Follow the Sketchbook Relay

I have just started a new project called Sketchbook Relay. The idea behind it is that a few artists start with a sketchbook, they draw a page and then pass it on to another artist they know, and so the relay continues. At the end of the relay, the completed sketchbooks that get returned to me will be sold for charity (the charity will be decided by Poll between the Sketchbook Relay Group).

Join the Sketchbook Relay Facebook Group to Follow the Sketchbook Relay, you can also start your own by downloading resources here

sketchbook relay

15 Of The Most Creative Flyer Designs Ever

A guest post by Josh is a print design enthusiast, currently based in the UK. He has a passion for all things colourful and loves any designs that make use of his favourite colour (blue).

Flyers are everywhere. If you run a brick and mortar business, you’re probably sick of getting flyers pushed through your door every single day of the week.

While printed flyers can be one of the best marketing tactics for a business, the majority of flyers that we see on a day-to-day basis are far from creative. They usually just feature bog-standard stock photography and uninspiring font choices.

So, if you’re looking into creating an eye-catching flyer for your business and want to ensure that you get the ROI you deserve, take a look at the flyers below for some serious inspiration.

1 – Cook&Book

flyer 1

Cook&Book is a bookstore located in Brussels, Belgium and this flyer was created to advertise a themed Christmas market.

The creator of the flyer was a French graphic designer named Julie Joanny, and as you can see, it features a super creative (and somewhat unlikely) design.

It’s designed to look like a themed Christmas jumper. However, for whatever strange reason, the Christmas jumper appears to have knitted shark designs on it. Whatever the reason may be, it seems to work.

As you pull on the collar out of the jumper, an orange flyer is revealed with more details about the event.

2 – Tracy Chapman

flyer 2

This flyer was created to advertise an event at The Fillmore on August 21st and 22nd 2009.

Clearly, it is one of the more creative flyers out there and features a somewhat whimsical design that – although rather simplistic in it’s appearance – creates a vision of the quirky event to come.

The flyer is kept pretty minimalistic; it features very little aside from the main details and a beautifully designed guitar neck illustration. It works perfectly though.

3 – Mehrblick

flyer 3

Mehrblick is an electronic music festival that takes place annually in Germany.

As you might expect from such an event, it has a clear target demographic of relatively young, creative, electronic music lovers.

The quirky design of this flyer caters perfectly to such an audience, while also offering all of the details one might need in order to attend the event.

Despite being largely colourless, the design is extremely eye-catching and manages to attract your attention from a distance, just like a good flyer should.

4 – CSUS Spring Show 2011

flyer 4

The CSUS Spring Show is an event organised by California State University on behalf of its students.

In 2011, the university commissioned Christine Jackson – a Sacramento-based designer – to create this flyer in order to promote the event.

It’s a relatively simple design and much like the flyer featured above, colour has been used rather sparingly.

The threading effect of the design is supposed to demonstrate the connectivity of the various departments in the university. The back of the flyer is similarly designed, and offers further details about the event.

5 – Drop Inn Hostel

flyer 5

Although the shapes of most flyers are quite consistent with one another (i.e. a relatively standard rectangular shape), who says that flyers all have to be the same shape?

The Drop Inn Hostel has gone against the grain with this clever flyer design that has been designed in the shape of the letter “O”.

The flyer reads, “We dropped our ‘o’. Drop Inn and return it to us”.

Despite having such a small surface area for any other information, the flyer manages to pack on all of the details needed including the address, bus routes and more.

6 – Joanna Kosinska

flyer 6

Joanna Kosinska is a graphic designer based in the UK and clearly, she’s done a great job of showcasing her creativity with this flyer.

The flyer is actually quite large (A3) and folds out to reveal more information. The front cover is a beautifully illustrated design that really grabs your attention, while the inner pages of the flyer are simple, clean and present a clear message.

One side of the flyer tells you a little more about Joanna herself, while the other offers a sort-of condensed version of her portfolio, showcasing some of her favourite work.

7 – Manage Your Day-to-Day

flyer 7

Manage Your Day-to-Day is a book by 99U, which talks about the way we currently work, and how things need to change.

To promote the book, a few designers from Behance created this folding flyer that – as it unfolds – aims to teach you more about the book.

The inner pages contain more information about the book itself but when the flyer is fully unfolded, it features a motivational quote in large, bold letters.

The aim here is to offer something of lasting value in the flyer itself; when fully unfolded, the aim is for the flyer to be used as a poster rather than a flyer.

8 – Muah

flyer 8

Muah is a festival that takes place in August each year and to promote it, the Czechoslovakian design studio, Anymade, was hired to produce this flyer design.

It’s a rather experimental flyer and the layout is far from ordinary, but somehow, the design just works.

A lot of effort went into the design of this flyer too; it features a custom typeface and was printed in a limited edition run featuring this beautifully crafted colour combination.

It’s certainly eye-catching, even from a distance.

9 – Bischi Bike Flyer

flyer 9

We’re not 100% certain what this flyer is promoting exactly (as we don’t speak German), but we’re guessing it has something to do with bikes (good guess, right?).

The interesting thing about this flyer is that the imagery is completely black and white; the only colour on the flyer comes from the large text printed over the image and the headings on the back.

This somewhat odd design choice seems to work, as the flyer is extremely eye-catching. It’s also highly readable thanks to the use of white space on the rear of the flyer.

10 – Stampede

flyer 10

Stampede is the name of a “rock night” at a club in London, UK. It takes place every Monday and as with most club nights, great promotion can make or break the night.

This beautiful flyer was created by Michael Higginson, the Creative Project Assistant for the event, and features a grungy yet refined design.

The horse design on the flyer was actually created solely from circles of varying sizes (you can see the design process on Behance) and results in an eye-catching centrepiece.

11 – Portfolio Points 2011

flyer 11

Aron Jancso created this stunning flyer design on behalf of Portfolio Points – an event taking place in Budapest Hungary – in 2011.

Aron specialises in typography design and clearly, it shows. The flyer itself features one of Arons unique typographic creations, which serves as the main focal point of the design.

The rest of the flyer is relatively basic, which allows the typography to serve as the main eye-catching feature.

It’s colourful, quirky, and exceptionally creative.

12 – Isometric Exhibition

flyer 12

The Isometric Exhibition takes place in Paris, France for a period of 2 – 3 weeks every year.

This flyer design plays on the subject nature and title of the event by incorporating “isometric” features into the design, giving the flyer a sort-of 3D effect.

The rest of the design is relatively plain and understated. Despite being large and clear, the typography is a plain sans-serif typeface that purposely doesn’t detract from the main focal point of the design: the isometric illustration.

13 – Prism

flyer 13

Prism commissioned Emphase Sarl, a graphic designer based in Switzerland, to create this extremely clean and modern flyer.

The flyer makes excellent use of high quality imagery without looking too cluttered. This is thanks to the creative use of shapes to help split up the various sections of the design.

The designer also makes use of one typeface, Helvetica, to create a consistency throughout.

This flyer crops up time and time again as one of the most creative flyers out there, and it’s easy to see why.

14 – Renegade Craft Fair

flyer 14

Renegade Craft Fair regularly creates exceptionally creative flyers, but this one has to be one of their best.

As you can see, the flyer has been designed to represent a woolly hat. On the woolly hat, the flyer presents all of the details about the sale (i.e. when it starts, where it is, what’s on offer, etc.).

It’s a very simple design, but it captures your attention with ease. The typography that has been used is elegant yet fun, while the light blue background further ensures that the flyer grabs your attention from a distance.

15 – Lamania

flyer 15

Alex Tass, a graphic designer based in Bucharest, Romania, created this flyer a few years ago for a clubbing event.

As you can see, the main focal point of the flyer is the “coloured heads” design. While the rest of the flyer is relatively plain and understated, the colourful heads are extremely bright and really grab your attention.

What’s more, the heads also appear to be illustrated on top of lollipop sticks. This quirky design certainly helps to pique your curiosity.




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.

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