Saturday, 31 December 2016

Nuggets of my 2016

The main achievement was completing university, in one piece with the grade that I feared I would never get and after a tire replacement got to Carlisle to officially make the graduation ceremony. Here is me hiding the fact that I had been freezing in Hexham, pulling my hair out and had officially given up just 1 hour before hand.
The Begining of the year saw the release of my album of the year; David Bowie's Blackstar. Not a instantly blown away by it but as the year went on it took on greater significance when only a few days later he passed away. Me and Vincent (who has recently updated his website) made him the poster boy for the local indie night as a tribute.
I handed in my dissertation which was the hardest piece of writing I have ever had to do. It was painful for a number of reasons; 1) No matter how many revisions it never seemed to get more "academic" 2) It took so much time away from designing things. 3) The need to print out two double spaced 10+ paged documents costs quite a lot of money. The Feedback on the dissertation was just as painful to read (I got a 2:2) and in the other comments they said this;
I went on a Design trip to London to meet Young Minds to help produce the design piece I am most proud of "Young Minds Vs Uni Stress Zine". I met the wonderful and talented people that work for and with them and they have extended my knowledge of the plight of young people's mental health and to the real extent of the problem. It was a great trip to the big city. I took Phillip too and he seemed to like it. We nearly didn't make it back after Phillip made us late for the train but instead of missing it we caused a technical fault so the driver let us sneak on while he fixed it. Oops.
I have applied to 80+ jobs this year with about mere 15 replying to me at all and 4 interviews. With this volume of applications a sense of doubt starts to hit you; is it me or the job market? Naturally we blame ourselves but when you see more talented people than yourself struggling you realise that it's the job market. The market wants boring, clinical and functional designers so those with a bit of creativity or offering something different just get rejected. I am not saying I am exceptional but that is just based on what I have seen. I also saying this is not always the case; creative people have been snapped up into jobs too.
The country voted to leave Europe and America voted to let a satsuma with a toupe into the white house; both events I watched live. Things like these don't happen on the regular so made sure to stay up with beer and energy drink (the beer helps you get through the bits you don't like and the energy drink makes sure you get through it all). It's now traditional. Also my vote in the EU referendum didn't count and it hurts my soul.
 We gone made an Graphic Design and illustration exhibition at university. It was a lot of hard work by the half of the class that actually wanted to help with it. The final product was no where near anything that I thought it would be. We had paper leaves for reasons that no one explained to me. We has Coors instead of Becks for reasons that no one explained to me. but it was an interesting experience.
I got a placement at a media company who's boss is a polygamist and had a lecture about what it means to be a heterosexual male and on why Britain is a third world country. I also did some graphic design work for this associated companies (Go Marry and Treadmill Gym) and made some friends.
I don't often put value on a signed piece of merchandise but that was until I received a certain tube in the mail. Sent from Vincent Walden from Carlisle a few days after The Damned played the Brickyard. It was an honour to do the poster for the Punk legends but to have it signed by Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible! I could of cried. No photo will do this justice. Thank you Man!
I got a custom Nintendo Wii and GC controller from the exceptional talent that is Isaac Caplan Wilson AKA Design Out of Shield. I'd always been a fan of the Super Smash Bros Franchise but this man took my love of it to another level so kitted me out with a crystal Gamecube Controller with my logo on and an orange Nintendo Wii with the work of Andy Warhol and Sir Peter Blake on it, so that I could get good.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Top 25 tracks of the Year

The music landscape in 2016 had been varied to say the least. I have experienced some sublime albums this year to some tearful lows. I mean this in every sense; albums have left my ears astounded, songs that have made me within seconds turn them off and music related deaths that I have sobbed at.

For this year I have compiled a list of the top 25 albums of the year and Top 25 singles of the year. It was gonna get messy if I covered more than this. Please remember this is my opinion; I often joke that the music papers are wrong when it comes to this sort of thing but at the end of the day that is just their opinion.

Secondly; singles
  1. We the People by A Tribe Called Quest - After all that's happened in the US this year. It seemed like a perfect summary.
  2. Lazarus by David Bowie - The video and the words just chill me to the bone; given the context.
  3. Ultralight Beam - Kanye West - The best redeeming feature of a flawed and messy album.
  4. I Exhale - Underworld - Grade A banger from the latest LP.
  5. Fill in the Blank - Car Seat Headrest. I don't like the chorus lyrics but the music is infectious.
  6. Ain't it a Sin - Charles Bradley - This is the sound of Funk funking too hard.
  7. Nobody Speak -DJ Shadow feat Run the Jewels - Great guest appearance by RTJ on the poor DJ shadow album.
  8. Steps - Malcolm Middleton - Heard on a podcast and just had it on repeat for days.
  9. Doing it to Death - The Kills - Highlight of their album this year.
  10. Really Doe - Danny Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Ab Soul & Earl sweatshirt - Posse rap cut with some of the great voice of hip hop this generation.
  11. Gardenia - Iggy Pop - The Idiot style teaser track to the album didn't disappoint.
  12. City Lights by The White Stripes - This unreleased White Stripes track is a gem in a collection of pre-existing material.
  13. Older and Taller -Regina Spektor - Beautiful song from her glorious album.
  14. New Song by Warpaint - Dubbed their answer to Get Lucky by Daft Punk and it's fabulous.
  15. I don't wanna be funny anymore - Lucy Dacus - Opening track to this new artists fabulous  debut album
  16. Control - Chase and Status feat Slaves - This songs sounds like classic Prodigy, this is not a bad thing.
  17. T5 - Swet Shop Boys - Politically charged hip hop from the star of Four Lions.
  18. Gimmie the Love - Jake Bugg - Joyous stand out track from a messy album.
  19. Zipperface - the Pop group - Lead single from the bands new album.
  20. Raise Up - Tim OT - Songwriter a-la Billy Bragg with a political anthem.
  21. Atlas, Rise! - Metalica - The gateway metal bands best track of the new album all six minutes of it.
  22. Mr Apples - Madness - Classic Madness sound to this little ditty. Could be In the Middle of the Night Part 2.
  23. On Hold - The XX - Teaser track of the new album with great cut up sampling and more upbeat than the past ventures.
  24. Uber Capitalist Death Trade - Cabbage. Manchester punks fuse P.I.L and Dead Kennedys to blow your mind.
  25. Untitled 08 | 09.06.2014 - Kendrick Lamar - K dot brings the soul in this outtake. 
Honourable mentions.
Three Packs a Day - Courtney Barnett - There just aren't enough songs about packet noodles.
Burn the Witch - Radiohead - highlight of the quietest Radiohead album yet.
Move - Rat Boy - Sounds like Jamie T and the Beastie Boys.
Wow - Beck - Bizarre Hip Hop by the every changing musical outsider.
Ordinary - Jagwar Ma - the only highlight from their difficult second album.
Old Skool - Metronomy - DFA could of produced this groovy yet solid track.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Top 25 Albums of the year

The music landscape in 2016 had been varied to say the least. I have experienced some sublime albums this year to some tearful lows. I mean this in every sense; albums have left my ears astounded, songs that have made me within seconds turn them off and music related deaths that I have sobbed at.

For this year I have compiled a list of the top 25 albums of the year and a Top 25 singles of the year. It was gonna get messy if I covered more than this. Please remember this is my opinion; I often joke that the music papers are wrong when it comes to this sort of thing but at the end of the day that is just their opinion.

First up; Albums.

25; Shine a Light… by Billy Bragg and Joe Henry. I figured that I could not put this album any higher on this as it is a covers album however it proved a more enjoyable listen that a lot of the hyped and disappointing albums. Basically, classic americana songs by leftie song writer Billy Bragg and country star Joe henry recorded on location at various train stations across the US of A.

24; Changes by Charles Bradley. I love soul music and I think we should all love soul music. It’s pure and comes from the heart and thats what this album is; all heart and soul. Mr Bradley’s voice is amazing and the band he has behind him are perfect; tender in the slow songs and funky when needs be.

23; Bottomless Pit by Death Grips. I really want to like this band but they don’t make it easy with the rest of their output but I have found a route in. This has been dubbed by the bands fan base as the most accessible album by the band so I gave it a shot and I really liked it. It’s aggressive, and loud and still not easy by any means but it does let up…a bit…sometimes.

22; Compulsory Songs by the Lucid Dream. Carlisle based psychedelic dub outfit come up with some more spacey, dreamy and repetitive rock with this new album over here. Always shocks me to here this band came out of the city I went to uni in which seems to thrive on bad clubs, overpriced bars and EDM.

21; Going Going… by The Wedding Present. Cult heroes The Wedding present take a new angle on their distinctive “all the songs sound the same” style with some more softer tracks allowing for more space in the mix and their is even one track where Gedgie try to take on The Fall.

20; Femejism - Deap Valley. It took two listens to get this but when you do; your head will start banging and them riffs will get to you. Certainly, a logical progress from the band's first album too. We also see a really strange album cover too.

19; Ash and Ice - The Kills. I haven't listened to this bad as much as I think I should of; not since I am sure the sampled Gang of Four. This is a more polished and higher production thean some of the other material I have heard. Some great tunes too.

18; King gizzard and the lizzard wizard. Heavy heavy pych rock. Noisy guitars, pounding drums and a seemingly indistinguishable tracklist.

17; Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future - Underworld. An early in the year highlight. Underworld back in the studio producing some absolute bangers. With a mid LP ambient track to track you down before the beauty continues.

16; IV - Bad Bad Not Good. Future Jazz. What an utterly meaningless title but it seems to suit this album. with some great guests appearances. the LP sound absolutely amazing. Really great record to chill out to. Listening to it as I write this post infact.

15; Konnichiwa - Skepta. Hip hop may have taken higher places on this list but this was the year of Grime if you read the music press. Skepta was a shock to me. Grime has always seemed Hip Hop's cousin with lower production value and London centric lyrics but this broadened that out so liked it a lot more.

14; Take Control - Slaves. Louder Faster and more angry than Are You Satisfied. Witty lyrics, back to basics sound and you just gotta love these guys. The fear was this was going to suffer from difficult second album syndrome but it shouts at you for doubting them.

13; Birth / Death - The computers. A live highlight of last year and this is just a fabulous album of tight, rock n roll songs with really great choruses and tunes. For what looks like a bunch of misfits the harmonies are glorious (See Leave Home by Ramones).

12; Blisters on my heart - Martha. The logical progression of the first and awesome album by the Durham band. Catchy hooks, quirky lyrics and my live highlight of the year. It’s just a joy to listen to. I found myself smiling a lot while listening to this.

11; Skeleton tree - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Fabulous, in short. (James we are gonna need a few more words to review it than that). It’s dark and menacing and Brooding. I love this man's voice; It reminds me a lot of Leonard Cohen (RIP).

10; Friends -White Lies. I didn't know Julian Cope had reformed Teardrop Explodes? What he hasn't? White Lies return with album I like after the last two failed to move me at all. And yes it sounds like Julian Cope and it's glorious. This album has Some tunes on it too, unlike previous two.

9; Let them eat Chaos - Kate Tempest. The return of the word smith that won me over everybody Down. It good to have ambition, it keeps us moving forwards, this album aims high and hits, thus achieving the rewards. Nearly an hour long and you hang on every word. Even on repeat listens the story tosses and turns.

8; Kendrick Lamar- Untitled Unmastered . A hip hop demos and unreleased tracks album that sounds better than most of the full and proper albums of this year. It’s amazing how this sort of thing can happen but K dot is just on fire at the minute.

7; Remember us to life - Regina Spektor. I was given a regina Spektor album Before this by a good friend but never listened to it. At the time I was staying in my comfort zone. however I listened to this one and fell in love. Her Lyrics are full imagery, added to interesting arrangements and augmented by her really great voice.

6; Human Performance - Parquet Courts. sunbathing animal is amazing and this is upon first listen was more accessible but I realise it's not now. It sees the band slow it down a bit but when they go off on a riff. You go places in the school of Sonic Youth; use repetition, add noise, and it's glorious.

5; Iggy Pop -Post Pop Depression. Legend! God father of punk makes a throwback comeback with an album that I knew I was going to love after I heard Gardenia on Colbert. Homme and his backing band of QTSA, arctic monkey and raconteurs brings new life to the veteran rocker.

4; Teens of Denial - Car seat Headrest. Not what I expected at all. The wild card. Its like the Modern Lovers first album everywhere which I love. Never heard of this guy before ( it's a band name but mainly spearheaded by a lone bloke). It's polished slacker rock album ( it's off kilter but with a high production value).

3; Atrocity Exhibition -Danny Brown. Another great year for alt hip hop and this one stands out. Joy Division reference in the title, dark atmosphere and some of the paranoid lyrical phrasing is this thing is really disturbing.

2;  We got it from here...thank you 4 your service - A Tribe Called Quest. Where do I begin? Hip hop veterans finish off their discography with this instant classic. Great collaborators, poignant lyrics and stunning beats. Q Tip is on point with the production here, quirky use of sampling and maintains your attention; 1 hour albums aren't normally my jams but it hold your attention all the way through.

1; Blackstar - Bowie, David. Most of you will of guested this album. Second album since his return and his last album released while he was alive. Love the space Jazz sound, the cohesiveness as an album and heart breaking lyrics. There are undertones of hip hop in some of these tracks in the beats and the phrasing goes long them same lines. Beautiful lp and CD packaging too. RIP

Hounrable mentions;

Not to Disappear - Daughter. First Album I loved this year but so many great ones took over.

 Meet the Humans - Steve Mason. Very pleasant album, kinda sounds like Elbow.

You Can't Touch Us Now - Madness. Delightful to hear the Nutty Boys still on form after all these years.

Trick - Jamie T. Never been a big fan but some glorious tracks from this guy.

You Want it Darker - Leonard Cohen. Dark, Brooding, slow album by the veteran of music and now sadly no longer with us.

Splendor and Misery - Clipping. Abstract hip hop concept album about being lost in space.

and the Anonymous Nobody... - De La Soul. More down tempo, less quirky but a great roster of guest yet with mixed results.

Songs For Our Mothers -  Fat White Family. I didn't get it on first or second listen and on the third; I liked it quite a bit. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

It was all a dream...

 Last week, before I woke up, I had a great yet strange dream. The dream started in first person, me sat in green garden chair in a yet undisclosed backstage area in the sun with a can of unknown beer. Suddenly the Kaiser Chiefs appear and the drummer hasn't turned up to the gig and they don't want to let the fans down so ask me if I will drum with them. Suddenly I am on stage with the band at a festival and me drumming for one of my fave bands of my teens. Ricky keeps looking over at me with a glimmer in his eyes saying well done and thank you.
Off with Their Heads; great album
BBC; great great live band
Suddenly the same happens with Bombay bicycle club, I am on stage with their lead singer, Jack Steadman. Looking at me like Ricky. That's over as soon as it began and I find myself at the kit again. Next to me is a Volca beats drum machine and I press play. I start a song and it's a song I know it so instead of turning it off like a good roadie or a curious drummer, I get up and sing it. I recall it being Brass in Pocket, Pretenders songs. Now I can't sing by any stretch of the imagination but I give it ago. Then I look to the other side of the stage Chrissie Hynde joins me on stage and instead of shouting at me, we duet. " Now I am gonna make you see, nobody else here no one like me, I'm special, special, so special, I'm gonna have some of your attention, give it to me"

My dad has a Portuguese pressing of this...somehow
After this, I walk home. It turns out, I was playing a music festival at my second primary school field. I was congratulated by various children for my performance on stage. I couldn't understand how the Kaiser Chiefs were below Bombay bicycle club on the bill. What was I doing there? Was I with Back to Basics (my band) as part of the Redby primary school alumni project? What was Chrissie Hynde doing there? Was it a Pretenders or a solo show? As you can tell I left the dream with more questions than I had answered.

I might of learnt more had I not heard "Beep beep beep beep beep" of my alarm. I wish I didn't want myself awake that early. Gosh Darn it. I never learnt who the headline act was. I doubt it would of been The Pretenders. But then again none of this was real.
This is the offending clock

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

It's Over, It's Over, It's Over*

*I hope you sing that in a Roy Orbison Stylee that it was meant.

University is over.

"But James you left months ago?"

To that I would retort but I didn't officially graduate. I merely finished a rollercoaster three year course with varying degrees of success in my own mind but officially left with the grade that I set out to achieve.

"That was an odd, long winded statement, wasn't it?"

Yes but stay with me. Once you leave uni you are a graduand. You have to dress up fancy and wear a square hat and a heavy piece of cloth for a day so that the vice chancellor can cast a spell, turning you into a graduate.

"Isn't that an expensive tradition and quite tedious?"

Yes, but it was worth it to make my parents feel so proud. We disagree on a several things, get annoyed at each other and sometimes we get along just fine. But despite that; they have sunk so much time, energy and money making me the person that I am. I aim to please them and my success is source of pride for them. It's Cyclical.

"I heard you had a flat tyre"

How do you know that!? Has Vincent been talking to you? Yes we had some difficulty and disagreements on the way over but the attending was important. I had given up on getting there but my papa knew better and we made it. Got a free glass of wine too. I don't know why they couldn't stretch to a bottle of lager.

"So what now?"

Well nothings changed, I feel no different when I woke up early yesterday morning not a graduate. I still am looking for a job (anyone offering one and reading this my contact details are on the side bar as is my portfolio site). I am exploring as many avenues for the future as possible. Tomorrow is a potential internship. Today, I am going record shopping in Sunderland for something fancy. Gotta treat myself...if no one else will (mum, dad; that was a joke).

"Good Luck"

Thank you mysterious voice I made up.

A photo posted by James Alexander Reay (@jamuggins) on

Nicer photos do exist and will be uploaded soon, promise

Thursday, 17 November 2016

the new James Reay Design website

Gather round, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girl. I have something to show you... after a silence of a couple of weeks I am here to show you the new James Reay Design website.

You can see new work from my time at FOG Media (Go Marry Adverts), New old work as seen online for the very first time (Nationwide) and some old favorites via my work for the Brickyard and more. Read the new "About" page with reviews of me and my work as well as my rosta of previous people I have worked with and for. (it's a lot longer than I thought.

The crown jewel though is the James Reay, I am (not) an Illustrator archive. This is an extensive collection of my doodles from my time at uni and beyond. I am not an illustrator by any stretch of the imagination because illustration is a craft that take years to develop. I have seen on my course many talented illustrators (Rachel, Rhian, Sophie, to name a few) get and then develop a style. I have done none of that so feel it would be insulting to call these illustrations.

Have a gander at my site by clicking the screenshot below. Enjoy exploring the new work, revisit the old work and contact me if you like with any questions or comment below. You're the best.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

I am writing this yesterday

Unfortunately, I am 22 today (although I am writing this yesterday). However, it's been good; I didn't provide a list of anything that I wanted/needed so it's been a complete surprise, even my good friend Vincent didn't tell me what he was getting me this year; the first time since first year when I drunkenly received a copy of New by Paul McCartney. Great album, Thanks mate!

 Since I am writing this yesterday I am trying to write an all encompassing post to summarise the day.
  1. Today has been great, all my presents are really awesome and great. I didn't expect ______, how did they know I wanted ______ (OMG!) and I am especially grateful for the new pair of______, I chewed a whole in my last pair. I loved the _______ flavour cake that we ate.
  2. Today was the bestest birthday ever! I am so happy with all of my gifts. ________ was the biggest surprise of the all from __________.  The cake could of been better but after all it was still cake.
  3. 50% of the day was fairly average and the other 50% percent was below average. Good used to be a positive expression now it encapsulates the the definitive definition about how I feel today has gone. Middling. Very middling. 
  4. MEH!
  5. Today was an average day with really mediocre presents. THANKS, _____ and ______ for the subpar surprises. You fail as gift givers, _________ next time I am writing a list, like the old days. I expected half of the gifts so Surprises were few.
  6. Today was just the biggest load of ________ I have ever experienced on a birthday. I mean thank you for the things that I don't need nor the things that I chucked out of the window in disgust. ______ I expected more from you.
  7. Bye bye family and friends I am moving to Australia where they might be able to celebrate my correctly 
  8. Words can not describe what happened today. It would of improved it to eat a sandwich of dog food. I am never celebrating my birthday ever again. 
As you can see from the above chart, helpfully colour coordinated, today has gone one of eight different ways.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Mic check, one, ONE! two, TWO! TWO!

Two days left as I am writing this. The FOG is clearing and the end is in sight. It's been a rolleroaster of an experience. I was eternally optimistic and thankful for the opportunity with the declaration "I was looking for a placement and then I found a placement and heaven knows I am happy now" because something good happened to me since university gave me the shock of my life by providing me with a grade that I wanted. (college and school didn't give me that pleasure)

I have produced some really interesting pieces of graphic design since being here; from the sublime to the functional. Maybe one day my work will turn up while I am browsing the Internet. My adverts for the dating type website or for Treadmill gym will go live soon so this is a possibility. Keep your eagle eyes out for photos of couples looking eternally happy or an unreasonably big 29p.

From an idea that I really liked being completely ditched and flung on the skip and then being replaced with a giant star but I am just doing what I am told. From an impassioned speech by the boss on Marriage, Marketing and Making good headlines to discussions about my resemblance to Noddy Holder of Slade in Flame Fame. From being told that what I learnt at uni is wrong and that I am awesome (according to Craig). From receiving free doughnuts from the boss' brother to listening to Let it Be and Abbey Road all the way through.

Thank you FOG, You have thrown many design tasks, curveballs and life lessons at me and I've survived. It looks good on my CV and could even look good in my portfolio. If you are reading this thank you guys, you've made it worthwhile. May you prosper in your work and I will be downloading stunt car racing (the free version obviously, I am not made of money) to see where you guys go with this thing. It has a been a delight to meet you all.

Friday, 28 October 2016


This is my new old logo and my new logo. Yes, I know it looks very similar to the last logo but I promise you it's different. It is a redraw of the hairstyle that has made me famous. Well by Famous, I mean unique and by unique, I mean it's my USP. It smooths out the rough edges of my old logo making it look more tidy. It has a different typeface (yes it looks very similar to the old one) but this is a much more usable typeface. The hair is more orange and the text is blue this time. I have also made it smaller. 

I have tried to make it look the same as before, so my buiness cards remain valid. [Yer a bit of a cheapskate aren't you, James.] It was only a draft logo originally for a uni project and it has done me really well so far but this is now the first re-cut and revision. 

Hope you like it...So many changes in one go...eek it's exciting stuff.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Some (Random) Thoughts on John Peel

Now you know by now that the influence that this man had on my dad and his generation. Some of the stand ups and musicians have also praised this man. But on the way to work this morning I was listening to the John Peel Lecture by Billy Bragg from 2012 and it inspired me a bit so when I got in I listened to and I am still listening to what appears to be a long list of the tracks that made the festive 50 over the years. I always knew his show was eclectic but the festive 50 were chosen by the audience so is great testament to see that the audience chose music this diverse from what was probably a more obscure list that he actually played.

However this is interesting; just look below at the first few years of the FF50's.

1. Led Zeppelin Stairway To Heaven
2. Derek & The Dominoes Layla
3. Bob Dylan Desolation Row

1. The Motors Dancing The Night Away
2. Althea & Donna Uptown Top Ranking
3. The Motors You Beat The Hell Out Of Me

1. Sex Pistols Anarchy In The UK
2. The Clash Complete Control
3. Sex Pistols God Save The Queen

1. Sex Pistols Anarchy In The UK
2. The Undertones Teenage Kicks
3. The Clash White Man In Hammersmith Palais

Bragg says the shows remit was to push people, open up people to new ideas; new sounds. Pop music was played all day during that period so musical misfits had no voice on what they would hear on the radio. Yes they had records but again the limit there is how many pieces of vinyl you own and you can't hear new things listening to your worn out of Frampton Comes Alive. So from everyone who  talks about this man say that's what he did.

Note; this is not my copy nor have I heard the album. I am not mocking it's contents but know it was a popular precursor to Punk.
When I started listening to his shows from tapes posted online; I heard songs from XTC, Gang of Four, The Who, Augustus Pablo, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Clash, Ranking Trevor, Mikey Dread and even played an REO Speedwagon track (once it finished he called it bland). I'd love to know what he'd be playing now; with sterile pop music being the order of the day...every day...since the beginning of the decade...I'd hope it be something different. Something completely different.
So would this John I think
What was my point again? Anyway Good Night and Good Riddance.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

If your mind is clouded or in a FOG you may have mist some opportunities.

My last week at FOG starts today after two half days; one to look after the dog and the other to go to the Job Centre, I am back for my final week. (Meaning I will be here on my birthday but hey better get used to it).

Christmas Social media banners and adverts were done for the gym this morning as well as writing a blog about John Peel (see that at 10 o clock tonight, the original start time of his show). Hope this afternoon will produce some clarity on the online adverts for the new venture. As far as I know, the strategy is to throw as many things at the internet and see what sticks.

I have finished rendering all the different adverts at different sizes. My instagram style ones I feel still look the best but at the end of the day it's not me who is choosing them; it's the Click through Rate, that will determine whether they work or not. It sounds odd but I would like to see them floating around the internet.
I have been given a positive recommendation on Linkedin by my manager here which is delightful. I might print posters and shirts with it and wear it around the town so people can hire me.

(Taking this too far now, James, aren't we?)

Friday, 21 October 2016

Two Halves do make a day

I have been contracted to this place for 4 days a week but have made sure that I am in 5 days but work 2 half days. It gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning; considering I used to be a morning person this is odd. But then again I used to go to bed before it got dark at night.

Yesterday morning was adjusting work I'd done previously to say something different as well as fitting it into social media sizes while listening to one of the best albums of last year (Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly) and one of the best album's of this year (Danny Brown's Atrocity Exhibition). Simple and effect and was rewarded by testing out Stunt Car Racing's two new levels. I missed the metro again so had to wait ten more minutes for the next one.

Today I am writing this, listening to the new Lady Gaga album to see what it is like; I don't have a massive track record of liking a lot of her stuff but I thought I'd give it a try. I have pending tasks from Craig regarding typo's (urgh; I blame dyslexica and my stupidity for not checking).

Craig tasks complete. A Leonard Cohen album later and I am in between jobs. though nearly finished for the day.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

What is this place!?

All is quiet on the South Hylton Front apart from one incident involving a random lady bursting into an office, saying "What is this place?" and forced herself on the nearest computer to use the internet.

I have been writing click bait headlines for my bosses new business venture for what seems to be his never ending advertising ideas. Click bait is lazy marketing in my opinion )and most of the internet's advertising advice sites) but it is a vehicle that leads to clicks which what he is targeting as he "grows the brand".

I have also been working on my versions of the adverts; which don't look corny, that appeal more to the right demographic or any click bait ideas. They are clean and simple with sort of a vintage (instagram filter) photo idea going on. I would intend for these to be still adverts however the bosses idea is to animate them. but at the minute we have six adverts of my versions, six versions of the revised old ideas and we could end up producing some click bait ads and then 4 different sizes and then animating all of them. We could end up with 72 adverts!

I have been listening to Beatles podcasting all day as well. "I have a Beatles Podcast" and "Things We Said Today" to be specific. Check em out if you love the BE AT LES.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


  1. Got told that the basic principle that all Graphic Design is built around is wrong.
  2. Applied for two jobs
  3. Listened to New Order, Run the Jewels 2, Variety of Alan Moore related media, Rough Trade Radio, Pop Punk Classics and the late great David Bowie.
  4. Nearly finished gym promotional stuff
  5. Learned what click bait wa
  6. Revised initial adverts and animated some of them for the bosses new venture.
  7. Price Checked buying youtube subscribers
  8. Organized my emails
  9. Questioned why my knee hurts
  10. Coming up with Click bait slogans
  11. Researched what makes a good banner advert

Monday, 17 October 2016

When the FOG burns off it won’t be mist.

This morning I went in and this afternoon I came out. It was a morning of making sure I didn't miss the mark with my work yesterday and sending a few emails and such. Thankfully I didn't miss the mark on promotional posters yesterday; Craig checked them and the feedback was in the form of a verbal thumbs up.

They match branding idea that I set up when I first started here and because they are all part of the same campaign for the new year they should all work along side each other. I am proud of them. Once they get ticked off; they are going straight into a portfolio. Probably my web one.

Monday Motivation was needed today. I wasn't completely with it; I brushed my teeth before my breakfast leading to me not having any breakfast because the minty taste was strong with my toothpaste. (I have so many problems)

Today I produced a compilation of all my previously available promotional material for the treadmill gym so that we can present them to the boss and ask which ones he likes (or doesn't like as the case may very well be.)

This afternoon has been positive; I know where I am going with regards to Gym posters for the first time since I started them. I also got some personal work done in between jobs (stay tuned for that).
I am also getting quite good at naming things TGFC (Treadmill Gym Fitness Center)

Friday, 14 October 2016

I find comfort in what my mind can't comprehend

Comfort zones, we all have them when we want to feel like there is nothing wrong (there is always something wrong) but it's good to feel like there is nothing. I resort to music that I used to listen to when I was growing up. I still know all the words and it just feels good to listen to. I love it but I don't listen to it like it used to because of this comfort zone.

I try to break out of it as often as I can. Using the logic I once heard from the wise man known as Keith Richards; I want to find out the guys that inspired the people I liked. One of the main references for this was Elvis Presley. Elvis was inspired by the Blues which is why I think The Stones became a Blues band and not a "Rock and Roll band" (in the Elvis sense). So I listened to David Bowie (especially his Berlin stuff) and was told it was inspired by Krautrock. Now I am a big Can fan. I listened to Talking Heads and they were inspired by Steve Reich so I got really into Music for 18 Musicians and Double Sextet. I listened to Billy Bragg and was inspired by Woody Guthrie so made it my business to listen to him. Listened to Joy Division and they liked William Burroughs so explored his work. Listened to The Clash and they were big big Dub fans and now I am a big big Dub fan. I love to explore.

It pushes my frame of reference and joins more dots. You can do this with film and games and books and beer. It doesn't make sense to me to stay in a whole of comfort. The clubbing people who go out every week to the same club, to listen to the same music with the same people; it will lose it's thrill really easily. Without an element of change you will end up hating what you like. With change you may end up hating what you used to like and like what you used to hate.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The FOG is thin today's been really cold today.

Today, animation was forecast but never came typical weather forecast *shakes fist*. Both me and my colleague Lewis who is also on a placement were due to be taught animation in HTML5 by the boss. But the boss came in for a business meeting and then went for shawarma and then returned and disappeared...somewhere. Anyway; I was requested to some some special offer posters for the gym using the style of my previous posters and hopefully tomorrow morning they can be confirmed.

This afternoon through lack of activity. I have spent an hour or so exploring job sites. I have reacted my ambition to move to a different place. I don't have the same excitement as I did because it is a scary commitment. I have had a quick look within a one to two hour distant away but nothing special. It would be a motivator to move the job was perfect. If I got a job at The Guardian's art desk (in London) or at a record label or at a music magazine or a design magazine. The best job would probably the most unexpected role.

In other news...

I have also been type studies while listening to rhlstp (RHLSTP!). Exploring layout, stretching type and colour. It's a while since I have done some modernist style stuff so I hope you like it. It's not really my style but it's good to get back to where Graphic Design was essentially born. It's all in that great modernist typeface Univers too. The colours don't match that but they were fun and kept the creative juices flowing.