Post archive

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Hello! Thanks for visiting.

Please, while you are here have a scroll down memory lane at some vintage posts, from a time when we had the time to sit and digest the musing of others that were longer than 140 characters.

If however reading 'long hand' is not your thing, then please follow me on these less time hungry social mediums and enjoy the transaction of secondhand information, food pictures and the occasional design project:







A New (1949) Dictionary for Nurses - Tenth Edition

Next up is the Dictionary for Nurses. (In my previous post, I stated it was 1939, when in fact it was 1949, so apologies on that).

This is a small (pocket size you might say) canvas bound book. This publication has a few advertisements in the front, before taking you through the various medical terms of the time. Some are illustrated, my favorite (shown below) is for the artificial respiration of a baby... Not sure this particular maneuver is still practiced in today's medicine. The Dictionary also includes a visual annotated guide to preparing trays for various procedures that scream visions of some buxom matron inspecting the sliver tray prior to the nurse carrying out a patients rectal examination...

'Oh Matron!'

Malaya Highway Code 1959

First up, a 66 page letter pressed booklet, dual language and illustrated drivers guide to the do's & don't of being a courteous and unselfish road user in the Federation in 1959.

Among the useful tips and laws
that are visualised by cliché illustrations, lies a whole section on 'Discourtesy'. Did you know that in 1959 it was considered a discourteous action to steer you car using one hand while the other was holding the roof - or a girl!


Help the sick, speak German & drive in Malaya

Last year during a house clearance I came into procession of a selection of books that once belonged to a nurse who served during the Second World War, and continued nursing into the 60's. In that time living in Germany, Italy, Kenya & Malaya.

They ranged from a 1939 Tenth edition of the  Dictionary for nurses (bottom right on image below) to a Malayan Highway Code (top right). With a few rather handy H.M. Forces language books (mostly German), published between 1942 & 1962 thrown in for good measure.

The other day I rediscovered these and have become absorbed in their style, layout and smell. So I thought I would share (not the smell, just think old books with a hint of loft and you have it) over the next few posts some of the selection below.

2010-11 A Food Odyssey

Last night I had the privilege of attending the private view of 'The Food Illustrator project'. A visual journal of David Meldrum's diet over the past year, totaling 365 illustrative montages of food and it's packaging.

David is a Graphic Designer and illustrator whose work I first encountered in the thinking mans food porn quarterly 'Fire and Knives'. Since then have followed his progress on this project up to last night.

On David's website he sums up the project:

'The Food Illustrator project acts not only as a record of what David has consumed, but also an historical record of today's food related trends, packaging, design and typography.'

While wandering the vast space of Arch 402 Gallery in Hoxton you are in awe at the volume of work, which is impressive. Each day captured and often crammed into the confines of a single A3 sheet.

The quality of the illustration is superb. Delicate yet confident lines that noticeably develop over the course of the year. Mixed in some cases with actual packaging and rendered in water colour, to make a rather visually appetizing account of his daily consumption.

On this food odyssey you the begin to notice and recognize certain patterns in your own relationship with food that David has highlighted. The Weekend splurge, the habitual mass weekday coffee intake and the odd (sometimes numerous) chocolaty treat. Which often in David's case are the 20p Freddo.

The years account of food can be found on here David's website, but would strongly urge people to go and see it as all proceeds from the exhibition will help raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease Association.



This past month has seen the S.O and I embark upon a new domestic era...

We have got a cleaner...

The appointment of this typically middleclass status symbol has not come from moving up the social ladder, or an increase in earnings, but from now being in 'Time Poverty'.

This decision has not come easy, and alternatives have been researched. For example the 'irobot' cleaner.

This was a serious contender for a while, but sadly for me has two major draw backs:

1. It, like the Daleks of old (pre 2008) is defeated at a change of level.

2. Given that it is 2011, I would have hoped that any robot domestic help should look like Rosie from the Jetsons, or at the very least Metal Mickey. Not some disc shaped poor mans Robot Wars reject they call a vacuum.

So instead we have a rather nice, tiny Brazilian woman with a penchant for tight fitting clothing and public displaying her underwear. 

I do hope that science catches up with fiction eventually and delivers some kind of obedient domestic AI. Obviously one that has no desire to over throw their creators, nor display homicidal tendencies. But one which just enjoys the simple pleasures of cleaning up our shit...

It's life Gin, but not as we know it

Photos taken using Instagram through  G&T's.

The great and the Goo'gle'd

As previously mused, I do like a good Google and I also fear it slightly.

Below a selection of the best celebratory Skynet logos this year:

Creatively contentious

The other day I had to send some original artwork to a client. Automatically offering to send it electronically by We Transfer. But the client still really wanted a CD.

A few days later, out of the blue I received some high praise for being so environmentally contentious on such a little thing.

To explain. Outside of the day job when I take on freelance, I tend to keep the two worlds apart. However, the environmental measures that surround my everyday (previously mused here) seem to have made an impact.

In truth all I had done is use a recycled card (cheap, very cheap) CD case and applied a witty (hand written) note. On the infrequent occasions I make up a CD pack, I recycle damaged/redundant Avery CD labels from day job projects. Frugal and sustainable!

As any savvy recycling pro will tell you, CD's have a less straight forward recycling procedure. So my 'on brand' label and note offer an alternative use for the CD.

I am aware of the fact I still sent a CD in the post and printed the label, that will have trace measurable emissions on the environment. However, I am aware of this, which for a designer is important.

Designers have and do play a key role in modern green issues. Especially within print and its effects on waste. Even the smallest measure, creative or obvious, can help generate awareness. My client now using We Transfer, but it is unknown if the CD is a coaster...

More information on small business greening, sustainability and physical impact by design can be found on the following links:

Lovely as a tree

Three trees don't make a forest


20cc of Charlie Sheen - Stat!

Cardboard Revolutions

In response to events in the Middle East, and following on from my flippant musing here, I would like to present my 'Civil Uprising Series'.

Former President of Egypt, Mubarak - 'De-Nile':

The deluded Col Gaddafi - 'Time to Re- coup':

And King of Bahrain Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa - 'A little less conversation, a little more action please':

Illustrated and rendered onto corrugated cardboard (the protesters medium of choice), with marker pens.

Not an easy medium to work on. Often creating unpredictable line variations, that do however add a certain rough quality to the typography.

However the simple line work versions (the designer etc house style) are still effective:

As inevitably more upheaval occurs around the north of Africa, I may add to the series. Perhaps even retro-fit a Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Tunisia) version into the set.

Hope you enjoy, etc

Big Brother...

Is Watching You...

In De-Nile

It is impossible to have missed the events that have unfolded within Egypt over the past 10 days. As the pressure mounts on the President to stand down and the casualties of the protests are counted. I wonder what the impact of being 'cut off' from the outside world has on a country? And what level of of unease does internet cause governments?

The dramatic pulling of the plug to minimise damage cause by organised protests is an act now deemed essential in these times. The internet has since been restored in Egypt. But the fact that
the access to information is being controlled has hits of the Orwellian to it (as previously mused here and here).

On the other hand, the fact that without the internet and major communications, the 'traditional' and pre-digital methods still seem to be as effective. Not to mention creative and dare I say, amusing.

Did inspire this contribution:

Do forgive the pun. I'm sure has already been considered and illustrated (then scrapped). I was thinking it much like Shepard Fairey's 'HOPE', masterfully rendered on some corrugated
cardboard, held aloft with broom stick...

I digress...

The actions in Egypt have polarised the need for 'internet cut off' protocols over here. This week the police have been urged to alter their practices when handling protests. Following in the wake of the mass online organisation and social network 'attacks' that were evident during the university fees demonstrations that police just simply were unprepared for. 

Obviously blog etc is not the platform to suggest what should be done here or abroad. However; regardless if it is a facebook flash mob or a crowd with home made banners. The people will be heard.



As usual.

Dipping my toe back into self indulgent, sometimes informative, and very opinionated world of blogging.

Thanks for the notes of concern to my whereabouts and recent drop in postings.

By notes I do actually mean: Two snide verbal remarks, three tweets, two direct messages and a text. But notes none the less.

So now moving on, blog etc is back (again)

To do list:

I'm back on blog etc (I seem to say that a lot!). Never was actually away, more just kept away.

It is safe to say that 2011 has got off to an abysmal start...

Despite the much needed two week festive break being a marvellous one. The re-entry to work was (and still is) a little bumpy. Deadlines shifting, budgets busting, people imploding, clients exploding and overtime is now all the time.

So I have made a list (ever so slightly contrived).
It is short, but you should see my other list..

Hopefully blogging like it's 2005 again soon.

> Finally post a blog in January - (tick)...

That's a Wrap!

Just a quick post to show off and be smug at completing all our Christmas wrapping etc.

This year an 'Active Palette 1 ' colour theme, with retro branding. Styled by the S.O.

Merry Christmas etc...

Branding a pub crawl

Last weekend saw the 5th Annual Samuel Smiths London Pub Crawl. In honor of my friend Gardner's 30th birthday.

Following on from my background work last year, This year we took it one step further....

We had steins made and more beer matt's to commemorate this milestone in life and the growing popularity of the Crawl.

As the 20+ of us worked our way around the cream of London's Sam Smith Pubs, we became the envy (and perhaps nuisance) of all other non branded patrons, trying to enjoy a cheap pint on a Saturday afternoon.

Interestingly, Sam Smith pubs often occupy buildings of historical interest, or themed to pay homage to historical events and people. The Champion (often regarded as the flagship of the pubs) is no exception.

A classic Victorian Pub by design that sits quietly tucked away behind Oxford Street. With large lanterns marking its position on the street, are the only signal that it is a pub.

Once inside you are greeted by the textbook wooden and leather finishing's that are synonymous with the chain. But it is the stained glass windows that set this one apart.

The following is an extract and explaination from a review on

- Samuel Smith's took over the pub in the early eighties after it had fallen into disrepair for a second time. They commissioned York artist Anne Sotheran to create this homage to British champions, some world renowned, others obscure even in their own era.

W.G. Grace, Florence Nightingale and David Livingstone, are set amongst less famous, but justly deserving champions such as Captain Matthew Webb, the first person to swim the English Channel; 'Young' Thomas Morris, champion Scottish golfer who died aged 24 and tobogganing champion Bertie Dwyer who won the Grand National twice at St. Moritz in the 1890's. -

Bertie Dwyer captured in stained glass glory below.


To conclude, it was a rather good crawl. Surprisingly; not one stein was harmed during the proceedings.

Same time next year!? Suggestions for ideas of pub themed collectables welcomed.

Award Winning - Sustainable Creative Hub!

Just rolls off the tongue...

Two years ago  my day job decided to relocate it's London office to a larger warehouse style premises. In doing so, they also made the decision to retrofit the early 20th century building with sustainable measures. Creating the awarding winning office that we work in today.

The 'studio' as it is known, has won a fist full of awards since the start of the year (See here, here, here, here and recently here). We have been on a roll this past fortnight!

The awards commonly recognise the approach taken of environmentally bringing up to date existing building stock and the implementing a change of culture with staff - 'Sustainable Thinking'.

While the trumpet is still blowing; our flagship project Graylingwell Park has also just won two sustainable awards (See here and here). Reinforcing the Practices mantra that we 'Preach what we Practice'.

Since the downturn, the 'studio' has gone through a few changes. Moving from being a wholly JTP office, to becoming a kind of 'Creative Hub'. Now home to a digital consultancy, design agency, urban designers, landscape architects, independent practitioners and even a dog. The building was designed to accommodated up to 130 people over 4 floors, with a variety flexible spaces and open floor plan. Making studio co-habitation easy. It also offers opportunities for collaboration across disciplines, all under one roof.

Its not quite as creative a hub as the Tea building, yet is a larger scale (but nowhere near as cool) than Open Studio (featured In November CR).

So a little pat on the back for our little 'sustainable creative hub' (if you like).

Definitely an example of the modern shared studio in action.

Inside a creative mind in 20 slides.

Last night the D&AD hosted as part of their President's (whom also earlier in the day addressed the World!) Lecture series, a Pecha Kucha event 'Everything Is More Interesting Than Your Desk'.

PechaKucha, which apparently means 'chit-chat', is a presentation methodology, that are often held as an event. Each presenter is allowed 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds. Giving the presenter just 6 minutes 40 seconds. To convey an idea, a theory, a interest or a random stream of consciousness etc.

Devised as a method to reduce long presentations, into concise, short and hopefully more enjoyable experiences. A challenge for some!

So last night at the D&AD saw a creative pedigree and wet dream of presenters including:

The wonderful illustrator and observer of social subtext: Mr Bingo.

Curators of my habitual creative web haunt, It's Nice That.

The swanky jacket wearing  genius designer, Simon Waterfall.

And the Advertising Man, Myth and legend: Graham Fink.

Oh and Neville Brody. Who was a bit odd.

An engaging, interesting and quick night. Hopefully the highlights of the event will be uploaded on to the internet soon.

a few of the memorable takeaway (you will see what I did there) notes from last night include a find by Its Nice That . A warning to never Fly Delta to Atlanta. Finding out Mr Bingo was a dress wearing child, and that he is as funny in life as in his work. Capping the evening with Mr Fink bringing to the fore the realisation that any memory from our childhood has no physical correlation with our bodies today "who the fuck do you think you are"...

Truly a great opportunity to get an insight into what makes some of these talented designers tick.

But the real winner is the format. Pecha Kucha allows the audience to flick through inside the mind, ideas, processes, history or experience of the presenter. Set to a slightly hurried narrative. Perhaps not the way forward in a pitch or interview (too many 'fuck's might slip in), but a great way to get involve a share with people.

Thanks D&AD, more please.

Walk(man) no further

The Sony Walkman is no more. At a mere 31, the production of bulky cassette player has finally ceased.

And with it the memory of the mix tape.

Now gone are the days forcing a eclectic jumble of genres onto a C90. Dressed with some personal artwork or cutout from Smash hits. All to win the heart of another... Well sort of.

The 'playlist' or even a 'cd' lack the emotional resonance and romance that is associated with the creation of the mixtape. Let alone the listening...

The Walkman and the mix tape were the power couple of the 80's. Making music collections portable. Perhaps because of its impact the delayed retirement is in respect to what it had achieved and the legacy it has left.

I wonder if ipod is now having a mid-life crisis? At 9 years old, it must be wondering if it will make it 30 with the likes of Spotify lurking in the shadows.

R.I.P Sony Walkman

Curiouser & Curiouser

As previously tweeted. Got a chance to swing by the Hendricks 'Horseless Carriage of Curiosities' at Lunchtime.

The event is being held at the popular 'pop up' spot, the a former petrol station on Clerkenwell Road. Which prior to this was the 'Cinerleum'.

While enjoying a complimentary G&T with a couple of colleagues (one who was there for event research, honest), we perused this 'curious promotional - pop up - publicity stunt or 'CPPUPS' for short:

Do enjoy a bit of 18th century carnival of the strange style graphics and collectable ephemera. Used to good effect and in keeping with current trends as seen here for example for this years Movember promotions.

Coincidentally, one of the promotion 'chaps' was DJ for a Movember launch party and happens to work for moustache wax firm Bounder! Now that's casting.

Gin is often a big feature of my drinking habbits, and since seeing this at The Jeckyll & Hyde pub a few months back.

Which now has become the matra for the end of the week and something for all Gin lovers, admirers and auditors!

Tomorrow's Friday!

D&AD Sticker Book - Found!

An apologetic start regarding image quality. My now totally unreliable Nokia has just added the camera to the list of things that now do not work properly. So other than odd colour variants, also note the annoying dark dot that is now a frequent feature on my pictures. I am on the case...

Anyway: Further my previous post, have found another gem while moving (now moved). The 2004 Presidents Lecture programme styled in the form of a collectable superhero sticker book called 'Creative heroes'.

Sadly it is incomplete. In fact nothing has even been stuck in. Five stickers came with the sticker book as a drop out in Creative Review a long time ago. In fact, two magazine restyles ago!

A pleasing find, yet wish I had collected the others stickers.

But on the upside, of the stickers I have they do include my creative crush and pencil magnet Michael Johnson.

Great little flashback. Anyone one want to do some designer 'swapseys'?

Designers Handbook - Found!

While having a bit of a tidy up pre office move uncovered 'The Designers Handbook'.

"This book provides essential practical reference for every designer, whether a seasoned professional, an aspiring student or enthusiastic amateur..."

Published by Macdonald & Co 1983 (reprinted in 1987 as seen here)
By Alastair Campbell

It would appear that almost 20 years on since the original publication it has been updated.

The pages on this copy have yellowed and you would not trust the colour charts, but this book (83 & 87 edition) is still rather relevant in understanding the fundamental principles of design, which never differ regardless of time frame.

However, It will go in a box, be moved, unpacked, placed on a shelf then forgotten until the next move.

Es Scorchio

Blog etc is back from a much needed escape and brain reboot in Barcelona.

Cultural highlights include almost getting burnt alive in 'Fire Run' and almost getting burnt alive during the protests last Wednesday...

However, nothing hardens you more than a few firework burns and being trapped in a Zara lock in. Having taken refuge during a melee between the police and protesters as part of the anti-austerity demonstrations last week.

This aside, after a few days being absent of any thoughts, a few design observations did occur:

Tapas 24

One of the most popular tapas bars in the city, offering a twist on the traditional and the mainstream. The 'Mc Foie' Burger is worthy a try. But more importantly and in this case relevant, are its design and branding, right down to the menu and eating utensils pocket. I was impressed.

Another lesser design spot, more an opportunity for 'guerrilla graphics', was a poster featuring Julia Roberts for Lancôme.

The paper has been made wrinkly by moisture seeping into the adshell and the effect caused... Watch out skin cream advertisers...

Some of the Catalan bars (you will know them, as your best Spanish will be spat back at you, and you will be grateful with whatever you are given) had the Catalan alphabet on display. The above was found on the back of the gents door.

A few comic translations and amusing typos (pot calling kettle... I know) did provide some amusement:

The laminated codfish and home maid tapas, sound delightful.

The previously mentioned 'riots' left some well executed graphics as a legacy to the event.

'Give a man a board, a stick and some paint and you have a protester. Give a man creative suite and a street artist...'

This is an excellent example of lack of understanding of resonance that typography has:

I walked past this on the first day and there after was humming the theme to Battlestarr Galactica.

As ever the S.O and I indulged in a few Epicurian delights and several buckets of Gin, including a revisit to try the 18 course menu (having previously done the 10) at Dos Palillos

More blogging later. I have to readjust to doing actual work again, need a gin!

Pixilated / Polaroid joy

The turtle trouncing jumping plumber known as Mario, turned 25 at start of the week. Triggering all kinds of Nintendo esq nostalgia everywhere and lots of peripheral Nintendo memories in me, like this, this, this, this and sadly this.

Furthermore; since Monday I have been looking for this photo.

Which I found last night. It was taken in early 2002 with a Polaroid Joycam in my student house during my second year at uni. To capture the console evolution to date (well to 2002). There is even a rouge PS2 next to the NES and a BBC (!!!) in the top left!

The N64 was mine (second hand), but I only had one controller and the most rubbish game ever made, Pilotwings. So I gave it to my then house mate, (after uni) who oddly had three controllers, Goldeneye and Mario Kart, but no console!

Happy days.

Under the cover of darkness & blogging

In rallying to the call of Ben Terrett's plea on twitter this weekend. I am blogging this small post (and possibly pointless) instead of tweeting it. Committing more that 140 characters to the cause.


So, last night under the cover of darkness, the S.O and I set up a micro photographic studio. Referring back (way back) to a practical blog post by my chum (and born again student) Royale.

As you can see the studio has a 'working off the kitchen table feel', that's because it was. Do note the living salad in the corner...

The S.O will be launching a new venture in the coming months. Which will feature here as my own blood, sweat, tears and beer (hopefully i will get beer) will be spilt (not physically, but metaphorically*) in getting the venture going....

* Nothing will be spilt, I promise!



Sex, lies & Super 8

Mad Men returns...
The now unavoidable slow burning phenomenon of 1960's culture and style, that has us chain smoking and knocking back the bourbon after every episode. Mad Men returns to BBC 4 tomorrow (4 months early!!).

Regulars here know I love a bit a of TV, but of late my taste has matured a little... Don't get me wrong. I do still enjoy the high saturation and low intellectual value of CSI. But recently my brain seeks 'thinking mans' drama, and media in general... Recently, while taking some time off to stall the rapidly crumbling decor of my flat, I found my self yo-yo-ing between Radio 2 and 4. Time it right, you get Woman's Hour on 4 then Pop master with Ken Bruce on 2... Also back to reading Monocle and found myself looking in the window of Clarks at high arched shoes... Anyway.

Perhaps it's more to do with getting a bit older (sigh), or more likely I have succumbed to the 'charms' of Cristina Hendricks' Joan Harris (formerly Holloway). Or developed a man crush on the philandering Don Draper, with his sharp suits, confident swagger and what now would be deemed socially disrespectful approach to women (current England Squad withstanding, of course). Either way Mad Men is brilliant. The S.O and I have assimilated the third season in a week just to be up to date.

Any students of semiotics in advertising will be enjoying themselves as they watch the 'Mad Men' carve out 'new' identities for what are essentially similar products to those around them. Injecting them with distinct(ish) persona's and ideologies that appeal to the person you want and wish to be in the racially prejudiced, gin soaked and secretly cancer ridden 60's. (For further reading try 'Decoding Advertisements' by Judith Williamson)

Mad Men has clearly triggered a growth in influences of 60's styling and nostalgia, let alone an increase in sales of scotch! The meticulous details that makes the award winning show so great are now becoming evident the fashions and homes of 2010.

From a design point of view, the show offers opportunity for brands / industries to capitalize on historic time line the show follows. The Beatles, Vietnam, Equal right and the 70's amongst the many on the horizon, smart thinkers and Don Draper's might want to start looking back to get ahead.


Not posted anything for a while, it's that time of year when work colleagues vanish for the summer, leaving the unlucky few to hold the fort. So in short been busy.

It's my chum Mike (previously mentioned here
)'s birthday today.

This qualifies him for a hilarious designer etc doodle.

Hopefully he enjoyed it, as I hope will you.


Roll out RoboCop!

As part of the 'Alamo Drafthouse Cinema' August Film Tour (now that's a mouthful). A series of posters have been produced as a suite to bring together some very eclectic cult films. The posters are designed by Olly Moss.

The theme of the road show is inspired by the 'American Worker'.

Nice work.

The anatomy of 'Romcom' typography

While on a bus last week, I saw a familiar looking ad for the recent(ish) film, The Rebound.

It was familiar in the sense that I have seen it (or something similar) somewhere before: Here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here!

I have come to realise that the 'Go To' typographic execution
for the Romcon is thus:

Given the nature and audience of such films, I'm sure attention to detail in the poster and in particular the typography is not given a second thought. Until now.

Sadly there really is not a lot to it, much like the films!

A thing that pushed my button!

Every morning on route to the day job I walk past the A - Z Office Centre. A rather good looking stationers on the corner of St John Square in London.

It is always shut. This is due to time of day passing, not lack of custom.

Every time I pass it, it draws a smile. Simply from the joy of the sign writing.

In a previous lifetime I worked for a small sign writers in west London. Back then (1999-2000) the brush work was carried out by my then boss and his brother. Their father set up the business with and for his sons at the end of the Second World War as one of the first commercial trade artist's in the south.

The confidence of line, understanding of space and steadiness of hand is sight to behold, and one which today is hardly ever seen in the world of the vinyl graphic.

Forgive the cliché. I do think it had a big influence on becoming a graphic designer.

Even with the finger pointer being 'slightl'y off-centre, I can't fault it. Perhaps a bias view given my first hand experience of watching a steady hand produce what I would describe as 'perfectly imperfect' letterforms.

Since when was a Volvo sexy?

Historically the safe children's carrier of choice amongst the well healed 2.4 families in the 80s and 90s, until the arrival of the Chealsea tractor.

The Volvo is now the carriage of choice and sex symbol for the emotionally tortured 'Twi-Hards'.


The Swedish car manufacturer (soon to be owned by the Chinese) is one of the brand sponsors of the Twilight Saga.

The Saga's lead character Edward, uses his many Volvo's to drive to school and perform neat J-turns in.

Admittedly, if I was a vampire, the herse like quality the Volvo offers would be a selling point. That or drive a Creepy Coupe from The Wacky Races! 

But really, does this make a Volvo sexy?

Perhaps with the dangers of supernatural love conflicts comes a desire for a safe and practical drive from your car...

The day after Sunday...

...Monday 28th June

What will England be like on Monday?

England face old foe Germany in the knock out stage of the World Cup, and its a game we must win.

As reported in Marketing Magazine this week the effect of England's so far lack luster performance has had an impact on sales of England tat and even the sales of beer!!
However, Wednesday night must have seen a spike in sales... At least street vomit.

As the excellent World Cup Nike advert alludes to, the possible outcomes of just winning the next game, let alone the whole World Cup could not be so far from the truth.

The thing is, as not one England player has shone so far, so the most popular footballer inspired baby name may still be up for grabs. 

Until next week then... That is unless the Carling drinking massive whom can be identified by their St George cross's hanging proudly from anything they own, destroy us because we lost...

This post is deliberately blank

Get the London look

Am I allowed to like this?

So now she can draw too.

She also has nice handwriting...


Happy Birthday blog etc

blog etc is one year old today.

Thank you to all those whom have visited (2341 at the time of posting), commented, commissioned and in some cases berated me and my blog.


An unrelated illustration below. One of those things you do, but do nothing with.

Drawing first blood

In the week that The D&AD Awards were held (last night to be precise) and the announcement of the new chairman, Dick Powell (this will be his second term), I received my invite to New Blood's private view.

(Major Woody's Converse not included)

The invites include one of the series of posters designed for the event. Mine came with the new Chairman as seen above.

Nothing beats an evening of envy (or evenings, if you happen to swing by a couple of design degree shows, as is customary this time of year) to prompt and remind you of why you want to be in design and feel privileged if you are.

As the day goes on information and highlights of last nights awards are filtering to design populous, those on twitter would have enjoyed a constant feed last night.

As an recent 'joinee' of Twitter, I enjoyed the blow by blow updates from the D&AD (would rather have been there...). But more so the progressively less detailed, incidental and drunk updates from Ben Terret.

Incidentally; Follow me on Twitter, then stop. Which seems to be the theme, especially with the Latin ladies with numbers in their names and miscellaneous design groups in China....

JTP rebrand launch event - Thursday 27th May

You may have noticed that I have been absent from blog etc for the last month. The reason why I can now reveal.

In my day job, working in a top architectural practice in Clerkenwell, I have been coordinating (and in some parts masterminding) a brand re-launch.

The official line goes as follows:

"To coincide with John Thompson & Partners (JTP) 15th anniversary. The practice has implemented a brand refresh of its identity and visual presence under consultation with design consultancy Hat-trick.

Hat-trick had previously worked with the practice on a visual 'wordscape' project and the internal way-finding and environmental annotation system of the practices' award winning sustainable studio in London.

The brief included an audit of printed material, website and logo. Providing consultation and strategic advice on a visual way forward. The work was then carried forward by JTP's In-house design team.

Hat-trick's services were retained to design and produce the new practice promotional publication 'Collaborative Placemaking'. An essay exploring the process of designing sustainable neighbourhoods.

The new identity, website and essay will be launched at the practices 15th anniversary celebrations held at their award winning studio in Clerkenwell on Thursday 27th May."

So last night was a rather swanky, yet unorthodox shindig at the JTP London office. The theme was a 'taste of street life' with street artists (european street art finalists...), caricaturist, magicians, nail bar and even a bucking bronco.

Aside from the public spectacle, there was a lot of brand development that as previously mentioned, was worked on with Hat-Trick and my in-house team in the build up on show on the night.
Outcomes included: Logo, logo guidelines, brand extension and services applications. The new logo has also been applied to a number of external features including a 30 foot banner.

The brand re-launch and marketing strategy has allowed the practice to pick itself up after last year and put in place a legacy that will take it forward into the future.

A new website was also launched last night.

And conveniently the party clashed with the conclusion of Clerkenwell Design Week, so our party eclipsed some of the parties happening in the St John Street area!

Even got a normally reserved and serious Gareth form Hat-trick to have a
caricature done, but not luck getting him on the bronco!


In this months issue of Blueprint (shall I say, current issue, only just got
around to reading it), Erik Spiekermann looks at the similarities in
Architecture and typography in the context of composition, layout and

The idea of somehow combining these disciplines would make for an
interesting collaboration. 'Typographic Masterplanning' with 'Letterform
unit types' (TYPO-logies).

As seen above, my one bed, split level Helvetica Bold 'T' Flat/house type,
could be an example of a series of design projects that could explore this
idea. Potentially with greater finesse than my execution, despite my
experience in architecture...

To be able to apply rules of typography to urban design would be a great
challenge.  Although, being a graphic designer, I would want to work in
a linier grid, similar in urban terms to an American street grid.

Might tinker with this in the coming weeks. See what I come up with.

A Bourne Identity Crisis?

Last week saw the roll out of the Ravensborne College new identity (seen below in print in this latest issue of Design week).

The new identity co-insides with the colleges move to a new building in the shadow of the 02 this autumn. Coincidentally, my good chum Royale, whom has headed back to shelter of education at Revensborne (a student in a grown up body) sent me the inside track last night.

Early feedback from the student body is suggested not to be positive.

The identity and its applications were created by Johnson Banks. As previously mentioned on blog etc, I am a big MJ fan, so much so, I am tempted to buy this months Creative Arts Magazine, purely because it has a feature about Johnson Banks that is ironically about their logo pedigree...


Today we thank god...

... for a four day weekend.

Another vintage illustration that has surfaced in similar vain as this previous post  (or any other sketch on this site for that matter).

Long Easter weekend awaits. Shame about the reality of getting five days work into four, two weeks in a row. Sigh.

I see dead..

... signs!

Another CR related nugget in the form of 'Ghost signs', feature in the subscribers only Monograph this month.

Spotted one myself this weekend out in the burbs.

Kerning from a master

One of my old tutors from Staffordshire University has made an appearance in this month’s sexy issue of Creative Review (also seen here).

Big shout out to the alumni of Staffs (2002/2003) and Jim

Etc x

Food porn

Last night the lines were again blurred between cooking and pornography.

The Delicious Miss Dahl made a perhaps unconvincing case that she is a foodie and a cook last night. Issues about her extreme weight change and lust of small men withstanding, her slender supermodel frame made for enjoyable viewing. Yet many will draw similarities in the finger licking and cleavage shot techniques of the buxom Nigella.

She left viewers with the decision of heading off to make what she made (to maybe vomit it up later), or just have a wank into a copy of Good Food...

The Great (communication) Wall Of China falls!

Today Google have lifted its censorship of content into the country, now allowing content in that would previously be deemed inappropriate or in conflict with the countries political and cultural beliefs.

As blog etc readers will know, I like Google, I have monitored Googles relations with other countries, and even made apocalyptic comparisons with homicidal artificial intelligence of the future.

But can not help wondering, if a brand/company has the power to take on a superpower?

Otherwise as advised before, China ma be  left with only one course of action...

Almost falling off the edge of the world...

This is not the edge of the world.

This is Lymington in Hampshire, near the S.O's family outpost, I mean home. But judging by what there is to do there, it may as well be.

Just a courteous update post (with nothing to actually update with).

I have been stupidly busy of late professionally, personally and squeezing in the odd bit of  freelancing. Thank you to those whom have enquired to my whereabouts.

Some of this 'busyness' should feature here soon. Along with an imminent site upgrade and twice postponed content update etc.

Washing with similar colours

The Drama Continues - etc

Although the CSI Trilogy was a let down, and Flashforward has vanished? Channel Five's latest (and rather nice) campaign 'The Drama Continues' (seen here or here), brings together a cross network and character collaboration that reminds the viewer of the caliber of American drama the channel has (which I think it has to).

Found. The El Dorado of stuff!


Back from a short epicurian break in Barcelona. Foodie's listen out. Dos Palillos is the recommendation of the trip. Set up by a prodijay of El Bulli, a long standing Michelin 3-star Catalan restaurant. This place could easily follow suit. Its size and location make for an exclusive dining experience... Anyway I digress.

A slightly sad highlight was the discovery of an emporium of wonder...

This shop has everything from day wear to hardware, DIY to high art, 128 piece china sets to 1:24 scale model people, curtains to in-house graphic design studio...

Spent far too long in there, the S.O was tempted to buy everything. I to was tempted by a 80 inch wall mounted piella dish, a village of small people and some adhesive stained glass by the roll!

Shame bout the piss poor typeset sign, even with the inhouse expertise.   


Last night commenced a cross franchise brand extension opportunity with a converging story arc, creating a high saturation - low concentration television extravaganza called CSI Trilogy.


However: A nightmare to those who like things to run in chronological order... Seems Cole Deschanel from Sunset Beach (remember that?) is a cast member in Miami now???

Still amazing, more please

Valentines critique

Each year the S.O and I tend to steer clear of general Valentines Day guff and traditions, but we do however make cards for each other... Well you can’t ignore it completely.

Besides, I needed an excuse to come up with something decent in respect of the recent stirling efforts by the S.O for my birthday.

A card a day, for the 30 days leading up to my big 3-0. Maximum points for effort and planning, with extra credit for variety of typefaces. I am a lucky guy I hear you all  cry.

So this valentines I went for a 'mix tape' themed card, but with a twist... Buy making the card a CD (not a tape), throwing out the window the romantic mix,
in favour of a hip-hop compilation called 'Its Sexy Time'.

Forgoing the sensual love song in favour of a booty whacking, dirt talking, ho slapping, sex planet (?!?), lap grinding, explicit lyric R&B vibe.

Note the Urban script font ‘civilian’, courtesy of Dafont.

Yet despite my best efforts I am beaten (again) into submission by some rather impressive scalpel work.

Is blog etc:

A) Nakedly self-promotional
B) Observational
C) Instructional
D) Online curation(al)

The reason I ask stems from Adrian Shaughnessy's article in this weeks Design Week (040210). Where he remark on the design blog genre.

My View: blog etc was originally built upon being A, but then become empowered to deliver more B posts, occasionally alludes to C in posts and by being a blog makes it D.

The Worst Day Of My Life...

Well not really.

'The Worst Day Of My Life' is a book written and designed by my pal Stu, who incidentally is a cover designer and part time closet writer. He made this to me as a gift for my birthday.

Its an amusing adventure set against a end of the world scenario, which sees yours truly as the main protagonist, battle my way to survival. The book was produced and published via

Given that 2010 is the year of self publication (according to Adrian Shaughnessy), this is a great start to Stu's year and I am secretly hoping for more (they don't necessarily have to be a bout me).

Thanks Stu.

I am David Cameron of Borg...

Make your own here.

Footnote: Star Trek TNG Ref incase you did not know...

Blog etc

Lets have a look at what you could have won...

Well, been sent anyway.

Right, following on from my birthday party post.

A comedy of errors occurred, including the weather and stiff work deadlines, which resulted in the invite never actually being printed (sigh).

However, on the brightside, the mass emailing, posting here and the circulation of the event via the 'S.O's' facebook, has presented an almost 100% return on RSVP's.  Perhaps illustrating that the need for 'print'  (in this case a printed invite) is less these days...

This has also made the publicity for the party very very sustainable.

Just to prove that there was an invite see here:

Was simply to be an 8 page A6 folded from a A3 sheet (not very exciting). To be printed on a 'Smash Hits' poster like stock. I even designed a little map for the geographically challenged. But this never manifested itself, which perhaps is a good thing.

But then I had an idea. Given the lack physical invite and inspired by this years Christmas card offering by my pal Stu.

I have chosen to borrow (cough) his idea (sorry Stu). In initially creating some decorations for the party (still in production) to then devising a print at home, 'Cut out and keep' invite Downloadable here:

But actually not a invite, as has no party info on it... More of just a thing now!

Below the prototype of how it should look etc...

Dave air programme on

James May's sexual persuasion.

Who knew?

Visual Seduction etc

Just finished reading 'The Language of Things', a gift from Major Woody (thank you).

An interesting and quirky read, perhaps aimed at all those who, if like me, as part of the required reading during their Art Foundation days were encouraged to read 'Ways of Seeing'.

The books analytical nature beautifully rationalizes why you salivate at the seduction of the stylings of say, a new ibook. Then slaps you in the face with the reality that your saliva (and finger grease) will actually eat away at the black polymer that gives the Mac its sleek, perfect, must have finish.

Give it a Whirl.

What type am I?

Interesting post via CR Blog.

Follow the link via CR Blog or this link password 'Character'.

Today China...

Tomorrow the world!!!

As people whom read this blog will know. I like Google. I like to 'Google'. But now I may start to fear Google (or at least not mess with).

Over the festive season, some friends and I were discussing what a powerhouse Google has become,and it was only a matter of time until it becomes 'Skynet'!

Logo created at here btw.

What a great opponent to start with, China.

So after the nuclear winter is over and those not lucky enough to be dead and thus hunted by T-800's, will look back on this day and think why did nobody act...

There is only one way to stop this happening...

I am designer etc, I am the resistance... etc!

Is it your time to be a mummy?


Turning 30, time for a party etc

Thanks to the wintry conditions causing delays in getting my invites back from the printers, I am having to take a potentially risky avenue of advertising my 30th Birthday celebrations online...

If you have been directed here via personal email:
Below is full details and reminder of the event (and welcome to blog etc).

Please let me know if you are attending by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post.

If you are here by your own accord or an avid follower (or friend or both) of the nonsense that fills these pages, feel free to come along. It might be interesting if not a little weird.


The Event:
Adam Bowie’s 30th Birthday Party

Date & Time:
Saturday 30th January 2010
7.30pm to Midnight
29 -33 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8PG

Dress Code:
Please attend in an outfit styled, influenced by
or in homage to the 1980’s.
Feel free to be as ‘far-out’ or ‘conservative’ as you like.

RSVP Email:

RSVP Here:
Please post a comment if you are attending

How to get there:
The venue is located on the corner of Grey’s Inn Rd and Theobald’s Rd.

Nearest tubes: Chancery Lane, Holborn and
Farringdon (including overground connections
to British Rail services).

The venue is within short walking distance of bus stops that connect to London Bridge and London Waterloo stations.

See you there (or not) etc!

2010 etc

After two weeks off and the shock readjustment of having to work again, I am pleased to announce we are in a new decade...

Welcome 2010!

The biggest issue thus far six days in (aside from the current wintry conditions) is; What do we call 2010?

Twenty-Ten or Twothousand and Ten???

An issue that has already been exhaustedly covered by other blogs. So my two pence on the matter:

What was 1920 called?

Having just read that, in your mind you will have read 'Nineteen-Ten' I wager...

Anyway, while away the 'S.O' and I would keep the design half of our brains active by passing critical judgment on everything from Christmas cards and wrapping to TV idents and commercials. To have come to the difficult conclusion that the pick of the bunch was this...

Yes an advert for the SUN (sigh, shudder and a little bit of sick in my mouth), but an amusing spoof.

Moving on, the worst appeared yesterday...

To quote the story on the  Marketing Week website:

[... Tina Shortle,’s marketing director, says: “Iggy loved the fact that last year’s campaign stirred up a lot of emotion, so this year we’ve played on the controversy with even more irreverent humour. The introduction of ‘Little Iggy’ allowed Iggy to play against type and become the chilled-out, golf-playing rock star whilst ‘Little Iggy’ causes havoc.”]

Without wanting to start the year on a negative note, what bollocks!
'more irreverent humour'.

It did however remind me of a lesser known Gerry Anderson charatcer of the 80's.

'Arrrhhhh Zelda'


Another Christmas in the trenches...

And that's it for now...

Parties to go to,
trains to fall asleep on,
presents to buy that nobody wants,
customary arguments with siblings to be had,
obligatory helping of Christmas cake that no one likes,
a Gin & Tonic and a hand full of nuts shortly after breakfast,
accidentally saying fuck in front of Granny, then bollocks, then C*nt, then
all three!

Merry Christmas etc

Blogging along (etc)

Seven months in and in reflective mood (last official working day of the year!), it is time to reflect a little.

As hinted about in a pervious post, I am a established Graphic Designer (infact a Design Manager) at a Architectural Practice.

Like most, the last 12 to 18 months have been far from easy. This year has seen job security, available work and clients with money, all uncertain or non existent and thus spurned the creation of designer etc.

This website (blog) and work related to it, have been my creative mistresses. While the tired, now less attractive wife still keeps the home running (bleak yet amusing metaphor). Now in late  December 2009, as we start to awaken the sleeping economic leviathan that is our business, it is difficult to define a clear way forward. Both with my mistress and my wife (work that is, not significant other). As the goal posts of expectations, experience and reality are all moving in different directions, it is impossible to satisfy them all.

Less jobs, more graduates, no permanent contracts, employers offering less but expecting more, bills and mortgages to pay but lives still to live and design still to be done!

Without the last 12 months, I may not have started this website. My friends and contacts have incurred troubles and had success in equal measure. I think it would be impossible to suggest any decision made in that time was either right or wrong. The fact a decision is made is enough.

As for now, I may trade my wife in for a slimmer younger model, make the right or wrong decision in the process, but I will always have my mistress... The website that is....

Christmas etc

Firstly, Merry Christmas from blog etc

My frankly piss poor blogging of late has been due to the comedy of errors known as Christmas. Being unseasonably busy coupled with the now anxious shopping for things people neither want nor need, has left little time for merriment and blogging!

This has however presented an opportunity for more personal work, filling those precious few moments of free time, with more design work...

You see my Significant other or the 'S.O', has been pursuing other creative ventures this year (watch this space!). So much so, that our own 'in-house' (flat!) design output has been effected. (NB. By output I mean the customary cards, gift and other creative sundries expected by our family, friends and creative peers)

Anyway. Of recent festive and holiday times, I have been absolved of responsibility for the Christmas cards and invites since my Easter 2007 card 'Star Trek Resurrection' (seen below).

Seems despite some creative genius, social context and the craft of these. In particular the semi religious undertones of Star Trek 3 - The Search for Spock parodied in the crucifixion of Christ, were somehow overlooked!?

Since then, the S.O has taken creative lead, and to great effect ;) But thanks to her over working, this year I have made a comeback!

Those whom have perused this site will have noted a typographic Easter offering, that did not offend or upset anybody. Apart from those who lack creative vision or are visually imbecilic.

So to complete a theme for the year, I have now amazingly managed to drag the idea out into a Christmas card range.

The Santa is a bit crap, but rather pleased with the other two.

A limited print run of 20 of each design was produced....

Merry Christmas

blog etc / designer etc

"like Avant Garde, you make me hard!"

Neutra Face : An Ode On A Typeface (A Bearded Poker Face Parody)

Amazing for all the wrong reasons.

Transformers ROTF: Return of the Forgotten!

This past weekend was spent with our friends (Mike & Jen), enjoying more foodie wonders, including: A slightly delayed Thanksgiving Dinner and a visit to Heston's Pub 'The Hind Head' in Bray, amazing triple cooked chips and quail scotch eggs, yum!

One thing people who know of our chum Mike, is that he is potentially the number one fan of Transformers. I consider myself perhaps 10th or 11th. He boasts a rather impressive stock of toys and nostalgia that would be the envy of any 8 year old back in 1988.

While on a rummage though his stuff, discovered this old piece of work.

Five years old in fact. Note the excellent use of drop shadow, barcode and a Shetland pony...

Perhaps I need to move on with my illustrations... Least I'm consistent. Not bad if I do say so myself!

Anyway, was a splendid weekend and just as an example of Mike's obsession with Transformers check out below. The Transforming Bumblebee Blue Ray US Import and Mikes Cat, Bumblebee.

Old news, is still news!

As previously mentioned, been busy lately, so much so that I have accumulated a rather interesting pile of journals, periodicals and the staple well known design magazines courtesy of the slack circulation list at work.

Once dismissing Design weeks from the last 3 weeks and scurrying away the 2009 Creative Survey for my own records, (don't judge me, I this time around was the last on the list, so more fool those before me for not having the guts to take it). I then came to the Autumn volume of Eye magazine. (E magazine found here).

Packed with the usual high end design, plus this volume is the photography issue, it has some smart takes on Photojournalism. Ranging from the frontline of war to the front page Grazia, set out in its textbook slick editorial manner, that almost justifies the £17 price tag...

Furthermore, it has an article by my design crush Michael Johnson, who has on more than one occasion within this back log of design porn written some creative purple prose, including a rather good one for design week seen here. This plus the discovery last week that old 'MJ' can Wail like Hendrix, has cemented my lust for him in the same way my significant other and every 13 year old girl does for 'R-Patz', in the sexual angst themed Twilight Saga.

Anyway, as I write this before I to get depressed at the musing of Tyler Brûlé on how easy it is to start a business while wearing the latest Dior trenchcoat. I'm left wondering how does one find any time to conduct ones own design pursuits, when there is so much visual goodness around to absorb?  I need the Christmas break to catch up... One month to go... 'Yey, sigh and uguh' all at once.  Hope I get the new Adrian Shaughnessy book (Hint!).

There's no place like home...

Been away a bit of late ,occupied with work and play.

Just spent a epicurean and drink fuelled long weekend in Manchester. (Perhaps the strongest branded city in England, a topic for another day...) But we could have been in Oz!

Several occasions of encountering themed coasters, ruby slippers and the film itself. Topped off with the arrival of 'Dorothy' our friends Faye & David's little girl.

Better look out for flying monkeys next visit, or should I say when we 'Return to Oz'


Work etc: Private commission (well sort of) revealed

As promised on the build up to Christmas I can reveal some little projects I have been working on:

This past weekend was the 4th annual Sam Smiths Pub Crawl, in honor of my pal Gardner's Birthday.

For the past four years some of our chums have participated in a pub crawl based on the Ayingerbrau Challenge.

This year I decided (in cahoots with his significant other) to personalise the event (I have intended to do this for a few years now), and lay the foundations for artwork to promote the 'Big Crawl' for his 30th celebrations next year.

The concept was a reworking of the Sam Smith's Man in a box logo for their Alpine lager.

Below 'Dan (Gardner) in a Box'

Also below the birthday boy himself with a framed copy (what a lovely frame I bet you are all thinking) and a last minute edition of some beer mats that were hastily cut down on Friday night. Any attendees reading this will testify to the 'university project' feel of them.  The mats had a full lists of the pubs of this years crawl, and any imperfections about them were lost in a beery mist...

More work etc to follow.

'But Sir...It's only a waaaffffeeer thin exaggeration...

It was tasty Wednesday yesterday (every Wednesday is). A long standing excuse to eat nice things at work to celebrate breaking the back of the week.

This weeks tasty: The Tunnock's CARAMEL Wafer Biscuit.

On the back I noticed it boasts an impressive statistic:

Would guess that much like 'IRON BRU' the majority of these sales and consumption happens in Scotland. They maybe even deep fried or as part of an unbalanced diet. (forgive the stereotypes, but it is quicker).

Anyone got a Mintel login or some way to check the validity of this claim?

Vocational Halloween attire etc

This Saturday children (and adults) will be donning old sheets with hole for eyes, armed with buckets in the shape of pumpkins, escorted up and down residential streets in pursuit of free sweets... Or depending on your neighborhood: A Nutritionally balanced, Soya based alternative to sweets..

This week I discovered an illustration of how modern times have stripped the innocence from dressing up at this time of year. This Halloween children of perhaps well healed families might be sporting 'vocational fancy dress'..

This comes from an article sported in the Architectural press this week.

Does offer an interesting sociological observation of how well received a three and a half foot 'Barrister' or 'High Court Judge' would be when knocking at a door on local housing estate... Perhaps alternative outfits for consideration could be, 'Support worker', 'Pimp' or even a 'Job seeker' might be more apt, although less vocational of course.

Happy Halloween etc

Movember etc

Right, its been a busy week or so for designer etc. So much that poor blog etc has been a little neglected. Hopefully I will put up a few posts in the coming week. But, if I only get one up (whoops, unexpected pun) its important its this one:

To do my bit to help raise awareness and money for research and treatment of prostate cancer, I will be taking part in 'Movember' and growing a moustache! (Incidentally a rather well branded, accessible and well targeted piece of branding)

This will be a top lip quest to raise as much money as possible for a very worthwhile cause. It is estimated that 35.000 men are likely to be diagnosed this year with the potential of 10,000 dying in the same time frame, Movemeber is a worldwide event to help generate funding and more importantly awareness across the globe, and look a bit silly in the process.

For those interested:

You can view my 'Mospace' page

and also my 'Mo Bro' (and regular contributor to blog etc) Stu's here.

It is not the nature nor motivation of blog etc to seek, influence or demand any sort of sponsorship. but this is for a very worthwhile cause and I might end up looking like the love child of Will Young and Desperate Dan at a Village people concert!  Got to be worth the donation alone to see that!

The end is (almost) nigh!

Those who know me, know I'm a fan of the 'end of the world scenarios'. Be it zombies, viruses, vampires, aliens or any end of man kind apocalyptic scenario, I'm interested in it. Whether its Hollywood nonsense or conspiracy theory, I regard it as required viewing/reading as preparation for any such eventuality.

So I'm pleased at the November release of 2012.

Perhaps hedging their bets that the world might end in 2012, so would hate to miss out on the box office revenue...

So, other than ticking boxes and providing me with further tactics and checklists on survival, this film boasts some nice marketing, virals and printed media. Anyone passing Waterloo this week will struggle to miss the depiction of our non-future wrapped around the IMAX.

Upon the teaser trailer release last year, the film makes received strong opposition from watchdogs for its tagline which asks the viewers to 'find out the truth online'. leading 'Googlers' to sites that may have dubious and radical theories about the end of the Mayan Calendar. However since then, the marketing has focused on drawing people to 'plot related' sites and other media. One in particular worth a look is the 'The Institute for Human Continuity'.

This has echo's of the 'Lottery' in Deep Impact about it, but this is set in real time and has scope, depending on the outcome of the film, and indeed the world, could run on till 21st December 2012, and maybe beyond...

Define Retro?

The last week my wonderfully expensive designer watch (a gift from my significant other) stopped working. A mechanical malfunction that is fortunately covered by warranty.

But now having posted it to a PO Box in the midlands, with a 50% chance of seeing it again, I needed a temporary replacement. I cant live without a watch. A concept that the significant other can not grasp. In much the same way that I don't understand why she needs hundreds of pairs of earrings, sunglasses, shoes etc.

Anyway. I have purchased a Casio gents digital watch.

Taking this shot make me feel a little like Marcus Troy.

Since this purchase, people have already said how 'trendy' and 'retro' it is.

Now, whether or not this was purchased for fashion reasons, how can something be 'retro', if it has never gone away?

The Casio gents watch has been a longstanding feature in the Argos catalogue for years (this will be my third Casio in my lifetime).

A quick look up of the word 'retro' seems to imply that if anything, it is the bringing into popularity something out-modeded or reminiscent of things past.

The Casio if anything, is perhaps a design classic, but is it retro?

Granted, it is rooted in the 80's, but unlike the shoulder pads and neon leggings. did not go away, only to come back.

To conclude: Anyone looking to complete their ultimate 80's look, can buy this very watch (well near enough, and the Calculator watch) on a high profile fashion website for twice the price and in a verity of 'funky' colours...

But I'll stick with black, as goes with everything thus making it 'time'-less.


Tits, ass and...

cigarette ends...

This lovely lady was found outside one of Clerkenwell's trendy hotels. Printed (by the look of it, no way touching it) on the spunk resistant paper of choice glossy, which always shouts classy!

Seems like a solid sales package this girl is offering. Just wonder how her legal team get around the Trade Descriptions Act when the obese Polish sandwich lady turns up in the small hours...

Best Google's etc

I do enjoy a good 'Google'.

Even more so when there is a theme or occasion on the homepage. Like today the birthday of the barcode.

Would have been nice if in the generation of the barcode that the lines were made up by the colours the letters normally are.

Nevermind, the fact it would scan to read Google is enough!

I have a folder on my desk top that I keep screen grabs of Google logos and other stuff I come across. Below are a few 'Google's' that have tickled my fancy recently.

And here is some hopeful efforts that don't!

Previously on blog etc

The following is a recap on posts and goings on in blog etc...

Right. blog etc is back. Note and excuse the excessive use of the name (blog etc), hoping to dupe google in to moving my site (designer etc) up the rankings by mentioning blog etc a lot.


Just got back from a week in Seville. Unlike my previous holiday
, the visual stimulus was almost too much. That coupled with the fact that my significant other and I were sharing a camera. The outcome is a interesting juxtaposition of palm tress and plates of Jamon intermittently drizzled with images of stickers on lampposts and curser arrows made from mosaic tiles.

Speaking of mosaic... Flash Forward, Yep its good, which is annoying. Lets hope it runs without stagnation.

Also… Having said I'd rather look sideways.

I think I’ll look forward to 'Change'

This came to me one of those invasive emails that basically plots recent searches then 'Pings' you an email to offer you something similar or offer a pre-order... I once bought a Jeremy Clarkson Book for a birthday gift, and only recently has my Amazon profile page turned back to normal...

So I’m back now, lots to catch up on and finish, but I leave you with something I found while trawling a blotted Google reader this morning. It is from the CR Blog via this link, which was also spotted and sent to me by Major Woody

Oh, one last thing:

Blog etc, blog etc, blog etc, blog etc, blog etc, blog etc.


'app' allingly bad at languages

Currently in my day job as a designer in a Urban Design and Architectural practice (keeps the significant other and I in a lifestyle we have become accustomed to) in Clerkenwell,  we are developing new opportunities in China (along with everyone else). To the point now where we are having to adapt our visual and written material to appeal and communicate effectively to this emerging market.

I could list for you the numerous practices of dealing with single, dual and multiple language documents. Then in turn mention the pitfalls, cock ups and frustrations encountered with the use of 'foreign' typefaces paired with zero comprehension of the language, but I wont. All I can say is Chinese is a visual, creative and social minefield.

However, help maybe at hand! 'I love Manchester' (thanking you) recently pointed out to me the latest developments in Mac OS – Snow leopard (apples naming system is perhaps a discussion topic in itself).

It would seem as China increases its presence on the global stage, Apple has been quick to recognize the opportunity to make money in the immediate need to the understand Chinese, and thus making it more accessible to the general public, and perhaps us western designers.

There is even an 'app' on the iphone that a senior member of my office used to communicate and successfully navigate an almost incident free trip a few weeks ago to China. By almost incident free, I mean he incurred a few cultural 'Faux pas', that presently can not be remedied by an app!

Anyway, this aside, it is exciting that technology is generating 'applications' to assisted us as we travel and attempt to communicate across the globe.

However, the world is not ready to have people thrusting iphones into peoples faces so they can ask for two pints of mild and a packet of crisps. Ahh, when in Rome...

So on that note, I'm off on my break. Back in a week or so.

Would rather look sideways!

From this weeks Design Week Inspired segment.

I'm afraid I disagree. The first book I was encouraged to buy at uni was 'A smile in the mind'. I will grant you that has the ability to inspire and make you appreciate that sometimes simplicity in a idea is all you need.

However, it was only when discovering the The Art of Looking Sideways around a slightly better off friends breeze block, magnolian coloured cell, that I realised that context and social relevance define a simple idea and make it brilliant. The Art of Looking Sideways provides a more coherent path of the idea and the processes involved, rather than show you the finished product. This book has and continues to inspire me.


In another 'I love channel Five' post, it is with great excitement I await the start of Flash Forward, Monday 9pm on Five.

With the Mentalist between series and CSI Miami going off on a tangent in high saturated nonsense, there is high hope for this forcefully marketed new drama.

With Shakespeare in Love and the New Hikaru Sulu leading an otherwise 'remember the face, but can't recall where' cast, still looks promising.

With multi platform advertisements, like here and here in the similar vain of the Lost launch in 2004.  My personal fave back then was an article in the FT saying that 'Oceanic' stock had fallen since the disappearance of flight 815. With it the FT published a fake share index rating in the FTSE. Was clever if anyone saw it. In fact, does anyone still watch Lost?

Anyway, this is one of a possible two bonus posts pre break and site update.

Shamelessly it worked!

In an unusual yet eventful week that saw Philippe Starck launch a search for a reality designer, while at the same time implied that in buying a push bike was siding with slavery?!? And the sad death of Patrick Swayze.  Also saw blog etc's micro-readership grow, thanks to last weeks Question of the week on the CR Blog!

Please excuse the Murray from Flight of the Conchords with a hint of Frank Chimero style graph.

Quick Update:

Blog etc / designer etc is having a little autumn refit and a short break. So please check back soon.

Finally, hello to my new 'enhanced' readership, now that I have your attention, I will endeavor to keep you interested.

To blog or not to blog (etc)

Question of the Week 08.09.09 on CR Blog this week.

In a shameless attempt at increasing my mirco-readership, I made a comment.

A petit voyage le consumables

Right, Blog etc is back (excuse the previous post).

My significant other and my family enjoyed a relaxing time in the south of France. A very recession friendly break, free loading along with my siblings and their husbands, partners and children on the folks holiday.

However: Due to the remote location of our retreat, expeditions were few. So chances of getting visual stimulus was limited (as you can see). Apart from thats is the fantastic vistas that surrounded us: Rolling hills, fields of vines, sunflowers and so on. If your into that. Not my thing; I break into a sweat when I have not seen a 4 storey plus building in a while.

Anyway So below is the visual crème de la crème from the trip. (hummmm)

One last note: A book was recommended to me to prior to my holiday. I have very poor language skills, given my French spans 'Nicole - Papa' to 'Jacques Cousteau', I need it and perhaps worth a read before my next hop over the channel.

Blog etc is back and can't believe that...

... having worked for six years and spent four years in education, and still regard myself a student of design, I have been doing it the long way.

Looks like I could have done it in 3 months...

I had intended to make my first post-holiday post, a holiday post! But after seeing this in The Metro this morning I feel enraged.

'Learn Graphic Design Fast'. (Its that easy you know!)

Insulting to the industry?


'Soooo Wonely'

Yesterday the BBC website ran a feature on satellite images of North Korea.

This is an illustration of how the Internet, in this case Google, which I'm sure will be the new name for the internet before long (we do already 'Google it' anyway), can break through the iron curtains of secrecy.

However; all these images show you, is they do not keep their nuclear weapons on their roofs!!!

It would be interesting to see what restrictions the Government have placed on information from the outside world. What is Google's presence there? How easy it is to find out information on the rest of the world (apart from Russia and China!)? How does the countries isolation impact on their own culture?

We know that North Korea have historically produced an enormous catalogue of propaganda against the west, the latest today for example. All are well documented and potentially the largest/only export from the country. Some are rather good (graphically of course, politics is not the aim of blog etc). A nice example of one I found here after a quick 'Google'...

Forgive the illustration, getting carried away. The temptation was almost too much to animate this, glad i did not given the actual viability of what is shown.

All we can do is wait for North Korea's next weapons test. Lets hope things do not escalate...


The cherub faced, ginger mind bender performed another masterpiece last night in the Mentalist on Channel Five.

Anyone following this blog (hello to my micro readership), will remember this post, commenting on another great fictional ginger character, might gather that I like TV. In particular American serial drama. You have to agree they do a fine job: 24, The Wire, CSI, Dexter, House...

Anyway, The Mentalist does well (very well, here and in the US), and attracts in equal parts both genders. Women love him and men would like to be him. Patrick Jane effortlessly conducts complex investigations through misdirection, mind reading and eccentric oddness.

Channel Five's Programme Director outlined before Christmas a strategy for developing clear 'Flagship shows' to lead the channels repositioning as a 'lifestyle' channel (think somewhere between ITV daytime and UK living). This is clear with the increase in magazine style shows and emphasis on shows like The Mentalist and CSI. Also the relaunch of Five life as 'Fiver' and Five US as 'Five USA' (a channel that is dedicated to the great, good and ok stateside dramas everyday).

Channel Five have also been running 'Idents' of fly posters for The Mentalist & CSI Miami, that in turn 'paste' over each other. Perhaps designed to playfully make us choose a favorite ginge???

Sadly the runaway success has almost certainly condemned it to being taken over and moved to Sky. But until then highly recommend, The Mentalist 9pm Thursday on Five.

John Hughes Dies at 59

Making the 80's what it was

British Summ-erh!? Holidays

In the week the Met Office revised the projected forecast for August, I am beginning research on a project I am soon to start about UK Tourism.

A few months ago a contact of mine gave me a call (at 10pm Spanish time) and uttered the textbook combinations of words: 'Need some artwork, in a hurry, in fact yesterday would be good and I cant pay you'. For a pitch to host a conference on 'The Future of Travel and Tourism in the UK'.  So from 9pm English time till the Spanish go to sleep, I produced some initial ideas, themes and potential applications, with the 'British Beach Holiday' in mind.

My ideas were firmly centered around pebble beaches, deck chairs and rock. With the deck chair being my primary graphic tool.

The brief now requires visuals that represent the image of holidays across the UK.

So beach, rock and deck chairs withstanding, and rain as a given.
What represents the UK holiday?

All ideas welcome and help appreciated.

The Bourne(mouth) Identity

On Friday I had the misfortune of spending 18 hours in Bournemouth, the reason I am still unsure of as to why I was there. What I can say, other than on arrival it was pitched as a this is a 'Stag Reunion'...??? (urgh,sigh)

I can already tell you that this is not my thing, and the only reason I went was to please my Brother-in-Law. (The stag who wished to be reunited with his stags...)

Anyway; the whole experience was horrible. I cannot even begin describe it without a large Gin & Tonic to hand. Fortunately my pal Stu was with me (footnote: Stu was invited by a process of association to the original stag, but had better judgment 3 years ago to avoid it, but has since missedplaced this skill).

So after we both exhausted the basic cannon fodder conversations with the 'Stags Reunited', there is only so much football, cars and smut about women's breasts you can have on a loop.  We embarked on social observations and stereotyping on our own, away from everyone else, in the corner, you get the idea.

If you are ever in Bournemouth, you will find it quick to conclude that this old person and student town is made worse by the 'Stag and Hen' Culture that assult it every weekend. After watching 3 groups of men pass us with their 'Stag' being humiliated in some way followed by a further 6 groups of Hens making a pilgrimage to the Lloyd's Bar... We noticed that the standard of the 'outfit' had improved (sans the L plates, nurses outfits etc). In fact in most cases they now have uniforms for the occasion. These features a customised T-shirt with a witty name printed across the back, subtly hinting towards the personality of the wearer.

The best three we saw were:

Titwank Trisha
Willy Eating Williamson
Cum Crusader Caroline

Very good we thought and in all counts suited the wearer, but perhaps too good. These had nowhere near as attention grabbing awe as one we saw. that cements the fact that no matter how organised these thing become, they still represent the stereotype that attend them. This particular woman's choice of name stirred far more interest than her peers, simply because it struck a cord with all Stag parties intent, as a simple instruction.

The Winner was:

Set in we believe the T-Shirt print font of choice - Impact (how ironic) white on pink, nice.

Eat in or take away?


Sainsbury's Fried (Actually oven cooked) Chicken (possibly!?)

What next? A Chicken Cottage at Tesco? 
(Actually: that might work given the brand colour)
Or 'MacMorrisons'... I could go on.

Anyway. The notion that the KFC conasuir would even be tempted by a chicken meal they would have to cook themselves! Given the typical target consumer of KFC are Students, Idiots and fat people... I don't think so.

However, I do think this maybe targeted towards the 'middle class' mother. Given Sainsbury's straddles the gap between Tesco and Waitrose (love a good stereotype and demographic slur), this would give a said mothers children all the thrills of bread crumbed process meat, that little Keanu, Chelsea and Princess rave about in the playground while stealing your little Nicolas's pocket money while videoing the event to post on Facebook. Without the shame of going in a KFC and being branded a horrid mother. Perfect. Placates children and saves face. Very important when its your turn to host dinner at the WI!

Besides, I'm sure SFC taste fabulous with a little Peanut Satay, served with a salad. Washed down with a bottle of Oyster Bay!

Upwardly Immobile

Behold: Thanks to an unfortunate comedy of errors at the weekend, a close family member had become separated from 'her' mobile phone has unearthed some treasure in our loft.

Fortunately my significant other and I have been hording mobile phones for sometime now and could offer a range of handsets to tide her over. As you can see from the picture below the 'Nokia' brand is well represented, we have others like Motorola's and Sony Ericson's too, but I took this picture (with my new Nokia 6800 as it goes) as it shows nicely a timeline of the  of evolution Nokia form 2001 to date.

As it turned out, the modern Sim cannot be paired with any phone, so our efforts were wasted. Or were they?

Now having located these handsets we are considering exchanging them for cold hard cash at Mazuma mobile. Having done a quick search to see how much the 'Nokia Collection' is worth it might be worth it.

Starting left to right:

3210 @ £1 • 8310 @ £2 • 3200 @ £2 • 7210 @ £1.50 • 6230 @ £7.50 • 6021 @ £3 • N70 @ £31 • 6500 @ £34 • 6280 @ £17

£99 of useless phone, amazing.

Putting things in perspective

Today's sighting: Publicity stunt at Waterloo Station for Christian Aid. Sadly I think this will turn out to be more good PR for the Artist (man in hat) then the charity.

The 'stunt' had two charismaless Christian Aid women situated on the edge of the image. They were unhappy with my photo taking (and everyone elses???) without having first taken a leaflet from them.

So to placate them I took their leaflet, got my picture, then binned the leaflet.

Successful event by Christian Aid? No.

Religiously challenged?

Or challenging religion?

Available at Waterstones...

Cool Huntings

Those who have read Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, will know the mavens, the methods and the circumstances in which things 'Tip' to become cool, popular or change.

The conditions become perfect to 'Tip' when something that's forgotten, old, new, amazing or in context with the now; gets launched into the realms of popularity, when placed in the hands of socially gifted, knowledge trafficking salesmen.

So the potentially next big thing / comeback is...

The 1980's digital robot watch...

This post also acts as a test for animated gifs. If the watch is not transforming before your eyes, just imagine it is!

Watch this space!

Miami justice

Haratio Caine is alive. Back to his one lining, standing awkwardly alone in corridors, sunglasses wearing, characture of himself ways.

Nothing beats the high saturation, low creditability, action packed, farfetched piece of TV gold that is CSI:Miami, Tuesdays 9pm on Five.

This season sees 'H' single handedly strikes fear into the crime underbelly of southern Florida (as any red headed man with a gun would). Aided by his white clothes wearing (at a crime scene??), incredibly good looking, intelligence insulting, obvious stating team. So basically the same as the previous seasons.

CSI:Miami is without question, one of the greatest shows on TV, and there is no better way to enjoy a Tuesday night. YEEEAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!


To balance the debate, check this link
Jim Carrey parodies the great mans one liners.

Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city

You are not alone...

Farrah Fawcett is dead too!

Who will take the credit?

Today's ShortList has within their registered company info blurb this:

...Thorpe Road, Pet 'sardines made the most of their inheritance'.

The image in the foreground is this weeks issue with last weeks
for comparison.

Before anyone asks:
No. I do not collect
ShortLists, I'm just behind on recycling.
Yes. The names and contacts have been blurred in Photoshop.

Seems not to be a hidden competition on the ShortList website.
So must be a piece of gorilla graphic sabotage...

Simply M&S

This isn't just a poster, this is a retro M&S Poster.

Bit of advertising history discovered on the platform at Surbiton Station.

blog etc

blog etc will run as a kind of 'Aspergic narrative' of the everyday,
covering anything from the creative to incidental.

These will be documented and communicated here.

First post done!

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