Saturday, 17 September 2016

Three is a Magic Number

This week, My mum and dad were away on their holidays and when they leave me in control of the house; I have to do a project to further myself. It's odd. The last time they were away; I did RedesigningNE. This time, having done all the branding I feel comfortable shaking a stick at, I decided to improve my video skills. It was once suggested by a potential freelance design client; that I try a lyric video. I kinda took that note too far and made three lyric videos.

As regular readers of this blog will know (or you saw my post last week); Back to Basics are my (ex?) band. Well I was the song writer and drummer. Well...I mean...I wrote some songs and I played drums. It is/was one of the best things that I have ever done. I loved most of it (the second album sessions were difficult) and playing gigs in front of people is such a thrill.

I chose three songs from our first album because they are the most accessible and because they are the best recorded tracks. It was a pleasure listening to the tracks again; some bum notes, quite a few bits of speeding up and slowing down and some corny lyrics.

I made them in photoshop despite it being a limited video editor, it's functional and it saved me downloading and installing After Effects/Premiere Pro. I limited myself to one typeface; Gotham Bold (a different yet very functional font) because I wanted myself to challenge myself to make something exciting with something so limited.

Here are the tracks in order of creation;

Friday, 16 September 2016

Advice No One Asked For...

What did you learn at uni? Well...

A few months ago I looked at all of my uni notebooks and found so much good advice, that I had forgotten about or just not take and thought it would be good to share these. But Scanning in my scribble and making people log onto my blog to read them sounded redundant so I wanted to make them pretty and here we are.

I have been trying this projects for a few months but couldn't get it right so I made this a one day  challenge to get it done. I have succeeded. I initially tried to make it like the work of Kate Moross and it looked just like I was ripping her off (that's not what I like to do). So a shift around was needed. I tried again by taking her as a inspiration stylistically, not as a source to be plundered.

Here we are using hand type (digitally); using the pen tool and simple bright colours. I used my handwriting quirk of using both upper and lower case at the same height as I did with the INVRTD typeface. I think they almost look kitsch in someway.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Back to Basics / kcaB ot scisaB

Back to Basics were a popular beat group from the North East of England from 2010. Featuring the talented guitar player; Phillip Reay and the designer/drummer James Reay. The latter has recently started a campaign to redesign and repackage the Back to Basics trio of albums and the live album. 

I am the latter band member and below are my simple typographic interpretations of some of the Back to Basics 'hits' and a simple dabble of colour. Looking back the album covers and singles were suitable at the time but a facelift can sometimes be seen to be a good thing.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Second Annual Report

Last year, I published a 5 page issuu document which was my first annual (not so) report and it was rubbish. It made no sense and was using my old branding framework. This is year, today,  I publish my second (not so) annual report and it can be read below.

We have changed format this year and it is now a poster. We have changed the typeface to match my (not so) new branding. The colours are what you expect from a Jamesreaydesign professional document. There is a lack of sideburns for it might detract from such important stats as Four Pairs of Shoes, One broken Bookcase and Five blog followers. (Don't forget if you have a google account you can subscribe and never miss a post.)

The typeface increases one point depending on the value of the item detailed. Every effort has been made to fact check and spell check. Information is correct as of a week ago.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Honestly worth a listen

Honesty is often considered a given when you talk to someone. When you ask for a recollection of what they (your work colleague or best friend) did at the weekend, the expectation is that they will reply honestly. Same with political discourse, in celebrity interviews and with anyone. Honesty implies a down to earth-ness and relates to truth. But where does one draw the lie? There is a song by the Kaiser Chiefs feat. Sway called Half the Truth: I will not lie to you but I will definitely only give you half the Truth. I was brought up not to lie, doesn't mean I've never done it, but I know the right thing to do is not to lie.

The main reason I am writing this is over the weekend is I heard a podcast interview on Scroobius Pip's Distraction Pieces podcast with the legend Tom Robinson and quite frankly it was the most amazing thing. This man put the truth plain and simple down, not in a half the truth, not in a contrived way or a celeb gossip special. He spoke about sexuality, nearly taking his own life twice and how he returned to music plus so much more. I just went; this is amazing. If politics was like this, the boat would rock so hard it would capsize.

Mentioning no names here

The depression part of this long interview stuck so much, telling people what it was genuinely like; not a Hollywood glaze or alternative loner outsider or misunderstood genius sort of way, but Ill for days on end unable to do anything. I am not that bad with my episodes but I want to be as honest about my experience as possible and this man has shown me the best model for doing so.

Here's the podcast links Part 1 & Part 2 and a link to the man himself playing a favourite song of mine "up against the wall"

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Have Logo, Will Travel

Transport, we have all used it. Depends if you are a car person, bus man or train lady. We have all used some form or another or used all three maybe even trying more obscure methods. My latest project was transport related which is the reason that I have have done this riff raff of an introduction. had a request for some help as a "Corporate Identity Designer" for the ERTA (English Regional Transport Association). I contacted them and they wanted a logo and a banner to go on the top of their office stationery. Below is the response.

The plan being that the circle was the wheel of the chosen method of transport (they mainly deal with the railways and motorways) and the initials were cut out of the wheel. The final version includes an image because they wanted an image to go next to it so instead I combined the two instead. Have a look and leave your comments below (if you want);