Archive for the ‘graphic design’ Category

LeftLion Issue 36

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

LeftLion issue 36 cover.indd

The latest issue of LeftLion magazine is currently doing to rounds and features what I think may well be the best cover we have ever ran. The artwork, entitled Byron Clough, was created by Notts illustrator Rikki Marr who kindly gave us permission to reproduce it as our latest cover. Cleverly fusing two of Nottingham’s icons - poet Lord Byron and football legend Brian Clough - into one being, the portrait is beautifully rendered in the style of a renaissance painting.

The image blew me away when I first saw it and I was extremely pleased when Rikki pitched it to me as a cover image - how could I resist? For anybody struggling to make it out, the text at the bottom of the images reads “I wouldn’t say I was the best Romanticist poet in the business, but I was in the top one”, in reference to one of Cloughie’s more infamous one-liners. 

The image was originally commissioned by a local boozer and a large version hangs on one of their walls in a gilted frame to give it that vintage touch. Anybody jones-ing for their own copy can get a limited edition print here.

Connecting To.. branding pitch

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010


Here’s a logo I designed as part of a branding pitch for a social care management company. Their business is based around bringing together all the disparate independent local care schemes and facilities which they then centrally manage. By doing so, members of the community would be able to go to one location or phone one number and be able to find out about the whole range of facilities in their area. This is way easier than the current system where people must research and contact each service separately, due to the independent nature of the services offered.

The angle they wanted to take on the project identity (entitled Connecting To…) was the idea of connecting; both services to one another and people to services. This served as the basis for my logo concept - connecting the letters which make up the words with light coloured lines angled at 45 degrees, echoing human script. The two blues are the corporate colours of the company.

I thought I’d hit the nail on the head with this one, but they had already started running with someone else’s offering so I missed out on the chance to really get it through the door. Though I did get to produce some photography and a brochure for them to use as part of their project pitch to the local council, so I didn’t totally miss out. I can’t show that here though, it’s not in the rules.

New Work: Designottingham

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Designottingham magazine

It’s always exciting to get a project back from the printers and actually have it in your hands, as opposed to seeing it only existing on screen. Last week was no exception when the first editions of Designottingham magazine were delivered.

Commissioned by Nottingham Trent University, the magazine takes a look at Nottingham’s design story and NTU’s role within it. Covering everything from the legacy of the local lace industry through to the university’s world-renowned fine art and photography courses as well as articles on technology and innovation, architecture, and designing sustainable futures,  its scope is broad and documents a city packed full of creative talent.

Designed and laid out by my good self, typeset predominantly in Gill Sans Light, the magazine features specially commissioned artwork from local design studio Seismik, who once again deliver a great combo of cover and centrespread designs . Here’s a detail of their cover artwork; a selection of locally designed objects arranged in a lace pattern…

Designottingham cover detail

The centrespread they produced takes the form of a double-sided gatefold pullout timeline which plots the milestones in Nottingham’s design history, touching on wide array of iconic objects and inventions such as the automatic traffic light, HP Sauce, the Raleigh Chopper, Nottingham Alabaster and Pugin-designed gothic cathedrals.

Printed by Pensord (who I highly recommend for their attention to detail and easy going manner) on 80gsm offset stock with a heavier cover, the magazine has a really nice tactile finish and is packed full of design details such as a spot gloss finish on the lace cover, as well as the gatefold pullout centrespread which is intended to be wall-hung.

The magazine is not available on general sale but is being distributed worldwide as a promotional tool. A download link for an electronic copy should be avilable soon.

New Work: Graduation Ball branding

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

 NTU Graduation Ball teaser campaign poster

I recently created the branding and promotional artwork for Nottingham Trent University’s official Graduation Ball. Following a brief based around the theme of ‘celebration, using classical elements with an edge’, I designed artwork for a multi-stage campaign based around brightly coloured confetti and typography which uses a ghosting effect against a black background to suggest strobe lighting and the energy and atmosphere of a concert arena.

Above is the poster artwork for the initial teaser campaign, which only gave away the date. Musical artists and other entertainment acts were revealed in a serialised manner over the course of a month to build anticipation, with a new batch of promotional artwork produced to accompany each stage of the campaign.

LeftLion Issue 35

Monday, June 14th, 2010

LeftLion issue35 cover

What? There’s a football World Cup going on in South Africa? Well, they kept that one quiet… Yes, it’s that time again, regular as a leap year, when half the world goes football crazy, not least the media. The latest issue of LeftLion magazine manages to avoid the hype and deliver its usual gamut of interviews with local and national cultural talent. The footy still gets a nod though, in the form of this great cover image by Jason and Simon at Seismik design studio - a pastiche of the famous ‘66 photo of Bobby Moore lifting the trophy, with Bobby being replaced by Brian Clough and surrounded by other Notts football legends. There’s a nice grubby, hand-drawn texture to it which they’ve carried through onto the wallchart centrespread they also did for the mag. Nice work!

Download an online copy here (link is in comments section).

New Work: World Cup T-shirts

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

3 lions t-shirt

With the World Cup just around the corner, LeftLion have re-issued the limited edition t-shirts I designed for them the last time the world got temporarily obsessed with kicking a ball around a field. The design pays homage to the iconic original England 3 lions motif, replacing the three traditional lions with a triple rendering of Nottingham’s stone left lion statue in its market square. The ‘England’ text at the top of the crest has been replaced with ‘Nottingham’ so you know where these wonderful garments come from. Here’s a detail of the design…

3 lions england/nottingham badge

The t-shirts are avilable in white as well as the red shown here. Girls’ slim-fit tees are on sale as well as standard men’s fit, all available from here.

They have been lovingly handprinted by local good folks Regenerate and look amazing - the print has been done with an attention to detail you just don’t get on mass-produced items. I’m told they are selling like meth-infused hotcakes, so if you fancy one for yourself, avoid disappointment and order one asap - they won’t be printing any more once they run out of stock, and with people like Ziggy Marley (below) sporting them, I don’t think it will take too long for these to shift.

Ziggy Marley 3 lions shirt

New Work: Election Campaign

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

help39 billboard

So, the outcome of the UK general election last week is the most interesting one a man of my tender years can recall, as we still await confirmation of who will govern our country for the next few years or, more likely, months.

In the run-up to the election, The two universities in Nottingham (Nottingham Trent and The University of Nottingham) got together to co-ordinate a billboard campaign in conjunction with the NUS campaign voteforstudents, aimed at highlighting the size and strength of the student vote. The campaign was based around the issue of the ever-increasing cost of higher education in the form of the controversial top-up fees which were introduced a few years back.

Statistics show that the average debt per graduate currently stands at £26k per person; this adds up to a staggering average debt of £1 million per 39 students - something which clearly needs addressing if degree-level education is to be accessible to all.

The campaign strategy played on this statistic by spelling out the word ‘HELP’ with a clever arrangement of 39 students. I shot the campaign using student volunteers situated on a grass verge which was scouted by the campaign team. The students were all given white t-shirts for uniform(-ity) and were arranged into position by me shouting instructions from third floor University office nearby, which did wonders for the office-workers concentration,  I can assure you.

Once the shoot was in the bag, I put together the artwork for the billboard, keeping with the simple white on green colour scheme. The copy, which is hard to read in these photos due to this particular billboard being spliced for ad rotation (and said splices being a bit wonky), reads “Students graduate from university with an average debt of £26k. 39 students represent a combined debt of £1million. Help them:”.

The campaign ran in the city for a month prior to the election and was also sited on a further two static billboards which, unfortunately, I never got a chance to photograph, but were much more readable than the squiffy one presented here, though the text can just about be made out in this close-up…

help39 billboard close-up

Feedback from the campaign team is that it was a success, with student voting turnout being significantly higher than it has been for over a decade.

*Update: one of the campaign team sent me a photo of one of the static boards, which shows everything much more clearly than the spliced ones…

help39 static billboard

LeftLion Issue 34

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

LeftLion 34 cover

Admittedly, I’m a week slow in posting this, but issue 34 of LeftLion magazine is out on the streets of Nottingham and available for mail order or download from their website. To coincide with the release of a certain film, this issue is a Robin Hood special edition, packed full of articles examining the enduring legend of the hooded man.

The cover image (seen above) was taken by our photo editor, Dom Henry, based on the idea of ‘if Robin and his merry men were still around today, what would they be doing?’. The answer, it seems, is that they would be sat around texting, stuffing their faces on fatty snacks and playing Nintendo Wii. So much for modern culture. 

The guy stood centre of frame with the leather cap is Ade Andrews - Nottingham’s official current-day Robin (not that he actually, y’know, robs people or anything). Working with the likes of Experience Nottinghamshire, Ade has an ambassadorial role within the city, giving visiting journalists city tours and appearing at major events as part of a tourist attraction troupe. And, of course, taking time out to play a little virtual archery with the local media.

See more of Dom Henry’s photography here.

New Work: ClubNME posters

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Club NME poster

The Club NME live music night has hit Nottingham! I’ve been creating the promo artwork for the fortnightly events since the launch night at the start of February. The poster design above is a re-usable template which I created to allow each night to use consistent branding, creating an instantly recognisable identity. It is easily updatable; a quick date change and a switch of the band names on the roster (and maybe a colour change for the pink and/or grey elements) means that creating a new batch of posters for each individual event can be done in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

New Work: Valentine’s Day Speed Dating

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Valentines poster

So, it’s St. Valentine’s Day this Sunday, the one day of the year where even the most emotionally stunted individuals get a chance to show their partner how much they care about them. And, for the un-hitched, what could be a more romantic way to celebrate it than going speed dating?  Yup, nothing; hence this event being held on the evening before, for which I was asked to produce the promo poster above.

Though the posters were digitally printed, the design was based around the principles of a 2 colour screenprint, right down to the white areas used to simulate the misregistered effect achieved when the different coloured screens are not aligned exactly.

Despite Short Round once famously claiming there is ‘no time for love Dr. Jones’, I’m sure even Indy could find time for a brief encounter under the 2 minute speed-dating rule.

If you or your business would like any posters designing either for digital/litho printing or for screenprinting, please contact me at