Go to the Design Friendship home page | skip to main menu | skip to content

Archive for August, 2011

Highton’s got talent

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Forget X-Factor, Britians Got Talent and the rest of the mainstream Saturday night star searches for a second and read on. This is your chance to vote, promote and support a genuinely talented singer song writer who’s keeping true to his roots.

We’ve posted previously about Alex Highton when it was first announced about his forth coming debut album ‘Woodditton Wives Club’, well a few months on and the album is done. We’ve been lucky enough to have the pre-released album in the studio and can report back that it’s a warm, soulful record packed full of amazing lovingly crafted songs. The only problem we can see with this record is that it isn’t getting the air time or applause that it deserves.

So as Dermot would say on the X-Factor this is your chance, your pledge can makes all the difference. Now we’re not suggesting for one minute that you stop watching the aforementioned shows on Saturday night, all we ask is that you take 5 mins out of your busy day, head over to Alex Highton’s Pledge Music page and show your support by opting for one of the many great little treats on offer. Every pledge helps Alex get that little bit closer to his dream and I promise you the music won’t disappoint, in fact if you don’t fall in love with the album I’d go and see the doctor, because you’re probably dead inside!

Go on treat your ears, they’ll love you for it.

Amazing things we have seen online this week…

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Home built F1 simulator that looks like the 90’s Arcade game After Burner on steroids!

Superb idea for bike lights and the nearest you’ll get to owning a real Tron light bike.

Duck and Cover 2011 Point Of Sale

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

For 2011 Duck and Cover wanted to produce two sets of POS, an emotive piece that engages their consumers, and a branding device that can be used as an on-going in-store campaign to help improve brand recognition and awareness.

The brief was to deliver freestanding POS that can work along side the seasonal campaign imagery and brand concept ‘Ready For Anything’, and to create a call out to Duck and Cover products in busy multi-brand stores.


The Megaphone – Emotive POS


DF created a memorable POS unit that the Duck and Cover target audience can identify with and that represents the brand personality and ethos:

• Be a leader not a follower
• Be pro-active
• Confidence to stand up for what you believe
• Be direct and straight-talking
• Be forward thinking
• Be bold and embrace difference
• Be ‘Ready For Anything’


Civilian Target – Branding POS


The Duck and Cover ‘Civilian Target’ is an ongoing in-store brand building campaign with the DAC device at the heart of the concept. It’s simple, bold shape and direct approach to branding takes inspiration from the Duck and Cover urban, utilitarian and industrial look and feel. Because of the simplicity of this iconic shape, the ‘Civilian Target’ will be used across a number of in-store display units, made from a variety of materials and sizes from concrete statues to brushed metal shelf riders etc.

Forget the Film: Watch the Titles!

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Following on from Chris’ post last month in which he talked about title sequences, I thought I’d share my recent find regarding the topic with you. I came across another website dedicated to title sequences calles ‘Forget the Film: Watch the Titles!’. Arguably not all of the selected titles on display are great, and a lot of the classics are missing, but it’s definitely worth having a nosy.

The titles sequence that caught my eye is for a made-up documentary about the history of the title sequence. It’s designer Jurjen Versteeg’s graduation project, in which he cleverly re-imagines the work of eight influential designers that changed the course of title design history. From an interview with Versteeg:

“This title sequence provides an overview of the history of title design. The names of the most influential title designers are mentioned, all of whom have had a big influence on the development and history of title design. Each designer’s name refers to the revolutionary titles they designed. The cut-up typography of Saul Bass’ name, for example, refers to titles for Psycho, and the colored circles refer to Maurice Binder’s titles for Dr. No. In this way, I’ve tried to characterize each name. My aim was to give these characteristics, which were added in the post-production stage, as much of an analogue feel as possible. I wanted the visual effects to be in line with the live action footage.”

Rinse Presents: A Visual Feast

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Record covers are the main reason I became a designer and from a very early age that is what I wanted to do when I grew up, that and be an ambulance driver, but I’m going off point! I got very lucky and my first job straight out of uni was doing just that and I loved every minute of it.

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited the opening night of Rinse Presents: A Visual Retrospective, which in my opinion should have been called “A Visual Feast”, but I guess that would have been seen as boasting. I know from first hand how difficult it is to create within that 12×12 square format and what I gazed upon last night is a real testament to 17 years of lovingly grafted photography, art direction and design driven by a healthy musical obsession.

On show are some of the graphical highlights from DF chum Stuart Hammersley otherwise known as Give Up Art and I think you’ll agree it’s an impressive collection, one well worth popping along to see.

Also on shown is the equally impressive photography of one Shaun Bloodworth below, vastly underrated in my opinion, and together with Give Up Art their work has formed the foundation for a unique documentation of youth and music culture, with projects across both the UK and US, much of which will be shown alongside this Rinse FM exhibition.

The exhibition also falls on the 10th anniversary of London’s world famous, Rinse-afflilated, FWD>> club night, which is held on 20th August at a secret East London location.

The exhibition will be at the Truman Brewery Gallery – shop 14, Hanbury Street for 10 days from 12th to 21st of August, so if you do one thing this weekend get yourself down there and give your eyes a treat.

Ron Arad’s Curtain Call

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Last night DF popped down to the Roundhouse to see Ron Arad’s Curtain Call. As part of Bloomberg Summer at the Roundhouse, internationally renowned artist, architect and designer, Ron Arad has invited his favourite artists, musicians and friends to create unique work for his 360° interactive installation.

Curtain Call is an installation in which a curtain of white silicon rods, eight metres high and hanging from above, encloses the great circular centre of the building. The rods collectively form a 360° screen on to which are projected animations and films by some of Arad’s creative friends. Christian Marclay will ring the circle with piano keys, running vertically, played by giant projected hands. Mat Collishaw will show a gorgeous tropical landscape which is nonetheless “poisoned by diseased and malicious-looking flowers”. Ori Gersht will show crowds at a bullfight, putting viewers in the middle of the circle in the position of a matador, or a bull.

We were lucky enough to be invited to a stand alone event, which featured our friend Jude Greenaway’s work, which he did in collaboration with his brother and Ron Arad for the Curtain Call. This is what Jude had to say about his work: “Our response to Arad’s installation poses the silicon surface as a refracted mirror. Filmed and animated content has been specifically designed to match the curtain and its surroundings, literally reflecting the Roundhouse back onto itself. Utilizing the buildings former primary function of rotation the work and its environment are intertwined and juxtaposed producing interesting hybrid creations between architecture and moving sculpture, bringing the building to life. Set to a bespoke theatrical score the viewer is immersed into a seamless 360° audio visual experience.

We were well impressed with Jude’s work, and you should definitely get yourself down to the Roundhouse to check out the Curtain Call.

La Maison Fontaine® wins yet again!

Friday, August 5th, 2011


We’re happy to announce that our favourite absinthe La Maison Fontaine® has just picked up another Gold at the International Spirits Challenge for our design. News of this reached us not long after winning at this years Harpers Design Awards. This is what the judges had to say: “Really breaks the mould, well thought-out and very detailed, contrasting modern design with the wax stamp to bring in historical absinthe cues.”

Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

I’m super excited at the news that Laurence King will be publishing a new book Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design, definitely a book for the DF reference library. For those not so familiar with Saul Bass’ work the biog on the Laurence King website briefly summarises the great mans achievements…

“This is the first book to be published on one of the greatest American designers of the 20th century, who was as famous for his work in film as for his corporate identity and graphic work. Saul Bass (1920-1996) created some of the most compelling images of American postwar visual culture. Having extended the remit of graphic design to include film titles, he went on to transform the genre. His best-known works include a series of unforgettable posters and title sequences for films such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. He also created some of the most famous logos and corporate identity campaigns of the century, including those for major companies such as AT&T, Quaker Oats, United Airlines and Minolta.

His wife and collaborator, Elaine, joined the Bass office in the late 1950s. Together they created an impressive series of award-winning short films, including the Oscar-winning Why Man Creates, as well as an equally impressive series of film titles, ranging from Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus in the early 1960s to Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear and Casino in the 1990s.

Designed by Saul Bass’s daughter Jennifer and written by distinguished design historian Pat Kirkham, who knew Saul Bass, this book contains more than 1,400 illustrations, many from the Bass archive and never published before, providing an in-depth account of one of the leading graphic artists of the 20th century.”

As a footnote – one of the best exhibitions I ever had the fortune to see was the Saul Bass exhibition at the Design Museum back in 2004 which really blew me away. If I had to pull out a single piece of work by Mr Bass I’d have to go for the Magnificent Seven Poster above, the western remake of the 1954 classic Seven Samurai, beautifully simple in my opinion. Here’s a link to some of the goodies that where on show back in 2004 and while you’re there check out the rest of the graphical goodies on insect54’s flickr stream.

Enjoy.