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, […]
When it comes to memorable characters in horror films, few are as heavily referenced and as recognisable as The Bride of Frankenstein. Victim (like the original monster himself) in James Wale’s classic Universal horror, her mixture of hollywood starlet looks, lightning streaked hair and macabre medical bandages make for one of the strongest images in cinema, […]
In Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines, the illustrator Samantha Hahn presents a collection of portraits imagining 50 of the best-loved female characters from literary classics of the last century. The Great Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan, Scarlet O’Hara of Gone With the Wind and Doctor Zhivago’s Lara Guishar count among an impressive list, illustrated in […]
Towering above all others in the land of the comic book gods stands Frank Frazetta, a powerhouse of science-fiction and fantasy art, sadly no longer with us, but whose work remains as popular and sought-after as ever. The Frazetta Sketchbook is a welcome addition to the collections of available work, offering a previously unseen look at the […]
A collection of high resolution and vector brush strokes, hand painted and converted for use as digital elements. Combine them with my paper textures (https://creativemarket.com/wingsart/4770-Papers) and the wide array of effects availble in programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for convincing artistic effects. Possible uses include the creation of rough edges, texture masks and […]
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 […]
A set of 10 high resolution paper textures with unique decorative elements taken from a large collection of genine vintage papers. Perfect for adding a touch of classic character to your own designs. Each paper (non-tileable) is provided as a 300dpi jpg saved in the highest quality and average 3000 x 4600 pixels in size. Available […]
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 […]
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 […]
Robert McGinnis (1926) is an American illustrator best known for his paperback book covers for crime and romance stories written by authors such as Donald Westlake (aka Richard Stark of the excellent Parker books) and the Carter Brown Series. He’s estimated to have illustrated over an amazing 1200 covers and is still working today on […]
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 […]
David Downton (1959) is arguably the most popular and recognised fashion illustrator working today with work appearing regularly in magazines such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. He also works extensively with commercial clients including Chanel, Dior, Tiffany’s, Harrods, Topshop and Bloomingdales. His deceptively effortless and beautifully stylised fashion portraits featuring (among many others) models Catherine Deneuve, Carmen […]
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 […]
Sketch Travel from Chronicle Books is a hardback reproduction of an ambitious and collaborative project started by artists Dice Tsutsumi and Gerald Guerlais. For the benefit of children in need and the non-profit literacy organisation Room to Read, one solitary red sketchbook travelled 75,000 miles across the globe passing through the hands of 71 accomplished […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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, […]
How can you do a Halloween special without talking about John Carpenter’s brilliant Halloween. A classic that spawned several sequels of mixed quality and a terrible re-make, the original remains one of my all-time favourites and is the last of my Halloween flavoured Comic Book Movies. Happy Halloween everyone! For more Comic Book Movies visit […]
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The countdown to Halloween starts here with my first of three horror favourites leading up to the fright filled day. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a classic example of sophisticated horror that manages to get under your skin by the use of clever visual design, music, and ideas; never having to resort to cheap gore or […]
A grounding in the correct use of type is essential for any Graphic Designer. Effective use of typography are skills that will be called upon again and again in virtually all areas of designer’s career and once you have a grasp on the basics, simple errors become glaringly obvious and easily avoided. Mastering Type: The […]
Darwyn Cooke (born 1962) is an award-winning comic book artist, writer and designer best known for his work on Catwoman, The Spirit and (one of my favourite series of books), Richard Stark’s Parker. He has also worked on various animation projects including Batman: The Animated Series with Bruce Timm, which became a cult favourite among […]
To coincide with Sign Painters – The Movie, due for release later this year, Princeton Architectural Press bring us Sign Painters (the book) by co-directors Faythe Levine and Sam Macon. A brief history of the hand painted sign industry told through anecdotes by those working during its heyday and those dedicated to keeping the art […]
Steven Heller, author and editor of several books on art, design and popular culture including; Menu Design in America, Advertising from the Mad Men Era and Typography Sketchbooks, presents this new peek into the minds and working processes of contemporary comic book artists in; Comic Sketchbooks – The Unseen World of Today’s Most Creative Talents. Over […]
It’s been a busy past few weeks here in the Wing’s Art office. I’ve just put the finishing touches to my first commercial comic book which i will reveal very soon, but i have managed (if not a little last minute) this quick sketch for Illustration Friday’s theme of Book. I offer you one of […]