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‘Cool Stuff’ archive

The saddle masters

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a slight obsession with everything to do with building Old School BMX. I mainly focus my attentions around the U.S. brand Skyway but part of this obsession is spending countless hours every week hunting down the right NOS (New Old School) parts. At times this isn’t that great for my productivity at work or the bank balance!

On my travels this week I came across this great little promo film above for the Japanese Saddle Masters Kashimax, who in my humble opinion make the BMX saddle of choice, the sleek and classic Aero.

It’s great to see Kashimax still going strong after all these years, their attention to detail and craftsmen at work. Watch out for the Aero AX-4A in the film, I think it made my wallet twitch!

Enjoy

Kraftwerk – Man Machine

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

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In honour of Kraftwerk we decided to write this blog post in German (a language I happen to speak quite well). Here we go:

Einen passenderen Schauplatz hätte Kraftwerk sich sicherlich nicht aussuchen können als das Tate Modern, ein zu einer Kunstgalerie ausgebautes altes Kraftwerk. Als wir in der ‘Turbine Hall’ ankamen saßen bereits zahlreiche Menschen friedlich auf einem der Kissen die am Eingang verteilt wurden. Wir waren uns zunächst nicht sicher, ob wir auf den Kissen sitzen bleiben müssten, aber schon bevor der erste Ton ausgeklungen war, standen die rund 1.200 Menschen bereits.

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In der vierten von acht Retrospektiven war Kraftwerks meist zelebrierte Album ‘Man Machine’ an der Reihe. Eröffnet wurde mit dem letzten Titel des Albums ‘The Man Machine’ gefolgt von Spacelab bevor es mit dem bekanntesten Lied des Albums und dem größten Hit, den Ralf Hütter in England verbuchen durfte, ‘The Model’ weiterging. Nach dem alle Lieder des Album gespielt waren folgte ein best-off. Kraftwerks größten Hits unter anderem Autobahn und Tour de France wurden zum besten gegeben. Begleitet wurde jedes Lied von 3D Projektionen, die neben der Musik großer Bestanteil des Gesamtauftrittes waren. Von einfachen geometrischen Formen, über an Matrix erinnernde grüne Raster, bis hin zu einer Autobahn fahrt in einem alten VW war alles dabei. Was alle 3D Projektionen gemein hatten war eine Einfachheit, die verglichen mit anderen 3D Medien die man heutzutage gewöhnt ist wirklich hervorstach.

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Das Tate war wirklich der perfekte Ort für solch einen Auftritt, der mühelos einen Bogen zwischen Musik und Kunst spannte. Zeitweise war das Publikum sehr still, aber nicht weil ihnen nicht gefiel was sie sahen, sondern aus großer Bewunderung und der Erkenntnis heraus, dass sie Zeugen eines phänomenal Auftrittes waren, an den sie sich lange Zeit erinnern werden.

Translation to follow shortly. In the meantime why not give google translate a go (not that it’ll make much sense).

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Unicorns, Crows with hands and riding bikes with no hands!

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Went for a digital stroll on Sunday as a way of getting over a hangover and came across this great short film by Ninian Doff. I never knew Unicorns could fire rainbows out of their horns and it seems you can pick up said mystical creature down Brick Lane. Sadly I’m allergic to horses, my head balloons like Rocky, and so I’m presuming the same goes for owning a Unicorn.

Anyway it turns out the very talented Ninian Doff has a bit of previous in creating really great shorts and videos and it’s definitely worth checking out Ninian’s site.

A few of my personal favourites are below from the very simple ‘No Handed Bike Moves’, the clever ‘Ello Guvnor’, too the freaky Crows with Hands video for Fulton Lights. Enjoy.

Design Friendship Playlist 2012

Friday, January 18th, 2013

New year = new playlist. But before we go ahead and create a new playlist we thought we’d share our 2012 playlist with you. The playlist contains 100 songs we listened in the studio throughout the year. We’re also aiming to create regular shorter playlists for you to enjoy.

E5 Bakehouse

Friday, January 11th, 2013

We decided to follow on from last year’s Christmas screen printing extravaganza by doing something hands on again this year, and since we’ve had a few small bake offs in the office recently we decided to go to E5 Bakehouse for our Christmas Party, where we learnt how to bake a variety of breads including the bakeries famous Hackney Wild (a classic pain de campagne), bagels, ciabatta and a 66% rye bread.

E5 Bakehouse is an artisan bakehouse and coffee shop in the railway arches near London Fields. As well as selling bread in store and baking bread for local restaurants, E5 Bakehouse also offer fresh lunches including sandwiches made from the day’s batch of sourdough, salads and homemade cakes – all locally sourced, organic and at decent prices.

Our course leader for the day was Ben, the brains behind E5 Bakehouse and a very nice chap indeed. The course is very hands on and by the end of it we all walked home with enough bread to feed a small village. We had a great time and E5 Bakehouse is definitely worth a visit whether you want to learn to make bread or you simply want to buy a loaf of delicious, handmade artisan bread.

E5 Bakehouse, Arch 395, Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3PH; e5bakehouse.com

 

 

 

TAP TO RETRY

Monday, August 20th, 2012

This stunning papercraft stop-motion animated short was created by artist Neta Cohen for her 2012 graduation project at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Not bad at all for her first attempt at stop-motion animation.

It’s a knockout!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Tomorrow night is the launch of the 15 Nations Fall exhibition, the European Championship inspired brain child of illustrator Lee Boulton or LeeLeeLee. (his colouring in name!)

Everything you need to know is on the poster above, so if you find yourself in London town tomorrow evening then why not pop by the Graphic Bar and say hello? The exhibition runs for the length of the Euro’s and like a fine wine, will only get better with age!

Let’s just hope that LeeLeeLee doesn’t have to create an England poster any time soon!

RIP Ralph McQuarrie

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

I can’t tell you the exact date and time when I first saw Star Wars or for that matter how many times I’ve watched each of the films since, but it’s a lot and probably bordering on the unhealthy!

What I can tell you is that Star Wars and it’s sequels, has probably been the single most influential thing on my path to becoming a designer. Now I’m not suggesting for one moment that my Parents, both natural and graphical (you know who you are) friends, art, music, college & university etc, didn’t have some large role to play. But for as long as I can remember Star Wars has always been there.

Of course as a young wide eyed little 70’s wannabe Jedi it was the excitement of the movie that captured my heart first. But as time goes by that can fade, as it has done for many of my friends, now just that film we used to be crazy about when we were kids. I’m happy to say they’ve never faded in my eyes and if anything those films, plus a few others I’m keen to mention, keep getting brighter. But why?

Put simply amazingly detailed aesthetics, and the genius that is Ralph McQuarrie, who sadly passed away this weekend. “Who” I hear you ask? Well you can be forgiven for asking that question as he’s the unsung hero behind some the greatest designs ever to be captured on film. Ralph McQuarrie role call reads like the ultimate Sci-fi/Fantasy top 10 with the likes of Star Wars, ET, Close Encounters, Batteries Not Included, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Battle Star Galactica, all of which I love.

Above is Ralph’s concept drawing for the now iconic Storm Trooper Helmet and below is probably his most recognisable creation Darth Vader.

It’s so easy to overlook just how much Ralph MacQuarrie has contributed to design and I for one can’t imagine a world without his work in it. I think his life’s work is best summed up on his website…

“His influence on design will be felt forever. There’s no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say… ‘that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted’.”

Bad Toys II

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Ever wondered what goes on in a young kids head while they play with their toy cars? Well I’d like to think it’s along the lines of the above short film ‘Bad Toys II’ from Creators Daniel Brunet & Nicolas Douste.

I’ll happily admit that I’m a right old sucker for the original ‘Bad Boys’ franchise, and in my opinion it includes one of the best lines in cinematic history “This shit just just got real”!

Cross this with one of my other loves Adam & Joe Show toy sequences and as Ken Korda would say you’ve got ‘Gold Dirt’. I’m not suggesting for one minute Bad Toys II is a ripoff, as the production levels alone are enough separate the two, while the cutting between reality and animation is a really clever touch.

Enjoy

Counter-Print

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Seeing as its the season of good will i’m sharing an excellent site I found the other day. If you haven’t already heard of Counter-Print then head on over and check it out. They specialise in finding out of print and hard to find design books, magazines and posters. An excellent resource for any designer, be careful though this site is addictive!