Modern Poetry in Translation, or MPT, is a poetry magazine that has published translated poetry from around the world since 1965.
Clarity, colourful, economic, portable.
The redesign needed to combine quality with economy and portability. Careful optimisation of print production and paper choice combined with a flexible, economic design all played a vital role. The brief also emphasised that the design should never take over, with the focus always on the poetry. Promotional items, letterheads, business cards and website-skin (new website coming 2015), were also designed.
Identity: The identity needed to be simple and recognisable. Capitalising the 'T' gives emphasis to translation – the unique selling point of the magazine.
Paper: A high-quality lightweight paper – Offenbach Bible 80gsm – offers an excellent price per leaf, keeps the design portable and gives a subtle translucency that hints at the poetry of the following page.
Print process: 32-page imposition and bright pantone colours provided the colourful solution at optimum cost. The covers are printed in 2–4 pantone colours to maintain consistency and add impact to the design.
Typefaces:Maiola, an economic design that caters for a wide range of diacritics necessary for titles and authors of translated poems, was selected as the text-typeface. Ronnia was selected to add contrast in titles, masthead and folios.
Aakriti is a typeface that was designed over 9 months on the MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading. The typeface harmonises Kannada, a south-Indian script spoken by 38 million people, with the Latin script.
Soft, conscientious, legible
Kannada originates from palm leaf manuscripts where the use of curved shapes, rather than straight, were essential to ensure that the leaf did not break. The influence of these shapes helped determine the final form of Aakriti.
Sketches: Early sketching developed an understanding to the intricacies of typeface design. Quick experiments identified the variety of forms that could harmonise with one another. Designs were then digitalised and tested further for legibility and readability.
Kannada: Publications that use the Kannada writing system often include several different typefaces in one document to achieve the range of required hierarchies. Aakriti has both a bold and italic that harmonise well together and with the Latin script.
Kannada Italic: Significantly, there is no cursive variant available in any commercial typeface that caters to Kannada script; when a secondary style is available it is either oblique or bold. Designing an italic that could be easily distinguished was a difficult process – furthered by the lack of any models to base the design on.
Latin: The designs of the Latin were always created with the brief in mind – the harmonisation of Latin script with the archetypal forms of Kannada. Kannada script features a profusion of arcs and circles. Although sharp angles and shapes were explored in the Latin script, the final forms adhere to smooth arcs. Only the stems and crossbars maintain strong vertical lines, even joints are softened by a subtle curve
Critical Tensions is the event name for St.Bride's Tenth Annual Conference in London. St. Bride is the biggest library of graphic design and typography in the english-speaking world.
Typographic, clear, eye-catching
The design needed to appeal to graphic designers and typographers nationwide. The identity plays on the word 'Ten' that is found in 'Critical TENsions'. One of the conference speakers, Jonathan Barnbrook, agreed to let us use his typeface 'Infidel' as the focus.
Advertising, wayfinding systems, publication design and venue branding
Ajyal, meaning ‘generations’ in Arabic, is a youth film festival presented by Doha Film Institute in Qatar. The festival invites people of all ages to come together to discuss cinema through events that inspire creative interaction, opening up a fun, collaborative environment where young people can express themselves.
Fun, dynamic, colourful
Ajyal's visual identity was designed by Saffron Brand Consultants in 2013 ready for the first Ajyal Youth Film Festival. My role was to ensure adherence to the branding guidelines for a consistent visual language.
The preliminary design decisions for the 2014 campaign were already agreed prior to my arrival: using the film reel, popcorn, clipboard and video camera. The entire design team worked together to fine-tune the artwork and harmonize it more closely with the global Ajyal visual identity.
Ash's trails is an iOS application created for children visiting the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford. By snapping QR codes placed at different points in the museums, users are able to access a broad range of educational games.
Fun, educational, easy-to-use
The application is aimed at children aged 4–11, and has three tiers of difficulty for every game (medium, hard, very hard). Several games are available on every floor. Each game follows a colour coded physical trail that is imposed on the floor of the museum.
Physical trail: For every game, there is a corresponding coloured line that guides the user to their destination. Each game has several points of reference that are marked by a QRcode, placed physically on the trail.
Typeface: The Fabula typeface was originally designed as a screen font for children’s storybooks. Long ascenders and descenders help identify the word shape aid legibility, while the informal ‘feel’ and rounded stroke ends provide an inviting and friendly feel.
Buttons: The buttons use a two-tap method to ensure that they don’t get touched accidentally. One tap removes the transparency and makes the button ‘active’, the second tap completes the action. Buttons indicate that they are interactive by a ‘shaking’ action that shows the user that they need to touch them to progress to the next stage.
Star system: Each game has a six star rating system that awards stars upon answering a question correctly.The star-score returns to zero after the completion of any single game within the application
‘On click’ animation: Small animations have been included to add a little spark of interest to the page, whether that be a rabbit jumping, or a sparkle around the user’s collected ‘stars’.
Music packaging and promotion
Kaleidoscope is a music album by the post-rock band Explosions in the Sky. The designs aims to reflect the soundscapes of the music by a combination of landscape and superimposed kaleidoscope imagery.
The typeface House Gothic and a circular frame adds structure to an otherwise free-flowing design.
Visual identity and editorial
Springlines is a collaborative project between poet and writer Clare Best and artist Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis. The multi-media exhibition explores hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the South Country of England.
This project is currently in progress.
Riverford Hand (Font)
Riverford Hand is a pre-existing typeface designed for Riverford Organic Farms. Their design team, who designed the typeface, were consistently faced with problems in the kerning, fitting, alignment and weight of the letterforms – the redesign aims to address these problems.
Nothing Like Concrete is a collection of art, poetry and short stories published by the University of Reading. Every year local contributors and students collaborate together to edit, design and publish content in the form of a Creative Arts Anthology.
Every aspect of the design was sourced locally to imitate the local and student-sourced nature of the content. The publication was printed at the University's Design and Print Studio, and was even type-set in a typeface designed by a former student on the MA Typeface Design course.
Monkey Chatter is a quarterly electronic newsletter used by franchisees at Monkey Music, a company that provides music classes for Babies and pre-school toddlers in the UK. Each newsletter is differentiated by seasonal elements that were designed with a hand-drawn feel in keeping with their pre-existing visual identity.
The design makes use of Mailchimp, an electronic newsletter service, to improve ease-of-use to the approximate 200 franchisees who may use it. The template was hand-coded using HTML and CSS.