Saturday, 30 May 2015

Woman Magazine Circa 1954

My last post featured some very wonderful old typography books from the days when letterpress was the norm. This blog features some more very retro imagery and type from an amazing magazine found in my grans flat. The "Worlds Greatest Weekly For Women" dated March 20th 1954 has survived over 60 years and has some truly retro, beautiful imagery which I thought I should share!

First we start with the slightly sexist, housewife orientated imagery, which truly shows the era and how much things have changed.

God I love the fashion in these, sometimes I wish my work uniform could be replaced with circle skirts and blouses!

Moving on to slightly creepy children and babies.

And a clown...

These are some of my favourite bits of type from the magazine:

So much retro goodness! Let me know which of these are your favourites :) 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Vintage Letterpress Goodness

I have always had a love for the craftsmanship that goes into old things. I have nothing against new and contemporary design, but I think there is something about things which have been around for a long time that gets me intrigued! 

My grandfather Frank Maskell worked as a typesetter, I always remember him noticing mistakes in newspapers after all the years he had spent proof reading. I also remember them having type cases on their walls for many years which held various nik-naks along with some beautiful pieces of lead and wooden type.

I never really appreciated type until I was half way through my degree. Plymouth has one of the biggest collections of lead type in the country, and while I only had a couple of sessions in that room I loved all the mechanics which went into making even just a few words of type! 

I have inherited some beautiful things from my grandparents, I am hoping to do a few blog posts to share them but this one starts with type. More specifically - vintage font books, I love the smooth paper and slightly faded pages in these. I also love the huge variety of fonts which you can flick through for inspiration.

Love these decorative borders!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Wacom Intuos Playtime

After finding out I have been overpaying my tax all year (soon to be resolved yay!) I decided to treat myself to something new. I have been meaning to buy a Wacom tablet since my final year of university when it was recommended by my course tutor. I finally got around to purchasing this Intuos Pen & Touch Tablet and decided to have a play with it. 

I started off by watching a large chunk of a "Wacom essential training" course on, it is a subsciption site, but totally worth it if you want to learn new skills on all things design based! From this course I learnt about the history of tablets and how they work, and also how to set up useful shortcuts on the pen and tablet buttons so they work differently in different applications (through system preferences on a mac). 

I set up my desk with the tablet to the right of my mac, the hope is that when I move house I can get a bigger desk and have a better set up with a wireless mouse and keyboard and the tablet in front of the mac! I started just playing around with colours and different types of line, drawing font seems to work quite well as you get a really smooth line. 

Still in need of some practise I think.

While I didn't come up with anything super impressive it was good to just have a play and try out some things to get a feel for the tablet. I will likely use it mostly for colouring scanned in line-work rather than digital painting but I think using it for hand rendered type is definitely something I want to try more of. 

What is your experience of Wacom tablets? Anyone have any tips?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Start Something New

It is the start of a new year and the time where most people are assessing their situations and making various resolutions and plans for the year ahead. Whilst for many people this involves keeping fit and eating well, apple has come up with a different spin on it, which I really quite like.

They have a new promotional campaign for the new year which is called "start something new" the focus of this is creating art using apple products. Whether that is through inbuilt software and applications, or through third party apps which utilise the touch screens and cameras in iphones and ipads. They showcase a number of different pieces of work on their website here, naming the artists and the tools that they have used. 

I love the idea of this, whether you are using apple products or not I think it is a great time of year to start new projects. I decided to give my desk a good clear out and tidy up so that I could get doodling. 

Now anyone who might follow my instagram feed probably knows that I have been taking aerial classes in Bristol for just over a year now. After my final project at university focusing on circus, I had always dreamed of trying out aerial skills, and now I have gotten to a point where I am really happy with the many tricks I know. 

Today I had a really great training session, I have been trying to build up my calloused hands and pain resistance after a 2 week break over christmas and today I feel like I achieved a lot. 

I haven't drawn any people for a little while so I decided this was a good excuse to get some practise in. My rotring pens are unfortunately a little sad and dried up so I decided to play around with a glass dip pen I bought last year, the nib gives quite a thick line but there is a really nice flow to it which I like the feel of.

Desk all set up.

I don't think my people will ever have faces, especially using this thick a line!

I really like these cheap zebra mechanical pencils for sketching out lines and shapes to build on. 

Hopefully will do a few more of these and colour up the good ones, does anyone else have any design/drawing resolutions they fancy sharing?