I have recently been carrying out Adobe Illustrator workshops for a Theatre company, HunkyPunk. During of one of these workshops, I drew a few shapes to demonstrate the process of creating a custom brush, amongst other things. After we had finished, I was about to close the file without saving when I was grabbed by the urge to turn these vectors into something rather than waste them – an urge I think any creative person feels when they see something with the potential to become beautiful. In this case I decided I could spare a couple of hours of my Sunday evening to play with the artwork and see what I could come up with. Creating this vector artwork made me think about ways I could get more creative with my work, and inject a bit more colour and creative flair wherever possible and appropriate. I really enjoyed the process – it reminded me how much I love to illustrate, and how I used to find satisfaction in the process of taking a scribble or a written note and turn it into a doodle.
As a freelancer, you get into a routine that works for you and it’s easy to forget about skills you have that might not seem relevant to the day-to-day, but taking time to express yourself creatively in ways that may not be directly conducive to your business goals can really fuel your enthusiasm for your work and make you take a fresh look at your projects. I feel more motivated than ever to ensure my clients’ websites are not only fit for purpose and easy to use, but also look beautiful.
When I sat back and looked at the result of this quick design, I was reminded of a quote by Maya Angelou:
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
I think there is a lot of truth in this statement. Looking at what I created in just a couple of hours filled me with enthusiasm to illustrate more, to draw more, to doodle more, to generally spend more time creating. In fact I pitched for a layout project today that involves a large element of illustration.
I would like to mention that this illustration is strongly influenced by the supremely talented illustrator, Jonny Wan, who I first heard about in Sheffield’s most excellent Now Then magazine.
When I’m not busy designing things or making music I am partial to a spot of climbing. It’s always a real pleasure when I’m asked to design something that relates to a passion, so when the Mountaineering Club of Bury asked me if I’d design their new tees I didn’t hesitate for one moment.
This was a really fun tee design, and probably my best yet. The 3D extruded lettering on the front is incorporated into a simple illustration of some of the activities you can get involved in, and on the back there’s a more straightforward ‘flat’ logo and slogan:
Deli Breaks, a subsidiary of River Village Foods, approached us in September 2012 with an idea for a range of wholesome ready-to-eat microwaveable meals. This was to be our first food packaging… in fact our first product packaging brief, so we were excited to get stuck in. We went on quite a journey, as the exact nature of the product changed, so here is a selection of the steps we took:
You can see the final packaging designs on our portfolio here.
Here’s some samples of an identity we have lovingly crafted for a brand new venture, The Travelling Baker, that Instadesign is proud to be working with. We are also building a lovely website (currently just a holding page).
Whenever we can, we take on pro bono work for charities and nonprofit organisations. Love For Orphans approached us with the idea of creating a postcard that is to be sold in Tanzania with all profits going towards helping orphans.
In April 2012, Radio 1 DJ Charlie Sloth announced he needed a logo designing. I had a couple of hours spare one afternoon so I took up the challenge and created this design which I sent through. Charlie is a busy man though and it looks like he still doesn’t have a logo. Help us catch his attention by re-tweeting us!
Our client wanted a quirky logo that was reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, so we tried to do just that, and guess what? It worked. Here’s the original logo for Cirque Du Manc that we designed:
Cirque Du Manc Logo
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.
– Dr. Seuss
I'm really proud of the website that Henry has made me! I think it looks really professional and it's easy for someone to move their way around in order to find out about various aspects of my business. I'm excited to use this now as a platform for 'phase 2' of my business. As well as bringing various technical and design skills to this project, Henry has been a thoroughly lovely person to work with. Thank you for all the hard work, Henry, and for helping my business out in this way!
I've worked with Henry at Instadesign on several of my branding and web design projects and I've been mightily impressed. He has a great work ethic, very knowledgeable and gets things done, fast. He's an all round good egg too.