Communication across cultures at the Web Effectiveness Conference

June 28th, 2018   •   No Comments   

We work with clients on communications for their events, we pile into process design and production planning – but there’s nothing quite like being there to give us real insight. So Lydia jumped at the invitation from our client Bowen Craggs to its Web Effectiveness Conference in Lisbon.

This compact, collegiate, vendor-free conference was enormously-informative – and not just in understanding from the inside how the conference works and how much value it has for people who manage some of the world’s biggest and most complex arrays of online corporate communications.

Why a content management system is like a closet; avoiding ‘tag-mania’; telling human stories about enormous business; looking at what content is trying to achieve before making decisions on materials; measuring for the future and a keynote presentation about working across cultures – listening to people from global corporations turned out to have much of relevance to our work with third sector organisations, educators and small businesses.

More on the conference here.

More on our work with Bowen Craggs here.

Two-minute type

May 25th, 2018   •   No Comments   

A go at foiling? Don’t mind if we do…

There was fun to be had with finishes at paper company Fedrigoni and Foilco’s Clerkenwell Design Week workshop. But as interesting was having to come up with an idea on the spot. Designers were piling into pattern, penning fluid scripts and here, our chunky sampler of marker-drawn letterforms. Creative refreshment and new-found knowledge at the end of a production day.

East End WI

April 23rd, 2018   •   No Comments   

Would you like jam with that? …

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A nose for print

April 23rd, 2018   •   No Comments   

The first thing we do with a delivery of file copies is unwrap it and smell…

Fresh ink on paper is a lovely thing (and the best bit about receiving file copies of litho printed work). And it reminds us that design for print is about so much more than layout on a screen. The size of a print item, how it opens, turns or unfolds, its heft or lightness, its texture, the colour of the material, how it’s constructed, how it’s printed… from sensory to behavioural, all of these things are part of how a printed item communicates.

These are file copies of The Clothworker, the latest redesign in a programme of work for City livery company The Clothworkers’ Company.

It’s nice when that happens

March 21st, 2018   •   No Comments   

There’s the stuff you design – and the stuff that happens all by itself but you like it anyway. This set of resources for Shared Assets is saddle-stitched (stapled) so there’s no spine. But stacked, the infographics at the bound edge make a continuing pattern. That’s gone into our visual vault to play with another time…

Studio snowday

March 4th, 2018   •   No Comments   

Snow. At the studio, we’d been looking out of the window, watching how snowflakes behave. But designers can’t hold back from making things and eventually, Lydia had to get out and play. With cookie cutters. So, we give you snowbabies and snow type.

The bits at the edges

February 16th, 2018   •   No Comments   

There’s much to enjoy, to play with and to be inspired by in things that have nothing to do with finished design. Leftovers. Workings. The bits at the edges. These are colour and registration bars at the edge of a magazine proof. We love the incidental type overlap. After all, we once based an entire visual identity on shapes that we’d taken out of a graphic and put to the side…

Five days of looking: Amsterdam

January 3rd, 2018   •   No Comments   

Design minds need feeding. So after the pre-Christmas rush at the studio, it’s been good to look out and look up on a trip to Amsterdam. It started with a desire to revisit the Rijksmuseum post refurb. But there was much else to see: pigments at Rembrandt’s house, a reminder of the playfulness of the Stedelijk, the Festival of Light installations along the canals, the ‘Book Palace’, Amsterdam’s enormous new city library, the remarkable Amsterdam School architecture and design at Het Schip and much else between. More photos on flickr. Drawings from the trip are on Instagram.

Testing, testing…

December 12th, 2017   •   No Comments   

Print. Press ‘go’ and wait for delivery? Far from it… For this year’s studio book, which is the first in a planned series developed from Lydia’s commuter drawings, before any work on layout there’s been materials and format research, dummy-making and discussion with printers. Then as part of layout, more testing and mocking up to check that format and page progression works with the story. And at proof stage, test binding. Then we say “go”.

From pamphlet to case

November 8th, 2017   •   No Comments   

Designers train – for longer than clients often realise (four years, to first degree level). Then, if we’re lucky, we spend a few years in the design equivalent of Michelin-starred kitchens, having stuff thrown back at us. After that, if we’re even luckier, pretty much every project teaches us something. But there are things we want to learn too, for personal projects, to go beyond the level of knowledge needed for studio practice or in this case, both. Lydia has spent four Saturdays at London Centre for Book Arts putting herself through a succession of its bookbinding workshops. Run by bookbinders who really know their stuff, these are interesting not just for the craft skills they teach but in that they’re highly-focused. The process is the absolute opposite of largely screen-based work on multiple projects with constant digital interruption. It requires the sort of sustained concentration that modern working and social life has trained us out of. The output is the better for it. Slow design – now there’s a thought…