S. Park (aka sparky) toiling away at everything and nothing for a bleak final outcome for Unit 14 of BA Graphic Design at CSM

Exploring the visual culture of WWII, in comparison to the visual culture of modern warfare.
Category: Research

The economic value of achievement

Progress,, Research
I thought it was important to narrow it down and make it as relatable as possible so decided to stick to real figures from London, from the past 4 years.
  1. Recycling - ~6m – 19.5%
  2. Choosing not to smoke – ~5.5m – 17.9%
  3. Blood Donations - ~0.3m – 1%
  4. Participating in Neighbourhood Watch – ~0.75m – 2.4%
  5. Cycling as means of transport – ~0.15m – 2%
  6. Using Public Transport – ~3m – 9.8%
  7. Buying Organic Food – ~3.3m – 10.8%
  8. Official Volunteering – ~1.8m – 5.8%
  9. Charitable giving - ~5.85m – 19%
  10. Energy efficient buildings – 4m – 13%

*The percentage is measured too add up to 100% so for example, to use one of the categories, the way the infographic would be read is: “19.5% of Londoners recycle”, or “2% of Journeys made in London are on bicycles.”

Source Acknowledgement

General Data: http://data.gov.uk/

  • Charities & Volunteering:  http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/pdf/1341477.pdf
  • Recycling: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/150583.pdf
  • Travel stats (cycling/public transport): http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/Travel_in_London_Report_2.pdf
  • Neighbourhood Watch: http://www.mynhw.co.uk/regional/london-index.php



Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 79

Royal Navy – Personnel ribbons 13mm. When five or more are worn the ribbon is 10mm deep. With No.1C Dress the ribbons are sewn on the garments, but with No. !CW Dress a detachable, brooch-type ribbon bar is worn with the pin inserted through beckets in the correct positions.

* The ribbons in each row show all be visible and not covered by the left lapel. The top or only row show be 24mm below the point of the shoulder.

Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 87

Army – Personnel ribbons width: 9.5mm. A single ribbon, or incomplete row of ribbons should be centered over the breast pocket button. The maximum number of ribbons in each row is either four or five, depending on the physigue of the individual and the type of uniform coat.

Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 92

Royal Air Force – Personnel ribbons 11mm in depth. Senior ribbon worn nearest the lapel, and in the top row when more than one row is worn. A row should not consist of more than four ribbons, but when more than four are worn, they should be arranged to display as many complete rows of four as possible, with any incomplete row being placed centrally at the top and containing the ribbons of the most senior awards held.

All info from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London

Ribbon Bars


Image source

“Ribbons are read right to left, top-to-bottom”

How are these ribbons mounted?


Ribbon strips are widths of riband which are won alone to signify the orders, decorations and medals which the wearer has received. They are usually worn with uniform, and are placed above the left breast pocket.

Medal ribbons may be sewn onto strips of buckram or similar material and then stitched on to the uniform or coat; or they may be sewn onto a brooch pin, allowing them to be detached from the coat or uniform as required.

*All British orders, decorations and medals may be represented on the ribbon bar with the exception of the Orders of the Garter and the Thistle, and the two Baronets’ Badges.


Ribbons are arranged side-by-side in strict accordance with the ‘order of wear’ with no gaps showing and no overlapping.

Dimensions of Ribbons

The depth of ribbons (i.e. from top to bottom) should measure 13mm for the Royal Navy; 9.5mm for the Royal Marines and the Army; and 1.1mm for the RAF.

Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 37

So the width of ribbons on a panel are different depending on what outfit you are in… Maximum width: 51mm (Order of Merit)

Why didn,t I think of YouTube

Film,, Progress,, Research

I don’t think I’ll be wanting to use the language of the medals though, seems like there’s a whole world behind them. Thinking of sticking to ribbons only…



Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 84

Army - General’s Frock Coat

Methods of Wear


Orders, decoratiojns and medals that are worn suspended from straight ribands on the left breast must be worn in a horizontal line, and should be mounted for wear in one of two ways: ‘ordinary’ style, or ‘court’ style (sometimes also referred to as ‘royal’ style)

Ordinary Style

Utilizes a single ‘brooch-bar’, a metal bar to which the top part of each riband is attached with the medal hanging loosely.

Image source

Medals must be arranged on the bar according to the ‘order of wear’. The senior award must be fully visible and the nearest the centre of the chest. Up to five mdals may be worn side-by-side without the medals overlapping. The bar itself must be unseen, although the need to ensure that medal rebands appear on the brooch-bar with no intervening gaps will usually mean that there is some slight but unavoidable overlapping if medals or decorations exceed the breadth of the riband itself.

Regulations for the Armed Forces state that not more than two-thirds of a riband should be covered byt he riband of an adjacent medal.

Each medal must be worn with its ‘obverse’ showing frontwards. (Obverse: Sovereign’s Head, ROyal Cypher, or otherwise a crown, coat of arms, or national flag.

Riband Length - Each riband, when mounted with its medal on the brooch-bar should measure not less than 32mm (1¼ins) from the top of the riband to the top of the suspension or to the topmost clasp. When two or more medals and decorations are to be worn they should be arranged so that their lowest points are horizontally in line. Service regulations recognise that in order to allow a taller decoration to be suspended from a 32mm length of riband, adjacent medals are likely to require ribands of longer measurement.

Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 36

Court Style

Medals mounted in the ‘court’ style are mounted together in a rigid group. Decorations and medals mounted in this fashion are secured so that they do not make contact with each other and consequently avoid being chipped and scratched. *wait, so it’s OK for the ‘ordinary’ style to chip the medals?

Each medal and its riband is mounted on to a buckram and cloth covered metal frame. The medal is held in position on the frame so that the riband measures 32mm from the medal suspension, or topmost clasp, to the top of the frame. The riband then passes down the back of the covered frame and round to the front where it is brought up underneath the medal and sewn so that the area of frame showing beneath the medal is entirely covered with the riband. The medal is then stitched firmly in to place through the riband.

Scanned from ‘A Manual for the Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals’, Andrew Hanham, 2005, Spink & Sons ltd, London, pg 37

Bars and Clasps

A Bar is a full-width metal device worn on the riband of a decoration or medal awarded for gallantry, bravery, distinguished or long service to denote the additional award of a particular decoration or medal.

A Clasp is a full-width metal device which records the geographical area or zone of a campaign and/or the period of a campaign, or additional periods of service.


Out & About,, Research

I remembered seeing medals and ribbons displayed in a window of a store somewhere in Covent Garden so after the tutorial with Max I went out for an excursion to find the shop. The particular store I remembered was easy to find, one called Toye Kenning & Spencer LTD just opposite the Freemasons Hall on Great Queen Street, but I had no idea the entire store was for medals badges and trophies for the Freemasons society. I asked a store assistant whether they sold medal ribbons and he said they’re quite hard to comeby to begin with, but that I should try Spink which is just up Southampton Row. Well how very convenient.

I walked to Spink, and then walked past it. I would’ve never realized it was a shop if not for the fact that I was looking for it. There was no shop window, the only thing on display was a face of what looked to be Tsar Nicholas II and no they weren’t selling that picture… I think. Über exclusive entrance too, no?

Inside, when I asked about literature on medals of the world wars I was introduced to a lovely lady called Catherine, who picked out books that might be of use. Turns out there aren’t any books specifically on the medals and accomplishment awards of the Second World War, but of all the wars, including contemporary depending on when the book was published. Then she disappeared through a set of doors and emerged 10 minutes later with a handful of ‘scrap’ medal ribbons. Wowza, here’s where my project kicks off properly I guess.

Veteran Chest Decoration


Veteran. HMS Wrangler - Royal Arthur Skegness Lincolnshire UK

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On what occasions are medals to be worn exactly? What are the orders and regulations when wearing medals? Are they only allowed on one side of the chest or both?


July 2019
« May    
To-Do List
  • Do mock-up of Jacket and figure out max ribbon panel count
  • Figure out number of categories & order ribbons!
  • Obtain statistics for the categories
  • Visit Imperial War Museum
  • Visit National Army Museum
  • Visit the 'Decode' Exhibition at V&A
  • Explore visual culture of War - information graphics?