Newly published – my fourth cover design for The Good Schools Guide series of books. This cover continues the same style of illustration, with a few new drawings that are more boarding school specific (breakfasts, alarm clocks, toothbrushes etc). The traditional school trunk also features. The back cover also has a small section area of illustration.
A few years ago I designed a brand identity for a newly launched carpet cleaning company, based in Devon. Curiously, the company name – 2D – was a reference to a tattoo on the owner’s arm of two doves and had nothing to do with carpets or cleaning! But it did remind me of a chemical formula such as O2, so I worked on a logo concept which took inspiration from the use of chemistry and science in cleaning. This was done by using the name 2D in a similar way to how chemical formulas are written – small number, large letter, but with different positioning (a superscript rather than subscript number before the letter).
The squares of the logo are a reference to the coloured boxes of the periodic table, using another visual link to the science involved in cleaning. The overall aim was to give an impression of the underlying science behind professional cleaning. Whilst anyone can hire a machine to clean their carpets themselves, it is actually a job best left to a trained professional who understands the multitude of possible reactions and results when different kinds of stains, fabrics and cleaning solutions are combined.
At the time of designing the logo, I also provided designs for van vinyls, uniforms and flyers but only guidance on the original website design, which the client set up themselves. The first website served their purposes initially but by 2020 was in need of a rebuild and update. The focus of the business had shifted from mainly commercial clients such as estate agents, to also include residential customers. A ‘friendlier, softer’ site was needed. The new website also needed to reflect the fact that the business now offered a complete range of cleaning services, from windows to silicon edging in bathrooms.
I built the new website in WordPress, using a fully customisable theme which allows complete control over the layout and design of the site.
The client was keen to make use of icons to represent the different cleaning services on offer, so I designed a set of icons, using the existing brand colours and an illustrative style that fitted with the other brand elements. Each icon was created in each of the three main brand colours, to give a variety of colour options.
The website is fully responsive, so users can easily use it on desktop, tablet or smartphones. The icons provide a quick way of showing the range of services on offer, and give the whole site a more personal and bespoke feel than simply using stock imagery would have done.
2D Holiday Property
In addition to the 2D Cleaning Company branding and website, I have also created a sister site for the Holiday Property Management side of the business. The website is a simple introduction to the management services that 2D offer, many of which tie in with the cleaning side of the business. The branding for 2D Holiday Property uses a change of just two colours to differentiate it from the cleaning company, but all other elements remain the same.
The Leavenheath Playground Action Group is a local community group that was set up to consider ways of redeveloping and improving the play area on Leavenheath Village Green. They asked me to design a logo to use on their facebook page, marketing and events publicity. They also asked me to design the poster and banner adverts for an event they were organising to raise funds, sadly now cancelled due to coronavirus. Using the existing play area equipment as a starting point, due to its familiarity to parents and children in the local area, I designed a logo and included some variations to cover most uses (social media, single colour printing, black and white, outline etc).
The fundraising event that had been planned for May was about creating a community celebration of the 75 anniversary of VE, with stalls and games for all ages. The brief stated the need for the official VE day celebrations logo to be used on all the designs, and for the banners to have slightly different messaging based on where they would be displayed.
Over the last year I’ve worked on a few projects for my local community, as well as one for the community I grew up in (see here for that project). As a self-employed designer I have to be careful not to take on too many unpaid/low paid design projects, although it’s always really hard to turn people down, especially as these projects can often be really fun and satisfying to work on! Below is a design and photography project for a local group who are attempting to save the a church from demolition, and who asked me to help create a logo and some brand communications for them. I’ll be posting about another community project for a local playground action group soon.
The unique architecture of the church and its rural setting were the starting point of developing the logo, colour palette, and accompanying illustrations. It is a small, neat, red-brick Victorian church surrounded by trees. At the basis of the campaign to save the church is a message that the church can be used in all seasons (not just special times like Christmas and Easter), and by everyone (of any faith or none).
The logo colour variations reflect the changes of the surrounding landscape throughout the season, and the logos’ simple, architectural lines and lack of religious symbols are designed to appeal to the wider local community, not just the church goers.
The outline drawing style references the leading of stained glass window. The secondary logo colours reflect the four seasons to emphasise that ‘a church is for all seasons’. The small size versions of the logo were created to be used in various situations that demand something smaller and more compact (social media profiles and web icons for example).
To highlight the special setting of the church, supporting illustrations are used to demonstrate the rural surroundings, and to create a sense of place that people in the local community can relate to. Not everyone has a religious connection to the church, but everybody in the community shares the same rural location, and can appreciate the natural beauty of the area the church is in.
The typeface Fedra Serif is a contemporary serif typeface, with humanistic roots (the rhythm of handwriting). It is elegant, legible, and it’s roots in handwriting give the messaging shown here a friendly down-to-earth feel.
I took a selection of interior and exterior photos of the church for use in leaflets, social media, and a possible future website. The full set can be seen here.
Recently printed – my London North and London South book cover illustration and design for the The Good Schools Guide. The illustrative style is the same one I created for the special 22nd edition of The Good Schools Guide earlier this year (see here), but with some London specific elements included.
The volume of good independent and state schools in London makes it particularly hard for parents to find the school that perfectly meets their needs. In response to increasing demand from local and international parents, The Good Schools Guide is launching two new guides, which will provide honest, straight-talking and un-biased reviews.Evening standard
The guide regarded as the bible for middle-class school choiceThe Guardian
Available to buy here:
A logo design and branding project for an independent bookshop in East Dulwich, London. Chener Books was opened 40 years ago by John and Janet Kennedy as a hobby, but quickly grew into a fully fledged bookshop. It was taken over by Miranda Peake, after John Kennedy passed away in May 2018. Miranda had been approached by the Evening Standard to take part in a year long Future London project which aims to prove how tech can ‘revolutionise the future’ for three selected London businesses. Chener Books would be partnered with a tech team who would build a website and social media presence for the shop, drawing on training and advice from Google Digital Garage.
Before the project could get started, Miranda needed to provide the tech team with a logo and brand guidelines that they could work from for building the website and for applying to any social media platforms they would set up.
Despite being open for 40 years, the bookshop had no branding to speak of, other than a shop facia sign set in Times New Roman against a dark green background. Whilst Miranda was keen to modernise the shop, she was also wary of drastically moving away from it’s familiar appearance, in case it should upset the many loyal and long term customers in the area.
Bearing this in mind, I began the project by researching as much as possible about the history, customers and character of the shop, in order to establish the existing brand values that would be the basis of the new logo and branding.
Chener Books is very much a traditional, ‘proper’ and ‘no-nonsense’ bookshop, and it was important to create a primary logo that would reflect this. I decided to use the typeface ‘Joanna’, designed by Eric Gill, who described it as a ‘book face free from all fancy business’. For the colour palette I used as a starting point the distinctive dark green of the shop front, and to this I added some brighter and fresher accent colours, as well as selection of more muted secondary colours that worked well in combination with the primary colours.
The Brand Guidelines I created for Chener Books cover all the basics needed when creating a new brand; brand values, primary and secondary logos, logo positioning, facia, colours, typography, tone of voice and illustrations (provided by artist Sue Peake). The key to strong and effective branding is consistency, and so the job of the brand guidelines is to ensure that there is always consistency of branding across applications, regardless of who is designing the application. When used correctly, brand guidelines are an aid to creativity, not a restriction.
A recently completed book design and typesetting project, for a paperback book published using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing from Amazon), a highly economical way of self-publishing both print and digital books. The client for this project had written a collection of memories of The Bridge hotel in Buttermere, in the Lake District, based on his experiences of both staying there as a guest, and also working there as a student ‘handyman’ in the late 50’s and 60’s. The client provided a completed manuscript and I then designed a layout that would allow both an easy and enjoyable reading experience and show the illustrations at their optimum size and scale. The chosen format was a 9″ x 6″ ( 228.6mm x 152.4mm) book.
The book is typeset in Fedra Serif A and Fedra Serif B. With a large x-height and short stem length, Fedra Serif A works well in small sizes and in low-resolution print so was used for the body copy, captions and map labels. Fedra Serif B has an increased contrast and stem lengths, so is suited for larger sizes where its shape can be better appreciated, such as on the cover, title pages and for chapter headings .
The book is illustrated throughout with photographs from the time, and also has a central ‘Photograph Album’ with photos and sketches. The cover is printed on a soft, tactile matt stock.
Now published, the client can order from KDP as many or as few copies of the book to be printed as and when he wishes, for a reduced ‘author rate’, and is then free to use these copies for his own distribution and sales methods. When publishing with KDP, the book is also automatically immediately listed on Amazon and so available to buy through this method too.
Due to be published in May 2019, this is my cover design and illustration for the 22nd Edition of the The Good Schools Guide. The brief was to come up with a ‘special edition’ cover design that breaks away from the style of previous editions. I proposed several design options, including this chosen ‘doodle’ style bespoke illustration, which was intended to reflect the witty and often subversive style of the text.
I created the front cover illustration by drawing a group of 60+ school related objects, which I then arranged in the arched shape, and filled in the gaps with additional objects and embellishments. Amongst the items are several small references to the founders of The Good Schools Guide, such as initials and dates. I also created smaller groups of objects for the spine and the back cover.
The book is to be cloth bound in Wibalin Buckram, with the logo area debossed. The dimensions of the book are 28cm x 21cm, with a 6.5cm spine. Once published, the book will be available to buy for £60.
Appropriate for Valentines Day, I’ve just picked up a box of these books from the printers. This is a second print run of these little books of limericks (for adult readers only!), which I designed and illustrated for the author, (who wishes to remain anonymous 🙂).