Tag Archives: design

Focus IX

Trying my hand at some minimalist abstract.

This picture actually has a bit going on in it. But maybe that’s only cause I know what’s going on. If that makes sense.

Also I don’t know how you can present something like this well digitally, it seems so flat. I tried to add a little depth to it without removing the original premise with an overlay.

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Polly Wan’a Cracker

Been trying out some new stuff, first one was an attempt at creating a word picture I guess, I have no idea if these things have a proper name.

The original picture can be found here. I used it because I took the photo myself and it’s one of the few that I actually have access to at the moment.

The photo was selected with the ellipse tool in Gimp and a feather of 100 pixels.

I then took the ipsum lorem generated words and a white background selected the words and inverted the selection, cut that out and pasted it on top of the picture.

The second picture I’ve done was more of a straight follow of a tutorial that I came across, with a few tweaks.

The parrot I got from here.

The flowers from here and here.

The paper from here.

Been having a lot of fun in between trying to come up with a logo for this blog. Now that’s tricky, following tutorials is pretty simple in comparison to be honest. When I next get the time I think I’m just going to sit down with gimp and play with different filters.

Been looking at the cost of new computers and wondering if I should just get a Mac. Seems to be the Graphics Design industry standard and I don’t totally hate them.

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Inspire Poster

Went back to one of the tutorials I saw an age ago and never really got around to having a go at.

I used everything the guy in the tutorial uses so same credits as that except for the following.

The font is Super Retro which I modified quite heavily.

I also added the German flag gradient as I thought it add a little more depth and interest to the rainbow gradient.

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It’s How You Say It

Just some thoughts today, was messing around in Gimp earlier trying to sort something out, but I just can’t draw in that program, so until I get Inkscape back up and running I guess I’m a little stuffed.

I’ve had one of those days where I really want to do something, but just can’t seem to. I swear I’m most creative somewhere around 10pm, which isn’t always the most ideal.

Trying to work on a font and got some very rough ideas sketched out. The idea is based on modern pop music. Whilst I was in South Africa one of the artists (for want of a better word at the moment) that my friends there really liked was Nicki Minaj. I couldn’t stand her and I hate the way that part of the music industry is heading.

Stupid Ho is my first idea. I want it to be a font that would be used by pop stars that cover up the lack of any talent with music.

The font would be based on Comic Sans because there is a font that is popular and overused without any thought as to why or appropriateness but also because it’s clownish and the fact that it’s mass produced makes it slightly worthless. The hand inked comic lettering is something I’m a huge fan of, but taking that and sticking it into something as rigid as a mechanical font just rips the heart out of it.
One of the features would be large bowls for the letters, because bigger is better. *wink*
I want to shade some of the v and the w because it’s an easy way to draw attention to itself. Think about it.
The idea is to turn the comic sans into a script font though, cover up the ugliness of the comic sans font with something that’s supposed to be beautiful and if it’s not bastardised actually has a real beauty about it.

Hopefully once I’m done it will come across as something that is gaudy, forced, monotonous but might look well produced in a beautifully ugly way. Terrifying? Sexy? In the worst possible way.
Something I’ve been contemplating a lot recently is beginnings and ends, with moving back from South Africa last year and arriving in the UK without any real prospects or leads it’s given me time to think.

I truly believe that an end is just another way of saying beginning.


I just wanted to show a little of how I refine my writing. My original phrase for it was going to be.

Don’t spend too much time staring at a door that has closed or you will miss the one that is opening.

1st revision: If you spend too much time looking at the door that has shut you will miss the one opening.

2nd revision: Spend too much time staring at the shut door and you’ll never see the new ones opening.

3rd revision: Spend too much time staring at the door that just shut and you’ll miss the one that’s opening.
Just want to apologise quickly for the style of the blog changing all the time. I’m trying to hit on a style of setting it out that I’m happy with. Trying not to make big changes at a time though. Heck you probably wouldn’t have even noticed if I hadn’t said anything.

So what do you think? Let me know if you want, always happy to hear from whoever is reading.

Am I the only one who’s brain doesn’t seem to kick in till late night by the way? Do you have your own creative time?

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It’s Finished

This was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be when I started. I’ve been looking over Jonathan Barnbrook’s work and wanted to take a shot at making something typographic only. Also it’s about the only thing this laptop is capable of doing.

So I was sat in church yesterday and started scribbling, I can’t show you the scribble cause my laptop doesn’t like talking to my scanner, but trust me they are there.


The base font is Bookman Oldstyle Semi-Bold. It was chunky enough to fill up the space and fairly regular in size. Honestly it’s a font I’ve always liked. Reasons I maybe shouldn’t have used it would be that this is a fairly bookish font, and it doesn’t really do anything to bring the words themselves alive. It looks like it would when read.

I had to resize the N, thethe final D. I’ve obviously linked some letters here and there and the I is actually two tops of a T and then I removed the bottom …bits. Can’t think of what you would call that part of a letter.

I’m not totally happy with the spacing and I might take another look at it tomorrow when I have a bit more time again. Especially the SH at the bottom, but thinking of changing the wording slightly anyway, will try different things out.

Produced in GIMP (The only program my laptop doesn’t seem to hate)

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Fear and Typography

This is going to be a little bit long, so just bear with me.

Today I spent the day in Starbucks. I had a 2:15 meeting where I was told that my CV was excellent and then band practice at 7pm where I suggested a song and now they want me to lead it. But anyway, I had to find somewhere to wait out of the rain between the two and I used the wait as an opportunity to draw and think. So whilst I was sitting there, sipping on my Venti Caramel Machiatto I came to a realisation about typography and, I guess, myself.

Typography first, then. I  was sat there and started on something and then that sort of drifted into another though and then I had idea jumping to idea flowing to inspiration (although inspiration might be putting it a little strongly.) That is why today’s is so long as I’m going to cover as much of it as possible.

It started out with me trying to draw the Quality,Speed and Cost triangle. The basic idea is that You can pick two from the following:

  • A product that is of good Quality
  • A product that is delivered Quickly, or
  • A product that is cheap.

Distilled it’s something like this.

  • Quality
  • Fast
  • Cheap

Pick two

There are pictures, but this is going to be a long enough post as it is already and they probably aren’t that important. I wanted to write the word Quality in a nice font and decided to draw my own. My idea was to draw a nice font with a double line and so I started sketching. I thought a capital A would be a good place to start. Good old A. (Why I didn’t just write ‘Quality’ I don’t know)

It was about this point that I started wondering if two lines was too complicated for me.

Does the cross bar overlap the primary triangle (I’m sure there are official names for these). Does only half? If only half does the one touching the outside lines (the longer one) go above or below the shorter one? Do they only overlap on one side? Does only one of the cross bars on one side cross? Does the inner line stay inside or cross?

Does each one tell me something different, a new story? Which shouts quality more and which showgirls? Does one make it look more African and one more refined?  If each line were a different colour does it look like a drop shadow, or a copy? Or a psychadelic drug trip? Hell I’ve not even looked at the ANGLE of the damn thing, let alone the angle of the two outside (primary?) lines.

And is any of it original? Should I care? Can there be an absolute of originality or just a scale? Does a scale imply an absolute?

And I’m not even using Serifs.

B was filling me with terror by this point.

I swear that I just about gave up, then and there but I realised something, fear is the only thing that is stopping (good?) design. I’m afraid of doing something unknown and not knowing the result that I will finish with so in a way I’d rather never start.

So I stopped, took a deep breath and decided on a rule or three and came up with the below as something to work from and I was going to finish it no matter what.

I’m not happy with what I got, but it’s a point to start from. I tried to make the “Primary” lines vertical  open at either end and no overlaps. I’m not completely happy with the result as you can see with the t,i and l that I tried to redraw. But it’s something and it’s a starting point. I don’t think it looks that classy so from that point of view it’s a failure, but from another it’s a starting point.

I got a little creative at this point and tried to come up with a font that uses as little of the letter form as possible whilst still having the letter recognisable. Needs work. But as you can see I got past my block and started thinking creatively (I hope).

Moving on I then started thinking about the form of the letters and out of nowhere a thought came to me about using letters only, to draw a scene and I’ve got two here I want to work on further. (The second one is the little one up in the top left.

Last but not least I started on the A-Z of Graphic Design idea by just writing down every word I could associate with it. I’ll post up the list tomorrow, it got quite long but I’m pretty sure I didn’t cover every letter.

What I learnt today is to get past my fear of the thing not being as good as you are hoping it will be and to just do and it will lead somewhere good. The other thing I learnt is that WordPress thinks that ‘learnt’ isn’t a word.

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Birthday Septopus

A friends 18th birthday today, she loves green, so I made this super happy octopus. For the octopus I followed this and converted to Inkscape and then I did the words myself, which shows!

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Spiro Swirls

I’ve always really liked the look of those loopy, very smooth things but never really known what they were called or how the heck to make them. Whilst looking around on the net I came across a tutorial for making them on Inkscape. They get called Spiro Swirls there, not sure if it’s their proper name but I like it! That tutorial was for an old version and nearly impossible to follow. So I flexed my fingers and called up my powers of Google-fu and got a different tutorial.

After messing around for a bit I got these, brilliant tutorial that’s amazingly easy to follow and I do love the shapes.

Would just like to note that if you don’t convert it to the path that it doesn’t stay symmetrical, but it can give some very interesting patterns, I like this one here.

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Welcome Leaflet Part 3

Just a quick one before I turn in, made the changes that Tara suggested in his Comment on the last post just to take a look and think I like it a bit better, might have overdone it with the space around though, will fiddle and see what I like.

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Welcome Leaflet Part 2

Okay,  I tried printing out the previous page one and I realised that I don’t have access to a border-less printer so a redesign was in order. As I was falling asleep last night I had an idea which I sketched out roughly before I forgot about it.

After that I took a bash at putting it all together.

Okay my reasoning for the design layout as I’m trying to do everything deliberately.

Firstly it’s portrait rather than landscape because that makes it more personal and a little confrontational meaning people are more likely to be engaged by it.

I used the circles for their symbolism of unity and togetherness, it’s a fairly neutral shape, but together like that it makes an interesting layout which I really enjoy visually. Also with so many of them it adds an element of everyone together.

The blue is due to the colouration of the original logo and also I feel there is freedom in the colour. that the grey rather than a black means that I’m not working in absolutes.

The circles stop at the top third of the page and I’ve tried to make it non-dead space by putting the logo and address up there and bringing the negative space into a bit of life.

The cross and the text are where they are to fill out the bottom half of the grid.

Things I don’t like:

  • I tried to line up all the text on the right side so the address, the word ‘Church’ and the text at the bottom all finish on the same line. But this means that the Church isn’t centred in its area.
  • I don’t like the way the text falls in the top box and the text box at the bottom. It’s justified oddly and I don’t like having a single word on a line, will look into different font sizes or different wording even.

As always, let me know what you think.

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