The old and the new
In 1993 someone suggested The Landmark Trust’s historic holiday properties to me, time out in the countryside with no TV and only the sounds of nature and my friends for company, a lovely idea. I did this and became hooked. I love living in a city and couldn’t live without my technology and the things that being in a city provides. Equally, I can’t imagine not having such wonderful places to escape to. I try to head off at least twice a year to a Landmark Trust or Vivat Trust property with select friends for some fun and time away from work.
I can see a rainbow
So many projects I work on come with their own set of guidelines that dictate what colours, fonts and images should be used, so it’s refreshing when you get something where you can play. The Dao collaborative is a Soft Octopus client that comprises professionals from the public, private and voluntary sectors offering consultation around training, service improvement and strategy development.
Sometimes no words are right
It’s always hard when people you know die. It’s never easy, and even when their passing is remembered as a celebration of what’s been achieved, it always cuts me up. There are never words to adequately encapsulate what’s being felt. The hardest deaths are the ones that come from out of the blue, instantly and when you least expect.
Then and now
In 1957 a new school was built on farm land in a rural part of Liverpool called Gateacre. In the late 1970s I went there for 5 years. It wasn’t rural anymore and the only roaming animals were us – the pupils. It is said that school years are the best years of your life; even in hindsight with my rose tinted glasses on and my nostalgiometer turned up to full I can’t say this is true.
Keep calm and Kare on
As a geek and a graphic designer I have to be a fan of Susan Kare, It’s written in the secret graphic designer’s code of conduct handbook. She is the woman who designed the original icons for the Macintosh operating system (and some for Microsoft too, but we won’t mention those). Anyway, designing an icon that works at such a tiny size in a very low resolution that also looks great when enlarged is no easy thing.
Another little Jing thing.
This piece probably won’t make it into my online portfolio because it’s only small but it’s cute. I have lovely clients in Brighton called the Jing Institute of advanced massage and training. Right now I’m working on some design bits for their new website with Mark Jones and it is finally going live in the next few weeks after nearly a year of development. Anyway, I digress (as frequently I do here:-)
Manners maketh the man (and woman)
If you have seen the Soft Octopus website, you’ll know we’re a small but perfectly formed creative studio. I can’t do everything and know there are people who are better photographers, musicians, film makers and web folk out there. I can do all of these things (a bit) but know that graphic design is where I excel. Collaboration is key and also fun – as long as you choose the right people. So, over the years I’ve developed a strong base of creative support I know I can trust.
Everyman, gone but not forgotten
The Everyman Theatre on Hope Street opened in 1964 and has been home to some of the most inspiring, urgent, enjoyable and socially aware theatre of the last five decades.
It’s in the bag
I was with clients in Brighton recently and noticed that a product of theirs was packaged up rather inelegantly. They expect me to poke around their office, making suggestions, so welcomed my sudden excitement at how this could be done so much better. Within days, the design was done and with the help of two creative chums;
Habitat is a retailer of household furnishings in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and has franchised outlets in other countries. It was founded in 1964 by Terence Conran and has always been one of my favourite stores. Sadly, its days are numbered as it falls victim to the recession.