Skip to main content

Blacks Gateway Pages & The Importance of Designing for Fun

You may or may not have already seen my web page designs for Blacks, a high street retailer that sells footwear, clothes, bags, etc tailored for the outdoors. I had a lot of fun with this conceptual project, here's some shots:

I did this project for a bit of fun, and so I could add another website design to my portfolio. I loved incorporating topographic lines into the design (for some reason I really love the look of topographic lines, they're so pretty!). The brand predominantly uses lighter blacks in the colour palette, so I thought a monochrome scheme would work well. I wasn't looking to re-brand Blacks, but to make something cool that fitted with their pre-existing brand.

It's great to do personal projects, and if you're passionate about your profession it shouldn't take much persuading to get on and do some in your spare time! If you truly love being a graphic designer/illustrator/creative person, you will always find time to do some work outside of your job. Even just reading up on design is being proactive! I think it's vital to keep on practising your craft as I believe if you don't use it, you lose it. Even if your full-time role is in the creative industry, it's always good practice to have a go at a project that you otherwise might not do, and keep experimenting and learning to expand your portfolio and your skill set.

Since I left University in June, and started my job in June, these are the projects I've done outside of work - most are completed, some were started but have been left in progress for now:

Owein's portfolio site

Their Little Monsters logo design, branding, and website build

Style Society logo design

Beginnings of a weather app concept

Car symbol icon designs

A Koi carp poster which I've sold a number of

A solar system canvas

A sea-themed colour palette poster, featuring an illustration I did last year for another project

So cut out those excuses and get designing ;)

Popular posts from this blog


It's the end of the year which has a terrible habit of landing on my birthday. I've wrote this post in advance and scheduled it so I don't have to type all this on my birthday ;)

2016 has been deemed by many 'the worst year ever'. I've seen people sharing memes saying how 2016 has been rubbish for them. Back in January I said it was going to be my hardest year yet given it was my final year of uni, but it was going to be amazing afterwards. And it proved right.

I initially began typing this post as a huge essay on what I'd done through the year, but that would be tedious; I'm not one for enjoying essays that much after all (dissertation, anyone?).

 Thought about writing my dissertation but never got round to it  February
Finally wrote my dissertation (2 days with only 4 hours sleep). Death had never been so appealingGot a letter from the Vice Chancellor saying I achieved the highest mean mark at Level 4 out of Graphics and Photography - Level 4…

Graphic Design Festival Scotland Poster

I designed a poster a few months back, an illustrative representation of Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement:

Done as a spur of the moment thing, inspired by a symbol we see on a day to day basis, I decided to enter it into the Graphic Design Festival Scotland competition - the competition brief was open to anything. I found out 2 weeks ago it is through to stage 1 of the selection process! So for the next stage I was asked to post 2 copies of the poster and in 2 weeks I will find out if it's through to the final round, and therefore exhibited at the event in October. The final 3 winners will be announced at the exhibition on the opening night.

Fingers crossed the poster makes it through to the next round, it would be pretty cool to see it in an exhibit! I don't often enter design competitions, in fact I think this might be the first one I have entered? I had fun making this poster either way, as well as this poster I also created to advertise the exhibition:


Dropbox's new branding has caused a stir in the design community. Popular opinion is generally unfavourable towards the new branding, but I have seen some split opinions. For me, the branding leaves me a bit confused - or does it? Click this to see the branding page.
The new logo is a good step forward I believe, and hasn't been the centre of debate in the design community so I'm not going to touch on it other than showing the before and after:

Dropbox also have a new typeface with their rebrand, called 'Sharp Grotesk' created by the type foundry Sharp Type, inspired by the late Adrian Frutiger. In my opinion, the typography is a mixed bag. Some of the fonts of their new typeface are ok, but the typeface has an ametuer feel which shows upon closer inspection in the stretched iterations:

Conversely, I find the stretched iterations actually seem to work reasonably well when presented as headings in isolation. However, I found they looked disjointed when presented alo…