All Posts in Personal
I recently created the new identity and event key visual for the annual basketball memorial tournament in honour of Haris Charalambous who tragically died at the age of 21 while training with his NCAA Division 1 Toledo University team in October 2006.
The tournament regularly attracts some of the best teams in Britain, Europe and the United States.
Past winners include the national teams of England, Ireland and Germany, US college sides Proctor and Tilton Prep, British academy Charnwood College Riders and European club sides CB Cornella (Spain) and Breitengüßbach (Germany).
The event also features some of the game's exciting talents, such as Terance Mann, who was part of the victorious Tilton team in 2014 and recently helped Florida State to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Championship.
For more information about the tournament, visit www.manchestermagicandmystics.co.uk and click on the Haris link.
Whilst this was not something I worked on directly, but having spent 18 months working closely with the Jacamo team (whilst I was at LOVE), working on the rebrand and creating all their seasonal brand guides for this period it was nice see that they were taking the guides on themselves and creating good solid content on their own.
Whilst there is nothing ground-breaking in terms of idea or application here, it's a long way from where they used to be with Johnny Vegas.
It was also nice to see the tv campaign lead with a line written be me. #winterwrapped
Last year I was lucky enough to work on a number of projects with drinks brand Red Bull. The first one to go live was the branding and visual identity for Red Bulls first foray into road cycling, Red Bull Timelaps. The event saw teams of 4 battle it over a 25 hour endurance race on 28th October 2017 at Great Windsor Park as the clocks went back (that's where the extra hour came in).
Whilst I put together a full case study here are a few shots from the event for which I was lucky enough to attend. It was a great day and night all round and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The weather even held out which, for an outdoor event in October is amazing!
A full case study to come once everything has fully launched, but in the mean time it was a real pleasure to work on the rebrand and redesign of the JW Lees Brewery portfolio of beers whilst freelancing at Manchester agency Squad.
Working alongside Squad Creative Director David Barraclough, with Manchunian master typographer Daren Newman we created a suite of beers that each tell their own story in a different way and brings them right up-to-date, whilst still retaining an element JW Lees heritage.
It was a great project to be involved with and I look forward to sharing more of the project once its fully out in the wild.
So after; two enjoyable years at LOVE, two years before that leading the JD Sports digital creative team, three fantastic years at advertising agency TBWA and four years before that working in various small studios, I am now available to hire directly for all your graphic design, art direction, brand and digital design needs.
If you would like to get in touch to discuss a potential project all my contact details can be found here, I would love to hear from you!
Following on from the previous weeks D&AD wins, I attended the Roses Creative Awards ceremony where the Jacamo brand book scooped three more awards.
Gold award in “Corporate / Promotional Literature".
Silver award in “Typography”.
Gold award in “Illustration”.
Shout out to Peruvian based British illustrator Bloodsausage.
I should probably get the work into a case study and put it on my site, in the mean time check it out here.
I'm proud to have been involved in the Jacamo re-brand project which last week won 2 pencils at the D&AD awards in London. The 'Real-Man Manual' took away two pencils - a graphite for 'Brand Expression for Print' & wood in 'Branding'.
Congrats to the whole LOVE Jacamo team; Gary, Rory, Laffers, Pat and Myers.
About the project and re-inventing the Jacamo brand.
We knew we needed to raise brand awareness for Jacamo but, at the same time, consider how we could shift opinions of those who had negative, and often unfair, perceptions of what Jacamo was all about. Fundamentally, it’s great-fitting and stylish clothes for men.
From sizes S to 5XL, Jacamo offers clothes for every man. Well, every real man. And real men aren’t that keen on the frills and fuss when it comes to shopping. So we created a brand that offers a shopping experience for men who want to look and feel great without any of the
hassle. Our brand proposition was born – Jacamo. Outfitters For The Real Man.
The Jacamo Real-Man Manual
We created the ‘Jacamo Real-Man Manual’ to lay down in black and white (literally) all those nitty-gritty details of the brand’s reinvention. The manual combines our new, humorous tone of voice with a series of comical illustrations to create a brand book that inspires and entertains in equal measure. Used as both an internal rallying cry and an external opinion changer, the book has served as a catalyst for a year of change at Jacamo.
View the project here, whilst I get round to adding to the work section.
The stop-frame animation worked really well across social too:
Below are some of the behind the scenes, including me taking a (it was three or four) snowball(s) for the team. I'm thankful it wasn't Freddie wasn't throwing them, an unlucky digi was on the receiving end the next day and whoa!
I also shot a series of four of interviews with Freddie between scenes, where he ponders some the big festive issues check one below, more on Jacamo's youtube channel.
This week I was fortunate enough to receive an email from Oscar at Behance to let me know that my work for Scotts had been selected by their curatorial team to feature on the front of their Adweek Talent Behance gallery.
Be sure to visit and check out the other great work on there if you've never done so, and if you want to follow me on Behance, check out my profile.
A few days ago I received an email from the good people at Creative Bloq about a follow-up piece to their wildy popular Designers and their tattoos article. This time the idea being 'Designers as you've never seen them before'.
We've featured a lot of designer interviews over the years on Creative Bloq, but a lot of the time we end up with very similar photographs. Here's a designer sitting at his Mac with Illustrator open and a bunch of vinyl toys on his desk! Here's a designer in her studio, with lots of inspiring artwork on display! Here's a designer leaning against a wall!
I sent over a few tales and the story they wanted to feature was from when I featured as part of the final of the BBC's Junior Apprentice TV show. If you want to read more about and also find out about what 9 other top creatives get upto in their spare time, head over to Creative Bloq.
2014 was the year I finally went premium on spotify, and pretty much ditched my dependence on iTunes. Below are my top 15 artists and tracks played last year as recorded by last.fm and some other interesting stats from the spotify round-up.
|1||Caribou – Can't Do Without You||22|
|2||Arcade Fire – Afterlife||20|
|3||White Denim – At Night in Dreams||19|
|4||Metronomy – I'm Aquarius||19|
|5||Todd Terje – Delorean Dynamite||19|
|6||alt-J – Hunger of the Pine||19|
|7||Caribou – Back Home||19|
|8||Bonobo – Sapphire||18|
|9||White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade||18|
|10||Arcade Fire – Normal Person||18|
|11||Metronomy – Monstrous||18|
|12||Metronomy – Love Letters||18|
|13||Grizzly Bear – Sleeping Ute||17|
|14||Bonobo – Jets||17|
|15||Bonobo – Know You||17|
Based on my 2014 listenings, spotify have created this for 2015. Play it forward.
I love a good iOS photography app, I use quite a few on a regular basis and have experimented with loads. I've recently come across Dubble, a new double exposure app that randomly pairs your image with that of a stranger. Often the outcome is a bit of a mess, but with a little bit of persistance and plenty of luck there are some really nice outcomes. It can be quite addictive once you get in the swing of things.
If you are feeling adventurous, try double dubbling.
The app is easy to use and free to download in the app store.
Check out my profile: dubble.me/bentopliss
You're starting at the bottom - but working as a designer, not just making tea. (Image: Sweaty Eskimo - www.sweatyeskimo.co.uk)
Design portal and sister publication to Computer Arts magazine, Creative Bloq recently asked me to give some career advice for those studying design or looking for their first jobs in the creative industries.
It covers everything from eduction, starting salaries, skills required, agency vs in-house and career progression.
Head over to the Creative Bloq site to read the full article, or read my story and advice below on what its like being the junior.
09. What it's actually like to do the job
Now a senior designer, Ben Topliss explains what it was like being a junior designer
Earlier this year, multi-disciplinary designer Ben Topliss started a new senior designer position at sports and fashion-wear retailer JD PLC that was created especially for him. Since graduating seven years ago, he's been busy honing his skills at the likes of international advertising agency TBWA and developing his freelance career. He explains how he got to here from his first junior designer position, and what it's really like being a junior designer...
Creative Bloq: Your first job out of uni was junior designer at an architectural practice called Prism. What did you study at uni, and how well did your course set you up for this role?
Ben Topliss: I studied product design at university, with a minor in interactive design. I didn't realise until I'd signed up to study for the interactive modules that graphic and digital design were things I was really passionate about and wanted to do after graduating.
The main thing I took from studying design at university was the process of design and problem-solving. I didn't do any placements or internships in agencies or studios, but I did as many jobs as I could get my hands on for local businesses, designing anything they'd let me including identities, branded stationery, websites, booklets, flyers and menus. Taking this also route taught me about the other side of design - dealing with clients, and managing my time and finances - which can be just as important as the actual work.
CB: What was the job market like after you graduated? How tricky was it to get your first job as a junior designer?
BT: It was a struggle to get a job after graduating. It's so competitive out there and it's hard to differentiate yourself, especially when competing against others with graphic design degrees. I wrote a lot of letters but didn't really get anywhere. I had a few interviews and finally got something in the September after graduating. It was great to finally get a job.
CB: Why did you decide to work in-house as a junior designer, rather than in a design studio or agency?
BT: Prism was a small design studio and I got to work on projects for clients including Sainsbury's, Cambridge University and Marks & Spencer. There were only four designers - two senior and two junior - so I got to work on some large projects straight away, as everyone had to get stuck in.
Ben is currently working at TBWA
CB: Talk us through a typical day - what were your responsibilities?
BT: As it was only a really small agency I'd have to do plenty of admin-type jobs like order the stationery, be the IT guy and make tea for everyone. But I'd also get to head out to client meetings and take ownership of projects, which was good as you might not necessarily get that level of trust working somewhere larger.
CB: What was the best part of the job?
BT: Actually doing work and getting paid for something I wanted to do was great. It wasn't groundbreaking stuff by any stretch of the imagination, but I was working in the industry I wanted to be in and gaining experience all the time. To me then, that was amazing.
CB: How long did you work in this position before taking the next step in your career, and what did it take to move up the ladder?
BT: I spent a year at Prism, and another year in my next job - both in small teams so I did get to take control of a lot of projects, but I maybe missed the guidance I would have got from larger organisations.
Stepping up to the next level in a much larger agency was fun: suddenly I was working with a large group of really talented creatives. I certainly had a feeling that I needed to up my game. That's how you improve though. You need to get out of your comfort zone, push yourself to be better and learn from those around you.
CB: How long did it take you to get to a senior designer position?
BT: I graduated about seven years ago, with the last three of those working at TBWA. There I had the opportunity to learn from lots of talented people and gain some good experience working on some great projects, big and small, for clients like Manchester United, EA Games and BP.
CB: What do you love most about your job now?
BT: Getting to work with talented and inspiring people. I've got a busy couple of months coming up, with the launch of at least two iOS apps and a couple of site redesigns on the horizon.
CB: What advice would you give a junior designer for becoming a senior designer?
BT: Work hard, ask questions and soak up as much as you can from more the experienced people you are working with, whatever their job role. Do the jobs no-one else wants to do - make yourself indispensable.
Also, it pays to be nice. The industry is smaller than you think - you never know when you'll come back into contact with someone you used to work with, met at an industry event or even slated on Twitter.