MD001 Poster

Finally. Eleven months since the first ideas for posters were discussed with my mate Dan Clarke, they’re up for sale on the site, and selling nicely.

If you know me, you’ll have seen me tweeting about it all, and will have seen pics put up as we got the silkscreen printing done and all, but it’s a really great feeling to be able to put something out, back to the video gaming community, of which I feel very involved, and have it well received. Dan’s illustration work is an excellent piece of graphic design, and the quality of the printing and paper set this out as a premium piece of art. So much so it’s got coverage on design blogs as well as gaming sites.

Generally, this has been noted and understood by most people who’ve seen the prints. Those who say they’ve ran a 1,000 prints at a local copyshop for their band that are “way more intricate” miss the whole fucking point, so I haven’t wasted any bytes arguing on forums. The forums and gamers that matter to me “get it”.

What’s particularly pleasing about the silkscreen process, is that the overlay and translucency of the inks is almost *exactly* the same as Dan’s visuals. Which is pretty good, since neither of us do much, if any, printwork! The silkscreen process also introduces an element of individuality to each print, as while it’s all aligned correctly, the run of inks and such add little idiosyncrasies to the edges. I really like this.

We will be doing more, and not just confined to Sega/Mega Drive stuff. Dan’s a big SNES-boi, and I have to admit to being partial to a few SNES classics, and we both specifically love the Japanese SNES console box art, so expect something along those lines next. Maybe even a Neo Geo print, as that yellow and blue is very, very iconic.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen anything about these posters (what, really?!) then take a look at this video. Thanks!

#bigSWIG — — Liverpool 24.01.12

My friend Rob has been kickstarting the Liverpool geek talk scene, with the guys at his place of work, organising and hosting SWIG. It’s grown from a small meeting discussing WordPress at InterconnectIT‘s office, to taking the upstairs at Leaf Tea Shop in Bold Street.

Rob had been on at me for a while to do something at a SWIG event, and upping the ante, he said they were doing a bigSWIG, and would I like to talk about one of my projects, I’d asked Rob a hundred questions about WordPress – which is built in – so I did feel obliged to return the favour! was a project I’d started to catalogue Japanese Mega Drive games, write reviews and comments, and learn WordPress on the way. I also stressed something which as an employer I think is very important.

The talk went well, I was up after my mate Dan Donald, and it was great to see loads of familiar faces from the Speak the Web event and Naconf the week before. You can find the slides from the talk on

Good things are happening in Liverpool, and it makes me proud to be part of it. Keep it going, Rob!

NorthernDigitals #BLABMini3

I’m a regular at Northern Digitals, an event for like minded people involved in digital creative industries around Manchester, to get together, have a beer, talk about work, techniques or influences, ruminate and make new friends.

The popularity of ND nights prompted Matt Booth and Gavin to host a more formal event, which they called BLAB. Featuring a recognised figure from our online/creative industry, they’d do a talk, we’d all drink beer and everyone would enjoy themselves. Following this format, BLABMini was created, featuring 5–6 speakers, shorter talk times, slightly more informal.

I got an email off Matt asking me to talk at the latest BLABMini, on the 1st December at The Deaf Institute. The subject was on “Things I’ve Seen”, links you’ve been passed on twitter or via blogs, makes you stop and think “wow” or “why didn’t I think of that”. Quite an open-ended subject, so I pinned mine on inspirational things I’ve seen. Continue reading “NorthernDigitals #BLABMini3”

D&AD Portfolio Surgery — Leeds

As part of my on-going relationship with D&AD and my commitment to the D&AD North Committee, I was asked to take part in a Student portfolio surgery session at the Leeds College of Art & Design.

Up and at ’em at silly o’clock, as a few of my Leeds based twitter friends had warned that traffic could be terrible, but I did manage to get there in good time. Yes, Leeds morning traffic is crap.

Slightly nervous as to how the session was going to go, it was great to see James and Stuart from Thoughful, who’d done a session in Newcastle the day before. I admire the amount of get up and go these guys have, and a quick chat with them put me at ease. Continue reading “D&AD Portfolio Surgery — Leeds”

D&AD Sharp’ner — You The Jury

Last Thursday, I was down in that London to speak at a D&AD Student Awards Sharp’ner session at the Vibe Bar on Brick Lane.

I’d been invited, as last year I was the Foreman on two Student Award Briefs, Interactive Design and Microsite Design, which was a fantastic experience. D&AD invited judges from both Professional and Student awards to the evening to help students understand what we are looking for when we score and assess all the work in front of us, in such a short time.

There was some great insight from Steve and Clem about what makes a great piece of award winning work, and I found Paul West from Form to be a great speaker, who shared his gut feeling belief about a good design and advocated being challenging, to give the judges something to think about.

During this time, about eight students had been selected to disappear into a private area and run through a mock judging session on the Nokia Interactive Design brief… Continue reading “D&AD Sharp’ner — You The Jury”

New Adventures in Web Design


This week Howie and I attended a new conference in Nottingham, New Adventures in Web Design, organised by Simon Collison, or Colly as he’s better known.

Since Colly is possible the nicest guy on the internet and well respected, finding quality speakers wasn’t going to be a tough job, and for the conferences first show, the list was impressive. There were gripes from some quarters that all these speakers have been seen before, it’s the usual industry pundits, but I think that’s just sour grapes and being picky for the sake of it. Out of the ten speakers, I’d only seen five before.

In an effort to make conferences affordable and accessible, the venue was Colly’s hometown of Nottingham, which is in a great location, allowing access to people travelling from all points of the UK, the likes of Cole travelling from near Edinburgh, or Remy from Brighton, plus of course the foreigners who always make it over. Continue reading “New Adventures in Web Design”

Creative Times launch event

Creative TimesThis Thursday saw the official re-launch of the Creative Times website at The Cornerhouse, Manchester. A limited ticket event, with some live acoustic music from I Am Kloot.

Creative Times, in their own words, is an online magazine for the creative community – produced by and for people working in the creative sector. They want to showcase creative work and talent, but also want to be community driven, so it’s their members who write articles and push for content.

Add to the magazine format a forthcoming diary, job board and a directory, and you can see how Creative Times would start to be a first port of call for creative types who dwell in the North West. Long term, these kind of things live or die by content, and I hope the community does well to provide and engage through it’s own content. Continue reading “Creative Times launch event”

DIBI Conference 2010

Time for another conference road trip!

The inaugural DIBI Conference took place at the Sage in Gatehead on the 28th April, with a fantastic crop of speakers and promising bunch of attendees, judging by the twittering.

DIBI’s format is a little different than a traditional conference, being a two track event. DIBI, which stands for Design It. Build It., was aimed at both developers and designers, with two sets of sessions running all day. Attendees could chop and change and “jump tracks” as they liked, and since a lot of the crowd were front enders, this seems quite a logical thing to do.

The journey up involved the usual road-tripper Chris Mills, but we picked up Dan Donald too, and headed up to crash at Phil Sherry‘s house, since he’s now resident in Gateshead. Yes, this small fact did make the trip more appealing! Continue reading “DIBI Conference 2010”