Design Blog

Here are all the things I've found useful or inspirational...

Original design gangsta

Keep those guides locked


Che Guevera: The editor

Straight from the Popbitchs mouth...

Che played for the SIC club in Buenos Aires, while training to be a doctor, and in his spare time founded a rugby magazine called Tackle, which he wrote entirely by himself.

Who would have thought it? I wonder if any copies still exist?


The ultimate graphic design Christmas wishlist

Santa pic

So you're looking for something special for the creative genius in your life. You want to get the best Christmas present that really says “I've really thought about what interests you”. Well here's a list (in no particular order) of presents that should do the trick...

  • Anyone with an interest in fashion/celebrity/lifestyle magazines should check out magCulture by Jeremy Leslie. Its slightly long in the tooth now, as it was published in 2003, but it represents a great snapshot of magazine design of the time. Something a bit more recent is David Crowleys' Magazine Covers. This publication takes a look at the whole history of magazine cover design with examples of many global brands.

  • I've blogged this book before but its a stunning round up of all sorts of design theories and rules and deserves repeating. Its called Universal Principles of Design and has 100 of these concepts all clearly described and accompanied by clear examples. It covers the whole gamut of design, from graphic to furniture, architecture to fashion. If there's one purchase you make from this list then it MUST be this one!

  • Most designers are big kids at heart - you only have to look at the array of stuffed toys and vinyl figurines they gather around their macs to see this. So here's a cheap but valuable way to steal their soul: Top Trumps! Okay, I've linked to Star Wars but it could be any of the titles they produce. This is definitely one for those who remember their eighties school days. Lets face it, Top Trumps is a design classic. Please note, big kids love Space Hoppers too!

  • Its a bit of a given that anyone involved in creating aesthetics should include one of these in their wishlist: the Ipod Touch. It looks great, its UI is simplicity itself and you can load it with banging tunes to drown out the corporate suits that hover around looking for corners to cut on your design budgets. Let Jimi take over...

  • If the suits are really getting to your significant other then you'll want to get them my next recommendation. It'll give them everything they need to set up shop on their own and give “the man” the bird. Adobe CS3 Design Premium. This software is essential if you want to produce anything of any value or quality. Its expensive, but well worth it to see your arty amore stress free. Not much use for those involved in furniture design though!

  • Unusual watches are always a good bet. This one by Diesel is quite macho but if you are looking for something more feminine then try this...

  • The Design Industry is full of chin-strokers. Its usually the case that you'll find interesting bum-fluff adorning a fair few of them. So get them one of these little fellas - a DIY hairclipper. Especially good as a hint to those who are still hanging on to their David Seaman ponytails.

Anyway, this list should set you on your way, but check back here as I'm bound to think of more things to add.


DIY Magazine Covers

Yourcover retirement mag cover

I was just taking a look at another blog about mags and found an interesting link. Its a list of the 15 best US mag covers EVER! Its more of a "check this out if you're curious" kind of link. There are some interesting entries (like the comped together Brangelina cover of the "Star").

However, what really caught my eye was the purpose of the site. Called Yourcover, its intended to be a Lulu-esque service that lets everybody have a go at creating personalised mag covers. Now I'm not about to get prissy about design and how the average Joe (or Josephine) hasn't got the first clue. Its a good idea at face value. As it happens I've produced my fair share of jokey office cover LOLs for colleagues - not exactly to print standard but good enough to get the job done and the laughs chortled.

Yourcover retirement mag cover

I do have to just take a quick sideswipe at the example covers the site uses to promote itself with. Just look at the ones I've posted here! I'm not sure I'd want a cover called "Retirement". The site has managed to restrain itself and kept the examples fairly real, but how many people out there have pics with plenty of plain empty space around the central figure to use as covers? Legibility in the final print may be an issue for the end user. Look at my other example, yellow text on a high contrast background! And this is the sites own work.

Anyway, as I said, I don't want to get all high and mighty, it looks like its great fun, and in the end, that's all that counts.

Via magCulture.


WPT Poker magazine issue 21

WPT cover

David Williams takes a bow on our latest cover. We managed to track him down in Vegas for a photoshoot. He came well prepared - he had visited his jeweller beforehand and appeared with boxes containing $500,000 worth of bling. After turning the lights down a notch we bagged this great cover image. He'll be pleased to hear that we also feature his mum - she beat him in the WSOP!

Get the mag to hear how David turned from a Magic The Gathering player into a pro poker star. Also this issue...

  • Skillful betting to win pots

  • See how Jerry Yang won the WSOP 07 main event

  • GUKPT action from Luton Grosvenor

  • Casino design and how it affects you

  • How to make a perfect squeeze play

Get your issue here...

Mirror, mirror

hovering in front of the wall,
without the use of glass,
how do you recall?

Rip it up and start again

It looks like magazine design is about to get dragged through the wringer again. Anti design tends to rear its head every decade and now Creative Review is picking up on the latest bunch of 'Ugly' designers.


There's nothing wrong with re-appraisal, design can't exist without innovation. The whole point of design is to engage tired audiences with new ways to express an idea. It's a needed process - it's just something that I don't personally like to look at (or mimic). What? Am I contradicting myself? Not really. Design needs people that take concepts to the very edge of acceptability and then the rest of the design world starts to take notice and, er, polishes the rough edges off the new concepts and brings it into the mainstream.

It's a bit like buying a new computer. Let the pioneers burn themselves on a new unstable OS, whilst you carry on doing what you do but keeping their efforts in your peripheral vision. Wait until the OS is stable and adopt - just make sure you're adopting early enough to take advantage of all the good stuff. Join up too late and you get labelled as a 'bandwagonnist' (sp).

Personally I like the Might Nibus' take on the whole thing. Hurrah for B3ta...

WPT Poker magazine issue 20

WPT cover
If you've had chance to have a nose around the rest of this site then you'll have noticed that I work on a publication called WPT Poker: The official World Poker Tour magazine. So here's the first plug of this blog...
Go head to head with Katya Thater (our coverstar) as we cover the Heads-up Championship at the World Series 2007. Katya features as our main profile after winning a bracelet in the $1,500 Razz event, the first woman to win one in three years. Other features to look out for...
  • Take chances to make your own 'luck'

  • Become a legend - how to be the best poker player

  • Pub poker: the government has changed the law relaxing playing down your local

  • GUKPT Newcastle tournament report

  • How to handle yourself the first time you walk into a pokerroom

Get your issue here...

Traditional first post

Hi there, just creating the first post of this blog to welcome you all to my new home. This is the soft launch of my design portfolio and eventually I'll have a comprehensive collection of my designs catalogued in my galleries. If you notice something that doesn't quite work drop me a line and let me know. This blog will be where I post all my thoughts on design and will feature links to lots of design resources as well as links to other designers I find inspiration from. There will probably be some obligatory Youtube clips and general design related funny stuff too. So get this blog bookmarked and lets get busy...