Personal project: Madame Bovary

Way over here on the furthest back of back-burners, I am very gradually working my way through David Bowie's list of 100 favourite books, redesigning the cover for each title. Here’s the latest, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. The picture is Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s 1870 painting A Woman Reading. I’ve posted/deleted this four times now. The problem with personal projects is that there’s no client to take it off my hands, so I end up tweaking and tweaking and tweaking and …

Personal project: The Face Redux


NME RIP. It was a slow, painful death, but it’s still left a great void in British pop journalism. Which seems like as good an excuse as any to relaunch The Face, right? But not your grandma's The Face; a different kind of magazine to the original, but retaining the same core pop ethos. Quarterly, thick, high production values, passionate writing about pop, not fighting the tide of the web. And NOT nostalgic. So no dragging back the old writers to relive the good old days; get some new voices out there (consider this a very optimistic job application). Structurally, the Little White Lies model would work well. One big fat interview with the cover star – guess who my suggestion for the first issue would be – followed by lots of tangentially related stories, offering the sort of depth you don't get online.

You never know, it could happen. 

New work: James Joyce


A particularly fun element of last year's Wolpe Collection launch was the opportunity to redesign some classic Faber & Faber jackets using the new versions of Berthold Wolpe’s typefaces. I spent way too long mulling over whether or not this one needed an eyepatch over the O, but in the end I just let the Albertus Nova curly bracket do all the work. 

New work: The Wolpe Collection

One of my favourite projects from last year: art directing the launch of Monotype’s revived typeface family The Wolpe Collection, working alongside type designer Toshi Omagari and writer Michael Evamy. As well as various bits and pieces of marketing material, the launch involved an exhibition of Berthold Wolpe’s work at the Type Archive. Check out the video below for a nice overview of the show.


New work: No Surface All Feeling


This year’s Secret 7” design, for Manic Street Preachers’ No Surface All Feeling. Just a little something to help raise money for Mind. Plus it’s rather liberating designing without text for a change – generally not something art directors are too keen on.


This week Monotype launch Masqualero, the new typeface designed by Jim Ford. He can explain the design a lot better than I can, but in summary, it exists at the stonecutting/jazz intersection that you never knew existed. Art directing the launch, I've been able to play with Masqualero and its various weights/styles well before anyone else gets their grubby mitts on it, and I can attest that it is quite, quite wonderful (especially for concocting identities, covers, sleeves and stationery for entirely imaginary clients, it turns out). I'm excited to see where and how it turns up in the next few months, now that it's out there for everyone else to enjoy. 

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New work: New Modernisms

New Modernisms is an ongoing series I’ve been working on with Bloomsbury. The covers are an exercise in minimalism (so much so they were featured in issue one of Minimalissimo), all down to very careful image selection.

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Personal project: Backrow

Here's a little something that's been lingering in my "must get around to at some point" folder for absolutely ages. Backrow. It's nothing really, just a crumb of an idea, but it's one that I keep coming back to: a simple magazine (or given that it'll be nowhere near profitable, probably more appropriate to call it a zine) with just one feature: a big conversation with somebody interesting about the films they love. Kind of like The Happy Reader … but not books. 

Right now, it's just a cover concept, an optimistic issue count and an idea. I have an actual proper BFI qualification in film journalism (yes, it's a thing) that is going to waste, so this definitely represents a professional itch needs to be scratched. 

Hopefully I'll catch up with this in 2017.

Known Pleasures


What can I say? I was doing the ironing and got a tad carried away. All apologies to Peter Saville and pulsar CP 1919 and all remaining Joy Dividers. I reckon this would actually make a decent sleeve for an album of acoustic covers or something, should one come my way.

Never Let Me Go


Never Let Me Go is definitely one of my films of 2011 (yes, it's that time of year again – out come the best of lists …), so when Paul Willoughby tweeted up a picture of Carey Mulligan from a recent Little White Lies photo shoot, I thought it'd make for a nice poster. So here it is.

And yes, I realise she doesn't actually have that hairstyle in the film, but lets just ignore that for now, shall we? I can't be expected to keep up to date with every single actor's hair-do. Just trying to stay abreast of Nicholas Cage's barnet alone would be a full-time job.