ToQ: Laneway ruffian

Tales of Quahnarren: Laneway Ruffian

An illustration from the free preview version of my Beyond the Morning Mountains gamebook. A key part of the development for this project is for me to create a number of fantasy images using a range of different styles and techniques, in both full colour and black & white. This piece shows a possible encounter with a thief in the town of Ustahm and has been created digitally, using a comic/graphic novel style that I enjoyed working with and will certainly use again within this adventure.

Design process: report covers

As I was looking through my archives for a particular file today, I came across these old cover designs for an Election Benchmarks report completed back in 2013. As you can see I pursued two main concepts; silhouettes representing ‘work’ and ‘care’ (together they suggested ‘family’), and varying circular shapes, which mainly relied on their cut forms and colour to create interesting relationships.

The client was very keen for something simple and clean to match previous reports, and asked that I submit at least a couple of options to give them a choice of style. The initial string idea (top left) wasn’t working as I’d hoped it would, so the thin lines became positive and negative shapes, which helped to break up the cover into three logical sections. I still like the second design, but it wasn’t the approach that the client favoured. I actually produced quite a few other alternatives using the circular design, but morphed most of the stronger shapes from those ideas into what you see above, maintaining a simplicity that functionally separated the two-part title and logo.

The chosen design (below, shown as back & front covers) is only a minor adjustment of the third design above, featuring an edited title and the alternative logo. There’s a strong grid of connected reference points underpinning this design, which does make it a good choice from my perspective – even if it probably appears as just a few random shapes to most viewers. Such is the life of a designer!

Charlie Brown’s a real winner!


Last night I went to the Stirling Community Theatre to see the Hills Musical Company performing You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Their production was excellent; a really grood cast, orchestra, set design and lighting, which made for an enjoyable evening. My programme design (above) also adequately performed its role to support the production!

Tales of Quahnarren: Spacers

Tales of Quahnarren: Spacers

A selection of the small black & white spot illustrations recently created for my Tales of Quahnarren gamebook. These small pieces are known as ‘spacers’ as they are used to fill or create space when formatting the pages of a gamebook. They are frequently utilised to prevent widows and orphans from appearing in the text layout, and also to help with the placement of written sections that are accompanied by a full-page illustration and therefore must fall at a particular point in the document.

Tales of Quahnarren: Spacers

ToQ: Beyond the Morning Mountains gamebook preview

I’ve decided to create a short preview version of my fantasy gamebook Beyond the Morning Mountains as a free download available to anyone interested in sampling my creation and trying out the unique gameplay of the Tales of Quahnarren series. Here’s a few spreads from the preview pdf:

Beyond the Morning MountainsBeyond the Morning MountainsBeyond the Morning MountainsBeyond the Morning Mountains

Progress in writing and illustrating the complete book has been continuing well (currently at around 55,000 words), although it was recently halted to produce this special preview version of an early section within the full adventure. The pdf is available to download from the Tales of Quahnarren website here and I’m keen to receive any comments or feedback on the project from those who play this preview version.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown poster
Poster design for an upcoming production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown by the Hills Musical Company.

The main title was hand lettered by me using PITT artist pens, referencing the early lettering style of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz. As a huge fan of his work, I was very keen to create a colourful design that respectfully conveyed a classic comic style with an obvious Peanuts feel, while also matching the set design which will feature large comic panel sections on the stage backdrop. Charlie Brown’s iconic zigzag T-shirt, which was also hand drawn and inked, became an important central element in the design as it offers a strongly contrasting and very striking pattern.

Further promotional design work for this production will use these key elements in a variety of different combinations, which have been deliberately created to provide a flexible system of components for any desired layout or format.

Petrel Cove, Encounter Bay

Petrel Cove, Encounter Bay, South Australia
Petrel Cove is a small beach situated at Encounter Bay on the coast of South Australia. Pictured here is the steep bluff of Rosetta Head, together with some of the steeply dipping metasedimentary rocks, which form prominent jagged rock platforms. There is just a 50m pocket of open sand and a bar, which is also the location of a permanent rip. Petrel Cove is a notorious spot on the south coast, causing trouble for swimmers and surfers with its dangerous currents, large waves and rocks, or for those exploring the slippery and hazardous rock pools.


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