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.

The ins and outs of it all

Well, the day is almost upon us. The UK gets to decide its future in the European Union tomorrow. I started off about 70% leaning towards Vote Remain, the uncertainty of the alternative wasn't something that I could comfortably reconcile. As with anything I'm unsure of, I did some reading - a lot of reading, actually. I appreciate that facts will always come with a degree of bias, depending on what filter we choose to view them through, but it didn't take long for me to move that extra 30% to a ...

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Colour to die for

Recently in the UK, all cigarette packaging brands have been stripped of their alluring design. Big Tobacco has always worked with top creative agencies across the world on lucrative deals to promote smoking in clever and creative ways. Times have become increasingly tough though for those who still choose to smoke themselves to death, as their weapon of choice has been gradually edged into the fringes of invisibility....

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Back to the future

I design a lot of logos. I spend ages on them, pushing around every element - pixel by pixel, vector by vector. They're hard work, what often appears as deceptively simple, is usually the result of dozens of iterations and experiments. Preparing something that harmoniously sits together, with considered capacity for use in multiple formats across multiple platforms isn't something that can be automated or rushed. Good logo design is an art form for graphic designers....

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Inside a dream

Imagine if someone decided that it would be a good idea to create a whole event dedicated to your favourite musical act of all time. Imagine if it focused on aesthetics and graphic design, gay politics, journalism, music composition, branding, the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and enduring pop perfection, amongst other things. How perfect would that be for me? It would be like living inside a dream....

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Read all about it

This morning, I learned that David Bowie had died via a push notification to my iPhone, this information was with me within seconds of it being announced by his family. I didn't need to read a newspaper or switch on the television and wait for a news report. This is now the de facto way in which I largely consume media - things have changed. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strain... (to quote Bowie himself). ...

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Art in the city

I had a couple of days away from Soft Octopus last week to visit London for a performance by one of my favourite bands who rarely play live. The Sound of Arrows from Sweden haven't done a gig in over four years, so it would have been a massive missed opportunity not to take a trip to catch them live. It was well worth the trip....

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Where the heart is

It was interesting to see another of those reports about cities in the UK published this week. This one was of interest because it was specifically about the UK's most creative towns and cities to live, work and play in. I expected my home town of Liverpool to be in there somewhere and was pleasantly surprised to see it at number two, just behind our good neighbour, Manchester. LINK to full article....

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Sticks and stones

Graphic design is principally about problem solving. The client has requirements and this is addressed by the designer using a sometimes already established brand identity and sometimes one needs to be created as part of the creative package. Fonts, logos, colour palettes, layouts, illustrations and photographs are all key components - the essential ingredients implemented to cook up the perfect design dinner....

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Liverpool Pride

This weekend, it is Liverpool Pride. There are plenty of activities and many businesses and our local authority support the occasion. For many years, my hometown didn't have a Pride event and we were very much in the shadow of the capital and even our seemingly more sophisticated sister city, Manchester. I remember Liverpool's first Pride event back in the early 1990s which was more of a village fête. I won a first aid kit for guessing the correct amount of condoms in the glass jar! I think the...

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