A FEW MONTHS…

It’s been a great past few months along this path of design! Started freelancing and I’ve been able to work with some great clients recently. Today I just sent a festival brochure off to print. Always get a little nervous when a job goes off to print but also looking forward to seeing it in the flesh. It’s a 32-page festival guide for the Oxford Lieder Festival which will take place in October. They put on so many fantastic concerts and events during the festival, all of which celebrate song. If you like good music you may want to check this out as there will be some amazing musicians performing. For this year’s brochure we wanted to keep the classical look but add a contemporary twist to try and attract some new audiences as well as the loyal following. I decided to make the brochure very much image-based so as to capture a bit of the atmosphere and experience of the festival because it really is quite special and unique. Here are the final proofs I went through before sending it off to print. I’ll post a photo of the actual brochure here when I get my copy 🙂

Oxford Lieder Festival proofs

Another really exciting project that I was involved in recently was Abi and Mikey’s wedding invitations and website. This was not freelance work but just a bit of fun designing for Daniel’s sister and her fiance who are getting married in August. They are organising a lovely wedding in Yorkshire with a vineyard reception – can’t wait! We all sat down (over raclette) and discussed what they would like and what colours and styles would work well. After that I got down to some design work and Daniel helped with feedback along the way. I made them all by hand and can confirm that 4 hours of cutting makes your hand sore!

Hours of cutting!

Apart from the sore hand though it was loads of fun. This is how they ended up:

Invitations

Then Daniel and I made a mini wedding website for the lovely couple so that guests could have more information or contact the family. Check it out here. So, lots of love & fun involved in this project. Actually I’d love to design more wedding stationery and websites if the chance arises. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re reading this and are getting married & like what you see!

Whilst I was doing my moodboarding for the wedding invitations I stumbled across a few very inspiring sites. The first one (which is now my new default homepage) is ohsobeautifulpaper.com I just love the designs on there and ALL THAT SEXY STATIONERY! There’s some real talent out there and who said print is dying?! While print may be decreasing in quantity, sites like this show that it’s certainly not decreasing in quality and people are still embracing it. If anything, the smaller print runs give the designer the opportunity to create something much more elaborate, special or bespoke now. Exciting times!

It also inspired me to start making some cards in my free time. I’d love to learn how to screenprint or do letterpress. As soon as I have saved a bit more I will invest in learning how to do these. For now though, it’s right back to basics with the felt tip pens! I find it relaxing at the end of the day to just make a card or two. There’s always an occasion to make a card…’thank you’ cards for some of my lovely birthday presents, a ‘new home’ card for my sister Chloe and her boyfriend Dids who have just moved in together to a new town, ‘happy birthday’ cards etc etc. Here’s a couple I made recently (I do apologise for the low-quality yellowy instagrammy photos!):

Thank You Card

Merci card

Apart from card-making I have been enjoying some other pursuits in my free time recently. I got to see my youngest brother Tim Ham’s artwork in the Oxford Brookes Foundation Art Show last week. I went to the opening which was just really inspiring and great to meet some of his talented pals. Some of them seem so young yet have done so much. There were a few who stood out to me and one was Mirren Kessling. Check out one of her awesome artworks below and as my bro quite aptly put it: ‘no matter what she does, she makes it look good’:

mirren kessling

I’m probably completely biased but my brother’s work was actually one that stood out to me too. He had gone to an underpass in Oxford and covered the entrance and exit with massive pieces of yellow chiffon. He did some videography and photography but also documented the goings-on in this underpass and people’s reactions to him being there and the material being there too. He wrote these notes out on 4 sheets of paper using his typewriter and pinned them on the wall. More and more I’m starting to love interactive artwork where the public gets involved. Here’s a picture of his piece at the exhibition:

Tim Ham artwork

Something completely unrelated now is that I’ve started running and I love it! So far this year I’ve done 2 coastal trail half marathons and plan to do a couple more by the end of the  year. Doing this with the aim of raising money for Action on Hearing Loss, getting fitter and exploring more of this beautiful country we live in! If you have any spare cash lying around (ha!) I’d be extremely grateful if you are able to donate to our cause. Daniel and some of his family members have genetic hearing loss and you wouldn’t believe the challenges it brings. Battling with hearing loss is something that often goes unnoticed and I would just like to raise a bit more awareness of it. I’d love to see further developments in scientific research so that maybe cures can be found and people who are deaf or hard of hearing can enjoy a better quality of life. If you can dig deep, please click here.

Exmoor half marathon

Finally for today, I’ve been working on my new website and it is now up-and-running. It’s still a work in progress but have a look at it here if you want. Thank you to Daniel for spending your weekend coding it for me 🙂

My new website

If you made it to the end, thank you for reading and much love,

Gx

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INSPIRATION ALL AROUND

Happy New Year! 2013 🙂

Just been inspired by a video my brother Ed posted on my Facebook wall a while back. I finally found myself with a bit of free time today to sit on my lovely purple sofa and watch this video over leftover ratatouille lunch. If you get some spare time and haven’t already seen this video, I would highly recommend watching it, particularly if you’re interested in typography. Like my brother said it’s both interesting and relaxing. Inspiring too…

Inge Druckrey

Have had so much inspiration over the past few weeks, it’s been awesome but where to start?

I think one of my favourite discoveries this month is http://www.awwwards.com/. I used to go on http://www.siteinspire.com/ a lot but this Awwwards website is fantastic too. Not only do you get to see the incredible talent being put to good use out there, but also you can start to spot contemporary trends and most importantly new ideas and surprises. It’s exciting to see what boundaries are being broken in web design.

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Another big discovery over the past couple of months has been Pinterest (forgive me for being a little late on the uptake!). I enjoy following my sister & friends and am even trying to get my Mum into it as she is such a creative person and would pin some really cool images I’m sure (Mum if you’re reading this, please start pinning!). I find it’s a great resource for image searches for moodboards too. I create moodboards on there sometimes for my personal design projects using the private setting so all my friends don’t have to see my work! For other boards though, if you’re on pinterest please follow me cos then I’ll get to follow you too.

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Another big inspiration recently was the Swiss landscape. Growing up in Switzerland definitely spoils you, not only is the scenery incredible but I miss the skiing & snowboarding at least once a week in the winter! Went back to my parents in Switzerland for 6 days over Christmas and we went up to the mountains to Verbier where my sister Chloe lives. The landscapes there are breathtaking. As I sat in my ski boots in the yellow blow-up chair just looking at the mountains I felt so happy. Mind-blowingly beautiful. Here are a few pictures (taken from my iphone 4 – sorry for poor quality!)

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Needless to say I’m missing Switzerland a lot now that I’m back in Oxford, England where there are no mountains (unless Headington Hill counts!) but Oxford has many other good things to offer. Walked down Cowley Road yesterday on Saturday morning at 9am – a beautiful time to go walking there. Not many people about except for those setting up shop, getting ready for the day. Here are some photos which I took along the walk and will no doubt inspire my designing at some point:

oxford4 oxford3 oxford2 oxford1

Also, Daniel has just passed his motorbike CBT and once he’s done 2 more tests he’ll be fully-qualified to ride a motorbike with me on the back. We both just can’t wait as it means we’ll get to do lots more travelling and exploring UK & Europe and maybe even further afield. An awesome moment in my life was spent on a motorbike with Daniel. We were in Laos cruising along a beautiful road, sunset in full-swing and wind in our hair – awesome! May even have to invest in a gopro which reminds me of the great Gopro promo Hero 3* video I saw last month:

*try saying that 1o times fast!

GoPro

This blog post could go on and on because am inspired every day but I’d better be going and will leave you with one last awesome video that Daniel showed me last night (if you’re sensitive to violence you may not want to watch, hippos heads may get cut off!):

Ian Robertson

Thanks for reading & much love

Gx

LIFE AS A GRAPHIC DESIGNER…

It’s been a while since I was last here but I’ve been busy getting a job! I now have the privilege of working for Rare Form New Media in Oxford. It’s awesome there…. lovely people and great work. We get to shoot each other with nerf guns, sit in the nice Oxford union gardens for lunch, pop over to Mission Burrito when hungry… and do some work too every now and then ;o) Check out our awesome new website complete with moose:

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We have a lot of work on and get to meet some really interesting clients. Red Fusion is the latest site we just launched & which I got to be involved in:

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I’ve been shown some awesome & useful new sites (if you’re a designer that is!). Here are just a handful of them:

Noupe.com (and such a cool jungly theme on there too…)

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Lost & Taken (if you are crazy for textures like me, you might just love this…)

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Pattern Tap

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Stock.Xchange (free stock images!!!)

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Site Inspire (ok, I know I’ve mentioned this website a lot before but it shows some amazing cutting edge sites so I’m afraid, here it is again…)

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It hasn’t been all work and no play though! Been lucky enough to enjoy a lot of family celebrations recently… Daniel’s sister Abi and her Mikey got engaged, Daniel’s big bro turned 30, my Mum had her birthday, my Dad had his 60th birthday bash filled with rock n’ roll & rhythm n’ blues, next week is Daniel’s Mum’s birthday and then it’s Daniel’s the week after that – lots of happy celebrations. Also, Daniel and me moved to a lovely little flat in Risinghurst and got ourselves our first very own sofa… and it’s purple. A great place for writing the blog too I might add. I’m really enjoying settling into our new little flat together, making art & animations together, and life here in general.

Speaking of making art, I’m hoping to get back into it more now that I have some free time after work and on weekends. Illustration Friday is a cool website which is going to help. I discovered IF recently and intend to start taking part. Hope to post some of me sketches/paintings here in the near future. For anyone reading this who also wants to take part, here it is:

Thanks for reading & much love,

Gx

MY PORTFOLIO…

Preview of my portfolio

Had a great exhibition last night at Blackall Studios in Shoreditch. My Shillington friends and I exhibited our portfolios to friends, family and industry pros. Congrats to all my friends – your portfolios are awesome and thanks to everyone who came to the exhibition. My portfolio website will be online in a couple of days and I’ll post the link here when it’s ready. In the meantime, please click on the link above if you’d like to have a quick look at a mini version of my portfolio. Please send me any questions, comments or feedback (good or bad!). I’d be really grateful.

Much love,
Gx

COLLAGE STYLES

I thought that was a cool little video. I found it on Forgotten-Hopes,  a blog I just stumbled across yesterday. I love this blog. My own work is starting to take on a collage-y style so you will probably see why I am enjoying this particular blog so much. There are also images on the blog. Here is one by Andres Valerio:

I’m also loving the mix of computer-made fonts with hand-written fonts and on Forgotten-Hopes there is an illustrator, Kathryn McNaughton, who uses that style awesomely:

I’d highly recommend checking out Kathryn McNaughton’s Cargo Collective website, there’s some great work on there, such as:

Speaking of Cargo Collective, I’ll have my very own Cargo Collective website in 2 weeks time so if you’re interested to see my work, watch this space :]

I’m actually just taking a break from creating my very first typeface today. It has a bit of a collage element to it and before I started to work on it I was looking at various collage-style fonts for inspiration. Here’s one which I really love done by designer Senongo Akpem. He created it using Mixel, a new collage app:

For more handmade fonts, check out Handmadefont!

Anyways I’d better get back to my own handmade font! As I started with a video, thought I’d end with a video too. Here’s a great one which Daniel just sent me :] It’s called ‘Good Books, Metamorphosis’:

Thanks again for reading and take care,

With love, Gx

LET’S FIND SOME BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO GET LOST…

Sundholm Design Dot Com ^

The awesome photo & type treatment above sums up my mood right now! As I have a lot of work to do and can’t escape anywhere (just yet!) here are some other forms of beauty…

Neon Love

I’ve been listening to the folk radio quite a lot recently, there’s some cool music on there. A song just came on by ‘The Neon Love‘ and as I’m also loving all things neon at the moment I thought I’d check out their website. Here’s a very cool poster on there (designed by Sean Leonard I think):

I recently discovered bench.li through designspiration. There’s a fair bit of neon on there and I’d definiely recommend checking this blog out. It’s one of my favourites at the moment:

      

Sam and I were having a chat about music today and he told me about ‘Roger Dean’ who has illustrated/painted loads of cd covers. His paintings are not quite neon but definitely bright colours and a fantastical world:

Geometric Love

I’m loving geometric shapes at the moment too. There is some stunning photography but also a few interesting geometric bits and pieces on thingswelike.org:

      

I may also be heading to Dover bookshop this weekend to see if I can find me a copy of Altair Raindrops:

 

Site Inspire

Site Inspire is such a cool website we have been told about this week in class as we are doing a couple of web design briefs. It showcases some awesomely designed websites:

Through Site Inspire I discovered Jessica Caldwell who is awesome! The name Jessica is pretty cool too :]

And finally a few technical tools for web design that I’ve learnt about this week are Wirify and Balsamiq – both well worth checking out. Really useful tools!

Have a lovely day and thanks for reading again,

With love, G x