5 Alternative Union Jack Flags

A guest post by Alasdair Graham on behalf of Elanders UK Printing

The mighty Union Jack has represented the United Kingdom since its official adoption in 1801 and is the product of 3 distinct flags in union (…I know)

England represented by the cross of St George. Scotland by the saltire of St Andrew and Ireland – represented by the red saltire of St Patrick. Notice no sign of poor old Wales! This is because Wales was annexed by “The Kingdom of England” in 1282 and has been represented by the flag of England historically.

However – this timeless vexillogical wonder could be under threat of disappearing in the wake of Scotland’s bid for independence…perhaps. Lord West, deputy chairman of the UK flags and heraldry committee has gone on record to say that “it is nonsense to imagine the St Andrew’s blue could remain”.

The official flag authority of the UK and Commonwealth (we never knew there were so many flag experts/authorities!) have stated that the Queen will retain the title of ‘head of state’ in an independent Scotland, and therefore the Union Flag would not be affected. Frankly, we don’t know who to believe!

Despite this, keen designers from around the UK have mocked up potential new designs for the new Union Jack flag which will represent England, Wales and Ireland should Scotland win their “yes” vote to independence tomorrow (Friday 19th September 2014).

Elanders UK Printing have collected 5 alternative Union Jack flags for your viewing pleasure and critique – please do let us know what you think in the comments! (we’ll tell you our favourites after the vote!)

Bringing England and Wales Closer Together

England and Wales flag design

This design incorporates the green of the Welsh flag and with the cross of St. George

Source: Flag Institute

This fine specimen brings the historically overlooked (from a vexillogical perspective) Welsh back into the design equation with England represented through the white background and red cross of St George. Wales have the lower half, with green being used in the background and not forgetting of course the red saltire of St Patrick of Ireland.

St David and George Flag combine

Combining the flag of St. David and the flag of St. George

Source: Flag Institute

In another design, the blue from the flag of St Andrew has been replaced with the black from the flag of St David, once again bringing the noble Welsh back into the picture with the rest of the design holding true to the original format of the Union Jack.

England and Red Dragon Flag

Traditional English flag with the national Wales flag in the bottom right

Source: Flag Institute

The final flag variation is the presence of a small ‘Y Ddraud Goch’ (The Red Dragon) Welsh national flag, implemented within an amalgamation of the St Georges Cross for England and the red saltire of St. Patrick representing Ireland.

Union Jack designs incorporating the Crown of Arms

Coat of Arms Florial

This Union Jack flag not only represents the UK but also the Commonwealth

Source: Flag Institute

The most favourable flag designs among this collection are those amalgamated from two or three different flag designs from other countries within the United Kingdom. Alongside these designs are some that incorporate the Royal Coat of Arms along with a floral garland to symbolise the Commonwealth.

What happens if Scotland doesn’t become independent?

New Union Jack Flag incl Wales

The modern representation of the Union Jack, including the introduction of Wales

Source: Flag Institute

This redesign of the current Union Jack flag design named “United Britain” designed by John Yates is a unique and modern take on the flags from all four countries forming the United Kingdom. If introduced, it will the first time Wales has been identified on the Union Jack, as it has always been represented by the flag of St George on the Union Jack.

Posted in General Graphic Design | Comments closed

Using Freewriting to get Ideas for Character Design and Illustration Work

I have always been a big fan of exploring different creative techniques beyond the standard mindmaps and moodboards that many designers use. For a recent project I needed to create some characters for a comic strip about the adventures of a startup. It was a project I was working on along side Constantina Katsari-Muston, who had the initial idea and was creating the dialogues. The first thing I needed to do was create the person with the start-up and we decided he would be 20-30s male.

My first attempts at sketches were a little bland.
startup business man

So I decided to turn to Freewriting to help. Freewriting is a creative technique where you give yourself a time limit and then write without stopping for that time. If you can’t think of what to write you just repeat yourself or write rubbish. The theory is that this doesn’t give the brain time for censorship, allowing ideas to flow that you might not have thought of. I freewrote anything I could think of about the ways I could create the character – from using a shoelace to changing the scale of my drawing surface from very large to very small. You can read more about my freewriting here.

I had also recently watched a great Ted talk by Laurie Rosenwald who talks about working quickly and getting back to experimenting with real materials rather than sticking on the computer. This let’s you make deliberate creative mistakes

I took Rosenwald’s advice and started experimenting, and introduced some of the ideas from my freewriting.

creative art shoelaces

change scale design

dripped paint design

Even though it was really scrappy there was something I really liked about the sticky note people (the small scale from my freewriting) and so I worked it up a bit.

sticky note people

Then it was incorporated with Constantina’s dialogue. This is a look at the way start-up founders have a tendency to ask friends and family about their idea, when they should really be finding out if their potential customers really have the problem they are trying to fix.

bsuiness startup cartoon

 

 

Posted in Design Inspiration, General Graphic Design, illustration | Comments closed

How to Organise your Graphic Design Work

A while a go a student on my logo design course emailed and asked me how I go about organising my work. I though I would share my response:

Create a Job Book

How I work – Get yourself an A4 (or legal size) lined pad or binder with lined paper – this can be used as a job book.

Then create some columns headed up – Date, job number, client, job description (I will jot down what the job is worth here too) and an invoice date column. Obviously tailor these columns to best suit you.

Then each time I start a new job I give it a job number I use my initials and then a number (don’t start at one if you are working for clients as it makes you sound new). So for example lets say I am just starting a job today – in the job book put the date 24th Feb 2013, then job number TR103, fill in the rest of the information job description client etc. This also helps you keep track of what you need to bill.

You can of course do this digitally if you want.

graphic design job book

Files on my Computer

Then on my computer I have a “Freelance Work: folder and in it client folders. When I get a new job for a client and have booked it in my job book I create a folder in the appropriate client folder and name it the job number plus a description e.g.. TR103 Range Brochure 2013. In it I split it up into folders called hires, rough, illustrator etc etc to hold all the different files. As I work on a job and there are file revisions I call the file names v1, v2 etc – as the classic client thing is they want to revert to something from an old version.

To Organise my Work Schedule

I use the Mac App “Things” for scheduling work (I used to do this manually on paper for the first few years – you can do this if you want). If you want something similar that’s free try Wunderlist. “Things” and Wunderlist are great as you can create Client folders and then a Todo list for each client with a date you are going to work on the job.

To backup my work

I use Carbon Copy Cloner to do a regular automated daily back up (you can also use Time Machine on a Mac) to an external hard drive.

I used to also do a weekly back up to another hard drive that I would keep off site (in my car). Now though I use CrashPlan an online back up service. The first online backup takes quite a while, but after that it’s good. If you want your data backed up to the cloud there is a monthly fee – I currently pay $5.99 a month but you can back up to someone else’s computer for free (for example you and a friend can back up to each others computers).

Archiving completed jobs

For archiving stuff I have completely finished I create back up DVD’s (2 copies). These I name by the month I am backing them up e.g.. February 2013 bk up 1 and put all the folders I no longer need in there. You can then use a little app called DiskTracker to catalogue these disks. This creates a searchable database so you know exactly which DVD to find old jobs on. Plus as you have used the job numbers in both your job book and on your computer you have a few different ways to search.

disk tracker design archiving

Posted in General Graphic Design | Comments closed