Category Archives: Inspirational design

On Trend

Below are some interesting cover designs I have recently harvested from the internet:

sketchy heads + bubbles

There’s definitely a trend of late for outlines of heads, speech bubbles, very sketchy, simplistic illustration, and hand rendered (or at least hand rendered style) typography. Sometimes a clever designer has managed all of these in one design as per the first cover top left.

Looks like I’m bang on trend with my latest 2 covers then. It’s a rare thing!

9781107043176frcvr 978110704396106


Book review

reinventing type coverThis is the latest addition to my design bookshelf – Reinventing Lettering by Emily Gregory.

I never really intended to do book reviews on this blog, but the trouble is, when I buy a new design book, I get so excited I want to tell everyone about it. That’s the child in me. I don’t buy very many, so when I do it’s a real treat, and it rekindles a flame of passion for my job and injects some much needed inspiration.

reinventing type spread1 It’s a lovely collection of typographic illustrators and designers, broken up into three categories; digitally drawn, hand-drawn and illustrated, and three-dimensional type. There is a brief biography of each person and then examples of their work. Some design books don’t tell you very much about the designer behind the work, so this is nice to read about each person and how they actually go about their job.

reinventing type spread3 There’s a good mixture of styles, from quirky and colourful to elegant and sophisticated with lots of nods towards vintage, which is always good to see. Also there’s a long list of contributors at the back with websites for each person, so I can see a day happily wasted (sorry, I mean – spent doing important research) using this.

reinventing type spread2 And it’s good to see a few names that might have been mentioned on this blog before now … just saying … game … ahead of. No actually I’m not, this book was published last year, I’m way behind. Still, better late to the game than never.

By the way, just after I bought this book, I was sat in the pub flicking through it, and a girl who had overheard some of my conversation came over to see what I was reading. When I showed it to her she casually said ‘oh, that’s what I do’. After a bit of chatting, she gave me her details and said to contact her if I needed any help with hand-drawn type. What a coincidence and how sweet of her. Later, when I looked at her website, I was astounded to discover not only some wonderful illustration and typography, but she’s also behind the latest rendition of To Kill a Mockingbird, which I have admired for a while now. What a lovely and very talented lady, glad to have met her. See

Erik Spiekermann interview

I love listening to other designers talking about design, I find it so inspiring, and this one is no exception.  This is a video of an interview with typographer and design legend Erik Spiekermann. It is actually a couple of years old now, but I’ve only just come across it. If you haven’t already seen this, please do take the time to watch it.

We were pretty much ordered by our typography lecturer to buy a copy of ‘Stop Stealing Sheep’ when I was at university, so I’ve known about him for years, but even I was unaware of just how much classic design he is responsible for.

Also, who knew that George W. Bush only managed to beat Al Gore to power because the ballot forms in Florida were so badly designed. I couldn’t agree more with his view on that.

Erik Spiekermann – Putting Back the Face into Typeface from Gestalten on Vimeo.

I think 10% of a Spiekermann powered brain, is worth about 90% of mine!

Tactile typography

My new favourite discovery are sister duo Maricor and Maricar from Sydney, Australia. If you (like me) have a love of craft as well as typography, you will love their work.

MaricorMaricar_HK_Del13 Source Maricor Maricar

Here is a link to their TACTILE work, which I just absolutely adore. I dabble in a bit of embroidery in my spare time, but nothing as beautiful as this. Their attention to detail is incredible, but at the same time, their work looks like such fun. You can also see lots of other lovely work on their website, from printed typography, to illustration and even animation. They also have a blog which I’ve added to my list.

MaricorMaricar_FT1 MaricorMaricar_FT4 Source Maricor Maricar

Here’s a little video of them talking about their work. They describe themselves at one point as obsessive/compulsive. No, really? I guess that’s what I’m lacking.

Designing the small print

copyrightpageWho says the copyright information on an imprints page should be boring? This is from Louise Fili’s latest book Elegantissima, in reference to that fact that most of the work shown inside is for restaurants and food packaging. This is what I love best about design and typography – simple, elegant treatments that are a break from the norm, yet relevant and just maybe make you smile. It makes you want to read a piece of information that you would normally flick past unnoticed. I feel inspired.