Looking Down the Barrel

Looking Down the Barrel

Hand lettered cover art for Gone Troppo’s latest surf-rock single. Available to purchase from CD Baby.

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Gone Troppo: Sands of Time

Gone Troppo_Sands of Time
Cover designs for a new track by art-music collective Gone Troppo. This was an interesting design process, due to the songwriter requesting the investigation of an alternative approach that further referenced the ‘sand’ element from the song. My initial thoughts were that without the high contrast of the original blue & yellow design, the overall impression created by the thin linework would be too diluted and therefore not stand out enough at the small scale of an icon, which is where this artwork would mainly be viewed.

As it turned out, the design still works well with a lighter textured background and my concerns were proven incorrect. This is always an interesting part of the design process for me, and something I’ve regularly communicated to clients when changes are discussed. Many requested changes are often very difficult to judge accurately before simply trying them to see the actual impact on the finished design. Experience has shown me that some small adjustments can have a significant negative effect on a design, dramatically changing the flow, appearance or readability in a way that myself and/or the client will not accept. Current digital production methods certainly make it far easier to alter artwork and investigate options, especially compared to when my artwork was mostly hand drawn and assembled – but any changes incur extra time (and usually money) so the designer is responsible for efficiently advising a client and resolving all queries without futile and costly exploration.

My design features various elements from the song itself: a diamond, travel, a broken heart, the universe and a sunrise. The track is available to download at CD Baby.

Musical interlude: Between Stars

A short soundtrack styled tune (created in GarageBand), with an interstellar space sound and electronic vibe. The icon artwork for this song features multiple blurred photographs of movement, overlaid in Photoshop with layer styles used for image editing and colour enhancement.

Between Stars

Soundscapes 2: more musical designs

SEBAN_nightlightNightlight by SEBAN

SUPER COLLIDING_gravitasGravitas by SUPER COLLIDING

BAUXER_9696 by BAUXER

OHLBITRAS_DeadLiveDead Live in Copenhagen by OHLBITRAS

TWIFT_Behold meBehold Me by TWIFT

OTOIX_WeftWeft by OTOIX

Further to my original Soundscapes designs, here are half a dozen new cd cover/icon designs – this time however, they are not exclusively constructed only with photography as the main visual element. This set has a greater focus on graphic design, so includes pieces using digital illustration (SEBAN) and custom type (BAUXER, OHLBITRAS), together with a range of photographic textures and effects.

Monkeybomb: identity design

MONKEYBOMB interactiveMONKEYBOMB logotypeMONKEYBOMB splash screens

Personal identity design project for games developer MONKEYBOMB. Above are shown the main logo (full version) and secondary logotype, along with splash screens for mobile devices.

This idea formed whilst working on a creative solution for another project, and is easily one of my quickest ever logo designs! The key for this identity was to produce a bold and direct icon, from which all other elements would follow in structure and style, to create a high impact, strongly contrasting, casually informal appearance.

Soundscapes: musical design

I have a large collection of unused (and sometimes poorly taken) photographs lurking about on my hard drive – all looking to be shown, or for somewhere to usefully belong. As I’ve been listening to a lot of new music lately, I naturally decided to create a few album covers and/or icons for some fictional artists, which is a design practice I regularly undertook in my earlier years to explore creative ideas.

All of these would be musically categorised as either atmospheric alternative, ambient instrumental, or down-tempo electronic, and feature enhanced and edited versions of some of my photos within economical designs.

BEHEMOUTH MonumentMonument by BEHEMOUTH

OTOIX AmbienceAbsence by OTOIX

TEARFISH Amber to GreenAmber to Green by TEARFISH

LURKIT Suburban ShamanSuburban Shaman by LURKIT

THE INDIVIDUAL COLLECTIVE DaylightedDaylighted by THE INDIVIDUAL COLLECTIVE

Hero or villain? You decide!

Maximan

I’m not sure which side he represents – possibly plays for both teams; whoever offers the biggest bounty wins. What is guaranteed is that he’d pursue you with maximum effort and intensity.

Along came an 8-bit spider

Have been experimenting with a few more designs for my digital arachnid, first posted back in January. The aim here is to simply produce quick options, similar to my Player Won logotype posters – again using classic retro video game styling in different patterns. The 8-bit era offers plenty of scope for interesting colour and shape combinations, often giving the opportunity to juxtapose elements in bold ways, which is highly typical of designs and illustrations from that era.

Since creating the original icon design I’ve settled on the ‘retro devotion‘ tagline, which adds emphais to the idea of being bitten by the 8-bit bug – or spider in this case!

Musical icons

Three icons for music projects:

  • Gone Troppo – identity illustration for a ‘virtual’ band – completed mainly with Illustrator’s blob brush.
  • When I First Met You – Photographic montage in Photoshop. This is a square section from the full panorama.
  • My Son – Photoshop multi-layered composition, consisting of a scanned pencil sketch and various mark making styles with brushes and layer effects.