An image made up of two colours. A purple and a dark blue. Also know as (AKA) duotone

Using Duotones for Added Depth

Does anyone remember duotones? For those not in the know it was a way for you to add a bit of tonal colour to a monochrome photo.

Let me go back in time a bit and I’ll try not to bore you. Before digital (4 colour) print was born, businesses had to print lithographically. Printers would split the job into four colours (cyan, magenta, yellow and black, aka cmyk) and then make printers plates. It was pricey. So in order to keep these costs down, us designers would design and print a job in two colours only. Generally (but not always ) it was black and another pantone colour which are special printers inks. It meant that we couldn’t use full colour images. So we’d convert the colour images to monotone and add another colour to it – aka a duotone. For example, black and Pantone 122 (yellow) would give you a sepia-type effect. But with the invention of digital colour print which is so much more affordable, duotones have all but become extinct. They’re still great to use if you want a special effect like a black and a silver or a flourescent orange. This image is a duotone made up of black and a light blue. I took the contrast way down to soften it. It’s a simple and effective way to give an image a different look other than just black and white or full colour.

 Image made up of two colour also known as a duotone
 
Photoshop Duotone Settings
Use these Photoshop settings to create an image similar to the above.
Colours used are a light blue and black with the values
Light blue: C: 18    M: 1
Black: C: 75  M:68  Y:67  B:90
 
To create the duotone open photoshop and go to image>mode>duotone and input the two values as mentioned above.
 
 
 
You can also play around with the curves on the left hand side to reduce/increase the density of the colours if required.
 
 
The above featured image is made up of two different colours.
Purple: C:88  M:100  Y:25  K:28
Blue: C:62  M:14

Silhouettes: The Good, The Bad and The Downright ‘Orrible

Goodness me. I’m so bored of seeing silhouettes being used in design. The first time I used them was over 20 years ago when I drew the outlines myself with the aid of Adobe Illustrator – or was it Macromedia Freehand (the precursor to Illustrator?). It was when I was working for an agency in the Docklands. The client was the London Borough of Barnet and I designed an exhibition stand for a jobs fair. The design was brilliant (if I do say so myself) and quite innovative for it’s day. I traced round images of people in different professions and then interspersed these images with job titles to illustrate the jobs that Barnet council offered. I distinctly remember getting really positive feedback about it and I felt chuffed to bits.

lose client, unhappy client

Another client bites the dust

I agonised over whether to write this post. Well maybe not agonised but I certainly did hesitate. A lot. It’s bad news to lose clients. Right? It doesn’t reflect well on you as a business. Right? Well…actually, I’ve changed my tune on this one. Losing clients isn’t all bad news. And here’s why…

36 Days of Type

Personal projects don’t come along very often with me but when they do, it generally means that I want to put my all into it and really push the boat out creatively.

I’ve always loved typography and I stumbled across the 36 Days of Type project on instagram on the day that it started (29th March). Now in it’s third year it has a very healthy amount of contributors and followers. I didn’t think twice about doing it or worry about how much of my time that it would take up. I just jumped head first and thought that no matter how busy I was that I was going to finish this project and that it was going to be good. And I’m so glad that I did it.

Blog header for The Trust marketing illustrations

Illustrating The Trust and Enfield Market

Following on from the logo design branding blog published last week, let’s move onto the marketing aspects of the project. If you haven’t managed to read the rebranding story yet, please read it first as it forms a really good base for this follow up blog.

Enfield Market promotional material

As there were no actual photos of the new market (it hadn’t relaunched yet), I was asked to do some illustration as an aid to promote it.

instagram profile photo of absolutely kareen

Ready, steady, Instagram

So I’ve finally succumbed to the power of Instagram and to date, I have four photos on there. Woot woot! I’m going to be using it not only to showcase photos but also illustrations and graphic design stuff. It takes a bit of getting used to though and I’ve resisted joining for so long for a number of reasons:

2014: Top three projects

As we enter into a new year I just want to take the time to reflect on 2014. Overall, it was a fantastic year for the business and I got involved with some really juicy projects. And when I say juicy, I'm talking nutribullet here. There were a lot of highlights and thankfully - not that many negatives. My top three projects of the year are highlighted below.

Hamilton Chase

Coming in at a very high number three of my top projects for the year is the Hamilton Chase Rebranding project. I really love getting my teeth into rebranding a business. But it's not for the faint hearted. A lot of trust is put into you to get it right. I feel privileged to have been an integral part of this project. It wasn't just a new logo but redesigning all of their marketing material, including stationery, brochures, signage and adverts. What a project and what great clients! Honestly, if you're looking to buy or rent in Barnet, check out these people first. They can be found at hamiltonchase.co.uk. They really are top notch property experts. Read the blog.


Redesigned logo

The Edmonton Summer Festival

Oh my days. Where do I start? I had to write three blogs to cover this one. From the bespoke illustration and design/branding of the entire festival to the three day photography fest. I loved every minute of it. Read the first blog.
Edmonton Summer Festival poster design
Design & Illustration

The Palmers Green Triangle Clock

Coming in at the top has to be The Clock situated in Palmers Green. What an amazing project to be part of. How many graphic designers can say that they've designed a clock that will be in situ for many years to come? Errr, I guess that there aren't many but my hand is riding high. You can read the blog here.
triangle clockIMG_7332 small
The clock

So there you have it. My top three projects of the year. It's important to note that if you're one of my clients and your project isn't mentioned, that doesn't mean that it wasn't a great project. These ones just had the edge for different reasons.

A big welcome to 2015. Hoping that it's as prosperous and interesting as last year.