I See Sea

Coffee & Me...

Look BackChristopher PorterComment

I don't have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without it.

Those who know me are well aware that without my morning cup of joe, my day doesn't get started. My regular order at my favourite café Good Vibes is even known as a 'Chris'... (single shot black with a splash of cold, in case you were wondering). However my coffee journey began relatively late in life. 

As a child I couldn't stand the stuff. Too bitter. An adults drink. Bleurgh. But one, very early, morning walk to Shillington College changed that. While studying at Shillington I was living back at my Mum's and commuting into London everyday. Having to be in the studio at 8.30am meant getting the train at around 7am, which at the time was incredibly early for me... Pair this with the fact that it was a chilly November morning, I decided that it was time to give coffee another go. Although i'm not entirely sure that a giant latte with gingerbread syrup and cream on top really counts as a proper coffee experience...

Now that I can truthfully say that I am a coffee lover, with an appreciation of the subtleties of different roasts and an enjoyment of many different forms of the liquid gold, it seems to be creeping into my work too. Not only does a daily coffee or two fuel my creativity, over the past year I have worked on branding for coffee shops like Good Vibes Café and The Sorting Office and worked behind the scenes with Dover Ellis on a new offering from Café Direct. Coffee even managed to sneak into the background of a number of shots taken for Thomas Clipper!

It's become such a part of my daily life and creative mind that I am now working on a new line of products inspired by the wonderful stuff. Keep an eye out for details on that over the coming months...


Let's make a movie

Christopher PorterComment

A couple of years ago my good friend JP would send me playlists every so often, to get me through the working week and introduce me to new music. I of course would design a cover for each of these so that I didn't have the horrible greyness of an album in iTunes with no artwork. This gradually progressed into creating playlists that were soundtracks to fictional films that we would then cast and give a theme. Now I had more of a challenge, to create a poster for this fictional film. This was another case of me using my spare time to stretch my creativity and work on something that I hadn't yet had the chance to work on... 


The great outdoors

Christopher PorterComment

A lot of the work that I do for Sony Music UK is taking album artwork that someone else has designed and working it into the many different layouts that it needs to be used in for advertising purposes. The most fun to work on are the giant outdoor banners, taxis and posters. There's nothing quite like the thrill of seeing something like that larger than life that you laid out on your laptop days before.

I have been lucky enough to work on outdoor advertising on a wide range of artists including Foxes, The Shins, Foster the People, Little Mix, Jimmy Eat World and more...



Look Back no.1

Look BackChristopher PorterComment

I have decided to take a weekly look back into the I See Sea archives to show you guys some of the past projects I have worked on. There might be a few of these in one go to start with but they will then become a weekly feature on the I See Sea blog. 

Today I wanted to look back to the time when my love affair with monoline design began. One of the favourite logos that I have designed, the one which got me published for the first time (see this post) was a pro-bono project for the Falmouth Marine Conservation Society, a group run from the Penryn campus of Exeter University. The brief was entirely open which can actually be way more difficult sometimes. I had recently been researching 50s and 60s logo work, chunky monoline designs, often very badge-like, and decided that I would love to work a fish design into this style. The group loved it and used it at a number of events before they disbanded.

I liked the style so much that when the next animal based logo project came up I jumped at the chance to try it out again, this time on an Elephant! From that point I never looked back. As you may be able to tell, I still really enjoying within the constraints of monoline design and you can look forward to seeing more of that in the future...



Chalk it up to practice...

ExtracurricularChristopher PorterComment

In between my client work I like to stretch my creativity a little. I came across my old graphics tablet the other day, a poor little piece of technology that I have barely ever used, and decided to find a way to make good use of it. I had been watching a bunch of lettering process videos on Vimeo and came across a number of people doing digital chalk lettering. Chalk boards have always been something I have aspired to be good at, but never had quite the skill with my hands.

I found a wealth of free resources for the task, brushes and textures, so set about doing 'chalk' version of my 'Making Things' slogan. After a few false starts and a lot of trial and error I had a thoroughly enjoyable morning putting the piece together and am glad to have a new arrow to add to my design quiver...

Little projects like this really help to keep the creativity flowing when working on my client briefs and I went back to work fully recharged and ready to crack on with the projects at hand (more info on some of those coming right here on the blog in the coming days...). 



Counter Print

Christopher PorterComment

A year or so ago I received an email from Counter Print, a fantastic publisher of design books, asking if I would consider submitting some of my work to their new series of logo books. Of course I jumped at the chance and have now been lucky enough to have my work published in three of the books from the series.      

The books are great reference guides for anyone who works in branding and make for a handy inspiration tool.  

The books are available from the Counter Print website, which you can find here



Christopher PorterComment

In many ways the process to opening up I See Sea on the high street has been much like a client project. You do your research, make your plans, get to work and yet the final result can often end up completely different to how you first imagined. And there is always more tweaking you could do...

I See Sea is now ready and working as a great studio space for me to do my work in. It's full of my books and bits and bobs that give me inspiration when the ideas don't flow, and being right on the high street enables me to be fully integrated into the local community which is great. Within the next few weeks plans are being finalised for my first full collection of limited tees and screen prints. Once this is ready the studio will be open to the public and the prints and tees will be available for purchase. At the same time the reinvigorated online shop will reopen. I am also stocking a great range of independent magazines that are well worth a look at.


In general news, have worked with an exciting range of clients recently including The Sorting Office, a brand new cafe coming to St Agnes soon, Bridal Designer Claire L. Headdon, and exciting new band Oh Wonder. Over the coming months I will be adding some brand new case studies to the website and give you a closer look at the companies and projects here on the blog...

Til next time.



Christopher PorterComment

Work on the studio is going well, almost ready to open the doors... 

Magazines have been ordered now too, some really exciting publications will be available to buy in the studio, more details coming soon. 

Also, starting to plan the launch party, if you'd like to come along, follow us on Facebook to get the latest news. 

See you soon Falmouth.. 


A new chapter..

Christopher PorterComment

Welcome to the new version of I See Sea, now an open studio, making design accessible by existing on the high street.

So what will you find when you pay us a visit? Well firstly you'll find me, Christopher, working away on my client work, anything from album covers to rebrands. I'll be here Monday to Friday, and would be happy to stop and have a chat about what I'm working on, or indeed what I can do for you. You'll also find somewhere to stop and stay for a while. Maybe you have some uni work to get on with, or some ideas to brainstorm, or you just want a bit of rest halfway up the high street. Whatever your reasons, you're welcome to bring a coffee and sit for a while. 

But the things I am most looking forward to you seeing are my first lines of hand screened prints and t-shirts. Over the past year I have been designing and experimenting, and the results of this will be available for purchase in the studio. Below are some process photos of the first fully produced tee.


I look forward to welcoming you into the studio and having a chat. Exciting times ahead...