Due to the volume of universities that exhibited during the second week of Free Range (a whopping 18!), we’ve had to scale down the amount of catalogues we showcase to the ones we were most impressed by. It was a tough decision this week picking our favourites; the catalogues across the board, we’d say, were more impressive than last week, sorry week one grads! And even, dare we say, the most well thought out designs we’ve ever seen at Free Range during our visits over the last four years (we haven’t been to the second week of Free Range before so we may have missed other brilliant designs).
Lupe - Middlesex University 2016 catalogue
We’ll kick things off with our favourite catalogue from the second week of Free Range Photography shows - Middlesex University. Roughly A5 in size, this simple, magazine-style catalogue was an instant item of curiosity in our eyes. It’s obvious that a great deal of attention has been focused on the design of this catalogue – it has a dust jacket for a start, making it seem more luxurious in appearance. Even when removing the dust jacket to reveal the bare magazine, the design is still appealing. This catalogue and the work inside are not typical of a degree show catalogue; the standard is so impressive that it feels like a magazine you’d happily buy from a retailer. The foreword of the mag informs the reader that submissions were taken from all levels of the BA and MA programmes. The inclusion of all may seem unusual but is not evident when flicking through, but this could be the only downside to this catalogue for us as it doesn’t include the work of all the exhibitors of Free Range this year.
Opting for interviews rather than the traditional artist statements, this catalogue feels more personal, allowing the reader to further engage with the photographers and their practice. Having a polaroid at the end showing the Lupe team was also a lovely personal touch. Safe to say, this magazine will stay on our shelf for a long time!
University of Brighton Degree Show 2016 catalogue
The other catalogues we love come from University of Brighton and Coventry University. Brighton’s clean and understated look may not be the most eye-catching, but the intricacy of the design and the considered layout of the work and artist statements is something we love. The hand stitched spine allows the book to open flat and stay open – handy for our pictures and also great to see all the work properly. The catalogue begins with an essay by Stephen Bull and ends with one by Mark Power, and sandwiched in the middle is the work of the 2016 graduates. Grad work is grouped together and separated by a bold blue page indicating the beginning of the artist statements, a simple idea that works well when wanting to find out more about a particular piece.
INSITE - Coventry University 2016 catalogue
Coventry University’s we loved for a different reason; their boldly coloured, spiral bound catalogue stands out for its fun factor. Often enough catalogues can appear very generic and, you could say, a little cold; this breaks from the norm with its almost no rules approach. A great part of this catalogue is how the over emphasised coloured pages are broken up by double page spreads showing the selection of the work previously seen in accurate to life colour.
Well done to everyone involved in the making of the catalogues from both Free Range Photography weeks, we enjoyed picking our way through all of the ones that we managed to get hold of! We now look forward to seeing how the class of ’16 progress. We hope to hear from you!
Rochester 2016 catalogue
Optic - University of West London 2016 catalogue
EMERGE - Nottingham Trent University 2016 catalogue