Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Survey that needs your help

One year ago, I made these posters (…) declaring "This is Normal" It remains my favourite piece of work and many of my friends think so too. But I want to take it one step further and launch it. What I mean by that is print and distribute it. But I need your help.

I want to turn this from my campaign raising awareness about depression to our campaign. Fill in this short survey about your experience with mental health; whether someone you know suffers or you yourself do and your words could be gracing these posters when they go out into the world.

Please like and share need as many replies as possible.

Thursday Thoughts; Gigs, Gigging, Gigger

Gigs. To many music fans they are the epitome of a good night out. Beer in one hand, ticket in the pocket, screaming your heart out to the song/fan favourite/ b-side being played by the band before you. I love gigs and have been trying yo remember all of the gigs I have been to. I have been going to them since year 10/11. 

The first (proper) gig was My Chemical Romance, with Mindless Self Indulgence support. It was a rubbish gig but great experience. The ritual of going to see a band live was set and confirmed by the second gig, the great Kaiser Chiefs (The Little ones and We Are Scientists support).

 I have seen some great shows, to list a few; The Lucid Dream, Sleaford Mods, The Wedding Present, The Prodigy, Primal Scream. I have seen less good too; Resurrection (Stone Roses tribute), Elvana (Elvis crossed with Nirvana), The Strypes, MCR, Oasis. 

But when a gigs good nothing can really beat it. At the end of The Prodigy, I was so tired a woman asked me if I was alright. Too much raving. Heaven 17, too much dancing. The Wedding Present, too pogoing. 

If you find yourself bored see what gigs are near you. Go out enjoy yourself. Better than watching repeats of repeats of Dad's Army on Saturday night.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Thursday Thoughts; The Fall. Why?

Everywhere you read about them, you read the John Peel quote “Always Different, Always the Same” and he was right. No song has ever been performed the same way twice and some mr Mark e smith has probably forgotten about.  No band sound like The Fall and if they did they were just called copyists (like Pavement (who I actually like)).  It’s quite a feat; I can imagine listening to them in the late seventies and going “What is this racket!?” and I still stay that to this day.

But with the technology and time you can see where this racket came from. I have somehow by some twist of events become a massive Can fan and they sound like The Fall. I have found myself owning a copy of Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart & Magic Band and that sounds like The Fall. But as a Punk in the late 70’s you wouldn’t know that. 

I can’t quite put my finger on why I like them so much. It’s not just because Peel liked them. It’s not the fact that my dad likes them. It’s not that all of their albums are awesome (see This Nation's Saving Grace & Ersatz GB (some great songs but as albums, not sold). Is it because Mark E smith is a lyrical genius? No. (see Industrial Estate). It’s just different.

And now I have to decide whether to buy a ticket to go see them based on an excellent last album and a really rather chaotic EP. and it seems a same not to share this on the subject of The Fall. Saw this live as part of a set by Mark Wynn as support for Sleaford Mods and loved it.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

At the Record Company Meeting, on our hands are new star.

Punk has always been a source of inspiration for yours truly. But for this project it was it's after effect that inspired this project. Post Punk was just incredible; I am still finding new albums that just pushed the punk's spirit so far that it became jazz. Punk and Jazz are just opposites who would of thought they'd work so well. The Contortions, The Pop Group even X Ray Spex with honking of sax on Oh Bondage, up yours! just seems still illogical but it works.

Post punk seemed to reject the punk look but keep it's spirit and that is what I have tried to do here. It's lo fi enough to have been done in the budget restraints of a punk group but keeps it's class by not been a photocopy of a photocopy with a coffeee stain see punk fanzines. A lot of post punk was about bright colours; the work of Barney Bubbles could only of existed in this limbo between scenes but this was just meant to be simple and cheap.

I have created the base set of everything you really need to start a record company; the logo, the company sleeve in which your records go & the label that goes on the record. I have done a poster with my made up bands names that are on the label. Bands Like; The
  Ex Music, Tempo//Tempo and Higgs Boson.



Saturday, 19 March 2016

from Cumbria with love

Cumbria post cards are now available from the University of Cumbria's Brampton Road campus and Moo Bar, Carlisle.

Hand on need Context don't you. A brief was by my fellow students to design a postcard to raise money for the cumbria flood relief and this above was my entry and below are the other entries. A pack is three pounds and all money raised will go to the relief effort.

It devastated the city I have called home for three years and I saw first hand he morning after the night before the devastation.  The roundabout, I go under to uni was eveloped and nearly went all of the way up to the top centre. Sainburys where a friend works was flooded. My friends in laws were flooded. My friends were flooded. Go to the relevant vendors and get yer postcards today
Photo stolen from Megan Brown, Soz bud.

Friday, 18 March 2016

This is not your type but mine

A vague Mumford and Sons reference to get this post going. Hooray 

Font design is as I thought it would be a piece of cake. not. Font Design is not particularly difficult but at the same time it isn’t easy. It is an awkward middle ground. Font’s like Helvetica took a long time to make as they required manual redraws if you got a bowl wrong.

Type design has changed a lot. It has gone from wood cut, to letterpress, to photocopy to digital. This typeface you see above you as the header to this editorial spread. I call it “inverted” because the initial plan was to invert the serifs to what they would “normally” be. Click the images to see them closer

I initally started using courier as the typeface to base it on. I have always liked courier for some reason and I have have no idea why. I was told to stop liking it in first year by my lecturerer but I still do like it.

This all changed when I chose the method of creation. I knew what I wanted it to look like but how to make it? I was told to use Fontstruct a free font making website by It was easy effective and saved a ttf file of your finished typeface. It took a day to make the first draft but has taken literally several redrafts and redraws and massive headaches to get it to the stage you see above.

I here you people cry, why oh why do we need another typeface to add to the pile of other fonts that the internet is flooded with? The truth is no, we don’t but in all fairness all of those typefaces you proclaim are out there, most of them are unuseable. Who needs stencil inverted superbold? Who needs acitevleh (reverse helvetica)? No one! thats who!

It was pointless remaking a pre-existing typeface just to change one letterform. Thats silly and most likely illegal so I just changed up one. To create a unique typefcae in these day and age is nigh on impossible because so many people are making them. This industry has exploded in the digital age with software and little know how you can make one. Give it away! Sell it! Make Money! Make more! But before you do here it is in action;

I hope that this is the first of many typefaces that I make because I really enjoyed the process. I am going to make this free to download for all of you lovely people via fontstruct. I have made three different weights and a little tip. I would not use this for body copy, with the X height being the same on all letters, the variation will be none existent and flow (which body copy needs) will not be achieved.

Download all three weights here

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Thursday Thoughts; Twit

So if you didn't already know, I can now be found on twitter, the oddest of all of the social media's in my opinion. I have never been one for celebrities, I just knew that some people were more famous than others. Celebs cannot be found on facebook, pinterest, tumblr but can be found on twitter (some are on instagram but no one wants to see Kim Kardashian selfies or what she ate).

 Twitter gives these people 140 character voice. Now like I said I don't like celebs but notable people are on their and I find it baffling that they interact with people. Celebs ignore you but two notable people have came up on my notifications. Mark Stewart of Pop Group fame liked one post and retweeted my RIP George Martin post. This guy wrote "We are all Prostitutes". The other person is Simon Reynolds, the respected music writer. The author of such books as Rip it up and Start Again and Totally Wired:Post Punk interviews and overviews. He "Followed" me. 

 I only joined to promote work and now interesting people are appearing and interacting with "normal" folk. I will report back with more developments.

Thursday, 10 March 2016


 Have Love? Will Travel (if it's not too expensive)

Transport. What is it good for? Getting to places but why is it so expensive? To get to London and back, it cost £98 per person. It cost more to come back than to go and it was even cheaper the week before we ordered the tickets. Why does it change so much? Its all a load of bollocks. 

Europe does transport so well; same price ticket both ways whether you order one month or one hour before you travel, 24/7. Only in Britain has this system and I am fed up with it. I always imagined, instead of going abroad for my first few holidays, I was gonna explore the UK. Brighton, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, all appeal to me but cheap travel isn't an option. We, the 7th richest country in the world, don't have fast, affordable, rail travel.

 I don't have a solution, the politicians don't have the solution. I am not gonna say Jezza has the solution but we need to talk about it. 

Also HS2 is a waste of money.

Monday, 7 March 2016


Phillip is my brother and we may not always see eye to eye on everything but what we both love is music. Him and I were in a band for a number of years and now he is doing his own thing, which is nothing like what we did. This is dancey, punchy music with drum machines, synths and overdriven guitars. Add Jack White to LCD Soundsytem via Massive Attack and it's somewhere close.

Anyway, I am too proud of this kid, not to do all I can to let as many people know about his music as possible. He is currently remixing or refixing or redoing his first LP and I offered to do the cover for the album. He did the first cover and it was simple yet effective but due to this being a relaunch he needed a new one. So here is is (below) described by him as awesome. We have an explosion of colour and the white space with a R & a P for the Album name; Reverse Psychology.

The New Version will be uploaded here but but until that day comes you can listen to his covers and old takes on his Soundcloud @

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Sea no Fish

Just a quick little ditty about this project. A poster for a film by well you can read it on the poster. An unconventional looking fish in the middle of a big blue ocean almost being hooked in my man. This is the first time that I have used a light typeface as a header. Normally you want a bold and chunky font to catch peoples eye but this has subtly on it's side. I got paid for this job with Rose wine and Chocolates (The best alternative to cash in my opinion).

Friday, 4 March 2016

Depression Crushed me & I don't want it to Crush others

I am not one for pride, I have to go over and beyond to even be remotely proud of my work but this did. I have been working closely with Young Minds (the mental health charity) to produce a zine of people's experiences of Mental Illnesses along with some help if you do start to suffer at university (as many of you know; I have).

It launched yesterday via the Young Minds Website as a downloadable pdf which is available here. and here is my favourite part of this story; The guardian shared a link to it on an article about Mental Health; which can be read here. Me a liberal leftie (aren't these the same thing?) has had something he made shared on the Guardian website. I am sure there will be bigger achievements ahead but this  and
  • Having my name in NME before it came rubbish.
  • Performing a song I have written at an O2 academy (2).
  • Having Courtney Barnett reply to an email I sent her.
  • Completing Resident Evil 4, Devil May Cry & Ratchet and Clank.
 I am doing well. Below I have embedded the zine for your viewing pleasure. Read it! Promote it! Share it! Print it! Just spread the word about mental health.

I did my bit yesterday morning. I needed to speak for two minutes in front of my class about me so I spoke about my Mental Health. I hate speaking in front of people but it went well. It did get a little preachy but It's just who I am it has shaped what I am, what's the point in not mentioning it. Depression crushed me and now i don't want it to crush others. It got a massive round of applause with various well done comments and even a peck on cheek. Thank you class if you listening, Thank you YoungMinds and who ever is reading this.

Thursday, 3 March 2016


 Thursday and it's that time again. No, not pre-Friday drinks, My ramblings.

I don't have a problem with big business. I never have and I never have as long as they pay a fair share to society via tax/jobs they create. However this is not what is or has been happening in recent years. The rich have got away with sweet heart deals with the taxman and have seemingly only created jobs to be filled with political peers of the party the paper follows. 

Murdoch is great at this sort of thing. He seems to own a lot of the media people consume and its insane. Sky News has his input. The Sun has his input. The former winner of Britains most read newspaper (I think) was read by so many people they had to hack into peoples phones for stories. Cos they were that exciting. For the scam, no one high up or mates with camer-wrong got sent to prison despite guilty being on their forehead. It is deeply troubling when people and firms think they themselves are above the law. It creates a culture for generations to come.