Most of you know that when I’m not teaching, I’m faffing around with music or book writing or designing. The teaching has been fairly thin over the past while (and doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon), so I’ve thrown myself into my work. I recently had to create a poster for my friend Madaleine, an extremely talented songwriter and rhythm and blues performer.
She was looking for something ‘retro blues’. I researched album artwork by Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder and came up with the idea below. When you’re designing for a client it’s important to forget about what you want and fulfill what the client wants. You should put your own slant on it and keep your style, though the most important thing is making sure that the person paying for the design is completely happy with it.
When I first designed the poster, Madaleine hated it as it looked very similar to Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker cover. This was totally unintentional, I hadn’t even noticed the similarities until she mentioned it. It had to be changed. Stars were removed, the rainbow was softened and there was less focus on colour and more on the lack of colour to attract attention to the performers photographs.
I’ve also been working on a logo for postabargain.co.uk. The client has been using a stock photo and is hoping to have their own customised logo to use throughout their website and on promo materials. Ideas are ‘thumbnailed’ (small creations to give the idea of what the larger design could look like), and then these are emailed to the client. The client then looks over the ideas and reports back what they like/dislike, or which thumbnail they’d like to go with. Sadly the client did not like my initial ideas and I’ve had to change my tact.
The site sells and trades games, so I thought I could do an 8-bit version of their logo. The client wasn’t really into this idea and described that they were looking for a more ‘street’ graffiti style. They mentioned some examples and it looks like we will edge more towards this kind of look (below).
Lastly, I’ve been working on an artist series case for Grove (they make bamboo cases for iphones). This hasn’t been an easy task either, they rejected my first submission. The trick with design is to keep working at it, tween it, fix it, change it, work on it to achieve the best product you can. Sometimes you will hit the idea right away, though it’s very rare. My first idea for the case was ‘cats’, cats are a perfect subject to sell something quirky or esoteric. Sadly, it wasn’t what the group was looking for, it may have been too detailed, or just not right for their brand. My second idea is based on the Day of the Dead. It’s a boy and girl skeleton couple in love. This should also attract teens and trendy twenty somethings to the case as it’s gothic and about love. Elements that are very important in western culture and media right now. Here’s hoping… though I have a feeling I may end up getting back to the drawing board.