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 …
Linda McCartney Retrospective
Last week I headed into Liverpool city centre for the first time in more than half a year. It felt peculiar. I believe that many of us have now become so used to consuming art in all its forms as an online activity, that it feels genuinely strange to set foot inside public spaces once again. With every show cancelled …
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 …
COVID 19 – Liverpool 15
During lockdown, certain once important facets of everyday life have become trivial and smaller things that may have previously seemed inconsequential have taken on greater significance. Life for us all has changed and a new way of living has become routine.
Facts not fears
With little else to do during a quarantine, almost all of us are moving our social interactions online. Facebook, WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype and FaceTime are the new replacements for catching up over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. The times they are a changing, as Bob Dylan would groan. Somewhere online, I saw someone crudely flip the familiar …
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 …
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! …
- February 25, 2020
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.
The punishment of luxury
I like it when my joint worlds of art, design and music collide. It’s a collision of the nicest kind…
Last year, one of my favourite bands, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) released a new album. They’ve been at it now since the late seventies and The Punishment of Luxury is their 13th studio album. The album’s title was inspired by a painting that I’m familiar with from my many recreational and business-related visits to Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery.
Artistic v Autistic
In my many years as a graphic designer, I’ve worked on materials for an incredibly diverse audience. Whilst it is the function of design to make things look good, it’s really as much about function as it is form. We’ve all come across documents that have evidently been written by a corporate committee of people, seemingly from a planet that speaks its own rarefied dialect. One that ticks boxes of corporate accountability, one that can write something that everyone approves of, and one that sounds kind of professional, but ultimately delivers an inscrutable end result.