Hardboiling it with Elliot Jay Stocks

Writing and producing a book like Hardboiled Web Design provides a fantastic opportunity to work with other, amazing designers, illustrators or a mixture of the two like Elliot Jay Stocks.

I asked Elliot to illustrate the opening spreads to each of the four sections of Hardboiled Web Design. Although I had a style in mind, one that was graphic to the point of almost being abstract), I gave Elliot freedom to design for himself as well as for me. As with everybody who has contributed something that makes this book look so amazing, Elliot gave it everything and I’m happy as Larry with the result.

Here is a sneak peek at one of Elliot’s spreads and the process he used.

Rough thumbnail layout (© Elliot Jay Stocks)

Raw scan of the 'proper' drawing (pen on top of pencil sketches) (© Elliot Jay Stocks)

Linework neatened up in Photoshop and turned into a separate layer using alpha channels (© Elliot Jay Stocks)

Black and white layers added (© Elliot Jay Stocks)

Almost-final vectorised version, created by manually tracing (and then tweaking) in Illustrator (© Elliot Jay Stocks)

Five Simple Steps have asked Elliot Five Simple Questions. Sign-up for email alerts or follow @itshardboiled for more updates and sneak previews.


I’m available for hire to consult on and design products and websites. Based in North Wales, I travel regularly to work with clients world-wide.

Available from January 2020

Talk soon

For work enquiries email

Or call us on +44 (0)1745 851848


Stuff & Nonsense Ltd.
Eversleigh, Lon Capel,
Flintshire, North Wales,
LL18 6EJ, UK