Posts Tagged ‘graphic design’

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.

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: 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

New Work: The Big Idea

Friday, February 5th, 2010

The Big Idea poster artwork

I recently completed some branding and publicity for a feedback scheme called The Big Idea. Held once a week each term, the scheme encourages university students to enter a dialogue with their Students’ Union, helping the organisation tailor its services to be more in line with what students really want and need. It also allows them to identify ways in which they would like to be supported and catered for in ways which are currently overlooked.

The Big Idea flyers

In a classic example of using established visual language to communicate the idea of, erm, ideas, a lightbulb icon was used as the basis for the scheme’s identity. The simple design and black and yellow colour scheme makes the design very bold and demand people’s attention when seen in situ. If you feel your business could benefit from some well designed communication materials, please contact me in the comments or email

New Work: SPS Anniversary Logo

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Saltburn Photographic 50th anniversary logo

I was recently asked to pitch some logo ideas for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Saltburn Photographic Society, a regional club for photography enthusiasts. The society had sent me some draft ideas which they thought I might like to develop.

The ideas were okay, but didn’t really grab me and as I thought about what alternatives to pitch, inspiration struck - what if I used the ‘0′ character to represent a lens and built the logo around the shape of a camera body? I started experimenting and found that the 5 worked well to visually suggest the handgrip of an SLR.

I chose a nice clean font with a perfectly circular ‘0′ character and a stylish ‘5′ then set about tracing the image a camera body to define the logo shape. It took a bit of work to get enough elements worked into the design to make the camera shape obvious but also simple enough to understand easily without losing the text elements or compromising on style.

Once I was happy with the composition of the elements which made up the logo, I re-coloured the camera in gold for a 50th anniversary feel. This helped the camera body recede from the eye and allowed the ‘50th Anniversary’ text to come to the fore. I also added the original SPS logo to the design (The ‘S’ with the eye in the centre of the lens), which conveniently worked as a lens iris and filled in the hollow centre as well as strengthening the SPS brand within the anniversary logo.

As a final touch, I added the small retro camera strap to give the sense of history I felt was appropriate for a 5oth anniversary logo. A version without the camera strap also exists to provide layout options on their promotional materials.

If you like this work and feel I may be able to help your business improve it’s corporate image or promotional materials, please get in touch.

LeftLion Issue 31

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

*UPDATE: LeftLion came top of the pile in the Writing & Publishing category of the annual Nottingham Creative Business Awards last week. Well done to everybody involved. Sights are now firmly set on winning the Creative Business of the Year award in 2010!

LeftLion issue 31 cover

Wow; has it really been two months since I last posted on this blog? I find it hard to believe, but the dateline on the last post tells me it’s true. The lack of updates recently is not because I’ve been slack; quite the opposite - I’ve been too busy to put in any time at the computer beyond clearing work and hitting deadlines. It can all get a bit much sometimes, you know, being a designer and spending many lonely hours staring at a monitor, so I let the blogging slide for a few weeks in favour of meeting deadlines and staying sane.

There was also some sunshine to enjoy and a bit of server downtime to knock my blogging rhythm, but at least I have plenty of new work to share with you over the next few weeks. Firstly, the latest edition of LeftLion magazine is out on the streets of Nottingham, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest bi-monthly installment of local cultural goodness lurking in various shops and pubs in the city. Big shout to Rob White for the cover illustration and Alan Gilby for his tidy page layouts - good work, sirs!

magazine covers montage

Also on the LeftLion tip, the previous issue featured a centrefold pullout of the covers from all 30 issues. That’s five years’ worth of cover designs on one page. It is great for me personally to be able to see all these commissions presented together - I remember every single one of them, which means my brain isn’t showing any signs of aging just yet. It is also nice to see such an array of styles used among the covers without any of them looking out of place or belonging to a different title; the LeftLion identity just seems to go from strength to strength. I hope you enjoy looking through them.

Click here to see a larger version, and feel free to download any of the individual issues here.

New Work: Website Animation

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

web animation edit

Okay, I must confess something. Though I am obsessed with still images, moving images (as in films/TV/adverts) have never really got my pulse racing. I know it’s not fashionable or very 21st century, but they just haven’t.

I am a man who is prone to contemplation and analysis, so perhaps I prefer working with stills as they give me the time to do this, whereas a movie reel doesn’t allow for it so much.Maybe my brain is just a little slow, though I wonder how much real-time analysis one can do at 30 frames-per-second.

Whatever. I like still images. And animation. I’ve always loved animation, especially low framerate stuff which is all jumpy. Seeing the joins between frames gives me the comfort of seeing the individual stills which make up the animation so I can work out what is going on, plus, I like the charm of it. But that’s just me; I know there’s plenty of people out there who like things as slick as they come, if not slicker, but I’m not one of them. So, this is about as motion-orientated as my work gets - a jumpy stopframe animation done for a part of a website I have been working on. It was shot with a Nikon D70 DSLR and 3 flashguns, then pieced together in Adobe Imageready.

It is going to be used to visually represent the ‘virtual receptionist’ which allows people to chat directly to one of the company directors when they are online. There’s a still version for when nobody from the company is available to chat, and the animated version above which comes to life when somone logs on.

Incidentally, the guy in the animation is David Cameron Walker, the new daytime voice of BBC Radio 1, provider of voiceover links between the different programs and news bulletins etc. So, if you have heard his voice and were wondering what he looks like, wonder no more. Just don’t expect me to make any jokes about him having ‘a good face for radio’. (Sorry Dave, just kidding).