Photoshop User Magazine

Over the past couple of years I have been fortunate enough to write design articles for the KelbyOne Photoshop User magazine.

In 2016 we did a full year of InDesign tutorials and for 2017 and 2018 we have provided Photoshop for Designers tutorials. If you aren’t a KelbyOne member then you should consider joining. There is a free trial and prices start from just $9.99 a month.

There’s more than just the magazine, there’s also a Lightroom magazine and a ton of online video classes and members only content as well as a great bunch of discounts available.


Please check them out at (no affiliate link)

Photoshop User Magazine KelbyOne Photoshop User Magazine KelbyOne

The Photoshop Toolbox – Book Design Project

Following on from the successful “Photograph Like Thief” by Glyn Dewis with the RockyNook publishing team there is a follow up called “The Photoshop Toolbox” also by Glyn.

As part of the project I was honoured to be able to design the cover once again. After a couple of meetings we came up with the toolbox effect covered in stickers which got signed off again at first attempt. Details of the title can be found here

Glyn Dewis The Photoshop Toolbox Rocky Nook


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

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

The Book Stealer!

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! 🙂