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Keeping it simple for 57 years

Categories: Data design

Thanks to Google's oft-changing logo, I discovered that today is the 57th anniversary of the barcode being patented.

Over those years this machine-readable graphic representation of data has morphed into various forms (a recent case-in-point being the Japanese-designed QR code) but the most ubiquitous example in the UK remains – well, a load of vertical black lines.

For me it's a fine example of simple, practical and understated design. (Apologies if the above image makes your eyes go a bit funny …)

A little change

Categories: Extra-curricular


Our next Likemind coffee morning (on Friday 18th September) is going to be a little different from usual …

We’ll be part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning; a UK-wide series of events raising money and awareness for Macmillan – a charity working to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

Alongside the usual coffee-drinking and natter, Saint Caffe will be sporting some cheerful green posters and balloons, we’ll have a collection box set aside incase you’d like to give a bit of change, and anyone who donates will be encouraged to adorn themselves with a cute coffee mug themed sticker – while stocks last!

So, we’re really hoping that September’s Likemind will be an especially good one – coffee, conversation and the feel-good factor? A Friday morning never looked so good.

Likemind (in support of Macmillan) – Friday 18th September 2009
Saint Caffe, St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1QS
From 8am until 10am-ish

Hope to see you there!

(Sign-up for coffee morning reminder emails on the Likemind page)

Huge thanks to all who donated so generously at the coffee morning the other week, and those who pledged to donate online to Macmillan. With what we raised, we’ve helped fund a support worker for an hour, and helped two cancer support groups hold their first meetings. Brilliant!

Cultivating culture

A while back James and I went to the book launch of Intelligent Naivety – Commercial Opportunities for Museums and Culture Institutions, which was held at BMAG.

The book is the brainchild of CultureLabel whose Executive Chair David Gilbert – former MD of both Currys and Waterstones – introduced the notion of encouraging cultural institutions to think more entrepreneurially. (Bluntly put, so they don’t have to be so reliant on public funding as a means of survival.)

The book’s introduction asks, “How can over-stretched museums and cultural institutions recognise consumer needs, exceed consumer desires, and leverage a sustainable source of income without wrecking the very special relationship they’ve created with their audiences?”

We were lucky enough to nab a copy of the uber-fluorescent paper version (ahhh, the smell of fresh print!) but a much more screen-friendly pastel-coloured pdf of the book is also available to download for free from the Intelligent Naivety website.

Let us know what you think …


It’s not often our work finds itself in the hands of someone from the telebox but here’s a photo of one our our designs – a delightful press folder – with tv presenter and all-round good egg Ben Fogle (at the Mosaic launch event, which was held at Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, North Yorkshire last week). As well as being on the tv and doing various adventurous things, he’s also President of Campaign for National Parks which runs Mosaic; a project aiming to build sustainable links between black and minority ethnic communities, and the National Parks and Youth Hostels Association.

In the photo: David Butterworth – Chief Executive, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority; Ben Fogle – Adventurer, Presenter and President of CNP; Huw Irranca-Davies MP – Minister for Marine and Natural Environment; Nurjahan Ali Arobi – Mosaic Community Champion. (Photo © copyright YDNPA 2009)