nic farrell illustration

Category: typography

New work: Innside hotels

I am finally able to show work that I have produced for Innside hotels over the last year. I have created a full hand-drawn Latin alphabet and so so so many icons for all sorts of purposes: hotel products (slippers, mugs, door hangers etc), promotion and business (internal documents, business cards etc) and signage within the hotels, as well as animations for social media. They have hotels in the UK, US, loads in Europe and new ones opening in Asia. You can see more of my illustrations and typeface on my website here.

miscellaneous lettering from sketchbooks old

misc letters


copenhagen1 w-colour

Shop signs and bits and pieces from Madrid, Copenhagen and other forgotten trips with sketchbook in hand.


I was in Manchester last weekend for the Manchester Print Fair (see the Hot Yoghurt blog) and saw this wonderfully overcrowded and DECIDEDLY DIFFERENT shop that was too good not to draw. Run-down areas of cities for me are way more informative and inspiring than visiting art galleries sometimes. It’s great to visit cities with distinct areas and different vibes (no offence Cambridge). Also, note ‘visit our internet website’, in case you were wondering which type of website you should be visiting.

giochi a premi!

A dingy games arcade spotted in a dusty barren park in Palermo, Sicily. Note the knock-off Disney typeface.

ikea pitch

This is from sometime last year… for a (winning) pitch to Ikea, to turn unused and run-down urban areas in London into communal eating and relaxing areas, using their furniture.

Boots part deux

Following on from my last blog post, my illustrations are now online at too!


Boots magazine

I’ve had a full page illustration and spot illustrations published in the spring issue of Boots Health & Beauty  magazine, for an article called What’s your trigger?. It features little things that wind us up wayyy too much in everyday life, including my personal favourite nemesis, the spinning beachball of doom. You can pick one up for free in Boots stores.






website update

Hello folks! You can find my new updated website at – more recent work, more relevant work, and a vicious culling of old work, one of my favourite pasttimes. Here’s an illustration of shop signs from Berlin from last year. As ever, to get in touch, email me at




I am pretty lousy at a) watching films and b) remembering anything that has happened in them, so in 2016 I vowed to up my game and watch a ‘new’ film every week, which I nearly achieved. If you’re interested – She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a great documentary about the second wave of feminism, Goodnight Mommy is creepy and terrifying in a Funny Games kind of way, and Tale of Tales is a massive waste of three hours. Out the way Peter Bradshaw! I’ve got some THOUGHTS.

#football #goals #lads


I watched roughly 2.5 matches during the Euros and spent most of that time repeating the funny players’ names back to myself, saying ‘kick it!’ and ‘do a goal!’, and listening to the weird things that commentators say, this being one of them. More to follow.

do the right thing


mirror 2

Found this old tiny mirror the other day and did a quick sketch/reminder to self in Posca pen. Strange things are going on in the world right now but everyone’s still got to do what they think is best! Also, drawing on a mirror is hard and confusing. Bye then.

It’s time …



signs (again)

signssigns 2

signs 3


A few quick shopfront sketches from here and there.

NSFW Studio Portraits; or, Can You Be a Feminist and Like Hip Hop?




When in a thrift store in New York some years ago I came across a trough full of old studio portraits ranging, I think, from the 1930s to 1980s. I’ve had a vague idea since then to create images that provide a funny juxtaposition of tame and dangerous, and I started asking friends for their favourite lyrics from rap and hip hop, that are decidedly vulgar or offensive, in order to create an illustrative series. Let it be known that a) these are not genres that I generally listen to, and b) in no way am I an expert. But the more lyrics I read and the more videos I watched, the lower my tolerance became in terms of the attitudes and language towards women, when I would expect my tolerance to increase. I am a feminist; I recognise that women taking their clothes off sells products, although of course I strongly disagree with it. I am used to being under- and mis-represented in the media, and used to fairly forward-thinking friends of both sexes saying things like ‘man up’ and ‘don’t be a pussy’. In short, I detest being called love or sweetheart, let alone being told to grab my titties and swallow for B.I.G. I don’t want to, Biggie. Come on.

However, I also have a sense of humour, and don’t spend my days sticking pins in figurines of Tyson Fury and Donald Trump while boiling my own menstrual blood in a cauldron. The lyrics I was reading threw up an odd contradiction: can you enjoy and endorse, and ultimately make money for, musicians whose careers revolve partly around representing women as lesser citizens? I know I am hardly the first person to come up with this bold and revolutionary question; I’m also not the most erudite. But for me it’s not something I’ve thought about much up until now. For example, I enjoy dancehall and bashment music, despite the general consensus being that the majority of it is homophobic. I would not buy records by someone who has made sexist/racist/homophobic remarks publicly – but is watching a video of theirs on YouTube ok? Can you listen to the sexist lyrics of a hip hop song and distance yourself from it, and just appreciate the music and songwriting, and is that still ok?

The line that I have semi-conclusively drawn while I’ve been watching the 300th oiled bum jiggle around on my monitor is whether or not the songwriting is clever. To give you an idea: I am someone who appreciates the mundane, very British aspects of lyrics by bands such as Half Man Half Biscuit and Arctic Monkeys – niche references to shit English nightclubs and high streets and bus routes, that are very funny. And rhyme well. I am not naturally drawn to songs making obvious references to money and/or bitches, because to me it feels tired. However, if the song is about money and/or bitches, and it’s got witty rhymes and specific references, my interest is piqued. That’s why I’ve included the bottom image (Nasty Girl by Notorious B.I.G.) – ‘…and give me what I need while we listen to Prince’. Haha! Biggie wants to get dirty to Prince! We all love Prince! Sure, Prince is probably turning in his doll-sized grave, but it’s a neat reference, so I can overlook the lyrics throughout the rest of the song (‘and I don’t stop til I squirt/jeans, skirt, butt naked, it all work’) … sigh. Maybe.

I’m not sure I can make a conclusion one way or another. You might be surprised to learn I am neither a journalist or a professor. I am, however, a gender expert, being that I am a human being who has a gender. I am just interested in what I’ve come across in this tiny, tiny section of the music/gender Venn diagram, and I’d be interested to know what other people think. I wonder whether trolls frequent illustration blogs? Now’s the time to find out, I suppose.

Images, from top: Bitches Ain’t Shit – Dr Dre ⋅ Shake That – Eminem ft. Nate Dogg ⋅ Nasty Girl – Notorious B.I.G.

christmas wedding


Shouldn’t reveal the whole thing, but I recently designed some wedding invites for a friend, in greys/burgundy/pinks. Really pleased with them – more photos to follow at some point!