Revisiting one of my favourite design projects here to share a few images. A couple of years back, Storyteller and Photographer Nana Tomova asked me to design a logo that would represent her unique creative brand across her website, social media and to serve as a watermark for her stunning photography. Amongst her many talents, Nana takes incredible photographs of beautiful, wild landscapes and she wanted her logo to be evocative of nature and wildlife. Being a huge nature lover myself, this was a thoroughly enjoyable project for me!
There was plenty of scope for illustrative, inky, nature themed experimentation at the start of the project, which we later honed and narrowed down towards our final direction. I’m actually writing a case study of this project for my new website, so will save my longer ramblings for that and share it with you when it’s ready! For now, here are a few behind the scenes images from the project and the final logo design (top of post). Though Nana has since refocused her website on her Storytelling work, she still uses the logo on her new site, which I highly recommend visiting to learn more about her wonderful creative projects!
Hello there! It’s been a little while since I posted so I thought that I would reintroduce myself and send my best to you all. Followers old and followers new, welcome…and thank you for sticking around! I confess, the adorable puppy is not mine, but this is the best recent photo of me!
I’m a digital designer and traditional illustrator working on games, interactive projects and in print for my Owlstation Etsy Store. I’m driven by a love of fantasy stories, obsessed with nature and very happy to be living back in Brighton by the sea.
I’d fallen somewhat out of love with social media, and after a couple of years of the pandemic have been feeling a bit out of touch with my creativity. I was recently listening to Andy J Pizza’s essential Creative Pep Talk podcast and was inspired by his ‘Peptober’ prompts for social media, to kind of reclaim it for yourself, your creativity and for fun. So I thought I’d give it a go! The first prompt is ‘Reintroduction’, hence this post.
I’m getting back to drawing and creating again after a long year so starting to feel inspiration return and getting excited about sharing and learning again. Anyway, that’s enough from me, I hope that you’re all keeping well, Alice 🙂
Please note: This post contains themes and content that focus on death and dying. Whilst the tone is positive, hopeful and educational, I completely understand if it’s not right for you at present, but encourage you to return to it when you’re ready.
I had always suspected that our rather Victorian way of skirting around death and basically completely avoiding it at all turns was probably…not very good for us. But in spite of that I hadn’t really challenged my thinking in this area. Shying away from the difficulty and tears that I knew would ensue from my opening up. However since last year, with the outbreak of the pandemic and my participation in a rather unique client project; ‘Life Support’, I’ve found myself ready to make some changes.
Back in the Summer I had the opportunity to work on a very interesting project. I had been introduced by a friend to The Liminal Space, a wonderful group of creatives who specialise in making meaningful and innovative experiences. They had been awarded funding by Innovate UK to create an engaging, interactive piece that would help people to start having difficult conversations about death and dying, with their loved ones.
Covid-19 has completely transformed all of our lives and people are thinking about death more than ever, but they do not feel comfortable to discuss it with their friends or family. This is having a huge impact on our society, mental health and well being. The Liminal Space were close to this issue and through a previous project had carried out extensive research on end of life, death and dying. They had gathered advice from charities such as Marie Curie and Compassion in Dying, as well as insights from leading experts in palliative care, doctors, nurses and physicians. They also had a collection of real life stories from people’s personal experiences with death.
They wanted to find a way to turn this amazing web of content into a supportive, engaging journey that would empower people with stories, knowledge and practical steps for starting conversations.
I joined the team as their UX and UI designer and over a series of Zoom workshops, we explored how we could do this. We wanted the site to feel flowing. For visitors to be able to choose their own path through the content. To alight on some topics and perhaps delve deeply into others. The tone was very important to us, it needed to be supportive but not patronising, open, clear and to appeal to all genders.
From initial sketches to wireframe blueprints, I helped the team to craft the experience. I worked closely with our creative developer Jonny Thaw and our digital producer Michelle Feuerlicht to prototype interactions and animations that felt right. We created ‘puzzle piece’ content blocks of audio, facts and stories that could be dynamically fitted together to create unique journeys.
As we developed the design style; a striking palette of bold shapes, colours and strong typography – a gentle way of animating that reflected breathing in and out, started to come to the fore. This leant a feeling of calm to the site as you move through it. Encouraging the visitor to explore at a slow pace, taking as much time as they need.
We curated the content to support people through a range of different topics such as; how to have a good death, talking about death with someone who has COVID-19, having control at the end of your life, as well as how you can talk to children about some of these themes. We also created ‘poster’ like, downloadable tips and tools to give people ideas for ways into these topics. The dual navigation was designed to allow people to easily find a specific topic quickly or to follow a more personal, meandering route through the site. The expert audio recordings can be bookmarked making it easy for visitors to collect and revisit the pieces that connected with them.
I learned from Life Support that whilst the unbearable sadness that the death of a loved one causes cannot (and should not) be avoided, talking about death before it happens and making our wishes known, can be a huge help.
Lots of the real life stories included in Life Support discuss how forward discussion and planning made a huge positive difference to the people left behind when a family member or friend passed away. Knowing what their loved one wanted (or didn’t want) in advance often proved to remove huge amounts of unnecessary stress and additional upset.
Having recently lost a family member to Covid-19, I have now experienced this first hand. I wish that I had been more prepared for it. Though it’s early days for me, I can now see how valuable it will be for me and my family to start having these conversations with each other. To consider what we would want at our funerals, what sort of treatment we might accept from Doctors and where we would prefer to die. So that when the time comes, as it will for us all, we can take some comfort from knowing that it’s happening in line with our values and wishes.
The project has been well received so far, gaining lots of positive feedback across social media and via the press. It means a lot to me to be able to work on meaningful experiences such as Life Support and I hope it will help lots of people.
I would love to be involved with more forward thinking projects such as this one in the future. If you’re in need of unique UX and carefully crafted interactive design for your project, please do get in touch!
My brother Mikey and I have teamed forces again to create ‘The Last Expedition’ a text adventure game set in a frozen, dystopian future. Well, Mikey built it, wrote the story and composed the music for it, I just created the background art! It’s a work in progress (so a few bugs and unfinished sections) but I was excited to share how it’s come together…
Inspired in part by the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard and Arctic exploration, the story asks you to follow in the footsteps of a young, female explorer who has ventured onto the frozen wastes in hope of finding the now mythical landmark. As the adventure unfolds you are presented with choices about which icy paths to take, faced with decisions to make camp or push on risking frostbite and given the opportunity to investigate long forgotten structures.
Created during lockdown for Mikey’s final University project, it brought us closer together at a time when geographically we were quite far apart.Looking back at that time now, I realise just how special it was. We checked in on Skype every morning to discuss next steps for his compositions or coding. Briefly catching up on the news before checking our schedules and planning his deadlines. It gave me structure and emotional support in the midst of all that fear and uncertainty. Plus it was the most time we’d spent ‘together’ in years.
Though the game is a work in progress that we would both like to develop further – I’m very proud of what we achieved so far. You can listen to the entire soundtrack on Mikey’s Soundcloud page too, but here’s a taster from the Archive Facility…
Happy New Year! I hope that you’ve had a lovely, festive break. I’m back home in London now after an extended festive period and feeling quite grateful for January’s slower pace. Despite it usually being quite a grey and chilly month, I do enjoy the blank page it offers, the opportunity for reflection and some gentle planning of the year ahead before things gear up too much!
I’m excited to share my new, dragon themed, business cards with you! I got them printed on Moo’s 100% recycled cotton card (made from old T Shirt offcuts) they have a nice, tactile feel to them and are hopefully a greener option too. I had fun illustrating this fantasy, dragon ruled landscape and look forward to handing them out this year.
If you have a design, illustration or digital project you’d like to discuss for 2020, please do get in touch, I’d love to hear about it!