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Redesigning (and remembering) a classic

Categories: Learning things, Nice stuff, Our work

Ah, the 12 Days of Christmas – a well-worn seasonal classic and no mistake. But can you ever remember how many lords there were a-leaping? Or maids a-milking? Or, for that matter, drummers drumming?

We always struggled … until now.

To welcome in the festive season, we've designed a handy visual reminder to help you recall how many of what or whom were given by 'my true love'. (And it really was a generous if unusual array of gifts, all told.)

Want to view/download a pdf of the whole 12 days design? No problem; here you go: http://scr.bi/12-days-of-christmas

Use it as a crib sheet when singing the song! Be amused by the funny little illustrations! Groan and *eye roll* at the naff wordplay!

Whatever you do; we hope you have a warm and wonderful festive season.

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Stocking-filler for festive fact fans: The 12 Days of Christmas – also known as Christmastide – starts on 25th December and ends on 5th January; the evening of which is known as Twelfth Night. True.

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Stop: look and listen #3

Categories: Inspiration, Stop: look and listen

Look
Christmas noire!
Check out Bendik Kaltenborn’s beautiful cover illustration for the Norwegian literature magazine "Vinduet".

A year of bad art
You might not agree, but these are the worst album covers of 2010. According to Pitchfork.

Interview Project
On a road trip across the United States, director David Lynch has been busy conducting interviews with a selection of people he found interesting.

Stranger than fiction? Have a look.

Listen
Keith Jarret: "The Köln Concert” (album)
An absolute jazz classic from 1974. Improvised music doesn’t get much better – or easy-going – than this. And the record has got an interesting story behind it too.

Brian Eno: "A small craft on a milk sea” (album)
In addition to containing this year’s most poetic song titles, “A small craft on a milk sea” is an arresting journey through a typical Enoesque musical landscape. You know, music for a film that doesn’t exist … it's all in your head. Sit back and enjoy.

If you've got an iPhone, check out Eno’s “Bloom” app on iTunes. DIY ambient!

A bit of a bind

Categories: Extra-curricular, Learning things, Useful/interesting

 

I love handmade design stuff (and dreadful puns). You may know this from some of my previous posts.

In my pursuit of a balance between computery and non-computery creations, last weekend I booked (ha!) myself onto a 2-day beginner's bookbinding course run by Simon Goode, over at Birmingham Printmakers in Digbeth.

I'm not going to drone on about it in detail but suffice to say it was great fun and means I'm now able to make good use of the various odds and ends of paper I've collected over the years but not known what to do with, yet been loath to throw away.

With my bookbinding tools and newly acquired knowledge of pamphlet stitching, case binding and Japanese stab binding, come Sunday afternoon I left the Printmakers with a huge sense of achievement … and six (six!) handmade books. Not bad.

I recorded the most complex and time-consuming binding technique we learnt, case binding, in a little photostory:

As you can see, case binding's quite a convoluted process but the end result is well worth the toil and vague "Will it work?!" trauma. It's a proper hardback book!

So, I'd heartily recommend a bit of bookbinding – it's definitely good for the soul.

Oh, and for future reference I am now the go-to person if your pub quiz ever has a bookbinding round. (Codex, foredge and bone folder; I'm totally down with all the bookbinding lingo.)

Simon's running another bookbinding workshop – No Glue Needed – in December. There're details on his website, incase you're interested.

Looking back

Categories: Inspiration, Nice stuff, Useful/interesting

I seem to be on a bit of a typographic history binge at the moment; starting in the 60s with Mad Men typography the other week, I've now jumped into the early 70s.

Why? Because that's when the very first volume of U&lc – Upper and lower-case – came out and it's just been made available to download (for free) thanks to the kind folks at Fonts.com.

The scanned pdfs are pretty hefty but worth the download time as they're full of amazing typographical treats; including these creatures which reminded me of what I did with some Type Faces a while back.

(Though these chaps are much cleverer and more refined than my little project – I especially love the snail.) 

Want your own a piece of typographic design history? Download U&lc Volume 1 from over on the Fonts.com website.