Inside a dream

Imagine if someone decided that it would be a good idea to create a whole event dedicated to your favourite musical act of all time. Imagine if it focused on aesthetics and graphic design, gay politics, journalism, music composition, branding, the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and enduring pop perfection, amongst other things. How perfect would that be for me? It would be like living inside a dream.

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Read all about it

This morning, I learned that David Bowie had died via a push notification to my iPhone, this information was with me within seconds of it being announced by his family. I didn’t need to read a newspaper or switch on the television and wait for a news report. This is now the de facto way in which I largely consume media – things have changed. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strain… (to quote Bowie himself).

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  • Blog
  • January 11, 2016

Art in the city

I had a couple of days away from Soft Octopus last week to visit London for a performance by one of my favourite bands who rarely play live. The Sound of Arrows from Sweden haven’t done a gig in over four years, so it would have been a massive missed opportunity not to take a trip to catch them live. It was well worth the trip.

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Where the heart is

It was interesting to see another of those reports about cities in the UK published this week. This one was of interest because it was specifically about the UK’s most creative towns and cities to live, work and play in. I expected my home town of Liverpool to be in there somewhere and was pleasantly surprised to see it at number two, just behind our good neighbour, Manchester. LINK to full article.

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Sticks and stones

Graphic design is principally about problem solving. The client has requirements and this is addressed by the designer using a sometimes already established brand identity and sometimes one needs to be created as part of the creative package. Fonts, logos, colour palettes, layouts, illustrations and photographs are all key components – the essential ingredients implemented to cook up the perfect design dinner.

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Liverpool Pride

This weekend, it is Liverpool Pride. There are plenty of activities and many businesses and our local authority support the occasion. For many years, my hometown didn’t have a Pride event and we were very much in the shadow of the capital and even our seemingly more sophisticated sister city, Manchester. I remember Liverpool’s first Pride event back in the early 1990s which was more of a village fête. I won a first aid kit for guessing the correct amount of condoms in the glass jar! I think there can’t have been more than 100 people there and it was so low key that few people remember it today.

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Liverpool’s most radical son

No, not me – silly! Edward Rushton is the subject of Unsung – Liverpool’s Most Radical Son, a series of exhibitions and events currently happening across the city.

I was commissioned by National Museums Liverpool to help them visually and aurally tell the story of Edward Rushton, a man criminally unsung for his radical thinking and actions. It’s been a pleasure helping to raise the profile of this activist and pioneer for equality.

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  • Blog
  • November 24, 2014

Ooh aah… just a little bit

Regular readers and anyone who knows me will know I like a bit of Eurovision. Keep reading, it’s interesting, honestly…

It’s not just about the music, it’s always fascinated me to observe how the host country decides to present the show. The staging, the songs, the cameras and all the obvious things are immediately evident but as a designer, it’s the smaller details that I enjoy scrutinising. Like any major event or corporation, Eurovision has a strict set of visual guidelines that are always at the heart of any localised identity that countries must use. This identity incorporates the main logo, its supporting heart graphic device, which fonts can be used and how flags should be used with the main logo etc.

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  • Blog
  • August 1, 2014

Enough is enough

When I design materials for clients I invariably end up rewriting the wording they’ve given me. People can at times lose the meaning of what they’re wanting to say by dressing it up in redundant and superfluous verbiage (AKA pointless waffle). Any design I produce will suffer if the supporting written content is poor, so I see it as my duty, a little bit of added value if you like.

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  • Blog
  • July 16, 2014