Tuesday, 15 December 2009

'Oomph' further development

This is the logo further developed to a final concept, however I may still push it further.


Development work on the logo identity for travel magazine 'Oomph'.
Using the typeface Futura I cut and positioned the lettering to explore how the forms can interact and piece together to create something new.

By doing this I was able to get a hands on feel for the type and how it worked. Due to it being very consistent in thickness it was perfect for manipulation and overlapping. The letters are also very rounded making it versatile and full of character.

The word oomph to me suggests heavy connotations and a thick personality, I think Futura upholds this idea very well and creates a striking logotype, my further developed work can be seen in the next post.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Identity - the beginning

Here are examples of my beginnings of work from my chosen specialism (Identity). This task involved looking at a pair of letters and how they can interact to create new shapes / logo possibilities.

First looking at the letters not being able to overlap, then moving onto interaction and finally applying them to a purpose, mine was as if it were to be designed for a perfumer (someone who makes perfume).

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


This was a personal piece, moving forward from my earlier 'Rain cloud' pieces and creating something which can be applied to something more intimate, a process.
Also featured on envelop to buy in the form of a textile apron or placemat.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Underground Signs

After seeing these NYC subway signs featured on swiss-miss blog I wanted to share it, they look awesome! A little on the expensive side but what good design isn't? Have a look at www.underground-signs.com

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Pulp Fiction typographic

A powerful scene from what can only be described as one of the greatest films to have ever been made...
...explored typographically, enjoy!


It's late and I can barely keep my eyes awake, I realise that doesn't make sense, but I just had a sudden urge to tell you about www.envelop.eu, a Belgian based website solely for the promotion of young designers.

Envelop produce and sell textile products which are brought to life through the addition of user submitted work, mostly illustration, which to me is a fantastic way to get your work into the design community in a way which is interactive. i.e people can buy your work.

The designer receives 12.5% commission on purchases of their products and it costs absolutely nothing to join and start submitting your work. I myself already have 3 products available.

Illustrators, this is a great opportunity for you so I think its worth a little look.

Some examples of current designs:

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Neville Brody: Genius or Wanker

Yesterday (25th November 2009) we journeyed down to London to witness Adrian Shaughnessy in conversation with Neville Brody as part of the D&AD presidents lectures series. Ultimately the process was to decide whether Brody was a 'Genius' or a 'Wanker'.

I have to say it was by far one of the most exciting and tongue in cheek lectures I have ever attended. Whilst at the same time coming across extremely informative in many ways, from talking about his work, to his ideas on design education in Britain today compared to that of his era.

After both friendly and serious interrogation the audience was looked to for the answer to the final question, 'Genius or Wanker?'

The result was almost unanimous... GENIUS

Rain Cloud

This is a two part piece I developed when looking at weather elements and how they can be perceived. The first is of just simply a rain cloud, however the second is similar but using a sun, although it is still raining. Can this be possible?

Monday, 23 November 2009

This is London

After reading a poem by Add ImageCameron Yang entitled 'This is London', I wanted to express his words typographically, using building shapes to form the layout of the poem.

Here is my result:

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Plan of action

Through analysis and reflecting on my existing work I have put together a plan of action which I will carry out through the rest of my course in Graphic design. In doing this I hope it will give me the motivation I need to ensure I'm constantly producing work of the highest quality.

I think for me keeping up to date with current studios who produce identity work is a must. By following such studios I feel I can keep in touch with any trends and then use this to be different in my own design. Find out what people are doing now, and then do the opposite so to speak.
I want to read more design magazines as well, read articles by the people that influence my work, go to lectures on similar subjects as well as checking daily design blogs (which I'm pretty good at anyway).

Often what really gets me excited is looking over the internet or in shops for unusual objects, things that make me smile or think about their purposes. Iv'e always enjoyed discovering hidden meaning and reasoning for why designers have produced what they have and I want to take what I learn and then put my own twist on it. Create my own unique meanings definitions for what I do.

Overall I want to develop a more pro-active attitude when it comes to recording ideas and thought and I think providing I can keep this to a daily basis I will succeed in moving forward and developing much richer skills in the field of graphic identity.

Studios I admire

A lot of my influence and interest in identity has come from present and emerging designers in this field rather than well known ones. Of course the work of the likes of Paul Rand, Paula Scher and Saul Bass is still interesting to me, but to see how designers closer to my position perform and generate their ideas is something which really interests me.

For example, Jacob Cass, as Australian designer who works mainly on identity and web design has had a huge impact on the way I look at the subject, I visit his blog daily to find new projects he's worked on as well as finding all sorts of useful information such as his favourite typefaces for different purposes. www.justcreativedesign.com

Tina Roth Eisenberg is another of my favourites, 'a swiss designer gone NYC' as she describes herself, what appeals to me about her is more her way of presenting what she does, coming from swiss roots her corporate identity work is very clean cut and precise which is something I truly admire and this style is evident throughout all her work.
She also runs a daily blog which contains interesting finds and ideas from her day, as well as things that just make her smile which I think is a great side project to keep ideas flowing and to keep her mind creatively active.
Her portfolio can be found at www.Projekt2.com and her blog at www.swiss-miss.com


A typographic piece exploring my surrounding environment.

Design specialism

Specialising in a specific part of graphic design is something I find as an important turn in my learning and a way to focus my ideas into a more specific and rich format.

Motion graphics
Structural graphics/Packaging
Handmade graphics

Choosing to explore identity and branding further is what I have decided to do.

I find the whole idea of creating and promoting the individual persona of something, whether it is a large company or just a single person, extremely exciting. I want to utilise and apply my skills to provide thought provoking and deeply impacting ideas and visuals which create more than just a brand for something. Rather a body of binding material that really endorses and enhances that 'something's' already existing personality.

I want to take identity to new levels and create timeless work that has an impact on the communities associated with these 'somethings'.

My definition of Identity
'A brand is simply a visual representation of something, but an identity comes from within, it challenges the mind and when executed with the correct precision and detail can produce highly dramatic everlasting results.
Identity is a tool for expressing visually the true ethics and thought behind an idea or object. It should show this through minimal effort, yet huge impact.'

Skills I will need

High Photoshop & Illustrator skills and knowledge.
Confident InDesign skills.
Ability to sketch quick, yet accurate roughs.
I need to be able to analyse and critique my work both positively and negatively.
Research and develop my ideas fully before making any final decisions.
Explore all possible methods of solution to my problem.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Consumer

A short slideshow detailing my consumer project.

A grand day out [analysis and advertisement]

Above are the two flyer style advertisements we designed to promote our chosen event which was to be a day trip to the 'Tropical butterfly house & gardens' near Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Due to the age range of the target audience I feel our chosen day out suits their interests perfectly. Combining beautiful scenery and photography opportunities with a relaxed atmosphere provided a wonderful experience.
We took the time to test our day by visiting the butterfly house ourselves, this tested both the price target (less than £10) and whether or not it would be suitable/enjoyable.

As for the design side of the project, which is the main aspect, we wanted to project a clean, simple, yet engaging look and feel for both the presentation and advertisement. The use of the ever popular 'Didot' typeface was chosen specifically for this job and even from the first look provides all aspects we were looking for.
The colour scheme was equally important due to it creating the most impact and so we decided to reflect the natural feel of the butterfly house, keeping with a green that wasn't too harsh but not quite into the pastel tones. The colour interacts well with the white text to create a powerful presentation base.

Imagery is always important and due to the target audience we decided on the use of mainly photographic images as they are easy to relate to and tell the story much more effectively than other images like illustrations.
It is for this reason that the second flyer above is much more powerful, it shows the venue in its essence, getting up close with the inhabitants of the butterfly house and creating an immediate interest for the viewer.

A grand day out

As an initial 'kick-start' brief for the new academic year we were asked to work in groups to arrange and promote a 'Grand day out' for a selected age group.

This project gave
a great opportunity to meet and work with new people and provide a base for the main module project entitled 'The consumer'.

Over 50's was our target audience for this mini project and below are a few stills from our power point presentation used to promote our ch
osen event. This project was briefed and completed within a week.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Check this out

Check out this blog by Swiss designer gone NYC called SWISS MISS is fantastic, full of things that will inspire you and just generally put a smile on your face.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Interest and Influence

There are innumerable sources on the planet from which to take influence and interest within whatever it is you do. 
One thing I always use for new ideas and inspiration are other design blogs.
Whether its professional, as part of a hobby, or even just something to experience I find these are great sources for pretty much anything you could need.

Due to their nature they are constantly updated, full of other ideas which influence the blog writers and whatever else they see fit to talk about. It becomes a never ending chain of resource, resources which are all personal to whomever puts them together.

One Designer's blog I regularly visit is one written by Jacob Cass, an Australian Logo and web designer. JustCreativeDesign is the name of his blog and business. What really appeals to me about this blog is his huge enthusiasm and passion for what he does and he is always looking at new ways in which he can pass on his knowledge and use it to benefit other designers.

Type and it's surroundings

Looking back through my newly created archive of work I think it is evident that my strong/most exciting area of graphic design is through type and typography. However I don't think I could work solely with type and lettering, I gain so much from looking deeper and creating an atmosphere for my type work to shine in, for example the Observation and Communication project below, using emotional and powerful drawings alongside the lettering really creates something exciting.

I've always been interested in how type works and the ways in which it can be arranged/manipulated to produce something wonderful, but there is still a part of me which will always want to push the type to its full potential through the development of an atmosphere in which it has space to grow and evolve in.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Composing the poster

The idea was to keep every aspect of the poster handmade, including all the typography used. Initially I looked into hand producing letters that resembled typed words, however after stepping back and taking a real look at how it came out I decided it didn't really tie in with the project. The letter forms were supposed to resemble the building and the style it had be drawn in and so after more thought I adapted a much more earthy and rough style of lettering which really brought out the life in the drawing.

I used very soft, very thick graphite sticks and holding them by the tip was able to create strokes that were both heavy, yet still concentrated and controlled, creating a style of type that could fit snugly into my drawing.

After constructing the type I would use in the poster, I set about cropping my main image so that it would fully emphasise my idea and attract the attention of the public. I decided on a view which contained only a small but detailed portion of the drawing to really throw itself into the onlooker's eye.
I scanned the letter forms I'd drawn and using photoshop cut them to fit and adjusted the colour to greyscale to match the rest of the image.
Here is my first poster outcome, however not my final choice.

The reason i decided not to use this as my final image was that the letting crowds the rest of the image and allows it no room to breathe, it feels cluttered and rushed.
So as a solution to this problem I added a lot of white space around the image and used this space to arrange some of the letting as shown:

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Sinclair Building

A project titled 'Observation and Communication' which brought together a culmination of powerful techniques and processes, which would mesh together to form an incredibly in depth body of work working towards and producing a poster advertising/creating awareness of a chosen building in Sheffield.

I took to the streets in search of a structure I personally found interesting both aesthetically and historically, which took a good while before I found what I believed was the perfect subject. A business that had grown over 30 years getting larger through filling a block of terraced properties, which then was renovated into a sleek modern facility for both the Sinclair China and Glass shop, and four stories of luxury apartments. The Sinclair Building on Sheffield's Glossop Road stands out from the surrounding buildings mainly due to its night black colour but also its ora of elegance and sophistication. What could be better to explore graphically than a subject with multiple personalities and a history of architectural traits?!

Above is an example of some initial sketches I took whilst standing outside the building on the street, this was in fact something I had never done before in a busy city so in itself was a big experience. To have so many people walk past and try to take a glimpse of what you are doing, you create interest in every passer by which can be both daunting and exciting at the same time.

Dry Point Etching
A technique which I was very familiar with due to having produced several pieces during my Fine Art A-level course. Dry point etching and printing is without a shadow of a doubt one of my favourite ways to create drawings and prints. It has all the abilities of producing an outcome of great detail similar to using a very fine tipped pen.
Detail is very important to me and even in very simple looking pieces I always look to create depth and emotion within the work, always looking at how I can make it exciting. Etching really gives me an opportunity to fully explore depth and detail due to the fine-ness of the marks made and how they are positioned, for example in the piece below you can see how I have cross-hatched the shadow and left the majority on the light areas unmarked.
Cross hatching allows you to show different tones by increasing or decreasing the amount of lines used in the hatch rather than blocking or smudging as you would with pencils or pastels.

Sketching and creating images of our chosen building and its surroundings was the main focus of this project, the poster had to have a hand made feel, although it would all be composed and finished using photoshop and my scanned images later on.
After much drawing and experimenting with different techniques in doing this, looking at colour, monochrome, tinted drawings, I came to a decision of which of my pieces to use for the final outcome. It is an A1 charcoal piece which to me really explores the black of the buildings bricks, but at the same time adds a richness and incredible rush of emotion and excitement, perfect for the nature of the architecture.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Convulse and screen printing

At the time this project took place I had never even seen screen printing take place before, but now I love it. What really appeals to me about it is the sheer accuracy and sharpness you can get from your images. Below is an example produced by a small group of us when exploring screen printing.

As can be seen here the lettering comes out very fine, especially considering the small spaces and shapes within it.

Now for the brief, to design and create a book which has both image and text based around a single word, this word was to be picked at random from a dictionary to add an extra element of individuality and excitement to the project. When i say create a book, this could include books, fold-outs (like a map), pdf books, leaflets. However I felt a book format suited the brief best and it has a much more hand made feel.

As you may or may not have guessed from the title, the word I ended up with was 'Convulse' which to me at first was rather hard to generate ideas for and in the end I went for its meaning 'to convulse with laughter' meaning to be suddenly overcome with laughter and happiness.

Layout played a very big part in this particular project as I wanted to reflect my chosen word not only through image and text but the way each element was displayed and arranged. I went about this my adapting a classic layout style but making the images and copy used interact with each other in a way that I feel emphasises the atmosphere of the book.

After the screen print sessions I was eager to try out my newly learned skills and apply them to a finished piece of work and so I incorporated this method of printing into the centre pages of my book. Using a graphics tablet on my mac I hand scribbled a Charlie Chaplin quote in black on white and printed it at A4, then rubbing the print with vegetable oil to make the white parts transparent I exposed it to the light in the screen printing machine and experimented with my idea.
The printing was a success in terms of quality and precision, however looking back I feel it lacked in excitement and depth.

In fact I feel quite strongly about this for the whole project, although the outcome was very polished and professional looking, parts of it came off to look a bit, well, lacking in creativity. I mean it was still a fantastic outcome to me, but it just lacked that little something special, that extra push which takes it from being fantastic to one of a kind.

But you always learn from your mistakes so I shall take all that I learned onboard and will use it to better myself in the future.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Buy Nothing Day 2008

The project I am going to talk about now was based heavily, if not entirely on typography and layout and the power of type within graphic design.
For me typography plays a very important role in my design style, I am a very big fan of using type itself as the imagery and focus of a piece of work. Not in the sense that you just spell out your message but in an artistic manner which uses the forms of the letters rather than just using them to construct words.

By positioning them to work with each other you can produce a fantaAdd Imagestic piece of work which not only contains all the relevant information but attracts the eye of the viewer by being inventive and experimental.

The Buy Nothing Day project involved working
with type alone to work towards and produce a poster advertising either FOR or AGAINST Buy Nothing Day (an event organised by AdBusters, www.adbusters.org).
To begin with, as in any project, I sketched out letter forms and experimented with all sorts of ideas such as cutting and pasting them to create new forms, tracing and over-laying and looking at ways in which letters interact with one another.

Before I could get anywhere near to creating a poster, I had to research the event and AdBusters to get a feel for their brand name and what they aim to do. I found most all of their a
dvertising material used bright colours which unfortunately I could not use as this project had to have a black and white outcome.
However this made the outcome fresh especially for their usual methods of design.

The brief explained how the poster had to be fully typographic with no images used which gave the project a new angle as I'd never worked purely with type before. This gave me an opportunity as mentioned before to create imagery out of the type itself.
I explored ideas using different angles and positioning, different sizes and weights of letters to design and put together something fresh and slightly out of the ordinary.

I established a hierarchy of elements and put them in order of importance, I then used the sizes of the words to indicate this order to draw attention from the viewer in a particular way as you can see in my final outcome below.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Femme Fatal

Right, well I didn't post as often as I would have liked these last few weeks, but this is party due to my mac having to be sent away to be repaired. All done now though so its time for the rest of the work to be exhibited.

This project involved as I have mentioned before, taking two existing companies and merging them to create a new hybrid for which we had to design appropriate material for.
The companies given to our particular group was the 'Magic Circle' (the UK's biggest magic society) and 'Agent Provocateur' (a very high class lingerie boutique).

We began to brainstorm initially creating mood boards, basically clipping and drawings and anything else we could find relating to our given and similar companies or areas. Our idea ended up being a store that would sell sexy outfits and clothing specifically for the entertainment business, i.e magicians assistants etc.

The main focus as with any new company was the logo. Logo's are essential when creating a branding for a company and will always be what sticks in the minds of the clients/customers. We went through a huge variety of hand drawn ideas before moving into illustrator and through a rather long process we came up with something which was both simple and elegantly appealing at the same time.

With the logo finished we moved onto product branding and looking at ideas for packaging designs and advertising material. I arranged a photo shoot with a friend to be used as a model for advertisement that would feature in magazine spreads, like you would see in Vogue etc.
As for packaging we designed and produces wraps for boxes and an example carrier bag in the classic brown bag style.

The one thing I myself found difficult in this project was working as part of a team. Ofcourse it had its advantages, like more interesting ideas and getting an idea of how others around you worked and their styles. But our particular group seemed to have more people who would put in considerably less effort, this may have been to do with them thinking they couldn't do it as good, I don't know, but it made it harder for the couple of us who put in all the effort to make the project successful. But I guess as they say, 'if you want to do something right, do it yourself'.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The rest of the roll

This is the second instalment of my tape project posts which will talk about a couple of other pieces including what was used as the final outcome, which in my opinion could have been much improved.

Below is another version of the piece last shown in my prior post, however this blue version is making use of the negative space around the letters leaving the lettering itself to become negative in the sense of colour.
This is my personal favourite of the two as I am a big fan of white typography on colour or black backgrounds.

Here is my example of a little project we did which involved using the tape as a material in which to wrap an object. As you can see below I went down the ironic and somewhat childish route of taping up... you guessed it, a roll of tape! In fact I found this a lot of fun and I think the irony adds a huge amount to the piece. Although the shape is a bit boring and there is little skill involved in producing it, the idea as a whole comes off as a success and even evokes some humour, which I always love.

The final example in this post is my final piece for this project. Going back to the theme of equality I explored the equality of colour and black and negative space within a piece of work.
Looking at the work of Piet Mondrian greatly inspired this work, however I think i have too closely resembled my work to his which is why I feel it is not a very powerful piece.
In the future when first looking at examples of work by other artists I'll see how I can try to incorporate their style without almost copying it completely. Other than that as my main criticism I feel the piece reflects the rest of my body of work, it just needs a bit more thought on the composition and overall outcome.

In my next post I'll be talking about a group project involving creating and re-branding a hybrid company to suit new ideas and practises. This involved creation of all sorts of things from a corporate logo to advertising material and packaging examples. See you soon!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Tape and more tape

I'd like to share with you the first project I underwent at Uni, which as you may have guessed from the title... involves tape, and lots of it.

Throughout my own personal exploration of the project I looked at the word 'equality' and used numerous techniques which incorporated this theme in anything from layout, to subject matter.

The piece below was one of my first experiments with tape and exploring how it can be used considering its properties, for example it's easiest to apply in clean cut straight lines. This piece is also looking at the interaction of colour and pattern and how both work together. The angled lines, especially the red and black are very similar to that of many posters designed by the Russian Constructivists which always gave a sense of direction and purpose.

Here I have continued the theme of black and red using very bold straight lines trying to harmonise the way they interact with one another, this piece reminded me very much of Piet Mondrians work, the black lines making squares that encase the red within. This could symbolise the inequality between the black and the red, although the red dominates in terms of size, the black is still the controlling element.

This experiment involved using the tape as more of a material now rather than an influence. Parts of this were difficult as the tape is naturally straight edged, but for this instance I needed to create curved forms so I had to carefully pleat the edges to follow the curves of the letters. Which you may have already guessed make up the word 'eqaulity'. This piece I find most aesthetically pleasing of the 3 as it makes good use of both the positive and negative space and could be seen as an abstract as well as a structured piece of design.

That is all I have to share with you today, but I will continue this project in my next post. As I mentioned before it was my first on of the year and so is not as strong as my later work, but I hope you enjoy it all the same.