Holy moly 2013
Posted in news by Mark on the February 11th, 2013

Ahem, time has slipped past. I doubt anyone still checks here (especially as it fell over in October 2012 and I only noticed now!) but if you do, Sreski (and Scrapbook) are retired basically I’m now trading as Squid.

I’m working on the new Squid site, which will bring back a proper blog, I’ll port over some of the content from scrapbook as, well, it’s been home for a very long time even if I do neglect it for years at a time.

If there are any stragglers, hello, sorry for being rubbish – and hope to see you on the new blog in a month or two.

Mark

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Twenty ten / twenty eleven
Posted in news by Mark on the January 3rd, 2011

Happy New Year chaps and chappettes. I’ve not deliberately been neglecting sreski/scrapbook, but as plenty of people will know I’ve been planning some big changes in the way I present myself online – yes the fabled new site, but pesky client work has taken priority in 2010 (which I’m not complaining about, it’s not been a great year for everyone workwise!)

In the coming weeks of 2011 I hope to get the new site and new look live as it’s now very overdue, and I’d really like to show some of the work I’ve done over the last year or two.

So yes, keep watching (if anyone still does watch a blog not updated in nearly a year) and there will be things to see :)

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My daily trawl
Posted in news,random by Mark on the January 25th, 2010

Oh no, a blog post filled with links instead of fresh new exciting content. Well yes, guilty as charged. But it’s unlikely to become a running trend on scrapbook, I just thought I’d share the sites I tend to visit almost every day, or certainly weekly.

Design/Inspiration

designerstalk, or more commonly DT
A passive aggressive wonderful forum for designers, developers and all manner of other creative folks. It’s one of the few forums of it’s ilk which is genuinely honest online. Some forums are full of people saying it looks lovely regardless of quality, which whilst feeling fuzzy inside, won’t help you much. DT will make you a better designer/developer etc. if you can withstand the very blunt criticism and take suggestions onboard. I frequent the board as Maerk, and generally try to be helpful, though I’m not beyond pointing and laughing at the people who register with the sole intention of asking for designers to work for free. It is primarily for creative folks, so don’t expect a no-swear zone of political correctness talking as if they’re pitching for business.

NOTCOT.org
I’ve mentioned NOTCOT in passing quite a few times on scrapbook, as I do repost various things I find there, it’s a lovely resource for all manner of creative wonderful and weird, not just design related, but interesting photography, weird products, generally very refreshing.

siteInspire – inspiring web design
Not just because a few of my sites have been featured either, but it is a lovely resource – in a world of dozens/hundreds of website collections, it lets you sift through the contents (1,423 sites and counting at this time) by styles, types and themes which is great if you’re looking for specific inspiration, many sites have no real quality control and no way to browse the gallery very easily.

Twitter
Yes, really. Sorry. It is what you make of it, and I’ve turned mine into a pool of designers, authors and comedians, which often gives me information apps and inspiration I wouldn’t have found any other way. (Incidentally I could put Twitter in all of the following sections except comics.)

Useful sites

Lipsum
Which generates Lorem Ipsum, the dummy text used in designs as it lets the eye naturally read the page better than saying DUMMY COPY DUMMY COPY ten thousand times.

Teux Deux
A site which is a very straight forward and effective to-do list by Swiss Miss. Very simple, minimal and useful. I was using post-its on my mac’s dashboard until this(!).

Upload Pie
Ok yes, me and Rick created this, but I do use it on a daily basis as it’s that darn useful, which is why we created it. It’s ace for quickly showing people images that you don’t have to remember to delete later, or take the time to upload using FTP blah blah. Great for getting feedback and fresh eyes on designs, or just sharing pictures of cats… which is honestly the only real reason for the internet.

Comics

dieselsweeties
Observant types will have noticed this link on scrapbook for a long time. It’s a wonderful world of robots romance and pixel art. I even own three t-shirts. (Pixelsaurus, hammer & sickle and Mr. Monocle Moon) It’s lovely.

Questionable Content
Is wonderful. Erm how to describe it… the lives of an odd collection of people, has very surreal moments. Also sentient mobile PCs with disturbing personalities. A yelling swearing bird when Jeph has a day off. Lovely.

Ctrl+Alt+Del
Gaming themed comic surrounding the life of a social incompetent, makes me giggle.

Penny Arcade
Gaming themed comic, very surreal, needs very little describing. I imagine most people will have at least heard of it. Generally surreal comments relating to specific games/game companies, but they do some lovely original arcs unrelated to anything but their own wonderfully warped minds.

xkcd
Sarcasm maths and language. A wonderfully dry comic. Also a fair bit of dinosaur obsession which goes down a treat. Which is handy as I really struggle with a few of the maths gags.

News

BBC News
Whilst I do think the quality has dropped in some areas, I still find myself checking it most frequently for my news needs.

Guardian
Admittedly I mostly find myself reading David Mitchell’s Sunday Observer column and anything by Charlie Brooker, but I do wander elsewhere occasionally.

Daily Mash
English satire news site, needs little explanation, very wonderfully done.

And in other news, I have started redesigning my portfolio site, honest.

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TwentyTen
Posted in news,random by Mark on the January 5th, 2010

Happy New Year people :D

TwentyTen, after years of having to say two thousand and **** we’re finally in the future, a wonderful world in which Helen Mirren is Russian.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and aren’t finding the return to work too horrific :) (Those of you that can make it in to work that is.) I keep talking, hinting, probably outright promising to update my site and blog with a new design, and well, erm, yes. That’s not likely to happen just yet, but I’ll try to fit it in sometime 2010.

In the mean time, lights! Gorgeous colour changing lights. (yes I already have something a little similar but still…)

More pictures + video over the leap (more…)

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Surviving 2009 as a freelancer
Posted in design,news by Mark on the December 22nd, 2009

To summarise for the lazier of my readers, 2009 has ended on a very lovely high point from 2008, which ended pretty grimly, as it did for many.

This is the first of a series of rather verbose rambles I intend to share, if they go down well there may be more.

It started very quietly, the end of 2008 was a quiet time for my work, several regular clients reassessed using freelancers, and other clients lost some of their regular work and simply cut back in all directions. It was in many ways simply everyone holding their breath to see if the money would continue to flow into 2009, which had a very nasty hiccup effect on various people, myself included.

So it was pretty scary stuff, I of course reached out to some of my peers for advice, wondering if I should consider weathering the storm in a permanent job, I was met with comments along the lines of “ahahaha it’s your turn to go through a recession now youngster” (cheers Gez), followed swiftly with a jibe at my age, as I’m headed with deadly speed towards my thirtieth. But foolery aside, after some slightly more sensible advice I decided to hang on with freelancing, (as I really do enjoy it – the flexibility, the highs and lows) and the work did indeed begin to flow again.

So after a slow start, 2009 became a changing year for my work life – going from working within a few regular client agencies who had supported me in my first year or two of business – to suddenly finding myself working directly with clients, which was full of new challenges (and pitfalls of course). Project management isn’t entirely new to me, but there’s room for improvement still, and I’ve had an uphill lesson in working and managing clients needs and expectations during the year.

Being fully involved in the creative process really has led me to produce far better work than when I’m involved towards the end or (as I’m sure some freelancers can sympathise with) when you work on a project only to be unable to follow the project to completion due to other commitments or the work being finished internally. Some designers prefer to be insulated from the clients, and whilst there are moments I appreciate the cushion between me and them, I’ve enjoyed the change and developing those relationships.

I’ve worked with a total mix of clients, and on a wonderful variety of projects. The quality of work I’ve been involved in has been much higher overall and on projects I can really feel positive about, in the arts and education sectors to name a few. All in all, despite a rocky start, 2009 has really started taking me in a direction I want to keep heading in.

Other freelancers and small operations have also become a source of both inspiration and a wonderful source of work, combining a healthy mix of skills to offer clients something really special has been something I can really be proud of.

With that in mind I’ve also continued to develop plans to combine my skills with Rihards, more of which will be seen in 2010, which is very exciting to me considering we’ve discussed the possibility of working more together for some years. Rihards developed Sreski, Upload Pie and SGN‘s site, while I crafted the look of them, all of which have been very well received, indeed all three have been featured on the very lovely siteInspire.

What else has helped me survive the year? Oddly enough I’d actually name Twitter, something I scorned when I first joined it, it truly is something you get more out of the more you put into it, and it’s compensated for the increased amount of work I’ve done independently this year. Prior to this year I mostly worked in design studios and creative departments, supplementing teams in a variety of roles, or working on specific projects. This year with so much work from home it does help you feel grounded, keeps a little of that studio banter going so you don’t completely lose touch with humanity.

But am I having a big victory dance about lots of direct work this year and more working from home? No, I hope not, it’s been different and exciting. Would I have done it from the outset as a freelancer? Probably not, my time spent in many different studios introduced me to a great number of designers and other members of the industry. It widened my own knowledge and experience for the better, giving me the ability to learn from their stories and experiences. And I’ve certainly had some opportunities work with some great brands and produce lovely work for clients I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I hope to keep the balance in 2010, whether working from home, or walking into a totally new agency like it’s your first day on the job especially when you often have to jump straight into the deep end.

I guess I still like the swim.

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Holmes covers
Posted in design,illustration,niceness,notmine by Mark on the November 22nd, 2009
holmes covers

These aren’t terribly new, 2007 I believe, but I’ve been reading my way through Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books after one of these wonderful covers caught my eye. The books themselves are brilliant, far better than I expected – I think we’re brainwashed with expectations of the deerstalker hat and “elementary my dear Watson” which is never said, and the hat which is never worn.

holmes covers

The books make a beautiful set and I’ve been treating myself to a new couple every few months when I get a chance, and the designs perfectly lend themselves to the real spirit of the books and the characters, not the parodied cliché of Holmes.

The full set continues after the click.
(more…)

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New post shocker
Posted in news,random by Mark on the November 2nd, 2009

Last post in June eh, well that’s rather a lapse.

Well, I’m planning on reviving scrapbook, along with maybe giving it a fresh lick of paint and forcing myself into the habit of scanning my doodles and posting my random odds and ends.

I’ve just had my 28th birthday, yikes. But it’s been a busy year, lots of wonderful new clients and some brilliant new friends and experiences along the way.

Along with scrapbook, I’ll be updating Sreski with new content over the coming few weeks. In the mean time check out Rihards’ brand new site designed by yours truly, and of course developed by himself – www.rihardsonline.com check his news section which incorporates his old blog, and is frequently updated.

For day to day babblings my twitter is here it is mostly gibberish I assure you.

That’s all for now – Mark.

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Upload Pie – The Simple Image Sharing Tool!
Posted in design,illustration,news,tool by Mark on the June 14th, 2009
upload_pie

Another little project between myself and Rihards. It’s a very simple, small & helpful tool, handy for showing someone an image within your browser (for me it’s handy to show people some of my WIPs to get a second opinion) without fussing with FTP, or worrying about deleting it later. Good for when messenger is being rubbish at transferring files.
Take a peek.

upload_pie

We decided it’d just target images you can view within your browser, so it’s not ideal for huge files, so I’d happily recommend either senduit.com or mailbigfile.com for those cases.

As a note, Rihards is still ironing out a few bugs, so any problems just fire us an email. We hope you enjoy it and find it as useful as we have :)

Upload Pie – The Simple Image Sharing Tool

A few wallpapers in various flavours for your pie needs :D

Upload Pie Wallpapers
upload_pie
Upload Pie – Red Back – 1920×1200
Upload Pie – Red Back – 1680×1050
Upload Pie – Red Back – 1440×900

upload_pie
Upload Pie – Green Back – 1920×1200
Upload Pie – Green Back – 1680×1050
Upload Pie – Green Back – 1440×900

upload_pie
Upload Pie – Strawberry – 1920×1200
Upload Pie – Strawberry – 1680×1050
Upload Pie – Strawberry – 1440×900

upload_pie
Upload Pie – Blackberry – 1920×1200
Upload Pie – Blackberry – 1680×1050
Upload Pie – Blackberry – 1440×900

upload_pie
Upload Pie – Blueberry – 1920×1200
Upload Pie – Blueberry – 1680×1050
Upload Pie – Blueberry – 1440×900

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Business Cards 3 – Designs on Saying Hello
Posted in design,illustration,news,photography by Mark on the June 7th, 2009

Business Cards 3

The third in the series of books on lovely business cards by Michael Dorrian and Liz Farrelly, which I stumbled across in Magma on Friday – I’d forgotten it was coming out this summer!

It’s a lovely resource for all kinds of inspiration and styles. And I’m very proud to have my cards be part of the collection (must be scraping the barrel and all that – before Coxy could say it). But yes, very lovely and happy they’ve been so well received :)

Business Cards 3

Business Cards 3

Business Cards 3

Links
Business Cards 3 – Designs on Saying Hello @ Laurence King Publishing
Magma

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Mojo
Posted in design,photography by Mark on the April 16th, 2009
mojo images

Been a while since I posted any of my own work, this is an identity I did the other month for the lovely Mancunia based photographer Jo Harter-Tong, of Mojo Images.

Links
Mojo on Flickr

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