Thursday, 7 May 2015

Branding your Creative Business

Oooooo I'm so excited! My new course is now live on Skillshare. I've been working on this course for a few months and hope it will help all those people who find the branding of their businesses a little tricky. My main inspiration for this course was meeting a load of talented surface pattern designers and many of them found the branding of their business their biggest hurdle to get started. Even as a graphic designer myself, branding yourself is one of the hardest jobs due to how personal it is.

This course will break down all the steps to creating a perfect brand. In part 1 of this course - Define your brand - we will look at:
Defining your business
Your perfect customer or client
Your brand questionnaire
Your brand name
Your brand mission statement
And writing a design brief for your logo design

Part 2 will be all about Designing your logo and part 3 will cover releasing your brand to the world! more details coming soon.

Hope you can join me on the first part! check out more details here:

Friday, 24 April 2015

100 days of hand lettering

I'm always one for starting new challenges! Advent challenge has been loads of fun but last Christmas I couldn't keep up so when I embarked on #the100dayproject I thought 'this will be a miracle to keep this up!' So I decided to keep it simple and focused on an area I really wanted to get better at...
#100daysofhandlettering seemed like a good plan as I could be as intricate or as simple and quick as I wanted each day, depending on my time.

I kicked off on a lovely sunny day so felt I wanted to reflect that in Day 001!!

Day 002 things got a little more detailed! This took a few hours whilst I watched a film ;) 

And then around day 9-10 I signed up to an app called Steller where I could start recording all the days in a flip book...
A few days later it was picked up for their Stellerverse Collection and appeared on their front page! 

This was just what I needed... I'm feeling really inspired now to get to 100! I can already feel my skills and confidence improving...

I'm using Tombow and Micron pens, sometimes using a guide pencil... And just started using a paint brush too... Next up I really need to master calligraphy!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Branding your creative business - new course!

Oooooo, I'm pretty excited... I'm in the process of creating a new online course all about Branding your Creative Business - really aimed at everyone running a business in a creative field who might need a little help with their branding... This course will be launched on Skillshare in the next few months. 
I hope you can join me soon!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Advent Challenge 2014 Showcase

I've been so blown away with everyone's responses to Advent Challenge 2014, I just had to do a post showcasing some of the amazing talent taking part...

For the last few years I've run an Advent Challenge, starting with Advent Doodle in 2012. This year I wanted to go bigger and better suggesting anyone could enter from artists, musicians, poets, dancers and film makers... To be fair, it's mostly been artists - but the level of artistry and creativity is pretty astounding. 

Here's a selection of some awesome people taking part and their work... Sit back, put on the Christmas music and enjoy this feast for your eyes!

I love Mary's (aka Groovity) bright folky style - check out more of her work here. I also need to thank Mary for asking me to do another challenge this year!

Rebecca Stoner's illustrations are just lovely, love the colour palette too!

I love seeing what Meg (May I Design) comes up with each day - her embroidery is amazing!

Melissa Iwai is an illustrator and children's book author. I'm so in love with her magical illustrations - I'd hang most of them on my wall!

The best thing about running something like this is meeting new designers and illustrators mostly on Instagram using the hashtag #adventchallenge2014 
Katherine Lenius is one of those people! Her style is so fun and fresh

I also saw Kayleen West was taking part via Instagram, she's a children's book author and illustrator from Australia. I'm loving her cute illustrations, especially the penguin!

Lindsay Buck (aka Slumbermonkey) is an Advent Challenge veteran, having taken part since the start! She's used the prompts to create a series of awesome patterns and illustrations. Lindsay also set up a pinterest board collating some of the designs from people taking part. 

It's great to see the challenge go global, Jessica Phillips is an illustrator from Canada. I love her characters and the colour palette gives her illustrations a really fresh festive feel. 

Christine Gardner has used the prompts to create a collection of patterns and illustrations that all look amazing together - I can imagine a whole range of greeting cards, wrapping paper and tags!

Bley Hack has also used the prompts to create a series of fabulous patterns. It's hard to choose but I think my favourite is the Nutcracker top right.

Other artists have picked a couple of prompts to illustrate. Suzanne Washington (Suzy Spellbound) illustrated this beautifully intricate tree decoration for Day 3. 

Anne Bomio from Switzerland created this striking pattern, I really love the cute illustrations and colours. 

Julie Hamilton (Artistically Afflicted) created this stunning illustration for Day 7 - Winter Wonderland. Julie was brilliant at spreading the word about the Advent Challenge, helping it to go truly global! Thanks so much Julie, it's been a massive success!

I can't wait to see what everyone ends of doing with all their new artwork. I'm hoping to see some on the shelves next year. Make sure you check out #adventchallenge on Instagram to view all the amazing work, by many artists. And if you have taken part and would like to be included in this or a future blogpost please email me one jpg. 

I'd like to thank all the artists who have taken part. It's honestly a joy to open up instagram each morning and see the new illustrations, just like opening an advent calendar each day! 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Latest logo designs...

I've had a busy few months with our lovely little baby daughter but managed to squeeze in some branding projects... here's a few logos I've been working on lately.

Logo for Original Cinema Posters. I loved designing this and working with the client closely. I'm going to write a full post about it soon.

Branding for Glister Plumbing and Heating. Craig wanted a professional fresh logo that represented both elements of the business. 

Branding for COAL Fitness. COAL stands for Change of a lifestyle. Liam also wanted to incorporate a diamond element to the design linking to the word COAL. 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Summer of Design - Project #5 - Be a fashion designer

Week 5 and project 5 is a fun one you can go to town on! Missed a project? please check out Project 1 - 50 thingsProject 2 - Alphabet photographyProject 3 - Interior Design and Project 4 - designing wrapping paper in the links. I hope you are enjoying all the projects and it's keeping your big kids and little kids busy!


You will need - drawing materials such as pencils or pens and/or a computer programme like photoshop

Ever fancied designing your very own fashion collection? Well here's your chance!! There's a few avenues you could take as a fashion designer, you could design every aspect from the shape and design of the garments or you could be a textile designer and design the fabric / surface pattern. Some people specialise in designing hats or shoes.  

The project
In this project we will use the templates to design an outfit – either a dress, bag and shoes or a sportwear collection – tshirt, baseball cap and trainers.

Click to print off a larger version

Click to print off a larger version

You'll start by doing some all important research. Either take a trip to the shops and start noting what outfits and patterns you like... or go online and check out shops such as Top Shop for latest trends. Pinterest is also a great place for inspiration. What designs do you like – geometric? Tribal? Animals?
What colours do you like? Start thinking of a colour palette for your collection. Check out for some great palettes!

Start sketching down ideas you like, or take photos of anything that inspires your imagination – the sky, stones, food – could be anything. And then start narrowing down where you see your collection heading. Start getting together a mood board.

And then use the templates to design your clothing , either on the computer in a programme like photoshop or just sketch with pencils or pens. Maybe you'll design 3 outfits that could all mix and match together. Use the templates however many times you need to design your perfect outfit.

Example outfit using photoshop

What are we learning here...
This project helps you start thinking about how collections work – a group of work that all looks like it belongs together but is different too. Surface pattern designers do this a lot – they might design 10-12 patterns that form part of a collection.  

Liked this project?
Design more of your collection or try using the other template and creating something completely different.

Sportswear designs with felt tip pens

Modifications for younger children
My son has only just started drawing inside the lines of colouring books – I'm not sure he's up for designing his first fashion collection yet but encourage them to think of colours that work well together. You could also get geometric sticking shapes to get younger kids to use and help start making patterns.

My son 'designing' his outfit!

Keep updated
If you would like to be kept updated with the projects please like my facebook page and I'll be posting reminders there. I will also let you know what materials might be needed for the following weeks project.
Also if you would like to send me any of your projects to feature on my blog please email them to me with the subject SUMMER OF DESIGN