Sunday, 15 April 2012

Before, after.

Just a quick one for today. As it frequently is, this is about one of my contributions to Unstruck, Alex's nearly-daily question and answer blog. In case you're not aware what the project is about, there's a bit more of an explanation here.

This is slightly different to the normal stressful half-hour deadline though.

Coming up later this month, Alex has been invited to take part in a small exhibition at the Brighton Jubilee Library, as part of the May Fringe Festival festivities.
As it's in the library, he's decided to choose a small selection of Unstruck pieces which specifically relate to reading, book and/or libraries.

One of them is this piece, which I illustrated.

However, annoyingly, this happens to be one of my 'bad days'. Actually I found the piece very inspiring, and had a pretty strong idea immediately of what I wanted to do, but that day I was up in London until late in the evening, so didn't have a free moment with my pens, laptop and scanner to produce an illustration in my usual way. Generally, I try and keep to the rules of the project and produce my illustration on the day I receive the piece, so on the train home, I got out my phone, and used the 'Brushes' app to produce this.

I was pleased with it considering I did it on a shaky train with dwindling battery life and poor lighting, but unfortunately, it looked substantially better on a tiny screen than it does full size.

Now that this piece is going to be going on display, and my name is going to be attached to it, I've decided to redo the piece as I originally invisaged, to the standard I'd want. It's still not my favourite thing I've done for Unstruck, but I'm a lot happier with it now.

I'll possibly post again about the exhibition... Alex will be selling prints of all the featured pieces, featuring both the illustration and his text, with 2/3 of the profit going to the illustrator, and 1/3 to him. They'll be very reasonably priced (Probably around £5), and hopefully lovely looking. I have been called upon to design the prints and make the text and images work well together. I have nice plans, and am looking forwards to getting started!

Monday, 2 April 2012


So, as the (in)frequency of my posts implies, I do actually have a real job. A job which pays me money to sit in front of a computer all day and arrange words and pictures on pages in a manner which is hopefully pleasing to the eye.
I like my employer, they (seem) to like me, sometimes we have biscuits, sometimes we have cakes, they're taught me the difference between hyphens, en and em dashes — I'm basically living the dream!

Not least because it's varied. I work in-house for a group of international colleges, and we're a fairly small team, which means we get to dip our fingers into absolutely all aspects of promoting and running the colleges. We have the big job every year of producing large brochures, but this time of year it's often more about beautifying the colleges themselves.

I've just recently completed a rather lovely task, which involved a brand shiny new halls of residence for our Bournemouth college. The halls are a beautiful conversion of an Old Post Office building, and it's been done really well. Inside the halls, we needed a good strong signage system to direct people around. Me and my senior designer worked together on this, but he was also keen to include some large decorative (but still representative) graphics for certain doors.

I took over on this bit, and they went down really well, so rather excitingly, I got to actually see them get used in real life.

I've worked in this job long enough that seeing my work in print is something I've got used to (although it still excites me), however, seeing my work go up in such a permanent manner is just brilliant. Not only that, but I got to go and supervise the installation, AND was entrusted with a big technical camera to take pictures of the new residence for our promotional materials.

So here are a selection of (not so great) pictures which I took on my iphone showing the signage I designed...

And here are a selection of marketing photos which I took on the big intimidating camera...