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‘Product Design’ archive

A taste of the future

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Here is a great little piece by Mark Hudson talking about his commission from the Design Museum in London for a visual timeline at the entrance to their ‘The Future Is Here’ show.

We love a nice bit Lasercut perspex, currently working on something ask we speak, and Marks graphic silhouettes work a treat in introducing visitors to ideas of manufacture and technological change across time.

‘The Future is Here’ exhibition runs until the 29th October at the Design Museum London and is well worth checking out.

Thanks for the heads up Mark.


Odette Toilette

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

We’ve been meaning to share some new work with you all for a while know, but getting around to actually doing it has been easy said than done!


First off is Odette Toilette, the perfume lover behind Scratch+Sniff events. Under the banner of providing olfactory adventures for both perfume experts and those new to fragrance alike, her events offer unusual ways of discovering the world of scent. From collaborations with the wine industry to fragranced tours of the Tate’s Pre-Raphaelite exhibition, cake-fuelled Vintage scent afternoons and a creative exchange between perfumers and writers, the world of Odette has fast become the place to go for new experiences with smell.


We’ve been lucky enough to attend a few of Odette’s events in the Bookclub and have always had a really great and interesting time. Check out Odette’s Scratch+Sniff events page for your chance to take a look (and smell) at fragrance in a different way.


We designed Odette Toilette’s identity and stationery as well as the pot pourri Odette launched in collaboration with horticulturalist, Stephen Nelson.

Blend #1 of Odette Toilette’s Pot Pourri is limited to 250 pots. Each pot contains over two litres of rose petals, macerated until heady. This heart is surrounded by aromatics including lemon verbena, mint, Russian coriander, bay, sweet marjoram and cured lemon peel. Resins of benzoin, storax and tonka bean bring warmth and comfort.

The pot pourri’s midnight-black clay pot was hand-made in an artisinal pottery near York. Each pot is £45 (+p&p) and available to buy via the Odette Toilette website.

Blend #2 will follow soon – so watch this space.


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!


A bottle of Coke please, how much?

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

I came across this great little clip via the BBC today about the origins of an everyday design classic, the Coca-Cola Original Glass Bottle. Many moons ago, in another agency life, both myself and Nat had the opportunity to work with this everyday icon and so it was really interesting to find out that one of only two prototypes, that lead to Coca-Cola OGB design, is up for auction in Beverly Hills. And what’s the estimated price for said bottle, a cool $200,000.

What I love about the Coca-Cola OGB is that it’s design is as simplistic as it gets, with so much iconic impact and just as rememberable, if not more so, than the brands logo. If that little lot wasn’t enough I’m absolutely convinced drinking an ice cold Coke out of the OGB makes it taste even better!

So as all that flashed through my head I thought I know I’ll write a post and here we are…

Below shows the concept drawing and prototype for the Coca-Cola curvy bottle created way back in 1915 by bottle designer Earl R. Dean. Amazingly this is one of only two in existence, the other is owned by Coca-Cola.

In 1915, Harold Hirsch, a lawyer for Coca-Cola, came up with a plan to launch a national competition in which bottle manufactures across the U.S would be asked to design a distinctive bottle. The brief was simple, created a bottle so distinctive that people could recognise it with a single glance or by the way it felt in hand.

Bottle manufacturer Root Glass Company, Indianna eventually won the competition with a design inspired by a cocoa pod, that the aforementioned Earl R. Dean had found in an encyclopaedia. The winning Prototype never made it into production as the middle diameter was deemed too wide compared to the base and this would make the bottles unstable when on the conveyor belts. But the seeds of the idea were sown and even after decades of tweaks, nips and tucks the original concept is still ingrained in todays bottle.

Above is the design patent registered for the original prototype design and below is for the revised and eventual bottle design. You may notice that on the patent Earl R. Dean’s name does not appear but instead the credit goes to the plants superintendent, Alexander Samuelson. Unfortunately Dean’s lack of credit was a result of company procedure, the cheek of it!

Right I’m going to pop to the shop and get myself a proper glass bottle of Coke, enjoy!

The Toaster Project

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

“Left to his own devices he couldn’t build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it.”
Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams, 1992

Ever built a toaster from scratch? Me neither, but how hard can it be? RCA graduate Thomas Thwaites as part of his final MA project attempted just that. Everything used to make the toaster had to be sourced from the raw materials. With the final cost coming in at £1187.54 this is a really humbling project that drives home how much industry goes in to something that we can buy for £3.99 from Argos.

The visual journey

The final toaster

What an amazing Job.

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Today is a very sad day for graphic designers all around the world as Steve ‘The Man’ Jobs has sadly gone to the big studio in the sky. So much will be said and written about his vision, determination, leadership and achievements over the coming days by the great and the good and deservedly so.

Now I realise everyone is going to bang on about iPods, iPhones, iTunes, OS X, Pixar etc etc, and rightly so as Jobs has achieved in one lifetime what most could only do in say a 1000, but I’d like to say thanks for my very first Apple Mac LCII.

It sported a 12″ colour monitor, a staggering 4MB of ram and ran hotter than the sun at times, but that little beige wonder helped me through my college and uni years and played its part in getting me where I am today. Yes it was the computing equivalent of R2D2 from Star Wars, it didn’t always do as it was told and was by no means a looker by todays standards, but it kept on going through all those late night work sessions when the deadline was looming.

So thank you Mr Jobs, I think you’ve earned your rest.

Giant 3D Typography

Monday, September 12th, 2011

A while back we came across the simply beautiful work of Jimmy Fiction Esq and for some strange reason, probably a crazy deadline, we completely forgot to post about him. So to make amends we thought we should blog about Jimmy’s very big colourful three dimension letters that would look amazeballz in DF HQ if we had the space!

As Jimmy points out on the website his creations are perfect for the garden and home, as well as festivals, brand spaces, events and the like. All letters are hand manufactured in welded steel, and resin or powder coated for many years of resilient alphabetical service.

They are free-standing and sturdy enough for all-weather outdoor use and as a framework for planting, or can be supplied with custom fixtures and fittings, for example wall mounting, if needed. Jimmy also offers a full bespoke design and manufacturing service for any variations you or your clients may require.

Great Scott, a great auction for a very great cause

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Today’s the day Nike will be auctioning off 1500 pairs of the much sort after Nike Air Mag. All proceeds from the auction will go towards the great work that the Michael J Fox Foundation is doing to combat Parkinson’s disease. Currently standing at around $4000.00 a pair I think even if I sold my own mother, as amazing as she is, I’d still way way short of the eventual mark! So for those who just want to see a pair head down to Nike Town at Oxford Street as I have it on good authority that they have a pair to ogle at. Below is an amazing message from the man himself.

It’s a bitter sweet day for me as I want a pair of these so much it’s hurts but sadly they’re a little out of my price bracket. However having seen on a daily basis how destructive Parkinson’s Disease can be with my own Granddad Tommy, who suffered and fought for well over a decade, I do think it’s a really fantastic and commendable partnership.

If I had the money I’d happily pay ten times the final amount, what ever it may be, not because I want the Nike Air Mag’s but because I wouldn’t wish what my Granddad went through on anyone. So massive respect goes out to the guys at Nike and even bigger respect has to go to the main man, Michael J Fox, for bringing us so much joy and for leading the fight against a horrible disease under very difficult circumstances.

Granddad Tommy would be very proud.

Property of… a very nice brand

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

DF have just returned from a two day trip to Amsterdam where we managed to fit in, amongst our meetings, a couple of hours out and about to see what’s happening. We’re always excited when we come across a well executed brand we haven’t seen before and when we came across Property of… we weren’t disappointed.

Man bag store Property of… is the brainchild of Peter Teo & Richard Chamberlain and is situated in the beautiful canal district of central Amsterdam. The brands perfectly executed products and the equally cool store interiors look and feel like the real deal while demonstrating real attention to detail, we only wished London had it’s own store to mooch about in.

If you can’t make if over for the total instore experience you can always have a nosey on the Property of… website to find out more. Right which bag’s got my name of it?

Interview with Dieter Rams

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Make sure you check out this interesting Dieter Rams video interview. Listen to the inventor of the stripped-down, intuitive language for consumer electronics discuss his time at Braun, Apple, the importance of entrepreneurs in driving design innovation, and the role of sustainability. Alongside the interview you’ll find a short video by Vitsœ about obsolescence.