Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Stockholm and Portugal covers for SHOP Magazine.

Over the summer I did some armchair (or studio chair) traveling courtesy of Global Blue's SHOP Magazine. I was commissioned to illustrate the covers of their Portugal and Stockholm covers. These are two parts of Europe that are high up on my visit hit list, so it was delightful to create illustrations that captured their uniqueness. For Stockholm I focused on the spectacular island geography of the city, capturing it's archipelago of islands with geometric patterns as a nod to the city's proud design history.

For Portugal, I focused on the decorative, moorish influenced tiles that infamously adorn the country and how that influences contemporary Portuguese printed textiles.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

My Favourite Book Cover: Anna Morrison

This month's contribution comes from the talented and delightful book cover designer Anna Morrison with whom it turns out, I share a love of  Dick Bruna's book covers.

Oh, there are SO many amazing covers to chose from I really didn’t know where to begin. I’m drawn to book covers for different reasons whether they really suit the story, have a striking design or beautiful typography, it’s so difficult to pick just one.

I think Dutch graphic designer Dick Bruna’s covers are top of my list. Dick worked for his father’s publishing company (a bit of nepotism that worked out well) before coming up with Miffy, as much as I love that bunny its his book cover’s that really stand out for me. They are simple, striking and seem so fresh despite being created 50 odd years ago. He designed thousands of covers using a flat iconic style of illustration, restrained type and usually with a slight bit of humour, like a wink to the reader! I can see influence from Matisse (particularly after seeing his cuts outs at the Tate). I would have every one of his covers adorning my walls if only I had the space. I’m sorry I can’t pick just one so these are a selection of my favourites.

A more recent cover that has caught my eye is Where’d You Go Bernadette designed by Keith Haynes/Sinem Erkas. It has a similar striking graphic approach of Bruna’s work and I bought it just for the cover as I’m afraid I can’t help but judge a book by its cover.

Thank you Anna! You can see a sample of Anna's delightful colours here.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

"Dear Marie" Letters to Marie Stopes in the FT Magazine

I was commissioned for the latest FT Weekend magazine to hand letter extracts from letters to early 20th century, birth control pioneer Marie Stopes. In these letters she was both hailed as a modern saviour and accused of having a "warped and twisted mind", it was a fascinating article to be involved in!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

How to cheat at cooking: Ivan Ripley

I recently acquired a 1970's edition of "How to cheat at cooking" by Delia Smith and was delighted  by the illustrations that open each chapter. A cow, a sheep and a pig nestled into a decorative stew pot, a psychedelic gravy boat, what more could you ask for in a cookery book? The drawings are credited to Ivan Ripley who I've attempted to discover more about online to little success but I thought I'd share these '70s, culinary visual delights nonetheless.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

My Favourite Book Cover: Theo Inglis

This month's book cover lover is Theo Inglis: graphic designer and mid century design enthusiast. Theo's blog is one of my inspiration go- to's so I was very excited to see what he'd pick and I have not been disappointed..

"As a booklover with a design history obsession, picking a favourite book cover is a very tough ask! I'm not sure I could pick a favourite period of design or even one designer, let alone a favourite individual cover. So I'm going to dodge it slightly and pick a book for its cover, content and significance to me as a designer.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a house full of books, and even luckier that a few of them were rare graphic design classics. 'Graphic Design: Visual Comparisons' by Alan Fletcher, Colin Forbes and Bob Gill was a real revelation and introduced me to some of the most significant designers of the 20th century. It also served as a brilliant introduction to ideas focused design, and the foreword features my all time favourite quote on graphic design: "Our thesis is that any one visual problem has an infinite number of solutions; that many are valid; that solutions ought to derive from subject matter; that the designer should have no preconceived graphic style."

Despite being written fifty years a go I feel this thesis is still true today, and it helps to explain why I love book cover design so much; there are always so many valid solutions, the subject matter is very rich and cover designers get to work in a variety of different styles as appropriate to each individual book.

Now on to the cover itself! The bold sans serif, white on black gives it the quintessential 1960's serious graphic design look. But the eyes, illustrated by Alan Fletcher, in 2 different colours are much more playful and naïvely done. They do however hint at a greater meaning (the importance of seeing perhaps?) and the contents of the book, which presents two contrasting images side by side on every spread. While getting the book out to write this I noticed the nice way it peeks out at the other books on the shelf. Overall I love the covers bold and simple mix of serious and playful, but I do have a bit of a thing for book covers that look back at you. (

I'm a London based graphic designer, booklover and wannabe cover designer, currently working in the world of branding and packaging. Despite earlier professing to not having a favourite period of design, I have a blog on Mid-Century Modern graphics which you can find here and a website here.
Thank you Theo!