Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2017

This year seems to have gone by quicker than ever... Globally things still seem pretty grim, but I hope you've managed to have a good year and that 2018 is better for all of us

New Year's Resolution: update the blog more frequently :)


David Bowie


I was cleaning out a cupboard this weekend when I came across this painting I did of Bowie that I'd completely forgotten about - it bought a little tear to my eye...

Bowie Jean Jeanie.jpg

I made an album...

Years ago, I made an album, then, apart from giving a few handmade CDs to close friends, forgot all about it...

But then I found the files and uploaded them to Soundcloud so everyone can listen.

It's all instrumental electronica, so you don't have to worry about my singing voice. If that sounds like your sort of thing, here's a link.

ps. the song titles are all related to the Final Fantasy series of video games...


Merry Xmas & Happy New Year 2016

Wow - 2016 was a bit of a rollercoaster wasn’t it? I hope you managed to get through it without being too traumatised and that 2017 is much better for all of us, and the world in general. And I hope you manage to have a wonderful Christmas break.


Yesterday an old friend (Hi Mark) asked if I'd still got copies of some work we did together on a project called Weird about 20 years ago (20 years... wow, that went fast)

Weird was a 'edutainment CD-ROM' - a sort of cross between a video game and an interactive book about weird stuff. You explored a strange environment, clicking on anything that looked interesting to reveal a video interview, narrated slideshow or just a text based story.

I dug through my old backup discs and was surprised to find I could still open them and access all the files - I had to do a bit of file conversion (who remembers PICT files) and was surprised at how small there were: 640 x 480. Even phones have MUCH bigger screens today :)

Anyway, the process bought back a lot of happy memories so thought I'd present some of the weird and wonderful work I found.

The Pitch

Here's some of the (many) event graphics I did for this year's Microsoft Ventures The Pitch event happening which happening last week and was organised by the wonderful folk at Forgather...

Here's the final logo

And here's some initial concepts showing how it might be used on promotional material...

Corporate Identity Case Study: 100TB

I thought some of you might be interested in the process of designing a corporate identity. In this case study I'm going to concentrate purely on the visual side of things, and ignore the equally important positioning side - the 'who are we and how do we say what we want to say' stuff...

Please bear in mind that this is a dramatic oversimplification and that the work shown shown below only represents a tiny fraction of the actual work involved!

Competitive Analysis

This basically involves looking at their competition and seeing how they fit in with them. One of the most important decisions any brand needs to make is whether they want to blend in with the rest or stand out from the pack.

The first steps would be to collect and compare logos and other brand assets such as palettes and websites.

Initial Design Concepts

Once this process has been completed and discussed and some decisions have been made it's time to start coming up with some logo concepts. Obviously there's no end to how many ideas a client will want to see but you have to start somewhere, so it's a good idea to come up with several 'routes' and work from there.

It's also helpful to visualise how some of these routes might be expressed later on and to give an idea of what the logos might look like in situ...

It's normally not a good idea to worry too much about colours and typefaces at this point as they can distract from the 'bigger picture' and can easily be changed later...

Hopefully something will catch their imagination (in this case the infinity symbol) and act as a catalyst for the next stage.


Once a logo has been chosen it's time to start polishing it, or as I like to think of it, 'variations on a theme'. It's incredible how tiny changes can make the difference between something that looks wrong or right.


Next, it's time to think about colours and mock up some examples of how they might be used in the real world. Typically this would involve the development of a primary set of colours for the actual logo itself and a secondary palette that will work with it.

And finally...


RIP David Bowie

Yesterday the world lost David Bowie. I've been listening to my Best of Bowie playlist pretty much constantly since then which has just bought home how great a musician he was, let alone a visual icon. He did more than anyone I can think of to influence the look and feel of music during my life - and I didn't know how much I'd miss him until he was gone...

Here's an old painting I did of him many years ago