Commercial & Ads
After leaving the RAF in 1956 Hardy took a job at Cadbury's near his home in Bournville. Soon he was working in the Design Office, for the first time as a 'commercial artist'. This involved the design of Christmas and Easter catalogues, but he also did the artwork for many products, such a Milk Tray, Roses and Selection Boxes. Occasionally he was able to introduce an element of fantasy or space into his work, such as these Aladdin and Chocolate Buttons, for which he designed 3 pennants.
When an artist is freelance and self-employed, as Hardy has been since 1965 when he left Cadbury's, he has to be prepared to take on all kinds of work. An unusual commission was this one, for Guinness Light; the end-result was a 48-sheet poster (ie. the size of the side of a building). He actually painted it on 'double-elephant' sized paper – the largest available. (Gouache.)
After meeting his friend, SF fan and PR man Nigel Robson (who bought several Bhen originals) Hardy began to be asked to work on a variety of advertising products. Here his experience at Cadbury's proved useful, eg. typography. This is one of a series of ads for Duracell batteries. (Gouache/photos; for Vortex PR.)
Vortex Space Station
Occasionally the design and appearance of the computer hardware supplied to Hardy enabled him to use his imagination to actually incorporate it into an illustration – as here, where it becomes a space station! (Gouache/digital; for Vortex PR.)
Another Duracell promotion; this time a Yeti – who no doubt 'keeps on walking'! (Gouache; for Vortex PR.)
Many of the projects given to Hardy by Vortex PR involved computer chips, motherboards, etc. – normally quite boring subjects for art, so needing a lot of imagination. But these also gave Hardy an opportunity to use his own AppleMac, as this image, moving from wireframe to photo-reality, shows. (Digital; for Vortex PR.)
Vortex PR - Dolphin
Another variation of the 'wireframe to photo-reality' technique is this dolphin image. Both made good use of the 3D program Poser, as well as Photoshop of course. (Digital; for Vortex PR.)
Handle with Care
At the other end of the size scale to the Guinness poster, in 1999 Hardy designed this Christmas Card, entitled 'Handle With Care' with an ecological message, for the Novaspace Gallery in Tucson, AZ. Because it was mainly for the US market it showed the Americas; this is the UK version. (Digital.)
In the 1970s Hardy met a science fiction fan who owned and ran a PR company, Vortex PR. As a result, David produced a variety of art for trade magazine covers, advertising of everything from Duracell batteries to computer chips, and much more! He has also produced art for other companies, up to 48-sheet posters.