Beer: Experiments with droplets # 3.

I'm currently transitioning between 3D programs - from Lightwave to Modo. Modelling in Modo? Fine. Rendering & texturing? arrrggghh!  Every time I come across a problem I have to fight myself to not just go back to what I know!

Beer typography

Merry Christmas

We're going skiing. Hope you have fun too!


Radio Times Christmas Quiz 2017

One of my favourite projects of the year. There are clues to 50 TV & Radio shows of 2017 here. How many can you spot?

Art director Jacob Howard from an original idea by Paul Smith.

Radio Times Christmas Quiz 2017

3D Printed Snowflake

I've been working on this for months: it was a huge learning process, understanding snowflakes, battling with 3D printing, battling with new 3D programs. The most complex 3D model I've ever made. A collaboration with the Canadian photographer Don Komarechka. Now you can have one for Christmas if you're quick, in a choice of materials from inexpensive plastic to solid platinum if you like!

Fireworks 8 sheet poster

One of my more unusual commissions:  I've never made fireworks out of tomato ketchup before.  For Jenny Green, an up & coming Art DIrector at the Chapter Agency to celebrate bonfire night.

Tomato sauce, mustard, mayonaise

Bauble Grotesque : Christmas Typography

Christmas comes early around here - my first Christmas commission arrived in June. So in preparation I finally finished my font: Bauble Grotesque. 


Wonder Woman

A lot of filming happens around here. Bloomsbury Square & the building opposite the studio, Victoria House, has film crews around most weekends. 'Mr Selfridge' is filmed there: the building was designed by the same architect as Selfridges & they look very similar.  I keep having to move my car.

This production last year was much bigger than usual: hundreds of extras in First World War uniforms, lots of period vehicles, horse poo everywhere. The filming lasted for days. The production was called 'Nightingale' which was confusing as Florence was no longer around by WW1.

We've just found out that 'Nightingale' was the code name for 'Wonder Woman'. I guess we'll have to go & see it now...

Album Covers

I know I'm not alone in wanting to work in art & design because of the album covers I loved as a youth. One of the reasons for the resurgence of vinyl has to be holding a 12 inch work of art in your hand.

I did get to work on a number of album covers over the years. Few of them troubled the charts!

Das Psycho Rangers. Art directed by Neville Brody. Photograph by Ian McKinnell

Das Psycho Rangers. Art directed by Neville Brody. Photograph by Ian McKinnell

Speed Reaction by Spirea X. Art directed by Vaughan Oliver for 4AD. Model by Pirate. Photograph by Ian McKinnell

Speed Reaction by Spirea X. Art directed by Vaughan Oliver for 4AD. Model by Pirate. Photograph by Ian McKinnell

The Economist

I rarely see what happens to my image library work so it was great to see this - a poster from the Economist's ad campaign with BBDO NY on a Boston station in the US

Ian McKinnell the Economist

Digital Archaeology

Spent a lovely day here yesterday , wallowing in nostalgia. I took along my first (THE) first Macintosh from 1984 with a pile of disks & found lots of illustrations I'd forgotten about. Jim Boulton & a team from the British Library will try to get some of the images into a format that can be read on todays computers.

Here's an image that I managed to salvage earlier. It was a 2 bit (black or white) illustration, so to print in colour involved creating a series of separations for the repro house to wrangle into CMYK. Such low resolution presented great limitations; I really enjoyed working my way around them. Happy Days.

MacUser Ferrari bitmap Illustration
Ferrari Macuser bitmap illustration Separations

Vitsoe Chairs

These wonderful chairs were designed by the famous Dieter Rams. When finally obtained the license to remanufacture them they needed to show what the many colour combinations & modular design would look like. Before they had been made. Something I do a lot, photographing things that don’t exist.

The chairs were designed in the 1960’s so there were no computer models: I created new models using the original engineering blueprints. I'm gradually getting more & more into CAD

Vitsoe 2
And the system's modular. You can make a sofa as long as you want.

And the system's modular. You can make a sofa as long as you want.


An old (!) friend & ex-assistant has a big birthday coming up. Here's her early present - the image for her invitation.


Christmas Quiz 2016

There are 50 clues to the titles of some of the TV & Radio highlights from 2016 hidden here. How many can you solve?

The original file contains over 100 layers using images drawn from a wide variety of sources & some clues that are just er... drawn. How much retouching was involved? Well the background photograph of Rothenburg in Germany was taken in mid-summer...

Created with art director Jacob Howard: the picture quizzes were originated by Paul Smith. For more details see the Christmas issue of the Radio Times. There are prizes to be won!

Radio Times Christmas Quiz 16


Here's one I created earlier. Only a few of the 90+ images here are mine, they come from a wide variety of sources. I apologise to all the image-makers involved: there are too many to credit, though the main background of York was shot by Martin Williams.

The Olympics

It's not in the shops yet, but as it's now on the Radio Times website I guess I can post it...This cover is one of those few issues where the executives get involved, so decisions can be convoluted & veer toward 'safe'.

You should have seen the ones that got away. 

Flat Balls

Experimenting with the UEFA football cover. I love the silkscreen look of this

Radio Times Football Euro 2106


4 covers for the same issue - the Scottish cover with the balls (they don't have a team in the game) is an illustration but the 3 badges are almost straight photo's - the first I've taken for a long time. Getting all the studio gear out brought back a lot of memories. And dust!

Radio Times Euro 2016 covers

My favourite unboxing video

It's good to see somebody enjoying my efforts - those are my images on all those boxes. Of course the geeks amongst you noticed straight away that this Indonesian version of the keyboard isn't available here. The UK/US version is the G410 that only comes in black. Sadly.

Letter from America

I just got an email from a very kind stranger in California. A Macintosh fan, he was clearing out his place & found a copy of the first MacWareHouse catalogue. He found my credit for the cover & asked if he could post it.  It's one of my favourite ancient illustrations too, originally created for a T Shirt for MacUser magazine.

That is so cool Steve Pruneau, I'm really touched!

Macwarehouse Catalog Cover