Tuesday, 30 March 2010

New Work!: One night, two gigs, two posters.

The Lucid Dream & Black Market Karma at The Source

Vivian Girls & German Measles at the Brooklyn Bowl

Pow! Right in the kisser! In one night i managed to do two posters and i'm pretty pleased with that. The top image is for The Lucid Dream & Black Market Karma gig at The Source in may (put on by the good people of Holy Are You) and the second is for the Vivian Girls gig at the Brooklyn Bowl which was actually last night. The idea behind that poster is a sort of punk-meets-cops-meets-stalker clippings collected about the mysterious behaviour of a mysterious band. I also wanted this one to be deliberately a little on the experimental side. If you click here to view the large size image on my Flickr you can read the copy and hilarious jokes i added in. I enjoyed getting a chance to go back and do some of my lo-fi punk and psych influenced work that i've not really done much of for a while now (a post about two great designers in that area will be coming soon, hold tight!)

The details for the Holy Are You gig are:

Holy Are You presents:
The Lucid Dream
Black Market Karma
Plus Holy Are You DJs playing a velvet evening of mind expanding, foot stomping psychedelia.
Saturday 8th May
8pm - 1am
The Source Arts Cafe, Nelson St, Carlisle
£5 on the door

get yourselves down there, it'll be a lot of fun. Besides The Source is a massively underrated and overlooked place to hang out!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Untitled, 1988 by Bernard Voïta

Nice one, Bernard.

Musical Interlude: The Besnard Lakes "albatross"

Absolutely phenomenal and criminally underrated band, The Besnard Lakes, have a song from their new album "the besnard lakes are the roaring night" available for free on itunes. It's called "albatross". It's a slightly slow burner, but once it connects, damn is it good.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Work: Saison De La Nouvelle Vague Au Le PCC

detail of print

detail of print

Poster series for a french new wave film festival at the PCC cinema. Bon bon!

Friday, 19 March 2010


My house mate gordon is the man. Seriously. I can hear him doing the washing up right now and he is half signing half rambling to himself and it sounds a bit like he is possibly pretending to be the vampire from the muppets. If you don't believe me, check out the photo i took of him above. Proof.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

T: "Mine's a pint of the black stuff"

M: "...you can't drink a pint of bovril."

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Birds & Bee

Here is a little letterpressed type a made a couple of weeks ago but only just remembered about. If you've not already i hiiigghhllyyy recommend that you go down to Caldewgate and hang out with Smiling Alan and use the print making facilities down there. It also a much better fine art silk screen printing facility than what is available at Brampton, which is much better suited to textile printing. Speaking of printmaking, get this book, you wont be disappointed, it teaches a hell of a lot and is an awesome reference:


Watch the Oscar winning 15 minute short film "Logorama" at the link below. It'll make you think, and/or bring a wry smile to your face, i promise. Definitely worth your time!

Monday, 15 March 2010

New Work: The Secret History of Free Market Capitalism

A 28 page booklet printed on newsprint for the ISTD Student Awards 2010. I chose to work on the brief simply titled "Imbalance". Fingers crossed I pass and win membership! Part of the entrance criteria is a "strategy" (aka, explanation) of what you have done and why. Read mine below:

(Warning, its about 700 words long)

"As designers we are gifted with skills and opportunities that allow us to communicate with a great number of people. This gift should not just be confined to projecting brand values or persuading consumers to purchase products, but instead to give everyone the possibility to engage with politics, thought, debate and ideology. Design with a conscience is key to a progressive society and culture – a society that is always aware and always questioning the institutions and regimes that are trying to influence, control or oppress us.

“The Secret History of Free Market Capitalism” is based around “The Shock Doctrine”, a book and short film by Naomi Klein & Alfonso Cuaron. Klein is a highly regarded left wing political writer who often engages with topics such as consumerism and globalisation. “The Shock Doctrine” deals with what she describes as “disaster capitalism” – an economic policy of exploiting human suffering (through wars, natural disasters, massacres, coups etc) to implement free market economies on to societies whilst they are in a state of shock – allowing right wing and emphatically capitalist governments to reap the financial benefits. Inevitably, great divides and imbalances between the wealthy and the poor are created, highlighted by fissures of death, violence and suffering. I wanted to promote Klein’s perspectives and criticisms of these policies, as well as the serious issues and largely overlooked facts that she draws attention to.

“The Secret History of Free Market Capitalism” is fundamentally based on the short film version of “The Shock Doctrine” which is highly succinct and straight forward with its presentation of the facts and ideas that Klein discusses. I feel it is important to offer people who may not have any knowledge or prior interest in economics or politics, relatively short, interesting and easy to digest pieces of information which do not patronise the reader, but also do not require a great deal of knowledge on the subject to gain their attention. Politics, education and information are important and should be accessible for everyone – and that is the fundamental intention of “The Shock Doctrine” and therefore “The Secret History of Free Market Capitalism”: to inform, to educate, to create discussion and to create thought.

For the design of the booklet I took influence from newspapers and inexpensive, easily distributed political posters and pamphlets, their “lo-fi” production and cheap printing methods – referencing them through matt paper, headline style display type and images with heavy halftone dots applied. It was also important to reflect the stark, bold and serious nature of the topics discussed in the copy, shown through my choice of the bold, austere condensed typeface, Trade Gothic Condensed No. 20. For copy I chose to use Aksidenz Grotesque regular, complimenting Trade Gothic with its clean neutrality, but also acting as an attractive replacement for the often over-used Helvetica. Trixie, a typeface designed to look like the letters printed by an old typewriter, was also used in small sections of copy which are quotes from CIA interrogation handbooks published during the early 1960s. Horizontal lines are used throughout the spreads of the book as a graphic device to help create structure within the pages, but also to add an element of discomfort and dissonance, in particular on pages 2, 3, 7 and 10 where they collide with the text and do not comply with the grid formatting used on the columns of type. Their vertical placement down the columns of type is also used to allude to missing sections of the CIA manuals the quotes are from, as if there is even more to the story than what is being presented here – hinting back to the secrecy suggested in the title. This device is also used on pages 5 and 4 where the display type scrolls off the top and bottom of the pages, suggesting that the list of torture methods is far longer than what has been shown on the page. The book is essentially split into three sections: the first, between pages 2 and 13 act as the “Set up” of what the book is about, explaining the details, ideas, economic perspectives and theories about free market capitalism. The second section, spreads between pages 14 and 23, act in contrast to the controlled and collected style of the first section, communicating the facts and realities of the disaster that capitalism has exploited with much more vigour and energy. These spreads are designed to be loud and immediately engaging. The final, and shortest section (pages 24-27) is a deliberate and sharp jump from the noise of the spreads that come before, creating a sudden return to silence, emphasising the shocking and harsh content dealt with in the previous section."

and here is the short film that the entire project was based on (highly recommended viewing):

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Musical Interlude: King Khan & The Shrines "Welfare Bread" (live at SXSW)

If this video doesn't make you want to party, then you're dead inside/dead to me (same thing)

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Ian Mackaye

Everyone knows that Ian Mackaye is the man. Seriously. But did you know that he is also really good at creating hilarious facial expressions in response to really dumb questions relating to Minor Threat and hardcore punk? 24 seconds is particularly good.

Thanks to Alex aka Jesus Beard

Friday, 5 March 2010

New Work: Summer Exhibition 2010

Poster, private and general view invitations and signage system for the University of Cumbria Summer Exhibition 2010. This is a live competition brief, and a few people have entered: prize is £100 (i am totally gonna blow it all on stuff i dont need) and obviously they then use your work to promote the exhibition which would be pretty neat. I am pleased with what I've produced, not least because i did it all in one day. So tired now though.

To view the invitations and signage please check out my flickr! (the images are too wide to fit on here unfortunately)

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Musical Interlude: The Strange Boys "be brave"

one of my favourite bands right now, garage rocking, country-fied goodness. This is a hell of a song to drink a beer to.

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Digital Economy Bill

Incase you havnt heard already, The Digital Economy Bill is being forced through and should be law, unamended by may the 6th. It will rob EVERYONE of their copyright over any image they choose to publish online and will also prevent people from taking photographs in many public places. Much like "Section 44" (which allows the police to stop, search, harass and arrest pretty much whoever they like by accusing them of being a terrorist) it will hand powers over to people who do not deserve it and who will not use it fairly or rightly. It is a disgrace and an insult. Maybe we will see some kind of neo-luddite internet exodus in the near future. That would be beautiful.

RIP flickr!

Read more about it here: