Friday, 31 May 2013

Maps of fictional places

I like maps as it is – of real places – but maps of lands found in works of fiction are all the more fascinating. The maps in the Song of Ice and Fire books certainly help to visualise where the characters are – as they’re always spread far and wide across Westeros. I guess that’s something the makers of the TV show (that’s Game of Thrones, if you didn’t know) thought important too as they based the whole title sequence around the map!

A couple of days ago I finished reading Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb, the final book of a fantasy trilogy which in itself is a follow on from another trilogy – basically what I’m saying is, really it was the sixth book in a series. The books are set in lands called the Six Duchies, I found a map then looked up some other fictional realms…

The Six Duchies from the Farseer series
Westeros (A Song of Ice and Fire) has to be split into north and south it’s so big.
Finally, Middle Earth of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

I actually own a book of Middle Earth maps. It contains hundreds of places I’ve never even heard of, probably due to not having read The Silmarillion. Maybe I will read it one day…

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Dunstable Downs

Dunstable Downs is an extensive chalk and grassland area of outstanding natural beauty according to the National Trust website – and after my first ever visit to the Downs today I can confirm this is true. I have no idea why I’ve never been before, it’s only 15 miles away from Milton Keynes and incredibly easy to get to (by car). Fortunately I have a friend, from college, who lives in Dunstable and was more than happy to take a walk up there with me this afternoon. It was awesome.

Can you see the Whipsnade chalk lion on the left?
Steep chalk stairs.

I learnt how to do a panoramic photo on my iPhone, but now I think about it… what is the point in being able to take panoramic photographs on a phone? Even on my computer screen I can’t view it effectively in one go. Even if I plugged my phone/computer into a large TV to view it, there would be more black framing the photograph than there actually is photograph.

And at this size it just looks silly. Although you can click to enlarge.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

What a Rotter of a Day

Take a look at my latest record sleeve design for The Electric Crayon Set over on Behance or on my website if you would prefer – it’s all the same to me!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Leaning trees

This is a major case of Why didn’t I think of this? I often notice leaning trees. I often photograph leaning trees. I don’t photograph myself leaning with a leaning tree. This is where I’ve been going wrong.

Great Wave

I bought a new iPhone case with Hokusai's famous Great Wave print on it. I realised that the image pretty much sums up several of the things I love; Japan – obviously, art and design – I always view ukiyo-e prints as being the graphic design side of art and the sea – although I wouldn't be a fan of waves this big in real life!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Electric Crayon Set

Soon to be revealed, The Electric Crayon Set’s What a Rotter of a Day LP… For now, here’s the logo – which is mostly what is on the front of the sleeve anyway (it’s on a black background however so less of a mystery than here). You may remember my marble prints from a few weeks ago, this is one of those in action but with the colours tweaked a bit a lot.

Monday, 13 May 2013

The Lucky Cat Project

Famous cats, internet and otherwise, as lucky cats! What’s not to like? Cat bus and Maru especially so, they are my favourites.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Moomin comics

I bought my first Moomin comic book a couple of months ago but only got around to reading it a few weeks ago. It’s taken me until now to photograph (I’m still to lazy to scan it) a couple of the comic strips and post them here. They are excellent and pretty amusing too.

Tove Jansson was not only the author of the Moomin stories but she illustrated them too, including these comics. I love how she often used parts of the illustration to frame each scene in the comic – clever.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Happy Birthday Saul Bass

Today’s Google doodle is celebrating the birthday of Saul Bass, iconic graphic designer of film posters and title sequences, in an excellent animation. I think I speak for most graphic designers in saying that his work is some of my favourite. It is certainly nice to see a graphic designer featured in a Google doodle anyway.


Bass died in 1996 but during his 40-year career, he produced film credits, posters, logos and ads for the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese, who praised his talent for creating "an emblematic image, instantly recognisable and immediately tied to the film". Creative Review

The illustrations featured in the animation are by Matthew Cruickshank who, among other things, has done a few other doodles for Google. Nice!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Cat problems

I’m probably just easily amused but these are the best, and so true. I wouldn’t normally post this kind of thing on my blog, for one thing memes are terribly designed… but I guess that’s part of the fun. Could definitely put my cat’s face in these.


Monday, 6 May 2013

We Heart Trees

Well, I certainly do.

Arbor Day is our official holiday at KNOCK, inc. Every year we create a new way to spread the message of planting more trees, using less paper products, recycling paper, and taking in the sheer beauty of the trees that thrive all across the Earth. Our roots run deep with Arbor Day. Celebrate it with us. Yay trees! – We Heart Trees

“You are doing pretty good, but we trees think you could always be doing more. Keep up the good work, young treehugger. If we could hug you back, we totally would.”

And here’s my tree.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The closest I’ve been to Japan…

…so far, is the Buddhist Temple and Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake.

I should really get planning my getaway to Japan… which probably isn’t going to be for a few years, but all the same.