Sometimes it’s the barely noticeable aspects in life that play a significant role in what we enjoy, share and consume. One of those things being colour. By foreshadowing the trends in 2019/20, colour is becoming a valuable tactic in influencing our decision-making online and on the high street. So how can this be applied to Graphic Design? TICE Graphics mentor, Mark Pattinson, visited John Spence Community High School and Hebburn Comprehensive School to answer that very question.

For those who may not know, Mark has been Graphics mentor for the TICE Programme since the pilot in 2009 and so to give students a taste of what was in store, he discussed what TICE is all about and showcased work from previous years. Even after all this time, Mark is still so proud of what past students have achieved. He also gave students insight into his own fascinating journey from working with Futurebrand, British Airways, Hugo Boss, Levi’s, Virgin Atlantic and Nestle…just to name a few. He is now Global Senior Graphic Designer at Tommee Tippee. I know, it’s like the dream CV.

But how exactly can you get a CV this impressive? Mark gave a brief overview of the educational routes students could take if they’re interested in a creative career. As well as this, students were told what job roles can be achieved as a Graphic Designer from starting as Junior Designer to working your way up to Creative Director. It sounds terrifying but totally possible as we’ll inevitably learn throughout the TICE experience.

Next, it was time to make something great out of something simple. Mark likes to use the phrase ‘inspiration is in everything…you just have to look at it differently’. To prove it, students were shown examples of taking everyday objects and had to draw on them to create something extraordinary. We then did peer assessment asking students to identify which was their top 3 designs and why.

Once their creative juices were flowing, Mark began to introduce the running theme of colour. In terms of Graphic Design, why do brands choose specific colour palettes to represent their brand? Well, it’s about the meanings and emotional triggers connected to it. Additionally, sometimes a unique colour palette can stay in your memory. By looking at 3 global brand coloured squares, students had to try and identify the brand…it was interesting to find that most of them got it pretty quickly! It just shows how powerful a tool colour can be.

Then Mark put a twist on it by asking what colours represent you? Well, nobody knows you better than you! They looked at companies for inspiration such as Starbucks – they use green as their brand colour which represents growth, health and togetherness. We can all agree that these are strong emotions that Starbucks stands for and promotes in its services. So after a lot of thought and reflection, students had identified their colour palette and were asked to use that to fully brand themselves. Once students had identified themselves as a brand through colour emotion and meaning, they had to think of a name for their brand and design a logo. Once the task was complete, students had the opportunity to present their final brand and logo, discussing their creative process and receiving feedback from their peers. There were law firms, ice-creams and even tool brands which sparked intrigue and conversation.

I guess this year’s TICE Graphics Insight Stage shows that you don’t have to describe who you are through words. By using visual aid with well thought out choice of colour, you are able to encapsulate who you are and what you represent. We can’t wait to see how students use this insight in future stages of the programme.