War: The Whole Story

Here are some jacket design options I put together a while back for the title War: The Whole Story – a new book idea presented at back Frankfurt Book Fair in 2013.

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It was harder than I imagined it would be, to find the right image. You don’t want to glorify war and you also don’t want to hide from the reality that it entails. It needs to be powerful and impactful but not too morbid and brutal on the senses and put people off. It has to capture the mood and spirit of war, all wars if possible, past and present. How do you capture the feeling of war in one encompassing image that doesn’t focus particularly on one war?? Do we feature a more relevant modern day image or an historical and nostalgic viewpoint of the topic. Should it have been something human and approachable to really draw us in and play on our emotions or something neutral and symbolic and all encompassing… it’s tricky!

You can see the final one that was chosen in the end here, and take a look at the sample spreads I designed here as well.

Which of these one do you like, prefer most, or think works the best and why?
I’d be curious to know your thoughts!

War: The Whole Story

Alfredo’s Cafe

An illustration (1 of 4) I was commissioned to create for La Montana, a range of luxury scented candles inspired by the wonderful sights and scents of Spain.

This one was called Alfredo’s Cafe – the scent is an unusual, rich, comforting blend of coffee, brandy, black tobacco, leather and incense.

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See the other illustrations I created here

I was happy with how this turned out, I think it might be my favourite of them all. It’s simple but powerful and striking (even if I disapprove of smoking!), with strong bold shapes and muted but intense colours. It feels sturdy and substantial. Plus I’d certainly be interested to find out what it smells like.

Alfredo’s Cafe

Evolution The Whole Story

Advance hand–bound copies of Evolution The Whole Story arrived in the Quintessence office and I think it looks fabulous! Do you like the cover?? The male chimpanzee photo on the front is by Brad Wilson – check out the rest of his work here, his photographs are absolutely magnificent.

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It is such a momentous part of the book design process, just as exciting as it was with my first ever title. When you hold the complete book in your hand and all it’s parts come together to work in harmony, well that is the idea anyway! It’s always lovely to see soooo many months of work in the flesh finally, as long as you don’t look at it too closely and spot any mistakes…of which there are none in here, of course! 

It will be published by Thames & Hudson in the UK, and is out in Sept 2015. You can pre-order your copy here now!

I’ll share with you some sample spreads shortly, to give you sneak peak at the inside!

 

Evolution The Whole Story

Wedding Menu Design

Here is a menu that I designed for a wonderful wedding that took place last year which I was honoured to be a part of, in quite a big way… and that is because the client was my sister, Marian Needam, née Eeles, aka the fabulous DIY queen Knicker Elastic Fantastic!

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It was a full comprehensive list of all the food and drinks provided during the day’s festivities. The main meal on the front, wine list on the back along with the late night feast of local made bread and cheese, and best of all – pavlova turned eton mess – which I can vouch for and was delicious! Marian gave me all the text and I had to make sense of it in a way that would be easy to read and understand while being visually appealing. The menu was printed back to back on lovely thick slightly textured paper and placed on the dining table in front of each guest, prior to their arrival, tucked neatly into the coral coloured napkins ready for them to peruse. Here it is in situ: 20140712-399-anushe-low-photography-kent-tipi-wedding-photography Photo by Anushe Low. See more of the wonderful wedding pictures taken here, here and here. The scrumptious food was provided by Home Gurr’own

You can read more about the wedding logo which we featured on the front of the menu here.

Wedding Menu Design

Life Drawing

Photos from last weeks life drawing session at Candid Arts in Angel Islington. We had a great model who did some crazy dynamic poses which were great (although from my easel angle the last two longer ones were quite similar looking!). As usual there was a range of 10/20/40min poses.

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I used a combination of charcoal sticks and charcoal pencils which I found helped to give me a wider range of marks, and I was quite happy with the outcome, I like the last one a lot. I did struggle with the front foot strangely but I think he’s all in proportion otherwise.

Life Drawing

Chamonix

Almost forgot to mention that we went skiing earlier this year in France, to the glorious Alps, back in March, for a week, and it was fabulous! I had a lot of fun with Maz and Ben and the whole crew, we hired a chalet and it was a blast, although having not been for a fair few years I had conveniently forgotten how painful snowboarding is! And just how physically demanding the whole holiday is, using one’s body in such an active way for hours on end, and day after day, without a break, is not what we’re used to these days, unfortunately. I usually spend at least 8 hours a day sat at a desk, and I can only imagine what harm it is doing to our bodies long term. It’s great to push oneself and this certainly does that, there is no better way to do so!

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Getting out on the slopes was a wonderful feeling and quite a change, so refreshing, to be in such stunning scenery and surrounding, spectacular views every way you looked. I was excited to wake up and fully appreciated not being in my flat back in London, with my usual commute to look forward to and endless work to face. Instead we had fresh mountain air, unspoilt natural beauty and we were lucky to have blue skies sun for pretty much every day we were there (but still with enough snow on the mountains to keep is entertained!) a perfect, if somewhat perplexing, combination.

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Maz and I snowboarded for 3 days and then skied for 3 days (something I hadn’t done since I was a young’un!), but it was wonderful doing it together, I definitely find the experience more challenging but rewarding when in a group. We were blessed with the presence of my brother and his girlfriend who popped along over from Bordeaux to join us for a weekend, and that was great, a second siblings holiday in less than a year, we’re on a roll – I hope we keep it up!

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Chamonix was beautiful, none of us had been there before but we’d most certainly go back. The valley was so picturesque, and provided a wide range of activites, if more often than not challenging, slopes and various areas to explore, each day you can go to a different part, the train down to Les Houches was particularly nice. And the town of Chamonix itself rather quaint and unspoilt, for such a well known/famous location it was a pleasant surprise.

Oh and here’s a compulsory reflection in googles shot!

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Also we couldn’t get over how quiet it was, normally you have to queue for a while to get on buses or lifts etc but all week we hardly had to wait. We did go towards the end of the season admittedly but for us it couldn’t have been better, for all the right reasons.

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And I have to mention the glacier here, it is most spectacular, the Mer de Glace is 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long and 200 metres (660 ft) deep, it is the longest glacier in France. We made a special trip to see it, and to go inside the ice caves they carve into it every year. They have to re-carve them as the glacier moves so much over the year, around 90-120m, or 1cm an hour which sounds crazy.

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The ice was amazing, it might seem strange to say that it was almost easy to overlook the glacier from the view above, you don’t fully understand what lies beneath the surface, until you get to venture inside, see the ice extend into the depths and darkness, the ongoing solid, spectacular unstoppable force of nature, it was truly humbling.

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Chamonix