Friday, 26 December 2014

You say hello and I say goodbye

we say both of these things on a day to day basis and say them to most people that we meet and see. and now it's like you have never seen them before.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

How a Beall-ing

Lester Beall. A man that I had not heard of since I scrolled down my pinterest the other weekend and now I consider his work most highly. In one range of posters he used very simple colours and text  to advert the needs of the American people. Rural Electrification Administration's campaign was it's name. Ostritch sans was the main font more my choices but initially he used a serif typeface. I trimmed it down to just type as an extra challenge to see if I could make it work. Setting yourself limitations makes you work harder to find a solution. I think.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (or black)

It's fun to stay at the C M Y K as one famous designer said. A famous designer who studied on my graphic design course at the university of cumbria. He chose a song that everyone knew to pay tribute to the colour scheme and I have just made a typography poster using a font that I have never used before (world first). I am a fan of these bright colours. which make up all of the printed images in an average printers.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The Official Opening

This blog post is the official opening of the James Reay Design website. It has been constructed and coded by my good self as part of a university project. It is a portfolio website and is there to display some of my most of my personal and as well as client based work. This is something that potential clients who are looking for designers will look at...if you are one of those people don't hesitate have a look. Click on the image below and prepare for a journey into the work of James Alexander Reay.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Fractured Magazine

 Over the weekend I gave myself a brief, I gave myself a task, to design a magazine. Just the front cover as an identity breaker. I have started editoral at uni so the next step would be to approach the inside of the magazine but above is the start.

I found a really beautiful typeface in my font gallery which came in three seperate bits. Each letter form was split between the three of them (a normal version was included too). So the idea of seperated and an almost shattered typeface lead me to the name "fractured" as title for the zine, it was based on the style of zines from Wired, Clash or Little White Lies. Hipster but not outsider.

The Images are of some cult figures of TV and music. I would love to read articles on these beautiful people all of which have a close connection to my favourite radio station; BBC Radio 6 Music. I have been influnced by all and I would like to think that if this publication was real that they would like to read it.

an electric approach was needed to reflect the wide range of styles of the people present. the two tone chessboard for the specials front man, the  warm colours for the soul man and the unique DJ listening to her self.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Interstellar Grunge Design

the library has been a great source of inspiration for me over this term it has taught me a lot about typography but as well as the different styles of design. Never before have I been exposed to so much design before.

I have really got into grunge design from the work of david carson as well as the British firm, tomato. the company did a lot of work for the band underworld on their album "dubnobasswithmyheadman". It's very dark, very rough and has hints of punk about. the feeling that photocopiers have been destroyed with the amount of strain they have been used.  The work is visually chaotic and perfectly matches the beats of underworld music.

I wanted to capture the visual chaos of their work and match it with the imbalanced world of our solar system. Using stars and galaxies and black holes as a they are so beautiful but very complex. If printed the work would be on metallic paper so that it reflects very much like a solar panel. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Two Turntables and a Microphone

Classic Hip Hop is something that I have been getting into a lot lately. Namely a Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Public Enemy. All of which where made using the recipe above; two turntables and a microphone, is a line in a Mantronix song which was indeed sampled by the man and the oddity, Beck on his track "Where it's at". I love them bands as well as Beck and I love the idea of sampling and editing from the glorious vinyl.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

shattered (sh dooby)

CMYK a colour scheme I should use more, it can produce a lot of interesting ideas. Breaking Glass was a good idea that Nick Lowe had it some point in the late 70's and thats what this looks like in my opinion. Messing around with various shapes and colours lead me to something that looks like a stain glass window shattering into oblivion as well as into a million pieces. Chaos and design as two things that should go hand in hand in my humble opinion.

Monday, 1 December 2014


 Festive time is here again and there is nothing like celebrating with something relevant as well as something that has nothing really to do with me. HHHOOORRRAAAYYY!!! not.

This is not my project, This is Vincent Walden's which I hijacked for all of ten minutes and managed to turn to colours up as well as break the composition, mess around and still not be picked (not that they were ever entered as it wasn't my place to enter but still gave them a good put. Vincent does not want to claim ownership of the final thing as deems it to be not very good which I think given the spectrum of the brief a good effort was made.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Love Can Mend your Life, But Love Can Break your Heart

It means so much to so many people, Its not exclusive to any gender or sexual orientation, it is universal. You would not be reading this is if it did not exist, it provides peace, stability and happiness to millions everywhere and its not hard to see why.

I made these pieces for Leeds College of art as a test to get an interview and it seemed I passed with 2 colours and a white but I didn't like the uni anyway. But these have always struck a chord with me. working and positive and negative space, the simple and the conceptual. Even at that stage, I knew love was important hence the reason for choosing the heart. I had gone through my first break up by this point so I knew how it felt and what it meant so experience made these ring even more true.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Carson, Not Even Once

At this stage in my graphic design career had never heard of David Carson, the master of grunge typography and the publisher of raygun magazine. I simply knew how to manipulate things in photoshop and thought what I can do with images I can sutrely do with type. So I did and these are the results. 

As I have developed an interest in type, I can see that they have carson written all of over them. He knew nothing about type when he made his pieces and at this stage (late college) neither did I so I once had something in common with a typographic genius. He broke the rule and and I may very well of done but how could I know I was breaking them without knowing of there existence.  This means that I can become one too. Maybe. Probably not. but maybe.

Friday, 28 November 2014


 I am not a grudge but I am well and truly annoyed at the moment with the tutors of Grillust, because of one simple error I was marked as a 45 with no constructive criticism to move forward with. Thank you guys. Really Helpful.

...Anyway, Watermark is a publication that is produced alongside the Keswick literary festival and our class has been given the opportunity to design this publication. There were many great designs on display during the sessions yesterday varying dramatically in terms of style, colour, approach, quality and ideas. Even with such an open brief, I never expected the level of creativity that was present. I ended up liking mine until it went to print and discovered that the type was too big so I have since fixed that. That is what can be seen here.

I managed to sneak an image of some of the cooler people from modern culture. Sue Perkins (cool Lady), Mark E Smith (Not a singer) as well as Adam and Joe (podcast kings).

It's Trippy

Looking through my laptop I discovered a photo of me that was taken for a film poster last year as part of my friends university project. I was very reminiscent of the pose struck by an actor on a Paula Scher Poster. So decided to add colours and make an interesting composition much like the poster that I've referenced. Not using type but using more of me. This is the only piece that uses so many multiple images of me that I can think of in recent times.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

8oh8 and 3oh3

 House music would never be the same gain without these beautiful machines but I beat you have never seen them like this before. Do the colours give you are clue? probs not. Anyway, these two pieces are the diagrams of the TB303 and TR808; the two machines that made house music what it was in the early days of the genre. Acid lines from the 303 and the distinctive percussion of the 808. This is my tribute to them. Its not bright, its not flashy and its not on pills like the scene. it is a quiet tribute and I hope that your found the promised land in these.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Magical Illustration Nation

Illustration is a thing that I am not very good at, never have been never will be. I like to draw but not illustrate. I have friends on the course that I am on, that can do this marvelously well. Magical Illustration Nation, Miss Sophie Taylor, can illustrate with great skill and I love her work This was her latest project as a one week comic. It's all about the love of the three C's; conventions, cosplay and (being) cool. 

Below are a few of my favourite panels from the comic. I went from not truly understanding the idea to loving the final result. Whats more is it was photocopied. King of the Photocopier approves. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Read All About it, whatever it maybe.

 Satire causes endless amusement, Politics helps me make an eduacted opinion of people and places and Political satire got me the best grade that I have ever gotten. So to do a set of pieces inspired by political satire as well as humor made so much sense to me. Having previously been inspired by the cut out style of Jamie reid I thought first to attack news papers. The Press is the enemy as it makes so many people look bad but to cut them up and rearrange the words means I can make the people I hate personally seem like the enemy. I have tried to be controversial like my heroes Jamie Reid.

as a side note = Words can express so much but verbalizing things has always been hard for me. so to write them down is a much simpler and makes me feel less anxious about what I am going to portray.

Click the images below to see them full size.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Life Will Be the Death of Me

One of the most important songs in my life. the song that got me on the right path, out with the band pop music of yesteryear and in with the post punk revival speared headed by the Kaiser Chiefs, Killers, Bloc Party, Cribs, libertines and this band the Ordinary Boys. Not the biggest and by no means the best but this is my favourite tune. They are more well known for "boys will be boys".

Picking up a simple knowledge of typography from my tutors, I experimented with how things are read, I am using the past tense on this because it is quite an old piece of typography which I have only just found on my laptop. I tested it out on my mother. If you ever need to test typography, try your mother.

3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, 3/4

Scottish psychedelic indie rock band, sound great and indeed it is. So I asked the staff at the brickyard if I could so the poster and they were more than happy to let me. psychedelia requires a bit of warp and movement to it hence the image repetition. The bands logo, I actually think words really well for the band despite being an unusual typeface choice. The colours and the colours of the band them selves. Its almost very pro union, (if they did have an opinion in the referendum) but this also works for them. They sound a lot like temples and they are really big right now I have no idea why these guys aren't. This is one gig I will be attending. If indeed I can.

My Compliments to the Chef

I have beautifully unique and strange friends who express friendship in very peculiar ways. This was a "compliment " give to me today and I dare say I don't quite understand it's premise. I think it is because I have a very experimental approach to design and how I use the programs. It is not for me to explain what it is that I am to you. or do I? answers on a postcard please

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Photocopier is my Screen

 The Photocopier is my screen. Andy is my hero so I combined the too. Having been crowned king of the photocopier by illustration station cos I am always photocopying things. I decided to experiment more with the potential of the copier. Using the one colour filter I made the above. it simply screens a colour cast over the image. The image of Andy was from the i Paper as it was a review of his exhibition in Liverpool, which I must must must go to.
Now Andy's probably most famous piece is Marilyn and these are Andy as the Marilyn's , at least my interpretation. Using a photopied image and a marker pen set. One is the colour version, when he was in the star light and the other, the black and white as his starlight starts to dwindle as well as his mortality, having died twice.