Archives for posts with tag: typography

Typography today, based upon the most commonly occurring letters in the English language:

ETAOINSHRD 28-10-13It was fun to play around with transparencies here but on this occasion I think I played it a little too safe and ought to have made the contrast between each layer greater, and perhaps added an outline for further clarity. Something to learn for future works of this type, I think.


I had to go away this weekend so today’s post is a multiple. First entry for Friday 18th is a self-demonstrating piece of typography for the word ‘random’, drawn in pen then computer-refined:

Random 18-10-13I like the letterforms in this one. I do wonder if I should have added colour to this, random splashes to emphasise the meaning, but perhaps it was better to let the word speak for itself.

Saturday 19th’s image is inspired by the idea of influence and how it spreads:

Influence 19-10-13

I wanted this to look a little abstract and ethereal. I love the colour here; I chose red to show love and warmth. The softness helps as well.

Sunday 20th’s image is based on William Huarns Mears’ poem, Antigonish, sketched out in pen and then computer-coloured:Antigonish 20-1-13

I wanted to have a washed-out feel to show the despair, and the gradient of colour to show the loss of certainty in the narrator’s voice and his disintegrating sanity; this is partly why the words go back and forth as well as to suggest a staircase. Weirdly the disassociation theme of the poem appears to have continued into a meta-level; the number of misquotations and misattributions were rather surprising to say the least.

Today’s image is of a hummingbird tattoo, sketched in pen then coloured in Photoshop, and I was trying to experiment with shading fleshtones:

Hummingbird Tattoo 21-10-13

This was rather tricky to do but I’m pretty happy with how it’s come out; the gradients of colour are just as I’d hoped they’d be, although I have to admit that having a photo of my own arm in this position helped enormously to making this work. It’s really satisfying when an image comes out just as I’d pictured it in my head.

As promised yesterday this multiple post should bring us back up to date, starting with Saturday 12th and coming up to today.

Saturday’s drawing was a pen-and-Photoshop inspired by the notion of musical cheese; I thought that it would be funny if cheesy music were played on something that reflected the content:

MPCheese 12-10-13I really love the colours on this, it’s pretty simple but more effective for it.


Sunday 13th’s image was inspired by my new hobby; I’ve started a band with a few friends and it’s a lot of fun. It’s the most I’ve played guitar in a long time and the after-effects are presenting themselves, so it led to this refined pen drawing:

Guitar Fingers 13-10-13


I like the simplicity of this one; it gets the sense of wear across rather neatly.


Monday 14th’s image was a pen sketch borne out of the recent heavy rainfall we’ve had. In my job in the last week I’ve seen a lot of people coming in to escape the weather and I’ve been similarly caught out, leading to the figure below:

Rain Escape 14-10-13


I think the black-and-white suits it quite well, but while I’m fairly happy with the figure’s stance (the sense of urgency particularly comes over), I think I may have overshaded the innards of the hood.


Yesterday’s image was inspired by odd-eyed cats. I think there’s something strange and beautiful about that look:

Odd Eyes 15-10-13


I’m rather happy with the shading on this one. I just wish it were a little larger.


Today’s image is a bit of fun typography based on ‘mwah, mwah’ air-kissing, drawn in Sharpie then computer-refined:

Mwah Mwah 16-10-13I’m pretty happy with this one as it was much more of a test with typography than the stuff I normally do. The form suits it really nicely; it looks like a lipstick print but the phrase is pretty clear.



Without going into too much detail out of respect for other people, last week was rather difficult. Drawing helped to provide an escape; because there’s a lot to catch up on, I’m going to do two block entries.

Last Monday’s (7th October) image was inspired by Game of Thrones, a series I got into in a big way this year, and is a return to Rorschach patterning with this direwolf:

Direwolf Rorschach 7-10-13

I’d intended it so that, owing to the nature of the series, it would look like it ought to be on a standard or banner.¬†Originally this had been a pencil drawing, which I refined in Photoshop; in retrospect I rather with I’d used more than one shade of grey but I’m rather pleased with the shape, and the rough edges add to the feel.

Tuesday 8th’s entry was a typographic image inspired by a piece of military slang – Charlie Foxtrot is the NATO Phonetic abbreviation for ‘cluster-f**k’. I thought there was something about Charlie Foxtrot that had a neat ring to it, and wanted to find a way to make attractive a euphemism for a somewhat unpleasant term:

Charlie Foxtrot 8-10-13

I think there’s something about this that looks like it ought to be a logo for something, which partly is why I tilted it – the other reason is to emphasise the meaning of something gone wrong. I like the letterforms; I do wonder if I should have done something more with the colour.

Wednesday 9th’s image is another swirl pattern based on the literary and philosophical tradition of four temperaments – melancholic (black), sanguine (red), choleric (yellow) and phlegmatic (green):

Four Temperaments 9-10-13

While the pattern itself is quite good it may have benefited more from depth of shading. I can’t help thinking this would have worked just as well as a representation of CMYK. I think next time I do a swirl I should go for a feel other than liquid to test myself more.

Thursday 10th’s image was much simpler, a praying mantis:

Praying Mantis 10-10-13

I believe this is the second time I’ve rendered an insect in this fashion (the first being a snail) and it makes for a nice change. Somehow it still has the same inquisitive look as the others.

Friday 11th’s entry was a shell in Sharpie and pencil:

Shell 11-10-13

I like the textural feel to this one. I do wonder if I should have put more patterning but the colour’s vivid enough as it is.

I’ve started listening to The Beta Band recently and thought their title ‘It’s Not Too Beautiful’ would work nicely in cursive:

INTB 5-10-13I went with blue because the phrase – and indeed the song – is somewhat melancholic; the lower case adds to the lower key feel. Admittedly the overall image is pretty slight but then that’s rather the point – for something like this it’s better to let the phrase speak for itself and then fill in the gaps mentally (which is the power of the song itself – it never fully explains the story behind the sentiment).


Apologies for the hiatus – I was away for a friend’s wedding at the weekend, so as per previous absences, these four images are for each day away plus today. The first image was inspired by the wedding – my friend the bride wore bracelets patterned with dragons so I thought it’d be nice to use that and make a two-dragon picture:Dragons Entwined 28-9-13

I like the overall colour scheme and form but I do wonder if there’s something I’ve missed here; it somehow seems too understated.


The second image is a return to a panel-strip format about the notion of things I really wouldn’t want to hear in a cinema. The first panel actually happened to me at a club screening; I’ve since been pondering if anything else could make me react with further gusto and so I came up with this:

Three Things 29-9-13 001

I love the reactions of the other cinemagoer. It must be stated that for those of you who haven’t seen Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, it is a yawning chasm of awful albeit in the most hilarious way imaginable. For those who have… you’ll understand the fear of a sequel, if only for the utter logic bomb needed for it to exist.


Bizarrely, there appears to be a Tommy Wiseau theme emerging via the next image. I had this idea for a crossover between The Room and Adventure Time, borne out of one of the former’s more infamous lines of dialogue; the resulting image practically produced itself:

Adventure Tommy 30-9-13


I’m rather pleased with the overall composition here and the Finn-Tommy hybrid character looks better than I thought it would (I think it’s the eyes that make it) but I’m undecided on the font choice. The size of the type is fine, but I’m unsure as to whether I ought to have made it look more hand-written.


Finally I made a return to animals today with this kiwi:

Kiwi 1-10-13I’ve always found kiwis to be cute but the thing that’s always puzzled me about them is that you can never quite tell where their wings are.¬†I love the inquisitiveness of this particular fellow here.


Return to typography today:

Tralala 26-5-13

I thought it’d be nice to do a gradiated colouring on this in a similar fashion to Hello Sunbeam. I do wonder if the musical notes ought to have been larger, and also I am thinking it’d be a good idea soon to change the font on these.

I missed yesterday due to it being my birthday, so I drew something apposite to mark the occasion – a cat with some cake:

Cat with Cake 17-5-13

I rather like the look of glee on the cat’s face; I do wonder if I should’ve made the slice of cake a little larger and put a candle on the top, but the overall effect is quite cute nonetheless.

Today’s entry proper is more of a diagram showing different diacritic (linguistic) accents:

Diacritics 18-5-13

Considering this was done cold in biro (with only minor CG tweakage) I’m happy with the composition here; I’ve missed biro drawing as I’ve not done this for quite some time, plus it was nice to apply typography to linguistics as it’s a subject I find intriguing.

I think I’d like to do more diagrammatic stuff like this; one I’d want to explore for a future entry is birds’ beaks, partly because of the variety of shapes and partly because I could do with the practise, and to continue the linguistic theme I’d like to try illustrating some of Chomsky’s principles. The latter strikes me as being rather less frivolous than both birds’ beaks, never mind a cat with cake, but it’s nice to inject seriousness occasionally.


My absence from the blog has been longer than planned due to catching up on things post-Scotland break taking more time than I’d anticipated; in some cases the drawings weren’t done on the day proper due to lack of time but I’ve endeavoured to make sure that the number of drawings matches the days missed. While I didn’t have the opportunity to do any location drawing as I’d initially hoped, the journey inspired me in different ways. I’ll be filling in the backdating over two multiple posts.

Last Monday’s (the 6th) image was borne out of a hurried attempt to pack before catching the train:

Okay folks 6-5-13



I think the slightly ragged edge of the lettering suits the text. Naturally the word panic needed to be the most prominent, and I like the way that the letters increase in size as the message emerges (I can imagine a gradually rising voice uttering them).

Tuesday’s image was a safety pin, done in a snatched moment observing my makeshift repair effort on a broken zip:Safety Pin 7-5-13

I’m not sure if the depth of shading came through fully on the scan but I think the pencil suits the small fragile object better than pen would have done.

Wednesday’s image was more of a William Morris-inspired piece of text borne out of reuniting with my family, several of whom I’d not seen for years; we’d been gathered together for an Empire Medal ceremony for my Grandmother, who’d been rewarded for longstanding services to charity and the community:Familia 8-5-13


I chose this form for the text to echo the concept of the family tree; I’d like to revisit and colour this.

Thursday’s entry is a more frivolous affair, inspired by the mussels on the Musselburgh coat of arms and a pun on muscle memory:

Mussel Memory 9-5-13Rather silly, I know, but I like the letterforms on this one; my only wish is that I’d used inkbrush instead of pen.

Friday’s entry is a return to the onomatopaeia style, stemming from the idea of realisation of an ideal:

Realisation 10-5-13

Rather than it being a sudden eureka flash, this was more of the realisation that I’m actually on a good path right now. The last year has been pretty turbulent, all things considered, but things are coming more and more into focus and certain ambitions are starting to make themselves more keenly felt.

The next lot of entries will be rather more colourful; next time I’m away I’m a) going to try to make more time to draw where possible and b) taking Sharpies.




More typography today, sticking to the food theme, initially rendered with Sharpie and finessed in Photoshop:
Om Nom Nom 29-4-13I’m glad I made this a self-demonstrating image with the bite marks; I had wondered about including somebody biting the words but I thought that’d be overdoing it.