Octoblog

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.

You get what you pay for

The word 'Design' understandably crops up quite a lot in my social media posts and clever algorithms ensure that I see advertisements catering to my specific interests. Or that's the theory anyway... Technology really is a wonderful thing and I am as geeky as they come - I even worked at Apple for a while so that I could get up close to all the shiny goodness that makes life easier. Not everything can be aided by technology yet though, and creative imagination is a prime example....

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All Aboard!

It's Eurovision season and this year's host broadcaster, RTP in Portugal has today revealed the slogan and theme artwork for 2018. Portugal as a country has always connected Europe to the rest of the world through the ocean, and 500 years ago Lisbon was the centre of many of the world’s most important sea routes. Today, Lisbon is using the ocean’s connectivity as inspiration with the slogan - All Aboard! inviting the international community to come together for this year’s competition....

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Well hung

Tomorrow, the largest format article I've ever had my design work printed on to will be hung outside one of my city's loveliest buildings. Lubaina Himid's Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money exhibition is on now at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery until 18 March 2018 and my hard to miss hangings inside and outside will welcome people into the building. ...

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Telling tales

Last week, the Tales from the city exhibition opened at the Museum of Liverpool. I first became aware of this exhibition about 18 months ago through working on other installations at this wonderful location. The curation team there were keen to gather stories, artefacts and the personal possessions of LGBT folk from across the city to tell stories rarely told....

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Circular thinking

Back in June this year, the International Eurovision Song Contest fan club - Organisation Générale des Amateurs de l'Eurovision put out a call to graphic designers across the world. Quite rightly they had identified that their ageing logo was no longer fit for purpose and something more dynamic and flexible was required....

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Homologo

For the last few years now I've been delivering an annual lecture, just like The Queen. Mine are a bit more down to earth though and I don't get as many people eager to hear my pronouncements. Nevertheless, it has become something of an annual routine and in my previous post I outlined a little of what I've been up to at Edinburgh University recently lecturing about design there....

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Demolition Man

This time three weeks ago, I was in Edinburgh speaking at a symposium devoted to critically exploring the influence, impact and legacy of Grace Jones as actor, model, musician, entertainer and icon. It was hosted by Edinburgh University's College of Art and was the second in an ongoing international series devoted to exploring the topic of ‘the iconic’, Grace Jones followed last year’s acclaimed Pet Shop Boys symposium where once again, academics and enthusiasts from across the world gathe...

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Can graphic design save your life?

Last week I was in London for a few days and made a special trip to see the latest exhibition of The Wellcome Collection entitled Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? I'd read about the exhibition and because of the nature of what I do, it was an obvious draw. My answer to the question is an emphatic Yes! Graphic design can save lives. The exhibition goes on to show many of the creative and ingenious ways that design has been used over the years to distil complex information into a public friendly...

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Red Frame/White Light

One of the wonderful things about the experimental electronic music of the late 1970s and early 1980s was just how wonderfully absurd some of subject matter was. In a bid to discard with the past and all its rock and pop clichés, virtually anything made for an acceptable lyrical theme. In many ways this made perfect sense; if one was using the cutting edge equipment of the day to beckon an impending digital future, it would be inappropriate to marry a tune to anything as mundane as another boy ...

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