Tuesday 25 February 2014

Russia Traveller Briefing

With Russia recently being laid bare across the world's media for many reasons, positive and negative, The Economist saw fit to release a Russia Traveller Briefing App. I was commissioned to design four illustrations for the cover and subsections consisting of Curated, Archive and Intelligence Unit articles. I enjoyed mixing up imagery from the old Soviet Union and modern Russia in a palette derived from those era's flag colours. See more detail on the site here.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Watching With Friends

I recently worked on this enjoyable commission for social TV analytics provider SecondSync. They wanted some illustrations to spruce up a white paper announcing their groundbreaking partnership with Facebook, Watching With Friends. I designed a cover and six spot illustrations based on the social media analysis of TV viewing habits including ratings, demographics and methodology. The limited colour palette was refreshing to use and it was a challenge to suggest Facebook without using any of their actual branding. Once done they were transferred to the very capable hands of designer Ben Carruthers for the finished white paper.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Mars Evacuees

Here's a cool commission I've been waiting to shout about for a while. It's a cover illustration for a forthcoming sci-fi novel called Mars Evacuees by Sophia Mcdougall. She's written a great, and very flattering, post about the anticipation of seeing cover illustrations for her books for the first time. It was a real pleasure to work on so I'm glad it went down well and Egmont gave the finished cover a glorious shine. You can see more on my website here. I was also asked to write a little about the process of creating the image, so here it is...

It was really exciting news when I was asked to design the cover of Mars Evacuees as I'm a bit of a sci-fi nut and find the genre instantly inspiring. My first instinct was to make the illustration relatively simple, colourful and eye-catching as those are the covers I tend to respond to. After digesting the brief I had a strong mental image of what I wanted and set about designing my initial draft illustration in Photoshop. I worked up the red planet and background digitally using unusual textures I'd photographed and collected, including images of peeling paint from the sides of old boats! I then designed the main characters as stylised silhouettes, I prefer this approach as the reader can create the character's faces in their own mind. I found the cyber-goldfish guardian character particularly fascinating and made it a major part of the design. The first rough was sent over, as well as a version with a hand drawn type treatment. The illustration minus the type was quickly approved, which is always a relief, and with a few tweaks the cover was finalised. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and owe a big thanks to Sophia and Egmont for getting me involved.

Monday 10 February 2014

Are You Mad?

Here's a Rorschachian illustration spread for a Focus Magazine article asking the big question Are You Mad?. The madness continued in animation form for the iPad edition. You can see the final layout on the site here.

Well, are you?

Thursday 6 February 2014

Saints Ives And Foy

Christmas and New Year seem like donkey's yonks away now but here are a few snaps to help myself recall shenanigans of the distant past a few weeks ago. As has become a personal tradition my wife and I decamped to wonderful St. Ives in Cornwall for a relaxing bit of Chrimbo-on-sea and that really is gift enough, along with some socks. As soon as 2014 hit I fled to the mountains of Sainte Foy in France for a cracking snowboarding trip in celebration of my old mucker Linguistine's 40th birthday. Had an enjoyable stay with The White Room and took a couple of daytrips out to explore Tignes, Val d'Isere and Les Arcs. Smoshing.