Elliot Jay Stocks — designer & musician

A selected portfolio

  • Colonna

    Creative Direction for a growing speciality coffee brand

    When three-time UK Barista Champion Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood decided to open his own roastery, spearheaded by the first speciality coffee in capsule format, a robust design system was needed to carry the three-genere concept of coffee across the capsule and bean offerings.

    Evoking the light, calm, and sophistication of Maxwell’s Bath-based cafe, Colonna & Smalls, the Colonna brand makes generous use of white, accented by three core colours to denote company’s coffee genres, and iconography to represent the geographic sources of the beans — often the most premium on the market.

    When I came on board, the Colonna team had a typeface and a loose colour palette, but it needed systematising to educate customers about the company’s genre-based product classification. We opted for three core colours and accompaying iconography for the Foundation, Discovery, and Rare genres, embellished with further iconography for the countries of origin.

    We successfully launched a Shopify-powered online store to showcase Colonna’s beans and capsules, and diversified with several sub-products — such as the compostable capsules range — before returning to the packaging a couple of years later to bring greater unity across the product offering.

    My role

    • Creative direction
    • Packaging design
    • Web design
    • Photography

    Other credits

    • Web design & development: Jake Giltsoff
    • Icon design: Peter Attridge
  • Lagom

    An award-winning bi-annual printed magazine dedicated to the pursuit of balance in life and work

    After concluding the run of 8 Faces, I was eager to start up another magazine and work with my wife Samantha, who’s a writer / editor. We published Lagom #1 in September 2014 and released its tenth and final issue at the end of 2019. The magazine won MagPile’s Member’s Choice Award in the year of its release.

    Borrowing the Swedish word that represents having just the right amount of something, Lagom featured those who achieved a sense of balance in their everyday and professional lives. Printed on thick, uncoated stock, with a foil-blocked cover, the magazine was designed to be treasured, and attempted to offer a down-to-earth alternative to the majority of lifestyle publications.

    Although no longer active, the Lagom website is still online if you’d like to browser our achives. If you’d like to buy a back issue, we still have a handful in our personal collection. Please get in touch to arrange payment and shipping.

    My role

    • Creative direction
    • Print design
    • Co-editorial direction
    • Writing
    • Photography

    Other credits

    • Co-editorial direction: Samantha Stocks
    • Website design & development: Jordan Moore
  • Adobe Typekit

    From web font startup to the cornerstone of typography within Creative Cloud

    I was the Creative Director at the point in Typekit’s history where it transitioned from a recently acquired startup to an integral part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud, transforming from a service delivering web fonts into a complete solution for desktop font syncing, paving the way for what would eventually become known as Adobe Fonts.

    My work at Typekit was hugely varied: from leading incremental UX and UI changes to the main website, to designing printed material for events, to more drastic reimaginings of the service’s role within the wider Adobe product ecosystem — including core integration with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.

    During my tenure at Typekit, I worked remotely from my home in Bristol, with frequent visits to the Adobe HQ in San Francisco. Good times.

    My role

    • Creative direction
    • Web design
    • App design
    • Print design
    • Team management
  • ClearScore

    Typographic consultancy: the glue between a fintech and a foundry

    Credit-checking startup ClearScore wanted a bespoke typeface for their brand, but didn’t quite know where to start. I helped them bring the typeface ‘CS Clarity’ — designed by DSType — into fruition by discovering the company’s needs through a series of workshops with staff and customers, serving as the point of contact between the business and the type foundry.

    After a period of in-depth research and discovery with ClearScore’s Design team to form a throrough brief, we sourced a number of potential foundry partners before settling on Dino Dos Santos’ DSType. As Dino provided font files to test, I helped the ClearScore team evaluate the type and prodive feedback for the next iteration.

    Dino supplied a geometric Humanist sans-serif with a workign title of Clear Sans, later renamed to CS Clarity for its release. I’m currently working with ClearScore and DSType again on a companion serif face.

    My role

    • Design consultancy
    • Project management
    • Training
    • Font testing

    Other credits

    • Typeface design: Dino Dos Sanos for DSType
    • Creative input: the ClearScore Design team
  • 8 Faces

    My first foray into physical publishing

    In 2010, I was a web designer, tired of seeing my work disappear. I wanted to create something real; something that would last; something I could put on my bookshelf. So, perhaps selfishly, I decided to launch 8 Faces: a printed magazine about type, typography, and lettering. But it turns out that other people wanted this, too, and we sold out of 8 Faces #1 in just a couple of hours. And so it went with all eight of our issues, which were published between July 2010 and May 2014.

    Over the course of 8 Faces’ life, we interviewed 64 graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, and artists, and set some beautiful type specimens for their eight favourite typefaces. We also published forewords and essays by a number of thought-leaders in the design industry, making 8 Faces a source of knowledge as well as inspiration. Thanks to 1,000 supporters on Kickstarter, in July 2018, I raised £52,000 and published a huge hardcover book, collecting and re-designing and re-editing all eight issues. The book, too, which has since sold out.

    Launched halfway during the magazine’s run, 8 Faces’ blog — run by type designer Jamie Clarke — has gone from strength to strength and is now seen as one of the leading typography destinations on the web.

    My role

    • Creative direction
    • Editing
    • Writing
    • Photography

    Other credits

    • Favourite typefaces spreads design: Stefan Weyer & Jon Tan
    • Book photography on this page: Luke Tonge
  • Unknown Movements

    Ah, the joys of having your own record label

    Unknown Movements is a techno label run by yours truly, releasing music in vinyl, cassette, and digital formats, as well as a semi-regular series of podcast mixes.

    It’s often tricky being your own client, but owning a record label affords me the opportunity to please myself when it comes to designing cover art and all of the related ephemera.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, the label’s branding revolves an intentionally restrictive use of one typeface: the beautiful Nitti Grotesk by Bold Monday. Originally, this was the brand typeface of my musical alter ego Other Form (that’s me, by the way), but the system has been extended to extend to the label itself, and each release features a track from me, even if it’s a remix on an artist’s solo EP.

    My role

    • Creative direction
    • Packaging design
    • Web design
    • Photography & illustration
  • InVision

    Consultancy on InVision’s next generation of digital design tools

    I worked with the InVision team on reviewing an early version of their Craft plugins for Sketch and InVision Studio application. For the latter, I created a timelapse video for a demo app design, which was used (along with similar videos by other designers) to build excitement around the product before it was made available to the public.

    For Craft, I produced a comprehensive audit of the plugin suite’s UX design and UI design, which was used to influence later versions of the tools.

    My role

    • Design consultancy
    • Product testing
    • Product video demo
  • Viewport Industries

    An experimental multimedia company

    Having worked together at Carsonified, Keir Whitaker and I decided to form Viewport Industries — an umbrella for us to run events, make apps, and publish books and magazines for the web community.

    The first thing we did was put on Insites: The Tour — a series of four intimate gatherings around the UK, where well-known designers, developers, and entrepreneurs told their stories to several captive audiences. This narrative — of digging into the journeys of big-name web celebrities and finding that (surprise surprise) we’re all the same — led us to create the 256-book Insites: The Book. This project was funded by several generous sponsors and produced in partnership with MailChimp.

    In VI’s short lifespan, we also put on the the cunningly titled conference–workshop hybrid ConfShop, created the iOS app Countone to aid productivity via a modernisation of the Pomodoro Technique, and published one issue of a large-format lifestyle magazine called Digest, which laid the foundations for what would eventually become Lagom. We also created an official Shopify theme that sadly never saw the light of day and made some blueprints for a new kind of online advertising network. One day, eh?

    My role

    • Creative direction
    • Brand design
    • Web design & development
    • iOS app design
    • Print design
    • Event hosting
    • Event management

    Keir Whitaker

    • Tech. direction
    • Web development
    • Event hosting
    • Event management
  • Peak Water

    A water filter jug designed for speciality coffee

    While serving as the Creative Director of Colonna (see above), I provided some early sketches for the designs of a water filter jug developed by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood and Christopher Hendon based on their scientific work for the book Water for Coffee. I also created the initial branding for the product as well as the photography for its Kickstarter campaign.

    The final product was launched in late 2019, financed by Kickstarter, InnovateUK, and private funding. The jug uses a dial to adjust the filter settings based on the hardness of the user’s water — a first-of-its kind bespoke filtration system that allows home brewers to achive water quality levels usually only experienced in cafés.

    My role

    • Brand design
    • Product design sketches
    • Photography
  • The Attaché Guide to Travel, volume 1

    A 230-page book produced as a companion to the popular YouTube travel channel Attaché.

    The Attaché Guide to Travel, volume 1, is a guidebook like no other. Rather than being filled with all the usual tourist spots, or indeed the hidden, niche spots, the book’s aim is to get you in, out, and around various cities in the world — much like Attaché’s hugely popular YouTube channel.

    The book was a co-branded partnership between Attaché and Lagom, which meant we got to use Lagom’s typography as the underlying design system for the book. This was supplemented by a robust iconographic system that enables the reader to easily move between their subject of interest: food, airport transfers, money, etc.

    The book was funded via a successful Kickstarter campaign, sent to backers, and then marketed to the 160k+ subscribers of Attaché’s YouTube channel. Volume 2 is currently in the works.

    My role

    • Creative direction
    • Print design
    • Icon design
    • Co-editorial direction

    Other credits

    • Co-editorial direction: Samantha Stocks
  • Maido

    Leading the design team at an award-winning agency

    Serving as Maido’s Creative Director since June 2019, I’ve had the pleasure of leading an extremely talented group of UX and UI designers on a number of projects, and have fostered a work environment based around regular internal feedback and structured inspiration sessions, augmenting Maido’s well-known approach to user testing.

    In addition to my design leadership duties, I led the typographic refresh to Maido’s brand, which utilises Cambon and Mier, designed by General Type Studio. You can read about the process on the blog.

    Maido has long been highly regarded for its approach to human-centred design, placing the end user and project stakeholders at the centre of the design process. This was particularly successful for our client Plan International, when half of the Design team temporarily relocated to Brazil and Guatemala to create lo-fi prototypes with youth activists — the very same audience of the app we were designing. These users (and Plan staff) directly influenced the typographic and colour palette choices we made early on in the design process.

    My role

    • Creative direction
    • Brand design
    • Workshop hosting + training
    • Team management

    Other credits

    • UX + UI design: the Maido Design Team
  • Misc. archived work

    Lastly, a collection of archived work from over the years

    Websites, printed ephemera, logos, apps, packaging, email newsletter templates, illustrations, and everything in between. I’ve been digging into the archives and will be posting a few more golden oldies on here as I find them. Work shown here includes projects for MailChimp, EMI Music, Microsoft, Virgin Group, Smashing Magazine, WooThemes, and more.

Want me to work or consult on your product or service? Please get in touch!