Tag Archives: design

Summer Round-up

As some may have noticed – its been a while since I last updated this blog! I’ve been working on final assignments and projects for university in amongst some well needed time off and to be frank, its been a fantastic first year. I’ve developed a lot personally and professionally and I couldn’t have asked for a more valuable experience!

So, to summarise some recent projects;

Channel 4 Comedy Project – “The Pundit”

Working alongside Channel 4’s “Comedy Blaps” series we were set the brief to create a short series of comedy episodes, including an audio-only sketch. In addition to the produced material we also had to create a website with the purpose of facilitating expansion of the concept across different platforms, and adding extra content to the idea.

ImageThe story revolves around an underdog commentator, Barry “Baz” Stead and his girlfriend Charlotte, and was propelled by Barry’s unorthodox and renegade style of commentary of which he was blissfully unaware of as the reason for his failure at making it to a commentary career. The final production can be viewed on my website HERE


VIBE Network

Over the course of the year of which I have been working with Declan Barry from FMHVIBE, I’ve collaborated on a couple of projects with him and continue to do so as the site expands, with over 25,000 members registered currently.

Earlier in the year I collaborated with Dec on a new facelift for the site as it continues to grow by developing a branding scheme and subsequent logotypes that allow for the addition of new games as they become supported by the community. Through doing this I had to pay careful attention to the wide variety of applications that the style would be used in – as a header image, as icons in the forums, on t-shirts and other merchandise as well as other digital and physical formats of varying size. If you so wish, more can be read about my work on this project HERE

ImageIn addition to re-branding the site I was asked to help with the creation of some graphics suitable for a set of World Cup themed T-shirts, as merchandise for the brand to be sold to fans. I gladly obliged and designed a set of assets and a concept, which I then left to Dec to arrange as he wished to comply with printing guidelines. I created assets which facilitated easy manipulation in terms of adding country flags and other text. The final selection can be seen HERE



In the pipeline…

As would be expected with some free time on my hands over summer now, I have a few things in the pipeline and they’re heading in the direction of this blog!

“SeaBorn” – Chivalry Mapping Competition

My good friend, associate, partner in crime, and general homie George Hulm (and our trusty parade of geeks) have entered a Torn Banner’s “Fortification” mapping competition, and I’ve been asked just today to create a set of graphics to showcase the entry in the Steam workshop. More on this as it pans out…

Under 9’s Football!

I’m back from Bournemouth for the summer, and much to my horror, the local Under 9’s Football team is lacking in participants! I’ve been tasked with creating a poster to try and attract some new applicants, and hopefully get the ball rolling once again.

Learning Guitar; – The chronicles of…

In other news, I’m going to try and learn guitar over summer, we will see how that goes…


Website re-design – Content

I needed to ensure that I had chosen a suitable way to display my content in the one-page layout as opposed to how it might have been on the traditional layout. I stuck with the grid for my still work as I felt it offered a succinct way of communicating the work I did, my style overall, and without the requirement for the user to look through categories of work, as in my own experience I have often found myself simply skipping between categories one after the other in an attempt to gain an overview of someones work or style. I did enlarge the wrapper for the content grid to allow more thumbnails to be seen side by side, as is complimentary of the one-page layout.



In addition to this, i also opted to remain with the jQuery lightbox plugin I was already using, as it worked well and there was no need to change it. The problem I now faced was a way to display my animated work in a visually clear, summarising style, similar to the way in which my still work was displayed. I considered inserting the animated clips amongst my stills in the gallery with a lightbox plugin to view them, and differentiating them with “Play” icons overlayed over the thumbnail. I felt that the medium of a gallery did not work so well for my clips in particular however, and that’s because I am primarily involved in illustration/visual graphics, rather than animation or motion graphics. Hence, the majority of the clips I wanted to display were shorter clips intended for usage in other projects. I felt a showreel would be a better choice in which to display these due to the quick, fast-paced nature, as well as the feel of a summary of clips, rather than displaying each one in its own right. A showreel also matched the rationale behind a large grid of still images, as opposed to categories, as the clips were being showcased in an overview, not presented one by one. I produced a short showreel of my older work and installed a jQuery video lightbox plugin, linking to it at the top of my page alongside the prompt for the user to scroll down.

ImageIncorporating the showreel into the page avoids linking the user away from the site – promoting continuity and consistency when browsing work, as its all by the same person.

I made some technical adjustments to the site in general as well to improve the general experience for the user. I used a jQuery plugin called prettyPhoto (No Margin For Errors, 2014) for the video lightbox, and smoothScroll for the smooth scrolling to anchor links. This was an important consideration for user experience since if the browser was to navigate instantaneously to the anchor tag, the user may not realise the content they’ve missed and scrolled past and/or lose their general sense of direction on the page. Whereas, with smooth scrolling, the user can see all content being scrolled past and it most likely will inform their decision on what to visit next. I added some jQuery for the subtitle at the bottom of the homepage referring to scrolling down and viewing my showreel. This enabled a “falling and fading” effect when the user scrolls down, which, while mostly for aesthetic reasons, also helped create a fluid feel when the user scrolls down from the homepage as the subtitle disappears gradually, rather than scroll up the page (which looks awkward by itself) or disappear abruptly. I had to make some changes however for different types of mice – the common two which are the one-button mouse shipped with Mac OSX systems, which when scrolled is much more gradual, compared to lots of older mice intended for use on windows systems which jump larger areas at a time – meaning the fade effect would be lost. I had to convert font sizes and element dimensions to vw/vh units to show correctly on the majority of screen sizes also.


The finished showreel can be viewed here;


No Margin For Errors. 2014. prettyPhoto jQuery plugin. [online] Available at: http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/projects/prettyphoto-jquery-lightbox-clone/ [Accessed: 25 Mar 2014].

Nissan and the Oculus Rift

Came across this today – at the Tokyo Motor Show (would love to go to that…) Nissan were using the Oculus Rift in a manner which allowed consumers to design cars by using it – quite how exactly I’m not sure, because as far as I know you would still need a controller or another Human Interface device to interact with the 3D environment that was created for the show – reportedly including birds that fly towards the users head as an effective way of showing the user how it works, anybody who has used an Oculus would know they would be trying to dodge that. Much like myself watching explosions in 3D movies. 

The way the application worked, is the consumer begins with a chassis and then chooses parts to add onto it – simple enough that even the youngest of car fans could use it, however the fact it takes advantage of the universal fact of customisation means it will definitely apply to the older generation as well. Plus lets not forget the fact of it being a gimmick here – one with a lot of potential nonetheless in my opinion.

Its showing good signs for the Oculus that it has already been used in so many applications, and by big names like Nissan too, despite the fact it is still in the development stages. Related, in a sense, to the mock concept I posted regarding Bristol Zoo, its interesting to see the Oculus being used well in applications other than games. 

Nissan have also used some of the designs that were output by users to create their own refined designs and prototypes for potential future models, in the new theme of “co-development” with their customers that they seem to be following, to find out what the market wants.