Graphic Design by Chester’s Kieran Riddiough

Today our focus turns to graphic designer and face behind Nice Swan Creative Kieran Riddiough. Now in his final year at the University of Chester, Kieran is looking to go straight into the industry come graduation in the summer and has his sights set on London. Having already built up an impressive portfolio, it’s clear he’s headed in the right direction to realise his ambition. 

“I have always had a keen interest in the visual arts, favouring art over all of my other lessons through school. My time at grammar school and then sixth form were both in a left-brain environment, and the decision to go straight into a Graphic Design degree without a foundation degree in art was an uncertain one. Especially because I had never been top of class in Maths, English and Science, so could I cope at a degree level?!”

“I started studying Graphic Design at the University of Chester in 2010, and instantly realised I was in the right place. Though I had enjoyed the freedom found in art at GCSE and A-Level, the rules of graphic design seemed to make much more sense. I finished 1st year with a 2-1 and a basic understanding of the graphic design practice.”

Polish Community - Fat Thursday advertising poster

Polish Community - Fat Thursday advertising poster - close up

“My second year was when I started to really dig my teeth in and pick up some higher marks in university, along with freelance design experience. I shone particularly in my motion design module along with the main module – design research project, where I created a concept to improve UK literacy rates. I finished the year doing a placement in a homeless and support charity – CLASP, where I carried out a re-brand on their stationary.

I received a first overall for my 2nd year, finding out whilst visiting Poland in the summer, a place where I discovered a great inspiration of mine – Polish poster art. During the summer I found myself doing more freelance work, including design work for Topshop/Topman stores in the North West. I also scooped up my first competition win with artwork designed for the ‘Bring RIC to Life’ brief along with good publicity and a £350 prize!”

A Dash of Creativity package

“Third year started and the pressure of keeping up the pace was instantly on. I have since learnt the process of branding, along with producing an advertising campaign and an extended writing on the subject ‘Is The Album Cover Dead? Music in The Digital Age’. Projects that I have shown extra focus on this year include – my competition entry for the D&AD – Promote It’s Nice That to Students brief, where I created ‘A Dash of Creativity’ advertising campaign. 

I have also created a mock-up identity for the Polish Community in Chester, which involved experimentation in the screen-printed Polish poster style. Projects outside of university have included branding for fashion company Beard+Bow, a poster for Tip Top Theatre production – Equus, an album cover brief tailored for me by Shoreditch based studio ‘Tourist’ and second competition win for my North West Fashion logo design.”

A Dash of Creativity example 1

A Dash of Creativity example 2

“Recently I organised ‘Quotes’ poster exhibition which aimed to raise money for our degree show. The exhibition showcased over 20 students’ work from my cohort, printed in various media. The opening was a great success and the limited collection of prints are still on show (and for sale) in The Handel’s Gallery, Rufus Court, Chester. Click here for a little taster from the opening.

As for the future, the following (and final) weeks at university will see me completing a business plan and experimenting with the exciting concept of an augmented reality album cover. When I finish university I am looking to go straight into industry, and my sights are set on London! I would preferably like to find work in a creative agency/studio, who (ideally) specialise a diversity of forms of graphic design. My main inspirations are Peter Saville, Andy Warhol, Stefan Sagmeister, and Milton Glaser. Current design work that I am regularly keeping my eye on come from Leif Podhajsky, Saatchi&Saatchi and Big Active.”

My screen-printed poster for the 'Quotes' Poster Exhibition

See more from Kieran on his website at, Tumblr and follow on Twitter @NiceSwanCreativ.

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