Friday, 31 August 2007

My Cuppa Tea

A quirky mug produced by Suck UK, 'my cuppa tea'. The Pantone-esque shades offer visual matches with "milky", "classic British", "builder's brew" and "just tea". Allowing the user to specify their prefered pantone colour of tea.

A similar concept was used a few years ago by British designer Onkar Singh Kular. He produced pantone tea mugs, in 128 shades of brown - from beige to builder's. Whenever a relative or colleague makes tea for the mug owner, they will be able to tell from the colour of the mug exactly how strong it should be and how much milk to add.

Onkar Singh Kular' objective is to create objects which can exist as comfortably in a gallery as in a high street homeware catalogue.

Domestic Violence

As i was looking for information about the website 'What Noise?' which i have previously talked about, i came across a piece of direct mail created by the same agency, Kenetic.

The direct mailer shows the unforgettable scars that are left on the victims of domestic violence. The inner pages are glues together so when the resipient flips open the booklet to find out more, they tear off parts of the victims face, simulating the lives torn apart by domestic violence.

An interesting use of direct mail. Simple and effective.

2006 PAVE

What Noise?

Whatnoise? is a website created by Kinetic Interactive to support the 'Hear and be Heard' fund for hearing impaired children of Singapore. Centre for hearing Intervention & Language Development. It is a non-profit initiative to raise funds for hearing impaired children from inancially disadvantaged families.

'Five to six children per 1000 in Singapore are born with some degree of hearing loss making it the most common congenitial birth defect, more common than the cleft palate and Down's syndrome. One of these five or six has profound hearing loss, i.e, no hearing at all. The aim of "Hear and be Heard Fund" is to ensure that underprivileged children have the opportunity to develop language to communicate and successfully integrate into Singapore society.'

Rather then bombarding the user with facts and figures, the website highlights and simulates specific problems faced by these children on a daily bases. This is done through a series of experimental games. The conceptual approuch is used, with an emphasis on developing empathy through interactivity

The site's simple design communicates its message in ways that are enlightening and fun

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Type the sky

I came across this series of photographs by German art student Lisa Rienermann on an online blog. In 2005 Rienermann spent a semester abroad in Barcelona and this is where she first looked up realised that the architecture of the city formed type in the sky when photographed from below.

It all began with the letter Q. "I was in a kind of courtyard in Barcelona. I looked upward and saw houses, the blue sky and clouds. The more I looked, I saw that the houses formed a letter Q”

After finding the letter Q she set out to find more letter forms, spending weeks only looking upward.

'Type the Sky' won the 2007 Award for Typographic Excellence. The collection is packaged as a type face and a book.

The photographs play with negative space revealing letters forms in the sky, providing us with another way of looking at things. The work presents an interesting cross between photography and typography.

Monday, 20 August 2007

jonathan Barnbrook - 'Friendly Fire'

I recently visited the exhibition 'Friendly Fire' at the London 'Design Museum'. The exhibition consisted of the work of Jonathan Barnbook.

Jonathan Barnbook is a graphic designer with a social conscience. "Barnbrook makes powerful statements about corporate culture, consumerism, war and international politics. Through his work in both commercial and non-commercial spheres he combines wit, political savvy and bitter irony in equal measures" (

Since graduating in graphic design from Saint Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, Barnbrook has developed a multifaceted practice which includes graphic design, typeface design and motion graphics. The exhibition traces Barnbooks career from his early typographic experiments and pioneering motion graphics, in 1990, to more recent work, including his collaboration with Damian Hurst and latest projects with collaborators such as the anti-corporate collective Adbusters

His activities during the past 14 years have generated a great deal of discussion and debate, both favourable and unfavourable. In an interview with 'Typographer' Barnbrook talked about his main influences, "Well the first is an inner anger which is a response to all the unfairness that is in this world. I don't know if this is a strange or embarrassing thing for a designer or typographer to say because the older notions of being a graphic designer are about being an invisible communicator and I believe without having confidence in the way the world is moving forward you cannot be unquestioning and invisible. The second which is a direct opposite is trying to express some of the beauty of the world. My work has been criticised for being too 'depressing' but I am just trying to show the possible beauty of life through showing the immense contradiction of what we have and what is possible." (

Cover of Adbusters designed by Barnbrook

"Graphic design is many things and there are people on both sides, but now there is a general feeling that we have to take a bit more responsibility for what we do. The fact is openly discussed now, where as it wasn’t before when we released the First Things First manifesto with Adbusters in 2000".
Barnbrook was one of 33 figures from the international graphic design community, who signed and backed the publication of the First Things First manifesto. It was first written in 1963 and published in 1964 by Ken Garland. Reacting against a rich and affluent Britain of the sixties, it tried to re-radicalise design that had become lazy and uncritical. Drawing on ideas shared by Critical Theory, the Frankfurt School and the counter-culture of the time it explicitly re-affirmed the belief that Design is not a neutral, value-free process.

Two spreads from the Barnbrook Bible, published in June 2007

Design Museum location:
The Design Museum,
Shad Thames,
London SE1

Chuba Chup - 'With Fruit Pulp'

A great visual and winner of Gold Lion at the 2006 Cannes awards.

Agency Y&R Melbourne
Art director Peter Hibberd
Writer Julian Schreiber
Creative director Tony Greenwood
National creative director Matt McGrath
Photographer Adrian Lander

The outdoor campaign aims to convey the massage that chuba chup lollies contain real fruit, by using images of squashed and splashed fruit against a white background. The fruits form the shape of various flavoured lollies and the trails of running juice are used to suggest the lollipop stick.
Good use of a simple, white background with the image on top, and simple logo in the bottom right-hand corner, making the splashed fruit the main point of focas. This is also emphasised by the bright colours of the fruit, which really catch the viewers attention.

However, whilst clearly demonstarteing the products promise 'Chuba Chup, With fruit pulp', the images do not sell the product well. The image brings to mind vomit before the pulp of a fruit. Not what you want to associate with a food product.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Brain Balloon

A promotional device for The Economist. The brain balloon suggests that if you read The Economist your will gain intelligence. As the balloon is blown up the image of the brain grows. Simple and effective advertising.

Advertising Agency: BBDO, New York, USA
Creative Directors: David Lubars, Bill Bruce
Art Directors: Frank Anselmo, Jayson Atienza
Photographer: Billy Siegrist

Saturday, 18 August 2007


Images from Mohammad Reza Mirzaei, 2006 photogrphic series, 'Humans'.

Mohammadreza Mirzaei is an Iranian photographer who was born in 1986, in Tehran and graduated in Graphic design from IRIB Artschool. His photographs are reminiscent of silhouette paintings and show dark anonomous figures, shot from a long distance, set against stark empty backgrounds. The frozen figures and expansive white backgrounds give the images a quiet, calm, minamalist quality.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Francesa Tallone

I came across the work of Francesca Tallone on an online blog. Francesca Tallone is a photographer, an art director, and a curator from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is intrigued by angles and off-centeredness in composition and produces images that show the world from a different perspective.

In 2006 she was the winner of the avant guardian competition by surface magazine (Fashion and Architecture). A title given for young and rising fashion photographers.

New Angular

Beatriz Milhazes

I really like the work of Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. Her paintings are colourful, bold and full of energy. She creates vibrant layers of motifs and patterns, fusing images inspired by sources as diverse as folk art, embroidery, carnival imagery, geometry, botany, music and modernist abstraction.
The artist applies paint to plastic sheeting which when dry is peeled off, carefully positioned and glued onto canvas to achieve extraordinarily smooth surfaces. Milhazes uses contrasting colours to great effect, her painting are in no way subtle.

Pacaembu, 2004

Mariposa, 2004

Keep It Unreal

The illistrations of Mr Scruff (a DJ from Manchester) are quirky, original and instantly recognisable. They are doodle-esque, lighthearted and often make little sense, which makes them all the more entertaining. Mr Scruff creates his own world within his drawings and his music, although he maintains that the two are virtually unconnected, "they are separate , but come from the same warped mind."

“I always drew cartoons as a kid, and never stopped,” says Mr. Scruff, “my style evolved in schoolbooks when I was in my teens, and ended up as the very simple stylized characters that you see today. I quite like Bod, Stoppit and Tidy-Up – Terry Wogan’s finest moment! And The Clangers” (Fused Magazine, Charlotte Dunckley)

Mr Scruff has a long-standing club night 'Keep it unreal' at Manchester's Music Box and also tours around Britian and the world. A great name for a night in my oppinion. A unique feature for Keep It Unreal is Scruff’s Tea Shop. “The concept is serving tea in a club! Simple, but hardly anyone seems to do it. I assumed because I like drinking tea in clubs, other people would too. The idea came from playing at the Music Box in Manchester. It has 2 rooms, but I didn't want another DJ in there, so I served tea instead.”

Scruff doesn't consider himself an artist, however, he does all his own record & cd covers, most of his gig flyer designs, and all the artwork for videos & club visuals.

Music video for Mr Scruffs' 'Get a move on' can be seen on

Prada designs costumes for a cartoon.

Designer Miuccia prada was so impressed by the 2004 '3D Live animation' movie Appleseed that she offered to design two costumes for the upcoming sequal, Appleseed:Ex machina. "Watching the previous 'Appleseed,' I thought that the expression of contrast in man and machine, violence and love was wonderful," (

The Chinease animated film is directed by Shinji Aramaki and based on a comic series by Masamune Shirow. The film is set in a future city with the main theme being the love and conflict between humans and bioroids (cloned humans). "The female lead, Deunan knute, will be wearing a futuristic wardrobe created especially by Mrs Prada for the film" (ID, Sept 2007, pg 94).

This collaboration shows the cross-branding initiative that is becoming increasingly popular as brands attempt to reach wider audiences. Several fashion publications have also noted that Prada’s 2006 fall collection, Metropolitan Armor, clearly shows the designer drew some of her futuristic and cyberpunk influences from Appleseed.

Thursday, 16 August 2007


'Individual - Recycled - Freewaybags.'

Freitag's innovative designs have been growing in popularity since 1993, when the company launched the first bag to be made entirely from recycled materials.

Inspired by the Zurich transport route that passed by their house, design duo Markus and Daniel Freitag began creating bags entirely made from truck tarpaulins, inner tubes and seat belts. Every bag is unique, very durable, easily repairable and waterproof. You can even build your own bag online. You choose what your bag will look like by placing a pattern over a unique tarp (virtually).

Freitag has also teamed up with the Tate Modern to produce a reusable tote bag made from recycled exhibition banners.
Freitag and Tate Modern are already considering new lines incorporating the works of other artists. "We are looking at expanding the range, but obviously it will depend on the materials available," (Helena Lawrence.)