With our wiggly tentacles in many places, it’s interesting to reflect on what’s happening on the open seas of creativity. Check out our blog for musings and observations on design related matters and connect with us in the comments.

With a little help from my friends

It’s official, the Eurovision Song Contest is coming to the United Kingdom in 2023 as a replacement host for Ukraine which tragically remains under attack from Russia. The cities shortlisted have now been published; Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield and we’ll find our more in the autumn. These seven cities are all places I’m familiar with and all …...

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Nant Gwrtheyrn

Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg

I like a challenge. Sometimes doing something completely alien can be just what one needs, especially after a forced period of lockdown inertia. Having said that, I’ve now passed half a century in age and could also argue that post-COVID, the head fuzziness is lingering, and getting back on the bike isn’t quite as easy as it should be. Either …...

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Pet Shop Boys icons

Left to my own devices

Few musical artists have fused audio and visual as artfully as Pet Shop Boys. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe’s use of design to project the band as a brand has been in evidence almost from day one. With backgrounds respectively in magazine publishing and architecture, it’s no surprise that an eye for visual detail would permeate everything for Tennant and Lowe. …...

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Value for money

Today in the UK we get a fresh design for one of our bank notes and the worthy £50 image is apt for Pride month as it now features a man whose legacy should never be forgotten: Alan Turing – a leading mathematician, developmental biologist, and a pioneer in the field of computer science. Alan Turing helped accelerate Allied efforts to …...

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What’s another year

Eurovision fans were made to wait two years due to COVID-19, but what a comeback 2021 proved to be. As usual, my favourites faltered at the first fence or ended up crash diving into the darkest depths of the final scoreboard, but even these things couldn’t distract from the fun and excitement. This month has really felt like we’ve turned …...

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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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LGBT History Month 2021

February is LGBT History Month, and at the end of last year Museum of Liverpool sent out an online call for local LGBT personal histories with plans to display a curated range of seldom-told tales of the city in commemoration of the month. The brief was to use visual and written media to tell a personal story about one’s life, to …...

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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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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 …...

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