How the designs are created

Always hand-drawn, never filters

It’s important to me that every design in the range is done by hand, even though I use the tool of a computer to draw with. Sounds like a bit of a contradiction? Let me explain…

I specify ‘hand-drawn’ because there are some out there who aim to create this style of vintage poster design by using things like Photoshop filters. It’s a quick approach but it gives an inferior finished product. From a distance they might look OK but up close everything looks a bit smudged and oddly shaped, without the clean lines of a real illustration.

Filtered image

Here’s the Market Cross with a filter applied, notice how messy it gets in places.

The hand-drawn process

1. I start with a photograph I’ve taken of the scene.

Photo of Market Cross, Malmesbury

2. Then I start manually drawing the scene using vector illustration software, making decisions along the way about where to simplify and where to keep detail. This will vary by the image and the effect I’m looking for.

Vector of Market Cross, Malmesbury

In my Market Cross design I stripped out all background detail to focus on the great structure itself in the foreground (I use software called Affinity Designer for this).

3. Once the lines are all in place, it’s time to play with colour and get the right balance between light and dark.

Day and night illustrations

With the Market Cross I was able to create a day and night time version.

4. Finally it’s time to apply the text and set to creating a finished product. The right application of text is what creates the real poster look. All-in-all it takes about a day to create a new design.

Market Cross greetings card and poster




We want a product that features the stylings of real posters, which were created by actual graphic designers, not filters. That’s why I take the time to create them by hand.