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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
In my first ever Comic Book Movie ‘by request’ I bring you Stephen King’s classic tale of boyhood friendship and dead bodies, Stand By Me. Many thanks to Tina Mories for suggesting a film that frankly, I should have thought of a long time ago!
I was recently commissioned by the New York based children’s toy and accessories company Skip Hop to produce an eight page comic book for use as a fun way to advertise their products at an upcoming trade fair. I jumped at the opportunity of working with the company whose celebrity fans include Selma Blair, Ricky Martin and Joel Madden, […]
John Hughes 80′s classic The Breakfast Club took a while to grow on me, but is now one of those films that seems to get funnier every time I watch it. There are great one-liners from the character Principle Vernon, played in a brilliant hard-ass fashion by Paul Gleason, who seemed to have reprised this […]
A Naked Gun Poster illustration from the files of Police Squad! Leslie Nielsen was surely one of the funniest men to have ever lived, and the Frank Drebin character from The Naked Gun movies was a perfect example of his brilliantly deadpan brand of humor. An absolute classic of the Zucker/Abrahams 80′s comedies and an easy […]
Michael J. ‘Crocodile’ Dundee finds himself pretty puzzled by the sights and sounds of New York city in this week’s Illustration Friday sketch.
After losing the entire crew of the Nostromo on LV-426, nobody was going to convince Ellen Ripley to return. Corporate lackey, Carter Burke manipulates her into facing the Alien for a second time in this scene from James Cameron’s 80′s classic, Aliens. This week’s Illustration Friday submission.
If the living dead riding a skateboard wasn’t enough, how about wakeboarding? Continuing my series of illustrations for the upcoming extreme sports brand Live Over Board, i’d like to introduce you to the Wakeboarder of the living dead! For those who missed my previous post, this is the second in a series for the Florida based company […]
The following is a copy of the interview with me that featured on the excellent website Poster Collective. 8 Questions is our feature where we ask designers, artists and illustrators the same 8 getting-to-know-you questions (sort of like the web series 7 Minutes In Heaven but without the closet and awkward kissing). We’ve chosen questions we think […]
Ever wondered what a zombie on a skateboard might look like? Coming soon to a T-Shirt near you is my brand new illustration for Live Over Board, an up-and-coming extreme sports company based in Jacksonville, Florida! I was commissioned to produce this illustration as part of their new range of T-Shirts covering all aspects of […]
I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of IDW’s coveted Artist’s Editions ever since the series started with The Rocketeer by Dave Stevens (one of my all-time favourite comic book artists) and I’m still looking for a copy. But given the highly limited print run of only 300 copies, it demands a hefty […]
“Long before Willis O’Brien, myself, and Steven Spielberg, Charles R. Knight put flesh on creatures that no human had ever seen.” – Ray Harryhausen – Film Director; One Million Years B.C. Released this March from Abrams is the biography of esteemed wildlife artist Charles R. Knight (1874-1953). Written by award-winning author Richard Milner (also editor […]
Velocity by Stephan Martiniere This week I take a look at two recent releases from the Design Studio Press label starting off with Stephan Martiniere’s Velocity. A collection of book covers, video-game and movie concept art from the acclaimed illustrator whose back catalogue consists of work for Star Trek, Tron Legacy, Star Wars; Episodes 2 […]
There’s a conversation between the characters Cher and Josh in the movie Clueless about how Marky Mark (aka Mark Wahlberg) would like to use his popularity for a good cause. My intention was to use that as the basis for my Illustration Friday sketch this week. It didn’t quite work out so I give you […]
This week’s Illustration Friday theme of Forward comes courtesy of Rocky Balboa.
Army of Darkness gets a comic book style Alternative Movie Poster Treatment. Another new movie poster illustration to start the week based on my personal favorite of the EVIL DEAD Trilogy, Army of Darkness. Starring Bruce Campbell on top form in a pitch perfect horror/comedy, my poster illustration adds 1980′s inspired fantasy/adventure styling to the mix. See […]
I’ve literally just turned the very last page of Setting The Scene by Fraser MacLean and although my brain may be suffering information overload, I also feel satisfied that i’ve just read one the definitive books on the subject of animation. A book that concentrates specifically on the discipline of layout design (and its inevitable merge with […]
John Huston’s Classic Key Largo gets an Alternative Movie Poster Illustration by Christopher King. I’m a big fan of John Huston’s noir classic Key Largo so it was an easy choice to start the new year with this poster illustration. This was inked by hand with brush and pen, mostly as separate parts and brought together […]
Given the topic of ‘Grounded’ by Illustration Friday this week, the best my primitive intellect could come up with was Star Trek IV, in which Kirk, Spock and the crew are grounded in 1986, where they are forced to locate the ‘nuclear wessells’ in order to power their voyage home while also saving the whales.
With the imminent release of IDW’s Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was (review coming soon) I thought it was an appropriate time to look at an earlier book titled Chuck Amuck: The Life And Times of Animated Cartoonist. Originally released in 1989 and reprinted several times since, this entertaining memoir predominately covers Chuck Jones’ time […]
Not this Christmas Eve Detective John McClane! You’ve got to take down the bad guys in the festive classic, Die Hard! Merry Christmas!!! Wing.
Bernet by Manuel Auad collects the work of Spanish comic book artist Jordi Bernet, known for his work on the Belgian comics magazine Spirou, Torpedo, a short run on Batman and most recently Jonah Hex. Introduced by Will Eisner and with comment from many others including Joe Kubert, this is a collection of noir tinged (not […]
I have to confess that I was unfamiliar with Steve Rude (aka The Dude) before I picked up this book, and it left me wondering why I hadn’t discovered his work sooner. In terms of the artistic influences we share you couldn’t get much closer with Norman Rockwell, Andrew Loomis and Alex Toth. His extremely […]
It’s hard to imagine any other area of work for the Graphic Designer that’s subject to as much scrutiny as their skill with type. It’s basic fundamentals are understood the world over, and effective type can suggest a brand ethos, an advertising message or hint at a movie’s plot before you’re even conscious of reading […]
A very quick pen and ink sketch as my submission to Illustration Friday this week. This time depicting a scene from Silent Running.
It’s back! It’s Alive! It’s the return of the Halloween competition!!! The rules are simple… Name all five of the classic horror movies as drawn here by myself and you could win a free print of your choice from my Society 6 shop!* Place your entry in the comments section below. Only one entry per […]
More promotional material for the Dinosaur Safari Mini Golf course this week in the form of this vector illustration for a die-cut, A5 flyer. I’m definitely channeling some kind of Nintendo vibe with this one.
The epic crime thriller HEAT directed by Michael Mann and starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer, easily tops my list of all time great movies and a poster design from me has been a long time coming. There’s were a few false starts with this one, with some abandoned concepts and wasted ink in […]
As a follow up to my The Good, The Bad And The Ugly poster, I bring you… 12 Angry men. The two versions on show here (one portrait and one landscape) were hand drawn with pen, brush and ink, scanned into Photoshop and assembled to fit my pre-planned layouts. Extra texture elements are added last […]
Presenting my foray into the world of Burlesque poster art with this series for L.A’s premier burlesque troupe The Dollface Dames. The first poster is a re-working of an old illustration of mine that’s been re-inked and coloured to bring it in-line with two brand new posters, creating a series that I now call ‘The […]
I couldn’t help but be drawn to the Ritzy 100 poster competition, celebrating 100 years of the Brixton based cinema. A perfect opportunity to try my hand at a poster for the spaghetti western classic, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Here are some shots of the original pencil, pen and ink work… Hope […]
I love working on gig posters. I don’t get to do them often enough. Luckily for me Pat West of the blues band, The Steady Rollin’ Revue called me up earlier this week needing a little something for their upcoming show at The Gipsy Hill Tavern, in London on 22nd April. Here’s a quick […]
The Art of Brian Bolland – By Brian Bolland – Image/Desperado Publishing The UK has a well-known crop of big league comic writers and artists, and sitting along side Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore you will find the highly regarded (and owner of a most excellent moustache) Brian Bolland. This comprehensive book, narrated by the man […]
In my Little Black Book of Illustration Ideas, i’ve had ‘Roller Derby Romance’ written down for a while. Without a clear idea of what to do with it (except that I knew I wanted to create an image that referenced classic romance comics of the 1940/50s) i’ve managed to progress the idea no further than those […]
Well, that’s another year over, goodbye 2010 and hello 2011. It’s always nice to have a little review of the work done in the previous year and I thought I’d share some of my commercial design & illustration work from 2010. SMALL WORLD NEWS SERVICE - Logo Design SWNS.com are a Bristol based news agency […]
“I have seen the future, and it sucks. There, I said it. Someone had to. Send your complaints to City Hall. There’s no sugar-coating this. Movie posters suck these days. They’re going to suck even more tomorrow. And as we shuck and jive (and text and Facebook) ever onward into the digital future, movie posters […]