stuff in my head and on the web

Glass slide

Posted by websitesarelovely on Sunday, 12 May 2013

This is one of my favourite things that I have purchased at my regular car boot sale, it's an image that I would love to know more about. It took me a while to figure out what the workmen were doing in the photo, but they are laying out the bricks on to wooden letter templates, so that when they build the wall up, they will have signage bricked into the facade of the building.

The example above is a much smaller scale, but I am struggling to find any images similar - most of the photographs I can find have the lettering painted on to the building, rather than bricked into the wall.

If anyone can help identify this building, I would be really grateful, I have been searching the internet for images to verify where this - but with no luck so far. I am guessing that the sign says 'Crown' or 'Brown' and that it is from somewhere in the Manchester area, as this is where I bought the slide, but it could be from anywhere in the North of England, or even ANYWHERE.

I have searched for "Crown signage", "Crown mill" "Crown factory" "Brick lettering", "Brick signage" and all other combinations of those terms with "Brown", "Manchester", "UK" etc... but with few positive results. One of the most promising ones was discovering that Affleck's Palace in Manchester was originally home to Affleck & Brown Ltd - Drapers and Home Furnishers, but there is no photographic evidence that this sign was there.

A friend of mine has answered the question straight away, Marisol you are amazing! It's the Rowntree's Cocoa Factory in York - the image I have is identical to the one shown on the Hello Yorkshire site. I am going to have to pay it a visit and see if I can match up the photograph somehow!

DIY Wax Seal

Posted by websitesarelovely on Friday, 22 March 2013

I have been designing the wedding stationery for a some friends of mine, to accompany the 'Save the date' cards I designed last year. I had the cards letterpressed by the fantastic blush publishing, and I had the idea of using the polymer plate to create a wax seal for the envelopes, which blush kindly supplied to me.

I cut out the cathedral illustration from the plate and mounted it on to a 35mm film canister and attempted my first impression with the wax. The polymer held well with the hot wax, but I couldn't get a clean print - whether it was due to leaving it too long in the wax, or not long enough - but as an experiment it was interesting to get some results. I have got a feeling that the polymer was too adhesive to the wax, and using a metal plate would work better, as they could be heated to remove all residue and to lift a cleaner print. I'd really like to get some metal seals made and experiment further for my own brand in the near future, as when it works, it's a great addition to printed stationery.

Instant Photographs

Posted by websitesarelovely on






More photos from my Polaroid Colorpack III, taken over winter.

Fujifilm FP-3000B

Posted by websitesarelovely on Wednesday, 6 March 2013





Some of my recent photographs using Fujifilm FP-3000B in my Polaroid Colorpack III. The light conditions weren't great, but I managed to get a few decent shots. I love the grain and contrast on the buildings, there is something so emotive about instant film - whether it's the process while you shoot / develop, or the feeling of nostalgia it brings.

Polaroid Colorpack III and Fujifilm FP-100C

Posted by websitesarelovely on Friday, 25 January 2013

Polaroid Colorpack III





One of my favourite experiments with analogue photography, has been the discovery of Fujifilm FP100-C, the modern peel-apart film that can be used in Polaroid and Instant cameras.

I bought this Polaroid Colorpack III camera in a car boot sale for a few pounds, changed the batteries and loaded the film. I was so pleased with the first photograph that came out, it's a really addictive process - and seeing the negative print as it is peeled apart captures that magical feeling that photography brings.

I have since taken a pack of FP-100B, the black and white version, which I will upload soon, and I have a few more packs in the fridge to experiment with when the weather improves.

The first 10 prints can be seen here in my Flickr 'Analogue' set

2012 Review

Posted by websitesarelovely on Friday, 21 December 2012

At the beginning of the year, I set myself a project - to do something 'analogue' everyday for 366 days, and document it with a photograph to be uploaded to instagram. The definition that I used for 'analogue' was more of a 'hands on' approach, trying to draw, sketch, paint, make, build and photograph projects, whether it was sketching wireframes for websites, using my non-digital cameras, visiting old sketchbooks, or creating new artwork. The results can be seen by searching for "analogue366" on instagram or statigram.

I took a screenprinting course with the lovely Sally from one69a at the Zion Arts Centre in Hulme, and was instantly hooked. I loved the process of monitor screen, to printing screen, and the unique results you get every time. This rekindled my love for physical artwork that I hadn't felt since university.

I designed and printed "You've got red on you", my tribute to one of my favourite films, "Shaun of the Dead", and sent a copy to director Edgar Wright. Available to purchase through my website.

I took part in the .Net magazine "Build Off" design article, where 3 designers are given the same brief, and have to come up with their own interpretation. The subject I was given was "a price comparison site", so I mixed in my love for retro cameras and created "camparison - the camera comparison website".

As I progressed with the analogue366 project, I found myself finding more time to do the things that I really enjoyed, including fixing old cameras, experimenting with different film formats, and again, more physical artwork. I got to work with my favourite print company blush again, to produce letterpress "Save the Date" wedding cards for my friends Jane and Joseph.

In my day job, I was working with CBJWT on numerous freelance digital projects, and getting to work with my good friend Jenna Banks, and together we launched the Gigabit Jersey, fibre optic broadband site as part of the JT Global network.

One of my favourite projects of the year, was a self-initiated iPhone and Android app, for Adam Buxton's BUG Music Videos show. Working with (my best friend) Neil McLean of Ayelike, we produced a 5th anniversary app, showcasing a video from each of the 30 live shows. It was great to meet with the creators Louise Stevens, David Knight and Phil Tidy, and the man himself, Adam Buxton. The app can be downloaded here for iPhone and Android.

Making prints and continuing with the analogue366 project, it made me connect with more designers, illustrators and artists, and I did several print-swaps with people all around the world. The jetpackage project that I had started in 2011 had more replies, including this one from the amazing Oliver Jeffers.

Working with CBJWT, I designed the UK version of the John West website, which the client liked so much, they ordered versions for the German, The Netherlands and Ireland.

I was really inspired by Mr Bingo's HateMail project, I love the way that he has an idea (usually a daft one), and then follows it through with talent and humour. In response to his HateMail, I sent him a HatMail - using my old painting skills for the first time since university. I finally got to catch up with him for a beer, when he spoke at BLAB in Manchester. Go and buy the book, and realise sometimes drunken ideas are the best.

Today saw the launch of a little site I designed for ex-X Factor singer, Gamu Nhengu - for GSound Records. I also designed the CD sampler and single artwork, so I look forward to seeing it in the shops in the new year.

Another project that I am really proud of, is the Magnet Kitchens iPad app - a visual tool for a Magnet salesperson to take to home visits, and help to calculate the bespoke kitchen requirements for each customer. Produced for CBJWT.

The second site launch of the day, is phase one of the Total Fitness website - a marathon workout for Jenna and I, and with phase two just around the corner. Produced for CBJWT.

Coming soon (to purchase on my website), will be the Breaking Bad inspired print "C10H15N" - a limited edition 2 colour screenprint.

I'd like to say a massive "thank you" to all the people that have supported / employed / inspired me over the year, there are far too many to name - but I will just add thanks to my wife, and I look forward to sharing the next exciting year with you - with big things afoot.

And by that, I don't mean that she has got big feet.

EXA1a found film

Posted by websitesarelovely on Thursday, 20 December 2012







I bought an EXA 1a camera on ebay recently and it had another mystery film in it. I got the film (a Black & White XP2) processed - on a colour machine, printed black and white, and there were just these 5 ghostly images on it. Reminded me of a horror film.

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About me

Neil Richards aka websitesarelovely aka jetpac magazine.
web designer by day - everything else the rest of the time.
photographer, designer, print, web, (ex-painter), magazine contributor, husband, godfather, got fatter, etc..

run(ish) my own online magazine:
decided to split my flickr personality and add my illustrative work:

corporate(ish) site showing my 9-10 years of web design for some quality companies in the games industry and corporate big-hitters:
my flickr photos

anyway - enough about me, tell me about yourself.



stuff in my head and on the web