Student designers and those new to the profession often ask me for advice on topics related to branding and visual identity work.
These articles and resources were pieced together with the intention of saving everyone a little time.

Design history

AIGA Design Archives (dating back to 1924) (curated by Valery Marier)
International Advertising & Design Database (founded by Het ReclameArsenaal)
The People’s Graphic Design Archive (founded by Louise Sandhaus)
Graphic Design History Resources (compiled by We Made This)


Type Specimen (by Mark Boulton)
Fonts Knowledge (by the Google Fonts team)
Fontshare (free fonts by Indian Type Foundry)
ILT (the blog by John Boardley)
Typography principles (by Obys agency)
Letterform Archive (founded by Rob Saunders)
Typographica (by Stephen Coles & Caren Litherland)
Fonts In Use (by Nick Sherman, Stephen Coles, & Sam Berlow)
Typography Cheatsheet (by Jeremiah Shoaf)
Free fonts (some interesting display fonts from Pixel Surplus)

Type foundries

Type Foundry Directory (by Matthew Smith)
Type Foundries Archive (by Marcel Häusler)
Type Foundry Index (by Mark Johnson & Thomas Drach)

Logo design

The secret language of logos (something I wrote and narrated for the BBC)
Canada Modern (a historical archive of trademarks from Canada)
Logo design: from concept to presentation
 (design wisdom from Sagi Haviv)
LogoBook (a comprehensive showcase of logos, symbols, & trademarks)
Logo Nature (a smaller online catalogue with some lovely examples)
The Logo Geek podcast (expertly hosted by Ian Paget)
LogoArchive Shop (meticulously created by Richard Baird)
Logo Design Love (since 2008, the blog that preceded the book)

PSD mockups

Freepik (by Alejandro and Pablo Blanes, and Joaquín Cuenca)
 (an Illustrator plugin by Joshua Distler)
Mr.Mockup (PSDs by Noeeko)
Envato Elements (by Collis and Cyan Ta’eed, and Jun Rung)
Free outdoor advertising mockups (PSDs from Clear Channel UK)
Layers Design (part of
Yellow Images (thousands of object mockups)


Trademark basics (by the United States Patent & Trademark Office | USPTO)
Intellectual property: Trade marks (by GOV.UK)
Trade marks (by IP Australia)
Global Brand Database (by the World International Property Organization | WIPO)

Design pricing


Focus groups are worthless (by Erika Hall)
Go to a dry cleaner and sit there (paraphrasing Bob Gill)
Advice on making ideas happen (collected wisdom on 99U)

Brand strategy

Branding: In Five and a Half Steps (by Michael Johnson)
Mistakes in brand strategy (by Stef Hamerlinck)
A blueprint for building brand strategy (by Nomad Studio)
Using strategy in logo design (with Marty Neumeier)

Resource center for brand strategy (another from Stef Hamerlinck)
Marks and Maker (the brand strategy website of Melinda Livesy)

Brand naming

Eight principles of naming (by Nick Foley & Matt Gordon)
Naming a business (by Seth Godin)
How to get a name right (by Naresh Ramchandani)
Brand New Name (by Jeremy Miller)
Flexible brand names (on Logo Design Love) (helpful for domain searches)
WIPO Global Brand Database (search trademarks internationally)
Online Etymology Dictionary (the history of English words)
Onym (by Greg Leppert & Willem Van Lancker)

Royalty-free photos

Unsplash (by Mikael & the team)
Burst (powered by Shopify)
Pexels (by Bruno & Ingo Joseph, & Daniel Frese)
Morguefile (founded by Michael Connors)
Depositphotos (free photos & videos from the commercial firm)
ISO Republic (various CC0 photos & videos)
LOC Prints & Photographs Catalog (check each image for usage rights)

Icons & symbols

The Noun Project (founded by Sofya Polyakov & Edward Boatman)
Icons (free vector icons from Icons8) 
Ionicons (a smaller resource courtesy of the Ionic team)
Simple Icons (SVG icons/symbols for popular brands)

Commercial printing

Paper Sizes (for international paper sizes, dimensions & formats)
Inker Linker (for finding recommended print companies, mostly US)
UK commerical printers (an old one of mine, still comes in handy)

Presenting design

An insider’s guide to the design presentation (by Michael Johnson)
The train is leaving the station (by Dave Trott)
Brand identity style guides from around the world (on Logo Design Love) (huge resource, needs sign-in)
Ways designers screw up client presentations (by Mike Monteiro)
Showing sketches to clients (on when it helps and when it doesn’t)


Reed Words (London)
Asbury & Asbury (Bollington)

On life

A short lesson in perspective (by the late Linds Redding)
The School of Life (founded by Alain de Botton)

Anything else?

Recommendations (& corrections) much appreciated.
Last updated: January 2022

Independent since 2005
Website hosted by Fused
FAQs about hiring
Design process

64 Beechfield Avenue
Bangor, County Down
Northern Ireland
BT19 7ZZ