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A culinary experience

Categories: Extra-curricular

Last night James and I were lucky enough to attend Repast – an event to celebrate the life of creative professional development organisation Arts+Media which is evolving into a purely online organisation at the end of this month.

Repast was set in the seemingly strange location of a disused warehouse in Coventry's Far Gosford Street – though as this is an area currently undergoing redevelopment into a hub for creative businesses and activities, it's actually a perfectly apt venue for a creative event.

The building had been divided into different rooms, the first of which had been dressed with Bill Drummond manifestos and notices and, with the usual drinks table in the corner and some background music setting the tone, it wasn't terribly different from the usual arty shindig. And then we were greeted by a lovely but, I'm sure she won't mind me saying, slightly peculiar woman who introduced herself as Blanch.

Curious.

Anyway, we mingled, sipped wine, chatted with artsy folks – then James did a quick interview on camera whilst I met Blanch's friend who introduced herself as 'Shock'. Hmmm … so this is how the evening's going to be, is it?!

So yes, Repast's catering was provided by Blanch and Shock and the food was served by … you guessed it, Blanch and Shock; two welcoming yet bizarre pantomime/fairytale/mediaeval/Judderman/Pippi Longstocking-type characters. This was proper smile-inducing, enjoyable and not-at-all-scary-like-I'd-thought-it-might've-been performance art. (And possibly something to do with Kindle Theatre? If you know either way please pop a note in the comments.)

As for the food itself – it was stunning. Weird and wonderful Ferran Adrià-style concoctions; the most incredible of which was a 'spherified lime and mint cocktail' which seemed to be a jelly-like oystery thing, but it then burst into liquid as soon as it left the spoon. It really was a feast for all the senses – especially when the aroma balloons were released!

I loved the fact that the venue was peculiar but perfect, and that the folks handing the food around – who'd usually remain in the background – were, along with the food, the main event of the evening. Suffice to say, Repast was magical, amusing, delicious and wonderful – and most certainly an experience.

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A+M have documented Repast and the process of putting the event together, and this'll be online for all to see over on their website shortly.

University of Warwick, Centre for Cultural Policy Studies

Categories: Extra-curricular

Last week I was at the University of Warwick to talk to a group of MA students at the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies.

Focussing on fields including Arts Management, Cultural Policy and the Creative Industries, I was invited in to give some industry perspective on things and talk about my background, Supercool and issues surrounding running a small creative agency. Having been slightly dreading the prospect of having to talk about myself for 45 minutes it actually went really well.

Nobody dropped off to sleep and most people responded well by asking some tough questions. In fact having rushed over to Warwick straight from a pitch, I found the students’ questions were far more testing than any potential client.

Issues ranged from creative sign-off, budget approval, business planning and cash flow. Hopefully everybody learned as much out of it as I did.

Thanks to Dr Jonathan Vickery [Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies] for inviting me in, and everybody who listened to the talk and managed to remain looking interested, I really enjoyed it.

Font Aid Update

Categories: Extra-curricular

The ampersand font, Coming Together, that we contributed to a few weeks ago is now on sale.

Around 400 designers (some listed above!) from around the world took part in producing this cross-platform OpenType glyph font, and all the money raised from the sale of the font is going to help the relief efforts in Haiti.

You can buy Coming Together from the following places now – Veer, Ascender Fonts, FontShop – and from MyFonts later this week.

(Ours is the zero, by the way!)

Font Aid IV: Coming Together

Categories: Extra-curricular

I follow Ellen Lupton on Twitter (@ellenLupton) so saw a recent tweet of hers about Font Aid IV: Coming Together.

The US-based Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) are putting together a font made entirely of ampersands, designed by loads of different designers from around the world. (Hence it's name, Coming Together.)

They'll then sell the resulting font via MyFonts, with all proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders who are one of the many organisations helping out in Haiti at the moment. SOTA are on the hunt for submissions at the moment, so I had a go …

My contribution is based fairly closely on the 'et' from which the ampersand shape derives and is (loosely) made up of a heart shape and a kiss. Ahhhh!

I tried to make it simple but with a bit of thought behind it – though only time will tell if it's good enough to be part of the font or not.

If you've got the mad Illustrator skillz, why not spare half an hour or so to create an ampersand?

Here's what you need to do to take part:
> Submit a black and white "ampersand" icon.
> It should be a vector image file, not a bitmap.
> Keep it simple, not too crazy.
> Send it in EPS format to fontaid@typesociety.org by 01/29/10.

(Remember to check back on MyFonts and buy the font once it's ready!)