ISTD Lighthouses of the World

Brief: International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD) brief. Conduct a rigorous investigation of the lighthouses in your region. From your research, develop an appropriate format and creative typographic solution that effectively communicates your chosen message to your intended audience.

Problem: My parent’s house is in Norfolk, which boasts a beautiful coastline, with equally striking lighthouses. The seaside towns in which these lighthouses are situated are rather small and desolate, and the isolated and mysterious lighthouses reflect this. I wanted to create something that encapsulates this and that would appeal to these seaside towns’ traditional and ageing populations.

Solution: I studied three of the major lighthouses in Norfolk, in the seaside towns and villages of Hunstanton, Cromer and Happisburgh. I photographed them on a foggy drizzly day in December using both a Polaroid camera and 35mm film to achieve a solitary and eerie effect.

Solution: I designed a typeface inspired by the form and character of all three of the lighthouses I studied. It is sleek, clean and simple. The aim was to design a type that is classy and traditional, yet moody and alluring, to reflect the lighthouses and the towns they are situated.

Solution: I then created a type specification book to show off my photography with the typeface I designed, called ‘The Lighthouses of Norfolk’. It contains photographs of each lighthouse, along with the year they were established and their height in metres. I took a minimal approach to this, again, to cultivate that sense of seclusion.


Celebrate craft

Brief: Explore and celebrate a craft of your choosing. Understand it inside and out, and then communicate it in an appropriate and inventive way. Be clear on the message you are communicating to your audience.

Problem: Woodwork, or carpentry, is at the core of what craft is; you could even say it is the epitome of craft. Yet, nowadays, fewer and fewer people are training in this extremely skilled and respectable trade, and other construction trades in general. Very few members of Gen Z have any practical skills at all, while the older generations tend to be rather handy. Why is this?

Solution: I explored this matter through an experimental zine I created about construction trades, called ‘Skillzine’. This is issue 1, the ‘Carpentry edition’. The zine consists of an interview with my parents, following the renovation of our current house, from a stinky ex-student let to a mid-century modern masterpiece. They give an insight into the process of renovating a house yourself, and the benefits of this, as well as the importance of learning skills in general. I interview my Dad, who is a carpenter, further, to learn more about his trade and to get his perspective on this issue.

Solution: The zine aims to build up the picture as to why fewer young people learn trades and skills these days, all while celebrating and promoting carpentry, and giving the reader some helpful tips and information for how to go about renovating their own home. Through this, I hope to inspire readers to consider learning a trade, or at least a new skill, and hopefully influence them to own and renovate their own house one day. This is something I would like to do when I am older. At the end of the zine, I include a short tutorial on how to make a bird box, to encourage the reader to try some woodwork of their own. Overall, the goal of my zine is to bring attention to how important construction trades and skills are, especially carpentry.

Solution: I am someone who has basically grown up on a building site, as my Dad is a carpenter and is always fixing and tweaking things, and as my parents have renovated every house we’ve lived in. So, this is a subject that I know a lot about and that is very personal to me, and I was excited by the opportunity to celebrate it and incorporate it into one of my projects. Making bird boxes for our garden is something I used to do a lot with my Dad growing up, so it is close to my heart. The zine is also a present for my Dad, so it is even more special.

Solution: The images in the zine were produced using a Risograph printer and consist mainly of photos of our renovated house, as well as my Dad making a bird box. The display font used in the zine is a typeface I designed specifically for this project called the ‘Skillzine typeface’. It is inspired by my renovated house and based on building materials.

JDO RAW Change Makers Competition

Brief: Create a disruptive hair, skin, or makeup brand with a cause you care for and that aligns with your values. Craft your brand and its purpose: change the world. Create a bold design that appeals to Gen Z.

Problem: I chose skincare as this is something I know a lot about, and I have always adopted and advocated a natural skincare routine. I believe everyone needs quality skin care, even though it is only marketed to a certain type of person (predominantly women). Skincare products nowadays contain way too many man-made chemicals and ingredients and the packaging is terrible for the environment. We need to go back to basics.

Solution: Killer Skincare is a gender-neutral, fully sustainable and ethical skincare brand. It uses 100% natural ingredients and has 100% recyclable glass and metal packaging, that can be reused or sent back to the company to be refilled. Killer Skincare is bold and brave and breaks boundaries. It is a brand for everyone, for every beast that wants to look and feel great without harming the planet.

All 3 packaging designs: Spider Silk face and body wash, Snake Oil face and body oil, and Wasp Sting lip and healing balm.
Shop window display.

Solution: The brand is based upon powerful and dangerous animals so the user can feel brave and bold. Each product represents a different animal and its name is a play on words related to the type of product and the animal. Killer Skincare takes a step back from traditionally ‘feminine’ skincare products.

Solution: Snake Oil: Face and body oil. A nourishing and moisture-locking blended oil for both face and body. Contains organic hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, and cacay oil.

Solution: Spider Silk: Face and body wash. A detoxifying yet hydrating liquid soap for both face and body. Contains African black soap, activated charcoal, and Aloe Vera.

Solution: Wasp Sting: Lip and healing balm. A rich and healing multi-purpose balm for lips and skin problems such as dry skin and small cuts. Contains beeswax, shea butter, and eucalyptus oil.

Solution: Killer Skincare is an alternative, indie brand. It would not be sold in high-street shops like Boots or Superdrug. Instead, it would have its own funky shop where you can buy products and get them refilled. The shop would be a Gen Z hub: a safe space and hangout spot, and a space for local musicians and artists to promote their work. Other than that, the brand would operate mainly online, promoting itself and advertising predominately on Instagram and social media in general.

BrandOpus/Molson Coors Hatch Competition

Brief: Design a functional drinks brand that’s centred around emotional well-being.

Problem: Two very common but often overlooked factors that negatively impact health are excessive alcohol consumption and mineral deficiency, and these are both linked. Alcohol causes inflammation in the body and depletes us of hydration and vital minerals, which is what causes a hangover. Hangovers lead to poor mental and physical health and get in the way of leading a productive and fulfilling day.

Solution: I have created ‘Aftermath’, a canned water brand containing different essential minerals and ingredients to help adults rehydrate themselves and recover after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The drinks help combat the mineral depletion and inflammation that causes a hangover, allowing the consumer to have fun yet still be able to get on with their day and keep on top of busy modern life.

All 6 cans

Solution: There are 6 different cans, each targeted at a different hangover-related issue: 5 flavoured waters with different minerals, and a basic unflavoured water can, which contains equal amounts of all minerals. They will be made from post-consumer aluminium, which is infinitely recyclable and sustainable. So, they offer an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottled water as well as supplements, which often come in a plastic container.

Solution: The basic water can, ‘Transcend’, from all angles. Wrapped around the top reads: “Multi-mineral supplement drink, for effective hangover relief and an overall boost.” The pattern that wraps around the can is inspired by minerals and crystals.

Solution: A custom ‘Aftermath’ vending machine. This is not the type of drink that would be sold in multi-packs. It is a ‘grab and go’ drink that will be sold mainly in vending machines in offices, gyms, train stations, hotels and universities; places where people may find a hangover cure useful. It will also be sold as singular cans in clubs and in supermarkets as part of ‘meal deal’ offers.

Solution: Bringing the brand to life and cultivating its personality through advertisements on billboards and posters. ‘Aftermath’ is all about motivation, self-improvement and the grind, while still having fun and not taking life too seriously. ‘Work hard, play hard’ is its core belief.

Solution: ‘Aftermath’ promotes itself mainly through social media, predominately Instagram to target its young adult audience and show off its strong, bold visual identity.

Children’s book illustration internship

Brief: During the summer after my second year at university, I completed two weeks of professional work experience in the creative industry. For my internship, I co-illustrated a children’s picture book about the treatment of amblyopia or ‘lazy- eye’ for Clearview Med. UK Ltd with two other university students.

Problem: The client, who is a doctor that treats amblyopia in children, wanted something very soft and friendly, to appeal to a little girl aged between 4 and 6. The illustrations needed to be inviting and positive, as the aim of the book is designed to lift children’s spirits and encourage them to see the treatment, which is long and challenging, through.

Solution: This is different to my usual style, but we created something the client was overjoyed with; simple and gentle illustrations drawn on Procreate using the pencil and watercolour tools for a hand-drawn effect.

Permission to post from the author granted, no replication of images in any format.

Solution: This was an extremely rewarding experience that I really enjoyed. The book, ‘Pirate Princess Rose is the Hero of Her Own Eye Treatment’ by M. E. Awan, has now been published in paperback and Kindle, and is for sale on Amazon. It has also been modified for the US audience.

This was also featured as the spotlight story on NTU Employability’s Spotlight Series – Edition One: Grads4nottm (and my picture is now on the NTU website!) Read about it here:

Buy the book on Amazon:

Clearview Med. UK Ltd’s website:

Penguin Books Student Design Award 2021

Brief: The annual Penguin Books Student Design Award competition, which is to design a book cover for one of three books. This was my entry to the 2021 competition and I chose the adult non-fiction category: ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’ by David Wallace-Wells.

Problem: This is a book warning us about the impact human activity has had on the environment and the planet, and the issues we are predicted to face in the future if we keep living as we are.

Solution: I combined my entry for the Batsford Prize 2020- 2021 competition with my entry for this one, I used the image from my final poster and the ransom note style type I created on this book cover. I kept this dark and eerie for impact and the image depicts an avalanche of plastic, a simple and slightly comical metaphor for what is to come in the future.

The Batsford Prize 2020-2021

Brief: The leading art book publisher Batsford’s annual university student competition. The 2020 competition rolled over to 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the theme was ‘Our Planet’. My entry was for the ‘Illustration’ category.

Problem: Environmental destruction, mass extinction, global warming, litter, and waste are just a few things plaguing our planet right now, all due to human activity. We are predicted to face doom in the years to come if we do not change our behaviour.

Solution: The environment is something I am deeply passionate about, so I wanted to create a series of illustrations to highlight some of the key issues and raise awareness. I created an environmental campaign focusing on the impacts climate change and human activity has had on the oceans and ice caps. I designed 7 different images and posters, each tackling a different issue.

Solution: I based each of my posters around popular idioms. They were influenced by Extinction Rebellion posters and punk art, which inspired my use of ransom note-style typography. This was to give the posters a rebellious feel and a sense of urgency, and to contrast yet compliments the images on the posters.

Branding project

Brief: Create an imaginary brand based upon three notions: immortality, health and fitness, and sustainability.

Problem: Most people buy fruit and vegetables from supermarkets, which package them in single-use plastic that is completely unsustainable and terrible for the environment. They also import groceries from across the world when they are not in season, which leads to a large carbon footprint.

Solution: I created ‘Seasons’, a fully sustainable food brand that delivers local fresh seasonal produce straight to the customer’s door in a reusable wooden box. It is a bit like ‘Wonky Veg’ and ‘Oddbox’. It supports local British farmers and will only stock produce that is in season, so it has a low carbon footprint. The brand identity is based upon the 4 seasons, as the produce and packaging for the whole brand changes with each season.

Solution: I created an Art Nouveau-inspired tile for each season, which includes its respective seasonal fruits and vegetables. The ‘Seasons’ logo is also Art Nouveau inspired, and is based on the Google font ‘Forum’. I put emphasis on the visuals for this project as I wanted my brand to be more than just its product; I wanted it to be beautiful and a work of art. These tiles were drawn by hand and then edited with colours added in Photoshop.

Solution: All 4 seasons tiles as a repeat pattern, which could be used for kitchen curtains or a table cloth. The individual tiles could also be used as kitchen tiles.

Solution: I created three touchpoints for the brand. First are mock-ups for the wooden box that the produce would come in. Obviously, the box style would change with each season, so customers can collect them and reuse them, for example as jewellery or storage boxes. Alternatively, they can hand it back to the courier for £3 off their next order. This is what makes the brand fully sustainable.

Solution: Next, are mock-ups of T-shirts that couriers would wear, and that can be bought on the website as merchandise for the brand. There are 4 different styles of T-shirts for each season and here are a few of them. Customers can choose a ‘Seasons’ T-shirt that represents them best. They would be made of hemp and organic cotton, so customers can show off their sustainability with style!

Solution: Finally, mock-ups for some of the pages that would be featured on the summer version of the brand’s website, created in Illustrator. Here are screenshots from the landing page (home page) and the ‘Pick & Mix’ page (shopping).

Penguin Books Student Design Award 2020

Brief: The annual Penguin Books Student Design Award competition, which is to design a book cover for one of three books. This was my entry to the 2021 competition and I chose the adult fiction category: ‘The Night Manager’ by John le Carré.

Problem: This is an espionage novel about an undercover operation to bring down a major international arms dealer.

Solution: I created this book cover, where the imagery can represent broken glass, a spider’s web, or a map, all of which are metaphors for the story, depending on the viewer’s interpretation. I have used a simple typewriter font for the underneath layer, to imply secrecy and to fit the espionage theme.

Digital version of the book cover design.

Solution: The book cover is double-layered to imply ‘covering up’ and secrecy, and the top layer has gold foiling to add elegance and drama.

Solution: I have hidden a gun in one of the shards of broken glass on the spine.