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Tablet-style Menu Design for Tenpin Bowling

Well the title says it all really – I got commissioned by Tenpin Wrexham to design them an A4 sized menu that could be laminated and given to customers at reception to carry around with them. When I thought about large, thin shiny things that people hold in their hands the idea of an Tablet-themed design popped into my head, and when it was mentioned to the manager he loved it… so here it is:

Click the image to get a bigger, better view – the text looks small on screen, but I printed out a few prototypes to make sure it was readable. Obviously to create the tablet look from scratch would have taken me forever, and to be honest I’m not sure my technical skills are quite there yet, so I used a free template for the shell. The menu options are set up like ‘apps’, with an image representing the food or drink itself as an icon, and text describing what it is to the right of it. The images used in this are also free vectors, but that was due to time constraints – I think if I were to have designed my own, I would have gone with white silhouettes/symbols for ¬†a slightly more uniform look, but luckily because of the individual-developer-nature of apps it still works fine as a cohesive design. The back of the menu features other promotions that are meant to look like stickers that have been stuck on to personalise the tablet (like school kids might do with Hello Kitty or Pokemon stickers). I’m really pretty pleased with the overall design, and so was the client ūüôā

I also did this little blackboard design for the shooters they’ve got available. Nothing special really, only took my a couple of hours, I used markers they supplied – it was quite fun actually. This is a bit of a crappy photo though – about time I upgraded my phone I think!


Student Night: A New Hope

A recent (and rather long winded) project of mine has been to design posters for the Student night at Tenpin Wrexham. Now, I was a little wary of doing any more work for Tenpin, as they’re not too keen on parting with ANY money for anyTHING, and last time the manager attempted to take credit for my designs! (see bottom of post) but my girlfriend has recently really been upping her game at the bowl in an attempt to impress her bosses, and when she asked for my help, how could I, as a gentleman, possibly refuse? Her plan was to relaunch Student night, with some flare and cheap booze, in an attempt to get student punters back to the place. Last year’s similar attempt didn’t work as she’d planned, with a decent (thanks to those of you who came) but not particularly STRONG turnout, and this time she’s been everywhere trying to promote it. For advertisements, she asked me to design first a poster, then a leaflet for the Freshers Fair goody bags, and finally a ‘Bounce Back’ voucher, which is promotional incentive for a return visit to the bowl.

When considering the poster, I thought of all the student stereotypes – Lazy/scruffy/cheap/obsessed with drink – and realised that as a student myself, I didn’t think I’d actually WANT to see this sort of thing on a poster… I mean, the fact that I am all of the above is mere co-incidence… so i thought about the things I enjoy, the things my fellow students enjoy, and what WE would like to see on a poster. Being in the illustration room a lot of the time is very much like being in a massive nerd forum online, and I love it, so i figured I would USE this. Comic book’s are getting more and more popular all the time, especially with all the movies coming out, but they’re still a niche market – not everyone will get the references. So I decided to go for a parody of a famous movie poster – everyone like films right? After hunting through some awesome designs on Google (some of which I’ll post in another entry) I went with this famous design for Star Wars: A New Hope¬†only with a student-inspired twist…

I’m pleased with the final result of this illustration – I coloured and SHADED it all digitally, something I’ve always avoided until now, but thanks to a¬†separating-line-from-page technique I learnt from Youtube, it was actually quite easy (but still pretty time consuming). The replacement of the light sabre with the beer bottle IS going back to the¬†stereotype¬†I was referring to earlier, but as I actually had to put the beer prices on the poster, seemed fitting. I particularly like how the Leia characters famous ear-buns work quite well as earphones, and the same can be said for the¬†bowling¬†lane arrows in place of the x-wing fighters. Darth Vader’s helmet isn’t so obvious, and the two bowling pins are the only thing on the poster that¬†DEFINITELY¬†says ‘Star Wars’, as opposed to a ‘hint’ – but I like them too ūüôā

For the layout of the poster, I had in mind the more recent poster designs, which looked like this and this РIllustration in the middle, surrounded by a black frame, with Type underneath, so I designed this:

Of course, the above is just a prototype, but Lucy didn’t like it this way, and as the client, her¬†decision¬†was final, so we played around with it for a bit, until we ended up with this, the final design:

…which I think works perfectly actually ūüôā True the layout isn’t as film-poster as I had initially planned, but it’s got all the relevant info, ‘STUDENT NIGHT’ in biiiig letters at the TOP makes it clear as to what it’s for, and it still retains that film-poster feel – of course, as Lucy is a Graphic Designer, I should have listened to her from the start ūüôā This came in both A3 and A4 sizes, followed by a slightly adapted A5 design:

And a completely new illustration for the ‘Bounce Back’ voucher on A6:

I’m really pleased with my work on this project, and despite the fact it’s eaten a LOT of time that i should have been using on other projects (including my mostly ignored¬†dissertation) I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about digital colouring and manipulation – so well worth it really ūüôā

Here are some useful Google-found links for Star Wars Troopers if anyone needs them:

As another ‘Help Lucy’ project (ain’t I a nice guy) she asked me to help her paint the stairwell from the staff room to the bowling alley in Tenpin Wrexham with the ‘5 CORE VALUES OF TENPIN’ – we only had the weekend to do it, and we only had some crappy spray paints designed for motorbikes to use, so i got scribbling an came up with this:
The idea being to keep it simple and save time, we would use stencils to create this simple, but bright design all up the stairwell.¬†Unfortunately, as¬†I¬†previously mentioned, we only had a short time to do it, so we didn’t have time to properly prepare the walls for painting, and the spray cans we were given were NOT designed for this particular task – as a result, the paints dribbled massively and came through almost ALL the stencils, meaning we had to go around EACH one by hand with white paint, which in a relatively narrow, almost airless stairwell was NOT much fun I can tell you! As this was a favour for Lucy,¬†I¬†didn’t really expect much in terms of payment from Tenpin themselves – in fact¬†I¬†got NOTHING from Tenpin – the assistant manager at the time bought us a pizza, and Lucy insisted we split her wage for the weekend, but I didn’t even get a thank you from The General Manager. And to top it off, despite¬†initially¬†saying that he didn’t like the design as it wasn’t what he had in mind, the General Manager was then quite happy to take FULL credit for the design when the Regional Manager said how much he liked it! I was NOT impressed!

Below are photos of the finished Stairwell: