Auto pilot engaged

Sometimes I have one of those days when I can’t quite get my mind in gear. Wouldn’t it be nice to just have an auto pilot mode? Well when you have a timetable to stick to, sometimes you just have to do it anyway! Searching for inspiration can be tough, so in light of that, I made this piece this week:

I can't brain today. I have the dumb.

I can’t remember when I heard the phrase, but it’s suited the feeling. I decided to make a light hearted, quick piece that wasn’t too complicated. After all, it’s been a pretty hectic week! Last week I did the words of the week challenge on the lettering subreddit. This week, there was a drop cap challenge, so I decided to do a bit of a speed challenge! I tried to focus more on the fluidity of the lines and less on minute, precise details. I often get bogged down in the details of something, so once I zoom in, it’s often hard to zoom out again and look at the piece as a whole. Maybe it’s a trap a lot of perfectionists fall into, or maybe it’s just me, but the solution is to force yourself out of the usual conditions so that you can’t succumb.

Dropcap N

Having some lovely Rhodia dot grid notepaper really helped in diving straight in and not over thinking things. More time that I’m willing to admit usually goes into measuring out the space on the page before I even make a pencil mark for most pieces. Sketching out the design took about half an hour, followed by roughly an hour for inking. That’s much faster than the turn over for a typical piece of mine, so I’d say that the challenge was a success. I’m pleased with the piece, too.

Aside from those two pieces, I also wrapped up a little client project for a tattoo design this week. The brief was to have the word “Ruby” in a similar style as Monday. The dimensions to work with turned out to be perfect for the word. As it was just for a basic design, the client opted to have a slightly less detailed piece than Monday, so you’ll notice a few dissimilarities.

Angled shot small

The next lettering challenge isn’t up yet on the lettering subreddit (where are you mods?) so I don’t know if it’s something I’d like to do next week, but I’m thinking that I might make a thing of doing the drop caps, which come up every fortnight. I think it would make a good series!

New Logo

This week, I’m a day early. That’s not because I’m some kind of motivation machine, as I’m sure you were all thinking, but because I’m going to be away tomorrow, so I pushed my deadline forward a little. Anyway, to business! I have some new branding that I’m going to be putting up in the coming weeks. First, I have a new logo for myself in the form of a monogram.


This is part of a lettering piece that’s going to replace the header I currently have for the website, which was an old piece that I did for Thing a Day. Seeing as it was part of Thing a Day, it was a piece that I planned and executed all in one day, so I decided that it was time to think a bit more deeply about my personal branding. I wanted a piece that could be broken down into several parts so that it could fit into different spaces, e.g. business cards, social media, website banners etc. What I came up with is something that you’ll have to stick around to see, as it’s not going up this week. What I am doing, though, is taking the social media element of it, and putting it out there already, seeing as it’s finished. What you see is a vectorised version of part of the lettering piece.

So what’s the deal? Well, it’s a monogram, meaning that it’s my initials combined into an interlinked shape. In the final piece, the letters overlap, and run on top of each other in different places, but I wanted to preserve simplicity for the social media icons. Being shrunk down to a small size hurts! Or at least, it hurts pictures, especially if they’re detailed. With this digital version, I made sure to keep it simple, but added in some details like a smattering of vector textures and a roughened edge atop a gradient background. All that so it looks a bit more interesting when it’s big, as you see it above. However, usually it’s only about this size:


That’s twitter size, which I’m reliably informed is 73×73 pixels. Why that size, I don’t know, however, it’s only big enough for a certain amount, so simplicity (at least compared to what I usually go for) was pretty important.


Thing a Day (Day 5)

So, today, my new lead holder and leads arrived, meaning I can finally sketch with a sharp pencil again. And the lead pointer really does the trick! Now, all I need is my computer fixed, a large and wealthy customer base, and I’ll be all set for being a professional graphic designer. Well, we’ll see what we can do about the second one.

Anyway, in yesterday’s Thing a Day, I mentioned that my ideas for today’s thing would be to improve the site a little. I’m sure that you will have noticed the change already, as it’s right there at the top of the page! Well, as you can see, it’s a lettered header to replace the old boring one. Unfortunately, iPad attacks! Oh my grainy! Well, we’ll see what we can do once the computer is fixed.

This thing didn’t take much in terms of the concept of it, seeing as it’s just my signature and the word lettering, but the proportions and arranging of the letters was quite tricky.

Take a look from another angle:

Jack Standbridge Lettering

Odd to think that there are only two days left of my Thing a Day challenge. It will certainly free up a lot more time for me to do ILT (Important Life Things), but it’s teaching me a thing or two about giving myself a lot to do, and how to be productive even when not in too creative a mood.

Come back tomorrow for the penultimate Thing a Day!

Thing a Day (Day 1)

Thing a Day (Day 2)

Thing a Day (Day 3)

Thing a Day (Day 4)

Thing a Day (Day 6)

Thing a Day (Day 7)