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iPad Diagrams and Illustrations

iPad Diagrams and Illustrations

My venture into the world of iPad art Apps has led to commissions for diagrams and tables. The way the App works means that whilst the way I ‘paint’ is still closely informed by the way I use watercolour or oils, the line or brush stoke produced is reduced to a level of simplicity that can’t be matched by hand on paper.

The features of transparency allow layering and subtlety, similar to traditional materials. The ipad use light rather than pigment, which gives a greater range of colours and mixing options. The only thing to be careful of is when printing, and changing the format from RGB to CMYK. This transition is managed particularly well with the App I use, but is not always the case with many apps on the market.

As well as many commissions for landscapes and cityscapes, I am now being asked to create business to business illustrations, see below a couple of examples.

For more of my iPad artwork for sale please see my this page!

Attracting customers to buy invoicing software

Attracting customers to buy invoicing software

This was a great little illustration project for a ‘header’ for Sliq Tools Invoicing, one of the best online invoicing Apps on the market today. The team at Sliq wanted to compete better in this highly competitive market with some enticing graphics to sum up who they are aiming at, via their website.
With all websites needing to work effectively responsively, it’s a challenge to make an illustration work on a small phone screen, a tablet and a desktop, all at the same time.
I decided to create contemporary-styled cartoon figures of the core market sectors the product is aimed at. By making them all happy, smiley and up-beat, I hope I have managed to convey excitement and interest for this highly ingenious product, essentially one of the most important functions in anyone’s business – but also invoicing is exceeding boring to most people!
You can see my work in action at www.invoicing-software.com

 

After the success of this online version I created a second version, slightly different for Sliq’s old desktop invoicing software. Have a look at this version here www.sliqtools.co.uk

Going that extra mile…

Going that extra mile…

A little logo design help for the way-mark signs which mark the Shropshire Way, a popular circular walking route around the county of Shropshire. My mother, a keen rambler based in Shrewsbury and actively involved in making the Shropshire Way a great route for walkers, approached me to help improve the old way-mark. This is a little circular sign which is attached to posts around the routes and needs to clearly indicate the direction to walk.

Here’s some images of the before and after and signs in situ, and my design which helped the design process along the way!

My Mum!

My design with yellow background was changed to orange and more detail was added to the buzzard.

The footpath signs showing old design and new design.

A little video of little feet

A little video of little feet

A little fun bit of footage I took for the website for www.tanyddraig.co.uk I’ve recently built. Ok the music doesn’t really cover up the baby crying but I think it shows the print process very well and helps prospective customers see what it’s really like. Videos are so important for websites to communicate the real deal. Done well, they are a good, additional selling tool.

Three New Logo and Branding Projects for Worcester Enterprises

First up is Nolan

DJ Tom Nolan approached me to design his logo and branding dor his DJ business. Tom, a full-time student helps fund his studies with DJ bookings at major club venues around Worcestershire and Birmingham. He was clear about what he wanted from the outset, and specified that he wanted a black on white logo to badge up his gear and merchandise.
I created the ‘N’ logo to personify loud, contemporary, sound using a new font with a bit of tweaking to make personal to Tom. This works well both as positive and reversed, and the square icon is a necessary and effective icon for social media. In fact, all the logo I create no have a ‘square’ version as standard to meet these needs.

 

While taking the brief at Tom’s HQ, I took some shots across the range of gear and deck equipment. With a little Photoshop work, I adapted these for the website which I built as soon as I had the branding cracked. Take a look: www.djnolan.co.uk

Next up is Veranda Lounge

This is a restaurant branding project for a venue at Gloucester Quays. Robin the owner approached me after a contact through the Worcester Festival of Business.

Robin needed a branding package that would take his restaurant into the next generation of Indian/Asian/Street-Food style becoming very popular at present. It was a gem of a project to work on and the design fell into place with ease. One of the most interesting aspects was creating a mood board to find to ‘look’ and also designing the logo that would work as stencil cut-out through the copper sleeve signage. The contemporary font; Rufina was spot on and helps convey that touch of ‘old Empire days’ I was looking for, and also it was a very practical solution for the signmakers. can’t wait to see it up and running!

 

 

And Finally, How to Cook!

How to Cook

Another of my New Business Start-up Pack customers. This was a really great design project to work on. Client Steph Harrison, a fully qualified teacher in Worcester has decided to branch out and start delivering classes  to children, students and adults about how the basics of cooking and preparing food. All the very basic skills are delivered to the class personally by Steph in her unique, engaging and vibrant style. The children love her and all learn so well they go home offering to cook the tea for their parents!
After designing the logo, which works in three formats, the website build was next to get done. The WordPress theme is really slick and totally responsive so it looks great on mobiles and tablets. Google will love it! I took all the photography with my Nikon camera, an add-on available with my start-up package. Take a look at www.howtocook.org.uk

Thank you Steph for a really great testimonial:

20.12.16
Jo was recommended to me by three friends and I am extremely pleased that I used Jo to design my logo, brand, leaflets and website.
I had a vision of how I wanted my business brand to be: contemporary, professional, fun and informative, which I thought was a pretty tall order. After Jo and I met to discuss my business plan and brand she came up with a superb logo and branding that encapsulated my thoughts. I am absolutely thrilled with her design.
She spent time taking high quality photos at my workshops which she presented in my promotional leaflets and included in the website she designed.
The feedback people have provided on my website and promotional leaflets has been very positive saying how professional and eye catching it is.
Jo is easy to work alongside and good at listening to your ideas and turning them into creative designs.
In addition, Jo gave some sound business advice and support. I would highly recommend Jo to anyone who is looking for an excellent and innovative designer.

To see more testimonials click here

Worcester Festival of Business #worcestershirehour

Worcester Festival of Business #worcestershirehour

I took a small, open stand outside the Guildhall at this year’s Worcester Festival of Business. It was a great success and I had lots of visitors, many of whom I already new and some new prospective customers. I was focusing on promoting my New Business Start-up Pack, to help new businesses in and around Worcester get off to a great start with Logo & Branding created here by me. I mocked up a special ‘New Business Start-Up Pack’ logo to try to communicate the Pack – without showing any of my customer’s logos, as this would be confusing.

Robin Walker MP dropped by and I had a really nice chat with him about what I do. He was interested in the design process and remarked how hard it is to get the correct branding and that it starts of as such an unknown, kind of project to start with. It was really kind of him to Tweet about my business, I hadn’t realised he’d taken a photo of my pack:
robin-walker-tweet

jmd-framed-logo jo-menhinick-fob-2016 new-business-pack-logo new-business-roundel jmd-pop-up-worcester

Personalised Merchandise

Personalised Merchandise

This is the time of year when there seems to be many trade shows after the summer hols. I thought it would be good to flag up that I do arrange for many personalised merchandise items for our clients. Here’s a few photos I took in my studio of a nice collection for my client Aspire Business Partnership. This items included:

  • Pop-up Roller banner
  • Note Pads
  • Keyrings – with torch
  • Hessian shopper bags
  • Gold balls
  • Document shoulder bag
  • Pens
Personalised merchandise with client logos

Personalised merchandise with client logos

golfball-personalised-worcester torch-keyring-worcester pens-keyrings-worcester

Is it time for a Logo refresh?

Is it time for a Logo refresh?

As a graphic and web designer it’s important to set an example to and demonstrate the value of keeping up to date with design trends when it comes to logo and branding. Designing for oneself however is always the most difficult project to crack. This is mainly because it’s not easy making an objective decision on a design you’ve done for yourself, it’s too tempting to say ‘yes I like that’, or ‘omg no that’s not good enough, I must be really hopeless’. And sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start because the last time you did this you thought it was a ‘forever’ design! Designers also have a hunch we should working on a fee-paying project, not one just for ourselves – it’s too much naval-gazing (I hate that phrase). But when we do commit the time and effort to design and reflect on our own business it’s usually worth it, and does give an immediate buzz and boost the business. At the very least, it’s something to tell everyone about on social media!

The origins of Jo Menhinick Design Ltd and the logo

Way back in 1998 I went freelance after working in London for agency Bell Design (now called Bell Integrated Communications), as their Senior Designer for 7 years. Before that I worked for Scott Stern which was part of the WPP group – a mega big advertising group. The requirement for my own logo design became immediate when I needed to quote and invoice my first projects. I chose to base my first logo design on a Passion flower (Passiflora)because it was my favourite flower since childhood days. I wanted my logo to have a personal link which would always make me feel good about my business. This design served me well and I still quite like it.

By 2002 my business had grown and I felt I needed to bolster my corporate image a little with a logo that had more substance. The logo was ‘just a flower’ and could be perceived as a bit ‘soft’. This image didn’t really suit my industrial clients which were becoming the mainstay of my work.

 

 

The next logo version was conceived, see below. This logo design carried forward the old design but with more solidity and depth. The flower became like a moon and a touch mysterious perhaps.

By 2008 I needed something fresher to reflect the trends in recycling, regeneration and recycling which were all the rage in 2008.

 

 

 Whilst technically a simplified design, it wasn’t clean enough and in 2010 I ripped it all up and created design number 4.

 

 

 

 This ‘paint splashes’ design worked very well for me and I still love the clarity of this design. It is totally unique and lots of people have commented on how much they like it. It is still tenuously based on the passion flower as the blue and pink strokes are based on the stamens of the flower, a subtle link. But, there was always something a bit sad about this design, it does look like tears or rain.

2016 is here, I want to look positive, professional and bold.

I wanted to keep some link with past designs, but design something completely different and up to date. This Hexagon logo does it all I think, for the next few years anyway. Although, technically if it were a passion flower it should be a Pentagon! The immediate appearance is that of a chevron perhaps, or an aeroplane tail fin. Folded paper engineering/origami also springs to mind. This geometric style is trending now and will set JMD apart from design companies will older style logos. It exudes confidence and professionalism whilst also totally unique and retaining femininity. The clever bit is how it works as a square icon as well as a rectangle. A square icon version of a logo is now an essential requirement if you’re going to compete for business in the social media environment. For starters, if you want your company website to work as a bookmark on a tablet or iphone, you must have a 512px  x 512px logo. So it is more or less essential that your logo has a format for this. You can then load a compatible file for other social media too, such as Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram etc.

The hexagon motif on my logo hold the letters JMD and this element forms the ‘icon’ file. The PNG format (portable network graphics) allows the design to work over another colour or a photograph. So it will work well on sliders and animated gifs.

Key elements to a good logo design:

  1. Memorable
  2. Unique
  3. Excellent, appropriate typography
  4. Well drawn
  5. Has some link with the business it represents
  6. A clever graphic device perhaps. This means the logo represents on image and another simultaneously. My logo doesn’t really do this but the logo I created for St Paul’s Hostel  illustrates this point well
  7. Vector format
  8. Works small or large
  9. Provides the outward company image the customer wants
  10. Communicates the relevant brand values
  11. Is up-to-date with current trends
  12. Competes well against competition
  13. Works on any application from a paperclip to an aeroplane!