I recently had the pleasure of designing a new logo for the London-based, vintage make-up and hair styling specialists Deco Dolls - a project that allowed me indulge in my two existing interests of Art Deco style and classic Hollywood glamour. Through a distillation of reference and inspiration from sources such as Harper’s Bazaar magazines, the paintings of J.C. Leyendecker, Art Deco posters, sculptures, and classic movie posters, I developed new branding that immediately gives the viewer a sense of the nostalgic Deco Dolls style.
While deliberately avoiding current trends in this area of logo design that over use a pastel, home-made craft aesthetic, I chose a traditionally strong colour scheme of black and gold that evokes a sense of classic British fashion and opulence that’s more Biba than bunting. The final logo is made up of a classically elegant female icon (illustrated as a vector) with bold art deco lettering that allows for numerous applications ranging from web, print, social media, brochures and trade-show banners. Added to which a single colour version was also developed that manages to lose none of the original’s strength and readability.
In the gallery below you’ll find a collection of work in progress images that shows the evolution of the design, along with abandoned ideas including references to Ava Gardner and The Venus De Milo (one and the same in the movie A Touch of Venus), colour tests and the various different hair styles we tried before setting of the final design. A perfect job where I could be more pleased with the final result.
First Draft concepts, some referencing The Venus De Milo, goddess of love and beauty.
Second draft, horizontal format logo concepts.
A range of hair style tests.
Portrait illustration colour tests.
Further logo development bringing in text elements.
Final portrait, illustrated as a vector in Adobe Illustrator.
Final colour variations.
Cropped portrait for use as profile image, avatar etc.
I count myself among a strange breed of pale thirtysomethings – over exposed to TV, horror films, video games and all those other bad things supposed to rot our brains – but specifically amazing film poster art. Born of the home video generation, with daily life coloured by films such as Blade Runner, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, […]
This brand new collection of Art Deco Seamless Patterns offers 10 unique and decorative vector designs to use either separately or as a complement to the matching Backgrounds and Frames (available separately*). Each design is supplied in both native Adobe Illustrator CC and CS1 formats, plus flat JPGs for ease of use. Also included is a […]
Get those Halloween invitations ready with this set of spooky vector cartoons! 8 popular monster characters are included featuring favourites such as Dracula, Wolfman, The Mummy, Zombie and Frankenstein. All are included in both editable vector (eps) and high resolution jpg formats. Minimum requirements for the use of the vector format is Adobe Illustrator version […]
6 Art Deco Designs for Posters, Wedding Invitations and more! The follow-up to the original and best-selling Art Deco package is here with Backgrounds and Frames Volume 2! Offering more design options for vintage deco fans, these fully editable vector and Photoshop files are perfect for custom party or wedding invitations, menus, posters or simply the most elegant […]
The work of David Wright was unknown to me before it’s introduction in the article by Peter Richardson in issue 2 of Illustrators Magazine. His pin-up paintings and comic book illustrations were immediately impressive, equalling that of more prominent artists such as Gil Elvgren and Harry Ekman, and left me firstly surprised that I hadn’t seen […]
This latest double volume from TASCHEN provides an extensive reference catalogue of vintage typography and ornamental elements spanning 1628 to 1938. Providing an invaluable resource for Graphic Designers, these 2 books contain 1000′s of examples of decorative Victorian lettering, vintage stock elements and ornamental flourishes and frames, The accompanying text from Cees W. de Jong […]
Taking inspiration from the bold design of 50s Diners, Bowling Lanes and Drive-Ins are these 12 seamless 1950s patterns. Tileable and fully editable in Adobe Illustrator, these patterns can used in any size and colour combination, and are specially designed to compliment the following sets also available in my shop: 1950s Logos and Badges; https://creativemarket.com/wingsart/8828-1950s-Storefront-Badges-and-Logos 1950s […]
Taking inspiration from the retro style of the 1950s storefront comes this set of six, fully editable vector badges and logos. Each is supplied in 3 versions – colour, black and white and minimal, allowing for various uses across all kinds of media. All files are provided with preset text paths in their native Illustrator AI (CC) […]
Rock ‘n’ Roll with these 1950s Diner Illustrations. Taking inspiration from the bold and beautiful graphic design of vintage All-American Diners comes this collection six 1950s style backgrounds and frames. Designed to work as posters or menus they feature preset text boxes for easy input, fully editable vector illustrations, frames, icons and patterns! All files […]
The Gordano Home Front are a group of history enthusiasts based in Portishead, near Bristol who recently approached me to design a war-time inspired logo / emblem for their upcoming website and promotional material. Taking visual cues from world-war two propaganda posters such as those produced my the WPA in the 1930s and 1940s, I […]
There are several books written on the subject of fashion illustration with many unfortunately proving to be little more than filler or catalogues of aspiring artists, but there are two in particular that stand out for me as recommended titles. The first being David Downton’s Masters of Fashion Illustration and the second, Cally Blackman’s 100 Years of […]
Character designers, animators and illustrators throughout the ages have all shared the wisdom of one simple truth; that adding an eye-patch to a character provides an instant coolness upgrade. From ‘the man in the Hathaway shirt’ to countless cowboys and Kurt Russell’s portrayal of Snake Plisskin, the eye-patch fits the bill whether you’re looking to […]
Included in this pack (acting as a perfect partner to the Art Deco Backgrounds and Frames) are 5 Art Deco seamless patterns provided as vector swatches enabling you to create background patterns repeatable to any size. Also included are each pattern displayed at A3 page size in vector eps and high-resolution jpg format. The vector […]
Great Gatsby inspired Vector Illustrations Available to Download. Add a touch of Gatsby glamour to your work with this collection of 6 Art Deco inspired backgrounds and frames. Every party occasion is covered in style with elegant designs supplied as vector and high-resolution jpg files. Added to which you’ll also receive a set of individual […]
Credited as inspiration behind my own fashion portraits, René Gruau (4 February 1909 – 31 March 2004) was an Italian fashion illustrator who’s stylised and elegant work for high-profile clients such as Christian Dior, Vogue, Schiaparelli and Givenchy became synonymous with fashion illustration and has continued to inspire generations after him – perhaps none more so than in the […]
This week sees the release of the next in Titan Books series of Andrew Loomis reprints, Fun with a Pencil. Actually dating as the first of the Loomis instructional art books (going all the way back to 1939) it inevitably shares some of its content with his later releases, but where Figure Drawing for all […]
In a departure from my usual illustration style i’ve recently developed these 12 portraits celebrating some of history’s classic female icons. Ranging from the television comedian Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy) to Hollywood Goddesses such as Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo, these fashion illustrations represent some of the most beautiful and best known […]
With the anticipated release of the new Superman movie, DC’s status as a leader in the comic book industry remains as strong as ever, with its success only really comparable to that of Marvel. It’s testament to the power and longevity of their characters that the very same Man of Steel started it all with […]
With the sun beginning to tease with ideas of long days spent at the beach and hanging out at that unrealistically cool and imaginary surf shack, my artistic cravings start to lean towards the work of legendary surf artist Jim Phillips. No other artist captures the feeling of easy-going summers better, with his eye grabbing […]
I was thrilled to have been invited to contribute to the Mail Me Art project for 2013 and after much procrastinating popped my C5 effort in the post yesterday. I eventually decided on a fashion portrait inked on parcel paper with black and yellow acrylics with white gouache for the hair. A very loose, sketchy […]
Swissted is the brain-child of Graphic Designer Mike Joyce, combining a love of punk rock, indie and grunge gig posters with his own Swiss inspired modernist aesthetic. Featuring great bands such as Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, Beastie Boys and The Cramps, the result is an unlikely pairing of seemingly un-related pop-cultures, collected in a new release […]
During the 1960s and 70s, a time of ever-increasingly functional highrise buildings, existed Archigram, an avant-garde architectural group who’s principal members Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Ron Herron, Dennis Crompton, Michael Webb and David Greene undertook experimental projects in response to the changing world around them. This was also a time of the moon landing, rapidly evolving technologies and materials, and the influx of […]
During the reading of The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation I found myself watching all of the classic 1960′s TV Specials and subsequently listening to the excellent Vince Guaraldi soundtrack which has been pretty much playing on repeat ever since, so infectious are the characters and stories created by Charles Schultz and brought to […]
Creating the Filmation Generation tells the story of the famous animation studio that coloured the airwaves of the 1980s with its classic Saturday morning cartoons such as Batman, Star Trek, Archie, Flash Gordon and my personal childhood favourite He-Man and the Masters of the Universe! Told by its co-creator Lou Scheimer, the book covers in detail the […]
The 1980s was a fertile time for fantasy movies, delivering classics such as The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Willow and Ridley Scott’s excellent Legend in 1985. A film with a much darker edge than your average family fare thanks to Ridley Scott‘s gothic fairy-tale visuals, superb character design (and performance from Tim Curry as The Lord […]
Robert Maguire (Aug 3rd 1921 – Feb 26th 2005) was an American illustrator synonymous with the world of pulp fiction producing over 600 covers for paperbacks and magazines during a prolific career spanning the 1950s – 1980s. Only a few of his contemporaries (artist’s such as Charles Copeland and Rudy Nappi) could match his ability […]
In the mood for some trashy pulp pop? Try The Midnight Caller. In a new piece for my portfolio, i’m entering the world of pulp fiction with a cover illustration for The Midnight Caller. A story in the tradition of the classic pulp paperbacks of the 1940s and 50s, full of sex, murder, intrigue and now sporting […]
If I may, i’d like to introduce you all to Ernest, my humble pet, studio regular and now star of his own cartoon in what i’m calling Tales of Ernest – The Troublesome Spaniel. A particularly naughty and greedy English Springer Spaniel, this first drawing describes what became a regular occurrence over the holidays, in which our muffin thief of […]
Publisher Manuel Auad and art historian David Apatoff deliver the first major retrospective on the life and career of Albert Dorne, one of the most prominent figures of American illustration in, Albert Dorne Master Illustrator. Aside from his incredibly popular and accomplished work that graced magazines and billboards of the 1940s and 50s, Albert Dorne is […]
In Awakening: The Art of Halo 4, games journalist Paul Davies takes the reader through the creation of the latest instalment of one of the most popular video-game series of all-time, and one that established Microsoft’s Xbox in 2001 as a major force in the video games industry. It’s fair to say that this book’s near 200 […]
The Art of Wreck-It Ralph is the next in Chronicle Book’s excellent behind the scenes series, this time taking a look at Disney’s latest video game inspired feature. Maggie Malone and Jennifer Lee Monn introduce us to Wreck-It Ralph, a Donkey Kong like figure and baddy of the 8-bit era, on a journey to prove himself through all […]
Illustration Friday’s theme of Whiskers led me down the path of Catwoman, and specifically Michelle Pfeiffer’s version of Catwoman from Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. After all the different Batman movies including Christopher Nolan’s excellent trilogy, Batman Returns remains my favourite (I could even say that Michael Keaton is my prefered Batman) with its festively dark atmosphere, […]
The first time I became aware of John Buscema was via the compilation magazine Hacoc that was released by Marvel in the early 90s. This magazine collected a some of their edgier stories such as Deathlok, Ghost Rider, RoboCop and most importantly, the Buscema illustrated Conan. This story was beautiful to look at and oozed an […]
A little Thanksgiving special this week with another John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Probably my favourite of the Hughes movies and a masterpiece of mixed emotions; what an ending! I can’t imagine anyone who could pull of the role off Del as well as John Candy. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving. I’m now taking […]
For the demographic of those around the age of 30, the mention of Jim Henson provokes a warm glow with memories good times spent with The Muppets, The Muppet Babies, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and The Storyteller. I’m still a little astonished to find anyone who doesn’t love (or dare I it say hasn’t seen) […]
A large range of design, illustration and art prints are now available from my online store over at Society 6. Decorate that special space above your desk or bookshelf with posters, framed prints, canvases and cards. You’ll also find iphone skins, tote bags and even t-shirts available in all shapes and sizes featuring my illustration work, […]
Richard Amsel (Dec 1947 – Nov 1985) was an American illustrator and designer particularly well-known for his work during the 1970s and 80s including the first 2 Indiana Jones films, The Dark Crystal and Chinatown. He can easily be counted among the great poster artists such as Drew Struzan and Bob Peak, and his work […]
Illustration Friday’s theme of ‘Tree‘ offered the perfect reason to use John McTiernan’s classic Predator as the next Comic Book Movie. If there’s one film that features a lot of trees this is it! Still up there as one of the most enjoyable and quotable action movies ever made. I’m now taking requests for upcoming […]
I can’t claim to be much of a gamer nowadays. My PS3 has long been reduced to a simple blu-ray player and with every new instalment of Call of f Duty, Medal of Honour or Assassins’s Creed, I become a little more disinterested. So it was with some surprise that I was actually rather impressed […]