Sketchbook I

semibad sketchbook i

I don't draw enough any more. Broke out the graphics tablet this week — expect doodles.

Sausage & Beans

sausage and beans

Don't ask!

The Loft

The Loft Creative Media

The Loft is the studio of Helen Dowthwaite, a talented designer from Cumbria. Helen asked me to help her create a simple portfolio site for The Loft — she provided the layout and graphics, I put it together in Flash and Javascript (with a little touch of PHP out back). - wordpress theme

Another day, another Wordpress theme — this time for my lovely girlfriend Kathryn. Her new blog is a bit sparse at the moment, but I am assured that she intends to fill it with tasty recipes (as well as more general musings). As a regular benefactor of Kathryn's cooking, I can assure you that these are recipes that are worth a look. - front page

I also spent an hour messing with the site's front page (as I had accidentally deleted the previous version's stylesheet without noticing). Mmm... Microformats.

Sarah France - Work in Progress

Work in Progress - the blog of Sarah France

A little while back, I put together this Wordpress theme for the awesomely talented Sarah France. She was in the process of moving her blog from Blogger onto her own site, and had asked me to help her set up a downloaded theme. I suggested making a custom theme — it didn't seem right that a designer with such an interesting, distinctive portfolio was going to be stuck with a generic layout. I tried to keep it simple, readable, and generally nice to look at and use, while also reflecting Sarah's love of modernist grid-based design.

Fast forward a couple of months, and Sarah has finished packing up her old blog, and is officially launching the new one. Go check it out!

GENERIC TEXT, a preview

GENERIC TEXT holding page

I've been working for a little while now on getting my portfolio site, GENERIC TEXT, back up to standard. Last time I worked on it was mid-2006, right after I finished my degree. In addition to all the new work that I've done since that time, there's also the fact that when I last coded the site, I shared the common graphic designer's opinion that web design == Flash. Obviously, the theme of my work since then has been very much to the contrary, and I felt that my portfolio site should probably reflect this.

Well, it's still going to be a little while until I reveal the full site. But I have put together a fun (and hopefully useful) little holding page until then. More details in the full post!



A little idea that I had a while back for the semiBad logo. This'll probably be my test image for screenprinting — the halftone in this sample is faked for effect. Full length image in the full article.

Business cards

semiBad business cards from Moo - front detail

Thought I'd better put some business cards together before I start applying for jobs. I just wanted something simple for potential freelance clients, to slip in with CVs and stuff for permanent jobs, and just for when I'm out around town taking photos. Put these together pretty quickly, using the new 'logo' — there's ten different versions of the front logo, in a really wide range of different typefaces. I got them printed by Moo, which meant that I could get a really short run (I only got 100 done) and I could get the different fronts done in the same run. They're also printed on 100% recycled paper, which has a really great texture and the sort of matt finish I like for cards.

There's a couple more images in the full article.

Idiot level photography (I bought a camera)

Ladybird macro photo - by me!

We only did a small amount of photography during my degree, and frankly, I was shit at it. I always enjoyed working in the darkroom — I'd had a bit of experience developing black and white back in sixth-form thanks to my old friend Ed's dual-purpose studio/laundry room. But the actual camerawork — no chance.

Anyway, my last project at K was to put together the annual calendar which is sent out to customers and friends of the company. Long story short — this ended up involving a bunch of low-budget food photography, which meant I had to face how terrible my photographic knowledge is. So I decided I needed to get myself a proper camera so that I could learn at least a bit of photographic technique.

My previous experience of SLR photography was before digital became standard — I'm shocked by how much easier DSLRs make photography. Whether that's good or bad, I'll leave to the fields' experts. I'm grateful, to say the least.

Short short version: I now have a Flickr stream (feel free to add me as a contact), and have been carrying my camera wherever I go. Enjoying it a lot — it certainly makes you look a bit more careful at the world around you. There's a couple more pictures in the full article — or head to my Flickr page for a whole bunch.

Skate decks; a sneak peek

new semiBad logo : skate deck ideas

I've always wanted to paint up a few skate decks, so I've decided to laughingly refer to it as a new year's resolution. Looking into some homebrew screen-printing at the moment, which is part of a more serious resolution — to get back to making a few 'physical' objects again. The sneak peak, incidentally, is at the new semiBad branding — a simple little logo that I'll be rolling out pretty soon. More on that shortly.

Happy new year, by the way. I'm starting the year dazed, displaced, and (voluntarily) unemployed. Hopefully it's all uphill from here.