Thursday, May 19, 2011

Final Magazine Layout and Download

Here is the final design of the magazine and links to download it through the web.

download option

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Horizons

A great advert for playstation looking at the double life gamers lead, from there day job to there gaming life.

For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known, a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries and not merely in self-defence. I'Â ve exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look at me, but I have commanded armies and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say: I've lived.

Chemical brothers star guitar video that partly inspired me for my new horizons video.

A brilliant video by etienne de crecy called no brain that I saw at the british film institute as part of the bug lectures into the evolution of music video. The superbly executed visuals work harmoniously with the track along with the unexpected ending.

A piece i think if it was presented for the new horizons project would without a shadow of a doubt get 100%. It works on all the levels I believe new horizons wants us to explore from what we get out of life to where we wont it to go. A line that has always stuck with me since I first saw the video is "if i only scrap a living, at least its a living worth scraping" which i think perfectly sums up an attitude to do something that you really love in life that if at all possible make a living from.

DARK SIDE OF THE LENS from Astray Films on Vimeo.

Here are two tracks by the the streets that without really thinking about it feel have influenced my video for the new horizons presentation.
Mike Skinner the person who wrote the songs has a way with words that describe the every day living of the every day young man, the mischief they get up to along the life lesson they learn along the way.

A track that was then released after the album from where these two tracks came from some up the streets attitude and is a manifesto there ethos.

Oi Oi Oi
Sometimes I look down; sometimes I look up
Sometimes I look down; sometimes I look up
Oi thats it

Oi Oi
I'm a fake
I don't live the streets

But there's only so many hours in a day and I use 'em to make beats
In the studio
My technique
I live loops
Sleep snares
And breathe beats
Then sit through
Keep the best there
And only leave to eat
Shut the door
Penne nary record the vocal just once more
And now you know why these walls are the only walls i ever saw
Call me the quick "??", my ??

Kind of like a street score
Though, not the genuine article
More facts packed in a soundtrack to the anthem
In a film and I'm the lead
Believe me in a tragedy scene a tear ran down my cheeks
So que the fairytale finale
Listen to the dialogue
But not too deep
Soak up the feeling
But don't quote me please

Don't worry about continuity
The person we hired to do that has been relieved of their duties
Also, in the first scene my jeans are green
But then they change mysteriously to cream
Again bad continuity
But I still mean what I mean
I wear Nike a lot
My hoodie's a tight Schott
But does my life sound as interesting as a fight in a chip shop?
I think not

The hype's not to be believed
I am not the archetypal street geez but i am right on being a beat-junkie

I gave up the fight for an easy life a long time ago
When the last bird dumped me
Buy me, get one studio free
I use words for effect to illustrate passion
Themes ring fact and specifics are usually fiction
Oi oi
I probably couldn't tell you half of what
"Has it come to this" means,
I was simply setting a scene
Of concrete
Not sky and green trees

I still hold the same hundred feet high dreams
But a lot of things scare me, though
I think I read somewhere recently that fear is a useless feeling because
I can't run to where I'm heading without running from where I was
It's all because

Where I'm from is not the issue
This is my imagination
I don't sing the blues or feel fever
Which by definition aids broken through fever
It floats around places I've never even been to
So don't lean toward the door, up for
Just as the dance floor gets raw
Some of the things this tour makes out
I'd done been or did
Wasn't mean I weren't the one
I'd only seen it
I was always too zoned-out on drum machine shit
To worry about the day to day out in the dosh pit

Oi Oi
Flip the 12"
This is the original mix
Maybe my sarcastic brick twist daunting will be my downfall
Suddenly I'm defined by my lyrical
So I apologise for being so self-obsessed on this tune
Let,s get back to the story
Soon as
The streets;
The score;
Tell me what you think it is - 'cos I don't know anymore!

A book that has influenced me and helped me in creating my video and its outlook towards london included Ian Sinclair's "Out of the Territory" which is Sinclair's views on a series of walks through London. Often known as Flaneurs or psychogeography Sinclair talks about the everyday and mundanething that often go unnoticed when walk through the streets of London, describing the "hit and run calligraphy" of graffiti writers and the buildings that act as a compass bearing when navigating the city.

Tracks that I have used for the presentation in there entirety 

I decided to use the intro from this as I felt i was a good introduction into the rest of the music, summing up that I haven't become someone that is not me and im still trying to find my way.

It wasn't until after I had laid down the mix for the video that realized the true meaningof this song, which is about death, originally written by Johhny Cash. However it seems somewhat relevant considering that the video uses a journey as a metaphor for life. The initial reason for using this track is constant beat and meaningful lyrics "travelling through this world alone"

The idea behind using heartbeaker by deadboy was the consitancy of beat to the movement of the train. It also provided me a space in the video where lyrics did not get in the way of the voice over but providing a rhythm to talk to.

"It's a London thing" is what i decided to end the video which i felt was a perfect track to have as the train journey on as it  pulls into London Bridge.

Train Journey

Train Journey New Horizons from Joe Nixon on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Printers and Development

I had trouble finding printers that would print a small number of magazines to the requirements I was after. Most printers needed a minimum order of about 500 to 1000 and as my print run wasn't going to be that big it wasn't that necessary. After more research and speaking to printers pronta print could print my magazine digitally with 130gsm glossy double sided full colour inserts with a 250gsm glossy double sided full colour cover for £50 for five. This was the best offer i had so far and was a short turn around so could still bide my time. 

I later found mag cloud that could do everything I needed icluding a perfect bind and give my magazine a web precence and the opportunity to have it available to be downloaded onto ipads. As a result I went with this method and am thoroughly pleased with the result and quality of the magazine.   

Monday, May 2, 2011

Buissness Card Design

As a small side project away from the design of my music magazine I have been designing my business cards. This has lead me to rethinking the way I brand myself as both an illustrator and a graphic designer.

From all the design the two below were my favorite. I then decide on the Orange and black tying in with my corporate colours. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Magazine Development

I have worked through a series of different layout combinations, trying to find a happy medium between text and image. As I have progressed through the design process a few things have come to light. I want the magazine to capture a sense of atmosphere and energy that is experienced through the photographs. From a minimal approach to way the layout design was taking shape I have decided to try and express this sense of atmosphere through full bleed spreads and larger images.

Development for the front cover took a different route and was a bit more straight forward. The things I had to include was the name of the magazine "It's a London Thing" which came from an old skool garage track by Scott Garcia, which i felt summed up the nature of the magazine. The main focus on the design was coming up the right image that would attract attention as well as giving an indication on the magazine content.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Alexey Brodovitch

A master of layout design, and a long time before the invention of computers. Alexey Brodovitch's work is nothing but amazing, his sense of space and knowledge of how photographs and text work together on the page shows through in his work. Text often compliments the shapes that feature in the photographs, along with colours and tints that feature as well. These all work in harmony together creating a layout that is both engaging and aesthetically pleasing to look at, not to busy and just the right amount of negative space that frame the image and text. Layering images is a common theme through out his work placing photographs on top of photographs to achieve his desired composition.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Music Publications

As research for my music magazine I am looking at a range of publications and looking at layout design and how each magazine tackles similar topics differently. Publications include Mixmag, Dazed and Confused and The Face to name just a few. All these publications approach layouts in differing ways. Mixmag uses a lot of photographs that accompany the article, often bright, vibrant club scenes featuring dj's and people that attend each event, aiming itself toward a young crowd.

Dazed and confused on the other hand takes a more considered approach, its emphasis is on the article rather than trying to capture an atmosphere through its sense of fun and energy. The layout focuses on the space around the text and image as much as the features themselves adding a sense of sophistication to the design.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Windows Phone 7

In preparation for our final major project at uni i had free rein of what i wanted to do for the next project. As a result i chose to do a D&AD brief to give me some kind of structure to work towards. The brief i ended up picking was for windows phones new operating system "metro" which is based around the design principles of airport and metro train signage, easily understood and recognized. I looked at as much information as possible that was available on the new operating system and reading through promotional material to try and get a handle on the design ethos around the operating system. From this i gathered it had to be clear, coherent, bold, engaging and typographic. I was limited to only using the "segoe wp" typeface that was the font windows phone seven featured and had to be used in conjunction with the final piece i was to create.

After experimenting with different layouts and ideas, i looked at incorporating the symbols used on the phones operating system, playing around with different combinations of symbols being differing sizes and groups.

I also worked on different layouts an combinations bearing in mind that they had to be clear and coherent with minimal fuss.

Bearing in mind the design principles of the operating system i settled on a clear and coherent layout similar to what you would find in train stations and airports with a list of symbols next to text to clearly identify where things are. The words that I incorporated alongside the symbols I felt helped mirror the understanding of that particular symbol.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

As part of a project for uni I had to design and create a website from scratch. The website had to be based on myself as a means of have a presence on the internet. As a result I wanted the website to incorporate my design and illustration work giving a snap shot into the type of work i create.

As a complete novice at building websites i researched various programs on and off line that would help get me started, making the decision to steer away from html coding and programs like dreamweaver. I also wanted to have complete freedom over the program starting with a blank canvas and building the site from there, hence i moved away from template websites such as wordpress, wix and tumblr that have pre built menu's slideshows etc. This ended up leading me to a piece of software called freeway that allows the user to build a site from scratch. This software allowed me to create my own rollover's, menu's, slideshows and layouts to my specification and needed no coding.

The software itself took a bit of getting used to but with a few tutorials allowed me to create the desired effect i was after culminating in website that could easily be navigated and gave me the web presence i was after.

However since the website has gone live i have uncounted a few problems with servers and hosting sites and the website can only be viewed on a few systems which i am currently in the process of rectifying.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

A disaster waiting to happen

For this project the brief was to create a piece of work that centered round a disaster big or small/personal or global.

Seeing as i have a keen interest in music and regularly head out to clubs i made my disaster about a club called plastic people on curtain road over east london that i check out on a regular basis and is under threat of being closed down. With so many clubs in London under threat of closure i thought this was a disaster that connected to people who know the club and what the music that is played there was trying to do.

In order to create the A5 landscape booklet i had to do some more research about the club, finding out who wanted to close it down, why they wanted to close it down, the feelings of the other club goers and what there opinion was, dj's and producers opinions and why the club meant so much to so many people. I included familiar images from the club such as the red/orange light that sits above the DJ booth, the broken plastic people sign above the entrance that reads pla people, all the familiar sights that people associate with the club so when they see the information booklet it it immediately connects with the vibe of the club.

Along side the information booklet is a blog that we had to create with breaking news about the disaster as well as a 15 second infomercial.

Plastic people advert by user9066309

With all this information i was then able to create an informative piece of work that supported the club and what it stood for as well as information on how the general public could help.

House Of Mirrors

For this project we had to look at how how we had shaped the home we live in, and how they were a reflection of us, the objects that surrounded us were objects of our life.

The idea must be communicated graphically to allow it to be owned and accessed by others.

With all this in mind i planned to make a book that combined illustrations of the objects and spaces around me that are put into to order of the significance they have to me.  Three words then accompany each drawing giving the viewer a way of understanding how each each object or space connects to me as a person. 


passion, dance, expression

My corner

home, comfort, peace


identity, individuality, trend

This was the final out come

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Typo Diary

For this project the brief was to create a diary of things you find, with a personal response to typography we find in every day life that could be discovered through lettering, layout, design and process in our immediate environment. For this I documented the typography i come across on my way to to work looking at typefaces and how particular type was used for different signs.

From this the second part of the project was to consider a narrative and think about how people would read the piece. As a result i wanted to work with illustrated images and text and combining the two together. As a keen music lover and regular gig goer i illustrated 4 venues i had been to combining the tickets from the events i had been to.

The tickets all document, place, time, date and band i was going to see on that day acting as a diary communicating to the viewer what i was doing at that point in time.

Monday, February 8, 2010