Background paper textures

Free background paper textures

While I was doing my Cargo Collective folio I decided to make a new repeating background gif. Originally I really wanted to have a really bright colourful background, break from the mold of ether black (ish) & white (ish). After much experimenting and playing around, I just couldn’t find a colour that didn’t clash with my work – problem with a colourful image heavy site, so I ended up plumbing for white (ish)

The good news though – I thought I’d post all the rejects here, maybe they’ll be of use to some of my readers :) There’s 2 sets of files for you to download, the gifs are ready to roll, just upload them and insert the link into your html. But I’ve also included a set of Photoshop files, the texture’s just a mask so you can quickly & easily change the colour just by paint bucketing the layer. Note – there’s a second darker layer underneath, you’ll want to change this accordingly with your top layer. They’re all 150 x 150, so not too big file size, have a play around and I hope you find them useful.

Who’s the Drunkest?

Who's the Drunkest? drinking game scorecard

Tomorrow is my last day at Poke and my last evening in England for the next 6 months or so… I like to leave in style, so I’ve planned a bit of a farewell drinking competition for tomorrow evening :)

Basically I’ve stripped down the much loved pastime of drinking into it’s 5 main skill groups – Buying booze, carrying booze, drinking booze, being pissed & getting the Drunkest. When all the scores are added up at the end of the evening, we’ll find out – Who’s the drunkest?

If the prospect of that wasn’t thrilling enough, the prize for the winner is custodial care of my personal pint mug which Pete keeps behind the bar of the Owl & Pussycat for me. It generates much envy from fellow patrons each week, and could almost certainly ‘get you laid’ ;)

If you want to see me off, I’ll be at the Owl & Pussycat on Redchurch Street from about 6pm. If you want to compete for the prize, or just for fun – download the score sheet here, print it out and bring it along with you. If you want to rehash the game for yourself, feel free to download the original Illustrator file here.

Weekly Desktop Part 38

Cartoon band crank

I‘ve finished drawing all the Crank band members and have made a desktop of them rocking out. You get it in Green, Blue, Yellow or Orange, hope you like it. Remember you can also get each character individually here. I’m really enjoying doing all this Poke band stuff, mainly because it’s all nonsense and just a bit of fun, refreshing change to the world of corporate web design!

Hopefully I’ll have time to finish the comic book story of Professor Crankingstein and his monster cock and how that led to the bands creation! More soon…


Cartoon band crank


Yellow cartoon band crank


Orange cartoon band, crank

King Cookie

playing card, king Cookie

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long long time but never got round to – Illustrate myself as a playing card! Before I started I had a quick look on the web to see if anyone had a vector playing card templates I could edit, couldn’t find any… I’m sure it’d be a fairy handy thing for folk, so I’ve uploaded the illustrator file of my version of the King for you to download and use as you please. I’ll try and get round to finishing the rest of the deck at some point, but don’t hold your breath!

Printed on paper tutorial

Here’s a quick tutorial showing how to make your illustration/graphics look like they’re printed. This is pretty much the same as the first tutorial, only we’ll be using different textures for the image than the background. For this example I’m re-creating my Cookie’s Plonk desktop wallpaper.

texture tutorial

This is our starting point, check here to download the Photoshop file I’ve used.

texture tutorial

1. Create a layer mask. Open the image you want to look printed. If you want you can download the image I’ve used here. Click the mask button on the bottom of the layer panel (1).

texture tutorial

2. Add some paper texture. If you’re using my photoshop file, select the Textured Paper layer and copy it. Then re-select the image layer and click the channels tab (1). Select the bottom layer (alpha channel) and paste in the texture (2).

texture tutorial

Return to the layers tab, and click the image layer. You can see above that the flat colour illustration now has the texture of the paper.
texture tutorial

3. Add some wear & tear. To make it look a bit more realistic you might want to add some extra wear and tear. First you need to apply the first mask, select from the menu Layer > Layer Mask > Apply. Then repeat step 2 but use the dirty paper layer instead of textured paper this time.

The finished image:

texture tutorial

Here’s the finished image! If you quickly scroll up and quickly compare it to the starting point – it’s good at taking the edge off crisp vector graphics, making them look warmer, friendlier & more real I think.

King & Queen of Sports Game

International King & Queen of Sports

International King & Queen of Sports is the perfect way to break the ice, entertain and woo the girl/guy of your dreams! Well it’s a bit of fun anyhow… I made it for a valentines a few years ago and thought it was about time I dusted it off and gave it a second outing. Basically it’s a competitive drinking / pubcrawl type game designed for 2 people.

What you get:

  • An editable Illustrator file of both the King & Queen score cards
  • 2 chest numbers to print out and attach while competing
  • Full instructions & rules and regulations of how to play

Download the free King & Queen of Sports Illustrator files here. Feel free to use it in anyway you see fit. For those of you who don’t have Illustrator, you can download a set of pdf’s of the scorecards and numbers here.

There’s 17 mini games to play (you don’t have to complete them all) here’s a basic description of them in order:

  1. Tally up your pints, 10 points each – remember this isn’t a date, it’s a pub crawl, so drink!
  2. Highest free standing tower – Think empire states building, iron girders and all – use the marshmellows as joints and the spaghetti as girders. You might need to get a referee to judge the tallest if it’s a close call.
  3. Darts is obvious, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a pub with a board these days…
  4. Bar Billiards – tricky one, the only pub I know of in London which has it is the Owl and Pussycat on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch. You’re in luck though, as it’s also the finest pub in the whole of London so should definitely be on your list of pubs to crawl to.
  5. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghing the longest – this is a game inspired by one of the GI Joe clips over at Fensler film. Basically you both start saying ‘baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr’, first person to run out of breath loses.
  6. Beer mats tossed – flip ’em and then catch ’em.
  7. Biggest bubble gum bubble.
  8. Table football – some folk call it fussball, you all know how to play
  9. The trussing game – this is my favourite, it’s an old Victorian parlour game, but requires some diagrams to properly explain… google it, I’ll try and do a proper post about it later.
  10. Dominoes
  11. Karaoke – you need a referee to judge
  12. The splits – you know trying to touch the floor with your crotch while your legs are straight – the lady will more likely win this one.
  13. Portraits – drawing each other (you’ll need so paper and pens) – you also need a referee to judge.
  14. Pool
  15. Derek Zoolander Award – most outrageous clothing on the day bags these points.
  16. Best banter (mutual decision)
  17. French Kissing – save this for last!

You should also have with you a bottle of Champagne, so at the end of the night when the scores are added up, the winner can spray it all over the loser, grand-prix style.

Passport Stamps

Open passport with stamps on it

One of the best things about the internet is folk giving away stuff for free. Whether that’s information, entertainment, tools, or services, I’ve taken my fair share of free stuff over the years and have been thinking it’s about time I start giving back. I’ve created a new category called Goodies – that’s where I’ll be sticking all my future free stuff for folk to use and abuse.

First up is some Passport Stamps I created at work today (they’re not the actual stamps these countries use, I just made them up). I’ve saved them out as a set of very high-res Photoshop brushes (first set of bushes I’ve ever made) Download the brushes here. To install you just need to double click them, but it’s best to put them in your brushes folder first: Photoshop > Presets > Brushes. Feel free to use them in any way you wish.