Oh, hello again!


Hello. Sorry I’ve not been very active on my blog recently. No real excuses, but I have been very busy, and just had a little family holiday down south with Mrs. Lestaret, my daughters Upper and Lower Case, and of course, Devo the dog. I would have posted a nice family photo here if they would have let me, but instead I’ll make do with Devo at the White Cliffs of Dover…


I’ll get back to some regular blogging now…


Back In The Day…

Whilst sorting out the loft I came across a few relics of my youth, some of which I thought you’d enjoy seeing…

Back in the day, in the mid to late 1980’s, I was 17, a spotty punk at art school and was always on the look out for ways of making enough money for fags, beer, girls and gigs. One of the things I did was painting leather jackets for the punks and rockers around Sheffield and I regularly had a waiting list of people wanting their favourite album covers painted on their jackets. I obviously didn’t keep any comprehensive records, but I guess I must have done somewhere in the region of 150 jackets over the years. I was forever buying little pots of Airfix enamels and hunting for the smallest brushes I could find!

I did photograph some of them though, and I found a small album with pictures of about half a dozen, taken with a cheap little plastic 110  camera. Not great quality, but they are all I’ve got!

There are several Iron Maiden covers here, and although I painted shed loads of jackets with punk punk covers and logos, I only seem to have photographed these. I think that because of their complexity, these were a bit of a showcase – I even painted a Maiden image on mine to act as a walking billboard (keep reading!) – bear in mind that these were all copied by eye – there was no way to trace onto leather – and this sometimes took as long as the actual painting!

The Iron Maiden artwork by Derek Riggs were arguably the most escapist and detailed of album covers at the time though, so these were very popular but I never painted the same cover twice, much to many peoples annoyance. Now is the perfect time to start harping on about the death of the album cover, but I’ll leave that for another post…

I also did a few skateboards too, but again, only one was recorded on film:

I was also asked to paint on a denim jacket too. This was my first time using fabric paint! I seem to recall trying to use this to score some extra credits at college and so recorded the progress at various stages:

First a base coat to sketch things out on and allow for better colour brightness, then on to work on different areas at a time

I’m still quite please with how this came out…

And for the purposes of comparison, here’s the original cover…

I mentioned my jacket earlier.  I had painted several other designs before this one, I think The Damned were on there at one point, but I remember painting over The Subhumans to create this one. Here are the photos when it was freshly painted – and more apologies for the poor quality images!

I still have the jacket which has now spent more time in a box in the loft than I ever wore it. And I wore it all the time!

I had forgotten about my Country Life butter man badge! But here’s a close up of the jacket now, cracked and scuffed and filled with a thousand drunken memories!

It is also worth comparing the now and then just to see how well the paint has stood to test of time!

And how about another comparison with the original artwork?

Pity it doesn’t fit any more (by a long way!) but it has been great seeing these images again. I also found a box of old photos from my punk days too and hope to get them scanned in soon…





Dear all,

We appear to have made a bit of a boo-boo. It looks like we didn’t carry over the 2 – a minor error in itself, but before you know it, you’re a couple of millennia out on the final number. Anyway, glad to have cleared that up. Sorry it caused anyone any inconvenience.


The Mayans


Problem Solved!

There are problems in the UK employment market; I don’t need to tell anyone that. There are also problems in the creative industry, especially for graduates getting their foot in the door. Perhaps we ought to forget our obsessions with equality, recruitment policies and all such obstacles that are in the way of getting the right person in the right job.

I found this ad in a 1968 issue of GRAPHIS magazine.

 No list of software to be fluent in, nothing ‘client-facing,’ no emerging technologies – not even the obligatory sense of humour required. No equal opportunities hogwash (and none needed) and no salary given. Refreshing isn’t it?

Can you imagine the brouhaha if this ad was placed today?

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for the recent opportunity to be interviewed for the position of Designer as advertised in the last issue of Graphis magazine, and your prompt notification of my failure to secure this post. There is, however, one issue that concerns me with regard to one of the criteria used in the selection process. Can it not be acceptable to be furnished with all of the required attributes and have a rather fetching manner of genius, brooding or otherwise?

Was I rated upon the aforementioned genius? If so, I demand that you reveal the scale on which this selection was decided upon. I made it quite clear on the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire that I was of the Genius (Brooding, Mercurial or Aloof) persuasion and believe that if you were not fully paying proper attention when shortlisting, then that constitutes a serious breach of the Employment Recruitment Act (1985) which states that “persons should not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, sex, sexual orientation, age or creative temperament.”

You will, of course, be hearing from my solicitors (Messrs. Fingritt, Fawcett, Thrust & Co) and I will be selling my puerile story to any newspaper or low-brow magazine that will buy it.

Yours, etc.

Derek Twattermole,
Genius (Brooding)


Look Into My Eyes…

Isn’t modern technology wonderful? When you go for an eye test they take photographs of the inside of your eyes. THE INSIDES! I was so impressed by the detail I asked them for a digital copy. The image below is uploaded at full size – click on it and see inside of my left eye in all its glory!

Yes, I know that this isn’t design, typography, printing or any of my usual content. I just think it’s cool.

PS. I don’t want to give any optician any free publicity, but I will say that if you don’t go to this one, you should have…


Rising To The Challenge…

These job opportunities were recently advertised in my local paper – the Lynn News and may be a reflection of the governments new policies to improve care for the elderly.

This is not a spelling error; an institution as fine and respectable as this would not allow a simple lapse in concentration to sully its pages, nor miss the digressions of a mischievous intern. This is, good readers, a finely positioned hickey. A hickey is an error during the printing process which results in a white spot on the final printed piece. Printers can get very dusty because of the large amounts of paper being handled on a daily basis. If a small fleck of dust lands a piece of paper before it runs through the press, it prevents the ink from hitting the paper leaving a white spot. This type of hickey can show up on a very small number of printed pieces because the dust is constantly moving in the air. I have checked other copies of the newspaper and found them all to be as perfect as one has come to expect from this bastion of quality local news.

Imagine the kind of responses an ad like this would generate though? I’ll leave you with that thought!