January 10: Portfolio, prints and graphic design


Here is my latest graphic design and illustration update for January. January has been a week with a lot of late nights but has produced some great work to kick off the year, which I am really quite proud of. I am also grateful for some awesome features on numerous blogs and print magazines this month too which you can find out more about below.

This will be the first monthly post where I am going to section the post a little differently and have 4 main parts:

  1. Thoughts of the month
    This is just going to be something topical from the month.
  2. Inspiration of the month
    Here I will list a few sites of interest that I have found inspiration from in the month.
  3. Press & features of the month
    Here I will list any features or press coverage I have had in the month.
  4. Graphic design of the month
    This will be my usual list of all the artwork I have produced this month.

Thoughts of the month

“My graphic design portfolio needs to be better.”

Currently if you look at my portfolio page I have a nice flash based app, called Tiltviewer, which links to my photostream at Flickr and displays any images tagged with “portfolio”. This is nice as I use Flickr a lot, for inspiration, seeing what other designers are up to and for uploading experimental work for general feedback – it also acts as a nice stand-alone portfolio too. The flash app integrates straight into my wordpress website so looks fully branded but there are some draw backs with this approach:

  • The main draw back is that you can’t categorises your images and so my Futurism set is mixed up with others in just a chronological order.
  • With the likes of the iPhone and the upcoming iPad not supporting Flash as well as anyone on a device that has a smallish screen, this portfolio layout isn’t ideal.
  • The images don’t have a title or any kind of text or tags explaining what they are. I’m a big fan of minimalism but I do think portfolio images need to have a very simple description or title.

Flash based

At the end of last year I decided I would go about creating a new Flash based portfolio which would have all the bells and whistles and really impress any prospective client etc. This portfolio layout was good but then I realised that point 2 above was going to be a factor. I also noticed that not many designers actually used Flash based portfolios. Although Flash has great browser coverage relying on this is probably not the best thing for a portfolio that you want as many people as possible to see with ease and so I decided to scrap this route – the site is still viewable here.

WordPress

I didn’t really want to create another WordPress design which would be dedicated as a graphic design portfolio or change my current blog. So I decided I should have a look about to see if there was any other simpler solutions out there ready to go.

Tumblr

One of the first sites that sprang to mind was Tumblr. This year I have noticed a big increase in the number of Tumblr blogs that have been setup with most people using Tumblr to display a log of nice images and art that they have found on the Internet or taken with their camera. Some of them are great for inspiration and the blogging platform that it is built on is pretty solid and you can even setup custom URL and fully customise the CSS and HTML as you need. There is a good selection of templates too and you can get up and running very quickly.

My main issue with Tumblr is that it is free service and not something that you can rely on being available 24-7 (albeit I haven’t had any downtime since opening my account). My Tumblr account is currently being used for a Print Gallery to display which of my design are available in print with purchasing links and details of the prints and I love that people can follow it.

Cargo Collective

My search then lead me to Cargo Collective and here I think I have found the ideal solution. The only problem with it at the moment it is in Beta and has a few bugs but the templates and CMS is just what I was looking for without creating another WordPress website. Currently I am still uploading files to this and getting the branding sorted. You can view the site as it looks here and I should have it completed by next week when I will blog some more about it.

“As a designer will I get an Apple iPad for an electronic portfolio?”

The iPad was announced this month and albeit it didn’t impress as much as it could it did have one very interesting use that I could see. That use being as a device for displaying your portfolio. The question is will other designers or clients think it will be a good device for this too? Web and motion graphic designers will already be using a laptop to display their work to clients so for them this device should be popular (if missing Flash doesn’t put you of). However, I still think a lot of clients will expect and want to see a printed portfolio especially for graphic designers mainly because it shows you are able to produce print work. I was recently asked by a creative director at Apple for my portfolio and when directing them to my website, Flickr and Behance portfolios they actually insisted on a printed version – but surely this kind of practice will start to be phase out, particularly with digital printing just getting better and better?

Inspiration of the month

Hype for Type

Website: http://www.hypefortype.com

Type: Typography

About: Through collaborations with award-winning designers, HypeForType offers a veritable feast of fonts for anyone interested in experimenting with typography, designers getting back in touch with the classic skill and brands looking to commission something standout.

Roger Dean

Website: http://www.rogerdean.com/

Type: Artist

About: Roger Dean is an English artist, designer, architect and publisher. He is best known for his work on album covers for musicians which he began painting in the late 1960s. The covers usually feature exotic, fantastic landscapes. The latest blockbuster by James Cameron, Avatar, looks to be heavily influenced by his work which is simply breathtaking and very unique. I was first introduced to his artwork through the Amiga computer company Psygnosis (in particular “Shadow of the Beast“) who used his artwork for their logo and game covers.

BT – These Hopeful Machines

Website: http://www.btmusic.com/

Type: Musician

About: Throughout his career, BT has created albums that transcend the pigeonholing that befalls most electronica. From the vivid trance effects of IMA to the pop-heavy Movement in Still Life to the composed and elaborate depth of This Binary Universe, BT has not been satisfied sticking to one method that works. He has found many methods that work, and created his own methods to complement the foundation of the music. These Hopeful Machines is the culmination of years of that type of meticulous and mathematical creation – read more about the new album and checkout the awesome accompanying artwork below.

Press & features of the month

This month I have had some sweet press coverage of my design work. Here are some of the best:

Magazines

Blogs and Websites

Graphic design of the month

As mentioned above I have now launched a Tumblr site to list available and coming soon prints but you can also find out news through my new Newsletter which I will begin to send out every month.

Looking at the folder of images for this month I was a bit put back as it totals 79 images, that’s a lot of design work – but it’s not about quantity is quality and so to kick off my graphics design and illustrations for this month I would like to just showcase a couple of commissions:

Cubic Spine commissioned artwork for VML

More images to come once the prints has been completed.

Album Artwork for Bastian Wegner

More images to come once I get a copy of the album.

Futurism

This series is going from strength to strength and it’s been great getting so much feedback that you like this series – thank you. I have spent a lot of time on this and it’s nice to get appreciated. I’m also pleased to announce that 3 prints from this series are now available to purchase – see my print gallery for more details on these.

Also you might of noticed a limited edition of 500 prints will be available soon of the following design:

This will be on sale at Gamma Proforma in Feb – be sure to get in there quick for the lithographic print priced at £14.95.

I am planning on adding 3 new prints every couple of weeks and I still have a 25% discount available for people wanting to buy 3 prints of more on top of the free delivery on orders over $80 – just contact me if you need any more info.

Below is a selection of the Futurism series designs for this month to see the whole set and new Feb designs check out my Flickr set.

Beyond

The International Year of Astronomy came to an end this month but I have decided, mainly because I still have so many ideas for this series and it’s popularity, to extend the series into 2010 with Beyond (Beyond the International Year of Astronomy). There are currently 2 prints available to buy in this series and more information about these can be found on my print gallery site.

Haiti

This geometric style print was created for awareness of the earthquake disaster in Haiti. This design is for the Red Cross and please if you haven’t yet donated just take a look at these pictures from The Boston Big Picture of three weeks after the earthquake (be warned some images are blacked out as they are a little disturbing) and think about donating what you can to the Red Cross to help in this time of need.

Circulate

This is a new series I have created which is closely based off my Random Dance series. It involves creating a vector image made from a number of coloured dots of varying size but spread out in such a way that you can see both the picture and the dot.

The World We Knew Is Gone

The World We Knew is Gone is another series I have been working on and plan on extending too, here is the first poster. I am hoping soon to tie this in with a well known climate change awareness group – more info soon.

Fun with Circles / Spirographics

Extending my Spirographics series with more of my Fun with Circles set.

Alphabattle

Having been rather busy these Alphabattle designs have slipped by me a bit this year. However here are the letters V and W.

Typography and Logo Designs

Show us your type – Barcelona Poster

Tri-Block Typeface Design

“Good logo” designs / AnyForty vs Simon Page

Random Dance 2010

I have started to extend the Random Dance series for 2010 too and in the same direction as Circulate but getting it to work with more image based designs than abstract ones as I have previously produced in this set.

Miscellaneous Designs

Irregular Pies

Various

January, done – that wraps up another month.

As I said best way to follow my work is to either sign up to my new monthly Newsletter or my Flickr site, follow my Print Gallery on Tumblr if you want to buy my work or simply follow me on Twitter if you want all this and more.