Design Like A Thief! (for the new @GlynDewis book)

25 Apr
25th April 2016

I’ve been a very lucky boy the past few years, more-so the past couple when it comes to design work and raising my profile and portfolio of work (which I really must get around to publishing online!)

Following on the back of a busy month of writing articles and co-writing the feature article with Glyn Dewis for the April & May/June editions of Photoshop User magazine, I am so happy to have been working on this particular project.

The Photoshop Workbook: Professional Retouching and Compositing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

The Photoshop Workbook: Professional Retouching and Compositing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

To explain where it started, in 2014 I was commissioned to design the first book cover for my brother from another mother, Glyn Dewis’ excellent publication, The Photoshop Workbook. Glyn was signed up by Peachpit and I asked if I could have a go at designing my first book cover. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do so I was pleased when one of my designs was accepted and signed off. It was very exciting to receive the actual book when released in January 2015 in the UK. It even went to #1 on Amazon above Scott Kelby’s most recent title!

Fast forward to 2016 and Glyn had another book he wanted to produce so he ended up talking to Scott Cowlin and Ted Waitt, both now at Rocky Nook (and both formerly at Peachpit and had signed Glyn up for the last book). A title was created,  Photograph Like A Thief (more about that here on Glyn’s blog) and I really wanted to design his second book cover!

We had both worked on the UP image (a collaboration between myself, Glyn and our other brother, ex-Disney animator of over 20 years, Aaron Blaise) and at first we thought it would make a great cover but after speaking to Scott at Rocky Nook we decided against it.  The book needed its own identity so we had a rethink. Scott was over in the UK a couple of weeks ago and we met up for dinner in Oxford and chatted about the book. Interestingly we all pretty much came up with a similar theme, a 1950’s Saul Bass kind of image.

So, I looked at some of Saul’s work from his book I had in my design library and set about sketching it up and setting it out in Illustrator.

Saul Bass poster inspiration

Saul Bass poster inspiration

Glyn’s new book is about taking inspiration from other artists and finding/creating your own style. So as not to have any issues with font licensing, I set about drawing a Bass type font from scratch in Illustrator and then drew all the elements for the idea Glyn and I had discussed over the phone after the meeting.

I was really pleased with the initial concept, so much so that I stuck with it, finessed a little and send a copy to Glyn. He absolutely loved it, we tinkered a tiny bit more and decided that it was what we wanted to put forward to Rocky Nook.

Much to my delight, they loved it too and after one change in background colour and adding the Rocky Nook logo we were done and dusted! I am so excited to have worked on this, I cannot wait to see the book in my hands and it’s opened up my enthusiasm to improve on my Illustrator skills to look at attempting more cover work in the future.

So, with great pleasure I give you the new cover of ‘Photograph Like A Thief‘. If you don’t like it, that’s fine by me, art is subjective after all 🙂

Photograph Like A Thief by Glyn Dewis | Rocky Nook | Designed by Dave Clayton

Photograph Like A Thief by Glyn Dewis | Rocky Nook | Designed by Dave Clayton


Photograph Like A Thief by Glyn Dewis | Rocky Nook | Designed by Dave Clayton

Photograph Like A Thief by Glyn Dewis | Rocky Nook | Designed by Dave Clayton


Photograph Like A Thief by Glyn Dewis | Rocky Nook | Designed by Dave Clayton

Photograph Like A Thief by Glyn Dewis | Rocky Nook | Designed by Dave Clayton

Photoshop User Magazine | April 2016

20 Apr
20th April 2016

I’m really excited to follow up my KelbyOne online InDesign classes (Adobe InDesign Basics: Creating a Custom Flyer for Your Business) (Adobe InDesign for Photographers: Creating a Trifold Brochure) with my first InDesign Tips article in the April edition of the brilliant Photoshop User magazine (available digital only with a KelbyOne subscription). There’s so much you can do and create in InDesign and this first article (another to follow in the May/June edition) covers a few tips and tricks and a couple of fun things for InDesign users. Try KelbyOne free for 10 days and you can read the magazine and check out back issues and all the online classes.

My KelbyOne profile

Kelbyone Photoshop User Magazine APRIL 2016

Kelbyone Photoshop User Magazine April 2016

The Book Stealer!

09 Mar
9th March 2016

Okay, technically, I am not a book stealer!

I am a book lover, I love print more than digital and I specifically love books about design, typography and anything about old print or advertising. Most of my bargains come from scouring Amazon Marketplace. Quite often you’ll find that a book you want on Amazon is quite often available on Marketplace much cheaper, even with the addition of the #2.80 postage per book.

Aaron Draplin Book Collection - screenshot ©

Aaron Draplin Book Collection – screenshot ©

But this post isn’t about how to buy books, its about how to find great books, little hidden treasures you wouldn’t have necessarily come across. Part of my little design journey has had some serendipitous little moments. People I have found or blog posts about the very subject I love have fallen into my path one way or another.

Aaron Draplin BookOne such example is Aaron Draplin. I happened upon a blog post about logo design and a link was available to a logo challenge class available on YouTube. I sat and watched this guy and my head about exploded! I love everything about this bloke’s work ethic, his thoughts on treasuring design and how to design simple but effective. His enthusiasm is awesome……and so is his book collection! I noticed he had a huge bookshelf in his video and some books laying around on his work surface. This was a goldmine!
Even better is that he also has his own book coming out this May 17th! I know I will be talking a lot more about Aaron in future posts!


What is this guy reading? What inspires him? Instantly I started taking screenshots and making notes of the authors and titles in his collection. i then found myself watching other logo and graphic design videos to see if there were any other books on show. I then also found a book called Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books (newer version here ) – using these screenshots and this book I was able to make a list of great design books, some very hard to find and some very easily available and cheap on Marketplace. Slowly I have started to grow a nice collection of design inspiring books and keep looking and finding tutorials and blogs, such as Mackey Saturday’s logo design video tutorial (he’s also an amazing logo and brand designer), about design and being very ‘Detective Dave’ looking for new titles on bookshelves!

Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books

Bibliographic: 100 Classic Graphic Design Books








I am going to start a little series of my design books and start listing them on my blog with links to the places where (at that moment in time) they are available.

Try and get hold of books about graphic and logo design, pre-computer times. See how these masters came to create such amazing and long-lasting, iconic artwork. You will learn more than you will realise.

So that’s the book stealing post for the day! 🙂




KelbyOne Stuff – New class and Photoshop World

02 Mar
2nd March 2016

Thank you for dropping by, it’s very much appreciated.

I’m really excited to have my first ever KelbyOne class launch on Thursday 3rd March.

You can get a free 10 day trial here, just scroll down the page for the free trial.

Dave Clayton - KelbyOne InDesign

Dave Clayton – KelbyOne InDesign Class

It’s an InDesign class, a subject I am very passionate about and hopefully will teach something useful to some of you. Following up on this I hope to have an article in Photoshop User magazine very soon on the same subject and then my first class at Photoshop World this July, ‘Intro to InDesign’.

Dave Clayton - KelbyOne InDesign - Photoshop World 2016

In the Kelbyone class I will show you how easy it can be to create a simple flyer for a business or your business with some simple techniques and a few little extras to make it that little bit better.

My Photoshop World class will be a little bit about me, my background and why I love print and design and how you can add it to your skill set and make some extra revenue from it. I think we come across more media created by and with InDesign than Photoshop! I will show you how to be inspired by that and what you can learn from it and how to use it to learn from. The next day, Terry White also has an InDesign class where he will teach you the additional bells and whistles, tips and tricks to take your design even further.

Dave Clayton - KelbyOne InDesign - Photoshop World 2016

I really appreciate all the kind comments so far and the support from so many people, it really means a lot. It’s a very proud moment for me to appear, stand and teach among the very people I admire and have learned from going way back to the days of buying MacDesign mag and Layers mag. I’ve watched so many KelbyOne classes, episodes of Photoshop User TV, been to many Photoshop Worlds and read endless issues of Photoshop User magazines be where I am today.

I’ll have some cool give aways very soon and something VERY special that’s Photoshop World related VERY soon!!

Watch this space and please sign up to my newsletter here

Thanks as always


New Year, New Website

22 Feb
22nd February 2016

Finally, after a couple of years, I have decided to go back to having my own website. For the most part I have pretty much said all I wanted to say via social media but as I have started to work on more projects and finding myself wanting to share more I opted for the tried and trusted website again (please excuse the very basic theme layout for now, I’m a designer and as such I will naturally be very fussy about the final look and probably take way too long deciding. I’ll probably spend the same amount of time on a  new logo!!) 🙂

Dave Clayton - Photo by Glyn Dewis

I’ve been a graphic designer in some way, shape or form for most of my life, professionally for the last 20 years in various jobs. It’s also my ‘hobby’ and a subject that really gets me excited.

I’m a ‘full timer’, in that I hold down a regular job with a regular company, fortunately as a designer in a marketing role. I also work on a lot of design stuff when I’m not at work. I love it! As I start to add more of my content here you’ll start to realise why I am so passionate about graphic design, typography, branding and print!

I’ve been connected to KelbyOne in one way or another since around 1998. I first discovered Scott Kelby via his old MacDesign magazine, then Layers magazine before discovering Photoshop User and NAPP. Finding them was a huge step in my learning and since being associated with them, as their official UK Evangelist and now as an instructor, I have never looked back. As far as I am concerned, you won’t find a better resource anywhere else.

I will be adding more of my work here over the coming days and weeks, including tutorials and other useful bits and pieces.  In the meantime, thanks for visiting!

Until then…