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The dark side of dessert

Categories: Our work, Silly

Apropos of nothing, other than it's something that's been languishing in my 'stuff I've drawn' folder for ages, along with a good deal more metaphorical kilograms of illustrated fruit and veg. It turns out I like drawing food.

The above'd be best served with a damn fine cup of (Georgia) coffee, I'd say.

Dance, design and a living doll – Part II

Categories: Extra-curricular, Nice stuff, Our work

So, this is my contribution to Pointe Blank; the Birmingham Royal Ballet collaborative project I mentioned t'other week. (Dance, design and a living doll – Part I)

Rather than write a load of waffly prose about the thinking behind the design, which'd not only take me ages to compose but you ages to read too, here instead are my waffly notes and a picture of the individual design elements:

  • It's a comic story so needs to look light-hearted.
  • Layers! There are many layers to the story. Show this.
  • Give it a hand-made quality but produce it by mechanical means.
  • Background pattern = based on an embroidered costume from the ballet.
  • Hearts! There's lots about love and broken hearts, so that needs to come through.
  • It's set in an Eastern European village so the buildings should show that.
  • 'Crest' to include ears of corn - used by Swanilda to test Franz's faithfulness.
  • No suitable font for the title, so hand-drawn lettering used.
  • Wanted to do a bit of copywriting: "Magic, misdirection … and a girl with enamel eyes".
  • Bunting was the last element to be added; frames everything else and hints at the festivities at the show's climax.
  • Colours palette = sympathetic to the production design (both costumes and set).
  • Include a level of mystery, wonder and magical-ness so people associate it with fairytale-type stories.

This was a great fun project to take part in and I have my fingers crossed there'll be more where this came from.

You can have a look at the other 26 submissions on the Pointe Blank website; there're some absolute stunners: www.pointeblank.co.uk

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UPDATE: Oops. I neglected to add photos from the launch event which was held on Monday at one of BRB's studios over at Birmingham Hippodrome. Here y'are …

My name is …

Categories: Nice stuff, Our work

I'm a bit of a rubbish networker as I rarely think to give people my business card.

But no more! I've found a simple remedy for this affliction – have beautiful new business cards that you really want folk to see.

I don't want to get all American Psycho about it but … they're 700gsm duplex Colorplan with simple white foil-blocking to both sides. Wa-ho; very nice. (As a high-flying American suit in the 1980s might say.)

So next time you see me; expect a card.

A world of typography in Brum

Categories: Our work, Useful/interesting

Last week, a website we designed and built for The Typographic Hub - a new BCU initiative which works to promote the history, theory and practice of typographic design - went live.

Caroline Archer who runs The Typographic Hub tweeted about the website launch (as did @supercooldesign) and, with no promotion other than online 'word of mouth', news of the launch spread fast. And far.

On day one, the site had 1,181 unique visitors from 57 countries; there were news stories about it not only in English but also French and German; US-based typographic and design deities Hoefler & Frere-Jones and Gary Hustwit publicised it and asked others to show their support; countless people retweeted and tweeted about it … all that within the website's first few hours of life. Wow!

Typography's a passion of ours so we were delighted to be involved with this project right from the off – and to then get such positive feedback about the site's design from graphic designers all around the world? An amazing bonus.

Best of all though, we know how much hard work went into getting the Hub up-and-running, so it's heartening to now see it finding so much love and attention across the world; it's already proven itself as an important, valued and growing global resource.

I reckon that's great for typography – and great for (typographic) Birmingham.