Monday, 18 March 2013

Just checking in!

As usual, as soon as things get manically busy the blog gets totally neglected!

I've been having a great couple of months, with lots of great creative work and some brilliant new clients. However it seems the higher the calibre of the client, the less able I am to share the work! I've had to sign NDA's for half the work I've been doing, it seems big companies like to keep the work they outsource to freelancers under wraps. But it's all good news for me none-the-less.

I will have something fun to share soon, but in the meantime here is a character I've created for a client, that sadly got left behind at the conceptual stage.

 I'm sure we'll find a use for him one-day.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Beautiful December

I’m determined not to let this regular feature on my blog slip after only one month! So better late than never!

Christmas is, by nature, an extremely visual time; I could have taken a picture of every cherished decoration on my tree and given you a detailed account of where each and every one came from and what it means to me. But to be honest it’s nothing new, my tastes in Christmas decoration are not evolving particularly quickly and focus mainly on tradition and nostalgia.
So Christmas aside, it was hard to keep my head above water this month, like most people December generally means working every hour under the sun, rushing around shops in a mad panic and trying desperately not to succumb to seasonal illnesses by being asleep for any remaining available time. The only time I really had to sit down and appreciate anything was after the madness, in those precious few days of family time, playing with my sons new toys and watching hundreds of family movies, scoffing quality street and sipping baileys.

So my picks this month are all gifts my 3 year old received, afterall there’s nothing quite as exciting and creative as a product designed to capture the imagination of children.
The Pirates Next Door
We have read this book nearly every night since Christmas day, having fallen in love with the beautifully rich and indulgent graphic novel style illustration, I challenge anyone not to find themselves slipping into a west-country accent whilst reading. In-fact I’ve been perfecting voices for each of the 16 different characters – which I find entertaining, even if the 3 year old doesn’t.

Aside from the expertly written rhyming tale, I think what really captures our hearts is how British It is, or dare I say, English. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s fictional town, ‘dull-on-sea’, is so reminiscent of many of the towns along the south coast of England that it will immediately feel homely to anyone who has grown up, or even just holidayed regularly here. 

Vintage Style fire engine
Unbelievably our next door neighbours very kindly gave this to us as they no longer wanted it. We kept it hidden away until Christmas and even transported it all the way down to Devon, where we spent Christmas with family, so that he could open it on the big day.

As predicted it was received with wide eyed silent awe. Followed by rides around the garden with Grandpa, who was argueably the most excited of the pair.

Of course we haven’t really got room for it in our house, we don’t even have a suitable sized garden, so apart from the odd Austin powers style manoeuvring around the house and the odd trip down to the seafront when the weather is good, it’s main purpose is to be looked at and adored for just being so beautiful, and occasionally I will take a picture of it with my phone and put it on instagram. ;)

It’s only playdough, I hear you say. "Make it yourself", more conscientious parents chant.

Well, I won't lie, I only want the brightly coloured, well branded stuff, because to me it's smell is the very essence of childhood.
This is also what my son said to Father Christmas. When he asked what he would like for Christmas by the big guy, his answer was ‘Play-doh’ and Father Christmas knew that he meant the good stuff. And boy did he deliver….

In this impressive stash of play-doh the designer in me can’t help but get excited. I don't know if it's just collections of lots of the same thing that get me going, the fact that I can’t help but be reminded of a pantone chart or if I am in fact still just a big kid.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

First Aid Training Booklet

I've just receieved my copy of the first aid manual that I designed and laid out a few months ago. This was one of those lovely little projects, nice and relaxed with a lovely client. I'm looking forward to doing more work with them soon.

Sadly my beautiful DSLR camera is no more, so the pictures of this are poor quality phone camera pictures, which is a real shame. I really must get myself a new camera, but I'd need a small mortgage for the sony camera I really want, and I feel totally uninspired to spend money on anything else!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

2013 Showcase

I have spent every spare moment I have had in the last 6 weeks working on this showcase - to celebrate my first two years as a freelancer. I'm hoping to get this printed as an A5 booklet on some lovely thick paper with a matt finish - that is a project for the new year, when this crazy christmas rush has calmed down. For now I have used issuu, which I've been really impressed with.

Unfortunately I can't seem to find a way of embedding it into a blog post, so you can find it from the link below, or embedded in the right hand side of the blog.

I'm feeling really postive at the moment, with lots of great work coming in, I even have a new client that is a huge international name - but due to the NDA they had me sign it's going to be a while until I can share any of that work which is a shame! But fingers crossed it continues in the new year.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Brighton Cleaning Company - Van Wrap

At last I have a couple of pictures to share of the Brighton Cleaning Company's awesome little S-Cargo van. The plan was to use the logo and branding that I designed for them in a way that caught peoples attention, and Viktorija, owner of the company, says that it certainly does that, in fact some people have even stopped to have their picture taken with it! So I'd say that's a job well done!

Have you seen the Van about town in Brighton?

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Beautiful November:

Welcome to this new monthly feature on my blog, its purpose not just to keep my blog up to date, but also to keep my eyes open as a designer. When you’re learning to become a designer it’s all about the research, it's filling scrap books full of stuff you love and having your eyes open and being aware of design all around you. Later on, when you’re busy keeping clients happy and have your eyes glued to your screen most of the day, it becomes easy to forget that you need to remain aware of design in every part of your life, sometimes this might be a beautifully designed toy, another time it could be a trip to a new city where the atmosphere inspired you, or maybe even just an evening snuggled up in front of a film – you have to be a sponge and absorb it all.

So, here are just some of the beautiful things I have been inspired by in November.

Carol Rivello

On searching for colour inspiration this month I came across the website of this fantastic designer, I’m just absolutely in love with her illustrations, the colours textures and shapes are so dreamy. I’ve decided to stop being the green eyed monster every time I find a new design idol, but instead celebrate them! So this month I am celebrating Brazil based Carol Rivello!

I just love this illustrated brochure on recycled paper by Carol - to me that's the kind of job dreams are made of!

Images from:

Jade Langton Evans Photography

A friend of mine recently posted the most beautiful pictures on facebook, by Jade Langton Evans. I was immediately sucked in and spent a good 30 minutes browsing through Jades blog and was absolutely enchanted by her beautiful photographs.

Mainly family based and set in the most romantic looking woodland and rural locations, Jade’s photographs are imaginative and personal. I love her use of fabrics and textures to bring colour to her images and the way she uses early morning or late afternoon light to perfection.

images from:

Michael Keehan – Old Furniture New Thinking

Recently, in an attempt to make our large woodchip walled rented house more of a home, I started looking at the furniture we were putting in it rather than the colour of the walls or carpets. I decided I could make the furniture ours, even if the house isn’t!

So I started buying old furniture and painting it using Annie Sloan chalk paint. Being a busy person with both a business and a family to run, Annie Sloan’s paint suits me to a T. It’s water based, requires very little preparation or tedious cleaning of brushes and dries so quickly that I found I could easily finish a piece of furniture and have it back in the house in one day.

(some of my own Annie Sloan Projects)

I became a bit of a regular in Michael Keehan’s shop, my local supplier of Annie Sloan paint and furniture expert, so imagine my delight when I discovered the old garage just around the corner from my house was to become the new home of Michael Keehan! We walked past that garage many a time since it closed and wished someone would come and realise its full potential, so it’s lovely to now walk past it and have a good old nose at all the beautiful old and restored furniture. I love what they have done with the building, it really does seem true that in 2012 if you want to transform a building into something more upmarket, you merely paint it grey and employ the services of a good sign writer!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they do really well in their new premises so that I can enjoy having them just on my doorstep for years to come!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

An update and some website designs.

Wow, I really have been slack on the blog the last few months, I guess it’s a good sign that I haven’t had a minute to post, but I do wish I had something to show for it! I have so many projects that are still in development that I hope soon I’m going to have some new work to showcase!
At the moment I’m working on a brand design for a new insurance company, a series of first aid training booklets, Bliss's annual review & accounts and a website for a chiropractic clinic alongside my usual commitments and small one off jobs, it’s been really busy and I’m nearly reaching full time hours which is great.
One area I have been focusing on developing in the last six months is design for web. I’ve been working on quite a few websites and I’ve been really enjoying it. Frustratingly the ones I really want to share are either not yet live, or are password protected. So I’m tired of waiting to share the live sites so will share visuals instead:

These are two designs I have selected from eight sites I have design so far for
who provide websites and cataloging software for museums, archives and not-for-profit organisations. The Waitrose one actually is live, here:

This is the design for the Shoreham Chiropractic Clinic, which is going to be going live any day now! They're great to work with and sorted my neck out a few months ago, I thoroughly recommend them!

And finally a small very basic site for an insurance client that I'm pretty pleased with.

In the interest of keeping my blog current I'm thinking of creating a 'What I love this month' monthly post, which will talk about designs, websites, and trends that I'm finding particularly inspiring. Now I just need to find an extra 2 hours a month... ;)