Charlie Brown’s a real winner!

YAGMCB_02 YAGMCB_04 YAGMCB_06

Last night I went to the Stirling Community Theatre to see the Hills Musical Company performing You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Their production was excellent; a really grood cast, orchestra, set design and lighting, which made for an enjoyable evening. My programme design (above) also adequately performed its role to support the production!

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown poster
Poster design for an upcoming production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown by the Hills Musical Company.

The main title was hand lettered by me using PITT artist pens, referencing the early lettering style of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. As a huge fan of his work, I was very keen to create a colourful design that respectfully conveyed a classic comic style with an obvious Peanuts feel, while also matching the set design which will feature large comic panel sections on the stage backdrop. Charlie Brown’s iconic zigzag T-shirt, which was also hand drawn and inked, became an important central element in the design as it offers a strongly contrasting and very striking pattern.

Further promotional design work for this production will use these key elements in a variety of different combinations, which have been deliberately created to provide a flexible system of components for any desired layout or format.

Children of the Black Skirt – again

Children of the Black Skirt

My poster design for Children of the Black Skirt is currently enjoying a second coming as it is now being used again to promote the new shows by Ink Pot Arts Inc for the 2015 Adelaide Fringe. I’ve slightly altered the positioning of the main title to accommodate the ticketing and support requirements, which has actually improved the design slightly in comparison to the original poster.

Gone Troppo: Last Wave at Waitpinga

Last Wave at Waitpinga
Hand lettering, photographic manipulation and graphic design for Gone Troppo track Last Wave at Waitpinga – a great surf-rock instrumental.

I’ve created a 16-page pdf booklet as a bonus download on bandcamp, which features a selection of the photos taken by me during filming, together with a few video stills of the pro surfers shown in action during the video clip. All of the images have been given an appropriate ‘grunge’ surfing look, adding texture and colour enhancements to accurately capture the coastal feel. Here’s four images from the booklet:

Last Wave at Waitpinga Last Wave at Waitpinga

The song is available as a double single with another instrumental titled Looking Down the Barrel on CD Baby and bandcamp for only $1. Also available as a single track release on iTunes.

The previously posted music video can also be found here.

A Snake in New York

SNAKE PLISSKEN print
I recently watched John Carpenter’s classic sci-fi film Escape from New York again, and was inspired to create a design featuring lead character Snake Plissken, played with rebellious coolness by Kurt Russell.

In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don’t come out.

I’ve always liked the setting, atmosphere, music and general style of this cult movie since first seeing it back as a young teenager. Snake is a great hero character and was to later be the inspiration for Solid Snake from the popular Metal Gear video game series.

The typography I’ve created is based on the font style used in the film for the prison signage, which I think really captures the unique 80’s look of type design during this period and is what I believe to be the signature font for this great film.

Prints, t-shirts and more available to purchase at søciety6.

Snake Plissken tees

Children of the Black Skirt

Children of the Black Skirt posterPoster design for the Ink Pot Arts production of Angela Betzien’s Children of the Black Skirt:

A group of lost children stumble across an abandoned orphanage in the Australian bush. They become trapped in a timeless world, haunted by spirits from the past. These stories, told by award-winning playwright Angela Betzien and performed by Ink Pot Arts’ youth acting ensemble, take us on a journey through the darker side of our Australian history.

The play has a very mature theme and storyline, and a darkly gothic tone, which I’ve captured within my colour and typography choices. ‘Black Skirt’ was hand lettered and features both points and loops to represent the youthful characters and their situation, and the main supporting font used is Aeterna – a great small caps typeface in old style figures that nicely balances my custom hand lettering and supports the gothic feel.

A group of lost children stumble across an abandoned orphanage in the Australian bush. They become trapped in a timeless world, haunted by spirits from the past. These stories, told by award-winning playwright Angela Betzien and performed by Ink Pot Arts’ youth acting ensemble, take us on a journey through the darker side of our Australian history. – See more at: http://whatsoninadelaide.net.au/event/children-black-skirt-written-angela-betzien-performed-ink-pot-arts-youth-ensemble/2014-08-01/#sthash.gYu4eGik.dpuf
A group of lost children stumble across an abandoned orphanage in the Australian bush. They become trapped in a timeless world, haunted by spirits from the past. These stories, told by award-winning playwright Angela Betzien and performed by Ink Pot Arts’ youth acting ensemble, take us on a journey through the darker side of our Australian history. – See more at: http://whatsoninadelaide.net.au/event/children-black-skirt-written-angela-betzien-performed-ink-pot-arts-youth-ensemble/2014-08-01/#sthash.3Nyl268M.dpuf

Film typography

To Hell with the PreacherThe Cryptozoologist
Custom logotypes for two film projects. Both of these designs started as quick pencil sketches, which were scanned and placed into Adobe Illustrator, where I used them as a guide to begin the process of building the vector shapes of the characters. To Hell with the Preacher is a western genre film, so I was keen to create a handmade style referencing typography of the late 1900’s, as was regularly seen on all forms of signage, printing and advertising. I’ve deliberately incorporated a few unusual adjustments to the letterforms and approached this concept with both a historic and modern outlook to match the storyline of the proposed film.

The Crytozoologist is a documentary style short film, telling the story of a retired man living in the Adelaide Hills, who believes in mysterious creatures, and obsessively strives to locate proof of their existence. My logotype references the many powerfully dramatic advertisements and handbills from the 1800′s and early 1900′s, where promoters used ornate theatrical typography to publicise their attractions to an audience eager to witness remarkable wonders from around the globe. The background image includes a photo taken of a full moon together with multiple texture overlays, and visually captures the hidden and mysterious nature of these curious creatures.

A pickle of a story!

RCHRD’S GLSSS ND TH WRRNG NGHBRSRCHRD’S GLSSS ND TH WRRNG NGHBRS is an entertaining eBook written by new authors Julie and Luca Harper, mostly about Giant Spider Crabs, Greater Bulldog Bats, Green Iguanas, maths, music, timekeeping and vowels!

I was asked to provide a cover design, including a full series logotype and hand lettering, plus a few mono interior illustrations (three shown below) for the book, which at times proved to be more challenging and time intensive than I had envisaged.

RGNTWN_ShoppeRGNTWN_Boris and EddieRGNTWN_Clearview Village mapThe mono illustrations were completed in Illustrator using the pressure sensitive blob brush, and were created as loosely sketched pieces, capturing some of the energy found in the written style of the book. The main characters themselves proved to be somewhat hard to successfully define and capture accurately, and we went through a number of iterations and revisions before I produced the simple character sketches for protagonists Nigel Le Nez, and Madame La Bouche.

RGNTWN_Nigel Le NezThese hand drawn pencil sketches then became desired final art, with colour added (as seen above) to match the cover formatting. This wasn’t planned, and it introduced a number of design issues to solve, as the two standing characters dramatically altered the spacing and balance of all the cover elements, which required an intensive rethink of the layout to retain a reasonable design structure.

Ultimately the client was happy – which is all that really matters – and the book moved on into the final production stage. It is now available to purchase from Amazon for Kindle, or the Kindle Reader App, and can be downloaded HERE. So, if you know someone who would like to read a fast paced rollicking story for 7-10 year olds, then I can fully recommend the eBook as a highly entertaining reading experience. And, don’t worry, the vowels are supposed to be left out!

RCHRD'S GLSSS

Typographical Defense Bureau

Typographical Defense BureauTypographical Defense BureauThe ongoing war against bad typography continues!

In a world now flooded with poorly executed communication and promotional material, only a dedicated and vigilant resistance against offensive and unacceptable typographical crimes will see us gain a much needed victory. Be part of the solution and join the freedom fight from bad type today!

Scuttlepig’s classic Metal Mascara album

Scuttlepig – Metal MascaraIn 1982 hard rock gods Scuttlepig released their most ambitious album to date, the now classic, Metal Mascara. Taking new inspiration from divergent genres such as lipstick pop, disco beats, and hardcore metal, Scuttlepig produced a breakthrough sound that quickly became the defining shift in 1980’s popular music.

Featuring the worldwide hits Insanity Reigns, We Ruled Without Fear, and A Welcome Defeat, Scuttlepig’s greatest album is an inspired masterpiece loaded with complex, yet accessible, power rock anthems. Hailed by critics and fans alike, Metal Mascara continues to be acknowledged as one of the most significant releases in popular music during the 1980’s, and features prominently in all industry lists naming the important and influential albums from the decade.

A Christmas Garden Trail map

Trail mapIt’s just over a week until the ‘A Christmas Garden at Stangate House‘ event takes place next Sunday, so I thought I’d share my artwork for the children’s Christmas Garden Trail. This will be a fun activity for all the kids to take part in – wandering the Stangate House garden paths and discovering the items hidden amongst the plants surrounding them. We’ve made most of them rather easy too …

Adelaide United t-shirt designs

AUFC_Cassio_tee AUFC_ForeverRed_tee AUFC_WeAreUnited_teeEarlier this year I created the three t-shirt designs above as competition entries for my local football (soccer) team Adelaide United, who play in the A-League as South Australia’s team.

The first design features popular Brazilian-born defender Cassio, a previous club champion who loves to dribble the ball and take on opposing defenders. The second design refers to the club nickname of ‘the Reds’ (they play in a predominately red strip), and the final design is a bold slogan graphic promoting strength in unity.

The competition is now open to public voting to decide the winning design, which will be produced by apparel supplier Kappa as an official club t-shirt for the current 2013-14 season. Online voting is available here until the 6th of November, so do the right thing and vote now for your favourite design!