Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0571 - 0604

Yes. It has almost been a week... "Most unproductive Mat!" I hear you cry, "What happened to daily updates?" Well if I'm being honest, I didn't want to bore you. Friday I went for a pint with Mike and Janina (Mike's girlfriend who I had the pleasure of meeting that day), and by the time I got home it was almost 9 o'clock. I went to bed not long after.

Working weekend killed any ambition I had to do work after work... Saturday my Aunty and Uncle visited so we had a meal and talked as a family all night which was nice. They're in New York as of next week so I'll be getting an Ipad on the cheap! Woohoo! If anyone's got one / played with one... is it worth the 3G or should I just upgrade the hard drive with the extra cash?

Sunday was a night of reading for my dissertation that ended up with me watching the A-team movie (in a dubious format...) which I thought was wicked, see it in the cinema if you can because I'd imagine it's epic! So Monday, Tuesday and Today I have been solidly designing and slowly adjusting my sleeping pattern back to reasonable hours... I've been designing so hard in fact, that hopefully I will be able to release my first typeface either Friday or in the following week!

I've vectored all the upper / lower case and the numbers... only the symbols etc. to vector now, they're all drawn up in the planning book... I've never taken one across to font book before so I don't know how long it will take / what I need to tweak in the program. I've got ideas for 3 more typefaces after it, and when you don't set yourself silly restrictions like I have for this one, I really enjoy designing type. Which is weird, I never thought I would have.... Future Job prospect I guess!

Anyways, that's it for now... I don't want to show the typeface until it's done, dusted and I get the credit for it deserved... Don't want blog stalkers stealing it from under me haha!

M x

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0562 - 0570

Missing days again... dew dew. Yesterday was a wasted day in terms of productive graphic design as I couldn't sleep the night before... I woke up uber late and then as the day was already gone, Read the entirety of Scott Pilgrim 1 - 6 (as I finally got the 6th one 'delivered') and then went for a productive run. Managed 5k in 28 minutes, not only improving my average time per km from last week, but also the distance... which is looovely.

So today, I was determined to do something remotely productive... I finished mapping out Lenna in the squared notebook (for scale) to scan and vector tomorrow (as each initial draft are on post-its) and read a quarter of "The Music Industry - Music in the Cloud", a book about how the music business is changing in the digital age for the dissertation. Its quite eye opening, I'm considering tweaking my question already as a result of it. This is the last week of casual design anyways, next week its back nose to the grindstone... Although i've been playing about, I've not really dedicated myself to getting better like I feel I should have.

Other than the work I did, I downloaded and played the new XBLA title, Limbo. Visually, the game is absolutely stunning. The simple, black and white tonal pallet really draws you into the title. It instills a feeling of uncertainty and dread into the player (especially in the earlier stages) as to what is lurking in the shadows. The gameplay is unforgiving, one small step out of line and you're dead baby, and when I say dead, I mean dismembered, impaled, beheaded and sawed into tiny chunks of shadowy boy (it's got a pegi rating of 18+). Luckily, regular checkpoints are in play so the game doesn't get too frustrating, even into the later portions of the game. It's about 4 - 5 hours gameplay depending on how proficient you are with puzzlers and for 1200 (about a tenner) to some it really won't appear to be worth it. But I implore you to try the demo, it really is a breath-taking game that you need to experience to believe.

But one thing I found strange with the game is it helped clarify a conversation I'd had with Gem earlier in the week about "feel" v.s. plot, we decided that a great movie is made up of the right mixture of a great plot and it's own style, ergo artistic direction must go hand in hand with dialogue, characters etc. I argued the importance of the writing over style but the Limbo came and slapped me with a wet fish. The game has absolutely no plot. Other than its gameplay, the sole selling point of the game is how beautiful it looks. The same goes for Flowers on PSN and a whole lot of other smaller studio titles currently being released... Proving me wrong like the world really likes to do, what makes Limbo a fun game is that it isn't bogged down with a "THIS BOY HAS TO TRAVEL THROUGH SEVERAL MAGIC WORLDS TO DEFEAT EVIL!" type story, cinematic or celebrity voice acting. It's fun because the gameplay is challenging and it's style sets the tone.

Other than that, caught this off a tweet from Adrian Shaughnessy (who seems to be creeping up in this blog an awful lot lately...). Looks very interesting, he's even hinted it may challenge the future of publishing. (top tweet).

Anyways, enough babbling... night all!

M x

p.s. I've added share buttons, tweet / facebook etc. if you want ;)

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0563 - 0568

Yesterday was tea-less! Well, I had one cup at 10 in the night when I woke up after a day of blitzing around Swansea and reading comics / Naomi Klein when I got in... Got up this morning after abit of a disjointed night in terms of sleep and decided to begin working on my display font. Had the right frame of mind to do it so knocked out the lower case, numbers and most of the necessary symbols (shift numbers / punctuation...).

So without further a due, the teaser for a typeface I hope will be finished before the end of the week (vector wise...) Leena.

PLEASE give me feedback. First font and even if it isn't a script font, I'd still like a little feedback.

Other than that, found this on you tube. Amazing!

M x

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0559 - 0562

Found this last night and thought it was cool. Hellish day at work, hopefully some new design stuff tomorrow :)

M x

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0556 - 0558

Balderdash! I got roped into working today and ended up getting tucked up. No night shift so left with alot to do which I wasn't really happy about... cleared most of it though so hopefully tonight I will have a nights person and won't be totally screwed tomorrow xD Nevermind, if one thing... working encourages me to do design!

Well... it didn't today... I came home, and I was rather worn out... so I did bugger all :/ which is abit of a nightmare :( I got home and now have a reinstated drive... and now that the sleeping patter's back in order, next week there's a shitload of design going to get cranked out :) I also have a serious desire to create a font... And I know i've been toying with a display font while I was housebound ala mumps, but I mean an actual script font... got the name and the idea for it in my head and it should be nice if I can pull it off... but we'll see... I'm really not the best on illustrator with curves so it might be abit of a challenge, but hell, it'll be worth it I'm sure :)

Anyways, onto some design in the world -

I've probably missed the boat with this for alot of you but FIFA have unveiled the 2014 world cup logo... Which I'm not really to keen on. I mean world cup logo's haven't exactly got a history of being great logos, but when Euro 2012 did such a nice job of tying the brand through its stadium concepts etc, (see the video below) It's supposed to be based around "‘wycinanka’, the traditional art of paper cutting practiced in rural areas of Poland and Ukraine, as a tribute to the fauna and flora of the region." (source) and I think it works quite well! I thought the world cup would have taken on some of this flare... I mean yes, Brazil's logo is the world cup made of hands, and yes, I guess everyone is trying to get their hands on it... but come on... at least go for something abit more original!

also, how the hell THIS sucker slipped my attention, I'll never know. But as i've mentioned the man before (and if you're in uni, he's had a few mentions), Adrian Shaughnessy, Author of "How to be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul" released a new book in March called "Graphic Design : A User's Manual". I want it! This video explains it more than I can (purely because I haven't read it yet ;) but it's in the shopping cart...).

M x

Friday, 16 July 2010

Cup of Tea 0555

A very slow day and a short one tbh... After being woken up multiple times through the night due to the weather, then via a brother at Latitude showing me multicoloured sheep and free beer (bastard! I didn't get up again until 3pm. Which has pissed me off and generally set the pace of the spiral of a day.

Maybe spiral's too bleak a word. I mean nothing's gone particularly bad, just a few niggley things. Like burnt potato wedges, the fact that I could go into work tomorrow and be turned away because I don't have a "fit paper". Oh and the fact that my ipod has got a silly head on and has decided, it really isn't in it's best interests to record my Nike+ data. Luckily I check the time and know the distance so I could work it out myself (same route... just under 3 mins shaved off the time... w00t!) so I ran it at 5.37 per KM. almost shaved 30 seconds off in a day. Gotta love muscle memory!

And alas, I've now got to go to bed with the fear that I may be sent home back to bed again. Would that really be so bad? No. But Still, will be annoying...

Anyways. On the design front, found this gorgeous free font earlier, check it out here

M x

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0551 - 0554


Yes, after all the talk, I have finally done the new logo / banner I've been meaning to do for the past year... I think it looks quite snazzy, thoughts and stuff would be appreciated :)!

So with that over and done, I can finally get my own stationary / website done... hopefully start the sketches on paper tomorrow and get something up by the end of next week :) hopefully anyways...

Anyways, short and sweet :) let me know what you think!

M x

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0544 - 0550

Its been quite a slow week if I'm being honest. The effects of that God-damned disease have finally fully left my system and I'm just kinda left like when I had it, I feel like I'm wasting time and have no drive.

However, today has been one of those days where I've tried to amend this. I set the alarm for 12pm and thought "right then boyo, lets get up and get some work done!" Alarm goes off, snooze button gets pressed. Hello 4pm. Yes, I got up at 4. Completely messing up any plan I had to do anything today. But I wasn't put off by this. I got up. I went downstairs, made myself a cuppa and some toast and began to transcribe from notes / emails and texts the entirety of the conversations I had during the design phase of the Giant Haystacks logo. Then, when the rain parted, I went for my first run in two months...

I'm not going to lie, it was well off my best. Did 3.64km in 23 minutes... While it's not really bad, I averaged at 6:22 per km (which I think is more to do with the fact I left it on during my warm down...) but it's given me the incentive I need to go forth and run seriously... Hopefully I can beat this time tomorrow!

On the running note, I've been reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. The book is quite an eyeopener and very inspiring. He talks about how running is central to his life because it allows him to "switch off" to the stuff around him and get away from writing. He also talks about how he started running around the same time he started writing, and how the who have affected his life in different ways. He also talks about alot of crazy running he's done such as The Lake Saroma 100 km (64 miles...), the original Athens to Marathon run, and how he's now training for triathlons. The man is 55.

It's inspired me to go out and do something with myself, giving me the well needed kick up the arse I've been looking for the past two weeks to get me back in the saddle...

Now, if only I knew where to begin....

M x

Monday, 12 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0539 - 0543

Its a really strange place to be. It really is. On the one hand, I kinda look on doing flyers as a simple bit of graphic design to bring a little bit of money in every now and again. But on the other hand, I actually love creating them. It's that balance between being able to produce a beautiful piece of work while using minimal typography to deliver the message to the reader. Yes, congratulations for pointing out the obvious Mat, you sure are a clever boy.

But I honestly think if I could get a stable living from purely creating this kind of art, y'know I probably would. If I could put these designs on t-shirts, band specific silk screened posters, hats or funny badges, I would. But it's a double edged sword I guess. I mean I specifically went to the venues that these flyers were distributed too when I went to London and they were certainly all gone from venues. But was it the case of people liking them, or were they simply glanced at and dis-guarded... Strange days indeed.

Anyways, I'm going to actively try to better my own style these next few weeks if I can... make prints in it without the typography (or maybe with some other typography, the night is young!) and see how they look... If I can figure out a way of semi-silk screening them, there may even be prints :) Leave a comment if there's been any particular poster i've done recently you've liked and i'll make it priority!

Also, i've got 4 of the prints I did a few weeks back for sale if anyone want's them... they're taking up tremendous amounts of space here (the suckers are A1...) They're on a nice, water colour 300gm stock and would look quite dapper in or around your personal space! Again, leave a comment or pop a facebook / twitter message across if you want one. (see below, I'll take a decent picture tomorrow as this is misleading... after all, they're not on wood!)

So yes, other than spam... check this out :) Found it yesterday via twitter. Adrian Shaughnessy (the rather talented writer How To Become A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul) interviewing leading designers and questioning graphic design today. Quite interesting imho!

M x

edit / p.s... New layout hates big graphics!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Cup of Tea 0538

Just because it is sheer genius.

M x

Cups of Tea 0535 - 0537

So there's been little done today, while I could relay stories of my mumpy week I've decided there's no point boring you with that. This is supposed to be an enjoyable read after all and hearing me complain isn't going to float anyone's boat. So this is the last you shall hear of it! I'm better but a little dead for energy which is gash... anyways....

Lists have been drawn up for my next three weeks of productivity. It involves FINALLY branding myself properly, dissertation reading and doing the stationary for Giant Haystacks. I'll show you the logo as it's all sorted out and the artworks going to print so I guess it's not going to hurt. If anyone want's to see the progress stuff, I'll be submitting it when I go back to uni so just ask. Personally, I would have chosen one of the others but this fitted the client spec. more.

I also want one of these - Seriously. It doesn't even have to be driveable. I just want a little shrub shed for drawing etc. haha I'd be all over that!

M x

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0510 - 0534

So there's been a lot of tea drank and an equal amount of radio silence. For those who don't actively facebook stalk me, my mumps took a bit of a scary turn. My light hearted jibbing with the picture of my Desperate Dan Jaw™, as funny as they were became slightly more serious than a simple inflation of the face...

Thursday night after posting the last update, sat at the laptop in my usual fashion speaking to Gem turned into a bit of a nightmare, I felt seriously ill. Like Shaky ill. The next morning I felt ill. So ill in fact, I got up at 5am and crashed on the sofa while attempting to get a glass of water. It was hear I remained, drifting in and out of consciousness for the next 6 hours as I awaited the visit from the house calling GP. He visited, poked and prodded me abit before writing an letter to the chief of Surgery at Singleton Hospital, where I was immediately taken.

Cue 3 days of awkward sleep, seemingly endless blood tests and the only thing I was allowed to consume were clear liquids (i.e. bloody water...). It turns out my GP thought my mumps had spread to my Pancreas, something that would have seriously fucked me for the next year or so, but gladly the levels of Amylase in my blood didn't go over 264 (100 normal, 1000 cut that shit out of you...) while I was there so I got released with painkillers and the advice to simply rest.

Which from the radio silence, I have been. Got some reading done, designed 26 characters of a font (Just the Caps) and written 2000 words of a novella between sleep. But it's been mostly sleep, I get tired very easily (looking for my wallet on Wednesday for 10 mins was enough to almost KO me for two hours...)

More on what i've been doing tomorrow, but until then, if anyone want's to buy me this Luke Chueh piece to cheer me up, hit me up for the postal address ;)

M x

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Cups of Tea 0508 - 0509

Part two of the multi-part blog of the day. I hope you've all wrestled up some cocoa and slipped into something comfortable, because this is going to be some pure, unadulterated filth! Not really, but I'm just practicing my keyboard strokes...

So yes, I awoke in quite alot of pain in that there facial region... Looked in the mirror and not only did I look alot older but I looked like "festively plump" to quote Cartman... Suffice to say, bloody hideous... I fought through however... I believed it to be some rather annoying infection of the ulcer at the back of my jaw, that'd been giving me jipp for the previous week. Oh how very wrong I was, turns out kids. It was mumps. YAY!

But I didn't know this at the time, took in a day of shopping to get myself some new shiiit in the Carnegie street sales, some new WESC headphones, afew little bits and bobs from Diesel and a pretty cool hat from FCUK, New Era x Star Wars... No, it's not a flat peak...

Then I passed out. Fundamentally for two days did I not get out of bed. Not in fact, until it was time to come home... Which I did, then slept here... Confirmed at the doctors I had mumps and then that's it. I've been home and reading... started writing a novella which should be fun... I'll let you know how it develops... Uni work's going to start again once this has cleared up... Tomorrow I'm going to put up a full review of new designers :) Hope you read it!

Until then, new Rangelife flyer :)

Oh... and here's my mumpy face.

M x

Cups of Tea 0504 - 0507

So Imma try and rap up a week and a half of experiences up into a two part blog entry in the same day, this is the aforementioned PART 1!

So I came back from Cornwall, it was nice. Involved alot of walking and fine weather which tickled my fancy and generally was a nice time. Then the week after was fundamentally a week of solid packing, good byes and film / tv watching. Saw Get Him To The Greek in the cinema (6/10... some very funny parts, the rest seems very week), How To Train Your Dragon via a downloaded DVD rip with Iain (10/10, very good animated film, told my Brawd to watch it with the Nephew) and ALMOST finished House (in fact I'm going to watch the last two episodes after this post's finished).

After the packing and moving into the flat, I got to sleep there for the night, it was kinda nice but kinda weird adjusting at the same time. But the room rocks... Huge walk in cupboard, two nice windows that OPEN (zing!) and alot more room to maneuver / put in some nice furniture. It's all good in the hood!

Pad Heff De Chef V3.0 Blurs and All

Then bright and early packed up and went to New Blood (new designer's is 10 mins walk away from my brothers too, might go there next week if I feel better...) which was excellent, I'll give a full review of it tomorrow (as there is literally a mountain of stuff from designer's I like). Met my brother had a good night out. Woke up Saturday morning looking like Desperate Dan and unable to eat.

More later ;) But before I go here's a flyer I did the night before I left for London.

M x