Our Dark Materials
Posted in design,illustration,news by Mark on the March 31st, 2009
our dark materials

Shameless promotion alert – I made these posters to promote my friend Seth’s new book group which focusses on lovely fantasy & sci-fi book nerdery. So if you’re in Mancunia, come along – the next book is Jurassic Park! A timeless classic. Well maybe not, but it’s remained one of my favourites for years.



There I said it. It contains dinosaurs. Massive spoiler. Ruined for you really.

So yes, come along have pints, discuss geeky books, and ramble about other things. We tend to go have grub after too, so it’s not just bookery.

Plus. Dinosaurs, I mean, come on.

The next meeting is Wednesday 29th April.

Our Dark Materials

Manchester’s Art, Music & Fashion Awards: Now open for entries
Posted in design,news by Mark on the February 26th, 2009

I know I said I’d start posting pretty things again soon, but crazily I’ve actually got rather busy. However this was nudged in my direction, and ordinarily I’d have probably skipped it as I tend to assume anything for art snubs graphic design, and vice versa (well actually the latter probably holds true.) but it’s a very broad description, so get submitting stuff :)

Anyhoo, full details below and more on their site:

They’re open. The Best of Manchester Awards are now open for entries, the start of a 10-week campaign to find the artists, musicians and designers whose boundary-breaking work deserves the Best of Manchester crown.

Organised by Urbis, the annual awards celebrate innovation in art, music and fashion. Anyone working within the fields of music, art and fashion, and who lives or works in Greater Manchester, can enter – and stand the chance of having their work judged by a panel of 24 industry experts that includes Peter Saville, Wayne Hemingway, the Turner Prize winning artist, Jeremy Deller, Tim Marlow (White Cube, London), Miranda Sawyer, Yvette Livesey (In The City) and Luke Bainbridge (Observer Music Monthly).

The categories are deliberately broad. The art category, for example, includes graphic and product design, photography and illustration, as well as fine art.

For those working in the creative sector, The Best of Manchester Awards are more than a pat on the back from the industry. They’re about more than the winners & £2,000 cheque and a major exhibition at Urbis. The awards are a chance for the winners to kick-start their career with the kind of contacts and professional development that money can’t buy.

The awards are open for entries until Midnight on 1 May 2009.
Entry is online, at www.urbis.org.uk/thebestofmanchester.


Geekery & goodness – new site
Posted in design,news,random by Mark on the January 11th, 2009
sgncore new design
sgncore new design

As mentioned briefly in my last post, the new geeky site/blog me and Rihards have been working on is live – hurray! So head over and take a peek, the design is my shenanigans, and all development and coding is done by Rihards.

(The new style still has to be transferred over to the forums however.)

sgn – geekery & goodness

Two Thousand & Nine
Posted in news,random by Mark on the January 1st, 2009

2008 was actually a great year, it got a bit rubbish the last few months but that doesn’t really counter how amazing the rest was. My freelance work has continued successfully – I got to work with a lot of wonderful people, work on some varied and nice projects, all my worries regarding my apartment have vanished (have now been in over a year!), had a chance to visit Vienna again to see my good friend Rihards. All in all, it was an incredible year where I got to catch up with a lot of friends and realise just how great they are.

So basically this is just a big thank you, to everyone that has been in my life in 2008, for giving me a great year, and for helping me through the last few months when it’s been a little more pear-shaped.

Hopefully 2009 will pick up and become as good a year and maybe better than 2008 was for me :) And I’m aware I’ve not been posting any of my own design work or doodles on scrapbook lately, will change that over the next few months :)

So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone :)

Free legal instant music? Really?
Posted in news,random by Mark on the December 26th, 2008

I’m not entirely sold on the name (reminds me of a scene from Futurama about the selection of untrademarked names) but Coxy invited me to the rather funky service Spotify. You download the program and it allows you to stream a huge amount of music for free quickly and simply. No piracy, no legal qualms, quite refreshing.

The interface is relatively intuitive, although I find it easy to overlook the fact you need to scroll to see albums when you search for individual artists. And I’ve been enjoying listening to albums I’d always meant to check out but didn’t really want to buy or thieve them.

So, it is quite lovely. The free account is paid for by ads which do appear infrequently between tracks. A minor annoyance but still a mile away from the average advertising tedium of radio. If it bothers you too much you can subscribe for an ad free experience. Sounds good so far, but: it does crash relentlessly on my mac when left to it’s own devices, it’s fine for quite a while but if I leave it on in the background paused it tends to crash, and sometimes when it goes between ads and back to the music.

Hopefully as it develops the builds will get more stable though. Another nice touch is that it already has last.fm scrobbling built in.

And a Happy Christmas to everyone :) I had a spare minute after being overfed on Christmas Day to fix the sIFR (fancy fonts) on scrapbook, and swapped the fonts used too.


Christmas Flickr Meet 08
Posted in news,photography,random by Mark on the December 24th, 2008

flickr christmas

My first Flickr meet – I’m hidden somewhere towards the back what with being tall. My friend Matt or monsier Coxy as he is more widely recognised was there, he’s mentioned them quite a bit over the years but I never managed to time it well enough to go before. Plus I have a slightly less embarrassing camera finally and have been wanting to do a bit more photography in my spare time.


So yup yup it was quite good fun despite the extreme cold, met lots of lovely random photo type people, and Eleanor D even managed to take the above passable photo of my good self when I wasn’t looking. Plus it was an excuse to visit the Christmas markets yet again :)

Some more if you clicky. (more…)

Posted in design,illustration,news by Mark on the December 23rd, 2008

My copy of Bastardised arrived some time ago – it’s a sturdy bloody thing! Has all the submissions to Bunch’s Made in Bunch project including my own wee contribution. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go to the get together they organised as it landed smack on my birthday (plus it was in London).

bastardised cover
my bastardised submission

Made in Bunch

Let it glow
Posted in news,niceness,photography,random by Mark on the December 22nd, 2008

Ok ok you have permission to shoot me for that post title :D Anyway I’ve been slacking off with my blogging so apologies, as my friends know I have a magpie-esque love for things that glow, and have all manner of lights and things. I’ve photographed some of my favourites, along with the new wonderful toy I got for my birthday.

living color
living color

This is my new toy, a Philips LivingColor light. Looks pretty doesn’t it, it also and this is the bit which makes me giddy, changes colour according to a small remote control which lets me adjust the colour using a colour-wheel, the depth, intensity, brightness. Basically like letting me have a bit of Photoshop in the real world, terrible idea… ;)


My Christmas tree from last year which I bartered with Habitat staff for as it was the last one in stock. Pretty glass red thing.


Assorted glittery lights.

Philips LivingColors on Amazon
Philips LivingColors Homepage

Oh and also – I’ve recently upgraded scrapbook to WordPress 2.7, the admin interface is now very sexy indeed – however my fancy font titles have stopped working, not sure if it was a recent Flash update or the WordPress upgrade – will fix it when I get a moment hopefully!

Posted in news,photography by Mark on the November 10th, 2008

So yeah, wow I’m 27, not sure why 27 seems such a big deal, I guess it’s rolling that bit closer to another decade so I can’t keep pretending it’s mid 20s. Scary stuff. Will blog about a few random presents and things later in the week.

Still no word on my posters sorry have had a lot of other more pressing stuff to deal with, but I’ll get to them eventually :) In the mean time, I’ve updated my Flickr with some random pictures from the last few weeks.


fat santa


Sreski on Flickr

Tree & Sea Poster
Posted in design,doodle,illustration,news by Mark on the October 13th, 2008

Or lake if you’re so inclined.


Something I’ve been working on every now and again for quite a while, has finally been printed up and posted out to the wide world to act as a little hello :)

I also posted a preview on DT and had a few requests for prints folks can buy, so if anyone does want a copy comment away and I’ll eventually get around to sorting a print run :)

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