All My Own Stunts

I'm a Graphic Designer
and I'm still learning...

My portfolio site:
http://cargocollective.com/rosshamilton

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  1. "Can we make the cat in the animation look less sexy when it licks the window? It has closed eyes, which are making me think it’s sexual."
    — (via clientsfromhell)

    Favourite new blog - Clients from Hell

     
     
  2. Healthy Competition

    When I was being interviewed for my job by my Creative Director, he used an interesting analogy to explain to me the culture of healthy competition amongst his design team. 

    In much the same way that a Striker needs to earn his place in his football team each week by consistently scoring goals, I was expected to repay my faith in the manager by ‘scoring’ myself - or to put it in design terms - getting design routes in front of the client. 

    Relating this analogy to Manchester United (which I didn’t mind in the slightest being a United fan - he knew his audience), my Creative Director (a Chelsea fan, strangely enough - he knows his place) explained that he expected me to be the ‘Rooney’ of the company, scoring goals to keep my place in the team and to win matches. Fighting off competition from the other designers (Berbatov, Hernandez, Wellbeck) to score the goals that keep me in the team. 

    This works for me because I want to be playing every week, getting paid to do a job I love (if not in quite the same pay bracket). So to make sure this continues, I need to be scoring. In fact, one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is to score - its why I’m playing - so there is enough motivation on my part. 

    This also works for the manager because ultimately, it doesn’t really matter to him who scores, as long as the goals are being scored that are winning games. It’s (literally, in my Creative Director’s case) his name on the door. As long as goals are being scored and matches being won then everyone wins. I keep my place on the team and the team gains respect and praise from peers and fans alike. 

    Now that the milk from that metaphor has literally been rung dry, I do think it’s a good way of saying that a bit of healthy competition in a design studio’s team is good for the individual and the company overall. It can help produce the best results and improve the development and talent of the individual. 

    As for me, I scored on my debut and have been playing ever since - motivated enough to not only want to push my own development as a young designer but also that of a young company with a bright future. 

     
     
  3. Here’s an initial sketch for my most recent Illustration.
See the finished piece (and a larger version of the sketch) here

    Here’s an initial sketch for my most recent Illustration.

    See the finished piece (and a larger version of the sketch) here

     
     
  4. Spoiler Alert

    I watched the trailer for Rise of The Planet of the Apes to see what I could gather about the film and whether I should go and see it. Here’s what I could gleam from it …

    While researching a cure for Alzheimers, Franco takes home an orphaned chimp which starts to exhibit human intelligence with montage shots of him doing human-y things like turning pages. He then attacks John Lithgow

    The chimp is impounded due to this which of course he’s more than miffed about. Especially when that rapper guy off Harry Potter starts getting in his face. Not good. 

    (Meanwhile, Franco is trying to get into Slumdog Millionaire’s bird)

    As we know, the chimp has the intelligence of Andy Serkis, so he stages a break out, recruiting his fellow simians into an ape uprising (an ape-rising?) They go on to attack this city, which culminates in a battle on The Golden Gate Bridge … 

    So wait a minute … I’ve seen Planet of the Apes so I know how this is going to end. The trailer has literally told me everything about how this film is going to pan out! WHY!? 

    Shame really because it otherwise looks pretty good and has received some pretty decent reviews. 

    At least it’s better than this MASSIVE SPOILER for the original Planet of the Apes film

    Amazing.

    The teaser for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the best trailer I’ve seen so far this year. Importantly, it doesn’t outline the narrative of the film! See also the forthcoming Tinker, Tailor Soldier Spy for a good anticipation builder. More of this sort of thing, please. 

     
     
  5. Getting a Head of Themselves
My first ever freelance illustration project for PR firm Racepoint. The illustrations aren’t that special in all honesty - the client wanted portraits of their employee’s in the style of Julian Opie’s Blur album cover so I just went ahead and knocked them out.
I think they look quite nice as a set though, and they look quite cool adorning the walls of the offices. The style also makes older employees look younger so I’m sure they love it. 

    Getting a Head of Themselves

    My first ever freelance illustration project for PR firm Racepoint. The illustrations aren’t that special in all honesty - the client wanted portraits of their employee’s in the style of Julian Opie’s Blur album cover so I just went ahead and knocked them out.

    I think they look quite nice as a set though, and they look quite cool adorning the walls of the offices. The style also makes older employees look younger so I’m sure they love it. 

     
     
  6. What’s On My Mind

    "Right listen up, we’ve got Jenson Button to star in our next shampoo ad so let’s make this a good one!"

    "Ok great. Any thoughts?"

    "Well, shampoo goes on your hair right? Near your brain, so I think we ask Jenson what’s on his mind! Get it?"

    "Not really - surely we can think of other…"

    "It’s perfect, so we ask him what’s on his mind, and my thought is that everything that’s on his mind is really cool and also rhymes"

    "… Err not sure why it has to rhy…"

    "Great, so what would be on Jenson’s mind? I know, ‘racing!’"

    "that’s a given…"

    "Now, what rhymes with ‘racing’… I know, ‘spacing!’, that’s to do with cars, right!?’

    "I guess"

    "Done. OK, so what next?"

    "I’m bracing myself for this…"

    "Bracing, of course! Like we can have him walking in a strong wind"

    "I’m struggling to see why that would be on his mind… but maybe in an open top car? At least then you have the ‘car’ theme still"

    "Walking in wind it is. Ok I’m struggling a bit now, think we may have ran out of words"

    "Bloody hell… a cup of tea would be amazing right now"

    "That works!"

    "Err…"

    "Great, thats like 15 seconds done! Man this is easy! Although I think we have used up all the possible rhyming words…"

    "(sigh) What about Pacing? Facing? Chasing? ‘Chasing’ would be good, sort of links to car racing"

    "Tyres!"

    "Wait, what?"

    "… and pit stops. They are to do with cars! I’m a genius"

    "But what about the rhyming… Ah fuck it"

     
     
  7. I found this the other day - the first project I did in the industry after leaving Uni. The work was completed whilst at FITCH in London in 2009 and was a rebrand for an online research company called Research Now. 

    As an idea, it is certainly not the most groundbreaking rebrand, but I think there is a nice visual idea in the mark I designed.

    The interesting thing about this project was that my idea was rejected by the client, and then I never heard anything more about it whilst other concepts were pursued. Then I left FITCH, but a few months later I did my own research online to see what the project turned out like. Much of my design was gone, but the main idea of the ‘r + n’ mark seemed to have stuck … 

    Check it out here

     
     
  8. Contemporary Movie Poster Brief

    No, Michael Clayton. No

    Hey, have you got a brief to design a poster for a new film? Are you struggling to think of an original and contemporary design? 

    Well don’t worry. Just follow these easy steps and you’ll have an awesome film poster on your hands before you can say ‘It’s 5.30pm!’

    1) Take a photo of one of the protagonist’s head, preferably looking directly at camera

    2) Overlay some type that covers the portrait, ideally a modern sans serif, of a profound quote from the film or it’s tagline.

    You’re done! Now you have a movie poster fit for any new blockbuster - good job! 

    (OK, so The Social Network poster is nice and probably set this annoying trend going. The I’m Still Here one is also a good example of when it works, but everyone else, just stop it now. Please)

    *Empire Magazine noticed this trend too, click here to see their take on it

     
     
  9. When I graduated from Northumbria University in 2009, I was part of a team that put together and designed the promotional materials for our Graphic Design degree show, the main items being posters and a catalogue of the students work. 

    As a year group, the theme ‘shopping’ was voted in, and then Myself, Simon Lowe, Simon Magill and Shaun Donnison twisted this to give it more of a warehouse type feel, as opposed to supermarkets. The idea that the our crop of graduates were the ‘new season’s stock’. 

    The catalogue had a die cut ‘handle’, so not only did it feel like a shopping bag, it was much easier for people to pick up and carry around. 

     
     
  10. Cometh The Hour, Cometh the Mad Men?

    The other week, I saw the currently airing Channel 4 comedy(?)/drama(?) series ‘Sirens’ being described as ‘The British Scrubs’.

    Well, it’s not. Scrubs at it’s peak was funny, human and charming, all of which Sirens isn’t. However It’s also a bit unfair to Sirens: After seeing its promotion I watched it expecting a 30 minute hospital-based comedy (which, by the way, we are CRYING out for) but what I got was a poor attempt at a comedy-drama trying to recreate the charm and character of Teachers that instead feels like it should have aired in the late 90s, and even then would have felt tired and uninspired.

    I’ve got a lot of other issues with Sirens which I may feel compelled enough to write about another time (such as the complete waste of Kayvan Novak), but probably won’t be bothered. The reason I mention it is because it is another recent example of ‘The New…’ or ‘The British version of..’ tag that gets lazily applied to so many films, bands, artists and TV programmes these days, such as BBC2’s new drama ‘The Hour’ which is being referred to as “The British Mad Men”.

    Again, its not. The only similarity to Mad Men is its period setting and the attention to detail of the clothing and scenery. It isn’t even the same period. Set some 10 years before, The Hour may look the part, but it was never going to live up to that billing.

    This isn’t to say that The Hour didn’t have its moments, and it certainly intrigued me enough to watch again next week. Also I think its great that British TV (and the BBC in particular, with its 10m extra funding for drama on BBC2) is setting its standards to the boxed-set imports such as Mad Men and The Wire (in the latter case, The Hour even employs the same actor). The Shadow Line also came from this extra investment, and despite its flaws, was a hugely enjoyable and original crime thriller.

    In fact, The Shadow Line was labelled as “A British The Wire”! As bad as it sounds, I have yet to get round to watching The Wire so this didn’t have as much as an effect on me. However, I feel I can quite confidently say that its not.

    I just think it’s a shame when expectations of a programme are raised by a lazy tag being put on a show, such as ‘The British So-and-So’. It’s as if without this tag, we wouldn’t give it a chance. To compare something new to something else that is already critically acclaimed is to set it up for a downfall before it’s even had chance.

     
     
  11. A poster I designed at uni to show how I felt about the competetive nature of the London design industry. (I was studying in Newcastle, but knew I wanted to move to London to start my career). The boxing theme came from a self promotion project which I’ll be posting soon. As I now live and work in London I like to think that I walked the walk as well as talking the talk… my god that sounds terrible.

    A poster I designed at uni to show how I felt about the competetive nature of the London design industry. (I was studying in Newcastle, but knew I wanted to move to London to start my career). The boxing theme came from a self promotion project which I’ll be posting soon. As I now live and work in London I like to think that I walked the walk as well as talking the talk… my god that sounds terrible.

     
     
  12. "I’ve just managed to get my external hard drive working with all my old uni work on it so I’ll be posting anything I find that I think is worth showing"
     
     
  13. A selection of Illustrations for a Uni project I did, focussing on some of the ‘sights’ of Cleethorpes, near my hometown of Grimsby. It was winter when I went out, so I tried to capture the dreary, run down nature of some of the areas, with just that flash of the old seaside town that it used to be showing through

     
     
  14. While I’m on the subject of awards, the only one I’ve won so far was for this - another student project. I received an iSTD merit for the typography: the project was a response to a brief set by the organisation. 

    10 Things You Should Know About … ShitHead.

    I created a publication that explained the rules to the card game ‘Shit Head’ which myself and my mates were playing a lot at uni. I created Illustrations, wrote the copy and then screen printed the oversized cards, which acted as a rule book to the game aimed at introducing a new audience as well as an extra dimension for people who already play.

     
     
  15. Not Just a Pretty Face

    The D&AD Pencil and the Design Week Lightbulb are up there in the ‘awards that every designer wants to win’ category. To win either is to (hopefully) gain the respect of industry peers and young designers alike. 

    But as designers, shouldn’t we be striving for even more than the respect of our peers? After all, they are our competition and not the people who pay our wages - the client. 

    I’m not trying to shine a negative light on the Lightbulb or rub away the Pencil, but I want to make a case for an award that, whilst still coveted, should be one that as designers we want to win as much as the others. 

    The agency I work for has recently entered our submission for the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards. The reason that we should be striving for this award more is in the name - are we doing our job properly? Is our work having the desired effect? We win a DBA award based on whether we responded correctly to the brief and made an impact for the client - as well as great, stand out design. 

    Don’t get me wrong, I strive for all my work to be of potentially award-winning standard, and can’t wait to have a nice shiny pencil on my shelf. But a DBA award is one that should mean more to a client, and therefore ourselves as designers - definite proof (with proper numbers and everything to back it up) that we have done our job well.