Liverpool 8 against apartheid

31 years ago today, Nelson Mandela was released from prison. In 1990 the world was a very different place; I was not long into my first job and aggrieved about local and global injustices. I’d just ‘come out’, discovered animal rights and gone vegetarian, there was an unequal age of consent, the AIDS pandemic was raging and Liverpool was just …

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Hope and resistance

At the start of 2020, Soft Octopus Design Studio was commissioned by Liverpool Hope University to work on a collaboration with Tate Liverpool. Titled Hope and Resistance, the exhibition’s aim was to present the artefacts, stories and artwork of young people living on the Palestinian West Bank who had responded to the question – What do you want to tell the …

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Win some – lose some

We’ve all been there… Whether it be waiting online for tickets to become available for a must-see, but massively popular concert, or hanging on until the last second to hit the ‘buy’ button on Ebay, I’m familiar with the rush of adrenaline and excitement that comes from winning and the heart sinking despondency that ensues as someone else snatches away …

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Going viral

2020 hasn’t been quite the happy new year that we all wished each other just three months ago, has it? With floods verging on biblical, the realisation that Brexit is a sad reality and now a public health crisis to contend with, can things get any worse? Sadly I fear they can. Back in the eighties when I was designing …

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The tangled web we weave

It’s great being busy and thankfully I nearly always am. This is why it’s taken me so long to find time to get my own house in order. But I’ve now got around to assembling the new office furniture that’s been in the corner of my studio since last Autumn and more importantly I’ve updated my ancient website. Cue fanfare! …

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Drawing the line

I’ve been a fan of Keith Haring’s work since I was a design student in the 1980s. Pre-internet, it wasn’t easy keeping up with art trends, particularly those outside the UK. I came across his work in The Face magazine which was something of a style bible – the art and fashion Ying to the Yang of Smash Hits magazine’s pop and frippery.

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