Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Reply from Justin Fuller

Sent from me;

I'm currently finishing my degree in Illustration and Print, in Plymouth, England at The Plymouth College of Art.
With my major study I have to put forward some of my favourite artists works, explain why ect.
I wanted to go that step further and just ask you a little about your work, if that’s OK of course?

I'd just like to know what you did to get into clients eyes, initially?
How long did it take you to get noticed properly?

Leaving this year has really hit home and I've realised I've had next to no commissions, I'm into hand-rendered typography and chose you because of your 'Denver Music' work. I love the combination of type styles! Answering my few questions would really help.

Thank you very much,
Tess Palmer'

Reply from Justin Fuller;

'Hi Tess-

Thanks for getting in touch. I'd be happy to take a shot at answering your questions...

I'm a self taught designer (studied Business / Finance in college), and it's been a long journey to where I am now in my career. During a transitional time between jobs around 10 years ago, I began designing posters for bands that I was enjoying at the time for local music venues and occasionally for the bands themselves. I taught myself how to screenprint, and as a result, my design skills began to evolve around simple typography and they types of 2-4 color designs that are easily replicated in screen printing. Eventually, I started a small design business with another person that was a more classically trained designer, and through that, I managed a sort of real-world design education that allowed me to make a full shift in my career trajectory away from the world of finance and into design. Although we were running a small business, it wasn't much different than being a freelancer in most ways.

After about 5 years, we mutually parted ways and I freelanced for a little over a year before founding Good Apples with two new partners. In the past 2.5 years, we have managed to gain more traction in our local community, as well as some awareness nationally (thanks to the Internet!), so that people in other places have at least heard us and are familiar with our work. Having one of the business partners focus solely on growing and running the business has been a very important part of that.

The short answer is that it's taken a long time to gain some recognition and awareness. The projects that seem to have gotten the most buzz have always seemed to be the ones that were self-initiated or done for little or no money. So, I would say find the opportunities to execute projects that you find the most interesting and potentially rewarding, and that will lead to good things. I'm NOT suggesting that you work for less than something is worth or do any sort of speculative work, but when the chance arises, always allow yourself the space to do design for love of doing it.

I hope this was helpful, and best of luck with your transition out of university and into the real, fun world of being a designer for a living :)



Project Ideas


- Tiger Print, previously I have submitted work for Tiger Print and this is their most recent competition, closing on March 10th. A chance to do more greetings cards or possibly even; wedding invitations or engagement party, anonymous love letters ect, anything that represents 'that special someone'. This brief is called 'Lovely Days'.

- Design Against Fur, this competition is one I've just always wanted to enter, designs can be T-shirt designs, posters ect. I see myself producing work like Gabriel Moreno, with strong emphasis on the text, perhaps used as tattoos like his work. Entry must be by 19th April and work submissions by 26th.

- Book covers, like Macmillan, Peguin and Puffin. Thinking along the lines of the layout, it suits my work but the book theme may not so much.


- Pylon Press and other small zines. Pylon Press has a very loose brief, the only real rules are about the size, colour and production of the booklet. This is more along the lines of what I see my work as, small books of texts and simple imagery.

- Design to Sell; this is probably my number one choice so far.I could go down the zine route (Pylon Press) if I wanted but there are loads of other ideas to consider; greetings cards, invitations, notebooks (or zines), tags and stickers.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Reply from Eduardo Recife

Sent from me;

'On 22/02/13 07:23, Tess Palmer wrote:
I'm currently finishing my degree in Illustration and Print, in Plymouth, England at The Plymouth College of Art.
With my major study I have to put forward some of my favourite artists works, explain why ect.
I wanted to go that step further and just ask you a little about your work, because I've favoured it for a while now, if that’s OK of course?

How did you get yourself recognised initially by clients?
What is your inspiration for your typography?

I render my own typography and have said, since day one, that you are my biggest influence. Answering these questions would really help me in the production of my work, plus I'd be super grateful!
         Thank you very much,
Reply from Eduardo Recife;

How are you?
thanks for your email! here goes the answers to your questions:

1)How did you get yourself recognized initially by clients?
When I first started there wasn't as many design/type websites out there, so
lots of people got to know my work back then, and I contributed to several digital
magazines, printed magazines, books and projects around the globe, which
probably gave some sort of exposure to my work. But I believe that my main focus
have always been improving my work rather than promoting it. Both things are
important, but I believe the focusing on strengthening  ones work is more important
and it will naturally attract  clients.

2)What is your inspiration for your typography?
I was strongly influences by the whole grunge movement on the 90's, with
david carson, ed fella and several others who were working  on what was called
grunge typography back then. Im also very inspired by vernacular and vintage 

Hope this helps!
All the best,

Reply from Geoffrey Holstad

Sent from me;

'On Feb 22, 2013, at 5:04 AM, Tess Palmer wrote:

I'm currently finishing my degree in Illustration and Print, in Plymouth, England at The Plymouth College of Art.
With my major study I have to put forward some of my favourite artists works, explain why ect.
I wanted to go that step further and just ask you a little about your work, because I've favoured it for a while now, if that’s OK of course?

I've got a book called 'Reinventing Typography' where I read that your type is hand-rendered?
What materials do you use to produce your type? Initially and then to edit?
I loved your 'Moosejaw Mountaineering' project, the text and simple imagery really works well! I'm very much into producing hand rendered type but I'm really not too good at editing, you see...

Answering these questions would really help me in the production of my work, plus I'd be super grateful!

Thank you very much,
Tess Palmer

Reply from Geoffrey Holstad;


Hello! I'm more than happy to answer any questions! Thank you for all of the kind words.

As for my process, for anything vectored (like the Moosejaw piece in that book) goes as follows:

1. I hand-draw everything on cheap computer paper. In order to eventually live-trace everything in Illustrator, and get the most predictable results, you want to get the blackest-blacks and the whitest whites. You will learn through trial and error, and through tweaking in the computer, that you can change these contrasts to get the results you desire once vectored. I draw everything out with pencil first, then use Papermate Flair Ultrafine Pens for the outline (they don't bleed as much as Sharpies), then just inside that I use Sharpie Ultra Fines, then just regular Sharpies to fill in the shape. Erase the pencil, get everything as clean as possible to prepare for the scan. At this point everything is black and white. All color will come once it's vectored.

2. I then scan this drawing at 600 dpi. This step too will be some trial and error. 600 dpi gives me the detail that I want, as it catches all the little wobbles/bleeds in the lines, which will get picked up when vectored. If you want cleaner lines, I've found that scanning it at a LOWER dpi (like 200-300) generalizes the shape more and will do the same once vectored (smooths things out but you have less control over tiny details).

3. Bring the scanned image (.tif) into Photoshop and tweak the levels and contrast to get the blacks as black as you can, and the whites as white as you can. Save this edited image and open it in Illustrator.

4. Now is when you're going to LIVE TRACE the image. (NOTE: I work in CS4, and these directions also apply to CS5. Not sure for CS6)

Direct select (white arrow) the image.

Click Object > Live Trace > Make and Convert to Live Paint

While it's still selected, click Object > Expand (this "breaks" all of the shapes apart)

Click the Magic Wand and select the white of your image. Delete the white.

Your image is now vectored, and you are able to resize and change colors at will. Hopefully this looks as similar as possible to your original drawing.


You of course don't HAVE to vector the image, and there are other pixel-based solutions to editing and integrating hand-type, but this is the way I do it almost 100% of the time.

Let me know if you have any further questions, and good luck!

Thanks again,
Geoff '

Emailing Artists

Not all artists had email addresses on their websites or blogs ect So far I've emailed theis list of artists;

- Gabriel Moreno
- Eduardo Recife
- Sandra Dieckmann
-  Magdalena Pankiewicz
- Gemma Correll
- Geoffrey Holstad
- Justin Fuller
- Linea Carta

Within the first day I had two replies from Geoffrey Holstad and my biggest inspiration; Eduardo Recife!! I've died and gone to heaven...

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Linea Carta
Linea Carta is the company, Diva Pyari is the artist. 'Diva Pyari grew up in the fashion industry in California, later living in the north of Italy, and all along practicing new forms of craft (painting, printing, jewelry-making, clothing design, graphic design, calligraphy..). So, when in 2007 she designed her first collection of paper goods, it made perfect sense to call it LINEA CARTA'
She uses a calligraphic style, but a very self taught one. It's totally unique to herself and I'm really drawn to it. She uses dip pens and vintage nibs like Nikko or Railroad 550.
Pyari is known for screen printing too, which she does totally alone and on almost everything.
I think what I like mostly is that she's applied her work to linen coasters and made calendars, a little different to the normal greeting cards route.
Diva Pyari obviously works for Linea Carta who gets her work in the press quite a lot!
Some of her work can be seen in magazines like.
- Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2010
- InStyle, September 2009
- Design Sponge, May 2009
- The Bride and Bloom, Fall 2008
- Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2007
And loads more, all can be seen on her website.

Justin Fuller
Justin Fuller is a man of all trades, he grew up exposed to his fathers collection of old advertising signage and was drawn to hand lettering via this, he has experience in print design and layout, interactive/ web design, silkscreen printing and illustration.
I like this Black Angels piece, I love the text and the background showing through it! The combination of text also really appeals to me. He is probably more known for his commission from the Denver music company though (bottom two images) The music company is a fictional / pop-up record store that was created as an installation for Create Denver Week in April of 2010.
Fuller made everything from scratch, even a 50 page zine! The logo had to have the feel of what the store was about, it aimed to highlight the unique history of the music scene in Denver and the Front Range of Colorado.

Alyssa Nassner
'I really love the imperfections of hand lettering-  there's so much more warmth and persinality to hand lettering than a typeface.'
- Reinventing Lettering, 2012.
I like Nassner's work due to the fact she combines type styles (bottom image) he uses hand rendered bold texts and script fonts. She encourages image into her work, which is amazing, and keeps with the style. Not many typographers who hand render, also use image, but Nassner uses both in pretty much all of her works. I love her colour palette. Her work can be seen on greetings cards, in magazines and in books, but it's mostly personal work.

Gemma Correll
Gemma Correll is a cartoonist and illustrator, but I like her for her typographic hand. She studied in Norwich and got her degree in BA (hons) Graphic Design, but she considers herself more of an illustrator.  Her work is on sale in places like Paperchase and WHSmiths in greeting card forms. She draws a  a monthly Skycats cartoon for the Emirates Airlines Open Skies magazine and Hallmark, The New York Times and The Observer.
Her work is a lot more coloirful than mine but I dont see her use of colour as a great difficulty. She uses very block colours which I think is what makes her that bit different from other designers. She has very playful text, in fact all her work is playfull but this interests me more.

Geoffrey Holstad
'I am a native northwoods illustrator, hand-letterer, designer, creative director, printmaker, citizen meteorologist, and Shackleton-inspired optimist.'
 - Geoffrey Holstad.
Holstad takes inspiration from American folk art and camp and farm signage, he tries to use a computer as little as possible because he's all about the natural feel and keeping work alive.
Some of his clients include;
-Art Park
- Osprey Packs
- Wilderness Workshop
- Moosejaw Mountaineering
- Lifetime Collective
- Herman Miller
- Kellogg's
I particularly like his work for Moosejaw Mountaineering, it can be viewed in colour on his website, but I like the black and white approach, he has a very strong hand and uses bold line work, not really what I'm used to but it really stands off the page!  To see artwork from beginning to end is also an exciting journey to embark upon, this Moosejaw Mountaineering  looks fantastic on a T-shirt!!
I can see myself walking up the Holstad route, I can use Photoshop but I actually prefer not to, I tend to think designs loose there natural look when scanned in. I prefer one off pieces on some crazy surface!

Grady McFerrin
 Grady McFerrin is a Los Angeles based illustrator and hand renderer. He was an original member of The Pencil Factory, a collaboration of artists.
Grady's books have been made into stationary, mostly journals an notebooks. He has also designed work for Bonny Doon Vineyard, a wine label and also a lot of magazines, book covers and as campaigns have signed him. Some include; Communication Arts, The Society of Illustrators, Print Magazine, and American Illustration and AIGA.
I like Grady McFerrin's work because of the hand rendered effect. As another designer, passionate about self-made, unique typography, I know that now a days, everyone if doing it! It's hard to be different because hand rendered types are becoming all the rage! Grady gives himself a unique style, he has a very printed look to his work and a dull palette most of the time.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Ross McEwan

I must say, I much preferred Ross McEwans older work (left) I remember drawing this image below after first finding his work. I'm not such a fan now, he's more into printing onto shirts and posters but way back when, this is who I liked.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Magdalena Pankiewicz
- Commons&Sense Magazine
- Shhh!utter Magazine
- Zwierciadło magazine
- Życia smak magazine
- Existence magazine
- Soul Magazine
- Slow Magazine
And more!
It's clear, Magdalena Pankiewicz  is an editorialist, she's from Warsaw, Poland. She has done collaborations, like...

Another editorial piece.
Again, I like the use of realistic, intricate line-work drawings with block colour, it's very much like how I prefer to work. I think Pankiewicz  is different because of her background, I've foudn that generally, foreign artists has a superior style above most artists I'm so used to looking at.

David Foldvari

'A man as distinctive in voice as in technique, David Foldvari has forged a name for himself as one of the very finest illustrators currently working in the UK. He is utterly unapologetic in his singularly scathing and humorous vision, yet in constant demand by numerous impressively high-profile commissioners.' -

Foldvari has been a favourite of mine for a while now, I watch his stuff closely for the fantastic use of black and white lines in his work. He grew up in Hungary and moved at 12 to Europe. His work has influences from both regions, as well as things in life that have troubled him; he says it's a way of dealing with the issues.
Foldvari studied at two universities where he says he didn't particularly stand out as a student but has recieved commissions from clients like The Observer and editorial work for columnist Charlie Brooker, in The Guardian, recently he has produced work for and been interviewed for Crack Magazine.

Sandra Dieckmann
Sandra Dieckmann is a 1st class honours with distinction graduate of Graphic Imformation Design, from the University of Westminster London. Some of her client include;
● Random House Publishing
● Urban Outfitters
● Utne Reader
● Area Designed Environments
● House of Wolf (Venue // Islington, London)
● Ohh Deer
And a lot, lot more which can be found on her website. I've chosen just a few pieces of her work which stand out to me, here. I love her intricate line work, which gets encouraged into all of her work. As an artist who uses a similar line work style, I can really appreciate the time and effort this takes. Eye strain and hand cramp galore!
Dieckmann not only appeals to me for that reason, but also because of these little hand made cards she produces. My last project had me making greetings cards too and in fact I really loved the project and got on well with it, to the point of it becoming a career option!
I love her use of block colour as graphic devices in her work, such as the wolf's body being an orange circle. She may not be a typographer but she does have a hand for type knows how to lay it out.
I struggle to bring images to an end but Sandra Diekmann really shows off her distinction pass with her overall layouts and completion. The lion image at the bottom of the page is such a clever idea, an amazing and unique way to finish an image. She really has an abstract style, unique to her, right down to her colour palette.
Dieckmann has a lot of clients which are possibly out of reach for a designer, such as myself, still in study, at this point. But she has, like other designers, worked her way up the scale and I don't see it as anything totally impossible to achieve in the future. I'd like to see myself heading in a similar direction to Dieckmann, after my course.

Eduardo Recife
 'I believe drawing is what I do best. It's also the best way for me to communicate things I can't find words for... It's a sort of therapy, a hobby, a job, it's what makes me happy.' - Illustration Now, 4.

Eduardo Recife was probably my main inspiration to use my hand-rendered type more in my work, as opposed to doing it as just a piece of side work, for no one to see. I prefer some of his older work where he uses more typography, some of his work for band 'Panic at the Disco' shows a little of his typography skills, almost like a teaser to encourage viewers to look properly at his designs.  Though my favourite parts of his work are the typography, his collage skills are outstanding too. Again, his Panic at the Disco work encourages his collage work exceptionally well. He uses such unusual shapes and parts of images that it holds a very 'Dada ' look, so unique.
Some of Eduardo Recife's clients include;
Panic at the Disco; Tshirt layouts for their tour.
Upper Playground.
The New York Times; article illustrations.
TCM; illustration stills for 'screened out'
... and loads more.
Recife has exhibited his work in many places in his place of birth; Brazil, but other exhibitions include 'Do Outro Lado' group show in Tokyo, Brazilian illustration, a group show in London and Art Trek 3, a solo show in Belgium in 2007.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Gabriel Moreno
Gabriel Moreno is a Spanish born illustrator, painter and engraver, still living in Madrid now.  2007 was the start of his career when he was selected as being amongst the 20 new talents of illustration, by Computer Arts magazine. He has worked with a lot of agencies by now but two, more recent one include Debut Art, based in London and Bang! Bang! Studio, in Moscow.
Some of his clients include; FANTASÍAS (work at top of page), Youth Vision magazine, Los Angeles Times magazines and a huge amount more!
Moreno has made the front page of 'Illustration Now, 4' with two double-page-spreads in the contents of the book. He made a beautiful lime green, floating head illustration for Acqua Colonia to promote their  citrus and mandarin fragrance. The angle, intensity and colour is inspirational!
Most of these images are just how Gabriel Moreno works in order to capture the primary source of his illustrations, through to the scale of canvas he draws onto.
A lot of work Moreno does is personal work, the pieces on the lower half of this page are from a solo exhibition, They're possibly some of my favourite works by this amazing artist, each portrait has a different emotion which as a designer , I know is hard to capture! I like the overlays onto his imagery after he's drawn them and generally taken them into Photoshop, the colours are always intense and are fitted well into the rest of the portrait.
In Illustration Now, 4. Gabriel Moreno says 'Everything influences my work, I would say people and relations have a lot to do with it, but more important is sensuality.'
The majority of the work he creates are portraits, I see the 'sensuality' within them but he almost has a habit of intentionally ruining them after they're drawn, he adds buildings to the back of naked female figures, guitars over the faces of young males and covers them in tattoos and portrays them smoking too. Though his extra layers are often grotesque and abrupt, the use of colour and adaptation to the rest of the image, helps it work so well.
Currently in my designer career I have accepted a style of intense and delicate line work, Moreno uses this style on a huge scale and to a large degree in all of his illustrations. Look at the hair on his portraits, or even clearer, the line work in his lettering. It's so intricate and well presented, there seems to be no mistakes ever!
I like Moreno for all these reasons and more, he's a detailed portrait artist with a twist and a second hand passion for typography - my kind of artist!