Recent graduate from Salford university, currently designing, actively seeking and providing inspiration with like minded people, for 'fun times', maybe more ... Yeah I just said that.

  1. Sketchbook pages.

  2. Another brief I jumped into on placement was another Sportsman’s dinner poster, this one being for Paul Merson, an ex-Arsenal player.
As you can see I treated this one very differently from the Calzaghe poster and I really wanted to go for a retro - 80’s and 90’s feel, around the time that Merson was still kicking the leather spherical object around the field. I quite like how this turned out and it’s certainly different from anything else I’ve done, both at uni or outside of uni.

    Another brief I jumped into on placement was another Sportsman’s dinner poster, this one being for Paul Merson, an ex-Arsenal player.

    As you can see I treated this one very differently from the Calzaghe poster and I really wanted to go for a retro - 80’s and 90’s feel, around the time that Merson was still kicking the leather spherical object around the field. I quite like how this turned out and it’s certainly different from anything else I’ve done, both at uni or outside of uni.

  3. Joe Calzaghe - Sportsmans Dinner

    I’ve been working on a few other briefs whilst on placement, most of which I can’t really upload to here because of various understandable reasons, but here is one that I can so here you go..

    I was given this image of Joe and the brief of creating a poster using the photo for a Sportsman’s dinner. I was also given the above image for reference purposes but pretty much anything goes.

    I originally came up with this quite simplistic approach to a poster, showing minimal information, using the image to transform the poster into something rather gloriously classy, maybe taking up a bit of an understated appearance too. 

    After sending the previous off to client to proof, he replied requesting the inclusion of more information, which didn’t destroy the layout, but .. it did unfortunately help fill some of that lovely white space.

    And just to show how .. characterful clients can be, here’s the second amendment .. some GOLD type. I decided to put this up just to show how much a client can influence a design, and even though I really liked my original poster and I think it worked well for many reasons .. after the amendments, there’s not much I can do to try and keep that same composition and layout, knowing that the client has directly asked for something to be placed in a certain position or in this case type in a gold colour. It’s not something I’ve really given any thought to in the past but the more I think about the more I realise that a client can really make their mark (good or bad) onto your designs, so in this respect, finding a client that really trusts your judgement and doesn’t want to then go back and fill all available space is quite precious.

  4. Final Boards

    I’d love to pick apart my sketchbook and thought process and display it here for all to see like I should be doing but time hasn’t been as abundant for me as it has been in the past with me jumping into other projects and briefs whilst on placement, with this kind of running on the side. Having said that, I’m rather delighted in how this project has turned out and it will certainly take pride of place in my portfolio. I’ve also learned alot along the way in regards to dealing with clients, or even just being in the presence of a real, live, thinking and seeing person that makes the final decision on what he likes and doesn’t .. thankfully Chris has been generally wonderful, with a laid back and easy going approach and I know that not every client will be like him but it’s nice to be given that freedom to do whatever I want for an actual live brief rather than setting my own boundaries in a uni based theoretical brief. 

    [note - Boards have been annotated since these pics]

  5. Major [but brief] Update

    Excuse the lateness of this tumblr post, also .. while we’re at it, let us also excuse any weird rambling that may occur below (it’s 2am and only 10 hours away from deadline, ha)

    It’s been some 3 weeks now since my last tumblr post and I realise I haven’t got anything on this blog about my NMP, so on the most part .. you lovely folk won’t have a clue what I’ve been doing with the last two months of uni. What have you been doing I hear you ask? Well, I’ve been pretty much on full time placement at Rocknine Creative over in Bury, I’ve been working on a few projects and mini briefs here and there, and I found myself in the position of enjoying it so much that I decided to scrap my original NMP idea and take on one of the briefs from my placement, just taking it that bit further to turn it into something potentially lovely.

    As it happens the right kind of brief popped up and dived straight into it, with the idea of it becoming my NMP for uni being a bit of a two week later afterthought. Anyways, here is the brief and a very very very small snippet of an insight into the last two months of work .. hopefully I’ll portray a bit of a basic overview before uploading my final outcomes in the next few posts and it will all make sense.

    The brief was to create a brand for a local and recent start up traditional barber shop called Diligent Grooming, above was his current logo .. a logo with a bit too much going on, a good basic idea but the shape isn’t very nice and it could do with a bit of a simplification. But yes, ontop of some branding .. pretty much anything goes, we went for a chat with Chris about what he liked and didn’t like with the help of some visual prompts from some research I did prior to the meeting.

    The barber shop is of the traditional variety and offers a traditional shave along with the usual culprits of clipper and scissor cuts. Chris’ shop sits above a bridal/dress shop which as it happens is a bit of a problem to try and design around, with some serious footfall outside the town centre located shop, but with none of the chaps coming in through the dress shop or even knowing where the barbers is, so this would be hurdle no.1. The shop itself is quite quaint, sleek and classy .. perfect for the black and white classic barbershop branding I had in mind. Chris also liked the idea of the old school barber shop branding complete with a black and white colour scheme for simplicity, impact and possibly as equally important .. cost saving (print) as this isn’t a project with big budgets.

    After leaving the meeting I had a few ideas in mind as to what I wanted to produce for Chris, including some from of creative mailer to really shout about the place and get people through that door. Chris also said he wanted some signage maybe in the shape of an A-board, so this would be another good design starting point. I also liked the idea of creating the full packaging in terms of a website, flyer, posters, packaging and maybe even an App.

    After lots of sketching I set about developing one idea into something hopefully wonderfully digital. As it happened, the idea wasn’t really working with me going for a a comb that also looked like a face that also representing head and facial hair and the fact that Diligent is where you go to deal with both .. yeah, a little too much going on.

    BUUUUUUT, what did come of this was a nice face .. a mascot type face that I wanted to use, not as a logo, but as a branding asset for me to use within my outcomes, maybe as a man that represents the face of the company (literally) and is used on directional signage and whatnot. Whilst we’re talking about one branding asset, up to the right is another, a black and white version of a barbers pole. I thought these could sit quite nicely with whichever logo I decide to go for.

    Here’s another prospective logo, inspired originally by some old car part packaging and then by the Strokes logo, I wanted something that really stood out, whilst also sitting nicely on the page in it’s own entity. I like how contained this logo is and I thought that it worked rather well, with the ‘ILI’ looking like the three blades of a razor, and the overall appearance being quite badge like meaning that wherever it sits, it’ll sit just right.

    Another logo variation to present to client, this one being inspired by an old car emblem style, which is something I rather liked the idea of, but it was said by a few people that the type is a tad illegible and although this could be fixed I thought it was best to wait to see if the client likes the idea of the logo before sinking hours of work into perfecting it.

    Because the client didn’t ask for a new logo, we thought it would be a good idea to rework his old logo so that, worst case scenario is that we can still continue the project without the need to use the original and now misfiting logo.

    Chris mentioned that he wanted an A-board but he said that he was thinking of getting a cheap metal and plastic one, to which I found myself volunteering myself to make one out of wood for him .. so yeah, that’s exactly what I did and it now sits outside his shop, which is quite nice. I created it using wood before staining it, nails line the front at 10mm intervals and there is a screw in each corner to hang/screw an A2 poster too, with the idea being that we could screen print the board itself with a permanent design, but then when/if he has an offer on, we can design a poster and place it over the top of the screen printed design like so …

    I came up with the idea for a creative mailer whilst sitting in a pub (how productive). But yes, thinking back to Chris’ original problem of getting people in through the bridal shop to the barber shop UPSTAIRS is quite a task, so I had the idea for a mailer that folded out to unveil stairs representing the obvious literal task of walking up them for a trim. As I made a few mock ups, I realised that the mailer could be shaped into a mustache when folded, making for a nice social media opportunity, subtly dropping in the hashtag #mustHASH to hint at this. Another good thing about the mailer is the two different views the user has once it’s opened up, the view that says ‘Helping Handsome’ and t’other one that says ‘Diligent Grooming’. [note; Helping Handsome was a rather apt tagline I came up with].

    Here’s Tom demonstrating one of the Mailers many talents:

    On the third client meeting I decided to take along my camera and get a few shots that I pre-planned for the website (website to follow in next few posts). I also took a few of Chris for him to use on his social media.

    A snippet of a few typographical website elements, it’s been a rather long process but I’m quite pleased with the outcomes (next posts)

  6. Following the photos of the video shoot for @scottquigg ‘s #boxing promo video, here’s the end product from the motion side of things. 

  7. Me and the missus decided to pop into Manchester early this morning, firstly to run a few erands and then we popped off to see the much hyped ‘Hunger Games’ (deserved hype by the way). I like going to the cinema, much the same as most people .. not only does it make for some nice unwind time, they also prove for great design inspiration and research with films being very topical, current and bang on trend. Another good reason I like going, is to find some printed gems in the form of film posters, like this one for Men in Black III. I love the simiplicist yet detailed visual approach, not only is the poster majorly stripped back to just the logo, getting closer in, it’s nice to see that some mis-printing and inperfection has been used to create thicker and bolder logos to ‘shade’ areas in a screen print like fashion. It’s always nice to see something different, something a bit risky in terms of risking the promotion of such a block buster film based on the poster either hitting or missing. Definately successful though, spiffing.

  8. Brilliant #boxing shoot today via @RocknineUK at @gallaghersgym with @scottquigg & @ant_crolla - 3.

    Last but not least - The money shots, my favourite photos from the day. Many more to come on Monday via @RocknineUK ’s blog and Twitter
  9. Brilliant #boxing shoot today via @RocknineUK at @gallaghersgym with @scottquigg  - 2.

  10. Brilliant #boxing shoot today via @RocknineUK at @gallaghersgym with @scottquigg & @ant_crolla - 1.

  11. Scott Quigg Promo Shoot

    Third day of placement at Rocknine and what a brilliant and quite surreal day it turned out to be. Craig is teaming up with a videographer to add another bow to the string in the shape of some boxing promo videos, with Craig being very much into boxing, especially local boxing, he managed to grab some of Scott Quigg’s time, the British Bantamweight champion. Rather brilliantly and by chance I was invited to tag along, documenting the day, whilst also taking some snaps of the boxers to use as research for reference photos and what turned out to be some half decent action photography. I’ve never really photographed people before, mainly due to lack of candid opportunity but techniques I’ve taught myself for taking photos of landscapes and objects kind of applied themselves to the task at hand. It was nice that Scott was so easy to work with, with him not really acknowledging the camera and going about his daily training routine in the gym with the other lads it made for some great candid shots. I’ll get some action photos posted over the next few posts and I shall undoubtedly update you lovely people as to the end product of the promo video that Craig and Kevin are producing.

  12. Following the DNA Carnival at Islington Mill a fortnight or so ago, I popped along to see Craig at Rocknine last week who kindly offered me a placement at his startup company that also happens to be based in my wonderfully beautiful hometown of Bury. Today was my first day, and after having a bit of a chat and setting up a new iMac, I was a set a few ‘bread and butter’ briefs (leaflets, posters, organising information etc), something I’ve never really had a go at before, but also something I was strangely enthused about giving a go in an effort to make the boring more exciting. The first one I decided to get my teeth into is guide to measure and weigh scrap metal for a scrap metal dealership, as seen above the information sent over was rather in your face along with being quite hard to read and follow. The task in hand was to make it slightly more pretty and more readable, it proved quite a challenge as all the information needed to be included in the same type of format with a similar layout. I went with a table that was more implied, removing the hard black segregating lines and making use of colours and toned areas to separate each column and line, making it easy to read along with looking a tad more appealing. Although it doesn’t look all that amazing, I’m quite pleased .. it made for a different kind of creative challenge than the ones I’m used to, it was also nice to spend time in a studio that was away from the hustle and bustle of city centre agencies, located deep in the hills, complete with a lovely little village sandwich shop. 

    I’ve also been invited to take a few snaps tomorrow of a promo video shoot for a local boxer, so I’m sure .. inbetween awkward moments in the boxing gym I shall be cracking on with a few behind the scenes photos. 

  13. After YCN board tweaking I also popped along to Hannah’s portfolio case making session. After some cutting of coverboard, before gluing some covering fabric paper atop of it, along with attaching a folding spine and repeating the process to leave me with a front and back cover. Hannah has kindly offered to go and drill holes in out covers, then we can put some binding screws in, allowing for an editable, screw bound portfolio book. Not only was it nice to take a break from annotation and NMP research, it also means I now know how to create a homemade bound book if a purpose ever arises.

  14. Earlier on, me and Tash went through my YCN boards to make some tweaks ready for submission next week. I’ve also had chat with a few designers whilst popping in for interviews/portfolio surgeries etc that have also give me a few pointers.

    Firstly, I’ve reluctantly added a ‘.com’ version of the logo because that’s what they asked for in the brief, although next to it I’ve put a little asterisk, with an explanation as to why it’s not appropriate, with the logo only really appearing on their website and box, in both situations the user SHOULD be aware of Graze in terms of brand and website. I’ve also decided to shift focus a bit, reducing the box designs from four to two, this is because I feel that the mailer and logo design are my favourite and strongest outcomes. I’ve also made a stronger use of my branding colours within the box, because I made a colour palette and used it on the outside, but not on the inside .. so a few little changes and it should, hopefully come together nicely.

    Now to upload and submit.  

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