The Arts Centre Market logo. Brands for New Zealand companies, Christchurch, New Zealand.

To design the logo for the The Arts Centre Market, which was located outdoors in the “Market Square” of the Christchurch Arts Centre, I used a charcoal pencil in Painter to draw inside and outside of masks to create hard-edged graduated tones.

Designs which involve the viewer do better.

Good illustrative design and infographics will always communicate clearly across language and cultural barriers.

The purpose of illustration is to make clear or to decorate an advertisement, brochure, logo, website or other textual story. Illustration continues to very often be the best way of providing visual communication or representation of something concrete described in the text or an abstract idea, function or process. Furthermore illustration will always guarantee that the client’s visual communication—whether logo, brochure or website—is a unique brand expression.

“I am an ‘Illustrative Designer’ I care about making beautiful things that are useful.”

Runny Honey symbol and type logo, product name and positioning statement “It’s bee-licious”. A stylized line illustration of a woman apiarist set amongst a beehive, clover and bees pours Runny Honey from a jug into a honey jar. The

Pen-and-ink illustration has been around for a long time. The Runny Honey symbol was sketched first in pencil and marker on paper then scanned into a vector illustration programme to create the finished work. The custom “runny” lettering was also hand drawn.

My illustration skills and experience spans expressive and scientific images of wildlife and flora, diagrams of abstract processes, and technical illustration to give information on how to operate or use something, as well as decorative maps and cartographic diagrams.

“Maruia” brand, “100% recycled writing paper” trademark. The bold black “Maruia” name is in flowing script over a roundel ring enclosing the “100% recycled writing paper” product description. Entwined with the roundel and type is a graphical line drawing of a flowering Nikau palm. Printed in two colours, red and green, overprinting produces a near black “Maruia” product name. Being higher contrast the Maruia name stands forward of the green Nikau and red roundel elements.Brands for New Zealand companies.

“Maruia” brand, “100% recycled writing paper” trademark for New Zealand environmental organisation The Maruia Society. Commissioned by them as part of a two colour packaging/decorative solution for retailing their “in-house” range of recycled writing products. Printed in two colours, burgundy red and forest green, overprinting produced the black “Maruia” type.

Illustrations are memorable

Convair CV580 Cabin Safety Instructions Card, vector infographic, arming the escape chute, opening the door.Illustration provides an overall impression of what an object is or does, how a process flows or functions, or it maps or charts information with the aim of immediately engaging the viewer’s interest and understanding, and being memorable.

There is a growing interest today in original artwork used as illustrations in advertising, brochures, logos, magazines, posters, teeshirts, etc. In the world of visual art, rubbing up against fine art, illustration has have sometimes been considered less important, and in the communication arts and graphic design field, many thought it would be superseded by photography. In fact the term “illustrative designer” that I use to describe myself is sometimes used as a pejorative.


West-Stone Aggregates symbol over type logo. The symbol, a silhouette of a dark blue, stylized, edgy cut-line trio of slumped aggregate heaps, implies both a

WestStone Quarry is located alongside the Grey River near Greymouth in Westland. The Southern Alps are a dominant feature of the landscape. These three peaks drawn in a steelpoint engraving style however are a drawing of three heaps of aggregate in the yard, which slump like sand dunes

My illustration workflow always begins with thumbnail sketches or more fully developed illustrations or renderings in pencil or marker which I then use as a “tracing layer” in order to develop in illustration programmes such as Freehand, Illustrator, Photoshop and Painter using my Wacom® tablet as a rendering interface, which, because it is pressure sensitive has the ability to record gestures in a way congruent with “natural media” techniques and finish.

My technical illustration workflow always begins with thumbnail sketches or sets of reference photos which are traced over and developed using the Stylus and Tablet. The need for very precise and detailed imaging and ongoing updates to products and processes makes digital illustration the ideal work method for these subjects.

Pictures tell a story

Modern logos are streamlined and the illustration for logos is, out of necessity in order to reproduce well on the screen, often reduced to a silhouette and, unless you’re in the fashion business, the company name is set in a low key typeface.

The illustrated word, or wordmark is very effective type of logo, it is simple, distinctive and conveys a single-minded idea that involves the viewer.

The theme of typographic logo with customised letters and pictorial add-on. Decima’s logo tells a story. The firm is a biotechnology company who develop “life affirming” therapeutic products in the laboratory for global markets. Their wordmark tells the story of the Greco-Roman fate who the firm is named after, Decima. Decima’s role was to draw out and measure the thread of life. The success of the logo rests on the proximity of the drawing to the type and the reversed line is carefully placed for legibility. The visual double entendre of the heart shape is the second way the reader is engaged to complete the picture.

©magentadot brands

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