I illustrated this on a long bus ride up to Glasgow on the day of the anniversary of the death of Chris McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp, who died 24 years ago in this rusty old bus. I experimented with new ways of shading, adding gradients etc to make my work look less flat. For those of you who don't know the story of McCandless, I highly recommend Jon Krakauer's legendary book, or Sean Penn's equally exciting film "Into The Wild" with Eddie Vedder's incredible soundtrack.
Arts Council Malta
"DeBono's method forces the brain to start out at new and different points of departure, preventing it from falling into a familiar groove it has formed before"
The above quote references Stefan Sagmeister discussing Maltese philosopher Edward deBono's method of critical thinking, where the thinker chooses an object at random and associates it with the area they are thinking about. In this case, I was sat in the park with my sketchbook, jotting down notes and ideas and came to a bit of a blank. I looked around and saw a bench, and applied this way of thinking...taking the "bench" as a point of departure.
I based the concept on a quote by Peter Brook: "I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage." Keeping this quote in mind, I started thinking about what can constitute as an empty stage. As a case study, I thought of the simple bench in a park. A bench is a place to sit, to reflect, exchange ideas and observe. This same bench could also perform as a stage, a platform, a desk or a workspace. It is up to the creativity of the individual to imagine and maximise the potential of the bench. In the same way, it is up to the individual(i.e. the artist) to use the services offered by the Arts Council to their full creative potential as a platform for opportunities or support. Furthermore I explored the shapes of different alternative "stages" such as the humble chair, either at home, in an empty room or as part of a audience.
The brand was developed to represent the ever-changing nature of shadows cast from these empty chairs, to show the organic nature of our cultural and artistic sector at this particular stage in its growth. Each empty chair represents the Arts Council and the support given to the artist. Through the icon and the colour scheme the brand is fluid and dynamic, changing according to what we need to promote but at the same time staying true to the ever changing nature of creativity.
I was tasked with this rebranding project whilst working at Brnd Wgn ... a somewhat dream project for me, given that I was already involved in several projects for the council.
As part of the Maltatype project, I was asked to create a limited edition print for the 'Elsewhere' event hosted by Maltese creative hub HeyDay. This event was hosted at "The Orpheum", a spectacular old theatre that I couldn't help but illustrate.
Palatino used to be the best-seller for Camilleri Wines but had hit a decline. They wanted a fresh revamp and a complete label re-design. The aim was to achieve a modern-classic feel, striking a balance between a rich looking label but without seeming too high brow.
I researched the origins of the name Palatino, and found loads of visual inspiration in the mosaic patterns in the ancient Imperial Palaces on the Palatine Hill, where the mythical brothers Romolus and Remus were said to have founded the Empire of Rome.
I recreated these ancient mosaic patterns and applied a playful, vibrant colour scheme whilst still trying to keep the label neat and tidy. The client was really happy with the result and you can now find this wine range in shelves all over the Maltese Islands.
A collection of some of my illustrations based on Maltese facades and buildings that have some sort of significance to me... including the house I grew up in, and my grandparent's old house.
Illustrations for Student.com
Whilst working as a Senior Visual Designer at Student.com, I was also the main illustrator and provided loads of illustrations for branding and online purposes. Here are a few of them.
I produced these motivational posters for Student.com as part of a pack that was sent out to students as fresher's week. They each received one when they moved into their new accommodation.
I created this set of posters for Student.com. Each one represented one of the company's core values. I wanted to steer away from the usual corporate-looking company value posters, so I created these illustrations. Starting with the peacock to represent 'Integrity' (a peacock always shows you its true colours...ok, I get that that's stretching it a bit, but it's still way more fun than a cheesy stock photo image!). The values they represent are, in order: Integrity, Positive Attitude, Excellence, Peace of Mind, Passion.
A couple of months after joining Brnd Wgn, I took over my boss Pete's office and created the company's motto using the chalk on the blackboard wall. We ended up using this on the labels of our yearly Christmas gift.
"We honoured the close of 2012 with the third and final edition of our BRND WGN wine bottles, made with tender loving care and filled with a fruit driven, full bodied Shiraz. The bottle label reflects our company mantra 'For the love of brands' in a playful hand-drawn typography. Each of the 150 bottles produced was individually sealed in pink wax and nested in a sack-cloth sleeve over which we placed a final touch in our own vowel-free style; a message to our esteemed clients: 'BRND RSPNSBLY'."
Maltatype is a showcase of traditional typography adorning the streets of Malta and Gozo.
The project originated from a love of type, with signs that are embedded within the Maltese cultural landscape and informed by its distinct styles and techniques.
More than just placards, we consider these valuable historic artefacts that often go unnoticed by the public in a saturated urban environment. Maltatype celebrates these signs, their history and their makers, giving them relevance and recognition in the 21st century and beyond.
Our approach is as much a preservation of the past as it is a glance into the future. We aim to elevate these signs beyond their place on derelict and neglected buildings, by creating original work that is designed to sustain their timeworn beauty while giving them value in a contemporary context. Find this work on our Studio page.
Maltatype was co-founded and is currently run by Matthew Demarco, Katerina Karamallaki and Ed Dingli.
I was asked by the Valletta 2018 (V18) Foundation to brand the new Valletta International Visual Arts Festival. I drew inspiration from the many angular shapes found around Valletta, as well as the angular shapes that are found in the letters spelling out the title, to form an obvious "V"
Winter Moods is a Maltese band formed in the mid-1980s. During the past 30 years the band produced has five albums, and broke local records for attendance with two concerts. I was asked to create the artwork of their latest album, "The Journey".
The artwork shows a person approaching the end of his life, reflecting on the journey he has just had as he approaches the afterlife. The reflection is full of contrasts, going from cold feelings to warm emotions (blue to red colours), going from dry trees at the bottom to lush vegetation at the top, as well as the stark contrast between the rocks (rocky times in life) and the calm and serene.
I have also included an image of another artwork that I created based on a separate concept, that was rejected by the band.
Notte Bianca is an annual festival organised by the Arts Council Malta. It is arguably Malta's largest artistic festival. It is named 'Notte Bianca' as it is a festival of light. Therefore, I thought it would be apt to create a logo out of light, using long exposure photos and different sources of light to capture the individual letters.
In Christmases past we thanked our clients and friends for their ongoing support with our own branded wine bottles, but this year we decided to go for something a little further from our hearts and closer to our beer loving guts. The BRND WGN six-pack, just like it says on the box, is a game changer. Each of the six bottles was typographically treated to represent one of our six departments: The Sultans of Social - Social media team | The Surfers of the Creative Wave - The design and creative team | The Merchants of Media - The media buying team | The People’s People - The account execs | The Code Whisperers - The developers | The Spin Cycle - The public relations team
A Brnd Wgn project that involved the whole design team.
Video: Cisk Rube Goldberg
This was one of my favourite projects whilst working at Brnd Wgn. We were tasked with creating a Christmas video for Maltese favourite beer brand "Cisk". I worked closely with the creative director and drew the storyboards, sketched the actual machine, helped build the 'machine' and directed and edited the video.
What's the best way to pour a glass of Cisk lager? Sometimes the answers to simple questions depend on who you ask. We love our beer and we love our brands so we decided to prolong those delicious moments of anticipation between opening a Cisk and pouring it by adding a little magic in between. Using objects related to brewing, serving and drinking Cisk we built a Rube Goldberg machine in the beautiful Old Farsons Brewery; the birthplace of our favourite brew. Among our building materials were trays, ice buckets, cans, bottles, barrels, crates and kegs which were transformed over four days into what we think is the best way to pour a mouth watering glass of cold, cold Cisk.
Cisk Rube Goldberg Christmas 2013 - Midnight at the Brewery
Candle Stop Motion
Another of my favourite projects whilst working at Brnd Wgn, this time for Air Malta. I directed, filmed (along with Kurt Arrigo) and edited this social media campaign.
"Malta is a land of candles. You can find them casting their warm glow in the numerous churches, shrines and caves around the islands where they are a symbol of love, hope and remembrance. Using over 400 of these ubiquitous red candles and a crew of thirty people we decided to tell a Maltese story on a beach at sunset. The candles were lit and extinguished to create a series of images which evoke some of the feelings which Malta as a destination inspires and to awaken the spirit of travel."
Awaken the spirit of travel - Air Malta
Whilst working at Brnd Wgn, I was asked to come up with a proposed branding identity for the new museum of art, forming part of Camilleri Architect's pitch for a design competition.
The acronym MUZA stands for Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arti (Maltese for National Museum of Fine Arts), but also refers to the Muses, the mythological figures inspiring the arts and the etymological source of the word museum.