Graphite design on matchbooks

There is street art, that you either like or hate but there is also graphite design, which is a detailed/accurate illustration.

Krista Charles is a talented and certainly patient artist.

The procedure is in fact straight forward but can be time consuming. Here is how it works.

Krista takes a matchbook with an address on it – usually a promotional product from a random business.

The second stage is to browse the internet in order to find on Google Maps and more precisely Street View the company concerned.

From there on, Krista will draw ON the matchbook inside cover, the actual image published by Google of that actual firm, retailer, trader, restaurant…etc

Each work is unique, in other words a limited edition.

Promotional matchbook with business address

Promotional matchbook with business address


Google Street View image of matchbook address

Google Street View image of matchbook address


Krista Charles illustration on matchbook

Krista Charles illustration on matchbook


Graphic design is everywhere

A few years back most people would create some illustrations by simply drawing with pen and papers.

Then illustration became graphic design. Something sounding slightly more creative and trendy. Equipment was needed.

With the options to draw, delete, restart and retouch and adjust on a computer screen everything became faster, more detailed and with a multitude of options, that pen and paper didn’t give.

New generations and media agencies were able to develop a new way of selling and advertising. The visual effect was and became important.

Nowadays, pupils in primary schools learn how to use computers and most families have embraced electronic devices and owning a tablet is something common.

Then, colleges and other schools are directing students towards creative fields. Being part of a digital media agency is now seen as something prestigious. Even libraries have a section dedicated to IT and access to software allowing the exploration and discovery of a new dimension: working digitally is the norm in the 21st century.

Being employed or getting a job in the media world is not that easy because skills, knowledge and being able to adapt with the constant evolution of technology is essential too.

There is the other “thing” of having a website.

Being online with a great design and visual identity is something to study in depth, because there are so many means to build a site. There are also different costs.

Buying a cheap template won’t bring the same results and have the identical impact as a bespoke digital presence.

It is all about the budget and the target audience you want to reach.

Defining the layout, colours and navigation will – almost – need a close study to make sure that everything blend with a smooth synergy in a  perfect manner. It is about looking good but essentially being user-friendly too. No one wants to struggle when reaching a homepage or it is an inevitable disaster.

Social media and your ego

Social media and your ego

When working for a marketing campaign it is vital that the message portrayed through the drawing is immediate. People have no time to think twice when seeing a poster – it needs to be unique with something distinctive.

Agencies are using various techniques to get the message to the public rapidly and efficiently: London Underground, Instagram and social media participation too with a specific hashtag where the users are directly involved by posting their own photographs according to the guidelines given in a short brief by the company. It is usually a big success as everyone likes to be part of something different and eventually win a prize or be featured in a magazine (whether hard copy or digital).

Golfer and music notes

Golfer and music notes

With the availability of touchscreen smartphones and possibility to take photos rapidly on the move and then share them with the World, our Society is changing and everybody wants to be considered and seen as a “creative“.  Is everyone a photographer? The answer to this question could bring a long debate similar to “what is art“.

No one is interested in being ignored or hidden in a mindless job. Are people daydreaming and having high hopes which will never be fulfilled?

An illustrator can be a graphic designer because it goes from paper to screen. What is essential is to have the right foundation to then expand on another level and outreach the digital jungle. Arrogance won’t win, but respect, patience and open communication will bring success.

Newcomers must stop to think that becoming number one is obtained by just showing a certificate/diploma. It is about the attitude and ethic as well. Learn from others and adapt then choose/develop your own style in order to be accepted and noticed into that nearly private circle.

A lot of individuals would like to become THAT graphic designer in demand. A normal thought applicable in the entire creative industry including:

  • music,
  • dance,
  • acting and writing,
  • photography.

It is by working thoroughly and constantly that a positive outcome is possible. What we see when taking public transports is the fruit of clever minds who mix the right fonts, shapes and colours giving the right balance to a finished design. A visual cocktail with the right ingredients can make your commute more enjoyable.

Tube Map covers by creative artists

Tube Map covers by creative artists




Architects + artists = Archists

New words are emerging regularly. Usually the contraction of multiple expressions combined.

This one is rather peculiar: archists.

Archists City by federico babina

After all, it makes sense.

In general, people want and like such things as it creates a buzz.

Illustrator and architect Federico Babina is paying homage to references in the world of art. This is not his first try in this domain.

Federico Babina Works - illustrations

All these can become individual posters. Looking original/unique because there is a style. Something beautifully minimal about it.

Archist - Miro by federico babina

Babina is without a doubt a talented artist and could almost be part of a graphic design collective blending two types of cultures.

The other fact is that people like constantly new visual stimulation. They are getting bored of everything rapidly. Or is the general public actually very superficial about what is on show?

For instance, the freebie factor will drive people, even if it is worth a few pennies… but it is free and that’s what counts! Whether it is a sticker, keyring or deluxe Scrabble fridge magnet, it doesn’t matter. They will be able to tell their friends that such or such products was offered/given to them. A kind of  victory.

Advertising fridge magnets in the UK have been and still are very popular, certainly because there is a use of it and some are even collecting them, especially when there is a limited edition for a specific event such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as an example. Memorabilia always works.

But when the product is numbered it is even better. There is this VIP feel: “only a few people will have it” and it relates directly to real artworks.

Having a numbered poster in the lounge/bedroom gives a certain cachet (or mark of prestige) – similar to wine connoisseurs who own expensive bottles in their cellars. It is about being part of a group, appreciating the uniqueness of a product.

When visiting or just walking through London, the architecture is varied: mixing traditional with extremely modern/contemporary. The Shard and The Gherkin are prime examples. The Capital cityscape is eye-catching despite all the cranes marking the horizon.

London from Tate Modern by LookinaRt on Flickr

The works produced by Federico Babina is inspiring and “Archists” is totally mind blowing because not damaging the original artists and bringing something extra about various architectural styles.

It could almost be part of an art retrospective, without forgetting the beauty of minimal design. The balance is brilliantly done; not too heavy for the spectators but nevertheless full of details.

Simplicity and aesthetic win for this type of illustration: a real chef-d’oeuvre which would fit in most households.