I was listening to BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed recently, and they were talking about sensory landscapes. As ever, Laurie Taylor’s guests go off on one and get a little academic and wordy. But it’s true, we live in our selective sensory worlds. Each of us selects different elements from our environment. The programme talks about ‘scenes’ and ‘lifestyle bubbles’. They also talk about ‘-scapes’ and how we are always enveloped by sounds, as well as smells, mannerisms and culture. People’s practices mark people’s experiences. Monica Degen says“People sense in very different ways…”. Our selected practices, our selected perspectives, affect our selected views and experiences of things.
I love the phenomena of dreaming and dreams. I’m a great one for cheese before bed, though I doubt it affects one’s dream-life. One’s imagination resonating outside of the input from the sources we are daily surrounded by should be celebrated and enjoyed. This includes daydreams.
Children are often dreaming outside of the material they are presented with, and long may they be encouraged to think outside of the material we present them with. Edward De Bono says in his interesting book ‘Children Solve Problems‘, “A Child … enjoys the use of his mind just as he enjoys the use of his body as he slides down a helter-skelter or bounces on a trampoline”.
Back to ‘Sleep Note’, I hope we can all remember to enjoy the use of our minds, just as we might remember the exhilarating experience of bouncing on a trampoline. I love the idea of growing and inquisitively opening the envelope when our sensory world is cut of! Open the envelope when you go to sleep folks, vibrantly! x
Last year, I looked back at the turbulent 2016 and collated some snapshots of work I produced – you can see 2016 ‘here’.
This year, I have thankfully enjoyed full employment, and so there’s not been so much time to spend on ‘other things’. This year I’ve loved the day-to-day busyness of the work servicing the admirable staff at a local secondary school: 1000+ students and 100+staff keep a one-man reprographics department quite busy. (I’ve also enjoyed the bike-commute, now in my 7th Winter)
I have also had a great year with my ladies – they are my world, and I owe everything to them, especially Em. Em deserves the biggest thanks and praise for putting up with the introverted confused creative wonderer that I often am. I might not often feel as though I belong, but Em does her utmost to embrace me, and together with A and P they make life dearly vibrant and to be cherished, shared and celebrated.
Despite being busy at work, there have been a few out-of-hours projects:
Some people live vibrantly, painting, splashing, etching, layering, and filling their canvases with energising colour and texture. Some people’s lives seem passionately imbued with sights, sounds, people, places, hobbies, habits… I am not talking about professions, I am meaning individual’s personal tapestries. People who plunge into culture and community, people who enjoy and celebrate many aspects of the world we are creating. I admire and applaud many of the people that stand out in our community. I admire and applaud hearty homemakers, community stalwarts, keepers of tradition and pioneering adventurers. Where would we be without them?
I’ve encountered plenty of stuff over time, and yes I have enjoyed and celebrated much of it, but alas I have never really opted to develop or evangelise this, that or the other. After 30 years of adulthood; after years of scribbling, erasing, doodling and redrawing; I fear my personal canvas hosts an accumulation of unfulfilled shapes, smudges, faded bleeding colours.
As a visual and performance art student I was always attracted to the abstract. Many years on, I still find the abstract more enticing than the real. I am drawn less to the objective material and more to the subjective essential.
With our media currently covering the centenary of the Russian Revolution, I am reminded of a favourite painting of mine; Kazimir Malevich’s ‘White on White’. His Suprematist paintings were aligned with his ideas around “the supremacy of pure artistic feeling” rather than the visual depiction of objects. Today, we seek objective truth over subjective opinion, but perhaps today more than ever, with our object worship and linguistic ownership battles, it might pay to be more mindful of a true essential supre-subjectivity.
On a recent trip to West Cornwall, the place where I was ‘brought up’, I was reminded of the power of the natural, the essential. The sea, the water, the natural or wild, the powerful landscape of the coast. Many of us are drawn to such places. Like hill-climbing, where we can find ourselves at a thin place, where our object filled lives meet ‘space’. Where we are confronted with a space bigger than our canvas, a power stronger than our tools, a force that might blow away cobwebs or wash tired hands or weary faces. An abstract place, where popular objectivity might be seen as shallow mirage, a place where we might be able to feel more and think more.
I work with paper; large quantities of paper. It has struck me when I wash my hands at work, how remarkably refreshing the water can be after a few hours handling reams and reams of paper. We cannot objectively see the dust we are handling but when washing we can subjectively feel the cleansing soothing freshness of washing away the patina.
As I mentioned, as time goes on, I am drawn less to the material and more to the essential.
I have always loved Malevich’s ‘White on White’ with its off-white depth, its imperfect cleanliness. But I also love vibrant resonate stuff like the work of Frank Bowling’s pure abstractions. I am thankful for passionate people who enjoy and celebrate our world. But I consider it vital that we are mindful of the cleansed off-white, the smudgy greys, the tainted blurry edges, and the residual watermarks that are perpetual, eternal, and will endure in and around us no matter what.
DJS Sports Massage are about to launch and came to me for a bit of bling!
Dan needed some fliers and imagery to reinforce the service and help spread the word.
DS Sports Massage is a new venture run in Leicester by Dan Squires, a recently qualified Sports Massage Therapist. They offer mobile house calls so you can enjoy a massage in the comfort of your own home. DJS offer a range of professional services from sports massage treatments to sports injury rehabilitation programmes. Sports Massage offers full treatments which include a range of various techniques including:
I was asked if I could create a visually impacting flyer for a local home and garden maintenance company who are focusing on their window and conservatory cleaning service.
I took a selection of standard photo’s they had taken and enhanced them to make them effective. I put together a basic content structure, redrew their logo, and using the logo’s shape as a design element created this flyer design for them.
Together with the final printed flyer printed 1000 items on a quality 250gsm stock, I supplied some imagery for them to share online and via social media.
If you need your outside white-work cleaned to looking like new … and you’re in Birstall or Charnwood Leicestershire … give ‘um a call.
The Urban Theology Union are there to help equip and encourage the urban church – “disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed” – I like that.
It’s a growing a member-led organisation and always welcome new members to get involved – check them out: TwitterFacebook
I was asked to proffer some ideas for a new logo and after consideration, the below has been chosen and launched.
Thoughts followed ideas of an organisation and network with a reputation for radical contextual theology – being member-led and member-driven, where interaction, dialogue, information, creativity, and encouragement is to be found. They hinted at a modern deconstructive vibe, about ‘people’ and ‘the personal’ and how individualism and union can be explored in a changing urban environment …
A good bunch of folks. If the promotion and development of Christian ministry in urban communities; study, training, courses, lectures, research etc. is your thing give them a like follow on Twitter & Facebook
**Revision to the original article, UTU have chosen the urban green colour option… #growth…**
I’m asked occasionally to develop new logos and effective graphic visuals for new start-up businesses, or indeed to tidy up and consolidate ongoing visuals that have become tardy or perhaps have never really been considered as important.
Like all things, you can get them off-the-shelf for peanuts (they feed monkeys peanuts). You can always ‘get stuff done cheaply’. But my clients appreciate that I can bring bespoke consideration and individual creativity to the task. As with all my jobs, I aim to interrogate and understand what’s required, with a view to creating something that meets the brief as well as going beyond what’s expected. Yes, if you’re a high turnover business then it may be wise to invest in expert PR guidance. But even a start-up needs to get their image right. If I can help, jusy send me a message.
Your logo is the key-stone of your visual identity. It needs to be sharp and keen. It needs to be used wisely and correctly. Effective integration of your logo style, your colour schemes, your secondary graphic elements and typefaces etc (your visual identity); integration of this into all of your visual communication is important. To maintain and reinforce your brand, keep your services strong and in tune – this is why it’s important for your logo to be more than just a pretty design.
After the logo and visual ID is complete, it’s worth consulting your designer regularly. It’s easy to fly-off by yourself and crash the plane. A logo is only as good as how it’s used and incorporated in your marketing material. Yes, perhaps we can all colour-stuff-in and do desk-top publishing at home – similarly, I could build a garden wall or do some plumbing in the bathroom if I wanted to. But to add value, most jobs would be done better, last longer and have more guarantees if they are done by someone who knows their stuff.
The ‘Dirigo’ brief started with the client’s wish to use a stylised D and C and include graphic ‘linked circles’ – I worked on and developed this into the final icon and logo below:
The Charis Centre in Loughborough is soon to revamp its online presence, and has taken the opportunity to review its logo and visual style. They asked me for some options and I am pleased to say they are going to adopt a new logo that I’ve developed: “I am absolutely delighted with the work you have done.”
“You have really taken the brief that I gave and developed it.”
The new website’s being designed at present with a view to going live in a few months but for now here’s a snapshot of the work I did for them – they hope to adopt the new logo style in the coming few months.
After initial discussions, my thoughts behind the brief were: professional, feminine, caring, subtle, feminine, care, delicacy…
After pondering, and a few sketches, I started with the the idea of creation of life and came up with the split cells which reads as a flower/bloom (unconditional love)… Using this as a very subtle reference point, I felt it needed a female presence as it’s about the female’s perspective perhaps as much as the pregnancy… female, care, support…
As usual, I supply finished logos etc in various forms; in colour and in black & white; for use by printers, office, web and screen, social-media etc.
As ever, if I can help you with similar, just get in touch: here
And so, I was asked by a man with a definitive Cornish twang “Any one know of a firm that can design logos quickly for me?”
Rev. Danny Reed and team, at Central Methodist Church Helston Cornwall, wanted a new logo with a modern feel. As clients often do, Danny had an idea or two: They liked the idea of the t in central being a cross. They fancied primary colour illustration of people praising. They wanted the logo to convey happiness and family… “Any chance of a sunrise behind the cross?”… “more sun like than ray like?” – It’s quite usual for a client to have ideas about what they want, and usually, these can be accommodated.
Ideally, the logo simply and clearly needs to evoke what you are, with a feel of the root values why you are. You need to consider its use on various formats. Generally, the simpler the better.
After 10 days of a this and that, a little of which you can see right >, we settled on the below.