Editorials Genie Development

The earlier parts of the genie were hand drawn in my editorials sketchbook. I drew the outlines which gradually got better as I made more. The look of the genie was a stereotypical one based off various cartoon genies.

Various sources of inspiration above. I wanted a turban just because it was frequently occurring in a lot of the found imagery and the blue look also made it more recognizable as a genie. Because I was doing an editorial piece the design decisions I made were basically to make it close to existing genie appearance but have my own pose and design choices to make it individual.

I designed the head first going for a chubby hourglass shape. I wanted to make the eyes different from how I usually do eyes. The early attempts went a bit weird and just look like a really happy face. The middle shape was actually meant to be a nose with the eyes being closed to look wise.


After some modification I came up with a face I was more happy with. The eyes and mouth situation was just something I stopped short on before I was done. The nose shape didn’t work and more features in general were needed for it to look complete. I added lines under the eye and a more normal shaped nose with features to add more depth. The beard was a common genie theme, split up the face well and let me add an extra colour to the face.


With the body I had a couple of reworks with the details I would add to it. I didn’t want just a flat colour because it was a big space. To alleviate this I added markings that could represent clothes and some wrist bracelets to break up the arms. I kept most of it except for the gown like lines on the chest. To make the colour itself less flat I added a gradient in the final piece and some more thinner lines similar to those that dissect the arms.

genie upload r

For the final image I added bubbles of the genie presenting some mediocre wishes as fitting of the article it was from. The lamp was just you standard genie lamp shape. I like the thought bubble sort of effect the genie has with how he presents his wishes. The alternative would have been using text to convey them but I think the piece is done more effectively through use of just imagery.



Cities of Tomorrow Reference Drawings

In preparation for the final cities I did some observed drawings both directly and from online images of various buildings and shapes that I would want to include in them just so I had more reference and wasn’t designing the final pieces blind.





These first four were based on industrial landscapes. Early drawings of this sort of thing I found I overused cooling towers and chimneys because that is the first thing I jumped to when I thought of an industrial landscape. Whilst these are common shapes found in them you can have more subtle differences from your standard nuclear plant cooling tower.
The landscapes of these four are all local buildings some of which I pass by occasionally. The familiarity helped me decide if it looked right or not.




These pieces were for reference of shipping crates and loading areas, landscapes I could use in both the industrial and residential pieces. The main thing I took from this was how shipping containers seem to be piled up randomly rather than evenly, probably because different amounts of the same thing are organised together. It led me to make my shipping container towers more randomly laid out rather than clean and organised giving a more varied silhouette.





These three pieces were based off of different shaped tower blocks and residential areas to live. These studies were so that so that the towers in my piece were varied and not just a bunch of flat rectangles with windows on them. I wanted to find details to make them look a little individual and some shapes to add to them. The second image was taken from a photograph of a flat being demolished. The smoke when I drew it looked a bit like the building was half buried in rubble. I used this on the lower part of the city to suggest that the lower down you are the more squalor you live in.

These last two pieces were just sketches of possible patterns to add on windows and walls. The left one I did after the final pieces were made as an idea for a future piece to make a building front of lots of different varied shapes rather than the standard layout of grid windows.

Cities of Tomorrow Original images

city tower industry edited


These two images were originally going to be the final pieces for this brief however when I finished them I looked at other recent work I did and decided that I could do better. My problem with these pieces is that they look a little washed out colour wise and the linework looks exactly the same as my rough work in places. Not wanting to waste the time I spent on these pieces I used the outlines as templates for the new final pieces.


When parts of the piece were coloured I thought it would turn out better but on the finished piece I thought the problem was that everything got a little lost because of how packed it was. Whilst I wanted the piece to look like a really built up city I still wanted areas of it to be distinguishable from each other. My way of using water colour made this difficult. Something else I could have tried in hindsight could be to make the line weight more varied, something I didn’t think ¬†about til afterwards.

residential towe no detaiksr.jpg



Before adding details I did a vector piece of just the outlines of the buildings in different colours to make sure the individual buildings were easier to distinguish. I think these pieces also work quite well on their own but prefer them with the details added afterwards which make them look busier like people actually live in the city.

Iceman Research/inspiration


One of the big inspirations for using the design elements such as fridge magnets in the making of my book sleeve for this brief was a particular line from the blurb of the book.

For 30 years, Richard ‘the ice man’ Kulinski led a double life beyong anything ever seen on The Sopranos, becoming one of the most notorious professional assassins in American history while hosting neighbourhood barbecues in suburban New Jersey.

I wanted to create the idea of how close his family and his criminal life were like this line suggests and make an image that shows how close a murderer was to such an innocent family life. To do this I made the child like images the most prominently placed imagery on the sleeve and had the darker things encroaching on it. The bloody hand claws in from the side reaching up towards the title like it has been accidentally caught in shot. On the back a shadowy figure sits in a living room with a hidden identity in front of its child’s toys. I aimed to create an unsettling atmosphere to tell of the unsettling reality.

Gale Force Bottle Development

Just to start off a lot of this development started off rough in the sketchbook then a couple of the ideas were developed digitally which was what I talk about here.

When I first looked at the wind turbines I sketched out the shapes and thought of how I could lay them out on the bottle sticker. The red and yellow idea was one I quite liked just because of how the turbine blades fell and the shapes it made. The problem with it was it was difficult to place text around it and having the middle blade central limited what I could do with everything else. The top right blade was one of the two I considered for the front piece. I ended up using it as a background piece on the back sticker of the bottle. Both the front facing designs are fine it was just a matter of choice.

These pieces show some of the difficulty with placing the text around a centered image of the turbine. I think part of the problem here was that Gale and force are different length words so no matter how I did it this would always look off balance. Also something to consider was how a lot of the time it is the name should be equally as prominent as any image you put on the front so putting the turbine central wasn’t necessarily the best idea.


This early design of just trying out the font back on this piece gave me the idea of using the central turbine image but having it a little off to the side. It made the hierarchy of the image and the words a little more even.

The later roughs with the central design developed like this. I moved the text to the top as the central turbine filled the space at the bottom. I tried to match the text up with the tip of the turbine initially to fit in the wind lines but scrapped the lines later on in favour of a more subtle background piece. The cloud was where I ended up putting the alcohol percent, the cloud was chosen just for relation to wind and weather, basically the whole gale force name idea.

PrintGale force Back Sticker 2

For the final designs on this piece I lightened the colours a little as it was a bit gloomy. A blue sky went better with the positive impact of green energy rather than a dark blue storm cloud sky. I also added a paper texture to the background just for a rustic look that is common in some beer bottles. I wanted to see how it would look on a couple of mine. For the font colours I chose ones similar to the sky in the background which still stand out because of the boldness of the font.

The background has been reworked. The top text has remained the same but sized up as it was initially very small. Everything else has been redone to be more accurate to an actual beer bottle. The recipe, if this was a real brief, would be changed for a proper one but at the moment is place holder taken from existing beer.

The symbols are vectors done by me also based on what you find on the back of a beer bottle. Most of the design work on the rework was just to make the piece look authentic. Usually beer bottles are a lot of text on a coloured background with maybe a few spot images.

Back Sticker gale force
original back design – not as detailed



Proposed Saloon Background research


When I was coming up for new background elements for the piece I got quite far into the development of a saloon style building to use in it. I dropped the idea because of how brown the cards already were so wanted something that added more colours.

A lot of the reference and inspiration that I was going to use going forward in this part was to come from the tv show Deadwood, that has authentic looking western sets and costumes other than maybe how dark the costumes are.

Bear YoYo card background additions

Above: Old card compared to new.

For the redo on the final cards I did the main changes were the colours used, the contents of the text and to add background imagery to make each side more interesting. I had done this very minimally in the original in the form of gunshots and bottles but the limited application of these features kind of just made the card look unfinished. Similarly the background of the wanted poster itself looked empty without some sort of background behind the character.


To begin the reworking process I stripped down one of the cards so it was just at its very basic template form. From here I was able to mess around with the colours before any textures were added and layout where I wanted objects to be, particularly important with the railway which I kept trying to jump into too soon and messing it up. At this stage the piece was already looking fuller than the first final pieces did, partly I think due to the splash of colour the cactus and dynamite give an otherwise mainly brown piece.

sign chnages labelled

Final changes can be seen on the cover of one of my cards.
The flatter background I felt was needed because the bolder lines previously used distracted from everything that they ran underneath and I wanted them to be more subtle. The way I have made these ones suggested a wood pattern without distracting.

The background I went for was a simple western desert environment that served to add more colour to the piece without distracting from the face in front of it. I also considered at one point to have a saloon or some other building but I thought it would be too much wooden structures on the card, a problem I had before.

The sign replacement was to add variation in colour. They were both wooden signs before so everything was brown. The slight change just makes it a little more interesting.