Friday, 22 April 2016

Lettering for Country Living Magazine

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Country Living since the beginning of this year, when the design of this iconic magazine was refreshed.


I was asked by the art director to create a hand lettering style to reflect this fresh take on the magazine. After some experimentation we went for this soft but legible brush lettering with tonal highlights to complement the rich photography and stylish Didone typography that run throughout its pages. 


It seems appropriate that this lettering is bespoke, working closely with the art director, each individual piece is hand crafted to work within the beautifully balanced page layouts. 


I’m looking forward to continuing the work, the lettering will gradually span all areas of the magazine from monthly article logos, to headlines and pull quotes. 




To see more of my magazine work - head over to the editorial folder on my portfolio website.


Friday, 18 March 2016

Brenda Starr Mysteries Branding

You couldn’t get a much more exciting client than feisty red-headed reporter, Brenda Starr!

Click for larger images
Brenda Starr’s origins in the 1940s had a big influence on the style of the logo. A dynamic combination of loose script and structured retro-inspired lettering kept the style fresh and contemporary with a nod to her comic roots. A simple star monogram offered a neat alternative to the full mark.


For continuity, this high impact, lipstick-red lettering has been taken across the Brenda Starr Mysteries website and book covers. It was specifically designed to complement James Boyle’s striking illustrative style, with its lively line work and dynamic colours. One of my favourite pages is a glimpse into the Starr World, a witty combination of lettering, illustration and pull quotes, introducing key characters in the series and bringing Brenda Starr firmly into modern world. 


It’s always a pleasure to be commissioned by someone of Jon Salem’s creative vision, his strong visual concept for the brand and depth of knowledge of the genre was an inspiration.


Take a moment to check out the website and enter the exciting world of Brenda Starr. The first novel, Black Orchid Murders is set for publication later this year.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Love is all ... Logo

It seems appropriate to post some news about my latest logo design in time for Valentine’s Day.

Commissioned by internationally acclaimed British designer, Rebecca Street, I was asked to develop a script logo for her new designer bridal wear venture, ‘Love is all …’ by Rebecca Street.

Aiming to give the logo a light and airy touch, I decided that a fine brush would give the freedom and elegance I needed. As with all jobs, I put together a set of initial roughs for Rebecca to view and we struck up a dialogue to develop the lettering and pin down the final artwork. Used online as well across printed packaging and stitched labels, the logo needed to be strong enough to work across a variety of media and at a range of sizes. Rebecca Street already has an established brand, so my lettering was designed to work neatly with her existing logo but can also stand alone if necessary.

It was a pleasure to collaborate with another designer, albeit in the medium of fabric rather than ink and paper - if you have a moment, take a look at her beautiful designs.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Rewriting History - Teaching Tolerance Magazine Lettering

I was delighted to be asked by Southern Poverty Law Center to contribute to their magazine, Teaching Tolerance.

The article, Rewriting History - for the Better, highlights how the US social studies curricula fails to tell the tragic and complicated story of the nations original inhabitants.

After working through some initial ideas, this fluid, mono linear pen style was chosen to complement Julie Flett’s atmospheric illustration on the article’s opening double page spread.

See more titles and pull quotes like these in the editorial folder on my site, as well as mastheads, maps and letter-heavy illustration.


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Album Lettering for Paul Carrack's Soul Shadows

It’s been a busy few months and one of the projects I’ve really enjoyed working on is the hand lettering for Paul Carrack’s new album release, Soul Shadows.


The album has come in the wake of Paul Carrack’s time as featured vocalist and keyboard player in Eric Clapton’s band for his UK and international tour, the result of their longtime friendship and mutual respect.

I was commissioned to work on the album title and track list by Ian Ross, an old friend and much respected designer I first worked for over 20 years ago at Bill Smith Design. It was Ian who introduced me to Paul Carrack’s music some years ago, an artist well known in the industry as a ‘musician’s musician’, so I was delighted to have the chance to contribute something to the album design.


With a loose but legible letterform in mind, I decided to work with brush to create a fluid but slightly raw and not ‘too perfect’ line for the lettering. You can see the hand lettered Paul Carrack logo in use on his official website, while the album and track titles are positioned throughout the packaging design in vibrant turquoise to contrast with the soulful greys and blue-blacks of Paul Cox’s moody photography.

You can see more on this project and my hand lettering for the record industry in my music folder.


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Pixar Lettering for Wired Magazine

It was exciting to be asked to work on the lettering for Wired Magazine’s fascinating article on Pixar’s John Lasseter.

Referencing early animation titling and sign writing brush script, I was asked to develop a sympathetic style that would work with the dynamic opening page photograph. It’s always great when an art director gives you this sort of challenge, short on time and with quite a bit of copy, I immediately started experimenting with a variety of brushes and papers to get the feel I was after.

Finally settling on this softly textured brush stroke and controlled script form, I completed the title as well as additional lettering throughout the article. As ever with Wired Magazine, it was a pleasure to see how the hand drawn forms complemented the abundant colour photography and vibrant design of the piece.

Click through to my editorial folder to see more of the project.



Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Simple Minds v The Stranglers Limited Edition Single Lettering

Thrilled to work on the lettering for a new single brought out by these two era-defining bands, Simple Minds and The Stranglers

To celebrate their forthcoming tour together, when The Stranglers will be special guests of Simple Minds, the bands got together to record a version of The Stranglers' 1977 punk classic, '(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)'. Influenced by The Stranglers and the Punk ethos in general, read Jim Kerr's thoughts on first seeing the band live when they performed in Glasgow.


Created with a pen I made specifically to capture the raw energy and anarchism of Punk, I hand lettered the single title and added it to distressed versions of the bands' iconic logos. I had some fun working on a range of options (some of which you can see on my website) before this version was settled on.  It was then printed as a limited edition onto collectible 7" white vinyl in black and vibrant green.

You can see more of my work for Simple Minds and the music industry here.