For the love of dog

My own four legged best friend, Myrtle inspired these new wedding invite designs for dog lovers. Personalised versions of my work are available, so if you have a colour scheme or even a dog in mind just get in touch. x

Myrtle appreciating a spell of sunshine on the park.

Myrtle appreciating a spell of sunshine on the park.

Topic Records & The Art of Folk Music

Now the oldest independent record label in the world, Topic began it's life in 1939 as an offshoot of the Worker's Music Association, a communist organisation who sold left-wing political music via mail order. In the 1950's with help from A L Lloyd and Ewan McColl Topic began producing records of traditional music including some of the earliest examples of American Blues music to hit the market in the UK. By the early 60's Topic split from the WMA but their socialist ethics remained. The album 'The Iron Muse', a compilation of industrial workers songs, had substantial sales and allowed Topic to branch out further, releasing work by artists such as Shirley Collins, The Watersons, Martin Carthy and Nic Jones.

'Topic Records and the Art of Folk Music' exhibition at the Barbican library runs until the end of January 2017 and is well worth a visit for any folk fans. It features a fascinating selection of archive artifacts from the past 77 years of Topic records, including my design for Pentangle's Finale.

During January there will also be two musical events in the library in association with the exhibition; 'An audience with Eliza Carthy' on January 16th and 'An Audience with Martin Carthy and Martin Simpson' on January 30th.

Thoughts on Print

The choice of print can impact on artwork considerably and it is sometimes worth contemplating before you embark on a design. There are however so many options when it comes to print types and paper qualities that it can be difficult to know where to start. Here's a small guide to some of what's available out there.

Digitally printed onto Tintoretto Gesso 300gsm card.

Digitally printed onto Tintoretto Gesso 300gsm card.

PAPER TYPES

Textured card is available in many different varieties and thicknesses, it can be costly but it does lend to the quality of the item.  I'm a big fan of simple uncoated card. Like textured, it gives artwork a softer, tactile look, allowing the natural attributes of paper to shine through but it's a cheaper option if you're on a budget. I also love the rustic look of kraft card. You can be limited to using ink colours darker than the paper itself but a simple one colour design can be extremely effective.  If you're looking for an air of luxury colourplan card, available in paperweights of 300gsm-700gms, is a sturdy yet elegant choice.

Digitally printed on to Kraft Card.

Digitally printed on to Kraft Card.

DIGITAL, LITHO & SCREEN PRINTING

Offset litho printing is generally used for larger runs. For posters, flyers, leaflets and brochures it's a great low-cost option. You can also choose to embellish designs with special spot colour inks. Transparent gloss, metallic and even florescent ink is available using this process so you can really get creative. Litho printing can accommodate paper weights from 60gsm to 500gsm. Digital presses will run from 80gsm to 300gsm. My wedding stationery is mostly digitally printed using 300gsm stock card on a HP Indigo press.  A gloss or uncoated finish is available as well as an option for textured or kraft card. Digitally printed items can also be individually personalised so perfect for table names and numbers. Screen printing is another option that can be cost effective if you consider the process at the design stage.  Each colour used in the design requires it's own screen and ink is laid down a colour at a time. The versatility of surfaces you can print onto is it's main advantage. I also love the finish and the process is fun too. Creating your own screen prints is incredibly satisfying, a real fun, hands on experience.

Copper hot foil blocking on 600gsm colourplan card

Copper hot foil blocking on 600gsm colourplan card

LETTERPRESS AND FOIL BLOCKING

For simple, single colour designs letterpress and foil blocking have a most impressive finish.  Letterpress, dates back to the 15th Century and is a technique of relief printing using a printing press. It produces a beautiful crisp look and also allows for embellishments such as embossing and debossing. Foil blocking and foil edge gilding is available in copper, gold or silver . It does come at price but the quality of print creates a highly desirable object.

 

If you'd like a quote for any of the print methods mentioned here just get in touch via my contact page. I'm also happy to pop samples in the post.

PENTANGLE'S FINALE

 In 1967 Bert Jansch and John Renbourn were already popular folk artists in their own right, Jackie McShee was singing on the folk circuit and Terry Cox and Danny Thompson had been playing together in Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. They came together to form folk's first super group and for the next 6 years worked relentlessly, touring and releasing albums. 

Discovering Pentangle's Basket of Light as a teenager was the beginning of my long love affair with 1960's and traditional folk music. Their music initially surprised me, (there really isn't much else out there like it) but I found myself drawn in by the traditional songs, Jackie's beautiful and capable voice and the mesmerising jazz-folk jams.

I made it my mission to see all members play individually over the years but I never did catch the full line up in 2008 when they reunited for a tour. This was the tour captured for FINALE,  a new 2 disc CD that I was delighted to be asked to design.

Sadly, Bert died in 2011 closely followed by John in 2015. Unfortunately, making this their last tour with the original line-up.  I must say I felt quite a responsibility to design something that was a fitting memorial of two of the finest (and nicest, so I've heard) folk guitarists in the world. There was a lot of love and respect put into the artwork. I do hope they would approve.

FINALE is available to buy here.

Bert Jansch 1943-2011

Bert Jansch 1943-2011

John Renbourn 1944-2015

John Renbourn 1944-2015