Since my regular portrait gig for Newsweek stopped last year, l have only accepted a few commissions in between other projects. Here are a selection of recent favourites that were assigned by ESPN Grantland. I have simplified the process, giving them a more graphic feel whilst retaining the handmade aesthetic.
A new cover for Pluto Press. The book is a collection of walks, which focus on the history of radical politics and protest in London. The title changed and a subtitle was also added at the last minute. It upsets the balance of the design somewhat, but l am still pleased with how it turned out. The handwritten map was a lot of fun.
A recent job for the Atlantic's creativity issue, which has a fantastic cover by Geoff Mcfetridge. This was based on a postcard that l created over six years ago. Personal to Commercial.
An illustration for an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. A retired English professor feels that she is losing her identity.
A hand carved birdbox for an exhibition curated by Jayde Perkin and Paul Roberts. The process for this was really enjoyable, scratching the design into the wood. The show is part of the Festival of Nature at No. 1 Harbourside, Bristol.
A recent cover for Oxford University Press. The design mimics credit cards by using embossed type and signature strips. My studiomates helped out with the different signature styles, which needed to have their own personality.
I recently answered a few questions about my book cover design process for The New York Times. The Book Review section featured Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich, a cover l designed for Twelve Books last year. You can view the Before and After feature here. I was really pleased to be included amongst talented designers such as Oliver Munday and Joan Wong.
One of the perks of book cover design is reading titles months before they are released. I really enjoyed Walter Isaacson's forthcoming book The Innovators, which looks at the history of innovation. He is best known for the biography of Steve Jobs and his work as the President of the Aspen Institute.
l only had two and a half days to read the manuscript and design comps. My ideas focused on collaboration, which was a recurring theme throughout the writing. The publishers Simon and Schuster went with a different direction for the final book, my favourite comps are posted below.
Some more design work for MIT Technology Review. The article focused on how computer software can solve Captchas, the hard-to-read jumbles of letters that foil automated bots. I used some very ugly fonts and photoshop techniques to replicate the style of Captchas. Hopefully l achieved a good balance between readability and distortion.
I really enjoy playing with new materials and pushing my work in new directions. For this project l spat on to a surface to create the letterforms. It has had a mixed reaction from friends and studiomates. Despite the rather gross material (phlegm), l believe the piece has a rather beautiful quality to it.