Monthly Archives: March 2012

An extinct species…

I’m starting to collect ampersands, apostrophes and other punctuation as part of the Found Alphabet project. Here’s an apostrophe from Waterstone’s, which is almost extinct…



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Is the honest design???

This shots are from the interior of the newly refurbished McDonald’s? While I’ve no doubt the designers were working to a brief, it raises the question of whether or not the designer has any obligation to impose a level of honesty in the work they deliver. Surely these cosy, organic, healthy images are not a true reflection of the company’s products and the effect it has now been show they can have on us…


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Visual Grammar Experimentation

I’ve been noticing lots of dots and lines in food so I’ve been thinking for some time about the visual grammar project. I wanted to try to see if I could deconstruct some things I’ve been cooking into their visual grammar. One of the dishes I’ve been cooking a lot is a 1970s favourite dessert, Caramelised Oranges. It’s very easy. Simply peel and slice some oranges, arrange them on a plate, make some caramel and pour it over, together with a good slosh of alcohol – I’ve been using bourbon to make the dessert equivalent of an Old Fashioned.

It’s in the making of the caramel that is most interesting from a visual grammar point of view. What starts out as sugar and water in a saucepan, slowly bubbles and boils, changes colour several times from clear to golden brown…


There’s potential in the oranges too…


Taking on board what Tony said about my research being one dimensional, I tried avoiding the computer all morning to see what I could do with my hands to abstract these images, focusing on the oranges…


Tracing over the photos…


I then turned to see if I could translate these into Illustrator.

The first attempt (including trying to make the oranges a little realistic, with some help from someone online who clearly likes drawing oranges in Illustrator) didn’t achieve what I had in mind. It was too representational which detracts from what I was trying to achieve which was to highlight the dots…


My 10 year old nephew didn’t think much of it either… “not very bold… it’s average but sadly below OK” was what he had to say. Here’s his drawing of the chopped oranges:

So I had another go, taking out the realism that I’d spent ages doing (radial gradients, gaussian blurs etc). What I had noticed from the initial attempt was the the little centre dots (brownish on the skin of the whole oranges, white in the slices) were important and in fact I thought we what gave the oranges their orangeness i.e.the negative space was important. There’s also a bit of gestalt continuity going on here too.

So here’s my next effort hopefully showing four stages of the recipe – whole oranges, sliced, peeled and arranged on the plate, covered in caramel (the slight variations in colour)…


So please tell me what you think, and Tony I’d welcome feedback on whether this is closer to what you mean by another dimension.


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Typographic Journey

Here’s a pdf of the classified letterforms I’ve gathered photographically on my typographic journey. I’ve covered most parts of London and will publish some thoughts on what I have observed from this later.

Type Journey Classification

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Infographics old and new: top data visualisations, in pictures

This looks interesting…

Infographics old and new: top data visualisations, in pictures | News |

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Some great exhibitions in this list…

Begin forwarded message:

From: London Design Festival <hello>

Subject: Pick Me Up, news from 100% Design, British Design at the V&A and over 40 more events and opportunities

Date: 15 March 2012 14:39:36 GMT

To: N <mcc>

Reply-To: London Design Festival <hello>

15 March 2012 Join us on twitter flickr facebook youtube
Pick Me Up at Somerset House, 100% Design’s new 100% Future Living theme, the opening of the V&A’s latest celebration of British Design 1948 – 2012… there is a lot going on.

The London Design Festival is ten days in September packed full of world class events, but we also like to keep you up to date with what’s happening in design in London and beyond all year round.

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Partner events


British Design 1948 – 2012

V&A / 31 March – 12 August

Theming with the Olympics, this wide ranging exhibition explores the shifting tensions between modernity and tradition in British Design from 1948, the first year the UK hosted the “Austerity Games”, right up to 2012, focusing on the emergence of new creative and subversive voices as post-war Britain began to build a fresh, outward-looking sense of itself.More

Jaguar E-Type, 1961 © Jaguar Heritage


Pick Me Up 2012

Somerset House / 22 March – 1 April

London’s exuberant contemporary graphic design fair returns to Somerset House. Look out for Pick Me Up Selects and Peepshow Collective’s Studio Residency. Plus a great programme of workshops and talks from a one-day event from Anthony Burrill, to Aardman animation workshops, comic sessions from Nowbrow and a paper toy workshop from Paris-based paper artist Guillaume Pain, AKA Tougui. More

Party, 2010 by Mimi Leung, Pick Me Up Selects


Wendy Ramshaw Inspired

Electrum Gallery / 28 March – 26 May

Exhibition of work by one of British jewellery’s leading lights, Wendy Ramshaw. More
Wendy Ramshaw Inspired


Inspired by Design

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour / until 16 March

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour and neighbouring participating venues continue their series of annual London Design Weeks featuring over 500 brands in 91 showrooms at the Chelsea Design Centre and along the King’s Road. More

High Gloss White Cantilevered Chair by Glyn Petermacchin


Craft Central Gets Hitched

Craft Central / 22 – 25 March

Clerkenwell’s wedding fair with a difference; getting hitched the handmade way, hosted by Craft Central. More

Vintage City Man cufflinks by Amy Keeper


Ken Garland: Galy Tots

Kemistry Gallery / 22 March – 21 April

The East London graphic design gallery’s latest exhibition celebrates the work of Ken Garland whose 20-year association with Galt Toys also produced concepts for toys and games, notably Connect, Marble Run and Fizzog, which seemed to straddle the grey area between teaching and learning design. More

Cover of Ken Garland’s catalogue for Galt Toys’ 1969/70


Tradition and Innovation: Five Decades of Harrow Ceramics

Contemporary Applied Arts / 20 April – 9 June

Bringing together recent works by more than 50 students and staff from the past five decades of Harrow’s groundbreaking BA Ceramics course; alumni have included Jane Hamlyn, Richard Slee and Edmund de Waal. More

Employees by Lawrence Epps, photo Emily Cooper


Richard Holllis

Gallery Libby Sellers / 23 March – 28 April

Emily King curates an exhibition of around 200 items drawn from the influential graphic and book designer’s archive. More

I, Eye by Richard Hollis, 1962


Ptolemy Mann: The Architecture of Cloth, Colour and Space

Aram Gallery / 16 March – 21 April

Touring exhibition initiated by the Ruthin Craft Centre featuring the work of designer and colour consultant Ptolemy Mann, including her hand dye and woven yarns. More

From The Chromatic Landscape series by Ptolemy Mann


Jeremy Tankard: Fenland

Kemistry Gallery / 19 March

Party and exhibition to launch a new typeface, Fenland, by Cambridge-based typographer Jeremy Tankard. More



Mentioned in previous e-Bulletins:

  • Mr T: The Posters of Jerzy Treutler Kemistry Gallery until 17 March More
  • 50/50 Working in Parallel Contemporary Applied Arts until 14 April More



100% Future Living

100% Design / 19 – 22 September

100% Design has always been one of the backbone events of the London Design Festival; now in its 18th year it’s evolving, embracing a new theme for 2012 – 100% Future Living – as a focus that runs throughout the various exhibition zones. As 100% Design’s William Knight explains, “By adopting Future Living as the key strand that runs through the show, exhibitors and visitors will have the opportunity to engage with the best technology, innovation and design shaping the homes and work places of tomorrow”. As the theme develops they’re interested in creating a broader discussion around ideas of future living. Head over to their Facebook page to engage. More



BIO 23: Call for entries

Deadline / 30 March

The Ljubljana Museum of Architecture and Design has been holding its design biennial BIO since 1964. If you’re a designer, manufacturer or academic involved in the production of a new piece of work ,the theme for submissions for the 23rd biennial is Design Relations; they’re looking for work which addresses design and social, cultural and environmental relationships. More


Inspired by… 2012

Deadline / 16 May

The V&A’s annual competition for people studying art and crafts part time invites paricipants to create a work inspired by the collections of either V&A South Kensington, or the V&A Museum of Childhood. Inspired by… is supported by NIACE, the National Institute of Continuing Education. More

Paper… Folds… Blocks… Builds by Malvinka Bitelli, Inspired By… 2011 Glass Prize


Design for SIGG

Deadline / March 28

Design the visuals for a SIGG waterbottle; prizes of up to $1,500 on offer. More


Secret London: Call for entries

Deadline / 6 April

The 2012 Serco Prize for Illustration presented by the London Transport Museum and the Association of Illustrators offers prizes of up to £2000 for an illustration that explores the secret side of London. More

Blackfriars Bridge by Mike Stones


Talks, workshops and conferences


Poetry in Light: Paul Cocksedge

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour / 16 March

Designer Paul Cocksedge in conversation with editor-in-chief Elle Decoration Michelle Ogundehin about the way that he uses technology and light to transform a space. Bookings 020 7352 1900. More

Paul Cocksedge, Photo Immo Klink


Celebrating British Design

RIBA / 21 June

The British Institute of Interior Design’s inaugural Annual Conference, celebrating British Design, features Deyan Sudjic Director of the Design Museum, Christine Losecaat Creative Industries Advisor to UKT&I, Dr Paul Thompson of the Royal College of Art, textile designer Sue Timney and more. More


Designer Breakfast: Where are the Women?

Design Museum / 20 March

Why are there significantly fewer women than men at the top of mainstream design agencies? A panel discussion attempting to identify reasons for this gender imbalance. More


Mary Quant: The Best of British Design

V&A / 16 March

Join fashion legend Mary Quant in a discussion of her extraordinary life and career. More


Art Deco Fashion

V&A / 21 March

Dr Clare Rose on the style of the Art Deco era. More


Conversations in Creativity with Wayne & Gerardine Hemingway

Harris Museum, Preston, Lancs / 22 March

Presented by D&AD North in association with Creative Lancashire’s ‘Conversations in Creativity’ Network. More


Arts and (Digital) Crafts: Silk Scarves

V&A / 27 March

Three day practical workshop designing and creating a silk scarf using a combination of digital and practical craft process. More


Staging Space: From Gormley to Gaga

V&A / 30 March

Symposium in which invited designers and artists explore designing for site-specific productions, dance, theatre and stadium shows. More


CreateVoice presents… The Friday Forum

V&A / 30 March

Monthly event for 16–21 year olds, giving them the opportunity to get inspiration from top creative professionals and meet other young people interested in art and design; this session concentrates on photography. More


BERG at St Bride

St Bride Library / 21 March

Timo Arnall and friends from design studio BERG discuss their work in systems, software and electronics. How can design be part of developing, critiquing and reflecting upon complex, opaque and invisible technologies? More


Style Cities: Chicago

V&A / 31 March

Study day on the home of Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and the Chicago School of architecture. More


Skills Studio: Residencies

V&A / 20 March

Event for creative practioners who are looking to develop skills in applying for residency programmes and Open Call opportunities. More


INPUT at Coexistence

Coexistence / 19 – 23 March

British design brand INPUT host a series of talks at Coexistence as part of their show there. Featuring Tomoko Azumi, Max Fraser, William Knight, Kvadrat’s Thomas Ellingsøe and MARK’s founders Anna Hart and John Miller. More


Conran Twitter Takeover

@DesignMuseum / 5 April

Put your questions to Sir Terence Conran via Twitter from 11am. Questions can be posed in advance using the #SirTerence hashtag. More


North Lecture: Erik Kessels

Manchester Conference Centre / 5 April

Talk by graphic designer, photographer and artist Erik Kessels of Amsterdam/London-based ad agency KesselsKramer. More


Designing the London 2012 Paralympic Games medal

British Museum / 12 April

A gallery talk by Lin Cheung, of the Department of Coins and Medals. More


Create! Graphic Design

V&A / 12 – 13 April

An event for young people to learn to create a poster using images and their own typefaces.More


Inspiring Matter

Royal College of Art / 2 – 3 April

Designers, scientists, artists and anthropologists discuss how they tackle the challenges of cooperation when innovating and researching materials. More


Makers’ Guild

V&A / 13 April

Events for creative professionals run by the Makers’ Guild, a sharing, lobbying and support group for makers of all kinds, particularly those working with new technologies. This session is on exploring ways of making music. More


V&A Connects – Fashion Blogging

V&A / 13 April

Join creative practitioners and professionals from the field of fashion blogging for an evening of inspiration, networking and discussion. More


More events


Cheltenham Design Festival

Cheltenham / 20 – 22 April

Some interesting things going on in Gloucestershire. On the back of the Design Academy initiative offering free design classes to 14-16 year olds comes this three day event featuring major input from Sir John Hegarty, Paul Priestman, Kenneth Grange, Sir John Sorrell and more. More

Sir John Hegarty


Mobile Studio: Display for a Display

Dreamspace Gallery / 4 – 27 April

Architects Max Dewdney and Chee-Kit Lai, aka Mobile Studio, present new and past work that unpicks the contradictions of creating public displays of work within private and institutional spaces, exploring the ideas that these spaces can be extended into the living city. More

UCL Portable gallery by Mobile Studio


Working Drawings

London Gallery West / 23 March – 6 May

Exhibition exploring drawing and doodling as part of the creative process, including the work of designers Alan Fletcher, Abram Games, Ken Garland and Milton Glaser. More

Margaret Huber


INPUT: MARK at Coexistence

Coexistence / 16 March – 2 April

Exhibition by the British design brand MARK in collaboration with Kvadrat consisting of a series of events (see above) and the launch of the new Verso chair by Tomoko Azumi and Bosco II sofas and benches by Gala Wright. More

Verso Chair by Tomoko Azumi


Designing Women: Post-War British Textiles

Fashion and Textile Museum / 16 March – 16 June

In the 1950s and 1960s Britain was at the forefront of pioneering textile design; at the vanguard were three women, Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler. Designing Women explores their legacy. More

Pebbles by Jacqueline Groag


Publish and Be Damned Fair

ICA / 17 March

One day fair by Publish and Be Damned, an ongoing project focusing on artist-led and self-published magazines. More


The Bathroom. A historical retrospective exhibition

Roca London Gallery / until 26 May

The major bathroom brand presents a homage to the intriguing and ingenious innovations in bathroom design through the ages. More



Mentioned in previous e-Bulletins:

  • Alison Britton Standing and Running Marsden Woo until 17 March More
  • Secure by Design Bank of England Museum until 23 March More
  • Designs of the Year 2012 Design Museum until 15 July More
Tonight at the V&A, we’re meeting over a hundred people who arebringing ideas for projects for 2012 to the London Design Festival. It looks like this year is going to be a great Festival.

Somebody recently referred to this e-Bulletin as “the Time Out of design”. We like that. If you have design events or opportunities you think should be included in the next e-Bulletin which goes out on April 14, let us know.

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The December London Design Festival e-Bulletin had a potential readership of 101,137 people. It’s the definitive place to find out about design events taking place in London and beyond. If you want your events featured here, get in touch with William Shaw.
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The London Design Festival, 60 Frith Street, London W1D 3JJ


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12 astounding bus tickets from the 1930s

12 astounding bus tickets from the 1930s | A vintage flavor.

We may no longer have such good looking tickets but the Oyster Card certainly continues the tradition of good typography on London Transport

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First Project…

It’s printed and bound… Phew. Here are some of the spreads. Already spotted some areas for improvement…

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Simple use of lines

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March 12, 2012 · 8:37 pm

Jonathan Barnbrook quotation

Gill said “letters are things, not pictures of things”. For me nowadays they are both, objects themselves connected with the world but also to leave things open for meaning to be created is as important as stating things explicitly. It is a more realistic & honest way to work. For typography & typeface design, illegibility is as much a technique as legibility. to whisper is as important as to shout…

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