Kieran Harrod

Brand Design & Consultancy

Kieran Harrod

Brand Design & Consultancy

Kieran Harrod Design

Hanging out with Peter Saville… in an A-level exam question

The question in question!

A rendered email thread between Peter Saville and Burberry

Peter seems like a pretty cool guy, not that I've ever met him. I know him best from his time at Factory Records, the album cover he created for Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures is perhaps one of his best-known. He also created the 2010 England football (soccer) home shirt, and redesigned branding for Calvin Klein, Burberry (including a stunning pattern) and Aston Martin. He's a pretty big hitter in the design world.

For the past few weeks I have been faffing about with the website, and as a result, spending far too long looking at the stats and data to make sure things are working as expected. It also means many older posts are currently sitting in a sort of purgatory, awaiting a proper review and update to the new layout. On the whole, they work, they just look a little awkward.

One such article was a post about a Guidebook I created for the excellent Crich Tramway Museum. I noticed that an unusual amount of traffic had been hitting the page, well over 1/2 the visits to the site over a couple of dates came directly from search engines to this post. Whatever the reason, I figured I should tweak and update the page to bring it fully into the new site.

Later the same day the reason became clear. It turns out I find myself in the same company as Shakespeare, Newton and Darwin as well as the previously mentioned Saville. That is to say, like these fine individuals, I'm the subject of an A-Level question!

I received a little snapshot of the 2023 AQA Art and Design Graphic Communication exam (Component 2 Externally set assignment). One of the prompts for the exam is titled "Railways" and reads:

Railway companies, including operators of trams and heritage lines, are very conscious of the corporate image projected by designs for livery and advertising. Create branding for a railway company or produce graphics for a railway museum. Sam Jessup Design produced flowing graphics for Virgin Trains. Aura Branding Solutions designed a dynamic new livery for TransPennine Express. Peter Saville and Hemisphere Design and Marketing created a rebrand for Manchester Metrolink. Kieran Harrod Graphics designed a museum guidebook for Crich Tramway Village.

That's a pretty bonkers thing to discover, that somehow, I've appeared alongside Saville as a reference in an actual, real, A-Level exam paper. It seems like a fine company to be in.

There's also a nice serendipity, as when I took my A-Level exam, some 22 years ago, the external assignment I chose was to create a timetable for a rail company. It's also exciting to know that the students I went to speak to at Chesterfield College, where I took my A-Level, are taking an exam featuring one of their own alumni.


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