T-Shirt Designs

We were given a live brief to create T-Shirt designs for the Marine Conservation Society and if chosen the designs would be printed and used in their on-line shop, as fund-raising merchandise but more importantly for promoting awareness of the vast amount of pollution that is now being dumped in our sewers, rivers and the oceans. This is now prominent headline news, together with the general destruction of nature, the environment and planet Earth…….




Branding Assignment

I received a brief to develop an identity which will be used across printed and screen media for an ambitious arts venue based in Bristol.

Background information

The arts venue will comprise a gallery space showing innovative experimental contemporary fine arts, performance space used for ground-breaking live theatre, music and comedy along with a café bar serving meals and snacks made with local and seasonal produce. The interior is contemporary and clean, with the café bar area promoting a more laid-back contemporary canteen feel. The venue promotes itself as a social space, supporting local artists and festivals with partnership events and partisan makers’ markets. Customers tend to be middle-class and engage with the local art scene, across a range of ages.

There are several other art venues within the city and a preponderance of Street Art, in particular works that have been produced by Banksy.  Bristol is famous for its docks, trade, tobacco and spirits, packaging, the SS Great Britain, Clifton suspension bridge, Rolls Royce engines, Concord and Brunel.

I produced a questionnaire inviting a random selection of willing participants to consider the following three images:-

Image Choice

and then answer 3 simple questions…

(Add comments if you want to)

Q1 Which of the 3 images do you find most visually appealing?

Q2 Which of the 3 images most closely represents the requirements of the brief?

Q3 Which of the 3 images do you think would appeal to a middle-class audience with art interests?

Notes on the images….

Logo A

This design is based on the pencil images that were produced in the earlier stages of the project.

The pencil is the most basic of artistic tools and for this reason could be iconic. However, the image could be perceived as a human with arms outstretched as a welcoming gesture or like an actor/dancer/comedian.

The design would have some appeal/familiarity to some of the engineering professionals that would have a significant presence in the demographic.

Colours have been appropriated from Sagmeister and Walsh and have a contemporary feel.

Logo B

This logo was a development from an embracing people idea that I had earlier and inspired by the jet engine.

There are still elements of two people embracing but by the selection of a pattern element this has made the whole image more dynamic. There is also some influence from the Tate Logo which has wide acceptance in common culture and so is likely to be received sympathetically.

My own feeling is that the design quite edgy with a certain amount of conflict between the two basic shapes. This would lend itself well to use with larger images such as wall adornments. I’m very happy with the choice of colour.


This is “Colly” (short for Collette) and the design was inspired by  “Spirit of Ecstasy” the bonnet ornament that adorns Rolls-Royce Cars.

Rolls-Royce have a strong presence in Bristol even though this is associated with the production of jet engines rather than motorcars.

She symbolises a free spirit and represents the core values of the Bristol based arts venue and the activities that it supports – ground-breaking live theatre, music and comedy, and a contemporary fine arts gallery. Also the support for local artists and festivals, with partnership events and artisan makers’ markets.

Live Brief

Last week at college we were given a project to design an image for the Performing Arts Degree students who will be touring with a deconstructed version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein around college and sixth forms across the three counties and are looking for an initial image idea to get the publicity machine rolling.

The full name of the production is: The Vagabond Vaudeville presents Mary Shelley’s fabulous and fantastical fable of “Frankenstein”.

This is a production in the vein of the Victorian Penny Dreadful: horror, comedy, circus and musical all wrapped into one. The Vagabond Vaudeville are desperate, travelling Victorian theatre company under the control of a megalomaniac Emcee; they are used to playing in dingy theatres and crowded beer halls. Some even have pretensions of being serious actors. I hope this gives you the flavour of the production.

Think Sherlock Holmes meets Moulin Rouge meets the Circus of horrors.

This is the image that I created in response….

Frankenstein green text

Shakespear’s New Place

During a recent visit to Stratford I took this picture. It is of a magnificent bronze tree with its branches sweeping over a massive sphere which is burnished on one side and in deepest shadow behind.  Surrounded by a circle of pleached hornbeams and a 30m curved oak bench, with Shakespeare’s desk and chair at stage right, this is the perfect spot to contemplate Shakespeare’s works – and take a picture.

Stratford 2