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Manchester from the air

I’ve been playing around with the new Google Earth Studio, resulting in this pretty cool sequence. (If I do say so myself.) Google Earth Studio is an amazing tool that lets you create stunning animations using Google Earth’s incredible 3D aerial imagery.

Featuring Manchester Town Hall, Beetham Tower, Media City, Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium, Oxford Road, and Manchester Piccadilly.

See more Cities from the air, including Liverpool and Hull, on our YouTube channel.

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Comic book logo design

It’s been a while since my last logo design, so it was really fun to get stuck into this little number. Strikeforce Kaiserman are a duo of barbershop brothers, who arrange songs for barbershop quartets and choirs. They approached me asking for a new brand identity that reflected their name, their music, and their quirky personalities. They wanted something inspired by comic book titles, effectively implying that these guys are the superheroes of the barbershop world. It’s designed to sit as a banner at the top of their website.

I love a branding challenge – let me know if you want to chat about what I can do for you.

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How I helped Alest break free of the accountancy stereotype

Accountants are kind of like vegetables, in that we all know they’re good for us – necessary, in fact – but they get accused of being bland, boring and generally sucking the joy out of life. NOT TRUE! At least not for Alest Accountants, a scrappy startup that specialises in working with charities and non-profits, providing a friendly and personal service while genuinely caring about their clients’ work.Alest Accountants

Founder Aleks Sadiku asked me to create a brand that felt warm and personal as well as carrying something of the trustworthiness that people need from their accountant. I went with a very simple approach combining a cursive logotype (based on the excellent Heritage by Harder Type Foundry) with a palette of gentle reds, greens and blues. Red and blue have historically been associated with business and wealth, while green has more charitable connotations. In other words, the brand doesn’t feel out of place in the context of financial services but is also right at home in the charity sector.

Alest Accountants logo in four different colour schemes

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Charity Other creative projects Video

A poem for Baby Loss Awareness Week

A friend of mine asked me to help her create a video of her reading Judi Walker’s poem ‘Don’t Tell Me’ for a memorial service as part of Baby Loss Awareness Week. The words are simple but powerful, so I wanted the style to be as natural and direct as possible.

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Union Pictures International

Union Pictures asked us to create a brand identity that could somehow combine a clean, modern style with a nod towards classic Hollywood. What do you think of the result?

Union Pictures International
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Arts Other creative projects Video

Reykjavík to Hull: A tale of two cities

Reykjavík to Hull: A tale of two cities

I’m really proud of this film, which I wrote, directed, shot and edited. Iceland has a huge number of cultural links with Hull, which are being celebrated during its City of Culture year. I headed up to Reykjavík with a small but perfectly formed team (Kofi Smiles and Martha Mangan) to explore these connections.

This VT was one of several I’ve been making for a series of half-hour features called Britain’s City of Culture, produced by the local Look North team for BBC News Channel. This episode, as well as being shown on the News Channel several times, went out on BBC One in Yorkshire and BBC World News.

bbc.co.uk/programmes/p050psm5

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When I met Ellen DeGeneres and she told me off

This was one of my favourite days ever: getting to meet the absolute star that is Ellen DeGeneres, and produce an interview between her and Lindsey Russell for Finding Dory, as part of my day job on CBBC’s Blue Peter.

Being kids’ TV, we don’t tend to go for straight, sit-down interviews, so I thought it would be fun to play a game based around Dory’s problems with short term memory loss.

Unfortunately Ellen didn’t quite understand the format, and it fell apart spectacularly. I felt gutted at the time, as these ‘press junket’ interviews are very quick and very high-pressured, so you can’t afford to mess up. But when I watched the rushes back I realised that if I packaged them in the right way (and could persuade my bosses to get on board) this could be a really popular clip.

As it turned out, it became my most successful ever clip on the bbc.co.uk platform, and did pretty well on YouTube too.

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Rivers Run branding

Rivers Run

New three-piece acoustic band Rivers Run approached me looking for some branding that reflected their music: “Sincere and honest, the songs speak of truth, heart and guts”.

It needed to feel natural and down-to-earth but also sleek, modern and versatile. For this reason, we decided to go for a flat stencil-like design that could be superimposed onto a variety of images, colours and textures. I provided a variety of different backgrounds and formats for use in different contexts. The logo also works monochromatically, e.g. black on white.

Have a listen to the gorgeous first track by Rivers Run below. Click the download button to have it for free.