The end of inktober

Just like the BDF poster brief, I was eager and anxious to start inktober in equal measure. In hindsight, you’ve just gotta do these things haven’t you? The end result was a month of getting back to the practice of drawing, and finishing with a better knowledge of Procreate, and a bank of doodles that I can take forward into other areas of design and illustration.

Newer tricks

Really impressed with the Adobe Draw app.  

Great way to get an authentic sketch into a digital format and waiting for you on the creative cloud.  

All I did in Illustrator was add a pale yellow backdrop and used pathfinder to merge all the vector pieces.  

Straight onto Adobe Stock with you! 


One man's vermin, another's stock imagery.  

New tricks

Dragging my heels, I know, but just starting to get to grips with Adobe mobile apps.  

On this occasion, illustrator Draw. 

Great UX, and simple tools. 

will get some updates online ASAP. 


Old iPad, old stylus. New ideas.  

From scribble to slick

Time always dictates the finish, but this (somewhat messy) desk shot shows a typical project timeline. 

I normally start with rough concept scribbles (in foreground) perfect for stage 1 internal discussion and direction. Once we're on the right path, it's natural to move onto a more detailed hand-drawn visual (top right with post-it), to flesh out the art direction and cost-effectively see what does, and does not work. Then it depends on client preferences really. Most are happy with a hand visual to get the ide across, some like Mac visuals. On this occasion 5 creative executions were hand visualised (marker visual-style) and one was mac-visualised (top left with pens on), just to give them an idea of how it can look. 

Don't worry, the coconut water was just a phase I was going through.

Concepts from scribbles, for internal discussion to hand and mac visuals for client presentations. 

Concepts from scribbles, for internal discussion to hand and mac visuals for client presentations. 

100% kerning

I don't have any hard and fast rules on kerning (does it read ok? Is probably my best tip) but I do get rattled when I see work that seems to have forsaken it. 

That's why, every now and then, I go to and play the kerning game. 

Skills sharpened! 

What's that? 100%.? So it is.

What's that? 100%.? So it is.

Blank page branding

When time is tight it's tempting to go straight to Mac, especially on branding projects, but I find a pen (or pencil) and paper is the best way for me to cover ground quickly and involve clients in first thoughts. 

if they get the idea in its roughest form, then it's passed round one. 

A blank page is always scary, the only way to get past that is to start filling it with ideas.  

A blank page is always scary, the only way to get past that is to start filling it with ideas.  

Old-tool scamp

A battered old sign pen is great for scamping stuff out. I'm not the best scamper, but the nib on this old thing means I can be really light and keep going over stuff. Which is great at hiding mistakes.  



Rubber retouching

Rubber retouching? Don't worry, it's not as perverse as it sounds.

Sometimes I'm just asked for the ideas, sometimes I'm asked to sketch them up, but it's always nice to be asked to take them a bit further, like this hi res retouch, part of a larger campaign for a global tyre brand which I conceived, scamped and then worked into a high res, print-ready visual.

The initial scamps were rough, as requested by the agency, to work fast. Part of the brief was that the final image had to be sourced from a stock library, so that informed what I could use. The tyre tread was taken from a tyre shot in studio, then manipulated to work as the trainer sole. The overall colouration was altered to add a technical, premium feel, again part of the brief. 

The third gallery image is the original stock shot, highlighting the overall changes. 

Weird scampin'

I love the fact that, in my line of work, one day I can be creating a functional logo for internal communication, and the next it's a badly-wrapped pneumatic drill. 

As you do. 



Scamping straight into Adobe PS CC using my new Wacom. Well, it's a bit of tracing really, but the results are perfect for the job and I'm saving bags of time scanning.

Straight into Adobe PS CC

Straight into Adobe PS CC

Weapon of choice - Intuos Pro.  

Weapon of choice - Intuos Pro.  

Sensitivity is really impressive, giving a pretty natural feel! 

Sensitivity is really impressive, giving a pretty natural feel! 

Stealth rat...

Really stoked about a new personal project I'm on, don't want to divulge too much, till it's off the ground, but it should be a great channel for my illustration work, and hopefully something that will grow in time.


   Rats rule IMHO.


Rats rule IMHO.


Made the decision to try's Luxe range for my new cards. They compress four sheets of Mohawk Superfine paper to create a 600gsm board. They have an uncoated, and tactile texture, mine have a black infill, other colours are available. 

Pleased with the results, the cost and the turnaround, but most impressed with moo's touchpoints when it comes to their site, packaging and brand tone. 

Nice textured box with hidden magnetic seal, finished with a faux velvet bellyband and faux wax stamp. 

It seems that everything has an edge of minimal, considered design nowadays, so I'm half expecting this trend will lead to some sort of anti-designed movement...? delivering more than just business cards.