking of the art school in a national comparison table. The target audience are art and design students, recent graduates and people affiliated to or interested in graphic design education. The app was to be promoted with a website that is sharable, modern, beautifully designed and offers an additional service element by providing information about the dates and times of current and upcoming degree shows. Both the app and the website are deliberately referencing the various clichés in their own UI design to add an ironic twist and yet look aesthetically pleasing. It uses CSS3 and is based on the 960 Grid System. The typography is achieved thanks to the beautiful open source font by the League of Movable Type. The project was a great success given the viral spread with nearly 1000 facebook likes, 350 editorial mentions (including Johnson Banks’ Thought of the Week, Digital Arts Magazine, GrainEdit, Abduzeedo to name but a few) and 35k visits through 28k unique visitors from 140 countries. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The app was made ‘staff pick’ at apple.com, DigitalArts magazine called it a “must- have”, typographers Hoefler+Frere-Jones announced that it “made their day”, Johnson Banks found it “useful” and GrainEdit said it’s “a little cruel, but you’ll get a good chuckle along the way”. The project was awarded a DADI for the student work of the year 2010. Most importantly though, the project sparked debate about art and design education both nationally and internationally in blogs, forums, facebook and twitter. This project was a collaboration with my friend and colleague Barnaby Norwood for the Open Design School.

Humorous website and iOS web app to poke fun at art school clichés.

RoleDesign, Illustration, Development, Planning, Art Direction
ToolsIllustrator, HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, PHP
ClientOpen Design School
AgencySymbilabs
URLhttp://www.clichespotting.com
AchievementsRapid viral spread across 350+ blogs, 1000 Facebook likes, 28k uniques from 140 territories, featured by Digital Arts Magazine, staff pick at Apple.com, DADI award for the best student work of the year
Images (click to enlarge)
  • Cliché Spotting Website
  • Interface
  • Cliché Detail
  • The app in use

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