Archive for September, 2011

What would you like to see?

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Rustic Snail Design Blog is for you! If you are a student studying Graphic Design, Web Design Illustration, or your just a fan of graphic design we are here for you!

What do you expect from a design blog? is it tips, tricks or words of advice we would like to hear your views of what you would like to see on blogs.

So please get in touch by commenting below and we are all ears! Just to make you get the best out of your current or future briefs!

Dont be shy we dont bite!

Kind Regards

Rustic Snail

Categories: Uncategorized

Graphic Designers for Inspiration

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

In all university briefs they will ask you to gather inspiration, most people will find well known designers such as Saul Bass and David Carson and just slap some of their work in and thats that, however tutors will give extra credit when they see that you have found some other designers that are more relevant to the brief and style that you are aiming at.

As always Rustic Snail is here to help you along the way! i have created a list of Designer which have different styles from the comman design styles for you to do abit of research and get those all important marks!

Alex Steinweiss

William Addison Dwiggins

Alvin Lustig

Paul Rand

Robert Massin

Armin Hofmann

I hope you find these to be helpful, there will be more updates on designers very soon!

(Images shown from google image search)

Categories: Students

What is Graphic Design?

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

What is Graphic Design?

This question has many answers, i typed in the question into google and it came up with a Wikipedia responce (just like most questions people ask wikipedia has an answer!) it gave me this as a responce;

Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form (i.e., printers, programmers, signmakers, etc.) – undertaken in order to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience. The term “graphic design” can also refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation. The field as a whole is also often referred to as Visual Communication or Communication Design. Various methods are used to create and combine words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use typographyvisual arts and page layout techniques to produce the final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.

Which is a brief answer to what the subject is and it is correct!

When asking this question to a number of people they will give you answers saying a graphic designer or graphic artist is someone who designs and creates brand identities, posters adverts and what not, most of parents who have a son/daughter studying graphic design may well just say “oh, erm…. they play about with pictures and something to do with computers!” thats exactly what my parents say. However graphic design is much much  more than playing with computers!

To me this subject is one of the most difficult professions out there, because it is such an opinionated subject, some people may think that a piece of design is the best thing since sliced bread and others may have a complete different perception on it.

It is attention to detail, seeing new possibilities that could open peoples eyes to a new product, business, object or event, a new way of selling something. I remember when given a brief to design a new christmas mail out for a company, they wanted something querky, different eye catching rather than the traditional ‘Merry Christmas from all of us at such and such!’  As all starts to a new design brief i research into christmas cards previously produced finding most of them to be jolly happy with images of families, santa clause and snowmen! which, dont get me wrong are a nice thing to see at the seasonal time, however the company wanted something different! So i went shopping to see if i could get some kind of inspiration for this brief, looking for hours upon end to get something that would be unique and quirky. Eventually i found a few small toys that gave me an idea that would fit the brief. The company was very pleased with the final outcome and boosted their costumer data base.

So thats an example of how graphic design isnt just using computer software to get the final product, its using your creative edge that others would not of noticed. Its thinking outside the box!

There are many many different areas of graphic design which all work together to give a fantastic final outcome, some people may be typographers and others may be logo designers, some areas are your weaknesses and others are strengths, my advice to you is try each area in your first and second years to see which area of design best fits in with your design style and then in final years of university concentrate in the area you are best at. When you are working on your portfolio you will need to include a wide variety of designs to show that you can manage different projects and briefs however make the portfolio work towards your favour by arranging your work starting with your strongest piece and ending with your strongest piece.


Graphic Design is more than just playing with pretty pictures, its thinking outside the box, its something that is inside of you! many people will support you with your designs but when people have a different view to you, take in their advice and try and see it from a different point of view. All advice is good advice!

Categories: Students

Tin Advertising pieces

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Heres a few pieces of which i have collected which i think could be inspirational for some advertising briefs that you could come across.

Coca Cola:

This Piece here is Advertising the Coca Cola brand drink using only typography with no image of the product itself.


A tricky product to promote i like the feel that this piece has, its bold its strong and eye catching, which is what you ideally want from an advertisement.

Old Gold Cigarette:

Obviously these days any form of cigarette advertising is not allowed by law these days, however back in the day companies sometimes used celebrities to sell there product and to promote a film that is out, here they have used Laurel and Hardy to promote their brand along side their new film ‘Babes in Toyland!’ The colours chosen here attract the on lookers eyes and the style at the time is not involving proper photography but detailed illustration which is unique to look at. There are a number of tabacco promotions which are fantastic to look at especially subliminal advertising which i shall post at a later date.

Categories: Students, Uncategorized

Vintage Design

September 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Graphic Design is everywhere we go, see even touch. From a chocolate bar to a massive billboard on the side of a building, they all have at least abit of design work behind them. However designs these days are all fancy and jazzy incorporating new technology, computer designed which taking over the industry. But i think that the best Graphic Design is still held in vintage advertising techniques and styles, which is starting to become more and more popular especially within the fashion industry with brands appearing such as ‘All Saints’ ‘Top Shop’ etc. So how come designs from that era are not making a come back again?

Brands such as ‘Fairy’ ‘Sugar Puffs’ had some fantastic designs to sell their brand in the past, with far more eye catching designs than some we see these days. If i saw some designs that were used say in the 1970s on the shelf in a supermarket that would jump out at me and make me purchase that product than others, i believe that these designs deserve so space on the shelves again.

I myself am a huge fan of vintage advertising which i do base some of my work on, given the correct brief of course! No offence to any new age designers out there who are fantastic on programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc but how about taking a step back from the Computer and getting a sketch pad out and drawing what you want the peice of work to be and then move onto the programs to interpret what you want. Design is about creativity and ideas to move a product from A to B. A clean design does’nt always mean a brilliant design.

When i studied design there was a screen press facility, type room etc which i had in my head that i would never use these tools to create a fantastic piece of work. I came up with concepts for assignments which i thought would be brilliant and did not involve any of the above processes, but now looking back i wished i had taken the time to use these tools for free whilse they are still available, rather than now in the real world they are expensive just to book a couple of hours. So a piece of advice experiment with old tools and equipment to appreciate them for future reference.

Screen Printing is brilliant for a vintage style especially in t-shirt design which i am currently working on. different textures result in interesting results and in some cases are unique and cannot be recreated with ease. Same with Letter Press work shops, working with large wooden fonts can give great results to type briefs, because of a slight wear and tear to a letter can result in interesting final products, which is completely different when working on a computer. everything is clean neat and tidy, far too computer generated for my liking. That is my only regret from university, not using these tools which some places do not even have the opportunity to use. They are there for a reason, to help you along the way!

When looking at a new brief, take a step back and fully research into past and present designs and see what different styles will best work to produce the final product, (obviously not if the brief requires an animation or any film media) and see what has been produced previously before you get down to business. If the ideas inspire you then do incorporate the style and feel to them however do not just copy them straight out of the book and slap your own type on it, because that is not really your own design in the end and you could end up failing due to stealing an idea of the book or net. and is not what you want.

Follow the steps and rules of design that are out there and you will not go wrong!

Bring back Vintage Design into the world before everything becomes computer generated!

Categories: Students

A Smile In the Mind

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Title: A Smile in the Mind

Author: Edward de Bono

Price: £15.27

A Smile in the Mind -Witty Thinking in Graphic Design.

The Book, in my opinion is abit confusing and slightly everywhere in the contents, some of the examples are fitting to the title of this book however most of its contents are slightly shoved in to fill some space i feel, not being harsh to the author or the designers which have been printed in, after all design is one of the most personal opinion jobs.

This book has been given 4 out of 5 stars on recommendation sites however i do not feel that it is that fantastic.

I think the best styles of design makes people smile and even laugh in order to sell a product of to even make people remember that campaign, something such as a catchy jingle or associated with a character i.e McDonalds had Ronald McDonalds for children which obviously worked a treat for them. However this book is not as great as the recommendation on some sites for Graphic Designers wanting to create a witty advertising campaign.

Unfortunately i would give this book a review of 3/5 with some good material, but dont let me put you off if you would like to purchase this book as this is just my own personal opinion.


Categories: Uncategorized

Graphic Design Reference

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Title: Graphic Design Reference

Author: Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit

Price: £34.99

Now many books say that ‘We are the essential guide to Graphic Design!’ or ‘The Bible of Graphic Design! no other book out there is good enough to beat us!’ etc. However this book is a MUST have for any serious Graphic Designer! and that is saying something, When i first saw this i looked at the price and thought £34.99 is alot of money for some printed piece of paper bound together, and to be honest with you i still think £34.99 is alot of money these days, however this book is worth every penny in my eyes.

For anyone who has some knowledge in the design world but they could do with abit more help with either university projects or actual briefs in the real world, this book has to have the first place on the book shelf.

The chapters cover everything that is essential to Graphic Design. From Fonts straight through to printing and bounding. The two authors (Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit) have included and covered all areas of the design industry and slapped it all together into a handy (not a small book) which is a brilliant must read/purchase what ever you want to call it.When i was a student at college, i remember one of my teachers saying to me,

You will never be a great Graphic Designer if you do not understand the power of typography!”

And at that time i did’nt understand anything about Typography, until i actually got my head into gear and learnt the ins and outs of this area!When i got to University i thought this is the time to really work on what i want to do! Then i came up across a different teacher who kindly said to me;

“If you want to do anything correctly with your time here you must MUST understand the rules of the grid system or you will fail this course!’

This may seem abit harsh and abit mean however looking back at this now i understand what the two teachers were trying to push me to get the best out of my work! For students reading this it may be the same tale, however it is true, Graphic Design is all about creativity and brain storming, but there are certain rules that have been laid out of which to follow, Grids and Typography are the rules that needs to be learnt and used in every design project. Which brings me back to this book, the chapters are designed to give you knowledge into both these areas and many more, the chapter on typography starts right at the origin of type itself and runs throught perfect examples and how to deal with different fonts and how they can work together etc.

The chapter on Grids works in the same way, it gives you insights from the most simplest grid to extreme complex formats, which you can work from on current and future design briefs.With this book i believe it deserves the Price tag in many many different ways. For anyone who is studying Graphic Design and needs a helping hand with increasing knowledge this is a book that will help you cover all the areas of which you will need to know. You can buy other books to which only covers one certain subject in more depth however if your wanting an all rounder ‘Graphic Design Reference‘ is the book for you!

Marks out of 10, i’d give this a 10 out of 10 if not more!

Categories: Book Review