The magazine so far

It has not been easy working as a group. Getting everyone together has been a major problem and the only real contact we have had with each other is through ‘Facebook’.

I have set up a closed group on facebook so that we can get in touch with each other but getting the rest of the group to reply has been a nightmare. So lack of communication has slowed the process down no end.

It was myself who came up with the idea for the magazine, myself who started up the facebook group, me who suggested the name. I recommended that we work on our own pages, which were to be based on what the magazine was about.

I have not seen anyone else’s work which is a worry as the deadline is looming.

I asked Jake to design the cover and gave him a few ideas that were floating around in my head. I thought that, because of the style of illustrations that Jake is capable of producing he would make the most effective cover.

Anyway, I hope that the magazine all comes together in the next week because if it doesn’t it will be a shame. I know that we only have to show our own work at the exhibition on Friday and Saturday but I would like to get all the artwork/pages together and print off a single edition of the magazine


Feedback for the ‘I capture the castle’ brief.

Yesterday we gathered around the Des’ laptop in her office for a feedback session from the Art Director of Egmond Books. She went through all the submitted book jackets one by one. The feedback she gave was very constructive and, I think, gave us all who attended plenty to think about.

She pointed out what a book jacket should do:

1. We should ask ourselves who the book is for.

2.How do you know it will hit the right spot with the viewer.

3.Would the shop want it on their shelves.

4.What is your message within the illustration.

5.Remember most books, when they are on the shelf are viewed ‘spine on’.

When it came to my turn for feedback I was not expecting mind blowing praise, because, throughout the design stage of the front of the cover I was never happy and Des had pointed out what I already knew.

I should have put something in the wings, the text was all wrong and after seeing the front illustration yesterday after not looking at it for a number of weeks I must admit I cringed.

The look I was after with the book originally was something simple but pleasing to the eye. Flowing text that would have suited that era but easy to read because the cover was not too fussy.

The illustration of the girl on the cover was supposed to leave a bit of the appearance of the young Cassandra to the imagination, with a little help from the illustration.

The image on the back of the cover was supposed to represent Cassandra’s family-Cassandra was represented by the book and writing implement, the father was represented by the pen resting in the pot of ink, the sister was driven by money not love and so she was represented by a £20 note and finally the step-mother was represented by a discarded bra. The whole arrangement of these items was photographed in poor light to give a sense of the castle (I do not know if it did what it was meant to, but that was the plan).

‘The Art Director’ (I can not remember her real; name, so this will suffice for now) commented on the text looking as if it came from the 70’s, not the 30’s which is the era the book was meant to be based. She also commented on the illustration, stating that Cassandra looked too old, maybe, but how could you tell, the summer hat was covering her face, as the look of Cassandra was left to the imagination.She did, however state that she liked the photo on the back of the book jacket and remarked that, maybe this should be the way that I take my work…hmmm, worth thinking about!

All in all her criticism was welcomed and I have taken on board what was said to me, and to the others in the room and hopefully, with time permitting I will revisit the book design and try and better it.

Urban Picnic Brochure (some eye catching designs I came across in my research)

Urban Picnic

Ant and blanket pattern graphics are used to interperet the common picnic in this event brochure for Architecture Week. Using architecture stencils as the basis for the typography, the brochure has contrasting colours which reflect building materials. The choice of colors is impressive and eye-catching: this is what makes a good brochure design. Created by Rob Brearley, RGB design studio.

42 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

ALPHA_TXT has developed into Typeface that represents the evolution of the English language. It reflects the way that we communicate due to our global society. ALPHA_TXT reflects this issue by abbreviating individual characters in the English alphabet. It is governed by same rules imposed as SMS messaging on a mobile telephone keypad. Designed by Viv Greywoode.

Blue in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

45-3 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

45-2 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

Premsela Booklets
Catchy colors meet dark booklet meet beautiful typography meet grids. Appealing editorial design by Robin Uleman.

4 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

4-2 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

Capital Jest Booklet
Well, this is a sexy design. Notice how well tiny square at the right bottom corner of the cover stand for the corporate identity of the company: altough being tiny, they are very distinctive and attractive. Corporate & brand identity by studio FIRMA for company Capital Jets, specialized in business aviation. Included creating logo, full brand identity, web design, copywriting, design of exhibition stands, corporate stuff, booklets, design of corporate cars and airplanes. Designed by Firma.

7 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

7-3 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

7-2 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

Alba Product Folder
This booklet is definitely hard to overlook. Designed by A-Side Studio.

22 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

22-2 in Beautiful Brochures and Booklets

Led Zeppelin III album sleeve design.

After looking at creative ways to enhance the record sleeve I have decided to use the idea I came across in the Led Zeppelin III album.

I actually own a copy of this album and so was able to study it to see how it was all put together.File:Ledzeppeliniii.jpg

‘Led Zeppelin III’s original vinyl edition was packaged in a gatefold sleeve with an innovative cover, designed by Zacron, a multi-media artist whom Jimmy Page had met in 1963 whilst Zacron was a student at Kingston College of Art. Zacron had recently resigned a lectureship at Leeds Polytechnic to found Zacron Studios, and in 1970 Page contacted him and asked him to design the third album’s cover.

The cover and interior gatefold art consisted of a surreal collection of seemingly random images on a white background, many of them connected thematically with flight or aviation (as in “Zeppelin”). Behind the front cover was a rotatable laminated card disc, or volvelle, covered with more images, including photos of the band members, which showed through holes in the cover. Moving an image into place behind one hole would usually bring one or two others into place behind other holes. This could not be replicated on a conventional cassette or CD cover, but there have been Japanese and British CDs packaged in miniature versions of the original sleeve. In France this album was released with a different album cover, simply showing a photo of the four band members.

File:Lef Zeppelin 3 001.jpg

The volvelle used on the front cover

The idea of including a volvelle, based on crop rotation charts, was initially Jimmy Page’s concept. However, the result was a meeting of minds as Zacron had been working on rotating graphics from 1965. Zacron felt that by not including text on the front of the cover, the art would endure.

In an article featured in the December 2007 issue of Classic Rock magazine, Zacron claimed that upon his completion of the artwork, Jimmy Page telephoned him while he was in New York to express his satisfaction with the results, saying “I think it is fantastic”. However, in a 1998 interview Page himself gave to Guitar World magazine, he described the results as a disappointment:

I thought it looked very teeny-bopperish. But we were on top of a deadline, so of course there was no way to make any radical changes to it. There were some silly bits—little chunks of corn and nonsense like that.

The album cover featured on the front page of The Daily Mail’s Live Magazine in December 2007, which hailed Led Zeppelin III as “The greatest rock album of all time.

The first pressings of the album included the phrases “Do what thou wilt” and “So mote it be,” inscribed on the lacquer itself by engineer Terry Manning during the final mastering process. This phrase is from the core tenet of Aleister Crowley’s philosophy of Thelema: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will. There is no law beyond do what thou wilt.” Page was a scholar of Crowley’s work, once owning a private collection of Crowley manuscripts, artwork and other ephemera, and in the 1970s even bought one of his residences, Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland.’

from on 21/04/11

My album cover will consist of the ‘Dogs of War’ bursting put of the sleeve and the spinning wheel will be a colour wheel. The eyes of the dogs will be carefully removed and when spun behind the image the dogs eyes will be colourful and change colour when the wheel is rotated.
The inside will consist of soldiers at work, from different wars in history. This should make the 5 different LP covers which we have to design variation.

I can see the final piece in my head, I just hope it all works out on paper.

My pages for ‘Stepping Out’ magazine.

For our magazine I have decided to do a double page spread article on how to make the perfect roast beef sandwich, a single page on job interview advice and I might design a page on financial advice and I still have one more double page spread to think about which I am undecided as of yet.

The recipe

I have got to change the pictures of the beef to some illustrations as, I thought to myself, why am I putting illustrations in the article when I am an illustrator. So I have designed 2 illustrations to replace the images that sit on the 2nd page at present, and they are a bit more interesting than the ones at present, I just have to place them on the page.

Advice corner

The text from this page was taken from the Direct Gov website which gives job seekers advice. I had originally placed photographs on this page too but decided to use illustrations of the photos.

The advice on this page, I hope, will be of some benefit to young job seekers who read this article because if I was looking for employment then I think that I would find it useful (although a lot of it is common sense).

Well onto the next page.

Any recommendations for the final double spread would be appreciated, remembering that the mag is for young men stepping out into the big wide world who may need a helping hand.

The ‘Love to perform’ dance show.

Well it’s that time again. When my daughter and all the other kids from take themselves off to The Pavillion Theatre in Rhyl.

It’s a long day for the many children who take part, but it it is what they have all been working for all year.

I only saw the evening performance but my wife was there all day to watch both performances.

Maybe I was just not paying attention inn previous years but all the kids were dancing with smiles on their faces and were thoroughly enjoying performing for their family and friends.

All the hard work ‘Miss Jane’ and ‘Miss Laura’ put in throughout the year to work towards the performance makes it all worth it when you see your children on stage taking part.

last year we had 4 of our daughters in the performance but 3 of them did not keep it up, we thought we would give them the option to try it but would not force them to stay. Only Seren persisted with the classes and her hard work paid off as she came away with a ‘special’ award, which was given out to one child from each class. Well done Seren (and all the other children who received one).

Well that’s it until after Easter, when they start working towards another performance next year

Interesting reading on “Record Cover Design”

“January 25th, 2009 – General DesignTime Machine

Nowadays, with the invention of mp3′s, we sometimes forget the magic of having a visual to go with our music. The art of record cover designs has nearly vanished – and no other music packaging has really been such a canvas for creative art. From the 50′s right through to the 70′s, record album art was taken very seriously. For many many moons, the artwork which appeared on record sleeves was a form of commercial art and graphic design of the highest form.

Record cover designs defined the artist and had as much power to sell the record as the music itself. The designs were to reflect a mood, and a topic or an artist – they were an expression of the music held within. They define a period of graphic design which is well worth being inspired by. It gives us great pleasure to present some of the best record designs which have inspired us here at Attitude Design. Maybe you have a record cover which you love – why not leave a link to it in the comments at the end?”

A man looks at music CDs inside the Virgin Megastore in New York in this file photo from Nov. 26, 2007. here is a reason people still buy CDs more than they do digital albums. Actually there are several, but viruses that come along with music via peer-to-peer sites (P2P) and a concern over digital rights management (DRM) aren't the only culprits. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

“DENVER (Billboard) – There is a reason people still buy CDs more than they do digital albums. Actually there are several, but viruses that come along with music via peer-to-peer sites (P2P) and a concern over digital rights management (DRM) aren’t the only culprits.

Digital music files just don’t provide the same amount of content that a CD package does. That includes liner notes, extended album art and lyrics. Buy a digital album today and all you get are a list of tracks and (maybe) a thumbnail image of the album cover that you can’t even read.

It’s one of the reasons music fans still turn to P2P networks for their music. In addition to providing music free of charge and free of DRM, P2P sites in many cases also include digital copies of such extras typically found in the CD. According to label sources and pirate network tracking firms, fans downloading full albums from BitTorrent sites almost universally choose files that include scans of the CD booklet over those that don’t.

Of course, there is little that can be done with those scans other than view them on a computer. Imagine if the music industry and the digital music services got together and offered an official way to access the same content, but make it available on portable devices as well as make it interactive.

There are two ways to accomplish this. One is working directly with a digital music service and hardware developer to ensure all this new content has an outlet. The other is to go it alone.

For the former, iTunes is the most likely candidate.

Although hardly life-threatening, iTunes is facing new competition from Amazon and a variety of social networking sites. While it has made great advancements with the iPod, iTunes’ innovation has been slow. The service looks and operates much like it always has. The only new features are in video.

In 2008, look for Apple to make nice with its label partners by offering a bit more with each download, such as lyrics and more interactive album art.

iTunes is the only music service that has a built-in video download feature. The others offer only streaming video. It’s also one of the few services that feature a tightly integrated device — the iPod. Apple is in a great position to roll out new features across its online store and its devices at the same time.

Microsoft’s Zune is another place to watch for this, for the same reasons. It also has the integrated service and device, as well as ownership of the technical building blocks needed (such as Windows Media Player). And since it’s still lagging far behind Apple in the digital music game, Microsoft could easily tap digital extras as a battleground for new market share.

The problem is that the four major music companies rarely work together on anything. So another angle would be for each to go it alone. If digital music services can’t or won’t incorporate better metadata into their downloaded files, look for third-party applications to emerge that will do so after the fact.

Early examples of this are two games developed for the iPod — “Musicka,” created by the developers of the original music rhythm game “PaRappa the Rapper,” and “Phase,” created by “Rock Band” and original “Guitar Hero” developer Harmonix. Both are rhythm-based games that let users “play” along to the songs on their device by pressing buttons at the right time.

The point is that if these game companies can do it, there is no reason why labels can’t offer (or commission) their own iPod plug-in that will import better album art, liner notes and lyrics directly from the label or artist and ported into iTunes and the iPod.

In the year ahead, look for several efforts from both camps as digital music distribution becomes more important to the music industry as well as a point of increasing competition among service providers.

Here are a few areas to watch:


As music formats have changed through the years, album artwork has suffered. It has gone from sprawling center spreads adorning vinyl LPs to stamp-sized thumbnails accompanying MP3 files. But as digital becomes the predominant format, look for album art to evolve.

The early groundwork for this already has been laid. Last spring, Warner Music Group (WMG) added interactive booklets based on Apple’s Quicktime software to about 75 albums sold on iTunes, providing photos and links to more multimedia content. The problem was it was also based on Flash technology, which the latest version of Quicktime disabled due to a security flaw.

There is additional activity on the mobile front. All labels are working with phone manufacturers on the “mobile album” concept — a bundled digital package that includes the full song, ringtone, wallpaper image and other assets for one price.


While a lyrics page is quite commonplace in the pages of a CD booklet, they are nonexistent with digital music files. In fact, most digital music services only let users search for songs by artist, track or album name. None have an integrated lyrics search tool, and you certainly can’t download lyrics to your iPod or other device.

Slowly, things are changing. Yahoo Music last year launched the first publisher-authorized online lyrics search page thanks to Gracenote, which has taken on the task of untangling the Gordian knot of music lyrics publishing rights for service providers.

That search page isn’t integrated with the Yahoo Music Unlimited service, though. What’s lacking is an affordable way to attach those lyrics to the digital file of the song they belong to. Digital music services would have to pay an extra fee per download to offer that capability, and devices would have to add a new “lyrics” tab or some other functionality for users to subsequently access the words while the song plays.

Look for Gracenote and its service provider partners to develop exactly that in the year ahead.


Perhaps the most fundamental changes coming to album extras are in the liner notes. In a CD booklet, it’s all well and good to list a bunch of people to thank and leave it at that. In the digital age, liner notes become far more interesting.

Rather than thanking so-and-so producer for doing such a great mixing job or their family for support, digital albums can provide behind-the-scenes footage of the producer and band at work, or perhaps a “making of” featurette, interview Q&A, family photos/video, etc.

One area to look for such innovation is with the CDVU+ and MVI formats created by Walt Disney and WMG, respectively. Technically these are multimedia CD formats, not digital music formats. But both represent a step toward expanding the way all involved view a music product.

Both add what can best be called “digital magazines” to a CD that, when inserted into a computer, allow fans to access videos, link to online features, lyrics and more. These physical products represent the bridge between old-school CDs and the digital future. As labels focus on selling more digital albums instead of individual tracks in the new year, expect them to learn from these experiments and begin creating similar all-digital packages as well.


Artist who saw art in everything.

“What do Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Donovan have in common?

The answer is that the design of one of their album covers incorporated elements of art nouveau that was the brainchild of Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939).

Initially one may find this connection between this great Czech painter and some of the main exponents of rock hard to understand.

But Mucha had this great gift of seeing art in everything around him. So much so that his forte was applying art to everyday things like jewellery, bank notes and packaging material.

A celebration of Mucha’s art is being showcased at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Republic Street, Valletta.

“He was a pioneer in introducing the weaker sex as an eye-catching attraction in advertising,” according to Sandro Debono, senior curator for the National Museum of Fine Arts and Presidential Palaces.

Mucha shows his female models in sensual poses. “His art was considered too risqué in Victorian Britain. In Malta, predominantly decorative elements of the style was introduced by default in architecture, interior decoration, art and advertising.

“Mucha’s works are easy to distinguish because for Mucha, anything ranging from a promotional poster to jewellery to packaging can be art. The style is inspired from nature; this gives life to all his forms and types including the use of line in his designs,” said Mr Debono.

Such elements are still evident in various houses in Sliema and in such an imposing house as Villa Roseville in Attard.

Heritage Malta, which is organising the exhibition together with the Mucha Foundation has, jointly with Midsea Books, published a catalogue called Art Nouveau and Malta: An Introduction, with contributions by Mr Debono, who is also its editor, Edward Said and Joseph Paul Cassar. The catalogue offers an intriguing insight into Art Nouveau influences on architecture, branding and art in Malta. All this apart from an extensive selection of the works on show at the exhibition.

For example, Mr Said shows how the style was incorporated in grandiose fairy tale like houses in Sliema which have now been replaced by rows of concrete apartments.

Joseph Paul Cassar traces Mucha’s trade mark touch in works by sculptor Antonio Sciortino while Mr Debono shows how the Czech artist’s flower motifs found their way into early forms of advertising and interior décor. He cites various examples including a fantastic rendition along the main staircase of Vincenzo Bugeja Technical Institute in Sta Venera.”