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Silkscreen Print Design: Maybe you’ve been looking for this?


Over the last few months I’ve had time to prepare the artwork for my next few designs as I’ve not been able to print due to an ankle operation. The above is the second one I’ve finished with a series of ten prints being worked on as well.

Again this is a simple play on words but it stayed with me and so I thought it had merit and was worth printing. These are the sort of ideas that got lost in the twenty or so years between finishing my degree and starting to print again and is the main reason I sought out a print studio. I used to get frustrated that I didn’t make time to create something with whatever ideas I had. Now that isn’t the case and it’s great to get these ideas out of my head and onto paper.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy looking at the various prints on this blog and as always all constructive criticism and over-the-top praise is welcome. Until next time…


Filed under: Art, Design, Posters, Silkscreen, Typography, , , ,

Specsavers uses Olympic Korean flag error at Hampden to create a brilliant press advert

Specsavers Comedic Korean Advert

Specsavers Comedic Korean Press Advert

What makes a great press advert – Timing….

After the Olympic flag mix-up at Hampden Park in Glasgow… Specsavers, or their agency saw an opportunity and got this advert into the next days papers. This is bang on brand and extends the theme of their current TV campaign perfectly.


Filed under: Branding, Design, marketing, Posters, Typography, , , , ,

How to ruin your Graphic Designers or Design Agency’s work

There is a common saying which goes:

“a camel is a horse designed by committee”

Over the 20+ years I’ve worked in the design and advertising industry I’m well aware that the best work sometimes doesn’t make it to the printers / shop shelf / on-line / exhibition stand or whatever the projects aim is. In fact there used to be a section in the D&AD awards book on client rejected campaigns / slogans and they were always better than the signed-off adverts.

Now this isn’t a moan about clients not seeing the creative or artistic merit of an idea. Their refusal to sign-off on an idea can be for many reasons, budget restraints, the client thinking it’s too controversial for their market or too many people in the sign-off chain, all wanting input for petty political reasons. I’ve seen them all. My feelings are that as long as you’ve justified your professional advice with solid design theory, market research, previous case studies or google analytics, then that’s all you can do. If the client then wants to go 180˚ in the other direction so be it. The client is paying the money so it’s their choice at the end of the day.

In this scenario, many agencies have what they feel is the best solution worked up as well and put next to the ad that ran in their portfolio.

Anyway all these things are well and good but I’m digressing. The main point of this posting was to highlight a trend that is gathering pace and which more often than not, is a real false economy!

This is the practice of clients controlling the print of a design job with no experience, usually to save £20 or £50 over the quote from the agencies printer. I know in these tough economic times companies are looking to save money but this is really a false economy. In some cases the clients have spent thousands on design and then ruin the job at the last stage, all for very little saving.

This is detrimental in many ways:

  • The end result isn’t what the client wanted and due to an understandable lack of knowledge in this area, sometimes they see it as the agencies fault.
  • The result is often a poorer piece of marketing and in some cases plain unusable, wasting the companies budget. Again sometimes the agency gets blamed.
  • The agency see all their hard work ruined and usually can’t put the work in their portfolio or use it for marketing. A small issue you may think but if they’ve been working on a brochure for six months, you can imagine the disappointment.

Below is a recent example of such an outcome. We were asked to produce some business cards for this client and he would arrange the printing as he had a few guys who owed him a favour! After the design was signed-off we supplied the print spec and the artwork to the client. About a month later I met the client who handed me his new card…

The printer being polite must have had an “off day” as they’d taken the artwork reduced it by 5% and printed it including the special colour named “Non-Printing Cutter Guide”. As I picked my jaw up off the flaw I think the client saw I wasn’t too pleased. I explained the printer had gone through more effort to print it incorrectly than if they’d done the job properly! The client then summed the situation up perfectly “Oh I hadn’t noticed that, I just accepted it as I don’t know about these things!” Exactly I’d have thrown the job back and got a reprint or a refund.

Your business card has never been more important with the growth of business networking. Done well it’ll niftily encapsulate whether you’re established and traditional or modern and challenging. It’s probably the most important marketing item you’ll have, so call in the professionals and get the job done right!’

We can help.

Like most things in life you get what you pay for. I’ll end with another saying I often say to clients when discussing the printing of their marketing material.

“I can get you good print and I can get you cheap print but I can’t get you good, cheap print!”

A great example of a good design job ruined

A great example of a good design job ruined

Filed under: Branding, Business Advice, Design, marketing, Posters, Typography

Silkscreen Print Visual: I worship at the church of Brian Wilson!

Brian Wilson silkscreen print visual by Neville Godwin

Brian Wilson silkscreen print visual by Neville Godwin


This is the visual for the next silkscreen print I’m going to do in December-January 2012.

I like to finalise the design before making the screens simply because it means I can limit the time it takes to print, which as I have to pay for the studio time makes sense. Now that last point may seem obvious but some artists use the process of printing to form their ideas, embracing the process. They start out with only a partly form idea and use the journey to finish the project.

I want to take advantage of the print process but in a more rigid structure. I plan to print it on a handmade paper which is heavily textured. This will mean that not all the image will transfer and will hopefully add an aged feel to the print. It’s also going to bleed off the edges of the sheet. So printing this could be messy!

The imagery is a bit of a quandary as although I love religious iconography, I’m not religious. In fact I find organised religion both morally bankrupt and corrupt, plus the basis for most of the worlds conflicts. But I digress and talking about Brian Wilson is far more enjoyable…

The work is simply a statement that if I was going worship anyone or thing it would be Brian, a man who through music has created worlds and vistas that can take you to other levels of consciousness. He can even make you feel you’re in sunny California when you’re on a bus on a wet, wintery evening in Bolton!

To have written all the Beach Boys material including Pet Sounds (along with Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On” cited as either the best album ever recorded or the second best album) up to the Smile project by the age of 24 whilst being partly deaf is simply amazing!

For those who don’t know their ‘Brian”, Dumb Angel was the original name for the ‘Smile’ project and I’ve used it as a knowing pun. In an October 1966 interview, Brian Wilson quipped that the Beach Boys’ next project (Smile) was “a teenage symphony to God”. This also influenced the imagery.

Anyway there it is . I’ll post the final print in the New Year and you’ll be able to see the effect the paper has.

Let me know if you like the print or have any constructive comments? I’d welcome feedback.





Filed under: Art, Music, Posters, Silkscreen, Typography

Tesco Virtual Supermarket – Using QR Codes to completely change the market

Tesco homeplus's virtual grocery store in a south korea subway station

Tesco homeplus's virtual grocery store in a south korea subway station

This is a complete game changer. You have to understand that South Korea is ahead of Europe on take up of smartphones. The percentage of passengers with the right equipment and the understanding to use it correctly makes this workable. For this to work with the success experienced in South Korea it would take our mobile market to mature in my opinion.

image of a shoppers adding items to their online cart by taking a picture of the corresponding QR code

shoppers add items to their online cart by taking a picture of the corresponding QR code

The campaign was designed by the seoul branch of advertising agency cheil for tesco homeplus supermarket and created virtual grocery stores in south korean subway stations. Users shop by scanning QR codes on their smartphones. So no rent, you can open in new location with ease and even focus to your market, say putting baby supplies on a poster outside a nursery, or health foods outside a gym etc.
A large, wall-length billboard was installed in the station, designed to look like a series of supermarket shelves, displaying images, prices and a QR code. Purchasers scan the code of any product they would like, thereby adding it to their online shopping cart. after the web transaction is completed, the products are delivered to the user’s home within the day.

A shopper scanning a QR code

A shopper scanning a QR code

This convienience store (in every sense) makes productive use of commuters’ waiting time although in rush hour it could be an issue! It also saves them having to go to the supermarket. But most importantly for Tesco it’s a great way to convert customers from your competition. If they can use their waiting time to shop with you, they’re not shopping with your competition. The little film below explains the project. It’s a bit corporate but the key facts are impressive. Due to the lack of understanding of QR Codes within the UK’s general population, I feel it’s success would be limited but in the future I can see it having real benefits.

Would you use such a store? Would it be more convenient for you? Do you see the benefits or would it be too much hassle while waiting for a train? Let us know?

Filed under: Design, marketing, Posters, QR Codes, , ,

A New Leaflet and Poster for Stream Properties Limited

Stream Properties Leaflet Detail

Stream Properties DL Leaflet

Stream Properties DL Leaflet

Stream Properties Limited are a property consultancy who offer many services from relocating a company to compliance checks. Some clients want all the services, some only one or two but more importantly most didn’t know the breadth of services on offer! This is a problem as you can imagine as some clients may be using competitors for some services, simply because they aren’t aware that Stream offer this service as well!

This project it has to be said, has taken time with partners working abroad and changes in direction. Well this week the leaflet and poster were finally delivered and the client is really happy with them and called and emailed to say so. It means so much when clients say thank you. Too often we’re all so busy we just keep our head down and carry on with things but taking time out to say thank you to suppliers really makes a difference…

Anyway below are images of the leaflet which outlines the breadth of offering, testimonials etc and a A3 poster leave-behind to remind them that Stream can handle all their property management problems.

Stream Properties Limited Leaflet

Stream Properties Limited Leaflet

Stream Properties Limited Leaflet

Stream Properties Limited Leaflet

Stream Properties Limited A3 Poster

Stream Properties Limited A3 Poster

Stream Properties Limited A3 Poster

The A3 poster was a replica of the diagram created for the DL leaflet. Using colour to separate the services into groups and create a structure, we used a stream idea to have them all flow into the London skyline. A strong grid for alignment was used to reflect the construction/property industry, crisp edges and bold text within their existing branding to give an exclusive, luxurious feel. This is backed up by printing on heavy uncoated stock to give a tactile quality. This was initially a bone of contention as the client wanted gloss stock! After guiding them through the finish options, we were able to convince them that this was the correct route for their brand.

Anyway at a time where most companies are concentrating their budget on their digital marketing, it’s really good to have a client who appreciates that holding something in the hand that truly represents you, is still a strong asset to take to meetings.

If you know of any company looking to update or create a leaflet or brochure from scratch then please get in touch we’d love to meet them and we offer a FREE initial meeting to discuss your marketing needs.

Filed under: Design, Posters, Typography

Back to the Old Skool – Silkscreen Print Series Visual #1

Back in the day I got my degree in Fine Art Printmaking, covering all forms of printmaking, litho, woodcut, linocut, etching, monoprint and my favourite silkscreen. I used to exhibit around the world but as life got in the way and my output gradually declined. I found that when I couldn’t act on my ideas immediately, as I could at college, the ideas were stored and then meant less over time and were never realised. As a result I haven’t done silkscreen for nearly 20 years!

The recent sudden death of a college friend brought life into perspective… funny that! You really don’t know what the future has in store for you and tomorrow may never come… As a result I’ve decided to take up silkscreen again but this time with a more graphic edge. It’s been cathartic working to my brief for a change and can only benefit my work long term.

My prints used to be multi coloured affairs (20+ colours in some cases), but as I’ve got more embroiled in graphics, I guess my sensibilities have changed and I want to limit myself to a maximum of four colours.

This is for these reasons:

  • I’ve got to hire the studio time so doing 20+ colour prints would be expensive.
  • To force myself to communicate with a limited palette.
  • To create problems for me to solve.

Also I used to experiment and take advantage of ‘happy accidents’ as I had the time. Without this, I want to take the finalised idea to the studio and if something happens in the screening so be it… but if it goes exactly to plan I’ll be happy with that as well.

Anyway here is the first visual in the ‘Expanding Horizons’ series. The quote has been used in many places, most recently the Spike Lee film 25th Hour but Tom Waits has used it as well as Francis Bacon. It’s a sort of send off for my friend and as I don’t suffer fools so it seemed to fit.

I hope you like it. Let me know? Click the image to enlarge…

Expanding Horizons #1 Life Lessons Silkscreen Visual by Neville Godwin

Expanding Horizons #1 Life Lessons Silkscreen Visual by Neville Godwin

Filed under: Design, Posters, Silkscreen, Typography

RIP Malcolm McLaren

We’re very sad to hear the news of his death, aged 64 on the 8th April 2010.

The Sex Pistols are Malcolm’s main legacy, although after Punk had waned he also embraced many projects covering pop, opera and ambient music. All were original and in Malcolm’s way slightly ahead of the curve.

As much a part of the Pistols music was their image and Malcolm really knew how to surround himself with the right people.

As well as loving the music (Never Mind the Bollocks – was rereleased in heavy weight vinyl just over a year ago for you audiophiles out there) we’re also huge fans of the Punk aesthetic from Sniffin’ Glue to Jamie Reid who did all the graphics at the time. So much so we have a few of the 1997 silkscreen series around the place…

Whether he saved the world from a prog based musical future is debatable with the likes of Roxy Music, Kraftwerk and Bowie in their prime but he certainly gave the whole scene a kick up the arse!

He by all accounts could be difficult to work with, Russ Meyer, one of the world’s most original and visually stunning directors, walked off the Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle set after directing for three days after ‘creative differences’

Well all we can say is thanks for the music Malcolm, EMI is currently belting out in the studio it still sounds amazing!

Filed under: Art, Design, Music, Posters, , , ,

Kick-Ass The Movie – Great Poster Design and a Comic Book Film That Lives Upto The Hype?

I collect film posters, usually 1960/70’s sexploitation movie posters from such visionaries as Ted V Mikels and America’s greatest auteur Russ Meyer.

While these posters for some are an acquired taste they are beautiful examples of poster design and I’ll show some of my collection in future posts. But this post is about the posters of the new Movie KickAss, the first set of posters I’d want to collect since Tarantino’s Kill Bill. Which if any of you know your films know that Quentin has cited the huge influence both Ted and Russ have had on his work so maybe there’s the link! In Fact I have the original US Poster of this Movie before it was split (unsuccessfully) into two parts (See below).

The comics for Kick-Ass are superb and even if you’re not a regular comic buyer (I’m not) they’re worth getting. Most adaptations fall way short of the mark (All Superman films, the early Batman films, the last Spiderman film, the Punisher… I could go on) but the reception this film has good has been astounding across the board.

Below are some of the many posters for the film which while retaining the comic roots, still have a modern twist… and just work.

I for one as a fan of chop-socky, kitsch films in general and graphic style with be at the front of the line for this one!

Filed under: Art, Design, Film, Posters, , , ,

McCann Erickson prove to Nescafé that the simplest ideas have more lasting appeal

Trawling through the web I came across this ad by McCann Erickson which is one of the best posters we’ve seen in years.

The best ideas are sometimes lost on the client, or the client thinks it’s too simple to run etc so well done to Nescafé for going with this.

The designer must have sleeped well that night, talk about nailing a brief!

Give us your thoughts and point us to better ads if you’ve seen them…

A stunning Advert for Nescafé

Filed under: Design, Posters, Typography

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