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Nerdology: defining a design practice.

Published and printed by Distributed to the shelf of BAGD LCAD Edited and produced by Tommings Book design by Tommings Concepts and art direction by Tommings 2012 Tommings Copyright on quotes, illustration and design work is held by the respective illustrators, designers and conributors. By Tomas Cummings


Contents science: 8-35

video games: 36-55

Fantasy, etc: 56-75


KEY This key is a point of reference to determine what areas of graphic design each page is relative to my interests within the broader field of graphic design. The icons will be displayed at the base of each page.

Editorial image Publication Poster design Text


Foreword Nerdology; a word that defines a subculture that started with the resurgence of ëgeek chicí. Being a nerd is an individual who engages with educational mediums with excitement, be it on a particular academic subject, or finding out who really shot first: Han or Greedo. Nerds are stereotyped as isolated, socially inept beings who only go outside the house to buy the latest edition of New Scientist or to buy more xbox points, but in recent years the term is coined when a ënormí observes said nerd engaging with an activity that is extra curricular or not attuned to their own social activities/engagements. But the word nerd applies to myself in regards to my own practice, often I find motivational quotes from scientists, images inspired by videogames and design that comes from esteemed professionals in their respective fields. It has taken me a long time to fully realise that I want to work freelance and be part of the creative community by having freedom to work for a variety of clients that will boost my experience as a designer and illustrator. I could of really done with this book not just in first year, but in my school years as I am an indecisive and impulsive individual as most humans are, but only in the past few months have I begun to understand where, who and what I want to work with. My interests within my work and personal life are often intertwined, regardless of the context. I love expanding my web of knowledge through learning how the world works or has worked and the mystery behind the unknown and known realities we inhabit. This book aims to show the various illustrators and designers who not only influence me, but inspire me whilst dining with the intellectual proprietors that have constantly shaped and shifted our mortal plane.


“Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself it’s own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.” Niels Bohr - physicist


Chapter one -science-


science The science world has always played a massively significant role in my life, wether it conjures up the rhetoric questioning of the universe, who did actually discover electricity (it was Franklin, but people still argue) or even what genetic deficiency occurs when ingesting neon. The nature of science journalism in contemporary media is often exagerrated which annoys me to some extent due to the inquisitive and honest attitude expected of scientists. I firmly believe that reason and logic should be the foundations of any good society coupled with a healthy dose of speculation and doubt concerning our own existence. It is the eternal questioning and exploring of our universe that may or may not give us the answers we so strive to obtain. Science often requires some form of illustration, especially when explaining a difficult concept, idea or theory. This section aims to not only inform you of some of the greatest minds in existence, but to showcase their ability to communicate complex ideas in a simplistic and digestable format for the lesser educated masses. I will be mainly delving into the 1950Ă­s due to the amount of new technology and ideas that the public needed to understand and adapt to. In the latter section of the chapter, I will be bringing some modern designers and illustrators into the fray to illustrate that nothing has really changed in terms of communicating the various values, theories and tangibles the realm of science presents.



Erik Nitsche Basic visual communication in the sphere of semiotics tends to do the job, but there was a man who turned the world of communication on itĂ­s head and bred a pure form of functional design ethics. Erik Nitsche was a pioneer in the design of books, annual reports, and other printed material that relied on meticulous attention to the details of page composition, the elegance of simple type presentation, and the juxtaposition of elements on a page. His hallmarks were impeccably clear design, brilliant colors, smart typography, and an adherence to particular geometric foundations. Erik Nitsche was born and studied in Lausanne, Switzerland, and moved to the United States at the age of 26, where he had a successful career as graphic designer and art director. After 1960Ă­s he worked mainly on childrenĂ­s books. Nitsche is best known for his historic relationship with the engineering company General Dynamics. He designed a breakthrough series of posters, in addition to designing their corporate image, annual reports, and advertising. He was hired as art director for General Dynamics and savored designing technical data for such things as hydraulic systems and cross-sections of airplanes.





Saul bass Was not only one of the great graphic designers of the mid-20th century but the undisputed master of film title design thanks to his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger and Martin Scorsese. Even before he made his cinematic debut, Bass was a celebrated graphic designer. Born in the Bronx district of New York in 1920 to an emigrÈ furrier and his wife, he was a creative child who drew constantly. Bass studied at the Art Students League in New York and Brooklyn College under Gyorgy Kepes, an Hungarian graphic designer who had worked with L· szlÛ MoholyNagy in 1930s Berlin and fled with him to the US. Kepes introduced Bass to Moholyís Bauhaus style and to Russian Constructivism. After apprenticeships with Manhattan design firms, Bass worked as a freelance graphic designer or ì commercial artistî as they were called. Chafing at the creative constraints imposed on him in New York, he moved to Los Angeles in 1946. After freelancing, he opened his own studio in 1950 working mostly in advertising until Preminger invited him to design the poster for his 1954 movie, Carmen Jones. Impressed by the result, Preminger asked Bass to create the filmís title sequence too.

“There is nothing glamorous in what I do. I’m a working man. Perhaps I’m luckier than most in that I receive considerable satisfaction from doing useful work which I, and sometimes others, think is good.” 14




juan solon Juan Carlos Solon was born in Quezon City, Philippines, and raised in Toronto Ontario. He is a graduate of SheridanĂ­s BAA- Illustration program and received full honors. He enjoys sketching, reading, video games, muay thai, and science.



Natalie wood She is a Manchester-based freelance illustrator. A tea-drinker, basketball player and marine fish keeper. She graduated in 2010 from Stockport College with a First Class BA Hons degree in Illustration, after studying at Stockport College. In 2008 she also graduated from the Manchester School of Art with a degree in Design & Art Direction. Her work is fairly decorative, pattern-based and textured. She enjoys producing illustrations for editorial and print.



alan dalby A Manchester based illustrator who has produced work for magazines, newspapers and other publications. He also works with type and layout. His work features predominantly in the news, current affairs and scientific area.



Guy fernandez I have recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a 2:1 in graphic design. I have a keen interest in producing bold and effective visuals in a wide variety of media. I am passionate about finding the key elements of a topic and target audience, and exploiting that to create the best possible form of communication. I like to have fun with my ideas, and IĂ­m not afraid of using colour or simplicity to achieve the most powerful statement. Ideal Role I believe we live in an ever more visually diverse world and so I have a keen interest in exploring a variety of different fields in graphic design. As a result of this I would like to assume a role inside multi-disciplinary company, where I would be able to explore and experiment with design in a variety of different mediums.



Studio 8 We are an independent graphic design studio with a reputation for delivering intelligent and engaging creative solutions. Matt Willey and ZoĂŽ Bather set up the studio in 2005 and have since worked with clients both large and small, in the UK and overseas, gaining a number of awards along the way. We produce a diverse range of work across multiple disciplines that includes editorial, exhibition, signage, corporate literature, websites, and brand identities. WeĂ­d like to think we bring a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm to every new project, so if you would like to discuss a potential brief please get in touch.







micheal paukner Has a keen interest in producing bold and effective visuals in a wide variety of media. He is passionate about finding the key elements of a topic and target audience, and exploiting that to create the best possible form of communication. He likes to have fun with my ideas, uses colour or simplicity to achieve the most powerful statement.


“I love to produce pieces where the essence of an idea can be applied imaginatively and effectively across different formats.�


“allow me to hold your face under the putrescent waters of knowledge”

Ben ì Yahtzeeî Croshaw - Games journalist


Chapter two - g a m e s -


games One of my major long time goals has been to be part of a company who designs and creates the artwork for video games, or what I like to call interactive storytelling. Film is all very well, but in terms of intuitive plot devices the entertainment genre has little to offer, whereas we are seeing a whole new spectrum of fantastic storytelling created by those bedroom dwellers or what they are also known as; game designers. Video games have come such a long way since the 80Ă­s, they have widely become accepted into society with little or no conflict with the governing powers that used to tread on the barefeet of the industry. Game journalism is now a major force, battling with the indie industry who are in it for the pleasure versus the huge producers who are adamant in producing games purely for their sellability. I have always appreciated the artwork and effort people put into creating a game and intrigued by the creative minds behind the work. My first ever drawing was of Sonic destroying Ryu on the back of one of my secondary school notebooks. I will be looking at how print, media and the gaming community help spread and share their interests as well as designers who love gaming. This chapter aims to highlight the importance of gaming culture in my practise as well as the incredible community that is part of an industry that turns out more money than any other entertainment media form on the planet.



corey schmitz For the past almost-year, he has been working with Queasy Games on Sounds Shapes, a new Sony-published game for the PlayStation Vita. His back catalogue is quite impressive: Press: Wired, PlayStation: The Official Magazine, Rolling Stone, Kotaku, Joystiq, Destructoid, High Snobiety, The Stranger, Advertising Age, GameSetWatch, IGN, Tiny Cartridge, and many more. (Thanks!) Awards & Honors: March 2009 Student Spotlight on April 2009 Student Spotlight on 2009 Kreielsheimer Award Winner 2007-2009 Merit Scholarship Recipient







olly moss Olly moss is a young british designer / illustrator - his self initiated work includes these bold poster designs for well known movie titles such as ëthe deer hunterí and ëthe great dictatorí. Moss has also produced work for clients including the new york times, computer arts magazine and urban outfitters. I know many people always reference Olly, but he is more or less the Saul Bass of the digital age. Always loved his work and so do thousands of other people around the globe.



gallery 1988 Gallery 1988 has quickly become one of the worldís most talked about art galleries. Opened in 2004 on the famous corner of Melrose and La Brea, by California natives Katie Cromwell and Jensen Karp, the gallery has become the nationís number one destination for pop-culture themed artwork and the premiere venue to witness the rise of emerging artists before they break. Openings at the gallery have seen upwards of 2,500 people attending in one night, including celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie, Good Charlotte, Seth Rogen, DJ AM, Paul Wall, Seth Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Jonah Hill, Michael Rappaport, Linkin Park, Swizz Beats and Joss Whedon admiring the walls. An annual show at G1988, ì Crazy 4 Cultî receives worldwide press (faced by the showís hosts, filmmakers Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier) and over 1,000,000 website hits on the day of the opening reception. In addition, Gallery1988 has collaborated with Stan Lee and Beastie Boys to create the annual tribute show, ì Under the Influence,î which pays homage to these inspirational icons and their influence on our generation. In 2011, Karp and Cromwell expanded G1988 with a new location in Venice Beach, CA. The galleries have been featured in dozens of magazines including US Weekly, Jutxapoz, JANE, COMPLEX, The Los Angeles Times, FHM, The Washington Post, and The National Post. Theyíve also received press from the CNN, G4 network, KTLA, KTTV,, MSNBC. com, KROQ, Power 106 and publications in the United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Germany


and Italy. G1988 has also created unprecedented partnerships with corporations like The Walt Disney Company, Capcom and Mattel to produce art shows inspired by their products and history. In 2009, Gallery1988:LA worked hand in hand with Tyson/Givens Design & ABC television show ĂŹ LOST,ĂŽ to create a promotional campaign and art show that has changed the face of television marketing as a whole. For the past 6 years, Gallery 1988 has helped nurture and create a collective of artists who call 1988 their homebase allowing collectors to purchase affordable artwork from art stars on the rise, before their price range skyrockets.


fernando rez A graphic designer based in LA, USA who specialises in gig posters, image and print. He has an impressive client list and has worked on various projects in America and worldwide.



jublin Is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer who lives in california. His work tends to be in exhibits and live drawing events up and down the western seaboard, also a close mate of Olly MossĂ­. An esteemed member of Gallery 1988.



The behemoth Is a video game development company that was created in 2003 by John Baez, artist Dan Paladin (aka Synj), and programmers Tom Fulp (the creator of the popular Newgrounds Flash website), Brandon LaCava, and Nick Dryburgh. Dryburgh later left the company. The Behemoth development studio is located in San Diego, California. The company is known for producing simple games with PaladinĂ­s signature 2D style. Their first console game, Alien Hominid, gained critical acclaim by the media and the members of The Behemoth quickly gained status as indie developers focused on bringing old-school styles of video games back into mainstream gaming. Some of the minigames from Alien Hominid were ported to iOS in 2011. The BehemothĂ­s second game, Castle Crashers, was released August 27, 2008, originally for the Xbox Live Arcade service, but re-released on the PlayStation 3 on August 31, 2010. Their visual style is incomparable and a huge influence on the way I draw.



“All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.� Carl Jung - psychiatrist


Chapter three -fantasy-


fantasy, fiction & in-betweens The third and final chapter that will feature in Nerdology. This section is for all the illustrators, designers and bits that flow and flourish as much as the other sections. The only difference is that this one has more than one subject matter. I have a whole heap of interesting creatives to get through in this chapter, with a focus on their image making, although not exclusively. At heart, I am an illustrator or artist if you will, according to the context of professionalism, illustratiopn is when you are producing a drawing for a reason, whereas being an artist is straight off the cuff. I wanted the lead up to the end credits as visually enjoyable without that many restrictions categoricallly as my tumblr would support this claim. I hope you get a good idea of what I like and where I want to be after reading this book, and sincerly hope you enjoy the rest of whats in store.



dee dee kid Is the creative output and alias of the fantastic Niklas Coskan. A 21 year old boy from Berlin, Germany. He loves to draw, to doodle, to scribble, to illustrate, to talk, to hear music, to skate, to party and to live his life. Since he finished his A-Level in 2009, he works as an freelanced Illustrator/Designer. Amazingly talented.



mister millerchip Mister Millerchip is a black and white illustrator based in Suffolk who visually communicates briefs by using curly haired characters, social situations, and story telling. By noting down unusual and mundane aspects of life Mr M has books and boxes brimming with tales and visual recordings that he uses to inspire Illustrations for any brief.



dan hipp Dan Hipp is an extremely cool fellow who works with comic books, publication, illustration and editorial design. A self taught/made freelancer his work takes a fresh approach to the pratice and is one of my all time favourite heroes. He works mainly with pardoies of popular culture and all those fantasies we wish were real.





Mr gauky ĂŹ I was born in Yorkshire and at the naive age of 4, I was taken on a day trip to dales by my parents. Its still unknown whether they got distracted by the lush surroundings and completely forgot about me or their plan was to abandon me and leave me to fend for myself. I stumbled around the dales aimlessly for what seemed like days, until I came across a tribe of very hairy creatures called Slouches, they took an instant shining to me and took me in as one of their own. They taught me the ways of the dales and introduced me to art, I developed these skills and spent most of my days painting their portraits. Many years passed by and now I draw, paint, digitize, print and sculpt a powerful gang of misfits and creatures for myself and others.ĂŽ



jeremy fish I would like to think that somewhere between full-blown, howling death and a basket of newborn kittens exists a climate where the malice and the mirth can mingle. A couple of daisies on your grave, a little venom in your cocoa, some broken glass in your bouncy castle. This type of polar mixer can serve as an intriguing, endlessly entertaining, true-to-life foundation from which a smidgen of lore can grow. Exaggerate the extremes even a little, and the stories, characters, and places that emerge warp accordingly. It is the recognition and exploitation of this tension that immediately drew me to the work of upstate New York-born, San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Fish.



micheal sieben He is world reknown in the skate circuit and for being a totally amazing gig poster designer and original artist who has recently erupted into his own line of sportswear.





People Juan Solon

Corey Schmitz

Mister Millerchip

Natalie Wood

Olly Moss

Dan Hipp

Alan Dalby

Fernando Rez

Mr Gauky

Guy Fernandez


Jeremy Fish

Studio 8

The Behemoth

Micheal Sieben

Micheal Paukner

Dee Dee Kid Not in business anymore.

74 coreyschmitz

A huge thank you to Amber, Lorenzo and Fred for consistently planting my face in reality and trying to make me come to terms with who and what I can become. I learned to love drowning.


“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.� - Niels bohr.


Nerdology: defining a design practice. Edited and produced by Tommings Book design by Tommings Concepts and art direction by Tommings By Tom...


Nerdology: defining a design practice. Edited and produced by Tommings Book design by Tommings Concepts and art direction by Tommings By Tom...