Ben Rimmer, a recent graduate from is a Graphic Designer based in Liverpool/Leeds area, who specialises in editorial design, photography and typography! He feels his purpose as a Graphic Designer is to create, communicate and question – alas allowing the viewer to be answer in their most appropriate way.
Ever since I was a child I always had an interest in drawing alongside anything else creative.
I would sit and spend hours drawing and painting – it was all I ever wanted to do. This interest in creativity progressed through my school years until finally at GCSE level I studied a combination of Art, Product Design and ICT. I feel that elements of each of these subjects sparked my interest into wanting to study Graphic Design at a higher lever (A Level). The conceptual nature of Art, coupled with the tactility of Product Design and having an understanding of Design for web undoubtedly crafted my path towards Graphic Design. Succeeding two years of Graphic Design at A Level, it was a natural progression for me to continue studying this at University, which after three years, I have just completed.
Currently a recent graduate, can you explain your role and responsibilities for what you need to do in order to get through a working week?
At the moment my working week is occupied with preparing myself to go into industry. I have just finished designing and coding parts of my portfolio website which is currently available to view and I am now also installing and designing a layout to be displayed for my final degree exhibition, with that comes certain other connecting aspects such as designing and printing business cards to accompany my exhibition display – two elements of Design I have never had to do before, so it’s all relatively new. I suppose at the top of my to-do list is keeping active on social media to enhance my online presence and generally just trying to promote myself and my practice.
As a recent graduate, you must’ve had your pros and cons. Name the most testing of things and how you managed to see it through.
I’d say the most testing element is trying to get clients who put faith in you and your Design decisions. Often people are apprehensive to work with grads/students due to the lack of experience, which is totally understandable. However I believe the beauty of working with them is that they are still in the ‘bubble’ of education, which often leads to an energetic and enthusiastic Designer for the client to work with and more expressive/ambitious approaches to outcomes. Truth be told, these approaches may not always be practical or cost-effective but with a bit of tweaking and compromise with the client, they can sometimes work and create a great result.
I’ve worked with a few clients during University where I’ve proposed things that are completely ‘out there’; such as a complete new identity, including a name change! This bold approach comes from me being in the fortunate position of a student and not needing to keep a business afloat yet like professional Designers or studios, who may often have to play it slightly more safe in order to keep the client and be able to pay the bills for that month. This in turn meant that I was able to be a little bit more ambitious with my approaches and often these more risky ideas that I proposed went down well.
Talk us through your project that you worked on with ‘BY ORDER’ and what you learnt from the experience of working alongside another creative?
‘BY ORDER’ is a publication that came as a response to David Cameron’s announcement to invest £140 million into demolishing over one hundred ‘sink estates’ throughout the UK in January 2016. Myself and another practitioner, Craig Berry worked on this together due to our mutual appreciation of creating socio-political directed Design as well as his practice being very focused on Editorial Design – much like myself. The publication looks at the history of Post-war mass social housing within Britain, its inception, its rise, its fall, key case studies, its place within popular culture today and its very much uncertain future. We worked on this project for roughly four months and travelled around the country visiting said estates and high-rise towers in order to truly understand the social, political and cultural relevance that is engrained in these settings.
As stated, the project was predominately a research one, it was imperative that we understood the history of mass social housing in Britain in order for us to create a genuine design outcome were form is derived from context and function, avoiding superficial Design which merely skims the surface. This being the case, the overall outcome of the publication consists of an assortment of relevant sourced/archived material that we found from the 1950’s onwards which was very much focused on the brand new (at the time) utopian ideal. This material was then reappropriated with our own Designs in order to be used to create page layout compositions – think pre-digital Letraset type and halftone imagery, that’s the sort of aesthetic we were aiming for, but with our two graphic styles coming into play also. Working mostly with this found ephemera of anything relating to the social/political aspect of Post-war Britain was certainly very interesting and a lot of fun – we even found issues of RIBA Journal (Royal Institute of British Architecture) that dated back to the 1920’s during our searches!
Working with another collaborative partner on what I would deem to be quite a long project of course comes with its ups and downs, but ultimately if you arrive at a solution that meets the brief and that you are both pleased with (and the client if applicable), then that’s what really matters in my opinion. I’m all for collaboration, I feel it’s a positive thing to work with other creatives from all different disciplines, the creative process can often lead your practice in new directions which you would never have normally explored if it were a solo project.
How would you explain your design in five words?
Communicate, question, form, function and context.
Quick round questions:
Publications and digital? Publications. Always.
Tea or coffee? Beer.
Social or political? Both.
Film role or digital camera? Film.