The Colchester Film Festival 2014 has been officially announced, and I’ll once again be helping out with the design of the whole thing. This year’s event has been expanded to five days and will be screening feature films as well as the usual short films and masterclasses.
The 2013 festival was fantastic and everyone who attended had a great time. The quality of films was also insanely high, so I expect it to get even better next year.
I took these really bad, out of focus pictures of fireworks, but luckily they still look like fairly cool pictures of abstract lights patterns.
Here’s something I helped design while freelancing at 27 for the launch of Wagamama’s new limited edition Bento Box range.
Gravity was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long, long time. It genuinely had me on the edge of my seat for pretty much the whole film and I left the cinema actually feeling out of breath. I enjoyed it so much I felt compelled to draw a quick little tribute.
Here’s another thing I did for PlayStation recently while freelancing at 27: a simple illustration of the DualShock 4 for use on the controller configurations at various UK events. I also had to lay out a lot of the configs themselves, showing what each button did for various games including Killzone: Shadow Fall, Assassin’s Creed IV, Driveclub and Warframe to name but a few.
The angle of the whole thing is a little skewed to show both triggers and the lightbar on the top of the controller without tilting the entire thing and trying to make it look 3D. I figured that anybody attending a gaming event would probably know how to use a controller anyway so I could get away with a little artistic license in regards to that.
To keep the ball rolling with Colchester Film Festival related stuff, I was asked to design a bunch of posters to be featured on This One Wall – Colchester’s Street Gallery. Featuring a mix of information about the festival itself, a timetable of the events which are happening and a selection stills from the films being shown with this years halftone-pattern applied, I think they look pretty nice as a whole set.
This One Wall is located just around the corner from Firstsite, the great big gold art gallery which is also the primary venue for the Film Festival.
I was lucky enough to be asked back to lead the design for the Colchester Film Festival 2013. This included the 36 page programme, two posters and a six-page concertina timetable flyer, as well social media imagery, the tickets you’ll get at the festival and a few other smaller bits of print.
I’ve got my hands on some nice photos of the PlayStation stand at Eurogamer Expo 2013. I can’t take any credit for a lot of it (the actual floor layout or the cool lit-up shapes, for example) but I did have a hand in designing the majority of the walls, signage and other printed collateral.
This past weekend I was lucky enough to go to Eurogamer Expo 2013 and get my hands on the PS4. Even cooler than that, while freelancing at 27 I actually got to help design the majority of print collateral and the wall vinyls for the PS4 stand at the show, including the lanyard pictured above that was handed out to everyone who attended.
As an avid video gamer since childhood, working with the PS4 and Playstation assets was sort of a dream job. Obviously they are quite protective of how designers use the assets and artwork they provide, so the majority of my work was more along the lines of artworking and didn’t allow much room for creativity, but it was still a great project to work on and a lot of fun to get to play around within the guidelines that were set. I also got to work with some really cool people, which is always a bonus.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any decent pictures of the main PS4 booth itself due to low lighting, the camera app on my phone constantly crashing and the huge amount of people standing in the way playing games. There was a professional photographer there so hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on some decent shots at a later date.
Playing on the console itself was great fun, and I got to try out Knack, Assassin’s Creed IV, Warframe and Hohokum (as well as Hotline Miami 2 on the Vita). The controller feels great and is a vast improvement over the PS3 one in my opinion, and and all the games looked fantastic even if some of the builds I played were a little glitchy.
Fingers crossed I’ll be able to share some images of the show itself soon.
Lately I’ve been re-watching the classic 1990s ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ and have been reminded why it ranks among my all time favourite TV programs.
It was probably my first exposure to Batman when I was just a kid in the early 90s and is one of the main reasons (along with the Spider-Man animated series and issues of X-Men comics I found lying around on my brother’s bedroom floor) why I became a fan of comic books. Comics went on to become a huge part of my life, including leading to me spending four years working in a comic book shop and being how I met my girlfriend, and Batman remains a character who I still read to this day.
Re-watching the show for the first time as an adult, and especially now as a graphic designer, I’ve got even more appreciation for the phenomenal art design and general style of the show. The wonderful art deco version of Gotham City with it’s endless skyscrapers, the moody lighting on every street and in every building, the visually distinct characters and the stark, dark shape of Batman himself looming over everything don’t only continue to stand up two whole decades later, they still look much better than pretty much any modern animated show.
Best of all is the opening sequence. A complete mini story that tells you everything you need to know about the show. Bad guys commit crime, Batman fights bad guys using his gadgets and his fists and looks like a total badass doing it. Despite being only 60 seconds long it’s full of beautiful little scenes and really captures the iconography of the character. The one-second shot of him dodging the thug’s punches while silhouetted in front of the moon which is set against a painterly red backdrop is simply stunning, and shows how well he can hold his own in a fight.
Even cooler still is the fact the intro sequence never even features the name of the show, it just ends on a shot of Batman atop a skyscraper being highlighted by a freaking bolt of lightning! When I was a kid I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, and now, as an adult, I think I was probably right.
Of course the plots, dialogue and characters are also all fantastic, and they hold up remarkably well twenty years after the show first aired. All 65+ episodes of the first season are currently on Lovefilm Instant here in the UK, so if you have an account I’d highly recommend giving it another watch.