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.
Along with Walt Disney, Tex Avery and Chuck Jones, Maurice Noble stands among a group of men who changed the business of animation forever. But unlike Disney’s traditional approach to animation with realistic characters and highly detailed backgrounds, Maurice Noble applied his own sense of modern graphic design (often with creative partner Chuck Jones) to […]
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, […]
While living and working in a remote part of the Somerset countryside has its advantages, suitable venus to acquire that all important art training via life-drawing are few and far between. Rian Hughes rubs this in with his new book, Soho Dives, Soho Divas: Rian Hughes Sketches London’s Burlesque Artistes, a collection of sketches and more […]
Through his many examples of beautiful vintage movie posters, film historian and collector Ira M. Resnick reveals the history of Hollywood and the leading men and screen goddesses of cinema’s golden-age. From the biographies of silent-era stars such as Louise Brooks and Gloria Swanson, to the personal travel tales as a poster collector, his affection […]
As a life-long animation fan, I fear that the Disney studio is currently stuck in some kind of creative lull. With each new feature I find myself less and less engaged, and have come to the conclusion that it’s all the fault of the homogenizing effect of CGI. While films like Brave and Wreck It […]
To coincide with Design Cuts amazing scrapbooking deal (containing a shed load of my Anitque Paper Textures among other things) you can now learn how to use them like a true professional with their latest tutorial. Create an authentic looking Pirate treasure map by following the step by step guide and you’ll learn Photoshop skills […]
A ready-made designer’s toolbox from Design Cuts. For the next two weeks i’ve partnered up with Design Cuts to offer The Ultimate Scrapbooker’s Selection. A bundle deal made up of over 800 design elements including my own high-resolution paper textures, along with more Photoshop brushes, textures and vector illustrations from Fish Scraps, and frames, seamless patterns and […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
Sure, it’s not the most modest move naming the book about yourself The World’s Best Artist, but those looking for the class on subtlety in Mitch O’Connell’s school of self-promotion won’t find it. It’s this tounge-in-cheek and unpretentious approach, backed up by stellar illustration work that makes me a fan, and the promise of that title and the book’s […]
15% off Discount Code for all Creative Market Customers! In collaboration with my friends at creativemarket.com and to celebrate my featured appearance on their front page this week, we’re offering all of my wonderful customers an amazing 15% OFF any item in the Wing’s Art Studio Shop! So that’s 15% off the best-selling Epic Art Deco Bundle, 15% off the 1950s Retro Bundle, Travel Labels, Antique […]
Star Wars Storyboards prove the prequel trilogy wasn’t all bad. In fact they contained some great ideas and no matter what your opinion might be regarding the Star Wars prequel trilogy, (and i’ve recently re-watched The Phantom Menace and it’s even worse than I thought) this new book by J.W. Rinzler containing the complete storyboards is a fascinating look […]
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 […]
First released in hardback last year, Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm was so popular that it quickly became hard to find a copy without spending upwards of £100. Thankfully, publishers Flesk now offer a more accessible paperback edition subtitled, The Big Pocket Edition. Although not much smaller in physical size […]
A set of 10 high resolution notebook covers with a vintage, grungy twist. Perfect for adding a touch of character to your own designs. Each image (non-tileable) is provided as a 300 dpi jpg saved in the highest quality and average 3000 x 4600 pixels in size. Available to buy and download instantly for only $5 via the Creative […]
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 […]
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 […]
With Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, IDW introduced it’s range of high-end books for the comic collector, featuring reproductions of raw artwork from some of the worlds most renowned comic book artists. So acclaimed (and limited) was this first edition of Stevens’ beloved creation that it sold-out within days, leaving die-hard fans (like myself) […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]