The genius of Noma Bar

Noma Bar graphic design work
Noma Bar graphic design work
Noma Bar graphic design work

I’ve just been lucky enough to receive a belated Christmas present, a wonderful book showcasing the work of graphic design genius Noma Bar.

I can’t improve on his own publisher’s (Thames & Hudson) description so here’s what they have to say:

“Noma Bar’s innovative, playful style has made him one of the most sought-after illustrators working today, with a broad range of commissions from magazines and newspapers – including Empire, the New York TimesWired, the Guardiana nd Time Out – and numerous private and advertising clients. His use of negative space and minimalist forms creates images with multiple readings that delight and surprise in equal measure. Each of Bar’s illustrations tells a story that is hidden in the details, with the message revealing itself in the double-take as you look more closely. Noma Bar has handpicked his most iconic illustrations and favourite works, each one displaying the distinctive style that has established his reputation. Each chapter focuses on topics he has explored in his inimitable style: ‘Less More’ (daily life), ‘Pretty Ugly’ (portraits), ‘In Out’ (sex), ‘Life Death’ (conflict) and ‘Rough Smooth’ (personal sketches).

He has an Instagram account with disappointingly no posts (come on!) but does have a Twitter account where he posts latest work and news etc, well worth a follow.

Buy it from Amazon, and ignore the solitary and ridiculous 2 star review on there (current on time of posting). It’s been raved about in all the best style and design blogs/magazines. “Disappointing and repetitive.” – Pfffttt!!!

I also feel I should mention this book cover design, the subject matter is a ‘bit’ rude (sorry Mum) but if you know the book then this really is perfect.

Posted on January 5th 2018
Posted in Things I like

Fun book cover design

Get off your phone book cover design
Gadgets Away book cover design
Ace to Ze book cover design

I’ve been fortunate to be working with a new publishing client recently, Summersdale, who create books to inform, entertain and inspire. I’ve been working on a number of  book cover design projects, which have been great fun. They are also a lovely client to work with, so yay! These designs won’t be published for a while but I couldn’t wait to share them, so these images are mock ups for now, soz! More ‘proper’ photos to come when they are published. I’m sure you will have seen some of Summersdale’s other books in the cool shops in Brighton and the like, but if not then here are three of my highlights:

Tired of those irritating niggles in life? Then this book would be for you: Life Hacks – There really are some very nifty tips in there. I think it gives the same pleasure as looking through the Lakeland catalogue and thinking ‘why’ but then thinking ‘but that’s genius, I must have it’. I can assure you though that I do not own any of their slate products, especially not THIS. Have they not heard of We Want Plates? Honestly…

Get bored on the loo? Then this is for you! 52 Things To Do While You Poo – They say “Perching on the porcelain can be very boring when you have nothing to do but poo. But fear no more, as excretion expert Hugh Jassburn has put together a compendium of entertaining activities and informative fun that will make you want to stay put, even if you don’t need to go. Doing a number two will never be the same again.” I say “a most amusing ’emergency’ present for any man in your life.” Stereotypes noted.

This book will make you feel less sh*t. It says so in the title. I’ve no idea what’s in it as it’s not published until November but as they say “Hey! You’re doing a great job but it’s OK to need some help. With strengthening statements, witty quotes and self-care tips, this little book is here to help you love and care for yourself.” Which sounds just lovely.

Posted on August 18th 2017
Posted in Projects, Things I like

Poster designer

Ib Antoni poster designs
Ib Antoni poster designs
Ib Antoni poster designs

While I was in Copenhagen this past weekend I came across the work of an illustrator I’d not heard of before, Ib Antoni. I searched in vain for a book on his works but had to make do with lots of postcards instead. I just love his illustration style and the design of his posters. Here’s some info from the Visit Copenhagen website:

“The poster artist Ib Antoni died in 1973, but his beloved artwork is alive and well. As a poster artist Ib Antoni was loved and known not only in Denmark, but also in other parts of the world.

Ib Antoni’s Royal Danish Ballet Dancer, Royal Danish Guard, The Mermaid and Tivoli Copenhagen poster have delighted and amused countless. His artwork contains both charm and humanity.

Ib Antoni drew over 300 posters in his 20-year career. Copenhagen was the city, which Ib Antoni was most confortable in, and in 1967 when the city’s tourist board asked him to draw a draft for a poster, The Royal Danish Guard was born – an image which for many years has been synonymous with Copenhagen and Denmark abroad and at home.

Antoni’s version of The Little Mermaid followed, amusement park Bakken was presented with a lovely balloon man, and for Tivoli Gardens’ 125th anniversary, he designed the famous Tivoli poster.”

Posted on June 15th 2017
Posted in Things I like

Getting inky again

Screenprinting photo 1
Screenprinting photo 2
Screenprinting photo 3
Screenprinting photo 4
Screenprinting photo 5
Screenprinting photo 6
Screenprinting photo 7
Screenprinting photo 8

I do love my job being a graphic designer and have some great clients – “hello there” if you’re reading this! I also love my fancy computer and all the latest technology and how it makes life so much easier than when I first started out. I still can’t quite believe that I used to fax proofs and we had to have a meeting at one place to argue about who would check the emails and how often they should be checked. I think it was agreed at the time that once a week would be sufficient. Blimey. It does mean though that I spend the majority of my time stuck in front of a screen sat on my backside. This unfortunately can include a lot of time at home too obsessing over Twitter and Instagram and, yes ok, Facebook.

Soooo, it’s nice for me to occasionally get back to some actual hand made craft and get my fingers inky. I’ve mentioned before how great the facilities are at Ink Spot Press but they really are. They run some amazing courses there too that anyone can do to get that satisfaction of having made something with your hands.

I like the fact that there’s no delete or undo function with screenprinting, there’s a process and that process has to be stuck to and you have to take your time with it. And you have to do it properly; you have to think through how the different colours will work or overlay with each other, make sure the inks are mixed thoroughly, that the screens made with care, not rushing the ‘pulling’ of the ink through the screen, getting proper registration, letting the prints dry properly.

I’ve only been a few times so far but it’s definitely something I intend to keep doing. I’m getting better at the process too, this time I didn’t get ink everywhere. Still not sure how it ended up in my armpit once!

The photos above show the fruits of my last day of printing. I thought I’d design a Brighton based print and also try out my new metallic inks on another romantic design. If they tickle your fancy they can be bought on my Etsy shop, along with some of my previous prints.

Posted on February 4th 2015
Posted in Projects, Things I like

Screenprinting course

Screen print studio
Screen print studio

I spent this weekend thoroughly enjoying myself on a screen printing course run by Ink Spot Press in Brighton. It’s a printing technique I’ve wanted to try for a long time, so I was very pleased to have found their website. The two day course covered all the basics of screen printing; from preparing the screens, making the stencils, mixing the inks, setting up and, of course, to the actual printing itself. The course was run by Jane Sampson, an incredibly experienced printmaker and whose own work is amazing. She also has a genuine enthusiasm for passing on the skills and joys of printmaking so made an excellent teacher. There were only four people on the course so we all had our own printing bed, a fact I definitely made the most of by somehow managing to produce two runs of prints (shown above). It’s such a satisfying process so I will definitely be going back to print some more designs and find out more about this versatile technique. It’s a great outlet for my personal graphic design project ideas and it’s always good to learn a new skill. Bloody brilliant!


Posted on March 24th 2014
Posted in Projects, Things I like

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