Blackboard Fiction Publishing: ‘Swansong’, by Barbara Swanson


One of the things that Blackboard Fiction does, aside from write educational books for students, is to help other people self-publish. After some small success with my own volume of short stories, ‘Death and Stationery’ (sneaky plug: download Kindle or iBook) I was contacted by the grandmother of a friend. Having self-published her autobiography in paperback, and, although not having many expectations, she was keen to find out how to take the text to the new opportunities electronic publishing could offer.

Continue reading “Blackboard Fiction Publishing: ‘Swansong’, by Barbara Swanson”


We won a Prize!

This actually happened a month or two ago, but I’ve only just remembered to post it.

In September, I won Basekit’s ‘Site of the Month’ with my design for a fashion journalism portfolio.

Continue reading “We won a Prize!”

I have now moved house…and apparently opened a bookshop. (Yay!)

As stated above, I have been rather busy.

The moment came when this was my view:

Far too many books.
Far too many books.

Continue reading “I have now moved house…and apparently opened a bookshop. (Yay!)”

Busy June 2: web design

2) Website Design. And up-and-coming fashion journalism student, whom may or may not be related to me, needed a website for their portfolio.

The brief: a simple portfolio website, including areas for different kinds of published work to allow for all facets of journalistic talent to be displayed. It also needed to reflect the personality of the journalist, and mark itself out from contemporaries wordpress efforts, with fashionable illustration and an expandable design that would allow it to be viewed on a variety of devices . In short: be clearly custom.

Border inspiration for the site

Inspiration for the theme: Angel Adoree’s ‘The Vintage Tea Party Book’

The design: a monochrome theme with illustrated border and flashes of colour in standalone illustrations, done with pencil, ink, and Photoshop, with left sidebar navigation.

A basic workflow model was made, and few initial sketches done of possible illustrations.The ‘winning’ ones were then photographed (on iPhone in fact) and then sent to Photoshop to have the balance restored and proper black and white restored. This works for two reasons: one, it is monochrome, and two, I am lazy.

The border was then made completely even in Photoshop, to allow for the sides of the border to be stretched with more content without destroying the design.

The expandable border with title/logo

Illustrations were added as separate additions to the border, on the right hand side to balance out the navigation bar on the left. Additions were also made to the bottom to create a decorative footer, and to this custom rollover gifs for social media were also added.

The final design – just before tweaking

More illustrations were created for each level of the navigation. Here are a couple of my favourites:

catwalk by e jenkinson and l jenkinson
‘catwalk’ by E Jenkinson, colour by L Jenkinson
'laptop' by L Jenkinson
‘laptop’ by L Jenkinson

You can see how the whole website worked out with content here:

And, I’m pleased to say, the whole portfolio got a great mark! In fact, the website itself even won a prize!