Monday, 17 December 2012

Random Crash

Ages ago I designed the look of Trip and System, two space-faring crash test dummies and awesome DJ duo calling themselves Random Crash! I've done loads of stuff for 'em since, including a small comic telling their back story (more soon) but my favourite bit of work (so far) is the cover above for their second single. The very coolest thing though, is the adaptation of the above image into a simple music video by a guy called Timothy Mercenary (check out some of his other stuff its ace). I split the art apart and sent him the files, plus a few extra images, and a week later he came back with this video, which is awesome! Check it out:

Here's a few of the extra bits I sent Tim. I'd love to do another one of these at some point, as it turned out great, but next time with a whole story to tell rather than just the cool visuals. 
You can download the Electric Rain single here!


The story so far! Here's the first 2 pages of the comic strip:

Some of my first sketches coming up with their look, plus logo designs:

Roughs for the first piece of finished art I drew them (final above). This got adapted into the cover for the first single, with Kai Love, the singer added in behind.
You can download the track here!

An unused cover concept:

I've loved working on this stuff, so thanks to them and their manager Aaron Ross; dudes all. 
You can follow Random Crash on twitter @RNDMCRSH
More coming soon!

The King's Man

This is a bit of art for an ebook cover I drew/painted last month for The King's Man, by Rowena Cory Daniells. It's a novella set in her Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin series published by Solaris. A lot of the image I drew got cropped off for the actual cover so here it is at full width. Below is the final cover and a quick look at the various stages it went through. I started with a quick pencil sketch then added some greytones in photoshop before finally overlaying a few colour layers at the end.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Ravenstone is a new Children's and Young Adult publishing imprint set up by Rebellion. For the last few weeks I've been doing all the branding and stuff for them in anticipation of the launch, starting off with a basic logo design, but applying that style to all the promotional items, sales sheets and website etc. There's still a lot to do, as they haven't actually published a book yet, but here is some of the stuff I've done so far.
First up, and most important, was the logo. I offered up quite a few options when designing it, just sketching loosely in photoshop:

Luckily, everyone was pretty much agreed on the best ones on this list (the sketches around the 30s), so we whittled this list down to about 3 options and I went from there.

I ended up taking the type idea from the bottom right one, and adapting the top 3 into one idea (1d). The only thing I really didn't plan for in the sketches was flipping the raven so he comes towards you rather than facing away. Once I'd started working in illustrator he just didn't look right with his back towards you, and by having his head facing forwards I could make the eye and beak bigger and more prominent, which gives him a bit more character.
Here are some alternative colour options. I'm hoping to expand on these, adapting the colours to match whatever art the logo has to sit on.

Below is the banner I came up with for the main Ravenstone website. I took the basic logo and changed it into a full illlustration, drawn using a combination of vectors from InDesign and Illustrator, then adding some texture and shadows etc in Photoshop. I'm quite keen to go back to this and either animate (the windmill could move, the grass and tree could wave in the wind, the bird could fly in and land! quite excited by the options here) or add detail to it as time goes on. This is a kid's book line after all, and I'd really like the website to be as visually interesting as possible.

Next job is to make the Ravenstone typography into a full, workable font which I'm in the process of doing now. Been teaching myself to use Fontographer, so it'll be one of my first jobs with that. So far I've only worked out the lower case letters.

To find out more about Ravenstone (and to see all the branding in situ) please check out their
website    //    blog    //    twitter

The Bunker

The Bunker is a comic and games shop in Havant, Portsmouth - This is the logo I came up with or them.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Zombie head

A zombie I drew in illustrator AGES ago, based on an unused face that I sketched out after doing the logo for the Dredd vs Zombies iOS game. I ended up using him for the background of my twitter page.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

2000 AD - Unused Chaos Day T-Shirt Art

Missed the boat a bit with this now. Still, it might get used one day...

Again, a bit late - it's not news anymore, but I quite liked it when I did it.

Monday, 17 September 2012


Took the opportunity to right some wrongs the other day when I did the cover art for the Judge Dredd Megazine 328 graphic novel; Ratfink. I did the covers for the first printing of the story in the Meg several years ago, and they were bloody atrocious - so I was glad Tharg let me do something new...

I was gonna go with an unused bit of art I did at the same time as the first lot of covers, just updating it a little bit, so started re-doing the pizen ball, then changed my mind and used it as the basis for the new picture above. Pretty much the only thing that survived was the texture and the border! It was orange like the original painting to start with, but I decided to go with a more muted palette to match Pete Doherty's strip art. His colours are always fabulous, really natural, so it seemed stupid to stick a REALLY REALLY ORANGE bit of art on the front. Hence the blue!
Below are the original unused cover, the orange version of the above, and the final image without coverlines and logos. I dropped the skyline down fairly shortly after altering the colour, cos the sun and rocks and stuff got wiped out by the logos.

On the subject of Ratfink, Pete Doherty has posted some of his sketches for the character on his blog. Check it out HERE

Friday, 17 August 2012

Times Arrow Book III

Did this today:

The rough mockup I did a few weeks ago (it's a miracle I keep getting work):

Friday, 29 June 2012

They Are Coming... The Dark Judge Teaser Campaign

This is the 2000 AD promotional campaign that ran for 4 weeks on CBR, for the return of The Dark Judges, Fear, Fire and Mortis in the Judge Dredd story Day of Chaos. Each week one set of posters was released, hinting at the contents of the story to come.


Although these are the simplest of the 4 waves of artwork, they almost took the most time to do. Apart from setting the style for the rest of the campaign I also had to come up with a way to represent each of the 3 characters as a minimal but relevant symbol. Myself, Mike Molcher, the PR bot and Luke, the other 2000 AD designer, knocked around loads of ideas before settling on the 3 symbols shown here.

Judge Mortis was by far the hardest to come up with. How do you describe decay or entropy in a few stylised lines? I don't think I've not seen a single person guess what that symbol means yet unfortunately... it's a pile of smoking ash. Almost the hideous aftermath of Mortis' touch. I got the idea from watching Dr. Brian Cox explaining entropy on TV using a pile of sand, which I remember being pretty cool. The other two are slightly more obvious - an eye for Fear (he has loads them inside his helmet in one story, and there's plenty of wide-eyed victims in Brian Bolland's art) and flames (duh?) for Fire. I was worried, knowing their meanings, that everyone would guess them straight away. Luckily only one guy guessed correctly - and nobody seemed to notice!

Below are the initial ideas I came up with in InDesign for various stages of the campaign before it started. Almost everything on here was changed on the final versions. Notice I started off doing a matching poster for Judge Death as well (just for completeness sake, and my own bloody-mindedness) but soon had to stop as the art got more complex and deadlines loomed!


In the second week I decided to focus on the Dark Judges weapons, or powers, but linked the art to the first wave of images by making the original symbols into a background for the new ones.

These are probably my favourite posters of the lot, as they're still quite graphic, but with enough texture and detail to have a bit of depth. I also started going to town in photoshop, adding more texture than previously.


The third week was all about face shots. We pretty much expected everyone with 1/2 a brain to have got the hint by now, so we changed the text a bit. Si Spurrier came up with the idea of using GAZE, BURN and DECAY instead of the Judge's name running along the bottom, which fitted with the theme we'd set really nicely. Just glad we didn't have to come up with a Judge Death version for that. What would we have written? CRIME? LIFE? I dunno. It still annoys me I can't think of a good one (even though it has no bearing at all...)

Had a bit of a false start with these ones. After banging out Fear very quickly and satisfactorily I made a bit of a balls up of Mortis and Fire - both of which where far too illustrative. I had to quickly redo both on deadline day after a hurried chat with Molcher. He was apologetic but absolutely right in thinking they don't match the look of any of the other bits of art, so I changed them. I kind of knew they weren't right, but I'd run out of steam on Friday night and was a bit stuck. Just as I was getting panicky, Luke helped me out by coming up with a much cooler, more stylised version of my original skull picture, which kind of kick-started the mortis one. The original pictures are below.

Week 4

The final pictures for the campaign! Went right to the wire on this one again as they were getting so complex I was having trouble fitting them in around my other work.

Below are the rough mockups I did in Indesign. I don't normally work like this, but as art is so graphic and stylised it was much quicker to mock them up this way before I started the proper art in Illustrator and then Photoshop

These final 3 images are now available as posters on the 2000 AD online store - go buy one!

The last thing we did at the campaign climax was to black out the 2000 AD website for a day when the prog came out, replacing it instead with the image below.